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receive according to their deeds, cannot be made holy and happy. Should it be supposed that the above implies that the wicked will not be rendered immortal, and hence that they will be annihilated, we deny the inference. The most that can be made of the above reasoning is, that the scriptural expression, eternal life, implies glory and honour and immortality, and that the wicked will not enjoy this eternal life. All this we believe. The glory of the saint may consist in the fashion of his person, when his soul shall be cleansed from all sin, and his body be made like unto Christ's glorious body ; and his honor may consist in the distinguished rank he shall have assigned him by his judge, while his immortality will .confirm him in this state and rank, world without end. To deny this eternal life to the wicked does not deny their im-. mortality, nor imply their annihilation ; for they may be rendered immortal though they do not seek for immortality ; and they may possess immortality though they do not possess with it glory and honour, which must be added to it to constitute eternal life in a scriptural sense. But their immortality, with deformity instead of glory, and disgrace instead of honour, will be their heavy curse. Many more scriptures of a similar character might be produced, in proof that the punishment of the wicked and the salvation of the righteous are directly opposed to each other : but we will close the argument by stating it in form.
1. Some men will be punished for their sins according to their deserts. This is a proposition too plain to be denied and has been already established.
2. Those who are punished for their sins according to their deserts, can never be saved. This is the contested proposition in the argument, and has been established not only by the above reasoning, but also by Chapter IV. the whole of which
goes to confirm it. Therefore there are some men who will never be saved, and the doctrine of universal salvation is proved to be false.
III. The scriptures teach that salvation is conditional, and therefore may be lost, by a non-compliance with the terms on which it is proffered. It cannot be denied that whatever is conditional
may lost; the proposition, therefore, which asserts the conditionality of salvation, is the only one in this ar
gument about which there can be any dispute, and this we will attempt to prove. 1. We
the doctrine of conditional salvation from man's moral agency. If man is a moral agent, and hence, capable of performing moral actions, it will follow from thence that something must be required of him in order to happiness, and salvation will
conditional. But here also we have to confront the objections of universalists, for they, or many of them, deny the doctrine of moral agency, and assert the doctrine of fate. Now, as we wish to take nothing for granted which our opponents deny, we will here insert a few arguments in favor of moral agency, and against the opposite doctrine of fate.
1st. If man is not a moral agent, that is, free in his volitions, he cannot be the subject of a moral government. To constitute a proper subject of a moral government, man must be capable of moral actions, and in order to render an action moral, it must be performed voluntarily or from choice, under circumstances which would admit of its being otherwise. The circumstance that a man acts freely or from chvice, does not, in our view, constitute moral liberty, or give moral quality to action, unless the actor be capable, at the same time, of making a different choice, and of acting differently. Now, as none but moral actions can be recognized by a righteous moral law, none but moral beings, as above defined, can be made the subjects of moral discipline. Taking this view, we see that if man is not moral agent, he cannot be the subject of a moral government, and, so far as relates to man, God cannot be a moral ruler--cannot maintain a moral government over this world.
2d. If man is not a moral agent, is not free in his volitions, he cannot be accountable for what he does, cannot be either punishable or rewardable for his conduct. To deny the doctrine of man's moral agency, not only annihilates the orthodox hell, but also the restorationist's hell of limited duration, and the universalist's hell of a horrible conscience. If men were not free in their actions there could be no hell of conscience, for nothing is more clear, than that a man can never feel condemnation for having done what he could not have refrained from doing, or for having left undone, what he could not
have done ; hence, if man is not free in his volitions, whatever the ignorant may feel, who do not know they are mere machines, universalists, who know the truth on this subject, can feel no condemnation let their conduct be what it may, if so be that they are not free to do differently from what
3d. If man is not a moral agent he is not a sinner, and there can be no such thing as sin the world, or, if there is, God must be its author. There can be no sin without a violation of the moral law, and in order to convict a man of violating a law, it must first appear that he had power to have obeyed it, which supposes that the sinner might have done differently, and if so, this is the very point for which we contend. This view shows that man is a moral agent, or else, that he is not a sinner. The will of God is the highest authority in the universe, therefore there can be no sin without a violation of this supreme law, the will of the Creator ; but if man is not a moral agent-is not free in his volitions, his actions must be just as his Creator designed they should be, his will therefore is not violated in any thing which man performs; hence, the very notion of sin vanishes.
