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government of God As we have shown that mankind are not only to become subject to God, but are to be reconciled to him, of course there will then be no rebels against God in the universe; either in will, wish, desire, or action; but the spirit of God, who is love, will pervade the hearts and minds of all his creatures, and he himself become all in all. Then God's will and purpose respecting the final destiny of his creatures will be accomplished. His promises will be fulfilled, his oath performed, and his counsel established. Christ will see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied; and the highest and holiest wishes and desires of the hearts of all God's rational creatures will be gratified.
8th. We argue the truth of Universalism from the negative testimony of the BIBLE. The Bible not only teaches the doctrine of universal salvation in positive terms, but it gives the lie direct to the opposite doctrine.
1. It teaches that the anger of God, so far from enduring endlessly, endures but for a moment. Ps. 30: 5, "For his anger endureth but a moment." Isa. 54: 8, In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer."
2. It expressly declares that God will not be always wroth, and that he will not retain his anger endlessly. Isa. 57: 16, "For I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth." The reason assigned is, "For the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made." Ps. 103: 8, 9, "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy; he will not always chide, neither will he retain his anger forever." Mic. 7:18, “He retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy." Ps. 89: 30-32, "If his (David's) children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes; but my loving kindness will I not utterly take from them nor suffer my faithfulness to fail." Lam. 3: 31-33, "For 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."
9th. We argue the truth of this doctrine from inferences, which are plainly deducible from several facts, which are explicitly stated in the BIBLE. We infer the truth of this doctrine,
1. From the fact that God is the Creator of all men. Acts 17: 26, "He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth." Rev. 4: 11, "Thou (God) hast created all things." If God is the Creator of all men, he created them for wise and benevolent purposes. He has conferred on us an unasked existence, and he will see to it that that existence does not result in a curse.
2. God is the Father of all men. In Num. 16: 22 and Heb. 12: 9, he is called the "God and Father of the spirits of all flesh." In Matt. 6: 9, we are instructed to call him "our Father." In Mal. 2:6, the prophet asks, "Have we not all one Father? hath not one God created us?" In Matt. 23: 9, Jesus says that, " one is our Father, which is in heaven." In Acts 17: 22, Paul calls the idolatrous heathen "the offspring of God." And in Eph. 4: 6, he says, "There is one God and Father of all." A good father would never make the existence of his children a curse. If, therefore, God is the Father of all mankind, he will never make any portion of them miserable, any further than is for their ultimate good.
3. God is good, and his goodness is universal. Ps. 145: 9, "The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works." Ps. 119: 68, "Thou art good, and doest good." If God is good to all now, he always will be; and, hence, he will do good Consequently, he will never
to all now, and in all coming time.
4. God is wise. Ps. 104: 24, "O Lord, how manifold are thy works; in wisdom thou hast made them all." Rom. 16: 27, "To God only wise be glory." If God is wise, he can devise the best possible plans; but to devise a system of moral government, which would result in the endless sin, rebellion and misery, of the subjects of that government, would not be the best possible plan; therefore, God has devised no such plan.
5. God is holy. Lev. 19: 2, "For I the Lord your God am holy." Rev. 4: 8, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty." If God is holy he must be opposed to evil any further than that evil can be made subservient to the production of good. But endless evil could result in no good; therefore, God will not permit endless evil to exist.
6. God is just. Isa. 45: 21, "A just God, and a Saviour." If God is just, he will punish and reward all moral agents according to
But endless punishment would not be according to
7. God is merciful. Ps. 62: 12, "Unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy for thou renderest to every man according to his works." Ps. 107: 1, "His mercy endureth forever." In the 136th Psalm David asserts no less than twenty-six times that the mercy of God "endureth forever." The same thing is asserted more than fifty times in the Bible. For God to inflict endless pain upon any of his creatures, would leave no room for the exercise of mercy. Therefore, as he is merciful, and always will remain so, he will inflict no such pain on any.
8. God is omnipotent. Rev. 19: 6, "The Lord God omnipotent reigneth." If God is omnipotent, there is no power in the universe which can be arrayed against him which he cannot overcome. His plans and purposes, therefore, cannot be defeated. And as all his plans are wise, benevolent and good, hence good and only good must be the final result to all his creatures.
9. God is love. 1 John 4: 8, "God is love." Love prompts its possessor to do all that lays in his power to promote the good of the objects of love. God has an abundance of power to promote the good of his creatures, for he is omnipotent. He has the disposition to do so, for he is love. Hence, good to all must be the final result. 10. God is impartial. Ps. 145: 9, "The Lord is good to all." In James 3: 17, it is said of the wisdom which cometh down from above, that it is "without partiality." If God is impartial, he has never purposed the endless happiness of some of his children, and the endless unhappiness of the rest.
