ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY REASONS
FOR BELIEVING IN THE FINAL SALVATION
OF ALL MANKIND
1. God is Omniscient. “His understanding is infinite; declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done.” “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” Psalm 147:5; Isa. 46:10; Acts 15:18. God, then, as well knew when he created Adam what would be the eternal destiny of every individual of his posterity, as he will know when the last generation of man shall have entered on their eternal state. If all are to be saved, he knew it; and if part are to be saved, and part eternally damned, the fate of each individual soul was known to him. These conclusions are just as certain as that God’s knowledge is infinite.
2. God must have designed what he knew would be the eternal destiny of each individual of our race. If he knew all would be saved, he must have designed the salvation of all; and if he knew part would be saved, and part damned without relief and without end, he must have designed the salvation of some and the damnation of others. Every man designs what he knows will be the result of his voluntary acts. If I know when I speak to a certain person he will fall at my feet dead, and if I persist in speaking to him with this knowledge of the consequence, I, of course, intend he shall die; so if God knows the destiny of all men, and I have proved that he does, all who go to heaven will go there by his decree, and all who go to hell will go there by his decree. This is just as certain as that two and two make four. Arminianism, then, is resolved into Calvinism. Would God have created conscious beings, knowing and intending that eternal misery would be their doom? Impossible, utterly impossible, for
3. God is love, is infinitely good. “There is none good but one, that is God.” Mark 10:18. On the words “God is love,” Dr. A. Clarke, the celebrated Methodist Commentator, writes as follows:
An infinite Fountain of benevolence and beneficence to every human being. He hates nothing that he has made. He cannot hate, because he is love. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good; and sends his rain on the just and the unjust. He has made no human being for perdition. It has been well observed that although God is holy, just, righteous, etc., he is never called Holiness, Justice, etc. in the abstract, as he is here called Love. This seems to be the essence of the Divine nature, and all other attributes to be only modifications of this.”
God, then, never created a soul knowing it would be miserable forever.
4. God is Omnipotent. “The Lord Omnipotent reigneth.” Rev. 19:6. Therefore, nothing is too mighty for him to do. He can save the world. Where is the Christian who would not redeem all mankind, had he the power? God possesses the power, and will he not do it? Is the creature better than the Creator? God forbid any should think so.
5. God is Omnipresent. “O Lord, thou has searched me and known me”; “Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” Ps. 139:1, 12. As God, who is love, fills immensity, we cannot, on earth or in eternity, “go where universal love smiles not around.” If there is an endless hell, full of devils and damned souls, God is there, and there, too, his love is displayed! Will those who believe in endless wrath inform us wherein infinite love is manifested in that world of woe?
6. God is holy. “Holy is the Lord of hosts.” Isa. 6:3. A holy God could not build a prison, dedicate it to every vile and hateful passion, and then crowd it with beings of his own workmanship, where they must sin and suffer for ever and ever. A monster of depravity might do so.
7. God is merciful. “But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” Ps. 86:15. This needs no comment, for it is impossible for such a being to torment without relief, and without end, millions of his own offspring.
8. God is just. “A
just God and a Savior.” Isa. 45:21. It would certainly be unjust to
9. God is the Father of all mankind. “Have we not all one Father?” Mal. 2:10. One is your Father which is in Heaven.” Matt. 23:9. Is there a human parent who would eternally torment his offspring? Would not the most depraved save all of them if they could? Is our heavenly Father less kind than earthly parents are?
10. God is unchangeable. “He is in one mind, and who can turn him?” Job 23:13. Therefore he always will be what he is now: omniscient, all-knowing, omnipotent, omni-present, infinitely good, holy, merciful, just, and a universal Father. Before God can deal with mankind as Partialism teaches, all his moral attributes must be the reverse of what they now are. But as God is unchangeable, that is impossible, and therefore Partialism is false. In the language of Rev. Asa Shinn, a celebrated Methodist preacher and writer, “Why are we glad that God is Almighty? Because He is Almighty Goodness. Why are we delighted that His understanding is infinite? Because it is the understanding of Infinite Love. Why are we pleased when we hear that God is Unchangeable? Because it brings to our view a Benevolence which will NEVER VARY. And why do we rejoice that He is Just? Because we hence learn that the Energy of Love will NEVER CEASE to maintain and defend every thing that is right, and to oppose every thing that is wrong.” – Benevolence and Rectitude of the Supreme Being, p. 312.
11. God is the Owner and Proprietor of all men. “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine.” Ezek. 18:4. God is too wise and good to give any to the devil, and He has too much power to have any forced out of his hands. As all men now belong to God they always will.
12. It is the will of God that all shall be saved. “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” I Tim. 2:4. Of course, as ‘God is love,’ it must be his will that mankind should be saved. An infinitely good being could have no other will. And as he is infinite in knowledge he could not so will unless he knew all would be saved. He could not will that that should take place which he knew never would.
13. No power can defeat his will. “Thy will be done.” Matt. 6:10. “He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” Dan. 4:35. “He worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” Eph. 1:11. The will of God, then, will be done. No power can defeat it. It is certainly a doctrine of revelation that our God will save all men.
14. God purposes the
salvation of all men. “Having made known unto us the mystery of his
15. His purpose will be accomplished. “The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have PURPOSED so shall it stand – for the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And his hand is stretched out and who shall turn it back?” Isa. 14:24, 27. “I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass: I have purposed it, I will also do it.” Isa. 46:11.
16. It is the pleasure of God
that all shall be redeemed. “For thou hast created all things,
17. His pleasure will be accomplished. “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Isa. 46:10.
18. God will never have any other purpose, pleasure or will, for he is “without variableness or shadow of turning.” James 1:17. Who can doubt the salvation of all men?
19. God is the Savior of all men. “We both labor and suffer reproach because we trust in the living God who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” I Tim. 4:10. God is called the Savior of all men, because it is his will and purpose that all shall be saved, and because all necessary means are provided for its accomplishment.
20. God hates sin.
Mr. Shinn [Item 10] has some correct views on this subject, which I
“A holy being delights in holiness; and of course, is disposed to promote holiness as effectually and universally as it can be promoted: consequently, the Holy One of Israel never will do anything to prevent the spread of holiness in any region of the universe, where moral agents are willing it should prevail. He will never do anything to hinder any of his creatures from repenting of their sins, and becoming holy; for this is what the devil has been doing ever since sin entered into the world. To affirm that our Creator will pursue this course in a future state is to suppose the most holy being and the most unholy one will manifest themselves alike, both in person and operation.
“God’s aversion to sin is not an infinite hatred of sinners; otherwise no sinner had ever been forgiven. To say he abhors their wicked character, and that he is at the same time unwilling for them to turn from their wickedness, is another gratuitous and manifest contradiction, on which the system of inexorable vengeance hangs.
“Hence, it is clear that holiness in God’s children does not cause them to hate sinners, in any other sense, than having an abhorrence of their evil character. They love their persons as fellow creatures, and therefore, they do all they can to prevail on them to forsake their sin and to seek after holiness. Is not their Heavenly Father of the same disposition? Will he not ever remain the same? If a change shall take place in his mind hereafter, it will seem necessary that a change should take place in the minds of his people; that in a future state they may hate sinners, and no longer have a desire that holiness should be extended through intelligent society. Has any man ever learned this kind of orthodoxy from the Bible? If any people imagine that true holiness causes them to love the doctrine of infinite sin and misery, as brought about by the judicial vengeance of the Almighty, they are very much mistaken; and they need a rebuke from Jesus, such as the disciples received when they requested that they might have power to call down fire from heaven upon the Samaritans: -- Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. A fondness for this system of wrath arises from a source very different from that of holiness; and it would be well for men not only to inquire into the foundation of their opinions, but also to scrutinize the cause of their attachment to those views of future misery, which are so reproachful to God, and so revolting to the feelings of justice and humanity.” – Benevolence and Rectitude of the Supreme Being, pp. 152-154.
