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p76 [To the same.] Dearest W Kelly, - The great book on the subject is -'s, an American, which I have in a measure looked at when there, having to meet them; but found it best to trust the Lord and have scripture ready, through grace, and meet what I had to meet, and the Lord helped me. Some were delivered, and one, through mercy, kept safe. Birks is pretty much, as to the ground he takes, Origen's; that God had not revealed all the truth, but kept some back that useful terror might be there. But there is another question, What is the truth of what is revealed?

But I find gross ignorance of the gospel at the bottom of all this. Christians are put by Birks as having to answer for their works, and receive the things done in the body just if there was no complete salvation. Give an account of ourselves we shall; christian responsibility I fully acknowledge. But they leave out divine righteousness and a new position consequent on redemption. They leave us under our old Adam responsibility with a supplement of grace. They confound the wrath which judges temporally with the wrath of God revealed from heaven; our responsibility as men and our totally lost estate in nature. It is not only that we shall not come into judgment because Christ has borne our sins as to our own responsibility as men, but that we are passed from death unto life. This leaves the ordinary evangelical world, though they may be kept in simplicity by mercy, wholly incapable of meeting these questions.

The question besides the atonement is, Is the soul immortal according to scripture? and the distinct holding fast that death is not ceasing to exist, on which scripture is quite plain. Another point is that while God is love, He is perfectly righteous in His horror of sin. Generally these persons mean by righteous that He is under obligation to us, which is a very different [thing] from a holy nature expressed in power and authority against sin. But the atonement always goes when this doctrine is let in, and it must do so. As to details, they see nothing of the earthly judgments of the Old Testament; this clear, nine-tenths of their proofs are gone. All is hodge-podge in their minds (and in such as Birks') as to the difference of judgments of man here on earth, and wrath, as referred to man's being hatred against God, revealed from heaven. When death, destruction, and the like in the Old Testament are taken in their true sense, most of what they say falls away as without any force whatever; but here the evangelicals lay themselves wholly open to their attacks. Solemn intimations may be found which the spiritual mind may apprehend, but the dealings of God were on the ground of present judgment. So on the other side, though there were hints, life and incorruptibility were brought to light by the gospel.

I am drawing fast to a close with my own work here, and what we are now doing is very easy. I am only afraid of going too fast. I have no doubt I shall find defects, but the poor brethren will have an Old Testament they can use, which at present is not the case. English, Dutch and Italians are far better off, the last the best of all old translations - Zurich not bad.

I have happy accounts of the desire to hear the word in Madrid. Biava's Italian journal is (up to this) very good in its matter, and not so far back in knowledge; a few slight mistakes not likely to be felt by those using it. We correspond in Italian now, mine bad enough, I am well aware, but he likes it better than French.

Affectionately in the Lord.