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Suppose you see a father inflicting punishment upon one of his children; he continues to lay on stripe after stripe, until the shrieks and cries of the unfortunate child cause your blood to chill in your very veins. You ask the father why he inflicts such severe punishment. He tells you, to vindicate his own parental authority, and the law which he has established for the regulation of the conduct of his children. You ask again, But have you no other object in view? Do you not intend the good of your child? He tells you, no; his only object is to vindicate his law. Now, suppose that father to have the power to perpetuate the existence of that child through endless duration; and that you ask him if he intends that the punishment which he is inflicting shall ever cease. He answers, no; and informs you that he intends to perpetuate the existence of his child through eternity, and make him a monument of his eternal wrath and displeasure; and all to vindicate his own authority, honor and law. What would you think of the glory, and honor, and authority, and law, of such a parent as this? Why, the voice of insulted humanity would cry out and brand such a father with infamy. And every rational man would say that he was undeserv ing the name of parent. How, then, can we attribute such a char acter, and such conduct, to the God of heaven, as to suppose that he will inflict such pain upon his creatures as can never result in any good?
8. It can result in no good to any being or beings in the uni verse; and is, therefore, not only useless, but infinitely worse than useless.
9. No such penalty was ever annexed to any known law given by God to man.
10. God never threatened any man, nor any set of men, with any such punishment.
11. No such punishment was ever threatened to man, by any prophet, priest or king, mentioned in the Bible.
12. No person mentioned either in the Old or New Testament ever expressed any fears of suffering such misery.
13. No person mentioned in the Bible ever prayed to God to be saved from such misery.
14. It originated among the heathen. Of course it had its ori gin among those nations that enjoyed no revelation from God; and is, therefore, a mere chimera of the human imagination,
15. It has a direct tendency to call out the very worst passions of human nature; to blunt the finer feelings of the same, and to foster a spirit of pride, arrogance, self-righteousness, pharisaism, exclusiveness, vindictiveness, cruelty, partialism, malice, malignity, revenge and persecution. In proof of this, we have only to appeal to the history of the conduct of those who have believed this doctrine. The Jews of ancient times, if they did not believe this doctrine, at least believed in a partial God; and this made them partial and exclusive in their feelings. Hence they despised and persecuted every other nation on earth. And if they have been despised and persecuted in turn, it has always been by those of the same partial views as themselves. The Jews of our Saviour's time believed the doctrine of endless misery, having learned it from the heathen; and, under the influence of the feelings engendered by it, they persecuted the disciples of Christ from city to city, imbrued their hands in the innocent blood, and crucified the Son of God. Under the influence of this doctrine, and acting upon the belief that the Mahomedans were the enemies of God, and were hated by him, the crusaders waged an exterminating war of many years against them, and millions and millions of lives were destroyed in the contest. Under the influence of the spirit of the same doctrine, Peter the Hermit raised an army of 600,000 men, and marched to Jerusalem to wrest the "holy land" from the grasp of the infidel Turk. And what a righteous retribution awaited them! They left their bones to bleach on the plains of Palestine, and their blood flowed freely to fatten the soil of that country. Under the same influence the Catholics have martyred thousands of innocent victims, and they too have been persecuted from the same cause. Under the influence of the same views men have instituted the inquisition, the wheel, the rack, and the torture. They have tied their fellow-men to the stake, and destroyed them with fagot and flame. They have whipped Baptists, and hung harmless and peaceable Quakers. They have kindled the fires of Smithfield, and plunged the dagger into the hearts of sixty thousand innocent victims in one day. In fine, this doctrine has filled the world with carnage and blood for more than eighteen hundred years; and it is high time that it was banished from the world. A doctrine of such a tendency never proceeded from a God of truth and love.
16. It has driven thousands to despair, madness, suicide, and
death. This fact is so notorious that it requires no proof, The newspapers teem with accounts of this kind almost every week. 17. It does violence to the reasoning powers of man, and is abhorrent to the better feelings of his nature.
18. All human observation and experience are directly arrayed against it. God has so guarded the interests of his creatures here, that pain cannot be endured, beyond such a point, without terminating in the death of the sufferer. Can we then suppose that he will ever perpetuate the existence of his creatures only to make them miserable?
19. It teaches that God will raise myriads of human beings from the quiet sleep of death, and the slumbers of the grave, and constitute them immortal, for no other purpose but to make them endlessly miserable. Of course this makes the doctrine of the resurrection a subject of dread and fear, rather than of hope and joy.
20. It teaches that the divine justice is of such a nature that it can never be satisfied; for what is always doing, will, of course, never be done.
