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My thirteenth argument is founded on the
between the righteous and wicked.
1. Mr. Austin will agree with me that the Bible describes a contrast between the holy and unholy, as to the estimation in which they are held by a holy God, even in this life. The divine record says, “his face is against the wicked'--that “he is angry with the wicked every day"--while he loves the righteous," and " takes pleasure in those that fear him.”'
2. My friend, I think, will scarcely deny that this contrast is as strongly marked at death, as at any previous period. But if there should be any doubt at this point, I will remove it at once by Bible testimony.
(Ps. xxxvii. 37.)—“ Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.” (Ps. cxvi. 15.)--" Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Prov. xiv. 32.) The righteous hath hope in his death." (Luke rri. 32.)—" Lazarus died and was carried by angels to Abrabam's bosom.” The usual mode of expression in the New Testament in regard to the death of Christians, is, that they “die in the Lord,” · sleep in Jesus,” &c.
In contrast to this, listen to a few Bible descriptions of the death of the wicked. (Job. xxvii. 20.)- "Terrors take hold on him as waters, a tempest stealeth him away in the night. The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm, hurleth him out of his place. For God shall cast upon him, and not spare: he would fain flee out of his hand." The wicked man at death, contemplating his fearful doom, would fain flee out of the hand of God. (Ps. xxxvii. 38.)—"Transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off." (Prov. xi. 7.)—– When a wicked man dieth, his expectation perisheth." (Prov. xiv. 32.)--" The wicked is driven awny in his wickedness." (Ezek. xviii. 18.)-_" He shall die in his iniquity.” (Luke xvi. 23.)—“The rich man died and was buried, and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment.” (2 Pet. ii. 12.)—Describing those who walk after the flesh, says, " But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things they understand not, and shall utterly perish in their own corruption."
Such is the marked contrast between the righteous and wicked at death. - Thus do the wicked leave the world, the subjects of God's visible displeasure; in the full strength of unholy passion, with all the guilt of a corrupt and criminal life upon their heads. If they do not die under the power of moral insensibility—if they make any intelligent disclosure of their real state of mind-such are the circumstances which mark their exit. And yet Universalism wipes its mouth “ with sanctimonious seeming," and says to
them— be not alarmed, your heavenly father is about to receive you to his arms of everlasting love and mercy !!!"
3. On the principles of analogy and philosophy, the contrast in character and happiness which exists at death, will exist after death, unless there be an entire extinction of being. Temporal death is only a dissolution of the body, hence, does not, and cannot, affect that indissoluble nature of man, in which moral char. actor inheres ; and as moral happiness arises out of moral character, temporal or corporeal death does not, and cannot, aflect moral happiness. The wicked man, dying in the full strength of moral de pravity, takes that depravity with him into the future state ; and as it has placed him in contrast to the righteous in this world, as to character and happiness, so it does in that state which immediately succeeds to death. Many Universalists, unable to avoid this conclusion in any other way, have gone in for an extinction of being between death and the resurrection. Mr. Austin may deny my conclusion, and adopt this method to sustain his denial, if he chooses. Still, to all sound minds, the consequence is unavoidable-either man ceases to be, at death, or he carries with him into the future state, the religious and moral character he has acquirert here. And I am happy to be able to confirm this view, by the recent almission of the leading oracle of Universalism. Mr. Hosea Ballou 2d, says—" To us the supposal of no intellectual and moral connection of the present with the future, is so incongruous with all our forms of thought, that we never could bring it distinctly before us, and still retain the idea of another existence for ourselves. That drath is a non-conducting medium, as it were, throngh which no influence whatever can pass from this world ; that all our personal developments perish there : that God's dealings with us here, in providence, and even in the work of redemplion, are absolutely shut up within this present life, and have no effect or reference beyond ; that all the joys and sorrows through which we are disciplined, bear no fruit but what we gather here; and that the seeds of this (fruit) have no second growth: that the last hours of our agony, and so many other sufferings, are but waste pains ; that our characters, good or bad, the product of so much toil, die utterly and forever with our bodies--all this is so abhorrent to our very nature, that we would give but little for a future being, unler these annihilating conditions.”—(Universalist Quarterly, Vol. 4.) Here Mr. Ballou admits, the seeds of the fruit we gather here, have a second growth—"sin kills beyond the tomb” and that our characters, whether good or bad,” go with us into eternity. Thus you see, truth is re-acting upon error in its strong hold. But how perfectly this demolishes the system of Universalism, as generally taught during the last forty years, I need not stop to point out.
4. Universalism admits a general resurrection; and our next point, is that the same contrast exists in the resurrection state. This would inevitably follow from the argument just presented, and from the admission of Mr. Ballou. If death does not change moral character from bad to good, a resurrection from the death state cannot. The change is a physical one in both cases, and those moral results and agencies identified with and necessary to the transformation of character, cannot be predicated of either. The contrast of which we are speaking, involves moral character and its consequences; hence, if there be a change between death and the resurrection, it must be effected by moral means.
But we know of no such means to be employed to effect this change during this period; if Mr. Austin does, he will confer a favor by pointing them out, and defining their character. Moreover, as we have already seen, the resurrection of the body will be a physical change-hence, no moral change can be concluded from this. If, therefore, we had no scripture to confirm it, it would be in keeping with reason and sound philosophy, to suppose men will be the same in the resurrection state, that they are at death. But this point is clearly and forcibly settled by the word of God.
