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extend to the dead, as well as to the living; and that it will be subsequent to Christ's return from heaven.
Your quotation from Acts proves, that Christ will remain in heaven, till the time of the restitution of which the Prophets speak ; and various other parts of scripture teach, that at his return there will be a separation of the righteous and wicked, and that some will then be punished with everlasting destruction. 2 Thess. i. 7—10. Matt. xxv. 31.-You must, therefore, find another restitution of a still later date than that spoken of by the Prophets. The only restitution, of which we have any account in the Prophets, consists in the general prevalence of holiness on earth, and the complete 'destruction of all the enemies of Christ's kingdom. Upon this point, my limits require that I should content myself with mere references, and that these should be few. Isa. ix. 11. Hab. ii. 14. Zeph. iii. 8. Zech. ii. 10. Mic. iv. 1-4. Dan. vii. 9-14, 27, and Rev. xi. 15-18. These passages, selected with very little pains, show, that our apostate world will, at a future period, be restored to a state of holiness; and that the cause of Satan will be ruined. This is a destruction of sin, a bruising of the serpent's head, of which the Prophets speak copiously. But it will be seen from several of the passages refered to, that this great event will be closely connected with the destruction, not salvation, of God's obstinate foes. Satan will be bruised, not converted and saved. All nations will surely be blessed in Abraham; but let it never be forgotten, that the Scriptures limit this blessing to those that are of faith. Gal. iii. 8, 9, 14, 29. If there is to be a restitution subsequent to Christ's coming from heaven, in which all the destroyed enemies of righteousness will be restored to divine favor; I insist upon your proving it by direct and unequivocal quotations from the Prophets. Let not this point be neglected.
And here I
But it is time for me to come, in a manner, to the proof of my own sentiment. have been perplexed with the multiplicity and variety of proof which crowds itself upon my mind, and could not determine where to begin, or where to end. I have finally concluded to relieve myself by taking one plain text, and dismissing all the rest. Matt. xxv. 46, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into everlasting life." I connect the same adjective with punishment and life, in order to make the translation correspond with the original; where it is well known that the word aláviov, or everlasting, is twice used. Upon this text I have nothing to say by way of explanation. You will be sensible that I understand it as it is generally understood. If you understand it as I do, there is an end of the dispute. But if you think it must be explained in order to make its true sense appear, I desire every body to notice, that the explanation is needed on your side, and not on mine; that they may be prepared to judge whether your creed or mine requires the aid of teachers and commentators. I wish you to satisfy me upon the three following points :—
1. Does the word, here translated everlasting, signify endless duration when applied to life in the verse before us ?
2. On supposition, that the punishment in this verse will have precisely the same duration with the life, what word would be best suited to express that duration?
3. If everlasting does not signify the same duration when applied to punishment as when applied to life, what duration does it signify? or what is its limitation ?
I cannot be satisfied with being told, that the word signifies no particular duration, but that it is used merely to teach us, that punishment will be limited and not endless. For it is absurd to suppose, that our Savior
used the word only to inform us, that punishment will not have the same duration which he expressed by the same word, in the next clause of the same sentence. I repeat the question, if it means any duration, what is that duration? And here I must insist, that whatever duration you make the word express, that duration must be obviously expressed. The true meaning ought to be so plain, as to strike the mind without the help of labored argument. Give a sense, at least, as plain as that which is generally received; for it would be unreasonable to make a plain passage obscure, merely to support a theory. When everlasting is used in a limited sense, the limitation is readily perceived, and it ought to be so in this case. The meaning must be so palpable as to excite our wonder, that all could not discover it for more than fifteen hundred years.
When we have disposed of this text, we will, by the leave of Providence, discuss another,
Waitsfield, July 30, 1827.
From the Universalist Magazine.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NORTHERN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSALISTS FOR 1827.
The Ministers and Delegates composing the Northern Association of Universalists, convened at the house of Br. M. Wright, in Calais, Vt. on the 2d October, 1827, and after joining in devout prayer with Br. W. Skinner, proceeded to organize the council by choosing,
Br. J. E. PALMER, Moderator, and
Br. J. MOORE, Clerk.
Adjourned till 8 o'clock on the morrow.-Prayer by Br. D, Wellman.
Wednesday Morning-Met according to adjournment.
Chose Brs. W. Skinner, J. E. Palmer and J. Moore, a com. mittee to receive and report on requests for letters of fellow
ship or ordination.
Made arrangements for public services
1st Service.-Br. N. Stacy, Prayer.
Br. I. Boynton, Sermon, Ps. evii. 8, "O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!"
Br. C. Spear, Prayer.
Br. R. Bartlett, Prayer.
Br. E. Williams, Sermon from Luke xv. 18, "I will arise, and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee."
Br. M. Coburn, Prayer.
3d Service. Br. E. Williams, Prayer.
Br. R. Bartlett, Sermon from 1 Cor. vii. 17, 18, “But a God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. Is any man called, being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not become circumcised." Br. W. Skinner, Prayer.
Attended to the reports of Brethren, appointed to visit the several societies, and found them refreshing and encouraging. Called up the subject, relating to Br. A. Kinsman, and voted to dismiss it.
Proceeded to appoint the following brethren to visit the several societies attached to their names: Br. K. Haven, Barnard, Bethel, Hancock, Rochester, Shoreham and Whiting. Br. J. Moore, Randolph, Barre, Montpelier and Richmond. Br. S. C. Loveland, Cavendish, Reading, Chester, Weston, and Shrewsbury.
Br. R. Bartlett, Hartland, Londonderry, Townshend, Windsor, Wardsboro' and Athens.
Br. M. Coburn, Craftsbury, Royalton, Compton, Bolton and Crownpoint.
Br. J. E. Palmer, Northfield, Strafford and Williamstown. Br. T. Browning, Calais and Plainfield.
Br. C. Spear, St. Johnsbury and Waterford.
Br. I. Boynton, jun. Danville, Burke, Pawlet, Queensbury, Clarendon and Wells.
Adjourned till 8 o'clock on the morrow :-Prayer by Br. J. Moore.
Thursday Morning.-Met according to adjournment: Prayer by Br. T. Browning.
The Committee appointed to receive requests for fellowship and ordination, reported in favor of granting a letter of Vol. VIII.
fellowship to Br. Charles Spear, and of conferring ordination on Brs. Thomas Browning and Isaiah Boynton, Jr.
Arrangements for Public Services-Thursday.
1st Service--Br. J. Moore, Prayer.
Br. N. Stacy, Sermon from 1 Tim. iv. 8, "For bodily exercise profiteth little; but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to
Br. I. Boynton, Prayer.
2d Service-Br. M. Coburn, Prayer.
Br. W. Skinner, Sermon from Acts xx. 24, "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."
Ordaining Service: Consecrating Prayer by Br. N. Stacy.
Voted, that Br. J. Moore prepare the minutes for publication, and accompany them with a Circular.
Voted, that the Proceedings and Circular be published in the Universalist Magazine; requesting the several Editors in our connexion to insert the same in their respective papers. Agreed to hold a quarterly Association at Craftsbury, on the 3d Wednesday in January next.
Voted to adjourn to meet by Divine permission at St. Johns. bury, Vt. on the first Wednesday and Thursday in Oct. 1828. J. E. PALMER, Moderator.
J. MOORE, Clerk.
To all to whom this Epistle may come: Grace, mercy and peace be multiplied in view of the final holiness of all intelligences. BELOVED BRETHREN,--Under the watchful care of a kind Providence, we have been favored with another anniversary meeting of the Northern Association, under circumstances more encouraging than any former meeting of this body. Our hearts were made glad by hearing from different parts of the state, the prosperity of the cause of Universal benevolence;