What is Universalism

(From the "Universalist Herald," February 15, 1891)

What is Universalism? The belief that every soul will obey God sometime, somewhere. Suppose the soul says, as thousands do, "I will not obey?" God will punish it until it comes to itself and says, "I will obey." Suppose the sinner dies and goes to hell in that condition? He does not have to die in order to go to hell. Every soul that says that is in hell already, but death makes no difference with the necessity laid upon him to repent. God wants him and he cannot go to any place where God is not. He must obey, but is not may free? No, only in a limited sense. Man is under law which he cannot evade and a necessity to obey which he cannot escape.

Has man no freedom? Yes he can choose how much he will force God to punish him before he will yield and obey.

May he not exhaust God's resources and wear out His patience? No, it is impossible. In view of this, what is the only sane thing for man to do? Turn at once in obedience. Since he must obey some time, why postpone it? Because every hour it is put off means an hour of loss and pain not only for the sinner but for the whole race of man, since while one is wretched all must be and every step into sin is a step which must be painfully retraced.

Does not this doctrine encourage laxness? No, it brings men face to face with the irresistible God and shows them that the fight against Him is the fool's fight.

What is the effect of this on the true believer? Seeing the folly, pain, and uselessness of disobedience, he begins at once a sincere effort to learn and obey God's will himself and then, uses every possible means to turn his fellow men to obedience.

Does not this doctrine cut the nerve out of missionary enterprise? No, it is itself the nerve and sinew of all true missionary enterprise.

What of those who sometimes take our name but do none of these things? They are not Universalists. They are only anti-orthodox or some other negative people. (The Church of the Redeemer, 1891)

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