Billeder på siden

us, because you have discovered discrepancies in the systems of early universalists. Neither content yourselves with combating what a private individual, here and there, of the present day believes; but take the sentiment of the order, read the books of its principal authors, and seize the principal arguments, and overturn them if you can.” Trumpet, vol. xi. p. 14.

“Who are considered the principal authors among the universalists? This question was once asked of an official organ by an orthodox clergyman, so that he might become acquainted with the "present prevailing system of universalism ;" and what answer was returned? Read the following statement. “I took a pen and ink and wrote, Ballou on Atonement, Ballou's Notes on the Parables, Ballou's Lectures, Kneeland's Lectures, Balfour's Enquiries, and all the volumes of the Universalist Magazine or Trumpet.” Trumpet, vol. xi. p. 166.

- Will not universalists consider your attack upon their system unprovoked?” No. Read the following false and official statement. * There has been a constant effort, for a year or two, on the part of Mr. Whitman to torture and caricature the views of universalists in regard to the future state. Is he not willing they should abide by the word of God? Does he wish them to be wise above what is written? If they have misunderstood any part of God's revealed truth, we ask, in the name of justice, why he does not endeavor as a friend to convince them of their error? He has always had oppor

tunities, but has never attempted it. The gauntlet was fairly thrown down to him a few months since by Rev. Mr. Paige, of Cambridgeport; but with the most frivolous pretences, and palpable evasions, he shrunk away from the controversy, knowing too well the power of his antagonist's mind and arguments to judge it safe to enter the lists.Trumpet, vol. xiv. p. 154.

And now, gentle reader, let me conclude with a few words of explanation. My views on some minor points may be misunderstood, because I have not given them a full statement and ample discussion. An enemy can pervert my meaning in several places. I have addressed these communications to an honest man, and he will endeavor to ascertain what I mean in every place, and not what he can make my language teach. I have taken no great pains to guard against perversions, and I know that sentences may be taken from their connexion and made to present apparent inconsistencies. Many of my arguments are greatly contracted for want of room. The whole branch of evidence in proof of definition of gehenna from the christian fathers is necessarily omitted. About one hundred and fifty years after Christ Justin Martyr comments on a passage of our Savior in which he cautions his disciples to fear God. As he is addressing heathen converts he has to explain the word used in the text quoted. These are his words. henna is the place where those are to be punished who have led unrighteous lives, and disbelieved what God


[ocr errors]

declared by Christ.” Now such testimony when added to what I have advanced must possess no small value. So also the evidence from Josephus in relation to the use of hades in his day has been neglected. Speaking of the belief of the sadducees he uses this language. “ The sadducees take away the belief of the duration of the soul, and the punishments and rewards in hades."

Owing to my distance from the press and my want of care in correcting the proof sheets, a few trifling mistakes appear in the text, which I must request you to correct, some of the most important of which I will mention.

Errata.- Page 6, add after tenth line, "Provided all other members of the human family do the same, and God orders all events favorably.Page 7, unreasonably for unseasonably. Page 26, acquitable for equitable. Page 37, strike out not in first line. Page 172, add Jonathan between Targum and Ben Uzziel.


My Dear Sir,

Your candid and patient attention is invited to a friendly discussion of the important question of divine rewards and punishments.' You profess to be a universalist of the modern school. You believe that a perfect retribution takes place in this world. You believe that the righteous are always and equitably and fully rewarded by their righteousness in this mortal life. You believe that the wicked are always and equitably and fully punished by their wickedness, in their present existence. Not only so. You also believe that there will be no future retribution for the deeds done in the body. You believe that the righteous will not be rewarded hereafter by the righteousnes which they have here acquired. You believe that the wicked will not be punished hereafter by the wickedness which they have here committed. In short you believe that the future condition of mankind will not be affected by the characters which they have here formed. You believe that all rational beings will be made pure and holy and happy when they enter upon the next conscious existence.

You assure me that these two articles of your belief constitute the dis


« ForrigeFortsæt »