Short Articles From Various
Universalist Newspapers and Magazines
Who Are Universalists?
Not everyone who calls himself by that name.
There are many people who call themselves by that name, who are
utterly unacquainted with the theory of Universalism, and who never show the
doctrine in their practice. A Universalist is one who believes with all his
heart, that God sent his son Jesus to be the Savior of the world, and that Jesus
will accomplish the work he came to do, and save all mankind -- that God is the
Father of all men -- that all, of course, are brethren, equally beloved by him,
and having an equal inheritance in immortality and incorruption. Such is the
It makes no difference what are the individual's views concerning punishment,
if he holds the doctrine above described. There are some Universalists who hold
to punishment after death, nevertheless, we are glad to hail them as
Universalists. They agree with us in our views of the great consummation -- all
punishment, in their view, is disciplinary, and they denounce punishment,
whether in this world or the next, having sny other object, as cruel and unjust.
Certain persons, particularly some of the Unitarian clergy, have endeavored to
give a very narrow signification to the word Universalist, as signifying only
those who do not hold to punishment beyond the grave, but they have repeatedly
been told, by Universalists of both classes, that such a restricted sense of the
word could not be admitted.
"Trumpet and Universalist Magazine"
July 10, 1841
The Gospel -- Faith, Unbelief
"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He
that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not
shall be damned." -- Mark 16:15-16
Br. Drew gives a few thoughts on this interesting passage. We love to copy
from his pen. His opinion had been requested by a friend.
With regard to Mark 16:16, we need not say much. Our friend will notice that
Christ had just given his disciples a new commission, whereby they were
no longer to continue their labors to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel,"
but were henceforth to "go our into all the world, and preach the gospel
to every creature." Notice, they were to preach the gospel -- just
that -- to "every creature" in "all the world." As a consequence of their
preaching this messaage, he told them what effects should follow in them that
believed it, and in them that did not believe it. Now what is the gospel which
those that believed were saved in believing? What was the gospel, for
disbelieving which others were to be damned? The gospel is "good news." There is
no bad news in it, and least of all such bad news as the endless misery
of any soul that God has made. It is "glad tidings of great joy that shall be to
all people." the fact then that great joy is to be to all people, is the
gospel which Christ sent his disciples out to preach, publish, or procalim to
every creature in all the world. The preaching of it thus universally is due to
every creature, because every soul in all the world is interested in the
message, it being true for all and each: viz. it is true, that great joy
shall be to all people, or in other words, to "every creature in all the world."
There is a propriety, then, in preaching such a doctrine to all men,
because it is true for all, and all should believe it and enter into rest. Those
that believe this doctrine do enter into rest. They are saved, in
the present tense. "God is the Savior of all men, specially of
those that believe;" that is, those that believe God is the Savior of
all men, in truth and verity, are specially saved by faith in
this truth. But "he that doubteth is damned." He is "condemned
already" -- in the present tense: and this condemnation or damnation (for
the words signify the same,) will last as long as the unbelief lasts, and
no longer; because soon as they believe they will be saved. Finally
all are to believe, because as David testifies in the Psalms -- "all the
ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto the Lord and all
the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him." The time
will come when "every tongue shall confess Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of
God the Father." Then unbelief and its condemnation or damnation will be done
away -- then all will believe and be saved.
If the damnation mentioned in the above text meant endless misery in the
future world, we should verily tremble for the fate of our limitarian brethren.
Do they believe the gospel? That is, do they believe in nothing but
good news? Do they believe the glad tidings that "great joy shall be to all
people?" No -- they disbelieve and deny this doctrine. Then they are the ones to
be damned, for they are unbelievers. The Lord save them from their unbelief and
from their errors.
"Trumpet and Universalist Magazine"
July 10, 1841
Salvation -- What Is It?
It seems to us, there are many rude and crude ideas entertained about
salvation, and while this state of things continues, men will grope in the
darkness of error.
