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long and wilfully resisted the truth. I change of views ; the anxiety athad employed my strength in strengthen tending an examination before an ing the hands of the wicked, and peo association of pastors for license to pling the world of despair with immortal souls. What right had I to expect preach the Gospel, and before the mercy? what claim upon the grace of Tabernacle church in Salem for God? I was encompassed with awful admission to its communion, added fears
. My days, were wretched me to repeated and exciting conversanights were passed in anguish that drove sleep from my pillow. I was awfully tions and arguments with his Univertempted to leave this world unbidden, salist acquaintance, were too much but I dared not do it. I was certain, if both for body and mind. The disI did, I should go to hell. My appetite was gone, my health declining, my
ease to which he was liable tri. strength almost exhausted. O, the worm- umphed for several weeks, during wood and the gall of those dark and try; which, under the influence of sug. ing moments! How vivid they stand out upon my memory! How harrowing gestions and objections urged by his the recital!" I have barely firmness suffi. former friends, his mind vacillated cient to pen these events.
respecting the strict eternity of fu“But God at last heard my prayer, and ture punishment. Taking advangave me peace.” pp. 40, 41.
tage of this, his enemies raised the To his great surprise and joy, shout that he had returned to Uniwhen, with much solicitude as to the versalism. result, he communicated his feelings At this time, for the restoration to his wife, he found that she was of his health, and for advice and prepared fully to sympathize with sympathy, he made a visit to Rev. him. Her faith in Universalism was Dr. Hawes. While in his family first shaken by the conduct and con- his health was improved, his mind versation of Universalist ministers became calm and decided, and his who visited at his house. She felt heart fixed. that a system could be neither true
" It is but just to say,” he remarks, nor profitable which had such advo. " that, if I shall ever be of any service cates; and several months before his in the ministry of Jesus Christ, it will be conversion, she had found the Savior very much owing to the friendly atten
tions, the judicious instructions, and the precious to her soul; though from Christian sympathy, which I received fear that a knowledge of her change from Dr. Hawes, his kind family, and his would make him unhappy, she affectionate church.” p. 48. had not communicated it to him. After this he spent a few months “Could any one marvel,” he asks, in New Haven, attending to theo" that our first family altar should logical study, where, on the last be one of thanksgiving to that God Sabbath in the year 1840, “ a year who had opened our eyes, touched full of change, anxiety and sufferour hearts, and enabled us to begin ing," he, together with his wife, en. together a new life in Christ ?” tered, on profession of their faith,
But his long course of distress as into communion with the First to the moral results of his preacli- church, in that city. During the ing, and of doubt as to its truth; next month he took license to preach, his subsequent unsettled state, his from the New Haven West Asso. conviction of sin, and anxiety as to ciation, and since that time has been his own salvation, together with the constantly, and we hardly need say hatred and calumny and varied per- successfully, employed in building secution of his former associates up the faith which he once destroyand friends, which affected the ed. He is now the regular paspublic mind with suspicion and dis- tor of a Congregational church in trust; the excitement of addressing Nashua, N. H. in these circumstances an immense It is a most interesting fact, that congregation on the subject of his Mr. Smith is the child of a pious Vol. I.
mother, and that her dying prayer have been saved!'. O that I could rewas offered for her infant son to
call the past! O that I could wipe out Him who in his rich grace has said
the influence I have exerted, and make
those twelve years a blank! Could I do to his people, “I will be a God to this, I would make any sacrifice. ! thee and to thy seed after thee." would weep tears of blood, if I had To this fact he thus alludes.
