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to say, my friend virtually instructs you that you can sin and go unpunished !! I beseech you, listen not to him; but give heed to God, who tells you. that if you sin, “though hand join hand” you SHALL NOT avoid its punishment!! This is a solemn truth, which should never escape from your sight. Again—" In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die."-(Gen. ii. 17.) ACcording to my friend's argument, Adam and Eve did not die, in the day they ate the forbidden fruit, nor at any other time. They never received a just and deserved punishment for those sins which according to the poet
“Brought death into the world, and all our woe.” “ He that doeth wrong, shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons."—(Colos. iii. 25.) How plainly the position of Elder Holmes contradicts this declaration. He insists men may, and can, and shall do wrong, and NOT receive for the wrong they have done. Here God asserts positively one thing, and blinded man as positively asserts another and opposite thing! Which are we to believe?
" The work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways.”—(Job xxxiv. 11.) Again-" Thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men; to give every one according to his way, and according to the fruit of his doings."-(Jer. xxxii. 19.) “I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." --(Jer. xvii. 10.) No one can fail to see how plainly these passages overthrow the affirma. tive of this question, which asserts that men are saved from the consequences of their sinful ways. Again" He that justifieth the wicked, and condemneth the just, even they both are an abomination to the Lord.”—(Prov. xvii. 15.) I ask who it is that justifies the wicked? It is he who in effect, says to the wicked-God has provided a way whereby you may go on and sin to any extent, and escape all punishment! Who condemns the just? It is that man, who declares an individual may be just and righteous all his days, and by falling into a single sin, as the last act of life, will sink to eternal condemnation! The Bible says those who inculcate these sentiments, are an abomination in the sight of the Lord !
“ Woe unto the wicked! it SHALL be ILL with him; for the reward of his hands shall be given him."-(Isa. ii. 11.) The de. claration is not that it may be ill with the wicked if they do not repent; but it is positive-it shall be ill with man, as certainly as he becomes wicked!! Again " The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot resi, whose waters cast up mire and dirt." This is a very expressive figure. It does not represent the condi. tion of the wicked, as a calm and peaceful lake, sleeping quietly beneath a summer sky, its bobom unruffled, save by the gentle dal
liance of aromatic zephyrs. This is the Evangelical view of the pleasures of sin, and from the punishment of which God has provided, according to the same school of theology, an easy way of escape, by repentance. But the Bible describes the condition of the wicked as being like that of the troubled sea-overbung with dark clouds, and its waters lashed into commotion by the howling storm!! Again-God “will by no means clear the guilty.”—(Ex. xxxiv. 7.) I beg the young people of the congregation-those just about entering upon life-(and oh! how important it is, that the young should take a right view of the nature and consequences of sin at a period so critical)—to listen to this positive declaration of the Bible and govern themselves accordingly! Let them never forget that God solemnly declares he will by no means, clear the guilty !! It is to me the cause of the utmost regret and astonishment, that in the face of God's word, so positively uttered as in the passage last quoted, my brother opposite, together with all the selfstyled Evangelical clergy, should devote so much of their time, their talents, their learniag, to the proclamation of a doctrine which virtually enstamps falsehood on the Bible-a doctrine which incidu. ously instils in the minds of the inexperienced, the blinding, seductive and fatal delusion, that there are “means" provided whereby sin can be indulged and the guilty cleared of all punishment! It is a sentiment which not only contradicts the word of the Most High-gives the lie to all past experience-but is demoralizing in the highest degree !! Man wants nothing more than this to encourage him into sin—nothing more to induce him to walk there through life, under the flattering proviso, that repentance at last shall wipe off all scores.
Let it be noticed that the passages I have quoted to prove the inflexible certainty of punishment, are all plain, positive, unequiv. ocal declarations They are not clothed in figurative, metaphori. cal, or parabolic forms of speech. They belong to that class of Bible declarations which are strictly and rigidly literal, and hence there cannot possibly be any mistaking of iheir meaning. Whenever Elder Holmes will bring scripture declarations as plain, positive, and literal, that the wicked can escape a just and deserved punishment, we should then be brought to a stand in this discus. sion; because the Bible would be shown to contradict itself. But this cannot be. Neither is it possible to “explain away” the force and weight of these passages, by any well-grounded criticism. There they stand, plain, literal, unmovable--glowing with the light of eternal truth-truth as salutary and restraining as it is luminous and reasonable !! All that my opponent can do to weaken their force, will be to quote and dwell upon certain scripture declarations concerning justification, remission, ransom and forgiveness of sin-phrases of uncertain meaning, in regard to which there is a wide difference of opinion among equally intelligent theologians, and in regard to which, even those claiming to be Evangelical, do
not fully agree. Every sensible person will acknowledge that vastly more reliance is to be placed on literal and unequivocal as. sertions, than on figurative forms of speech. It is a sound and sale rule that the figurative parts of the Bible should be so explained as to accord with those passages which are literal. When therefore, it is distinctly and literally declared in the scriptures that God will by no means, clear the guilty, there is positively no room left for doubt as to the meaning. It should forever settle the question that when sin is once committed, there is no way or means provided whereby the guilty can escape a just punishment.-[Time expired.
[MR. HOLMES FIFTH SPEECH.] Respected Auditors:-The last speech of my opponent affords so fruitful a theme of remark, that I will present some of my affirmative arguments, before I proceed to its consideration, lest, getting engaged in its discussion, I should speak too long, and thus exclude my own proofs.
