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happy, be having wisdom and power sufficient to carry out his wishes-that, God will do for the whole human family, as they are all his children, and he is infinite in wisdom and power.” This is the argument. But we ask, would a good earthly father bring his children into existence, or even allow them to come into being, under a condition of sin and misery, if he had wisdom and power to prevent it, or have it otherwise? Would he bring them, or allow them to come into conscious being, in a state of physical decrepi. tude, mental inbecility, or moral viciousness and degradation, if he had wisdom and power to control their condition and character, and make them directly and positively happy? And suppose the children of a good father to have become the subjects of these calamities by accident, by their own fault, or in some other way for which the father was not responsible, (which, however, on the principles of Universalism, is not a supposable case,) would a good father allow them to remain in that condition during a series of years-during a whole life time, if he had wisdom and power to deliver them from their disabilities, and consequent unhappiness? Who does not see that the good earthly father, would in this case directly and immediately free them from their calamities and miseries, had he adequate wisdom and power ?
But let us pursue this train of thought still farther. Would a good father destroy his children, or allow them to be destroyed, by famine and pestilence? Would he allow them to corrupt the morals, and destroy the lives of each other? Would he suffer them to be the subjects of hatred and revenge, to be moved by the worst of passions to commit depredations upon the property, reputation and lives of one another, and fill his house and family circle with cruelty and bloodshed, if his wisdom and power would enable him to prevent it? Moreover, would he enact laws for the government of his children, connected with severe penalties-- say, the penalty of death or confiscation of property, or loss of health or reputation, or both, and then allow his children to traduce his character, blaspheme his name, utterly despise his authority, spurn his laws, and tread his commandments in the dust, if he had power and wisdom sufcient to prevent it? What does Mr. Austin say to this? He must say yes or no, and either answer will be fatal to his argument. If he says yes, he contradicts the argument under review, which asserts that what a good father can do by wisdom and power, that he will do to make his children happy. If he says no, then the argument refutes itself, and is proved to have no proper application to the character of God, as Father of the human race, since all the facts enumerated above, and many more, actually exist as facts under the PATERNAL GOVERNMENT OF God. How will the gentleman reconcile these facts with the conclusion of his argument, founded on the divine paternity? He must take the ground that God, as Father of the human family, could have brought his children into existence in a state of unmixed happiness, and could have preserved them so to the present time, but would not ; or that he would have done so, but could not. If he could, but would not, it follows the paternal argument has no force, and God's character as Father of the human family, affords no security that all men will be saved : for God's goodness as a Father, is as great now as it ever will be, and exerts as much moral influence and power now as it ever will; hence, if our security for tinal salvation arises out of the paternal character and relation of God alone-we argue, that which does not produce present salvation, can atford no sufficient security for salvation in the future.
But if God would have brought the human family (his children) into existence in a state of holiness and happiness, and would have kept them so, but could not, then, not only is the paternal argument false, but there is no hope for the salvation of any human being; for, as God is unchangeable in his wisdom and power, as well as goodness—as he never will possess more wisdom and power than he now does, it follows, if he was unable to create his children happy at first, or if he is unable to make them happy now, he will never be able to effect their happiness. On the principles of Universalism, one of these conclusions must be taken. My iriend may take his choice; either will be alike fatal to the argument under consideration-10 Universalism and to the hopes of the world.
5. Nor can this conclusion be avoided by maintaining that a temporary state of sin and misery is to be overruled for the eternal good of the children of God, which, I suppose, will be the dernier resort of Mr. Austin.
