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ment in the future state, by any writer, sacred or profane; and was this a proper manner in which to announce for the first time, that Gehenna was to receive a new sense, and be applied to a supposed punishment, of which the Jews learned nothing from their Scriptures? Furthermore, Gehenna had received a secondary sense in the Old Testament, as we have shown by the quotations from Jeremiah; and if Jesus used it in a secondary sense, why ought we not to suppose that he put the same secondary sense upon it, that the Jewish prophets had? Let those who wish further light on this subject, examine Paige's "Selections," Sects. VIII., XVIII. Balfour's "First Inquiry," chap. II. "Universalist Expositor," Vol. II. pp. 351–368. For a very learned article on the "Opinions and Phraseology of the Jews concerning the Future State," see "Universalist Expositor," Vol. III. pp. 397 – 440.

V. Matt. v. 29, 30.

(For an explanation of Matt. v. 29, 30, see Mark IX. 43, 48.)


"Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matt. vii. 13, 14. Luke xiii. 24.

This passage is very frequently quoted to sustain the doctrine of endless misery; but a candid examination will show, that it speaks nothing in regard to the future state. Does it say, broad is the way that leadeth to destruction in the immortal state? No. Narrow is the way which leadeth unto life in the immortal state? No. Then, verily, the passage has nothing to do with the question of endless misery.

What is this strait gait? The preceding verse must be consulted for an answer. "Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets." "Hence," says Adam Clarke, "the words in the original are very emphatic: Enter in (to the kingdom

of heaven) through THIS strait gate, that is of doing to every one as you would he should do unto you; for this alone seems to be the strait gate which our Lord alludes to." Nevertheless, Clarke supposes the passage to teach the doctrine of endless misery; but we confess ourselves utterly unable to see therein the slightest proof of said doctrine. They who obey the commandments of Christ, walk in the path of wisdom; and the path of wisdom is the PATH OF LIFE; the path of folly is the PATH OF DEATH. Wisdom is a "tree of life to those who lay hold upon her." Prov. iii. 18. "Whoso findeth me findeth life." Prov. viii. 35. "He is in the WAY OF LIFE that keepeth instruction." Prov. x. 17. Again, "In the way of righteousness Is LIFE, and in the pathway thereof there is no death." Prov. xii. 28. The opposite state is death. "To be carnally minded is death." Rom. "He that loveth not his brother abideth in

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death." 1 John iii. 14. These scriptures develope the great principles on which the figure is founded. Sin and error are everywhere represented as death, while righteousness and truth are life and peace. Reader, avoid the broad road, and walk in the pleasant path of Christ's commandments.

VII. "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matt. vii. 22, 23.

This is one of the texts which have been employed to sustain the doctrine of endless sin and misery; but what is there in the passage that would lead a reasonable man to apply it to the future state of existence ? "Many will say unto me in that day," what day is meant? We are not to understand it to be a day of twenty-four hours, for any remarkable time is called a day in the language of the sacred writers. The time of a nation's punishment, by the visitation of God, is called the day of the Lord, because at that time God

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exercises justice on that people; hence, the phrase does not mean one and the same time whenever it occurs, but any time, or times, in which God punished certain nations for their sins by some tremendous visitation of judgment. To illustrate, we will refer to several passages of Scripture. See Zeph. i. 12-18. This passage refers to the time of the destruction of the Jews by the Babylonians; and it is called the day of the Lord, because God was supposed by the prophet to have sent the armies of Babylon to destroy the nation of the Jews for their sins. It is called, by way of distinction," that time," "the great day of the Lord," "a day of wrath," "a day of trouble and distress," "a day of wasteness and desolation," "a day of darkness and gloominess," "a day of clouds and thick darkness," and "the day of the Lord's wrath," &c. Joel describes a punishment which was sent upon the Jews, in very similar language. See chap. ii. 1, 2. "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations."

The New Testament writers, following the example of the writers of the Old Testament, represent the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, as the day of the Lord, or that day. Hence, after having foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, and declared, "this generation shall not pass till all be fulfilled," Jesus adds, "take heed to yourselves, lest at any time, your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so THAT DAY come upon you unawares." Luke xxi. 34. Again, Paul says, 1 Thes. v. 4, "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that THAT DAY should overtake you as a thief." It will be seen, from this, that the Thessaloni

ans were to live until that day came, and that, by being watchful, it would not come upon them suddenly and unexpectedly, as a thief in the night." *


Jesus taught the people, that empty professions of piety were of no avail: but that they must do the will of God. Matt. vii. 21. But some, who were destitute of good works in the church, would be depending on their unavailing forms of piety. They are represented as saying, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works ?" Their hopes were the house built on the sand, which the winds and floods destroyed, that is they were trusting to a foundation that would not abide them: they were in hopes to be saved from the general calamity by their mere professions of godliness, whereas nothing would be a sure support, a solid foundation, but doing the will of God. This was the rock, and he who built on it was sure to stand. See Matt. vii. 24-27. As these false and hypocritical professors would be cast off in the day of the Lord, and made to suffer the same punishments which fell on the unbelieving, persecuting Jews, Christ is represented as saying to them, "I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

VIII. “And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matt. viii. 11, 12.


It has been supposed, that the "kingdom of heaven," in this passage, referred to a state of eternal blessedness in the immortal existence; and so, by antithesis, the outer darkness referred to a state of endless misery. The argument founded on antithesis, is a good one; because, it seems evident, that the darkness is the opposite of the blessings of the kingdom. But the

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For the authority of the learned Lightfoot on this subject, see 'Notes and Illustrations of Parables," pp. 317, 318, note.

phrase "kingdom of heaven," or "kingdom of God," in its common use in the New Testament, does not refer to the future world, but to the reign of the Gospel in this world. It was a kingdom set up in the hearts of men, Jesus ruling as king; and every one who acknowledged him "Lord," and obeyed his laws, was a subject of the kingdom, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They became joint heirs with the patriarch, and his sons and children, through faith. Thus, Dr. Whitby says, "to lie down (so the verb is more properly rendered, as the Jews always reclined at their feasts) with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven, doth not here signify to enjoy eternal happiness in heaven with them, but only to become the sons of Abraham through faith." (Com. on the passage.) Passages in illustration of this, have already been given in this work. Any passage in the evangelists may be consulted, in which the phrase occurs.

The darkness spoken of, and with which we are principally concerned here, was a state of ignorance of the Gospel; and not a valid reason can be given that it is to be eternal. "He setteth AN END to darkness." Job. xxviii. 3. "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness." Col. i. 13. This passage plainly shows, that the darkness is not endless misery in hell, from which nobody can be delivered. "Bring them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house." Isa. xlii. 7. Here, again, is deliverance from darkness. "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, on them hath the light shined." Isa. ix. 2. "I will make darkness light before thee." xliii. 16. The plain sense of these passages is, that darkness is put as a metaphor for ignorance and unbelief, and has no respect to a place of sin and misery in the future. world. When men were brought to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, they were brought out of darkness into light, and thus were (6 translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son."

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