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the debtor and he the creditor ? Let us see how the Great Day Book would stand : The Almighty in account with
: Dr. To several prayers-
By existence* the pertormance of certain religious " the bestowment of great and valuablo
capacities " making exhortation to sinners " perservation of life and health" the doing of some good deeds-riz: light of sun and rains of heaven
$1 to Missionaries-one shilling to “ productive soil-
* food, raiment and shelter-
" the hope of future and endless joyWhen to this is added that, which the best of men would in justice be compelled to affix---To having done many things I ought not to have done, and left undone many things I ought to have done”-how will the account stand ? how will the Ledger “foot up?". Man is the debtor-God is the creditor! And so it is at the close of life. The most pious of men, must leave life indebted to their Creator!! How futile the expectation that endless happiness can be obtained as a Reward ? Yet I am willing to acknowledge that in the account with the Almighty, our partialist friends ought to have a long credit mark, on account of their having to practice an “UP HILL” religion. But with this even in their favor, they will still be debtors and not creditors, of God!! I proceed now to my Fifteenth Argument:
GOD THE OWNER OF ALL MEN. PROPOSITION.-1. GOD is the Owner of all souls. 2. He will never suffer himself to be robbed of them by any subordinate being or power,
Proof.-1. God is the owner of all souls :-"Behold, the heav. en and the heaven of heavens is the Lord's thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is."-(Deut. x. 14.)
“ The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein."--(Ps. xxiv. 1.
" Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son, is mine.':-(Ezk. xvii. 4.)
2. He will not suffer himself to be robbed of that which is his, by any subordinate being or power. That God places value on the souls of all men, is proved by the fact that he claims them all. That he estimates them immensely high, is also evident; for he sent his son to die for all, that he might redeem and save them. The whole race are equally his by Creation, by Preservation, and by Redemption. If any are enticed, tempted, deluded, into sin so far as to become its endless captives—if any, through whatever cause, wander so far into wickedness as never to return to the
paths of uprightness and obedience—they are LOST to God. He is robbed of them-robbed of their obedience, their love, and their adoration. Will God suffer this? Why should he ? That he might allow his wilful children, in the exercise of their freedom, to wander for a time into sin, that, tasting its bitterness, they may learn from experience, to hate and detest it, is clearly to be reconciled with his wisdom and goodness. A parent might allow a head-strong child to have his way for a little space of time, to suffer the effects of his disobedience and cure him of his folly. But that God should allow his children to be led into endless sin, and thus be forever needlessly deprived of their obedience and love, then why should he allow it? Cannot he prevent it? Is he not GOD? Does he not rule in heaven, and on earth? Can he not call back his wandering children, if he pleases. If such a state as endless wickedness ever shall exist, it must be becaus. God is willing that it should, or because he cannot prevent it. No one will say an infinitely holy and good Father, is willing his offspring should stray from him forever! Is not God able to prevent it?
On a certain occasion Jesus said—“How can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? And then he will spoil his house."--(Matt. xii. 29.) Is not the world, God's house ? Is he not "the strong man of the house ?: Before any being or power, can enter his house and "spoil him of his goods"-steal away his children, into everlasting bondage-he must first bind the STRONG MAN of this great house!! And who is able to do it? You all know my opponent belives Satan will lead away innumerable multitudes, by iar the greatest majority of God's children, into endless slavery. But I deny his power to do this work. Can he BIND the Mighiy Jehovah! Nay! Nay!! He himself is to be bound and destroyed, by the Son of God. Paul declares that Christ will destroy "him that had the power of death ; that is, the devil.” (Heb. ii. 14.) The Devil is to be DESTROYED—Death, the last enemy, is to be DESTROYED!! Who then is to bind the Great God, and despoil him of even one of his creatures? There is no power in heaven or on earth, that can do it? “O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done great things. His Right Hand and his Holy Arm hath gotten him the VICTORY."-(Ps. xcviii. 1.) God will watch over the everlasting interest of all souls; he will correct, chastise, instruct, and enlighten them-he will lead them through buch progressive stages as seemeth wise and proper in his sight, and finally save and reconcile all beings he has formed!
" Every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever."(Rev. v. 13.)-[ Time expired.
[MR. HOLMES' NINTH REPLY.) Gentlemen Moderators:-I shall be obliged to ask the indulgence of the audience, this morning, as I find my physical strength very much exhausted ; yet I hope, by the divine blessing, to be able to sustain to the end, the mental and physical effort required by this occasion.
We have now the result of what Mr. Austin has been able to concoct since our last meeting, and we shall soon see what it amounts to. First, as to the will of God. He argues if God's will can be resisted here, it may be hereafter. But does he mean to take the ground that God's will is done in everything that occurs in the world ? So it would seem, and the will of God absolute too; hence, everything transpires by his direct agency. Why, then, should the gentleman complain of me, for charging him and his theory with making God the author of sin ? Nothing can be more plain and legitimate than such a conclusion.
