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were driven out of one place, the place of purity and glory, and shut up in hell, and confined in chains of darkness in order to be kept unto the judgment. Therefore hell must have à locality. .
“ And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimestone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Rev. xx. 10. Also, verse 15. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Though the place of punishment is described by other terms and figures, yet it intimates that there is a place fixed and circumscribed, where the unregistered portion of the human race shall reap their awful doom in company with the beast and the false prophet.
3. The punishment of the wicked 'is couched in such language, and is described to be of such a nature as to preclude the idea of its being endured in this life.
“ And to you who are troubled, rest with us; when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power.'? 2 Thess. i. 7-9.
Those who know not God; who possess not thať influential and soul-subduing knowledge of the perfections of Jehovah, which induces men to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be the subjects of this punishment. The distress and anguish of this punishment they shall realize at that time when the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall be revealed from heaven in flaming fire with his mighty angels. If the wicked are punished for all their sins deserve in this life, and if hell and sin go hand in hand throughout their duration, then the Lord is constantly revealed from heaven
in flaming fire with his mighty angels, taking vengeance and punishing the wicked with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power. How such a description of the punishment of the wicked can be made to harmonize with the doctrine, that all punishment is confined to this life, and that sin is its own punishment, we will ·not pretend to solve, but leave it for its advocates. But how such awful and terrific language accords with fu-' ture punishment, we may conceive, when the Lord shall be revealed as Judge from heaven, accompanied with his mighty angels, to judge the world in righteousness, to break the chains and restraints from the elemental fires of crea- . tion, and to commission the lurid, winding flame through all the atmospheric space, to execute vengeance, on the despisers of God and the gospel, and to put an everlasting separation between them and his own gracious presence and saving power. All this has not yet come to pass, but we have the infallible assurance that the predestined period shall arrive, and all these things shall be witnessed by man—not a jot or tittle of the word shall fail, till all be ful- , filled.
“ But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which .burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Rev. xxi. 8.'
We are well aware, that the Book of Revelations; is not invested with much authority to any teacher of Universalism, and the great majority of them exclude it entirely from the canon of Holy Scriptures ; nevertheless, we find them quoting such portions as, when torn from their connection, . seem to favor their religious views. That is the case with the third and fourth verses found recorded in this chapter. “God shall wipe all tears from their faces,”' &c. It would
. be well for them first to admit the inspiration of this Book, before they attempt to establish the final happiness of all creatures from any portion of it; and then to prove by unquestionable arguments that the Scripture we have quoted has undoubted reference to, and includes the whole human race. We firmly believe that this Book is divinely inspired, and that when God says that he will “ wipe all tears from .their faces,” &c., he has particular and exclusive reference to those “men” who are “his people” and “have overcome,” being the adopted sons and daughters of God, and actually redeemed by the blood of Christ. We furthermore believe, that while the saints shall enjoy the beatitudes of heaven; “ the fearful, the unbelieving, and the abominable,” &c., shall have their portion in the regions of despair, weighed down by the pains and paroxysms of the second death.
It is impossible that all the wicked characters mentioned in the text, do endure punishment for sin in this life, adequate to the description of the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. We know not where to find any calamity in this world that shall answer the description. We think and believe it impossible.
" Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matt. xxii. 13. Such language, however figurative, can never be predicated of the sufferings of the wicked in this life. When and where does the sinner suffer calamity of such a description, as that it may be said, that he is bound hand and foot, and cast into outer darkness ? Language that teaches the helplessness of the suffering wicked, and their ejectment from the society of the approved of God, into the most horrible gloom and despair, pain and anguish of soul, fitly represented by "outer darkness,” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Do the wicked weep and gnash their teeth, because they are excluded from the society of the pious ? Or do they not riot with peculiar satisfaction in debauchery and all sorts of criminal indulgence, and prefer to be absent from the place of holy convocation and not mingle with the throng that worship in the temple of God? A forced participation in the employments of the saints, would be rather more intolerable to them than to forego the banquet of the gospel—they would sooner weep and gnash their teeth in the solemn assemblies of the righteous than because they are compelled to retire. Now since such suffering must be endured by the wicked, and as it cannot be endured in this life, therefore it can only be expected in the world to come. .“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” Rom. i. 18. “ Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish against every soul of man that doeth evil; the Jew first, and the Greek.” Rom. ii. 8, 9.
If all punishment is confined to this life, and sin is its own punishment, then it could not be said, that wrath, indignation, tribulation and anguish is revealed and inflicted by God from on high upon the ungodly, who hold the truth in .unrighteousness. There is quite a difference, in our humble judgment, between the punishment of sin inflicted by itself, and the wrath of God revealed from heaven and inflicting the punishment due to sin. This latter is the meaning, and the only meaning of the above passages. Such punishment can only be affirmed of the future.
4. The Scriptures represent the punishment of the wicked and the happiness of the righteous as being effected at the same time.
If this proposition be correct, then either thể righteous are rewarded on earth, or else the punishment of the wicked will be in the future world. We see not how this conclusion can be avoided, for there is as much propriety and as sound argument in favor of the position, that the pious are as fully and adequately rewarded in this life, as that the unrighteous are punished for all their sins deserve in this
transitory existence. But the Scriptures support our prop• osition, by representing that the happiness of the right
eous, and the misery of the wicked, shall be effected at one
Then shall. the righteous shine forth as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father.” Matt. xiii. 41-43. - We learn that the Lord Jesus shall commission his an... gels with full power to gather up and exclude from his
kingdom all who trample under foot the divine will, and work deeds of iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire, where they shall wail and gnash their teeth.in pain. Can this have reference to the suffering of the wicked in this life? The explanation given to this part of the Párable, or rather the explanation given by Universalists to the 'explanation of Christ of his own Parable, is the following:
The furnace was the city of Jerusalem ; and the right