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But let us view the two doctrines in regard to the threatenings of God. The doctrine of eternal misery supposes that God threatened Adam, that in the day he ate of the forbidden fruit he should die, and that death threatened is said to be death temporal, spiritual, and eternal. This eternal death is said to be endless misery in hell. Hell torments, then, was threatened before sin existed, or before the promise of a Saviour was given. But is this a correct understanding of the death threatened Adam? The falsehood of it is evident from one fact, that Adam, Noah, Abraham, and all the Old Testament believers did not so understand it. If they had, would they not have taught it to mankind? But do we find them referring to Adam's sin, as involving himself or his posterity in endless misery in hell? Or do we find such a doctrine taught by any Old Testament writer? Let all the threatenings of God in the Old Testament be examined, and we shall find them in unison with this first threatening to Adam. God threatened to destroy the world by a flood; Sodom and the cities of the plain by fire; but is a hint dropped that the wicked in such cases were at death to be eternally miserable?

But let us also view the two doctrines, in regard to the attributes or character of God. It has been said, that my views are very dishonorable to God's character. His justice, his holiness, and truth are dishonored if there be no endless punishment for all the wicked. If my views dishonour his character, it must be admitted that the endless misery of his creatures do his character great honor. This is not denied by the believers of this doctrine, for they aver, that he is as much, if not more glorified in the damnation of men as in their salvation. If this be true, the more sent to endless misery the bet And what difference would it make as to the glory


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of God, if none were saved? But if my views dishonor God's justice, holiness and truth, what comes of his mercy and goodness, if the opposite doctrine be true? We have to be sure seen attempts made by some metaphysical writers, to reconcile eternal misery with the mercy and goodness of God, but in vain. All they have said, is only enveloping the subject in a mist, or throwing dust in people's eyes to blind them on this subject. It is reported of the late Dr. Osgood, that when he was asked. the question," how he reconciled the doctrine of eternal misery with the character of God as a God of mercy and goodness;" he lifted both his hands, and said, "if any man is able to do this I cannot do it."

It is a sentiment advocated by some of the orthodox preachers in the present day, that God is more glorified by the eternal misery of a part of the human race than by the salvation of the whole. It has, if we are correctly informed, been asserted lately, by a very celebrated preacher, that it was actually necessary, that a part of mankind should be eternally miserable, as a contrast or offset to those who are saved. All we would say of such a preacher, is, that he and all who believe his doctrine, ought to be this part of mankind; for it could be no great hardship for them to go to hell, seeing it is a part also of their creed, that they are willing to be damned in order that they may be saved.

Whether God is more glorified in men's damnation or in their salvation, I need not discuss the point. One thing is certain; that those called orthodox writers in the present day are fully aware, that if God did not ultimately save the greatest part of mankind, God's character would be dishonored. If this was not the case who could deny that the devil was more honored than God? Mr. Emerson, aware of this, agrees with another celebrated

divine, that those saved at last, will exceed those that are lost by a large majority. I am truly glad to see men of such good characters and intelligence so much concerned for God's honor and glory in this respect; and I hope the time is not very distant when they may think God most honored and glorified by saving the whole human race. It is a very evident case, that those writers do not hesitate to dissent from ancient orthodoxy, which was, that a great part of the human race were, by the decrees of God, doomed before they were born, to endless misery. Had they written so in some former ages, they would have suffered death, in some of its most terriffic forms for their temerity. At any rate, I am not a greater heretic now, than they would have been then.

But so far as our limited powers of thinking goes, we do not see that the number's being small or great who shall be eternally miserable, makes any material difference, as it regards the honor of God's character. If his character would be dishonored by the damnation of ninety-nine out of every hundred of the human race, it must be dishonored by the damnation of one in a thousand. And if the devil had cause to triumph, if the greater part of mankind were made miserable, why should he not triumph over the small number, which even merciful men in the present day, are still disposed to assign him? Allowing the devil to have been once a fallen angel, but now a malignant spirit, according to the common opinion of him, it is evident from the above quotation, that his head is not so much to be bruised, as that he is to be killed or destroyed. No; Paul must have been mistaken when he said, Heb. ii. 14. that Christ not only destroyed death, but him "that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” And John did not very clearly understand what he meant,

when he said 1 John iii. 8-"For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." We should think it required no great degree of penetration to see, that if one out of every thousand, or even ten thousand of the human race, are to be his subjects and he their tormentor forever, he is not destroyed, nor are his works wholly destroyed by the Son of God. He will not only have considerable cause of triumph, but it will be a triumph over God, and Christ, and a portion of the human race forever. Is it possible that this can be true, and is this the doctrine of the Bible?

But I surely may be allowed to ask, how it is known that my sentiments are dishonorable to the character of God? From what source is this learned,? It will not do to say, most religious people think so. No; proof of this must be adduced from the Bible. But is it any where stated there, that God's character is dishonored, if a part of the human race are not made eternally miserable? Does this book teach that God is as much, if not more glorified by the damnation of men, as by their salvation? For such doctrines we are indebted to the systems of men and not to the divine oracles.

When the apostle John sums up the character of God he says "God is love." But is it possible for any man to reconcile this with the eternal misery of a great, or even a small part of his creatures? Whatever God is, as a God of love to those saved, it never can be said that this is the case in regard to the others. As to them, it might with more propriety be said "God is wrath."We may safely leave it with every man's conscience to say, if my views compared with the opposite doctrine, does not give a more just and honorable view of the character of God, and if it were not from false views of scrip

ture and the power of prejudice this would be readily and universally acknowledged.

2d, How does the views advanced and their opposite affect the scriptures of truth? I think it will not be denied, that my views of all the passages in which Gehenna occurs, are explained consistently with themselves, and their respective contexts. That so far from the contexts being at variance with the texts they direct to the explanations given. Not only so, but are in unison with the scripture use of the word Gehenna, and account for facts which can never be rationally accounted for, if this word means a place of eternal misery. Is it not then a very singular thing, that if I had perverted the texts in which Gehenna occurs, their respective contexts should all go to afford assistance in doing so, and should afford no evidence of the contrary doctrine? Besides; that such facts as I have stated from the scriptures, should all be in favor of my error? On the contrary, it might be naturally expected on such an important subject as that of the one before us, that context and facts would all be against me and in favor of the contrary doctrine. When a man perverts the scriptures, he does it in the face of facts, and shutting his eyes against the context and scripture usage of words, indulges his own imagination. But here the reverse is the case. The context points out clearly the sense I have given Gehenna; scripture usage comes in aid; nor is any thing taken for granted, or imagination indulged. But that Gehenna is a place of future misery, is assumed, and asserted without proof, and when the context and scripture usage are consulted for evidence, all they afford is on the opposite side. In short, the more the Bible is examined upon this subject, the more proof it will afford in favor of my views; and the texts which have been supposed to corroborate the

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