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I do not say that all who advocate universal salvation are dissolute men. There may

be
many

of correct morals. I affirm no further than that a wicked life fosters Universalism, and Universalism favors a wicked life.

Again, Universalism sometimes settles into the mind during a period of religious excitement. Many have indulged a speculative Et belief of a future state of rewards and punishments; but they ex

pected that it would by some means or other be well with them at 1 last. And so long as they were permitted to indulge this expecta

tion undisturbed, they rested easy. But when a faithful ministry, i urged, upon their own acknowledged principles, the necessity of a

change of heart and an actual preparation for heaven in the present life, and the danger of procrastination, and the awful consequences of unrepentant guilt, they found themselves exposed to the wrath of God, and have nothing to defend themselves against the arrows of conviction. They now saw that in practice they were not consistent with their professions. And they have been driven to the dire necessity either to get a new heart or a new doctrine. Some have to their exceeding great joy and to the joy of all holy beings repented of their sins and embraced the long neglected Saviour. But others saw that in the system which rejects endless punishment, there was a doctrine which exactly coincided with the prevailing

inclination of their hearts; a doctrine, which held out a “heaven i for all and a hell for none." This doctrine they eagerly embraced.

And as their belief in it approached to assurance, their sense of security in sin increased; and they wanted nothing else to quiet their

fears of a future retribution. To this source is to be attributed the 3 apparent prevalence of this doctrine. I say apparent ; for it existed

in the heart before. It is a doctrine of the natural heart. But now it becomes more visible, systematic and formidable. In proportion

as the gospel is faithfully preached with the Holy Ghost sent down 3 from heaven, and the character, duty and destiny of man is faithfully

set before him, this error will show itself. It is not a fruit of the gospel, but a fruit of the unregenerate heart; and where the bles

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esis we are now opposing. According to this principle Noah would not have expected the deluge, though warned of it by God himself and commanded to prepare for it. He would have said, “ Are not all these human beings the children of God, the objects of his love and mercy, and can it be supposed that he intends to destroy them? True they have corrupted their way before God, but for this they are not to blame. They are just what their Creator made them to be. If they are sinners exceedingly, would it not be far better that they should be converted and rendered completely happy than to be destroyed ?' So Noah would have reasoned had he believed in the doctrine of universal salvation. And so did the inhabitants of the old world in all probability reason, when warned of threatened and impending judgment. They did not believe that they should be destroyed; but the deluge came and swept them away.

Reasoning on this principle, Lot would not have believed the message of those celestial beings who came to announce the destruction of Sodom. “ Is not God,” he would have said, “ the Parent of these Sodomites, and is it possible that he should destroy them with fire enraged with brimstone ? Who of all these parents could be so cruel as to design such evil against their tender offspring? And is not God, the Parent of all, more merciful than they? True these heavenly messengers have announced that the Lord will destroy this place with fire from heaven; and they appear to be sincere and to give lucid evidence that they are sent by God to announce this judgment. But their language cannot be understood in its literal import; it must have a figurative meaning. God is merciful, and he will not be so cruel as to bring such a judgment upon this place. This fire which he threatens, must signify the fire of his love." So Lot would have reasoned had he been a Universalist, and so did reason the inhabitants of Sodom. But the fire from heaven did descend at the appointed hour notwithstanding, and destroyed them all. But if Lot did expect this judgment to be a merciful chastisement designed for the good of the Sodomites, why did he warn and intreat his sons-in-law to escape from the city, and assign as his reason that the Lord would destroy that place? This would be defeating the very object of that salutary discipline under which they were to be placed. You see then, my hearers, how absurd the arguments drawn from the sympathies of our nature against the doctrine of endless punishment. The argument drawn from the circumstance that endless punishment is abhorrent to their feelings, and that God will not inflict it, lies as we have seen equally against the sufferings of this world and against matter of fact, and therefore it cannot be sound. The truth is, on this subject and all others, feelings must all yield to matter of fact, and to actual experience. Whatever is, is truth, and whatever contradicts it is falsehood.

