History and Background of Universalism

Universalism: The basic doctrine of Universalism centers around the belief that all men will finally be saved. This doctrine is of ancient origen and has existed among many schools of Christianity. There are biblical passages in both the Old and New Testaments which are interpreted as furnishing Scriptural authority for the belief. Such men as Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, Diodorus, Theodore of Mopsuestia and others laid the foundations for the system. They taught that punishment was remdial, that the nature of God was love, and that the Divine mery could not be satified with partial salvation or everlasting punishment.

The doctrine became heretical about the sixth century and was largely neglected during the Middle Ages. It was revived during the latter part of the 18th century, and became wide-spread during the 19th and 20th centuries.

The modern movement of Universalism originated in England, being a logical development of anti-Calvinistic teaching. It carried the Wesleyan system of free grace to the point where the grace of God would be accepted by all. (Encyclopedia of Religion, ed., Vergilius Ferm, Philosophical Library, New York, 1945, p. 805.)

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