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words, respecting your teaching is, “ God hath not said, Ye shall die eternally," . ..'
Now, Sir, for the proof of our brother F.'s dangerang
Mat. v. 21, 22. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, . Thou shalt noi kill; and whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the .. judgment: būt I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his yrash without a cause, shall be in danger of the udgment; and whosoe er shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; but whosoever sbalt say parze (more) shall be in danger of hell-fire.”:, in
Now, Sir, the Reader understands that the meaning of the word je opf is " apostate wretch," or something tantamount to that. He will leave it to other Readers to consider whether the accusation brought against you by Mr. F. is at all short of the meaning of that word. He; surely.. must be an apostate wretch' whose labours are similar to those of the devil! ...o vi .
. ; .. . we'* I have proved before from Scripture, and Mr. Fi's own words, that there is as wide a distance, in point of resemblince, between yout persuasions to mankind and those of the serpent, as there is between the authority of God and the authority of the devil. And in this charge against you Mr. F. speaks with deliberation. It is a repetition of a charge brought heretofore, which he persists in. · If, then, our Saviour saith true, Mr. F. is in danger of hell fire, unless he repent. Mr. Editor! Readers! let us tremble" for Mr. Fuller! He is our brother! let us pray for him! if, peradventure, God may give him repentance to the ack owledgment of the truth! We believe that he will be raised to happiness at last, should he die without repentauce out of this state. But those are not idle words . in
Og d'ar Han TW adekpw aule paço, Evoxos eram as an EINZY TS upoç. :
Let us then earnestly pray to God, thai Mr. Fuller, our brother, in this his day, may know the things that make for his peace, before they be hid from his eyes! One who wishes to be . ' An impartial and intelligent .
---SIR;'. INDUCED by a love of truth, and a desire of obtaining information on
the subject, I send you soine reflections on an article contained in your last Miscellariy, pi 233, &c. entitled an “ Hebrew Criticism," and containing a justification of the common translation of i Kings, ii. g.
Before I notice the translation proposed by your correspondent's friend, the justness of which I dispute as well as the common one, I will affer some remarks on other parts of that paper.' '
Your correspondent (p. 2345.235.) states that Shimei was “ under Septence of death" by the statutes of Exod. xxii, 28. and Lev. xix. 12.
Now, not to insist that Shimei's case did not come within the meaning of the statute last recited, it is not plain that he had been tried even upon the former one, and I think a Jew, at that time, would have been as tenacious of the due exercise of the laws of his country, as in after times, and would have exclaimed, with equal propriety, “ Doth our law judge any man before it hear him?"
Your correspondent says, that to delay punishment " was all that a king of Israel was able to do, the law having fixed the punishment for every crime." -How will this agree with what he says in the very pext paragraph, that Solomon reprieveit Shimei “froin the capital part of the punishment.” Is not this a manifesi contradiction?. If all that he was able to do, was to delay the punishment, then he could not change the nature of it, or, if he did, he did more than he was able to do; for according to A. V.'s account Solomon did change the nature of Shimei's punishment, and instead of complying with the dying request of his father, in bringing his hoary head to the grave with blood, he only confined him to the city of Jerusalem. . 6. According to the common translation, on comparing it with David's promise to Shimei of pardon, we are induced to conclude that he repented of the mercy which, in the gladness of his heart, on being restored to the kingdom, he had exercised towards him; and therefore, not willing to break his promise to him himself, he commissions another to do it for himn. ; Now whether there be less turpitude in a man's committing an evil himself, or getting another to do it for him; or whether the engaging of another to kill a man to whom he had promised protection, will absolve him of his promise, is not necessary to argue about. For this reason I conclude that the common translation is not a good one, or that the account which is given of David's swearing to Shime that he should not die, is not correct. But I think the former will appear to be the case.
Nor do I think that the translation proposed by your correspondent's friend altogether literal, though the sentiment is near to that which I propose; for there is no positive and direct negative which can justify the translation of " but bring not his hoary head," &c.
The criticism I would propose is this that the Hebrew prefixed to the word 7779 should be read disjunctively, assuming such disjunctive power from the negative used in the beginning of the verse; as is the case in these words, “ give me NEITHER poverty unor riches;" and if it were rightly translated, the whole would probably stand thus “ Now, therefore, neither hold him guiltless, (for thou art a wise man, and knowest wbal thou oughtest to do unto hiin) ncr his hoar head þring thou down to the grave with blood." The advice, in this sense, is full of wisdom and humanity, and Solomon understood it in this sense, and no other : he observed the medium advised by his father, and considered Shimnei as not worthy of death, and not altogether innocent he therefore, as a test of his obedience, and probably to prevent him froin endeavouring to assemble partizans of the house of Saul, of which family he was a member, (2 Sam. xvi. 5-) for the purpose of a revolt,
confined Shime to Jerusalem under pain of death, and afterwards put him to death for transgressing that command.
Yours, &c. FETTER LANE.
REPLIES TO HIS ANIMADVERSIONS.
SIR, I DO not know whether I fully understand your remarks on proper
eternity. (P. 364.) It is certainly one of those ideas in which the human mind is easily lost, as it infinitely surpasses our comprehension : but whether the Scriptures liave revealed any thing past or to come besides what is connected with successive duration," and whether we be “left 10 infer a proper eternity only from the nature of Deiiy," are other questions. You will allow that the Scriptures attribute a proper eternity. to the Divine Being, and to his allcomprehending purposes, which I should think is not leaving us to infer it from his nature. They speak also of a period when God shall be all in all, when the end cometh, and of the end of all thing's being at hand. They likewise promise an inheritance that shall be without enit. I should think, therefore, that this inheritance, of which the New Testament speaks very fully, cannot be said to be connected with successive duration; not so connected, however, as to be commensurate with it.
