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from their sinfulness and become righteous. Those who refuse to comply with these requisitions remain unreformed, unsaved and unholy. This we all see and understand. Now you say these conditions relate only to this life; I contend that they extend to the next. I believe that those who die unsaved will need salvation from their sinfulness before they can be happy; and no way of reformation is discovered but by the free choice and voluntary exercise of their own powers. You believe that all who die unsaved will be fitted for heaven in some mysterious and miraculous manner before they enter upon
the next conscious existence, although your belief is not supported by a particle of evidence from reason or scripture. Now I reject your opinion for many reasons, three of which I will briefly mention. 1st. Neither our Savior nor his apostles has once declared that the wicked shall be happy after death; or saved without reformation. 2d. To limit the prescribed conditions of salvation to this life makes our Savior and his apostles appear very weak and silly in many of their most important instructions. For what was the amount of all their preaching to sinners on your supposition? “ You cannot be a christian while you are a murderer. You cannot have happiness while you live in wicked
Heaven is open to all of every class and description of characters; for your passage through the grave will mould you all into one likeness.” 3d. There are passages which prove conclusively that the conditions of salvation are not limited to the present existence. Take one or two for a specimen. Our Savior uses this language to his apostles. " Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake; but he that shall endure to the end shall be saved.” Here you see that death, certain, literal death, was predicted to them, and still they were promised salvation if they endured to the end. From what then could they be saved ? Not death, for this was predicted. Not sin, nor temporal calamity, nor destruction of Jerusalem; for the salvation comes after death. Surely the meaning is plain. If you continue faithful to my cause until death, you shall be saved from future misery; you shall be rewarded with a crown of life. Read these words of our Savior. “ He that findeth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." Give this passage your interpretation. “ If you reject me for the sake of escaping persecution and death, you will be destroyed at Jerusalem." This reads very well. But take the other part. “If you lose your life in my cause, you shall escape the destruction of Jerusalem after you are dead.” This makes nonsense and falsehood. We must then refer this to the future world, and believe that although we die in the cause of goodness we shall be great gainers; and if we secure all this world's goods and a long life by disobedience, we shall be infinite losers. The writer to the Hebrews makes this declaration. "Jesus Christ became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey
Here the salvation is not temporal but eternal; it is not to all but only the obedient. So that Christ never saves any either here or hereafter except the obedient. I think enough has been said to show that the conditions of salvation extend beyond the grave; and consequently I regard this argument in proof of a future retribution perfectly conclusive and unanswerable. Mark 13. 12, 13. Mat. 10. 39. Heb. 5. 9.
Thus, my dear sir, you have the five arguments which I promised at the beginning of this communication. Can you possibly reconcile the indisputable facts which
I have presented with your doctrine of no future retribution? I know of no way in which that can possibly be effected. So long as these facts remain, so long the evidence for future rewards and punishments must stand, perfect and unanswerable. I appeal to you as a man of candor, of honesty, of intelligence, and request you to review each statement separately, and yield to the satisfactory proofs advanced; or furnish a fair answer to my reasoning, testimony and conclusions.
MY DEAR SIR,
I will now attend to your objections to the doctrine of future rewards and punishments. I have examined many of the publications of your party to ascertain what they contain on this point. Some of their objections are so inappropriate that I cannot consider them deserving a moment's attention. Others may be turned with tenfold power against your own views. All which relate to endless misery I omit of course. None that I have discovered have much plausibility. I will however endeavor to answer all that I believe can have the least influence
upon candid minds of any description.
I. One objection to a future righteous retribution may be expressed in this language. "We do not find future rewards and punishments taught in the Old Testament, and if the Jews lived without this knowledge, why cannot christians?” In answer I submit the three following remarks.
1. You contend that the Jews were not divinely taught the doctrine of a future retribution
Some of your party also assert that the knowledge of a future life is not