This is a simple statement of the effects of belief and unbelief, regardless of the duration of the consequences. As long as one believes, life abides with him, the aionian life of the Gospel, while the unbeliever is deprived of this life. "He that believeth hath everlasting life," though by unbelief he may forfeit it, and regain it again by believing again. Such passages as these illustrate the New Testament use of the term:
"You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins."--Eph.ii:1. The believer hath "passed from death unto life."--John v:24. "We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren."--!. John iii:14. "To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."--Rom. viii:6.
The question of the duration of the life or the "wrath is not raised in this passage. It remains, in either case, as long as the condition reamins that causes the life or the wrath.
"AS THE TREE FALLS SO IT LIES."
"And as death leaves us, so judgment finds us," is the home-brewed method of misquoting the language of Solomon. There is no such text or idea in the Bible, nor anything like it. The language referred to reads thus:
"If the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be."-Eccl. xi:3.
It has no reference whatever to death, or the end of probation, though so often quoted both in and out of the pulpit. The book of Ecclesiastes is the wail of a misanthrope, who looks back at the end of a wasted life, spent in the gratification of ambition and sensuous appetite, and from its wreck draws a lesson for those who are setting out upon the voyage which he has ended. In the eleventh chapter, he counsels men to prepare for misfortunes before they come, and in this counsel is embodied the advice of the text, which may thus be paraphrased: "It never rains but it pours; and when the wind has blown over the trees you have planted with such care, that is the end of them; there is no putting them up again."
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