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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 then 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 ran 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.

into some other animal, in which it will receive a just retribution for its past iniquity. Transmigration is, in reality, a future punishment. If the soul of a sinner passes at death into any other animal, and is there punished, this punishment is as much after death, as though it were inflicted in another world. In fact, the doctrine of transmigration shows how very strongly a future retribution was rivetted into the minds of the heathen; for rather than abandon this fundamental article, they would have recourse to almost any extravagance.

But perhaps you will say, that the heathen differed in opinion on almost every subject, had different views of a future retribution, and embraced absurdities too numerous to be mentioned. This is readily admitted, and this strengthens our argument. It shows plainly, that a retribution beyond death was so firmly believed, that how much soever they differed on other subjects, and on this very subject, they all admitted the doctrine in some form or other; and how absurd soever they were in other respects, no one thought of relinquishing this allimportant, this fundamental article. A future retribution then was the general opinion, both of the Jews and the heathen. And the question to be decided is, from whence arose this opinion ?

Now as it regards the Jews, they undoubtedly derived this doctrine from revelation. It is the opinion of many, if not of most commentators, that many revelations were made to Adam, and his immediate descendants, of which we have no account in the Pentateuch. We are told in the New Testament, that Jesus performed many things which are not recorded * and there is no absurdity in supposing that Moses omitted many things also. Considering the brevity of Moses's account, it is perfectly evident that he gave only a history of some of the most

* John xxi. 25.

important events. Considering the infancy of the world, and the lack of experimental knowledge at that time, it is highly probable that the Deity interposed frequently, and gave the first inhabitants many directions, which are not recorded. This supposition is rendered still more probable on your system, which supposes that Adam was created no more wise or perfect than other men.*

Without admitting that the Deity gave the first inhabitants of the world some instruction more than is mentioned in the scriptures, it is extremely difficult to account for the sacrifices offered by Cain and Abel, and for many other things which are mentioned in the scriptures, and which could not have been learned from nature, especially at that early age of the world. For instance, when Cain slew his brother, he felt condemnation as much as Adam did when he violated the express command of God. But we have no account in Genesis that God had prohibited murder at that time. Now, from whence arose Cain's condemnation for slaying his brother? It must have been that God gave them a law before that time. Otherwise I do not see why he should have felt condemnation. "Where there is no law," we are told on divine authority, "there is no transgression." Since Cain felt condemnation for slaying his brother, we are led to conclude that murder had already been prohibited, though nothing of this is mentioned by Moses. Hence we are compelled to admit, that God revealed to his new-created offspring, many things which are not mentioned in the scriptures. Numerous cases might be mentioned, which lead us to the same conclusion. And it is worthy of remark, that the scriptures do not pretend that every event is recorded therein, but on the contrary they intimate that this is not the case. Hence we conclude, that many things were made known to Adam and his descendants, which are not mentioned

* See Atonement, pp. 32-35. See also Lectures, pp. 67-80.

in the scriptures. Now as the Jews, as far back as we can have knowledge of their opinions, believed in a future retribution, it is natural to conclude, that this opinion was borrowed from divine revelation. This hypothesis will also account for their belief in a future state; for it is admitted, that we find but very little evidence of this doctrine in the Old Testament.

But, perhaps you will say, that the condemnation which Cain felt, arose from the common sentiment which God has implanted in man, that taking life is a crime. But this is no more to your purpose than the other position. For if the common sentiment of mankind, that it is a crime to take life, establishes that principle, then the common sentiment that there will be a retribution beyond death, establishes that principle also. But from whence arose the heathen opinion, that a future punishment awaited the ungodly? It is an acknowledged principle in moral as well as in natural philosophy, that every effect results from some adequate cause. And from whence arises this general belief? It is the opinion of most Christian writers, that the heathen borrowed their opinions from early revelations. Now if this be the case, as I think appears pretty evident, the belief of the heathen furnishes us with a good argument in favor of punishment beyond death. We are willing to admit, as was before observed, that the heathen mixed much fable with their doctrines. But this is just what might naturally be expected, on supposition that a future retribution was first borrowed from divine revelation. Who

*See Dr. Shuckford's Connexions between Sacred and Profane History, a work worthy of a critical perusal. The doctor contends that the Lord made many revelations in the first ages of the world, which are not recorded in the sacred volume, and that the heathen borrowed their doctrines from the traditions of early revelations. And before any person adopts the opposite hypothesis, he ought to be able to refute all the doctor's arguments. See also Prideaux's Connexions.

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