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a plan is practicable, is enough to show that Power Omnipotent can execute it. The direct and irresistible deduction from these premises, is, that in the final consummation of God's purposes and plans, all intelligent beings will be brought into a condition of holiness and happiness !!! All this, I have shown on the affirmative of the question. And what has my opponent done in reply? Has he succeeded in advancing an argument that has touched either my premises or my conclusions ? Search, investigate, all he has said on this question, and see if you can find an argument, proposition, or suggestion, that, when stripped of its verbiage, and duly weighed, can militate against the soundness of the reasoning on which I have depended. Your search will be in vain! I was as well aware of his failure to meet this proposition, when we commenced the discussion, as I am now that it is manifest to all. He cannot achieve an impossibility! To strike one link from this argument, is to blot out an Attribute from Jehovah's nature! To say that the Creator did not Desire to save all men-or that Desir. ing, he did not originate a Perfect Plan to accomplish that Desire -or that Desiring and adopting a Perfect Plan to this end, he had not Power sufficient to execute it-(one of which propositions Mr. Holmes must adopt,)-is but to insist that Jehovah is deficient either in the Attributes of Goodness, Wisdom or Power!! All his attempts to overthrow this chain of reasoning, have been but arguments which in fact bear not against Universal Salvation, but against the Christian Religion, and against the existence of a Perfect God!! Every argument against the perfections of God, is in reality an argument that if successful, would disprove his being !
I would solicit the audience, also to take into consideration the nature of the Scripture Testimony I have offered in support of the affirmative of this question. In reviewing my quotations from the Bible, they will perceive this marked characteristic, that the passages are all plain, LITERAL, POSITIVE declarations, couched in the most simple, yet most forcible forms of speech in which truth can be asserted, or thought uttered. Allow me to give you a specimen of the positiveness of these quotations from God's word : * All nations whom thou hast made, SHALL come and worship before thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy name.”—(Ps. lxxxvi. 9.) “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 bay, In the Lord have I righteousness and strength.”—(Isa. xlv. 23, 24.) “I WILL NOT contend forever!"-(Isa. lvii. 16.) “ The Lord WILL NOT cast off forerer !"-(Lam. iii. 31.) “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was LOST.” (Luke xix. 10.) “We have seen and do TESTIFY, that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”—1 John iv. 14.) “ He 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 to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” --(1 Tim. ii. 4.) These assertions are all rigidly literal. There is no figure, no metaphor, no parabolic dress, to encumber them, or to throw doubt around their true meaning. Human language will aumit of nothing plainer, nothing more positive. If these passages do not prove the final salvation of all men, what language could the scripture writers have used to express that sentiment? I call upon my hearers, to take their pens and endevor to write in the most forcible manner, a declaration which shall assert the salvation of the world, and see on comparison, if it will be more positive than I have quoted from God's peninen! Not only are these passages easily understood, but I insist they CANNOT be misunderstood? There is not an individual acquainted with the plainest terms of language, and in possession of an ordinary amount of sound understanding, who can obtain any other possible signification from the passages above quoted, than the doctrine of Universal Salvation! It is only when men adopt a creed, and become wedded, blindly wedded to it, and allow it to obtain an ascendency in their minds above God's word, that they will even make an attempt to extort a different meaning from these scripture declarations than that resting upon their very face.
In regard to those portions of the Divine Word, which are cloth. ed in metaphorical or figurative language, or comprised in parables, there cannot be that assurance, that certainty of a correct understanding. They may admit of different interpretations, and a variety of meanings may be, in some instances, drawn from them, with much plausibility! And this, be it remembered, is the class of scripture passages, on which my opponent depends to prove the doctrine of endless punishment. Let the audience notice, on the next question, and they will readily see that he will quote parables, and metaphors, and other passages of scripture, of a highly figurative character, in support of that sentiment. The world should understand this marked distinction, in which there is the utmost significance, that the passages of scripture on which Universalism chiefly depends, are all LITERAL-while those on which the most confidence is placed in support of endless woe, are all FIGURATIVE!! This single fact speaks volumes !
