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upon this ground, and this only, and I shall then consider yon worthy of the name of an opponent, but not till then. It is neither Mr. this, nor Mr. that, nor is it Universalists, nor any sect of men, that I am defending,—it is the truth only. We have nothing to do, I repeat it, with any man, or party, in the matter before ns. Let us look the subject fair in the face, and "call no man master upon earth." In the next place, with regard to your assertion, that Universalists are Avians, Socinians, Deists, suffer, I beseech you, the word of exhortation. This is railery, without proof, or argument. I would, therefore, say to you, "Judge not that ye be not judged: for with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." I know that you speak from hateful prejudice, and not from any real knowledge you have about Universalists. But, suppose they were all that your poor vengeance denounces them to be, this is still nothing to the point in hand. For my part, al• though I have met with many whose undisguised sentiments were similar to my own, on the subject of universal reconciliation, I have no personal acquaintance with any one of that body of professors. I never even spoke to one of them, except the late Mr. Neil Douglass, and that was only on the gospel, generally. There is only one individual, in this neighbourhood, that I know of (but
whom I never spoke to) who professes to belong to that body.
And did not you and your wife acknowledge that he was an ornament to the christian profession? But if we are to judge of men's principles from their writings (and who, except yourself, would not consider this a fair mode of judging) then I would say, from their truly christian-like sentiments that I have met with,—would to God that you, and that I, and that all mankind were such Arians, Socinians, Deists. I talk of their writings generally, which I have
seen,—their "creed,"—their "catechism,"—their "hymns,"
their "concise statement of religious views ;" &c. for to argue that their were nothing exceptionable in their writings, more than in yours, and other men's, would be wrong. But if to acknowledge Christ as "God manifested in the flesh," as " the second Adam, the Lord from heaven,"—" the only wise God and our Saviour," be Arianism, then are tfiey Arians. If to acknowledge that Christ and the Father are not only one in essence, and the pre-existence of his divinity before he became "the child born—the son given," if this be Socinianism, thenare they Socinians. If to acknowledge . the scriptures to be a revelation from heaven, and to believe more
fully, and unreservedly those scriptures, than almost any sect of professing christians, if this he Deism, then are tliey Deists. In short, the Saviour of the Socinians, and the Arians (who is inferior to the Diety\ may suit your system of partial salvation ; but the Saviour of die Universalists, who is the redeemer of the whole family of man, can be no other than divine. But, (as you force me to enlarge here, where I did not intend it) let me ask, why all this invective against Universalists for believing in a doctrine which you acknowledge to be amiable, which you told me you wished to be true, and which you cannot even attempt to overturn, but by a disjointed and detached application of scripture? If the Universalists taught people to believe that there were no hell; that there was no need for regeneration, and that men, however wicked, will not be punished for their sins, but will be taken to heaven with all their guilt and pollution about them, unrepented of, and without being reconciled to God, then might you object and say, that their doctrine was not according to godliness. But, whatever may be the opinion of any particular individual professing universal redemption, I aver that, from their writings in. general, no such thing, as above stated, can be said of them, whatever you or other opponents may choose to assert. Their only fault appears to be, that they believe, more fully than you do, the testimony of God. They believe the scriptures, as a whole, you believe a part only, and that which appears to support a particular system of doctrine. Let the scriptures then, in their undisjointed state (for what God hath joined let no man put asunder) be the test to try their doctrines whether they be of God, and they need not dread all the flaming artillery you can bring against them. And I leave any one to judge, from their doctrine which reconciles all, and yours which saves but a few, which of you is more imitating the Saviour himself, and more obeying the precept " Be ye merciful as your Father in heaven is merciful." And, ah! remember, that " the merciful man doeth good to his own soul," and that such arc said to be " blessed, for they shall obtain mercy." Be ye, therefore, merciful, and cease from endlessly damning any one of God's offspring, all of whom he hath said he will "reconcile," "restore," and " bless." Let not your heart rise against .the doctrine "because some ungodly people have approved of my principles," but rather rejoice at it, if it is more likely to reconcile them to God. Learn, yet more perfectly, of Him " who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way" For such poor creatures, on whose characters you form an objection to the doctrine of reconciliation, let us feel pity; but neither be angry at them, nor at the doctrine on their account, even although they should be extolling it with curses in their mouths. It is our duty to hate sin, whoever be the person of the sinner,—and it is quite possible,—it is christian-like, —nay, it is God-like to have compassion nevertheless for the guilty soul. In relation to such characters, I would say, in the words of the Saviour, to all who feel their anger or wrath predominate over their pity and compassion, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of, for the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them,"—even to save them. It is quite absurd to talk as you do, of universal atonement, and discard what you call calvinistic election, when, at same time, you grant all that the calvinist craves, namely, the redemption of the few, and the endless damnation of the many. I admit as you do, universal atonement. 1 'admit also, as both you and the calvinists do, that election, or, call it particular redemption, if you please, is most clearly taught in scripture. But I do not stop here; for I admit particular, and universal redemption too,—both are equally declared in scripture. You and they admit the one, differing only in terms, I admit both, and have given you ample scripture authority for so doing. You can adduce scripture for the one,—I grant it. But I do more; for I can, and do show you scripture authority for both. Which of us then, I ask, is more supported by the scriptures? Again: since you cannot deny me the greater weight of scripture authority, I shall next compete with you on the score of consistency. You admit that Christ died for all,—that he tasted death for every man,—that he gave his life a ransom for all, &c.; and yet you say that the all for whom he died, and gave himself a ransom, &c. shall not be saved. Now, I also admit, as you do, the universality of those declarations* but I do not rest here:—for I have the presumption to believ«Pthat God is "truth" as well as "love," and that if he gave himself a ransomfor all, consequently all shall be saved through him. Which of us then, I again ask, in the name of common sense, and reason, is the most consistent, as well as the most scriptural? I repeat the question.—If "the Father sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world," (1 John iv. 14), " the Saviour of all men," (1 Tim. iv. 10.), whether is it most consistent to believe that all shall be saved, or enly a part of the whole? Therefore, I maintain, that if he is the Saviour " of all men," and of " every man," that all and every man must be saved. Nay, I maintain farther, that those who dare to assert the contrary, pervert the scriptures, and common sense, and common language too. Can you refute what I say ?—It is impossible.
