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the lepers, and casts out devils, and puts man in paradise before he dies; it taketh from death its sting, from the devil his power, from the serpent his poison, and is the destruction of misery, sin, darkness, death, the devil, and hell; and from the beginning to the end of time, and forever, the one blessed work of God, is the one work of love. To which all the people must unite (see p. 84) to say Amen.
Of the Origin and Progress of the Doctrine of UNIVERSAL SALVATION,
As far as may be necessary to illustrate the same.
In the prosecution of this subject, we will first carefully examine throughout the sacred volume, to ascertain what proof there is therein of the final happiness of all men; and to examine by whom it has been believed and preached previous to the present day.
Though I think I have clearly proved the truth of the doctrine, in the preceding discourse, and that without reference to the scriptures, or aid therefrom for proof, or but very little. Yet it will be much more satisfactory to most, if not all readers, if it can be clearly proved by the scriptures; and if so, it must be a cause of joy to all men who wish for their own happiness, and that of their fellow-creatures.
I shall begin where I find the first intimations given of the doctrine, and trace it from thencedown to the present day. I shall follow it just as, and where I find it, and impartially and candidly state whatever I may meet with relating to it.
If the doctrine of the salvation and final happiness of all men, be a truth, and what our Creator intended should be accomplished, we might reasonably expect to find a knowledge of it communicated throughout the sacred writings; and
I think we shall find it so-and sundry passages, it is very probable, that many readers have not particularly noticed before.*
Though it is a scriptural doctrine, (which no person can deny when they examine the numerous passages I shall produce,) yet most people in Christendom have, for centuries past, been such strangers to it, that it may be said to be "The mystery hid from ages, and from generations, but now made manifest." Though so far from being a new doctrine, as many people ignorantly imagine, it is the first that ever was preached, and that by God himself, to our first parents, in the garden of Eden. It may now be seen, that the preaching of the same, with a gradual increase of light on the subject, has been continued from age to age, "by all God's holy prophets since the world began," by Christ and his apostles, and by other believers to the present day.
I now proceed and if we find that the plain sense of prophecy authorizes us to expect the restoration of all mankind at last, to a state of subjection to God, and deliverance from all evil, and its consequences, and to holiness and happiness, let no one reject the doctrine because it has not been generally believed by mankind; but if it is proved to be a scriptural doctrine, all men surely have an interest, and cause to rejoice in it.
The first intimations of mercy to the first pa
*When texts of scripture are sometimes cited in support of this doctrine, it is not uncommon for unbelievers to say, they don't recollect ever reading such a text; and the Bible is often produced to convince them that it conains such passages as are quoted in support of universal salvation.
rents of the human family, after their transgression, was by way of promise, that there should be one who would destroy that which had led them into evil, called the serpent.
"I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed, and her seed: It (or he) shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Gen. iii. 15.)
This is short, but very comprehensive; and it may be called the foundation on which is built all that follows, relating to man's salvation. It is generally agreed that Christ is the very person intended by the seed of the woman. A bruise of the heel is painful, (and much pain has evil caused all mankind since,) but a bruise of the head is mortal; and implies, that however great the evil caused by Satan to mankind might be, evil should finally be destrroyed, and they restored. If by bruising the serpent's head, which means Satan, is certain death to him, then there must be an end to his power, and consequently to the misery of all mankind.
Exactly according to what is said by the tle, (1 John iii. 8.) "For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” And again, (Heb. ii. 4,) "That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil."
Thus we are clearly taught, that "the seed of the woman (Christ) shall bruise the serpent's head." Do not those who advocate the heartappalling doctrine of endless wo, teach that Christ's errand was to save the world? Do they not also teach that it is the object of Satan to damn the world, and bring ruin on all he can? Who then will gain the victory, Christ or the ad
versary? Do they not acknowledge that it is the design of Christ to bruise the serpent's head?And will he never be able to accomplish it? No. Why? Because of the stubbornness of many men, they will not be obedient. May not that stubbornness and disobedience be called Satan's, as it is caused by him? And is it not the object of Satan to bruise or afflict forever the members of Christ, or those whom he came to save?
And will Satan not accomplish it, if he be permitted to exercise his endless ire over many, or even one of Christ's members; for if one member suffer, all the members, (or the whole body,) suffer with it? Instead of Christ's effecting his design and bruising the serpent's head, we are taught by this horrid doctrine, that the reverse will be effected"—that a great part of mankind will be bruised and afflicted forever; and the accursed head of Satan shall not be bruised, but be crowned with being conqueror of millions of souls, whom he, in his den, will rage and reign over forever. Is it not the most stupid nonsense to believe this, and at the same time to talk about Christ's bruising the serpent's head? How, in the name of common sense, is his head bruised, if he thus lives and reigns forever?———— Why, it may be said, it is only bruised a little, not more, nor indeed so much, as he has bruised the heel of Christ.
But we will proceed, and follow on the blessed doctrine of the salvation of all men, as it progresses in the scriptures; and we will see more and more, how the serpent's head will be effectually bruised, and the destruction of evil, and its consequent misery.