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have long been a disgrace to the church of God, 1 have ventured to attempt their removal, that her light may shine more brightly. None ought to be offended at the attempt, for if such doctrines be false, surely none in the symbols of the Protestant churches have so much eclipsed her glory as they have done. If it should be proved that I am mistaken, and that such doctrines are diadems in the crown of the church of God, her glory must even be promoted by this investigation, for it will be made the more manifest that the devil and eternal punishment are her glory. As Mr. Stuart justly observes, a failure to investigate such articles in the Protestant creeds, "must arise from undue regard to the authority of fallible men, or from mere inaction-from absolute sloth."

It may be thought by some, that if the things stated in Part i. Sect. 4. be true, the Second Part is a superfluous discussion; for it follows, of course, that endless punishment cannot be true. This we admit; but the texts where everlasting is applied to punishment, will not be given up, by many, as teaching endless punishment, until some rational, Scriptural interpretation is presented, showing that their former views of them are incorrect. I here can speak from experience; for I never would have relinquished the doctrine of endless punishment, unless I had come to see how such texts could be fairly explained as not teaching it. I have felt the power of such previous views on my own mind, and make allow

ance for others in the same condition. On this account, if my explanations of the texts where everlasting is applied to punishment be correct, the Second Part, so far from being superfluous, is highly necessary. Many of my former friends have no doubt wondered, how I could embrace my present views with such texts staring me in the face. One object with me, in the Second Part, has been, to show them that I did not shut my eyes to these texts, but having them opened to very different views of such texts, I finally embraced my present opinions. Whether my present views of them be correct, they can now see and judge for themselves. If I have embraced error, they are requested to have the goodness to correct it.

In the following pages, we have expressed our opinions frankly and sincerely, and appealed to the Scriptures as the test of truth. The author hopes that the spirit in which his remarks are made can give offence to none. He has studied to avoid all harsh and provoking language, convinced that man's wrath can never work the righteousness of God. If he has in any instance turned aside from this path, he shall regret it much more than any of his readers, for his object is to convince, not to irritate. Should it be said, some of the opinions controverted are not held now by our orthodox brethren, nor durst any preacher avow them, without forfeiting his station. We are glad to hear of this, but doubt if it is without exception true; and certainly, we have never

heard, that any public disavowal of them has ever been made. For example; has it ever been openly disavowed, that infants may be eternally damned? And is it universally disbelieved, that the happiness of those in heaven, shall be sweetened to all eternity in beholding others in eternal misery? If such opinions are not held, why not publicly denounce them? For it will not be denied, that they have been held by Calvinists in ages that are past. At any rate, we would say, it has been far from our heart to misrepresent the opinions of our brethren.

Should any one reply to the following pages, the author begs leave to say, that it will be of no consequence to point out defects in his manner of discussing the subject, or to show that in some instances he has misunderstood the many texts which have come under his consideration. As to the first, had his time and avocations permitted, he might have rendered the work freer of defects. As to the last, though he has used all means in his power to interpret the Scriptures correctly, yet it would be surprising, if in no instance he had misunderstood the sacred writers. A reply merely bearing on these points he will pass over in silence. But if any one will show, that the devil is a fallen angel, and, that the punishment of the wicked is of endless duration, he will listen with profound attention to whatever may be advanced. He will attend to argument and evidence drawn from Scripture, come from what quarter they may, whether stated in a

good or bad temper of mind. If convinced he is wrong, he will be silent, but if not, he will claim the privilege of stating his reasons for his dissent. Whoever undertakes to reply, we beg of them to give us proofs, and not mere assertions, for what they may advance, and to pay particular attention also to what we have advanced in Part i. Sect. 4. To point out defects, without fairly meeting the grand points at issue, will be considered no


I make no apology for availing myself of quotations from various authors in the course of my remarks, for they are chiefly taken from authors whose religious creeds embraced the opinions which I have controverted. None of them are taken from professed Universalists, for by most people their testimony would be deemed exceptionable, however well supported by evidence. The testimonies quoted in favor of my opinions, are from men competent to judge, and in high repute as critics and commentators among orthodox people. They are quoted, not to give sanction to my views by the weight and number of their names, but on account of the evidence which they produce.

In the present work, the strongest texts in favor of endless punishment are considered, and attention given them in proportion to the degree of stress laid on them in favor of this doctrine. In some instances, we have referred to our former Inquiry into the words Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, and Gehenna, for an illustration, which the

reader will please consult. And in all cases, we hope the texts referred to, but not quoted at length, will be turned to and read, as they confirm or illustrate the sentiments advanced.

The author is deeply sensible, that the sentiments he has advanced are very unpopular, and will be condemned by many without a hearing. He is sorry for such persons on their own account; for this cannot stop the advance of light and knowledge in the present day, any more than sleeping all day can stop the sun in his course. If what I have advanced be true, it must prevail against all opposition, for great is the truth, and it must prevail. If my sentiments are false, the sooner they are refuted, neglected and forgotten, the better. If this can be done, it no doubt will be done, and to the doing of it we shall add our hearty amen.

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