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they will unnecessarily and perrersely violate the laws and condi. tions of their being, and make themselves miserable, is 10 assume that he may not create moral beings at all, and thus rob him of his character as a moral Governor. That is, it is to get above God, and dictate what is, or is not proper for the infinite Jehovah to do. In the third place, Mr. Austin's position makes God morally responsible for every event, evil in itself, which occurs in the universe, simply because he is infinite in knowledge. He places the infinite God under the disagreeable necessity of remaining in ignorance of all evil events, until they actually occur; or, on the other hand, of standing out before his universe, as the direct and efficient author of all moral evil. Which of these conclusions will my friend take ? One he must take, or give up his argument, and acknowledge his conclusion a nullity. Either God does not know all things, or, on Mr. Austin's principles, he does all things, and thus the gentieman's logic is destroyed by the absurdity of his conclusion.
I have already shown, conclusively, I think, that to prevent the existence of one, because it was foreseen he would forfeit his own happiness, would be to deprive many of the blessing of existence, who, if allowed to live, would be holy and happy forever. The gen. tleman has referred to this, but in such way as shows bow entirely unable he is to refute it. The constitution and relations of the family of man directly confirm my view. To gather up the tares, would be to destroy the wheat with them. Had men been created without a federal head—without the relations which now exist among them-like the angels of God, each one independent of all the rest--they would have possessed the same power to sin as now, and sinning, their circumstances would have been less favorable to salvation. Perhaps it was seen, that falling, under such circumstances, they could have no redemption. We read in scripture of the angels which kept not their first estate and are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day.”—(Jude 6th.) As the human family fell in Adam, so they are redeemed in Christ--a benefit not awarded to sinning angels.
Mr. Austin makes an effort to answer my negative argument on the subject of salvation. He alledges I said Universalism teaches there is no salvation. Not so. I said there is no salvation in that system-by which I meant, it possesses no evangelical influence, and presents and confers no gospel benefit, which can properly be denominated salvation. This must be perfectly obvious to every intelligent mind. The gentleman is contending for the holiness and happiness of all men in their final state, and yet his own definition of salvation is proof positive that their final holiness and happiness cannot be the result of gospel salvation-or of salvation in any
His definition is that to be saved, is to be delivered froin sin. Well, in the mouth of an orthodox man, we should at once comprehend the meaning of this language; but coming from a Universalist, who rejects ihe standard signification of many Bible
words, we are not quite satisfied; we therefore enquire, what he means by “salvation from sin," and he teils us-10 be saved from sin, is to be “saved from sinning” Very good, as far as it goes; but as it stops short of the point at which we aim, and seems yet somewhat obscure, we press the gentleman for farther light --and then we get the whole of it--salvation, is to be "saved from a condition or state in which we are erposeil to sin.” This is the “ summum bonum” of the salvation of Universalism. And now, in view of this definition, which appears sufficiently plain, I repeat, with emphasis, my former declaration--there is no salvation in the system Mr. Austin advocates. Look at it: salvation is deliver. ance from that state or condition“ in which we are exposed to sin." Now, in the first place, God subjected us to this state himself, purposely, according to my friend's own showing: hence, the salvation he conters, if any, is deliverance from a condition in which he has placed us, and for which he alone is responsible. But in the second place, even this salvation is not conferred, since no man on earth, hy the gospel or otherwise, is delivered from a condition in which he is exposed 10 sin. The holiest man on earth does not enjoy such salvation, nor can he. A condition of exposure to sin, is our mavoilable earthly condition : hence, salvation from this condition is not possessed, and