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bution and punishment. And how much further must they go before they will take the dreadful leap! How much further must they go before they will become coadjutors with a Robespierre, a Voltaire, and a Paine! This is not an uncharitable conclusion. No conclusion can be uncharitable, which is drawn from correct premises. Whatever else charity does, she always “rejoices in the truth.” Men may say it is uncharitable to produce effect, but it will be a miserable expedient to turn away the frowns of an indignant community.
If there is no future punishment, then there is no moral government exercised over this world by God. The wicked flourish like the green baytree, their eyes stand out with fatness, and they have more than heart could wish-while the righteous are afflicted, persecuted, tormented, sawn in sunder. According to this, where is the displeasure of God against sin? What difference does he make between virtue and vice? And is this world, indeed, without a God? “ Eternal God, on what are thine enemies intent? What are those enterprises of guilt and horror, that, for the safety of their performers, require to be enveloped in darkness, which the eye of heaven must not pierce! Miserable men! Proud of being the offspring of chance; in love with universal disorder; whose happiness is involved in the belief of there being no witness to their designs, and who are at ease only because they suppose themselves inhabitants of a forsaken and fatherless world !"
III. If this doctrine of Universal Salvation is true, men are encouraged to continue in sin. Remove from the human mind all fear of future retribution and punishment, and you encourage them to remain in rebellion. The Universalist preacher, in fact, proclaims to his fellow men, that, do what they may in this life, they shall finally be saved. He may descant to them upon the pleasures of virtue, and the pains of sin in this world, in order to blind the mind to the terrible consequences of his doctrine, but common sense is not to be outraged by such a subterfuge. . The question is, does not his doctrine remove from the mind all that mighty restraint which a judgment and an endless hell are calculated to exert upon it? Yes! He says to the murderer, slay your victim, you shall be safe after death. He says to the thief, go on in your depredations, you shall be safe after death. He says to the whoremonger, go on in your sacrifice of female innocence, after death you shall be safe. He says to the traitor of his country, go on in your career, you shall be safe after death. He says to the liar, the adulterer, and the incendiary -the drunkard, the swindler, and the pirate-go on in your work, you have nothing to fear after death! What a doctrine is this! preach it? Who can believe in it? How it strikes at the deep foundations of human responsibility! How it nullifies all law! How it dethrones all justice, on earth and in heaven! This is the doc. trine which does not begin at the top-stone of the fair edifice of law and government, in order to
demolish it, but it begins by digging away the foundation stones, and overturning the whole superstructure at once.
IV. - This doctrine renders totally unnecessary the mediation and atonement of Jesus Christ. For if the sinner be fully recompensed for his sin here, what need of a Saviour to die for those sins, the punishment of which he himself endures in this world. But if the Universalist should choose to rest his doctrine on the ground that sinners would have suffered hereafter if Christ had not atoned for their sins, I would ask how long they would have suffered ?-or, in other words, what is the original penalty of God's law? Now, if it can be shown, that any future punishment in the Scriptures is threatened, it will be easy to show that the rejectors of the Gospel, or impenitent sinners, will suffer that punishment; for what can be plainer, than that the heaviest penalties, and most clearly and repeatedly expressed in the word of God, are those denounced by Christ against those who refuse to believe his doctrine ? If, then, men were exposed to any future punishment before Christ came, it is most evident that the impenitent are still exposed to the same, and greater. Therefore the Universalist doctrine cannot rest on this ground. According to this system, there was no need of a Saviour. Christ came without an errand into this world, and shed his precious blood to no purpose.” This is the highest kind of blasphemy. “He that despised Moses' law, died without mercy, under
two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the spirit of grace.”
V. Another tendency of this doctrine, is to put it in the power of the sinner to set God at defiance with impunity. It says to the blasphemer, blaspheme on, all your days, you have nothing to fear after death. It says to the drunkard, drink on, you shall soon exchange the cup of damnation for a golden cup, filled with the crystal waters of the river of life. It represents God as so merciful as to be under an absolute necessity of taking the vilest wretch of earth to his holy kingdom after death. According to this doctrine, God must crown Voltaire and Paine with as bright a crown as Paul; and Paul and Nero must strike the same golden harp. It says to every sinner, go on, and violate all law-all laws of man or God-you shall triumph at last, and dwell in the presence of an insulted God! It says to every transgressor, spend your days in blasphemy and murder, in drunkenness and adultery, in lying and robbery, in theft and blood, you shall be safe after death, and stand amid the blazing glories, and sing the holy melodies, and feel the ecstatic bliss of heaven. What a doctrine is this, to put it in the power of the sinner to triumph over law, and government, and God, and reach the paradise of the skies by rebel
lion and apostacy! Can any man preach it with sincerity? Can any man be sincere in this belief? We wish we could say of Universalists, what they are constrained to say of us, viz: that they are sincere in their belief. But we cannot say it. We should do violence to our own convictions, and violence to the human mind, to say that any Uni- , versalist can be sincere in believing a doctrine which has such abhorrent tendencies,
VI. Another consequence of this doctrine is, that impenitent sinners, who are driven away in their wickedness, are happier than the righteous, who are left to suffer. Judas was a happier man, one moment after he committed suicide, than
of the apostles who were left behind. And if what the Scripture says is true, that he which is forgiven much, will love. much, then Judas will be the happiest being in heaven. Having been forgiven much, he will love much, and love is what constitutes the happiness of heaven. It was a good expedient, then, according to Universalism, which Judas hit upon, of betraying his Lord and master! No wonder he went out quickly and hung himself. He was in haste to get to the Universalists' heaven. He knew that heaven would be far preferable to the keen pangs of remorse which he endured, and which stung his soul to the quick.
The inhabitants of the old world, who were destroyed for their sins by the deluge, were happier than poor Noah, the preacher of righteousness, He was left, to be tossed on the billows of the