Let us see how this notion will harmonize with the argument against which we are contending, "what a good earthly father would do for the happiness of his children, he having the requisite wisdom and power—that God will do, &c.” Now if a good father were about to bring children into being, it is self-evident that he would design to make them completely happy, to begin with ; and were his power and wisdom equal to his goodness, he would carry out his benevolent design in the most direct and inmediate way. But in doing this, would he imitate the moral ad. ministration of God in his moral universe? Would a good father subject his children, unavoidably, to sin and misery, in order to make ihem holy and happy, as Universalism teaches God has done, and is doing, in regard to the human race? Universalism teaches that all things come to pass according to the will and design of God; and yet, we are told he does, and will do, just as a good earıhly father would do, with his wisdom and power. How absurd! Would a good father create or allow sin, as a means of making his children ho!y ?-create or promote vice, to make them virtuons !---create or promote misery, to make his children happy?-sickness and disease, to make them healthy! Would he bring them under the power of death, to save their lives? Sin, vice, misery, disease, sickness, death, and many other facts of a similar character, exist in this lite, in connection with the human family, under that divine government which my friend denominates paternal. Universalisin says, and Mr. Austin says, they are the divinely adopted instruments of human happiness-all this is the effect of divine benevolenta. But azin I ask, would a good earthly father show his benevolence in this way-use such means to promote the happiness of his children?
What father in this house, gooil or bad, would, directly or in. directly, break the legs and arms of his children, that he might have the opportunity of showing his paternal affection, in binding up the shattered limbs, and healing the broken bones? Is there a father here, who would poison the food of his children, and thus ditluse disease through their system, that he might have the opportunity of acting the part of a physician, in restoring them to health and soundness? This is the ground Mr. Austin takes in regari iu divine punishments—that it is a medicine designed to cure ihe siliner's disease. · God having caused the sickness, applies the inedicine to remove it. And this is doing just as a good earthly failer would do !!! But who would inflict positive pain upon his children, that they might feel happy when the pain was removed? What father would set the robbers upon his children, wound and leave them half dead, in order to show himself the good Samarita', in pouring in the healing oil, and incurring expense, and manije-ting solicitude for their recovery? And yet, if there be any trui in Universalism, any force in this renowned argument, God does all this and much more, with no other object than to effect the present and eternal happiness of his children. He drowned the antediluvian world, rained fire and brimstone from heaven upon the cities of the plain, overthrew the host of Pharaoh, swallowed up the company of Korah, killed Ananias and Sapphira, buried men, women and children by thousands beneath the burning lava, or engulfs them in the quaking earth : and all this is the fruit of his bonevolence, as a kind and loving Father, and are the means he emnploys to bring his children to glory!!!! But I ask, finally, would a good earthly father adopt such measures to bless his children? To ask the question is to answer it. I have now, I trust, made it sufficiently evident that this PATERNAI argument, which figures :) largely in the writings, sermons, and discussions of Universulisis, and which Mr. Austin has presented here with so much pompons assurance, is founded on perverted human sympathy--distorts the character of God—is illogical and unsound-contradicts the scriptures-contradicts Universalism-and contradicts facts: it is therfore as false as it is fallacious. I should not have given it theattention I have, but for the fact that Universalists use it and beast of it, as though they regarded it the ne plus ultra of logical perfection.
I will conclude my remarks on this point, by employing another argument much used in the defence of Universalism, turned (ats most of its arguments may be) against itself.
God can save men, and make them eternally holy and happy, without their passing through this state of sin and misery, moral and physical evil, or he cannot. If he can, then he is wanting in goodness because he does not do so. But if he cannot secure their final holiness and happiness without all this sin, depravity, misery and death, then it follows he is deficient in wisdom and power, On his own principles, Mr. Austin must take one of these conclusions, and either will overturn this boasted argument and annihilate the dependence of Universalism. The truth is, this Paternal argument, taken all in all, (considering the great stress Universalists lay upon it,) is the silliest thing they have ever invented for the support of their cause—and the wonder is, that a man of Mr. Austin's discerament should risk his reputation in presenting it, or that any intelligent individual or congregation should ever be duped by it.
Having now removed three of the gentleman's affirmative proofs, I will employ the remainder of this half hour, in presenting my, first negative argument against the proposition he sustains, and reserve the other points in my friend's last speech, to be noticed when I speak again.
