The theory of a second probation, as recently advocated, is not only a logical result of that defective view of the will already mentioned. It is also, in part, a consequence of denying the old orthodox and Pauline doctrine, of the organic unity of the race in Adam?s first transgression. New School Theology has been inclined to deride the notion of a fair probation of humanity in our first father and of a common sin and guilt of mankind in him. It cannot find what it regards as a fair probation for each individual since that first sin. The conclusion is easy that there must be such a fair probation for each individual in the world to come. But we may advise those who take this view to return to the old theology. Grant a fair probation for the whole race already passed and the condition of mankind is no longer that of mere unfortunates in unjustly circumstances. It is rather, that of beings guilty and condemned, to whom present opportunity and even present existence, is a matter of pure grace, much more the general provision of a salvation, and the offer of it to any human soul. This world is already a place of second probation and since the second probation is due wholly to God?s mercy, no probation after death is needed to vindicate either the justice or the goodness of God. See Kellogg, in Presb. Rev., April 1885:226-256; Cremer, Beyond the Grave, preface by A. A. Hodge, xxxvi sq .; E. D. Morris, Is There Salvation After Death? A. H. Strong, on The New Theology, in Bap. Quar. Rev., Jan. 1888, reprinted in Philosophy and Religion, 164-179.
C. Scripture declares this future punishment of the wicked to be eternal. It does this by its use of the terms aijw>n aijw>niov . Some however, maintain that these terms do not necessarily imply eternal duration. We reply:
(a) It must be conceded that these words do not etymologically necessitate the idea of eternity and that, as expressing the idea of ?age-long,? they are sometimes used in a limited or rhetorical sense.
<550109> 2 Timothy 1:9 ? ?his own purpose ant grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal.? But the past duration of the world is limited; <580926>Hebrews 9:26 ? ?now once at the end of the ages hath he been manifested.? Here the aiJw~nev , have an end; <560102>Titus 1:2 ? ?eternal life?promised before times eternal? but here there may be a reference to the eternal covenant of the Father with the Son; <243103>Jeremiah 31:3 ? ?I have loved thee with an everlasting love? = a love which antedated time; <451625>Romans 16:25, 26 ? ?the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal?according to the commandment of the eternal God.? Here ?eternal? is used in the same verse in two senses. It
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?