God hates sin but loves the sinner, and hence I infer he will destroy the former, and save the latter.
21. “Let not your heart be
troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1.
“The breath of God – his angry
22. Paul exultingly exclaims,
“Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say rejoice.” Phil. 4:4.
23. God so loved mankind he
sent his Son to save them. “We have seen, and do testify, that
24. Jesus was sent to destroy
sin. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he
25. Christ will accomplish that for which he was sent. “The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands. Isa. 53:10. God, then, sent Christ to save the world, to destroy all sin, and he will do the Lord’s pleasure.
26. All men are given to
Christ. “Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for
27. God hath given all things
to Christ that he might save them. “Thou has given him
28. It is certain that Christ
will save all that the Father hath given him. “All that the Father
29. Jesus Christ tasted death for every man. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Heb. 2:9. Can any be forever lost whom the Son of God died for?
30. Jesus gave himself a
ransom for all. “He gave himself a ransom for all to be testified
31. Jesus did not die, or
give himself a ransom in vain. “He shall see of the travail of
32. All the ransomed shall be saved. “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isa. 35:10.
33. He is a propitiation for all sin. “And he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” I John 2:2.
34. On Christ was laid the
iniquity of us all. “And the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity
35. He is to take away the sin of the world. “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29.
36. He will draw all to him. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” John 12:32.
37. All mankind shall serve
Christ. “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son
In Daniel it is said, “dominion and
glory and a kingdom” were given to Christ; and Paul informs
38. Christ is the Universal Light. “I am the light of the world.” John 8:12. “That was the true light which lightest every man that cometh into the world.” John 21:9. When all shall receive light from the great “sun of righteousness” none will sit “in darkness, an din the region of the shadow of death.” Is it not surprising that notwithstanding these declarations some contend that a large part of mankind will be doomed by the LIGHT of the WORLD to spend eternity in darkness and death!
39. Jesus is the Head of every man. “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” I Cor. 11:3. Christ, then, is the head, and all mankind compose his body. Will Christ’s body be saved or damned? – Go to heaven or be shut up in hell? – Enjoy God’s presence or be consigned to the devil? Reader! Ponder well these questions.
40. Jesus is set forth in the
Old Testament “as the Seed of the woman that shall bruise the
If these representations exhibit the true character of Messiah, I ask, shall the serpent’s kingdom eternally stand? Shall the people never be gathered to Shiloh? Shall souls forever thirst and never taste of the water of life? Shall sin and uncleanliness never be washed away? Are there millions of souls on whom the Sun of Righteousness, with healing wings, shall never rise nor shine? Shall not the whole earth be filled with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea? Will the Shepherd never feed his flock, nor the weary ever find rest? Will the people never flock to their Ensign, nor the Prophet instruct, nor the King rule over them? Will the nations never be healed? Will the Messenger of the Covenant never come to his temple, nor refine his silver, nor purify the sons of Levi? Shall not all the people partake of the Feast of fat things? And shall not the salvation of God extend to the ends of the earth? Reader, how will you answer these and similar questions?
41. The New Testament exhibits Christ as a universal and complete Savior. He is there represented as the true Light that lightest every man that cometh into the world – the Bread of God, that cometh down from heaven to give light to the world – the Physician to heal the morally diseased – the Author and Finisher of faith, and the Captain of Salvation – the Jesus, or Savior, who should save his people from their sins – the Deliverer who should turn away ungodliness from Jacob – the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world – the Head of every man – the Head of the Church, which is his body, and the fullness of him that filleth all in all – the Heir of all things – the faithful and true Witness – the prevailing Lion of the tribe of Judah – the Door and Shepherd of the sheep, who gave his life for the sheep – the Mediator and Testator of the better covenant – in short, as the complete Savior of the world.
Now, if Christ be the true light that lightest every man that cometh into the world, shall not every man be enlightened? If the Bread of God giveth life to the world, shall not the world have life? If the morally sick are healed, shall they eternally remain diseased? Shall not faith, in the now unbelieving be perfected under such an author and finisher as Christ, and salvation be completed under such a Captain, of whom it is said “he shall not fail nor be discouraged?” If he saves his people from their sins, shall they eternally remain unsaved? If he turns away ungodliness from Jacob, and takes away the sin of the world, shall ungodliness and sin forever hold mankind in endless bondage? Shall the body of Christ eternally remain incomplete, or diseased, or in bondage? Shall the Heir of all things never possess his inheritance? Did the faithful and true witness swear falsely when he declared, “and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me?” Shall the Lion of the tribe of Judah be defeated and never prevail? Shall the sheep never enter the Door opened for them, nor the Shepherd that died for them, lead them into the green pastures, and by the side of the still waters of God’s love? Shall the Mediator never accomplish the object of his mission, nor see the better covenant fulfilled, nor witness the conferring of the inheritance on those to whom it was bequeathed and attested by his death? In short, if he be the Savior of the world, shall not the world be saved? Can he be in truth styled the Savior of the world if a large portion of the world be eternally lost!
From all these and numerous other descriptions of his advent, character, and the object of his mission, what else can be inferred but that he came for the purpose of effecting the salvation of all men, and was purposely represented as a universal Savior, both in the Old and New Testaments? Can all these representations possibly accord with the idea of his being only a partial Savior or Deliverer of mankind? Surely not. Moreover, the character of Christ, as exhibited in his life, labors and teaching while on earth can never accord with the doctrine of endless misery, nor with any other than that of the salvation of all men.”
42. All things were created for Christ – so saith the Bible. “All things were created by him and for him.” Col. 1:16. But if Partialism is true, a portion of mankind was as surely made for the devil as for Jesus Christ, and in the winding up of human affairs, each party will receive its due – a more God-dishonoring notion, corruption never invented. Was it in view of this end that God in the beginning pronounced man good, VERY GOOD? Was it in view of this end that “the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Job 38:7. The words of Paul seal this famous dogma with eternal condemnation. ALL THINGS were created FOR CHRIST. And will any who belong to Jesus, sin and suffer forever? Will they not all finally partake of the salvation promised in the Gospel? A voice from the cross of Jesus and the throne of God assures us that they will.
43. All things are to be reconciled to God. “And having made peace through the blood of the cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in heaven or things on earth.” Col. 1:20. The phrase “all things,” according to Dr. Hammond and Archbishop Newcome, as well as according to reason and common sense, signifies all intelligent beings, “all mankind.” The plain meaning of this passage then, is, that it is God’s purpose to reconcile all mankind to himself, through the instrumentality of Jesus, whom the Apostle elsewhere terms the Mediator between God and men. Ultimate reconciliation is God's plan.
44. Jesus Christ is the agent of God to accomplish this great work. “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” II Cor. 5:19. God generally works by means. By means of the sun he illumines and warms the atmosphere; by means of the rain, he cools and purifies the same, fertilizes the soil and fills our fountains with living water; so by means of Jesus Christ, he is saving the world. It is God’s purpose to save all by Jesus Christ, and we are informed that God’s pleasure shall prosper in his hand. Isa. 53. He is the medium by which God confers spiritual blessings on mankind.
45. All shall confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. “Therefore, God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name that at (in) the name of Jesus every knee shall bow of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2:9-11. From this and other divine declarations, we learn that God hath highly exalted his Son, far above all principality and power, and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but in that which is to come. Ephes. 1:21. But why was he thus exalted? The above passage informs us – that all might submit to his government, and thereby promote the glory of God. He was exalted hen above his brethren to save the human race. And was he thus honored by his God and our God in vain? No, no; all will confess him Lord to the glory of God the Father.