Myninth argument in support of the doctrine that God proposes by the Gospel to save men from just and deserved punishment, is founded on the intercession of Christ for sinners. St. Paul tells us that Christ is a high priest forever after the order of Melchisedeck. It was the business of the high priest to go into the holy of holies once a year, having shed much blood for himself, and the people, and to make intercession for them. While this Jewish priesthood continued, it represented the priesthood and atonement of Christ, which was finally to take its place. Christ having made his advent, the Jewish priesthood terminates in him. He is the end and perfection of this law for righteousness--as first he made atonement by shedding his own blood once for all in behalf of the whole world. The holy of holies" into which he entered is Heaven, where he “abideth continually.” Now as he still retains the character of priest, he still performs the work of intercession for sinners. Hence Isaiah says: “He bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” So also, St. Paul, (Heb. v. 25): " He is able to save, to the uttermost, them that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for us." How can sinners be saved at all, unless they be saved from punishment ? Also, ix. 24: “Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are but the figures of the true, but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Again, Rom. vii. 34, we are told- Christ is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." St. John says “If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." Now our argument is this : As Christ intercedes for sinners, the object of his intercession must be their salvation from their sins ; and as punishment follows sin in the order of time, to be saved from sin committed, is to be saved from punishment. Hence the language, “ If any man sin we have an advocate with the father.” The object of the advocacy with the father, is salvation from sins committed, and consequently from the punishment of sins. If this is not so, Mr. Austin can tell us what it does mean, by explaining the object of Christ's intercession.
I now present my tenth argument, founded on the fact that the Gospel proposes to save sinners now, which cannot be the case if sinners must first be punished all they deserve. The scriptures tell us that God now "commandeth all men everywhere to repent." “ Now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation;" “ to-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." All the invitations of the Gospel have reference to the present time. “Repent and be converted”_" Look unto me and be ye saved" “Come unto me all ye that labor.” Now, every sinner deserves to be punished, and hence if he is not saved from punishment, he cannot be saved at all, until he has endured all the punishment he deeerves. This requires some time after sin is committed. If it requires no time, then salvation and damnation must meet at the same time, in the same individual. Hence they must be both eternal or result in the destruction of each other. As this will not be contended for, it follows that some time to say the least, must elapse after the sin is committed, before the sinner can receive all the punishment he deserves. This time may be long or short according to the turpitude of the sinner's crimes. The several schools of Universalism are not agreed among themselves in regard to the length of time necessary to punish sinners to the full extent of their deserts. Some think it may all be effected in a short time, others, that it may be done in this life at most, while others still, make it run over into eternity. Mr. Winchester taught that some sinners could not be saved until they had suffered 144,000 years. Such was their moral turpitude, their stubborn perverseness, it would require that length of time to subdue them, and bring them in harmony with the divine will. Mr. Skinner, when pressed on this point, admits future punishment, but does not tell us how long it must continue, in order to secure the desired results. All agree, it must take time. Very well, be that time more or less, it would be both improper and dishonest to offer salvation io the sinner now, when he cannot be saved until his punishment bas terminated, no matter how long or short the period of his suffering may be. He cannot be saved until all his punishment has been experienced, and hence it must be dishonest and cruel trifling to offer him salvation now. Yet the gospel does this, and every minister of the gospel is authorized to do the same. Here we see, the notion against which we contend is contradictory to, and subversive of the gospel, and hence must be false. For, as the gospel offers salvation to sinners now, it follows, they may be saved from deserved punishment now.
I will now proceed to consider some points in my friend's last
speech. You are aware that a powerful sympathetic effort was made last evening : and from the fact that he has practised this artifice in considerable degree in every speech he has made, I am led to suppose it is his peculiar fort, when his arguments fail to satisfy himself, or convince the audience, he forth with appeals to their sympathies. You may understand after this, when he indulges in this peculiarity that he is conscious of some defect in his argument, and wishes to fill your eyes with dust, lest you should detect it. An appeal to the sympathetic feelings of an audience is well enough when it bas a proper foundation; but in this case the gentleman's great zeal was so perfectly baseless, as to be rather amusing than otherwise. It might serve to remind one of
- Ocean into tempest tossed, To waft a feather or to drown a fly."
But I doubt whether any discerning mind discovered any relation be. tween his declamatory flourish, and the merits of the question under discussion. And you recollect his addresses and appeals baseless as they were, were made to a particular class of individuals to young men. Why was this? He knew there were many of of that class of persons here last evening, who would not be here to-day to have the false impressions made upon their minds corrected: hence his zeal in that direction.
I bave presented a number of arguments, which my friend denominates metaphysical, but which he has made no elfort to answer. He gives them the go-by, it is probable for the same reason that he refuses to define his views of future punishment. He knows that any attempt to answer the one, or explain the other, will involve him in inextricable difficulty. There is deep water in that region; there are winds and storms there: my friend does not wish to risk his cause on that sea! And here we have an indication of the real character of Universalism. It is a characteristic of error to be non-committal—to deal in generalities, and avoid if possible, every issue where its claims may be tested by established principles, by analogy or fact. I do not blame Mr. Austin for his non-committalism, nor for eschewing metaphysical proofs: the saiety of the cause he advocates requires this course. "Were I set for the defence of Universalism, I would as soon risk my personal safety in a leap over the falls of Niagara, as allow my theological system to go into the crucible of philosophical investigation and analysis. I wish, however, that the audience may have clear proof that Mr. Austin does studiously avoid the issues referred to. I therefore call on him again, to tell me whether he believes in future punishment, and if so, where and how it will be inflicted.
The gentleman charges me with teaching that sin may be committed with impunity. I have already noticed this charge sufficiently in another speech; but if any doubt of this remains, I will endeavor to remove it by a few additional remarks. He says, ac