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the idea that man was brought into a state of subjection to vanity by sin, but maintains that it was the result of the divine arrangement. Page 64, on Atonement, he says, “man is dependent in all his volitions, and moves by necessity.” Secondly, in this disclaimer my friend contradicts himself. He has taught, in this discussion, and elsewhere, that God created man in an imperfect and impure state - that all sin arises from causes inherent in " the bodily portion of our pature, which exists in this life.” If this be true, men are necessarily the subjects of sin and misery. In the third place, he coníradicts the theory he has been at so much pains to rear on the passage in Romans viii. 20. The theory of progression, introduced by him, was intended, he tells us, to save men from that to which they were subjected—that is from sin and misery. But if men were not subjected to sin and misery unwillingly, then it follows they might have maintained their freedom, and thus rendered his theory unnecessary, so far as it was intended to deliver men from “subjection to vanity.”
But look at the logic of the gentleman. The human race is “subject to vanity, rio: willingły," and yet they might have avoided vanity. Perhaps my friend has made some new discoveries in the science of the human mind; if so, I would be glad to learn. Is there neutral ground for an intelligent being in regard to deeds really performed -a point at which he is neither willing nor unwilling li he can make this out, it will go far towards relieving his disagreeable aititude But until this is made to appear, I shall abide by the common sense view of the subject, viz: that the will cani ot be neutral ---must be brought into action in reference to every thing that alfects moral character. There is, and can be, no middle point betreen willingly and unwillingly. If, then, subjection to vanity was not unwilling, it was willing. If willing. it was not by the agency of God ; if unwilling, the agency and will of man was not a party to the transaction, and God alone is responsible for the moral condition of the human race. This latter conclusion is unavoidable, from the premises of Universalism, and the positions taken by Mr. Austin. It is taught in the writings of leading Universalists, that a temporary state of sin and misery is brought in, for the purpose of making men more holy and happy hereafter. And this is what they mean by being “subject to vanity, not willingly.” Mr. Austin has contended for the same doctrine here, most stoutly. It is on this ground,'mainly, that he rests his defence of the character of God, as Father of the human family. I have urged upon my friend this difficulty—if men are not moral agents, governed according 10 the principles of moral law, and hence responsible for the final resulis of their conduct, why does not God 110w, by his infinite wisdom and power, in the most direct and immediale way, make all his children holy and happy. If he has wisdom and power to do it, he must be wanting in goodness, to allow their present condition to continue. But if his goodness would prompt bim to do it, he must
certainly be deficient in wisdom or power, or both, since he does not effect their deliverance. To this, the answer oi Universalism, and of Mr. Austin is, that the design of our heavenly Father in continuing men so long in a state of sin, with all its consequences, is that he may make them more holy and happy hereafter-that is, for it a nouats to just this-God has neither wisdom nor power to make men sufficiently holy and happy, without taking them through a state of moral depravity, degradation and misery.
