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    We now come to the investigation of the subject of the destiny of the finally impenitent. We have already shown that both righteous and wicked shall live again, and that in the resurrection, the wicked are to be raised as literally as the saints.—We have found no testimony to show that they are to have immortality; but we shall proceed to inquire, Are the wicked raised in a condition to suffer the punishment which it is said they are to receive; viz., eternal misery? Not if they are raised corruptible; for the eternity of their existence depends on their receiving immortality at the resurrection.MPC 164.3

    HENRY, claims in his Commentary, that “By the damnation of the wicked the justice of God will be eternally satisfying, but never satisfied.”MPC 165.1

    BENSON, in his Commentary, says: “They must be perpetually swelling their enormous sum of guilt, and still running deeper, immensely deeper, in debt to divine and infinite justice. Hence, after the longest imaginable period, they will be so far from having discharged their debt—that they will find more due than when they first began to suffer.”MPC 165.2

    Others tell us, that their capacity for suffering will increase, and that at the expiration of 10,000 years, one sinner will be capable of suffering more than all hell did when he came there; and thus their capacity for suffering will increase to all eternity. This is represented as the reward of a finite act of the poor frail worm of the dust, man.MPC 165.3

    The Bible represents God as a being of love and mercy, but these attributes must be cast out of sight in the minds of those who would have us believe in such an eternal state for sinners as that presented in the above testimonies.MPC 165.4

    Future punishment we shall admit; for we have found no Scripture to sustain the doctrine of punishment in this life; but we contend that the wicked are “reserved to the day of Judgment to be punished.” We have shown that the testimony of the Word is, that the dead, both righteous and wicked, shall be raised to life again to receive their just due.MPC 165.5

    We are aware that many contend that the love of God will be made manifest in the eternal salvation of all men; but, when we remember that God has a law, indestructible as his own throne, and that sinners have openly trampled this law under their feet, and neglected to comply with the plan God devised through the death of his Son, for the pardon of their sins, we need no longer claim that the God of all the earth does not do right in inflicting punishment on the sinner. A law would not be a complete law unless a penalty was inflicted for disobedience. Paul says, “The wages of sin is death.” Sin is defined by the apostle John to be, “transgression of the law.”MPC 166.1

    This death which is here spoken of as the wages of sin, cannot be the death men die in Adam; for that death is a consequent on the sin of Adam, and not our own sins. By transgression Adam became mortal, and has transmitted mortality to us. Men die the first death, because they are mortal. The second death is the wages of sin; and this all must suffer whose names are not found in the Lamb’s book of life. But, says one, this second death has been already described in the quotations you have made. It does not destroy the sinner, but places him in eternal torments.—Who can conceive of a death that passes upon living beings and leaves them still alive. Yea, and more alive than they were when they died that death.MPC 166.2

    The fact that the transgressor of God’s law is marked by his word as a victim for the second death, is sufficient of itself to show that there must be a punishment after this life. No man can die the second death, without a resurrection from the first. We cannot agree with the sentiment published in the Methodist Almanac about four years since: “They that are born but once must die twice;” but shall claim, that “except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”—Why? Because his first death carried him out of this life, and with the dead is no knowledge. Stop says one, that birth is conversion. Then you would have it that none could see the kingdom, unless they were Christians. But to the very class Christ told they should die in their sins, he said, “Ye shall see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and ye yourselves thrust out;” they will certainly see the kingdom, if they see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in it.MPC 167.1

    Job testifies, [Chap 21:30,] “The wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.”MPC 167.2

    We shall proceed to investigate the Scripture testimony concerning the future destiny of the wicked. Christ says, [John 3:36,] “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life,” (but that life is hid with Christ in God,) and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. We here have a positive statement that the wicked shall not see life (everlasting.) Says the objector, the word life, in the text you have quoted, does not mean simply existence, but happiness. The righteous will have everlasting happiness, but the wicked will have “the wrath of God” abiding on them. See Isaiah 57:16, “For I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth.” Compare this with Psalm 103:9, also Jeremiah 3:5. These texts plainly state that God’s anger is to cease. How is it to cease with them? Says Isaiah, [Chap 10:25,] “The indignation shall cease, and mine anger, in their destruction.”MPC 167.3

    Job says, of the wicked, [Chap 4:9,] “By the blast of God they PERISH, and by the breath of his nostrils are they CONSUMED.”MPC 168.1

    We will now notice the testimony of the Psalmist, concerning the punishment of the wicked, Psalm 1:6, “The way of the ungodly shall perish.”MPC 168.2

    Psalm 2:8, 9, “I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance.”MPC 168.3

    Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt DASH THEM IN PIECES like a potter’s vessel;” also Psalm 34:16.MPC 168.4

    Psalm 37:1, 2, “Fret not thyself because of evil doers.MPC 168.5

    For they shall soon be CUT DOWN like the grass, and WITHER as the green herb.”MPC 168.6

