By John Bovee Dods
Pastor of the First Universalist Society in Taunton, MA
September 22, 2000
This book was printed in 1832. This small book was found, in a small bookstore, in a small town, Punta Gorda, Florida. God had been teaching us for years about the difference between religion and Christianity. At the time the book was found the Lord was bringing us into more of the knowledge of what was accomplished by Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection. Much of what we have learned is contrary to what is heard in the average church setting. Much of what is preached in many churches contains the leaven that Jesus told his disciples to watch out for, the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. That is why they are "sad, you see." :-) Living under religious rules, laws and the teachings of men cause you to be sad. Living under a judgment mentality and separated in your mind from the love of God. But living in and knowing God’s love and grace causes you to be happy. Maybe not with all of your circumstances and problems but happy with God and knowing that everything is A-OK with you and Him.
There is no doubt that what God did in and through Jesus was for every person on the face of the earth. No exceptions. He took all of the judgment and punishment that was due mankind. God in the Man Christ Jesus reconciling the world to Himself, not holding their shortcomings, sins and imperfections against them. Not now and not ever. The problem is that most people don’t know that or if they do they revert back to their humanness and figure some how God will punish them to cause them to love him and act right etc. Or, He will cause them to believe in Him through judgment. It is a very hard thing to conceive total forgiveness because mankind is born with that human nature that causes us to revert to our performance and behavior to believe that we could do something to impress God. Of course we can’t. But like Avis, we try harder. :) No amount of striving to believe in Jesus or striving to keep all of the rules etc. makes God accept you. He already accepts you whether you believe it or not. Makes no difference. Rest assured you and your family, friends and enemies are all accepted by God. Most people just don’t know it. So, it is God that brings you into that knowledge through many avenues.
So, back to this book. By offering this book to you we are not saying that we agree with everything contained within it. I have found that no two people ever totally agree in their beliefs. We read this book and through it God strengthened in us what He began several years ago. We recommend that you read the whole book but especially sermons 5, 6, and 7. On and off over a period of several months we scanned, typed, edited, formatted; in HTML, PDF, and TEXT, the contents of this book because we believe that God has something to say through it. Also included are two images of the original book. The book measures 6 inches tall by 3 1/2 inches wide just in case you are interested in the particulars. There are original typesetting errors and other errors in the book which we corrected. But, we did not change any of the other things such as in those days they expressed etc. as &c. We kept the electronic book as close as possible to the original.
on the doctrine of
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