THE JUDGMENT OF THE DEAD.
taken notice of, boldly pushes the matter, until those whose minds cannot be corrupted, turn away in sorrow and grief that a great man has fallen in Israel!"
These are certainly grievous charges; and, if they could be substantiated, would classify me among the most miserable of men. But, happily, the indictment is not true. What they regard as a denial of the faith, is neither more nor less than an enlargement of faith by an increased knowledge of the first principles of the divine oracles believed. My faith has not been stinted in its growth. Seventeen years ago, I believed that "the dead are raised incorruptible," and taught that truth in Elpis Israel. But when I wrote that work (now styled by those who curse me, "a precious book," because they think it justifies their view, and condemns mine), my attention had not been drawn to the subject in its details. At that time I strenuously affirmed the resurrection of the body as the only way to eternal life, in opposition to the dogma of immortality independent of resurrection, by which both resurrection and judgment, two of the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, are abolished; and without which no system of belief is worth a rush. But now, the times are no longer what they were. We are seventeen years nearer resurrection and judgment; nay, more, we are on the verge of these awful and fearful events. It has, therefore, become necessary to study them in detail, that by adding knowledge to our faith and virtue, we may be" neither sluggard nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ " (2 Pet. i. 5, 8); for the more one studies a subject and knows about it, the more lively his conception of it, and the more earnest and faithful his convictions.
But why are these zealots so scornful of the doctrine I affirm? Why are they so frantically opposed to the idea that all, both just and unjust, must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, to give account of themselves, previously to being quickened with a life that shall never end? Why does the proof of such an arrangement threaten them with lunacy, if not already lunatic? The answer to these inquiries is found in their own confession, that "man commits so many things, owing to his infirmities, and omits to do so many things, that he would under any circumstances be lost." In other words, they are conscious of loving the world and the things that are in the world; of being more devoted to these than to the truth; of glorifying more in the politics of some political faction of "the Court that is without," in which they live and move and have their social being, than in the understanding and knowledge of Jehovah and His ways. This is the loose screw in their machinery that causes so much rattle. Hence, to quiet their disturbed consciences, they adopt the