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security of ends in a moral adıninistration. It is a limitation which implies no imperfection in nature or character.
Our author, assuming the fact of a future probationary state, (a position which bis reasonings are mainly designed to establish,) supposes that the wicked will suffer the amount of legal penalty due for sin to the government of God, and on its termination, be received to final happiness. This scheme, is true, excludes the possibility of grace in the pardon of men. Pardon implies a remission of penalty incurred. But on this scheme, the penalty is actually inflicted and endured to the extent of demerit. The only thing that bears the aspect of mercy, is the steady infiction of that punishment necessary to a preparation for higher happiness. This is all the grace claimed by the systein of restoration. But how ill does this comport with all our ideas of the gracious forgiveness of the gospel! Take an instance. A subject of a civil government, by some act, incurs a penalty of a thousand dollars fine and thirty days imprisonment in a common jail. He pays the sum and passes the thirty days in prison; he is then remanded back to court, and the judge who pronounced the sentence essays to pardon him, and demands of bim expressions of gratitude for the grace in the act ! Pardon ! exclaims ibe faithful prisoner, pardon !! may it please your honor, it is beyond your power to pardon me; I have endured all that I deserve for my crimes. Why talk of grace? Oh, replies the magistrate, we meant the punishment for your best good to be corrective, and the grace lies in a faithful application, on our part, of the necessary remedy. Would he understand such logic? Would such grace be likely to touch the secret place of tears in the guilty bosom? Is retributive justice thus readily convertible into gospel grace? Is such the reason of those glad tidings which once drew the inhabitants of better worlds within the neighborhood of our own, and which redeemed spirits celebrate near the eternal throne! Such grace, we apprehend, is in no danger of making void the law of God. But what is that peculiarity of the gospel, which brings glad tidings to men and unrivaled glory to God? An apostle informs us, “God in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” Free forgiveness, not“ imputing trespasses,' " but reconciling the world without it. This is the great leading fact, the grand feature in the plan of man's restoration to the lost favor of his God. Now this cannot be, and it be true that men endure the legal penalty due to transgression. In suffering such penalty, the trespasses of men must be reckoned or imputed unto them. There is no avoiding this position but by a downright denial of scripture facts. Salvation cannot be of forgiveness and by imputation both. If by actual suffering of the penalty according to the deeds done in the body, all claim must be given up to grace, to a free, gratuitous justification. Language means something, and though the words of revelation may be changed, its standing realities remain. The fact of a free forgiveness for Christ's sake, is what especially distinguishes the scriptural way of salvation from all false systems. In one respect, therefore, it is unessential whether there is or is not a state of probation after death. The condempation of this whole system of another gospel is its exclusion of grace. Radically defective from the foundation to the summit, it well accords with the sentiments of that amiable philosopher, and prince of modern infidels, who, when near bis dying moments, is reported to have said, “We must all pass through a discipline more or less protracted, to fit us for the divine presence.” Mournful subtersuge this, of a rejected gospel. So is it found by those who embrace it and seek to defend it by a prurient philosophy. Never are they or can they be satisfied with it, while they revere the masim, Veritas non quaerit angulos. Conscience, whose undying energies survive the unfriendly action of false theories and vain sophistications, will send forth her signals of aların, which the uncertainties of such a doctrine have no power to still. The guilty mind may dream of acceptance with God, after the lapse of unknown ages of suffering; but then it is, at best, conjecture. No one can plant himself upon the most plausible reasons offered in its favor, and say, this is firm ground,-ihis is reality. We shall not attempt a scriptural argument for the opposite doctrine. Yet who that has not divested himself of every qualification to appreciate the force of truth, would venture his immortality upon the trial of selecting an equal number of explicit passages in favor of the doctrine of a final restoration, to set against the following, which the specious reasons we have been considering were designed to invalidate ? " What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” “Fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in bell.” “ He that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Again, “ The ax is laid to the root of the trees; therefore every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down and cast into the fire."
"He will gather his wheat into his garner, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” “ The tares are the children of the wicked one; as, therefore, the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of the world.” “ If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away." mine enemies which would not that I should reign over them, bring them bither and slay them before me.” “On whomsoever this stone shall fall, it shall grind him to powder.” “ He that believeth
They " Those
not, shall be damned.” It is plain from these texts and numberless others, that the salvation of men turns upon sometbing active, something believed, something done in ibis life, rather than upon a passive endurance of protracted pain inflicted to eradicate the evil passions and propensities of constiumional nature. Men who maintain the doctrine of restoration, are not very fond of that sort of preaching which causes pain for purposes of repentance and reform. To be consistent, they must advocate its salutary tendency only, in the total absence of all other hopeful means. Did Christ go in spirit and preach to the spirits in prison? If so, were they fallen angels, or men? We deny this to be a correct interpretation of the passage in 1 Peter iii. 19; but granting that is spirit he did go to the nether world to proclaim the gospel,-unless his preaching there was vastly more successful than on the earli, what but a forlorn hope exists, that it will be effectual to salvation? If, moreover, any credit is 10 be given to the inspired vol. ure, the place to which the impenitent pass from this scene of probation, is not an asylum,-a reformatory, filted up to be a sanctuary for the purposes of a preached gospel, but in fact the prison of demons and of despair, "prepared for the Devil and his angels."
