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hope of a final happiness, in spite of any guilty abatement or postponement of that happiness, than by the doctrine that makes godliness the condition of the gain or total loss of the happiness?
I have watched the progress of phrenology, and have read some phrenological books. I am sure that multitudes of them make virtue the means and happiness the end, as if virtue were not intrinsically good. Many of them manifestly use words of moral and religious import in a merely physical sense, as Epicurus doubtless did when he wrote a book about holiness. In fact, much of the phrenological philosophy is strictly Epicurean, making pleasure the highest good, and prudence the highest virtue. Of the phrenologists the great majority I think are Universalists ; — many because they have found in their science special and striking proofs of the goodness of God in the economy of Pain — of which hereafter. But many of them are Universalists on the happiness principle. These are no disparagement to those who are nobler minded; but the fact is proper to be named among the causes of the faith.
4. Important among these causes are various modern reforms, such as those of criminal codes, of prison discipline, and of the treatment of the insane, and efforts in behalf of the intemperate, of abandoned females, and of vagrant children. All these reforms have grown out of a kindlier feeling of humanity, and they have all encouraged a higher faith in the salvability of those who seemed beyond hope. Many who had been given up as lost have been recovered back to the paths of virtue. These reforms are an honor to our age, and no lover of his kind should discourage the last effort to save the fallen. They are our brothers and our sisters all. But the question still remains whether the cases of reformation form so large an induction as to warrant the inference of a general salvation in the holiness and blessedness of God's kingdom. This question I reserve for the next chapter, where I shall examine the doctrine of the “ good in all,” which is one form of the Universalist faith.
5. Philanthropic effort in behalf of the slave is another occasion of this faith. 6 God hath made of one blood all nations of men.” There is a human brotherhood, and a divine Fatherhood ; and he is false to humanity and piety who does not recognize and live out this truth. But whether the fact warrants the faith in question is to be considered.
6. Modern Spiritualism has doubtless promoted the belief of the final salvation of all. I would not by any means confound the two doctrines; for the majority of Universalists may think no more of the supposed revelations of Spiritualism than I do. And I shall have no occasion to discuss their merits. I simply name the fact that nearly all Spiritualists are Universalists, and may refer to the opinions of some Spiritualists when I come to the scripture doctrine of immortality.
7. I think that Universalists have thought less than others of the infinitude of blessing implied in eternal life, and have thus been more ready to regard eternal life as the destiny of all. I think this is the fact because I have frequently heard Universalists speak of it as unjust if the sufferings of this life are not to be compensated with endless joy; or, as if the eternal life of some instead of all would be an unequal partiality in God. The reasons for the fact are various.
(1.) Universalists have not been compelled to ponder and weigh an infinite boon in order to justify a supposed exposure to an infinite woe. This is an orthodox habit of mind, which is exceedingly interesting, and which is one of the more common methods of vindicating the divine justice. God is so good as to offer immortal glory to man, once and again. If man declines — refuses. rejects - scorns the offer, does he not deserve the pains of hell? How shall we escape endless pangs, if we neglect so great salvation ? Such is the argument; and it is so piausible that I have heard of one Universalist preacher who in a pardonable vexation with the people for not welcoming his faith said that if there was not a hell there ought to be one. The orthodox reasoning on this subject is indeed a monstrous perversion, which, pressed to its consequences, involves the notiun that, from the beginning and for
ever, infinite evil has as good a right of possession and may claim as fair a chance in the universe as infinite good.
But, notwithstanding this fearful corollary, the orthodox man, compelled to offset an infinite good against an infinite evil, has got some benefit of the process. With this doctrine of election, or selection, he bas thought intensively, has intently considered the powers of the world to come,” has reckoned the “unsearchable riches” until he has felt that they were past computation, and has contemplated the “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” until not only the heaviest temporal calamities have seemed a light affliction,” but even the hazards of deathless pain, however imminent, have seemed of little account.
The method of the Universalist, on the other hand, has been the extensive. He has enlarged the range of the eternal life, making it comprehend the entire host of the human race, and the whole range of God's intelligent creatures. The orthodox estimates have been those of magnitude ; the Universalist, those of multitude. And I believe that many Universalists have sought to enlarge the bounds of the eternal weal (they can not make them wider than I shall) because they have less fathomed its depths.
I think the early Christians had an advantage here. With no eternal evil to fear for any, but deeming themselves called by God's free gift, freely received, to be “heirs of glory,” joint heirs with Christ of all that eternity can yield, they gained some sense of what is “ Length, and Breadth, and Depth, and Height," in the computations of the celestial kingdom. Hence we cease to wonder that when fiery trials came, and not the strong men only, but delicate women and children of tender age were killed all day long, counted out like sheep for the butcher, - they thought they more than conquered, in the name of the Prince of Life who had loved them unto death. The early Christian martyrdoms served as a precedent for the courage of the later martyrs, burdened with the tenet of eternal woe. Let that burden be removed, and the “great sal vation ” be great not as from an infinite evil, but as for an
eternal and ever augmenting good, -- and when poor, weak men, born of yesterday, shall begin to reckon the magnitude of the salvation, modesty may inspire some doubt whether all are thus saved. To be indeed “children of the Most High,”
sons of God,” “ kings and priests” unto the Lord of all, may be so high an honor that an “election,” or selection, shall not be a very unworthy doctrine.
(2.) The slight estimate of which I speak is in part due to a reaction from a false heavenly mindedness. There are many professing Christians who seem to do christian duties because they lead on to eternal glory. This is what Coleridge has well styled “the-other-worldliness," - trying to be godly, not because it is right, but because it will pay well. This is a gross perversion, the over-working and abuse of considerations that should be properly used, for cherishing of gratitude and for comfort in tribulation. It is the counterfeit doing harm to the genuine. And this spurious piety is specially mischievous when it assumes that the degree of future glory is never affected by one's attainments in virtue, but that the best and the worst of the saved will be at once and equally blessed when they pass the pearly gates a doctrine which the parable of the laborers in the vineyard was never designed to teach. This selfish and miraculous theory of future glory is justly repudiated by many Universalists, who find the law and the measure of happiness in virtue itself. Science and philosophy are discovering to men close and natural connections between welldoing and well-being. A very important gospel this - or, rather, a very important law of all gospel. But it may go too far with its doctrine of natural processes, sinking the supernatural in these, and losing itself in the finite, which is its proper sphere. And it will be well if in the rigor of moral law men do not forget the miracle of infinito love that has offered immortal life to those who had incurred some sort of death.
(3.) The light estimate of eternity is also due, in part, to the secular prosperity of this age, and to the unwonted preaching of the gospel in its secular bearings. The gospel easily catches
the spirit of the times; and in this age of social wealth, with its new social interests and pressing problems, the attention of Christians is a little turned away from heaven to earth. In the gospel for the times many things are said that are immensely true and important. There is a gospel for the drunkard, for the harlot, for the pauper, and for the slave; and woe be to us if we preach not all these gospels. Yet they are all worthless and false, and they will surely degenerate into mere temporalities, if they are not leavened and permeated with the old gospel of salvation from sin and death, for a life that runs parallel with the eternal being of God. We have need to remember what Archbishop Leighton once said, when reproached for not preaching up the times.
He hoped that while so many were preaching up the times, he might be excused if one humble servant of Jesus Christ should preach up Heaven and Eternity.