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would depend upon their own conduct, for which they would be held stuctly responsible--and then proceed to bring out a given resu't in violation of their constitution, and without regard to their conduct? Would a perfect sovereign, with a perfect gorenment, subject his people to vanity ntaisist their will, or lead them, die rectly or indirectly, into rebellion against his laws and authority, that he might have opportunity to show his sovereignty and power in punishing their disobedience? Finally, wouli a gool, wise, perfect sovereign, with a gooil, wise, perfect government, find it necessary to lead his subjects through a course of rebellion, crime and punishinent, in order to make them loyal, and elevate them 10 virtue, holiness, and happiness! Such are a few, and but a lew, of the incongruities of Universalism, in regard to God's government and sovereignty; and all these various, absurd and contradictory notions, have been advocated by Mr. Austin, in the course of this debate. It is most strange that my friend should talk of God's perfect moral government, in connection with the proposition he is laboring to sustain, since, if Universalism be true, moral government does not exist; and as a sovereign, instead of being good, wise and perfect, God proclaims himseli, by his course of administration, as weak, cruel, tyrannical and hypocritical.
The fourth argument of Mr. Austin is denominated the fulfillinent of the law of love. He argues that this law will be fullied in every individual, anıl all will be consequently holy and happy. We aimitallare, and will be saved, who obey this law, but we do not adinit that the command, “thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all tny heart,” proves that all will love God, any more than the cominand, “ thou shalt not steal,” proves all will be honest. The lat. ier command is adapted to this world only, and by many is never obeyed in spirit or practice. Suppose it applicable to another world, as well as this, have we any proof that it would not be disregarded there, as it has beeu here? If so, I would like to know from what source it is drawn. The command, “ thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,"' is a lapted to both worldsto all worlds, and as it is uiterly disregarded in this life by thousanis who have all the knowledge necessary, and all the motives to induce love to God ever made known to any human mind, we have the argument from analogy, to say nothing of the govern. ment oi Goi, the moral agency of man, and the teachings of holy writ, to support the conclusion that it may and will be disregarded in the future stale. But Vir. Austin has atteinpted to strengthen bis conclusion, by referring to the declaration of Christ, that he "caine to fuitill the law." To this we reply, Christ came to fulill the law in this life, yet all men do not love God. Indeed, Messrs. Ballou, Williamson, and others, confine the agency of Chrisi in the salvation of men, to this world. But the law he came to fulfill is not obeyed by all here; where, ther, is the proof, that it will be hereafter? We may assume, imagine, and conjecture; but after all, every thing tangible repuliates, as baseless, the wholesale conclusion of Universalism. Besides this, I have shown in what sense Christ fulfills the law, that his work of atonement and intercession for sinners did not, and does not, involve unconditional, inevitable salvation.
Mr. Austin rests his next affirmative proof on the “ Paternal character of God.” As this is one of the strong points of Universalism, he has brought all his intellectual force into requisition to defend it. If he has displayed art in the general conduct of his argument, he has also given many specimens of false reasoning; and in his rejoinder to my reply, every paragraph contains a lucking sophism. In the attention I have been able to bestow upon the Paternal argument, I have, in the following particulars, shown it to be unsound in premise, fallacious in process, and false in conclusion. 1. It is founded on human sympathy, which, on account of the perversion of our nature, is an unsale guide in moral subjects. 2. It assumes, contrary to the direct language of scripture, that all men are children of God, in such a sense as will secure their ultimate holiness and happiness. 3. I have proved from scripture, that our heavenly inheritance depends upon our adoption, and that our adoption is conditional : “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God; and if sons, then heirs of God through Christ.” 4. It has been shown that his argument takes a distorted view of the Divine character; overlooking all the attributes of God, and all the principles of his government, it rests itself on a mere relation. 5. By a process of reasoning similar to that embraced in this argument, a directly contrary conclusion may be arrived at, by taking some other divine relation, or the holiness of God as a predicate. Hence, this mode of reasoning, supporting conclusions directly opposite, must be perfectly sophistical and utterly false. 6. I have shown that the Paternal argument can only be sound, on supposition that Universalism is false, inasmuch as it directly conflicts with that main proposition of the system, for which the gentleman contended during the first two days of this discussion. Finally, I have demonstrated the falsity of the argument, inasmuch as it is opposed to facts as they exist in the moral world-contradicts analogyand on the principles of Universalism, the practical exhibition which God gives of his paternal government, is an outrage upon the feelings of every earthly father, whether good or bad. Mr. Austin has said it is necessary to the success of my cause, that I should remove this argument. Allowing this to be true, it is equally necessary to the success of his cause, that he should keep it sound in all its departments. Whether he has done so, I submit, without hesitalion, to the candid decision of the audience and public.