While requesting the audience to give the arguments and suggestions I have offered on the affirmative of this question, whatev. er weight they may justly claim, I would at the same time, invite them to treat respectfully, and weigh maturely, the Replies which have been offered on the negative, by Elder Holmes. That he has done the best he could, there can be no doubt, at least among those who have witnessed his labors here. The assiduity with which he has plied himself to his work, the care, anxiety and perplexity which have been depicted upon his countenance from the beginning, all indicate that he was sensible he had engaged in a Herculean task! Few men could probably have done more than he has,
in combatting the great principles which support the doctrine of Universal Salvation-a doctrine which even its most virulent enemies admire and love !! But after all, what bas he done? After exhausting all the skill, logic, art, shrewdness, tact and sophistry, with which nature has endowed him, or that experience has taught him, what is the result? Has he succeeded in convincing one individual who was a Universalist, that there is not “sufficient evi. dence for believing that all men will be finally holy and happy ?” He cannot himself believe this. Has he satisfied those who sympathize in sentiment with himself, that he has in fact overthrown, or in any material sense, weakened either of the Nineteen Arguments which have been introduced in support of the Affirmative of this question? Has he satisfied them that those plain and emphatic declarations of the Bible, which assert that God will not cast off forever, and will not contend forever, mean he will cast off and contend forever? Or that those passages in which Jehovah says he WILL have mercy on all, and WILL save all, mean he will NOT have mercy on all, and will NOT save all? I doubt whether he will even claim to have yielded this satisfaction to his most sanguine friends.
Elder Holmes has introduced eight propositions, which he denominates Negative Arguments. They are as follows: 1. Universalism denies the existence of sin as a moral evil. 2. It makes God the author of all sin. 3. It is confused and contradictory in its proofs. 4. According to its teachings, there is no such thing as salvation. 5. It teaches that the soul is mortal. 6. It denies future punishment. 7. The scripture passages relied upon by Universalists, do not establish the unconditional and ultimate salvation of all men. 8. It is a new discovery. These are the best things—the only things—the ALL—that a man of the shrewdness and talent of Rev. David Holmes, could possibly obtain in the whole realm of thought, to urge against the doctrine of boundless grace and impartial salvation. I call upon the audience to consider the nature of these Negative Arguments, and their applicability to the subject under consideration. However logical or weighty an argument may be, if it has no bearing on the question in debate, of what avail its introduction? Here is the fatal defect in my opponent's Negative Arguments. With a single exception, there is not one of the whole eight, that has in reality, the slightest connection with the subject under discussion. I have said there is one exception. It is the seventh argument, viz: “ The scripture passages relied upon by Universalisis, do not establish the uncon. ditional and ultimate salvation of all men.” Were this position based on correct premises, and sustained by satisfactory proof, it would, of course, seriously weaken the affirmative of the question. But unfortunately for its author, its premises, and its assumptions, are wholly groundless. I have already shown that Universalists do not quole any scripture passages, to prove the "unconditional
salvation of all men, for the very good reason that we do not be. lieve in unconditional salvation. And all the arguments and propositions he has male to hinge on that supposition, fall to the ground. Our belief is, that salvation is experienced by the soul, only on compliance with the conditions laid down in the gospel. But we believe all will be saved, because all will be brought to a compliance with the conditions of salvation. To bring men into a willingness to comply with these gospel conditions, was the work committed to Christ by his father. This work he will abundantly and certainly accomplish. In due time “every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”—(Phil. ii. 10, 11.) The scripture passages which Universalists rely upon, do establish the ultimate salvation of all men. And every attempt of 'Elder Holmes to weaken them, has proved wholly abortive, as I have shown in my examination of his criticisms.
