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that has ever been formed against it has prosa pered.
And “this sect” not only survives, but the doc, trines which they originally taught they teach still, The doctrine of future punishment still blazes on every page of the Divine record. It is there and no human ingenuity shall ever demolish it. It has been denied in all ages, but still it remains, to pour upon the ear of a guilty world the thunders of retribution. It is not only a vain, but a perilous thing to speak against “this sect.” If I were not a Christ tian, there is one thing at least I would never doI would never speak against “this sect" or their doctrines. I would be taught a lesson from the past history of the world on this point. I would be instructed by even the possibilities of futurity. But in view of the past, and the present, and the future, I would join them-I would believe in their doc, trines. Among all the doctrines taught in this world, I would embrace those which are held and taught by “this sect." “ This sect," who own Jesus Christ for their founder his apostles for their first preachers, and who number the brightest and the best who have ever left the shores of time—“this sect,” which, during the lapse of ages, and amid the proud assaults of mankind, have remained even to the present day. If their doctrines are not true, then where shall we go in search of truth? If the doctrine of future punishment is true, by be: longing to “this sect" we have nothing to fearwe shall surely be safe. If all are to be finally saved, we shall still be safe. If it is true, then all
who reject it will be lost.* If it is not true, we are at least as safe as others. If, in crossing a deep and rapid river, I have my choice between two bridges, one of which I know to be sound, from the multitudes which have passed over it in safety, and the other of which I know to be sound only from the opinions of a fellow traveller-I will go over the former. I will go over that bridge, which, even if it fall, will carry me safe down to the next, and not over that bridge, which, if it falls, there is not another below still to save me. Here “ this sect” have two chances of salvation. Here are two chances to one. Those who believe in the doctrine of future punishment have two chances of getting to heaven, and those who reject it only one. If their system fail; in not providing against the coming wrath of God, they will be lost and for ever. If our system fail, and their's prove true, we are still saved by the mercy of God. Go not over the doubtful bridge. Go not over that bridge in which there may be rotten planks. Go over the bridge of the Bible. Go over that bridge, over which the greatest number have gone, shouting and triumphing. If it were a small interest at stake, it would not be so important. But the interest at stake, is no less an interest than the everlasting life of the soul. Go over that bridge, then, about which there is no misgiving-about which there is no doubt which will not be attended with the least possible
* The Rev. A. C. Thomas, in his sermon to which this is a reply, ridiculed the idea of two chances of salvation.
danger. But, oh! when I see a man standing and telling you to go over that bridge which may be rotten, and not to go over that which will not hazard a single interest of your souls- I wonder at his motives I think he must have some interest in deceiving you. No wonder he tells you not to believe what he says, but to go to the Bible. He is afraid of the responsibility which he assumes in giving you a wrong direction. But he will not wash out the blood of souls from his garments in that way. If he is afraid of the responsibility, let him renounce altogether his misgiving system. Let him tell his hearers the secret fears and forebod. ings of his soul. Let him tell them his midnight, thoughts. Let him tell them his fear of death and the grave. We do not end our discourse by asking you not to believe what we say. We are not thus afraid of our responsibility on this great point. We are willing our hearers should believe, and believe firmly, and believe till the day of their death, the doctrine of future punishment. We are willing to meet them at the judgment-seat of Christ, after having taught them this among other divine doctrines. We would be willing to stand by that sound bridge, and urge and entreat every traveller to pass over it. We would be willing to conduct all the present population of the earth, and all the coming generations of men, to the end of time, over that bridge. We would not be afraid of the responsibility. We would not be afraid to meet them all again around the “ white throne.” We should have no misgivings. We should have no pangs of
conscience. We should have no forebodings in view of death and the judgment. We could sleep sweetly every night; and when the night of death should come, we would sing—“O grave, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?"
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.
Genesis, iii. 4.
The doctrine of Universal Salvation can claim an antiquity equal to that of the human race. No sooner had God set up his kingdom in Paradise, than a mighty scheme was set on foot in hell for its overthrow. The devil, that great ringleader of rebellion, entered the fair heritage of man, and there presented his hell-matured and hell-begun enterprise of subduing this world to himself, to the unsuspecting, happy representatives of the human family. God had put Adam and Eve upon trial. He had laid upon them one simple prohibition, viz: not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He had not only told them not to eat of the fruit of that tree, but to give his advice the form of law adapted to the constitution of man, he appended to it a motive: "In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The devil, being a good mental philosopher, began his work of revolution by essaying to remove all restraint from the