Thomas Carlyle.

The Christian treasury, Volume 2 online

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I. All thou pattaget qf Ser iph tn mltdk daeribe
the Juture $tate$ of men i* contraM

** Men of the world, who have their portioi
in this life : I shall be satisfied when I awake
in thy likeness. — The hope of the righteous
shall be gladness; but the expectation of the
wicked shall perish. — The wicked is drivei
away in his wickedness; but the righteoos
hath hope in his death. — And manyof them that
sleep in the dost of the earth shall awake; some
to everlasting life, and some to shame and ever
lasting contempt. — He will gather his wheat
into the garner, and will bum up the chaff
with unquenchable fire. — Wide is the gate, and
broad is the way, that leadetb to destruction,
and many there be who go in thereat; because
strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, that
leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it
— Not every one that saith, Lord, Lord, shall
enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he who
doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Many shall come from the east and west, and
shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, ann
Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but tht-
children of the kingdom shall be cast out intu
outer darkness: there shall be weeping and
gnashing of teeth. — Gather ye first the tares,
and bind them in bundles, to bum them; bu(
gather the wheat into my bam. — The Son ot
roan shall send forth his angels, and they shai!
gather out of his kingdom all things tliatj
ofiend, and them that do iniquity, and shall cast
them into a furnace of fire: there shall be
wailing and fi^ashing of death: then shall the
righteous shine forth as the sun in the king-



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EVlDKxNCES OF ENDLESS PUNISHMENT.



499



dom of their Father.— The kingdom of heaveo
18 like QDto a net that gathered fish of every
kiod; which, when it was full, they drew to the
shore, and sat down, and gathered the good in-
to vessels, and cast the bad away. So shall it
be at the end of the world; the angels shall
come forth, and sever the wicked from among
the just, and shall cast them into the fiirnace
of fire: there shall be wailing and g^nashing of

reeth Blessed is that servant, whom, when

lis lord Cometh, he shall find so doing; but and
if that evil servant should say in his heart. My
!ord delayeth his coming, and shall begin to
smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink
with the drunken, the lord of that servant shall
come iu a day when he looketh not for him,
•4nd shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his
portion with the hprpocrites: there shall be
weeping and gnashmg of teeth.— Well done,
xood and faithful servant; enter thou into the
i joy of thy lord. But cast ye out the unprofit-
able servant into outer darkness: there shall
be weeping and gnashing of teeth. — Then shall
ihe King say unto them on his right hand,
Come^ ye blessed of my Father, inherit the
kingdom prepared for you from the foundation
of the world: then shall he also say unto them
on the left hand. Depart from me, ye cursed,
uto everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and
his angels.— And these shall go away into ever-
lasting punishment ; but the righteous into
everlasting life. — He that believeth and is bap-
tized shall be saved; but he that believeth not
^hall be damned. — Blessed are ye, when men
sbail hate you for the Son of roan's sake. Re-
joice ye in that day, and leap for joy; for, be-
hold, your reward is great in heaven. But woe
unto you that are richl for ye have received
your consolation. — He that heareth my'^sayings,
and doeth them, is like unto a man who built
bis house upon a rock; and when the flood
arose, the storm beat vehemently against that
bouse, and could not shake it; for it was foun-
ded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and
doeth not, is like unto a man who built his house
upon the earth, against which the storm beat
vehemently, and immediately it fell, and the
ruin of that house was great— God so loved the
world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth on him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.— All that are in their
graves shall come forth: they that have done
good unto the resurrection of life; and they
that have done evil unto the resurrection of
damnation. — Hath not the potter power over
the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel
unto honour, and another unto dishonour I
What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to
make his power known, eudured with much
long-suffering veHsels of wrath fitted to destruc-
tiou : and that he might make known the riches
of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he
had before prepared unto glory!— The Lord
knoweth them that are his. — But in a great



house there are vessels to honour, and vessels
to dishonour. — Be not deceived; Grod is not
mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that
shall he also reap. For he that so wet h to his
flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption ; but he
that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap
life everlasting. — That which heareth thorns
and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing;
whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we
are persuaded better things of you, and things
which accompany salvation."

I consider these passages as designed to ex-
press the fined ttaUt of men; which, if they be, is the
same thing, in effect, as their being designed to
express the doctrine of endless punishment; for
if the descriptions here given of the portion of
the wicked denote theilr Jinal state, there is no
possibility of another state succeeding it.

That the above passages do express ihefinai
states of men may appear from the following
considerations: —

1. The state of the' righteous (which is all
along opposed to that of the wicked) is al-
lowed to be final; and if the other were not the
same, it would not have been, in such a variet}
of forms, contrasted with it; for it would not
be a contrast.

2. All these passages are totally silent as to
any other state following that of destruction
damnation, &c. If the punishment threatened
to ungodly men had been only a purgation, or
temporary correction, we might have expected
that something like this would have been in-
timated. It is supposed that some, who are
upon the right foundation, may yet build upon
it w>odf and hayy and ttubUe; and that the party
shall iujfer lots ; but he hiiti§elf $hall be taved, though
it be M by fire. Now, if the doctrine of univer-
sal salvation were true, we might expect some
such account of all lapsed intelligences when
their future state is described; but nothing like
it occurs in any of the foregoing passages, nor
in any other.

3. The phraseology of the greater part of
them is inconsistent with any other state fol-
lowing that which they describe. On the sup-
position of salvation being appointed as the
ultimate portion of those who die in their sins,
they have not their portpm in this life; but will,
equally with those who die in the Lord, behold
hit righteousness^ and be satisfied in his likeness.
Their expectation shall not perish, but Bhall is-
sue, as well as that of the righteous, in gladness;
and though driven away in their wickedness, yet
they have hope in their death, and that hope
shall be realized. The broad way doth not
lead to destruction, but merely to a temporary
correction, the end of which is everlasting life.
The chaff will not be burned, but turned into
wheat, and gathered into the garner, llie
tares will be the same, and gathered into the
bam; and the bad fish will be turned into good,
and gathered into vessels. The cursed, as well
as the blessed, shall inherit the kingdom of



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THE CHRISTIAN TREASURY.



God; which also was prepared for tliem from
the foundation of the world. There may be a
woe against the wicked, that they shall be kept
from their consolation for a long time, bat not
that they haw received U. Those who, in the
present life, believe not in Christ, shall not
pertMh^ but have everlasting life. This life, also,
IS improperly represented as the seed time, and
the Ufe to come as the harvest, inasmuch as
the seeds' of heavenly bliss may be sown in
hell; and though the sinner may reap corrup-
tion, as the fruit of all his present doings, yet
that corruption will not be the opposite of
everiatHng life, seeing it will issue in it. Finally,
Though they bear briers and tkoms, yet their
KND is not to be bdmed^ but to obtain salvation.
To the foregoing Scripture testimonies may be
idded,

II. All those passages which speak of the duration
tfjiuure puniAment bjf the terms ^ everUuUng, eter-
'ud, for ever, and»for ever and ever:" —

" Some shall awake to everlasting life, and
4orae to shame and everlasting contempt. — It is
oetter for thee to enter into life halt, or maimed,
than having two hands, of two feet, to be cast
nto everlasting hre. — Depart, ye cursed, into
'.eerlasting fire. — And these shall go into ever-
asting punishment. — They shall be punished
«vith everkuting destruction, from the presence
of the Lord and from the glory of his power.
—He that shall blaspheme against the Holy
Spirit is in danger of (or subject to) eternal
damnation. — The inhabitants of Sodom and
(romorrah are set forth for an example, suffer-
ing the vengeance of eternal fire. — These are
welb without water, clouds that are carried
with a tempest, to whom the mist of darkness
is reserved /or ever, — Wandering stars, to whom
is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever,
— If any man worship the beast, or his image,
and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his
hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the
wrath of God, which is poured out, without
mixture into the cup of his indignation: and
he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone,
in the presence of the holy angels, and in the
presence of the Lamb : and the smoke of their
tonneutasceudethupybrtfMraiui^otfr.' and they
have no i-est day nor night. — And they said,
Alleluia. And her smoke rose up f<yr ever and
erer. — And the devil that deceived them was
cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where
the beast and the false prophet are; and shall
be tormented day and mghi far tver and ever,**