them, to remove the impressions I have
made' upon the souls of men, while I was “I have said that nearly all my near
in the ministry of error. But this I canrelatives were Universalists. There is not do. All that remains for me is, to an exception to this remark; and did I lift my voice in defense of truth, and tell not name it, I should do injustice to the men what great things God has done for best friend I ever had. My own mother my soul.” p. 53. was not a Universalist. She was a reli. gious woman. I have no remembrance Such is the history of our author; of her; for she died before my memory such his acquaintance with Univer. received any impressions of her words salism ; such his religious experior looks. I cannot recall any thing in relation to her. But those who knew
ence; such his competence, both as her well, speak of her piety and love for to knowledge and integrity, to testhe things of God. I was her youngest tify of the moral results of that sys. child; and she wished to live to train
tem. me up for God, and to guide me in the way of life. Very early in my life, I
What is his testimony on this was made acquainted with her dying em- point? In this testimony, as we ployment. As death approached, she have already intimated, lies the called for me, and took me in her arms, and pressed me to her bosom with her peculiar value of this book as a dying embrace. Her last tears were
refutation of Universalism. shed for me ; her last breath was spent Smith has indeed presented very in prayer to God for my welfare and my well the arguments against the syssalvation. It was her dying petition that I might be saved from impiety and sin, tem, both from Scripture and reason. and become a useful Christian. That Yet this has often been well done death-bed, and the last moments of my before, and there are many who can mother, have never left my mind, since do it well again. But there are few, first I was told of her dying hours. When far gone in error, this scene has spo
very few, among the defenders of ken to me. When many have thought the truth, who have had equal opme hardened, past feeling, and past re- portunities for observing the effects demption, this has made my mind ten
of Universalism, and can give on der, and sometimes almost overwhelmed
that point such conclusive and over
whelming testimony. In closing the account of his reli
What then according to this testigious experience, Mr. Smith with very appropriate feelings thus in mony, whose credibility we have
virtually considered, are the moral quires.
atmosphere and moral results of Uni“ How can I review my past life? The versalism? This we will endeavor retrospect is terrible beyond description. Twelve years of this short life wasted,
to give in substance, and as briefly and worse than wasted! Employed in
as possible. And here, by the way, strengthening the hands of the wicked; we would remark, that we know of in removing the restraints of the Bible; no better test of the truth or falsity in preaching peace to the ungodly; in assuring them that they would noi die,
of the system than this inquiry. Of though they disobeyed God; in alluring systems of faith, as well as of disci. men to destruction; in turning men from ples, we are to judge by their fruits. life to death ; and in speaking encourage. 6. Ye shall know them,” said our ment to those already in the road to de. struction, and urging them on their peril
Savior, “by their fruits. Do men ous way! O, what a retrospect! My gather grapes of thorns, or figs of pathway scems strewed with the wreckis thistles ?" If a man's works are evil, and ruins of souls! My hands and my his heart must be corrupt. If the garments seem stained with the blood of my fellow-men. On every side, lost tendencies and well ascertained ef. souls cry out, . But for you, we might
fects of any doctrinal system are de
structive to the best interests of man, checked; that something must be done that system is false, and has not, being orthodox; the world, they thought,
to keep their wives and children froin cannot have, for its author, the true
was not yet quite prepared for a full advoand benevolent God.
cacy of truth, and Universalism came so One of the characteristics of near their idea of truth, that it was the error is, that its natural course is
best thing the world al present would
bear. downward. This is a characteris. tic of Universalism. It has itself
One of the most intelligent, a phy. gone down, down, that is, it has sician, answered to the same ques. down in doctrine, till it can
tion thus: “I unite with the Univer. gone hardly go farther. It commenced salists because they are the nearest with the rejection of one important to nothing of any thing I know of.” article of faith, and has continued There is entire sympathy between this process of mutilation, till now it infidels and Universalists. Says our has not one of the distinguishing fea. authortures of a revelation from God. " When Frances Wright gave her lec6 When Universalism was first in- tures in Boston, the Universalists were troduced into the country in 1770,” among her nost ardent admirers."
"The prominent ministers of Universays Mr. Smith, its advocates de.
salism were among her audiences, and nied but one article of the orthodox were sealed upon the stage with her at creed. They rejected simply the
the Federal street theater. She visited
them at their houses. And I heard Mr. eternity of future punishment. Its
Ballou, of Boston, say that he agreed first downward step was to deny the with Miss Wright in the sentiments she divinity and atonement of Christ. Its advanced in her lectures, except in one second, to reject the doctrine of any,
thing; what she called religion, he even limited, future punishment.
