Page images

any injury; but if we do not no other agreement can do us any good. Let us keep a strict guard against the enemy “ that sows discord among brethren." Let us endeavor to “ keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace.” May charity, that heaven born companion of the human heart, never forsake us ; and may the promise of the Saviour be fulfilled concerning us, “Lo I am with you even unto the end of the world."

You have now kind reader, cast your eye over these pages ; perhaps you feel to say, “the doctrine of universal holiness and happiness cannot be true, notwithstanding all the author has said in favor of it; and if so, we condemn you not. The time has been, when we believed as little of the doctrine as you now do; we never adopted the belief of universal holiness and happiness out of choice, but from the force of real or suppoesd evidence. And we know you cannot believe it, on any other ground. We hope, however, you feel no enmity to so glorious a system of God's grace; we hope you have the spirit of Christ, and wish well to mankind. We have besure, great consolation in believing that our Redeemer has many faithful servants and loving disciples in the world, who do not believe in the extensiveness of salvation as we do, and we often take great satisfaction in feasts of charity, with such brethren. St. Peter was undoubtedly a lover of Christ and his gospel, before he was taught by the sea of Joppa to call no man common or unclean. The rest of the disciples, who were dissatisfied with his preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, were doubtless possessed of the spirit of Christ, which caused them to glorify God when they had more extensive views of thc gospel, through Peter's communications. As far as we see men walk in the spirit of love to God and one another, we feel an union with them, whether their particular sentiments are ours or not. Men cannot believe at will; we believe as evidence appears to our mind. The times have been, when each denomination has been proscribed, and, in some measure, persecuted. Each as it rose has been censured by

those who could not fall in with their doctrine ; and what does all this condemning one another prove, only the imperfections of all, and the badness of the human heart? You will not think evil of me, kind reader, if I exhort you not to feel too hard against what you may find to be your duty to acknowledge. It grieved Peter when his Lord asked him the third time, if he loved him, as he had denied him thrice. There are many universalists now who have frequent occasion to confess how hard they have been against the doctrine, and how much they have spoken unadvisedly with their lips against what they now rejoice to believe is truth, and humbly adore the Saviour of sinners for opening their eyes to behold such unspeakable beauties. If you attend to the exhortation, to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, undoubtedly you may see more of the riches of his goodness than you now do. The prophet Ezekiel's knowledge of the holy waters was progressive, and obtained by degrees: When he was first led into the waters, they were only to his ancles; but he went still further, and they were to his knees; he went still further, and they were to his loins; he went further, and the waters were risen, waters for men to swim in, a river that no man could pass. Had the prophet refused to travel in these waters, after he first entered them, he would not have known nor believed them to be so multitudinous as they were. A soul, in the earliest moments of heavenly love, is first unspeakably charmed with the untold beauties and graces of his Redeemer; next, wife, children, father, mother, brothers, sisters, all friends, directly enemies, and finally all mankind are embraced in the extended arms of heavenly love and divine benevolence.

I close this work, humbly hoping and expecting the glorious increase and extensive growth of what I have (though feebly) contended for, viz. the holiness and happiness of mankind. I look, with strong expectation, for that period, when all sin, and every degree of unreconciliation will be destroyed, by the divine power of that love which is stronger than death, which many

waters connot quench, nor the floods drown; in which alone I put my trust, and in which my hope is anchored for all mankind; earnestly praying, that the desire o the righteous may not be cut off.

The fulness of times will come, and the times of the restitution of all things will be accomplished. Then shall truth be victorious, and all error flee to eternal night. Then shall universal songs of honor be sung to the praise of him who liveth forever and ever. All death, sorrow and crying, shall be done away; pains and disorders shall be no more felt, temptations no more trouble the lovers of God, nor sin poison the human heart. The blessed hand of the once crucified shall wipe tears from off all faces. O, transporting thought! Then shall the blessed Saviour see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied, when, through his mediation, universal nature shall be brought in perfect union with truth and holiness, and the spirit of God fill all rational beings. Then shall the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which maketh free from the law of sin, become the governing principle of the whole man once made subject to vanity, once inthraled in darkness, sin and misery, but then, delivered from the bondage of corruption, and restored to perfect reconciliation to God in the heavenly Adam. Then shall the great object of the Saviour's mission be accomplished. Then shall the question be asked, O death where is thy sting? But death shall not be, to give the answer. And, O grave, where is thy victory? But the boaster shall be silent. The Son shall deliver up the kingdom to God the Father ; the eternal radiance shall smile, and God shall be ALL in ALL.

« PreviousContinue »