\jˌuːnɪvˈɜːsəlˌɪsts], \jˌuːnɪvˈɜːsəlˌɪsts], \j_ˌuː_n_ɪ_v_ˈɜː_s_ə_l_ˌɪ_s_t_s]\
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The main tenet of their belief was held by some Christians in the third century, but as a modern teaching it owes its development to the founders of the denomination who advocated their views about the middle of the eighteenth century, almost simultaneously in England and the American colonies. The first convention of delegates met in Oxford, Mass., in 1785, and adopted the name of "Independent Christian Society, commonly called Universalists." In 1790 a general convention met in Philadelphia and drew up a platform of government and a confession of faith. Two years later the New England churches organized a convention for New England, and ten years later adopted the Profession of Belief which is still in vogue. This latter convention is now the General Convention. The body numbered about 49,000 members in 1890.
By John Franklin Jameson
By Henry Percy Smith