Page images

p. 270.

“In the year 1839, I was invited to preaching against religion, preaches preach in the town of Lee, New Hampshire. The Sabbath was very pleasant,

against the sins of his people, he is and a great concourse of people attended at once censured as having travelmeeting. At the close of the morning ed out of the record.'” p. 62. service, we all went to the tavern. During the intermission, the bar-room was

“ The great end of Universalist preachfull, and the incessant sound of the tod- ing is to prove that all men will be saved, dy-stick announced to me that the waiter to show that the doctrines of the orthowas constantly employed. The weather dox are absurd, and that no retribution is being warm, and the doors all open, I

to be found in the future world. As long could bear the discussion of the merits of as a minister attends to this, all will go the sermon, and the commendations,

well." mingled with oaths, which they bestow

“ But let a minister preach plainly and ed upon the preacher. All were not frequently, against profanity; drunkenthus employed. Some were trading hor. ness, gaming, or any of the alarming ses; some betting on the relative speed sins of the day, and he will at once be of their animals, and threatening to test reproved. No society, that I ever knew, the matter when meeting should be done. will bear such preaching." “ UniversalAt the close of the meeting, a scene oc.

ists give their ministers to understand curred that I cannot represent. It seem

distinctly that they do not come together ed like the breaking up of some military for that purpose. They are united to put review. So much cursing and swearing,

down orthodoxy; and as for hearing rude and vulgar jesting, horse-racing and

their preacher often rebuke and reprove running, that my pen can do little to. them, they are not disposed to it. They wards describing it. I turned from the can hear enough of such preaching at whole spectacle sick at heart; ashamed, orthodox meetings. mortified, and alarmed, that I was the “ During the latter part of my ministry preacher of a doctrine which called such as a Universalist, I was frequently cena collection and such characters together.” sured, with oaths, because I did not

preach Universalisin enough; but en“ I have repeatedly had my congrega

forced too much the practical duties of tion follow me, upon the Sabbath, from

life. In Salem, I once preached upon the bar-room to the place of meeting, and righteousness and temperance. Some of then back again to the tavern. In the my principal men came to me, and threatstage-coach, I have been extremely mor- ened to nail up their pews, if I meddied tified, when defending Universalism, to with that subject again. Had I added have a profane, drinking, dissolute look- judgment 10 come,' I dare not anticiing person signify to me that he thought pate what the result' would have been.”' my argument conclusive, and that he pp. 275, 276. agreed with me exactly.” « Common observation must convince

So manifest is the demoralizing any man that the profane, the intemper- influence of Universalism, that many ate, the licentious, love this doctrine. confirmed Universalists fear to have They call it their own. They, support it exercised on their families. Mr. it; they defend it.” “When I was a settled Universalist preacher, all such Smith tells us that he is acquainted bowed to me as their spiritual guide. with parents, who are professedly When a man died of the delirium tre.

firm believers in Universalism, who mens, was hanged or drowned by his own 'act, I was called, as a matter of have left its meetings on this ac. course, to attend the funeral.” p. 263. count, and give this reason for it,

saying,—“Our children are old The object for which Universalists enough to understand, and we prehear the preaching of their system, fer to have them under a different evinces both their character and the influence.” This reminds us of a character of their system. Says remark of a distinguished Unitarian, our author : “ The great purpose of who, when asked why he sent his those who unite in Universalist so. sons to an orthodox school, replied cieties, is not to make themselves - Orthodoxy is very good for better, and to throw around them. boys.Strange that men will trust selves new restraints ; not that men their own eternal well-being on a may be reformed, converted, and foundation on which they fear to made holy; but to put down ortho- rest even the temporal welfare of doxy. If a minister, in place of their children.

p. 264.



p. 322.

“ Universalism,” says Mr. S., " leads religion, in an ascending series, and to suicide. Ils doctrines make it unnecessary and unwise for us to keep an exist through several gradations, almost ence which is so full of woe, and which

to orthodoxy ; Adin Ballou, and is the only barrier to perfect and endless Charles Hudson, now a member of felicity. It must be folly and madness to Congress from Worcester County, continue in this life of disappointment Mass., whose testimony, especially and misery, when, by a self-inflicted death, a man may

that of the two latter, as quoted by

our author, is very full and emphatThe heartache, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to.'»

ic, and accords well with his own.