11. God is unchangeable. Mal. 3: 6, "I am the Lord, I change not." James 1: 17, "With whom (God) is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." If God is unchangeable, he will endlessly remain what he has been in all time past, and is now. And as he always has, and does now, seek the good of his creatures, therefore he always will.
12. We infer this doctrine from the representation which is given of the Gospel by the inspired writers. The term Gospel signifies good news. The angels who announced the birth of the Saviour, said, Luke 2: 10, "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people." The Gospel is called "the ever
lasting gospel," Rev. 14: 6. The "gospel of the grace of God,"
13. From the character, conduct and teachings, of Jesus Christ. He was the great founder of the Christian religion. He was benevolent, and even mindful of the physical wants of man, Mark 8: 1-9. He was tender-hearted and sympathizing. He wept at the grave of Lazarus, John 11: 35; raised the widow's son, Luke 7: 12—15; healed the physical maladies of men, Matt. 12: 10—13; and mourned and wept over Jerusalem, Matt. 23: 37-39, and Luke 19: 41. He was mild, forgiving and forbearing-to Peter, who denied him, Luke 22: 61, 62; to Thomas, who would not believe him, John 20: 24-29; to the woman taken in adultery, John 8: 3-11. He taught that we must love and forgive our enemies, Matt. 5: 44, and 6: 14, 15. He taught that we must forgive, not seven times only, but seventy times seven, Matt. 18: 21, 22. He prayed for his enemies and murderers, Luke 23: 34. And, at last, he freely offered up his life as a sacrifice on the altar of humanity. The whole conduct, and character, and disposition, and teachings, of Jesus was in accordance with the spirit of universal love and benevolence. He was actuated by none of the spirit of revenge, wrath or cruelty. How, then, can it be supposed that he believed and taught the cruel and unmerciful doctrine of endless hell torments?
14. From the influence which the Gospel exerts upon the character, conduct and feelings, of its recipients. What a mighty and an astonishing change it wrought in Paul! His partial and exclusive sentiments and feelings were exchanged for the utmost liberality of opinion and feeling. The Gospel changed his enmity to love, his bigotry to charity, and his Partialism to Universalism. It wrought the sanie happy change in all who received its truths into
good and honest hearts. A belief in the Partialist God, and in the Partialist doctrine, could never have produced such effects. Hence, Partialism is not the doctrine of the Gospel.
15. From the nature of God's law and its requirements of man. It is the great law of love. It requires that we love God with all our soul, might, mind and strength, and our fellow-men as ourselves, Matt. 22: 36-40. But how can we love God in the manner required, unless he is a lovely being? And how can he be a lovely being, and at the same time inflict unending pain upon his own helpless and dependent offspring? Again, how can we love our fellow-men as ourselves, if we believe God hates a portion of them? We are bound to imitate God. We are commanded to imitate him as dear children, Eph. 5: 1. If, therefore, God hates a part of mankind, we are bound to do so likewise. The very fact, then, that we are required to love our fellow-men, universally, proves that God loves all, and will do good to all.
16. From the effects which the Gospel produced on those who believed it. They were saved, Rom. 8: 24, and 1 Cor. 1: 18; they were blessed, Gal. 3:9; they had peace and joy in believing, Rom. 15: 13; they were enabled to rejoice with joy unspeak able and full of glory, 1 Peter 1: 8; their joy was full, John 15: 11; and they entered into rest, Heb. 4: 3. A belief in a partial God and in a partial salvation could not produce such effects. Nothing short of a belief in God as the Father, Friend and Saviour, of all mankind, could do it.
17. From what the Scriptures teach respecting faith. It is the substance of things hoped for, Heb. 11: 1; and it works by love, and purifies the heart, Gal. 5: 6. But no man can hope for endless misery to be true; and, hence, that doctrine is not the substance of things hoped for. Therefore, a faith in that is not the faith of the Gospel. All hope for the truth of Universalism; hence, Universalism is the substance of things hoped for, and, therefore, a faith in Universalism is the faith of the Gospel. Again, Partialism, or a faith in the doctrine of endless misery, does not work by love, but by fear; hence, it is not Gospel faith. But Universalism does work by love, and not by fear; therefore, to believe in Universalism is to believe the Gospel. Once more; a belief in Partialism does not purify the heart, but serves rather to harden it and to blunt the finer feelings of human nature; hence, it is not the true faith.