46. This universal confession is to be voluntary and filial and not a slavish or forced confession; for the same Apostle says that “no man can say that Christ is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” I Cor. 12:3.
47. Would the endless sinning and suffering of millions, for whom Jesus was exalted, glorify God? Strange as it may seem, it is sometimes asserted that the groans and screams of the damned in hell will promote the GLORY OF GOD! What a thought! Alexander obtained what this world calls glory by spending years in roaming through the world at the head of a band of pirates, turning fruitful fields into barren wastes, demolishing cities, and murdering all who would not bow the knee to him; Hannibal, the Carthagenian General, obtained what this world calls glory, by spending years in distressing and murdering the Roman people; Julius Caesar obtained what this world terms glory by driving the plowshare of destruction through all the nations he could reach, that would not yield to the Roman bondage, and finally by drawing his bloody sword on his own country; Napoleon Bonaparte obtained what this world terms glory by keeping Europe in a blaze for one fourth of a century, by the fire of his terrible artillery, by causing rivers of tears and oceans of blood to flow, and by filling half of the civilized world with mourning and lamentation. And will Almighty God promote his glory by infinitely worse means? By enslaving and crushing and tormenting half of mankind, his own offspring, those for whom Christ died, and was exalted? Impossible, for he is a God that delighteth in mercy, not in wrath; and moreover the Psalmist says, “Whoso offereth PRAISE GLORIFIETH GOD!” Ps. 50:23.
48. It is also said that “all nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy name.” Ps. 86:9. All men, then, are to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and worship their Creator in such a manner as to glorify the name of God. How false is the doctrine of endless rebellion!
49. All the dead are to be raised in Christ. “As in Adam all die even so, in Christ, shall all be made alive.” I Cor. 15:22. This is a very important passage. It teaches universal death and universal life. All die, and all shall live again. All the dead, all who die in Adam, shall be raised in Christ; none shall be raised out of him, but all in him. Let this be remembered.
50. All who are in Christ are recipients of salvation, for saith the same writer, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, and behold all things are become new.” II Cor. 5:17. This is the blessed state of all who are, or ever will be, in Christ. They are in possession of the salvation of heaven. Do not forget the promise is, that all who die in Adam shall be thus blessed.
51. They are also free from condemnation. “There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.” Rom. 8:1. Can proof be more conclusive? All the dead shall be raised in Christ, new creatures, free from condemnation.
52. All the dead are to be raised, bearing the image of the heavenly. “So also is the resurrection of the dead (of all who die in Adam). It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. . . . And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bare the image of the heavenly.” I Cor. 15:42-44, 49. Let it not be forgotten that the Apostle is here speaking of a universal resurrection of all who die in Adam. Of this there can be no doubt. That act is prominent through the whole of this highly important chapter. A blessed immortality then for all mankind is established beyond all doubt, all cavel.
53. The writer, in the same chapter, repeats the same soul-inspiring truth. “The dead (all who die in Adam) shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruption must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." I Cor. 15: 52, 53.
54. The Apostle again teaches that the change from earthly to heavenly is to be universal. “Behold I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” I Cor. 15: 51, 52. Dr. Clarke understands this to refer to all mankind. He says, the “resurrection of all the dead, from the foundation of the world to that time, and the change of all the living then upon the earth, shall be the work of a single moment.” The change, then, is to be universal – the living and the dead are to be changed. But notwithstanding this plain testimony, it is supposed by some there is to be no change after death; that during the countless ages of eternity, all will retain the same characters they possessed when they breathed their last breath and heaved their last sigh in this world – a doctrine at variance with reason, benevolence and the word of God. If it is true, but few will participate in the joys of heaven, for nearly all of mankind live and die, more or less sinful. But it is not true; all who die in Adam are to be made alive in Christ.
55. “The last enemy, death, shall be destroyed.” I Cor. 15:26. This is an additional evidence that Paul speaks of a universal resurrection, for as Dr. Clarke says, in commenting on this passage: “But death cannot be destroyed by there being no further death; death can only b destroyed and annihilated by a general resurrection; o there be no general resurrection it is mot evident that death will retain his empire. Therefore, the fact that death shall be destroyed, assures the fact that there shall be a general resurrection; and this is a proof, also, that after the resurrection, there shall be no more death.” The Doctor is undoubtedly correct – there will be NO MORE DEATH AFTER THE GENERAL RESURRECTION, for death will be swallowed up in eternal life. Why then, do men threaten their fellow men with “eternal death,” with a “death that never dies,” beyond the resurrection? Paul knew nothing of such a death. Remark also, that temporal death is man’s last enemy. Before we encounter death we have many enemies to grapple with. Sin, temptation and suffering beset us from the cradle to the grave; but death is the last of the series and Almighty God will destroy that one. But this is not the common opinion. It is supposed by some that when death shall be destroyed, a large part of mankind will have innumerable enemies to encounter – that God, Christ and all the angels of heaven, and all the devils in hell will be their enemies. But this is a mistake, for death is the last enemy, and there can surely be no enemy beyond the last.
56. In the
resurrection God will be all in all. “And when all things shall
be subdued unto him,
57. All will become equal to the angels. Said Jesus to the Sadduces, “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” Matt. 22: 29-30. Luke records his words thus: “The children of this world marry and are given in marriage; but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” Luke 20: 34-36. That Jesus teaches the resurrection of all the dead, is evident from two considerations. First, the Sadduces questioned him about the resurrection of THE DEAD, not of any particular class, but of the dead in general, and our Lord in answering them, also speaks of THE DEAD in general. Second, he says all who “shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world – the future world – and the resurrection from the dead,” etc. I ask, does not Christ uniformly teach that all mankind will be raised from the dead, and exist in the future state? Well, then, as all will be raised, all will live hereafter. Jesus speaks of a universal resurrection. This conclusion cannot be avoided, although we may not know why he used what to us appears to be a qualifying term.
The character of mankind in the future sate is clearly revealed. They shall be “like the angels in heaven, equal to the angels of God; shall die no more; shall be the children of God.” Oh, what exaltation for worms of the dust to attain!
58. In the same answer to the Sadducees there is another argument for a universal resurrection to eternal blessedness. Says Jesus: “For he is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live unto him.” What does all relate to in this passage? Evidently to the dead. All the dead, then, live unto God. None live unto sin or the devil, but all the dead live unto God.
59. Our Redeemer likewise says: “I am the resurrection and the life. John 11:25. If Christ will raise any to endure eternal misery, he would have said that he was the damnation as well as the life.
60. “Christ hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.” II Tim. 1:10. Observe, Christ did not bring eternal death and an endless hell to light. He revealed life and immortality only for our race beyond the grave. This is a very important declaration, and in no part of the Bible is it contradicted. Remember, temporal death is the last enemy man will ever encounter, and that is to be destroyed by the Lord Omnipotent. Amen.
61. “Christ died and rose again, that he might be the Lord both of the dead and the living.” Rom. 14:9. Peter says: “The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: he is Lord of all.” Acts 10:36. Lord means owner: Jesus, then, is the owner of all mankind – the dead and the living; and hence, when Paul, speaking of the glorious resurrection of all the dead, says: “But every one in his own order: Christ, the first fruits, and afterwards, those that are Christ’s at his coming” – (I Cor. 15:23) – he means that all the dead shall be raised in Christ’s possession. Will one soul that belongs to Jesus Christ be forever lost? Reader, reflect upon that question.
