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ment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one” (Jesus Christ) " the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” 6. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heavén, given among men, whereby we must be saved ;" for he is the “saviour of all men, especially of those that believe.” There are two leading truths on the very face of the gospel, on the ground of which the whole gospel system proceeds. These truths are the following: First, all are lost and stand in need of salvation.-Secondly, Christ is the saviour of all, able and willing to save all that need, who will come unto him that they may have life. These truths, which lead the van, and draw after them every other part of the gospel theory clearly suppose a fallen and corrupt state of human nature ; for they can be truths only in view of the truth of our inherent depravity. If man is not corrupt in nature, and if all sin consists in voluntary actions, it is perfectly possible to avoid all sin, so as to need no atonement for sin ; no restorer, no mediator, no interposition of Jesus Christ to reconcile us to God. It would be profane to say that men are unreconciled to God so as to need a mediator, and lost so as to need salvation, in the same state in which God created them ; having never broken his law nor in any way
sinned against him: hence, if men are not by nature corrupt, it is possible to live free from all sin, so as not to need the atoning blood to wash away our sins, or the Holy Ghost to renew our hearts.
This would be subversive of the whole gospel system. To such beings the story of Jesus' sufferings and death would be preached in vain ; the invitations of the gospel would be heard only as addressed to others, and the proffered agency of the Holy Ghost would be declined, and the mission of Christ and the whole gospel system, would prove an unnecessary and an uncalled for interference with human allotment. The following very appropriate remarks, on this point, are from the pen of Mr. Fletcher. “In every religion there is a principal truth or error, which, like the first link of a chain, necessarily draws after it all the parts with which it is essentially connected. This leading principle in Christianity, distinguished from deism, is the doctrine of our corrupt and lost estate: for if man is not at variance with
his Creator, what need of a mediator between God and him? If he is not a depraved, undone creature, what necessity of 80 wonderful a restorer and savior as the Son of God; If he is not enslaved to sin, why is he redeemed by Jesus Christ ? If he is not polluted, why must he be washed in the blood of that immaculate lamb! If his soul is not disordered, what occasion is there for such a divine physician ? If he is not helpless and miserable, why is he perpetually invited to secure the assistance and consolations of the Holy Spirit? And in a word, if he is not born in sin why is a new birth so absolutely necessary,
that Christ declares, with the most solemn asseverations, without it no man can see the kingdom of God ?”
Should it be replied to this, that men are not free in their volitions and actions, that their conduct is the result of an unseen yet resistless fate, rendering their sin certain and unavoidable ; and that, therefore, the Gospel can proceed on the ground of the sinfulness of all men, without supposing a preexisting corruption of nature ; it is at once replied that this would overthrow the whole gospel theory by annulling the sinner's guilt from which the gospel proposes to save him, and by making God the author of the sin which he, in the gospel proposes to overthrow and destroy. To suppose that God has made provision, in the gospel, for all men on the ground that he has secured the sinfulness of all men by a previous decree, or on the ground that he causes the sinfulness of all men by a direct and governing agency, would be worse than trifling. Not only so, but the gospel proceeds with instructions, warnings, promises and threatenings, all on the gronnd that man is a moral agent.
Should it be said, that the gospel proceeds on the ground of the certainty of foreknowledge, God foreknowing that all would sin, instead of on the ground that all are lost by nature, it is replied, that it is not a fact that all do commit personal sin. Infants are not capable of committing sin ; for they cannot be held responsible by a righteous moral law, for personal obedience, as is evident from the fact, that they have neither understanding, memory, nor consciousness. If infants are saved, they must be saved by Jesus Christ ; for he is the only “ name given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved ;'? and if infants are saved by Jesus Christ,
they are saved as sinners, for the whole gospel system proceeds on the ground- that those for whose benefit it was instituted, are sinners. “ For the son of man is come to save that which was lost.” Now as infants can be saved by him only on the ground that they are fallen and sinful beings, it follows that, if they are not by nature corrupt and sinful, they must be lost; hence, to deny the doctrine of inherited depravity, is to deny the whole infant race all interest in the blood of the lamb, exclude them from the gospel plan of salvation, and consign them to a fate, over which the darkness of uncertainty hangs as black as the brow of eternal night. Our souls shudder at the thought! What! shall our infants, who have had an earlier exit from earth, find no home in heaven? No saviour in the person of Jesus Christ ? And shall they have no part in the song of the redeemed ? To deny the sinfulness of human nature, then, is to deny that Christ died for infants; and hence, it is to deny them salvation through his blood and exclude them forever from the ranks of the redeemed; and to suppose that infants are not saved by Jesus Christ, is so slanderous on the character of our heavenly Father, and would so detract from the work and kingdom of the Messiah, that it cannot be deserving a serious refutation. Our opponents must either admit the sinfulness of human nature, or deny that infants have any interest in the Saviour of the human family, and we venture that but few, if any, will be found of sufficient hardihood openly to avow the latter.
