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but he that is least in the kingdom of God, is greater than he." The kingdom of God, as here used, will be considered as the gospel kingdom. You will not readily contend, that the greatest of prophets was spoken of as an outcast from the kingdom of glory, most surely. The point must be granted, that Christ here spoke of the gospel dispensation on earth. The conclusion then is, that if the least in this kingdom were greater than this prophet, John was not in the dispensation of which we have spoken. But, in carefully noting the phraseology, another consideration may claim a moment's attention.-I have no wish to ⚫ spiritualize every sentence of scripture, but shall for the present remark merely, that in the figurative language of scripture, women and children are used to denote weakness.-Thus, in Isa. 3: 4, 12, the prophet says-" And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Viewed in this light, is it unreasonable to presume, that Christ referred to John as belonging to that dispensation which was soon to be dissolved for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof? This, you will perceive, is merely brought as a corollary--the evidence is perfect without it.

While noticing Mark 16: 17, in the previous letter, I have put demons, rather than the term devils, because daimonia, not diabolos, is the word used in the original; and I am sustained by the highest authority in saying, that "All the diseased, whom the Lord healed, are said to have been oppressed by the devil.” Devil, Satan, and Demon, are terms used to denote an adversary: thus Paul speaks of himself as having a thorn in the flesh, an angel-adversary, to buffet him, or as it is rendered in the common version, a messen

ger of Satan. "The best commentators suppose that the bodily affliction, or thorn in the flesh, here referred to, was some paralytic symptom." "Satan, is the personification of the principle of opposition: diseases are often attributed to Satan, not because the devil is, or was supposed to be, the author of them; but, because they are destructive to health, ease, and enjoyment." Im. version. Note Luke 13. But to convince you that the belief in demons, or the spirit of departed, evil minded people, as the cause of disdressing maladies both mental and bodily, continues to this day, I shall quote part of a joint letter from certain missionaries at Bombay.

"When the cholera made its appearance in this region, about four months ago, it first lighted on that people. In a few days, one hundred and twenty persons died. The heart-sickening scenes which were exhibited during that season, were unparalleled. The sick and the dying were brought into the presence of the village god, and there beaten with rods, under the impression that the demon, that is, the disease, would be driven from them, while men and women, in the midst of a great assembly, were seen dancing in the most wild and furious manner, shaking and falling into trances, pretending to receive the god into themselves, and then promising health and safety to all who would implicitly trust them, and pray well for the supposed benefit." You may see from this, that changing the word devil to demon, is not only consonant with the original, but that its application is precisely as it was originally understood, and as some continue to understand it, even to our own day.

I wish you, Sir, distinctly to understand, that nothing but the strongest testimony against the use of water baptism, as a rite belonging to the Christian dispensation, has led me to the present conclusion. I was taught in my juvenile years, that Pedo-baptism

was correct. This you disallow, notwithstanding the fearful odds in numbers, pitted against you. I was afterwards persuaded that immersion on a profession of faith, was the only proper mode of baptism. More study, and a deeper research of the Scriptures, with a determination to follow the light of truth, wherever it might lead, has landed me where you now find me, a believer in the one baptism of which an apostle speaks, viz. the baptism of the Spirit. I have no interest to maintain, no antipathies to gratify, and not a solitary motive to differ from you, save a desire to con form as nearly as possible, to the oracles of God. Under all these circumstances, and in full view of the whole testimony afforded, whether I have written with a single eye to the elucidation of truth----judge

ye.

I now turn to the examination of the quotations with which you have favoured me, though for want of room, I cannot now take them up in the order which you have cited, and I had intended. Mat. 10: 15, and its corresponding text, Mat. 11: 24, will come first under examination.

"Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for this city." "But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, in the day of judgment, than for thee."

The first idea generally gathered from these passages, is, that as the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah are now* "suffering the vengence of eternal fire,"

*In the Christian Secretary, No. 44, in a piece under date, "Hartford, Nov. 20, 1826," headed "Outrage," is the following"Sodom and Gormorrah, and the cities of the plain, whose inhabitants, the Scriptures declare, are Now suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." It may be permitted us to ask, if the inhabitants of Sodom and Gormorrah have now suffered for ages, and are still suffering, on account of their transgressions, what have they to do with a general judgment? do they come out by a writ of habeus corpus,

in which they have been suffering for ages, and in which they are to be tormented while Jehovah shall reign---those who should reject the christian dispensation, were to suffer the most intense tortures of an endless hell, deemed proportionate to the greater degree of light against which they transgressed. This idea appears to be strengthened by the context. "And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hell." I think no person will contend for a more rigid understanding of this text than is contained in the last quotation. Let us scan it, and, if possible, determine its meaning. No person will deny that heaven and hell are here used in contrast. Heaven denotes the pinnacle of elevation in which they stood in point of privilege. All admit this; what then is the contrast? Ans. That they sunk proportionally low on account of their stubbornness and disobedience. Of hades, the Greek word here rendered hell, the learned and critical Dr. Campbell thus speaks: "In my judgment, it ought never in scripture to be rendered hell, at least in the sense wherein that word is now universally understood by christians." The corresponding Hebrew word is sheol, which signifies the state of the dead in general,' without the least regard to their happiness or misery. Darkness and silence were the two prominent ideas attached to this word, and "to this the

to inquire into the cause of their imprisonment? Then they may have suffered wrongfully. If they rightly suffer, why make a formal judgment, on those who are already judged, condemned, and in the present endurance of their punishment! But the Scripture neither says, nor intimates, that they are NO W suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. To the man who can show the reverse, I promise a Ten dollar Bible, to be paid the hour in which he can produce it. I repeat, the expression in the Secretary is false, and Mr. Robins is now publicly admonished that he has wrested the Scriptures, and handled the word of God deceitfully. I am personally responsible for the assertion, as may be ascertained at the office of the Religious Inquirer.

word hell, in its primitive signification, perfectly corresponded; for at first, it denoted only what was secret or concealed." So much then for the contrast, which was perfectly familiar to the ancients, by whom this mode of contrast was understood to signify as great a depth under the surface of the earth, as the material heavens are above it. That nothing more was meant by this contrast than temporal calamities, is evident by the close of the 23d verse.

"For if the mighty works which have been done in thee had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day."

But it may be necessary here to obviate an objection. "The day of judgment" is supposed to refer to some time yet to come, called the general judgment, at which time all God's intelligent offspring are to be assembled, and receive sentence according to works, notwithstanding the current sentiment that those who shall be saved, deserve to be damned, in the common sense of this word. Without entering into the argument at present, I seriously ask you to inquire into the scriptures, for the truth and consistency of the sentiment, remarking, however, that "a day of judg ment" would be a better translation. The judgment day of Sodom was long anterior to that of Judea, which Jeremiah describes in Lam. 4: 6- "For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her." As no possible room is left for cavil, as to the excess of punishment inflicted on the cities of Judea, over and above the punishment of the Sodomites, it may be well to ascertain in what the difference consisted. The prophet, speaking of Sodom, says it was destroyed, as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.'

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