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The course which you have adopted, is pursued by al the principal advocates for your views. They all de cline producing any evidence in favor of their system being, as would seem, determined to "throw all the labo on one side." Mr. Kneeland says, "It is not pretend ed, as we know of, that the scriptures prove there wil be no future punishment; for how can they prove = negative ?"* From these citations, and to these other might be added, it appears that you consider our systen as the positive, and yours as the negative of the question before us. But permit me to ask you, have you ne positive to your faith? does your doctrine consist en tirely of negation? does your faith rest solely upon disbelief? One would think so by your method of meeting this discussion. When you are declaring your views to the world, you are not at all deficient in posi tive affirmation; but as soon as you are engaged in controversy on this subject, your doctrine is all negation! But, Sir, you cannot be insensible that in questions of this nature, the positive and negative are transferable from one side to the other. If the doctrine of future punishment is advanced, that side of the question becomes the positive, and yours the negative. But if the doctrine which limits all punishment to this world, is advanced, then that becomes the positive, and future punishment the negative of the question. Thus the great cry which has been raised about proving a negative, has no bearing in this case; because it can be used on one side as well as on the other.

But, Sir, the doctrine which bounds all punishment by temporal death, for which you contend, must be either a positive or a negative. Is it a negative? Then it is incapable of proof; then you have no evidence in favor of your hypothesis-not a solitary text of scripture,

Christian Messenger.

nor a single argument from reason; then your system is only a negation, and your faith disbelief-a creed which would better become a sceptic than a professed Christian. Thus by pretending that your side of the question is only a negative, you in reality renounce all scripture evidence, and are compelled to say with Mr. Kneeland, "It is not pretended that the scriptures prove there will be no future punishment.”—But are your views a positive? Then let us no longer be told, that future punishment must be proved true, or else it is not entitled to belief. If your scheme is a positive, then it is hoped that you will not refuse to meet us on this ground. You then have an affirmative as well as we, and you are under as great obligation to prove your affirmative, as we are to prove ours. Now if you refuse to meet us in this manner, you refuse to meet us on equal ground, and will give the public reason to make unfavorable remarks relative to your conduct, and the strength of your cause. I trust you will not attempt to support your side of the question by asserting that the scriptures are silent upon future punishment; for this is only preparing a weapon for yourself. This is the popular defence which is set up by the abetters of your system. But in fact, it is acknowledging that your system is only a negation of belief. But popular as this mode of defence is, it is far from favoring those into whose service it is constantly pressed. This argument, if it deserves the name, may be retorted upon you with all its force. Thus, if you ask proof of future punishment, I will give you the silence of the scriptures on the opposite doctrine.

Feeling disposed to treat the subject with all possible fairness, I will endeavour to state the case in a manner which I think must be satisfactory to all candid inquirrers, and objectionable only to those who fear to meet the subject on its proper ground. Let the question be, Is

all misery confined to this life; or does it extend beyon death? In this two-fold question, your opinion an mine are both stated. You believe in the affirmative ( the first question, as much as I do in the affirmative ( the last. And it is as incumbent on you to prove you affirmative, as it is on me to prove mine. This state ment is so fair and equitable, that I cannot believe tha you will object to it. But should you attempt to evad this statement as some have done, and insist that the question should be,-Does the bible teach the doctrine of future punishment? I shall regard it as shrinking from the subject in debate; or, to use your own words, a "throwing all the labor on one side." And were I dis posed, I could avail myself of the same art, and insist that the question should be-Does the bible teach the doctrine of the happiness of all men at the article of death? In this way we might dispute eternally without coming to the merits of the question.

But I am not desirous of throwing all the laber on either side. I wish you to defend your system both positively and negatively, and I am perfectly willing to do the same. I should show the weakness of my cause by refusing to advance evidence in favor of my side of the question, and you would betray the same weakness by refusing to do the same on your part. I hope therefore I shall not be told that the burden of proof ought to be with the plaintiff; for this again, is avoiding the question, as this plea can be made by us as well as by you. The doctrine for which I contend, is the doctrine as held by our order, from the third century down to the present day, with a very few exceptions. From this it would more naturally appear that you are the plaintiff, and we the defendant. We can call upon you, therefore, for proof, with more propriety than you can upon us. We are willing, however, to waive this right, and meet

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you on equal grounds. The statement here made, is so fair and honorable, that I think it must meet your acceptance. I do not mean by any of these remarks to call your candor or sincerity in question, but only to suggest that you have been led to view the subject in an improper light. Neither are you to understand the above in the light of a challenge. My only design is to state the case in its proper light, to mark the course which ought to be pursued by all who controvert this question. The statement and examination of your system will be attempted in our next.

Yours, &c.



Statement and examination of Mr. Ballou's system.


Having stated the question in debate, and the ground of the controversy, I will now endeavor to state you system, compare its several parts together, and tes them by the volume of divine truth.

Your system in brief, appears to be this ;-Man pos sesses two natures, or principles, soul and body; the on pure, the other impure. All sin originates in the flesh and when the soul is dislodged from the body, it is neces sarily pure, and consequently happy. That this is a jus representation of your views, will appear from the fol lowing quotations from your writings.

"The opposition of the law of the heavenly man to that of the fleshly, is meant by the prohibition.""* "Sir is the fruit of the flesh." "All sin originates in th earthly nature." "It is to the powers and appetites of the flesh that every sin we commit, may be traced." "The scriptures plainly indicate that the constitutional infirmities of flesh and blood are, in fact, the source from whence all sinful temptations arise." "Now it is plain from scripture that all sin, all wickedness, and all evil doings, are the works of the flesh."¶ "The mind, spirit soul, or whatever the reader pleases to call the immortal part of man, that spirit being eternal and immortally pure, was opposed to the passions which would immedi ately rise from the fleshly nature."** "Another very

* Treatise on Atonement, p. 34.

Gos. Visit. Vol. II. p. 187.

Lect. p. 78.

Aton. pp. 32, 33.

+ Ib. p. 49.

Lectures, p. 74. 1 Lect. p. 369.

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