To the above may be added,

III. All those passages vhich express the
duration of future punishment by implioatvm, or
by forms of speech n^ich imply the doctrine in ques-
tion,

** I pray for them: I pray not for the world.
— The blasphemy against tbe Holy Spirit shall
not b^ forgveen unto men, neither in this world,

neither in the world to come He hath never

forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damna-



tion. — ^There is a sin unto death: I do not say
that ye shall pray for it. — It is impossible to
renew them again unto repentance. — If we
sin wilfully, after we have received the know-
ledge of the truth, there remaineth no more
sacrifice for sins, but a fearful looking for of
judgment which shall devour the adversaries*
— What b a man profited if shall gain the
whole world, and lose himself^ or be cast awavf
— Woe unto that man by whom the Son otj
Man is betrayedl it had been good for thai }
man if he had not been bom. — Their wormj
dieth not, and the fire is not quenched — He
tween us and you there is a great gulf fixed:!
so that they which would pass from hence to
you cannot, neither can they pass to us who
would come from thence.— He that belieTeth
not the Son shall not see Ufe; but the wrath of |
God abideth on him, — I go my way, and ye shall
see.: me, and shall die in your sins; whither I
go ye cannot come. — Whose end is destruction. —
He that showeth no mercy, shall hAve judt/ntent
without mercy,**

If there be some for whom Jesus did not
pr<iy, there are some who will have no share
in the benefits of his mediation, without which
they cannot be saved. K there l>e some thai
never will be forgiven, there are some that
never will be saved; for forgiveness is an es-
sential branch of salvation. Let there be what
uncertainty there may in the word eternal in
this instance, still the meaning of it is fixed by
the other branch of the sentence: they shall never
be forgiven. It is equal to John x. 28: / givt
uKto them eternal it/e, and they shall never perish.
If there were any uncertainty as to the mean-
ing of the word eternal in this latter passage,
yet the other branch of the sentence woiUd
settle it; for that must be endless life which is
opposed to their ever perishing; and, by the same
rule, that must be endless damnation which is op-
posed to their ever being forgiven. If there be a siu
for the pardon of which Christians are forbidden
to pray, it must be on account of its being the
revealed will of God that it never should be
pardoned. If repentance be absolutely neces-
sary to forgiveness, and there be some who it
is impossible should be renewed again unto
repentance, there are some whose salvation is
impossible. If there be no more saerifeefor mm,
but a fearful looking for of judgmeniy this is the
same thing as the sacrifice already offered being
of no saving effect; for if it were otherwise, the
^gu^6 would not contain any peculiar threat-
ening against the wilful sinner, as it would be
no more than mieht be said to any sinner; nor
would a fearfiS looking for of judgment be
his certain doom. If the souls of men will be
lost or cast away, they cannot all be saved, seeing
these things are opposites. A man may be
lost in a desert, and yet saved in fact; or he{
may suffer loss, and yet himself be saved: but]
he cannot be lost so as to be cast away and yetj
finally saved ; fpr these are perfect contraries.



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ILLUSTRATIONS OP INFIDELITY.



Whatever may be the precise idea of the /re
and the tcorm, there can be no doubt of their
expressing the punishment of the wicked; and
its being declared of the one that it </t«t& not,
and of the other tliat U it no€ qusnched, is the
same thing as their being declared to be end-
less. It can be said of no man, on the principle
of universal salvation, that U wer$ good for him
nf4 to have been bom; since whatever he may en-
dure for a season, an eternal weight of glory
will infinitely outweigh it. — An impamabU gtUf
between the blessed and the accursed, equat^
militates against the recovery of the one and
the relapse of the other. If some shall not tee
lifty but the wrath of God (ibideth on them — if
those who die in their sins shall not come
where Jesus is — if their end be destruction,
and their portion be judgment without mercy —
there must be some who will not be finally
saved.

To these may be added,

IV. AU thote pattaget which inHmaU that a
change ofh«nt, and a preptwednett for hectven^ are
eonjined to ike pretext life.

