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grand doctrine (John xi. 24). Yet Habakkuk was astonished at the way in which God looked upon the troubles of His people. “How long shall I cry, and Thou wilt not hear ? even cry out unto Thee of violence, and Thou wilt not save? Wherefore lookest Thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest Thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he ? " (chap. i. 2, 13.) If Habakkuk spake thus, with all his belief in resurrection, so surely may Job have done so.
We hope that we have vindicated the old and generally received view that the patriarch Job was a believer in a future life. We may still read his famous passage in chap. xix. 25-27, and believe that it enunciates the same grand doctrine which St. Paul enlarges on in 1 Cor. xv. Resurrection was the primitive faith of man. Job expressed his wish that his faith in it were
graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever" (chap. xix. 24). It may be that inscriptions to this effect now found on marble in a fortress on the coast of Hadramaut, in the vicinity of Aden, in Arabia, may have come down to us from an antiquity almost as great as the age of the patriarch. Part of those inscriptions, believed to be of great antiquity by their learned commentator, are thus translated :-" They sanctioned for us from the religion of Hud (Heber) right laws; and we believed in miracles, the resurrection, and the resuscitation of the dead by the breath of God." (“Historical Geography of Arabia," by Rev. Charles Forster, B.D., vol. 2, p. 90). Our readers may consult this book in the Guildhali Library
DOCTRINES INVOLVED. SUBJECTS
for consideration, which appear to be involved in the Doctrine of the Eternal Punishment of impenitent sinners in the torments of hell.
1st. There are now and there will be confined from the day of their death throughout all eternity in suffering by far the greater portion of the human race; as those known to be godly in any degree or form of religion (though spoken of as “a great multitude, which no man could number”) have always been by very far the smallest portion of mankind.
2nd. That those so confined will include all ages (except those in infancy) and all grades of character, from the most cruel debased profligates, to those who by reason of juvenile age or imperfect education were comparatively innocent, their chief sin being not actual ill-doing, but the neglect of the love and service of God.
3rd. That many of the latter class will be those young people and others who did not love and serve God, chiefly because they
were never taught to do so; and it was the lot of others who had the advantage of education to listen to teachers of error, under whom they were placed, and whom they were bound to listen to; and who appeared to them to have as much or more authority for their teaching as those of a contrary nature.
4th. That all these, being the children of fallen Adam, came into the world with a nature having a bias or proneness to evil.
5th. That all these so confined, being from the nature and circumstance of their miserable condition quite incapable of providing for the maintenance of their existence (as when on earth), are and will be kept alive and capable of enduring their punishment by the miraculous power of God in order that their misery and guilt may be perpetuated.
6th. That all these being impenitent sinners in terrible sufferings would riot in blasphemy and sin to the utmost of their power and opportunity.
7th. That Satan, whose aim it has been from the first to mar or destroy the work of God in the history of the human race, would have ample cause for triumph in his great success.
8th. That the Divine Being, though a God of Love, a God of truth, and without iniquity, would regard all this horrible misery and sin with satisfaction and complacency.
9th. That, although God has declared in His Word that “He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy” (Ps. ciii. 9; Isa. lvii. 16; Jer. iii. 5; Micah vii. 18, 19), yet He will thus be false to Himself and to His Word by continuing His anger against all these.
10th. That the doctrine of the eternal punishment of impenitent sinners in the torments of hell involving these serious points is found to rest not upon clear explicit declarations of the Divine will and purpose, but upon passages in the Old Testament which are poetical and metaphorical, and in the New of like nature as parables and symbols.
11th. That these poetical, metaphorical, parabolical, and symbolical texts require to be authoritatively explained by those which are clear and explicit on the subject, of which there are none to sustain the doctrine.
THE ABOLITION OF SIN. “Now once in the end of the Age hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation."-Heb. ix. 26-28.
Y one man sin came into the world, and death by sin ; so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned.” The
appointment of death unto men once, is because of their inheritance of the sinful nature of the one man.” This is evidenced by the statement that “ death has reigned” over irresponsible children and others “who have not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression," i.e., by an act of volition. This primary death, therefore, cannot be penal, since men are not accountable for the possession of the Adam nature. Death once is a just deprivation of original life (Gen. iii. 22, 23), not extinction, or there would be no resurrection of “the unjust” to judgment, for which they are “ reserved ” in the grave (2 Peter ii. 9; Rev. xx. 12, 13). They are, however, accountable for the “deeds done in the body,” the evil acts wilfully performed from the promptings of the sinful nature (Rev. xx. 13). Hence," after this” first death comes the judicial sentence of death the second time, or God's inflexible refusal to confer a second or eternal life upon such as have given undeniable proof of the worthless and trustless nature of the life at first bestowed, but now withdrawn for ever (Acts xiii. 46).
According to John xvii. 3, the Divine object in the gift of the varied faculties of the eternal life, is to enable the possessor to estimate at its sublimest value, as well as to enjoy supremely, the moral perfections and creative glories, ways, and acts of God and of His Son Jesus Christ. To realise that which under no other circumstances can be realised. “ Canst thou,” said his friend to Job, “ find out the Almighty to perfection ? “How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!” (Rom. xi. 33-36; 1 Cor. ii. 9; Job xxxvii. 23 ; xi. 7, 8). In the beginning, the way to the knowledge of God lay in "the tree of life; but man deliberately plucked the fatal tree which perverted that knowledge, and presented him with "the knowledge of good and evil ; "good, which the corrupted state of nature forbade him to enjoy; and evil, from which he had no power to flee! In the end, the tree of judgment will have vanished for ever, whilst in the gift of life, with the privilege of its eternal prolongation by means of “the tree of life” transplanted into “the midst of the street” of the New Jerusalem, man will possess the ever-increasing capacity for the appreciation and comprehension unto perfection of Omnipotence and Omniscience !
