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Faith, in this heavenly system! A vast family of intelligencies all tending towards their common Father, through a wise and well a ljusted series of progressive stages-going up from one degree of light and knowledge to another-continually approximating the Infinite Fountain of Being and Perfection-continually increasing in happiness as they are prepared for it, by an increase in Truth, Holiness, and Love-until at last, the entire race shall stand be. fore the throne of the common Father, emancipated from sin and imperfection, and with a full, perfect, glorious developeinent of the image of the eternal Godhead in which they were originally created!! The ways of Providence are vindicated, and their wisdom and perfection manifesied to all. The great God of heaven is honored in all his works, and infinitely glorified in the dignity, holiness, and bliss, to which he has elevated the creatures of his hands!
My soul soars far away in delightful survey of this blessed hope! It ascends higher and higher, as truth after truth, like new discovered stars in Night's sparkling diadem, break in grandeur and sublimity on its expanding vision, sending abroad tloods of light divine! The wing of thought droops and fails in its rapid flight, beholding no bound nor limit to the still enlarging expanse of Infinite Grace, until every power of conception becomes bewildered and lost in the IMMENSITY OF GOOD, which the Pa rent of all has prepared for his creatures! In view of a destiny for fallen man, so great, so holy, so blessed, my heart gladly and joyfully unites in the civine strain of the Psalmist—" Make a joyjul noise unto the Lord, all ye Lands. Serve the Lord with gladness ; come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God. It is he that made us, and not we ourselves, We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. Be thankful unto himn and bless his name. For the Lord is Good, his Mercy is everlasting, and his Truth endureth to all generations.”(Ps. c. 1.-5.)-[ Time expired.
[MR. HOLMES' TWELFTH REPLY.] Gentlemen Moderators :- Mr. Austin is entitled to my thanks for reminding me of another and very weighty argument, against his doctrine of unconditional, inevitable salvation for the whole human family. He has made a strong appeal, and with much apparent contidence, to the hearts of the audience, claiming its decision in favor of his doctrine. Of course his remarks refer to the heart, as it is. Universalism knows nothing of a renewed heart-a regenerated heart: it claims that the heart, in its natural and unholy state, gives its suffrage for annihilating the endless sanctions of the divine law, and unconditionally saving all men, without
regard to character or conduct, as subjects of God's moral govern
Of the truth of this there can be no doubt: hence, I freely grant the gentleman his claim. But mark--so far is it from proving his system true, it demonstrates its depravity and falsehood. The Bible declares the heart to be evil, deceitful and wicked. Our Lord says, “out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, faise witness, blasphemies." This being the moral state of the heart
, it is wholly at variance with the purity of God's law, and the principles of his gospel. A wicked heart will love only thal which is assimilated to its like
The gospel requires self-denial-renunciation of sin, and a course of holy obedience. Hence, the wicked heart hates the gospel. But Mr. Austin says it loves Universalism; and no wonder, since that theory allows all that a wicked heart can claim or desire, without the least hazard as to final consequences. Mr. Austin is right. The sinful, depraved heart loves his doctrine, and is never more happy than when the intellect has become so perverted as to allow it the undisturbed enjoyment of the object of its gross, sensual and depraved affections.
The argument may be stated thus : Any system of religious doctrine which falls in with the natural bent of the human heartis loved and cherished by it-must be false in its character, displeasing to God, and dangerous to the souls of men. But Mr. Austin says, Universalism is loved and cherished by the heart, with all its sinful tendencies and corrupt purposes and desires : and often, in opposition to the dictates of the intellect and judgment. The conclusion, therefore, is as sound and forcible, as the premise is truthful-Universalism is false in its character, displeasing to God, and dangerous to the souls of men.
There are a few other particulars to which I wish to call attention, before I proceed to recapitulate my opposing arguments, and sum up the discussion on this question.
As was anticipated, Mr. Austin has presented a long list of eminent names, claimed as Universalists. His object in this is to weaken, if not destroy, the force of my last negative argument, based on the very recent origin of Universalism; as well as to sustain, by the authority of great names, a system which must fall, if left with no other support than its own intrinsic merits. As I intend to bestow more attention upon this nominal argument of my friend, before the discussion closes, than I can at present, I will esteem it a favor, if he will give me the authority from which his materials are drawn.
Mr. Austin.—They are taken from various sources. It is not possible for me to designate all of them. Some of the names read, were taken from the “ Ancient History of Universalism."
MR. HOLMES.—This is a very convenient method of avoiding responsibility, in a matter that my friend is well aware will not bear investigation. From “ various sources.” Well, in the absence of more specific information, we have the whole field before us, and must do as well as we can. The gentleman has, bowever, ventured to refer to the “Ancient History of Universalism," as one of the sources of his information. It is really enough to excite a smile, to hear of the “ Ancient History of Universalism ;" a book written for the first time, by the son of the man who first gave being and form to the system defended by my opponent, not far from the beginning of the nineteenth century. On the list of names introduced by the gentleman, we will only remark at present two or three things. First: Many of the distinguished individuals referred to, did not embrace Universalism in any form whatever, but taught a directly contrary doctrine, as is abundantly evident from their published works. Of this class are Doddridge, Watts, Dick, Sir Isaac Newton, and others. To claim these as Universalists, is a false and slanderous imputation upon their hitherto unsullied reputation. Secondly: Of all the names read to us, (so far as my recollection now extends) not one embraced anything like the system of doctrine advocated here by Mr. Austin, nor had they the least fellowship for such views. There is no more similarity between the views they held, and modern Universalism, than between Deism and the Gospel of Christ. Finally: Those who symbolized with Universalism in any respect, flourished, for the most part, during the age of speculation which succeeded the reformation by Luther; and their Universalism, with scarcely a single exception, consisted merely in admitting a doubt of the perpetuity of future punishment. In all other respects, they were orthodox, embracing evangelical views of Christ and his Gospel ; and yet Mr. Austin parades their names before us as Universalists, without a single word of explanation. My negative argument, founded on the modern origin of Universalism, is untouched as yet by anything that has been said. Names are nothing, however distinguished, when brought to sustain a false and anti-christian scheme-and besides, the names embraced in the list referred to, so far as they might claim to be Christians at all, cannot, with either truth or propriety, be associated with the anti-scriptural, semi-infidel theory, defended by my opponent. The measures adopted by Universalist writers generally, and the course pursued by Mr. Austin in this discussion, in quoting the views of orthodox ministers, authorize the supposition, that wherever they fiud a writer repudiating the notion of unconditional repro. bation to damnation, and maintaining the universality of the atonement, they at once place his name in the list of Universalists. It is in this way they make out their catalogue. I have no doubt, that under other circumstances, the list would have been enlarged by adding the names of Wesley and Clarke.
