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must rally reason and arrest imagination. We must come to the word of God and receive his testimony, and in the simplicity of faith adore and tremble.

There are many grounds of proof that the Son of God intended here, a punishment strictly and absolutely without end. 1. The scriptures, on this point as on every other, preserve the clearest harmony. In the prophecy of Daniel, where the resurrection of the dead is foretold, portion of our race are described as rising "to shame and everlasting contempt." The New Testament abounds with declarations to the same effect. A great and impassable gulf is represented as opening between the blessed and the cursed in eternity. Of the latter it is said, "the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever:" "Their worm dieth not and their fire is not quenched:" "He that believeth not the Son of God shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him :" The wicked are to "be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord:" It is "everlasting fire," "everlasting punishment." Here we find no limitation or reserve which leaves the least gleam of hope that the condemned will ever see an end or any mitigation of their woes. On the contrary, the strength of the Greek language is exhausted in borrowing terms for that eternity. In the original, the same word describes the duration of heaven and the duration of hell; the happiness of the saints and the miseries of the wicked: "These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal." This explains the sentence passed by our betrayed Lord on Judas the traitor: "It had been good for that man if he had not been born."

2dly, Justice has a claim on the enemies of God, that nothing short of eternal pains can answer. Infinite dishonour is levelled at his throne by the sin of man; a punishment, therefore, in some respect infinite, is the only redress that Justice will accept. But a creature cannot sustain a misery infinite in degree; therefore, it is made infinite by its eternal duration.

3dly, Consider the unchangeable nature of sin. A sin once committed is a sin forever; it will eternally remain true that Adam fell-that you and I have sinned. Millions of ages will roll on without abating the intrinsic evil of our sins. Sin is not wiped off the soul, nor blotted from the book of God's remembrance, by the lapse of duration; nor can it be diminished by the offender's sufferings--nor does punishment in itself tend in the least to cure the creature's enmity. Hence, we have the fullest evidence that future misery cannot from its nature diminish. For if it is righteous in our Judge to consign his enemies to the place of torment, it will forever remain as righteous to keep up the fires of his wrath; and if the enmity of the wicked shall in that world break out in actual hostility against the

Great Supreme, the same wrath may justly increase the horrors of their doom in proportion.

The fourth and last argument we offer, is the veracity of God. This is the rock that gives stability to the believer's hope. But let the impenitent sinner remember, that it is this same rock which will lie upon his wretched soul forever and ever. If Jehovah is the God of truth, "his counsel shall stand:" therefore, to suppose that after having published to the whole universe his purposed vengeance against sin, he would quench the flame and receive his determined foes to his bosom, is little short of blasphemy. "God is not a man that he should lie, neither the son of man that he should repent. Hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" The everlasting duration of future punishment is a doctrine as firmly established in the Bible, as the depravity of human nature, or the justice of God. It is interwoven with the whole scheme of the divine government; it is one of the first truths brought by the Holy Spirit to the awakened conscience; and many dying rebels have testified their despairing conviction that their own doom was eternal and irreversible. On the proofs of this point we have said the less, because it is in the power of every humble inquirer to add numerous arguments from reason and the word of God.

The opposition waged by the carnal mind against this doctrine, arises from a principle as deep as the depravity of man. Can we wonder then, that men of perverse minds should follow the example of the first false prophet, and proclaim to impenitent sinners, "ye shall not surely die?" Among the various and contradictory schemes of the opposers of this truth, there are some which bear so dark a stamp of infidelity, and present so complicated a tissue of absurdities, that we dare not venture on their ground, even to strip and expose their errors. If such writers and preachers escape the judgment of God here on earth, their opinions will perish under the frown of common sense.

There are other teachers of universal salvation, less presuming and more honest, though equally absurd. To enter upon a full examination of any one of their schemes, or to remove all the particular errors which have been brought forward to support the leading principle, would far exceed the limits of an essay. The remainder of these remarks will be directed against the more popular objections to the doctrine of eternal punishment.

(To be continued.)

A Synopsis of Didactic Theology. By the Rev. Ezra Stiles Ely, D. D. Pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church in the City of Philadelphia. Philadelphia: published by J. Crissy, 177 Chesnut street, opposite the State House. pp. 308.

The work is the production of a prolific pen. The author informs us, in his preface, that it is the eighth member of his literary family; and that "if this EIGHTH child shall attain to the reputation and limited usefulness of any one of the former members of the same family, he will feel thankfulness, and conclude that he has not laboured in vain." The condition of that parent is truly enviable, who is surrounded by a numerous offspring, all well settled in life, and promising to cheer him with their filial attentions and affectionate gratitude, as he descends to the tomb. Not unlike is the condition of a writer, who, feeling something of a parental attachment to the productions of his pen, has the happiness to see them making their way into the world and read with pleasure by those whose approbation he most desires. Dr. E. enjoys a portion of this felicity; he will be satisfied if this infant member of his family shall be as successful as his brothers in gaining public patronage.

We sincerely wish this young child a favourable reception. The reputation of its father, who is known as a writer, will bring it into notice, and secure to it a favourable regard at least from his friends, and we hope from others.

This synopsis, in our opinion, is calculated to assist theological students in the prosecution of their studies. They will find in it a number of valuable works recommended to their perusal under the different heads of didactic theology. Nor will its utility be confined to this class of readers; Christians in general will derive profit from the reading of this summary of the articles of their holy religion.

