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[MR. HOLMES' SECOND SPEECH.] Messrs. Do:lerators :—My friend has now commenced his course of reply to my course of argument, and with it his course of inconsistency and misrepresentation. I supposed he was arguing in a way likely to make an impression on minds not accustomed to close thought, on the subject of moral agency, until he came to the following declaration—that if man is a moral agent now, he will be hereafter”-that is, man will not be a moral agent in the future state, therefore he is not a moral agent now. Does my friend take this ground ?
MR. AUSTIN :-No Sir.
MR. HOLMES :—This is the declaration, and the argumentative force of it is as I have stated. A disclaimer is of no use, unless the gentleman gives up the principles on which his argument is based. Besides, the same ground has been taken, sometimes in in plain words, and sometimes in a round about way, a score of times already in the course of this debate. The arguments of Mr. Austin on the intention, desire, will, sovereignty, and foreknowledge of God, and many other positions taken by him, conflict directly with the fact of man's moral agency. The object of all these arguments is, to prove that all men will certainly be saved, without regard to conditions or contingencies of any kinil. But this object could only be gained by annihilating the freedom of the will and the moral agency of man. In his last speech, my friend at!empts to strengthen this position, and secure this object, by the declaration alluded to above. Men are not moral agents now, because, if this be admitted, it will follow they will be here. after. Under these circumstances, the audience and public will be at no loss in estimating the proper value of the gentleman's disclaimer. It is no new thing for Mr. Austin to argue strenuous. ly for a position, and then deny the fair, logical, and unavoidable conclusion. It is a characteristic and prominent feature of the argumentative course of my friend, that the arguments by which he attempts to prove universal salvation, disprove all salvationdisprove that particular constitution and character of man which make him a proper subject for salvation at all--disprove that plan of Divine governinent which alone admits of moral guilt, or the propriety or possibility of moral salvation. My friend knows this, as well as I do; hence the disclaimers he finds it necessary to enter here and there, which, however, have no other effect, than to exhibit the inconsistency of his positions, and the nugatory character of his proofs.
Mr. Austin says I am dissatisfied with the discussion thus far. The same remark has been made by him once at least before. At the commencement of this discussion, I took it upon me to prophesy that the gentleman would cavil and quibble, twist and turn, use sophistry, and pervert scripture and reason; and because I now and then call the attention of the audience to the striking manner in which he has fulfilled my prediction, he retaliates by alledging that I am dissatisfied with the results of the discussion. To this gratuitous allegation, I have no formal reply to make, other than to assure the gentleman that if he will allow his part of this controversy to go to the public, just as it has appeared here, without changing his position on those important questions which have incidently arisen—without denying in the printed copy, what he has here admitted, or admitting what he has here denied, and thus changing the features of his arguments—I shall be the last one to express dissatisfaction, or complain of the results of this discussion. He accuses me, too, of entertaining a feeling of distrust in regard to the integrity of the human heart. I admit the charge, and give the gentleman credit for having represented me correctly, in a single instance. I used the very language of scripture in what I said of the state of the heart, and if my friend objects to this, his quarrel is not with me, but with ihe word of God. The more Mr. Austin objects to me or my theological system on this ground, the better I shall like it. I do distrust the human heart. The experience and observation of every succeeding day confirm the truth of holy scripture, that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” I charge it upon Universalism and the advocates of that theory, jat they take sides with the "desperately wicked” heart of man,
his rebellion and corruption, in opposition to the truth, the ingrity and purity of God's law and government. The gentleman aims his doctrine true, because it has the suffrage of the human eart, which our Lord declares to be the source of all corruption, oth of principle and practice—and thus he glories in what is real. y the shame and condemnation of Universalism. As is the moral state of the unsubdued and unrenewed heart, such is the moral character of Universalism.
Mr. Austin has been pleased to allude to the character of my preaching, with the view, as I suppose, of convicting me of incon sistency, in preaching that a part of mankind will be lost, while I desire and believe all may be saved. On this point I will only say, my preaching coincides perfectly with my belief and desire. While I maintain there is sufficient evidence for believing some will be lost, I also maintain and believe none necd be lost—there is no necessity imposed on any human being, to forfeit heaven and happiness; but, on the contrary, advantages are furnished them, with the direct view to secure their salvation; and the whole responsibility of the failure, where a failure occurs, rests on man. And while I desire the salvation of all men, and believe all may be saved, my faith and desire are neither blind nor unintelligent, but are regulated by, and founded upon those great fundamental principles which govern the moral universe, and determine the
moral character and responsibility of man. I have never thought of desiring, nor does any intelligent Christian desire, the salvation of sinners, on any other principles or conditions than those embraced in the Gospel. And all petitions and prayers, (including the prayers of Christ, which are always heard,) proceed upon the same principles. To suppose either Christ or his intelligent disciples desire or pray for the salvation of sinners, under the influence of blind sympathy, without regard to man's responsibility, or the fixed principles of God's government, is to suppose them anxious to overturn what it is their duty to confirm and establish. The claims of the Divine law, and the stability of the Divine throne, are paramount considerations in the teachings and prayers of Jesus Christ, and all his intelligent disciples.
As was anticipated, Mr. Austin has appealed to parents and children, who are told that I have attempted to prove that the children of the one, and the parents of the other, will be endlessly miserable. This is certainly an instance of singular modesty. To give any force or effect to this appeal, it must first appear that your children and parents have lived in rejection of the Gospel, and died without hope. With characteristic consistency and modesty, the gentleman assumes this to be the fact —or that it will be, in oriler to force an unjust conclusion upon me.
But the effect of this effort will recoil upon himself. His design is too apparent. He wishes to mystify and impair your judgments, by exciting a feeling of opposition to what he falsely alledges to be my object in this discussion. I deny this issue, and repel the imputation as illiberal and unjust. I have not undertaken any such work as the gentleman assigns me. I am not here in the character of a judge, but of an advocate—not an advocate for the final salvation of those who despise the riches of God's grace, and spurn his authority, but for the truth and holiness of the Divine law, and the fearful and iminutable character of its sanctions. The final application of this law, I leave to the determination of Him who has suid, by the mouth of his holy Apostle,“ We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”—(2 Cor. v. 10.)
Mr. Austin has said a great many things during this debate, in regard to the course that would be adopted by a good father-from which he argues and concludes relative to the Divine conduct, as Father of the human family. On this point, we have already joined issue with him ; but we wish still further to ask now, if the whole force of this argument does not stand against the gentleman's doctrine ? Is there a father in this assembly, who, in case he had a rebellious son, who refused wholesome restraints, and would not be reformed, would hesitate, as a final resort, to separate him from the rest of the family, lest he should corrupt their morals and destroy the happiness of the whole circle? And this is precisely what I maintain God will do with the willful and incor. rigible among his subjects. Those who will not be reformed by moral influence, and the operations of moral government, will be separated from the blessings of that government, and given up to the consequences of their own rebellion.
The gentleman also told you that I will attempt to prove that God, for his own pleasure, did fore-ordain sin and a state of misery, when he brought his government into existence. This is wholly gratuitous. I have attempted no such thing, nor shall I, unless I become a Universalist. In that case, I shall probably take a course similar to that pursued by Mr. Austin in this discussion, though I think I shall endeavor to be more fair and honorable in my plan of argument. But, in relation to the doctrinal point here referred to, should I become a Universalist, I should labor to establish it ; and my success herein would be essential to the salvation of my system. This is the very doctrine which, more than any other, Mr. Austin has sought to establish for the last three days. He has made a great effort to prove the will of God respecting his creatures is absolule and unconditional—that his will is always done—that he doeth all his pleasure-that is, that he is pleased with all events just as they occur—that fore-knowledge and predestination are identical-hence, as God knows all things, he does all things, and is pleased with all things. Moreover, as sin exists, the gentleman tells us Gol has been pleased to introduce this state of things, as the best means of disciplining his children, and making them more holy and happy hereafter. All this, and much that is still more revolting and blasphemous, has the gentleman contended for here, to establish his dogma of unconditional, universal salvation. Listen to the following language in one of his speeches: “ How could they (men) realize and enjoy the felicities of higher states of being, if they had not once been
called to suffer sickness, pain, misfortune, and the last great evil, death ?
And it is for these all-gracious and all-sufficient reasons, I repeat, that the wise and good Heavenly Parent has created his moral offspring subject to imperfection.” Without directing your attention particularly to the inexcusable blunder of the gentleman, in supposing a man must be sick in order to be healthy, must die in order to enjoy life, the point worthy of remark in this quotation is, that God "created his moral offspring subject to imperfection," in order to make them more holy and happy hereafter--that they might more fully “realize and enjoy the felicities of higher states of being.” The plain meaning of this is, that “moral imperfection" was a necessary means of promoting moral perfection. It requires no great experience in the art of reasoning, to trace out the logical conclusion from such premises. As men can only be made properly to “realize and enjoy” holiness and happiness, by first becoming sinful and corrupt, hence God was bound, by the benevolence of his nature, to introduce sin, and use such means as would
secure man's subjection to sin ; and, moreover, as sin becomes essential to the attainment of a high and glorious end, God is bound to love sin, as he loves the final aim and design of his government. Is it true, then, that God “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance ?” We can understand from this, what Mr. Austin means by God's will and pleasure. He means that God positively and absolutely wills and takes pleasure in all events, sin not excepted, as the agencies adopted by himself, to accomplish his high design, the final holiness and happiness of all men. Such is Universalism, and such the doctrine of my friend, as set forth by him in his discussion of the second question. God is contradicted, dishonored, blasphemed-man becomes passive and irresponsible--and sin desirable and lovely. Judge now of the gentleman's consistency, not to say effrontery, in wheeling directly about, and commencing the debate on the third question, by objecting and setting forth, that I am about to prove, or attempt to prove, that God ordained and takes pleasure in sin and misery !!!
The view I intend to advocate of sin, and of God's government, in the discussion of this proposition, is precisely what I have all along maintained. It may be expressed as follows : God's gov. ernment is moral--man is a moral agent, his will is free-moral government and moral agency necessarily admit the possibility of sin-man is a sinner, not by the influence or agency of God, direct or indirect-the gospel is intended to save men from sin and its consequences—its benefits are proffered to allthey are conditional, and none will be finally lost, except such as willfully neglect or reject the means of salvation. Finally, as man is a sinner by his own fault, so, those who are finally lost, are alone responsible for the dreadful issue of their probationary being. Their reflection must ever be, “ I knew my duty, but I did it not."
In reply to my first argument, the gentleman admits the doctrine of moral agency, to a certain extent. What does he mean by being free to a certain extent?-does he mean a part of the will is free, and a part not free? If so, will he tell us what part free, and what part bound? Or does he mean to say men are free a part of the time, and a part of the time controlled irresistibly? If this be the view, it seems important that we should know what portion of our time we act freely, and what portion of our time we are so controlled as to be free from moral responsibility, as also how we are to determine when we are bound, and when we are free. When the gentleman shall have explained himself on these points, we will endeavor to give the subject a more full consideration. In the meantime, let the gentleman remember that he cannot separate a moral action from the agent acting--that in morals, the action and actor are inseparable--and that whatever merit or demerit belongs to one, belongs also to the other. If, therefore, he denies moral agency, as to final results, he at the same time denies moral virtue, moral praise-worthiness or approbation, and