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bution could have exerted but precious little influence on their conduct; and consequently it is no objection to this doctrine to appeal to the moral condition of the heathen.

2. You must also remember that the heathen had little or no knowledge of the true God. They neither understood nor felt his paternal character. They knew nothing of Jesus. They had neither seen his perfect example, nor read the history of his life. They were generally destitute of the means of a proper education. They were under the influence of ignorance and error in almost every particular. They received no religious instruction. They had no perfect code of morals. And to expect such nations to lead christian lives, merely because they had a belief in a future retribution as firm as their faith in another existence, would be the height of absurdity. Their sages declared that it was in vain to expect a general reformation until heaven should interfere in their behalf. They did not comprehend the nature, extent or obligations of virtue; and they did not reduce to practice all the knowledge of duty which they did possess. So that to object to the doctrine of future retribution, because the benighted heathen were not influenced by it to live a sober, righteous and godly life, is extremely illiberal and foolish.

3. But the moral condition of the heathen furnishes an unanswerable argument against your system instead of an objection to the doctrine of a future retribution. For you must remember that they were human beings. They possessed human feelings. They were no more insensible to mental or bodily pain than christians. They had as keen a penetration into the sufferings of others. They could as distinctly perceive that sin was punished on earth. All that you know on this subject they knew. Still their knowledge did not produce reWhat gave

formation and good morals. This it should have done if it is sufficient for the moral welfare of the world. But not having done this, is not an unanswerable argument furnished against the moral power and influence of your system? Surely. Not only so. them their belief in a future retribution? Their own knowledge and experience and observation. They noticed the inequalities of the present existence. They saw the virtuous persecuted and overwhelmed with affliction. They saw the wicked prosperous and rioting in the pleasures of earth. Their own hearts and consciences caused them to utter such exclamations as the following. If the gods are just there must be another existence, so that the good may be rewarded and the wicked punished. Your appeal to the state of the heathen then is turned against your own system, and instead of furnishing an objection to a future retribution, is one of the strongest arguments in its favor.

IY. A fourth objection to a future righteous retribution

may

be thus stated. “ You appeal to fear, the lowest passion in human nature, when you preach future misery; now obedience to the divine will ought to flow from the principle of filial love." In answer I submit the following remarks.

1. Did not our Creator originally implant the passion of fear in the human heart? Did not Adam manifest its power when he had disobeyed his maker? Did not Cain exhibit its influence when he had committed murder? Has it not been experienced in a greater or less degree by almost every member of the human family? Did not fear dwell even with the anointed Jesus? Is it not now the most influential principle in the bosom of mankind. Certainly; you will not return a negative answer to these inquiries. Why then did a Father of infinite love so arrange our constitution? For good or

a

for evil purposes? For good surely, because a being of infinite wisdom and benevolence could not endow us with any principle which should necessarily be productive of evil. What good then was this passion of fear designed to effect? It was intended to deter us from sin, so

to save us from its punishment; and thus to promote our real happiness by securing our obedience to the divine law. Is it then wrong to appeal to the passion of fear which was implanted for the production of the greatest blessings? Your objection therefore is of no force, and applies more directly to the Author of our nature, than to those who make use of its various principles for the purposes originally intended.

2. Is not an appeal made to the passion of fear by every government human and divine?

You are father. Do you never warn your children to avoid certain actions and courses of conduct? Do you not assure them that disobedience will be punished in some way or other, sooner or later? Do you not even threaten them with positive infliction in certain aggravated cases? And what is all this but a direct appeal to fear? Your neighbor is an instructer of youth. How does he regulate his pupils? Does he not warn them of the evil consequences of idleness and disobedience? Does he not threaten to deprive them of some privileges or even to inflict corporal punishments, when no other remedies will answer? And what is all this but an appeal to the passion of fear? And what are the laws of our country? Do they not mention penalties of almost every description? Are not these almost daily inflicted on transgressors? Are not many deterred from the commission of crime by fear of human punishments? Surely. And are not most men daily actuated by this principle? Why do you resist temptation? Why do you shun the

precipice? Why do you protect your body from the weather? Because you fear the consequences of an opposite conduct. And are there not hundreds and thousands of the best christians on earth who were induced by fear of punishment to consider their ways, reform their characters, acquire habits of virtue and piety? And even in your own preaching do you never appeal to this principle? O yes. You speak of an earthly hell whenever expediency requires. What is the difference in telling the sinner that the consequences of his wickedness will last till death, or in extending them beyond the grave? In the principle itself, there is no difference whatever. You therefore appeal to this same lowest passion in human nature; and thus destroy the force of your own objection.

3. Has not our heavenly Father; has not the anointed Savior; have not the inspired apostles, repeatedly appealed to the passion of fear? Take a few examples. In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. What do

you

call this? Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil. Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Here something after the death of the body is to be feared. Knowing the terrors of the Lord we persuade men. I could multiply extracts of a similar character almost without number. And are not all these a direct appeal to the passion of fear? Now can we imitate better examples than those mentioned? Can we know more on this subject than our Savior? Shall we be in danger of deceiving people if we use the same language in addressing believers in a

future retribution, which he and his apostles used in preaching to a similar class of hearers? If they did not stop when every threatening was delivered to assure their converts that all retribution was limited to this world, ought we to deviate from their common practice. If they took no pains to prevent their warnings from being misunderstood, need we feel any anxiety when using similar expressions? Now I cheerfully admit that fear is the lowest passion in human nature. I uniformly preach that our obedience should flow from a filial love to our heavenly Father. But this principle is not always sufficiently powerful to produce reformation, or restrain from wickedness, or stimulate to perseverence in holiness. This we all know from our own experience and observation. And consequently a remedy is provided in this passion, and an example of appeal to it furnished by the highest authority. I also believe that this like every other principle of our nature may be abused and has been shamefully abused, and no one has exposed these abuses more fearlessly than myself. Your objection is therefore turned against your own course with redoubled force.

V. A fifth objection to a future righteous retribution may be expressed in the following terms. preach future rewards, you appeal to the principle of selfishness; you make religion a mere mercenary service; now we ought to love and serve our Father without any expectation of future recompense." Three observations will place this subject in a proper light.

1. There is a great difference between selfishness and self-love. Selfishness regards present interest to the neglect of the future; private welfare to the neglect of public. Self-love takes into account the whole of human existence, and the happiness of the whole family. This is the proper principle of human action; and this

- When you

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