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are palpably false, and in many cases ridiculous, are received as sound-that the crudest absurdities are digested, by many who ought to know better-that men of sense in other matters, knowing that their everlasting all is at stake, will suffer themselves to be carried away, by reasons on which in other matters they would not risk a sixpence. Here is a phenomenon in human character which I now propose to explain.

In the explanation I remark in the first place, that whatever the causes may be which bring so many to the belief of this doctrine, it is not the perception of any firm and satisfactory reasons in the case, as may be shown from the shifting and varying character of the premises on which it has been built. The premises have often been changed, while the conclusion has remained. That the proof may be adopted and then set aside, like almanacks when out of date, and yet the same conclusion remain-and that the same mind could at the same time draw conviction from opposite premises, is the conclusion to which the history of Universalism would bring us. The first Universalists were Restorationists, believing in a purgatorial punishment in the future world. Next comes in the doctrine of no punishment in the future world, built on some of the doctrines of Calvinism caricatured. Next, these grounds are abandoned, and the same doctrine comes forward under the auspices of Messrs. B. and W. and their coadjutors, sustained by such interpretations as we have been examining. Some will have it that the obvious understanding of some passages of the Bible, brings us to the doctrine of eternal punishment, but the doctrine not being in itself reasonable, and consistent with the known goodness of God, those passages must be so explained away, as to consist with more rational views. Others will have us believe that all passages of the Bible are obviously consistent with the doctrine of no future punishment. But as the conscience cannot at all times and in all persons be made to see with such eyes, the original doctrine of restoration is held by many, as a sort of reserve ground, to flee to when driven from the more comforting doctrine of no hell at all. That different minds should stand on grounds so opposite, is not mar

velous; but that one and the same mind should hold them both at once, show that the conclusion is regarded as more important than the means of coming at it. My observation much deceives me if it be not true of the great mass of the Universalists, and more especially of the more intelligent of them, that they feel about an equal confidence and interest in both these systems-opposite as they are in respect to grounds of proof. The expression has gone into a proverb among those who profess to believe in no future punishment, that the restoration system "is better than nothing." And inconsistent as it is with their professed belief, they cherish it with a strong affection. And they guard with a jealous care against any controversy with Restorationists (see preliminaries to the Danvers discussion and the Universalist Trumpet passim) and the reader is requested to bear in mind the question, whether there is not among this class of Universalists, much of playing fast and loose, respecting the grounds on which they are willing to rest their system, that he may satisfy himself by future observation. Refute before them Mr. Balfour's positions, and even those who have been wont to look at this author as their oracle, are ready to say-"We never agreed with Mr. B. on that point." Or, "We always had our doubts about it." Now the conclusion to which all this brings us is, that Universalism originates rather in the desire of the mind, than in the force of solid proofs. The conclusion seems to have been antecedent to the proofs. It is a fabric that can stand as well without an underpinning as with it. And the foundation can be slipped from beneath it, and exchanged for another, as often as it is conceived another can be found of more decent appearance. The underpinning by the way is used only for appearance sake. If Mr. B.'s system be the true one, the Universalism which existed before this was invented, must have been believed without known and sufficient reasons. system of doctrines, under so little obligations to its proofs, that it can discard and renew them at pleasure, must be rather the offspring of man's convenience and desires, than the result of impartial study of the word of God.

In speaking more directly of the sources of Universalism, I shall first take the position that the depraved inclinations of men are a fruitful occasion of their embracing it. I suppose I shall not be required to prove in this place, that there are some men whose hearts are inclined to sin. And I suppose most readers will admit that all hearts are more or less so inclined. And I suppose it will also be admitted, that as strong as is a man's desire after an unlawful gratification, so strong is his interest to wish that no painful consequences might follow the indulgence. So strong as is a man's inclination to pursue a sinful course of life, so much is he inclined to wish there might That some be no punishment for sin in the world to come. wicked mcn are troubled by the fear of hell, I think will not be doubted. That many of them suffer a great amount from such fears is true. The Universalists are wont to tell us of the great amount of suffering, created in the minds of men by the doctrine of future punishment: and to make that a reason why it should not be preached. Now if some minds suffer so much, by entertaining the idea of future misery, as consequent on a life of sin, is it strange, considering how much the interests and the desires influence the decisions of the understanding? Is it strange that some through their wishes come to believe that there is no hell? It is familiar to every one, with how much ease men convince themselves of that which they wish to believe. And what doctrine can a man, determined on a life of sin and impenitence, have a stronger wish to believe, than that of no judgment to come?