On the love of God, another affirmative argument is predicated by Mr. Austin, on which he dwells at great length. In reply, we have shown, that it is as distinctly, emphatically, and unqualifiedly said in the scriptures, that God is “angry with the sinner every day'--"is a consuming fire," and that it is “a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God," as it is, that **God is love." If the latter expression is to be interpreted on absolute and independent principles, the same rule of interpretation must be applied to the former. If the latter proves all must be saved, the other declarations quoted, prove all must be lost. I have further shown, that the gentleman begs the question, in order to get a starting point for his argument. He assumes the final perdition of the ungodly to be inconsistent with the love of God, which is the very point in dispute between us. We have also seen, that divine love is not an attribute, but an affection of the divine mind, which only exists towards those objects adapted to call it forth; that as God is holy, he can only exercise the love of complacency towards those who are assimilated to his moral likeness : hence, does not, and cannot love the sinner, in a sense that secures him of endless life. Finally, the facts existing in the moral world, and the illustrations God has given us of his disposition towards sinners, in his exhibitions of severity and justice in his physical and moral administration, are most deviously irreconcilable, with both the predicate and conclusion of the gentleman's argument. He says, the facts and illustrations from the government of God, with which I have refuted his deductions, are the effects of the laws of nature. Allowing this to be so, what is gained by him? Is not God the author of nature's laws? Would a God, who loves, and " is love,” in the sense represented by my friend, establish and maintain laws, which inílict such miseries on the objects of his dearest affection ? But many of these examples of divine justice and severity, have taken place in opposition to the laws of nature. Numerous instances are recorded in the Bible, in which the laws of nature have been suspended, for the purpose of executing marked and terrible vengeance against transgressors; all which, are standing refutations of the view here taken of the love of God.
Mr. Austin's seventh argument, is drawn from the foreknowlelge of God. That God does know all things, is a fact I would no more deny, than deny the Divine existence. Hence my friend might have spared himself all the pains he has taken to fortify this position. The fallacy of the argument is found in two points. 1. In assuming that God would not create a being, who, he foresaw would make himself miserable; and, 2. In confounding certainty and necessity, foreknowledge and determination, things entirely and radically different. To the first of these assumptions, I have replied in my speech on the government of Go:l. The second I have answered, by showing the difference between those things which my friend has strangely confoundel. To say that an event is necessary, because it is foreseen that it will occur, is to make mere knowledge causative in itself; whereas, the truth is,
knowledge is passive, and does not of itself exert the least influence upon the character of an event, or render it any the more necessary or certain. Mr. Austin's argument from foreknowledge, robs God of the character of a moral Governor, and leaves him no choice between ignorance of all events until they occur, and exclusive responsibility for all the crime and misery in the uni
We much prefer the view given of this subject by St. Paul. “Whom God did foreknow, (as believing and obeying the truth, and being sanctified by the Spirit, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son.” By consequence, whom he did foreknow as disbelieving, disobeying, and willfully rejecting the gospel, he also did predestinate to the consequences or their sinful career. The responsibility, both for the career pursued, and the nature of the result arrived at, rests on the sinner alone.
