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and an officer in that church. Ever since that period, in which he renounced all notions of limited goodness and partial salvation, in which he embraced a belief in the universal goodness of our Father in Heaven, and the final salvation of all mankind, he has faithfully maintained his integrity; and his whole life may be examined and found to be a refutation of the before named objections. As to his morals, if they are examined, in relation to his conduct as a husband, a father, a citizen, a man of business, it is confidently believed, that they would suffer but little, by a comparison with any example, which has been provided since the day of our Saviour. Where is the man of his acquaintance, who would dissent from what is here stated ? For nearly thirty years your servant has had the pleasure and satisfaction of an acquaintance with this dear friend. In all this time have I never known nor heard of the least fault in his moral character. Even the envenomed tongue of slander, which seems to delight in tarnishing that which it envies for its purity, I believe, has always viewed the character of which we speak too immaculate to receive a blot.—Long, I say, will this character speak in refutation of what has so often been asserted, that the faith which he professed tends to vice.

Nor is his religious character a less refutation of the objection, that the belief in the final holiness and happiness of the whole human family, tends to render men neglectful of religion and its duties. of this fact all who have known him can bear ample testimony. And by this fact, he, being dead, yet speaketh. He invites the opposers of this blessed doctrine of "peace on earth and good will towards men,” to consider his faithful and constant attention to the public worship of God, and to a fostering care of the concerns of the respective churches to which he has belonged, and in which he has officiated in a conspicuous character. He invites them to consider, candidly, the question,

wherein he has not performed his duty And also to consider the question, to what inducements can they refer this faithfulness but to the favourable influence which his faith had on his heart?

As to the objection that our belief can administer no consolation, nor give assurance of the divine favour in the hour of death, our departed brother's testimony will for ever remain its entire refutation. In very many instances it has been reported, by the zealous enemies of our faith, that its believers have renounced it on the near approach of death, and endeavoured to find favour with God, by embracing a different creed. That such cases have ever occurred we have no good evidence ; and as to the instance which our departed brother has furnished, there are many witnesses, who can bear testimony to the triumphs of his faith.

A short time since, when I called to see him, when we both supposed it was the last time we should speak to each other this side the grave, he conversed freely on the subject of his belief in the salvation of all men. He seemed to feel desirous to give me and others to understand, that his mind was clouded with no doubts ; that his confidence in the unbounded goodness of our Heavenly Father remained unshaken. He was confident at that time that the day of his departure was at hand, and he expressed an entire willingness to go, and said that he had no desire to recover his strength, or again to walk abroad. He spoke to his son, who was present with me, of his approaching dissolution, with as much composure of mind as I ever heard him converse on any subject in his life. He gave particular directions where he would have his body laid, and expressed his wishes respecting his funeral, requesting me to attend it. And, taking me by the hand, with a smile which indicated heavenly peace of soul, said, “ Brother Ballou, I firmly believe that I shall meet you again in the kingdom of our Heavenly Father, where we shall part no more.” Many happy moments had

we spent together, but this seemed to surpass them all. It was joy to my heart to witness the triumphs of his faith, and my prayer was that my last days might be like his.

Let me say to all who mourn on this occasion, we have more reason to rejoice than to sorrow. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. Precious indeed must be so calm a death to all surviving friends. May he, who is the resurrection and the life, who has promised to swallow up death in victory, be, and for ever remain, our consolation, our hope, and our joy.

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SERMON XIX.

THE NATURE AND REASONABLENESS

OF DEVOTION.

DELIVERED IN DUIBURY, ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1826.

PSALMS, C. 3, 4, 5.

“Know ye that the Lord he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not

we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”

The recognition of a supreme, intelligent Being, as the ruler and rightful owner of the universe, lies at the foundation of all rational devotion. The evidences proper to convince us of the existence of such a Being are entirely ample, and of a character perfectly adapted to our senses, through which medium they bring conviction to the understanding. To our sense of sight are presented unnumbered worlds, whose known motions, as well as stations, have such a relation to each other, as to convince the rational mind, that what may be termed order, does in reality exist throughout the universe. The regular changes of the various seasons of the year, which are but the known effects of the order just noticed, are sufficient proof, to a candid mind, that the natural world is under the control of a principle, which is both steady and sure in its influence. The regular routine of the several divisions of the day and of the night, is such kind of evidence in this case, as can, by no means, be refuted. The sun, the moon, the stars hold forth a language to intelligent beings, not to

be misunderstood, in which they bear testimony of the divine existence.

In order to arrive at the advantages, which result from our relation to the one Supreme, it is not necessary that we inquire into mysteries which are necessarily hidden. Philosophers may endeavour to determine of what substance the sun is composed, and in the fruitless attempt, they may weaken and even utterly destroy the power of vision; they niay, in the utter darkness produced by their speculations, conie to the preposterous conclusion, that there is no sun in the heavens ! So, if we attempt to find out the "Almighty to perfection,” we are at once lost in a maze of our own folly, and are liable to doubt the existence of what we are unable fully to analyze or comprehend. Were we able to subject the monarch of day to a chemical process, and again to restore that vast luminary to his present station and splendor, we have no reason to believe, that the advantages which we have always enjoyed from his light and heat would in the least be increased by our labours. So if we were able to demonstrate, on physical principles, the very substance of the divine Being, we have no reason to believe that the blessings which we receive from him would, by this, be increased.

That our views of the Supreme Being should be such as to induce a rational devotion, on moral principles, it is necessary that we acknowledge Him to be intelligent. For however so great and -numerous the advantages may be, which we derive from him, unless we view them the effects of design, we can feel no moral obligation, can exercise no gratitude, can offer no praise, nor feel a moral accountability. The fruit, which is most pleasant and agreeable to our taste, excites in us no gratitude to the tree on which it grew, because we have no evidence that this fruit was thus adapted to our taste by any design of the tree; but the rational mind, being convinced that such won

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