An 18th century conversation between Calvinist John Murray and a Christian Universalist
“And pray sir,” said the young lady, with great sweetness, “Pray sir, what is the unbeliever damned for not believing?”
What is he damned for not believing? Why he is damned for
“But my dear sir, I asked what was that, which he did not
believe, for which he is damned?”
Why, for not believing in Jesus Christ, to be sure.
“Do you mean to say, that unbelievers are damned, for not
believing there was such a person as Jesus Christ?”
No, I do not; a man may believe there was such a person, and
yet be damned.
“What then, sir, must he believe, in order to avoid damnation?”
Why he must believe that Jesus Christ was the complete Savior.
“Well, suppose he were to believe, that Jesus was the complete Savior of others, would this belief save him?”
No, he must believe for himself, that Jesus Christ is his complete Savior.
“Why, sir, is Jesus Christ the Savior of any unbelievers?”
“Why then, should any unbeliever believe that Jesus is his
Savior, if he is not his Savior?”
I say he is not the Savior of any one, until he believes.
“Then, if Jesus be not the Savior of the unbeliever, until he
believes, the unbeliever is called upon to believe a lie. It appears to me, sir, that Jesus is the complete Savior of unbelievers; and the unbelievers are called upon to believe the truth; and that, by believing they are saved, in their own apprehension, saved from all those dreadful fears, which are consequent upon a state of conscious condemnation.”
No madam; you are dreadfully, I trust fatally misled. Jesus
never was, never will be, the Savior of any unbeliever.
“Do you think that Jesus is your Savior, sir?”
I hope he is.
“Were you always a believer, sir?”
“Then you were once an unbeliever, that is, you once believed
that Jesus was not your Savior. Now, as you say, he never was nor never will be, the Savior of any unbeliever; as you were once an unbeliever, he cannot be your Savior.”
He never was my Savior till I believed.
“Did he die, for you, till you believed, sir?”
“All Shall Be Well: Explorations in Universal Salvation and Christian Theology, from Origen to Moltmann”
Sorry, couldn’t help myself.