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have fastened a monstrosity so palpable on a system as elevated as Christianity. They urged it as near this, as they could well get it, viz, in the form of a Tri-Unity—or three persons in one godhead, equal in power and glory-which when disrobed of all mysticism, means nothing less than three equal gods!! The introduction of this heathen sentiment led immediately to endless divisions and discussions, which have continued at intervals down to our own day. And in this we discover the true origin of all the disputations which have rent the church on this subject. As the Dark Ages came on, and ignorance increased, and the converts from heathenism multiplied, the advocates of the Trinity gained strength, until at length they became the majority in the church, and by vote of Councils, decreed that the Trinity was a true, Evangelical doctrine. With the Trinity, came the kindred sentiment of Vicarious Atonement—that one of these three gods died to appease the wrath of another, and to liberate mankind from the punishment of their sins! That this doctrine of Atonement came from heathenism, is manifest from the ridiculous and even childish form in which it was urged and held by those who first advocated its adoption in the church. I will give you this form in language to which Elder Holmes at least, will not object :
“ The devil by stratagem and fraud, had managed to get the human race under his control, and held them in absolute dominion. God, being interested in their welfare, sought their deliverance. This he might have effected by violence, but was restrained by considerations of justice. He, therefore, offered Christ as a ransom, which being accepted, the human race was set at liberty. But Satan was deceived in the transaction. For he supposed Christ to be finite: hence when he proved to be also the Son of God, he was unable to retain him in his power; and consequently, lost both his captives and the price of their redemption.”—[Elder Holmes, in the Dethodist Quarterly Review, July, 1847.]
The plain English of all this, is as follows: The devil had fraudulently-wrongfully-got all mankind in his possession. God might have taken them away by force; but Satan being such an honest and honorable character, it would be unjust to rescue his captives by force, although he obtained them by fraud. Hence the Deity is represented as making a bargain with him to give him Jesus Christ in exchange for all mankind. The contract was closed, and the transfer made. But it turned out that the devil, cunning as he is, was confoundedly cheated in the trade. For Christ proved to be, not a finite man, but the Son of God, or rather the infinite God himself, according to the doctrine of the Trinity. Hence the devil could not hold him, and he lost both his captives and their ransom!!! I wish the audience and the public to understand, that this is the first form in which the modern doctrine of the ATONEMENT, came into the Christian church. Who can fail to see, in its vulgar, ignorant, irreverent features, every mark of its
as he is.
heathen origin. True, it is not held in this low form at the present day. It has been modified froin time to time, to conform to the increasing light of the world, until it has assumed the shape in which it is at present held by the partialist sects. But the description which the Elder has given us in the extract just quoted, is the first rough form in which it was engrafted from Paganism into Christianity! Let me add, by the way, in justice to the devil, that after all, this has not turned out so poor an affair to him as it at first threatened. Notwithstanding he was defrauded of all men, as represented by the original Evangelical notion of the Atonement, yet according to my friend's doctrine, the larger part of them in some way not exactly explained, get back again into his possession !! So that upon the whole, he is likely to get the best end of the bargain!!
