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and convict the cause of falsehood or of error upon the sole ground that reason cannot comprehend it. And hence, as in the time of the apostles, to some it is, in many parts, a stumbling block, to others altogether foolishness; some, sitting in the seat of the scorner, would summarily enter a general verdict of imposture: while more, perhaps, not far off, though openly condemning one half, are yet ready enough, with an affectation of liberality, to acquit the remajuder, on being allowed to put their own corrections into the inspired text.-Merciful God! great, indeed, was thy long-suffering that waited in the days of Noah! but how much greater is that which waiteth in our own day, overpowered as it is in such a diversity of ways, with the profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.'*
" What can more forcibly demonstrate to us the intrinsic enormity of sin, of sin of every kind, the utter abhorrence with which God beholds it, in all its incalculable ramifications, its essential repugnancy to the purity and holiness of his own nature, than the stupendous cost of its atonement. Though armed with alınighty power, God has not the power to forgive sin unconditionally."
“ The flashes of immortality, whenever God pleases, are all searching and per.etrating, and what is otherwise most powerful sinks into nothing, compared with the irresistible energy with which the Holy Spirit prepares his own way into the heart of man, and transforms that heart into a living temple for himself.”
The position asserted by Dr. Gregory, and accorded by Dr. Good, that there is no intermediate point which a sound and consistent reasoner can assume and hold, between evangelical principles and deism, is become palpably true. An active and intelligent mind, finding its ground untenable, will keep moving from one point to another, either upward towards an evangelical faith, or downward towards avowed infidelity.
In religion, as in science, individual principles resolve themselves into general ones, as knowledge advances. The radical difference between an evangelical and a deistical faith is, that the one makes the Bible the sun in our moral world, and creation reflects its light; while the other makes creation the sun, and the Bible reflects its light. The one implies a firm belief of the fact of a revealed religion, and the inspiration of its records; the other is a verging towards deism, or raiber it is deism in principle, though the principle may not be fully applied. The one assumes the necessity of revealed light; the other virtually assumes the sufficiency of nature's light, admitting, indeed, professedly, the Gospel, but the “Gospel heathenized.”
Dr. Good lived about twenty years after the change took place in his religious views, and after he began to exhibit evidence of a saving conversion to Christ. He appears to have possessed great completeness of Christian character. Notwithstanding his wonderful success in anything in which he engaged, the reader of his Memoirs will learn that he was called to pass through trials repeated and severe, insomuch that few could say, with more experience of its truth,
"Life is a series of griefs and harrassments; and we no sooner escape from one evil, than we have to encounter another."
* Tim. vi. 20.
But he could say in truth, " For all this there is but one remedy ; and, blessed be God, that remedy is a specific ; it has stood the test of nearly two thousand years, and has never failed in a single instance. It is the repose of the Christian upon his Saviour; a consciousness of his perpetual presence and support.”
As he approached the period of his dissolution, he was more than ever convinced of bis sinfulness, and entire dependance on the Saviour. He observes,
"No man living can be more sensible than I am, that there is nothing in ourselves; and of the absolute necessity of relying only upon the merits of Jesus Christ."- It was most strikingly impressive to hear his quivering lips uttering the words of Scripture, at a time when intense agony occasioned such convulsive motions of the whole body that the bed often shook under him."" One of the texts he appeared to dwell upon with most earnestness and delight, was, ' Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever."
His faculties began to fail him, so that he was nearly insensible to worldly objects. “His hearing now became greatly affected. Mr. Russell called to him in a loud voice, Jesus Christ the Saviour :' he was not insensible to that sound. His valuable clerical friend then repeated to him, in the same elevated tone, • Behold the Lamb of God. This roused bim, and with energy, the energy of a dying believer, he terminated the sentence, • WHICH TAKETH AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD,'—which were the last words he intelligibly uttered, being about three hours before his death."
Dr. Good's writings, professional, philosophical and literary, are copious, and extensively known. His “ History of Medicine," his “ Study of Medicine,” bis “ Book of Nature,'' his « Translation of Lucretius,” his “ Memoirs of Dr. Geddes," his translations of Job and the “ Song of Solomon,” are his principal works before the public. He also directed considerable attention to the prophecies of Ezekiel, Joel and Zechariah, the book of Ecclesiastes, &c., of striking passages in each of which he has left translations. He translated the book of Psalms, realizing great pleasure in going through so rich a treasure of spiritual and unrivalled poetry.
