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wrath, without mixture of mercy, correcting love. It is declared, that “ he shall have judgment, without mercy, that shewed no mercy;" but a disciplinary punishment is all mercy. I think you will not attempt to explain these passages as expressions only of wholesome. discipline; for if they do not fully imply vindictive punishment, it would be impossible to find any language that would. That the future state is not probationary, or a state of trial for the impenitent, is evident from their suffering the full penalty of the law. Our Saviour saith, “I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence till thou hast paid the very last mite." We are commanded to work while the day lasts, because, “ the night of death cometh wherein no man can work.” Your idea is, that a disciplinary punishment will work both faith and repentance; but God says to the impenitent, “ when distress and anguish come upon you, then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer.” If the Lord will not answer their cries, the door of mercy must be for ever closed. “When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us, and he shall answer, I know you not whence ye are, depart from me all ye workers of iniquity.” Probation must be at an end, if the door of mercy is shut, and our Lord will not open it for knocking and crying. While mankind are in a state of probation, “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” So directly opposite is the state of sinners in this world, from that in the world to come. Here they are invited by the sounds of mercy, there they are beyond the reach of mercy; hope never enters that gloomy abode, where there is nothing but weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth ; their state is unalterably fixed. “ He that is unjust, let him be unjust still, and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still,” is the final sentence of our blessed Lord. I think that abundant evidence from the Scriptures has been produced, to satisfy every candid person, that in the world to come, impenitent sinners receive neither discipline nor probation ; which, if fact, it will sap your whole foundation, and overturn your system. But I will not stop here, as the subject does not labour for want of evidence. I will now proceed to shew, that the punishment of the impenitent is so far from being disciplinary, that it will continue throughout endless duration. This is evident from the declaration of our Saviour, that they go "where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched.” It is written, “ they shall utterly perish in their own corruption;" “ he that being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy;" it is idle to talk of discipline for those who shall have no remedy. Our blessed Lord said of him who sliould betray him, “ good were it for that man if he had never been born.” A man's existence can never be an evil to himself, adınitting the calamity which he suffers to be only temporary, if he should afterwards receive endless happiness; and more especially, if his afflictions work out for him a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. The inspired apostle says, “. there is a sin unto death ;” and our Lord declares, “whosoever speaketh against the Holy. Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” Language cannot be more explicit, and I will venture to say, no ingenuity can make it fairly harmonize with the doctrine of universal salvation. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”. This is the solemn declaration of him who cannot lie. But your system declares, that all shall see life, and that the wrath of God shall not abide upon any; notwithstanding, thousands live and die in unbelief. How is it possible you should believe the Scriptures are of Divine authority, and embrace such doctrines, that boldly and positively contradict their most plain and simple meaning?
Lorenzo. As you have brought into view many objections which I have never fully attended to, I wish for a little time to examine them.
Evander. I choose to drop the subject until a future time. I hope you will not decide hastily; but examine it with all that candor and solemnity which it deinands; for in the last days, we are told, that many shall be under a strong delusion, and believe a lie, that they all may be damned, who have pleasure in unrighteousness. I solemnly warn you against examining with partiality, lest you fall into temptation. Adieu.
Popular arguments in favour of the Doctrine of · Universal Salvation, and objections against
Evander. Well, my dear Sir, have you candidly examined the subject of our last conversation.
Lorenzo. I think I have. At first I was much perplexed: to reconcile the scriptures with either of our positions, I found impossible : this has taught me not to form sentiments too hastily again, but to examine with great caution.
Evander. It gives me pleasure to find you are open to conviction, but it would give me more, to have you cordially embrace those doctrines I have attempted to defend ; as I am fully persuaded they are doctrines according to godliness.
Lorenzo. I judge from experience, that it is a divine constitution to have the light of the gospel ushered into the understanding by degrees. I have obtained much light in reflecting and conversing with my friends on these subjects; and notwithstanding I have been misled in some points, yet it has been the cause of my