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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

UNIVERSALISM. —Three different, though connected, problems are raised by this word: (1) The universality of Christianity as a gospel for all races (as against the early Ebionism (wh. see) which confined Christianity to the circumcised); (2) the universal purpose of Christ’s death—for ‘all men’ (as against the Augustinian and Calvinistic doctrine of Christ’s death on behalf of those elected out of the mass of sinful mankind); (3) the ultimate salvation of all souls (as against the eternal suffering of the wicked; or, their destruction; or perhaps as against uncertainty—subjective uncertainty, due to our ignorance, or objective uncertainty, due to the indefiniteness of the sentence of the Great Day; see below).—A study of Christ and the Gospels is very specially concerned with the first problem.

I. Universality of Christianity .— 1. There are two ways in which religions qualify as ‘universal.’ They may reveal the missionary impulse (Zoroastrianism? see Jackson, Zoroaster the Prophet of Ancient Iran , 1899, p. 92; Modern Hinduism, sucking up hill-tribes into its fellowship?). Or in addition they may simplify very greatly—in contrast with the legal or national character of developed systems of religion in the ancient world.

Buddhism went furthest in the way of simplifying. From the first, apparently, a proselyte might have the benefits of Buddhism without renouncing the practices of his former faith; and at this hour many of the population of China are said to practise concurrently the three religions—Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism. Muhammadanism is missionary and is simple, but it institutes a new legalism in the strictest sense. Pre-Christian Judaism, in its proselytizing, revealed the missionary impulse; but simplification of ritual—a simplified creed was hardly needed—could not be granted, unless to the σεβόμενοι (‘devout persons’); and their position was theoretically very insecure.

2. The Apostolic Church had the missionary impulse, but practised the OT law as inherited custom; was it also sacred duty? The question threatened to rend the new fellowship. Should the missionary impulse be given free scope? And should life be simplified—in the first instance, for those of Gentile birth—by abrogation of OT law? Or should the missionary impulse be slowly throttled by Jewish laws and customs? Both parties were pushed back, and led to define their principles more sharply. The Judaizers claim that the Law is necessary to salvation ( Acts 15:1), or at least to full salvation ( Galatians 3:3). St. Paul justifies his attitude of antagonism by declaring that the Gentile Christian, who accepts circumcision and the Law, renounces Christ ( Galatians 5:2-4). On both sides, law is treated, not as customary, but as religious in value—good religion to the Judaizers, bad religion to St. Paul (though in mere custom he himself ‘became a Jew to win Jews,’  1 Corinthians 9:20). In the end the various sections of Christian Jews all died out, or merged themselves in the rival camps—the Synagogue and the Catholic Church. It may seem as if universalism failed. Christianity has been known to history as a Gentile and non-Jewish institution—a strange state of matters, were we not blinded by familiarity. And in other ways, too, success has been very partial. No religion, not even the Christian, has ever attained the destiny of universal sway to which all the higher prophetic religions aspire. Yet Christianity persists in claiming that it is truly universal. It excludes none. The Jewish people excludes itself. (Individual Jews, of course, are entangled in hereditary custom, and can break away only by self-will or moral heroism).

3. The simplifying of religion, which was carried through in controversy by St. Paul, begins uncontroversially in the teaching of Jesus. He brings the Law to a principle ( Matthew 7:12) or to a pair of principles, drawn from different parts of the OT ( Deuteronomy 6:5,  Leviticus 19:18), and recognized by the Master as connected by an inward likeness ( Matthew 22:37-40 ||). All these principles, of course, are moral and indifferent to ceremonial. So, too, the religious life is brought to a single principle by the name which Jesus steadily uses for God. If God is our Father, religion is sonship. This is a simplifying of the highest order—a simplifying which is also a deepening, an ennobling, a perfecting of the religious life. Thus Christ’s teaching is universalist at the core. If religion consists in the belief of God’s Fatherhood and in love to man, there is no reason why a Jew should be preferred to a Gentile. Nor do corollaries from these principles fail to appear in the teaching of Christ. He rejects, as lacking Divine authority, that tradition ( Matthew 15:3-9 ||) by means of which the Pharisees, morally the most earnest among the Jews, safeguarded the OT law and applied it to new details, at the cost of making it ever more and more a burden. He hints repeatedly that ceremonies, even those taught by the OT, are of inferior moment in comparison with moral duty ( Matthew 9:16-17,  Matthew 12:7, cf.  Matthew 17:26,  Matthew 22:21 ||). He speaks of sin and pardon ( Matthew 9:6 ||,  Luke 7:48), and of His own approaching death ( Matthew 20:28 ||,  Matthew 26:28 ||), in words which send us back to the prediction of a ‘new covenant’ ( Jeremiah 31:31). And thus He connects the new body of principles contained in His teaching with His own Person and destiny.

4. On the other hand, the universalist corollary itself seems strangely absent. For Christ conceives His calling upon earth as confined to Israel ( Matthew 15:24 ||). His intercourse with Gentiles ( Matthew 8:5 ff.), or even with the half-heathen Samaritans ( John 4:9,  Luke 9:52;  Luke 17:16), was but casual. He bids His disciples, at their first going out, confine themselves to Jews ( Matthew 10:6). All this, as we can see, was involved in His recognition that God called Him to be Messiah—Israel’s king. If ‘anointed’ to ‘preach’ ( Isaiah 61:1,  Luke 4:18), He must direct His prophetic message to Israel. The shaping out of His royalty depends, under God, on the attitude of Israel in response to His appeal. These things are plain to us; still, there was room for doubt under the historic conditions of the early disciples. It was plausible for Jewish Christians to hold that the Master’s example sanctioned particularism rather than universalism. Very Possibly Matthew 10—as borrowed by the author of our Gospel from an older document (the Logia  ? one version of the Logia  ?, see Logia)—was originally a gathering together in a single context of sayings that might throw light on the permanent duties of an evangelist; if so, the original draft of the chapter confines the itinerant preacher to an audience of Jews. (We must not expect that Evangelists should write like critical historians, with exact notes of time and circumstance). On the other hand, our Gospel of Mt., as a whole, certainly presents a different outlook. Yet it is only after the Resurrection—and, in all the Synoptics, with a very definite contrast to the past—that we have the record of a positive command to preach to all men. Not that the mind of our Master is really uncertain on this point. OT prophecy had extended hope to Gentiles (Is 2:2, e.g. ); and Jesus stands higher, not lower, than His prophetic forerunners. Could He—speaking in the light of such promises; or could He at all —preach a gospel universalist from its centre outwards, and not know what He was doing? He knew it well. And so the principles of His teaching come to their rights through the witness of St. Paul, who—in forms of his own, or, at any rate, in forms which owed to him their full and sharp development—vindicates the universal religion which has succeeded to the Old Covenant through the atoning death for sin. See also artt. Cosmopolitanism, Exclusiveness, Gentiles, Missions.

Literature.—The present writer’s Christ and the Jewish Law , 1886, quotes older literature. Interesting recent statements, from a position of some theological latitude, in Harnack’s What is Christianity?; Wernle’s Beginnings of Christianity , and Weinel’s Jesus Christus im 19ten Jahrhundert [the last not yet translated].

II. Universal purpose of Christ’s death .— 1. Granted that Christ is the Saviour of all races, did He die for all men in all races, or only for such as actually reap the benefits of His sacrifice? The question may seem somewhat academic. It is admitted on both sides of the controversy that the merits of Christ suffice to redeem all men; and it is [or was; but see III. below] admitted on both sides that only a certain number of souls are advantaged by the Christian salvation. Still, it seemed— e.g. to Wesley—a new and ugly particularism to affirm that, by Divine decree, the salvation, professedly offered to all, was confined to some, chosen arbitrarily or upon unknown grounds.

2. In our Lord’s Synoptic teaching, or in the very simple theology of the first three Evangelists, the point now before us is hardly touched on. Christ is to give His life a ransom for ‘many’ ( Matthew 20:28 ||); and so, too, His covenant blood is shed for ‘many’ ( Matthew 26:28 ||). The contrast in view is between the One suffering and the many saved. In Jn. the phenomena are more various. The shepherd gives His life for the sheep ( John 10:11). Christ loves His own ( John 13:1). He prays for them and not for the world ( John 17:9). On the other hand, the ulterior aim is ‘that the world may believe’ ( John 17:21 (23)). Lifted up, He is to draw ‘all men’ ( John 12:32). And, when we turn from the Johannine teaching of Christ to other parts of the Fourth Gospel, we find strong emphasis laid on the fact that Christ is the Saviour of the whole world ( John 1:29,  John 3:17,  John 4:42). A Gospel so penetrated with the thought of universalism (I.) was not likely to lend itself to a new particularism as against universalism (II.).

3. It is to St. Paul that the Augustinians and Calvinists look back as their explicit master. All that happens, happens by God’s will. All that fails to happen, fails just because it was no part of God’s purpose. Salvation, especially, is efficacious; grace is ‘irresistible.’ Predestinated—called—justified—glorified—the stately sequence moves on without pause or uncertainty ( Romans 8:30). (We omit the initial term ‘foreknown’ as somewhat difficult—difficult perhaps to both schools of theology). What God plans, He accomplishes. The necessary obverse of this doctrine—unless transformed by universalism (III.); so Hastie, Theology of the Reformed Church , 1894—is that neither God nor Christ meant any blessing for those who are in the issue unsaved. Christ died for some, not for all. But the NT writes differently. Even St. Paul joins in the common confession—‘He died for all’ ( 2 Corinthians 5:15). Language which in later theology is found characteristic only of transition Calvinism— i.e. of Calvinism in a state of decay, like Amyraldism—is the natural expression of the faith of St. Paul and of all the NT writers. True, A. Ritschl ( Justification , vol. iii., translation H. R. Mackintosh and A. B. Macaulay, ch. ii. § 22) contends that this form of expression is of inferior scientific value to the other set of expressions—noted by us in the Johannine teaching, and in Romans 8—according to which grace is destined to the Church. Ritschl’s peculiar doctrine—the Elect = the Church and not = a body of individuals—has found few supporters, and probably will find fewer in the future. His preference for Calvinism is noteworthy, though he was no genuine Calvinist.* [Note: Universalism (III.), Ritschl dismissed as ‘sentimental.’ His own inclination was towards a doctrine of conditional immortality, but he left his eschatology somewhat in the dark.] Yet we feel bound to hold that it is deeper spiritual vision and not simply lowered logical acumen that makes the NT writers—conceivably, sometimes, at the cost of systematic coherence—hail Christ as Saviour of all men. Otherwise, Universalism (I.) seems emptied of moral meaning. In point of fact, the Calvinistic limitation is little heard of now in Great Britain, except among some of the Evangelicals in the Church of England and some of the Baptists. And few would now rank it as a burning question. The controversy has gone to sleep. Or judgment in the cause goes by default.

Literature.—Besides Ritschl and Hastie, referred to above, the attentive reader will find fossil marks of the controversy in some of the hymns of the Evangelical Revival, both Calvinistic and Wesleyan.

III. Universal, ultimate salvation .— 1. At the present day, ‘Universalism’ most naturally suggests to the reader the doctrine of the final restitution of all souls (there are Universalist churches in America in this sense). The doctrine is not, indeed, a novelty. It is found, qualified by his extraordinary insistence upon individual freewill, in Origen’s closely-knit speculative system; also in Gregory of Nyssa, and others. And Ritschl ( Gesch. des Pietismus ) notes, with scorn, among the symptoms of post-Reformation ‘pietism,’ that, ever and anon, hope is expressed even on behalf of condemned and lost souls. The most earnest and ardent supporters in Great Britain of the universalist doctrine have been Thomas Erskine of Linlathen (in his later years; d. 1870), Samuel Cox ( Salvator Mundi , 1877), and Caleb Scott of Manchester. But Tennyson’s In Memoriam (1849) has perhaps done more than any formal theological work to move opinion in this direction; and there has been a great break-up of the old unhesitating belief in literally unending punishment. Some have taught conditional immortality (E. White, Life in Christ , 1875; Petavel [French-Swiss], The Problem of Immortality , 2 vols. 1890–91 (English translation in one vol. 1892); W. D. Maclaren), others a mitigated punishment (F. W. Farrar, Eternal Hope , 1878, Mercy and Judgment , 1881; hinted also in J. R. Illingworth’s Reason and Revelation , 1902, ch. xii.). Others plead for uncertainty (E. H. Plumptre, Spirits in Prison , 1884, with full and interesting references; Plumptre’s brother-in-law, F. D. Maurice ( Theological Essays , 1853), had stated philosophic doubts as to the meaning of ‘eternal.’ Present writer’s Essays Towards a New Theology , 1889). An original and very curious suggestion is found in A. M. Fairbairn’s Christ in Modern Theology , 1893, p. 467. Deity ‘cannot annihilate, but the sentence of condemnation is indeterminate rather than eternal (like sentences of committal to Elmira reformatory prison, N.Y.). Repentance always remains possible. If or when the damned repent, they shall emerge. Besides all these changes or innovations in belief, the growing reticence, and one may say reluctance, among those who maintain full traditional orthodoxy is even more significant. Few would now write as Charles Reade did (1856) in his brilliant novel, Never Too Late to Mend (ch. 21), as if the last moments of life on this side the veil were necessarily the last moments of hope for the soul (‘Never’ too late?).

2. Much of what we have just mentioned concerns us only in so far as it represents a great swaying of opinion towards universalism (in the fullest sense). The three senses of the word which we have been studying form a climax—Christ for all races, Christ for all souls, Christ actually redeeming and winning all. In the theological discussion just noted—Fairbairn is an exception—the question is generally argued as one of NT interpretation. The present writer does not think that hopeful. He sees no ground for challenging the old doctrine on exegetical lines. Words often applied to the universalist hope— Apokatastasis , ‘restitution of all things,’  Acts 3:21 (cf.  Matthew 17:11 ||,  Acts 1:6)—do not really bear the meaning supposed. One passage teaches probation after death ( 1 Peter 3:19), but it hardly falls within the limits of this article. Eternal punishment had come to be the doctrine of the synagogue, and it passed into the NT with perhaps even sharper definition, as a witness to the unspeakable evil of sin. True, the doctrine was not rigorously formulated, and it is a question among interpreters whether St. Paul’s teaching is eternal punishment or rather a certain type of conditional-immortality doctrine. But generally the NT is clear, even the language used by Christ; although we note that what is freshest and most personal in our Lord’s words ( Luke 12:47-48) goes to modify the dreadful wholesale dogma, and foreshadows, at however remote a time, the ultimate challenging of the letter of this article of the theological creed. Again, as a matter of exegesis, we cannot claim either the Johannine teaching of our Lord ( John 12:32), or the culminating point in St. Paul’s great argument ( Romans 11:32), as asserting universal salvation. Other plainer passages are decisive. There is a ‘son of perdition’ ( John 17:12), and St. Paul denounces ‘eternal destruction’ on sinners ( 2 Thessalonians 1:9). Still, the question recurs here, too, whether the spirit and inner drift of such words—words spoken on the mountain-tops of spiritual vision—can be satisfied by anything less than their full meaning.

3. Recent change in theological opinion is largely a matter of moral recoil. We may sum up the moral postulate by saying that, as long as there is hope of rescuing the soul, any severity is a holy and even—though one trembles at the words—a gracious thing. But if character sets permanently in the ways of evil, can we credit long-drawn-out suffering? Our generation, from a sense of duty, puts even the cruellest of murderers to a painless death. We, who dare not torture, cannot conceive that God’s administration includes endless torment.

4. Passing from simpler moral considerations to a religious speculation, we note that optimism enters into every theistic creed. In some sense—in the deepest sense—what happens in God’s world is the best. It is best that evil should be permitted, should show what is in itself, should be conquered. Above all, when God’s providence and grace have reached their goal in history, we must be able to say, ‘It is best.’ Again, God is omnipotent. He cannot, of course, do anything formally impossible or inherently absurd; nor can He ‘deny Himself.’ But any lawful desire of His children He can and will supply. All that He has is ours, for we are ‘heirs of God.’ He acts in His own way, according to His own will; yet He grants what we desire, or something better . This is the key which unlocks the riddles of our private lives. Its grandest and most public application is found in redemption. God could not, or would not, ignore the world’s sin. He did what was far better, when He sent Jesus Christ. Now, here it seems incomparably the divinest issue of history that redemption should prove universal, and God all in all, not through slaughter of His enemies (‘Order reigns in Warsaw’), still less through chaining them in hopeless misery and hatred, but through winning in every heart that victory which, in some of the hardest and darkest of hearts, Christ has won already.

‘His blood can make the foulest clean;

His blood availed for me.’

Again, God is our Father. Men have said in the writer’s hearing,—some lightly, some with the profoundest gravity and tenderness,—‘I could leave no child of mine to endless misery. Can God do that?’ We, being evil, cannot but raise this question. Our Maker must answer it.

5. On the other hand, we cannot banish from our minds the tendency of character to set, for good or for evil. As we know it, this tendency remains incomplete. None are perfect, nor may we regard any as beyond rescue. But even a child learns how repetition facilitates either evil or good, and how a delayed reform grows harder and less likely to be achieved. It is no skirmish or sham fight for which we are enlisted. As right differs from wrong by the whole diameter of being, so the issues of the life that has been won for righteousness and love must differ from those of the life that has willingly preferred sin. Measured and limited ill-consequence is in no sort of proportion to the infinite evil of wilful wickedness; and the rhetoric of universalism in the minds of those who ‘eddy round and round’ is the lazy and lying assurance, ‘It will come to the same thing in the end.’ God cannot brook this. He must needs threaten sin with its wages; and we have no right to affirm that the most awful of all threats is but an empty or ideal possibility. So, longing with full hearts for a universal restitution of lost souls, we must leave this theme of mystery and terror upon the steps of the Redeemer’s throne of grace.

Literature.—Besides the works cited in the art., cf. Salmond, Chr. Doct. of Immortality , 628; J. A. Beet, Last Things , 203; Newman Smyth, Orthodox Theol. of To-day , 55; Alcott, ‘Universalism a Progressive Faith’ in New World , iii. (1894), 38.

Robert Mackintosh.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [2]

and of the activity of its advocates under various names, from the introduction of Christianity to the present time.

I. Origin And History.

(I.) Informal.

1. In Former Centuries. The earliest notices now to be found of Universalism after the clays of the apostles are in the writings of some of the more prominent Gnostic sects, as the Basidians, Capocratianans, Valentinians, about A.D. 130. The ultimate purification of the race was, according to their theories, by means of the discipline of the souls of the wicked through transmigration. In the Sibylline Oracles, which appeared A.D.150, Universalism is taught as resulting from the prayers of the saints affected by the miseries of the damned. The Almighty is represented-as granting this favor to the redeemed on account of the great love which he: bears to them for their fidelity. In 195 Clemens Alexandrinus, who was president of the Catechetical School at Alexandria, advocated Universalism on the ground of the remedial character of all punishment. His pupil and successor in the school, Origen Adamantius, famous alike for his learning, piety, and zeal, taught Universalism on the ground of the ever-continuing freedom of the will, the deep mental and spiritual anguish occasioned by the light and knowledge of the truth until it leads to repentance, and then the harmony of the soul with God.

Origen's position, abilities, and untiring efforts for the spread of the Gospel gave him great influence with his pupils, and with the Church at large, in whose behalf he became a voluminous writer. In addition to his position and work in the school of Alexandria, he also had care for several years, in connection with Pamphilius, of the theological school at Caesarea, one of whose distinguished pupils was the celebrated Gregory Thaumaturgus, a great admirer of his master's theories, and finally, about A.D. 235, his strong defender land ardent eulogist. Pamphilius, and Eusebius, the first Church historian, also defended Origen's doctrines from charges brought against them by the Western Church, and in answering the complaint that he denied all future punishment they quote from his writings in contradiction thereof, not only his positive assurances of future and severe punishment, but his equally positive assertion that such correction is purifying and salutary.

In A.D. 364, Titus, bishop of Bostra, wrote in advocacy of Universalism, contending that, although there are torments in the abyss of hell, they are not eternal, but that their great severity will lead the wicked to repentance and so to salvation. Gregory of Nyssa, A.D. 380, also advocated Universalism on the same grounds. Contemporary with him was the justly celebrated defender of orthodoxy, Didymus the Blind, a successor of Origen in the school at Alexandria, and a zealous Universalist. Prominent among his scholars was Jerome, eminent alike for his abilities, his inconsistencies, and instability. Universalism as taught by Origen is clearly and ably set forth by Jerome in his commentaries on the epistles, and in his letters. John, bishop of Jerusalem at this period, was also an advocate of Universalism on Origen's theory. Another contemporary, Diodorus, a teacher of great repute in the school at Antioch, and afterwards bishop of Jerusalem, was also a Universalist, who, in opposition to the then general prevalence of allegorical interpretation, strictly adhered to the natural import of the text in his many commentaries on the Scriptures.

He defended Universalism on the ground that the divine mercy far exceeds all the effects and all the deserts of sin. His pupil and successor in the school, Theodore of Mopsuestia, A.D. 420, called "the crown and climax of the school of Antioch," and by the Nestorians, whose sect he founded, "the interpreter of the Word of God," and whose writings were text-books in the schools of Eastern Syria, was a prominent and influential Universalist. His theory was that sin is an incidental part of the development and education of the human race; that, while sore are more involved in it than others, God will overrule it to the final establishment of all in good. He is the reputed author of the liturgy used by the Nestorians, a Church which at one time equaled, in its membership the combined adherents of both the Greek and Latin communions, and which has had n rival in military zeal. In the addresses and prayers of this liturgy Universalism is distinctly avowed. Theodoret, A.D. 430, bishop of Cyprus in Syria, a pupil of Theodore of Mopsuestia, was also a Universalist, holding the doctrine on the theory advocated by the Antiochian school.

For some time prior to this, certain opinions of Origen on pre-existence and on the salvation of the devil had been in dispute and pronounced heretical by a synod; but his doctrine of the universal salvation of the human race had not been involved in this condemnation. At a local council called by the emperor Justinian at Constantinople, A.D. 544, Origen's doctrine of universal salvation was declared heretical. Nine years later another council was held by the same authority at the same place, when condemnation was pronounced on the Nestorians, although their belief in Universalism was not mentioned. It has been common to call this an ecumenical council, but without warrant (see the action of the Latin Church in refusing to recognize it or to send a legate to it). Doderlein, in his Institutes of Christian Theology, after quoting the decree of Justinian against Origen, says, "That was not the belief of all, and in proportion as any one was eminent in learning in Christian antiquity, the more did he cherish and defend the hope of the termination of future "torments." Drexelius, in his defense of eternal punishment, gives this testimony, "That God should doom the apostate angels and men at the day of retribution to eternal torments seemed so hard and incredible a doctrine to some persons that even Origen himself who was mighty in the Scriptures, and no less famous for his admirable wit and excellent learning, presumed to maintain in his book of principles that both the devils and the damned, after a certain period of years, the fire having purged or cleansed them from their pollutions, should be restored to grace. Augustine and others set forth his error and condemned him for it.

But, notwithstanding their condemnation, this error has found a great many in the world who have given it a kind of civil reception. The Anti heretics so called, dispersed this error throughout all Spain under various interpretations." Gieseler, the ecclesiastical historian, says, "The belief in the inalienable capacity of improvement in all rational beings and the limited duration of future punishment, was so general, even in the West, and among the opponents of Origen, that, even if it may not be said to have arisen without the influence of Origen's school, it had become entirely independent of his system." And Augustine bears this testimony: "Some nay, very many from human sympathy commiserate the eternal punishment of the damned and their perpetual torture without intermission, and thus do not believe in it; not, indeed, by opposing the Holy Scriptures, but by softening all the severe things according to their own feelings, and giving a milder meaning to those things which they think are said in them more terribly than truly."

Universalism almost wholly disappeared during the period known as the Dark Ages, although there are occasional glimpses of it even in the mutilated records which the papal Church has permitted to descend to us. In the 7th century, Maximus, the Greek monk and confessor taught Universalism; in the 8th, Clement of Ireland was deposed from the priesthood for teaching that when Christ descended into hell he restored all the damned; while in the 9th, John Scotus Erigena, a famous philosopher who stood at the head of the learned of the court of France, was a bold defender of Universalism. In the 11th century, the Albigenses were, according to papal authorities, Universalists; in the 12th, Raynold, abbot of St. Martin's, in France, was charged before a council with holding "that all men will eventually be saved;" in the 13th, Solomon, bishop of Bassorah, discussed the question of universal salvation, answering it in the affirmative. The Lollards in the 14th century taught Universalism in Bhemia and Austria; and at the same period a council convened by Langman, archbishop of Canter bury, gave judgment against Universalism as one of the heresies then taught in that province. In the early part of the 15th century, a sect called "Men of Understanding" taught Universalism in Flanders, advocating it on the ground of the German Mystics, as did Tauler of Strasburg, and John Wessel, who, with others, have been called "the Reformers before the Reformation," whose writings Luther industriously studied and greatly admired.

2. In Modern Times. With the Reformation, Universalism made a fresh appearance early in the 16th century, chiefly among some of the Anabaptist sects. The seventeenth article of the Augustine Confession, 1530, was expressly framed to "condemn the Anabaptists, who maintain that there shall be an end: to the punishments of the damned and of the devils." Denk, Hetzer, and Stanislaus Pannonius were the most eminent defenders of Universalism at this period. Later in the century, Samuel Huber, divinity professor at Wittenberg, taught Universalism, it is alleged by Spanheim; and because, says Musheim, he would not go back to the old methods of teaching, "he was compelled to relinquish his office and go into exile." Early in the 17th century, Ernest Sonner, professor of philosophy at Altorf, published "a theological and philosophical demonstration that the endless punishment of the wicked would argue, not the justice, but the injustice, of God." John William Petersen, at one time court preacher at Lutin, and subsequently superintendent at Lunenberg, adopted and defended Universalism with such zeal that he was cited before the consistory, and, as he could not conscientiously renounce his convictions, was deprived of his office and forced into private life. In his retirement he wrote and published three folio volumes on Universalism, entitled Musterion Apokatastaseos Paltan, in which he mentions many who had defended that doctrine.

The volumes appeared between the years 1700 and 1710. They opened a century of spirited controversy, of which Mosheim says, "The points of theology which had been controverted in the 17th century were destined to excite keener disputes in the 18th, such as the eternity of hell torments, and the final restoration of all intelligent beings to order, perfection, and happiness." Dietelmair, an opponent of Universalism, wrote on its history about the middle of this century. In the preface to his work he speaks of the contests which raged vehemently enough within the very bounds of the orthodox Church in the end of the last century the' beginning of the present." Among the defenses of Universalism contained in the first volume of Petersen's work was the Everlasting Gospel, attributed to Paul Siegvolk, which was but an assumed name of George Klein-Nicolai, deposed for his Universalism as preacher of Friessdorf. He published other works in defense of Universalism, but the most rapid and lasting popularity belonged to the Everlasting Gospel, which in forty-five years passed through five editions in Germany. In 1726 John Henry Haug, professor at Strasburg, having procured the assistance of Dr. Ernest Christoph Hochman, Christian Dippel, Count De Marcey, and others, commenced the publication of the Berleburger Bibel, an entirely new translation and commentary of the Holy Scriptures. They made themselves familiar with all the writings of the Mystics, and in their great work taught and defended Universalism from the Mystical standpoint. Their work fills eight large folio volumes, the last of which was published in 1742. Strong persecution assailing them, and no printer being willing to risk his office in doing their work, they were compelled to purchase their own type and a small press.

When the Church they had established was at last broken up by their enemies, the members fled to America, taking their press with them, and it was set up by Christopher Sower in Germantown, Pa. One of De Marcey's intimate friends was George De Benneville, born of French parents in London in 1703. Before he was twenty years of age he commenced preaching in France, where he was arrested and condemned to die, but was reprieved on the scaffold by Louis XV. Making his way into Germany, he there preached Universalism several years, and then came to America. In 1727 appeared Ludvig Gerhard's Complete System of the Everlasting Gospel of the Restoration of All Things, together with the Baseless Opposite Doctrine of Eternal Damnation. The author was at one time professor of theology in the University of Rostock, and his publication called forth, according to Walch, no less than fourteen volumes in reply. Jung, Stilling in the latter part of the 18th century, an able defender of Christianity against German rationalism, was an ardent and eminent Universalist. Prof. Tholuck wrote, in 1835, that this doctrine "came particularly into notice through Jung-Stilling, that eminent man who was a particular instrument in the hand of God for keeping up evangelical truth in the latter part of the former century, and at the same time a strong patron to that doctrine." During the present century, Universalism has made rapid progress in Germany. Olshausen says of it that it "has, no doubt, a deep root in noble minds, and is the expression of a heart-felt desire for a perfect harmony of the creation." Dr. Dwight wrote in 1829, "The doctrine of the eternity of future punishment is almost universally rejected." Similar testimony was borne by Prof. Sears in 1834: "The current hypothesis is that in the middle state, intervening between death and the resurrection, the righteous will gradually attain to perfection; and that to all the wicked, whether men or angels, the Gospel will be preached, and that they will ultimately accept it and be restored."

In Switzerland Universalism was advocated in the last century by Marie Huber, whose World Unmasked was translated and republished both in England and America. In 1786 Ferdinand Oliver Petitpierre promulgated Universalism in a work entitled Thoughts on the Divine Goodness, of which several English and American editions have been published. Lavater, the great physiognomist, and the intimate friend and correspondent of Jung-Stilling, was a Universalist. Later J. H D. Zschokke advocated Universalism in his Stunden der Andacht, the favorite book with the late prince Albert, and after his death translated into English by request of queen Victoria for general circulation among her subjects. In France, in. the last century, Rev. Thomas Cuppe wrote in defense of Universalism. Later in the same century, Chais de Sourcesol wrote and published in its defense. In the present century the Coquerels father and sons Athanase and Etienne-have advocated it in the pulpit and from the press. In Scotland Rev. James Purves wrote in defense of the doctrine, and established a Universalist society about 1770; Rev. Neil Douglass founded another about 1800; and within twenty-five years four or five others were started, largely through the instrumentality of Mr. Douglass and his successor, Rev. William Worral. These societies are either disbanded or merged in the Unitarian churches, which in Scotland are all Universalist in their views of destiny. Prominent among the Scotch Unitarian Universalists was Dr. T. Southwood Smith, who published, in 1816, Illustrations of the Divine Government, a book that has passed through several editions. Thomas Erskine, recently deceased, was also an able writer on Universalism. At present there are a few distinctive Universalist churches and a convention in Scotland. In Wales Universalism was preached as early as 1782. In 1783 Rev. Thomas Jones, who had been educated at lady Huntingdon's school, became a Universalist. He subsequently came to America, and after being the successor of Winchester at Philadelphia for about eight years, he removed to Gloucester, Mass., and was the successor of Murray for forty- five years.

In England the Protestants, in drawing up their Forty-two Articles of Religion, in 1552, condemned Universalism. Ten years later, when the convocation revised the doctrines of the Church, the number of articles was reduced to thirty-nine, omitting, among others, the one condemning Universalism. Since that time Universalism has not been a forbidden doctrine in the Church of England, but has been advocated and defended by some of the most eminent members of its communion-such men as Dr. Henry More, Sir George Stonehouse, Bp. Thomas Newton, Dr. David Hartley, William Whiston, Dr. Thomas Burnet, Revs. Frederick W. Robertson, Charles Kingsley, Stopford Brooke, and canon Farrar, and indirectly by archbishop Tillotson. The Presbyterian Parliament of 1648, which temporarily overthrew Episcopacy, passed a law against all heresies, punishing the persistent holders of some with death, and of others with imprisonment. "That all men shall be saved" was among the heresies punishable in the latter manner.

This law was not long operative, for the Independents, headed by Cromwell, soon overthrew the law-makers. Gerard Willstanley published a work in advocacy of Universalism only a few days after the passage of the law, which was soon followed by similar works from his pen. William Earbury fearlessly preached Universalism. Richard Coppin was active in its advocacy, publishing largely in its exposition and defense, and was several times tried for his offence. Samuel Richardson, an eminent Baptist, also wrote strongly in its behalf. Sir Henry Vane (the younger), member of the Parliament dissolved by Cromwell, and in 1636 governor of Massachusetts, was a Universalist. Jeremy White, one of Cromwell's chaplains, preached Universalism, and published a work which has passed through several editions. Jane Lead, a. Mystic, was the author of several Universalist books. Henry Brooke, a literary writer, avowed his belief in Universalism in his Fool of Qualify, and in a poem on the Messiah. William Law, author of the Serious Call, declared in his Letters, "As for the purification of all human nature, I fully believe it, either in this world or some after ages." The English literary reviews of the last century contain many notices of works in defense of Universalism.

In 1750 James Relly, who had been a preacher in Whitefield's connection, shocked at the doctrine of reprobation, was by meditation and study led into another scheme of redemption, some of the peculiarities of which may be said to have had their origin with him. Accepting as true the common theory that all men, having sinned in Adam, justly incurred eternal damnation, and that Christ had borne this infinite guilt and punishment in behalf of all who should be saved, Relly was moved to find, if possible, some ground of justice in such a scheme. The divine law explicitly declares that "the soul which sinneth, it shall die," and that the innocent shall not suffer for the guilty. How could a transfer of human sin and penalty to Christ be consistent with that law? How could it be reconciled with equity? The divine sovereignty, without regard to inherent justice in the plan, could not account for it for the absoluteness that could set justice aside might just as easily, and more mercifully, have gone straight to its aim by remitting instead of transferring sin and its deserts. To say that the sufferings of Christ were merely accepted as satisfaction for human deserts, only reckoned as such, by God's sovereign pleasure, was no adequate explanation, since they were thus only a fictitious, not a real, satisfaction; and, further, any sufferings whatsoever, even those of a man, would have answered just as well as an arbitrary acceptance of the coequal of God.

The perfect consistency of God's procedure, its absolute harmony with justice and equity, Relly found, as he claimed, in such a real and thorough union of Christ with the human race as made their acts his, and his theirs. All men, he held, were really in Adam and sinned in him, not by a fictitious imputation, but by-actual participation; equally so are all men in the second Adam, "the head of every man," and he is as justly accountable for what they do as is the head in the natural body, accountable for the deeds of all the members united to that head. Accordingly Christ, in his corporate capacity, was truly guilty of the offence of the human race, and could be, as he actually was, justly punished for it; and the race, because of this' union, really suffered in him all the penalty which he endured, and thus fully satisfied justice. There is no more punishment, therefore, due for sin, nor any further occasion for declaring the demands of the law, except to make men feel their inability to obey, and thus compel them to an exclusive reliance on Christ the head. He has effected a complete and finished justification of the whole world. When man believes this he is freed from the sense of guilt, freed also from all doubt and fear. Until he believes it he is, whether in this world or in another, under the condemnation of unbelief and darkness, the only condemnation now possible to the human race. In illustration and defense of this theory, Relly wrote and published several books, preached zealously in London and vicinity, and gathered a congregation in the metropolis. After his death in 1778, two societies were formed from his congregation; but both have now ceased to exist, as has the society gathered by Winchester about 1789, and the Church founded by David Thom, D.D., in Liverpool in 1825. The Unitarians in England are all believers in Universalism, as are also many of the Congregationalists.

3. In America Universalism is the result of the proclamation of a variety of theories, some of them at a very early date, all resulting in one conclusion the final holiness of the human race. Sir Henry Vane as was said above, was a Universalist. It is not known that while in America he made any public avowal of that belief; but the presumption is that he did not stand alone. In July, 1684, Joseph Gatchell, of Marblehead, Mass., was brought before the Suffolk County Court for discoursing "that all men should be saved," and, being convicted, was sentenced "to the pillory and to have his tongue drawn forth and-pierced with a hot iron." Dr. George De Benneville, also mentioned above, came to America in 1741, expressly called of God, as he believed, to preach the Gospel in the New World. For more than fifty years he preached in various parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas. He was not an organizer, but simply a preacher, and quite a voluminous writer, though only a few of his productions were published. For several years he was welcomed to the pulpits of the "Brethren" (Dunkers). It was no doubt at his suggestion that Siegvolk's Everlasting Gospel was translated into English, and published by Christopher Sower, printed, probably, on the identical press on which the Berleburger Bibel had been struck off. This edition was reviewed by Rev. N. Pomp, a German minister in Philadelphia. Alexander Mack, an eminent preacher among the Dunkers, replied to Ponp, defending Siegvolk's vieisys. This work was never published, but the MS. is still preserved. There was found among Dr. De Bonneville's papers, after his death, in 1793, a Commentary on the Apocalypse, which was printed in German, at Lebanon, Pa., in 1808. There was also Universalism in the Episcopal Church. Rev. Richard Clarke, rector of St. Philip's in Charleston, S. C., from 1754 to 1759, was a pronounced advocate of it; as was Rev. John Tyler, rector of the Church in Norwich, Conn., who wrote a work in its defense, which was published by some one to whom he had loaned his MS., about 1787. Some of the Congregationalists of New England were believers in Universalism; among them Dr. Jonathan Mayhew, minister of the West Church in Boston from 1747 to 1766, who distinctly avowed his belief in it in a published Thanksgiving Sermon, Dec. 9, 1762. Dr. Charles Chauncy, minister of the First Church in Boston from 1727 to 1787, issued a pamphlet on the subject in 1782, which was reviewed by Dr. Samuel Mather. In 1784 his larger work The Salvation-of All Men was published, a second edition following in 1787. Dr. Joseph Huntington, minister in Coventry, Conn., from 1762 to 1794, left a work in favor of Universalism, entitled Calvinism Improved, which was published in 1796.

(II.) Formal. In 1770 John Murray (q.v.), who had formerly been a Methodist in Ireland and England, but more recently a convert to the views of James Relly, came to America and commenced the proclamation of Universalism on the Rellyan theory. After itinerating a few years in various parts of the country, from Virginia to Massachusetts, he made his home in Gloucester, Mass., where, in 1779, he organized a society of Universalists, under the name of "The Independent Christian Church." With the exception of a few months spent in the army, as chaplain of the Rhode Island Brigade, he ministered to the society in Gloucester, making occasional missionary tours through the country till 1793, when he removed to Boston, where a society had been formed in 1785, and remained there as its pastor till his death, in 1815.

In 1781 Elhanan Winchester, who had been an eminent Baptist clergyman in Philadelphia, became a Universalist, and gathered a Universalist society in that city, which took the name of "Universal Baptists." As a Baptist his views were moderately Calvinistic, if not wholly Arminian, and his Universalism differed in little or nothing from the present so-called evangelical doctrines, except in regard to the duration and design of future punishment and the final restoration of all lost men and angels. Fifty thousand years, which would bring in the great jubilee, was the extreme limit in his theory of the punishment of the most sinful. Mr. Winchester itinerated extensively, as far south as the, Carolinas and north to Massachusetts. Like De Benneville, he was for a time welcomed to the pulpits of the Dunkers, who, from their first coming to America in 1719, have been believers in universal restoration, although, in the main, holding it privately. Some of their preachers were bold in its advocacy; and it was proclaimed and defended in several of their published works, notably so by James Bolton, who, in 1793, published a pamphlet at Ephrata, Pa., in which he censures the "Brethren" for not giving greater publicity to it, asserting that "the German Baptists (Dunkers) all believe it." About the year 1785 the Dunkers became alarmed by the preaching of some persons, now unknown, against future punishment, and finally took action that cut off John Ham, one of their preachers of this theory, and his followers from the Church, and forbade the proclamation of Universalism in any form. In 1786 Mr. Winchester went to England, where he preached and published books in defense of his views and established a society. He returned to America in 1795 and died in 1796.

Contemporary with Murray and Winchester was Caleb Rich, of Massachusetts, who gathered a Universalist society in the towns of Warwick and Richmond. Mr. Rich may be said to have anticipated many of the views afterwards more fully elaborated by Hosea Ballou, and probably had great direct influence in forming the opinions of the latter.

In New Jersey several Baptist preachers and their congregations became Universalists. In Pennsylvania there was a congregation of Rellyan Universalists, and the "Universal Baptists" before mentioned, in Philadelphia, while societies had been organized in Bucks and Washington counties. Rev. Abel Sarjent, minister in the latter locality, organized Universalist churches on the basis of the doctrine of the divine unity, in opposition to the Trinity, publishing the creed of those churches in the Free Universal Magazine, edited by him in 1793-94. Of the existence o-f these churches the Universalists in the eastern portion of the country were for a long time ignorant. Rellyanism made but little progress, Mr. Murray complaining in 1787 that he knew of but one public advocate of Universalism in America who fully sympathized with him in his views. This was the Rev. John Tyler before mentioned. Rev. Hosea Ballou commenced his career as a Universalist preacher in 1790.

