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past. At times it seems as though the world were indifferent, and as if the preachers of the present lacked the power of the preachers of the past. At times, perhaps, it may seem as if new opinions were subversive of old foundations. Let them trust their juniors. These labor as co-workers with God. These are passionate lovers of Jesus Christ. They long to advance Christianity. The new day must have its new statement of the old message. The new knowledge must give new illumination and new power. With love for the fathers, with reverence for their noble work, the sons desire to be worthy of their heritage and adjusted to the day in which they live. They love their faith. They are proud of its power and increasing influence. They would toil for effective organic life. They are glad to stand in their places as watchmen of the Lord. They summon men to lasten the progress of Universalism, – the Christianity of Christ.
Mrs. Judith Murray.
It must be apparent to all who read the life of Rev. John Murray, that his domestic experience largely influenced his character, and had an important bearing on his public career. This is especially manifest in that portion of his Memoir which relates to the cause of his coming to America. of more than ordinary sensitiveness and of the warmest affections, he had married early in life ; a child had been born to him but soon taken away: and his wife, who had been in heartiest sympathy with his thoughts and desires, had also been called from mortal life. Then, he tells us,
" Death's sable pall o'er all my pleasures thrown;
Amid its wilds to shield my widowed head."
twenty-ninth year, his intentions of going into seclusion were at once frustrated by the importunities of Thomas Potter, and he entered upon an important public career, which, while it made him many ardent and devoted friends, and was blessed of God as a means of enlightenment and comfort to thousands, also aroused the opposition of determined and at times unscrupulous enemies. For eighteen years after reaching our shores he remained a widower, but in October 1788, was married, at Salem, Mass., to the gifted and in many respects remarkable woman of whom we now write.
Judith Sargent, born at Gloucester, Mass., May 5th, 1751, was the oldest of eight children of Winthrop and Judith Sargent. Her father, descended from William Sargent 2nd who settled in Gloucester in 1676, was an enterprising and successful merchant, of whom the historian of the town has recorded that he was “an intelligent and benevolent man, whose qualities of head and heart secured him universal esteem.” He was an officer in a sloop of war at the taking of Cape Breton in 1745 ; member of the Committee of Safety in 1775; Government Agent for Cape Ann during the war for Independence; and delegate to the State Convention for ratifying the Federal Constitution.
His daughter Judith was early noted for quickness of perception, love of study and ease in acquiring knowledge. She was therefore favored with all the educational advantages which the times then afforded to young women. Her chief instructor was Rev. John Rogers, a graduate of Harvard College, and a preacher of great repute in the Fourth Parish of Gloucester. She also doubtless received aid from her brother Winthrop, a graduate of Harvard, who subsequently attained a high station in military affairs, and was the first governor of Mississippi, while it was a section of the nortniwest Territory. In October 1769 she married John Stevens, a native of Gloucester, an unsuccessful merchant and trader, who, in order to escape imprisonment for debt, fled in one of his father-in-law's vessels to St. Eustatia, one of the British West India Islands, in the winter of 1786, where he died
shortly after his arrival. About two years after, his widow was married to Mr. Murray. They had been intimately acquainted since his first visit to Gloucester in November 1774, and she had some knowledge of the doctrine which he preached, if she was not indeed, a believer in it, several years before she saw him.
Early in 1770, before Mr. Murray came to America, an Englishman by the name of Gregory arrived in Gloucester, probably in one of Mr. Sargent's vessels, bringing with him a copy of the writings of James Relly, the author of the system of Universalism preached by Mr. Murray. This book, at first read by the Sargent family, and then loaned to others, immediately excited great wonder, and soon its doctrines were received as the truth, its believers only needing the impulse of a public proclamation of their new faith to bring them forward as a distinct body of Christians. In September 1774 the occasion for this presented itself in an attack on Mr. Murray in the Boston papers, made by Rev. Mr. Croswell of that city, who accused Mr. Murray of being “ a preacher of Relly's doctrine.” The believers of Rellyanism in Gloucester, seeing this accusation, at once sent Mr. Winthrop Sargent as their messenger to solicit Mr. Murray's presence there. He came early in November, and continued nine days the guest of Mr. Sargent. “ Every day and every evening," he says, “was appropriated to the expounding of the Scriptures, in the spacious and well-filled parlor of my new and highly respectable friend.” On the 14th of December he again visited Gloucester, and concluded to make it his home, which, with the exception of eight months absence at Jamaica Plain, as chaplain of the Rhode Island Brigade, he did till his removal to Boston, in 1794. Mr. Stevens having built a large mansion (still standing) Mr. Murray took up his abode there, and there remained, first as a boarder, and subsequently as the head of the house, during his residence in the town.
At what time Mrs. Murray became a contributor to the press, we have not been able to ascertain. For the Boston Monthly Magazine, which ceased to exist as early as 1788, she
furnished poetry over the signature of “ Honora Martesia.” In the Massachusetts Magazine her nom de plume was “ Constantia ; and Mr. Murray alludes to her contributing to the Universal Asylum and Columbia Magazine, published in Philadelphia, over the same name.
Her first efforts were in poetry. Her cousin, the late Lucius Manlius Sargent, says that " she wrote poetry by the acre. This was her stumbling block."
We have not been able to find a copy of the Boston Monthly Magazine. Her first article for the Massachusetts Magazine was enthusiastically received by the editor, who thus spoke of it in the number for June 1798 : “ Constantia's Invocation to Hope, is animatedly elegant; we sincerely thank the unknown sentimentalist.” The poem as it appeared in the next number is as follows:
" INVOCATION TO HOPE.
And sink in fancy'd bliss the real pain." In the succeeding number her continued favors are solicited, and from that time till the last number of the magazine for 1794, her contributions are frequent. Her first prose article was entitled “ The Gleaner.' It appeared in February 1792, and was without signature, but conveyed the impression NEW SERIES VOL XVIII
that it was from the pen of a man. In September of the same year she commenced a series of prose articles entitled “ The Repository." These were all very short, and chiefly of a religious character They were signed
They were signed “ Constantia,” " With the close of the volume for 1794, the publication of the magazine was suspended for three months, and on its resuscitation, although she was solicited to continue ber contributions, she declined. The reason given by her was, that “ during the suspension of the magazine, a serious accusation was preferred against me, the nature of which, in my own apprehension, effectually barred my appearance in its pages.” Concerning the nature of this accusation we are left wholly to conjecture, but as one of her papers was devoted to a presentation of her theological views, – to sharp criticism of the Calvinism of that day, and to severe reproach of the morality which was confessedly based on the fear of hell-it is not imimprobable that she may have been accused of taking undue advantage of her opportunity by making a literary periodical the vehicle of disseminating Universalism. In that paper, September 1793, she introduces a letter purporting to have been written by a member of the religious society of Friends, in which curiosity is expressed to know what the views of the writer of “ The Gleaner
“ the final state of mankind.” In the answer, still assuming the masculine gender in writing, she says:
“He is free to own, notwithstanding the despotism of tradition, the prejudices of education, and the predominating sway of revered opinions, that he cannot help regarding that plan as the most eligible, which represents the Father of eternity, as beneficently planning, before all worlds, the career of a race of beings, who, however they were immersed in ills, and from the various vicissitudes of time, plunged into a series of misfortunes, were destined, nevertheless, to progress on to a state of never ending felicity. Jehorah, while thus employed, appears augustly good, as well as augustly great, and every faculty of the mind rejoiceth to adore the paternal Deity.
" We hesitate not to combine, in our ideas of the great