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siges where these words are found in the New Testament, require the unlimited sense in three cases out of four, 9. When used in reference to future and unending duration, and future punishment, the words aoin and aionios are construed with the preposition eis, making the signification more emphatic. 10. Froin the admissions of Universalists themselves, who though extremely anxious to sustain their notion of final restitution, have been nevertheless constrained by the irresistible force of truth, to admit that the doctrine of endless perdition is taught in the Bible. To conclude, I remark, God has, in using these terms, employed the best that could be selected, and in their proper sense, or he has not. If he has not, then he has given us no definite revelation of his attributes or government, or the future destinies of men-he has trifled with the most sacred subjects and the dearest interests of minkind.
But if God has used the best terms, and in their proper sense in relation to these subjects, then Universalism gives the proof of its infidelity, in contradicting the sense in which inspiration employs the most important words--and attempts to build itself up before high heaven, on an assumed and false interpretation of the word of God. Mr. Austin may take his choice of these conclusions.
I will now pay my respects to what Mr. Austin, with much apparent self-complacency, denominates his critical examination of the origin and scripture usage of aion."
1. Definition. He says he has before him the opinions of some 13 different lexicographers, but he contents himself with giving the opinion of one only. Allowing all the others to agree with Donnegan, we have 13 authors uniting to give "eternity," or duration without end, as the primary and radical signification of aoin, with various other subordinate and accommodated meanings. I have already shown that the accommodated meaning is embraced within the scope of the primary—the less is contained in the greater: the primary being the most comprehensive.
2. Scripture usage. Here Mr. Austin spends much time and adduces a number of examples, to prove what I never thought of disputing, and have no motive for concealing, viz. that aion and aionios are often used in the Bible in an accommodated sense, with a limited signification as to duration. He says it is self-evident that a derivative can mean no more than the word from which it is derived. Very true. I have not said aionios means any more than eternal, the adjective form of eternity, the primary meaning of aion. After pursuing this “critical examination” in reference to the scripture usage of aion and aionios to considerable length, he comes to the following sage conclusion, viz. that the translators of our Bible, in the use of the English word forever, did not mean by it, in all instances, time without end; all which was just as clear before the gentleman had said a word on the subject, as it is now.
3. Classical usage of aion. Here the gentleman takes his whole argument from a Mr. Goodwin.
MR. AUSTIN.-Not all, I said from various sources.
MR. HOLMES.—The gentleman commenced by saying he availed himself of the labors of Mr. Goodwin. And who is this Mr. Goodwin ? will Mr. Austin inform us?
MR. AUSTIN.—He is a Unitarian.
MR. HOLMES.-A Unitarian ; and as he seems very anxious to explain away the meaning of the word aion, he is of course a Unitarian Universalist. We all know the liberty which Unitarians take with the language of scripture. In their zeal to rob Christ of his divinity, and the Bible of the doctrine of atonement, they adopt a method of interpretation which sets all sober criticism at defiance. And their reverence for God's word is not at all improved, by uniting with their own views the peculiarities of Universalism: Mr. Austin says this Mr. Goodwin is an “accurate and ripe scholar." This may be true, though it seems a little strange that the world has not known it before this. But the gentleman says farther, that his author made a "thorough research into the meaning of aion and its derivatives, and published the result of his investigations in (a newspaper) the Christian Examiner,' in 1831." And yet the Christian world has gone on in the even tenor of its way, just as if no such publication had ever been made. How strange that the merits of such an author should have been overlooked-that such important “investigations” should be allowed to sleep 18 years in the columns of a newspaper,
The world has always been ungrateful to the learned, and the case of Mr. Goodwin furnishes another example. Justice, however, has come out at last. This discussion is the opportune occasion for bringing out the valuable services which this renowned author has rendered his generation. Henceforth the world will give him his due !!!
But, seriously, what is there in this - thorough research into the meaning of aion ?" Mr. Austin says his author has read the " Iliad" and “ Odyssey,” “ Æschylus,"°" Sophocles," and "Euripides,” in which authors he has found aion used in a limited sense in connection with the subjects treated of in those works. The substance of this learned investigation is stated as follows: "as certainly as human life is not eternal, so certainly aion," (applied to human life) “did not contain the meaning of eternity." He farther asserts that in these writers, aion “never expresses a posilive eternity.” This may be true. Perhaps the idea of positive eternity was not embraced in the subjects on which they wrote. I have neither time nor means for correcting the errors of Mr. Goodwin respecting the authors above named, nor is it necessary.
This thorough investigation, by this "accurate and ripe scholar,'' is a milk and water concern.
If we allow him all he contends for, it can weigh little or nothing in settling the question at issue between us.
4. “Usage of aionion-aionios, in the days of Christ.” Mr. Austin says these words did not “always express endless time in the days of Christ.” Who ever said they did? But if my friend means to infer from this, that they never express endless time in the days of Christ, I deny it, and have already and abundantly sustained this denial in my argument on these words. Mr. Austin says those who believed in endless punishment in the days of Christ, used other words to express it. This may be true. There are a variety of words employed now in common parlance to express the idea, though all the intelligent know the words forever, everlasting, and eternal, are the most expressive and appropriate. The gentleman concludes that Christ did not mean the same by aionios that Philo and Josephus did by ardios, athanatos, altelutelos, and adialeiptos. This is a mere cavil, and one which Mr. Austin would not have employed, had he not been conscious of the essential weakness of his argument. On this point we make the following remarks: 1. Philo, Josephus, and others used aion and aionios in reference to punishment, as well as the other words referred to, a fact which Mr. Austin does not know, or knowing, wishes to conceal. 2. The above words, with the exception of aidios are compounded with a negative, and in their simple form, mean directly contrary to what they do in their complex state. The idea conveyed in their compounded form, is not expressed affirmatively, but in a negative way. These words are not properly employed to express duration, and when they are so used, it is an improper and accommodated sense, which usage has authorized in all languages. But in regard to aion and aionios, their first and radical idea is duration, and all other meanings are improper and accommodated. 3. The word aidios which Mr. Austin says was used by Philo, is a modified form of aion, as he must see by a moment's attention. It is compounded of one of the component parts of aion, viz.æi, always, and dios, "divine,” or that which pertains to the celestial world. In using aionios, therefore, our Lord employs the same word that Philo did, only compounding it with on, being, in stead of dios—thus making it more emphatic in expressing the idea of eternity. In adducing this word, the gentleman has fallen into his own trap. 4. Finally, every critic in the Greek language knows that aion and aionios, are more properly employed to affirm a positive eternity, than either of the other words named, and when others are employed, it is not to get the idea out more clearly, but to avoid repetition. Men may change their phraseology to improve their rhetoric, but inspiration has a higher end in view. Hence
Christ says-these shall go away into (kalosin aionion,) but the righteous into (zoen aionion.)
