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CONDITIONAL IMMORTALITY

Theßsv. 0. 0. Brown, Baptist minister of Tinaaru, who is one of the Conditional Immortality school of theologians, delivered a lecture last evening on the subject of " Hell, what it is not, -what it is, how long it will last, when and where it will be." The Orange Hall was crowded, among those present being representatives of most of the Protestant denominations. The obair was taken by Mr T. M. Jones, who introduced the lecturer m a few remarks, and aftor prayer had been offered by Mr Wheeler, The rev lecturer proceeded to deal with the smbjsot of the eveniag'a discussion. He admitted at the outset that the views he held conld not be reconciled with those of so-called orthodoxy, but he was prepared to show that they were founded upon the right interpretation of Scripture, and it was to the Bible, and the Bible alone, that he appealed. He quoted numerous passages relied upon by those who believed m the eternal continuance of a state of torture into which the vast majority of mankind were plunged and contended that tnoee very texts proved that eternal punishing was not once spoken of, being a totally different thing to the eternal punishment which the Bible undoubtedly taught as the fate of the wicked. Refer /ing to "The worm that dieth not and the fire that is not quenched" he s*id that the referenoe here was to Gehenna, a valley outside Jerusalem, into whioh were cast offal and oaroases which became the prey of worms and were destroyed by fire, this being nsed as a figure to set forth the final doom of the wloked who would be burned to ashes, and as was Btated la Holy Writ would vanish away m smoke. The word usually rendered " Hell " meant originally a hidden or oovered place, and meant the grave, and it was Into the grtva that all would go. Snob a thing as " Hell " as understood by people generally did not at present exist; When a man died he died, so Sorlplure taught, absolutely, 'and his thoughts perished, Bui there would be a resurrection. All wonld be raised from the dead by the power of God and would be judged. This great judgment might occupy thousands of years, for every man was to be judged separately and after the jadgment would come the punishment of the wicked with few or many stripes according to their deserts; That punishment accomplished, the fire of God, spoken of as the everlasttug fire, would barn ap all the wicked oven as stubble or dry branohes were consumed, and they would cease to exist. It might be that the great conflagration m whioh the earth was one day to be consumed was intended to be the means of the destruction of all the wicked after the general resurrection. After the leoture It was pointed out that no referenoe bad been made to the " spirits m prison " referred to as having been preaphed to after the crucifixion of OheUt, and Mr Brown (who said the pmlsiion wao due to the lateness of the hour) then proceeded to expound the passage as havtag referenoe not to the souls of dead men, who were never spoken of m Scripture at spirits, but to angeli who had fallen from their first estate.

A large number of questions were •iked and replied to, among others leveral pat by Mr Laidley with reference to the parable of the rlqh man and Less mis. The lecturer held that this wai » parable not relating to the future state as was generally supposed, bat to the Jewa and Gentiles, the former being figured by the rioh man and the latter by the poor beggar.

The above Is necessarily only a very meagre outline of the leoturer's address and arguments, the proceedings occupying nearly two and a half hours, being brought to a close by the Benedlotton at 10,30 p.m..

Mr Brown delivers a seooni I&otnre this evening on the inbjeot of 1 St I>ul'a desire "If by any means I may attain nnto the reiorreotion from the dead." Phil. HI., x!.

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CONDITIONAL IMMORTALITY Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2104, 10 April 1889

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