“ Had he published nothing but his Translation of Lucretius,' he would have acquired a high character for free, varied and elegant classification, for exalted acquisitions as a philosopher and a linguist, and for singular felicity in the choice and exhibition of materials in a rich store of critical and tasteful illustration.
“ Had he published nothing but his « Translation of the book of Job,' he would have obtained an eminent station amongst Hebrew scholars and the promoters of Biblical learning.
" And had he published nothing but his Study of Medicine,' his name would, in the opinion of one of his ablest professional correspondents, have gone down to posterity, associated with the science of medicine itself, as ono of its most skilful practitioners, and one of its most learned promoters."
“I know not how to name another individual who has arrived at equal eminence in three such totally distinct departments of mental application."
But, exalted as his intellectual attainments were, modesty and discretion preserved him from conceit and the pride of learning, and conducted bim, by the grace of God, to a correct apprehension and an adoring love of the sublime trutlis and principles of the Gospel of Christ. Tongues shall cease, and knowledge shall vanish away, but charity (true religion) never faileth.
Commendation and Reproof of Unitarians ; a Sermon delivered
in the Second Universalist Church in Boston, Sabbath Evening, Nov. 26, 1829. By Hosea Ballou, Pastor. Boston: Henry Bowen. pp. 19.
The author of this discourse has some claims to be considered as the inventor and father of the present prevailing system of Universalism in this country.* Accordingly, his style of address is that of one who felt himself entitled to speak with a degree of authority-to speak not only for himself, but for his brethren, his children. The first part of the discourse before us is taken up with bis .commendation of Unitarians ;' the latter with reproof.'
u Our Unitarian brethren,” says he,“ have just claims to our respect and ap. probation for many things, which both duty and inclination induce us to acknowl. edge. They hold many, and indeed the most important points of the Christian faith, accordingly as we believe they are rerealed in the sacred scriptures.
“ They have renounced the unreasonable, perplexing doctrine of the trinity, and have driven its most able defenders to make concessions which amount to its entire renunciation. They have laid aside, as an uncomfortable, worn out garment, tho whole scheme of vicarious sufferings, and of placating the wrath of an offended God; and have made the happy discovery of a compassionato, kind and merciful Father in the supreme ruler of the universe. The doctrine of partial election and eternal reprubation they have dismissed with its deserved disapprobation. They have rejected the old notion of man's entire depravity, and told that he is capable of moral improvement, in knowledge and holiness; and in place of the visionary notions about a radical change of our nature, they insist on the more reasonable doctrine of a Christian and virtuous education. And they moreover acknowledge all the divine perfections of our heavenly Fa. ther, believing in his infinite wisdom, power and goodness, and in the entire impartiality of his love to his creatures."
If this representation is correct, Unitarians and Universalists are in fact agreed, in all the leading points of their theology. They are as well agreed as the members of either sect are among themselves ; and we see no reason why they should henceforth exist, or be regarded, as separate denominations. Mr. Ballou is a Unitarian-a leading Unitarian—a patriarchal Unitarian, who has labored longer and more successfully to promote Unitarianism than almost any person living. In all the former part of this discourse, he writes like other Unitarians; quotes the same irrelevant proof-exts in support of his positions ; makes the same distorted and unfounded representations of the sentiments of the Orthodox; and adopts, throughout, the interpretations, the cant, the peculiar phraseology, of those whom he commends. Speaking of the sentiments of Unitarians, he says,
* A very different theory from those of Relly, Murray and Winchester, all of whom were professed Trinitarians. The historian of Modern Universalism, speaking of the change of views whicb bas taken place since the time of Murray, says, ' The labors of Rev. Hosea Ballou may be regarded as one of the privicipal means of this change.' p. 432.
“ We find no fault with these sentiments. We believe them all, and endeavored to persuade others of their truth and importance, long before the controversy between the Orthodox and Unitarians produced a division in this country. The hearer will ask, if the statements which have been made, concerning doctrine, do not, in the most plain and perfect manner, amount to real Universalisın? We reply, that in our opinion they do."
For what then, it will be inquired, does Mr. B. reprove his Unitarian breihren ? After so much commendation, and such a cordial ageement in doctrine, what does he discover in them deserving of censure? He shall answer for himself.
"1. As the Unitari in doctors, some of them at least, are not a whit behind the first in the world, as to natural talents, or acquired abilities, there seems to be no ground for supposing that they do not know, that the tenets of their faith, which they openly avow, both in their preaching and writings, do in fact necessarily lead to the belief of Universal Salvation ; yet they, as a denomination, will not own that they believe it. So far from being ingenuous enough to profess openly the blessed doctrine of Universal Salvation, they generally so arrange and inanage their public discourses as not only to keep this doctrine out of sight, but to cause the unlearned hearers to believe that iheir preachers disbelieve it."
