THE KIND OF PUNISHMENT.
The following is a copy of a letter recently sent by one of the Brethren to a minister, holding so-called "Plymouth Brethren" views, to whom he had already loaned Vols. I. and II. of MILLENNIAL DAWN.
DEAR BROTHER:--Your favor of the 19th ult. was duly received and read with care. I see that we are entirely apart on our bases of interpretation of the Scriptures, you evidently endorsing what is known as the "Futurist System" in reading the Apocalypse.
You state that you have examined Volume I. of MILLENNIAL DAWN very carefully, and yet you say that "one fundamental error which runs through the whole system of interpretation of the Scriptures in this volume is the denial of eternal punishment." If by eternal punishment you mean "everlasting torture in both mind and body forever," you are correct. And permit me to say right here that I believe no system of Bible interpretation can more completely and thoroughly "deny the Father and the Son" than such a one as this, which has been the foundation for all the horrible doings of Papacy. By ascribing to our loving, wise, just and powerful God and to his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, the qualities and attributes of the devil, this system has thoroughly and completely "denied the Father, and the Son," and no other teachings so thoroughly make void the glories of the ransom, in which Christ "tasted death for every man." Permit me to say further, that while these writings do deny such an interpretation of the Bible, they clearly and logically set forth that "the wages of sin is death," and that those who will not be subservient to the Lord when they understand him and his work in their "due time"--which for his "body" is during the reign of evil now closing, and for the world is when he comes to reign and when he establishes his Millennial Kingdom--will "be punished with everlasting destruction"--annihilation.
We differ from you, not on the duration of the punishment, but its character. I believe that God's gift is life, and that those who will not accept it upon his condition of obedience to his righteous will, will have it withdrawn and will enter into death--utter loss of life. I further believe that Christ is the Mediator between God and men, and that the man Christ Jesus gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified (to all) in due time. There is no fact plainer in history than that but a very small portion of the human race has ever yet heard of the name of Christ, and hence I believe that the "due time" for the great majority of mankind to hear and to act on the glad tidings must be after the resurrection. In a word, I believe Christ's death to be the foundation on which, through resurrection, God will establish a kingdom on earth "in which will dwell righteousness," and that the time for this kingdom is during the Millennium.
As a believer in our Lord Jesus and the import of his death, you cannot afford, my dear [R1287 : page 29] Brother, not to lay aside every prejudice and carefully consider, Bible in hand, the line of teaching set forth in the volumes which I sent you.
I have looked over the tract, entitled "Eternal Punishment," which you sent me, and must confess that I have never seen so much twisting, warping and stretching of the Scriptures in so small a space before.
Hoping that you will accept my views in the same spirit of love in which they are presented, and that you will give the truths set forth in "MILLENNIAL DAWN" careful, prayerful study, Bible in hand, proving all things, holding fast that which is good,
I am yours in the service of Christ,
W. E. PAGE.