62. Christ will destroy the devil. “Forasmuch, then, as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he, also, himself (i.e., Christ), took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death – that is, the devil.” Heb. 2:14.
63. Jesus will not only destroy the devil, but he will destroy all his works. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” I John 3:8. The reign of all evil, then, is to cease; the Prince of Peace is to be its conqueror. How false, then, is the notion that sin and misery will continue forever!
64. The advent of Christ is good news to all people. “Fear not,” said the angel who announced it, “for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” Luke 2:10. If any of mankind should not be saved by Jesus, could his coming be an occasion of great joy to them? What reason would those have to rejoice at that event, who may be doomed by him to sin, blow the flames of hell, and live with devils forever? Would he not curse rather than bless them?
65. The angels, at the birth of our Redeemer, cried, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14. This is a very important passage. Jesus was to promote the glory of God in the highest degree; was a messenger of peace to all men; and was an evidence of God’s good will to all our race. How false, then, is the doctrine that robs God of much glory, makes Jesus a messenger of wrath to part of mankind, and says God has an evil will toward some of his creatures!
66. The Gospel is good news to all men. Said Christ to his disciples, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15. The meaning of the word Gospel is “good news,” “glad tidings,” and this they were commanded to proclaim to all men. This is the Gospel – Jesus Christ will redeem the world from sin, error, pain, death, and the grave, and give unto all immortality and eternal life. This is good news to every creature. Do those preach the Gospel who threaten their hearers with eternal sinning, eternal suffering, and eternal dying?
67. Christ’s name, and office, is Savior. “Thou shalt call his name Jesus (which means Savior), for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matt. 1:21. I have proved that all people – “the dead and the living,” “all things” – were given to Christ; and here we are told that he will save them, (remember, he is called the Savior of the world), and hence his very appropriate name.
68. In the character of God, as exhibited by the spirit, the works, and the whole life of Christ, we find an irrefutable argument for universal salvation. Jesus appeared on earth in the character of a Savior, not of a destroyer; a friend, not a foe of mankind; an impartial and kind benefactor of all, not a capricious revenger of pretended or real wrongs. When persecuted, he retaliated not; when reviled, he reviled not; when reproached and scoffed at, he did not curse his foes. His whole life was one continued exhibition o love, benevolence, and compassion. It is emphatically and truly said of him, “he went about doing good.” To the poor and needy he was condescending and humane. He gave health to the sick, feet to the lame, ears to the deaf, speech to the dumb, sanity to the lunatic, bread to the hungry, forgiveness to the sinful, salvation to the lost, and life to the dead. Ever merciful and mild, he compassionated the sufferings of every condition. He wept at the grave of Lazarus, his friend, and also over the approaching woes of Jerusalem, where resided his bitterest foes; and even for his bloody and cruel murderers he prayed on the cross, and in the agonies of death at their unfeeling hands, besought his Father for their forgiveness.
If we would know the character of God, we must study the character of Jesus; if we would know how God will deal with those who love or hate him, his friends and foes, we should learn how Christ dealt with those classes, for he “was God manifested in the flesh,” “was the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person.” The character, then, of Christ is the character of God; the tenderness and compassion that Jesus possessed for all men, the good, the evil, is that which God possesses for all mankind. If our heavenly Father is as benevolent, compassionate, and forgiving, as his Son, will he bless or curse, save or damn our race? Will he be merciful or unmerciful to us? Will he favor us with everlasting life, or curse us with everlasting death? Will he take us to heaven, or shut us up in hell? Will he permit us to enjoy his presence, or put us in possession of the devil?
69. Jesus commanded his disciples to beware of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Matt. 16:12. The Sadducees denied the resurrection of the dead, and the Pharisees believed in the doctrine of endless misery. According to Jesus, both of these dogmas are false and dangerous. Reader, beware, beware of infidelity and the doctrine of endless woe.
70. Christ prayed for the whole world. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. * * * That the world may believe that thou hast sent me. * * * “That the world may know that thou hast sent me.” John 17:20-23. Jesus, then, prayed that the world – all mankind – might believe on him, might know him, “whom to know is life eternal.” And he must have prayed in faith: for an apostle says, “That which is not of faith is sin.” Rom. 14:23. Would Jesus have prayed thus if he had known that half of the dead were then beyond the reach of mercy, and that God would consign unborn millions to a region of hopeless despair? Why pray for all if mercy could only reach a part? And could he have prayed in faith for all, if he had known that millions were already damned endlessly, and that multitudes yet to live would be? Impossible!
71. The angels of heaven desire the salvation of all men. We are told that “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Luke 15:10. They, therefore, desire that all may repent and would rejoice with exceeding great joy if all should do so. Is not that benevolent desire of the angels a righteous one? And, will not the Creator cause it to be realized?
72. We are commanded to pray for all. “I exhort, therefore, that supplication, prayers, etc., be made for all men.” I Tim. 2:1. God would not require us to pray for all if it was not his purpose that salvation should be universally enjoyed, although Partialism contends for this absurdity. What! The all-wise God command his creatures to ask him to grant what is not, never was, and never will be, his intention to bestow! Oh, how inconsistent is error!
73. None can obey the divine commandment, which is, to pray for all men in faith, unless they believe in universal salvation. Calvinists can pray for all; but for the elect only can they pray in faith. Arminians can pray for all; but, in faith, only for part. But Universalists can pray for all mankind, and that, too, in full faith, “without wrath or doubting.” They are the only class of Christians who do obey both of these divine injunctions, and whose faith corresponds with their prayers. Let this be remembered.
74. It is the desire of every true Christian that all may be redeemed. There is not a follower of Christ on earth, but who desires that all our race may enjoy the salvation of God. This blessed faith is in accordance with every Christian’s heart. Wicked men only hope it may prove false, that they may be gratified by the damnation o their enemies. This is a powerful argument in favor of universal blessedness.
It is, then, the will of God – was the prayer of Christ – is the desire of all the angels of heaven, and of all the Christians on earth, that all mankind may “be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.” Can that be an error, which God, Christ, all the angels and Christians are in favor of? Are they all enlisted on the side of a base falsehood? Reader, ponder on this subject.
75. The goodness of men would cause them to save all, if they had power. And, will not God redeem all, who is infinite in goodness, and has ample power? Would the drop of love in the human breast save the world, and will the ocean of love which God possesses cause him to damn half of it? Can a stream rise higher than its fountain? “Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker?” Job 4:17. A man would be deemed a monster who should say that he would, if he could, ruin half of mankind; yet, we are told that God has said he will do it! What blasphemy! May the Lord forgive those who sin thus.
76. We are directed to give thanks for all men. I Tim. 3:1. Truly, then, all have something to be grateful for. But, if eternal woe is to be the doom of some of our countrymen, citizens, neighbors, relatives, and household, it would have been far better if our race had never existed; especially that portion thereof that may be the subjects of infinite wrath and vengeance forever. We are told that all the happiness those enjoy on earth, who may in the end be cast into hell, will infinitely increase their sufferings in that awful world, by contrasting their condition in perdition with what it once was; so that, even the few joys they once knew will be an endless curse to them. What reason, then, will they have to be thankful for life or any of its delusive shadows? If the doctrine of eternal woe be true, they are all dreadful curses in disguise. But, thank God, this life and all its joys are real blessings to all: they will not end in our eternal condemnation; and while life, being, and immortality endure, all will have reason to be thankful to God for bestowing them.
77. Christ “can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way.” Heb. 5:2. Who, then, dare say that he will not have compassion on those classes, enlighten their minds, and lead them in the right way? He surely will; for he is the Light of the world, and the Savior of lost men. But, according to Partialism, he will have no compassion for countless millions of our frail race, but will make it his business to drive them into hell, and there torment them eternally. Who can believe that our blessed Redeemer is, or ever will be, so cruel?
