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ception, are represented as actually engaged in
with you; but if you mean literally, it is an absurdity in the nature of things. It is a precious consideration to all holy beings, that Christ has all power in heaven and on earth; and that he will reign until all his enemies are under his feet; and that the last enemy which will be destroyed is death; but this must imply, either the total destruction and annihilation of his enemies, or their complete subjugation to the interest of his kingdom; if it is the former, then they are not all under his feet; for they are out of exista ence, and the doctrine of universal salvation is at an end. He is said to destroy him who hath the power of death, that is, the devil. I presume you will not contend, that Satan will either be annihilated or saved by Christ's alonement, since he took not on him the nature of angels; but if the latter is the just sense in which Christ will triumph over all his enemies, then they will see the end of all their efforts against him overruled, to advance in the greatest degree the interest of his kingdom, and terminating directly contrary to their evil intentions; all their enmity and subtle devices will be wholly defeated, so that they must retire from the field completely vanquished, and set down in everlasting disappointment and despair, and be in the most perfect manner under his feet. When he has thus subdued all things to himself, that is, to the glory of his kingdom, then he will give up his mediatorial office, that God may be all in all, that is, receive glory in all. This appears to be the Scripture sense of Christ's conquest over his enemies; and the sense in which St. John, by prophetic vision, beheld all creation, animate and inanimate, ascribing praise unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
Lorenzo. I perceive much may be said on this subject, and that we may easily construe the Scriptures differently, both having an equal right to his own exposition: as it appears we have both made up our minds on the subject, nothing, therefore, that you can say, will convince me, nor will any thing that I can say, turn you. I think we had better drop the subject, and let each one quietly enjoy his own opinion.
Evander. I thought, my dear sir, when we entered upon these subjects, we agreed to a candid examination, and not to contend for any preconceived opinions, unless they would stand the test of reason and revelation. It is a matter of great importance, whether probation ends with this present life or not. If I can produce Scripture evidence that is totally opposed to your sentiments, which you are unable fairly to construe differently, ought you not candidly to hear and readily give up your opinion as untenable?
Lorenzo. I freely grant I ought to do so, and am willing to hear you, if I thought you would not darken counsel by words without knowledge. Evander. Of this you will be better able to judge after giving me a candid hearing. If the Scriptures represent the punishment of the impenitent something more than disciplinary, and their future state not a state of probation, then, I conclude, you will acknowledge your sentiments fallacious.
Lorenzo. If all that is evident, to be sure there would be no question on the subject; but you will find it less difficult to take it for granted, than to find direct proof in the Scriptures to establish the position.
Evander. So far from considering it difficult to find proof, I think I may with confidence say, I can not only prove these positions, but that the punishment of the impenitent will continue throughout endless duration.
Lorenzo. If you can prove from the Scriptures, that the future state of the impenitent is not probationary, nor their punishment disciplinary, but vindictive and endless, then I must be as destitute of reason as honesty, not to give up the point.
Evander. The future state of the impenitent cannot be considered disciplinary, if they endure the curse of the law. It is written, “ cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law; the Lord shall not spare him, but the anger of the Lord and his jealousy, shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and
the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven, and the Lord shall separate him unto evil.” If all this is intended for the good of the sipner, agreeable to your sentiments, then the curse is a blessing; and when God's anger and jealousy smoke against him, it is infinite kindness; and when he separates him to evil, he separates him for his best possible good. If God in any case inflicts vindictive punishment, it can in no sense be called disciplinary. He says, "I will render vengeance to my enemies;” “according to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, and recompense to his enemies." If your ideas are correct, God's vengeance and fury to his adversaries are only expressions of favour and kindness. But what different language he uses towards his covenant children, when he corrects them for backsliding: “I will visit their transgressions with a rod, and their iniquities with stripes; nevertheless, my loving kindness I will not utterly take from him, or suffer my faithfulness to fail;” “for whom the Lord loveth he correcteth, even as the father the son in whom he delighteth;” but “ upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire, and brimstone, and an horrible tempest; this shall be the portion of their cup.” The impenitent “shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, poured out without mixture, into the cup of his indignation.” What a perversion of language it would be, to consider the wine of God's