Salvation, as we understand it, does not mean to be saved from the penalty of
an infracted law, because, if there is any truth emphasized in the Bible, it is,
that God will by no means clear the guilty. That he that doeth wrong,
shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: -- that God will render to
every man according to his deeds. Clearly then, salvation cannot mean
immunity from deserved punishment. And yet, the common theory, is, that Adam, by
transgression, subjected himself and all his posterity, to "all the ills of this
life, death itself, and the pains of hell forever." And that God, under the name
of the Son, (more merciful than God the Father) willingly suffered the doom
hanging over Adam and his posterity, in his own person on the cross.
Now to say nothing of the outrage which this monstrous theory wages upon
justice, how, we ask, has Christ by his suffering on the cross, averted such a
penalty? He surely saves no one from the ills of this life, because good
and bad alike, are subject to them. And if endless torment was the doom which
Adam brought upon himself and his posterity, and Jesus suffered in room of the
guilty, how, we ask, could he suffer endless torment in the three hours he hung
upon the cross?
We once asked this question of an intelligent Baptist minister, and he
candidly said, "I have often thought of that, and I confess to you, I do not
know how to answer it." But, why should a man hold to a theory which he cannot
harmonize with justice, or common sense, and which carries a palpable
absurdity upon its face? Jesus suffered for us, in behalf of us, but
not in our stead. No innocent being can be punished. He can be tortured, but not
punished, for punishment implies that a wrong has been done, and Christ, we are
persuaded did no wrong.
Salvation, therefore, is not to be screened from just punishment, but it is
deliverance from the reigning power of sin, having all the mainsprings of our
nature brought into harmony with duty, truth, righteousness, love! Until
one is thus influenced, he is in an unsaved state, whether here, or hereafter.
Salvation is not something that is thrust upon us, nor does it come by the
glitter and glare of exoteric surroundings, but from a cleansed fountain
within. It would be well for us all, if we could more fully realize this
vital truth. It would be a call to action, persistent action. Universal
Salvation does not mean that people are to be saved in sin, nor does it mean
that they are to be saved without effort on their part. Holiness is not a thing
that is to be poured into a man like filling a vessel with water, but it is the
quickening of the dormant energies of our nature, and educating them in the
divine life. No sane man could expect to become an educated man, without any
effort on his part, nor should we expect Salvation in any such way.
The well instructed Universalist, will realize, that to be saved, here, or
any where, we must repent of sin, overcome the love and practice of it, by
earnest effort permeated by aspiration and prayer. Universal Salvation,
therefore, is a call to universal repentance -- to universal conversion, which
is evidenced by obedience to the divine law. Therefore, let no one entertain the
idea for a moment, that Universalism ignores the necessity of Christian
character. It is not so. Christian character is Salvation. Let us all
strive for it.
November 1, 1890
The New Birth
By Prof. J. L. Griffin
"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot
see the kingdom of God." -- John 3:3
What is it to be born again, or from above?
-- Answer: It is to be risen with Christ, in newness of life. Having died to
sin, the believer rises as from the dead, to the liberty and enjoyment of Gospel
salvation. Receiving the "exceeding great and precious promises" of the Gospel,
the Christian disciple by these becomes a partaker of the Divine nature, having
escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. --(2 Peter 1)
He is thus dead unto sin, and alive unto righteousness, having ceased to do
evil through an utter abomination of sin, and learned to do well, out of love
for goodness. Such an one is "born again."
This is true conversion, namely, the turning -- the radical and thorough
turning of soul, body, and spirit -- the whole man -- from the love and
practice of sin to the love and practice of virtue -- of holiness. Such a happy
convert to the peace and truth of the Gospel, progresses in the divine lite,
giving all diligence, he adds to his faith virtue [courage], and to virtue (or
courage), knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, to temperance, patience, to
patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, charity.
Such grace, existing and abounding in the Christian disciple, (in the language
of Peter), "make [him] that [he] shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the
knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
As it was necessary, in the days of our Lord, for a Jew, before he could
enter upon and enjoy the privileges and immunities of the Christian faith, to
reject those prejudices and doctrines which militated against the genius and
spirit oc Christianity, so, in these days, he who would enter upon a life of
Gospel truth and peace, must renounce all sin, and (as far as possible) all
error, everthing indeed, that opposes itself to the lovely spirit of grace and
salvation, breathing in all the blessed Gospel of God.
