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Jesus Christ-practice the precepts of his gospel-and allow their hope of immortal happiness to rest alone on the Love and Mercy of God-remembering the Apostolic declaration : “By GRACE are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves : it is the GIFT of God; not of WORKS, lest any man should boast.”——(Eph. ii. 8.) From these considerations, deeply fixed on the minds of
there proceeds an influence which is in reality Evangelical.
The Elder declares the Universalist view of salvation is a kind which man may always pursue, but never overtake. If he had said such was the characier of Universalist arguments, in reference 10 the efforts of our opposers, he would have come much nearer the truth. He has affected to be in pursuit of these arguments, during the entire discussion on this question; and yet it is evident to the most short-sighted of those who have listened, that he has not as yet been able to overtake one of them in fact. They are infinitely beyond his reach.
He says he cares not what my personal opinions are--what grounds I lake—what positions I advance--he intends to show what Universalism is!! Of the truth of the former part of this sentence, there cannot be a shade of a doubt. It has been evident Elder Holmes has carefully avoided the fundamental principles involved in the arguments I have offered on this question, and paid no attention to explanations I have given of the sentiments which Universalists actually entertain on various topics introduced---while all the time he has been industriously engaged in a very singular work. He declares that work is to show what Universalism is.But in this he has made a wide departure from fact. I profess to know quite as well as my friend, what Universalism is ! Let me instruct him and the audience, the meaning of this word, in a single sentence. Universalism is simply the doctrine thal God will ultimately bring mankind into a state of universal holiness and happiness. This, and this alone, is Universalism. The way, the means, the time, in which Deity will accomplish this most grand and glorious of all works, are topics connected with, but not necessarily involved in, this Great Truth. Men may difler and even err, in regard to these subordinate questions, and yet agree, in respect to the final salvation of all. ^ Now Universalism--the final holiness and happiness of all mankind, is precisely the question before us, in this division of our discussion. But if one thing more than another, has characterized the whole course of Elder Holmes on this question, it has been the care with which he has avoided approaching and grappling this sublime doctrine. I have said he was engaged in a singular work. That work has been a constant series of efforts to put aside this one great question, which should have exclusively claimed his attention. The most unobserving cannot fail to have seen, that his whole labor and ingenuity have been devoted to the covering up of the only point involved in this discussion, keeping it as far from the view of the audience as possi
ble. To accomplish this, he has sought to bring in collateral and minor points not necessarily connected with the final holiness and happiness of all men. He has endeavored to turn the debate off from its legitimate subject, to the consideration of the origin of sin --the nature of moral evil--the nature of salvation--the immortality of the soul—the doctrine of future punishmentmany thing and every thing, rather than just the one thing that should have receiv. ed all his attention, viz: “ Is there sufficient evidence for believe ing that all men will be finally holy and happy?” There is a significance in his studied effort to avoid the real question at issue, which cannot be mistaken. It shows that my opponent has no confidence in his ability to destroy the doctrine of the world's sal. vation. And I give the audience fair warning, that he will persist in this course. While keeping aloof from every attempt to overthrow any of the fundamental principles of my positions, let his Negative Arguments be watched, and it will easily be seen, he will introduce few, if any, that will have the slightest bearing on the point in debate—the ultimate holiness and happiness of all mankind.
He speaks of “ the forked and hissing tongue” of Universalism; and in language most refined and chaste, talks of dragging forth this doctrine, with the “ tongs of truth!!" This is strange language for a professed christian to use—especially a christian minister, and a Presiding Elder! The doctrine of the repentance and holiness of all men-the glorious gospel of Christ which asserts that every human being shall at length be washed clean and white from every sinful contamination, and with hearts filled with love, surround the Throne of Infinite Goodness, to praise and adore forever the King of kings—is so hateful and dreadful to this professed herald of the gospel, that he would touch it only with the * tongs," and he can find no figure to express its odiousness, except the loathsome serpent, with “its forked and hissing tongue !!” We are compelled by this representation, to conclude that the doctrine of endless torture and ruin-the doctrine that countless numbers of his fellow-beings will sink into agonies unspeakable to bewail their existence and curse their Creator forever-is beautiful, pleasant, grateful to him. This he could embrace in his arms, and hug to his bosom with the greatest fondness, and would probably represent it under the figure of a lamb or a dove !! Oh, Christianity! how little of thy spirit is yet in the hearts of those who make the loudest boast of its possession !!!