The doctrine set up and contended for by Mr. Austin, represents Almighty God in a light, which has more than once reminded me of the Dutch Physician who was called to see a sick child. He felt inis pulse, and looked at his tongue, as doctors generally do. What ails the child ? enquired the anxious mother. The Doctor, shaking his head, frankly confessed he did not know. Again er. dinining the symptoms with no better success, he seeined in much perplexity; when suddenly, starting up as though he had made a discovery that would at once relieve the case, he exclaimed: I will tell you what I can do, I can give the child something to throw it into tits, and then I am death on fits!! Messrs. Moderators, is not this precisely the light in which the gentleman holds up the character of the Intinite Jehovah? He could not make men holy and happy at first ; here was a ditficulty he could not obviate. But there was one thing he could do: he could throw the world into a state of sin and misery, and then he is death on sin, and in this way will manage io secure the final holiness and happiness of all men. How this view honors Almighty God! Or rather, how it dishonors him. It is the old atheistic notion of certain heathen Philosophers, who taught that evil arose from a perverse principle in matter, which the omnipotence of God could not overcome. Dir. Austin has quoted from Dr. Clarke, on the love of God, and carries the idea that there is a contradiction between the Doctor and myself on this point. As he has quoted Dr. Clarke a number of times, and probably may do so many times more, I wish to call the attention of the audience to the manner in which it is done. I can have no sort of objection to his quoting Clarke, or any other Methodist author, when he does it correctly and fairly. But I will convince this audience, that in quoting Clarke, he has thus far been anything but fair. For exampie, in the discussion of the first question, he quotes from Clarke's « Preface to Galatians,” to prove there were Jews at Galatia, (a fact not dispute:1,) and then draws the inference necessary to his argument, that it was Clarke's opinion, that the redemption mentioned in Gal. ii. 13, was from the curse of the ceremonial law; whereas, Dr. Clarke expressly says otherwise in his comment on this verse, where he makes the redemption referred to, Christ's work of atonement, in which he “lore the punishment due to sin.” Again, when the chastening of God's people, as distinguished from penal inflictions upon the the ungodly, was under discussion, Mr. Austin quoted Clarke to support him in his views of chastening. And how did he do it? Why, strange as it may appear, he takes Clarke's reinarks on scourging criminals, to explain the nature of c'zzslening; while Clarke himself says, on the word chastisement (Heb. xii. 8,) the very word under consideration, “ the original word • pildeix does not imply stripes and punishments, but the discipline of a child,” thus directly coniuting Mr. Austin, and aflirming my view of the distinction between the punishment of the sinner, and the chastening of the children of God. Such are the methods by which the advocates of Universalism obtain concessions to their views. This course is pursued by Whittemore, and by Paige in his "Selections," who deliberately takes the comment of Dod. dridge, on John v. 25, and transfers it to John v. 28, 29, and thus makes Doldridge utter a sentiment he never intended. He also takes Dr. Whitby's note on 1 Peter iv. 6, and places it under John V. 28, 29, as proof that Whitby sustained the Universalist exposition of that passage. Let me ask this audience-is this fair : is it honest ? can a cause founded in truth and righteousness need such measures of defence? I was not expecting this course to be taken by my friend of the opposite side, but the examples already adduced, wi the one under immediate consideration, give lamentable evidence of the perverting influence of error, upon a mind, which might otherwise, under all circumstances, preserve a strict regard for propriety. I do not wish to lose my confidence in the argumentative fairness of my opponent. It gives me no pleasure to think he intends to be uncandid in his representations. But certainly, this looks like it. Dr. Clarke's remarks on the love of God, have no reference to the subject in dispute between Mr. Austin and myself: they refer to the doctrine of unconditional reprobation of men to damnation. That this notion is inconsistent with the love of God, is a point in which I fully coincide with Clarke. This doctrine, however, is not more inconsistent with the character of God, than that of unconditional, universal salvation. If this is the way my friend quotes authorities, we shall be obliged 10 lake his assertions, hereafter, with some grains of allowance. The gentleman refers again to the verse quoted from Genesis : “it repented the Lord that he had made man." What does my friend intend to make out of this? I simply quolel the language, without note or comment Hence, if he cavils, it must be with the words of scripture-not with my exposition of them. I do not wonder, how. ever, that he has such aversion to these words, as they stand. They completely overthrow his theory of human progression, and his notion of the absoluteness of the divine will, by proving man did not answer the benevolent design of God in creation-but strayed from the path of duty and rectitude; hence, in view of his corruption and wickedness, he declared, " the end of all flesh has come before me.”
My friend says, God never punishes men but to reform them. Did he destroy the generation before the flood, to reform them?
Did he overthrow the host of Pharaoh, to reform them? Did he burn the Sodomites with fire and brimstone, to reform them? Was the destruction of Korah and his company, a measure adopted for their reformation? There are a thousand similar instances on the pages of sacred and profane history. These are most remarkable methods for promoting reformation !! That reformation is often an end of punishment, is true—but that God never punishes, except to reform ihe punished, is irreconcilable with scripture and faci.
