Page images

God is right and the World is wrong! I would that these ponderous truths might pass from land to land-prostrate nations of unknown tongues, and rolling through every climate, might bring a humbled world to ask for mercy at å Saviour's feet. Standing on my watch-tower, I am commauded, if I see aught of evil approaching to give the alarni. I again solemnly declare that I do see evil approaching ; I see a storm collecting in the' CHURCHES; I discover the emotion of the troubled' DOCTRINES : 'I hear the roar of threatening WINDS. CHURCH and STATE seem mingled in the conflict, and I cry to those for whom I watch, A storin! A storm! Get you' out of the snare, or you are swept away. Oh! what is it I see?' I see Christendom convulsed and falling in ruins—the sanctuaries of worship disappearing in flames'-nations,' called christian, ‘rising

as from under ground'—the Star of Bethlehem falling in war-the Sun of Righteousness veiled in bloodthe innocent in chains dragged before the damning bar, and some of my dear readers, in the character of Priests, their Judges. I see then cast from the battlements of the judgment scene! My God!' let 'not the delusive pit close upon them forever! O, rise again, Bethlehem's Star! 0, break forth in seven-fold splendor, great Sun of Righteousness! and illumine Immanuel's land with thy cheering beams !

in arms

[ocr errors]


In continuing the Statement of different views among christians, in relation to the plan of Redemption, we observe;

Many sincere, zealous and worthy christians, dissenting from all those who believe in the endless misery of the wicked, entertain, nevertheless, 'nearly the same views, in relation to the universality and efficacy of the mediation of Jesus, with those who hold that "salvation is possible for all mén;" that it restores all men'to a probationary state, so that the offers of salvation are freely and sincerely made to all, and may be accepted through the merits of Christ, to the everlasting felicity of the whole world ; 'but, if any refuse the öffers of grace and pardon, and continue in disobedience till death, they will be rejected of Christ, and be destroyed

[ocr errors]

without remedy. As the scriptures plainly assert that the proud and all who do wickedlý, shall be burnt up, root and branch, or be punished with everlasting destruction, which is their end, it gives no support to the doctrine of perpetual existence, in exquisite torture. It implies the end of their cristence, as well as misery. If endless misery were a doctrine of the Bible, it would have been expressed in positive terms, as is the destruction of the impenitent. At the day of Judgment all men will be rewarded according to their works ; and those who have repented, believed, been born again, and obeyed the gospel

, will be rewarded with eternal glory; while the impenitent, unbelieving, unregenerate and disobedient will be condemned to eyerlasting destruction, and cease to exist, FOREVER.


Professors of the Christian religion who deny the doctrine of endless sufferings, and also, of the destruction of the wicked, as implying an end of existence, believe in the final Salvation of the whole world. God commended his love to the world while sinners, by sending his Son to be the propitiation for their sins, to give himself a ransom for all and taste death for every man, that all 'might know and obey the truth, to their everlasting salvation." Whether the death of Christ were necessary to satisfy the demands of justice, or only as a commendation of the Father's love to the world, and, a demonstration of the Son's filial and perfect abedience; or whether it be considered as a complete, safe and glorious example of patience, and resignation to the divine will under afflictions, persecutions and suffer'e ings, for all to imitate wheresoever his religion is revealed and taught; he is, in the proper sense, the Mediator between God and men, and the unfailing medium of life and immortality to the world. All the threatenings or denunciations of punishment to the wicked, contained in the Scripturés, should be explained in conformity to the Paternal character of God, who expressly says he is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works. The Deity is infinite, unchangeable and perfect ; it is, therefore, most reasonable to consider the plan of Redemption, as a part of his original purpose in the creation and government of the world, wisely directed to the display of his highest glory, in bringing the whole human family to the highest ultimate perfection of which our nature is capable. Men are accountable to God according to their capacity, and knowledge of his requirements; and are rewarded, if not in this, in a future state. Punishment for disobedience is disciplinary and reclaiming, and under the different administrations of the one Lord, efficacious to the punished, in the subduction of their enmity, the contrition of their hearts, and by the gracious interposition of the Spirit of truth and light, produces a cordial subjection to the Prince of Peace, the Saviour of sinners. When the grace of God, which bringeth salvation to all men, appears in the heart; it teaches the denial of ungodliness, and the practice of sobriety, righteousness and virtue in this life ; by which believers and lovers of the truth, have a special salvation, while the unbelieving and disobedient, remain under the wrath of God, meaning the curse or condemnation of the law which they disobey; and yet,, that unbelief will finally give way to evidence, hatred be conquered by love, impenitence be succeeded by penitence, condemnation be removed by justification, death be swallowed up in victory, and Christ resign the reconciled world or kingdom to the Father, and be subject to Him who put, all things under him, that GOD HIMSELF may be ALL IN




