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Delivered in the Lombard street Church, Wednesday evening,
November 5, 1834.
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”—2 Cor. v. 10.
Notice having been given from this desk, on a previous occasion, that this passage of scripture would be attended to this evening, no doubt is entertained by the speaker, that many of you are present for the express purpose of ascertaining how we explain it, and how it can be understood consistently with the doctrine we profess and teach. It is therefore due to the expectations of the congregation, that we attend to this work in a way, if possible, to give satisfaction to every hearer; and we ought either to satisfy you, that the passage does not, in its legitimate use, make against the doctrine we profess; or by our investigations make the discovery, that it does absolutely stand opposed to our views.
Let it be distinctly understood, that our interest is precisely the same. However dissimilar our ideas may be, in relation to the text, we are all equally interested in the truth of it. Should we succeed in making any one believe that it belongs to a subject to which it does not belong, we shall do as much in
justice to ourselves as to those whom we delude. So that we have no more interest in deceiving any one, than we should have in being deceived ourselves.
It is well known that the passage before us has been made use of by the opposers of what is called Universalism, as a direct proof against that doctrine; and we do not hesitate to accord to those opposers the credit of being honest and sincere. They really believe that this single text, without the aid of any other, is amply sufficient to disprove our doctrine, and to establish theirs. We, however, entertain a widely different opinion--so different, indeed, that were we desired to select a special passage in proof of our views of judgment, we certainly should refer to the text before us. This may appear very strange, and yet it is a solemn fact. Your humble servant knows of no passage which stands more directly opposed to the popular doctrine of the day of judgment in a future world, than the text just read for consideration. We wish to be distinctly understood; we believe that divine revelation teaches us, that in this world God judges man, and renders unto him according to his works. Our opposers deny this doctrine, and contend, that the text refers to a day of judgment, not in the present world, but in a future state. They hold that the outward universe will be dissolved before this judgment takes place; and they assert that the whole Adamic family, from the first created to the last born of the race, will at one time be assembled before the judgment seat of Christ in eternity, and there be judged according to the tenor of the text.
I presume that you will bear me record, that I have fairly stated the views of our opposers. I do
I are pe
we fui scorer vieni inter uride allr.
not believe there is a doctor of divinity, or a clergyman of any grade, who stands in opposition to the doctrine we profess, who will say that I have not fairly represented his opinions on this subject
. I have heard these views preached over and over again, by the clergy of the church; and they uniformly contend, that the judgment to which we have referred, is not in this world, but in the world to
Having made these plain statements, I invite the attention of my hearers to what may have the ap. pearance of bearing hard upon our opponents; and yet nothing is more foreign from our intention, than to cause them to think that we feel unkindly towards them. Uncharitable feelings are totally inconsistent with the spirit of our doctrine. We look upon our opposers as our brethren. They are chil. dren of our heavenly Father; we believe they are heirs of eternal life, equally with ourselves; that they are embraced in the blessed covenant which Christ sealed with his blood; and that they are entitled to all the blessings of the Gospel of heaven; and we have no interest in conflicting with their opinions, aside from their own good. We could enjoy our sentiments in comfort, and avoid reproach, were we to conceal our views--but our regard for the happiness of mankind, will not allow us to hold our peace. We believe that false doctrines take ?
Do away the consolations which men ought to enjoy as the disciples of Jesus Christ. We believe that the effect of those doctrines has been, to rob human society of the enjoyment which would have resulted from correct views of the gospel of heaven. Benevolent principles prompt us to speak; and a desire
ented his opinions on this surah
this world, but in the work
hese plain statements, I inries nearers to what
may e foreign from our intention
charitable feelings are totally - spirit of our doctrine. Well nly Father; we believe thera te, equally with ourselves;
in the blessed covenant wa his blood; and that they
: is a doctor of divinite
, orant to benefit our opposers, induces us to wrestle with rade
, who stands in oppositi them, to meet them on every question, and if posprofess, who will say that lisible, to enlighten their understandings, that they
may see, and know, and rejoice in the truth.-The se views preached over and propriety and utility of communicating the truth to rgy of the church; and a mankind, will be acknowledged by every candid at the judgment to which will person present. Not one of you will contend, that
our doctrine should not be preached, if it be true. And
humble servant has been told by clergymen, that even if they believed our doctrine,
they would not preach it, they would not acknowmig hard upon our opponeatsledge it! And I do not know but they do believe it!
am I to know that they do not? And even think that we feel unkind should they deny that they believe it, what confi
dence can I repose in their assertions, after they
have informed me, that even if they believed in as our brethren. They are Universalism, they would not acknowledge it?
, — But I must proceed to make the statement which, as I before remarked, may appear to bear rather hard
My hearers, there is not a single clergyman, or ssings of the Gospel of her doctor of divinity of the old school, who believes
, what the text says about the day of judgment, as
they apply it. You will not misunderstand me:-they n comfort, and avoid repro think they believe it, but they do not know what
the text says. I repeat it-they do not believe the text, if applied to a day of judgment in the future
state. “Do not believe the text!” says the hearer: is which men ought to enjoy “how will you make that appear?" I answer thus: s Christ. We believe thall Do they believe that every individual of our race nes has been, to rob human will be brought to the judgment seat of Christ in
eternity, and there receive according to that he hath f the gospel of heaven. Ben done, whether good or bad? They say they doimpt us to speak; and ada but I say they do not. They believe that, at the
upon our opposers.
terest in conflicting with
their own good. We coulde
our views-but our regards a kind, will not allow us to M lieve that false doctrines
nt which would have result
day of judgment, some will receive according to what they have done that is good, and not according to what they have done that is bad; and that others will receive according to what they have done that is bad, and not according to what they have done that is good. But the text speaks an entirely different language.
Allow me to propose the following question: Do the popular clergy believe that, at the day of judgment, St. Paul will be called up, and there receive for all the abominable deeds he committed while he was an enemy to Christ and the church? No-they never pretended to believe any such thing. They do not pretend that any man who, in the day of the judgment, is to receive any reward for his good later deeds, will receive any punishment for his bad deeds. But what says the text: “ For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, WHETHER IT BE GOOD OR BAD.” “Well," says the hearer, “that places the subject in a different light; because the clergy do not pretend that any one, at the day of judgment, is to receive good for the good he has done, and evil for the evil he has done. They do not pretend, that those who will receive a recompense for good deeds, will also be punished for their bad deeds. But the text says, every one shall receive according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” My hearers, our opposers have totally overlooked the letter of the text, and they have altogether misunderstood its spirit.
Again. Did you ever hear a doctor of divinity declare, that St. Peter, who denied his Lord, and