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DISCUSSION

ON UNIVERSAL SALVATION,

IN

THRÉE LECTURES AND FIVE ANSWERS

AGAINST THAT DOCTRINE.

BY REV. TIMOTHY MERRITT.

TO WHICH ARE ADDED

TWO DISCOURSES ON THE SAME SUBJECT,

BY REV. WILBUR FISK, A. M.

PUBLISHED BY REQUEST.

NEW YORK,
PUBLISHED BY B. WAUGH AND T. MASON,
For the Methodist Episcopal Church, at the Conference

Office, 200 Mulberry-street

J. Collord, Printer.

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INTRODUCTION.

If the opinion of a great philosopher in England, that every Christian

can write ought to leave something behind him against infidelity, be correct, I may be excused for writing against Universalism, seeing it differs so little from bare-faced Deism. This charge has often been brought against our modern doctrine of universal salvation; and it is worth the time of any person to trace the points of agreement between the two systems. The following are some of them. They agrec,

1. In asserting the doctrine of philosophical necessily, or fule, as governing the actions of men, and rejecting the conditionality of salvation.

2. In rejecting the infallible inspiration of the Bible, or certain parts of it, as will be scen in the course of the following discussion.

3. In rejecting the doctrine of natural depravity.

4. In denying the Divinity of Jesus Christ. 5. In denying the incarnation of Christ.

6. In denying atonement by the vicarious sufferings of Christ.

7. In denying the doctrine of the Trinity.

8. In their representations of the law and of sin.

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9. In denying future judgment and future punishment. 10. In their moral influence upon society.

11. In the motives they hold out to reformation. And I might say that Universalists agree with Deists,

12. In treating experimental religion with contempt, and sneering at piety as though it were superstition.

13. In assuming a higher order of intellect, superior understanding, and freedom from the shackles of bigotry and superstition.

14. In overlooking the arguments of their opponents, and asserting what has been confuted again and again.

15. In the arts of sophistry which they employ in support of their cause.

These facts I cannot illustrate in this introduction; and with those who are acquainted with the two systems there will be no need of either illustration or proof. But if Universalism and Deism are substantially the same in these points, there is no difference between them except in name; and this renders the former more dangerous and more detestable than the latter.

Here infidelity is seen stalking through the land in a garb which she has stolen from the sanctuary ; by means of which she has deceived many of those who were "willingly ignorant” in a matter where inclination was opposed to duty, and where self indulgence had the promise of impunity. But the moment you remove this partial covering

this;

and look her full in the face, you may read infidelity and despair in every feature. I know the Universalists will be offended at

and I say it only because the truth compels the unwelcome assertion. If they deny this charge let them meet us fairly. Let them show by facts and arguments wherein we are deceived, and wherein we misrepresent them. Till they do this we cannot cease to warn our fellow men against so dangerous a delusion. But I fear we are not all clear in this matter, and especially that the ministers of the Gospel have not sounded the alarm as loudly and repeatedly as they ought to have done. They have seen and lamented the baneful effects of this doctrine wherever it has obtained

any

footing; but the dread of controversy, and the fear that noticing it might give it a consequence to which it was not entitled, have induced many to stand aloof from the contest, and thus, this new-fangled divinity, meeting with little opposition, bas spread itself through the land. Thus did not the apostles, and confessors, and inartyrs, and reformers; but they attacked every prevailing error that threatened the subversion of true religion, however weak and contemptible, popular or powerful it might be. And this is a duty enjoined upon the ministers of the Gospel by the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls.

With these views and impressions I have from time to time raised my feeble voice against this pernicious error; and particu.

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