Puslapio vaizdai
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to benefit our opposers, induces us to wrestle with them, to meet them on every question, and if possible, to enlighten their understandings, that they may see, and know, and rejoice in the truth.-The propriety and utility of communicating the truth to mankind, will be acknowledged by every candid person present. Not one of you will contend, that our doctrine should not be preached, if it be true. And yet your humble servant has been told by clergymen, that even if they believed our doctrine, they would not preach it, they would not acknowledge it! And I do not know but they do believe it! How am I to know that they do not? And even should they deny that they believe it, what confidence can I repose in their assertions, after they have informed me, that even if they believed in Universalism, they would not acknowledge it?But I must proceed to make the statement which, as I before remarked, may appear to bear rather hard upon our opposers.

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My hearers, there is not a single clergyman, or doctor of divinity of the old school, who believes what the text says about the day of judgment, as they apply it. You will not misunderstand me:-they think they believe it, but they do not know what the text says. I repeat it-they do not believe the text, if applied to a day of judgment in the future state. "Do not believe the text!" says the hearer: "how will you make that appear?" I answer thus: Do they believe that every individual of our race will be brought to the judgment seat of Christ in eternity, and there receive according to that he hath done, whether good or bad? They say they dobut I say they do not. They believe that, at the

day of judgment, some will receive according to what they have done that is good, and not according to what they have done that is bad; and that others will receive according to what they have done that is bad, and not according to what they have done that is good. But the text speaks an entirely different language.

Allow me to propose the following question: Do the popular clergy believe that, at the day of judg ment, St. Paul will be called up, and there receive for all the abominable deeds he committed while he was an enemy to Christ and the church? No-they never pretended to believe any such thing. They do not pretend that any man who, in the day of judgment, is to receive any reward for his good deeds, will receive any punishment for his bad deeds. But what says the text: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, WHETHER IT BE GOOD or BAD." "Well," says the hearer, "that places the subject in a different light; because the clergy do not pretend that any one, at the day of judgment, is to receive good for the good he has done, and evil for the evil he has done. They do not pretend, that those who will receive a recompense for good deeds, will also be punished for their bad deeds. But the text says, every one shall receive according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." My hearers, our opposers have totally overlooked the letter of the text, and they have altogether misunderstood its spirit.

Again. Did you ever hear a doctor of divinity declare, that St. Peter, who denied his Lord, and

cursed and swore that he knew not the man, will, at the day of judgment, receive retribution for his abominable conduct? No, you never did. And yet, ff the text be properly applied to eternity, Paul will there be punished for all the persecutions in which he ever was engaged; and Peter will there be punished for denying his Lord; because, according to the text, every one is to receive according to his deeds, whether they be good or bad. Now, if our opposers be correct, the man who has done any bad deeds, must receive retribution therefor in eternity; and if the same man has done any good deeds, he must receive a reward therefor in eternity. But you never heard the clergy preach in this manner. We should do them injustice were we to affirm that they thus believe. Nevertheless, if the text applies to eternity, it involves the very points which none of our opposers ever pretended to believe! They believe, on the contrary, that a person may live a wicked life; he may continue to sin until his head is white with age-if he repents before he dies, he is entitled to immortal glory, and will never be punished in eternity for a single sin that he ever committed! If this be so, and if the text applies to the future state, how can it be true, that every one is to receive according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad?

Let us inquire again. You have heard much of the piety of David. But David was guilty of crimes sufficiently black to stamp the character of any man with everlasting infamy. A more abominable and wicked act than one of his, is not on record. Considering the nature of the offence, and the small circle in which it operated, it had every feature which

not believe there is a doctor of divinity, or a cler gyman of any grade, who stands in opposition to the doctrine we profess, who will say that I have not fairly represented his opinions on this subject. I have heard these views preached over and over again, by the clergy of the church; and they uniformly contend, that the judgment to which we have referred, is not in this world, but in the world to

come.

Having made these plain statements, I invite the attention of my hearers to what may have the appearance of bearing hard upon our opponents; and yet nothing is more foreign from our intention, than to cause them to think that we feel unkindly towards them. Uncharitable feelings are totally inconsistent with the spirit of our doctrine. We look upon our opposers as our brethren. They are children of our heavenly Father; we believe they are heirs of eternal life, equally with ourselves; that they are embraced in the blessed covenant which Christ sealed with his blood; and that they are entitled to all the blessings of the Gospel of heaven; and we have no interest in conflicting with their opinions, aside from their own good. We could enjoy our sentiments in comfort, and avoid reproach, were we to conceal our views-but our regard for the happiness of mankind, will not allow us to hold our peace. We believe that false doctrines take away the consolations which men ought to enjoy as the disciples of Jesus Christ. We believe that the effect of those doctrines has been, to rob human society of the enjoyment which would have resulted from correct views of the gospel of heaven. Benevolent principles prompt us to speak; and a desire

to benefit our opposers, induces us to wrestle with them, to meet them on every question, and if possible, to enlighten their understandings, that they may see, and know, and rejoice in the truth.-The propriety and utility of communicating the truth to mankind, will be acknowledged by every candid person present. Not one of you will contend, that our doctrine should not be preached, if it be true. And yet your humble servant has been told by clergymen, that even if they believed our doctrine, they would not preach it, they would not acknowledge it! And I do not know but they do believe it! How am I to know that they do not? And even should they deny that they believe it, what confidence can I repose in their assertions, after they have informed me, that even if they believed in Universalism, they would not acknowledge it?— But I must proceed to make the statement which, as I before remarked, may appear to bear rather hard upon our opposers.

My hearers, there is not a single clergyman, or doctor of divinity of the old school, who believes what the text says about the day of judgment, as they apply it. You will not misunderstand me:-they think they believe it, but they do not know what the text says. I repeat it-they do not believe the text, if applied to a day of judgment in the future "Do not believe the text!" says the hearer: "how will you make that appear?" I answer thus: Do they believe that every individual of our race will be brought to the judgment seat of Christ in eternity, and there receive according to that he hath done, whether good or bad? They say they dobut I say they do not. They believe that, at the

state.

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