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our world, many crimes that caused my heart to recoil. I tried to feel as it were accessary to them, because my own heart was impregnated with the same; this study without some degree of hope, that it will sometime be otherwise, is enough to depress the spirits to the lowest class.
Now do you think if I should put myself to this study in good earnest, and continue it through life, that I should be saved at last? If I could see any evidence of this, I would soon begin. However, I think if I found salvation in this way, it would savor a little of Arminianism. You express your aversion to disputations, and observe, that in general they are not good-I am partly of your opinion; stil! I think they might be profitable, if conducted properly. One fault I think lies here, they too often set out in the spirit of infallibility, they are not willing their opponent should do the same, therefore when their own arguments are subjugated to inconveniences-they feel it rather to be an insult.
You express your astonishment, that I should be inclined to think, that God will be disposed to save all his creatures from sin and woe. You undoubtedly would wish to elude from my grasp a hope, which you think unsafe for me, and will leave me inconsolable in a future state-I hope I am not so tenacious of any present hope, as to be unwilling to relinquish it for one more permanent. Then pray tell me, if you can, on what ground I may safely hope to be qualified for future happiness. I have never found any thing from scripture or reason, that affords me any kind of evidence, that I have been selected by an everlasting covenant, from the mass of mankind; perhaps you will say, this evidence is to be obtained by repenting and believing. Then let me ask, if I may hope for these-you will agree with me, that we are as much dependant on a
giving, as a forgiving God, that the gift of repentance, and the act of forgiving, are both his. As to believing, this this seems to suppose an existing fault, prior to our believing in it; now what is this fact, the belief of which, is of saving nature? As to making myself any better, I think my own experience has furnished me with no very flattering prospects, on which to build a hope; if no hope is to be obtained, then, should it be said, we had better be without any, than a false one; this seems to suppose a state of despair, to admit of some melioration, and needs proof.
Suppose three persons have entertained hopes; the first, that he has already attained that, which will be perfected in bliss; the second, that he shall obtain; the third, that all will be sharers; these hopes prove equally delusive, but a fourth sees nothing on which to build a hope-all four land in perdition. Which of them is the most wretched, we cannot say. My brother, 1 have never been very communicative with you on these subjects; the fears you have suggested have operated in my mind; supposing you would have a disrelish to my ideas, tho I never harbored a thought, that would consider me your enemy. Finally, my brother, I see no place of safety, unless it be in the unlimited power and goodness of the Creator. If this refuge fails, I am lost forever; nor can I see that the knowledge it would fail, would do me any good.
For the Repository.
The Members of the Northern Association of Universalists convened agreeable to previous notice, at the Meeting-house in Barre, on Thursday, February 15, for
religious worship. The services of the morning were introduced by reading a select portion of scripture, by Br. John Moore. Introductory prayer by Br. N. Wright, jun. Sermon by Br. J. Moore, from Acts xx24. Concluding Prayer by Br. J. Moore.
AFTERNOON SERVICE.- -Reading the 84th Psalm. Introductory Prayer, by Br. Coburn. Sermon by Br. N. Wright, jun. from St. Luke x. 38, 39, 40, 41, 42. Last Prayer by Br. T. J. Whitcomb.
EVENING SERVICE.-Introductory Prayer by Br. J. Moore. Sermon by Br. Coburn from St. John viii. 36. Concluding Prayer by Br. T. Browning. The services were attended by a numerous and respectable audience, from this and the adjacent towns, who listened with unremitting anxiety.
The performances by the choir were, as usual, highly creditable to them. We are happy, also, to state that this society is in a very flourishing condition-that many who heretofore only understood the letter of the doctrine, now enjoy the spirit of that doctrine which breathes peace on earth and good will toward men-that they appear determined to press forward towards the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Many have tasted the good word of God and delight to take the cup of salvation and enter the house of the Lord, while many hearts have become altars of prayer and gratitude to God, and many tongues vocal with his praise. May the Great Head of the church continue to bless and prosper this church and society, by watering it with the dews of divine grace, and may they not be weary in well doing, remembering that in due season they shall reap if they faint not.
For the Repository.
LETTER TO BR. J. BROOKS.
Dear Sir-Having had a short and friendly conversation with you at Br. H. B.'s upon the subject of the resurrection; and since having read your remarks in the Repository, upon the same subject, as published in the 4th No. of the current volume, I send you these remarks in reply.
After alluding to the words of Christ to the Sadducees, and referring to Rev. xx. 4, 5, as a parallel passage, you make this conclusion: "Doubtless those who thus live and reign with Christ a thousand years, are Buch as are worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead; while those who, during that period, do not live, are such as are unworthy.”
Now if believers only are accounted worthy to obtain that world, &c. how will unbelievers ever obtain it? By what process will they become worthy, while they are in a state of perfect death and sleep? All that you have said upon the same page, about the certainty of the salvation of unbelievers, because they were given to Christ, &c. does not solve this question. What will you do with the second death, which is subsequent to the first resurrection? You are not willing to admit future punishment on the one hand, nor the resurrection of unbelievers, on the other. As you apply both of the resurrections to the literal grave, will you say that the second death is that state of sleep, in which unbelievers are left after the first resurrection? You will recollect that all believers, as well as unbelievers, are subject to natural death: whereas we read, that "upon such the second death hath no power." But where were "the souls of them that were beheaded," &c. previous to the first resurrection? Were they in a state
of sleep? If so, how could they cry, saying, “How long, O Lord, wilt not thou avenge our blood upon those that dwell upon the earth," &c. ? Now it is obvious. that the word souls, here used in the plural, means lives, and alludes to the death of the apostles, who suffered martyrdom, and spiritually reigned with Christ in his kingdom. Christ assured them that he should come in that generation; and that when he came, they should sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes. of Israel. It is absurd to suppose that the immortal spirit lay slain "under the altar;" or that the expression alludes only to senseless clay. The whole language is figurative, like the words of God to Cain, who said, "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth to me from the ground."
After stating it as your opinion, that something can be done on the part of the creature to remove his unworthiness to obtain that world, &c. you add these words: "But if it be asked what man can do, which will have any effect in relation to his resurrection, I answer, he must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. See John vi. 40, 44, 54. In these texts, Jesus promises to raise up believers at the last day; and where does he promise to raise up unbelievers ? No where; for an unbeliever has no life in him; i. e. no spiritual life; and while he is in this state, he can no more rise from the dead, than a grain of wheat can vegetate, that has no life in it." To these statements of yours, I would propose the following queries. 1. If believers only have part in the first resurrection, why do you talk of the resurrection of none but believers at the last day? Here you have two resurrections of believers, and deny that there ever will be a resurrection of unbelievers. If all men sleep for a time, why not have but one general resurrection of believers? But why talk of either