Originally a Calvinistic Baptist, he was a Trinitarian Universalist until 1795, when he avowed his belief in Unitarian views of God and Christ; and in 1805 published his Treatise on Atonement, in which he combated the doctrine of vicarious sacrifice, contending that the life and death of Christ were for the reconciling, not of God, but of man, and avowed his belief that the punishment of the sins of mortality was confined to this life, and that if punishment were experienced in the life beyond the grave, it would be for sins committed there. In 1818 he had satisfied himself that there is no sin beyond the grave, and consequently no punishment after death. By 1830 Mr. Ballou's views were quite extensively held in the denomination, and some of the believers in future limited punishment seceded from the Universalist Convention and established the denomination of Restorationists. Although this secession was led by a few eminent men, it was not considered expedient nor in any sense called for by quite as many and as eminent believers in future retribution who remained in the old organization. The position of these latter was that Universalism was not, and never had been, the belief in no future punishment, nor the belief in a brief or long continued retribution hereafter; but the belief that God would, through Christ, in his own good time, "restore the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness." As there had never been entire unity of sentiment as to the time when this result would be reached, but had been tolerance of opinion on that as on other differences, they saw no occasion for a division on account of present differences. The "Restorationist Association" existed about eleven years, its last session being held in 1841, at which time the publication of its organ, The Independent Christian Messenger, ceased, and it became extinct as a sect. Some of its preachers returned to the fellowship of the Universalist Convention, some affiliated with the Unitarians, and others wholly withdrew from the ministry. Mr. Ballou died in 1852. His work and memory are held in reverent esteem by the entire denomination, and by none more ardently than by the many who do not accept his theory of sin and retribution. See BALLOU.

(III.) Sources Of History. Doderlein, Institutio Theolog. Christianae (1787), 2, 199, 202; Berti, Breviarius Hist. Eccl. cent. 8-12, c. 3; Priestley, Hist. Of The Christian Church, per. 18 lect. 9 p. 136, 137; Assemani, Bibliotheca Orientalis, III, 1, 323, 324; Du Pin, Eccl. Hist. vol. 12 ch. 8:p. 113, 115; Mosheim, Eccl. Hist. cent. 15 pt. 2, ch. 5; cent. 16 sec. 3. pt. 2, ch. 1; cent. 18:sec. 20; Ballou, Ancient History of Universalism (2nd ed. 1872); Beecher, Scriptural Doctrine of Retribution; Dunster, Translation of Drexelin's Considerations on Eternity (1710); Davidson, Translation of Gieseler's Compendium of Ecclesiastical History (1849), 1, 320, 321; Augustini Enchiridion ad Laurentium, c. 112; Olshausen, Comm. on  Matthew 12:31-32; Law, Collection Of Letters (1762), letter 12:p. 172; Account of the Berleburger Bible, in The Universalist (Boston, Nov. 8, 1878); Whittemore, Modern History of Universalism (ibid. 1860); Dalcho, Hist. of the Prot. Ep. Ch. in South Carolina (1820); Eddy, Papers on Universalist Conventions and Creeds, in Universalist Quarterly, 1874-80; Thomas, A Century of Universalism; Eddy, MS. History of Universalism in Gloucester, Mass., 1774-1874; Whittemore, Memoir of Rev. Hosea Ballou (4 vols.); Life of Rev. Nathaniel Stacy (autobiography); Smith, Historical Sketches of Universalism in the State of New York.

II. Organization And Government. In the early history of Universalism in America, the first form of organization was simply into legal societies; afterwards into churches within the societies. The only exception to this was, commencing with 1790, in Pennsylvania; where the Church became both the legal organization and the religious body of communicants. The Universalists in Gloucester, Mass., the first to organize, banded themselves together by an agreement of association in 1779, which they changed to a charter of compact in 1785, and were incorporated in 1792. Members of the society and their property being seized for payment of taxes to the first parish in Gloucester, the Universalists entered suits in the courts in 1783 to establish their right to exemption from taxation far the support of any other than their own minister. By reason of various delays and appeals the case did not reach a final decision till 1786, when the rights of the Universalists were established. Meanwhile congregations and societies gathered in other parts of Massachusetts and in Rhode Island, desiring counsel and advice, united with the society in Gloucester in holding an association at Oxford, Mass., in 1785. The charter of compact, which was the basis of organization in Gloucester, was taken to this association, and, on being slightly amended, was recommended to the societies represented, who were also requested to take on themselves the name of "Independent Christian Society, commonly called Universalists;" to keep up a correspondence with each other; and to meet annually, by delegates, for conference. The legal rights secured the following year by the decision of the Gloucester suit seem to have accomplished all that the association aimed at, and no session was held after 1787. In 1790 the congregations organized in Philadelphia by Murray and Winchester became one, and, feeling the necessity of a more perfect organization of the believers at large, issued a call for a convention, which was held in May of that year in Philadelphia, at which time a profession of faith and platform of government for the churches was drawn up and recommended to all the churches for their adoption. Five churches were represented in this convention, and seven preachers were in attendance. The annual meetings of this convention were all held in Philadelphia; but the distance from that city to New England was so great, and the inconveniences of making the journey were then so numerous, that in 1792 the Universalists of Boston asked and obtained permission to organize another convention for the Eastern States. This convention held its first session at Oxford, Mass., in 1793, and adopted, the following year, the Philadelphia profession and platform, and recommended them to all their churches. In 1802, churches and associations of churches having increased, and a diversity of speculative opinion prevailing, the New England convention deemed it best to unite, if possible, on a profession of faith, and to establish well defined rules of government, ordination, fellowship, and discipline for the use of that body. This was accomplished in 1803, by the adoption at the session held in Winchester, N.H., of such definite rules, and of the following Profession of Belief:

" Art 1. We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments contain a revelation of the character of God, and of the duty, interest, and final destination of mankind.

" Art 2. We believe that there is one God, whose mantle is love, revealed in one Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of Grace, who will finally restore the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness.

" Art 3. We believe that holiness and true happiness are inseparably connected, and that, believers ought to be careful to maintain order and practice good works; for these things are good and profitable unto men."

This has remained unchanged to the present time. The Philadelphia convention ceased to exist in 1809; but the New England convention, though with changes both in form of government and in name, has continued to the present, and is now "the Universalist General Convention." It is composed of clerical and lay delegates from the state conventions, and from the parishes and churches in states and territories where no state organization exists. Every parish, to be counted in the basis of representation, must maintain its legal existence and support public worship; and every minister must be actually engaged in the work of the ministry unless disabled by age or sickness. Preachers and parishes must assent to the Profession of Belief; and no parish can settle a minister not in fellowship, nor can a minister settle over a parish not in fellowship. The convention establishes uniform rules for fellowship, ordination, and discipline, and is the final court of appeal in all cases of difficulty between conventions, or between conventions and parishes, or ministers, not otherwise settled by subordinate bodies; but it has no power to interfere with the affairs of a parish in the settlement or dismissal of a minister in fellowship; nor can it, under any circumstances, do more than to withdraw fellowship from those who are convicted of offences. State conventions are composed of ministers in fellowship, and of delegates from parishes and churches. They can make any regulations and adopt any policy not in conflict with the constitution and laws of the General Convention; provide for the enforcement of the rules on fellowship, ordination, and discipline; and raise and disburse funds for; local missionary work. In several states associations still exist composed of counties or of neighboring parishes extending over larger territory; but, under the present laws, these have no ecclesiastical authority, and are only a medium of local conference and encouragement in religious growth. Parishes are local legal organizations for the purpose of holding property and conducting the business necessary to the maintenance of religious worship. Aside from a required assent to the Profession of Faith, and their obtaining the fellowship of the State Convention, or, in localities where no such organization exists, the direct fellowship of the General Convention, all parishes are Congregational in the management of their affairs, and are subject only to the civil laws of the state or territory where they are located. Churches, with the exception of those in Pennsylvania, as before noted, are the religious organizations created within the legal parish. In them the ordinances of the Gospel are administered; and the purpose of their existence is the union of believers and the quickening and increase of their religious life, obedient to the command of the Lord and his apostles. Sunday schools are also established in the parishes, and are, while independent in the management of their affairs, chiefly watched over and directed by the Church.

III. Doctrines. The Winchester Profession (given above) is regarded as a sufficiently full and explicit statement of the belief required in order to fellowship in the Universalist Church, and as affording the greatest latitude in differences on all minor points. But a more particular statement of the general belief of Universalists of the present (lay may be briefly set forth as embracing the following particulars:

1. Of God. That he is infinite in all his perfections, the Creator and Preserver of all worlds, and of all the beings that inhabit them; revealed to man in all that nature teaches of wisdom and design; in conscience, which discriminates between right and wrong; and in the Holy Scriptures, and especially in his full perfection in Jesus Christ. That it is fundamental in the revelation through Christ that God is the Father of the spirits of all flesh, who brought men into being with a fixed and loving purpose that their existence should prove a final and endless blessing to them; and that while he is strictly just in his dealings with all, he never loses sight of his great purpose in their creation; and that, without violation of their moral freedom, he will, through the gracious influences of the Gospel, subdue and win all souls to holiness. That his government, laws, and purpose are the same in all worlds, death in no way affecting his attitude towards men; but that he is to be found wherever sought, and will always accept and forgive all who call upon him in sincerity and truth.

2. Of Christ. That he is not God, but God's highest and only perfect representative, sent by the Father not for the purpose of affecting God's attitude to man but of reconciling man to God; that he lived, taught, wrought miracles, suffered, died, and was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven, according to the Scriptures; that he alone can lead men to the Father, and is the only perfect way, truth, and life for man; that he is Lord both of the dead and the living, able to save to the uttermost, i.e. in all places and under all circumstances, all who come to God by him; and that he must reign till every creature in heaven and in earth, and under the earth, confesses him Lord, to the glory of God the Father, and God is all in all.

3. Of The Holy Spirit. That while it is not now to be expected that God's Spirit will, as in apostolic days, be manifest in conferring miraculous power on believers, the promise of its assistance is still fulfilled in the souls of believers, to whom the Spirit comes as the Comforter, and, as testified to by the apostle, helps their infirmities, inspires their prayers, and pours into their souls the peace of God which passeth all understanding.

4. Of Man. That "a man is the image and glory of God;" and that whatever tendencies may be inherited, or by whatever sins man may defile himself, the divine image is never wholly destroyed, but that under the care of the appointed refiner and purifier, the stains, defilement, and dross can all be removed, and the divine likeness be manifest; that the human will, which consents to sin, can also determine on holiness, and use all the means appointed for its attainment.

5. Of Sin. That it is never transferable, but consists in personal disobedience to the divine law, and is the greatest evil in the universe; that no necessity for it is laid on any mortal, yet that it is incidental to the career of a being who can be drawn away of his own lusts and enticed, and who is created with the ability of choosing good and evil.

6. Of Rewards And Punishments. That obedience to the divine law, the attainment of holiness, piety, and the Christian graces, are their own exceeding great reward, and are manifest in the soul's consciousness of nearness to God and of approval by him; that punishment is in like manner the natural fruit of sin, alienation, a cloud, between, us and God, the burden and sorrow of an unreconciliation and enmity. That while the reward is intended to keep us in love with obedience, the punishment is designed to make us feel that it is an evil and bitter thing to sin against God, and to incline us to repent and turn to our peace, possible only in holiness.

7. Of Conversion. That conversion, regeneration, the new birth, or whatever else the turning from sin to holiness may be called, is the change effected in the will and heart of man, when, wrought upon by the gracious influences of the Gospel, he turns from his sinful loves and ways, and, drawn by the Spirit of God, seeks to consecrate all his powers to holiness and duty; that while the commencement of such a change must of necessity be instantaneous, it is only by patient continuance in well-doing that it is completed.

8. Of Salvation. That salvation is deliverance from the practice and love of sin, the bringing of the soul out of its bondage of error and evil into the liberty of obedience to the truth, and love to God and man; that Christ saves when he turns men away from iniquity, and that his saving work will not be completed till God's law is written in and obeyed by every heart.

9. Of Forgiveness. That the forgiveness which God promises to all who confess and forsake their sins is the coveting of past offences from sight, and bringing them up more to remembrance against the penitent; and that this is the forgiveness which Jesus teaches us that we ought to exercise towards all who are penitent for any wrong which they have done to us.

10. Of Immortality. That God has implanted in all men "the power of an endless life;" and that what is called the resurrection is not simply the fitting of man with a spiritual body, but also his rising up into a progressive life. That death effects no moral change, but that in many respects the entrance on the life immortal must work a change on man's ignorance and error; that all sensual temptations, peculiar to a life in flesh and blood, will be absent from the world of spirits; and that whatever discipline any may need for past offences, or to overcome the effects of sin on the soul, will be administered in love, and will be efficacious for their salvation.

IV. Usages And Worship. The usages of the Universalist churches do not differ much from those of other denominations that conduct their parish affairs on Independent or Congregational principles. The following are perhaps peculiar:

1. Ordination, Transfer, And Discipline. For the ordination of a minister, the rule is for the parish desiring that ordination may be conferred to make formal application to the convention Committee on Fellowship, Ordination, and Discipline, who, if there is no ground for objection, give permission to the parish to call a council, consisting of ten ordained ministers and lay delegates from ten parishes, who, on assembling, organize by the appointment of a moderator and clerk, and proceed to an examination of the fitness and qualifications of the candidate. If these are found satisfactory, the request for ordination is granted, and the parish are authorized to hold the ordination service at their convenience, which being done, the clerk of the council forwards to the convention committee a certified statement of the doings of the council, and of the fact that ordination has been conferred, whereupon the committee furnishes the new minister with a certificate of his ordination. On removing from the jurisdiction of one state convention to another jurisdiction, it is a minister's duty to request of the convention committee in the state where he has been residing a letter of transfer, which, if he is in good standing, is granted, and is of the nature of a recommendation to the convention into whose bounds he is removing. This transfer it is his duty to present to the committee of that convention, who thereupon grant him its fellowship. Should a minister neglect to seek such transfer, he is subject to discipline by the conventual from which he removed, and will in time be disfellowshipped by having his name dropped from the roll of ministers. A minister disfellowshipped for this or any other cause must, if he desires to be restored to fellowship, seek his restoration from the convention which punished his offence; but if denied restoration there, he may appeal to the General Convention.

2. The Dedication Of Children. When John Murray began to preach in America, he was frequently importuned by parents to baptize their children; but, believing that adults were the only proper subjects for Christian baptism, he refused. As, however, he regarded children as the gift of God and members of the body of Christ, he felt that some ceremonial recognition of this fact would be appropriate and salutary, and originated a rite which he called the "dedication of children." Either in the, church or elsewhere, as was most convenient, parents brought their children to him, who, if infants, he took in his arms; if older children, they stood by his side, and he, placing his hand on the child's head and pronouncing its name, declared it gratefully received as God's gift, and solemnly dedicated to his loving service, pronouncing on it the blessing which Moses was directed to command Aaron to pronounce on the children of Israel: "The Lord bless thee and keep thee. The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." This service is now very generally observed among Universalists, the second Sunday in June being set apart for it, and designated "Children's Sunday." It is customary on this occasion to decorate the churches with flowers; and as no very general objection to infant baptism now exists among Universalists, baptism is in most cases a part of the ceremonial.

3. Christmas, Easter, And Memorial. Christmas has always been a day of special notice with Universalists, and of late Easter is appropriately celebrated. A Sunday in October is set apart in most Universalist churches as Memorial Sunday, the services being made appropriate to a loving remembrance of the members of the Church and congregation who have died during the year. On this day the churches are decorated with fall flowers and leaves.

4. Public Worship. The public worship of God is conducted by Universalists in much the same manner as by Protestants generally. It consists of reading of the Scriptures, prayers, singing, and sermon. A few churches make use of a liturgy, of which several have been prepared, but most congregations have an extempore service. Baptism and the Lord's supper are observed in all Universalist churches. The mode of the former is left to the choice of the candidate. The invitation to the latter is extended to all who may feel it to be either a duty or a privilege thus to remember the Lord Jesus Christ. Sunday schools and conference and prayer meetings are regularly held in most of the churches.

V. Statistics. The Universalists have one General Convention and twenty-four subordinate conventions, the latter being located in Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, Canada, and Scotland. Parish organizations exist in California, Colorado, Dakota, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. The total number of parishes is 959, with which 42,500 families are connected; 733 churches, with a membership of 42,952; Sunday-schools, 699; teachers and pupils, 59.633; church edifices, 784; total value of parish property above indebtedness, $6,417,757; ministers, 724; licensed lay preachers, 9. The General Convention is incorporated and empowered to "hold real and personal estate to the value of $500,000, to be devoted exclusively to the diffusion of Christian knowledge by means of missionaries, publications, and other agencies." The "Murray Centenary Fund," raised in 1870, and named in honor of Rev. John Murray, the centennial anniversary of whose coming to America was then observed, amounted, at the session of the convention in 1879, to $121,794.54. A "Ministerial Relief Fund," founded by the bequest of the late John G. Gunn, amounted at the same time to $8077.94. The "Theological Scholarship Fund," consisting of returned scholarship loans, amounted to $5439.32. The treasurer's receipts from all sources, in 1879, were $19,540.74. The income of the Murray Centenary Fund is designed to aid in the education of the clergy, the circulation of denominational literature, and in church extension. About forty theological scholarships are continued in force each year, aggregating nearly $6000. These are expected to be repaid, without interest, at the earliest convenience of the beneficiaries after graduation and settlement, and the amounts thus returned are invested, the income to be appropriated to future loans.

Several of the state conventions are incorporated, and in a few of them permanent funds are established. Either as held by the conventions directly, or by organizations existing in their jurisdiction, the aggregate amount of such funds, the incomes of which are devoted to missionary work, Sunday- school aid, and ministerial relief, is $89,578.65. The "Woman's Centenary Association," now incorporated, was organized in 1869 to assist in raising the Murray Centenary Fund, to which it contributed $35,000. In addition to this, it has raised about $120,000, with which it has helped colleges and schools, given relief to aged and infirm ministers and ministers widows, started a Memorial Chapel at Good Luck, N.J., where Murray preached his first sermon in America, and supported a missionary in Scotland. It has also put in circulation 3,000,000 pages of tracts, besides a large number of denominational books and papers.

The "Universalist Historical Society" was organized in 1834 for the collection and preservation of facts pertaining to the history and condition of Universalism, together with books and papers having reference to the same subject. It has a library of over 2000 volumes, now at Tufts College, College Hill, Mass. The collection embraces a complete set of the writings of the Greek and Latin fathers, many French and German works, and a nearly complete line of modern books both for and against the doctrine of Universalism.

VI. Institutions.

1. Colleges, Theological Schools, And Academies. There are four colleges, two theological schools, and six academies under the auspices and patronage of Universalists. Tufts College, located on College Hill, Middlesex Co., Mass., was incorporated in 1852, and opened for students in 1855. Its assets are about $1,343,039; number of professors and teachers, 13; students, 103. Lombard University, located at Galesburg, ll., was incorporated in 1852, and opened for students in 1855. Assets, $115,000; professors and teachers, 11; students, 61. St. Lawrence University, at Canton, St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., was incorporated in 1856; assets, $214,136; professors and teachers, 7; students, 67. Buchtel College, Akron, 0., was incorporated in 1871; assets, $162,620; professors and teachers, 8; students, 78. St. Lawrence Theological School, a departmient of St: Lawrence University, was opened in 1857. It has 5 professors and 14 students. Tufts Divinity School, a department of Tufts College, was opened in 1869, and has 11 professors and 37 students. Clinton Liberal Institute, established at Clinton, Oneida Co., N.Y., in 1831, and recently removed to Fort Plain, N. Y., has $100,000 assets, 10 teachers, and 100 students. Westbrook Seminary, Deering, Me., was opened for students in 1834. Its assets are $100,000; number of teachers, 6; of students, 98. Green Mountain Perkins Academy, at South Woodstock, Vt., was opened in 1848; assets, $15,000; teachers, 5; students, 33. Goddard Seminary, Barre, Vt., was opened in 1853; assets, $95,000; teachers, 10; students, 156. Dean Academy, at Franklin, Mass., was incorporated in 1865: assets, 240,000; teachers, 8; students, 70. Mitchell Seminary, at Mitchellville, Ta., was opened in 1872; assets, $25,000; teachers, 9; students, 95. Total amount invested by the twelve educational institutions, $2,099,350.

2. Publishing House. The Universalist Publishing House, located at Boston, Mass., was incorporated in 1872. Its trustees are elected by the state conventions of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The net assets of the house, consisting of periodicals, books, plates, etc., are about $31,000. The number of volumes which it has published, and of which it owns the title and copyright, is one hundred and thirty. It also issues five of the twelve periodicals published by the denomination.

3. Missions. Missionary work is performed in the bounds of the several state conventions; in some directly by agents or superintendents in the employ of the conventions, in others by means of local associations, and in still others by the voluntary labors of the ministry. The only foreign mission is the one sustained by the Woman's Centenary Association in Scotland.

VII. Literature. American Universalist literature dates from the publication of a translation of Siegvolk's Everlasting Gospel in Pennsylvania in 1753. William Pitt Smith, M.D., of New York, published a small book entitled The Universalist in 1787. Joseph Young, M.D., also of New York, wrote and published Calvinism And Universalism Contrasted in 1793. Rev. Elhanan Winchester's Dialogues on Universal Restoration, published in London in 1788, were republished in Philadelphia in 1791. A Treatise on Atonement, by Rev. Hosea Ballou, was published in 1805. Since that time the Universalist press has issued hundreds of volumes. Some of the more prominent in the various departments of denominational literature are,

1. In Polemics : Smith, On Divine Government; Balfour, Inquiries Into The Scriptural Import Of The Words Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, And Gehenna, and the Words Satan And Devil; Discussion Between Ezra Stiles Ely, D.D., And Rev. Abel C. Thomas; Debate Between Rev. David Holmes And Rev. J. M. Austin; Rogers, Pro And Con Of Universalism; Harrison, Aion-Aionios; Discussion Between Rev. E. Manford And Rev. J. S. Sweeney; Thayer, Origin And History Of The Doctrine Of Endless Punishment; Miner, The Old Forts Taken; Sawyer, Endless Punishment in the Very Words of its Advocates.

2. Doctrinal And Expository : Ballou, Lecture Sermons and Select Sermons; Whittemore, Notes On The Parables; Cobb, Compend Of Christian Divinity; Thayer, The Theology Of Universalism; Williamson, Rudiments Of Theological Science and Philosophy Of Universalism; Steere, Footprints Heavenward; Mayo, The Balance, or Moral Arguments for Universalism; Brooks, Universalism in Life and Doctrine; The Latest Word of Universalism, thirteen essays by thirteen clergymen.

3. Commentaries : Manley, Biblical Review (5 vols. On the Old Test.); Cobb, Explanatory Notes And Practical Observations On The New Test.; Paige, Commentary On The New Test. (except the book of Revelation), 6 vols.; Whittemore, Commentary On The Revelation Of St. John.

4. Works In Defense Of Christianity : Winchester, Reply To Paine'S Age Of Reason; Ballou, Letters In Defense Of Revelation; Pickering, Lectures On Divine Revelation; Smith, Causes Of Infidelity Removed; Thayer, Christianity Against Infidelity; Williamson, An Argument For Christianity and Sermons For The Times And People. V. Practical Religion And Consolation : Chapin, Discourses On The Lord'S Prayer, Lessons Of Faith And Life, Hours Of Communion, The Crown Of Thorns; Adams, The Universalism Of The Lord'S Prayer; Bacon, The Pastor'S Bequest (sermons); Ballou, Counsel And Encouragement (discourses on the conduct of life); Thomas, The Gospel Liturgy (a prayer-book for churches and families); Hanson, Manna (a book of daily worship); Quimby, Heaven Our House (a comfort to all who mourn); Thayer, Over the River (a book of consolation for the sick, the dying, and the bereaved).

6. History And Biography : Ballon, Ancient History Of Universalism From The Time Of The Apostles To The Reformation; Whittemore, Modern History Of Universalism From The Tine Of The Reformation; Thomas, A Century Of Universalism In Philadelphia And New York; Smith, Historical Sketches Of Universalism In The State Of New York; Life Of Rev. John Murray, commenced by himself and completed by his wife; Stone, Biography Of Rev. Elhanan Winchester; Rogers, Memoranda; Memoir (autobiography) of Rev. Nathaniel Stacey; Memoirs of Rev. Hosea Ballou, by Maturin M. Ballou (1 vol.), and by Whittemore (4 vols.); Sawye