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assumed, and with Paul, we say, if any man, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel, let him be accursed.
3. Though the great portion of Universalists profess, that repentance, faith and regeneration are necessary to enjoy religion and the favor of God in this world, yet they all agree, that they are not necessary to secure the happiness of the future statem that immortal life and glory beyond death and the grave, are not dependent on faith, the new birth and christian character here. This position they assume, when they reason, and discuss the conditions of salvation, the death and suffering of Christ, or man as in a state of probation. They deny that the present life has any connection or influence on the future state of existence They declare that the atonement of Christ, repentance and faith, the word of God, religion and prayer, and the godly deportment of man, will no more secure to him the glory and happiness of the future state of being, than though they had never been; but that their virtue and influence will be wholly spent and be confined to this life. Moreover, that the wickedness and barbarism of the children of men will not affect nor determine the nature of their existence in the spirit-world ; that across the stream of death nothing vile, polluting and destructive can be borne, every work rebounds and every influence recoils at the shores of death. This position, so prominent and deemed of such indispensable importance to the character and maintenance of Universalism, should be well and thoroughly comprehended by the world. Let us now show that the above is the correct and precise ground of Universalism.
Mr. Jason Lewis declares, that “ Universalists believe that although salvation in this world is, in some sort conditional, that is to say, is enjoyed only by means of faith, good works, etc. yet that salvation in a state of immortality, is by no means suspended upon any exercises or acts of the creature while in this state of being.” That in this Mr. J. Lewis echoes the correct sentiment of Universalism, in his synopsis of its doctrines, is unquestionable, for it is · fully sustained by many other writers. Then we have the doctrine unequivocally expressed, that the salvation in the immortal world is in nowise dependent on any thing that man can do in this life. If, in their opinion, heaven is never realized by man in view of his religion and godly deportment, it cannot be deemed strange, that thy should assert, that the wicked cannot do any thing to forfeit future glory or incur the pains of hell.
A. C. Thomas says, while referring to Is. xl. 22. and speaking of God's plan of salvation, “ Can the faith of a million of grasshoppers add a tithe of a chance to what the Lord has secured, or cause one jot or tittle of His plan to fail ?” Again; he says, “ the happiness of the future state is not dependent on the exercises of faith in any doctrine whatever. Were it * * * there would be no certainty of the salvation of any of our race.” According to this writer, the happiness of the future world is so surely fixed, that none of our race can fail of it, whether they believe or disbelieve God; for it is not a contingent of faith.”
Mr. Balfour says: “ that faith and obedience are absolutely necessary to a participation of the privileges and blessings of Christ's kingdom on earth,” but not “necessary to partaking of the immortal life by Christ Jesus beyond death and the grave;" this is effected by being “ raised immortal in the resurrection.” So teaches Balfour.
0. A. Skinner says, “ So far as admission into endless glory is concerned, the saint and sinner stand on a perfect level.” There ! who dare dissent from this assertion!
Mr. Williamson teaches that the sentiment, “ that men are to be saved in another world, because they are fortunate enough to believe it so, or lost because they believe it
not so, is grossly absurd and utterly unphilosophical.”' Yet the Bible teaches all the world, believe and be saved, or disbelieve and be damned. Do such men not preach another gospel than that given by Jesus Christ?
“ Ballou says: "The common method of urging the necessity of being religious, or of having religion in order to be prepared to die and to be happy in the future state," he thinks is disastrous in.its influence, and one that ought. to be deprecated. If this is the opinion of Ballou, who shall marvel, that the sentiment is reiterated by the entire brotherhood ? Religion is not necessary to enter heaven, should be painted on the doors of their churches and on the pulpits; and even to urge religion upon our fellow-men in order to prepare them to die, should be deprecated. This, the world should understand, to escape the delusion, for it · spreads the true colors to the breeze, that of downright
. infidelity. : * Mr. Le Fevre remarks : « It has been generally taught, ... that unless a man is born into Christ's kingdom here on
earth, he cannot be received into his eternal kingdom hereafter. It is farther taught that comparatively few in the world are so born. We are aware that these are the doctrines of men, but certainly they are not the commandments of God." Mr. Lewis also declares the doctrine erroneous, which would make the new birth necessary to gain a happy future state and to make men the exclusive heirs of salvation. And he then asserts, that “the whole of our race, will, at length become characteristically the children of God.” He means of course that this will be effected by the resurrection of the dead.
Another writer adds his testimony in the following language : “our final condition is in no way dependent on our being born again here.” After the testimony of so many, that immortal blessedness is not dependent on re
pentance, faith and regeneration, who dare call it in question any longer, or attempt to prove that they are essential ? Let all the expounders of the Bible and preachers of the gospel stand in awe and be careful how they urge the duty of religion upon man, and raise the tocsin of alarm to a degenerate and profligate race. First learn, at the feet of such modern Rabbis as Ballou, Lewis, Williamson, Le Fevre, Grosh and Skinner, what the Scriptures mean, before they call on men to repent, believe, be converted and follow Christ. And learn. also whether the conduct of men has any moulding influence on their characters beyond death and the grave. Ye orthodox upstarts, attend to this advice!
We shall add the opinion of one more writer to prove the position of Universalism in reference to repentance and faith as they influence the future destiny of men. S. W. Brittan, in a sermon delivered at Bridgeport, Conn. employs the following language: “The glory and happiness of the future no more depend upon the faith and works of the creature than the resurrection itself. The resurrection is not to be accomplished through our merits, but through the power of God. And if faith and works cannot raise the dead, how can these be supposed to determine our condition in the world to come ?” This writer ought to beegme not only Master of Arts, but also a Doctor of Divinity, for he has shown himself worthy, by producing such logical reasoning and depths of Biblical lore. Who would assume the position, that the religious faith and good works of any man would qualify him to raise the dead, and thus wrest this omnipotent power from the hand of Christ, though the dead have been raised by the agency of man? Well, if they cannot raise the dead, for the same reason, they cannot “determine our condition in the world to come.” What logic! It is akin to that when we say, that because a man
cannot make a world, therefore he cannot build a house. Because he cannot create souls for his fellow-men, therefore he cannot influence them for good or evil-he may make his own character, but cannot destroy it. It does not follow, that because faith and good works, and the merits of man cannot raise the dead, therefore a christian character cannot influence his future state of existence. The reasoning would appear more logical to say, that since nothing that man can do, can form his character in this world, therefore, not any mode of life or any particular action can effect his character hereafter. You may say, matter of fact disproves your premise; man's life here does affect his character. Very well; were you as well acquainted with matter of fact in the future world as you are in this, you might as plainly see, that matter of fact disproves your conclusion. Analogy and Scripture will make this equally clear. In its proper place, this will be shown.
By what means or in whạt way do Universalists expect all the world will be saved ? Since they declare that the atonement of Christ, his precious blood, repentance, faith, the new birth, religion, the godly life of man, have not, nor can procure, nor in any way affect or determine the immortal life and blessedness of heaven. How then will they be saved ? In what way will they get to heaven? These are important inquiries, and should be fairly and candidly answered. Instead of standing as the assailed, and defending the citadel of truth, let us reconnoitre the ground of Universalism and test the soundness of its proofs and interpretations. We can devote at present the space of but few pages to sift the most prominent passages, on which they rely to prove the full, final and necessary salvation of the entire human race.
1. The strongest fortification they have reared around this doctrine, which inevitably secures the salvation of all