Mr. Austin is also wide of the mark, in what he says of my views of justice and mercy. What I hold is, that justice is not an original attribute of God, but a form of the divine holiness, assumed towards transgressors. Its province is to guard the administration of Goit from moral imperfection, and visit the incorrigible offender with deserved punishment. Mercy is a form of divine goodness, which aims at the relief of transgressors, by providing the way and means of their return to divine favor. Its province is to treat sinners better than they deserve, on principles reconcilable with the purity and stability of moral government. And in the harmonious action of justice and mercy, only, is to be found the great balance wheel which regulates the affairs of the moral universe. When these agree, the attributes of God cannot clash. There is harmony in the divine nature, and dignity, stability, and order, throughout the moral world. During this whole discussion, thus far, Mr. Austin has taken a one-sided and distorted view of the divine character. He has said but little of the attributes, but bas insisted mostly, upon the influence of certain relations and affections, which may or may not exist, without disturbing the perfection and harmony of God.
The next argument Mr. Austin presents, to prove all men will be saved, is drawn from the foreknowledge of God. He argues, what God foresees, must certainly come to pass; or that to foreknow a thing, is the same as to rdain it. It is true that God knows all things. But it is not true that all things do therefore occur of necessity. This would make him directly responsible for all sin, simply because he foreknows it. The argument is built upon two fallacies. The first consists in supposing divine foreknowledge determines the character of events. An event may be either contingent or necessary--but it is not rendered the one, or the other, by the fact that God knows it. Krowledge in itself is passive, and exerts no influence on the event known, by which its character is determined or modified. There is nothing in mere knowledge, that af. fects an event in any way, though the occurrence of an event does affect knowledge. I know the sun shines, but the sun does not shine because I know it ; but rather, I know it, because it shines. And so an event flowing from human agency, does not occur beciuse God knows it-but rather, God knows ii, because it occurs. Such an event is not therefore any the more certain, or necessary, because God knows it will occur, than it would be, if we could sup
pose God ignorant of it until it takes place. Another fallacy on which my friend builds this argument, consists in confounding certainty and necessity-things in themselves entirely different. An event may be certain, without being necessary. Certainly is that which will be, though it might have been otherwise. Necessity is that which must be, and cannot be otherwise. God may know an event to be certain, simply because he is infinite in knowledge; but at the same time, the event is not necessary, because it might have been otherwise. God may certainly know that a particular sinner will be lost, but why does he know it? Not because there is any efficient influence in mere knowledge-but because he foresees the sinner will voluntarily choose death, in the error of his ways; and he knows, at the same time, that the sinner has power to take a different course and be saved. If, therefore, he knows a sinner will be lost, he knows it as the result of the willful rejection of the Gospel, and at the same time he knows the sinner has (if he would use it) power to repent, and change the nature of his destiny. The responsibility of the event, it is plain from this, rests upon man, not on God.
By taking into view these two important points, wholly overlooked by Mr. Austin, viz, that knowledge in itself cannot be responsible for the character of events, and that an event is not necessary, because it is certain, we shall find no difficulty in reconciling foreknowledge with the contingency of events, and the moral agency of man. The conclusion which my friend would draw from divine foreknowledge, seems to be this--that it would be incompatible with the character of God, to allow a being to come into existence whom he foreknew would be finally miserable—that he would bave allowed all such to “semain in non-entity.” He therefore concludes, God has suffered none to exist, save those whom he foreknew would be finally holy and happy. Without stopping to enquire bow any portion of the human race could "remain in nonentity," it will be a sufficient answer to this conclusion to say: First, that it is founded on the supposition, that divine knowledge and predestination are identical--than which nothing is more palpably erroneous. Knowledge is an attribute, but predestination is an act. Hence, it is utterly impossible that they should be identical. Knowledge is that which exists, but does not imply action --may exist forever, without any action or efficiency whatever. Predestination is that which performs-acts and cannot exist without executive energy and efficiency. Secondly, as man must be a moral agent, in order to be the subject of moral happiness, hence if he is created with the power of happiness, he must also possess power to forfeit happiness, otherwise he is not a moral agent. But possessing power to forfeit happiness, God must foreknow any event of this kind that will ever lake place. He foreknows it, simply because he is infinite in knowledge, and for no oth
To say he may not create men, because he foresees