Mr. Austin affirms that there is sufficient evidence for believing that all men will be finally holy and happy. My first negative argument is-that the system, of which this proposition is the soul and centre, is false, because it denies the existence of sin, as a moral evil--making it the unavoidable result of the physical constitution of man.
To effect the salvation of all men, Universalism is obliged to depreciate the character of God's law, and so effect a corresponding charge in the character of sin, by diminishing, if not entirely destroying, its moral turpitude. Were the law allowed (by the advo. cates of this theory) to be the embodiment of the moral perfection of God, the transcript of the divine mind, the standard of moral perfection and moral rectitude to an intelligent universe: and were sin considered the voluntary transgression of this law by an intelligent moral agent, who has knowledge of the law and its glorious Author, and ability to obey it, it is easy to see that the sinner would be placed in such an attitude to God, and such would be the deep moral turpitude of his offence, that the common appliances of Universalism would scarcely suffice to restore him to final holiness and happiness. This view of the law and the moral turpitude of bin, was entertained by the first Universalists. Hence Winchester, who displayed great anxiety to convince himself and the world, that all men will be finally holy and happy, nevertheless, frankly confessed that when he considered the perfection and purity of the law, the depravity of the heart, and the turpitude of sin, he sometimes almost despaired of his own salvation. The successors of Murray and Winchester saw that they must obviate this difficulty in some way, that the safety of their system required them to make the salvation of the sinner as easy as possible. They therefore set themselves syste. matically at work, to reduce the perfection of the law, and the standard of divine requirement, until, robbed of its adaptation to the character of God as a moral Governor, it becomes, at best, merely the rule of intellectual and physical action. And sin, also, is disconnected with moral turpitude, by being resolved into the unavoidable results of physical organization.
In the Universalist Book of Reference,” (by Guild and Hyatt) published by Grosh and Walker, Utica, 1844, we find the following language—“If the objector supposes that God, in the administration of his moral government, is under the necessity of interfering and directly punishing his creatures, this is a very great mistake. No, God is under no necessity of guarding the interests of his law by penal enactments, and penal sanctions. It is a law, as we have seen, founded in the nature and fitness of things—a law written in the very constitution of man: God's law, therefore, does, by its own operation, secure the reward of virtue and the punishment of vice.”—Page 110. This sentiment is repeated in various forms, in nearly all the books I have read, in defence of Universalism. And here we have it sufficiently plain, though designedly obscured somewhat by verbiage, 1. That the law to which the sinner is amenable is not that which was written by the finger of God on tables of stone, and transferred to the pages of the Bible-but it is “written in the constitution of man:” 2. That this law is not guarded by “penal enactments or sanctions” of a positive character : connected with it is no other penalty, than the natural consequence of violation : 3. That this law is its own executor-by its own operation it secures reward of virtue and punishment of vice" there is no lawgiver who stands pledged by his attributes, to guard the purity and dignity of his law. All this may be summed up in two particulars. 1. The law of God is identical with the law of the human constitution—the law that governs the physical powers and mental faculties. 2. The penalty of this law is the disagreeable sensation, or consequences produced in our physical or intellectual nature, when we contravene the law, or interfere with the harmony of our constitution !! In the light of this theory, you can understand what Mr. Austin means by the punishment of sin to the “ full extent of the sinner's deserts.” He means, that when a man eats too much, he deranges the digestive organs, and must pay the penalty, that is, he will feel very disagreeably. Or, if he gets drunk, it will cost him some physical qualms, before he entirely recovers. Or if he over acts, by too strong a mental effort, the consequence will be, mental derangement, and, perhaps, mental debility, and this is the penalty. Such is the low and grovelling view Universalism takes of the Divine Law. And what is this but sheer infidelity ?
After making the law of God identical with the human constitution, the next step in this backward process, is to dispose of the moral turpitude of sin--and this is done by making it arise entirely