The Principal Prooftext

of an error hoary with antiquity, and not yet wholly abandoned. Matt. 25:46, is the great proof-text of the doctrine of endless punishment: "These shall go away into everlasting punishment, and the righteous into life eternal." We shall endeavor to establish the following points against the erroneous view of this Scripture. 1. The punishment is not for unbelief, but for not benefitting the needy. 2. The general antecedent usage of the word denot ing duration here, in the Classics and in the Old Testament, proves that the duration is limited. 3. One object of punishment being to improve the punished, the punishment here must be limited; 4. The events here described took place in this world, and must therefore be of limited duration. 5. The Greek word kolasin, rendered punishment, should be rendered chastisement, as reformation is implied in its meaning.

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