« ZurückWeiter »
RELLYAN UNIVERSALISTS. AMONG the professors of Universal Salvation which have appeared in the last century, is to be ranked a Mr. James Relly, who first commenced the ministerial character in connection with the late Mr. George Whitfield, and with the same sentiments as are generally maintained at the Tabernacle. He was considered and received with great popularity. Upon a change of his views, he encountered reproach, and of course was soon pronounced an enemy to godliness, &c. It appears that he became convinced of the union of mankind to God, in the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and upon this per. suasion, he preached a finished salvation, called by the Apostle Jude, “ the Common Salvation.” The relation and unity of the first and second Adam unto God, the author and fountain of all things, was the foundation of those sentiments he continued to maintain during his life ;-and he was followed by a considerable number of persons, who were convinced of the propriety of his views. Since his death, his sentiments have been retained by such who were attached to them in sincerity, and although time has necessarily removed a considerable part to the world of spirits, a branch of the survivors still meet at the chapel in Windmill-street, Finsbury-square,
where there are different brethren who speak. They are not observers of ordinances, such as water baptism and the sacrament-professing to believe in only one baptism, which they call an Immersion of the mind or conscience into truth by the teaching of the spirit of Gud; and by the same spirit they are enabled to feed on Christ as the bread of life, professing thạt, in and with Jesus, they possess' all things. They inculcate and maintain good works for necessary purposes, but contend that the principal and only works which ought to be attended to, is the doing real good without religious ostentation ;-that to relieve the miseries and distresses of mankind, according to our ability, is doing more real good than the superstitious observance of religious ceremonies: in general, they appear to believe that there will be a resurrection to life, and a resurrection to condemnation; that believers only will be among the former, who, as first fruits, and kings and priests, will have part in the first resura rection, and shall reign with Christ in his kingdom of the millennium; that unbelievers who are after raised, inust wait the manifestation of the Saviour of the world, under that condemnation of conscience, which a mind in darkness and Wrath inust uecessarily feel ; that believers, call. ed kings and priests, will be made the medium of communication to their condemned brethren
and, like Joseph to his brethren-though he spoke roughly to them, in reality overflowed with affection and tendernes; that ultimately-every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess, that in the Lord they have righteousness and strength: -and thus every enemy shall be subdued to the kingdom and glory of the great Mediator.
A Mr. Murray, belonging to this society, emigrated to America previous to or about the time of the war.-He preached the same sentiments at Boston and elsewhere, and was appointed chaplain to General Washington. There are a num. ber of adherents at Boston, Philadelphia, and other parts. Mr. Rully published several works, the principal of which were, “Union”_" The Trial of Spirits"_" Christian Liberty"_" One Baptism"-" The Salt of Sacrifice"" Antichrist Resisted"-" Letters on Universal Salvation”-“The Cherubimical Mystery”-“Hymns,". &c. &c. His followers now meet at the chapel in Windmill-street, Finsbury-square, Sunday mornings and evenings. Messrs. Rait, Coward, Jeffreys, &c. speak from time to time, and Mr. Coward has published two little treatises, entitled “ Deişın traced to its Source," and " The. Comparison ; or, the Gospel preached of God to the Patriarchs,"compared with the gospel preach-, ed in the present day. There are also some of those of the saine sentiments in other parts of the king
dom, and particularly at and in the vicinity of Plymouth-Dock, and Plymouth, in Devonshire*
The writers who have of late particularly api-' madverted upon the doctrine of Universal Restoration, are, in America, President Edwards and his son, Dr. Edwards; and in England, Mr. Dan. Taylor, Mr. Fisher, and Mr. Andrew Fullert.
Mr. Broughton, at the close of his Dissertations on Futurity (shocked at the idea of eternal punishment in every case) proposes the following hypothesis ; That the spirit of God had made choice of an ambiguous term, asovios, ac
* Such is the account of the followers of Mr. Relly, sent me bý a respectable member amongst them. I hare taken the liberty of applying to them the title of Rellyan Universalists, merely by way of distinction. The terın Antinomian has been bestowed upon them; but as it conveys a degree of reproach, it is here avoided. Indeed, believing that Christ has made satisfaction for the sins of all mankind, they are of opinion that no future punishment attaches to unbelievers, except that cone demnatory suspense, which they feel after death, till the manifestation of the Saviour! This sentiment most probably has subjected them to the imputation of Antinomianism ; and hence it has been remarked that they are the only consistent Satisfactionists in the world: for sins once atoned for, cannot be the subject of punishment.
# For most of the above account of the Universalists, preceding tbat of the Rellyan Universalists, the author is indebted to a popular minister of that persuasion.
knowledged on both sides, sometimes to be an eternal, and sometimes only a temporary duration, with the wise view, that men might live in fear of everlasting punishment; because, it is possible, it may be everlasting ; and at the same tiine God be at liberty, (if I may so speak) without impeachment of his faithfulness and truth, to inflict either finile or infinite punishment, as his divine wisdom, power, and goodness shall direct.” He, however, only suggests this scheme with an amiable and becoming modesty.
DESTRUCTIONISTS. BETWEEN the system of restoration and the system of endless misery, a middle hypothesis of the FINAL DESTRUCTION of the wicked (after having suffered the punishıment due to their crimes) has been adopted more particularly by the Rev. Mr. Bourne, of Birmingham ; and Mr. John Marsom, in two small. volumes, of which there has been a second edition with additions. They say that the Scripture positively asserts this doctrine of destruction ; that the nature of future punishment (which the Scripture terms death) determines the meaning of the words everlasting, eternal, for ever, &c. as denoting endless duration; because no law ever did or can inflict the punishment of death for a limited period ; that