<< previous (3:331) next (3:333) >>

p450 [H Turner] MY DEAR BROTHER, - It seems to me that you are only acting unkindly with -, going on with him as if nothing had happened. "A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject." You encourage him in this error and enable him better to mislead others. I wrote to him, but as I shewed him plainly from scripture it was unsound, I got no answer. What Bellett says may be obscure, but is what all believe, that eternity returns after the course of dispensations. The heavens which had disappeared since Genesis 3, has no real sense. But all this has nothing to do with the error in question. It is when the Son delivers up the kingdom that without are the fearful, unbelieving, etc. Scripture says that "The things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." All this use of Greek and Hebrew by persons who do not really know them, with those who do not know them at all, is a very bad sign. It is just what - is partly deceived by, and it is not honest. When God says, "It is done," and the judgment of the great white throne is over, and God's tabernacle is with men, then the evil doers are without, cast into the lake of fire "which is the second death." "I am" is as much applied (indeed only so) to the present time, as in the eternal state; and God is as eternal now as He will be then. It is never used of that state itself, though always true. All this is gossamer and cobweb, and the various applications of eternal are taken up without the smallest reference to the passages in their sense. Who is spoken of in Isaiah 9? But this word has been fully discussed.

It is not true that revelation is only of the ages. Proverbs 8, and every statement of God's counsels and plans must be before the ages, for they are the source of this, so: 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2; where it is expressly before them, and yet the life is αἰώνιος. Is that for the ages? "In the beginning was the Word" is not in the ages. Nor do I admit that God is a relative term, nor Spirit. "I am" is not the only term that implies abstract being. It has been seriously called in question whether it does at all when first used, whereas another word does in Hebrew. The LXX have so taken it, namely, as 'being:' but thus αἰών is the same word and so defined by Aristotle and by Philo. But the whole thing is fancy, unwarranted by scripture. And it seems to me a real want of charity to encourage him in the propagation of error, which must shut him out from the fellowship of those who respect the word of God, strengthening his hands in misleading others. I feel this part deeply.

See what folly all this talk about αἰών and αἰώνιος, when the word is applied to the life of God Himself; His characteristic name in Revelation 4:9-10. And this is exactly the one of whom - puts eternity at beginning and end of Revelation 4:8, and further puts the "who is" (what he calls 'the being') only in the dispensational part, whereas "was" and "is to come" applies to time. Hence as in Revelation 1:4, and frequently, ὁ ὦν - "who is" - is put first. The whole thing is an unfounded mess. Next he tells us that we look at the things that are agial (αἰώνιος): this is too bad. The scripture says exactly the contrary, "for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal" - agial if he likes - αἰώνιος. It is deplorable to see any one setting about to teach things with no trace of divine guidance. Many have known and loved - years before you ever saw him; but the truth is he has been off the track for years, and this is only the result. He knows I never had any unkindly feeling, but the contrary; but it will not do to sacrifice those, with whose faith he is tampering, to any personal kindness. I send back the paper I could only notice what was palpable.

Affectionately yours in the Lord.

New York, February 14th, 1877.