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each into two, thus, e.g., the Psalm quoted as cxix. A book was needed which should face fairly and thoroughly, the subject of future Punishment, for although there are many works on the subject, they either face one aspect of the matter only, or they are written for scholars only, not for the multitude. Allin's writing is emphatically writing which can be :understood of the people," and surely his book must kill the false accusation so often made that, those who believe in the ultimate triumph of Christ, and in the Redemption of the world, make light of sin.
Preface Chapter I -- The Question Stated Chapter II -- The Popular Creed Wholly Untenable Chapter III -- The Popular Creed Wholly Untenable (continued) Chapter IV -- What the Church Teaches Chapter V -- What the Church Teaches (continued) Chapter VI -- Universalism and Creation Chapter VII -- What the Old Testament Teaches Chapter VIII -- What the New Testament Teaches Chapter IX -- What the New Testament Teaches (continued) Chapter X -- Summary and Conclusion UNIVERSALISM ASSERTED seems to me to fill a great want of the day.
The Calvinist settled this question by, in fact, affirming that if evil triumphs it is because GOD SO orders, i.e., because GOD decrees to evil an eternal existence; thus saving or trying to save God's omnipotence, but at no less a cost than that of blackening His character, nay, of virtually making HIM a partner in evil.
But the popular creed saves neither the omnipotence of GOD, nor yet preserves His character.
And to my mind one of the finest touches is the description given in chapter i., pp.
10-2, of the position of those who, shrinking from the current notions of hell, and dissatisfied with that most unsatisfying theory - Conditional Immortality, take refuge in saying, that nothing can be definitely known, and that they are content to wait in uncertainty.
And these horrors are taught, these contradictions are believed in the face of the plainest teaching of God's two revelations, His primary revelation to our moral sense, His written revelation in Holy Scripture.
Of the former and its teachings, it is needless to speak here; of the latter I have spoken at some length, and have tried to show that from its first page to its last the Bible is the story of one who is our Father - one whose 'wrath,' and 'fire,' and 'judgment,' are at once most real, and yet one and all are the expressions of that essential LOVE which HE is - One who being Almighty is sending His Son to assured victory, to reconcile to HIMSELF all things, 'whatsoever and wheresoever they be.' I know how eagerly men strive to save the popular creed by various modifications, by diminishing the number of the lost, by softening their torments, by asserting their annihilation, etc.
" The old merciless teaching is still taught ; there yet remains in many a nursery, as well, alas, as in many a missionary school abroad, a well-known book called "Peep of Day." In this, little children are allowed to read such doggrel as the following: ---- Surely it is time that everyone who believes that the Everlasting Father lovingly, eternally, educates all His children should speak out plainly, and not be ashamed to confess with the Psalmist, "My trust is in the tender mercy of God for ever and ever." -- The question of questions to which an answer is attempted in the following pages, is essentially this, can Evil triumph finally over Good?
If we answer affirmatively with the popular creed, we are practically falling into Dualism; if we reply negatively, we are teaching Universalism. The more often and the more clearly this is stated as the turning point of the entire controversy about the larger hope, the better for those who write, and for those who read.
" By all means, I reply, let well alone, but never let ill alone.
Men's minds are already disturbed: it is because they are already disturbed that we would calm them, and would restore the doubters to faith, by pointing them to a larger hope, to a truer Christianity.