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passage now under Besides, all the principal advocates for Universal Salvation, allege this passage in proof of the future happiness of Judas. And you, Sir, revert to this passage, to show that Judas will be brought in.* In this manner you acknowledge that the reward mentioned in this passage, will not be realized on this side the grave.
In the parallel passage, Mark x. 29, 30, Jesus says to his disciples, who declared that they had left all and followed him, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, but he shall receive an hundred-fold now in this time, (that is, in this life,) houses and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come, everlasting life." See also Luke xviii. 29, 30. It is evident from this text, that virtue is not only rewarded in this life, but in the future also. "In the world to come, they shall receive everlasting life," as a reward for having forsaken all, and followed Christ. There can be no doubt, but that the (acov) world to come, is here used to express a state beyond death, because it is placed in opposition to a state in which we may possess houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers and lands. Thus does our Savior expressly declare that men shall be rewarded in the life to come.
Matt. vi. 19, 20, is also in point. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." See also Luke xii. 35. Here Jesus commands his followers to lay up treasures in heaven. Heaven is here used to express a state be
*Lectures, p. 319.
yond the present, because it is placed in opposition to the earth. Neither is there so great security in any blessing in this world, as is expressed in this text. Now as Christ has commanded us to lay up treasures in a future state of being, it follows that we can do something here to effect our happiness hereafter. To deny this, is absurdly to admit that Christ is a hard master, and requires impossibilities. Again, says the divine Teacher, "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your re- ward in heaven." Matt. v. 12. This passage asserts that some shall have a great reward in heaven, and as heaven is placed in opposition to a state, which admits of persecution, it must be beyond the confines of this world. Christ expresses the same when he says, "Thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just." Luke xiv. 14. We have already seen in a preceding Letter, that the resurrection here spoken of, was literal. Hence this reward will be conferred at the resurrection of the dead. Paul to the Corinthians recognizes a fuļ ture reward. "Know ye not," says he, "that they which run in a race, run all, but one receiveth the prize? So É run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery, is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible." 1 Cor. ix. 24, 25. From this passage it will be seen that the apostle and primitive Christians ran to obtain an incorruptible crown. This was their reward, as much as the corruptible crown was the reward of those who arrived first at the goal in a literal race. And as you will not pretend that this incorruptible crown is granted in this world, this passage is clear in proof of a future reward. It is further evident that the apostle Paul looked forward to a future state for a reward, from what he has said elsewhere. "I am now ready to be offered," says he, "and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my
course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing." 2 Tim. iv. 6, 7, 8. Upon this passage, we remark, 1. Virtue cannot be fully rewarded in the act, for the apostle had performed many acts of virtue-"had finished his course," but his reward was then future. His labors were already accomplished, but his reward was yet to come. 2. The apostle fixes the time when he should receive this glorious reward. He first states that the time of his departure is at hand, and then says that the reward will be given him at that day, at the time of his departure. This reward will, according to the sense of the passage, be after death; and you will not pretend that a crown of immortality and glory is given in this world. 3. It appears that this glorious crown is given as a reward; for the apostle speaks of its being granted in consequence of his faithfulness. He also says that it will be granted to all others who love his appearing. This shows that the crown is granted as a reward for virtue performed in this state. 4. This passage not only | teaches us that the virtuous shall receive this reward, but also that the wicked shall not. When Paul says, that this crown of righteousness will be given to those who love Christ's appearing, he implies that it will not be given to those who do not love his appearing.
St. Paul to Timothy teaches a future reward in the clearest manner. "Bodily exercise," says he, "profiteth little; but godliness is profitable unto all things; having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." 1 Tim. iv. 8. This passage is too clear to need comment. Our Savior expresses it all when he says, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Rev. ii. 10. From the passages introduced in this Letter, and these are only a specimen, it
evidently appears, that a future reward for the righteous is a doctrine of the New Testament. We have seen that Christ was exalted to his Father's throne in a future state, as a reward for his labors and suffering in this. We have also seen that Christ promised to reward his faithful followers in the same manner; he promised them a throne, and eternal life in the world to comecommanded them to lay up treasures in heaven-and said that they should be rewarded in heaven, and recompensed at the resurrection of the just. We have had the assurance of St. Paul, that the faithful looked for a crown of righteousness, and run for an incorruptible crown-in a word, that godliness has the promise of the life which is to come. And finally, we have seen that the faithful and true Witness assures us, that if we are faithful unto death, he will give us a crown of life. These passages incontrovertibly prove that the reward of the righteous will be extended into a future state
I am aware however, that you meet these passages, or several of them by saying, that the blessings mentioned are said to be given, and if they are gifts, they cannot be considered as a reward. I shall not attempt to answer this objection at large, but shall content myself with two remarks. 1. The fact that they are said to be given, does not oppose the idea, of their being a reward; for they may be given as such. To give, or grant a reward, is no solecism. 2. The blessings which the righteous enjoy in this world, are said to be gifts, and if this destroys the idea of their being a reward, then we must conclude, that they are not rewarded at all; which is repugnant to the scriptures, and your system also. So this objection can have no weight. A future reward then, is substantially proved. Now a future reward is only a counterpart of a future punishment. And all the passages which inform us that the righteous will be rewarded in another state, virtually tell us, that the wick
ed shall not enjoy that blessing; and this is saying, that they shall be miserable. This remark will accord with your own sentiment, for you acknowledge that the scriptures every where hold forth the idea that vice will be punished as long as virtue is rewarded. Your words are these "On the other hand, he, (meaning yourself,) does not believe that the wrongs a man may be guilty of, can justly be punished to a greater extent, than his welldoing can be rewarded. No reason is seen for extending the punishment of a man's wickedness, beyond the rewards of his righteousness. It is moreover believed that the scriptures every where justify this view of the subject."* In this passage you admit that vice will be punished as long as virtue is rewarded. Now as we have already seen that virtue will be rewarded in a future state, we are authorized by scripture, by the nature of the case, and by your own confession, to conclude that punishment will be extended beyond death likewise.
Another argument in favor of a future retribution, is drawn from the common consent of mankind. It is a fact substantiated by history, that the doctrine of a future retribution has generally prevailed in all ages and nations. The ancient covenant people, the Jews, believed this doctrine; and all the heathen nations, of whose opinions the world has any knowledge, entertain the same views. In proof of this, I will refer to authorities mentioned in a former letter. This then, is a fact, which no person of information will deny, viz. That a future retribution is a doctrine which has prevailed generally in all ages of the world. It does not weaken this argument to say, that many of the heathen believed in the transmigration of souls. For this is virtually a future retribution; as it supposes that men are not sufficiently punished in the act of transgression, and so it becomes necessary, that the soul at death should pass * Reply to Merritt, pp. 8, 9.