As proof conclusive to my mind, that Universalism is a convertible term for
Christianity, it may with justice be declared that no man can be "born again" --
another -- "from above," no man can realize the joys and blessings of the
Gospel, without imbibing Universalism in its practical influence. -- The
overpowering convictin of the infinite loveliness of the author of all mercies,
and the justice end truth, must so constrain his mind, as to enlist the full and
earnest affections of his whole heart in the delightful service of God. The
affectionate disciple is not made such by merits, but altogether by the
transporting thought that God, who is love, hath first loved him. This is
There are nominal partialists, who, without recognizing, or perhaps without
being cognizant of the existence of the true Universalist spirit, in the
necessary, fundamental princoples of their experience -- as of all Christian
experience -- greatly err in giving credit, where credit does not belong, to
Partialism. This may be relied on -- for candid and intelligent
investigation will establish the fact -- that all the graces and genuine
principles of goodness, which may co-exist with a Partialist "confession of
faith," belong to Universalism! No man can be truly born from above, without
imbibing the spirit of the Doctrine of Love, which comes from above.
The Importance Of the New Birth
We do not unfrequently hear absurd prating about Universalists not believing
in conversion. Why, Universalism is founded in the faith of ultimate Universal
conversion by Divine Grace, and no man can be a true Universalist, who does not
believe in conversion in this life, as an antepast of Final Universal
conversion. Nor can he be a Universalist, in any proper and just sense, who is
not already a converted man. Faith, Repentance, and Conversion, are the
key-notes of the great Salvation ! The Scripture Teachings is, that we must "be
born again," or from above. We must be holy, in order to be happy. Virtue and
happiness co-exist, wickedness and happiness never can.
While holiness and happiness in all worlds are inseparably associates, in
like manner are sin and misery indisolubly joined. If, then, it can be shown to
me that sin exists in the immortal world, I must believe that misery exists
there also. If sin can be proved to reign triumphant over Grace in the eternal
world, it must be at once conceded that unceasing misery exists in that state of
being ! This can never be maintained, however, until Paul's affirmation is
refuted, viz., that "where sin abounded, Grace did much more abound !" -- Rom.
No man can be a consistent disciple of Christ, -- no man can enjoy Gospel
Peace, no man can be rationally happy, who is not "born again" --BORN FROM
J. L. C. G.
Magnolia, N. C.
March 21, 1861
Comfort of Universalism
How thankful should be the Universalist, who can contemplate in all the
scenes and vicissitudes of immortal life, the benign dispensations of "A JUST
GOD AND A SAVIOUR!" -- How delightful must it be, to such a one, to look upon
the trials he has already passed through, as designed by the Universal Father,
to result in ultimate good ! Such a contemplation is fitted to inspire the soul
with the sweetest peace -- to fill the heart with love and gratitude to God, and
thus prepare the mind to receive with resignation and filial trust all the
dispensations of the Father of mercies !
In all circumstances of sorrow, the believer may find abundant consolation in
the glorious gospel of the Blessed God. No hope is half so sweet as the gospel
hope. It binds up the broken heart, cheers the drooping spirit, and sheds a
heavenly calm o'er the troubled sea of life.
"In every scene of sorrow,
In every gloomy hour,
From Christian hope we borrow,
A balm of holy power."
Then hail, blessed Christian hope ! Happy is he who, by the exercise of a
holy faith, can look forward to a reunion, in a world of perfect and unfading
bliss, with fond hearts, with cherished friendships, and who, in prospective,
can behold a renewal of all the holy kindlings of the most ardent affection. All
Universalists can say, "That blessed hope is ours, and let us bless our
affectionate Father in heaven, for the bliss which it imparts, and let us ever
conform our hearts and live to His most holy will."
J. L. C. G.
Magnolia, N. C.
March 21, 1861