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the wicked are not exposed—they have already fallen under its power. In regard to this death, there would be no propriety in saying to them, why will ye die? for they are already dead in trespasses and sins. The inference, therefore, is unavoidable, the death here intended, which the wicked are exposed to suffer for their sins, and from which they can be saved only by repentance and reformation, is eternal death.
We reject the system of Universal Salvation, because the* punishment of the wicked, as described in the Bible, has associated with it the idea of place or locality, in a manner which forbids the supposition that it is endured in this life. Hell is referred to as a place of punishment, not in this world but in a future state. (Psalms, ix. 17.) “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Luke, xvi. 23.)
(Luke, xvi. 23.) “And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments." (Mark, ix. 43.) “It is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell.” (2 Peter, ii. 4.) “ For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and de
* This and the following reason are from the correspondence of Luther Lee, in the Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate.”
livered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” (Revelation, xx. 10.) 66 The devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are.” The above quotations clearly imply a local hell. Shall be turned into hell-to go into hell-in hell he lifted up his eyes, &c., are expressions which involve the idea of place; and if there is not a place of punishment, such expressions are words without meaning. If the trials and sufferings of this life make up the sinner's punishment, it could not be said, " the wicked shall be turned into hell,” for in such case the wicked are already in hell, and it would be strange indeed to threaten a man with being cast into a pit into which he had already fallen. If the worm that dieth not, and the fire that is not quenched, are nothing more than remorse of conscience here in this life, the wicked are not “ turned into hell,” do not “go hell,” but hell is turned into the wicked, and the rich man, instead of lifting up his eyes in hell, must have lifted up his eyes having hell in him. The casting down of the angels that sinned into hell, and chains of darkness, and the casting of the devil into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, so clearly imply a place of punishment, that further remarks are unnecessary. I ask, then, is there any such place as hell, in which sinners are now punished in this life? It is presumed that no one will contend for the existence of a local hell in this world, in which sinners are now punished. I say,
then, there is a place called hell, in which sinners are or will be punished. There is no hell in this world in which sinners are punished, therefore hell must be in a future state, and consequently the punishment of the wicked must be in a future state.
We reject Universalism, because the Scriptures teach that the punishment of the wicked is longer than man's entire earthly existence; and if so, it must follow that such punishment is in a future state.
1. When the Scriptures speak of the life of man, they represent it to be very short, and employ the most expressive terms to denote its brevity. (1 Peter, i. 24.) “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass; the grass withereth and the flower thereof falleth away." (Psalm, ciii. 15.) “As for man his days are as grass, for the wind passeth over it and it is gone." (Job, vii. 6.) "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle.” (Job, vii. 8, 9.) “Our days upon earth are a shadow.” (Job, xiv. 1, 2.) “Man is of few days; he cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow.”
2. When the Scriptures speak of the punishment of the wicked, they represent it to be very long, and employ the strongest terms to express
its duration. (Matthew, xxiv. 41.) “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire;" 46th verse, “ These shall go away into everlasting punishment.” (2 Thess. i. 9.) “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction.” (Revelation, xx. 10.) “Shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” These passages represent the punishment of the wicked to be very long, longer than man's entire earthly existence. Men often commit the most atrocious crimes, after which they do not live a year, a month, a week, a day, an hour, and sometimes not a moment. Now, do they endure a very long punishment in a very short time? Will “everlasting fire” burn out in a year? Can “ everlasting punishment” be all endured in a month? Will the sinner recover from “ everlasting destruction" in a week? Is it possible to “be tormented for ever and ever" in a day, or an hour? But suppose the sinner to live a life of common length, still it follows, that he cannot receive all the punishment which the Bible threatens in his life; for the punishment is longer than his whole earthly existence. It cannot be denied, that the terms everlasting, for ever and ever, &c., express longer duration than the terms and figures which are used to express the brevity of life. “Everlasting punishment,” must be longer than a life that “is a vapour that appeareth for a moment and vanisheth away."
Everlasting destruction" must last longer than the life of man, whose days upon earth are a shadow." He who is “tormented for ever and ever,” must suffer longer than the earthly existence of a man,
who “is of few days." We say, then, that the punishment of the wicked is longer than the earthly existence of the sinner, and that punishment which is longer than the life of man, inust exist in a future state.
“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire.”
Matthew, v. 22.
“ And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell."
Matthew, v. 29, 30.