The next installment of Ballou’s Treatise of Atonement.
158. Another class of texts considered. In the next place, I will take notice of a number of scriptures in connection, all of which have been erroneously applied to the future and endless misery of mankind. (See Mal. iv. 1.) â€œFor behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble, and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.â€ (Matt. iii. 10.) â€œAnd now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.â€ (Verse 12.) â€œWhose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner, but the chaff we will burn with unquenchable fire.â€ (Chap. v. 29, 30) â€œAnd if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. (Chap. vii. 13, 14) â€œEnter in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.â€ (Chap. xiii. 30.) â€œLet both grow together until the time of harvest; and in time of harvest I will say unto the reapers, gather ye together, first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.â€ The whole of Chap. xxv., which is too lengthy to be written at large. The last paragraph of Luke xvi. ( Thess. i. 7, 8, 9.) â€œAnd to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power.â€ There are a number more scriptures of the like nature of the above quoted, to which I should be glad to attend, were it not for swelling this work too large. I will, however, after I have answered these in their order, take into consideration some others of a different kind.
159. A key text found in 1 Cor. III., 15. Those which I have quoted, mostly respect that dispensation which is represented by fire, which to illustrate more easily to the reader’s understanding, I will first produce a passage from St. Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians, iii. 15, which I will call my key text. â€œIf any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.â€ By my key, I learn that the fire which causes the wicked to suffer, has the power of salvation even for the sufferers. So in all the passages recited, where fire is mention, it is evident the same fire is intended. â€œFor behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven.â€ In this same chapter, this day is called the great and dreadful day of the Lord, who promised to send Elijah the prophet before that day come, whose business should be to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest the Lord should smite the earth with a curse.
I inquire, first, concerning the coming of this prophet, in order to fix on a time for the commencement
160. The coming of John the Baptist. Then turn to Matt. xvii. 12, 13. â€œBut I say unto you that Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed; likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.â€ By this scripture it appears that the promise of the coming of John the Baptist, who came in the spirit and power of Elias.of this day of the Lord. That Elijah and Elias are the same, in scripture, no doubt will be entertained.
160. The coming of John the Baptist. Then turn to Matt. xvii. 12, 13. â€œBut I say unto you that Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed; likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.â€ By this scripture it appears that the promise of the coming of John the Baptist, who came in the spirit and power of Elias.