But now arise your difficulties in reconciling those gracious declarations, with others of an apparently opposite nature. And because you cannot, forsooth, fully comprehend the subject, you start objections', and reason about consequences in the face of not only the plain language of scripture, but in the face of the very oath of Jehovah. It is not an argument sufficient to overturn this doctrine to tell me, as you one day did, that you can produce many passages against it. If I can furnish ten passages in its favour, for everyone that you can advance apparently against it, (which I shall undertake to do), ought not this alone, if not to silence your arguments, at least to moderate your opposition? But this is not all. If I have upon my side, in addition to this tenfold weight of scripture, the sanction of reason, of benevolence, of mercy, of love, and of all the "fruits of the spirit."—If I have upon my side too, the life, the doctrines, and the commandments of Christ, and all the amiable virtues concurring, to sanction and approve the doctrine.—If I have upon my side, the secret approval of your own, and• of every christian mind. Yea, if I have upon my side, the very oath of Jehovah (Isa. xlv. 23.). —If I have all these, I say, in addition to a tenfold weight of scripture, which you cannot deny, how absurd and dishonouring to God is it, to cling so tenaciously to those texts that appear to wear a contrary aspect. Where two conflicting things present themselves, the rule is, in ordinary cases, to decide in favour of that which has the greater weight of evidence. Why not so in the matter before us? By this "eternal rule of righteousness" you would "judge righteous judgement," and the point would be settled at once. Think seriously upon these things, and candidly consider whether you can be justified in setting all those corroborating and powerful evidences at defiance. And seeing that I stand on the solid ground of divine testimony, taking nothing for granted, without a "thus Baith the Lord," which of us is more chargeable with "wild speculations?"
I shall now conclude this letter, and leave my compendium of scripture authority, which I have promised, (beginning with Moses and ending with St. John), for another communication. And I again beg leave to assure you, that any answer you may think fit to give, shall have equal publicity with my communications, if you will stick to the subject, refrain from vilifying persons, and oppose me only by the scriptures. Upon this ground only can I recognise you as an opponent worthy of the cause in which we have embarked. Upon this ground I shall most cheerfully meet you. Now, I will not be so bold as to affirm, that all and every passage I have adduced, or may adduce, has a direct reference to the final salvation .of all men; but this I will affirm, that it will be difficult for you to dispose of the greater part of them, consistently, upon any other principles. In short, reconcile those very many passages with common sense, and common language, and with the revealed attributes and character of God, and show them tlien to .correspond with your scheme, and I shall acknowledge myself a. convert to your doctrine, but not till then: And, however derogatory to the Divine Being, I shall acknowledge him to be that God of partial salvation that you represent him to be. I am seeking after truth, and neither wish to deceive myself nor others.—Take, therefore, I say, those numerous passages, one by one, and explain them, not according to your own, or any system of opinions, but in a way consistent with their plain meaning in common language, and with the general scope and spirit of the scriptures, a»d show them to correspond with your scheme, and I shall at once acknowledge that I am wrong .in the amiable view I have formed of the "God of salvation," as a God of boundless love and forgiveness.—Do this, and.1 shall abandon the soul-cheering prospect of God ultimately reconciling all things unto himself; and I shall then, however reluctantly, adopt your less amiable view of him as a God of partial salvation, —as a limited sin pardoning Jehovah.
To sum up the matter, and conclude.—The Calvinist, or those commonly called orthodox, maintain particular redemption, that is, —of an elect number. So do I, but not to the exclusion of all the world besides, but as a pledge of their salvation also. You, again, go a little farther than they, in words only, and admit what you call general redemption; but you just land, as they do,—in the salvation of a certain number. Where then is the real difference? You may denounce the Calvinistic idea of reprobation, as you please, but how can I reckon you a whit behind them, when I heard you from the pulpit, (7th January last, which I noted down), telling your audience that God knew, from the beginning; nay, "that it