Again, the strong affinities which this doctrine has for the wicked and dissolute men goes to the same point. What the Earl of Rochester said of the Bible, will particularly apply to the doctrine of a future reckoning for sin. "A bad life is the only grand objection to it." A bad life, a life at variance with the requirements of the Bible, constitutes an ever present, and powerful bias of the mind, towards universalism. And men of dissolute lives have the strongest objections to a future judgment. The fact, which few except Universalists will deny, and which some of them confess, that dissolute and immoral men,

are specially inclined to Universalism, goes to show that a bad life is an all powerful argument, multiplying the conquests of Universalism. I have good authority for saying, that some Universalists confess this fact. Mr. Whittemore, p. 195, while drawing a contrast between the Scribes and Pharisees, which he makes the representatives of the religious men of the present day, and the publicans and harlots, which he will have us believe, have their successors in the Universalists-says that the publicans and harlots were exceedingly fond of the society of Jesus, and that his instructions had a special attraction for them. But I must give the paragraph entire :

"There can be no question that what is here stated was a fact. This class of people became exceedingly fond of the society of Jesus, and listened to his instructions with great delight. Matthew himself had been a Publican. They ate and drank with Christ, and he was contemptuously styled by the Pharisees, the friend of publicans and sinners. Despised as they were by the leading religious people of the age, accustomed to reproach and contumely, they rejoiced to find their cause espoused by the great teacher sent from God. His doctrine met and satisfied their desires, and they received it with joy. The common people heard him gladly. For the proud, the censorious, the self-righteous who thought they had gained heaven by their own exertions, and who anticipated with fondness the joyful day, when they should see those they despised, suffering the fierce displeasure of God-for such the benevolent, impartial religion of Jesus had no charms. Such people always opposed Christ when he was on earth. And in every age since, those of a kindred disposition have hated his doctrine. These are the reasons why publicans and harlots, entered the kingdom of God before the professedly religious scribes and pharisees. WE LEARN FROM THIS, WHAT CLASS OF PEOPLE IT IS, AMONG WHOM AT THE PRESENT DAY, THE DOCTRINE OF THE IMPARTIAL SAVIOUR [universalism] SHALL .FLOURISH IN ITS PURITY."

Here we are unblushingly told, that what Mr. W. calls the doctrine of the impartial Saviour, that is Universalism, had in


the days of Christ and now has a peculiar attraction for abandoned men and women. And this it seems not because it had any tendency to change their tempers, and characters, and make them religious, but because the doctrine "met and satisfied their desires." Not because Christ, by the force of his doctrines, won them over to his cause, but because they rejoiced to find THEIR CAUSE espoused by the great teacher sent from God.” Here we are told in so many blasphemous words, that Christ espoused the cause of the publican and harlot!! And what in the name of purity and decency was that cause! It seems that Christ met and satisfied the desires of the publicans and the harlots! Oh, shame where is thy blush! It seems too, that Universalism now does the same. That it shall flourish in its purity among those abandoned of all purity! The purest specimens of Universalism, according to one of its own doctors who ought to be competent to inform us, are to be found in the abodes of harlots. It is no wonder then, that females, who have regard to character and purity, are so shy as they proverbially are of being found under the droppings of Universalist sanctuaries.

The tendency of a wicked life, to beget Universalism, may be illustrated by a passage in the life of Rosseau a man equally distinguished for a dissipated life, for finished scholarship and libertine sentiments. After his apostacy from the Protestant to the Catholic Religion, he went to reside with Madame de Warrens, with whom he sustained a criminal familiarity. This woman often suggested, that "there could be no justice in God, should he be strictly just to us. Because not having bestowed what was necessary to make us essentially good, it would be requiring more than he had given." Rosseau at first, was far enough from being of that opinion, yet he confessed he dared not combat the arguments of the lady, while acting on the same principles. "Finding in her," he adds, "all the ideas I had occasion for to secure me from the fears of death and its consequences, I drew confidence and security from this source." This story is full of instruction, as to the matter before us. Universalism, like the sentiments of

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