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tribulation."

Why so? Paul assures us that every soul who worketh evil shall experience tribulation. Now was their suffering occasioned by vicious conduct? or was it drawn upon them by their christian behavior. If you affirm that their iniquities produced their miseries, and that they were punished exactly according to their deeds, you will make them the most abandoned wretches in existence, because their torments were almost

unparalleled in the history of human sufferings. If you admit that their goodness excited others to persecute and injure them, then it follows of course that a perfect retribution did not take place in this particular example. Turn to another paragraph of a similar character. “ Bo hold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before kings and governors for my name sake. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child; and the children shall rise up against the parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. Yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doeth God service.' Here

you

learn that the divine master distinctly informed his disciples of the cruel, unceasing, inhuman persecutions to which they would be constantly exposed during their earthly ministry. And why must they be so severely and unromittingly tormented? Simply because they were engaged in the noblest employment of humanity; simply because they were to become the instruments of everlasting benefits to the children of men. But did this heavensent teacher mean to convey the idea that their miseries would be only equal to their demerits, and their joys exactly proportioned to their virtues ?

Did he even insinuate that they and their brutal enemies and murderers

would receive the same degree of happiness when they entered the next existence? You must return an affirmative answer to these questions, or admit the fallacy of your opinions. Not only so. Select one instance of his declaration concerning the nation and generation to which he belonged. 66 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute; that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this genertion, from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple; verily I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation.' Now what do you make of this statement. Does it teach that a perfect individual retribution takes place in this world? Directly the contrary. Former generations had not received their full share of temporal punishment; but their iniquities were to be visited on the present inhabitants of the country. Consequently God has not rendered unto all according to their deeds in this life, and there must be an adjustment of these inequalities beyond the grave or the character of our Father suffers in the estimation of impartial judges. This argument then may be thus stated. Jesus explicitly taught that rewards and punishments, happiness and misery were not to be distributed either on the apostles or his own nation exactly according to their individual characters. You must therefore accuse him of either ignorance or falsehood, or admit the error of your peculiar belief on this question. For my own part I receive the word of Jesus as divine truth, and consequently the argument from his declarations in favor of my position is perfectly unanswerable. John 16, 33. Matthew 10, 16. John 16, 2. Luke 11, 49.

3. I appeal to the sufferings and declarations of the

- Are they

apostles. Did they experience the persecutions which their divine master predicted? Yes, to the very letter. Read the history of their labors and trials and sufferings, and you will find enough to excite the sympathetic tear, and give anguish to the benevolent heart. Take merely an account of Paul's early experience. ministers of Christ? I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft; of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods; once was I stoned; thrice I suffered shipwreck; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often; in perils of water; in perils of robbers; in perils by my own countrymen; in perils by the heathen; in perils in the city; in perils in the wilderness; in perils in the sea; in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness; in faintings often ; in cold and nakedness. Besides these things which are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ knoweth that I lie not." Now will you say that Paul received as much happiness in this life as his goodness deserved? Will you say that he endured no more misery than his iniquities demanded? Will you say that he is to be on an equality hereafter in point of felicity with his malignant and depraved enemies and murderers? All this you must say, or admit that no perfect retribution takes place in this world. Not only so. Take merely one of the apostolic declarations. • If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” Now if rewards and punishments are equitably distributed in this world, they could not have been the most miserable unless they were the most depraved. The certainty of another existence has nothing to do with the question. If they were pure and holy beyond others

they must have experienced the natural consequences of their goodness in some degree. Will consequences

you that these early and obedient christians were the most degraded, or will you admit that no perfect retribution takes place in this mortal life? Will

you aver that

years of painful and unremitting labor, accompanied with almost unceasing torments, in the cause of pure religion, will furnish no better claims to heavenly happiness than an uninterrupted series of debaucheries, cruelties, persecutions and murders? You must say this, or admit that your

belief on this subject is erroneous. Take which horn of the dilemma you please. For my own part I believe the apostles had some powerful motives to support them under all their exertions and sufferings; and I can think of none sufficient for this purpose unless I admit a future state of righteous retribution. 2 Corinthians 11, 23. 1 Cor. 15, 19.

4. Perhaps you will now ask, if there are no passages in the New Testament which teach or imply that a perfect retribution takes place on the earth? I know of none whatever. And what is still more remarkable I have never seen any which related to the subject quoted by your writers. Surely they would not have omitted so important a service for their cause if any thing plausible could have been advanced. This fact speaks volumes in proof of my position. For how can you account for the silence of the sacred writers on this question, if you can call that a silence which is constantly proclaiming the opposite doctrine? All the world then believed in future rewards and punishments. All the people supposed that present retribution was not perfect. If they were mistaken in this belief was not the error worthy of correction, since one simple declaration of our Savior would have settled the question forever? No such information was communicated. On the contrary

a constant reference is made to rewards and punishments. They are spoken of as something future, and not as immediately following the action. Did you ever notice this peculiarity of the divine instructions? Shall and will are almost uniformly used. How different would have been the language of the inspired preacher had all retribution been limited to this life. He that sins shall be miserable in the present state; he that obeys shall be happy in this world; both shall be happy in the next existence. Such must have been the ideas conveyed in some one conversation at least, had your doctrine been then believed. But you will say that the threatenings in the gospel relate to the destruction of Jerusalem. This mode of interpretation appears to my mind the most absurd and ridiculous imaginable. Let me set forth some of its irreconcilable contradictions. The universal Father 'sends Jesus to save people from their sins. He spends no small portion of his short ministry in warning his countrymen against the coming dissolution of their nation. He earnestly entreats them to embrace his religion so as to escape the dreadful calamity. He suffers every indignity and even a cruel and ignominious death in accomplishing this object. His apostles are filled with the same spirit. They endure unparalleled hardships and afflictions in inducing men to receive the new religion. They warn them repeatedly and solemnly to repent so as to avoid temporal death a few weeks sooner than the natural termination of their mortal life. They also suffer martyrdom in this noble

All this while both Jesus and his apostles know that the Jewish people are corrupt and sinful beyond

They know their miseries must be great and poignant. They also know that all wickedness and torments terminate with the dissolution of the body. They know that all who perish in the destruction of their

cause.

measure.

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