By successive duration being ended, I meant no more than what I apprehend you must mean by the cessation of day and night, No. 1. p. 8. and the state of things when Christ shall have delivered up the kingdom to the Father. Strictly speaking, it may be true that the idea of successive duration necessarily attaches, and ever will attach, to the existence of creatures, and that none but God can be said to exist withont it: but there is a period, by your own acknowledgment, when the states of creatures will be for'ever fixed; and if at this period sinners he doomed to everlasting punishment, 'the term everlasting must be understood to mean endless duration; this period I conceive to be at the last judgment. You extend it to ages beyond it. Here, therefore, is our difference. I did not allege Rev. x. 6. in favour of there being an end to tiine. I did not apprehend it needed proof. Your formal answer to it, therefore, is only removing an ohjection of your own creating ; and if designed to prove that tiine will have no end, is as contrary to your own avowed principles as to mine.'
You contend that “the day of judgment is not the finishing period of Christ's kingdom ;" for which you offer a number of reasons. To the greater part of them I have already replied. The rest I shall briefly consider.
This earth (which is to be the hell of wicked men, see 2 Pet. iii. 7-. 13) is to be renewed, whereby hell itself will be no more*." If this gloss will bear the test, you have certainly for once hit upon a clear proof of your point; for none can imagine the conflagration to be eternal. But (1) The Scriptures speak of a hell already existing, u herein the angels who kept not their first estate are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness anto the judgment of the great day, and in which the departed spirits of wicked men lift up their eyes being in torment; and intimate that this, whatsoever and wherever it be, will be the hell of ungodly men: for they are doomed to depart into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. .
But this cannot be upon earth, as its present condition does not admit of it.
(2) If the earth, as being dissolved by fire, is to be the hell of ungodly men, their punishment must precede the day of judgment, instead of following it: for the conflagration is uniformly represented as prior to that event.
It is described, not as your scheme supposes as taking place a thousand years after Christ's second coming; but as attending it. The day of the Lord's coming is the same as the day of God, which Christians look for and hasten to, WHEREIN the heavens, being on fire, shail be. dissolvedt. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fore shall derour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him; and all this previous to his giving orders for his saints to be gathered unto himi. And thus we are taught by the apostle Paul, that the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven IN FLAMING FIREŞ.
(3.-) l' appeal to the judgment of the impartial reader, whether, by the Herdition of ungodly men be not meant the destruction of their lives, and not of their souls ? It is spoken of in connexion with the deluger and intimated that as the ungodly were then destroyed from the face of the earth by water, in like manner they should now be destroyed by faire.
You pleael the promise that “ every knee shall bow to Christ," and consider this as inconsistent with a “stubborn knee even in hell.". But the question is, whether the bowing of the knee to Christ be necessarily expressive of a voluntary and holy submission to him? The same inspired writer applies the language to that uuiversal conviction which shall be produced at the last judgment, when every mouth will be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God. We shall ali stand, saith her before the judgment seat of Christ: for it is written, As I tive, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tonguèishail confess to GodilBut you will not pretend that every knee will in that day how to Christ in a way of voluntary submission. .i n
*All things, you allege, are to be reconciled to the father by the blood of the cross : but while any continue in enmity against God, this can never be performed." (P. 364.). You refer, I suppose, to Col. i. 29, 20. But if the reconciliation of things in earth and things in heaven denote the salvation of all the inhabitants of heaven and earth, it would follow, (1.) 'That the holy angels are saved, as well as the unholy, though in fact they never sinned. (2) That when the apostle adus, and you that were sotretime alienated, and enemies in your minds by wicked works, yet now ha!h he reconciled, he deals in unmeaning tautology. Things in heaven, and things in earth, were at variance through sia. Men becoining the enemies of God, all his faithful subjects, and all the works of his hands, were at war with thein; yea, they were at variance with each other. But throngh the blood of Christ all things are reconciled, and under his headsh'p, all made to subserve the present and everlasting good of thein who believe in him. Such appears to me to be the meaning of the passage, and which involves neither of the foregoing absurdisies.
“ Christ, you ad:1, is to rule till his enemies are subdued, till there be no authority. power, or dominion, but wliat shall be subservient to hiin, till death the last enemy shall be destroyed; and as the wages of sin is death, the second death must be here included." (P. 365-). This language, which is taken from 1 Cor. XV., is manifeslty used in reference to the resurrection of the bodies of those that sleep in Jesus, which is an event that precedes the last judgment: for WHEN this corruptible shall huve put on incorruption--THEN shall be brought 10 pass the saying, that death shall be swallowed up in viclery; which is the same thing as the last enemy being destroyed. And THEN comete the end, the last judgment, and the winding up of all things, WHEN he shali kave delivered up the kingdom to God even the father, when he shall have put down all rule, and authority, and power. (Ver. 24, 25) For you to interpret this language of things that are to follow the last judgment, and to say that it must include the second death, proves nothing but the dire necessity to which your system reduces you.
" Finally, the character of God is LOVE which is expressly agains the horrible idea of the endless misery of any of his rational creatures." (P 395.) So, Sir, you are pleased to assert. Another Inight from the same premises assert that the punishment of any of his tational creatures in hell for ages of ages, where there shall be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth; and this notwithstanding the death of his Son, and the omnipotence of his grace, which surely was able to have saved thein from it, is horrible and incredible! Is it inconsistent with the benevolence of a supreme magistrate that he dooms certain characters to death ? Rather, is it not: an exercise of his benevolence ? Should a tualefactor persuade himself and his companions in guilt, that his majesty cannot possibly consent to their execution without ceasing to be that love y and good character for which he has been famed, 'would not his reasoning be as false in itself as it was injurious to the king? Nay, would it not be inimical to his own interest, and that of his