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ental countries, sometimes degenerates and becomes tares, and by cultivation, like all degenerate plants, may be reclaimed. Tares, then among wheat, very fitly represent degenerate men, who may appear like and with the righteous, but are unlike them at heart. But if tares and wheat were never convertible, still there would be no impropriety in employing tares to represent the wicked in the final judgment. Sheep cannot be converted into goats, nor goats into sheep, and yet Christ likens the righteous to sheep and the wicked to goats. This you will admit. So the argument built upon the false premises, that wheat can never become tares, falls to the ground.
7. It is an outrage upon good sense, to call the Román army, a class of human butchers, the angels of Christ. No where in the New Testament, are wicked men or devils spoken of as the angels of Christ.
8. The Roman army, did not at the destruction of Jerusalem, as a matter of fact, do either what Christ says is to be done at the harvest by his angels, or what Universalist expositors represent them as doing. They did not 'gather out of the kingdom of God all things that offend, nor them which do iniquity ;' nor did they gather out of the church, or out of the whole or any part of the material universe false doctrines. If Universalism be true, they gathered out of the earth, I will admit, some thousands of wicked Jews, and gave them a passport by the sword, to the world of the blessed.
9. I reject your exposition of the parable of the tares and wheat, because this parable was evidently designed to represent the same event with the parable of the drag-net which Christ delivered on the same occasion.
Again ; The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind; which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world : the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire : there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.' Matt. 13:47–50. i .
Here the bad fish, is evidently designed to represent the same thing as the tares ; their being separated from the good by the angels at the end of the gospel age, or world, cannot be said to represent the purging out of false doctrine, without giving the lie direct to the Son of God.* Angels shall come forth and sever THE WICKED from among the just.' Can language be more plain?
In fine, I have carefully examined, your standard authors on this parable. I have frequently heard your preachers attempt to explain it away. I have also carefully examined the explanation which Christ has given of his own words as therein employed, and I find so much that is false in point of fact, absurd and contradictory in itself considered, in the Universalist exposition ; while in the exposition given by the Savior himself, I find so much that is natural, easy, and obvious to the common sense of mankind, that I hope you will not regard it as disrespectful to you, or fanatical in me, to wholly decline the adoption of your exposition, while I take that of the Son of God.
1. Yours as ever.
My Dear Sir :
I have yet on hand, several important scriptural arguments in favor of the doctrine of future retribution ; but as I intend to bring this correspondence to a close soon, I shall not have time, or space to notice them all, and those passages which I now bring forward can receive only a brief notice.
In this letter I will draw an argument in support of a judgment to come ; 1. From 2 Cor. 5:10. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every
one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
No honest man of common understanding will deny that this text appears to speak of a common judgment. This doctrine stands out, without explanation, as the truth generally does, upon the very face of the text. The text cannot be made to teach any other sentiment without explanation. The Universalists have a way of getting rid of the obvious common sense meaning of this text. But what is that way? Mr. Whittemore shall be our guide. He says,
For we must all appear before the judgment seat,' is a figurative expression, taken from courts of justice. It signifies that we must be judged. by Christ's laws. At the destruction of the Jewish nation, there was a general judgment among the nations of the earth. Universalist Guide, p. 137.
' Here then we are again directed back to the destruction of Jerusalem for light. The destruction of Jerusalem is the Scape-Goat upon whose head the Universalists lay the sins of all nations. It is a key to every threatening; and a grand catholicon,' a matchless sanative' for every fear. Mr. Whittemore makes an effort to sustain his perversion of this text by resorting to an old trick, which Universalist preachers are wont to practice upon the ignorance of their hearers, viz :-find fault with and amend the translation. Hear him..
• There are four words in this verse, which are supplied by the translators. We will put down the passage with those four words inclosed in brackets, as follows, viz: · For we must all appear before the Judgment seat of Christ ; that every one may receive the things [done) in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad. Now to all this I reply,
(1) The translation does not need mending. The words supplied by the tranalators do not alter the sense of the original text, but only supply an ellipse, so as to express the sense of the original in the idiom of our language. Wakefield in his translation of this text, found no place
Christians erent day the jud
for your criticism. He translates the text as follows ; 'For we must all be presented before the judgment seat of Christ, that each may receive either good or evil, according to his deeds in the body..
(2) Let the translation be so altered as to strike out the words supplied by the translators, and what then ? Is the passage then more consistent with the notions of Universalists ? Not at all. The text then teaches just what Christians generally believe in relation to the last judgment. The judgment day follows the resurrection. When we all appear then at the judgment seat of Christ, we shall receive in our bodies_our resurrection bodies, the things once done in the body, whether they be good or evil.
(3) Again. If this judgınent seat of Christ, before which we are all to appear, means that God would send the Roman army to destroy Jerusalem, as Mr. Whittemore would have us believe, then I ask, what becomes of that peculiar feature of Universalism, viz:, that all men are fully rewarded and punished, day by day, as they pass along? It is annihilated. - The Jews were not rewarded and punished it seems, by their consciences, as they committed their sins, but they were reserved for the destruction of Jerusalem, when and where they all appeared before the judgment seat of Christ. This is Universalism vs. Universalism.
in (4). I cannot admit the Universalist construction of this text, because it accuses the Apostle Paul of gross falsehood. Hear him. What did he say? We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that is, we must all appear at the destruction of Jerusalem !! We must ALL appear.' Did the Apostle himself appear for one of the ALL ? No. He was put to death in Rome, and had gone to heaven before Jerusalem was destroyed. Well, did any of the Christian Church in Corinth to whom the language of the text was originally addressed, appear before the judgment seat at the destruction of Jerusalem. No. There is no evidence that a single member of that Grecian church, separated from Judea as it was many hundreds of miles across the Mediterranean
sea, was at the destruction of Jerusalem, or that any member was any way involved in its calamities, directly or indirectly, except by the sympathies of a common humanity. The Christians at Corinth appeared at the destruction of Jerusalem, your judgment seat of Christ, about in the same sense in which the editor of the Trumpet, appeared at the judgment seat of Christ, at the battle of Waterloo. It could have been nothing more than an imaginary appearing in judgment, just such a judgment as the devil and wicked men love. Now how can you regard St. Paul as an honest man, if you believe he referred in 2 Cor. 5:10, only to the destruction of Jerusalem? His language is general and universal. "WE must ALL appear.',.
(5.) It is not true as Mr. Whittemore asserts, that “ at the destruction of the Jewish nation, there was a general judgment among the nations of the earth.” There is no historical testimony to this effect. It is like many other statements found in Universalist books, a false fact invented to sustain a dogma.
(6.) The preceding and following context, show conclusively that the Apostle is treating upon things which appertain to the spiritual and eternal world, when he says; “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,” &c. In the latter part of the preceding chapter, he tells his brethren at Corinth, that their present momentary “afflictions shall work for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” that they are to look not at the things of this world, which are seen and temporal, but to those that are "unseen and eternal.”? He gives as a reason for this, in the commencement of the 5th chapter, that. our earthly house, or tabernacle is to be dissolved in death, and that we are to have a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens.” Here then you see he is treating upon the things of eternity. Without turning the subject, he continues to remark upon what is to take place after our « earthly tabernacles are dissolved.” After speaking of our groaning in this tabernacle,—(body) and