The candid, careful and intelligent reader, it is humbly believed, will find, upon examination and reflection, that „the four Statements which we have given of the scheme of Redemption, embrace the essential doctrines of all Christians upon that interesting point. The first statement, (No. I. page 8, 9,) is the real doctrine of · Election and Reprobation,' and all who embrace it are entitled to the name of Calvinists ; the second, (on page 13, of No. I.) is the true doctrine of Salvation possible for all men, and those who believe it, are justly denominated Arminians. · Those professing the belief just stated, of the endless destruction of the wicked,' should be called Destructionists; and such as anticipate the Salvation of all men, should be known by the

denomination of Universalists, if by any name now ascribed to Christians. If such names are in use, each professor ought to be open and frank in declaring his views, wearing the signet of his doctrine; but, when, by virtue of a divine Union, all Christians are Brethren and Friends, those nominal distinctions may be buried in oblivion, and the Church universal be denominated Christians.

In this attempt to simplify the discordant doctrines of numerous leaders and authors, much pains has been taken to ascertain facts, and without feelings of prejudice or selfishness, be guided by that impartiality in writing, which we might reasonably demand of others. We believe all may be comprised under the above heads, when the reasons for concealment of opinions are removed. Had no one ' bought oxen that must be proved, purchased land that required attention, married a wife that must be pleased, or lost a father yet unburied, no doubt the veil of our temples would be rent, and those who “read Moses every sabbath day,” would be dismissed, or “come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ."

Another reason, for such a diversity of denominations, may be the following. The above doctrines are, by the ingenuity of men, with their additions, diminutions, alterations, transpositions and explanations, capable of innumerable'modifications, productive of new names,terms and orders, suited to the pride and fancy of ambitious leaders, which, however destitute of any real appropriate meaning, will, for awhile, excite the wonder of the multitude, and make novel religious figures in the world. Christianity is made a profession much resembling a Kaleidoscope, in which a few doctrines, however simple in themselves, are sufficiently diverse, to present, by being placed in different positions, every shade, color and figure that curiosity could require. But we soberly contend, that the pretended illumination of the understanding, by the invention of new names and sects, where the real doctrine is by analysis the same, is as really delusive, as to pretend that the Kaleidoscope is the most profitable introduction to the study of divinity. Are they not rather the false glare of human ingenuity and learning; the mere ignis-fatuus of immoderate zeal, wild imagination, and sanctimonious sophistry, without an original trait of doctrine, by which their difference can be demonstrated ? If so, let us direct our best attention to things instead of words, and examine the foregoing Statements, to ascertain whether a fifth can be made, essentially different, in relation to the salvation of sinners through Jesus, the one Mediator : remembering, it is equally true of doctrines, as of any science,

"A little learning is a dangerous thing;
“Drink deep, or taste not the Pyerian spring”


A STRANGE CONVERSION. Being in conversation with a most zealous professor of the religion of endless misery, he declaimed most pointedly against Universalism; calling it a licentious, dangerous doctrine, leading into every species of crime and wicked

He was asked, how he knew what influence the doctrine would have? He replied, that if any man was qualified to judge of its licentious tendency, he was; for he had been a strong believer of the doctrive, and rested his eternal interest on it, for twenty years; but was now confident it was false, and destructive to the peace of society. The writer replied to him, that to say nothing of his imprudence in professing it so long, and the licentious life it must have produced, he would acknowledge his surprise! having never seen a man before, who had believed the doctrine for

years, and then renounced it for the papal doctrine of endless misery. But, said he, to his friend, Dear sir, how many people do you think there are in this town, who really believe Universalism ? He replied, 'I doubt whether there is one! Indeed, sir; well, it is a hard doctrine to believe; how many did ever you see that you thought were firm in the faith? Not one,' said he, 'in my whole life, that really believed it.' Sure enough! and did you ever belief it yourself, sir ? "No,' he replied, 'I never did; though I tried to for twenty years! So I thought, friend, by the manner in which you imply you spent your life; and if you have reformed, I hope you will never again pretend you ever believed the doctrine; for your own words would give you the contradiction!

« PreviousContinue »