II. The word “judgment" does not always necessarily carry with it the idea of the infliction of suffering. This is apparent from the fact that believers in Christ will be called up for "judgment,' that the unquestionable opinion of the Head of the Body may be expressed on the character of their conduct and works as servants. They are also to hear, before the same tribunal, His judicial decision of their absolute and manifest justification in the presence of assembled witnesses. The word, as used in the passage under
• See my work on "The Revelation of Jesus Christ," chap. viii. p. 233-288.
review (Heb. ix. 27), is the righteous decision of One who cannot err, in reference to certain "things” that will be found "written in the Books,” about "works" performed during a lifetime, the true nature of which will be naked and open before Him. The penalty will be the proceed of the judgment.
III. We are enabled to understand the effect of the judgment from what is said in verse 26, viz., that Christ appeared at the period of the consummation of the ages appointed for the probationary attainment of acceptable righteousness (Gal. iii. 21-24), for the express purpose of settling once for all the question of sin, that had brought ruin into the world. He came personally to decide the doom of sin in the aggregate; and His decision was inflexibly righteous; He came to the determination of exterminating it judicially" by the sacrifice of Himself.” "For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and FOR SIN, judged sin in the flesh ” (Rom. viii. 3). The result of man's life of liability under law, and the several dispensations previous to the first advent of Christ, was, that sin had reigned to his utter condemnation," all the world was proved guilty before God." Subsequently, the crowning of its condemnation was the rejection and murder of the Son of God! Howbeit, through the love of God (John iii. 16, 17) and the riches of grace, the eternal counsels were in this very deed fulfilled. The Cross of Christ became the revelation of God for the putting away,* abolishing sin : SIN was thereon righteously judged and condemned (Rom. viii. 8). And let it be remembered, that this is not recorded as an arbitrary act of power, but a work of the purest judicial righteousness; owing, I presume, to the Divine permission having been accorded to Satan to exercise a tentative influence over the Adam.
through death” that He will in due time utterly “ destroy" both “ the devil ” and his “works," sin and death (Heb. ii. 14; 1 John iii. 8). In the totality, therefore, the root (sin) and branch (sinners) will be blotted out of the creation (Mal. iv. 1).
IV. The fulness of the work is not yet apparent. To faith, nevertheless, the result is already realised, though it has yet to become a manifest consummation at the (second) Appearance and Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim. iv. 1). Ver. 28. them that look for Him,” and “love His appearing,” whether it be the Church in this age (1 Thess. iv. 16, 17), or Israel and the Patriarchs in the age to come, Christ shall
appear the second time, without,” or apart from the question of a sin-offering. As we have already seen (§ iii.), in reference to our ver. 26, He hath once appeared for the judgment of sin, and its condemnation to abolition ; His Second Appearance will be for the execution of the
It is "
đOénois-abolishing (Parkhurst). (Webster).
Abolish. To annihilate, annul.
sentence, to which the Cross has already testified, and the assize and action of the Great White Throne will consummate ! (Rev. xx. 12-15).
Then, as our 28th verse tells us, cometh also the consummation of “ SALVATION!” Listen—“I saw a new firmament and a new earth ; for the first firmament and the first earth were passed away,” with which Sin was associated ; "and I heard a voice out of Heaven, saying, Behold! the Tabernacle of God is with men (glorified), and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and GOD HIMSELF shall be with them, and be their
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and there shall be NO MORE DEATH, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be ANY MORE PAIN; FOR the former things," to which Sin had given birth, “ Have PASSED AWAY!” “O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out; for of Him, and by Him, and to Him are all things, to whom be glory for ever, Amen!”
V. The above I believe to be the instruction conveyed in the three verses at the head of this paper. If so, then the believer in the duration of sinners under an eternal infliction of punishment for gratuitously suggested endless sins, may here be asked, whether-apart from all other arguments on the subject-IF Sin, having fulfilled the Divine purpose for which its entrance into the world was permitted, be PUT AWAY" in the judicial manner above described, it is within the possibility of the most tenacious credulity to maintain its ground ? Sin, in the persons of sinners thus unwarrantably pre-arraigned, is surely not exceptional! If sin, in the persons of sinners sentenced to the lake of fire from before the Great White Throne, is not extinguished, then Christ has died in vain ! He will not have fulfilled the purpose for which He“ once appeared " (ver. 26). Moreover, if such be the case, the 15th verse of the second chapter of Colossians is not true ! Reading.
THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT.
CHAPTER II. COVENANT PROPOSALS; THE LAND PROMISED; THE LAND SHOWN. ROB
to the relation of Terab to the Divine call of his son Abram to migrate to the land of Canaan. Those conclusions are: first, that the call of the son by “the God oF GLORY” roused the conscience of his father to renounce the sin of idolatry in which he had been involved (Joshua xxiv. 15) and fired him with sufficient enthusiasm