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all his debt, is not said to be forgiven his debt, another expression is used in Mark, which shows that he shall ever suffer damnation, and never have deliverance from his misery, whether by forgiveness or without-“Hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." And the forementioned expressions, “He shall never be forgiven;" "He hath never forgiveness ;" “Shall not be forgiven in this world, nor the world to come,” show the meaning of the word eternal here, as absolutely excluding any period, any time of favour wherein condemnation and punishment shall have ceased. And John confirms this view of the unpardonable sin, and shows that they who commit it can never have forgiveness, by directing us to pray for any other sin but this. “There is a sin unto death. I do not say he shall pray for it.”
If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. The distinguishing mark of the former sin is, that it is unto death, while the distinguishing mark of the latter sin is, that it is not unto death. But what kind of death is intended? What death is it in which the dread. ful sin here spoken of, is sure to terminate, and which rerrders those who have committed it, no longer the proper subjects of prayer? It cannot be temporal death, for this is a fruit of all sin; and it is no reason why persons should not be prayed for, that they are exposed, in this sense, to die.
Neither can it be spiritual death, for this is the state of all persons previous to repentance ; and if
none may be prayed for who are in this state, then no impenitent sinner is entitled to the prayers of God's people. The death intended, then, must be eternal death. In this the sin spoken of, is sure to terminate; it hath no forgiveness, and, consequently, prayer for those who have committed it, must be vain.
We reject Universalism in view of those passages of holy writ, in which a certain kind of death is contrasted with eternal life. “ As sin hath reigned unto death, even so grace might reign, through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
“ The end of these things is death, but now, being made free from sin, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." The death spoken of is set, in every instance, in close and im. mediate contrast with eternal bliss; that is, it must be eternal death. On this supposition only, is there beauty and strength to the contrast. The contrast, all along, is between death and life. Not, as the Rev. T. J. Sawyer, a Universalist preacher, would have us believe, between any other objects in the passages. The contrast, he says, cannot be perfect; that is, the “death,” in duration, cannot
be equal to the “ life,” because sin, as spoken of in one part of the passage, is not equal, in some respects, to God, who is spoken of in another part of the passage! Is it honest thus to attempt to break the force and full meaning of an evident and designed antithesis, by showing that other ideas employed in framing the antithesis are not equal one to the other, or that they do not make good contrasts? With the same propriety, this learned divine might have said that “ The," the first word in the last passage, is not as great a word as "Lord,” the last word in the same passage!! Says this same T. J. Sawyer, in reference to Romans, vi. 23, “On the one side stand sin, wages, death; on the other, God, gift, eternal life. To pretend that these terms are correspondingly equal, is more than I am willing to think any unprejudiced mind can do."
But who pretends that they are all equal ? And yet, if the two terms of the antithesis are not equal, but infinitely unequal, what becomes of this apostolic tribute to the grace of God? If the first term of the contrast, “ death," only means temporal death, how is the grace of God magnified by being placed in contrast? Immortality is an inheritance independent of the atonement of Jesus Christ. This is the peculiar and universal characteristic of intellect, whether in heaven, earth, or hell. This cannot be secured or lost by sin or holiness. Immortality would have been the last term of the antithesis, if in the first term the death of the body had only been intended: not, however, as the gift
of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. But the reality and force of the contrast consists in the fact that the peculiar wages of sin (not the death of the body, for beasts die, but the death or damnation of the soul,) are fully equalled by the gift of God, viz. eternal life, (not immortality, for devils enjoy that, but the eternal happiness of the soul,) through Jesus Christ our Lord. In the language of this noviciate in theology, we cannot help exclaiming “ Perhaps a little more discrimination in explaining Scripture would have saved the world some errors,' (Universalist errors ?) and tended not only to the advancement of knowledge, but also of happiness.
We reject Universalism in view of those passages in which the wicked are exposed to a certain kind of death, to which the righteous are not exposed. In the eighteenth and thirty-third chapters of Ezekiel, God declares that those who persevere in holiness shall live, while those who continue in sin, shall die. This idea is found in hundreds of passages of Scripture. But what is the death intended? What kind of death is it to which the wicked are exposed, but from which the righteous are ex
* This, and the two following reasons, are from an article in “ The Spirit of the Pilgrims."
empt? Not temporal death, surely, for to this kind of death the righteous and the wicked are exposed alike. Neither is ít spiritual death, for to this the wicked are not exposed they are already involved in it. They are already dead in trespasses and sins. What kind of death, then, is that which is so frequently mentioned in the chapters in Ezekiel, and in other parts of the Bible, as peculiar to the finally impenitent? Is it not eternal death? Is there any other kind of death which it can mean? If it is not temporal death nor spiritual death, it must be the only other remaining death brought to view in the Bible-eternal death.
We reject Universalism in view of those inspired passages in which the impenitent are exhorted to rescue themselves from their exposure to death. “I have set before you, this day, life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life that thou and thy soul may live. Make you a new heart and a new spirit, for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways, O house of Israel, for why will ye die ?" But what is the death here intended, to which sinners are exposed, and from which they are exhorted to save themselves by repentance and reformation ? Not temporal death, for from this repentance will not save them. Neither is it spiritual death, for to this