The church insists that we must be "born again," and that all who are not the subjects of this second birth are heirs of everlasting fire. Would it not have been much better to have made another Adam and Eve? Would it not have been better to change Noah and his people, so that after that a second birth would not have been necessary? Why not purify the fountain of all human life? Why allow the earth to he peopled with depraved and monstrous beings, each one of whom must be re-made, re-formed, and born again?
And yet, even reformation is not enough. If the man who steals becomes perfectly honest, that is not enough; if the man who hates his fellow-man, changes and loves his fellow-man, that is not enough; he must go through that mysterious thing called the second birth; he must be born again. He must have faith; he must believe something that he does not understand, and experience what they call "conversion." According to the church, nothing so excites the wrath of God--nothing so corrugates the brows of Jehovah with hatred--as a man relying on his own good works. He must admit that he ought to be damned, and that of the two he prefers it, before God will consent to save him.
I met a man the other day, who said to me, "I am a Unitarian Universalist." "What do you mean by that?" I asked. "Well," said he, "this is what I mean: the Unitarian thinks he is too good to be damned, and the Universalist thinks God is too good to damn him, and I believe them both."
Is it possible that the sacrifice of a perfect being was acceptable to God? Will he accept the agony of innocence for the punishment of guilt? will he release Barabbas and crucify Christ?