78. The law of God requires all mankind to love him with all the heart, and soul, and strength, and their neighbor as themselves; and hence, it is said by St. Paul, that “love is the fulfilling of the law.” Will all mankind ever love thus? Will the law ever be fulfilled? Jesus informs us that love divine will reign in all hearts – that the law will be fulfilled. “Verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matt. 5:18. This is a triumphant refutation of the doctrine of endless hatred and sinning. The law of God requires, for its fulfillment, all to love and serve God, and Christ teaches that the law shall be fulfilled.
79. The doctrines of Jesus are of such a character that, when he preached, the people “wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.” Luke 4:22. Is there any grace in the doctrine of eternal damnation? If there is not, he did not preach it; for, “gracious words” were spoken by him. Jesus taught that God is the Father of mankind, in truth as well as in name; that his name and nature are love; and that he will finally deliver his offspring from the sorrows and imperfections of earth, and exalt them to heaven. The people were not accustomed to such “gracious words,” and well might they wonder.
80. Jesus tells us not to take anxious thought of the future. Matt. 6:25-34. We should trust in God. He is able and willing to save us, and he has solemnly promised that he will. God, immediately after the flood, told Noah that, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease.” Gen. 8:22. Would it not be impious to doubt the fulfillment of this promise? To be anxious about the return of the seasons, and of day and night? It certainly would. Is it not equally impious to be fearful that God will not provide for our eternal well being? All that is required of us is, “to deal justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before God.” He will provide for us hereafter. Our destiny is in his keeping.
81. Jesus reproved the Pharisees for shutting up the kingdom of heaven against men. “Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, nor suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” Matt. 23:13. They were never guilty of shutting up the kingdom of hell – they were perfectly willing that it should be kept open, and that many should go in thereat; but the door of the kingdom of heaven they endeavored to close against all who did not think and do as they did. How many there are at this day just like the Scribes and Pharisees of old! They open hell and shut heaven to most of mankind. If Jesus were on earth, he would say to them, “Woe unto you!” as he did unto their ancient brethren. Remember, elsewhere Christ said to his disciples, “Beware of the doctrine of the Scribes and Pharisees.” Jesus labored, preached, suffered, died, rose from the dead, and ascended on high, that all might enter his kingdom; and we are informed that “he shall see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied.” All, then, will finally enter the kingdom of heaven.
82. Peter was instructed in a vision, that all mankind came from heaven; that they are, while on earth, protected by heavenly power; and that they “all will be drawn up again into heaven.” Acts 10:10-16.
83. The same truth is taught by Paul, when he says, “For of him (God), and through him, and to him, are all things.” Rom. 11:36
84. The same soul-cheering truth is also taught by the wise man. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; but the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Eccl. 12:7. From these three passages we learn, that mankind are of divine origin; are, while on earth, under divine protection; and when they leave this world, return to that great and good Being who created and sustains them. Says Jesus, “If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me.” John 12:32. Amen.
85. It is also written, “Therefore, as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Rom. 5:18. Observe, first, the judgment to condemnation came on all men. None are excepted – all were condemned. Second, the free gift, with justification of life, also came on all men. The free gift of eternal life is to be equal in extent to condemnation, and all are to enjoy eternal life. Can argument be more complete?
86. In the next verse it is written, “For, as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:19. The same many that were made sinners shall be made righteous. Dr. Macknight, an orthodox Commentator, thus comments on this verse: “For, as the many, in the first part of this verse, does not mean some of mankind only, but all mankind, from first to last, who, without exception, are constituted sinners, so the many in the latter part of the verse, who are said to be constituted righteous, through the obedience o Christ, must mean all mankind, from the beginning to the end of the world, without exception.” Is not this argument also complete?
87. The same writer, in the next verse, adds: “But, where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Grace, then, is to abound beyond sin. But, how can this be, unless all enjoy this grace? All mankind sin; and in order for grace to abound much more than sin, all men must partake of that grace.
88. Paul says that, “As sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ, our Lord.” Rom. 5:21. Sin hath reigned unto death. All sin, and all receive its wages – moral death. Grace is to reign unto eternal life. All are to be recipients of this grace, and enjoy eternal life.
89. We are required to love our enemies, that we may be like our heavenly Father. Matt. 5:44. It is, then, a glorious truth that God loves his enemies; for, if he does not, we, by loving ours, would not imitate him. The fact that we are required to love our enemies – to be Godlike – is proof positive that God loves his. I know this is deemed by some a false and dangerous doctrine; and many go so far as to say that it came from hell and that the devil is the father of it! But, it is of more respectable origin; it came from heaven, and he God of purity and truth is its author, and Jesus Christ was sent by the Father to inform the world of this truth. It is not strange that some suppose that God will torment a part of those he loves, without relief and without end? The hawk loves the dove, the wolf loves the lamb – loves to torment them. Is everlasting burning the fruit of God’s love? Mr. Shinn very truthfully remarks: “And what greater cruelty can be conceived than for creatures to be filled as full of torments as their capacity can hold, and be confined in necessary sin and misery without end, by Almighty power?”
“Alas! This doctrine casts its shadow far behind, and eclipses all the sacred and soul-cheering truths of the Christian religion! In vain may we be told of the good Providence of God toward the Jews or the Gentiles; in vain may we behold the mild and beautiful character of the Savior, as “the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of his person”; in vain may we study the justice, the veracity, and the kindness of our Maker’s conduct in the present world. The doctrine under review carries the universe forward to a gloomy consummation, and causes all those stars of encouraging doctrine to set under an unfathomable of mystery and darkness, which seems plainly undistinguishable from an unprincipled and unfeeling despotism.”
90. We are all required to “bless those that curse us,” that we may be “merciful, as God is merciful.” Luke 6:28, 36. How false, then, is the dogma which represents God as cursing forever those who are so unwise as to pollute their lips with profanity; which says, because men do wrong, God will do infinitely worse – will pour out volleys of curses upon their defenseless souls eternally! This doctrine degrades the Almighty below the most profane wretch on earth. Remember, we are required to bless them that curse us, that we may be Godlike.
91. It is said, we must do good to them that hate us, that we may be merciful, as God is merciful. Matt. 5:44, 48. Luke 6:27, 36. The unavoidable inference from this injunction of our divine Master is, that God is so merciful and so kind that he even does good to them that hate him; and as he is unchangeable, he always will do good to them. This goodness will finally subdue the hardest heart, and cause those who now hate him to love him with all their soul and strength. This passage fully refutes the idea that God hates and will forever hate a portion of our race.
92. We are all commanded to pray for those who despitefully use us and persecute us. Matt. 5:44. Luke 6:28. Will he who requires his children to cherish such benevolent feelings toward the erring, forever be unreconciled to them, never forgive them, but delight to despitefully use them and persecute them? If so, he requires us to be infinitely better than he himself.
93. Jesus said: “If ye love them (only) that love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?” Matt. 5:46. If God loves only those who love him, wherein is he better than the publicans? If God loves only those who love him, why should not we love only those who love us? Is it not right to imitate God?
But, I have proved that God loves all, blesses all, does good to all; and, as he is unchangeable, he always will love all, do good to all, and bless all. Can these conclusions be avoided? The dogma, then, of endless hatred and endless cursing, is false – false as perjury! It is sometimes said that Jesus never condemned the doctrine of endless torments. In the whole five passages he condemns the principles upon which that dogma is based, Alexander Pope says: “Hell is built on spite”; and he speaks the truth: and Jesus condemns all spite, hatred, and revenge and informs us that those evil passions are not of heaven, but of earth, and are sensual and devilish. Remember that we are required to love our enemies, do good to them that hate us, and pray for those who despitefully use us and persecute us, that we may be like God; perfect, as he is perfect; merciful, as he is merciful; and hence, it must be that God loves all, and hates none; blesses all, and curses none. This is Universalism in its purity; and it is entirely unlike the doctrine of eternal hatred, eternal vengeance, and eternal cursing, which is so popular with many Christians. Oh, that all knew that God is love!