21. If, as has been taught by some of the advocates of endless misery, every sin deserves endless punishment, and if endless pun ishment consists in inflicting all the pain upon the wicked which their natures will be capable of enduring, then this doctrine renders it utterly impossible for God himself to punish any individual for more than one sin. Of course all other sins were committed with perfect impunity. How, then, is God's justice to be vindicated? 22. It teaches that God's law will eternally be violated; course, never fulfilled. Hence, it comes in contact with the testimony of Jesus Christ. Matt. 5: 18.
23. The doctrine, as held by Arminians, teaches that God has been baffled in his design in creating man; and, of course, that there is a power in the universe which is superior to God himself.
24. The same theory teaches that God has been made the subject of pain and misery by his own creatures; and that that misery can never end. Disappointment implies uneasiness; and uneasiness implies pain and misery. If, therefore, God has been disappointed in the grand and glorious object which he had in view in creating man, that disappointment must be a source of unhappiness to him; and if he is to be eternally disappointed, he must be eternally miserable. 25. It teaches that if God was infinitely malignant and cruel, it
could not be worse for a large portion of his sentient creatures than it actually will be; while, at the same time, the advocates of this doctrine say that God is infinitely benignant, benevolent and good. A more palpable contradiction in terms cannot well be imagined nor conceived.
26. It is directly calculated to destroy the confidence of man in the Bible as a revelation from God, and is no doubt the principal cause of nine-tenths of the infidelity which prevails in our world.
27. It has a direct tendency to bar the exercise of that trust and confidence which we ought to repose in God, and which is so necessary to our well-being and happiness in life.
28. It has its origin in hatred. If all mankind had loved each other as they love themselves, no one would ever have dreamed that any man was in danger of suffering endless misery. Ask the believer in this doctrine if he believes his parents will suffer such misery, and he will tell you, no. Ask if he believes his brothers, his sisters, his wife, his children, or his friends, will suffer such misery, and he will answer, no. Even if any of these have died without making any profession of religion, and even without any hope for themselves, still he will express at least a faint hope that they will not be made endlessly miserable. But why all this? Ah, he loves his parents, brothers, sisters, wife, children, and friends, and is willing that they should go to heaven and be happy. But you ask him if he believes that that man who has greatly injured him will suffer such misery, and his answer will be, "O yes; hell was made for just such characters as he." This shows that the doctrine originated in hatred; and that "hell is built on spite." We ought to strongly suspect and distrust a doctrine which origi
nates from such a source.
29. It gives to man the tremendous power of fixing the destiny of his fellow-man, either for weal or woe, through the ceaseless ages of eternity. What a chance for the exercise of malice and revenge does this doctrine give to man! Let us suppose the case of an individual who is a worthy and respectable man; - he has, however, made no profession of religion, nor experienced that miraculous change which is supposed to be necessary in order to entitle him to salvation. He is forty years of age; if he lives to be fifty, he will experience this change and be saved. An individual, of the very worst character, imbibes a hatred toward this man, and, instigated
by the spirit of revenge, murders him. The murderer is arrested, tried, found guilty, and sentenced to be hung. While confined in prison, awaiting the day of execution, he is visited by the pious clergy. They pray with him, exhort him to repentance, and finally, through their instrumentality, he is truly converted. On the day of execution he is swung upon the gallows, and his happy spirit is wafted to the realms of bliss. While there, he looks over the bat tlements of heaven, and sees the man whom he murdered on earth writhing in the agonies of hell. Now, let us suppose that this murderer, if he had not committed this crime, would never have repented, but would have died in his sins and went to hell. Is it not plain that, in this case, the act of murder has been the means of sending a man to hell, who would have otherwise went to heaven; and of sending another to heaven, who otherwise would have went to hell? What a tremendous power is this to commit to erring man!
30. The doctrine of endless hell torments is built on poetry, parables, metaphors, figures of speech, fancy and imagination. The heated imagination of the ancient poets first conceived the idea of endless torture. And the advocates of the doctrine at the present day, so far as they rely upon the Bible to prove it, appeal to the parables, metaphors and figures, which abound in that book, rather than to any plain, positive or direct testimony.
31. It teaches, that not only millions and millions of human beings, who have lived and died in our world, will be made endlessly miserable, but that millions and millions yet unborn, will, if they exist, become the subjects of the same misery. Now, in reference to those yet unborn, there is but one way to prevent their being endlessly miserable. Proclaim universal celibacy, - cease to propa gate the human species, and of course you will cease to be instrumental in bringing beings into existence to be plunged beneath the liquid fires of hell's sulphurous flames. Benevolence, justice and humanity, lift up their voice and demand that this course be pursued by every rational man. A doctrine, from which such conclusions can be legitimately drawn, cannot possibly be true, but must inevita bly be false.
32. It teaches that God has annexed a penalty to his law, which, if inflicted, will produce the very thing which the law was designed to prevent. It will not be disputed that the law was designed to prevent misery and to promote happiness. This design is accom