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And so perhaps does Mr. Hall. But the difference between them is, Mr. Power admits the unconditionality of the promise to Abraham, while Mr. Hall as we have seen, asserts the contrary! Marvelously harmonious this Partialism!-is it not reader ?
But this is not all. Partialism is contradictory in its statement of the views of Universalists, in relation to the Divine Promises.
Hall says: “The assumption that promises of a Uni-. versal or general character are absolute or unconditional, form the bone and sinew of Universalism."
Mr. John H. Power says: "That all the promises of God are absolute, Universalism will be reluctant to affirm.” And we have yet to learn that in any place he reverses this declaration, or attempts to fasten upon us a statement in any shape resembling that of our modest and truth loving author.
This brings us directly to the work in hand. Mr. Hall starts out with the assertion just quoted, and thereon joins issue. Making Universalism affirm the unconditionality of the Divine promises, he proceeds very leisurely to array it against itself. We bring him at once to the test of a thorough investigation. Is it true Universalists affirm the unconditionality of promises of a universal or general character ?” Or in other words, is it true Universalists affirm the unconditionality of all the Divine promises?-for this is the gentleman's meaning. We answer emphatically, no! It is denied Universalists have ever assumed the unconditionality of every promise of a universal or general character. Proof to the contrary is fearlessly challenged. Mr. Hall knows better. When penning that statement he knew he was uttering a misrepresentation—a statement utterly
false in length and breadth, yea, in every particular; or else he was totally ignorant of the subject he had undertaken to discuss. This we will prove.
Rev. A. C. Thomas in a Theological debate with Dr. E. S. Ely states the views of Universalists as follows: "I feel no disposition to deny that conditions are appended to many Divine testimonies-such for example as the following: Isa. 1. 19, 20. And I also hold, that while the promise of universal blessedness in Christ is absolute, our present happiness is, in a great measure, dependant on a hearty acknowledgment of the truth.”
Shame on the wilful perverter of the truth!—for Mr. Hall cannot escape the well authenticated charge of malicious dishonesty. There is one authority on this subject with which he professes a thorough acquaintance. He claims to have reduced the “Pro and Con of Universalism” to a “bundle of absurdities"-to have “pulverized” and “sifted" it like wheat. In his book there is a chapter of 45 pages devoted expressly to an examination of that work; and Mr. Hall knows the Pro and Con-or should have known-contains a statement exactly the reverse of his malicious misrepresentation.
The author of that work says: “There are in the Scriptures, unquestionably, some conditional promises; these all, however, respect our situation in time, and in no case extend their reference to eternity. The promises which respect man's condition beyond death are absolute-as already said they rest on no contingents."
How now appears the statement of Mr. Hall, that the “bone and sinew” of Universalism is the assumption of the unconditionality of promises of a general or universal character? Rotten and hollow as a hypocrit's
heart! How appears in the light of this testimony the issue he would fasten upon us and cram down qur throats so unceremoniously? False—utterly false! The issue between Partialists and Universalists is not: Are all the Divine promises conditional or unconditional? We have shown that Universalists do not deny the conditionality of some of the promises. The true issue therefore is this:
1. Are promises which relate to man's condition beyond death absolute?—Universalists affirm, Partialists deny.
We unhesitatingly admit the conditionality of all promises relative to man's cordition in time, and which are predicated on faith or physical action; but, we can make no admission of the kind, respecting promises which relate to the spiritual condition of the human family in a future state.
2. The true question, then, respecting the promise to Abraham, contained in the texts at the head of this section, is this:
Does the promise of God to A braham relate to man's condition beyond death? Universalists affirm; Partialists deny. This affirmative we are now to sustain.
1. First, then, the promise is UNIVERSAL. It comprises all the NATIONS, FAMILIES, and KINDREDS of the earth. No individual can be found who belongs not to some nation, kindred, or family. Therefore every individual of the race is included in the promised blessing. This is not denied.
2. But can partialism meet this admission and not suffer defeat? Most certainly not. What is the nature of this blessing promised to all nations, kindreds, and families of the earth? In answering this question
partialism is against itself—is divided. We will first hear Mr. Power.
“We proceed to show, 1. That the absolute Divine promises procure a possible salvation for all mankind.2. An absolute salvation in heaven for all infants, and idiots dying in a state of infancy or idiocy; and 3: A conditional salvation from sin here, and in heaven hereafter, for all adult persons of our whole race.-That the promises: “The seed of woman shall bruise the serpents head;" that in Christ as the seed of Abraham, all natious, families, and kindreds of the earth should be blessed,” and others of a simitar import, were alsoLUTE and a UNIVERSAL BLESSING was contemplated, we readily concede.” Exp. p. 83.
Mr. Power, we presume, speaks with authority, and represents truly the sentiments of Partialists generally. At any rate, his statement is an important one in several respects. It contains an important admission. It also furnishes means by which the whole theory may be utterly exploded.
1. It is admitted God absolutely “contemplated” the salvation of all men when he made promise to Abraham. Mark; “A universal blessing was contemplated.” When God promised to bless all nations, families, and kindreds of men in Christ, he intended to secure thereby the ultimate salvation of every human soul! This is virtually yielding the question. It matters not whether he intended to secure the result conditionally, or unconditionally. He intended a universal blessing; and made known that intention to Abraham through the promise. It was his purpose; and he pledged his honor «by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie," to the fulfilment of that pur
pose! Hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good!" Num. XXIII 19.
2. Notwithstanding the acknowledgement, God contemplated the salvation of all men in Christ; the promise procured only a possible salvation for all adult persons of our whole race. The declaration of God, then, that he would bless the whole human family in Christ, is only equivalent to making it possible for men to be saved!-Is this the record? Did God promise Abraham no more than a possible, or an uncertain salvation, for the nations, families, and kindreds of men? Nay, not so!—“In thy seed shall all the nations, families and kindreds of the earth be blessed!" This is the record: A blessing in Christ, to every individual being without an exception.
3. But has not Mr. Power deceived himself by being too logic-wise? His position is, the Divine promises procured a possible salvation for all, an absolute salvation for infants and idiots, and a conditional salvation for all adult persons of our whole race. This is all non
The first proposition annihilates the second.If an absolute salvatiou was procured for infants and idiots-comprising a very large portion of the human family—how can it be said in truth, Christ procured a possible salvation for all mankind? The terms are evidently used in contradistinction. Mr. Power does not mean by possible, the same he means by absolute, He does not believe an absolute salvation was procured for all men without exception. He believes it is possible for men to be saved;—that it is certain they will be saved he denies. A possible salvation, therefore, is an uncertain salvation-or if it please, a conditional salvation. Hence his propositions should be amended, thus: