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p91 [C Crain] MY DEAR BROTHER, - These cases of discipline are always difficult, and test the state of the assembly. I do not pretend to have much gift for them, and it depends on the spiritual discernment of those who deal with it. I have no doubt an annihilationist should be put away: it always really denies the atonement, responsibility, the immortality of the soul, and every just sense of sin. The main question is, Does he hold it now? I would say that dear -, whose devotedness I know, is apt to deal rapidly and harshly in discipline, yet I cannot think it an evil that the assembly has given thereby a plain testimony, that it will not accept those who hold such doctrine: but this testimony it has given, and I am very thankful for it. The question, whether he held it then, does not affect this one way or another. The only thing that affects my mind is the subtle infecting poison of these doctrines; and hence the getting assured that not only the open holding of the doctrine, but the infection of the doctrine, does not remain, for it chimes in with the flesh and human nature. But if he be perfectly clear now, the assembly did clear themselves, for which as to it I am very thankful; and I see no reason why he should not be received. It is a good sign that he justifies the assembly, but I may say, that we have no right to keep out God's children if they are sound in doctrine and godly in practice. The point is, Is he really clear, and does he judge the doctrine as evil, and really the denial [of what is] fundamental for souls; for, I repeat, if we have only animal-living souls, responsibility and atonement are gone. If God gave a dog eternal life he would not have to answer for what he had done, nor [need] a Saviour either; and I never met one who had not lost atonement: even if Christians their minds had lost it, and I have had to say to plenty of them. Besides, if death is ceasing to exist, as they hold, Christ ceased to exist, and the foundations of faith are gone; and this was admitted to me by two of the most respectable of them at Boston. Does he, then, clearly judge the evil? Only seek [that there should not be] any breach of unity, for questions of discipline always tend to that. But our trust is, as you say, the Lord is above it all. …

Kindest love to all the brethren. I am eighty if I live a few months, and I can hardly hope to see them - a sorrow to my spirit, but it is a going home to them as to me, and not an unwelcome one, though as long as He has work for me here, I am content to stay, and would rather have His will, whatever it be. I shall be always glad to hear from you and of all the brethren.

Affectionately yours in the Lord.

Dublin, June.