11. It is said that the proper meaning of the term Gospel is glad tidings, and it is glad tidings to all men. But if only a select number are to enjoy its benefits, how can it be glad tidings to all ? It can certainly be no favor, no matter of joy to those who are finally lost., In reply to this argument, I would enquire is it necessary in order to impart value to a favor, that it be actually received ? Did the man in the parable who made a splendid feast and bade many, manifest no kindness to those who rejected his invitations ? Suppose a hundred criminals under sentence of death and waiting their execution, would it be no favor to them if the chief magistrate should order the doors of their prison to be set open and a full and free pardon to be offered to them, on condition of their confessing their guilt and promising amendment, unless all should accept his offer? Would not the offer in itself be glad tidings, even if they should all reject it, and die in prison or be led forth to execution ? Are not the tidings of an infallible remedy for a disease with which we may be afflicted good tidings, whether we regard them or not? And are not the tidings just as good if we neglect them and die through our neglect, as if we obtain the remedy and thereby secure a restoration to health? The invitation of the gospel is full and free. None are excluded from the offers of mercy who do not exclude themselves. All who will may accept them, and this is all that is necessary in order to render the gospel glad tidings. Whether it be received or rejected does not in the least alter its

nature and design. It does not cease to be glad tidings by being perverted, abused, and rejected to our ruin.

12. It is said men receive in this world all the punishment they deserve, and therefore cannot be justly punished beyond this life. This argument we have already noticed,* but it may be expedient and proper to give it a further examination. This argument takes for granted that wicked men are punished in the present life according to the guilt and demerit of their sins.

But this is false in fact. Admit if you please that the more aggravated crimes are usually followed by something like a speedy retribution; what punishment, let me ask, do they endure who contemn God, who are unjust, cruel, proud, selfish, avaricious and revengeful? Do you say remorse of conscience? The consciences of some are seared as with a hot iron, so as to be past feeling. What remorse of conscience has a West India pirate, a highway robber, or a nightly assassin. They do not feel half so much as a tender-hearted christian feels for neglecting family or secret devotions, or indulging in a worldly minded spirit for a single day. The truth is, the more wicked a man is, the less he suffers from remorse of conscience, so that if this be the appointed punishment of the wicked, the more sinful they are the less punishment they will have to endure. Let such a sentiment be exhibited, and will it deter men from the commission of sin ?

This doctrine is impossible in the very nature of things. If the sinner must suffer the whole punishment of his sins, must bear the whole weight of his transgressions, how can he receive all bis punishment in this life? How can that man who commits suicide, and by that sin passes beyond the boundaries of time into eternity, suffer the punishment of his sins? He commits one of the greatest crimes, and yet does not reinain a moment in the world to suffer for it. Hence he must suffer in a future state, as he does pot remain a moment after his crime to suffer in this.

This doctrine is contrary to scripture. The general course of Providence is accurately described in the words of our Saviour,

Lecture v.

“He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth his rain on the just and on the unjust.” That God will reward every man according to the deeds done in his body, is the concurrent testimony of the Bible. Now as facts prove that some men are more wicked than others, it must also be proved that the wicked suffer more in this life than the righteous, and that the more wicked a man is the more he must suffer. This has never been done. The language of scripture as well as the universal experience and observation of mankind bear testimony to the contrary. Consequently this doctrine under consideration is contrary to scripture.

If men are punished in the present life according to their deserts, then the scheme which advocates the salvation of all men is false. For this goes to prove that all men are saved. But from what are they saved? They are saved from nothing if they endure the whole penalty of the law. It is absurd to talk of salvation after men have received all the punishment due to their offences and thereby fully satisfied the claims of divine justice. Full punishment and free salvation are totally inconsistent with each other. Now if you assert that all are punished according to their deserts, then none are saved. But if you say all are saved, then none are punished as they deserve. I am not unaware of the evasion of some respecting the meaning of the term salvation. They would persuade us that it is deliverance from the dominion only and not from the guilt of sin. But does this idea accord with scripture. Does that explain salvation to mean simply the deliverance from the power of sin. Is all that it says of pardon, forgiveness, and remission of sin, without meaning? Is not pardon a deliverance from the punishment of sin, and remission a release from the penalty of the divine law ? To explain these terms, then, to denote only freedom from the power of sin, furnishes an example of the facility with which some can

st the scriptures, and perverts the plainest words of the language.

These arguments I have thus briefly noticed, are, I believe, the strongest and most plausible that are adduced by the objectors to endless punishment, against that doctrine and in favor of the final

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