by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XXIII

June, 1944

Number 11

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

To my regret, I made a mistake in quoting the Articles of Faith drawn up by a group who believed in the salvation of all mankind, in 1803.  I will try to get it correct this time:  

"We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments contain a revelation of the character of God and the duty, interest and final destination of all mankind.  We believe there is one God, Whose nature is love, revealed in one Lord Jesus Christ, by one holy spirit of grace.  Who will finally restore the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness.  We believe that holiness and true happiness are inseparably connected; that believers ought to maintain order and practice good works, for these are good and profitable unto men."  

A few months ago a man living some distance from Glennville said to me, "I heard you preach here once, and it was the only sensible sermon I ever heard.  As you know, my father is a preacher, and I have heard him proclaim hell fire and brimstone until it seems my hair stood up.  But I soon found that it was not true, and I resolved that when I grew to manhood, and my father could not force me to sit under such preaching, I would never go to church again as long as I live.  But when you spoke in the court house I attended.  Since finding that the Bible presents God as One of love and kindness, and One Who will take care of all of us by His grace, I have a different outlook on life and on the future.  I thank God that I was moved to hear you that day."  

This testimony is wonderful.  I remembered the meeting, and remembered also, that I had often wondered if it did any good.  Now, I know it did.  It reminds me that my duty is to proclaim the word, and leave the results with God.  

In a book entitled "Lincoln at New Salem," is a story by Mentor Graham, that gives an insight into the life of the "Great Emancipator," that is not generally known.  In the story Graham says:

"Abraham Lincoln was living at my house at New Salem, going to school, studying English grammar and surveying, in the year 1833.  One morning he said to me, 'Graham, what do you think about the anger of the Lord?'  I replied, 'I believe the Lord never was angry or mad, and never will be; that His loving kindness endureth for ever; that He never changes.'  Said Lincoln, 'I have a little manuscript written, which I will show you, and stated he thought of having it published.  

The size of the manuscript was about one-half squire of foolscap, written in a very plain hand, on the subject of Christianity, and a defense of universal salvation.  The commencement of it was something respecting the God of the universe never being exited, mad or angry.  I had the manuscript in my possession some week or ten days.  I have read many books on the subject of theology, and I don't think in point of perspicuity and plainness of reasoning, I ever read one to surpass it.  

I well remember his argument.  He took the passage, 'As in Adam all die even so in Christ shall al be made alive,' and followed with the proposition that what ever the breach or injury of Adam's transgression to the human race, which, no doubt, was very great, it was made just and right by the atonement of Christ."  

Perhaps Lincoln's faith was the reason why he never "joined" a church.  And this, in turn, gave him freedom to really study the Book.   While Lincoln was running for congress in 1846, his opponent, Rev. Peter Cartwright, a Methodist preacher, denounced him as an infidel, because he was not a member of a church.  The book, "Lincoln at New Salem," says, "Cartwright, like many others, preached a God of wrath and vengeance and dwelt strongly upon hell as a lake of brimstone, where sinners were eternally burned," and adds that Lincoln "could not subscribe to the doctrines of these backwoods preachers."  

So, when Abraham Lincoln read, "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive, I Cor. 15:22, he reached the conclusion that it teaches the salvation of all mankind.  It was easy for him to believe this, for he had no creed to defend, no "church membership" from which he could be excluded.  It is not easy to reach the opposite conclusion and to defend it.  No one can do it, and cling tenaciously to the scriptures.  He must add to the word, and must argue his point.  The one who believes this doctrine can prove it by the use of just one sentence.  But if he disbelieves it, he must employ many sentences to make his position "stand."  

I was told of the following incident, which could very well be true:

A preacher was showing Bible pictures to a little goy.  "This picture," said the preacher, "shows Jesus blessing little children.  See how tenderly and kindly He places His hand on them.  He is the kindest Man Who ever lived.  And this picture shows Him raising the dead.  In the next one we see Him healing the sick.  Here He is giving sight to the blind.  Hs every act was kindness.  He was never unkind.  He is yet as kind as He wan on earth.  He is in heaven.  He sees all that you do.  If you are a good goy He will take you to heaven to be with Himself.  But if you are bad, He will put you in a place of fire, where you will burn and burn, and never be able to die, and there will never be an end to the burning and suffering."  

The child burst into tears and said, with trembling lips, "I thought you said He was kind.  He won't do that, if He is like you said He is." 

A recent writer says, on I Cor. 15:22: "There will be more than one order in the resurrection, there shall be those who are in the order of Christ - those who shall hear.  His image and likeness.  Then there shall be those, shall we say, in the likeness of Satan.  To say the least, they shall not be in the order of Christ.  These shall spend an endless life banished forever from the presence of God.  Oh, how sad!  But, nevertheless, true!"  

I am acquainted with the writer.  He is in Christ.  How, then can he think of anyone being make alive in Christ, and then being banished endlessly from God?  All shall be made alive in Christ, says the passage.  The writer admits this, and emphasizes the "all."  But some who are made alive in Christ "shall spend an endless life banished forever from the presence of God."  I say, with Him, "Oh how sad!"  Not so sat for those who are endlessly lost, as for Christ.  What a failure He is!  How little His Father regards His great sacrifice!  The security of being in Christ is only a myth!  Paul must have been mistakes when He said that if any man be in Christ he is a new creature!  Made alive IN CHRIST, and yet banished from God for endless duration!  Yes, how sad - for Christ, Who thought, just before He went to the cross, that He would draw al to Himself, John 12:32.  

There are three classes - not orders.  Christ is one; believers are another; the rest of mankind constitute the third.  They will be judged before being made alive in Christ. The second death will intervene between the judgment and the vivification of this class.  Death is to be abolished, and God will be All in all, I Cor. 15:22-28.  Judgment is a training period.  It sets things right.  When we understand this, we do not say, "Oh, how sad!" no matter how severe the judgment.  No one can conciliated to God, now unless he believes in the salvation of all mankind, for, believing that some will be endlessly lost, he will be dissatisfied with what God is going to do in this respect.  

I had an uncle who maintained that God will save all mankind.  He was Uncle Bill Heath, known to many of my readers.  He had  no church membership, and could, therefore, believe the truth.  He lived and died happy in the faith.  One of the happiest men I knew when I was an "orthodox" preacher, was a man named Mims, who has since moved to parts unknown to me.  He tried to convince me that God had resources of grace with which He will save all mankind.  He made no headway with me, however, I knew better!  But thank God, He showed me, in later years, that Mims was right.  I wish I knew where he is now, so I could thank him for trying to show me the truth that he knew would make me so happy.  

The late Pastor Russell wanted those who were known as his followers, to progress in truth, and go beyond what he, himself, was able to see.  Had they done so, instead of making a god of him, which he earnestly desired that they should NOT do, they might have reached the truth.  Excerpts from his writings show that he had the hope that those who came after him would find more truth than he possessed.  See the following: "Protestants have made little progress, because, instead of walking in the light, they have halted around their favorite leaders, willing to see as much as they saw, but nothing more."  The light will continue to increase beyond the present."  Humanly speaking, if the denomination known as Advent Christians had continued to pursue the light as they did when they first "started out," they would have probably been believers in the salvation of all mankind, long ago.  They were fearless, and taught such truth as they saw, regardless of the criticism of "orthodox" people.  It was a sad day for them when they decided they wanted to be popular. 

In the next issue, read "The Blessedness of Believing the Teaching."  It will contain much historical data that the reader needs. 

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