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sient evils will issue well-will have a HAPPY CONCLUSION, and that MERCY FIRST AND LAST WILL REIGN.' He will never intermit the blessed work. of his Spirit until he has fulfilled ALL HIS PROMISES, until he hath put a period to sing and misery. and death, and re-established universal holiness and happiness, and caused all the inhabitants of the earth to sing together, Hallelujah! the Lord God omnipotent reigneth,”. &c. In
page 202, after speaking of the wretched and unhappy state of millions, occasioned by sin, he says, “ Miserable lot of such innumerable multitudes, who, insignificant as they seem, are the offspring of one common Father, the creatures of the same God of Love! Then certainly, like a merciful Father, he will not suffer them eternally to perish.” And again, in page 203, he adds, 6 So there will be no more sorrow or crying. Nay, there will be a greater deliverance than all this; for there will be no more sin.” And in page 177, after speaking of the present awful and wretched state of man, he says, "Such is the present state of mankind, in all parts of the world! But how astonishing is this, if there is a God in heaven, and if his eyes are over all the earth? Can he despise the work of his own hand? Surely this is one of the greatest mysteries under heaven? How is it possible to reconcile this either with the wisdom or goodness of God ?"[Ah, truly, this is just what we say—that it is impossible.) “ And what can give ease to a Thoughtful mind, under so melancholy a pros
[Yes, to think that only one fellowcreature will be eternally miserable.] 4 What but the consideration, that things will not always
be so; that another scene will be opened. God will be jealous of his honour, he will maintain his own cause. He will judge the prince of this world, and spoil him of his usurped dominionHe will give the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. ****
It is decided that the world of mankind shall belong to Christ, and that Satan shall be cast out, and have no power within the bounds of Christ's kingdom.”
And page 171, is on the same subject of the deliverance of all men from sin and suffering“ And death, the last enemy of man, shall be destroyed at the resurrection.' In
page 156, he says, “ Allowing the whole creation now groaneth together, under the sin of man, cur comfort is that it will not always groan. The whole creation shall then be delivered both from moral and natural corruption. And the WHOLE RACE OF MANKIND shall know,
and love, and serve God, and reign with him forever.” If the whole race of mankind shall love and serve God, then surely all will be saved. More full and complete universal salvation I never heard preached, or saw written, by any Universalist, than this of Wesley. It is his own language, verbatim, and widely different from modern Methodism. It is observed by a late writer, that “Wesley was far from believing that the term HELL, (so much used among modern Methodists,) ever once signified, or meant endless misery. Nay, more, he was so far from believing that the term HELL signified or meant, a state of endless misery for any soul, that he did not even believe, that by the mere term hell, was meant or signified a
state of misery at all after death; no, not even temporary misery of the duration of a single moment; but clearly shows, in a discourse on that subject, in his 9th vol. that the term hell
, is a translation of the Greek word hades that the word hell, in English, signifies precisely the same thing as hades, in the Greek; not a place of misery, any more than a place of happiness, but simply the grave, or state of the dead, and as truly the place of the righteous as of the wicked, until the resurrection. Then he says, all its captives shall be delivered, and death and hades, or hell, shall be utterly abolished forever. And in page 171, 5th vol. after telling us, that all error, pain, and all bodily infirmities, will cease and be destroyed by death, he adds, “And death itself, the last enemy of man, shall be destroyed at the resurrection. The moment that we hear the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God, then shall be fulfilled the saying that is written, · Death is swallowed up in victory; this corruptible body shall put on incorruption; and the son of God shall destroy the last work of the devil.""
I know it can be shewn in many parts of Wesley's writings, that he believed in everlasting misery; but it was in the latter part of his life, (like most others I havé mentioned,) that he believed in universal salvation; though he had doubts about everlasting punishment long before.* But to conclude, if
of the Metho
* I think I am as well acquainted with Wesley as any man can be hy reading, having read most of what he published, (and I now think my time might have been better employed, his Journals, 40 vols, duodecimo, his Christian Library, 40 vols. duodecimo, which contain many of his sermons, Natural Philosophy, 3 vois, octavo, Ecclesiastical His. tory, 2 vols. duodecimo, Brooks’ Fool of Quality, a novel improved, 3
dist clergy of the present day, who are anxious for an eternal hell, can prove after all that has been stated and quoted from his own writings, (and more might be quoted,) that he did not believe in universal salvation, then we can say that he was repeatedly in the practice of contradicting himself, or that he believed contrary to what he wrote. But from Winchester's testimony, whose veracity was never disputed, there can be no doubt but that he was, as another writer says of him, a firm believer in the glorious and joyful doctrine of the Salvation of all souls.
How many hundreds besides those I have mentioned, yes, I may say thousands of sincere men, have had their doubts of the truth of this cruel, unmerciful doctrine of everlasting misery. One who wrote nearly 80 years ago, (see page 159,) says, " Far be it from me to impute this cruel doctrine to all Protestants, for I am persuaded, that there is a great number among them, who approve of this blessed doctrine of the restoration; and do not dispeople the glorious kingdom of Christ in such a manner, as those who believe that innumerable millions will be cast off forever."
Out of many who have disbelieved, some have had the boldness to declare against it; and no doubt we should have had an account of many more, if it had not been for a regard for their character, and standing in churches, or societies
vols. duodecimo, magazines, and various other publications and pamphlets. He was about as industrious a man, in his way, as ever lived: he spent not a moment's idle time. Having in his travels come to a ferry to cross a river, and had to wait for a boat, he looked at his watch and exclaimed, “ Good Lord! I have lost ten minutes forever."
to which they have been united. And many more would have preached against it, if it had not been on account of their salaries. I am confident there are hundreds of preachers in the present day, who no more believe the doctrine of eternal torment than I do; but they keep silent for reasons mentioned in
But it will not always be so: after the ice is all broken, and cleared away by others, who dare now venture, then they will come out.
It is certain, that many of whiom I have ready and of whom I have had personal knowledge, once believed the doctrine of endless misery, but disbelieved it when they became advanced
years, and more seriously considered of it, and have been more able to divest themselves of the prejudices of education. The sooner people begin to seriously consider about their poor fellow-creatures being tormented eternally, and to think how contrary it is to the little love and mercy that they feel, and how much more it must be to the infinite love and mercy of God, the sooner they will disbelieve it. I began to considcr of it, and to doubt, at about the age of five and twenty, when I preached the doctrine. Though it often felt very disagreeable, and it appeared to me to be crael, that a fellow-creature should be pun.
* It is stated in a New-York periodical publication, (June 1, 1822,) that a calvinistic clergyman, in conversation with several persons, declaredo
I am a believer in Universalism, so is every man of sense and intelligence in the world. The doctrine is not only rational, but scriptural. A man must be a great skeptic, an arrant fool, or a consummate knave, to with stand the flood of testimony in favour of this sentiment. I do believe all men will be saved; but it will not do to preach it.” Why, sir? “I canhot get supported handsomely and comfortably if I was publicly to avow this doctrine.” The truth will come out sometimes, when it is even against the character and interest of the speaker.