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morals which guards the interests of individuals, in exact proportion to their right of demand; and whenever there is a right in one being, there is a corresponding obligation on every other being to act with a sacred regard to that right. That man possesses a keen sense of right is evident from his so readily resenting an injury; but can any reasonable being suppose, that when God endowed his creatures with this strong sense of justice and of right, that he intended they should disregard the claims of justice and sct at defiance the rights of God, of angels, and of men? This, instead of promoting the happiness of God's creation, is the fruitful source of all the misery there is in the universe. It was not until injustice was introduced among God's creatures that misery had any place in the creation of God; and yet we are told that if man had never sinned he would never have known what happiness was.
Truth is a perfection of Deity—the medium through which the light of heaven was poured on the intellect of man, for the express purpose of giving him a knowledge of his Maker, in which consists eternal life; but it seems our universalian friends have found out that man can be more happy in groping his
way in the darkness of error than walking in the sunshine of truth. The scripture says, God requires truth in the inward parts. A universalian would say, that he requires hypocrisy and deceit to be worn on the outside. • The Almighty says “be ye holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy."
Thus we learn, from Scripture, that holiness belongs to the Lord; but we find that holiness is not an attribute of Deity, but the exercise of all his attributes in harmony together, to promote his own declarative glory and the welfare of his intelligent creation : man, then, having been created in God's own image, must have been holy also. How the writer of the essay
under review found out to the contrary, I know not; but that he has represented the contrary, is undeniable; and that is not all; for the plain inference from his statements, in that article, is that neither God nor man were holy,
Without stopping to prove the above, by showing that no holy being could command one thing and will another, we will examine the assertion he has made, that if our first parents had been constitutionally holy, they never could have yielded to the temptation that the Almighty presented to them, to lead them into sin. The undeniable inference is, that if they were created in the image of God, and yet were constitutionally unholy, God must have been constitutionally unholy too.
We shall waive any further examination of the leading principles of moral order, and just examine an appetite and a passion of human nature, to see if we can find any thing sinful in them, unless when unlawfully indulged, with the voluntary consent of the will.
The Almighty, when he made man, implanted in human nature the constitutional passion we call anger. That this may degenerate into something merely animal, or even diabolical, in its influence and operations over the human mind, is readily admitted; but there is nothing sinful in it, when unaccompaniedwith an intention to do wrong, as we may learn, by ascertaining the purpose for which it was given; namely, to guard man against the injurious conduct of his fellows. Every species of misconduct, on the part of man, has a tendency, in a greater or less degree, to destroy the harmony, good order, peace, and happiness of society. This derangement in society is injurious to man and hateful to God; because God made man to be happy. Now, when the wrong or sinful conduct of one individual injures the rights and happiness of another, God's righteous anger is aroused, and the righteous anger of the injured person is also aroused, which shows a trait in man of God's moral nature, given to him for the purpose of enabling him so to feel the effects of injury as to excite him to the adoption of measures (not to be revenged by inflicting evil for evil) but those best calculated so to repel that injury as not to widen the sphere of its baleful influence, but to lessen the evil, and restore to society the harmonious flow of happiness that had been obstructed,
Does not this view of the subject look a little more rational than to suppose God planted it there for the purpose of urging man to revenge and retaliation for insult and injury, and thus, instead of diminishing, to enlarge the sphere of misery,
God implanted in man's animal economy that strong propensity of human nature, the object of which was to operate as an incentive to the propagation of his species; but certainly no man in his senses would suppose that God had implanted this in man to lead him into sin; or that there is any thing sinful in this propensity, abstract from a disposition and intention to gratify it, regardless of that law which says, let every man have his own wife and every woman her own husband. It is true these propensities, when excited, if criminal indulgence be given, instead of resistance being made, will inevitably lead to evil tempers and wicked lusts, which are sinful; such as pride, malice, envy, hatred, &c.; but this, instead of being that holy state in which God created man, is that lapsed condition into which he has fallen by a voluntary crininal indulgence of those propensities in violation of the high autho rity of his Maker.
It is one of the most singular circumstances that has como within the range of my observation, that any man, with the bible in his hand, and common sense in his head, should ever have supposed that God implanted in man a sinful nature, much less that he did it for the purpose of leading him into sin, and still less that it was done with a design to make man happy, which the writer says he never could have been, had he never sinned.
Mr. Balfour has published a book, containing several long essays, to disprove the soul's immortality altogether, until after the resurrection of the body. He labours, in his essays, to disprove the popular doctrine, that man has an immortal part in this state of existence, connected with the body, capable of enjoying moral happiness, or sustaining misery, in a disembodied state.
The positions he undertakes to prove are as follows: 1. That man has no other soul than his animal life or breath;
2. That when the body dies the soul ceases to exist separate from the body;
3. That both soul and body return to their original condition after death, and remain so, until after the resurrection, when the body becomes incorruptible and the soul immortal;
4. That the soul, when separated from the body, returns to God, and is hid with Christ in God, until the resurrection.
Before we enter into an examination of these particulars we will try to understand what is meant by the soul and its immortality.
First, then, the soul of man is that spiritual being, or essence, which God made in his own image, when he created our first parents.
Scripture says, God is a Spirit. We learn, then, that in whatever particulars we resemble our Maker, that resemblance respects our souls, not our bodies. Immortality was a part of God's image, in which man was created, or it was not. If it was, then had man not sinned he would have remained immortal forever. If he was not made immortal then he would have died, whether he sinned or not, Scripture and reason
unite their testimony, to disprove the latter position. Paul says, "the wages of sin is death." Romans, vi, 23. Again, in Romans, v, 12, “ wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, and so death passed upon
all men.' But why should we look for further testimony, from the oracles of God? Did not God declare to Adam, that in the day he ate thereof he should surely die? Again, reason corroborates the testimony of scripture on this subject. Would a good God have subjected Adam and his posterity to the pains and miseries of dissolution, had they remained innocent? Would the Almighty have implanted in human nature such a dread of dissolution, if it had been a part of the economy of Providence respecting him? In a word, does not the doctrine of the resurrection, together with the whole scheme of redemption, prove, that man was inade to live forever, had he not sinned? Was it not to destroy the work of the devil that Christ came?
If subjecting man to sin and death was a part of the economy of God's providence towards man, as has been openly ayowed by universalians, then Christ came to destroy the work of God, instead of destroying the work of the devil.
One argument made use of by universalians, to evade the force of my conclusion, that man was made immortal, and would have lived forever had he not sinned, is the following: that if man had lived forever, there would not have been room on our earth for the innumerable inhabitants to have stood on it, much less to have obtained sustenance. So, then, the Almighty, it seems, had made such a miscalculation in making provision for the accommodation of his creature, man, that he had to turn murderer, and go to killing off mankind, to remedy the defect of his own want of foresight!
The gentleman who used this argument was asked, What will be done with the innumerable mass, when they are all brought to life again?
But let us return to our inquiry, respecting the soul and its immortality.
To obtain scriptural and rational conceptions on this inter