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Rev. i. 7. "Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him." Here it is particularly stated, that those who thrust the spear into the side of Jesus when he was crucified, shall see him at his coming, Now if it shall appear that this coming of Christ was to be subsequent to the natural death of those who pierced him, it goes, with other scriptures, in proof of their re-existence. That the coming of Christ, here spoken of, was subsequent to their natural lives, and is still future, is evident from this circumstance, that since the crucifixion of Christ, he has never come in such a manner as to be seen by those who pierced him. They have never seen him with their natural eyes, nor by the eye of faith, since they put him to death. Besides, we learn from prophecy, (Zech. xii. 10,) that when those who pierced Christ shall hereafter see him, it will be in consequence of having the Spirit of grace and supplication; a very different spirit from what they manifested in their lifetime. Now if those identical individuals, who pierced the Lord of life, are yet to look on him whom they pierced, having the Spirit of grace and supplication, then those identical individuals are again to exist, and are to experience the salvation of God; otherwise they are eternally extinct. That it must be those identical individuals, who are spoken of in the passages quoted, seems evident; for why should it be said, Every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him, if only persons of like disposition be meant? In a metaphorcal sense, all sinners, that is, all men, have pierced Christ; for they have all, to a greater or less extent, been actuated by the spirit of those who literally did it. Consequently, when he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, as well as those which pierced him, it is affirmed that all the kindreds of the earth shall
wail because of him. Why wail? Because they will feel that they had indulged a spirit hostile to him; the wicked spirit which actuated those who literally crucified him. Then the mentioning of those, particularly, who pierced him, plainly indicates that those identical individuals are intended. This appears to me to be the only ground on which the doctrine of universal salvation can be maintained; and if this should fail, I must, for ought I see, be a destructionist; a doctrine which I am not surprised that many have embraced, through the force which such scriptures as head this article have had upon their minds. J. BROOKS.
From the Christian Intelligencer.
TO A YOUNG UNIVERSALIST PREACHER.
My dear friend-In my preceding communication, I stated my views of the feelings with which a christian minister ought to be actuated, in engaging in the labors of his vocation; and I endeavored to show what value he should placé on those subordinate attainments, which are so much courted by most preachers, especially by the young. To the observations which have been made I may add, that to form and preserve a style of speaking, or to adopt and employ a kind of language, which shall hold a due medium between bombast, on the one hand, and a low, disgusting phraseology, on the other, is an object worthy the attention of every public teacher.- -These are extremes that ought to be equally avoided. The first does not constitute eloquence; and the last has no connexion with true simplicity. Our words should be well chosen, and be expressive of the idea we mean to communicate. That plainness of speech, for which the Apostles were distinguished, does not require that we should offend against the rules of grammar, or
employ either words or similes, which are calculated to produce levity or contempt. The beautiful simplicity of religion certainly does not render it a grovelling subject. There is nothing in it contrary to a delicate and refined taste. And as to levity, which, I am sorry to say, some preachers appear willing to excite in their hearers, nothing strikes me as more improper, or more at variance with the purposes and objects of the gospel; nothing more distant from the examples of those inspired men, some of whose discourses have come down to us through the medium of the scriptures. The public discourses of our Lord, of Peter and Paul, which are on record in the New Testament, were plain, and cuttingly reprehensive; they struck both at the doctrines and practices of their hearers; but we find nothing in them, that we can suppose could have excited levity, or even provoked a smile. Those preachers did not address their hearers to amuse them, but to expose the vileness of their characters, to warn them of their danger, to exhort them to repentance, and to produce on them a genuine reformation.
Though it will be shown more particularly, hereafter, that the gospel is, of all concerns, the most serious, yet I make the above remarks from a conviction, that young preachers are generally much inclined to adopt. a manner, which they consider TAKING, or one that will captivate attention; and in securing this object, it is to be feared, that they may not always be very nice or discriminating in the means by which they expect to secure the end they have in view. Thus, if a preacher possesses a sportive wit; if he can relate an anecdote with a good grace; or if he has a satirical humor, and thinks he can exercise it to advantage on the opinions or practices of others, whose creeds differ from his own, he will probably indulge the natural bias of his mind,
and plead in its extenuation, that he does it to gain public attention to the doctrine which he supports. This is to hold up, that the end sanctifies the means. But he does not consider, that merely the circumstance, that his meetings are numerously attended, is no substantial evidence of the spread of truth; that there are those, who have little or no religion, and care little or nothing about any, who will sit very contentedly for hours, to hear what amuses their minds and tickles a morbid imagination; that the giddy and thoughtless, who divert themselves with the unseasonable wit, certainly lose the moral sentiment, which he alleges he means to communicate, in the dazzling form in which he envelopes it; and finally, that all the followers that a minister may gain, and all the converts that he may make by such means, add no strength to the cause of religion, nor reflect any honor on the gospel of Christ.
If those, who experience so high a pleasure in attending on discourses of the character I have just described, were to hear only the moral or evangelical truths which are so forcibly inculcated in the scriptures, and which are there addressed to our most serious feelings, it is to be feared they would soon lose their relish for preaching, unless they acquired a more correct taste. Indeed, if the preachers, whom they extol for the manner of their communications, would divest them of those forms which are so captivating to high minds, and address themselves to the lovers of wit and satire, with the solemnity which the gospel demands, such hearers. would soon complain of their services, as stale, insipid, and unworthy their attention. Finding no longer the same source of amusement, they would give but little attention to any higher object; and in their disap pointment, they might feel inclined to charge the preacher with the absurdities of orthodoxy, and the rigidness of puritanism.
From the Christian Intelligencer.
AN ADDRESS TO THE MEMBERS OF UNIVERSALIST SO
BRETHREN, I feel it my duty to address you on a subject, which I trust will be interesting to all your hearts. It is a subject that has not been particularly considered in any publication, to which I am a subscriber; and I am apprehensive it has not been, by any one, devoted to the Abrahamic faith. Hence I may write, without being suspected of plagiarism; aud without the mortification of seeing my original productions, employed by many as mere extracts from old authors,
And furthermore; should any thing appear in my address, which may savor of improper interference with the concerns of others, I wish, not to have such improprieties charged to any one's account but my own. With these preliminaries I will proceed to the execution of my design, with the hope of being intelligible, without being offensive.
My subject, Brethren, relates to the course which should be pursued by Universalist Societies, in order to accelerate the influence and usefulness of the gospel ministry. The duties of Christian ministers have been frequently defined and enforced. That societies should be organized, and continued in operation-that the members should adorn their professions by amiable lives and conversation-that a regular and suitable support should be given to the preached word, &c. are positions too undeniable and well sustained, to require a moment's discussion. Still there is an evident defi ciency in the plans and practices of our societies, in relation to, rendering the ministry of life effective and profitable. There are certain imperfections which must