Additional confirmation of his He mentions several cases in

own testimony, as to the moral rewhich men have acted according to this reasoning-reasoning entirely nounced, Mr. Smith gives, by addu

sults of the system which he has reconclusive, from Universalist premi cing the concessions of those who ses.

Of these we will mention but still continue in the ministry of Unione, and that partly because it is

versalism. Of these we will quote for other reasons notorious.

only one. “Jonathan Cilley, who was killed by Mr. Graves, of Kentucky, in a duel, was

"A Universalist preacher, who stands in conversation with a pious lady in

at the head of the denomination, was setWashington the night before he was shot. tled seventeen years in the vicinity of He confessed thai, with the religious Boston. He had under his charge the views that the lady entertained, he should largest and best Universalist society. He be deterred from fighting the duel. But, was very sick, and supposed to be in a as a Universalist, he had nothing to fear; consumption. He told me that the moral if he shot bis antagonist, the world would condition of his society, and the moral justify him; but if he was killed, his results of his preaching made him sick, soul would immediately ascend to hea- and almost carried him to his grave. He ven.” p. 325.

felt that he had done no good; that his

ministry had been the source of much To this case we may add another evil, besides wasting the long period of of recent occurrence. J. C. Colt, time that he had been settled. Nearly the late murderer and suicide, evi: every man, who was in the society when

he was settled, died during his ministry. dently held the same opinions as to And nearly every one that died, was an eternal retribution. In one of his ATHEIST, Á DEIST, OR A DRUNKARD. He letters written while in prison, we

could not remain. He left his charge, find the poor and common sophistry solved to change his style of preaching,

and settled over a small congregation, reof Universalists, that “a finite sin expecting to see a different result. Vaio cannot receive an infinite punish. hope, while Universalism is preached !"

“ The reason,” Mr. Smith adds, It is cheering to the friends of " that so few, comparatively, com- truth to be informed, as they are by mit suicide, is found in the fact that Mr. Smith, that “Universalism in there are very few confirmed Uni- this country is on the wane.” We versalists in the world."

occasionally hear from the organs Our author does not leave his tes. of Universalism boastful accounts timony as to the moral results of of the rapid spread of their system, Universalism, to stand alone. He and of the formation of great num. confirms his own by that of a large bers of new societies. But by these number, who, like him, have left statements, as we are told by our the ministry of that system, on ac- author, the community is greatly count of its demoralizing effects. deceived. True, many new socieHe mentions the names of thirty- ties are formed; but most of them two, whose cases have come to his die, and die in infancy. And the knowledge. Among these are 0. Universalist papers, while they tell A. Brownson, who has passed from us how many new societies have the lowest point of any thing called been organized, do not tell us how


p. 315.


many, during the same period, have For the particulars which consticome to an untimely end. They tute the proof of the truth of this keep a record of ecclesiastical births, statement, we have not room. We but not of ecclesiastical deaths. must refer the reader who wishes

“ Many,” says Mr. S.," are formed to-- to see them, to Mr. Smith's book. day and die to-morrow. They are com- Such is the sinking condition of posed of discordant materials which can

Universalism in America : while in not long bold together. One society is organized, because there is a revivaỈ of Europe, the land of its birth, where religion in the town; another, because it began with James Relly, in Engthe use of a church for a lecture has

land, in the time of Whitefield, it been refused; another, to keep women

has hardly an organized existence. and children away from religious influ

Preaching is sustained awhile, In Liverpool there is a society contill the fit of zeal has passed off'; and sisting, says its minister, of " a few then the whole attempt is abandoned,

stragglers, amounting in all to some In New England alone, more than one

hundreds." hundred Universalist societies have run

“ In Scotland there are doron since 1830."