On the commonly-received principles of belief, therefore, and in view of a partial survey of the subject, it seems difficult, if not impossible to conceive, how the mind can rest in any settled conviction in favor of the doctrine of a final universal restoration. No man can believe anything against evidence, or without evidence. No evidence amounting to probability in its favor exists or can exist while there is so much of direct testimony against it. He, therefore, who presumingly goes forward in impenitence to eternity, relying on the rectifying process of a probationary retribution, let him
he confidently assured, that the purposes of a be. nevolent God will leave him to the woes of a sell-wrought destruction, as the price of bis folly and sin, in a determined rejection of that gospel, the simple and cordial reception of which, on earth, has the promise of a blissful immortality.
ART. VII.-Present StATE OF THE SLAVERY QUESTION.
Slavery. By William E. Channing. Boston : 1835. This little book will do more for its author's reputation, with that portion of mankind whose favorable opinion is nost to be desired, than any other one thing which has come from his pen. We have read it with almost unmingled satisfaction. The chapter of “explanations," that on the "evils of slavery," that on the “ means of removing slavery," and the short concluding chapter
on the “ duties of the free States," are the best parts of a book in which almost every page is very good. A fine and losiy moral spirit breathes through the whole. The only portion which betrays at all the babits of the Unitarian theologian, is the chapter in refutation of "the argument which the scriptures are thought to furnish in favor of slavery.” Not that there is Unitarianism in that chapter; indeed the whole book is orthodox in its air and spirit ; and there are passages which, read with evangelical views, and construed as an evangelical reader would construe them, bave a higher meaning, and a still greater cogency, than they could have had in the mind of their eloquent author. The seven pages in which the scriptural argument is dispatched, betray the Unitarian only as they show that Dr. Channing is in the habit of reasoning from what he conceives to be the genius of cbristianity, rather than from the inspired record of what christianity is.
Dr. Channing's ground is, briefly, that so far as slavery divests its victims of all personal rights; so far as it reduces human beings to the rank and condition of catile; so far, in a word, as it converts men into property, it is sin, simple unqualified sin. He discriminates justly between the wrong of slavery, that is, the wrongfulness of those laws which make the negro a chaitel, and refuse to recognize him in any other relation,-and the guilt attached to the individual, who, not seeing how to lay down the authority committed to bim by those laws, exercises that authority, not for his own emolument, but for the welfare of his servants. Upon those masters who hold the slave "not for his own good or for the safety of the State, but with precisely the same views with which they hold a laboring horse, that is, for the profit they can wring from bim,” he pours a torrent of eloquent indignation; while he freely acknowledges, that all masters are not thus guilty. In regard to the means of removing slavery, he bolds, that the best, safest, happiest remedy, is in the hands of the masters; that the institution of new relations between the master and the servant, without the master's full consent, though it may be far better than the perpetuity of the relations now existing, cannot but be attended with disaster ; that while the recognition of the slave as a man entitled to the benefits of good government ought to be immediate, his emancipation must be a gradual process; that the slave ought to be trained for selfsupport, by being taught to labor under the impulse of other and madlier motives than the mere terror of the lash, by seeing new privileges and honorable distinctions awarded to the bonest and industrious; by being made to feel, that he has a family whose happiness depends on his industry, integrity and prudence, and by being inbued with the truths and motives of the gospel of Christ. We need not say how entirely these views coincide with our own.
One chapter is devoted to abolitionism in the now technical Vol. VIN.
meaning of that word. The author, while exhibiting his ohjections to the spirit and proceedings of the anti-slavery societies, vindicates them from the charge of designing to promote ipsurrection among the slaves, and denounces with great solemnity and earnestness the parricidal alteinpts that have been made to suppress their proceedings by violence. His greatest objection seems to be against the system of agitation, by wbich the anti-slavery men have sought to compass their ends. Of this system of agitation be says:
• From the beginning it created alarm in the considerate, and strengthened the syinpathies of the free States with the slave-bolder. It made converts of a few individuals, but alienated multitudes. Its influence at the South has been evil without mixture. It has stirred up bitter passions and a fierce fanaticism, which have shut every ear and every heart against its arguments and persuasions. These effects are the more to be deplored, because the hope of freedom to the slave lies chiefly in the disposition of his master. The abolitionist proposed, indeed, to convert the slave-holders; and for this end he approached them with vituperation and exhausted on them the vocabulary of abuse! And he has reaped as he sowed.
His vehement pleadings for the slaves have been answered by wilder ones from the slave-bolder; and, what is worse, deliberate defenses of slavery have been sent forth, in the spirit of the dark ages, and in defiance of the moral convictions and feelings of the christian and civilized world. Thus, with good purposes, nothing seems to have been gained. Perhaps (though I am anxious to repel the thought) something has been lost to the cause of freedom and humanity. pp. 141, 142.
On this text we offer a few comments, illustrating the recent history and present bearings of the slavery question in this country. What Dr. Channing says, is for the most part truly said, and well said; yet in some points it is far from being the whole truth.
The system of agitation pursued by the abolitionists has
strengthened the sympathies of the free States with the slaveholder.” True; yet this increased sympathy with slave-holders, is not produced by the system of agitation alone. It is by their schemes of agitation, taken in connection with their doctrine of immediate freedom, and their usurpation and perversion of the name of abolitionist, that the anti-slavery societies bave produced in the free States so considerable a reaction favorable to slavery. Dr. Channing finds himself compelled, by the persecutions and the mobs which have been got up against these societies, to take sides with a party whose doctrine of inmediate emancipation he renounces, whose system of agitation be deprecates, and whose spirit of denunciation be abhors. Just so, thousands of the best of men, struck with the ferocity of the denunciations indiscriminately launched against all slave-holders in all possible circumstan