VIII. In conclusion, on the subject of depravity, we appeal to the experience of all the good, who have resolved on living conformably to the strict piety and pure morals inculcated by our holy religion, and ask, if they have not found foes within, as well as without? If their disordered and scattered affections, so difficult to control and concentrate in the one supreme object, God; if their unholy passions so difficult to restrain and correct, which, at touch kindle into forbidden anger,
and settle into deliberate and hateful revenge, or melt into compliance with the most low and debasing indulgencies, do not teach that the soul to which such affections and passions belong, is a fallen and corrupt spirit? This appeal may have but little influence with the abandoned, who have never attempted to subdue their unholy propensities, who have
yielded to the current of evil without resistance; but he, who has ever made an attempt at the pure religion of the gospel, will feel its force.
While the life of the christian is a warfare, a warfare not with the world and satan only, but with the affections and passions which are the attributes of his own soul, a warfare with the elements of his own nature, he will carry with him an ever present evidence of the corruption of human nature; an evidence that will last until the victory is complete and he finds himself wholly redeemed from the ruins of the fall.
Atonement. Having in the preceding chapter considered the fallen state of the human family, we propose now to treat of their redemption by Jesus Christ. The doctrine of atonement has been referred to in arguments and remarks which have preceded; but we purpose to devote the present chapter to a more full consideration of this very important subject. The doctrine of a vicarious atonement, has a very important bearing on the controversy to which these pages are devoted ; for if it can be shown, that the sufferings of Jesus Christ were a vicarious sacrifice for sinners, by virtue of which, and by which only, they can be restored to the divine favour and image, or be made holy and happy, two consequences will follow, fatal to the whole theory of modern universalism.
1. If sinners can be saved only through the merits of Christ's death, it must follow, that if such atonement had not been made, offenders must have been lost forever; and hence, that the proper penalty of the law or punishment of sin, is an endless curse.
2. It must follow on the above principles, that if it can be proved that sinners can, and do, forfeit the benefits of the atonement by a non-compliance with the conditions on which the gospel offers salvation, and consequently endure the punishment from which the death of Christ was intended to save them, they will still be lost as fully and endlessly as they would have been had Christ never died for their redemption.
To avoid these consequences, modern universalists deny the doctrine of a vicarious atonement, made by Jesus Christ, and maintain that his mission into this world, sufferings and death, were not intended to reconcile God to men, nor to render their salvation consistent with the claims of justice and the maintenance of the authority of the divine administration, but simply to reconcile sinners to God; winning their hearts by a display of divine love, and by bringing to view, through the gospel, the goodness and glories of the divine character. The above, we believe to be a correct statement of the opinion generally held by universalists on the subject of the atonement, as the following extracts will show. Mr. Hosea Ballou objects to the doctrine of a vicarious atonement, on the ground that it is improper for the innocent to suffer for the guilty. While treating upon this subject, he says: “We wish to inquire into the propriety of an innocent person's suffering for one who is guilty. It is scripture, reason and good law, never to condemn the innocent in order to exculpate the delinquent.” Treatise on Atonement, page 74. Mr. B. says again, puge 121. “God's love is antecedent to our love to him, which refutes the notion of God's receiving the atonement.” The author, in stating his own views of atonement, page
“ Atonement and reconciliation are the same, reconciliation is the renewal of love, and love is the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. It is by the force and power of the law of love in Christ, that the soul is delivered from the government of the law of sin. The process of this deliverance is the work of atonement. The power which causes us to hate sin and love holiness, is the power of Christ, whereby atonement is made." Nearly the same sentiment is advanced by Mr. Pitt Morse, a late author, who has published a small volume of sermons, in reply to “ Lectures on Universalism, by Joel Parker." On page 45 and 46 Mr. Morse remarks: “Let it be distinctly understood, that universalists do not contend that Christ saves men from the curse of the law, in any other way than by delivering them from their sins. He” (Mr. Parker) “probably understood the atonement according to the sense in which it is usually explained, viz. the satisfying divine justice by Jesus Christ giving himself a ransom for us, undergoing the penalty due our