"Seek ye the Lord «Ai^ A« May 60 /mii/{; call
ye upon him while he it near: let the wicked
forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his
thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and
he will have mercy upon him; and to our God,
for he will abundantly i)ardon. — Because I have
called, and ye refused; I have stretched out
my hand and no man regarded; I also will laugh
at your calamity, and mock wlien your fear
cometh; when your fear oometh as desolation,
and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind;
when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Then shall they call upon me, but I will not an-
swer. They shall seek me early, but shall not
find me. — ^Then said one unto him. Lord, are
there few that shall be saved! And he said
unto them. Strive to enter in at the strait gate:
for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter
in, and shall not be able. When once the
master of the house is risen up, and hath shut
to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and
to knock at the door, saying. Lord, Lord, open
unto us; he shall answer and say unto you, I
know you not whence you are, depart from
nie, all ye workers of iniquity : there shall be
weeping and gnashing of teeth. — While ye
have the light, believe in the light, that ye may
be the children of light.— While they (the
foolish virgins) went to buy, the bridegroom
came; and they that were readg went in with
I him to the marriage, and the door wat thut. —
I We beseech you, that ye receive not the grace
I of God in vain. — Behold, now is the accepted
I time, now is the day of salvation.— To-day, if ye
! will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. —
Looking diligently, lest any man fail of the
grace of God; lest there be any fornicator, or
profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of
meat sold his birth-right For ye know how
i that afterward, when he would have inherited
the blfKHing, he was rejectod: for he found no



place of repentance, though he sought it cart:-
fully with tears.— He that is unjust, let him be
unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be
filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be
righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be
holy still."

According to these Scriptures, there will be
no successful calling upon the Lord after a cer-
tain period, and, consequently, no salvation.'
Whether there be few that shall ultimately be
saved, our Lord does not inform us; but he as-
sures us there are many who wUl not be tared ;
or, which is the same thing, who will not be
able to enter in at the strait gate. None, it is
plainly intimated, will be able to enter there
who have not agonized here. There will be
no believing unto salvation, but wh'de we hate the
light; nor any admission into the kingdom, un-
less we be ready at the coming of the Lord, The
present is the cuxepted time— ike day of talvation,
or the season for sinners to be saved. If we
continue to harden our hearts through life, he
will swear in his wrath that we shall not enter \
into his rest. If im turn away from him who'
tpeaketh from heaveny it will be equally impos-
sible for us to obtain the blessing, as it was'
for Esau after he had despised his birth-right.)
Finally, beyond a certain period, there shall bo;
no more change of character, but every one will '
have received that impression which shall re-
main for ever, whether he shall be just or un-
just, filthy or holy.*



ILLUSTRATIONS OF INFIDEUTY.

{Continued from p. 478.)

Passing from Hume's gross inconsistency as a phi
loeopher and an Infidel, in being harsh and intolerant
in his judgment towards the religious views and
convictions of others, we notice another illustration of
self-contradiction in the incoiuiatency qf his morality.
We do not again refer to the low tone of that mo-
rality—to bis disbelief in perfect disinterestedness,
whether in individuals or parties— but to hi^ Theory
of Morals. That theory, it is well known, placed
virtue in utility. The power and tendency of an action
to promote the good of the species rendered it vir-
tuous; nay, that quality alone rendered it virtuous.
The drcumstance of an action being injurious to
society, apart altogether from the will or honour of
GK>d, constituted it vicious and exclusively so. Popu-
larly this is called the Utilitarian philosophy— a phi-
losophy of which Hume may be regarded as the
father, and which has been extensively adopted since
his day by the party in religion which may be deno-
minated the non-serious and un-evangelical. As a
theory, we need not remark that it is very defective
and fallacious; that it fails to exphun the moral feel-
ings and facts which meet us every day, and that it
entirely overlooks great and elevated truths. It is a

• We have extracted the above paper ttmn the Work« of
Andrew Faller. It U plain and powerful, and may be use-
ful at the present Junctuie, when groavtf unsound views on
the subject of which It treau are promulgated, and in some
quarters ' It St to be fmred > o'^vnilinn.