4th. If man is not free in his volitions, if he has not power to do differently from what he does, all the precepts, promises and threatenings, which the scriptures so pointedly address to his conscience, his understanding and his interests, are a mere hoax. If man cannot do differently from what he does, why do the scriptures point him to a path different from the one in which he treads, saying, this is the way, walk in it? Why do they hold over his head the darkening thunderbolts of divine wrath, to check his vanity and damp his worldly joys; or open upon his vision through the promises of the gospel, the glories of the throne, to allure him to the skies ? Why do the scriptures enjoin the duty of repentance, promise pardon, and talk so much of renewing grace, if man has done in all things just as God intended he should do ? These things can never be accounted for, only on the principle that man is a moral agent. 5th. To deny man's moral agency,
God to be the efficient cai of all his actions, is to set the Author of the Bible at variance with his own word, and make him appear
insincere in most of the declarations of his will concerning us.
It cannot be denied that God has declared it to be his will that we should do many things which we do not, and that it is his will that we should not do many things which we do. Now, these things are his will, or they are not. If they are not his will, then God is insincere in the declarations of his will concerning us ; he has not in such case given us his real will in the Bible: hence his will appears to be one thing and his word another, and they are opposed to each other. On the other hand if these things, which God has commanded, and which we do not, are his will, then man's actions are opposed to the will of God, and if so, he does not govern us absolutely, and cannot be the cause of those actions, which are opposed to his will, unless it be said that God is opposed to his own will !
6th. Every man's conscience tells him that he acts freely, and that he is capable of acting differently from what he does.
be possible for men to consult their own heads or their ginations, and think that they are governed by some unseen hand of fate, but if they will consult their consciences, they will receive an answer that will cause them to feel that they are moral agents, and that they are the authors of their own actions. Did the reader ever hear the soul cheering whisper of an approving conscience, for having done his duty; for having performed an act of virtue or benevolence ? Why this placid smile of the soul ? Why this internal pleasure? Why does the soul smile on herself when acts are performed which the judgment approves, if she does not consider herself the author of her own conduct? Did the reader ever feel the sting of a guilty conscience for having done wrong? Why this sense of guilt ? Why does the soul turn and goad herself, and obscure her light by the darkness of her own frown, when something has been done which the judgment pronounces wrong, if she does not consider herself the author of her own deeds ?
7th. All men confirm the doctrine of man's moral agency by the plaudits and censures which they so bountifully bestow upon their fellows around them. All men have their notions of right and wrong; the one they applaud, and the other they censure ; and this is common to all ranks, from the throne to
the humble seat of the beggar. Why do kings complain of each other, and from off their thrones hurl the thunderbolts of war, if they do not consider each other free in their actions? Why does neighbour complain of neighbour for his conduct? Why does the beggar by the way side complain of the penuriousness of the passers-by, if he supposes God or fate controls their wills as absolutely as their wills control their own purse strings ? There is no way to dispose of these things, only to say that they are all under the government of the same fate, that the man who complains is no more free than the one of whom he complains, and that he cannot therefore help complaining of his fellow, though he knows at the same time that the conduct of which he complains could not have been prevented. This ground was once taken by a universalist in publick controversy with the writer of these pages. This view makes the same predestination operate equally upon both sides of the warring elements of this world of mind and passion ; and all the mind and muscle, that have been engaged, when truth and error have struggled; when individuals have wrestled in single combat, and nation strove with nation, have been mere instruments in the hand of God with which he has been contending with himself. How far such notions come short of the old heathen doctrine that there exist in Deity a good and evil principle, which are the respective sources of all the good and evil in the world, we leave the candid reader to judge.
We think we have now shown, though very briefly in comparison with what might be said on the subject, that man is a moral agent; we will therefore proceed to bring the doctrine to bear on the conditionality of salvation. God having created man a moral agent, it is reasonable to suppose that he will not, that he cannot, consistently, govern or save him only through a due exercise of his moral liberty. When God created man a moral agent, he must have designed that he should exercise his moral liberty, and that he should exercise it in a right way, and that all this should lead to a proper end; hence, if there is any connection between the means which God institutes, and the end which he proposes, it must appear essential for man to exercise his moral liberty, or to improve on his moral powers in a proper way, in order