In the first place, Christians are said to enjoy a condition of glory and reward, which is not promised to other characters. (Luke xiv. 14.) Our Lord promises a reward at the resurrection of the just, as the fruit of Christian benevolence. Here the inference is plain, that there is to be a resurrection peculiar to the just, and that the just will then be distinguished, on account of their reward.
(Heb. xi. 35.) In this verse we read of some who were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. (Philip. iii 11.) St. Paul Tells us he lahored if by any means he might atlain unto the resurrection of the dead. St. Paul could have had no doubt as to his having part in the general resurrection, whatever might be his course of Christian conduct in the case referred to. But he had another and higher object in view. The sense conveyed by this passage unquestionably is, that he was anxious for that distinction in the resurrection state, which is peculiar to the righteous dead. In this view alone is his language consistent. (Rev. xx. 6.)—"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power." The Bible teaches, also, that the unjust, as well as the just, shall be raised up. This would be a just and natural inference, from the particular reference of the scripture to the resurrection of the just. Why speak of the just, in distinction from the unjust, if all are to be just at that time? But, besides this, St. Paul expressly states that there shall be a resurrection, “ both of the just, and unjust.” -(Acts xxiv. 15. It only remains to show the contrast in the language of scripture.
(John v. 28, 29.)-“Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and
come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." (Rev. xx. 12.)—"I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God : and the books were opened : ard another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of ihose things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell [hades] delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire.” Here we have a plain and impressive view of the world in its resurrection state, together wiīh the contrast between the righteous and wicked still kept up, clearly and emphatically marked, and connected with those future and immutable allotments adapted to each character. The ajove passages, as proof of the point in question, can only be set aside by a process which violates common sense, the common use of language, and the established rules of interpretation. I therefore claim the argument up to this point.
5. It only remains to show that the same contrast thus far es. tablished, will exist at the day of general judgment. This would follow as a legitimate corollary, from the conclusions already arrived at. But we proceed to adduce direct scriptural proof. (Ps. i.)—" Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous." In the description our Lord gives of the judgment scene, (Matt. xxv.) we find this declaration fulfilled to the letter, in the separation of the wicked from the righteous. (2 Peter iii. 7.) But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire, against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (Also ii. 9.)—“ The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust, unto the day of judgment, to be punished.” (Matt. xxv. 41-43)—“These shall go away into everlasting punishment.” (Rev. xx. 12.)— “And the dead were judged out of those things written in the books, according to their works.” (And 15,) " Whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire.” (Ecc. xii. 14.)—"For God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil Besides this, there is a numerous class of scriptures, from which :' future condemnation of the wicked is a plain and unavoidable ference-such as (1 John ii. 28.)" Little children, abide in hi that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not ashamed before him at his coming. (iv. 17.)-" Herein is on love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment.” The conclusion here, by implication, is, that if we do not“ abide in Christ"—if our love is not "made perfect,” we
shall not have boldness, but shall be ashamed before bim " at his coming”—“in the day of judgment."
Thus far, we see no relief to the picture--no hope for the sinner. We have shown you how, in character and condition, he contrasts with the righteous, in this world-at death-in the resurrection state—and at the day of judgment. When will this contrast cease? Can Mr. Austin tell us? We shall see.
My fourteenth Argument is based on the doctrine of
A FUTURE AND GENERAL JUDGMENT.
On this subject, we call the attention of Mr. Austin to the fol. lowing statements, and, if he can, let him meet them one by one, and overthrow them.
1. God has a right-it is his prerogative if he chooses, to have a day of general judgment, and of general and final distribution of rewards and punishments. That is, we know of no attribute of God, no principle of the divine government, and no argument from reason, which would contravene the divine right, to assemble bis moral subjects, and at once and finally award to every man according to his works. Having authorized thrones of judgment in this world, before which we may appear to implead one another, and obtain justice, and secure the equitable distribution of rewards and punishinents, it appears improbable and unreasonable that he should not have reserved to himself the right to erect over all these, his general throne before which both judges and judged may be brought to receive the decisions of the bigher--the Supreme Court of the universe.
2. It seems necessary to suppose some arrangement of this kind, to “justify the ways of God to man." God is a universal Governor; and as he is an infinitely good and just Being, he must be a righteous Governor. But if we confine our views of his administration to this life, his government cannot be justified. God being infinitely perfect, his laws must be perfect; his laws being perfect, they must have an equal bearing on his subjects; but if the power of retribution extends not beyond this life, his laws and government bear most unequally, and there is no remedy. In this world, for the most part, the wicked bear rule. They are lofty in their claims, unjust and oppressive in their measures; virtue is oppressed, persecuted, down-trodden, and often receives ihe punishment due to crime, while vice bears away the reward due to virtue. Where is the remedy, if the empire of retribution ex. tends not beyond this life? If we may not hope for a re-hearing before an unerring judge, when these numerous wrongs shall be made right, we might well adopt the language of a distinguished Poet, with perhaps more of heart-felt anguish than he possessed.
"O for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade," where we may be free from the oppressor's frown, and the con