Mr. Austin builds his eighth argument on the mercy of God. There is not a more palpably fallacious and inconsistent proof in the whole catalogue than this. That such a specimen of reasoning should be expected to have weight with thinking men, is certainly very remarkable, and reflects very little credit upon the judgment of my opponent. The whole argument is rendered nugatory by the following difficulties. 1. It is based upon the supposition that mercy is an attribute of God, which is not true. Mercy has its foundation in, and is a form of the divine goodness, assumed towards the guilty and helpless, and is intended to afford relief to such, on terms which harmonize the attributes and government of God. But mercy, in the sense in which the term is generally used, is not an attribute, and may, or may not exist, without disturbing the harmony of the divine character. 2. On the principles of Universalism, there is no such thing as mercy. All definitions of mercy, centre in this one idea—" to treat an offender better than he deserves." It is the doctrine of Universalism, that God always punishes sinners to the full extent of their deserts. If this be true, he cannot treat them better than they deserve ; hence mercy has no existence in that system, and cannot be made the foundation of an argument. 3. Were there no other objection, the argument would be vitiated, because it rests upon the assumed ground, that divine mercy is exercised in an absolute and sovereign way, without the least regard to the constitution of the divine government, or the principles involved in the conditionality of gospel salvation. All the gentleman says about the conflict between justice and mercy, in which mercy resists the claims of justice, and justice is equally stubborn in its opposition to the benevolent intentions of mercy, is a perversion of orthodox views, and is intended to mystify the subject, and mislead the minds of the audience.
My friend's ninth argument, is based on the "justice of God.” Most of the remarks just made in regard to mercy, will apply to
the subject of divine justice. Justice is not an attribute, but a form of the divine holiness, and its office is, (under a system of restoring mercy,) to vindicate the character and government of God against those who reject the overtures of mercy, and willfully retain the character of offenders. Such are held under the inflictions of justice. Mr. Austin mistakes the nature and designs of divine justice, and then proceeds to draw his wholesale conclu
The argument is defective in all its parts; but if it were sound in other respects, the conclusion arrived at would be erro. neous, since the operations of divine justice no more prove that all men will be holy and happy, than the operations of human justice prove that all inen will experience the happiness arising from conformity to the salutary laws under which they live.
The gentleman has given us an argument on the will of Goil, on which he has insisted much. He takes it for granted that God wills the salvation of all men, absolutely, and without respect to contingencies of any kind: that it is the positive and determinate will of God, that all men shall be holy and happy: The folly and absurdity of such a proposition, I have shown in various ways. I have shown, that so far as inen are concerned, it would contravene moral government-rob man of his moral character, and consequently of the power of moral happiness: that if the will of God respecting final destiny be unconditional and absolute, it must be so in regard to the several steps by which that destiny is reached ; and hence men are neither praise nor blameworthy, and God alone is responsible, not merely for the existence of all events, but for beir moral character. Thus the conclusion is legitimately
ached, if the premise be sound, that God is the direct and absoate author of all sin in the universe. God cannot be the direct and absolute author of man's moral destiny, without being the direct and absolute author of his moral character.
It has been further shown, that the Bible presents many clear instances in which the will of God is not done, and in which the word translated will, cannot, without the greatest folly and absurdity, be understood in an absolute sense. I give the gentleman this dilemma for consideration, and it is perfectly immaterial which of its horns he shall employ, to pierce the vitals of his systein.
If God's will be not absolute, in a sense which controls the existence and character of all events, the argument is good for nothing. If it be, then instead of proving the salvation of all men, it proves nothing so definitely; as that sin and misery may always exist, since it now exists, and has existed for many thousand years, not by the mere permission, but by the absolute will of God.
The presence of God in all men," is another proof of universal salvation, often referred to by the Universalists, and which Mr. Austin has given quite a prominent place in his declamations. But I have never been able to see any point or force in this sup