From the theology of John Murray, who like Ballou has been called "the father of American Universalism," he differed in that he divested Universalism of every trace of Calvinism and opposed legalism and trinitarian views.
Legalism was joined with sacramentarianism, doubling the power of the priest.
This legalism contrasts strikingly with the efforts of pagan philosophy to exhibit virtue as its own reward; and the contrast is triumphantly pointed out by more than one early Christian writer.
While in his zeal for legalism he virtually adopts the standpoint of Pharisaism, he is at one with Jewish Hellenism in substituting belief in the soul's immortality for the doctrine of a bodily resurrection.
And while the polemical motive is obvious, and the argument from prophecy against the legitimacy of a non-Davidic dynasty is quite in the manner of the scribes, the spirit of theocratic fervour which inspires the picture of the Messiah is broader and deeper than their narrow legalism.