The Doctrines Of Universalism -- By: A. A. Miner

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 040:159 (Jul 1883)
Article: The Doctrines Of Universalism
Author: A. A. Miner


The Doctrines Of Universalism

Rev. A. A. Miner

[The series of “Denominational Articles” published in the Bibliotheca Sacra has been found so useful that their republication in separate volumes has been often requested. Each Article has been written by a distinguished representative of the denomination whose tenets are described: the Article on Methodism by Dr. D. D. Whedon; on Episcopacy, by Rt. Rev. Bishop Burgess; on the German Reformed Church, by Pres; E.V. Gerhart; on the Evangelical Lutheran Church, by Prof. J. A. Brown; on the Old School Presbyterian Church, by Dr. Atwater, of Princeton; on the New School, by Dr. George Dufheld. Other denominations have been described by other representative divines. The description given of Uni-tarianism by ex-President Thomas Hill has led to a request that a description of Universalism be given by a believer in it who is well fitted to represent it. No one is better fitted to represent it than Dr. A. A. Miner, who was four years a colleague pastor with Rev. Hosea Ballou of Boston, and has been for many years a recognized leader in the denomination. At the present day it is peculiarly important to know just what the Universalists affirm and just what they deny. Our readers will not agree with Dr. Miner in his belief, but will find him frank and explicit in his statements. In a theological crisis, open avowals are what we most need. — Ed.]

The various, statements of Christianity prevalent in our time may be conveniently grouped in three classes. The first class claims to be especially biblical — a claim apparently sustained, if traditional expositions be accepted and the survey be limited to the severer aspects of Scripture rhetoric. The common mind, however, recognizes with difficulty its reasonableness or its special claim to be deemed evangelical, and fails to discover the ethical qualities of its scheme of salvation.

The second class confessedly places the Scriptures under the gravest doubt. Their alleged mythical or legendary

character, uncertain origin, and questionable inspiration leave little reason for accepting them as an authoritative revelation. The defenders of this class of statements, nevertheless, show their reverent mind by gratuitously ascribing to the Saviour the highest moral perfection, even after they have discredited the only means extant of knowing anything about him. This scheme of Christianity, though claiming to be pre-eminently reasonable, appears to have one defect — the lack of anything characteristically Christian.

The third class is no less biblical than the first. Its survey is surely as broad. The universal and unalterable love of God is its key to the m...

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