The audience will recollect, that when the debate on this ques. tion commenced, I advertised them of my intention to take hold of
every affirmative argument presented, and show the fallacy in the gentleman's premises, and the unsoundness of his whole course of argumentation. He has multiplied his arguments without precedent, and beyond what was required by the nature of the question. By this course, though my friend has weakened his main position rather than otherwise, by spreading his proofs over so large a surface, yet he has rendered the discussion more complex, and imposed a more difficult task on me, inasmuch as I have found it necessary to to reply again and again, to the same arguments, presented with a slight change in phraseology and the mode of illustration. Whether I have redeemned my plelge, I most cheerfully submit to the decision of the public, after I shall have briefly reviewed the ground over which we have passed.
The first argument brought forward by Mr. Austin to sustain the affirmative of this question, was diawn from the desire of God. God desires the happiness of all his creatures, therefore all will become holy and happy. In reply to this, I have shown that it involves a number of assumptions and sophisms, which render it wholly nugatory. The argument is worthless, unless the desire of God controls, in an absolute and resistiess manner, the final destinies of men, irrespective of moral agency or moral desert. But this is a mere assumption, not only without proof, but directly in the face of the most stern and decisive evidence to the contrary. God's moral attributes, his moral government, the plain declarations of his own word, the moral agency and responsibility of man, together with the facts existing in the moral universe, unite in asserting the unsoundness of the process by which the gentleman has reached his erroneous conclusion. God will never desire the holiness and happiness of men, more strongly and ardently than he does at presit. Hence, nothing can be predicated of this desire in the future, sond what we see effected by it now; but this desire does not, by un resistless control, nor by the means employed to secure iis ct, remove the sinfulness and misery of moral beings, without
d to their agency and conduct. It therefore contradicts analoand fact, as well as the nature of the gospel, and the plainest
utes of his word, to assume, from the desire of God, the uncon'jonul, inevitable salvation of the whole human family.
The same remarks will apply, with all their force, to the intention of God, from which my friend, by a strong physical, not to say intellectual effort, leaps to the conclusion he seeks to establish. The gentleman cannot claim to have any other knowledge of the divine intention, than that communicated through his government and his directly revealed will; but neither of these authorize the deduction of Universalism. What may be expected froin the operations of the divine government, is constantly being developed around us. Beyond this, we are authorized to expect nothing, only on the positive assurance of direct revelation. And what is this assurance ? Can the gentleman refer me to a single
text, in which the assurance of future salvation is stronger, or made to us on terms differing from those connected with salvation in the present life? Mr. Austin has said, it is a standing rule, applicable to all worlds, he that repents shall be forgiven, and regiored to holiness and happiness. For the sake of the argument, allow this to be a correct view of the divine intention, and what does it prove for Universalism? It is a standing rule for this world_ he that confesseth and forsaketh his sins, shall find mercy.” But, do all therefore confess and forsake their sins? No; but thousands despise the gracious overture, and wax worse and worse, to the latest period of their lives. Now apply the rule to another world; make it the standing rule of eternity, and what have we gained? The rule itself does not secure the end, but only prescribes the method by which it may be attained. The operation of the rule for many thousand years, furnishes data from wbich to judge of its operation for all coming time, or for eternity; and the nature of the rule implies, that those for whose benefit it was given, may hereafter, as they have in this world, forfeit the blessings it was designed to confer. Thus, we see, in jumping 10 his ultimatum, the gentleman has utterly disregarded the htful claims of those well established principles of moral government, analogy and revelation, to which all correct theologians and sound reasoners are accustomed to pay tribute.
The next argument brought forward by Mr. Austin, is founded on the government of God, or the Divine Sovereignty. That Jehovah is a Sovereign-that he is perfect-that he has established a gorernment over all men—thal his government has a specific object in view, and is perfect, are predicates I have not disputed, and shall not. I have argued for all these positions, but my opponent has conflicted with them, more or less, in every speech he has made; and the general train of reasoning pursued by him, has directly tended to undermine and overthrow them, thus giving a practical illustration of the remark in my first speech -that the advocates of Universalism blow hot and cold with the same breath, and pull down with one hand what they build up with the other. Would a perfect sovereign establish a moral go. vernment, and then deal with his subjects as machines, and thus conflict with the principles of his own government? Would he enact laws, and leave them to execute themselves, as I have shown to be the doctrine of Universalism? Would he establish faith as a condition of salvation, and then save men without faith, or, which amounts to the same thing, compel them to believe that they might be saved? Would he proclaim himself to the universe a moral Governor, his rule moral law and moral justice, according to the moral desert of his subjects, and then change :he moral for a government strictly and entirely paternal, and resolve his whole administration into sympathy? Would be give his subjects a moral constitution, advertise them that their character and condition