three small congregations, number“The character of these societies is so ing less than one hundred souls graphically described by one of the sect, each. But these are Trinitarians, that I will allow him to speak for them. Hosea Ballou, 2d, says, 'Here is a (Uni

and make the doctrine of the Trinversalist] society thai has perhaps gather- ity the test of fellowship. They do ed in a considerable number of members,

not recognize the Universalists of whose ability in worldly means is equal to that of any society in the town. In

this country as Christians.Unideed, they sometimes congratulate them

versalists in this country have made selves on their strength over a feebler so- many attempts to cultivate the ac. ciety of another faith, which neverthe

quaintance and gain the fellowship less manages to support constant preach

of those in Europe, whom they ing. They, on the other hand, feel that they cannot afford to settle a pastor, nor have supposed to be of the same indeed to procure the ministration of the faith with themselves. But these gospel more than a part of the year-perhaps through the warm season, possibly

attempts have resulted only in morbui half of the time even then, or only

tification. They wrote to Profesoccasionally. But when they do have sor Tholuck.

He replied once, preaching, the thing is done up in the and then, having ascertained their earthquake style, Notice is published belief and character, declined all all abroad, and when the day arrives, in come the wagons and carriages, horse

farther correspondence. A box men and footmen, from a dozen miles containing a copy of each of their around, and fill the church to overflow. principal publications, sent to Mrs. ing. Many a glance is cast forth at the smaller neighboring congregation-it is a

Sherwood by some American Uni. wonderful triumph; they have beaten versalists, who thought they had their neighbors twofold, and this was reason to hope for fellowship with what they meant to do. The matter is her, was returned unopened. Mr. talked of; perhaps they get it published;

C. J. Lefevre, a popular preacher and then-their church is shut again, till they can gather excitability enough for of a Universalist society in the city another convulsion fit, or rather till the of New York, went as delegate to apparatus is ready for galvanizing the " the liberal churches in Europe," dead body once more. “ This is a most accurate description,

by appointment of the General Congiven, not by an enemy, but by a friend; vention of Universalists, with the not from report, but from actual knowl- high expectation of “lifting up his edge; and by one, who, in company voice in defense of God's universal with myself, bas assisted in galvanizing and efficient grace in London, in many a society of this description.' pp. 273, 274.

Paris, in St. Petersburg, and if pos'“ Take any place in which Universal. sible, in Rome.” He was invited cle around it of ten miles, and you wili by a Unitarian clergyman near Lonfind Universalism to be less flourishing

don, to preach to a congregation of than at its commencernent." p. 326. thirty persons ! “ This,” he says,



was the only time I officiated tutes men, that they necessarily do during my residence in Europe. all that evil which results from erIt was the only opportunity that ror on practical subjects. We think was afforded me.

that man is able and bound to be“ In truth," says Mr. S., “there is no

lieve the truth. We are confident Universalism in Europe, such as is thus that all false principles and opincalled in America. THE SYSTEM ions, on practical subjects, are crimAMERICAN UNIVERSALISM SINGLE DEFENDER IN Europe." p. 344. inal. If man does evil, he is guilty

somewhere. If he does wrong, thinkIn reading this work of Mr. Smith, ing that he is right, his guilt is at we have been pleased with the illus. the point where he formed his wrong tration which it furnishes, of the opinion. God has given us facultruth, that God brings good out of ties capable of doing good and avoidevil. By his experience in the min. ing evil, and if we do evil, we, at istry of a destructive error, he has some point, abuse those faculties been peculiarly qualified for the ex- either by misuse or neglect. In posure and refutation of that error. the more enlarged meaning of the While engaged in proclaiming a terms therefore, a man cannot be system which heals slightly the hurt honest or conscientious, in a course of conscience, which says to eve- of evil or injurious conduct. He ry one who walketh after the ima- cannot be honest or conscientious gination of his own heart, no evil clear through, in all that goes to shall come upon you," he has seen make up that course of conduct more extensively and thoroughly honest both in his action, and in than he otherwise could, the baneful forming the opinions and principles influence and appalling results of which led to that action. It is a that system, and thus gained pos. libel on our Creator to say so. He session of a weapon against it, which has made us capable of doing the can neither be parried nor resisted; right and shunning the wrong, and and this weapon, thus placed in his that at all times. If we do wrong hand by the ministry of error, God or evil, thinking that we do right,

grace has turned to the de- then we thought wrong; then we struction of error. Winning over formed a wrong opinion on a practo his service one of the servants tical subject, and whether we formof Satan, he leads him on in an ir. ed it yesterday, or twenty years -resistible attack upon those strong since, we did it criminally. At that holds of Satan, the weak points of point, we knowingly neglected, perwhich he had learned while employ- verted, or resisted light, and truth, ed in their defense. One of the and evidence. At that point, convery priests of the temple of im- science condemned us. And for piety, he uses as an instrument to our wilful ignorance, or prejudice, expose its corruption.