94. “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink; for, by so doing, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.” Rom. 12:20; Prov. 25:21. Would God require us to deal thus with our fellow men if he will soon, in another world, put it out of our power to do good? We must, according to his command, ever be striving to reform our fellow men by deeds of kindness; but, we are told that in the spirit-land, God will not permit us to obey this injunction, or regard it himself; so that what is right and holy here, is wrong and sinful there; what is obedience in this world is disobedience in the next; and therefore, it will be perfectly right for him to pour coals of hell fire, “in one eternal storm,” upon the heads of part of his children, and the “pure in heart” to stand by and say, Amen! “a little more grape, if you please?”
95. “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:21. Of course, this is the way God overcomes evil, or he would not require us to overcome it in that way. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Herein is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us. He maketh his sun to shine on the evil and the good, and sendeth his rain on the just and the unjust. In God we live, move, and have our being. All these blessings and favors are for sinful men. Truly, he overcomes evil by good, blesses those who curse him, and loves those who hate him. But, according to Partialism, he is trying to overcome evil with threatening an everlasting evil; and if the work is not done when death closes our eyes and freezes our hearts, he will instantly place our souls in such a condition that our sins cannot be overcome with either threatening or pleading, or evil or good! Can anything be farther from the truth? Instead of overcoming evil with good, he will, it is said, inflict an infinite series of unspeakable evils! For one evil, he will cause millions! For the evils of a few days, he will inflict an eternity of evils!
96. St. Peter tells us “not to render evil for evil, nor railing for railing; but, contrariwise, blessing.” I Peter 3:9. If the apostle believed that the administration of the divine government was conducted on the very opposite principle – the tooth for tooth principle – and that, for the evils of a moment he will render an eternity of most excruciating agony, would he have penned that sentence?
97. The Bible teaches: “Say not, I will do unto him as he hath done unto me.” Does this mean that God will do worse by us than we have done by him, or better? If better, will he cast us off in his anger to the mercy of the devil and his angels, to suffer the pains of hell for ever?
98. Jesus teaches: “I say unto thee, forgive thy brother that sinneth against thee, not until seven times (merely), but until seventy times seven.” Matt. 18:21, 22. Will not our heavenly Father, then, forgive his children – all his children? Will eternity ever reveal the time when God will not forgive the penitent? He is, ever has been, and ever will be, “a sin forgiving God.” Away, then, with the creed which says, “In a little while the door shall be shut, and the day of grace passed forever.”
99. We are explicitly commanded to “Bless and curse not.” Rom. 12:14. Why, then, will men profess to be commissioned by heaven to “deal damnation round the land on each they judge their foe?” Let them take this for a text, and think about it, and pray about it, and preach about it, until their souls become imbued with its benevolent spirit.
100. The spirit of the New Testament is, “Recompense no man evil for evil.” Rom. 12:17. And yet, we are told God will do precisely what the Gospel forbids! – will pour eternal torrents of lava, from the sea of damnation, on countless millions, as a recompense for doing what harmed only themselves, and did not “reach unto him.”
101. It was a moral precept of the disciples: “Avenge not yourselves.” Rom. 12:19. How, then, could they consistently preach eternal, unmitigating vengeance and retaliation on all the sons of folly and sin? Would not that be vengeance “with a vengeance?”
102. It is said: “If any man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.” Gal. 6:1. The spiritual-minded, according to these words, evince the fruits of the divine spirit they possess, by cherishing charity for the erring, and by delighting to restore them to virtue’s ways. This spiritual-mindedness is of heaven – of God; and if it prompts mortals, who possess but a small degree of it, to such benevolence and mercy, what influence may we expect it must have with him who is the infinite source from whence it flows into the human heart! If a drop of this good spirit sanctifies the “soul, spirit, and body,” of mortals, and impels them to labor, “in season and out of season,” for erring men, may we not expect that the ocean of love which God possesses will induce him not to cease his work till every soul is purified, till the last wanderer is restored? But if the great Parent-spirit of the universe will forever abandon a large portion of his children to evil, misery, and despair, the boundless ocean of goodness he possesses will do infinitely less for mankind than the drop we possess would, were it aided by his power!
103. The Holy Spirit dictated the apostle James to write: “If ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.” James 2:9. God, then, cannot be a respecter of persons, or, in other words, partial, in his dealings with mankind. The same Spirit that dictated these words, also says: “The Lord is good unto all, and his tender mercies are over all his works;” and as he is unchangeable, he always will be good to all, and his tender mercies will ever be over all his works. What a libel on God’s government is the doctrine which represents him as being partial in the distribution of his blessings – raising some to heaven, to associate with angels and feast on immortal bounties, and sinking others down, down, into a pit dedicated to every abomination, there to dwell in darkness and terror, for ever and ever! My God! What a faith!!! Infinite depravity could not invent a more monstrous falsehood!
104. “Let not
mercy and truth forsake thee.” Prov. 3:3. As God tells us never
to let mercy
Rev. John Wesley, in addressing the reprobates on the supposition of eternal predestination, says: “There is no help for you in God. Your God! No; he is not yours; he never was; he never will be. He that made you – he that called you into existence – has no pity upon you! He made you for this very end – to damn you – to cast you headlong into a lake of fire burning with brimstone! This was prepared for you, or ever the world began! And for this you are now reserved in chains of darkness, till the decree brings you forth – till, according to his unchangeable, irresistible will,
“ ‘You groan, you howel, you
writhe in waves of fire,
O God, how long shall his doctrine stand?”
Wesley’s Works, vol. X, p. 145
Again, in Wesley’s letter to the Rev. Mr. Hervey, he says: “But what becomes of all other people? They must inevitably perish forever. The die was cast or ever they were in being. The doctrine to pass them by, has –
“ ‘Consigned heir unborn souls
I could sooner be a Turk, a Deist, yea, an Atheist, than I could believe this. It is less absurd to deny the very being of a God, than to make him an Almighty Tyrant!”
Wesley’s Works, vol. X, p. 201.
Will anyone contend that God can have any mercy for victims of such wrath and vengeance? He can harbor nothing but infinite spite and hatred! Remember, mercy will never forsake the throne of God; and, therefore, he who sits thereon will ever be merciful to all the creatures of his power.
105. All men are required to repent. “But now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:30. There is no limitation with respect to number or place, but all men everywhere are commanded to repent, reform, and become virtuous. Why, then, is it said that in hell sinners are not permitted to repent? If hell is ANYWHERE in God’s universe, (yes, IF) and IF there are sinful men there, they are clearly commanded to repent? If they are commanded to repent of course they are permitted to; and if they are permitted to, who on earth is authorized to say they will not? I am happy to record that Mr. Shinn in the book before quoted [Nos. 10, 20 and 89], is of the opinion that sinners, even in hell, are not beyond the reach of divine mercy, but are permitted to forsake their sins and serve their Creator. He says,
“It is often said with great assurance, that there is no repentance in hell; and it seems to be taken for granted that this unqualified maxim is sufficiently authoritative to silence all further inquiry. This is a favorite hypothesis, which, far from having any foundation to rest upon, presumptuously assumes that God will punish his creatures for being wicked, and at the same time be unwilling that they should repent of their wickedness! It is either true that those sinners ought to repent, or they ought not. If they ought to repent, then to say our Maker forbids or hinders it is to say he is unwilling [that] his creatures should discharge their duty; but if they ought not to repent, it follows that, somehow or other, their obligation to do it is cancelled, and it is consequently right for them eternally to continue in a state of impenitency.”
This is a great deal for a Methodist to admit. May all his brethren grow with him in grace.
106. Eternal life is given to all men. John says, “He that believeth not God, hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God has given us eternal life; and this life is in his Son.” I John 5:10, 11. According to this, God has given us eternal life IN CHRIST, and all who believe this truth have the witness in themselves of the fact; but those who do not credit this truth – do not believe that God has given them eternal life in Christ – make God a liar. The conclusion then is, that all are to receive eternal life through Jesus our Lord, as a gift from God. Rom. 6:22. Hence Christ is called the “Savior of the world,” John 4:42; I John 4:14, and it is said “that IN HIM doth all fullness dwell,” Col. 1:19, and “that God is IN CHRIST reconciling the world unto himself.” II Cor. 5:19.
Reader, do you believe this record, or do you make God a liar?
107. All shall know the Lord. “And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying know the Lord: for all shall know me from the least to the greatest.” Heb. 8:11. It is said in another place that to know the Lord “is eternal life;” and as all from the least to the greatest are to know the Lord, consequently all will finally enjoy eternal life.
108. “We which have believed do enter into rest.” Heb. 4:3. Says Peter, “Ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” I Peter 1:8. If those ancient saints had believed in the endless damnation of a portion of mankind for whom Christ died, would they have enjoyed rest in that belief? Would it have caused joy unspeakable, and filled them with glory? All who really believe in endless torments can testify that faith in it produces nought but doubt, despair and horror.
109. The whole creation is to be delivered. “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Rom. 8:21. It is generally admitted that creature in this verse means “every human creature,” “all mankind.” Let us read the passage with such a rendering, as it undoubtedly gives it its true sense. For every human creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason o him who hath subjected the same in hope; because every human creature shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. This is a strong passage in favor of the universal deliverance of our race from the imperfections of earth.
110. There will be no sin in the eternal world. “For he that is dead is freed from sin.” Rom. 6:7. Prof. Stuart, a celebrated orthodox writer, in commenting on this passage, says: “This verse may be regarded as a kind of general maxim or truth, in regard to all such as die physically or naturally.” This passage forever refutes the doctrine that man will sin in the future state. Sin is the work of the flesh; and when the body dies, all sin must cease.
111. All the holy prophets have spoken of the restitution of all things. “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of ALL THINGS, which God hath spoken by the mouth of ALL HIS HOLY PROPHETS since the world began.” Acts 3:20, 21. Dr. Adam Clarke’s comments on this passage are so correct [that] I will transcribe them, and recommend them to the candid consideration of the reader:
“As the grace of the Gospel was intended to destroy the reign of sin, its energetic influence is represented as restoring all things, destroying the bad state and restoring the good; taking the kingdom out of the hands of sin and satan, and putting it into those of righteousness and truth. This is done in every believing soul: all things are restored to their primitive order, and the peace of God which passes all understanding, keeps the heart and mind in the knowledge and love of God. The man loves God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength, and his neighbor as himself; and when such a work becomes universal, as the Scriptures seem to intimate that it will, then all things will be restored in the fullest sense of the term.”
112. Moses, one of the earliest prophets, represents God as saying: “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Gen. 3:15. The serpent represents sin, the seed of the woman is Christ, and the destruction of all evil is foretold; Christ is to bruise the serpent’s head, that is, destroy sin. A wound on the head of a serpent is fatal; so the wound that Jesus has given evil will totally destroy it. See Heb. 2:14; I John 3:8. Dr. Lightfoot says, “That all the prophets from Adam and upwards had their eye upon the promise in that garden and spoke of salvation and delivery by Christ by his breaking the head and destroying the kingdom of the devil.” Works, iv, 105.
113. God promised to Abraham that he would bless all mankind. “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Gen. 12:3. “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Gen. 22:18. Remark, all nations, all families shall – not may – be blessed.
114. The same promise was revealed to Isaac. “I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father, and I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries, and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. Gen. 26:3, 4. Most blessed promise – all nations shall be blessed!
115. It was repeated to Jacob. “And in thee, and in thy seed, shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” Gen. 28:14. Not one family of the earth is excepted; all shall be blessed.
116. Peter considered this a promise of universal salvation from sin. “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, ‘And in they seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.’ Unto you first God, having raised up his son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” Acts 3:25, 26. As all kindreds of the earth shall be blessed, of course none will be cursed eternally.
117. This promise is called THE GOSPEL. “And the Scriptures, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed.” Gal. 3:8.
REMARKS ON THE ABRAHAMIC PROMISE:
1. The promise embraces all of
Adam’s race – all nations, all families, and all
2. All mankind SHALL be blessed. No “ifs and ands;” the promise is positive, absolute.
3. All are to be blessed in the “seed” of Abraham, and St. Paul informs us that Jesus Christ is that seed. He says, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy SEED, WHICH IS CHRIST.” Gal. 3:16. Hence the promise is that all mankind shall be blessed in Christ. The Apostle repeats the same promise when he says, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” I Cor. 15:22.
4. This promise is the Gospel; hence the Gospel is that all our race shall be blessed in Jesus Christ. Well might this glorious truth be called gospel or good news.
5. The blessing of the promise is communicated to mankind by and through Jesus, the promised seed, and as all the nations, families and kindreds are to receive the blessing, Christ is very properly called “The Savior of the world.” John 4:42.
118. David, an inspired prophet of the Most High, declares that “all the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him. For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and he is the governor among the nations.” Psalm 22:27, 28. “All the ends of the world” and “all the kindreds of the nations” certainly mean all the inhabitants of the earth. All of these are to “remember and turn unto the Lord,” and “worship before” him. Will they not then be saved? The reason given for this result is that “the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He is the Governor among the nations.” Had the kingdom been the devil’s, and he the governor among the nations, no such result could have been anticipated; and there would have been some plausible ground for the cruel dogma of endless damnation.
119. “All kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him, and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.” Ps. 72:11,17. All kings, all nations, all men shall serve Christ and be blessed in him. This passage clearly teaches the salvation of all men.
120. “The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.” Ps. 145:9. Here it is taught that God is good to all mankind, and that his tender mercies are over them all. His goodness and mercy to all men will never fail.
121. God’s mercy will endure forever. In the 136th Psalm it is said no less than twenty-six times that “HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOREVER.” His mercy and goodness are UNIVERSAL – extend to all mankind – and they are to endure FOREVER. Here is an argument against the unmerciful doctrine of endless woe, and in favor of that of universal salvation, which it is impossible to overthrow.
122. All God’s works shall praise him. “All thy works shall praise Thee, O Lord.” Psalm 145:10 Can ALL God’s works PRAISE HIM if a part are doomed to suffer, sin and blaspheme forever?
123. “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy.” Psalm 145:8. Can a God of this character torment, without relief and without end, a large portion of his own workmanship? Impossible.
124. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide; neither will he keep his anger forever.” Psalm 103:8, 9. The doctrine of ceaseless wrath contradicts this passage; for it says he is not “slow to anger,” and that he will “keep his anger forever.” Who shall we believe? The inspired penman or human creeds?
125. All sin can be pardoned. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isa. 1:18. The greatest and blackest sin, then, can be removed from the human soul. Eternity will never reveal the time when this cannot be done. How false is the creed that says a large part of mankind will soon be placed beyond the reach of redeeming grace!
126. All nations shall flow into the mountain of the Lord’s house,” – a figurative representation of the covenant of the Gospel. Isa. 2:2.
127. In this mountain, the Lord God hath made for all people a feast of fat things. “And in this mountain shall the Lord of Hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.” Isa. 25:6. As I have just remarked, “mountain” means the covenant of the Gospel. This feast, as Adam Clarke says, is “salvation by Jesus Christ.” It was made for all people. All will partake of it;
128. For the next verse says, “God will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations.” Isa. 25:7. The gospel feast was made for ALL PEOPLE. This refutes Calvinism, which says it was made for an elect portion. Well, “ALL PEOPLE,” ALL NATIONS” shall partake of this feast, for the “covering” and “veil” are to be removed from them all. This refutes Arminianism. Remember, the covering and veil of error and sin are to be removed from the “all people” the feast was made for.
129. “God will swallow up death in victory.” Isa. 25:8. This refers to the resurrection of the dead. A victory will then be achieved over this last enemy of man.
130. “The Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces.” Isa. 25:8. We are born heirs of tears and of death; but thank God, the time is promised, when there shall be no death endured, or tears shed, for
“His own soft hand shall wipe
Remember, that when death shall be swallowed up in victory, that is, when death shall be destroyed by the resurrection of all the dead, then the veil and the covering will be removed from ALL PEOPLE, then tears will be wiped from all faces. Here is promised universal deliverance from death and all the other evils that man is heir to.
131. “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isa. 40:5. As the Lord hath said that all flesh shall see his glory, why should any doubt?
132. Our Heavenly Father says, Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Isa. 45:22. Why should God command all to look to him and be saved if he knew millions never would?
133. The Lord of heaven and earth says, “I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow and every tongue shall swear. Surely shall one say, IN THE LORD HAVE I RIGHTEOUSNESS AND STRENGTH. Isa. 45:23, 24. This passage needs no comment. The Almighty has sworn by himself because he could swear by no greater, that every tongue shall confess that in him they have righteousness. One would think this was enough to make the most unbelieving heart trust and rejoice in God.
134. The Almighty says, “as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isa. 55:10, 11. The word of God is the Gospel of our salvation, and it was designed by the Almighty to bless all mankind; hence Jesus commissioned his disciples to preach it to “every creature.” Mark 16:15. The passage says, “it (the Gospel) shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Surely God knows best what success will attend the means he, in his infinite wisdom, has adopted to save mankind. He informs us that the means shall fully accomplish the work he designed they should.
135. Isaiah, speaking in the name of Jehovah, said of Christ: “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my Salvation unto the end of the earth.” Isa. 49:6. The prophet affirms that the blessing of the Gospel would not be confined to the Jews, but that it would be extended to the Gentiles, for this purpose, “that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth;” and so Jews and Gentiles, which embrace all mankind, shall walk in its Light and enjoy its Salvation.
136. Our adorable Creator says: “I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.” Isa. 57:16. Here God says he will not contend forever, and then gives an important reason why he will not: “for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.” According to this declaration, it is impossible for a soul to endure endless misery; God has not made it immortal enough to live through endless pains.
137. Speaking of the covenant with the house of Israel, Jehovah says, “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord: for they shall ALL know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more.” Jer. 31:33-34. As God is no respecter of persons, what he will do for the Jews he will do also for the Gentiles, and so all of the latter as well as all of the former shall know the Lord, whom to know is life eternal.
138. Jeremiah says, “The Lord WILL NOT CAST OFF FOREVER. But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his tender mercies, for he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” Lam. 3:31-33. God punishes the erring, not to gratify a revengeful spirit, but for their good, that they may cease doing evil, and learn to do well. But it will not be necessary to punish forever, and the prophet assures us that the Lord will not, for he “will have compassion according to the multitude of his tender mercies.”
139. “He (God) retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy.” Micah 7:18. This declaration is altogether at variance with the doctrine of unending torments.
140. The angel told Daniel that “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness.” Dan. 9:24. This needs no comment. Sin is to end, and righteousness is to reign forever. Blessed assurance.
141. Paul teaches the salvation of both Jews and Gentiles. “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in;” “and so all Israel shall be saved.” Rom. 11:25, 26. Does the apostle mean by fullness of the Gentiles only a portion of them? And by all Israel only part of Israel? He means just what he says. He clearly teaches the salvation of all the Jews and all the Gentiles, and those two classes embrace all mankind.
142. Paul also teaches that whether living or dying we are the Lord’s. “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end, Christ both died, and rose, and revived; that he might be the Lord both of the dead and living.” Rom. 14:7-9. Can anyone infer from this precious passage that a part for whom Christ died will be lost forever? Whether on earth or in eternity, whether alive or dead, all are the Lord’s, and no power will take them from him.
143. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in the present world.” Titus 2:11, 12. Dr. Clarke on this passage remarks: “It cannot be said, except in a very refined and spiritual sense, that this Gospel had then appeared to all men; but it may be well said, that it bringeth salvation to all men; this is its design and it was to taste death for every man that its author came into the world.” Again, he adds: “As the light and heat of the sun are denied to no nation nor individual, so the grace of the Lord Jesus; this also shines out upon all; and God designs that all mankind shall be as equally benefited by it, in reference to their souls, as they are in respect to their bodies, by the sun that shines in the firmament of heaven.”
144. “For all (the house of Israel) shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” Heb. 8:11. If God will save all the Jews, will he not do the same by the Gentiles? The salvation of the former is a pledge of the salvation of the latter. The Bible teaches that the Gentiles are fellow heirs with the Jews in the covenant of grace.
145. Paul says, “that Christ came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.” Eph. 2:17. He could not have preached peace had he preached an endless strife in hell!
146. Paul was a faithful minister nearly thirty years, and yet the word hell is not found in any of his sermons or epistles! Can this omission be accounted or on the supposition that he believed there was a place bearing that name in eternity, to which all are exposed? But he says, “I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” Acts 20:27. An endless hell, then, can be no part of God’s counsel.
147. “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, AFTERWARD, it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them that are exercised thereby.” Heb. 12:11. This language shows that the punishments of God are limited; for if they are endless there can be no afterward, as the apostle declares.
148. “FAITH is the substance of things HOPED FOR; the evidence of things not seen.” Heb. 11:1. A person may have faith in the doctrine of endless punishment, but he cannot hope for it; therefore that doctrine is no part of Christian faith. A person cannot only believe in the benign doctrine of Universal Salvation, but he CAN HOPE for its truth with all his heart; therefore that is the RIGHT FAITH.
149. In the first book of the Bible it I said, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was VERY GOOD.” Gen. 1:31.
150. In the last book of the Bible, the writer, in a vision, says, “EVERY CREATURE” which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I, saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” Rev. 5:13. In the beginning man was pronounced by his Creator VERY GOOD – every way adapted to the stage of action on which he was placed. The Revelator, by the help of God, saw all mankind raised to a higher state of existence, for which also they were created, and heard them blessing their creator for his infinite goodness, and adoring their Savior for redeeming love. Such was the beginning of our race, and such will be its glorious consummation. “For God’s pleasure we are and were created.”
Praise the Lord! all the ends of the earth! Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord! Oh! speak good of his name, for he is good, and his mercy endureth forever.
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UNIVERSALIST BELIEF (Christian Universalism)
The following Profession of Belief was adopted by the General Convention of Universalists, in Session at Strafford, Vermont, in 1802. It is short, comprehensive, and fully expressive of the distinguishing Faith of Universalists in the United States. It is the true Bible Creed, and the only one necessary for the Christian Church.
PROFESSION OF FAITH
“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 happiness and true holiness are inseparably connected; and that believers ought to maintain order, and practice good works, for these things are good and profitable unto men.”