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angry, revengeful, retaliating feelings, in chastening his children. He does it in love, from a deep interest in their welfare, and a strong desire to restore them to obedience and rectitude. And if he had but sufficient pouer, he would cause his chastisements to produce these most desirable results. We have a right to reason from the parental character of the Deity, that he punishes his sinful children on the same principle and from the same motive. e., to reform and restore them! His nature as a holy, pure, loving Father, necessarily leads to the cherishing of this motive. Can a good Father punish his children for no purpose but to torment them? Would an earthly father punish his children all their life time simply to torture them ? Certainly not. His punishments are intended solely for their good-to bring them to repentance, and cease when that object is effected. So our Heavenly Father punishes for the benefit, the reformation, of his offspring. “Thou shalt also consider in thy heart, that as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee."--(Deut. viii. 5.) “Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence. Shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of Spirits, and live ? For they, verily, for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, thai-we might be partakers of his holiness.” --(Heb. xii. 9.) Such is the purpose of God's chastisements!
Has he not ample power to carry a purpose so holy into effect? Has he not abundant resources Can the creature stand out against this purpose, and thwart the design of the Creator? Impossible! God's punishments will result in the restoration of the punished to righteousness and obedience. “Now, no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward, it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”—(Heb. xii. 11.) God's chastisements thus yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness, and all who are punished will in due time be restored to holiness and happiness.
A wise and good earthly parent will at any time, allow his disobedient children to repent, reform, and return to obedience and happiness. He will adopt no measure which he forsees will result in fixing his children in disobedience. Much less would he, after a season, place them where they should have no opportunity to reform. We are compelled to reason in the same manner of our Heavenly Father. Why should he set a fixed time, and insist that if his blind and erring children do not repent in that time, deny them the privilege of ever repenting? Why should their Heavenly Father place them in a condition where they would become 'eternally fixed in wickednes, and be compelled to blaspheme his name forever? No! whenever the sinner would repent, in any life, in any world, God allows it. Why should he not? Who would be injured by it? None, certainly—but all
trould be benefited! What says the Bible ? " Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”—(Isa. Iv. 7.) This divine invitation will stand forever, for the acceptance of man! There is no time set, no iimit fixed, no place designed when, or where it shall ceas. Let the wicked repent and return to God, and they shall be abundantly pardonel, is the “ Standing Rule" of eternity!!--[ Time expired.
[MR. HOLMES' SECOND REPLY.) Will Mr. Austin show me a place in the Bible where it is said that those who die in depravity and crime, will certainly repent and be restored to holiness and happiness in another world ? Such a declaration would have much weight in his argument.
MR. AUSTIN.—Ii my brother will show me a place in the Bible where it says the wicked shall not repent in another world, I will give up the argument.
MR. HOLMES.—This is presenting a wrong issue-requiring me to prove a negative. Men are now lost—depraved-sinful: dying in this state, the presumption is, they will always remain so, unless this presumptiom be disproved by positive testimony. The negative of this question must be regarded as true, until the affirmative is proved; and yet, there is an abundance of negative proof, as we shall see before the termination of this debate.
Perhaps I cannot do better at present, than to confine myself to the last argument of my friend founded, on the assumed ground that all men are the children of God in a spiritual sense-in a sense that unconditionally insures their endless felicity. He quotes a number of passages to prove what no one disputes-viz. that God chastens his children. But does this prove that all men are the children of Golin a spiritual sense? That the chastening of the Lord “yiells the peaceable fruit of righteousness” to those (children of Gəl) who are exercised thereby, is very true; but if the gentleman hıl qnote l the whole of the passage from Heb. xii. he would have given the best of proof, that some men are not children of God, and hence, are designate.l, " bastards and not sons."
It is the doctrine of the Bible, that men only become children of Gol by faith in Christ, and that those who are not in a state of dia vine obedience, and under the influence of gospel faith, are the children of the devil. Hence said our Lord to the Jews, " ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do." (John viii. 44.) Now, if men are the subjects of divine chastening, while they “ children of the devil"_"bastards and noi sons"--what le.
comes of the peaceable fruit of rightousness, said to now from such chastening? and where is the force and utility of my friend's argument, founded on the paternal relation ?
In connection with this argument Mír. Austin his appealed to the sympathy which the mother has for her infant child. Well, I have nothing to object to the mother's sympathy. In its proper application, within the sphere in which it was designed to move, it is a must necessary and noble element of humanity; prompting the mother to that care and kindness so necessary to the sustenance and happiness of her tender offspring. But what has this to do with the final holiness and happiness of all men?
Would the gentleman establish an analogy between the sympathy of the mother for her insant, and the sympathy of God for a world of reb. els against his throne and government, and then proceed to plead that sympathiy against the alministration of law and justice? li this be his olijeci, let him carry out the principle:- let him pleal sympathy against the infliction of all positive punishments by the civilani criminal law :-let him go back and plead the sympathy of the mother against the destroying angel, who slew the first born of Egypt:-let him invoke divine sympathy against the destruction of the antedilovians--the Solomités-and the host oi Pharaoh :finally, lrt lin invoke both human and divine sympathy against the doctrine for which he has contended so strenuously in ihis debrie—that God will punish every man to the full extent of his deserts.
1. This paternal argument, is wholly sympathetic. It will not harinonize with moral law, or justice : it moves upon the surface of things, an I will not endure, for a moment, the touch of intellectual investigation. Human nature is morally perverted: and as human sympathy arises out of human nature, it is perverted in the same ratio: bence, when applied to moral subjecis, it is an unsafe guide. In basing an argument on human sympathy, Ir. Austin erecis a perverted human standard, as the criterion of the divine administation.
