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people shall he take away from off all the earth. For the Lord hath spoken it."—(Isa. xxv. 6-8.) This is a most precious promise! The “ veil" of ignorance, the "covering' of sin, which in this world, have been cast over the entire race, shall be annihilated by the light of God's truth-the rebuke which sin ever justly incurs shall he take away, for sin itself shall be destroyed —tears shall be wiped from oli' all faces--Death, the great enemy of man, shall be swallowed up in victory—and ALL PEOPLE shall be brought to the Great Gospel Feast, to be enjoyed in the presence of God and the Lamb, and to endure forever!! Glorious hope !--cheering prospect!! How the christian's heart ex. ults and rejoices in contemplating these gracious and vast Results of the reign of the Prince of Peace!!! All that the Prophet says of Moab, and other phrases, in the concluding portion of the chapter, are figurative and striking expressions, signifying that in accomplishing this most worthy and adorable Promise, God will overcome and remove whatever obstacle may arise to prevent its fulfillment.
PROMISE viii.-"I will Ransom them from the power of the grave. I will Redeem them from death. O death, I will be thy plagues !--[thy overthrow!] O grave, [Heb. SHEOL-Gr. Hades
English, Hell.] I will be thy DESTRUCTION!"--[Hosea xui. 14.] Here is another Promise of a most valuable character. Jehovah ple:iges his Word that both DEATH and HELL shall at length be destroyed!! Elder Holmes DENIES this, and insists that both Death and Hill shall endure FOREVER, and hold in their awful embrace countless multitudes of the ollspring of God and the releemed of Christ! Whose word should be believed on this subject--the word of man, or the word of Jehovah ?
Let us now go to the New Testament, and we shall there find a class of unconditional Promises, equally plain, and equally satisfactory, with those already introduced.
PROMISE ix.--- Fear not; for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."-(Luke ii. 10.) This Promise was given at the birth of the Savior. Its only meaning is that the reign of Christ, in its final results, shall carry salvation, gla Iness and joy to all the race of man.
PROMISE X.--" • Thou hast given him [Christ,] power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."--(John xvii. 2.) How many has God given Christ? • The Father loveth the Son and hath given ALL THINGS [all human beings,] into his handl."--(John iii. 3.5.) What shall become of those whom God has given to Christ? “ALL that the Father giveth me, SHALL come to me. [What disposal will Christ make of them ? Cast them out into endless wretchedness?] And him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which
hath sent me, that of ALL which he hath given me, [he gave him all men,] I should LOSE NOTHING, but should raise it up arain at the last day.”—(John vi. 37-39.) This Promise covers the whole ground. It proves beyond a reasonable doubt, the salYation of the world.
PROMISE xi.--" And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I WILL DRAW all men unto me.”—(John xii. 32.) Although there is a condition annexed to this Promise, yet it is one already fulfilled. Christ was lifted up from the earth on the Cross. Hence, if his declaration is true, all men will yet be drawn to him; and in the promise last noticed we are told what disposal he will make of those who come to him.
PROMISE Xii.--" And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heaven must receive until the times of Restitution of ALL THINGS (all intelligent beings,) which God hath spoken [promised,] by the mouth of ALL his Holy Prophets, since the world began."--(Acts iii. 20, 21.) The word Restitution,” is from the Greek « Apokatastaseos.” Its signification is "the Restoration of any thing to its former state--a change from worse to better."-[Robinson's Greek Lexi. con.] This passage records God's Promise to Restore all things --all his earthly creatures—to a condition of primeval purity and bliss!!
Many more Promises of like nature might be introduced; but these are sufficient. Here are twelve Promises of God, uttered in the most solemn manner, and in the plainest language possible, all pledging the VERACITY of the Most High, that the whole human family shall eventually enter into a condition of obedience, adoration and happiness. Besides these assurances, Peter declares that ALL God's Holy Prophets since the world began, have spoken or promisel, the arrival of a time when all created beings shall be restored to purity and bliss! One promise to this effect, would be enough from a God of Truth! But when, in condescension to our blindness and lack of faith, he has multiplied and reiterated these Promises, again and again, how full of unbelief, how lost and benighted, the minds that reject them!!
