Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

work to the public. I have made frequent quotations from the works of that great theologian, Dr. John Lightfoot. My references all have respect to the edition published in London, by Rev. J. R. Pitman, 1825, 13 vols. 8vo.

The Scriptural proofs of Universalism, contained in Chapter III., are as full as the space would allow, which I allotted for that purpose. Let it be observed, that these are scriptural proofs merely. Many of the arguments which Universalists employ, are unavoidably omitted. The basis of the arguments in Chapter III., is the original “One Hundred Arguments for Universalism,” published by me several years ago.

While I have retained the substance of that little work, the arguments are so much enlarged, that its visage will hardly be recognised. I have put down under each sacred author, what he has said on the great salvation; but in some cases, where the testimony had been included under sorne other head, it is omitted under the author's name.

My original purpose was, to have concluded this work with some observations of my own, on the evidences of revealed religion ; but I soon abandoned that design, on account of my inability to compress the principal evidences into the compass of one chapter. But I have given entire (what I am sure is much better for the reader) that inestimable work, which never yet has been answered, Leslie's “ Short Method with the Deists,”. one of the most popular and valuable essays in defence of revealed religion, that has ever been published. In some very slight instances, I have modified his phraseology, to avoid his references to the doctrine of endless misery, which he seems fully to have believed.

THOMAS WHITTEMORE.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

MARCH 1st, 1840.

PLAIN GUIDE TO UNIVERSALISM.

CHAPTER I.

WHO ARE UNIVERSALISTS ?

I. UNIVERSALISTS are those who believe in the eventual holiness and happiness of all the human race, as revealed to the world in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

They are supposed by some to be of a very recent origin; but it is well known, that there have been Universalists in almost every age, since the word of God was revealed to the children of men. II. Even in the Old Testament we find very

distinct traces of the doctrine of Universalism. The promises of God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the prophecies of David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and several other of the prophets, distinctly foretell the approach of the time, when sin shall be finished, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

- Jesus Christ not only revealed God in the specific character of a Father, and declared the love of God to the world, even to the evil and to the unthankful, as the cause of his own mission, and laid down other distinguishing principles of Universalism ; but he also professed, explicitly, to be the Saviour of the world, not a part merely ; asserted, that he would actually draw all men unto him ; and maintained, that all who shall be raised from the dead will be equal unto the angels, and be the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. * *** St. Paul taught a gathering of all things unto Christ, in the dispensation of the fulness of times, — a universal reconciliation to God, through the blood of the cross ; that God had included all in unbelief, in order to have mercy upon all ; that of him, and through him, and to him, are all things ; that Christ must reign until all things are subdued unto him ; till all be made alive in him, so that, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father, God shall be ALL IN ALL.

- (Universalist Expositor, Vol. IV. pp. 185, 186.)

III. We find distinct traces of Universalism in the Christian church immediately after the age of the apostles, especially among the different sects of the Gnostics ; and it is worthy of remark, that a belief in the final salvation of all men was not made a subject either of objection or reproach, for two or three hundred years after the death of the Saviour. There are very few works belonging to this period, that are extant. We find a distinct trace of Universalism in the Sybylline Oracles, that appeared about A. D. 140 or 150. Clement, of Alexandria, the president of the renowned Catechetical School in that city, held the doctrine of Universalism. He was the most learned and illustrious of all the Christian fathers before Origen. Origen, as is well known, was a decided Universalist, and taught and defended this doctrine in almost all his works. He was born A. D. 185. It does not seem, that during his life, any objections were made to him by his contemporaries on account of his believing in the salvation of all mankind. Immediately after Origen's day, we perceive, that many of the fathers maintained the doctrine of Universalism. Marcellus, Bishop of Ancyra, appears to have been a Universalist, and also Titus, Bishop of Bostra, who maintained (A. D. 364), that the torments of hell are remedial, and salutary in their effects upon transgressors. Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, was a decided Universalist, A. D. 380. He believed, that all punishment would be remedial, and that, in the end, all mankind, and even the Devil himself, will be subdued and purified. One of his favorite proofs

« FöregåendeFortsätt »