“In a pamphlet, recently published in Boston, against Universalism, the author adduces, among others, the following argument, to prove Universalism insincere:
‘A second circumstance, which discredits Universalist sincerity, is that they commonly swear othodox oaths. Of this fact every body is aware. Let them get angry and you hear nothing but hell, the devil, and damnation.’
Verily! this demon, profanity, which has been so long and justly fathered upon his Satanic Majesty, is now formally claimed and acknowledged by his own proper and legitimate parent, Orthodoxy! We have, indeed, ever known the resemblance to be that of a parent and child, but of this acknowledgment, we never had the faintest expectation. But it is so, and we are glad to see it. It is acting according to the ancient principle, ‘Give the devil his due.’
The habit of profane swearing may now be attributed to its true and acknowledged source. It originated, as appears, in the principles of that religious faith which teaches that God will eventually inflict the most aggravated, and endless curses upon his enemy. Wherever this faith has been received as the truth of God, its believers of course, have considered themselves the friends of God, and consequently views the objects of their own hatred to be equally obnoxious to the divine displeasure; and hence have been led to imprecate, with the most reckless malignity, the severest curses of God upon the objects of their mutual displeasure. As all profane oaths have originated in this way, they are the peculiar property of this faith, and are, therefore, according to the popular usage of the term, properly denominated ‘ORTHODOX OATHS.’
When Universalists descend to the use of these oaths, they are most certainly insincere. Universalism acknowledges no such curses as this faith anticipates; a sincere Universalist, therefore, cannot imprecate them. No man can sincerely and consistently practice profane swearing, but a believer in the sentiment above noticed. Such an one,–since all oaths originate in this sentiment,–may do it in perfect consonance with his religion. But the inconsistency of a swearing Universalist is apparent. For since Universalism has no oaths, but is opposed to profanity, he must abandon altogether its principles, and adopt those of his religious opponents, and as this author says, swear their oaths. He is never induced to do this, except when the worst principles of his nature are called into exercise. ‘Let them get angry,’ says our author, ‘and you hear nothing but hell, the devil, and damnation.’ True; when a man is angry, then he resorts to the principles of orthodoxy. These are a sure refuge for the vengeful and malignant passions of his nature, and here they are fed and fattened, and pampered, until they break out in ‘orthodox oaths.’
Reader, hast thou faith in the doctrine of Universal and triumphant grace?–then never suffer they passions for a moment, so to counteract the beneficent tendency of thy faith, as that thou shalt be induced to adopt the angry spirit of partialism, and so imprecate its dreadful curses upon thy fellow creature.”
–S.P. Skinner, The Southern Pioneer and Gospel Visiter, Volume 1, Number 11 (September 1832): 259-260.