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asserts that Christ is dead in vain, by affirming that there is no such thing as justification from guilt and punishment, by faith in Christ, whereas St. Paul says, “justification is by faith, and by the deeds of the law no flesh shall be justified.” If we are to be punished for all our sins, to the full extent of our deserts, then we shall get our justification as the result of our punishment. There are but two methods of justification, by the law, and by Christ. But if by the law, it must be in one of two ways-either by keeping the law to the full extent of its demands, or by suffering the penalty of the law in our own persons. In either case justification would be by the law, and not by Christ; and hence in direct contradiction of the Scriptures, which say, “ by the deeds of the law no flesh shall be justified.” And further, there is no law given, that can give life either by obedience to its demands, or by the suffering of its penalties. Hence, the passage in Acts xiii. 39., “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” You see this goes directly against the idea of justification hy law. This argument may be stated thus: To be justified is to be accounted righteous, and therefore secured against condemnation and punishment. And this justification is by faith in Christ, and hence a gospel benefit. Therefore, gospel salvation embraces deliverance from just and deserved punishment.
I now present my seventh argument, founded on the fact that nome men have been saved from punishment; and we shall see whether Mr. Austin's declaration will stand, that the Bible nowhere speaks of salvation from punishment. The question is not whether the sinner is ever punished in this life or in a future life, nor in regard to the duration of punishment; but whether there is any way for him to escape from the punishment he deserves on account of sin. If I can show clear examples of this, recorded in the scriptures, I shall have sustained the affirmative of this proposition, and consequently refuted the dogmas of Universalism. Now for the proof --Ps. ciii. 10,“ He hath not dealt with us aster our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities; for as the Heaven is high above the Earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.” Now it is the uniform language of scripture, that God is just in rewarding the sinner according to his iniquities, and in punishing him according to his sins. But this passage says God did not do so, therefore he saved these sinners from the punishment they deserved. 1. They were saved from DESERVED punishment. 2. They were saved by the exercise of mercy. 3. On condition of reformation—"they that fear him.” Job xi. 6. : “ Know therefore, that God exacteih of thee less than thy iniquity deserveth.” Sam. ju. 22.: “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed.” This language clearly implies that those here referred to, might have been justly consumed, and that they deserved to have been consumed, but they were saved from it by God's mercy. That is, they were saved from
deserved punishment. Ezra ix. 13. : “After all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this.” Hence Ezra expressly says they were punished less than they deserved, and that they were saved from deserved punishment by a signal deliverance. Nothing can be plainer than this. To these testimonies we add the case of the Ninevites, who, upon their repentance, were saved from deserved and threatened punishment. Jonah proclaimed, “ Yet forty days and Ninevah shall be overthrown.” His preaching was effectual. The King and people humbled themselves and repented, and Ninevah was not overthrown at all for the sins of that generation. One hundred and fifty years afterwards, the prophet Nahum was commissioned to preach to them, and then not repenting, they were destroyed, These passages are too plain to need further comment. I will present one more, which will overthrow completely Mr. Austin's position. Psalms lxxviii. 38 : “ But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not; yea many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.” We have said that these passages were too plain to need further comment; too decided to need multiplication. They cannot be set aside except upon some principle that would unseitle the meaning of all language. If there is meaning in words, and the English language is capable of a definative sense, these passages teach that God delivers from deserved punishment, and that some men have been so delivered. “Being full of compassion,” he “ forgave their iniquity ar.d destroyed them not.” What then would have been the result if he had not forgiven them? Would they not have been destroyed ? Here then is a contrast between the results of forgiveness and compassion, and of deserved punishment. The one is salvation, and the other destruction ! Take the case of the Ninevites, who were threatened to be overthrown in forty days; that threat was just or it was not. If it was not, then God was not honest in his declaration, “Yet forty days and Ninevah shall be overthrown.” Then the threatened punishment was not a just one bat a mere bugbear held up to frighten them. If it was just and deserved, then the fact that they were saved on condition of repen tance and reformation, is one that establishes salvation from just and deserved punishment.
I wish to call attention to those passages quoted by Mr. Austin, to show that God inflicts punishment to bring men to repentance. I refer you to Psalm lxxxix. 31–33. : “If they break my statutes and keep not my commandments, then will I visit their transgresgressions with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless, my loving kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.” I understood Mr. Austin to substitute the word them for him, in the above passage, and I find others who
understood him in the same way. “Nevertheless, my loving kindness will I not take from him," (David,)—the word them is not in the passage, but the gentleman takes the liberty to put it there, because without it, the text proves nothing to his purpose. -[ T'ime expired.
[MR. AUSTIN'S THIRD REPLY.] Gentlemen Moderators:-I trust my friend opposite, even if I did quote the passage alluded io, in the manner described, will not attribute it to design. Of course, I hold myself responsible to the audience and the public, for the course I shall pursue in this discussion. It would be very unwise in me to attempt to mislead by erroneous quotations of scripture. I think he is in error, in charging me with a misquotation. Be this as it may, whether the word “them” or “ him” is used, does not, I am confident, change the meaning of the quotation in the least. The evident import of this passage (Ps. Ixxxix. 31-33) is, that from those on whom God inflicts the threatened punishment, he will not utterly take away his loving kindness. If this is not the sentiment conveyed, pray what can it be?