    Read verse 10, “For yet a little while, and the wicked SHALL NOT BE; yea, they shalt diligently consider his place, and IT shall not be.” Verse 20, “But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.”—Verse 38. “But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; the end of the wicked shall be CUT OFF.” Ps. [59:13,] “Consume them in wrath, consume them that they may not be.” Psalm 104:35, “Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more.MPC 168.7

    Compare the three following testimonies, from the book of Proverbs: Proverbs 11:31, “Behold the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.” Proverbs 10:30, “The wicked shall not inhabit the earth.” Proverbs 2:22, “The wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.”MPC 169.1

    Who can harmonize the above testimony concerning the destiny of the righteous and wicked on any other principle than that the righteous are finally to receive the earth as an eternal possession, while the wicked are cut off. Proverbs 29:1, “He that, being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”MPC 169.2

    See Ezekiel 18:4, “The SOUL that sinneth, it shall die.” Obadiah, [verse 16,] speaking of the heathen, says, “They shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as through they had not been. Malachi 4:1-3, “All that do wickedly shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet, in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.MPC 169.3

    The doctrine of the New Testament is the same as that of the old. Matthew 3:12, “He will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Says the objector, to my mind it conveys the idea of eternal misery; they are to be burned up with unquenchable fire.MPC 169.4

    The text says, the chaff will be burned up. But the point of objection is in regard to the fire.MPC 170.1

    What is the import of this unquenchable fire? The original term is puri asbesto. To show the understanding of this term among the Greeks we will make a quotation from Eusebius, who was born A.D. 267, and became Bishop of Cesarea, A. D. 315. In his history of the Christian Church, book vi, chap. 41, he gives an account of those who were martyred at Alexandria. He spoke as follows:—MPC 170.2

    “The first of these was Julian, a man afflicted with the gout, neither able to walk nor stand, who, with two others that carried him, was arraigned. Of these, the one immediately denied, but the other, named Cronion, surnamed Eunas, and the aged Julian himself, having confessed the Lord, was carried on camels through the city.—a very large one as you know—and in this elevation were scourged, and finally consumed in an immense fire. (Puri asbesto.) After these, Epimachus and Alexander, who had continued for a long time in prison, enduring innumerable sufferings from the scourges and scrapes, were also destroyed in an immense fire.” (Puri asbesto.)MPC 170.3

    If this expression in the Greek text of Eusebius, be rendered the same as in the Bible it would read, unquenchable fire. No one would claim that the fire that was kindled in the third century to burn those martyrs, is still burning: neither is there proof in the text before us, that the unquenchable fire which destroys the wicked will eternally burn. If the fire was quenched, some of the wicked might perhaps escape, but as the fire is unquenchable it will burn them up.MPC 170.4

    We will now notice the substances used in Scripture to represent the wicked which are to be cast into “unquenchable fire.” 1st. Chaff. Psalm 1:4; Job 21:18; Isaiah 29:5, 6; Hosea 13:3; Matthew 3:12. 2nd. Stubble. Psalm 83:13; Isaiah 5:23, 24; 47:14; Nahum 1:10; Malachi 4:1; 1 Corinthians 3:12. 3rd. Thorns. Isaiah 33:12. 4th. Briers. Micah 7:4; Isaiah 10:17-19. 5th. Fat of lambs. Psalm 37:20; Ezekiel 34:16.MPC 171.1

    Here we see the wicked are represented by substances easily destroyed, and these are to be cast into the “devouring,” “unquenchable fire.” Can they exist in it? Will they dwell there to all eternity? What has the Lord said about it? Isaiah 33:14, says, “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? (The wicked? No ! but) He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly;” etc. But of the wicked it is said, “It shall leave them neither root nor branch.”MPC 171.2

    Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” On this text it is claimed that, although man to show his persecuting spirit upon the people of God, may take the life of their bodies, yetMPC 171.3

    “The soul secured in her existence,
    Smiles at the drawn dagger,
    And defies its point.”
    MPC 171.4

    It is said the soul, in this text, is the reasoning faculties which are separated from the body at death; and, as it (the soul) is immaterial, it can not be brought under the control of man so as to be killed. But man can kill (take the life of) the body. How is this? if the position of our opponents is true, man cannot take the life of the body, for that life is immortality. Jesus says, “The body without the spirit is dead.” From this it has been urged that death is the separation of soul and body. The marginal reading of the text in James is “breath.” The body without the breath is dead.MPC 171.5

    But, what shall we understand by the text before us? We will read it like this: fear not them that can take your present life, but cannot kill the soul (take away your eternal life,) but fear him that can deprive you of both temporal and eternal life. (We have already shown in another part of this work, that life is sometimes meant by the word soul.) Compare the above idea with the testimony of Christ in Matthew 16:25. “For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it;” or, as John has it, “shall keep it into life eternal.” We consider the idea Christ wished to inculcate was this: Fear not man, and through that fear seek to save your life but fear God; and, although you may lose your life, here, he will give you eternal life.MPC 172.1

