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punishments upon men, are cruel and unjust; because they inflict more upon men than they deserve, or rather, they punish men after they have received all they de

This system, therefore, makes all human laws not only upnecessary but cruel and unjust; and consequently they ought to be detested as engines of cruelty, and repealed immediately. Thus said I, to my neighbor, do your views aim a blow at the very foundation of all human laws which are the support and security of society, and if your notions were traced to their legitimate consequences, they would overthrow all human institutions, and introduce a state of general anarchy, and confusion. My neighbor saw the force of the remarks, and dismissed the subject as soon as possible. Now, Mr. Editor, tho I think the reply to my neighbor was perfectly just, and exhibited the natural tendency of his notions, I do not mean this as applying to you ; for I am told that you believe in the doctrine of the Restoration, a sentiment, the moral tendency of which, I am not disposed to dispute, being almost a convert to that sentiment. Now I do not know how these things appear to others; I have not stated them as facts, but only as the opinion of


From Plain Truth.


An old divine preaching before an association of ministers, and desiring to quicken them in regard to the principal ends and motives from which they acted, pointed them to the last and awful day of judgement; and having considered Christ the Judge, as seated on the Throne, he represented him as calling his ministers to an account ; inquiring how they had preached, and with what views.

He calls one first, and puts this question to him,“What did you preach for ?” He answers, “I preached, Lord, that I might keep a good living, left me by my

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father, and which would have been lost to the family, if I had not taken orders.” Christ says to him, "stand by; thou hast had thy reward.”

The question was put to another,—"And what did you preach for P” He replies, "Lord, I was applauded as a very learned man; and I preached to keep up the reputation of an eloquent orator, and an ingenious preacher.”. Christ's answer to him also was, "stand by; thou hast had thy reward."

The Judge puts the question to a third,—“And what did you preach for p” “Lord, said he, I neither aimed at the great things of this world, tho I was thankful for the conveniences of life, which thou gavest me; nor did I preach to acquire the character of a wit or a scholar, but I preached in compassion to souls, and to please and honor thee. My design in preaching, Lord, was to win souls to thy blessed Majesty !" Upon this, the Judge called out, “Room, men ! Room, angels ! Let this man come, and sit down with me on my throne, he has owned and honored me upon the earth, and I will own and honor him through eternity!"

The result of this representation was, that all the Clergymen went home much affected; resolving, that through the help of God, they would mind their work more, and look better to their aims and ends ever after.

BERNARDSTON, Mass. March 15, 1824. Dear Sir,

I thank you for the numbers of your Repository, which you had the goodness to send me. I am highly gratified with the spirit and style, which, in general, characterize them. I have perused, with attention, your numbers on future punishment. As I do not believe that doctrine, but yet feel no prejudice against it, if it can be supported by scripture, I am desirous of presenting you, and the public, through the medium of the Reposi

tory, the reasons why, as yet, I cannot receive it. I hope you will indulge my productions on this subject a place, for I promise you they shall not be extended to a burdensome length, nor contain any invidious or unfriendly reflections.

i. I do not believe in future punishment, so called, because I find no evidence in the scriptures that man exists only, first, in the image of the earthly man, and second, in the image of the heavenly man. I think it cannot reasonably be disputed, that the image of the earthly man is destroyed at death ; for, saith the Creator to this earthly man, “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." If the earthly man is dust he is certainly not spirit; and, consequently, when he is retnrned to dust he is not in existence in a spiritual state. Altho this earthly man was made a living soul, yet, as God pronounced him dust, it cannot consistently be argued that a living soul is any thing more than dust, nor that a soul is destined to any other place but the dust, when the breath of life, which makes it a living soul, departs. Not so, however, with man in the next, and only other state of existence. “The first Adam was made a living soul, the second Adam was made a quickning spirit.” The first is of the earth earthy, the second is the Lord from heaven ; and, as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." 1 Cor. xy. It rests entirely on the proposition, that we shall bear the image of the heavenly, whether there be any such thing as what is called a future state for us; for, as I said before, there can be no such state to that which is mere dust; which is all that man is, in his natural state, or in the state of a living soul. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." Therefore, in order to exist in any state but that which is merely dust, we must be changed; and we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised, incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

R. I hardly think the opinion of the Jews, which you quote in your first number, ought to bear any weight in favor of future punishment. The Jews held to the doctrine of transmigration; and that sentiment, tho prevalent at our Savior's day, was not corrected by him. If his silence on the subject may be allowed to argue

its truth, it may disprove any such future state as is contended for. It is contended that souls, separated from their earthly tenements, are the subjects of punishment; and this is what I understand by your doctrine of punishment in a future state.

As the Jews, excepting the Sadducees, held the doctrine of transmigration, if they, at the same time, held to the existence of separate or disembodied souls, it only proves their opinions to have been crude, extravagant, and incongruous; consequently, unworthy of regard. You quote the declaration of Christ, “For every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgement." You add, “These words are spoken without comment, to a people who already believe in a future judgement and retribution.” From this you infer that Christ admitted the correctness of the prevalent opinion, that men, at a period then future, would be called to an account, and be recompensed for their deeds. All this is very well; but where would that judgement and retribution take place, according to the then prevalent opinions ? Most certainly here on the earth; and that upon souls, which, by transmigration, would be found on earth at a future day. Does the argument then, which you draw from this source, aid your doctrine of punishment in a future state a state entirely separate and distinct from this earthy ? Certainly not. The whole of your first number is directed to establish the proposition, that Christ, and the Apostles, having spoken of judgement and retribution future to their time, must have been understood to allow the correctness of the prevalent opinions on this subject. They spake on this subject, say you, as one, the truth of which was already admitted. Now I admit that judgement and retribution are still future ; but I contend, also, that judgement and retribution are present, and past. I contend that judgement and retribution commenced by Christ on the day of Penticost, and have continued ever since, and will continue until, in the language of the prophet, he shall have fully "Set judgement in the earth, and the isles shall wait for his law :" until, “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth." I contend that “All kings shall bow before him, all nations shall serve him ;" that “Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that he is Lord, (Judge) to the glory of God the Father.” At the same time I cannot admit that this judgement, or government, is in an invisible and distinct state from the earthy, because it is expressly said by the prophets, that it shall be in the earth, and among the nations. “The kingdom of heaven, says Christ, is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened." Does not Christ rule, or judge, in this kingdom of beaven? And where is this kingdom of heaven hid ? Ans. In human nature. Says Christ, “The kingdom of God is within you.” The whole human nature is originally here in the earth ; and being earthy, is unleavened, bearing the image of the first Adam. It must be here in the earth, where this unleavened nature is, that the kingdom of heaven, like leaven, must operate till the whole is leavened. The operation of this leavening principle produces ferment, and separation of principles; and this, I humbly conceive, is judgement and retribution; and all the judgement and retribution there is. When one is completely leavened by this operation, and born again of the incorruptible seed, he is completely delivered from earth, and will enter into glory witha Christ; and this glorious state is all the future state, or


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