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A DISCOURSE ON THE
"And Death and Hell were cast into the lake of fire.
This is the second death.'--Rev. xx : 14. The second death is generally supposed to be something that is still to take place, in the world of spirits. At that time, it is imagined, all who are so unhappy as not to have a part in the first resurrection,' or whose names are not
written in the Lamb's book of life,'
will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone,'and there remain throughout a boundless eternity, beneath the scalding drops of Almighty wrath. This is a most shocking thought that the · Father of the spirits of all flesh, should so deal with any of his creatures.--I have been greatly agitated in my mind, concerning the meaning of the second death ; but by a candid study of the scriptures, as I trust, my mind has been freed from the gloom with which it was overspread by wrong views of this subject.
In the beginning of my subject, I feel obliged to bespeak the patience of my readers. The nature of my undertaking is such, that much needs be said to clearly unfold my ideas, and exhibit the evidence upon which they rest. This is drawn principally from the scriptures themselves.
We are told, death and hell were
judged out of the things which were written in the books. These books, I suppose, were the books of the law and prophets. So that my first inquiry will be, what people received these of the Deity, and alone covenanted to observe and keep them?
The law by which death and hell were judged, was given alone to the Jews. This people, who descended from Jacob, afterward named Israel, were selected from the families of the earth, and were called the people of God. With this people, God entered into a covenant of works, which they were to obey, and if they disobeyed it, they were to be judged out of the books of the law. Now if the reader will keep in mind the fact, that the world is divided into two classes, Jews and Gentiles, he will readily perceive on whom it was,
the second death fell. The covenant between Jehovah and
Israel is thus described, Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in bis ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice. And the Lord hath avouched thee this day, to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee; and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments :---and to make thee high above all nations, which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken.' Deut. xxvi : 17-19. This covenant was made only with Israel, and is exclusively binding on them.
To the same purpose are the follow. ing,--Hesheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so, with any nation ; and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Ps. cxlvii : 19,