cannot be secured by any living man. Well, is this salvation conferred in a future staie ? No, because L'niversalism does not admit that men are exposed in another world. It is a fundamental proposition of the system which my friend advocates, that there is no moral evil in a future world, to which men are exposed, and from which they need be delivered. Moreover, if the gentleman should succeed in proving that all men will be finally holy and happy, that holiness and happiness would not result from salvation, nor would it be salvation, unless salvation may be enjoyed inslependent of the gospel. He does not believe men were ever losi, in respect to their final condition : hence that condition of final happiness for which he contends, is in no sense a gospel benefit. Salvation is not effected here, because our state of exposure to sin continues during life--it is not eflected in the future world, because there men are not in a condition in which they are exposed to sin and misery; final holiness and happiness is not salvation, for the reason that men were never lost, in respect to their final state. llere, then, on Mr. Austin's own principles of definition and interpretation, his salvation ooxes out-is filtered away--and vanishes into smoke,
" as the vapor flies,
Dispersed by lightest blusts, and leaves no trace behind." My respected auditors, what do you now think of my negative argument, founded on the fact that there is no salvation in Universalism? Is it not sound and unanswerable? And what do you ibink of the salvation taught by Universalism, and defended by the
gentleman opposed to me? There is no telling the amount of ink ihat has been shel to defend this salvation--the amount of elo. quence and rhetoric employed in recommending it. The changes have been wrung upon "universal salvation,” through the length and breadth of the land. Invidious and ridiculous comparisons have been instituted between it, and the salvation taught by ortholox christians, whose views are stigmatized as stintel, partial and pharasaic; and when the attention is arrested by the vociferations of Universalist propagandists, and the mind is directed to the work of scanning the, nature and testing the merits, of that salvation of which so many beautiful and glorious things are said-it is then only, that the imposition sought to be palmed off upon the reIgious public, appears in its true light. The more the mind aitempts to define this salvation, the more indefinite it appears ; and when the task is nearest done, the mind is fixed with a vacant stare, gazing on empliness. Is such a salvation worthy the time and attention of intelligent minds? Will you bewilder yourselves with such a chimera--such a moon-struck reverie? Will you trifle with your dearest interests, by pursuing such a “ Jack o’lantern ” salvation—which recedes from you the more you approach it? I offer you a betier--one you can explain, see, feel, and know that you have it--the present and abiding sense of God's pardoning love, and the inward enjoyment of the first fruits of a glorious, heavenly inheritance. As for this salvation of Universalism, “I wot not what is become of it."
I have now answered nine of Mr. Austin's affirmative arguments. These arguments are founded on the intention--desire--sovereignty
-love-will--justice—and foreknowledge of God, together with his deductions from the Divine Paternity, and the fulfillment of the law by Christ. I have shown these arguments to be unsound in their premises, or sophistical in their conclusions--that they are inconsistent with the government of God, and that most of them, so far from sustaining Universalism, do even refute the proposition they were brought to establish. And now, as something has been, and much will be said, concerning the Divine attributes, I will proceed to state some principles and facts, which cannot fail to set this subject in its true light, before the audience.—[ Time expired.
[MR. AUSTIN'S EIGHTH SPEECH.] Gentlemen :- I do not know that I have ever seen or heard of a controversialist who has been driven to the straight in which my brother oppsite is involved. In his extremity he has gone so far as to deny some of the fundamental perfections of God's nature. He would seem willing to strip from Jehovah his most glorious Attributes, rather than have them yield their support to a doctrine so desirable and lovely as the salvation of all men from
sin and death. He declares Mercy is not an Attribute of God, nor Justice, nor Forcknowledge!
MR. HOLMES.—Foreknowledge is not. Knowledge is.
