Andrew Fuller Friday: On Flirting with Universalism

If you enjoy this Andrew Fuller content, you can now pre-order David Prince’s latest book, Preaching the truth as it is in Jesus: A reader on Andrew Fuller

It is a principle that will universally hold good, that there is no ultimate risk in adhering to truth, but the utmost danger attends a departure from it. It is thus that we reason with unbelievers: It is possible at least that Christianity may be true; and, if it be, we have infinitely the advantage. But, allowing that it may be false, yet what risk do we run by embracing it? While we are taught by it to “deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world,” neither your principles nor your consciences will allow you to deny that we are safe. But if that Saviour whom you have despised be indeed the Son of God, if that name which you have blasphemed be the only one under heaven given among men by which a sinner can be saved, what a situation is yours! Apply this reasoning to the subject in hand. If Universalism should prove true, there are few if any dangers that can follow from disbelieving it; but if it should prove false, the mistake of its abettors will be inexcusable and fatal. If we be wrong, we can plead that we were misled by interpreting the terms by which the Scriptures ordinarily express the duration of future punishment in their literal or proper sense; that we found the same word which describes the duration of future life applied in the same passage to the duration of future punishment; and thence concluded it must mean the same; moreover, that, if any doubt had remained on this head, it must have been removed by eternal damnation being explained in the Scriptures by never having forgiveness, Mark 3:29. But if they be wrong they can only allege, that observing the terms to be often applied to limited duration they concluded they might be so in this; and, this sense best comporting with their ideas of Divine benevolence, they adopted it. In the one case, our fears will be disappointed; in the other, their hopes will be confounded. If the mistake be on our side, we alarm the ungodly more than need be; but if on theirs, they will be found to have flattered and deceived them to their eternal ruin, and so to have incurred the blood of souls! If we err, our error is much the same as that of Jeremiah, on supposition of the Babylonians having been repulsed, and Jerusalem delivered from the siege; but if they err, their error is that of the false prophets, who belied the Lord, and said, “It is not he, neither shall evil come upon us.” Which of these paths, therefore, is wisdom’s way, we leave our readers to judge.

Excerpt from: The Mystery of Providence: Especially in Respect of God’s Dealings with Different Parts of the World In Different Ages, in Fugitive Pieces.

Fuller, A. G. (1988). The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller: Expositions—Miscellaneous (J. Belcher, Ed.; Vol. 3, pp. 804–805). Sprinkle Publications.

By |April 1st, 2022|Categories: Andrew Fuller Friday, Blog|

About the Author: