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salvation of those who are subjected; as David says, Shall not my soul be subjected to God? for from him is my salvation. Such, then, being the final result of things, that all enemies shall be subdued to Christ, death the last enemy be destroyed, and the kingdom be delivered up to the Father by Christ, let us with this view before us, now turn and contemplate the beginning of things." (Origen de Principiis, lib. i. cap. 6.)
Gregory Nyssen, an eminent orthodox father and bishop, about A. D. 370 or 380, was also a Universalist. He says, in treating upon that expression in 1 Cor. xv. 28, Then shall the Son also be subject unto him who put all things under him; "What therefore is the scope of St. Paul's dissertation in this place? That the nature of evil shall, at length, be wholly exterminated, and divine, immortal goodness embrace within itself every rational creature; so that, of all who were made by God, not one shall be excluded from his kingdom. All the viciousness, that like a corrupt matter is mingled in things, shall be dissolved and consumed in the furnace of purgatorial fire; and every thing which had its origin from God, shall be restored to its pristine state of purity." (Gregorii Nysseni Tract. in dictum Apostoli, Tunc etiam ipsi Filius subjiciatur, &c. p. 137, &c. Edit. Basil. 1562.)
The celebrated orthodox father, Jerome, who flourished from about A. D. 380 to 420, was, in the early part of his public life, a Universalist; tho he was afterwards induced, through means of a personal quarrel, to disavow the doctrine.
Having represented "the whole intelligent creation, by the simile of an animal body," of which the flesh, arteries, veins, nerves and bones, having been dissected and scattered around, are all to be united again by a skilful hand, and reanimated, he says, "now in the res
titution of all things, when Christ the true Physician shall come to heal the body of the universal church, torn at present and dislocated, then shall every one, according to the measure of his own faith and knowledge of the Son of God, assume his proper office, and return to his original state; not however, as some heretics represent, that all will be changed into angels, or made into creatures of one uniform rank; but each member shall be made perfect according to its peculiar office and capacity. For instance; the apostate angel shall become such as he was created; and man, who has been cast out of Paradise, shall be restored thither again. And this shall be accomplished in such a way, that all shall be united together by mutual charity, so that the members will delight in each other, and rejoice in each other's promotion. Then shall the whole body of Christ, the universal church, such as it was originally, dwell in the celestial Jerusalem, which in another passage the apostle calls the Mother of Saints." (Hieronymi Comment. lib. ii. in Epist. ad Ephesios, cap. iv. 16. tom. iv. Pt. i. Edit. Mart.)
Dydimus of Alexandria, one of the most eminent of the orthodox fathers, in the fourth century, was a Universalist; and on that account, his memory was condemned in the Fifth General Council, held at Constantinople, A. D. 553. And Evagrius Ponticus, another orthodox father, who flourished from about A., D. 380 to` 400, was likewise condemned in the same General Council for having been a Universalist.
It is very remarkable, that altho the doctrine of Universal salvation was thus plainly taught by the above named eminent writers, and evidently favored by others of the early fathers; that it was never censured till between A. D. 390 and 400, nor fully condemned in Council till the year 559. The only rational conclusion
which we can draw from these facts is, that for nearly the whole of the five first centuries, the doctrine was generally believed in the church; or, at least, that it was not deemed heretical. It was usual in the first ages of the church, when any sentiment was declared in council. to be heretical, to destroy all the writings which contained or advocated that sentiment; hence we may with propriety conclude, that after this doctrine was condemned, all the writings of the early fathers containing it, were, as far as possible, destroyed; as all possible means would naturally be used to suppress and prevent the spread of heresy in the church. Reader, you can now judge for yourself, whether the glorious doctrine of impartial grace, which we advocate, is the "new fangled scheme" which our opposers represent it to be; or, whether it is not rather "the faith which was once delivered to the saints," and which, after a long night of moral darkness, is again bursting forth in its pristine purity, to enlighten and happify the intelligent creation, WARREN SKINNER.
For the Repository.
TO MR. ITHAMAR SMITH.
SIR,-In replying to your last communication, I shall pass over, in silence, your two first paragraphs. As I wish the discussion between us, if continued, to be confined to the scriptures, you will find an answer to your broad assertion in your first paragraph, and your demand in the second, in a separate communication addressed to the Editor.
You seem to regret that I have not been sufficiently explicit in the statement of my sentiments. I know not in what language I could have given a more clear, full and
plain statement of my belief than I have given. I first told you what I did not believe, and assigned my reasons for rejecting the sentiments mentioned; and then stated in as plain terms as I was able, what I did believe respecting the nature and extent of the salvation of Christ, and gave you my reasons for thus believing; and if you had been as anxious to discover my meaning, as to find something to oppose, I am confident you would have found no difficulty in understanding me. And here, Sir, I must be permitted to say, that you discover a considerable talent at evasion; and instead of manfully meeting the main question, and my statements, you appear to be anxious to obscure them by a cloud of questions.
You ask me whether I find "a limited punishment denounced as a penalty of the law.” What do you mean by this question? Do you mean to ask me if I believe that any punishment is threatened in the scriptures? After I had informed you that I did not believe in a salvation which delivers man from merited punishment, you certainly need not to be told that I believe in punishment. I can discover no possible object which you could have in view in asking that question, unless it was to draw from me an acknowledgment of a belief in future punishment; and that this was your object, appears plain to me, from your calling on me to show how long that punishment will last. I will now say, that I believe all are the subjects of punishment as long as they continue to sin. In order, therefore, to prove punishment in a future state of existence, I conceive it necessary to prove that sin will exist in that state; and to prove it endless, sin must also be shown to be endless. This proof devolves on you, and not on me.
You appear to be opposed to the sentiment that all will receive the full punishment which they deserve før their sins; and consider it as holding out to the trem
ling sinner, the idea that he can obtain salvation only on the score of justice; and ask me what I believe of those scriptures which ascribe to God pardon and forgiveness? "Do you say they have no meaning? or do you pronounce them gross falsehoods ?" No, Sir, I do not say "they have no meaning," neither do I "pronounce them gross falsehoods ;" but on the other hand, I consider them true, and their meaning important; and at the same time believe them to be perfectly reconcilable with the sentiment which I have advanced concerning punishment. I consider all punishment inflicted by God, as corrective or emendatory, calculated to produce the reformation of the sinner; and in this view of the subject, there is no difficulty in discovering how an individual, after being humbled by punishment, and brought into subjection to the law of God, can receive such a manifestation of the divine goodness, as will produce in him a sense of pardon or forgiveness; and this manifestation he can only receive by faith in Christ; and on this ground, you appear, yourself, to discover the harmony between "justice and pardon.”
That this view of the subject is in accordance with the scriptures, I shall now proceed to show. Isa. xl. 1, 2. "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins." This language is too plain to need any comment. Col. ii. 13. "And you, being dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses." You will agree with me, that the penalty of the divine law, the "wages of sin," is death; and we learn from this testimony of the apostle, that this penalty had been inflicted, the wages had been paid, and still