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tians, (who are also Unitarians), in 1833, 700 ministers, 1000 churches, from 75,000 to 100,000 communicants, and from 250,000 to 300,000 worshippers. Besides the Congregational Unitarians, it is computed that there are now in the United States, about 2,000 congregations of Unitarians, chiefly of the sect called Christians, Universalists, and Friends or Quakers.
Among the periodicals which utter Unitarian sentiments, at the present time, are the Christian Register, a weekly paper, commenced in Boston, in 1822; the Monthly Miscellany of Religion and Letters, a monthly publication in Boston, commenced in 1829; and the Christian Examiner. The latter was originally issued under the name of the Christian Disciple, a monthly publication, commenced at Boston in 1813, under the superintendence of the late Dr. Noah Worcester. It continued under his charge until 1813, when a new series was commenced under different editors. This series terminated with the fifth volume, at the end of 1823. The work then took the name of the Christian Examiner, which is still continued, a number being issued every two months, the 34th volume being now in the course of publication. This work, which combines literature with theology, has always sustained a high reputation for learning and ability,—nearly all the more eminent Unitarians of the day having been, at different times, numbered among its contributors.
The American Unitarian Association was founded in Boston, in 1825. An extensive correspondence is carried on, and other business transacted by the general secretary of the Association; and there are now several auxiliaries in different parts of the United States.
The Association holds its annual meetings at Boston, in May of each year, at which the report of the secretary is read, after which various topics are discussed in speeches or addresses. The Association, through its Executive Committee, issues tracts monthly, of which the 16th volume is now in the course of publication.
It furnishes temporary aid to small and destitute societies, and does something for domestic missions, particularly in the Western States. There is also a Book and Pamphlet Society, not under the control of the Association, but which co-operates, in some measure, with it, and distributes a large number of books and tracts.
The last annual report of the Association speaks of the condition and prospects of the denomination, as in a high degree encouraging. Societies, it affirms, are multiplying in New England, and in various parts of the South and West. If the spirit of active controversy in the sect is passing away, as some think, the importance of a living,
HISTORY OF THE UNITARIAN CONGREGATIONALISTS.
practical faith, and an earnest piety, was never more deeply felt. The present year, active efforts have been made, and not wholly in vain, to raise funds to meet the wants of the denomination, especially to educate young men for the ministry, to assist destitute societies, and support.missionaries; in different ways to promote the cause of spiritual Christianity, and aid in building up the kingdom of the Redeemer in the world.
BY THE REV. A. B. GROSH.
UTICA, N. Y.
Such is the general and approved name of that denomination of Christians, which is distinguished for believing that God will finally save all mankind from sin and death, and make all intelligences holy and happy by and through the mediation of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. Anciently, believers in this sentiment were called by its opposers, “ Merciful Doctors ;" and at a later day, “Hell-redemptionists” and “Restorationers ;" and within a few years past, efforts have been made to create a distinction among them, by classing them as“Restorationists” and “Ultra-Universalists;"—but the denomination itself, though composed of all classes thus attempted to be distinguished and divided off, claims for itself the sole name of UNIVERSAList, and disclaims any other distinctive title by which to be designated. The great general sentiment of the final, universal sulvation of all moral beings from sin and death, in which this denomination is united, and by which it is distinguished, is termed Universalism; or, sometimes, by way of varying the phraseology, “the Abrahamic faith ;” because it is the gospel that was declared to Abraham-or, sometimes, “the Restitution," or, " the Restitution of all things,” &c. But that the reader may have as full information of this denomination and its faith, as the limits of this work will permit, I will state-First, the history of the sentiment peculiar to it. Second, the rise, progress, present condition, and prospects of the denomination in its collective capacity. Third, a brief summary of the general views held by Universalists, and the principal scriptures on which they rely for support.
I. THE HISTORY OF THE SENTIMENT, OR DOCTRINE, OF
UNIVERSAL SALVATION FROM SIN.