MR. Arstix.—And thus he seeks to overthrow the chief arguments I have introduced, by undermining the Attributes of the Dlost High, on which they are built. Realizing the deep conviction wrought upon the minds of the audience by the argument from the Foreknowledge of God, he renews his feeble attack upon it. In doing this, he has not hesitated to trample under his feet the first principles of reason. He asserts that the fact that God Foresees and Foreknows a certain event, does not make it necessaTy or certain it will take place!!! Here is a specimen of Evangelical logic-a specimen of the reasoning by which our partialist neighbors are seeking to perpetuate their inconsistent doctrines! Is the man blind! Or does he imagine the audience and the world have thrown away their common sense!! How could my friend summon the courage to insult the understandings of men. by a statement so absurd! It is the most simple and selfevident dictate of reason, that if God foreknows a thing will be done, it is conclusive proof it will take place. He foresees and foreknows it, because it is CERTAIN it will transpire. Were it not for this certainty, it could not be foreknown. All eternity is simply NOW, with Jehovah. For him to foreknow an event, makes it as certain, as it will be when it has transpired. Whatever God foresees, it is to him as much a present object, as that is to man which he now actually sees. We do not any more certainly know the sun shines, when we see its light at mid-day, than he foreknows whatever will transpire throughout eternity. If any human beings will be miserable forever, God must have foreseen that such fate awaited them, when he created them. And voluntary ushering them into existence, under the light of this foreknowledge, he must have formed them for that express end! These facts are self-evident. Hence we maintain that not a creature God has formed will become forever miserable. A being possessing the moral perfections attributed to Jehovah-Benevolence, Goodness, Love-would not, and could not, form a sentient being, when he foreknew that such a doom awaited it. The truth is, in every logical and enlightened mind, the only choice is between pure Calvinism and
pure Universalism !-between Election and Reprobation, and the Final Salvation of all men!!
The anecdote of the quack physician who was “death on fits," was of course calculated to raise a laugh from a few thoughtless youth and children. But to the reflecting portion of the audience, who perceived the object of its introduction, it manifested deep irreverence of God, and took the form of a solemn mockery of the great plans he has adopted for the extinction of sin and wretchedness in his Universe! As to the representation that according
to Universalism, God was compelled to make men sin, before he could elevate them to happiness, I have again and again shown its entire misapplication. There were other ways innumerable, in which Deity could have brought his creatures around his throne, in obedience and love, than that which is now in process. But from an infinite variety of plans, he adopted that which introduces man into existence amid imperfection and temptation. Am I to cavil with God's word, and cast contempt and ridicule upon it, when it declares that his creatures were “made subject to vanity, by Him who subjected the same in hope"--and by Ilim too, who will in good time “deliver them from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God! I bow before this declaration, and receive the doctrine it inculcates, let my friend despise and jeer it as he vill!! It is a most precious and glorious sentiment, that “God is death on sin!” In the utierance of his ridicule, Mr. Holmes blundered into the declaration of a Great Truth! That God shall finally destroy all sin is a doctrine of the Bible-a doctrine which angels love-which saints on earth and in heaven admire—and which crowns the Providence of Jehovah with a perfection, a sublimity, a glory, for which we look in vain, in the light of an opposite sentiment. Even in ridicule, if he cannot be persuaded to do it in any other manner, I hope my friend will still continue to declare the momentous truth, that “God is death on sin!!!
My argument on the Will of God, has exceedingly distressed my opponent. Its premises are sound-its deductions clear-its whole weight so irresistible in desence of Universal Salvation, that he is disheartened at the outset of his attempts to weaken it. His first effort, as usual when he has nothing beiter, is to cast all the disparagement possible, upon this argument. He styles it, "bombastic," besides applying several other choice epithets, which always indicate a paucity of sounil objections, and an abundance of sophistry, besides revealing the deep perplexity of him who indulges in them. I would advise my friend to keep cool, and strive to be a little more respectful, at least for his own credit's sake, and, throwing aside the boy's resort of calling hard names, buckle on his armor for sober work. I assure him there is enough before him to occupy his attention, without turning aside to throw stones and dirt at his opponent. Ile says I assume the word Will means just what I want it to
The audience will unanimously bear me witness, that this charge is absurdly erroneous. In this discussion, I assume nothing! Every position is well grounded, and supported by direct and positive evidence, drawn from the scriptures and from reason. I think I may claim this merit, without fear of contradiction from any candid mind. It would afford me pleasure to have those interested in this debate, review my course, with an express reference to this characteristic.