The second argument of Elder Holmes, is founded on the passage which speaks of the name or title of Christ - Thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matt. i. 21.) I am surprised that he should quote that passage of Scripture in proof of the affirmative of this question. “ Thou shalt call his name Jesus”-Why? Because “ he shall save his people from” the punishment due “ their sins ?" Does the language of the angel assert this? No: it asserts nothing of the kind. Is there not a marked difference between sin and the punishment of sin ? Christ came to save men from sin, and not from punishment. My friend is unfortunate in quoting a passage in support of his position, which furnishes one of the strongest scripture arguments against it.
Elder Holmes asserts, that according to Universalism, God has made it first necessary that man should
commit sin, and then punishes them because they do sin. Universalism affirms no such thing. And no inference of this description can be drawn from my positions. It is not my assertion, but the declaration of the Bible, (Rom. viii. 20,) that God has subjected man to "vanity,” or an exposure to temptation. This does not make it absolutely necessary that man should sin. There is no such arbitrary necessity resting on him. While exposed to temptation, power has been given him to resist it. Moreover, he possesses abundant ability to do right. It is at his own option to pursue either good or evil. If while in possession of ability to resist temptation, he voluntarily gives way to it, and falls into sin, he is justly deserving of punishment. And
he needs it, that he may be enlightened into a wiser exercise of his powers, in order to be happy. In this need, we see the reason of the certainty of punishment.
My brother opposite, says that as according to the Universalist notion of punishment, it is designed for the good of those on whom it is inflicted, then whoever receive the most of it, must have the most good. I will not call this absurd, for that perhaps would be impolite ; but I must say it is exceedingly weak. li Inight with the same propriety be said, that because medicine is designed for the good of the patient, to save him from sickness, therefore those who have the most sickness, and take the most medicine, enjoy the greatest amount of good among men. Here is wisdom!
The Elder attempts, (and no doubt will repeat it during this discussion,) to make a distinction between the punishment of sinners, so called, and that inflicted on the righteous. He insists that God panishes the righteous for a different purpose from that which influences him in punishing the wicked! A most remarkable distinction! The punishment of the righteous !! A righteous sinNER !!! Pray, what kind of a sinner is that? If an individual sins wilfully against God, and incurs his just punishments, I take it for granted, no one will pretend he is a righteous man. Indeed, one who has had the light of truth granted him, and yet sins against that light, is deserving of more punishment, than the ignorant, un. enlightened sinner. And this will be the only distinction made by God, in respect to their punishment, if justice, integrity and equity exist in his government. The argument of my brother is that God will punish his children on different principles—some for their own benefit--some for the good of others, by way of example. This would be like a parent who should whip one disobedient child for his good—to restore him to obedience and virtue—but another for no such benevolent purpose, but in such a manner as shall confirm him in wickedness-tormenting him perpetually as an example for the rest of the family!! Does not the good sense of all intelligent men teach them that no such distinction can exist in the perfec government of the Universal Father?
The simple fact that Christ came to “save” men, is no proof o the affirmative of this question. I sincerely believe he came t "save" the world. But from what? In other words, What is "Gospel Salvation ?" If it is a salvation from punishment, then Christ came to save men from “ just and deserved punishment.” Bat I insist, this is not Bible doctrine. In no place do the scriptares assert that salvation is from punishment, much less from “just and deserved punishment.” We must leave God's word and turn to the creeds of men to find any sentiment of this description. What, then, is Gospel Salvation?' It is a salvation from SIN. Or the same truth may be expressed in another form. It is salvation from that state wherein men are exposed to sin, and those unhappy consequences which inevitably flow from its commission.
In proof that gospel salvation is from sin, and not punishment, I will quote a few passages of scripture. The first shall be the same words on which my brother opposite based his second argument in the affirmative-" Thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall saro his people from their sins.” To say this teaches salvation from punishment, is to make the angel utter words without meaning. There is a wide distinction between the act of stealing, and the infliction of the punishment which our laws decree for that crime. So a declaration that men shall be saved from sin, cannot be understood as asserting, or implying, that the guilty shall be Baved from just and deserved punishment. Again—" Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”—(John i. 29.) Mark, the sin of the world—not the punishment due that sin. Do not believe, do not flatter yourselves, my audience, that Jesus came to save you from the punishment of your sins! Again—"Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the Covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first, God, having raised up his son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.”—(Acts iii 25, 26.) Accor ding to this declaration of St. Peter, the blessing to be wrought through Christ, is not salvation from just and deserved punishment, but from iniquity-or from that condition of mind and heart, in which men fall into iniquity.
Salvation is a work effected in the hearts of men through the instruction which Christ gives the world in his gospel, by which he leads them from darkness to light-from the darkness of error and sin, into the light of truth and righteousness. It is saving from a sinful state of the affections, and not from the consequences of past wickedness. To save man from ignorance is not to save him from the effects of past ignorance, but to instruct and enlighten him. In like manner to save from sin, is not to rescue from the consequences or punishments of past sins, but to enlighten and purify the affections, to make men hate wrong, and love piety and righteousness. Let me read another passage or two, in illustration.
“ Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions, wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.” (Ps. li
. 1-3.) That was a prayer for true Gospel Salvation. Not "blot out” my punishment, but my transgressions! Not save ine from just and deserved chastisement, but “wash me thoroughly from iniquity, and cleanse me from sin.” Again--"Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins.”—(1 John iii. 5.) Yet my friend insists it was to take away the just and deserved punishment due sinners, that Christ was manifested. In this position he is at variance with the whole testimony of the Bible. Take another passage "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver