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than--We believe the bible, it would, nevertheless, be extremely gratifying to be informed, why that, in contra-distinction to others, should be named, “ The First Universalist Church," &c. Do not the other Churches in Roxbury, believe the above declaration ? We'were of opinion that it should be called, “ The First Universalist's Church,” &c. Nothing is discovered, peculiar to our doctrine ; or that could lead one to suppose that it was any other, than a church, formed by Universalists, without expressing their peculiar faith. To say, other Churches profess to believe more than the above, leaves room for queries ; whether they profess to believe more than they profess to believe is in the Old and New-Testaments ? and have they no ground to say the same of the new Church in Roxbury? We are entirely at a loss concerning the object, in making so indefinite a declaration of faith. But reposing great confidence in the talents and ingenuousness of our worthy Br. Ballou, 2d. and the elevation of moral character which that Church and society sustain, we seriously solicit an explanation of their views, in relation to that subject, to which publicity will be given, if requested. If it be the result of sound and prayerful deliberation, it may be the means of correcting many errors, and of doing much good, in other places. If these remarks do not deserve the reprimand, Is What is that to thee ?” we hope to receive an instructive answer ; if they do, “let the righteous smite me, and it shall be an excellent oil.”
Several other societies and churches have been formed within a year past.
QUEstion for the Christian Intelligencer.—Why did Christ die for us, if God was not unreconciled towards us, and unless we were condemned for Adam's sin ? or how does it benefit us, if we suffer for our transgressions ? and what were we redeemed from, if these things be true ?
Asa Barton. ANSWER. 1. Jesus died to manifest the love of God, not his anger; and God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself-not himself to the world. Rom. v. 8. I John, IV. 10. II Cor. v. 18, 19.
2. There is as much need of being saved from our own sins, as though another's were imputed and imparted to us. Matt. 1. 21. Acts, III. 19, 20, 21.
3. The death of Jesus, or the love of the Father therein displayed, will benefit man, by saving him from transgression, that he may no longer deserve to suffer, or his former sins be brought into rememberance. Acts, iv. 10, 11, 12. Rom. x. 9, 10. Heb. viii. 10, 11, 12. Ezek. xviii. 21, 22, 23.
4. Salvation from sin is a redemption or deliverance from condemnation and pain, which is the curse of the law. Psalm CXXX. 8. Titus, 11. 14. Gal. 111. 13. Matt. xxvII. 46.
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SEVEN STRONG REASONS
FOR BELIEVING ALL MEN WILL BE SAVED. “ And be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a REASON of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear."
I. Peter, ill. 15. REASON 1. Because both reason and Revelation teach that God is good and merciful to all men, created all things for his pleasure, and will accomplish his purpose in the dispensation of the fulness of times; and it is neither good nor merciful to create beings to be endlessly miserable. Ps. cxlv. 7. 8, 9. Rev. v. 11. Eph. 1. 9, 10, 11.
2. God has but one will, and that he has expressly revealed in the scriptures, viz. He will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth ; and he is unchangeable, and cannot, therefore, have any other will. I. Tim. II. 4. Phill. 11. 13. James, 1. 17.
3. God sent his Son into the world, to do his WILL, and suffer nothing finally to be lost ; and with him was well pleased. John, vi. 38. XVII. 2, 3. Matt. 111. 17.
4. Jesus, in perfect obedience to his father, gave himself a ran. som for all men, tasted death for every man, and was a propitiation for the sins of the whole world. I. Tim. 11. 5, 6, 7. Heb. 11. 9. I. John IV. 10.
5. The WILL of God in the salvation of all, harmonizes with the Promises and Prophecies of the Old and New Testaments. Gen. XII. 1, 2, 3. Gal. 111. 8. Acts, 111. 25, 26. Ps. 11. 8. XXII. 27. Isaiah, xxv. 6, 7, 8. Acts. 111, 20, 21. Rev. v. 18.
6. All rational, benevolent creatures would rejoice in the bliss of all men, and we are commanded to pray for all, and that God's will may be done in earth, as in heaven. I. John, 1v. 20. I. Tim. II. 1, 2, 3. Matt. vi. 9, 10. XVIII. 19.
7. Since none but evil demons and unholy men are opposed to God's impartial, benevolent, revealed and perfect will, and the Devil and ail his works will be destroyed, we ought to be willing to labor and suffer reproach trusting in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those who believe. Rom. viII. 31, 32. Heb. 11. 14, 15. L. John, 111. 8. 1. Tim. iv. 10.
A BRIEF REVIEW OF DOCTRINES. The candid inquirers for truth, who have had sufficient opportunity to examine the statements of the different views of the plan of salvation, through a crucified Saviour, which appeared in the first and second numbers of this Intelligencer, are probably prepared to form an impartial opinion of their relation to each other, and to Christianity in general. That the reader may judge with greater accuracy concerning the justness of this review of those doctrines, he is requested to look them over again, and then give it a careful re-perusal.
The doctrine of Election and Reprobation, or Calvinism, included in the 8th and 9th pages, was followed by remarks, which we hope will also be again carefully perused.
The HEART of the scheme is, That God did from all eternity decree the salvation of some of the fallen family of Adam, viz. his elect, without any foresight of faith or good works; and did also fore-ordain the endless misery of all others, the non-elect, though no more guilty and hell-deserving, than the elect, for the display of his own glory, and the highest good of the universe. This plan precludes the possibility of the salvation of all those who are finally lost. Their endless misery was as eertain, as the execution of God's own purpose. These observations do not misrepresent the system, or present it in unfair colors. We know that our Calvinist neighbors complain' of unfairness, and pretend that their doctrine does not preclude the possibility of the salvation of all men. If their complaints originate in ignorance, we pity and forgive them; if they are designed to deceive the simple and unsuspecting, we abhor their conduct. We are asked, why we should appeal to Calvin's Institutes, in proof of their doctrine, in preference to moderm
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defenders of the same scheme. Our answer is, Because no man is a Calvinist that does not embrace the fundamental principles of his system. Besides, modern theologians are so crafty, and introduce the same sentiments, in so many different ways, that it would require far more labor to detect the sophistry of their reasoning, than to expose the cruelty of the doctrines they defend. But to silence, if possible, the cavils of some, and the chattering complaints of many, that their sentiments are misrepresented, I will here offer an extract from the great reformer of orthodoxy, in New-England, the Abbot Prof. in the Andover Institution.
“ It is then altogether unreasonable to object to the declaration in the Catechism, that God has “fore-ordained whatsoever comes to pass ;' that is, that his purpose extends to all events in his administration.” “ These remarks are as applicable to the purpose of God, which is called election, as to any other.” “ God must have eternally designed to do just what he does in the present life, and what he will do at the judgment day ; that is, he must have designed to save that same number of individuals.” “Now God actually saves a definite number of individuals. He saves that definite number, and no more or less. He must then have determined to do it.” “ Divine grace in the conversion of sinners is distinguishing; in other words of those who are equally unworthy of favor, and equally deserving of punishment, some are renewed and others are not." "Divine grace actually makes a difference among those who are equally sinful, renewing some and not others,” &c. “That act of divine grace which, so far as the conduct of sinners is concerned is wholly unconditional, is the first formation of a holy character," &c. Dr. Wood's letters to Dr. Ware, pages 154-158. * Can any Christian be so blind as not to discover, that even according to Dr. Wood's refined, and in some measure reformed, or rather disguised system of doctrine, he still maintains that God designed and determined to save a certain definite number of individuals, and no more ; that they were no less deserving of punishment than those he did not mean to save ; and that this salvation was, as far as respected their conduct wholly unconditional, a sovereign act of God? And will any creature that is properly called rational, in view of this doctrine, pretend, that those sinners might be saved whom God from eternity determined not to save? Will they maintain that God fore-ordained whatsoever comes to pass, and governs all events according to his sovereign will, and yet that more or less might be saved than the certain definite number whom he unconditionally converts ? But we will not perplex the reader with the shifts and turns of sophistry, learned in the Theological Seminaries of the Calvinian stamp. The doctrine,
is a monster of so frightful mein, “ As to be hated, needs but to be seen.” Every reader will doubtless object to the real doctrine of election and reprobation, as taught in the schools, and for the soundest reasons. But is there no danger of adopting another system, rather more plausible, but equally as fallacious. If we object to the doctrine because it asserts the salvation of a part of the world, wholly independent of their works, and leaves the others to perish forever in their wickedness, we should probably adopt the second plan, viz. That Salvation is possible for all men, and certain to none. (Page 13.) This scheme maintains that sinners are pot saved because of any anterior decree of God, or because it was any more his pleasure to save a part of the fallen family of Adam, than the whole; but because some are obedient to the commands of God, while others remain rebels. Their obedience will be rewarded with everlasting bliss, or salvation from endless woe. But who can subscribe to this doctrine, when dismantled, and expressed without its clerical disguise ? Is not this a salvation according to works? If we object to Calvinism because it maintains the salvation of a part, not according to works, we must, in order to be consistent, in this scheme, hold that it is according to the works of the saved. The path is extremely narrow, and we must go directly back or forward. If we say, God saves some sinners through Jesus, and it is wholly of him, why object to its being decreed ? Is it not far more consistent with the character of God, to suppose he would act according to a prior purpose, especially, in a work of so much consequence as the salvation of sinners, than that he would not ? And would it be less his work, because he de