should call superstition.” p. 245. At the third step it þoldly denied Infidels are freely admitted into that sin is an evil under God's gov. Universalist meeting-houses to lecernment, and also the existence of ture in favor of infidelity, and conhell, the being of the devil, the im- stitute a large part of the subscribers mortality of the soul, and the exist. to Universalist papers. Mr. O. A. ence of angels. It then assailed the Brownson says, of the two thousand institutions of religion. It denied five hundred subscribers to the pathe divine institution of the Sabbath, per which he conducted when a Uniand devoted it to secular purposes ; versalist, he presumes denied the binding nature and sa- than half were skeptics, or at least credness of the Lord's supper, and skeptical.” Mr. Brownson adds, that virtually abolished the church. Hav- “it was very common for the clering thus rejected all of the Bible but gymen with whom he was acquaintthe name, it becomes in reality iden- ed, to speak of Universalism as a tified with infidelity. Accordingly 'stepping-stone,' as the best weait is found, that a large part--the pon to destroy the orthodox, do away
, most intelligent part—of Universalist the clergy, and prepare the way
for societies, are openly infidel, and will something better,” and that he has not allow their ministers to preach conversed with hundreds of professagainst infidelity. We have already ed Universalists, who would own to spoken of Mr. Smith's testimony as him that they support Universalism to the infidelity of the great majority only because it was the most liber. of his congregation at Hartford. al sentiment they could find, and When he asked them why, being because it was better than deism to infidels, they supported Universal. put down the orthodox."" ism, they replied that
Mr. Abner Kneeland, who has " They thought that superstition, as gone through the Universalist and
, they used to call religion, should be infidel camps into Atheism, says,
" that more
“that he, as an Atheist, has reached of Universalist preachers, to have
Such is the downward tendency no surer sign than this of the abof this error.
It began by denying sence of piety. Says our authorsimply the eternity of future pun- " No minister of the sect whom I ever ishment. It is now infidelity, almost knew, maintains family prayer. I have without an attempt at disguise.
known many to ridicule ihe custom ; but Let us next consider the tenden
no one to observe it. I have been often
in the families of the principal advocates cy and effects of Universalism, as
of Universalism, and passed the night. manifest in the conduct and char. They have been at my house. I found acter of its advocates. On this no family devotions at their dwellings. point some testimony has already ing an allar at my fireside." "I knew
They expressed no surprise at not find
expressed no been offered, in giving an account one man who asked a blessing at bis of Mr. Smith's experience as a table. But he did this only when he had minister of that sect. But his book company; and was led to the practice by is full of most appalling evidence, thought it looked strange for a minister
the remark of a friend, who told him he leading to the same conclusion.
to have no blessing craved at bis table. We will give a few specimens. “ So far as my own custom was con- , And first, as to the character of the cerned, I neither read the Bible in my Universalist clergy. If piety exist feel it' my duty to do so. I should as
family, nor prayed with them. I did not in a sect, we expect to find it in its soon have thought it my duty to turn my ministry. But whoever looks for it parlor into a Mahomeian mosque, and in the Universalist ministry, will be gather my family together to see me per
form those ablutions which the religion disappointed. We have already of Mahomet requires, as to have engaged noted the fact, that Mrs. Smith was with them in family worship. Nor is led to reject Universalism, by the this a hard saying. The sect do not conconduct and conversation of Univer. sider this thing as a blemish.” salist ministers in her family. Says said to me, after his conversion to Uni
“A person of my acquaintance once Mr. Smith
versalism, I wonder that the Universal
ist clergy do not pray in their families, if “ Among no (other} body of men can
it were only 10 stop the mouths of the be found, 'I presume, so much ill-will, orthodox.' 'He set ip family prayer for jealousy, and bad feeling, as may be found
this purpose; but the fame soon went among the advocates of Universalism."
out upon his altar. He gave up his de“Although associated with them twelve
votions, and ceased to wonder that his years, I never heard the subject of per. new brethren did not pray, even though sonal religion introduced in a meetiog of it might have accomplished the great reUniversalist teachers as a theme of con.
sults anticipated, in stopping the mouths versation, or any topic designed to im- of the orthodox. Indeed, a tropical plant prove the understanding or mend the
could sooner bloom in Nova Zembla, heart. But impure and indecent jesls, than a praying man continue such, when low and offensive stories, remarks that identified with Universalism." pp. 227, would rule a man out of any respectable 228, 229. drawing-room in the country, together
Indeed, Mr. Smith tells us, many with petty scandal, and criticism of no friendly character, upon some absent Universalists deny that prayer is a brother, make up the conversation of duty, and argue that this ceaseless Universalist preachers when in company importunity is offensive to God; with each other." p. 65.