or obstinacy, or hatred of truth, at We may learn also from this that point-for this, when we apwork a lesson of charity, in judging pear at God's tribunal, we must be of those who are in great error. It speechless. We may say, moreteaches us—what we have believed over, that he, who has formed false hardly possible—that a Universalist opinions and principles which lead minister may be in a sense honest him to a course of evil conduct, in his work.

cannot have an entirely sound conLet us not be misunderstood. We science. There is ever in his consay in a sense honest. We by no science a hollow spot, a misgiving, means agree with those who talk which, should he regard its indicaof the innocence of errorists. We tions, would lead him to the truth. -do not believe that God so consti- When we say then, that a UniverVol. I.


by his

salist minister may be honest in a that for an act committed not by sense, we do not mean thoroughly themselves, but by their common honest—honest in the formation, as progenitor, all mankind were placed well as practice of his principles. under condemnation, he felt pressed We mean simply, that while preach- to find, as he thought he did find ing Universalism, he may really in the Bible, the doctrine, that the think that Universalism is true. whole race were united to Christ, This, as we before said, we have and made partakers of the rewards been slow to believe; so palpable of a full obedience rendered by him a contradiction to the Bible is that for all. Denying man's free-will, system.

and believing that all his actions are Mr. Smith testifies that he really such as they are by irresistible ne. believed Universalism to be true, cessity, he felt pressed to admit, and began to preach it with enthu- that those who perish thus by sins siasm, thinking that it would accom- which are inevitable, would in some

good results. Early instruc- way be rescued by him who placed tion, the counsel of father and kino them in so hard a condition. Bedred and acquaintance, led him to lieving, that God in his perfect behate orthodoxy, and embrace the nevolence desires the salvation of error of universal salvation. The all men, and that by sheer power growth of wrong principles, thus he can sanctify all, he felt bound in early implanted in his mind, was logic to adopt the doctrine of the favored by circumstances; and he final salvation of all.

So it was became an earnest and public ad. to a great extent with Winchester, vocate of these principles, verily who, like Murray and Relly, seems thinking that they were true; just to have been honest in his opinions. as Paul “verily thought” that he Thus doubtless it has been with

ought to do many things contrary many others. So prone are men to Jesus of Nazareth."

to make the Bible mean what they even believe, that those who have think it ought to mean, what they received their early instruction in think it must mean, in order to be orthodox communities and families, vindicated. Mr. Smith tells us, that may, sometimes, honestly in the of the thirty two ministers whom sense explained, enter on the min. he mentions as having renounced istry of Universalism, led thither by Universalism, shocked by its moral following out logically to their re- results, twenty five entered the min. sults, the philosophy and traditions istry of that system from the minisof men, which have often been min. try of another faith. gled with orthodox expositions of We would not however, intimate the commandments and truths of that any large proportion of UniverGod. This evidently was the case salist ministers are honest, even in with Relly, the father of Universal. the sense above explained. Facis ism in England, who made out his oblige us to adopt the conclusion, scheme by uniting the plain doc- that many of them preach error, trine of the Scriptures, that Christ knowing it to be error, and thus for died for all men, with commercial gain destroy souls for whom Christ views of the atonement with the died. Still, the fact that any among idea, that the atonement pays the them are honest, should teach us debt of all for whom it is made. candor and charity in judging of all This was the case with Murray, errorists. For if a preacher of Uniwho, with his Antinomian views, versalism may be honest in any could not justify the ways of God sense in his error, who may not? to men, except by the doctrine But we would add, and the exof universal restoration. Believing, perience of our author and his ac

We can

« PreviousContinue »