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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, åre 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.
INTO THE SCRIPTURAL DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE DEVIL AND SATAN.
COMMON OPINIONS ENTERTAINED OF THE DEVIL AND SATAN BRIEFLY STATED.
THE opinions entertained of the Devil and Satan are many. We shall give a brief summary of them under the following particulars.
1st. The Unity of the Devil. It is the common opinion, that there is but one being properly called the devil. The unity of God is not more certainly believed, than that the Devil or Satan is one. Though God is said by many to be three persons in one being, yet the devil has never been supposed to be more than one person in one being. Dr. Campbell, Dissert. 6. 66 says, nor can any thing be clearer from Scripture than that, though the demons are innumerable, there is but one devil in the universe."
2d. The origin of the Devil. The common opinions about this are:-that he was originally, one of the angels of God in heaven. God did not create him a
devil, but he became so, by his own sin and rebellion. It is also believed, that he drew a multitude of the heavenly hosts into rebellion with him, who have shared his fate, are called his angels, and that he has become their chief. His sin is supposed to have been pride; but how, or about what it arose, we have never seen properly defined. Neither is the time ascertained when all this took place; but it must have been before Adam and Eve sinned, as he is said to have been their seducer. Supposing all this to be true, we can answer the long agitated question"whence cometh evil?" It came from heaven. It originated among the holy angels of God. But how it could originate in such a place, and among such holy beings, I must leave for others to explain. Admitting such opinions true, permit me to ask if sin once originated in such a place and among such beings, why may it not again, yea, often; and why not extend it to all the ransomed of the Lord? Why may they not all finally become devils by sin and rebellion against the Lord? What is the security given that nothing of a like nature shall ever take place again in the universe of God?
3d. His expulsion from heaven and his place of abode since. How long the devil maintained his place in heaven after he sinned, we have never seen stated. All agree, that he was cast out of heaven, but where he was cast to, and where his abode has been since, very various opinions are entertained. Some say he was cast down to hell, and has been there in chains of darkness ever since. Others allege, that his abode is in the air or our atmosphere. The most general opinion is, that he walks about in our world like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and will continue to do so until the consummation of all things. Some have thought that he has his residence in the heart of every wicked man, and is the cause of so