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the Origenists, we know not. They were objected to, at first, in respect to other points, and not for many years, on the ground of their being Universalists, although some of their most eminent men, like the distinguished Father from whom they took their name, had held that sentiment, and defended it with much zeal.
Let it be observed, also, that Universalism was not put down, by reason, by argument, by appeals to the word of God, but it was crushed by the arm of power. It was the arm of usurped power that crucified the Son of God; it was the arm of usurped power that persecuted the infant church; and it was the arm of usurped power that condemned and crushed Universalism, in 553. During the dark ages, when the Pope held undisturbed dominion, and the whole Christian world trembled at his nod, when the light of science almost expired, and wickedness of every description stalked abroad at noonday, then little was known of Universalism; while the contrary doctrine of endless misery flourished abundantly, and furnished ground for the contending ecclesiastics to anathematize, first, each other, and then the world, and proclaim the sentence of eternal banishment from immortal blessedness. But we have shown, that no sooner was the arm of usurped power broken, than Universalism once more appeared. It rose gently, but irresistibly, winning admirers among the greatest and best of men, and pouring peace, consolation, and joy into every heart. Not so with the doctrine of endless misery. From 553, the nearer we approach to the days of the Saviour, the less we find of that doctrine; and it was not fully established until the Fifth General Council. During the dark ages, very few persons, if any, doubted the truth of that sentiment. It was one of the strong pillars that upheld priestcraft, papal corruption, and ecclesiastical oppression. But no sooner did the light of Reformation shine, than this doctrine was disputed, it was soon declared to be unscriptural, dishonorable to God, injurious to man; and from that time to the present it has been losing more and more its power over the human mind.
We refer those, who wish to see a fuller account of Universalism from the time of the Reformation to the year 1830, to the "Modern History of Universalism," by the author of this work.
WHAT DO UNIVERSALISTS BELIEVE?
-I. THE sentiment by which Universalists are distinguished, is this: that at last every individual of the human race shall become holy and happy. This does not comprise the whole of their faith; but merely that feature of it, which is peculiar to them, and by which they are distinguished from the rest of the world.
II. Universalists are not infidels. It is sometimes very indiscreetly said, that Universalism is but a species of infidelity; that Universalists are not Christians, and cannot be so considered. We shall have no lengthened argument on this point; but we desire one question settled, touching this matter. If the doctrine of Jesus concerning the resurrection of the dead is not true, how is the doctrine of Universalism to be established? It evidently cannot be. If the doctrine of Jesus coneerning a future life fails, what becomes of Universalism? It is gone like a dream. Why, then, should Universalism be called infidelity? If it cannot rest unless it rest on Christianity, is it not a very singular kind of infidelity? It is just such infidelity as Jesus taught, when he said, the dead shall become as the angels of God in heaven, neither shall they die any more, but shall be the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. It is such infidelity as Paul cherished, when he said, "God will have all men to be saved," "the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed," "God shall be all in all," such
is the infidelity of Universalism. It is the infidelity the angels were infected with, when they came down and sung, "Glory to God in the highest; peace on earth, and good will to men." It is just such infidelity as distinguished the patriarch Abraham, when he trusted in God's promise, that all the nations of the earth should be blessed in his seed, Christ. Finally, it is the same infidelity that made the apostles so obnoxious wherever they preached; and caused the people to say, "those who have turned the world upside down, are come hither also."
III. An attempt has been recently made to distinguish Universalists only by a disbelief in future punishment. Such an attempt is unjustifiable. They agree in the great doctrine of the final holiness and happiness of all men; and they leave every man to form his own opinion in regard to the times and seasons when this great event shall transpire.
There has been some discussion, within a few years past, on the appellation Universalist. The question seems to have been, whether this word ought to be applied to all who believe in the eventual restoration of all mankind, or only to a particular class of them. On this subject we have never had but one opinion, and that opinion we have frequently expressed, viz. that all persons, who truly believe in the eventual salvation of all mankind by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, are Universalists. This is the rule laid down in the "Modern History of Universalism.” For instance, Richard Coppin and Jeremy White, who both flourished in the time of Cromwell, are put down in that work as Universalists, although they differed much in opinion on minor points, the latter being a Trinitarian and a believ er in future punishment, the former discarding that doctrine. So also Archbishop Tillotson and Dr. T. Burnet are put down as Universalists, who were both believers in future punishment. The same may be said of the Chevalier Ramsay and many others. The rule which we prescribed to ourselves in the compilation_of
that work, we still adhere to, and always shall. All persons are Universalists who truly believe in the salvation of all mankind through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It makes no difference what are the individual's views concerning punishment, if he holds the doctrine above described. There are some Universalists who hold to punishment after death; nevertheless, we are glad to hail them as Universalists. They agree with us in our views of the great consummation, all punishment, in their view, is disciplinary; and they denounce punishment, either in this world or the next, having any other object, as cruel and unjust. Certain persons have endeavoured to give a very narrow signification to the word Universalist, as signifying only those who do not hold to punishment beyond the grave; but they have repeatedly been told, by Universalists of both classes, that such a restricted sense of the word could not be admitted.
We wish it distinctly understood, that Universalists admit of no distinction in the denomination, on account of difference of opinion on the subject of punishment. They are all one, they all go for one thing; and may God to all eternity preserve them one. Amen.
IV. Although Universalists do not believe in the authority of man-made creeds, it became necessary, in the year 1803, for them to make a public declaration of their sentiments. The Supreme Court of New Hampshire had decreed, that Congregationalists and Universalists, in law, were one and the same denomination; and that Universalists were therefore liable to be taxed to the support of Congregational parishes. To meet this extraordinary state of things, the General Convention of Universalists, in session at Strafford, Vt., in 1802, appointed a committee to report a form of faith, to show, that Universalists differed widely from Congregationalists in their religious views. This committee, consisting of Z. Streeter, G. Richards, H. Ballou, W. Ferriss, and Z. Lathe, reported at the ses
sion in Winchester, N. H., the following year. On this committee were persons who believed in future punishment, and those who did not; but a majority, we think, of the former. They endeavoured to frame their articles of faith in such a way, as that both classes of Universalists might cordially unite in them. The articles were drawn by the venerated Ferriss, himself a believer in future punishment, and were in the following words:
PROFESSION OF BELIEF.
"1. We believe, that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments contain a revelation of the character of God, and of the duty, interest, and final destination of mankind.
"2. We believe there is one God, whose nature is love; revealed in one Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of grace, who will finally restore the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness.
3. We believe, that holiness and true happiness are inseparably connected; and that believers ought to maintain order, and practise good works, for these things are good and profitable unto men."
This Profession of Belief the Convention has never altered; and we believe it is considered unexceptionable by Universalists in general.
Such then, in brief, are the sentiments of Universalists. But, lest some of our readers should object to the brevity of the above Profession, we shall introduce in this place a form of faith, designed to express the general sentiments of Universalists, drawn up several years since, by Rev. Dolphus Skinner, of Utica, N. Y., and first published in connexion with his "Letters to Aikin & Lansing," Utica, N. Y., 1833.
ARTICLE 1. Concerning God and Christ. We believe that the Lord our God is ONE Lord, that we all have ONE FATHER; ONE GOD hath created us,