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ly embrace it. On the contrary, the doctrine of future punishment is so ungrateful to the natural heart, that nothing but the fullest evidence of truth could induce men generally to believe it. It is next to a miracle, therefore, that the christian world should, for so many ages, embrace the doctrine of future punishment, and reject that of universal salvation, were not the doctrine of universal salvation most evidently false, and that of future punishment most evidently true. In no case ought the general voice of the christian world to have more weight, than in this. It proves demonstrably, that the plain, obvious meaning of the bible is against universalism, and in favor of future punishment.

CHAPTER III.

REASONS DEDUCED FROM PROOFS, WHY SO MANY CHRISTIANS HAVE, FOR AGES, BELIEVED IN ENDLESS PUNISHMENT.

Restorationist. It does evidently appear that the faith of God's impartial grace, has been, and now is opposed by the prejudices of men. The Jews first embraced christianity, who for a long series of years had received special favors, such as no Gentile nation enjoyed. The Israelites were elected, while the Gentiles were left in a reprobate state. But they formed an erroneous idea by believing that the reprobation of the hea. thens would be of endless duration, when they themselves had been chosen for the good of the non-elect; and not elected to

endless happiness any more than were the Gentiles, but to bring about the birth of the Saviour of the whole world. Now when they embraced christianity, they retained some of their former prejudices, not believing that the Gentiles would be fellow heirs of the great salvation, which blinded them to Christ's plain commands, and prevented them from understanding the prophecies. They judged according to appearances; because the Lord had not saved the heathens, they thought he never would, although he had solemnly promised to; they waited to see his promises verified. Just so now, christians judge according to appearances, and because they cannot see that all are saved from their sins in this life, they judge that they never will be. But if they would judge according to God's promises, not waiting to see them verified, they would then judge righteous judgment.

But not withstanding the prejudices of the first preachers of christianity, the Lord unbiassed their minds by making known to them the mystery of his will, to "reconcile all to himself by Christ," and " in the dispensation of the fullness of time, gather together in one all things in Christ" then they preached the ministry of reconciliation, declaring that "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself." "God's will to save all men" had been kept a mystery. Yet they found it more necessary to establish a belief in the risen Saviour than in any other tenet,—and to " believe,with all the heart that Jesus Christ was the Son of God," qualified a person to be received into the number of believers. But when it became customary to confess their faith in other articles, divisions arose. By that time, quite a number from Gentile nations had become believ ers in christianity, yet mixing in some of their former opinions, one of which, it is said, was a belief of never ending misery, which was also said to be believed by some of the Jews, who were also partial to their former way of worship, so that it became needful to caution them against seeking to be justified

by the law. Certain of them taught the Gentile converts saying, "Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved." But Paul assured both Jew and Gentile that if they confessed with their mouth the Lord Jesus, and believed in their heart that God had raised him from the dead, they should be saved. - See Rom. 10: 11.

In about sixty-three years after Christ, a schism arose in the church at Corinth, for which Paul wrote thus: "Now, I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no division among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now, this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ," 1 Cor. 1: 10-12. "For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal ?" — Chap. 3: 4.

From this we learn that in the year eighty-three of the Christian Era, divisions arose in the church. They were so carnal as to wish to be called by different names. Doubtless they differed on articles of faith. Some, in that early period, believed that God would reconcile the world to himself, and save all men. Yet we may conclude they loved as brethren, not keep. ing stated marks of distinction, whereby Christ's followers might be estranged. It appears that their love was so great that contentions were easily settled. Hypocrites had nothing to allure them into the church; for both Jews and Gentiles, persecuted those who turned from them, so that the primitive christians suffered as it were the loss of all things.

The chief priests and elders of the Jews so malignantly abused the christians, that their conduct was styled the mystery of iniquity. But at the destruction of Jerusalem, they were taken out of the way. Then had the church more rest, still persevering in their work of faith; and God crowned their labors

with success; thousands of converts were added, and churches gathered in great numbers.

At the expiration of three centuries, the Roman empire was filled with the disciples of Jesus; then an event occurred which at first was thought to be favorable to the cause of christianity, but which eventually proved otherwise. Emperors, kings and princes, became its patrons; and by offering ecclesiastical liv. ings, they allured the unworthy to enter the christian ministry. Hypocrites professed to be christians, and thus the church became amalgamated with the world. Civil power defended it. This state of things paved the way for the establishment and usurpation of the man of sin, mentioned by Paul, 2 Thes. 2: 3. And set a worse mystery of iniquity to work than was taken out of the way to give it place. For until the churches had rest from persecution, they could not be so carnal as to fall away from the true spirit of Christ, and persecute and put to death those who dissented respecting any one article of their creed, which they had established by law. But that man of sin was revealed in their midst, and put dissenters to death in a manner more cruel than the leaders of the Jews did the christians when they dissented from them. Read 2 Thes. 2: 38. This was an hour of temptation. Hear what the Lord said to one of the churches: "I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it; for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast ied my name. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Rev. 3: 8-10.

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Whether by that church, the Waldenses were meant, I leave the reader to judge; they, as history relates, were Universal Restorationists, and did not yield to that hour of temptation; but when hunted down as it were like wild beasts, fled peace. ably into the wilderness, where they could enjoy the faith once delivered to the saints; thus universalism was kept,

I would now notice that Christ's visible church upon earth, in bible phraseology, is termed heaven, or the kingdom of heaven, while those that are without are styled earth. For consideration, the following is to be mentioned: And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth; and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days.

Might not the same church that was to be kept from the hour of temptation, be represented by being called a woman, clothed with the sun to denote the light of divine truth enjoyed by that church? Feminine terms are used to represent the church. Travailing, a term used to denote that converts were added. Is it not written that; " When Zion travaileth she shall bring forth children?" May we not likewise understand that the great red dragon represented the civil law, which support. ed the faith of the Roman Catholics to the putting down of universalists, and all who differed from the popes?—and that, by giving power to the beast, meaning the popes in succession, he stood before the woman to devour those who should be born into the faith she enjoyed, as soon as they embraced it. Man child signifies strength; the truth is powerful. The dragon, nor beast, could not destroy it; God has preserved it, and like

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