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raging flood, while those who mocked and laughed at him while he was building the ark, were taken home to glory. They were lifted to heaven on the mountain wave, and Noah and his ark left, a solitary spectacle upon the wild waste of waters.
The inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, who perished while in the very midst of their heavenprovoking wickedness, were better off than Abraham and Lot, who were left in this world to suffer. They went from their songs and their dances, from their whoredom and pollution, to the regions of immortal blessedness-while Abraham and Lot were doomed to stay in this dark world, far from their home and their God!
1. We see why the doctrine of Universal Salvation has no mystery in it. According to the view which we have now taken of it, it has none of the truth of God in it. It is a scheme got up by the vain reasonings of men-and man can always comprehend his own works. The truth of God always has some depths, and some heights, some lengths, and some breadths, which no created mind can comprehend. Hence it is said, that the angels of God, while they desire to look into the deep mysteries of truth, are not able. But it does not take an angel to see to the bottom of Universal Salvation. It has not one mystery about it, except it be the mystery of folly and impiety. Well may Universalists boast of the simplicity of their system,
for it has none of the incomprehensible truth of God in it. Every blade of grass, and every flake of snow, have more mysteries in their growth and composition, than Universalism can boast of. Let a man make an artificial flower, and we can understand it-but let God make a flower blossom by our path, and we stand amazed at the mysterious growth, and beauty, and fragrance of the divine production. Let man project a system of religious faith, with such contradictions and tendencies as are found in Universalism, and we can understand it_but let God embody the riches of his wisdom in a written revelation, and then we come to a sea, without sounding, and without a shore.
2. We see why the devil preached the doctrine of no punishment to our first parents. He saw the effect of it would be to remove all restraint from their minds. The fear of God was one of the motives that kept them away from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil-but when the devil had succeeded in removing that fear of God, by his doctrine of no punishment, then they plucked the forbidden fruit and died. God told them, in the day they ate they should die. The devil told them, that they should not die. Now here is a contradiction. God must have told the truth, and the devil must have told a lie. God told the truth, if by death he intended the death of the soul in the view of law. The devil told the truth, if he intended the immediate death of the body. For that they did not die a temporal death that very day is evident. Therefore God intended that they
should die that day in the view of law. But the devil knew, perhaps, it would be consistent with the ends of justice, to defer the execution of the penalty, therefore he told them that they should not die. But he knew that Eve would understand him that they were not to die any death, therefore he lied. And by this lie he broke the restraint of future punishment over their minds. Then they çast off their responsibility to God. Then they sinned without fear. And this is the operation of the doctrine still upon the human mind. One of the motives which must ever influence the mind, is fear. The array of motives is not complete, if that of fear be wanting. The very organization and structure of the mind, is proof positive that this is one of the motives that must hold it in subjection. The greater this motive, the greater its operation upon the mind, and any motive short of an infinite motive, cannot perfectly influence an immortal mind. Do away with the idea of future and endless punishment, then, and you leave the human mind destitute of adequate motive-without the immortal restraint of fear. This motive the devil was anxious, from the beginning, to destroy. He knew, if he could rob the government of God of this motive, in the very outset of that kingdom in this world, he would establish a strong-hold of rebellion among men. It follows, then, that those who preach the ,doctrine of no future punishment, are preaching the very doctrine which the devil broached to our first parents in Eden. This, in the language of Paul, is preaching and holding the doctrine of
devils! The first convert to Universalism in this world, was, consequently, simple-bearted, unsuspecting, confiding Eve. The devil was the preacher, and Eve the convert.
Finally: Those who preach this doctrine, and those who believe in it, run an awful risk. A doctrine so full of contradictions, and with fearful tendencies, should awaken the suspicions and fears of those who are trying to embrace it. No wonder that Universalist ministers are afraid of the responsibility of preaching this doctrine. No wonder that they deem the burden too heavy for their shoulders. 0! if I must go to hell, let me go alone. Never let me spend my days in preparing immortal mind for the overthrow of the judgment day. In hell, let no lost mind pour its wail upon my ear, and accuse me of being accessory to its deep damnation. And I beseech you, my friends, to prepare for the worst. By repentance, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and by a holy life, provide against the doctrine of future punishment. If there is one way to heaven attended with no possible danger, and another way which may end in despair, O take the safe way. Is not this reasonable? When there are such awful interests at stake, as the sal. vation of the soul, or its damnation, will you not enter the strait gate? Will you not travel in the narrow way
for a few days, so that you may not at last lie down in unquenchable flames? Time is. short. Death is at the door. The judgment day is rolling on. When you die, no doctrines of men will please you. They may have the impiety to