that the editor of the Universal. “ A man may retail liquor by the ist paper in Hartford, announced glass, use profane language, and be through its columns, that for the an open infidel, and yet be a Uni- future he should refuse to pray versalist minister in good standing. when he conducted public service, A minister guilty of bigamy, was and said that such prayer was wrong, declared by an assembled council and a tribute to orthodoxy that he
was unwilling to pay; that Mr. apostles, alarmed, reformed, and Grosh, the editor of one of the changed the hearts of men. None most widely circulated Universalist of these effects, says Mr. Smith, journals in the country, defended has Universalism, but the very opthis course; and that a large num- posite. ber of Universalist ministers assent
“ Twelve years in its ministry have ed to its correctness, but thought not brought one instance of reformation the community not sufficiently en
from that cause under my observation. lightened to bear it. Thus far as to
I have never heard of an instance, nor
have I ever seen a man who had been the fruits of Universalism, as mani- more favored than myself in this respect." fest in its ministry. In this connexion we cannot re
“ In the congregations with which I
have had an acquaintance, I never found frain from quoting—though it is not a family that observed the reading of the in logical order—one paragraph as Bible as an act of devotion, or had reguto the competency of the Universal- lar family worship: And I have never
found seitled religious principle among ist clergy to explain and amend the
those calling themselves Universalists. common version of the Scriptures, Not only have I never found devout revand to impugn the faith of the erence springing from the system, but Christian church in all ages.
none can live in it. I have observed it a
fact invariably occurring, that, when a “In the Hudson River Association of Universalist becomes serious and thoughtUniversalists, a few years since, an at
ful, he will at once leave the Universalist tempt was made to establish a rule, re- meeting. And when a pious man emquiring of candidates for ordination, the braces that system, he will abandon bis study of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, habits of devotion, in changing his faith. for the space of six months, under seme Men peculiar for their habits of private Universalist preacher; no theological
and family prayer, and for a serious study study being demanded. The introduc- of the Bible, if they embrace Universaltion of the resolution produced a commo
isın, become at once as peculiar for the tion that, for a time, threatened the exis. neglect of these religious duties.” p. 62. tence of the Association. It was de
* I have often been struck with the clared to be absolutely useless' to pos- change in the characters of men, when sess such qualifications. It was said to
converted to Universalism. Before their be one of the abominations of partial- conversion, they had a family altar; afterism.' Some of the ablest ministers threat. wards, it was thrown down. Before, ened to • leave the order,' if the resolu- they would devole the Sabbath to relition were not withdrawn. But the ex- gious worship; afterwards, to business, citement went beyond the bounds of the recreation, or pleasure. Before, they Association, and the periodicals express
were liberal in supporting not only the ed their indignation at the rule proposed. public worship of God, but the benevo
The editor of one of the most widely sent institutions of the church ; after. circulated Universalist papers says, in
wards, the smallest sum was given with respect to grammar, • We do consider this extreme reluctance. I was once instruan absurd requisition for the candidate for mental in persuading a young man to the ministry, particularly when many of embrace my system. He was an artist our ablest preachers could not coen nov
by profession. He had been religiously pass the required examination.' (Mag. educated, was very moral, a strict observa and Adv. iii. p. 342.) Mr. Andrews
er of the Sabbath, and punctual in his says, Many of our most popular and
attendance upon public worsbip. I had useful preachers have no pretensions of great difficulty in removing the many that sort; and are, in fact, unable to
objections he urged against Universalism. write a sermon correctly, that is, without
At length he was satisfied to rest his gross violation of the most common prin- hopes of heaven upon that foundation. ciples of rhetoric and English grammar.'
In less than six months from the hour in (Gospel Anchor, ii, p. 141.)" p. 75.
which he embraced it, bis moral sense
was so impaired, that he used to work Let us now consider the effects upon the Sabbath.” pp. 260, 261. of Universalism on those who hear - The class of persons," says it. We do not usually expect to Mr. Smith, “ usually collected tofind a people better than their min. gether to hear a preacher of Uni. isters. '“ Like priest, like people.” versalism, is proof of its immoral The preaching of Christ and his tendency."