An Impressive Reflection

I pause here long enough to raise this question: Is it possible that our heavenly Father had created a world of endless torture, to which his children for thousands of years were crowding in myriads, and that he not only had not revealed the fact to them, but was so shortsighted that he had not given them a word to express the fact, or even a capacity sufficient to bring the idea of the eternal suffering to which they were liable, within the compass of the cognition? He created the horse for man's use, and created man capable of comprehending the horse; he surrounded him with multitudes of animate and inanimate objects, each of which he could name and comprehend, but the most important subject of all-one which must be believed in, or eternal woe is the penalty, he not only had no name for, but was incapable of the faintest conception of the mere fact! Would, or could a good Father be guilty of such an omission?

Can anything be clearer than this, that the lexicographers and critics unite in saying that limited duration is not only allowable, but that it is the prevailing signification of the word? Do they not agree that eternal duration is not in the word, and can only be imparted to it by the subject associated with it? Thus Lexicography declares that Limited Duration is the force of the word, duration to be determined by the subjected treated, if we allow Etymology and Lexicography to declare the verdict. And yet it is possible for these to be mistaken. Incredible, but still possible, that all students and critics of the word should have mistaken its character. But there is one tribunal that cannot mislead, and that is Usage.

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