He speaks of Dr. Payson, and wants me to give all the sermon in which the extract I quoted, is found. I gave the exact words of Dr. Payson, and quoted the entire paragraph in which the renti. ment is contained. I have not done that author the least injustice; neither have I in the slightest degree, misrepresented his opinions -but gave you in his own language, as eloquent as truthful, his views of the love of God. If Dr. Payson has uttered that which
contradicts his declarations on the love of God, it only shows the miserable extreinity to which modern evangelism reduces its most able and eloquent advocates. In moving terms my friend refers 10 the death of Dr. Payson. He declares that his calm and peaceful departure from life, was not owing to any support he derived from Universalism, but was the fruit of his belief in the Atonement. I admire the character and talents of Dr. Payson. He was an elo. quent preacher, and I have no doubt, a sincere christian. My opponent will pardon me, however, for expressing great doubt wheiher the peace which he experienced during his last hours, flowed from his views on the Atonement. There is no question, could the truth be fully known, that the support with which the dying Payson was blessed, was the fruit of his reliance on the impartial goodness, the rich, abounding grace, and the infinite Mercy of the Creator—and not from his theory that Christ had died to appease God's wrath, and satisfy Justice. If this suggestion is well foundel, of which I think there can be no doubt, then, notwithstanding the Elder's denial, it was Universalism-or that which forms the very foundation of Universalism—that gave Dr. Payson all the calmness and comfort he experienced on his departure from life. I submit it to the good sense of the audience and the world, that a belief in God's unbought Love, and boundless Compassion, is a far better foundation for hope and peace, in the hour of dissolution, than a speculative theory that a God full of enmity and vengeance against his frail creatures, has been bought to have mercy on a few, at the price of the blood of his own Son!! Let all judge of the reasonableness of this declaration. Let them recall to recollection the words of the dying, at whose bed-side they have stood, and see if it does not perfectly corroborate the position I have laid down!
My opponent contends that the views of God supported by his party, do not bring the Attributes into collision—that they represent no controversy between Justice and Mercy--but all is brought into harmony by their theory of the Atonement. Some men's views of harmony and moral equilibrium, are truly striking. Here we have an instance in illustration. The modern system of Atonement teaches that infinite Justice is willing to inflict its penalties on an innocent substitute, in order to allow criminals to go free; when it could precisely as well have punished the guilty themselves, and when indeed, it would have been much better for their amendment and future welfare, to have allowed them to experience for a proper season, the fruits of their own doings. But when Justice has thus had all its demands against the human race, and its penalties, fulfilled by Christ, so far from allowing Mercy to come in and exercise its office upon the race for whom this full satisfaction has thus been rendered, it insists that unless the blind. ed creatures believe this, (and millions of them never heard of it,) Mercy shall have nothing to do with them, but they themselves
shall still be made to fulfil the demands of Justice in their own persons, and be tormented forever!! And this is called HARMO. NIZING the Attributes ! In regard to innumerable multitudes of human beings, the claims of Justice DOUBLY fulfilled, while the claims of Mercy, the favorite Attribute of the Deity, and the most beautiful of all his perfections, are totally DENIED!! Here is a glorious consistency, a splendid specimen of Harmony!!
He gives us Dr. Clarke's declaration that he never had read any thing in favor of Universal Salvation that possessed the slightest weight. Had the Doctor ever read his Bible? Had he ever read the declaration of the Psalmist? “All nations whom thou hast made, shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glo. rily thy name.”—(Ps. lxxxvi. 9.) Had his eyes ever rested on the language of St. Paul ? “God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have MERCY upon ALL.”—(Rom. xi. 32.) God " will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of ibe truth."-(1 Tim. ii. 4.) Whatever may be the opinion of Dr. Clarke or Elder Holmes, as to the necessity of believing God, we who put some confidence in his word, have always thought there might be some weight in the declarations I have just read. How can any man throw them aside, and yet profess to believe in the scriptures !
My friend complains bitterly, at the commencement of his last speech, that I have greatly misrepresented Wesley's views. I throw back this groundless imputation upon its author. I have not misrepresented the sentiments of Wesley to the smallest er. tent. And this charge from the Elder, is as gross and wilful a misrepresentation of me, as he could well contrive. All I claimed in regard to Wesley, was that he took the ground, that God's commandments were equivalent to promises. To prove this, I quoted his language, and quoted it correctly. And the quotations proved my position, beyond controversy. Wesley again and again reiterates the declaration, that the commandments of God are equivalent to promises. Yet my opponent with a blind desperation of the most pitiable description, attempts to stave off the testimony of his great leader, by crying out that I misrepresent him. Mr. Holmes himself misrepresents Wesley, when he declares, that all he designed in the quotations I introduced from his writings, was to assert that when the sinner was disposed to repent, God would give him power to do
An idea that does not appear at all, in the extracts I gave from Wesley.
Mr. Holmes declares I have misrepresented his views respecting the Foreknowledge of God. I beg to say that I have not misrepresented him-at least I have not done so intentionally. In expla. nation of his sentiments, he says the fact that God foresees a thing will exist, does not make it necessary that it should exist. How does this explanation help him? What bearing has it against my argument, drawn from the Foreknowledge of God? Not the slight
est. When a thing is foreseen of God, it becomes both necessary and certain, When Jehovah created the human race, he fore. saw precisely what fate awaited each one. To say he formed a single soul plainly foreseeing from eternity, that its career would terminate in ceaseless sin and woe, is to say that that doom was both necessary and certain. This becomes self-evident, when we reflect that God's foreknowledge existed prior to the causes which led to a result so dire. These causes were at the control of Deity. He could allow them to have being, and produce the foreseen result, or he could withhold them, and prevent the dreadful calamity. If, under these circumstances, he allowed causes to go into operation which he clearly foresaw woul.) terminate in sinking the souls of any of his creatures into endless blasphemy and anguish, he in reality, made that doom both necessary and certain! This is nothing less than naked CALVINISM!! Our friends, the Methodists, have preached much upon the odious and horrible features of Calvinism; and have said as many hard things against it, as against Universalism. But when their acknowledged sentiments respecting God's Foreknowledge, are properly analyzed, it becomes evident they have virtually incorporated the worst feature of Calvinism into the very centre of their own system !!
My friend yesterday denied that Foreknowledge is an Attribute of God, but said Knowledge is an Attribute. Pray, what is Foreknowledge but Knowledge with God--i. e. knowledge of things in the future? Foreknowledge is as much an Attribute, as wisdom or goodness. It forms one of the fundamental, all-essential per. fections of Jehovah. Without it, he could not be God-he could do nothing with any assurance of success--all his works would be liable any moment to fall into ruin and chaos! I do not wonder, however, that Mr. Holmes desires to degrade this perfection from the high station of an Attribute. Its office in the Divine Councils, is such as to forbid with irresistible emphasis, the cherishing of the doctrine that in a universe formed by a “God of Love," any man can become an endless loser by the existence his father in heaven voluntarily bestowed upon him, in full view of all the consequences that would ensue!!
My opponent gives evidence of his extreme bewilderment and perplexity, by crying out—“ Declamation !— Bombast !” This is the second time he has given vent to his distress, in words which all controversialists know are equivalent to crying “ quarter ! quarter!! I pity the brother; but I can see no help for him ! Every school-boy' well knows the trick of crying out bombast and declamation, when answer is to be made to arguments, which are invulnerable. It is simply raising a cloud of dust, to flee away under its shadow! The audience, I have confidence to believe, have enough of good sense, to distinguish belween sound argu
* See page 126