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attains its end only when every knee bows willingly to its sway, because it is morally irresistible. The conception of a revelation which is one of mere power, cannot easily be harmonized with the true idea of Christ's power, which is ever the redeeming and perfecting power of grace; neither can it be harmonized with the primary article of the Christian faith, ‘I believe in God, the Father, Almighty;' for the Fatherly power is really the power of love, which by a series of attracting influences leads on creation willingly to its goal." If we seek to increase the number of the saved by adding to those mentioned, infants dying in infancy and such heathen as may be true to the light of nature, on the ground that at death they are at once made full partakers of the righteousness of Christ, as many Protestant divines of our own times are disposed to do, the objections urged against the view will still retain their force, while at the same time new difficulties will present themselves for solution. For such theory implies either that men can be saved without a knowledge of the Gospel, or that the Gospel may be made known to them in some other way than through the Church of Christ; both of which suppositions are, to say the least, contrary to the letter, if not the spirit of Apostolic teaching.

Another view which has been prevalent in the Church from a very early period in her history, but which has never found such general acceptance as the one just considered, is that of the universal redemption and restoration of all moral beings, so that God may be, in the fullest and widest sense, "all in all." According to this view the intermediate state, like the present state, is a state of training and discipline. Its privations and sufferings are all designed to lead those who are subject to them to see the error of their ways and to turn away from it, and they will finally succeed in inducing them to do so. This view, as is evident from what has already been said in regard to the objections which attach themselves to the preceding view, is not without some foundation and sanction in the language of Scripture. Not only does it seem to be implied in the words of

St. Paul already quoted, but also in the sermon of St. Peter as given in the Acts of the Apostles, in which he speaks of "times of restitution of all things;" and in other Scripture passages which will readily suggest themselves to every careful reader of the Word of God. It is also favored by speculation on Teleology and divine love. "If we reason from this principle," says Dr. Martensen, "we cannot conceive of the destiny of the world as being other than a kingdom of blessedness of which no human soul shall come short. The supposition that the destiny of the world, the realization of the kingdom of God will be equally attained if some, yea many, souls be lost, may easily be maintained from a pantheistic point of view, which demands nothing more than the attainment of the end in general and as a whole, and which concerns the kingdom only and not individuals, but from a Christian standpoint it is beset with many and great difficulties. It is very difficult for example, to harmonize the idea of the damnation of particular souls with our conception of the decree of divine love which embraces every single human soul; it is very difficult, to harmonize it with the principle of a special providence, which repeats in every single soul the teleology of the entire kingdom." But nevertheless it is not possible to explain away successfully and satisfactorily those passages of Scripture which unmistakably teach the doctrine of the eternal condemnation of the wicked. For that this is taught in Scripture, the best exegetes of every school are compelled to admit. Moreover, the doctrine of universal restoration meets with insuperable speculative difficulties when considered from the anthropological, psychological and ethical standpoints. "For," to quote once more from Dr. Martensen, “if man can by no means be made blessed by a process of nature, must it not be possible for the will to retain its obduracy, and forever to reject grace, and in this manner to elect its own damnation? If it be replied that this possibility of a progressive obduracy implies also a continual possibility of conversion-this is a rash inference. For our earthly life already bears witness to that awful and yet necessary law

according to which evil ever assumes a more unchangeable character in the individual who chooses it." It is in itself, moreover, a fact "of no small significance," as Dr. Van Oosterzee well observes, "that the Christian Church of all ages has decidedly rejected the doctrine of the Apokatastasis, even when it was presented to her in the most charming colors."

The theory of Conditional Immortality, by which it has been sought to obviate some of the difficulties to which attention has been called, and according to which only those who are made new creatures in Christ Jesus will live forever, and all others finally pass entirely out of existence, has no special bearing on the intermediate state. It calls therefore for no particular consideration in this paper. It may not be out of place here, however, to state that according to our judgment this theory has no real sanction whatever in the teachings of God's word, but rests on a misinterpretation of Scripture terms, and especially on the confounding of life and death, with existence and non-existence; and that it leaves just as many difficulties unsolved as the other theories which have claimed our attention.