Elder Holines says he does not believe God will send men to hell for error of opinion! I was happy to hear that declaration. It indicates good sense, and some idea of the fitness of things. But where does it place his position, from which he is endeavoring to make so much capital, that if Universalism is untrue, then all who believe it will be lost. If we err in our belief, it is but an error of opinion. Hence on his own showing, the Universalist is as safe He says he has not used the word Evangelical, in a disparaging
but simply as a distinction. Yet he insits that the self-denominated orthodox clergy are Evangelical, and that Universalisis
I do not think it worth while to spend much time on this subject. But in view of the pretensions put forth by the orthodox clergy that the terın is applicable exclusively to them, I will examine the phrase a moment. What is an Evangelist? what does the word signify? An Evangelist is the bearer of good neu's—JOYFUL
There can be no question in regard to the correctness of this definition. In Butterworth’s Concordance, we tind this explanation of the term. Evangelist-One who bringeth good tidings.” Dr. Adam Clarke shall give us his view of the work of those who are entitled to the name of Evangelists—" Do the work of on Evangelist—That is, preach Christ crucified for the sins of the whole world, for this, and this alone, is doing the work of an Evangelist, or preaching the glul tidings of peace and salvation by Christ. An angel froin God was first sent to do the work of an Evangelist. And how did he do it? Behold, said he, I bring you good tidings of great joy:
* Behold, I Evangelize unto you great joy which shall be to all people; to you is born a Savior. Those who do not proclaim Christ as having lasted death for every man, and who do not implicitly show that every human soul may be saved; do not perform the work of Evangelists. They, God help them! limit ihe Holy One of Israel.”--[Dr. Clarke on 2 Tim. iv. 5 ]
This is a good ex position of the meaning of the term Evangel
That class of clergymen who proclaim “good tidings of great joy,” may fairly and consistently claim to be received as Evangel
And who, I ask, come up more fully to this explanation, than those who preach the glorious truth, ihai Christ shall at length bring all men to repentance, obedience, holiness, love and happie ness? Is not this gcoil neus-GLAD TIDINGS! How is it possible for men or angels to declare any thing better? And if my friend will noi acknowledge this to be good news, will he inform us what kind of a message is entitled to that designation? The partialist clergy, on the contrary, travel from one end of i he land to the other, proclaiming that God will cast off countless myriads of his own children into endless darkness, blasphemy and woe—where he will not even allow them to turn to hun in repentance—will not permit them to reform, and become obedient subjects - but will compel them by the might of his own Omnipotence, to remain in burning agony io curse his name, and the existence he compelled them to enter, as long as his throne shall stand! Can those who publish such a message, have the slightest claim to the name of Erangelist ? Can tidings so terrible--so appaling-50 blasphemousagainst “the God of Love”—be considered in any sense, good news ?" Dr. Clarke in the extract just introduced, says those “who do not implicitly show that EVERY HUMAN SOUL may be saved, do not perform the work of Evangelists!! They--God help them! LIMIT the Holy One of Israel!!” In this language the great Methodist D. D., places the brand of forgery on every partialist clergyman who claims to be considered an Evangelist. Do they not ail insist that innumerable millions of human souls” already passed from life, will not be saved, and cannot be saved !! Hence according to Dr. C., they “ do not perform the work of Evangelists !" Let it be fully understood hereafter, that the title of Evangelical, which the limitarian clergy have so pertinaciously, and I may say, impudently, claimed as belonging exclusively to themselves, is one to which they have not the slightest title, according to the showing of one of their most eminent divines !!!
There were several other declarations of my opponent, which I designed to notice, but must pass them, to introduce my Seventh Argument. It is drawn from
THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD. PROPOSITION.-1. God foreknows all events that transpire, both in time and eter. nity. 2. A God infinitely holy and infinitely good, would not have created his earthly offspring without he foreknew that their being would result in a condition of endless purity and bliss. 3. That an infinite God foreknows an event, or a state of things, is proof positive that it will take place.
PROOF:-1. God foreknows all events that transpire, both in time and eternity. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world."--(Acts xv. 18.) “ Times are not hidden from the Almighty:-(Job. xxiv. 1.) "I am God, and there is none like me: Declaring the end from the beginning, and from an
cient ines the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”—(Isa. xlvi. 9, 10.)
To a being possessing infinite Foreknowledge, there can be no such thing as a succession of periods or times : He “inhabiteth eternity.”-(Isa. lvii. 15.) The entire of eternity is in his presence. All that is future to us, is now with him. Every event, circumstance, issue, that can possibly take place, although far off to created beings, are PRESENT objects to him-are as plainly in his sight and presence now, as they will be in man's when they arrive. Nothing unforeseen can take place, nothing unknown, or unprovided for, can transpire.