The first intimation of God's purpose to destroy the cause of moral evil, and restore man to purity and happiness, is contained in the promise, that the serpent, (which represents the origin and cause of sin,) after bruising man's heel, (a curable injury of the most inferior portion of humanity,) should have its head bruised by the woman's Seed. (Genesis iii. 15.) A bruise of the head is death to the serpent, (and to what that reptile represents ;) and the destruction being effected by the Seed of the woman, shows man's final and complete deliverance from, and triumph over, all evil. In accordance with the idea conveyed by representing man's heel only, as being buruised, is the limitation of the punishment divinely pronounced on the first pair of transgressors, to the duration of their earthly lives—(Genesis iii. 17, 19)--and the total absence of every thing like even a hint, that God would punish Cain, or Lamech, or the antediluvians, with an infinite or endless penalty-and the institution of temporal punishment only, in the law given by Moses. And the intimation of the final, total destruction of the very cause of moral evil, and of all its works or effects, (or all sin,) is further explained and confirmed by later and more conclusive testimony, in which it is stated that Jesus would destroy death and the devil, the devil and all his works; and that the grave (Hades, or Hell) and its victory, and death and its sting, (which is sin,) would exist no more after the resurrection of the dead. (See Heb. ii. 14; 1 John iii. 8; and I Cor. xv. 54-57.)
This brief intimation of the ultimate destruction of evil, and man's salvation therefrom, grew into that divine promise to Abraham and his descendants, which the apostle Paul expressly calls “the gospel," viz., that in Abraham and his seed, (which seed is Jesus Christ,) “shall all the families,” “all the nations,” and “all kindreds of the earth be blessed”—by being “ turned away every one from iniquity," and by being “justified (i. e. made just) by faith.” (Compare Genesis xii. 3, xviii. 18, xxii. 18, and xxvi. 4, with Acts iii. 25, 26, and Galatians iii. 8.) Christ being a spiritual Prince, and a spiritual Sa. viour only, and this gospel being a spiritual promise ; of course the blessings promised to all, in Christ, will be spiritual also, and not merely temporal. For all that are blessed in Christ, are to be new creatures. (2 Cor. v. 17.) Accordingly we find this solemn, oath-confirmed promise of God—this “ gospel preached before due time to Abraham"-made the basis and subject of almost every prophecy relating to the ultimate prevalence, and universal, endless triumph of God's moral dominion under the mediatorial reign of Jesus Christ.
But if we would obtain a more perfect understanding of those prophetic promises, we must examine them in connexion with the expositions given of their meaning, by the Saviour and his apostles, in the New Testament. One or two examples are all that can be given
here. The subjugation of all things to the dominion of man, (Ps. viii. 5, 6,) is expressly applied to the spiritual subjugation of all souls to Jesus, by the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews, who declares it a universal subjection; (“ for in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him ;") and that it is not the present physical or external subjection, but the prospectivly final, spiritual and internal subjection that is meant-"for we see not yet all things put under him," &c. (Heb. ij. 8, 9.) And in 1 Cor. xv. 24-28, this subjection is represented as taking place after all opposing powers are put down, and the last enemy is destroyed-and it is connected with the subjection of all alike unto Jesus, and of Jesus unto God, and is declared to be, that God may be all that is in all ;—thus most emphatically and conclusively showing that nothing but a thorough, spiritual subjection of the whole soul to God can be intended. And that it is to be strictly universal, is evident, also, from the 27th verse, where God is expressly named as the only being in the universe who will not be subjected to the moral dominion of Jesus—thus agreeing with the testimony of Hebrews ii. 8, before quoted. Again: the promise of universal blessedness in the gospel, under the figure of a feast for all people, made on Mount Zion, and the swallowing up of death in victory, recorded in Isaiah xxv. 6–8, is very positively applied by the Apostle Paul to the resurrection of all men to immortality—thus showing its universality, its spirituality, and its endlessness. (See 1 Cor. xv. 54.) And again : in Isaiah lv. 10, 11, God gives a pledge that his word will more certainly accomplish all it is sent to perform, than will his natural agents perform their mission. In Isa. xlv. 22-24, he informs us that the mission of his word is, to make every knee bow, and every tongue swear allegiance, and surely say* that in the Lord each one has righteousness and strength. The apostle to the Gentiles, in speaking of the flesh-embodied Word of God, Jesus of Nazareth, in a very emphatic manner confirmed the absolute universality of this promise, by declaring that it included all in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth, in its promise of final salvation, by gathering them into Christ. (See Phil. ii. 9-11.) This acknowledgment of Jesus, as universal Lord or owner, is to be made by the influence of the Holy Spirit-(1 Cor. xii. 3; and Rom. xiv. 8, 9, compared with John vi. 37-39, and Phil. iii. 21)—and is called reconciliation, without which, indeed, it could not be a true spiritual subjection and allegiance. (Col. i. 19, 20; and Eph. i. 8-10.)
* The word "one" being in italics, was supplied by the translators, and is no part of the original scripture.