2. God's Promises will ultimately all be fulfilled. To believe this, it is not necessary to suppose that God will have to violate man’s freedom of will, or choice, or to overlook any terms or conditions, enjoined upon his creatures. He is abundantly able to accomplish his Promises through the medium of man's freedom, and a fulfillment of all conditions of salvation.
6 Work out your own salvation, with fear and trembling : for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do, of his good pleasure."-(Phil. ii. 12. 13.) God works his Will and Pleasure-accomplishes his purpose, and fulfills all his promises though man's will and works! The Scriptures most emphatically declare that God is faithful to fulill his Promises :---"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that
I WILL PERFORM that GOOD THING which I have promised unto the house of Israel, and to the house of Judah."-(Jer. xxxii. 14.) · Will the Lord cast off forever ? and wil he be farorable no more? Is his mercy clean gone forever? Doth his promise fail forevermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious ? Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies ?-And I said, This (suspicion of God] is my INFIRMITY!! But I will remember the years of the Right Hand of the Most High' * way, O God, is in the sanctuary. Who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest WONDERS: Thou hast declared thy STRENGTH among the people!"-(Ps. xxvii. 7-14.) --"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man that he should repent. Hath he sail, and shall he not DO IT? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not MAKE IT GOOD ?!—(Nuin. xxiii. 19.)— "Let us hold fast to the profession of our faith without wavernig; for he is FAITHFUL that promised."-(Heb. x. 23.) Abraham “staggered not at the Promise of God, through unbelief ; bu: was strong in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuadel, that what he hail PROMISED he was ABLE also to perform"-(Rom. iv. 20, 21.) Here precisely, is where my opponent and all of his class of theologians, entirely fail. They do not believe that God is ABLE to perforin what he has so emphatically and repeatedly promised ! If they had the faith of Abraham, they would immediately come into the adoption and enjoyment of those "great and precious promises” of God which declare that at last, he will bring all his creatures to holiness and heaven. The first step in obtaining an enlightened and well grounded faith in God, is to settle the principle in the mind, that whatever he has promised, that he is ABLE to perform! Do you believe this GENT. MODERATORS? If you have fixed such a conviction of Jehovah's ability in your understanding, then you Must believe that God will finally save ALL MANKIND ; inasmuch as he has promised to perform this great and desirable work!
Elder Holmes comes back again to my argument from the Will of God. He evidently trembles before the weight of that argument and is not satisfied with the positions he has taken on the subject. He declares that God's Will is absolute now, if absolute at alland that if it is not absolute now, it never will be. Hence he concludes that as sin and misery are consistent now, with his absolute will, they may be hereafter and forever! Here we have again, THE ONE objection, and the only one possessing any force that has been urged throughout this discussion against the salvation of the world. Its fallacy and sophistry, have been exposeil again and again, and yet is again and again brought forward, because there is nothing else within my opponent's reach which he can manufacture into even the semblance of consistency. This talk about God's absolute Will, my friend will pardon me for saying, is childish. He used the same word in connection with the Desire
and the Intention of Jehovah! The Will, Purpose, Intention, Desire, of an infinite God, in regard to any and all things, must in every case be absolute! Any thing contingent is uncertain. To say ihat the Will or Purpose, of Deity, is not absolute, but contingent, is to say that it is uncertain, and that not the s'ichtest depen. dence can be placed upon it. The vital error in the objection which the Elder urges, is that it is God's Will that mankind should be saved nou--should in this life arrive at a state of sinless perfection and happiness! As this is not done, he falls into the conclusion; that the Will of Jehovah is frustrated. He does not see that in adopting such a conclusion, he destroys the perfection of God, and makes him no more worthy of confidence, so far as anything he can do, than man! But it is not God's will that man should arrive at perfect glory and felicity in this life. Hence his will is not frustrated here. It is his will that man should commence his career in feebleness, ignorance, and subjection to vanity, and should be elevated at the maturity of his being, through a well regulated progression in instruction, amendment and purification, to a condition of sinless perfection and immortal happiness!! This is God's Will; and it will be carried into a successful and glorious execution and completion, if the Lord is God!!! The Apostle has declared that “ he will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth!”'_(1. Tim. ii. 4.) St Paul also asserts that God " vorketh ALL THINGS after the counsel of his own WILL!-(Eph. i. 11.) Who will dispute Jehovah's own Revealed Word ?
My opponent says I represent Justice as in search of an innocent victim to satisfy its claims. That was not the position I took. The fatal error in his system in regard to God's Justice, is in representing that it is precisely as willing to inflict its penalties on an innocent substituie, as on a guilty criminal. This disrobes it of every trait of pure justice, and makes it nothing less than blind Revenge, thirsting for blood from some quarter, and utterly regardless whether it is the blood of innocence or guilt, so long as its appetite is gorged! It is quite immaterial, as far as moral integrity is concerned, whether such an Attribute went in search of its victim, or waited to receive it. Its conduct would be equaly abhorrent in either sense. But Jehovah possesses no such Attribute. His Justice inflicts its penalties on the guilty alone. And its punishments are not administered in revenge, to torment and destroy, but in goodness, and with a purpose to restore and save the erring!!
The only reply that need be rendered to the Botany Bay illustration of Mr. Holmes, is this: That if the British Government had received full satisfaction for the punishment due the criminals, and had no further claims upon them--[as his theory declares Justice has in the death of Christ,)--then the government could have no right to punish them another moment. So far as
the government is concerned, the criminals would be entitled to their liberty. And if, after having all its demands against the prisoners entirely cancelled, the government still persisted in imprisoning and punishing them, it would become guilty of the most shameless cruelty!! This last act is precisely what modern Evangelism charges upon God's Justice--that it has had its demands all fulfilled, to the very letter in Christ; and yet obtains double satisfaction on millions of sinners, by tormenting them forever!!
My friend says the distinguished writers among the Universalists are Materialists--and that Materialism comes unavoidably from their writings. This is a naked assertion, in support of which he cannot show any reliable proof. I think I am as well acquainted with the distinguished authors among Universalists, as my opponent. Their writings generally are as far removed from Materialism, as those of any other class in Christendom. And there is as little of Materialism prevailing in our ranks, as among any sect in the land.
He complains that I charge him with teaching that we can earn heaven! Well, is not this true in fact, however much my brother may dislike the sound in words ? Has he not contended throughout, that man's salvation hereafter, depends upon the performance of certain works here? Has he not quoted passage after passage of scripture, to prove this doctrine ? Did he not give the language of some groaning professor, who said—“What a riserable pack we christians are, enduring persecution and misry in this life, if there is no reward hereafter ?" How, then, an I misrepresent him in his views on this subject? The truth
our Methodist friends are in a perfect fog in this matter. They are saved by grace, and not saved by grace--they are sav. ed by works, and not saved by works !!
He speaks of an individual who said he would give up Unirer. salism and become a praying man! If he should give up Univer. salism, he would give up his honesty, his benevolence, his love to his fellow-beings, and to his Creator--he would give up a life of integrity and usefulness, and neglect the prayers enjoined in the New Testament. I acknowledge he might abandon all this, and still become, in the modern sense of the word, “a praying man!!” The world has witnessed many such changes !--[ Time
[MR. HOLMES' NINTH REPLY.] Messrs. Moderators :-Much has been said by Mr. Austin on the subject of the divine will.
The pertinacity with which he clings to his argument on this subject, is no proof that he regards it his strong point-that if this position be leit in a doubtful state, his cause must, if it exist at all, flutter between life and death.