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part will at length be brought to some degree of "salvation." See Num. XX.

Num. VII.

Matt. vii. 19. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

See above, Num. I. No further methods of cultivation will be used towards a corrupt tree, naturally incapable of bringing forth good fruit; it is hewn down, and cast into the fire. And no other probation will be afforded to creatures, under a moral incapacity of becoming better; as our Saviour's reasoning in the context seems to suppose they may be.

Num. VIII.

Matt. vii. 23. And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Here is plainly the doctrine of separation from Christ, or exclusion from the kingdom of heaven, without any intimation that it will not be final. The justice of the sentence rests upon the wickedness of the persons and if these workers of iniquity would not continue to work iniquity still, one would think they should rather be placed somewhere under the gracious influences of Christ, than thus judicially and totally separated from him.

Num. IX.

Matt. viii. 12. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The words, with the verse before, shew the impartial justice of God; that he will not damn or save Pp. 115, 116, 117, &c.


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his creatures upon the account of any privileges they have enjoyed, or not enjoyed, in this world; or out of any partial fondness for his own peculium: for they shall come from the east and west, and sit down with the faithful patriarchs in the kingdom of heaven; while the children of the kingdom (for their disobedience) shall be cast out into outer darkness. "This outer darkness (Mr. Whiston thinks") seems only to agree to the state of bad men in "hades, before the day of judgment; which is still "described as a place of darkness, Wisd. xvii. 14, “17, 21. 2 Pet. ii. 4, 17. Jude, ver. 6, 13. Josephus "of Hades, §. 1. but not to hell fire; we having no "notion of fire and flame without light, though it "be never so dismal. Accordingly, when our Sa"viour uses the like expressions elsewhere, there "shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, concern


ing those that are cast into gehenna or hell fire "itself, at the day of judgment, Matt. xiii. 42, 50. "xxiv. 51. Luke xiii. 28. he always omits there the "mention of that darkness; which is not a little re"markable."

I think there is little remarkable in all this, be

" P. 36. Mr. Whiston has long been of opinion, and is still, (see p. 110.) that hell will be in the atmosphere of a comet. Now surely there is some darkness in the atmospheres of comets, since he himself tells us, that they best answer the chaotic or primary state of planets, of all other bodies in the universe. See his Astronomical Principles, p. 90. And accordingly, having observed that hell is described in scripture as a state of darkness, of outward darkness, of blackness of darkness, of torment and punishmen ftor ages, or ages of ages, &c. he adds, "This description, in every cir"cumstance, exactly agrees with the nature of a comet, ascending from the hot regions near the sun, and going into the cold regions beyond Saturn," &c. Astron. Prin. p. 156.

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sides Mr. W.'s inattention. Good men shall come from all quarters of the world, and shall sit down (as it were at table) with the ancient and holy patriarchs in the kingdom of heaven, partaking of all the light and festivity of that glorious kingdom; while the wicked shall not be admitted into this luminous place and happy society, but shall be cast out -into the exterior, or outer darkness. There is no occasion that this darkness should be total. It is darkness, and dismal darkness too, in comparison of the light which they enjoy who sit down in the kingdom of heaven. What if our Saviour sometimes omits the mention of this outer darkness? he does not omit it at other times, where it comes in with the greatest propriety, in opposition to the light which they have who are within, and partake of the feast. Thus, Matt. xxii. 13. the man who had not on a wedding garment, is ordered to be bound hand and foot, and to be cast into the outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And what time is it when the king comes in to see the guests, but the same when he cometh, and reckoneth with his servants, in the parable of the talents, Matt. xxv. 19. that is, at the day of judgment? It may be questioned too whether Mr. Whiston's own references above be all to his purpose; but the thing is not worth disputing. Be it that hades is described as a place of darkness, surely gehenna, or tartarus, is so too, according to all notions both ancient and modern. And as to our

* Vid. Windet. de Vita Functorum Statu, sect. ix. Ut autem cœlo omnia bona, ita Tartaro contraria mala tribuere solent. Colo lucem, -Tartaro tenebras, &c. p. 224.

having no notion of fire and flame without light, we need only recollect, that fire and flame are by no means incompatible with very great darkness: And the mountain burnt with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. Deut. iv. 11.

Num. X.

Matt. x. 28. But rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. See Num. LXIX.

Upon which text thus Mr. Whiston: "These "words of our Saviour do much more favour the "destruction of the wicked in hell, than the preser"vation of them to endure the torments of an end"less eternity. Nay, they further imply, that not "the body only, but the soul itself, is capable of this "destruction there also. Although it ought to be "noted, that our Saviour does not in this place af"firm that both soul and body shall actually be de"stroyed in gehenna; but only that it is in the


power of God to destroy them there. Whence "we may note further, that as worms and fire, "which we shall see are to be the agents in this



destruction, are only of themselves capable of de"stroying the body; and as no other text, I think, speaks directly of the destruction of the soul; so "is there room for hope, that the soul may not be "then utterly destroyed, but may remain capable of

y P. 36.

z It is unquestionable, that it is in the power of God to annihilate both soul and body either in gehenna or out of it; but it is far from being unquestionable that our Saviour affirms this here; since the original word anλéσai, as well as our English word destroy, may mean quite another thing.

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"a second resurrection, after the second death is



over; as seems to have been intimated by the prophet Esdras, p. 29. prius.”

Here we may observe, that Mr. W. gives up, in effect, the system which he seems most inclined to favour through his whole book, viz. that of annihilation, or utter destruction of the wicked; since he owns that our Saviour does not in this place affirm that both soul and body shall be destroyed, but only that it is in the power of God to destroy them: which no one denies. But then we are not to recur to the power of God in such questions as these, but rather to the nature of things, and the declarations of the will of God. And as, from the nature of the soul, we have no reason to think that it will be utterly destroyed; so, with regard to the declarations of God's will, Mr. W. himself again will tell us, that no other text speaks directly of the destruction of the soul: that is, in short, neither this nor any other text in the Bible teaches us this doctrine. And why then, when our Saviour is directing the attention of Christians to the awful sanctions of another world, will Mr. W. distract or divert this attention, by suggesting something which is not directly taught in any one text of scripture? However, he says, "these words do much more favour "the destruction of the wicked in hell, than the


preservation of them to endure the torments of an "endless eternity." If by preservation he means that they are supernaturally or preternaturally preserved, above and beyond what the condition and powers of their nature would otherwise extend to, only on purpose that they may endure these endless torments; we say no such thing. This is a misre

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