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common to our earthly existence. Is it a trifling error to deny the Lord who bought us? To go about to establish our own righteousness, refusing to submit to the righteousness of God? I ask wbether his error is on the right side if it should be found the incorrigible sinner cannot satisfy for his own offences without eternal banishment from the presence and glory of God? This question is yet to be discussed, and yet he assumes this error to be a trifling one. The truth is, if it be an error, it is one whose consequences are most fearful : it leaves the sinner entirely without the means of salvation. But on the contrary, should my views be erroneous, no one will be punished less, no one will be induced to sin more. Universalism teaches that the punishment of the sinner ceases when he repents. So I teach : but I do not teach that repentance pays the debt, but that in connection with faith, it is indispensible to pardon and salvation.
I assure the sinner he may escape the punishment of his sins, bat it is only on condition that he yields to the claims of the gospel made upon him now—that he exercises thorough repentancebecomes holy in heart, and life, and dedicates himself to God without reserve. Only in this way can the virtue of the atonement be applied in his salvation, God never pardons the sinner until he sees in the heart, a fixed purpose to forsake sin and lead a holy life. There must be an inward hatred and hearty renunciation of sin. Nor can the sinner repent when he pleases, because the power to repent is of God, and he may withhold the grace of repentance when the sinner presumes upon his mercy. And if after the reception of the pardon given for sins past, they depart from the truth then embraced, they lose the benefit of that pardon. Take these facts in connection with the doctrine I advocate, and then say if you can, that it encourages sin and transgression.
The authority of God and of his law, arises from his goodness, Mr. Austin tells you, that it is because his mercy endureth forever, that he posesses authority to make law for sinners. This is a singular idea. I acknowledge his goodness is a ground of obligation to obey him ; but I always supposed that goodness was only a sin gle attribute of the Godhead ; and that his authority arises from harmonious exercise of his attributes. But my friend says it is h goo iness alone. What then becomes of the justice, holiness, in mutability and every other attribute that constitutes the divine cha acier. His goo Iness alone, he says is the source from which em nates his authority.
There are some other points in connection with law, which have not now time to discuss. The subject will come up in the lasi question, and I promise to give Mr. Austin, enough of law before this discussion is terminated.
I now take up my third argument in support of the affirmitive of this question. It is based on the sufferings of Christ for sinners. What was the object of his sufferings? I take the ground that man
was and is benefitted really and prospectively by the sufferings, and death of Christ, and that this benefit embraces salvation from punishment. This I argue, first from the fact that Christ suffered. There is no way in which we can account for the suffering of Christ only on the supposition that they operated for the benefit of man. 1. He did not suffer for hiinself-he was without sin, in heart and in life. He had violated no law and on his own account was obnoxious to no penalty. Suffering as it exists in the universe is the direct or indirect result of a violation on the part of intelligent beings, of the laws and conditions of their existence. But as Christ had never violateil any law, but was in the highest sense of the term just, it is evident however we may account for his sufferings, he did not suffer in his own behalf. Nor is suffering a necessary accompaniment oi a work of benevolence, excluding the idea of expiation for offences. To suppose this, would be to suppose the benevolent works of God were attended with pain to himself, or that holy angels diminish their own happiness by ministering to those who are heirs of salvation. The question therefore again recurs, what was the object of Christ's suffering? If it was not to expiate his own offences, nor yet because suffering is necessarily connected with a work of benevolence, why did he suffer? Let the apostle answer the question : “ He died the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God-he suffered for us, he bore our sins in his own body on the tree.” Let the prophet Isaiah answer the question : “ He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; by his stripes we are healed.” Now if my friend Mr. Austin, can tell me how all this can be done without any provision for salvation from punishment, I would like to hear it. But is it asked how the death of Christ operates to deliver the sinner from punishment ? I answer, it is by the power of expiation and propitiation. Let St. Paul illustrate this point: “Scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet peradventure for a good man, some would even dare to die."
“ Here, to die for a good man,” says Doddridge, “is to lay down one life in order to save another." But God's love was coinmended to us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. That is, he laid down his life in order to save the lives of others.” The Greek prepositions anti and uper, used in these and other quotations, and translated "for," signify for the benefit, or in the room and stead of others. So King David, “would io God I had died for thee.” Evidently the expression of a wish that he had died in the room and stead of Absalom. Says the learned Dr. Knapp, a distinguished German theologian,“when this phraseology is used in the New Testament with reference to Christ, it always means that he died in the stead or in the place of men, to deliver them.” The meaning is this: “ Since Christ suffered for our sins, we ourselves are freed from the necessity of enduring the punishment which they deserve.” See vol. ii. page 305. That is, Gos
pel salvation embraces deliverance from just and deserved punishment. The penalty of the law violated by the sinner, is so satisfied by the suffering and death of Christ, that those who repent and believe in him, are freely justified and exonerated from the legal consequences of their sins.
We now present our Fourth Argument, founded on the doctrine of redemption as expressed in Galatians iii. 15. “Christ hath reclaimed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” To understand the force of this passage, and by consequence the force of this argument, we must first understand what the curse of the law is. I suppose Mr. Austin will agree with me that the curse of the law is the punishment which it inflicts on the transgressor. Hence say the Scriptures, “cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them.” He who disobeys incurs the penalty of the law; that is, is liable to the threatened penalty. Besides, the Greek word katara, signifies malediction or punishment, proceeding from the sanction of law, and is 80 used in the Greek classics. In this case it is the curse or pun. ishment which proceeds by the authority and sanction of the divine law, to visit the sinner with a just and deserved punishment. If this is not so, Mr. Austin can tell us what it does mean. sage says, Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, ihat is, from the punishment which the law denounces against the transgressor. To be redeemed is to be ransomed or delivered from pain, distress, liability, penalty, or any exposure. If this is not what it means, my friend will be able to tell us what it does mean. But until we have more light, with Webster, Walker, Richardson, and Donegan, io sustain us, we claim that to redeem, is to buy off from exposure, bondage, penalty, suffering, &c. Hence, as Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, it follows that as our Savior, he has made provision for our " deliverance from just and deserved punishment,” and the proposition under consideration is sustained.
