THIS particular booklet has been called forth because of the deep fog which surrounds the doctrines of "Original Sin" and "Eternal Punishment". It is not too much to say that much of the contempt which honest men have poured upon Christianity has arisen from a wholesome refusal to believe some of the things which are put forward as unquestioned matters of Christian Faith. Just as the Roman Catholic Church has repelled many by its obvious errors—as instanced by the latest doctrine, necessary to saving faith, of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary—so also has Protestantism asked men to believe the incredible, and even the wicked. Some in revolt have thrown away the baby with the bathwater: others have subsided into an uneasy silence on the matters, and, when challenged by the unbeliever, have had to refuse battle, or else attempt to defend the indefensible with the sword of Ecclesiastical Authority.
The malady is deep-rooted and inveterate. For hundreds of years the influence of St. Augustine and others has swayed the minds of Christians, and through the Roman Church laid down a track, by this time worn hard by the unreflecting feet of thousands, which has led into confusion and error. Particularly is this so in regard to the character of God, which has been besmirched and twisted out of all recognition: until, instead of a God of Love who is the soul of generosity and long-suffering and mercy, we have a Despot who is a bundle of contradictions: loving enough to send His Son to die for sinners but too careless to make sure that they heard about it: not willing that any should perish but knowing that the vast majority would: the essence of unselfishness and yet creating this groaning world for His own glory and pleasure.
No effort can be too great to rescue the reputation of our Lord from these aspersions and to enable every man to worship