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cases exposed, full of worms, and be an abhorring unto all that behold them; so those who are cast into the burning lake, shall be publicly exposed to shame,and shall suffer openly for their crimes; and the smoke of their torment shall ascend up continually, during those ages that the lake of fire, or the second death, shall continue.
But when I consider that this terraqueous globe itself is probably to become the lake of fire, when the elements shall melt with fervent heat; and yet after that dreadful scene is past, the earth itself shall be renewed, and become the habitation of righteousness; I can hardly have any doubts, but all the rational part of the creation,“ shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” See Rom. viii. 19, 20, 21, 22.
Thus, if the lake of fire, or second death itself, shall be destroyed, shall cease, and be no more;-there is an end to tormenting pain; though, perhaps, such inward reflections, shall continue for some time longer, (if not to eternity) which, though they shall tend exceedingly to increase the love of God in the souls thus delivered, shall fill them with shame similar, or perhaps more pungent than we feel here on earth, when we are melted under a deep sense of our manifold transgressions, and of the pardoning love of God at the same time. This seems to me to be the meaning of such passages as these:
“O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. As the fire burneth the wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains
on fire; so persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek thy name, O JEHOVAH. Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: that~(our translators have added the word inen, but the sense determines that the addition should be)" they may know that thou whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the Most High over all the earth. Psal. lxxxiii. 13, 18.
“ The wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the promotion of fools.” Prov. iii. 35.
“They shall be greatly ashamed, for they shall not prosper; their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.” Jer. xx. 11, xxxiii. 40.
“They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them; they shall go to confusion together, that are makers of idols.” Isa. xlv. 16. « And all that are incensed against him, (JEHOVAH) shall be ashamed.” _verse 24.
“For thus saith the Adonia JEHOVAH; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant. Nevertheless, I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters thine elder and thy younger (viz. Samaria and Sodom);-& I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by the covenant. And I will establish my covenant with thee, and thou shall know that I am JEHOVAH: That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more, because of thy shame, when I am pa,
cified towards thee, for all that thou hast done, saith Adonia Jehovah." Ezek. xvi. 59–63.
“Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your
iniquities, and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith Adonia Jehovah, be it known unto you; be ashamed and confounded, O house of Israel.”—Ezek. xxxvi. 31, 32.
But the lake of fire shall go out, when all the purposes for which it shall be kindled are accomplished; and if so, then it follows of course, that intelligences shall be no longer tormented therein.
Friend. But when God says; that a fire shall not be quenched, does it not necessarily imply, that it shall never cease burning?
Minister. By no means; for we read in several places of Scripture of fires that have ceased, ages ago, that were spoken of in as strong terms as are used by Christ, respecting the fire of hell.
As for instance: in Lev. vi. 13, we read, “ The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.” This is a much stronger expression than if it had been said, “ It shall not be quenched;" for it is said, “ It shall never go out."
But surely, it must be used with some limitation; for we know that it hạth ceased ages ago. And we read, that Daniel prophesied of the Messiah, that he should “cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease.” Dan. ix. 27; but it would certainly have been a weak argument against Daniel's prophecy, that as Moses had said, the fire should never go out upon the altar,
therefore the Messiah could never cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease; but it would be just as good an argument against Daniel's prophecy, as the words of Christ are against Isaiah's: “For I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return. That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.-Surely shall say, in JEHOVAH have I righteousness and strength; to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.” Isaiah lvii. 16. xlv. 29, 24. In Jer. xvii. 27, we read: “But if you
will not hearken unto me, &c. then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched." See also chap. iv. 4. xxi. 12. Amos v. 6. 2 Kings xxii. 17.
Similar threatenings we find positively pronounced by Ezekiel, at the command of God. Moreover the word of JEHOVAH came unto me saying, Son of man, set thy face towards the south, and drop thy words towards the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field, and
say to the forest of the south, hear the word of Jehovah; thus saith Adonia Jehovah, behold I will kindle fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree; the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north, shall be burnt therein; and all flesh shall see that I Jehovau have kindled it; it shall not be quenched,” Ezek. xx. 42, 46, 47, 48.–See also Jer. vii. 20.
Now these threatenings were surely executed; for the people did not hearken to God; he did certainly kindle a fire, and it burnt, and was not quenched, but consumed Jerusalem and all her palaces; and the beautiful forests that were so much esteemed, shared the same fate. But what person will argue, that the whole city and country must be now in flames; and must have been consuming, from the days of Jer. and Ezekiel, because of these expressions, “ The fiaming flames shall not be quenched,” &c. since we know that Jerusalem, and the country round about, have been since inhabited, and will be again in a more glorious manner than ever?
Neither will it help the matter to say, that we must understand the fire figuratively, for the angel of God, &c. for he declares by Zechariah, after the seventy years captivity, that he was "returned to Jerusalem with mercies.' See Zech. i. 16. And though the present desolation of that land is compared to the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim. Deut. xxix. 23, 28. And Ezekiel not only speaks of it as desolate and waste, but as having been always so; though we know that it was formerly filled with inhabitants: (See Ezek. xxxvi. 34, 35. xxxviii. 8.)--Yet all the Prophets speak of a time to come, when it shall be much more flourishing than it hath ever been: and
" Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee; I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Thou shalt no more be