2. A God infinitely holy and infinitely good, would not have created his earthly offspring without he foreknew that their existence would result in a condition of endless purity and bliss. Whatever fate awaits any human being, was clearly and distinctly FOREKNOWN 10 God, at the time of creation. To deny this, is to deny his foreknowledge. God is holy and good. A Deity infinity holy, could not create a being, foreseeing that he would fall into a state of endless sin and blasphemy. A God infinitely and impartially good, would not create a soul, foreseeing that its final state would be one of unmitigated and unending wretchedness. Temporary sin and suffering, are both compatible with Jehovah's holiness and goodness; because he can educe good from the discipline and experience to which they subject man. But endless sin and suffering, are incompatible. No GOOD can accrue from their perpetual existence.
Remember, God is the affectionate Father of all men. He is Love-is good unto all—his tender mercies are over all his works. He is full of grace, compassion, and pity for his frail, dependent, offspring. Would a Being of this character, coolly and deliberateV URGE unconscious and helpless souls into existence, plainly oreknowing that existence would eventuate in endless wickedness and endless agony? Could God, with only as much goodness as nan possesses, create beings, and then immediately plunge them into endless ruin and agony. All acknowledge this would be impossible! Then it is equally impossible that he would create them ioreseeing such a doom, however remotely! With an infinite God, time works no influence or change. Every impulse in his nature, every attribute of his character, every thing holy, just and good, in his entire being, would rise in eternal opposition to an event so awful! To charge such a procedure, such a deliberate involving of his sentient creatures in endless evil and agony, upon the Father of Spirits, the God of Love, indicates a depth of moral and mental darkness, or a heighth of daring presumption, not to say blasphemy, which the wealth of worlds would not tempt me to have resting on my soul! I dare not, will not, CANNOT so impugn the good name, so tarnish and blacken the character of my heaVenly Father!!
If Deity foresaw that a being, or any number of beings, would, if ushered into existence, become doomed to endless blasphemy and woe, why Persist in creating them, without even allowing them the opportunity of choosing whether they would be formed or not? There was no power above God, compelling him to form his creatures for such a dreadful fate! Were such an event in contemplation in the Divine Councils, every attribute of Jehovah, every pure and happy spirit which worships around the Great White Throne of Omnipotence, would cry out-Forbear! in Pity's name Forbear !! If human beings cannot be created under such circumstances that their everlasting happiness can be secured, if it is clearly foreseen that their existence must terminate in endless night, and wickedness, and agony--then allow them to remain in the unconscious and harmless sleep of non-entity! Surely they can injure none there they cannot infringe on the happiness of God, nor mar the felicity of angels !! Why! Oh why!! COMPEL them to live for SUCH A DOOM.
3. That an infinite God foreknows an event or state of things, is proof positive that it will take place. We have seen that it was a moral impossibility that Deity should form beings, foreseeing their existence would result in endless sin and agony. Hence when Jehovah originated the design to create mankind, he must have distinctly foreknown that they would all finally become holy and happy!! He not only foreknew that all would become holy and happy, but he also foreknew whatever obstacles would arise to prevent it, either from man's ignorance, blindness, sinfulness, unbelief, or from any and all other sources. He foreknew what steps were necessary to overcome these obstacles, and clearly saw that they could, and would be removed. In fine, when he determined this glorious destiny for the great race of humanity, he foresaw all the ways and means to bring it to pass!! His infinite Wisdom eaa. bled him to lay with consummate skill, unerring plans for the elevation of his creatures to a state of sinless perfection and happiness. His power Omnipotent, is abundantly sufficient to carry all these plans into execution, to the perfect completion of the object aimed at. For God to foreknow that all mankind would become finally holy and happy in an endless state of being, was to ordain and place that event beyond every contingency, and infinitely above all liability of failure! Before the work of Creation was commenced, the whole was COMPLETED in the Divine Mind, and the end was attained and tixed, far removed from any possibility of reversal. My Eighth Argument is drawn from
THE MERCY OF GOD. PROPOSITION.-1. Mercy is one of the attributes of God. 2. Infinite Mercy desires the happiness of all mankind. 3. In a Universe over which a merciful Deity reigas, the desires of Mercy mast finally become abundantly satisfied. Proof.-1. Mercy is one of the attributes of God. --Unto thee,