The work consists of a number of propositions, supported by numerous scripture quotations printed at large under each section; so that the reader is seldom put to the trouble of opening his Bible for the purpose of comparing the passages referred to with the contents of the propositions they are intended to support. Both will be found on the pages of the Synopsis.

The matter of the first chapter certainly is pertinent; but the manner in which the author attempts to support the first and fundamental truth in religion, the existence of a Supreme Being, does not, in our apprehension, accord with the design of his publication. He intended, if we mistake not, to make it a plain, popular exhibition of the great doctrines both of natural and revealed theology; an exhibition presented in a few simple propositions unattended with little or no proof, except what was derived from the texts of holy scripture subjoined to them. The

porch should accord with the building into which it conducts. We were, therefore, surprised to meet, at the opening of the volume, a long string of axioms and definitions after the manner of mathematicians. Such a scientific method is rather repulsive to common readers. Had the author given us but two definitions, one of God, and the other of a creature, and interwoven his axioms, or intuitive proofs, with the arguments by which each proposition in this chapter is maintained; and as he advanced in his train of reasoning referred to those he had already established in support of those that succeeded; he would have put the chapter in a more inviting form, lost nothing of his evidence, and carried stronger conviction to the mind of an unlearned reader. Moral subjects lose their peculiar interest, when presented in the frigid form of a mathematical demonstration. They should be exhibited in a way calculated to win the heart, as well as to convince the understanding.

A passage from a sermon of the late Dr. Smith, on this subject, is worthy of notice. That able writer observes, "But, perhaps, a deeper impression of this truth we derive from the sentiments of the heart, than from the abstractions of reason; from feeling than from speculation. Even the belief which we have of the being of God, is more a sentiment than a deduction; an instantaneous impression that forces itself irresistibly upon the mind from the contemplation of the universe, than an abstract conclusion pursued through a connected chain of anterior truths. Hence the people in all countries are not less, are perhaps even more firmly persuaded of these doctrines than the philosophers. The impressions of nature are strong, and lead to certainty; the refinements of speculation often leave the mind entangled in scepticism. The one is the work of God, the other involved and deranged by being blended with the work of man. It partakes, therefore, of the frailty and imperfection of every thing that is human."

Still, however, we should not object to a mathematical demonstration of the existence of a Supreme Being, if we found it introduced in a work where it might be expected to appear.

We agree with Dr. E. that the distinction made between the rational and the moral attributes of God is liable to an objection; but as the distinction is understood, and is found to be convenient in speaking of the Almighty, it may be continued in use until a distinction free from objection shall be suggested. The classification proposed by our author, as a substitute, we cannot prefer, because it seems to us exposed to a greater objection. The term attribute, is one of great latitude, and may be made to comprehend whatever is done by the Supreme Being, as well as whatever belongs to him. But when we speak of his attributes, and endeavour to classify them, the term is taken in VOL. II.-Presb. Mag.

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a restricted sense, and is synonymous with perfection. In this limited signification of the term the works of the Creator must be excluded; they form no part of his perfections. We know of no incidental perfections of God; all his perfections are essential. To divide, therefore, the perfections or attributes of Jehovah into essential and incidental, and to make the latter class of attributes comprehend his works, is confounding things entirely distinct and different, and giving to a term, in a particular connexion, an unwarrantable extent.

Chap. II. contains an exhibition of MAN's duty, as it is inculcated by reason. In this chapter, we think, Dr. E. has well expressed the grounds of his obligations to discharge all the duties of piety and morality. His obligations," he observes, "result from the character of God, the character of man, the manifestation of the divine will, and the relation which subsists between man as a creature, and God as his creator."-P. 23.

PART THE SECOND of this little volume, treats of Revealed Theology. The subject of the First Chapter is The Holy Scriptures. A summary of the internal evidences would have been an improvement of this chapter. Our readers will be gratified with the following observations relating to the difficulties that occur in the inspired writings, tending to show that the incomprehensibility of some of its sublime doctrines ought not to stagger our faith, any more than the incomprehensibility of many of God's works of creation and providence should hinder our belief, that they are the operations of infinite wisdom, almighty power and boundless goodness.

"Here I would remark, that we must believe many propositions to be true, the truth contained in which we do not perfectly understand. Two propositions I may believe to be true, for one and the same reason, that the proposer is competent and true; while I perfectly comprehend the meaning of one, and not at all, or but in part, of the other. For instance; when I first heard that two and two are equal to four, I believed it to be a true proposition, and I understood it; but when it was stated, that in every right angled triangle the sum of the squares of the two legs of the right angle, are equal to the square of the hypothenuse, I believed, because Euclid asserted it, that the proposition contained a truth, which I did not then understand.

"That God is a Spirit, is a proposition which I believe to be true, and of the truth contained in which I understand only a part, for while I know that a spirit has not flesh and bones, I nevertheless know not what the essence of spirit positively is.

"Upon this principle, we must believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, because God, who has asserted it, is worthy of credit. If I knew that God had asserted any proposition, I should believe it to be true, even while I did not comprehend the meaning of the terms. This is reasonable. What child does not believe many statements of its parent to be true, before it comprehends what the truth stated is? Who does not at some time understand assertions of men of veracity, which he formerly believed to be true, even before the truth was explained?

"To this it is objected, that I believe I know not what, and that it is the same as if I believed nothing. I reply, that I believe what I do thoroughly understand, about a proposition which I do not fully comprehend. The Father, Son,

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