Now, in regard to the will of God, if it be absolute at all, it is so now; if it be not absolute now, it never will be. If it be absolute now, that which now exists, is according to his absolute will
. If that which now exists be according to God's absolute will, it follows, as his will is changeless, it will never be less absolute than it is now, and that which now exists according to his absolute will, must always so exist. Now, let Mr. Austin take the following conclusion from his premises. Sin and misery now exist, according to the absolute will of God—hence, as God's will is changeless, they will always so exist. I will present my friend another conclusion from his premises. God's will is absolute, and will never be more so than now. But God's absolute will, does not now produce the holiness and happiness of all men; hence, there can be no assurance arising out of the absolute will of God, that all men will be holy and happy in the future. Here, again, his own argument refutes the theory it is hrought to sustain. "Mr. Austin may bring to his aid all the sophistry and ingenuity of which he is master, and in which he has become skillful by the practice of many years, and he will not be able to extricate himself from this difficulty. To be convinced of this, we need but look at the effort already made for this purpose. It is as follows: “Elder Holmes is not now saved, therefore he never will be.” I admit this conclusion, on the supposition that the will of God is absolute. If I am not now saved by the absolute will of God, the absolute will of God can give me no assurance that I ever will be. It would be improper for me to dispute Mr. Austin's declaration, that I am not now saved. I will only say, I do not believe the will of God respecting human salvation to be absolute ; hence, if it be true that I am not now saved, I take the blame to myself, and shall not charge it upon God. But, that men may be saved in this life, is abundantly confirmed by the words of Christ : “ This is eternal
life, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” To the same import is the language of St. John: * He that hath the Son, hath life.” Indeed, Mr. Austin has said, to be removed from this world, is like being changed from one room into another. This is true of the Christian; the room to which he is changed is one of heavenly felicity :-“The beggar died, and was carried by angels to Abraham's bosom." But I strongly suspect the gentleman intended to apply this remark to all men, indiscriminately. This would well agree with a main proposition of Universalism, the substance of which is, that man's future condition is not affected at all by his conduct in this life. If he is holy and devoted as St. Paul, he gains nothing after he has "shuffled off this mortal coil," or if he is depraved as Nero, he loses nothing of heavenly felicity. The liar, the thief, the murderer, the licentious, who live in pollution, and die with the venerial disease, are, when they die, saluted as heirs of glory : “come ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you, from the foundation of the world.” O blessed doctrine, who would not love the “ gospel of impartial grace."
Again, on the subject of Atonement, Mr. Austin alledges that I teach—Justice is in pursuit of some victim on which to take vengeance, and finding an innocent one, takes full satisfaction on him, and lets the guilty go free. Every candid man, yea, every candid Universalist in this assembly, knows this representation to be uncandid and untrue. I have set up no such doctrine here, nor have I said anything from which the inference can be drawn with the least consistency. On whom would justice have fixed its grasp, if Christ had not interposed ? Is justice in pursuit of an innocent victim, when in pursuit of the sinner? And what did Christ do for the sinner? Did justice pursue him, seize and compel him to pay the debt by personal suffering, that the guilty might go free? This, Mr. Austin says, is the doctrine of the orthodox. But nothing can be more untrue. i regret that the gentleman should so often place himself in such a position, that the audience must be compelled to doubt either his intelligence or his candor. What Christ did for the sinner, may be best presented in the language of Scripture : He who was rich, for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich.” " He gave himself a ransom (redemption price) for all, to be testified in due season.” “ He died, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.” “ He was made sin (a sin offering) for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." These passages, with most singular clearness and force, refute the genileman's own sceptical theory, and stamp his representations of the evangelical view, with the mark of gross perversion. We see nothing here of justice pursuing Christ to wreak vengeance on his innocent person, but we see Christ interposing in behalf of the sinner-"we see Jesus made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, that he, by the grace of God, might taste
death for every man.” In the benevolence of his heart, he voluntarily undertook to relieve men from the necessity of enduring the consequences of their depravity and rebellion, and thus effect their salvation, on principles which would equally well sustain the authority of law, and secure the ends of a wise and benevolent administration. He redeemed the world, that “God might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” It may be illustrated in this way: Suppose some distinguished person in Great Britain, (having the necessary facilities) should offer to make satisfaction to the government, in behalf of those who have been banished to Botany Bay. His proposals, being such as to sustain the justice and equity of the government at home, and secure it from reproach and imbecility, are accepted, and liberty is granted him to issue a proclamation of pardon to all such as will accept the terms. These are, that the criminal shall acknowledge the justice of the government in their condemnation, shall renounce their criminal deeds and propensities, return to duty, and ever after live just and obedient subjects. This, so far as the nature of the case will allow, represents the work of Christ for a sinful world. But would the government, in this case, be open to the charge of seizing an innocent victim, and glutting vengeance on him, that the guilty might be allowed to go free? So far from this, the government would perform an act of distinguished benevolence, without detracting from its own purity and dignity, while the individual by whose agency the proposal was made, and the arrangement carried into practical effect, would be lauded in the annals of the world, as the greatest of benefactors. I am sure the congregation must see the propriety of this illustration, and how completely it vindicates the doctrine of Atonement from the foul aspersion above referred to. As for Mr. Austin, he has more than once reminded me of the old adage-"none so blind as those who won't
The gentleman has introduced Calvinism again, for what purpose I know not, unless to fill up his time, and divert attention from the question at issue. If there be any of that class of Christians denominated Calvinists here, I wish them to understand that my remarks are made with reference to what my friend calls “old naked Calvinism,” and do not bear upon that view of it which they may entertain. There is, I am happy to believe, less of “old naked Calvinism” taught in these days than formerly. It was formerly taught, that God, from all eternity, had fore-ordained whatsoever comes to pass, (and this is the present doctrine of Universalism, by which they make God the direct and efficient author of sin, as really as ever ihe old school Calvinists did,) and that he ordained the salvation of a part of mankind, and the damnation of the rest, without regard to their faith or good works, simply for the display of his sovereignty, and the praise of his glorious justice. This is “ old naked Calvinism." But as I believe this dog.