5. Usage among the Christian Fathers. Under this head I find nothing worthy of notice except Origen, and the “Sybilline Oracles," and these have been sufficiently discussed already. As to Hesychius, the Lexicographer of the sixth century, I suppose he can scarcely be classed with the Christian Fathers. Nevertheless, if Mr. Austin will give me the definition of aion to which he refers, I will pay it a respectful attention.
6. Conclusion of the whole matter. 1. Mr. Austin adınits finally, that the “primitive signification" of the words under discussion, is "continuous, uninterrupted." Here the gentleman has, after all, stumbled upon the truth. This is what I have contended for, and what I now claim. That which is uninterrupted must continue forever, and is therefore eternal-embraces the proper notion of " duration without end." 2. Mr. Austin has given us a RULE.
" When aionios or aionion is applied to that which contains within itself eternal existence, then it necessarily signifies literally, time without end.". This is a rule of his own making, and it is both false and foolish. It is foolish, because inconsistent with itself, and would leave the word without any meaning, in itself considered; it is false, because subversive of the proper use of language which is to convey ideas it is false also, because it contradicts the acknowledged signification : even the signification admitted by Mr. Austin—"continuous, uninter rupted," proves his rule false. If the primitive signification of aion and aionios, be continuous or uninterrupted, it is obvious, this signification does not arise from the nature of the object to which it is applied. The word must have its primary sense in every case, unless the nature of the subject, or the connection in which it stands, be such as necessarily to restrain and circumscribe its meaning. The nature of the object to which it is applied may contract, bụt cannot expand the meaning of a word beyond its primary signification. 3. Admissions of orthodox commentators. I find no admissions under this head, which, understood in their proper connections, I have any objection to. I have myself made the same admissions already. Mr. Austin classes Rev. John Foster among orthodox commentators. This is quite candid. No doubt Mr. Foster is quite willing to make concessions in favor of Universalism, being himself a Universalist. The Baptists of this country will doubtless be amused when they learn from Mr. Austin, that Mr. Foster was "the most eminent Baptist minister in the world."
I will only remark further on this point, when I consider the length of time the gentleman has had in which to preprare his argument—the facilities within his reach-his known industry and perseverance and the desperate effort he has made to sus. tain himself in this discussion, I am truly surprised and disap
pointed, to find his authorities so few and irresponsible-his materials so scanty-and his whole argument on the meaning of aion and aionios, so confused and weak. It must, I think, be regarded by all intelligent minds, in the light of a signal triumph.
I must remark upon a few small matters in Mr. Austin's 9th speech. Commenting on Heb. ix. 27-8, quoted by me to prove a future judgment, he says, the language is purely antithetical : and then remarks, the apostle is running a parallel between Christ and the Jewish High Priests. How a passage can contain a parallel, and at the same time be antithetical, I leave Mr. Aus. tin to explain. His interpretation of the place is a pure invention of Universalism, and shows, to excellent advantage, the desperate nature of the cause defended by my opponent, and the reckless course it requires to sustain it. The 27th verse reads — And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment.” Mr. Austin thinks the “men” who were appointed once to die, are the High Priests, who died, sacrificially, once a year. I answer, 1. The High Priest did not die sacrificially at all: he offered sacrifice for his own sins, as well as the sins of the people. 2. There was only one High Priest at a time, but the language of the passage is, it is appointed unto men,” the plural form being usei. 3. The Levitical Priesthood had passed away, and the Priesthood of Christ was substituted in its place. All St. Paul says of it, shows it to be an obsolete arrangement. But this passage is in the present lense. It is appointed ; the appointment is present, and to continue. But speaking of Christ, the apostle says he was offered. Will Mr. Austin say the Jewish High Priest is appointed to die, after Christ was offered? 4. If Paul meant the High Priest, why did he not say so? Why drop the term “ Priest," which he had used so frequently, and use which he had nowhere used in this sense before? Moreover, what does the gentleman do with the other parts of the passage ? -"Once to die, and after this the judgment. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and unto them that look for him, shall he appear the second time, without sin unto salvation.” It is truly astonishing that a man of sense should commit himself to such ridiculous views of scripture.
Mr. Austin quotes me as follows:- a religion that would not in some cases produce insanity, would not be worthy the attention of intelligent beings." This I never said, but what I did say is this : “A religion incapable of interesting the mind, or exciting it to an extent that might, under some circumstances, induce insanity, would in, my humble judgment, be unworthy the attention of intelligent beings." Mr. Austin alledges that I said, " Christ did not allude to heaven in the Lord's prayer.” What I said, is as follows. “Even the prayer of Christ contains no direct recognition of a heaven of bliss, which is to be the final abode of the Christian.”
" in its place,