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reasons. First, because aionios does not of itself express endless duration; and, second, because the punishment to which it is applied is limited in its nature. Again, these terms are applied to different things in the Bible, and in the same passages, when all must acknowledge that one is limited and the other endless. Hab. 3: 6, "And the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow his ways are everlasting." See, also, Rom. 16: 25, 26, “According to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the aionions began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the aionion God." If the objection we are considering is of any force, it proves that the hills and mountains will endure as long as God exists, and that the ages of the world are as ancient and as enduring as God. Whereas Paul, in the text from Romans, speaks expressly of a time when these ages began. What has been said is sufficient to overthrow the objection under consideration; but there is one fact which of itself is sufficient to silence this objection forever. In our remarks on Dan. 12: 2, and Matt. 25: 46, we have shown that the everlasting or eternal life there spoken of is not the life of the resurrection world, but is that life which is imparted to the believer in Jesus, and which may be enjoyed in this state of existence. We have shown that Christ himself defines this life to consist in the "knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ whom he hath sent;" and that he speaks of his followers as being already in the possession of eternal life. Now, in the face of this testimony, who dare assert that eternal life consists in endless beatitude in a future state of existence? Surely no one, who heeds the instructions and the testimony of the great Founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ. As, therefore, the eternal life spoken of in Matt. 25: 46, was confined to this world, so also the everlasting punishAs the one was limited, so also the other.
4. Again, it is said that, "in our exposition of those texts where these terms are applied to punishment, we have applied nearly all of them to the Jews; and it is unreasonable to suppose that nearly all that is said in the Bible about everlasting punishment was spoken in reference to that people." The objector must be careful how he brings his reason against facts. We know that Universalists have been accused of making a kind of scape-goat of the Jewish people, and of making them bear all the sins of mankind, and all the pun
ishment. But have we not appealed to the context, and the connection of these passages, to prove the correctness of our opinions? If it is a fact, then, that most of these texts relate to the awfu. doom which came on the Jewish nation, and which they are suffering to this day, it is a fact for which we are not responsible. And if any one is disposed to cavil on this ground, he must cavil with the Bible, not with us. If the objector thinks this opinion is erroneous, he had better be trying to prove it so than to be finding fault.
5. It is also said, that "if these terms do not express endless duration, then we have no proof of the endless existence of God." But do not the Scriptures teach that God is self-existent? And is not his endless existence a self-evident fact? Suppose that no word whatever expressive of duration was ever applied to him, would this make any difference in regard to his duration? Or suppose that all words, of every language under heaven, expressive of duration, were applied to him, and applied to him times without number, would this make his endless existence any more certain? Is God dependent on the meaning of a word for his endless existence? If so, then we may well fear that he will come to naught. But no rational man will pretend this. If, then, God is ever-enduring in his very nature, it is a matter of no consequence whether any word expressive of duration is ever applied to him or not; and if such words are applied to him, it is immaterial whether they express endless duration or not.
6. Once more. It is said that "if these words do not express endless duration, then we have no proof of the endless existence and happiness of mankind in a future world." If no other terms were used to express the duration of man's existence and happiness in the resurrection world, there might be some force in this; but such is not the fact. There are several words applied to life and happiness in the Scriptures which are never applied to punishment; and these words are unequivocal in expressing endless duration. These words are amianton, aphtharton, and akatalutos; rendered endless, undefiled, incorruptible, and immortal. In 2 Cor. 4: 7, we read, " For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal (aionion) weight of glory." The word and in this passage was supplied by the translators, and weakens the force of the passage. Leaving
that word out, we here read of a glory exceeding aionion or eternal. The original is even more full than this. The literal rendering would be, "a glory exceeding eternal to an excess." In Heb. 7: 16, we read of an endless life; but we nowhere in the Bible read of endless death, of endless misery, woe or pain, nor of endless punishment, nor of an endless hell. In 1 Peter 1: 4, we read of "an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away." In Isa. 25: 8, and 1 Cor. 15: 54, we are told that "death shall be swallowed up in victory." And in 2 Cor. 5: 4, we read of mortality being "swallowed up of life." In 2 Tim. 1: 10, we read of "life and IMMORTALITY being brought to light by Jesus Christ; " but we nowhere read of immortal death and endless pain being brought to light by Jesus Christ, or any other person mentioned in the Bible. In 1 Cor. 15: 22, we are told that "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Now, just as certain as Christ will endlessly exist, just so certain is it that all mankind will exist endlessly; for they are to be made alive in him. In 1 Cor. 15: 51, 52, we are told that all mankind shall be changed from "mortal to immortality; and in verse 54 we are informed that "this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal immortality." These passages prove, beyond the possibility of a doubt, that the endless existence of mankind is taught in the Bible, irrespective of the application of olim, aion, and aionios, to that existence.
Such are all the objections to our views of these terms. Whether they are in uperable or not, the reader can judge for himself.
BIBLE DOCTRINE OF JUDGMENT.
Those passages which show the Manner of, the Time when, and Place where, God judges his creatures.
I. Law Dispensation. judge or ruler.
- JUDGMENT signifies the sentence or decision of a
1 Kings 3: 28. And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.
Deut. 16: 18-20. Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, throughout the tribes; and they shall judge the people with just judgment. Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Ps. 72: 1-4. Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteous ness unto the king's son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break n pieces the oppressor.
Deut. 32: 4. He is the Rock, his work is perfect for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he.
Ps. 97, 8. But the Lord shall endure forever: he hath prepared h ́s throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.
Verse 16. The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.
Ps. 33: 4, 5. For the word of the Lord is right; and all his words are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord
Ps. 89: 14. Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne mercy and truth shall go before thy face.
Ps. 199. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judg ments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
Ps. 119: 62. At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee, because of thy righteous judgments.
Verse 75. I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.
Verse 137. Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judg
II. Gospel Dispensation.
Isa. 9: 6, 7. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Micah 5: 2. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Matt. 2: 6. And thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Luke 1: 32, 33. He (Jesus) shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Isa. 42: 1-3. Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
John 5: 22. For the Father judgeth no man; but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.
Verse 47. And hath given him (Christ) authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
Acts 17:31. Because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Acts 10: 42. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
III. This JUDGMENT, or decision, is in accordance with the works of the creature.
Matt. 16 27. For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
Ps. 62: 12. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy for thou ren derest to every man according to his work