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taught that there was joy in heaven at the death of a sinner, that God took pleasure in the death of the wicked, every thing would have appeared consistent with your doctrine of no future retribution; but as he has given lessons of a directly opposite character, I must believe n the future punishment of the wicked.

V. My fifth incidental argument in proof of a future retribution is drawn from the prescribed conditions of salvation.

1. Faith in Christ is one condition of salvation. This truth is plainly and repeatedly taught in the gospel, Read the concluding part of our Savior's commission to his inspired apostles. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned.” This declaration is explicit, and its truth is confirmed by your own experience and observation. You perceive that the obedient believer is saved from his sinfulness and its attendant punishment, and you know that so long as he remains holy he is in no danger of future torment. You also see that the disobedient unbeliever is condemned by his wickedness, and you know he must remain miserable until he forsakes bis depravity. Take another confirmation of this truth from Paul. “ If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Saved from what? Sin and its consequences. How? By being influenced to forsake whatever is wrong and form a christian character. Let Peter bear his testimony to the same sentiment. “Receiving the end of your faith even the salvation of your souls.” What was the end of their faith? What was it expected to accomplish? The salvation of their souls from sin and its consequent punishment; the production of moral goodness and its attendant reward. Many more passages of a similar import might be quo

ted, but these are sufficient for all present purposes. You see that this condition of salvation is unalterable in its nature. You observe that all who practise what Jesus has commanded exhibit a living faith in his moral instructions, and are delivered from vice and iniquity. You also notice that those who disobey his precepts manifest a want of practical faith in his mission, and are punished by their bad habits and wicked dispositions and actions. You never find an individual saved from sinfulness without compliance with the christian instructions. Now you know that many who have enjoyed gospel light leave this world in an unbelieving and sinful state of mind and character. Does death destroy this condition of salvation? This you must prove, or admit that future retribution is true. Mark 16. 16. Rom. 10. 9. 1 Pet. 1. 9.

2. Repentance or reformation is another condition of salvation. This is also plainly declared in the gospel. Listen to the following words of our Savior. that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations." Repentance means the forsaking of wickedness and the practise of righteous

Remission of sins means their forgiveness which can be received only on reformation. know from observation and experience. When the intemperate man reforms and becomes temperate his sinfulness is pardoned; but some of the consequences of his disobedience remain for a long period. Hear Paul's account of his preaching. "I have kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Why did this inspired apostle consider this preaching profitable to all classes of hearers? Be

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cause without reformation no salvation could be experienced. What is the testimony of Peter? 6. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Here the implication is plain that those who did not repent must perish. God does not will or determine that any should perish, for he has no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but he grants free agency to all, and desires every individual to reform his evil ways. But why reform? So that we may not suffer the punishment of our wickedness either here or hereafter. These quotations are sufficient for my present purpose. You know that this condition of salvation is unalterable in its nature in this world. You perceive that all who reform are made happy in some degree by their goodness. But you never knew a sinner become good without repentance or reformation.

You never heard of a person's being saved from his sins without forsaking them. Now will this condition of salvation be abolished at death. You know that many in christian lands leave the world unreformed. Will passing through the grave change their character and furnish them with holiness? This position you must prove, or admit the doctrine of a future righteous retribution. Luke 24. 47. Acts 20. 20. 2 Peter 3. 9.

3. Obedience to the laws of qur Father is another condition of salvation. This is likewise plainly declared in the gospel. Hear the question of a jewish ruler and our Savior's answer. " What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.Would the divine Jesus have made this reply, if he knew the young man could have entered into life or happiness just as well by disobeying the command? Take another of his declarations. “ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” The kingdom of heaven begins on earth, and you perceive that no one enters without obedience to the divine will. Look at the instruction of Paul. "God will render unto every man according to his deeds; to them who by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil.” Here the condition of receiving eternal life is perseverance in well doing. Now you can testify to the unalterable nature of this condition in the present world. You never saw a sinner saved from sin without obedience to the divine will. Will this condition be abolished at death? Will those who leave this life in a depraved condition be made holy without obedience? must prove, or admit the doctrine of future retribution. Mat. 19. 16, 17; 7. 21. Rom. 2. 6.

4. The kingdom of heaven is closed to certain characters. This is repeatedly declared in the gospel. Hear Paul's statement. “ Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” There are many other passages equally explicit. Now

you

will ask if this does not refer to the present life? I admit that the kingdom of heaven is a phrase very generally used to denote the reign of the christian religion on earth. But that it sometimes means a state beyond the grave is perfectly evident.

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What did our Savior say to his disciples at the last supper? “Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” This of course refers to a future existence. And in those passages which threaten exclusion I have no doubt the meaning extends to another world. For otherwise the apostles were guilty of uttering the most common truisms.

Suppose I should make the following address to my people next Sunday:

Brethren, let me assure you that thieves and drunkards and robbers and murderers are not christians. While they remain in this wickedness they cannot enter the school of Christ. But should they die impenitent and unreformed, they will inherit the kingdom of heaven the first moment they awake to an immortal life.” This must have been Paul's idea had he received your

doctrine. Is not this simple application of your principle of interpretation sufficient to discover its absurdity? Read the following passages from the book of revelation. " And there shall in nowise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie.” “For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” Now

you

would limit all the passages to this life. But to make the sacred writers utter such unnecessary remarks for the sake of supporting a system seems to be charging upon them your own weakness without any proof. Will all the vile characters mentioned be admitted to the kingdom of heaven hereafter when they were too debased for christians to associate with in this world? This you must prove or admit the certainty of future retribution. 1 Cor. 6. 9. Mark 16. 25. Rev. 21. 27; 22. 15.

How stands the argument from the conditions of salvation? Those who believe, repent and obey, are saved

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