When I ceased speaking last, I was on my second argument and had not finished it. I will therefore now proceed to finish that argument. I closed by saying that to deliver man from guilt would be to deliver him from punishment unless they were punished after they ceased to be condemned. To deliver him from condemnation, woul be to relieve him from punishment, unless they were punished ast they ceased to be condemed. Take what view of the salvation vi please, deliverance from punishment must follow. On the princ ples of Universalism to save a sinner from his sins, it must he e fected in one of three ways. 1. Before he is punished. 2. Afte he is punished. Or, 3. At the same time he is punished. But eiiber of these suppositions would involve ahsurdity. If he is saved from sin before he is punished, then if he is punished at all, he must be punished as a sinner after he has become a Christian, lí after he is punished, then there is no room for salvation, since he is no longer guilty or condemned; all the consequences of sin are
fulfilled on his own person. There are no consequenees of sin for which he is to be saved. If he is saved at the time of his punishment, then it follows salvation, and damnation meet at the same moment, in the same person. Hence they either become identical or destroy each other. That is, the unbeliever believes at the same time he disbelieves, and is saved on account of his faith at the moment that he is punished for his unbelief. The only rational conclusion is that salvation from sin, involves deliverance from punishment.
Here, then, Universalism and Jesus Christ occupy antagonistic positions. The congregation must make their selection.
I will not take up another argument at this time, but I wish to make a remark or two. I hope my friend Mr. Austin will find it convenient to define his position in his next speech with regard to the place where this punishment will be inflicted and whether he believes in punishment after this life, or whether all this punishment may be endured in the present state.—[ Time expired.
[MR. AUSTIN'S SECOND REPLY.] Gentlemen Morlerators :-My friend as he sat down, requested me to define my position in regard to the place, where men are to be punished. If my opinion on that point was of importance to the discussion of this question, I should not hesitate to make any explanation that might be deemed proper. But I really can conceive of no reason why, in this debate, I should be called upon to express my views on that subject. The question is not where, when, or how, men shall be punished; but simply this:-Are men to be saved from just and deserved punishment, or not? To this single point, the discussion must be confined to be profitable. I shall have no hesitation in defining my position on future punishment, when it is legitimately in the sphere of our investigations. But why turn aside from the question before us and enter on topics which will lead us far away from the real matter at issue. It is comparatively of no importance to the sinner, nor has it any practical bearing on his mind, to inquire where he will be punished. The great fact which he wants to know, and the only one which excites his solicitude, is, whether he will be punished at all. Convince him that he will surely receive a just punishment for all bis sins, and it will have the effect to deter him from wickedness. But if he believes he can avoid punishment—that a way is open for him to sin and escape the penaliy, he is strongly tempted -nay, encouraged, into its commis. sion. He cares not when or where God would have punished him, if he can but escape that punishment. Hence the unprofitableness of leaving the open track before us, and entering upon discussions in regard to the time and place of punishment. If my friend wants to lead off in that direction, I have no objection; but I shall not follow him. I intend to confine myself to the particular question
before us —" Does gospel salvation embrace deliverance from just and deserved punishment ?"
Much that my friend has said thus far, has but little bearing on this question. His first argument is founded on the annunciation made by the angels to the shepherds at the advent of the Savior : * Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people." (Luke ii. 10.) If I understand him correctly, he insists this annunciation could not be true, unless men were to be saved through the instrumentality of the gospel, from the effects of sin. He cannot see what good tidings the gospel can convey to men, without it proclaims deliverance from the consequences of sin. Let me inform him what would be much better tidings-viz: a deliverance from sin itself! Disconnected from its legal consequences—if God had enacted no law against it, and had threatened no punishment in consequence of it-sin would have still been a terrible evil, and deliverance from it the highest possible blessing that could be conferred upon an intellectual and moral being.
If by the “effects of sin,” my friend means its punishments, I entirely disagree with him. But if he means salvation from a state in which we are exposed to sin, then I coincide with him. I believe the “good tidings” announced by the angels, were salvation from that state of imperfection, in which we commit sin, and not from punishment due sin once committed. The Bible recognizes no such doctrine as salvation from penalty. There is nothing said in God's word about delivering men from the “just and deserved punishment” of sin. On the contrary, it insists ihat sin must and shall, be punished. I will introduce, in due time, declarations of the Bible, where this is asserted in so many words. The Apostle declares “ the creature was made subject to vanity.” From this state of subjection the gospel proposes to save the world. Not from punishment, but from sin and imperfection. And this momentous truth was the “good tidings,” announced by the angelic messengers.
The question before us was drawn up by my friend Elder Holmes. Yet its very phraseology contradicts the position he advocates, and of itself overturns every argument he can bring to sustain it. Mark how it reads: “Does gospel salvation embrace deliverance from just and deserved punishment?” My friend inquired what is punishment? But I think it more important to ask what is just and deserred punishment? A man violates the law of God. Just and deserved punishment, for his transgression, is such punishment as the principles of equity and right would inflict. In other words, such a chastisement as the sinner's own good and the welfare of commu. nity require. God's government is designed for the good of all over whom it is exercised; and hence all its measures tend to se. cure that end. Punishment is one of those measures. Its true object is not one of unmixed evil toward the guilty ; but its legitimate aim is the benefit, the reformation, of all upon whom it is inflicted. I maintain, therefore, that a just and deserved punishment, is a good