A palpable trick, a gross imposition this, if it is indeed so. And Mr. B. declares, ' with feelings of reluctance,' that he has an indubitable conviction of its being a fact, as he has • been pained to witness the truth of’it, ' with his own ears, times not a few.'
"2. Notwithstanding the purity of the great, leading principles maintained by Unitarian preachers, they rather avoid thern in their common preaching, seldom bring them as the necessary food for their congregations, rather choosing lo einploy themselves in speculations of their own curious inventions, about a future state of rewards and punishments.* Thus with their speculations, unsupported by one word of divine authority, they invade the world to come, and amuse themselv's and their hearers with the curious textures of a web, both the warp and woof of which is of their own invention.”
"3. Such are the exalted notions which these brethren entertain of the moral improvements which they are making, that it is not unfrequent that they preach sermons on the fruitful suloject, in which they endeavor to convey to their hearers an understanding of the immense distance which they are likely to be advanced in the future world, before their fellow beings, who, in consequence of their sinful neglects, in this world, will have to suffer, more or less, in the world to come ; while they for their vigilance here are to enjoy indescribable felicity."
«4. Among those commendable things which were named, in approbation of our Unitarian brethren, the hearer will recollect their liberality towards those Christians who differ from thein in opinions. They have been laboring with all their Christian ineekness, for years, to persuade their Orthodox brethren to extend to them the right hind of Christian followship, and to consent to reciprocate min. isterial exchanges. Now if the profession of liberality, without the practice, could make these brethren rich, in the righteousness of God, the angels of heaven might envy their attainments! Will they exchange desks with Universalists ?
* Not eternal punishments, as will subsequently appear.
By no means. What is the reason ? Because in some points of doctrine we do not come exactly to their views. As to doctrine generally, they will allow that we are much nearer them than are their Orthodox brethren, whom they are constantly inviting to exchange ! Now if they, like the Orthodox, were conscientious in refusing to exchange desks with those who hold doctrines opposed to their own, they would act according to their profession, and would be consis. tent with themselves. But how are they to be justified in making those preten. tions to liberality, while in fact it is not real? Is this Christianity? Is it genuine honesty? Is it such practice as this that is to give them such exalted stations, as they anticipate, in the coming world? We besecch them either to discontinue the profession of liberality, or by their practice to convince us that they are sincere in it.”
With these complaints of Universalists against their • Unitarian bretbren,' bowever much we may be amused, we cannot be supposed to be very deeply interested. We do think it hard, however,
-as Universalists discovered and embraced all the leading points or Unitarian theology, ' and endeavored to persuade others of their truth and importance, long before'* the present Unitarians had courage to avow them, or were sufficiently enlightened (bedarkened) to perceive their truth,'—we think it bard, under such circumstances, that Unitarians should refuse to acknowledge their spiritual progenitors, and wiibbold from them the band of fellowship. We should be at a loss to reconcile such conduct with the boasted liberality of Unitarians, or with the principles on which they profess to act. And we should like to see some of their doctors' grapple with the appeals of Mr. B., and undertake to reply to his statement of grievances, on the subject of their exclusiveness.
We have seen that, in the judgement of Mr. B., all consistent Unitarians are Universalists. And he bas an indubitable convic. tion' that Unitarians in this region do perceive and admit the necessary result of their principles, though they have not the courage and honesty to avow it. Now this is just what the Orthodox bave long supposed and often said—said perhaps too often, without exbibiting the evidence on which their conviction rests. It is proposed, therefore, in what follows, to produce the evidence, which goes to satisfy our minds, that leading Unitarians in the United States, with possibly a few exceptions, do believe the doctrine of Universal Salvation, and are, in every thing but the name, UNIVERSALISTS.
Unitarians have commonly denied the charge of Universalism, and resented the imputation of it as a reproach and a slander. When Dr. M'Leod, a few years since, was understood to charge Unitarians with being Universalists, the Rev. H. Ware Jr., in his Letters to him, calls this an unfounded, cruel accusation'
thoroughly false'-an “injurious slander.'p. 22. When a writer, under the signature of Hollis, represented that Dr. Ware • had declared himself a Universalist with an explicitness which need not be misunderstood,' he publicly denied the charge,' declaring
* Mr. Ballou published his “ Treatise on Atonement' in 1803. He became a Unitarian.' he tells us, long before this. Mod. Hist. of Universalism, p. 437.