Page images
PDF
EPUB

rily exposed them, I have already shown in my argument from the Justice of God. It requires but a common estimation of right and wrong, to recognize the correctness of this position. The Bible fully sustains it in many passages framed in the form of antithesis, where one thing is set over against, or to balance, another. The following passages may be classed under this head:

** As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."-(1 Cor. xv. 49.) Here one event balances the other. Who have borne the image of the earthy ? All men all that have bodies of flesh and blood. There, all men will bear the image of the heavenly. Dr. Adam Clarke says:** The comparison most evidently is between the state of man in this mortal life, and his slate after the resurrection. Here all men are corrupt and mortal; and here all men die. Then all men are incorrupt and immortal; and whether holy or unholy, shall be eternally immortal.”—(Dr. C. on 1 Cor. xv. 49.) What stronger evi

dence can be required to prove the holiness and happiness of all · mankind ? In the resurrection state all will be incorruptible and

immortal, and shall bear the glorious image of Christ, the Son of God. To say that creatures who are incorruptible, immortal, glorious and heavenly, are still unholy and wretched, would be uttering the sheerest nonsense.

« As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Cor. xv. 22.) Mark the antithesis. The one declaration is made to cover the same ground, and to possess the same weight, as the other. All that is lost in Adam, is restored in Christ. And the restoration is as certain to be experienced by all men, as the loss has been endured by them. Whatever death all may have suffered in Adam--whether physical, or moral, or both—they will all be delivered from it, by being made alive in Christ. How absurd then to speak of ETERNAL death. The Bible uses no such words, and inculcates no such sentiment. Remember, all men are to be made alive in CHRIST. What will be the moral condition of those made alive in Christ? If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away: behold all things are become new."--(2 Cor. v. 17.) All are to be made alive in Christ, and hence all will become new creatures. How conclusive an: satisfactory is this argument. ip It is in vain to say that Christ was speaking only of the ro rection of the righteous. Have none but the righteous died in am? Besides, Dr. Adam Clarke, as we have seen in the quo: just made, acknowledges St. Paul was speaking in reference resurrection of all men, in this chapter. It will be equally vailing to quote the next verse—"But every man in his own der.” This but refers to the order of time, in which all shall made alive in Jesus. It does not contradict the fact just uttere that all shall be made alive in Christ !!

If through the offence of one, many [oi polloi—The many

all] be dead; much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded upto many."(Rom. v. 15.) in regard to the word “many,” Dr. Clarke says " that the oi polloi, the many of the Apostle, here means all mankind, needs no proof to any but that person who finds himself qualified to deny that all men are mortal.”

“ As by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation ; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”--(Rom. v. 18.) In these two passages it will be seen that the antithesis is equally balanced and perfect. It is immaterial, so far as the weight of this testimony goes, what was the nature of the offence, whereby all men were brought into condemnation. And it is equally immaterial, what the righteousness of the one may be, through whom all men are brought unto justification of life. The great Truth which is asserted and reiterated again and again, is that the same number and the same beings, who were brought into condemnation by the offence of one, shall be brought unto justification of life, by the righteousness of one. And as it is allowed that all men are brought into condemnation, it must necessarily be conceded that all men will be brought to justification of life.

For as by one man's disobedience many [oi polloi--ALL MEN) were made sinners ; so by the obedience of one, shall many [oi polloi--ALL MEN] be made righteous.”--(Rom. v. 19.) Here it is positively asserted that ALL MEN shall be made righteous through the obedience of Christ. Where is there any ground for debating this question farther, if we are disposed to give the least weight to the solemn declarations of God's word !! Dr. Clarke says: “It is most evident that the same persons are referred to, in both clauses of the 15th verse.” The Doctor ridicules the idea that the same number who experienced the loss, will not experience the gain. He thinks if Calvinism was true, i. e. if but part of mankind are to be made righteous, then St. Paul's language should read as follows: "As by the offence of one, judgment came upon ALL MEN to condemnation ; so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon some to justification.” “ As by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall some be made righteous." " As in Adam ALL die, so in Christ shall SOME be made alive." · But,” adds Dr. C., “neither the doctrine (that but a part shall be made alive and made righteous] nor the thing ever entered the soul of this divinely inspired man.” Then of course, the doctrine and the thing taught by St. Paul, was that ALL MANKIND shall be made alive and righteous in Christ! There is no avoiding this conclusion !!

“ Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound; but where sin abounded, grace did MUCH MORE abound. That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through ri -hteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord."-(Rom.

V. 20--21.) Here the sins of all the world are put into one side of the Antithetical scales, and the Grace of God into the other. What is the result? Does Sin weigh down Grace, or even balance it? No; the Grace far outweighs the Sin. The Apostle declares Jehovah's Grace to be MUCH MORE than the sins of men!! Upon what principle, then, can it be maintained that Sin shall so intinitely preponderate over Grace, as to perpetuale its existence and its triumph forever!! According to my opponent's doctrine, the grace of God is but as a feather, when placed in the balance against the mountain weight of human sin! To correspond with this belief, or grant it any support, the Apostle should have penned his language thus: “Where sin abounded, grace did MUCH LESS abound. That as sin hath reigned unto death, in respect to the vast majority of mankind, plunging them into endless wrath, even so might grace reign toward a meagre few, and by great exertions get them into heaven!”

Dr. Clarke, in summing up his remarks on these passages, breaks forth into the following strain of triumphant exultation, in which I most heartily unite with him: “Thus we find, that the salvation from sin here, is as extensive and complete, as the guilt and contamination of sin. Death is conquered, hell disappointed, the devil confounded, and sin TOTALLY DESTROYED!!" If Dr. C. does not teach Universal Salvation here, in what possible sense can he be understood ? These Antithetical passages of scripture, afford a most conclusive argument in support of the final salvation of all mankind. Let Elder Holmes overthrow it, or even weaken it, if he can! My Nineteenth Argument is drawn from

DIRECT SCRIPTURE EVIDENCE. PROPOSITION.--The Scriptures distinctly and positively assert the final holiness and happiness of all mankind.

Proof.— There are still many passages of scripture which support the affirınative of this question, that I cannot do better than bring together in one body.

1. “There is no God else besides me; a just God and a Savior. There is none besides me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth ; for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear. Surely shall say, In the Lord have I righteousness and strength. Even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.”—(Isa. xlv. 21—24.) Elder Holmes noticed this passage in his last speech, and made an effort to destroy the meaning which lies on its very face, and to force upon it an interpretation totally foreign to the intention of the divine writer. He says, it was uttered by the Prophet to denote the general spread of the gospel. This is very

says

true. It declares the gospel shall spread so generally, as to reach all men, and cause all to bow the knee of willing obedience, and confess with exulting joy, that in the Lord they have righteousness and strength! Moreover, he contends that so far as the extent of salvation is involved, all the passage teaches is that every individual shall have an opportunity to be saved! Surely, the Most High used remarkable language to express such an idea. When he

every knee shall bow-every tongue SHALL confess--SHALL SURELY say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength”—the Creator only meant that every knee shall have an OPPORTUNITY TO bow-that every tongue should have an OPPORTUNITY to confess, that in the Lord they have righteousness and strength!! How long would such an exposition of language stand the test of criticism in a court of law, or before any authority competent to decide the meaning of words ? Not a moment. To insist that the passage only means all shall have an opportunity to bow the knee, and confess with the tongue, is giving but a portion of the great truth conveyed by Divine Inspiration. It goes farther, and asserts that all shall, in due time, improve this opportunity, and actually and willingly bow the knee of obedience, and exultingly confess that in the Lord they have righteousness and strength!

The Elder also informs us that the word one, in our English version--(" surely shall one say,”)--was added by the translators, to make sense of the passage. If this was their object, they utterly failed; for instead of sense, it makes perfect NONSENSE of the entire connection! There never was a word more arbitrarily or foolishly thrust into a place where it did not belong! Of all that « look to God and are saved”-of all that bow the knee, and confess with the tongue-will there surely be but one creature that can say, “ in the Lord have I righteousness and strength ?” What propriety is there in maintaining that the word "one" should be added to denote Christ? Will there be no one in the universe but Jesus, who can say " in the Lord have I righteousness and strength ?" Will all the rest of created beings be plunged into unrighteousness and helplessness ? According to my friend's Trinitarian notions, Christ is the very God himself! What propri. ety or sense is there in representing one infinite portion of the Godhead as saying that it has righteousness and strength in another infinite portion of the Godhead? Mr. Holmes insists that the last verse in the chapter--"In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified and shall glory”-shows that the promise was designed to be confined to but a portion of mankind, the " spiritual seed of Israel”—that is, I suppose, modern partialists! Here is another instance of the theological tergiversation for which my friend is becoming eminent. So far from conveying any such idea, the true intent of the last verse, is to confirm the universality which runs through the whole of this remarkable prophecy. The inspired penman, in that verse, designed to assure the Israelites that their

seed, their descendants, although becoming so corrupt as eventually to be cast off as the people of God, were still included in the purpose of Jehovah to bring all his creatures to bow before him in righteousness and strength. This view is corroborated by the language of St. Paul-_“I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery,

that blindness in part, is happened to Israel, until the FULLNESS of the Gentiles be come in. And so ALL ISRAEL shall be saved.”—(Rom. xi, 25, 26.)

I would request the audience to reflect maturely upon the passage under consideration. It will be seen that it was uttered to illustrate the perfect Sovereignty of the Almighty. He is God, and there is none else! To show that he doeth his will in heaven and on earth,” he declares his great purpose to save “all the ends of the earth!” He makes oath that “every knee shall bow in obedience to him, and every tongue shall surely confess and say, that in him they have righieousness and strength.” And to show that this universal subjection will not be a forced, but a wil. ling yielding of obedience and love, he asserts that all incensed against him, [God,] shall be ashamed !” All who have been disobedient, shall be brought to see the perfections, the excellencies, and mercies of the Deity, in a light so glorious, that they shall be ASHAMED of having sinned against a government so wise and perfect, and a Father so good and provident. And this sense of shame, will only make them the more anxious and faithful in yielding the high homage of their souls, and the purest love of their hearts, to the gracious Giver of all good ! !

Friends, ought we not to believe this language of the inspired prophet? Ought we not to believe a plain and simple declaration of God? But when, in view of the great faithlessness of man's heart, Jehovah condescends to couch his declarations in the form of an OATH, ought we not to believe him? When he solemnly swears " by himself, because he could swear by none greater,” that all men shall bow in obedience before him, and shall SURELY say, that in him they have righteousness and strength, who will presumptuously assert that his words will never prove true ? Or who, asserting this, can with the slightest propriety, claim to be a believer in the holy scriptures ? 2. “O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come

As for our transgressions, thou shalt purge thei away.”—(Ps. Ixv. 2, 3.) This declaration is plain and positive It asserts, in so many words, that all flesh-ALL MEN--shall com to God! And that they shall come to him in obedience and grati tude, is evident from the assertion of the last clause, that their iniquities shall be purged away, by him to whom they shall come ! Let my friend obtain any other meaning from this passage.

3. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide; neither will he keep his anger forever.”—(Ps. ciii. 8, 9.) If this passage is true, then

« PreviousContinue »