As to the remaining seven negative arguments, I showed satisfactorily, I trust, as they were introduced, that they were untrue in fact. Universalism does not deny the existence of sin as a moral evil-nor make God the author of sin—nor are its proofs confused---nor does it teach there is no such thing as salvation-nor assert that the soul is mortal-nor deny future retribution-nor is it a new discovery! All this I have made manifest, under the appropriate heads. But even allowing the most important of these objections to be well founded and well sustained, they have no more actual bearing on the question under discussion, than on Mahomedanism or Catholicism! Suppose it was true (as it is not) that Universalism denied the existence of sin, or made God the author of sin, or asserted that the soul is mortal, or denied future retribution--would it necessarily follow that there is not “ sufficient evidence for believing that all men will be tinally holy and happy?” The merest tyro in logic would laugh at such a deduction. There is no possible connection between the ipremises and the conclusion of a proposition of this description. There are thousands of people who believe in the immortality of the soul and in future retribution, and yet are open and ardent advocates of Universal Salvation !! I cannot have so wretched an opinion of Elder Holmes' discernment, as to suppose he really believed the majority of his Negative Arguments, actually bore against the affirmative of this question. It was in the indulgence of a poor and pitiable spite against a large and rapidly increasing denomination, that he introduced them. He imagined this discussion would af. ford him an admirable opportunity to prejudice the ignorant and unreflecting portion of the community against Universalists, by attributing to them sentiments which do as much violence as possible, to generally received public opinion. But in this attempt he has most signally failed. Upon himself alone, he has brought
the condemnation and confusion of face he was endeavoring to cast on his neighbors.
In my friend's next speech, which closes the discussion on this question, he will tell you of the wonderful things he has accomplished. He has informed you that on the last question, he was left“ in full possession of all his arguments,” notwithstanding the utter failure he experienced in satisfying even his own friends of the soundness of his positions, and notwithstanding, too, the utter annihilation which his scripture quotations and criticisms experienced. With a modesty and humility which can but challenge the highest admiration, he will make similar boasts of his achievements on this question. He will inform you that all my arguments are demolished, that my scripture proofs are dissipated, and my every position has been overturned. Most positively he will assert that complete success has attended his beautiful and amiable work of showing that Jehovah's wise and gracious plans for the redemption of the world have been overthrown—that Christ's aitempt to rescue the race from sin and death, has been frustratedthat the hopes of all angels, the desires of all good men, have been forever blasted !! Notwithstanding my arguments are the clear. est deductions from the attributes and purposes of God, and afford in fact, the most positive demonstration of the truth of the affirmative of this question-notwithstanding I have shown you by the plainest declarations of scripture, that God will have mercy upon all men, and will save all men-still he will insist I have oilered no proof, and have not approached to a denonstration of the soundness of my doctrines. But I have the utmost confidence in the ability of this audience to see through all these pretences. Words ?re cheap, and easily spoken. It is by far more convenient to
im a victory, than to gain it! Those who have listened and d, are the umpires between the parties in this debate. To them cheerfully submit the subject matter we have had in hand. Let iem weigh carefully, judge candidly, and decide honestly and unerstandingly, and I have no fear for the issue.
In conclusion, allow me to say that the destiny which I have contended God has in store for all his creatures, is one which corresponds with all the teachings of the scriptures, with the highest dictates of reason, and the holiest wishes of the christian's heart. It is under the light of these views only, that man is enabled to conceive of harmony and unity in Jehovah's councils. Here alone Justice, Mercy, and all God's attributes are removed from an antagonistic attitude, and made to meet and “kiss each other.” Here only we can see them go together land in hand in all the movements of a wonder working Providence, to the accomplishment of purposes the most grand, and desirable, of which can conceive. Blessed Harmony! Glorious agreement! Worthy a perfect God! Infinitely worthy the father of all Spirits. 0, the bright and blissful prospect which is unveiled to the eye of