The view formally maintained by the Thnetopsychitæ, and which still finds advocates, that the soul at death becomes wholly unconscious and continues to be so until the resurrection of the last day, and the opinion held by still others that the resurrection takes place immediately after death, also require but a mere passing notice. For the first of these views makes the intermediate state a condition of utter oblivion and consequently a state in which no ethical or spiritual movement of any kind can take place; and the latter does away with an intermediate state altogether. Neither view has in our opinion any real foundation in Scripture. On the contrary, we believe both, like the preceding view of conditional immortality, to be irreconcilable with some of the most explicit teachings of our blessed Lord and His inspired Apostles. In reality these views are rather the product of philosophical speculation than of a careful, reverent and thorough study of God's word.

There is, however, still another theory which is becoming more and more generally accepted, which demands our consideration, as it bears directly on the subject with which this paper is concerned. This theory has been styled by Archdeacon Farrar "Eternal Hope," and by others has been designated "Future Probation." According to it the Gospel of Christ will be presented to all men before the final judgment, if not in this world then in the intermediate state, and upon the conscious and free acceptance or rejection of Christ, as thus presented, will depend the eternal condition of every child of man. Just in what particular way Christ will be presented in the intermediate state is not claimed to be known, but it is claimed that it will be in such a way as will enable all to choose for themselves between life and death. This it is maintained. is necessary that the ways of God with men may be equal and His dealings with them be properly justified. It is also maintained that this view is in fullest harmony with the Scriptures which proclaim the fullness and freeness of salvation and God's readiness to forgive sin, set forth unbelief, or rejection of Christ as the only ground of human condemnation, imply the forgiveness of sin in the world to come (Matt. 12: 32) and reveal the fact that the Gospel was proclaimed by Christ Himself to the dead. (1 Peter 3: 19, 4:6.)

Though this view has the merit of very strongly emphasizing the necessity of faith in the incarnate Son of God in order to salvation, and is possessed of other very important elements of truth, yet it has met with violent opposition on the part of many, and has been pronounced both unscriptural and dangerously misleading. Especially has it been charged with a tendency to paralyze the great and important work of missions among the heathen, and to make men in this life indifferent to the means of grace. This charge we, however, believe to be groundless. Only when the whole conception of religion is a false one, in that it makes the salvation and happiness of the soul in the world to come its entire object, could this possibly be the case. And even with such a wrong concep

tion of the nature and purpose of religion, we cannot see how it could interfere more with the work of missions than the view advocated by its opponents, according to which the salvation of the heathen is really possible without any knowledge of the historical Christ. This latter view we for our part would be disposed to consider under the under the circumstances the more mischievous of the two. When, however, it is properly realized, as it ever should be, that the chief object of the religion of Christ is to glorify God, and that it is designed to advance and promote the interests of men in this world as well as in the world to come, we think neither view will be likely to interfere with either the work of missions or the development of individual piety. For we are convinced that the false idea that religion does not in any real way benefit men in this world but will do so only in the world beyond the grave, is the chief cause of their indifference to its claims on their immediate attention.

A more serious objection to the doctrine we find in its robbing death of all real significance as a crisis in human existence, and in its making the intermediate state too much a mere continuation of the present state. Death, according to the Scriptures, is certainly something more than a mere change from one sphere of existence into another in all essential respects like that which preceded it. Were this all that it is, St. James would hardly have written, "Sin when it is finished bringeth forth death," or the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." The latter words, especially when considered in the connection in which they occur, imply that death. is a decisive crisis in the existence of men. Moreover, it is also contrary to experience and analogy that the same power of determining life and character which belongs to one state of existence should pertain also to a quite different state. The physical and mental changes possible in the earlier stages of development we find always impossible in the later stages.

As regards the ethical considerations on which the doctrine

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