2. Though a!) men are the chillren of Gol by creation, or naturii relation, yet the;' are not so in a moral sense : and it is clear y the doctrine of scripture, and provi ence, that tliese who sin, forfeit the blessings of their natural relation.
3. There is another and higher sense in which men are children of Gol, viz, adoption. Hence it is said in Gal. (iv. 4, 5,) Christ cane “ to redeem them that were under the law, ikai ve might receive the a:loption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath want forth the Spirit of his son in your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. therefore, thou art no more a seivaut, but a son; and if a son, ihen an heir of God through Christ.”'
Hiere we are taught that our son-ship is by gracious adoptionthat our heavenly inheritance depends upon our son-ship--and that ihose who are not soos, are noi inheritors of God through Christ.
To the same import, is (Rom. viii. 14 :) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God.” If this be true, what shall we say of those who are not led by the Spirit of God? Are they the sons of God? Tholuck, in his comment on Romans, teaches that our future inheritance depends on our son-ship-and that our son-ship is conditional.
4. But let us take another view of this boasted Paternal argument. In its strongest form it reads thus :
* What a good earthly father would do for his children, he having the wisdom and power requisite, that, God will do for the whole family of man, as they are all his children ; and, being infinite, he has wisdom and power sufficient to make them happy."
To this we reply, 1. This argument takes a distorted view of the character of God. It is as distinctly announced in the Bible, ihat God is a Governor, and Judge, as that he is a Father. He is denominated the “ Judge of all the earth,” the “ King of kings, and Lords of lords"-and it is said that justice and judgment are the habitation of his Throne. And yet this argument overlooks the Governor and Judge, and tixes attention entirely on the Father, and draws its conclusions from this partial and distorted view of the divine character.
As a moral Governor, God is bound to administer the affairs of his kingdom according to the laws of his universe:-he cannot lose the Governor in the sympathies of the Father. Were he a Father, only, he might disregard law and justice as the criterions of action, and yield himself to the control of sympathy. As a Judge, God must give his decisions according to the principles of law and justice. He cannot merge the character of Judge in that of Father, without manifest injustice, and a subversion of the constitution of his government. It is plain, therefore, that any conclusions relative to the future destinies of men, drawn from the divine paternity alone, are clearly fallacious.
2. By a process of reasoning, similar to that embraced in the paternal argument, we may arrive at a directly contrary conclusion. Take one of the attributes of God-his holiness and let us see what sort of conclusion may be deduced from it. God is infinitely holy: and as his holiness is the foundation and source of his jus. tice, hence, he is infinitely just. But as sin is the direct opposite of holiness, his holiness and justice would lead him to enact the strongest possible penalty against it; but the greatest possible punishment would be the unconditional, endless ; erdition of all transgressors. And, as his wisdom and power inust always move in harmony with holiness and justice, they stand pledged to devise the plan, and execute this punishment upon all the ungodly. Now, as all have sinned, this argument would prove that all must be damned without remedy. And this argument, founded on the holiness of God, in proof of the unconditional, final perdition of all men, is precisely as sound and strong as Mr. Austin's argument for the unconditional salvation of all men, founded on the paternal relation alone. Nay, it is sounder and stronger, by so much as holiness, which is an essential attribute of God, is superior to a mere relation which may or may not exist, without affecting the character or government of God in their essential elements.
It is, therefore, as clear as demonstration can make it, that a process of reasoning, which may be made to support conclusions so directly opposite, is perfectly sophistical, and utterly false.
3. This Paternal argument, on the soundness of which so much of Mr. Austin's success depends, contradicts Universalism in one of its main features; hence can only be true, on supposition that one of the fundamental principles of that system is false.
Universalism teaches, that God always, and necessarily, punishes all sin, and every sinner, to the full extent of his deserts. But this proposition is contradicted by the argument from the paternity of God. Would a good father punish his children, for all their delinquencies and obliquities, to the full extent of their deserts, if he had wisdom and power sufficient to reform them, and make them happy without such punishment? No one will pretend this :-and hence, if there be any force in the argument under review, God is bound to dispense with all positive punishments, and renounce his character as moral Governor, simply because he is infinite in wisdom and power, and can control, irresistibly, the hearts, the conduct, and destinies of his creatures. If it be true that all men must be punished, and every man to the full extent of his deserts—then it cannot be true that God, as a good Father, will save men from sin and misery, directly and positively, simply because he has wisdom and power sufficient to do it. But if it be true that God, as a good Father, must and will deliver men from sin and misery, just as the good earthly father would do, if he had the power and wisdom requisite, then, on the contrary, it cannot be true that he will punish all sin, and every sinner to the full extent of his deserts. Both these propositions cannot be true --one or both must he false: and in either case, Universalism is false. To sustain the first of these propositions., Mr. Austin has spent two days-and now he takes special pains to set forth and defend the other. But they are directly contradictory. Efforts to harmonize them are not merely fruitless--they are childish. Which of these propositions will the gentleman yield to the force of common sense?
4. Besides being unsound in itself, and contradictory to Universalısm--this argument is both unsupporetd by facts, and directly opposed to facts of the most palpable character; and since Bacon introduced the inductive philosophy, arguments and theories can make little or no impression, unless they harmonize with facts. Even divine revelation would not be satisfactorily established, unless it preserved an agreement with facts developed under the moral government of God.
• What a good earthly father rould do to make his children