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THE CHRISTIAN TREA8UBY.



groTelling and mercenary yiew of morale 'which not
unnaturally sprung up in such a mind as Hume*i — a
stranger to the elevating influences and hopes of true
Christianity, limited to the earth, and at the same
time shrewd and kindly in temperament. It is not,
howeyer, our object to characterise his moral system,
but to mark how inconsistent he himself was with its
dictates. We have already seen how Hume, on prin-
ciple, patronized Ijring. Vfe heg to ask. Is falsehood
in harmony with the public good? Who does not
know that nothing is more thoroughly destructiTe of
it ? Subvert public confidence by private falsehood,
and what becomes of the public welfare P It is like
robbing an arch of its keystone, or a wooden erection
of its bolts and nails. Hume^s doctrine of lying is in
the teeth of his utilitarian theory of morals. When
the philosopher became the patron of falsehood, to
the other disgraces with which he covered himself, he
added the disgrace of stabbing his own favourite
: noral theory. Perhaps, he would defend himself by
mying that it was^for the public good, and so virtu-
JUS sometimes to tell lies ! Why s^metimm t Why
not always ?

Take another illustration of self-contradiction. It
is well known that Hume wrote an Essay on Suicide,
in which he deliberately laboured to prove not only that
it is lawful and innocent, but that sometimes it is an
mportant duty, to take one's own life. In the same
essay he tries to meet the objections drawn from the
I Scriptures, and, as he imagines, satisfiactorily disposes
of them. The essay was written when the author was
forty-six years of age, in the midst of his literary
career, after having been the spectator, twenty years
before, of a most shocking case of self-murder on the
part of a fnend — a case which might well have
haunted him to his dying day. It is true that the
essay was suppressed previously to publication, but
was suppressed in circumstances which give us no
reason to hope that the author repented of the
sentiment — ^that as there would be no crime in turn-
ing the Nile or the Danube from their course, so
.here would be as little in diverting a few ounces of
blood from the human body ! ! It was suppressed
shortly after he had been taught, to his ovm mortifi-
cation in another publication, that the public would
not bear unmoved gross assaults upon its religious
faith and moral convictions. Hence, it is to be feared
that the suppression was not the result of a change of
views, but the dictate of mere prudential considera-
tions, from an anxiety not to hurt the sale of his other
works. Now, who does not see, as justly remarked by
the biographer, taking the lowest view of the crime,
how entirely self-murder is at variance with Hume's
doctrine of utilitarian morals ? Supposing there were
no sin in suicide, yet how iigurious is it to society;
and therefore, according to Hume^ theory, vicious ?
What a source of distress to the self-murderer's
family and friends— what a stain upon his children —
what a burden, in all probability, is entailed upon
society 1 The public are doomed to bear the expense
of maintaining a fiunily which, had the suicide pos-
Mssed ordinary courage and magnanimity, he would
have borne himself. But Hume, m his forgetfulnees
of the law of Ood, and in the love of vanity and para-



dox, cast all such considerations aside, and approved
and vindicated whsA his own moral theory sihioald
have taught him to repudiate and condemn. So
much for the consistency of Infidel philosophj; and
yet it is ever crying out against the inconrirtcnc ie e,
doctrinal and practical, of professed ChristiBiia.

We may take another and concluding illnstxmtioii
of the same point Contending that utility is symmy-
mous with virtue, we may well ask. Was Hume a vir-
tuous man, in his own sense of the term, in the scep-
ticism on religion and morals which he let loose npoo
society P His admirers claim fcnr him the character o!
having been even a benevolent man in his BpixH vai
manners. He was much liked by his friends; wac
kindly to the poor; and, in short, was pooKsaed ol
much general amiability. Admitting the represen-
tation, we ask, Where the consistency betweex.
Hume's character and oondact ? — ^where tiie atilit}
or the kindness of subverting men's principles in be-
half, according to his own showing, of an uncertaintT



uncertainty so great that it was still men's
course to adhere ** to the Catholicism which they ha«
been first taught." Was it the dictate of beneTolenct
to rob men of their hopes, and give them nothing ir
exchange ? Did it indicate benevolence, not to be ablt
to appreciate the Divine Benevolence spread on everx
side, and to indulge in the worst cruelty by seekin;.
to rob those of the belief and sense of it who oo«iId :-



Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 117 of 145)