    The text before us is proof positive, that the final reward of the impenitent is utter destruction of soul and body. “Fear him who is able to DESTROY both soul and body in hell.” (Gehenna—see appendix.) We may not only learn from these works, that God can destroy the soul, but, that this is the punishment that is to be inflicted on those who shall neglect to obey Christ’s testimony. See Acts 3:23. “And it shall come to pass, that every soul which will not hear that Prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.”MPC 172.2

    If the soul spoken of in Matthew 10:28, is an immortal entity, it could not be destroyed. But God can, and will deprive those who neglect to obey him, of eternal life. Read the testimony of Christ, as recorded by Luke. Chap 12:4, 5. “And I say unto you, my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, but after that, have no more that they can do. (Can’t touch your eternal life.) But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell: (deprive you of eternal life:) yes, I say unto you, Fear him.” They are not to be cast into hell for preservation, but they are there to be destroyed. Destroy.—To ruin; to annihilate a thing by demolishing or by burning.—Webster. Some perhaps would object to applying this definition of destruction, to the wicked; for, say they, matter cannot be destroyed. We reply if you mean man cannot destroy matter, we admit it. But, that God cannot destroy matter, we should hardly dare to claim. Neither shall we claim that the wicked are to be destroyed as matter: they will be destroyed as men. In the flames of gehenna they will consume away into smoke, and the result of the decomposition will leave them “ASHES under the soles of” the saints’ feet.MPC 173.1

    The Scriptures clearly teach in other portions that the soul can die; and not only that, but, “The soul that sinneth it SHALL die.” The soul is often represented in Scripture as being delivered from death and the grave. David says of Christ, (Psalm 16:10,) “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.” Peter in commenting on this text, [Acts 2:31,] says, “He seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell.” (Hades, the grave.) Why, say you, his soul never went there. Then it would be folly to say it was not left there. Read the following texts, which speak of the soul as connected with death. Job 33:18, 22, 28-30; Isaiah 38:17; Psalm 56:13; 116:8.MPC 173.2

    Says the objector, It cannot be that the punishment of the wicked is simply death; for the Bible represents their punishment as being of the same duration as the life of the righteous. Christ says, [Matthew 25:46,] “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.” Here is it positively stated that the punishment of the wicked is everlasting. We freely admit that the punishment of the wicked has no “remedy,” and is therefore everlasting. But this would not prove that it was everlasting suffering.MPC 174.1

    Their punishment is everlasting, but what is it? Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death.” James 1:15. “Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth DEATH.” Sin is to be finished: but what is to be its end? Eternal misery? No, but death. In 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Paul says, the wicked “shall be punished with everlasting DESTRUCTION from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” Says the objector, it is an everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. Will you tell where the sinner is when he is out of the presence of the Lord? He must be out of existence. According to Christ’s testimony in parable, sinners are to be punished in the presence of the Lord. But their punishment is to be destruction from his presence. See Luke 19:37. “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” For that destruction there is no remedy. Proverbs 29:1.MPC 174.2

    But say you, how can the punishment be everlasting if it is simply death? We may look on punishment as deprivation, in that case, the greatest possible punishment would be to be deprived of an eternal blessing. The Scriptures, we think, hold forth the punishment of the wicked as the deprivation of the blessing the righteous are to enjoy; namely, eternal life. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see LIFE.” John 3:36. This life is everlasting punishment.MPC 175.1

    We consider the case of the wicked to be this: God has taken pains to reveal to them just how long life they can have if they obey him: eternal life. If they disobey him they will receive the opposite: death. They will be eternally deprived of life. “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life.”MPC 175.2

    Says Christ, [Matthew 7:13, 14,] “Broad is the way that leadeth toMPC 175.3

    destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” John says of Christ, [Chap 3:15] “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Here the opposite of everlasting life is, to perish. To come to nothing.—Webster.MPC 175.4

    Paul says, [Romans 2:12,] “As many as have sinned without law, shall also PARISH without law.” But the objector is ready to claim, without doubt, that the word perish in this text merely applies to the body, but that the soul is undying. Read James 5:20, and see: “Let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death.” Peter says, speaking of the wicked, [2 Peter 2:12] “And shall UTTERLY PERISH in their own corruption.”MPC 175.5

    See also Romans 1:32; 8:13. 1 Corinthians 1:18; 3:17. 2 Corinthians 2:15, 16. Philippians 1:28; 3:19. 2 Thessalonians 2:10. Hebrews 6:8; 10:26-39. 1 John 2:17. In these texts the sinner is spoken of as to pass away, to be destroyed, to perish, etc. In Revelation 20 John has a view of the final destiny of the wicked. Verse 9, “And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city, and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” Devour—To destroy; to consume with rapidity and violence.—Webster.MPC 176.1

    Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:26. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” Death itself is to be destroyed, as John states, [Revelation 20:13-15.]— Chapter 21 he says, “there was no more death. Sinners, death and the grave are all to die, and once more will spring forth a clean universe, and all heaven and earth will then raise one mighty shout of “Alleluia, for Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”MPC 176.2

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