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publish an acknowledgement. But he will not do it. Hence the intellects of every one should be considered weak, that connot see, that he does not believe that any the less will be saved, or more lost, for my preaching. If God saves all his elect, I can do them no harm ; and as for others, his Creed does not make it barely possible for them to be saved. 'The Doctor can indirectly contradict these things in the desk, and in conversation ; but he is too prudent to let any thing of the kind be seen in print, with his signature.

I should be glad to know what Dr. Payson means by saying that I am in the most dangerous situation of any man in town. Does he think his God will do worse by me, than to make me as miserable to all eternity, as is possible ? If he does not, I am in no worse condition than all the reprobates.

Has the Doctor such a degraded opinion of my understanding, as to suppose I am so easily panic-struck as to be frightened lest I should be more than once endlessly miserable? Do I not know as well as his Doctorship, that if his own nearest and dearest relatives were not included in the Covenant of grace, their condition will be as awful as mine," ages of hopeless end?" If the works of all unregenerate men are infinitely sinful, why shall one suffer more than others ? Yea, reader, if, as Dr. Payson has positively asserted, all men, even Patriarchs and Apostles, would be condemned and cast off forever, if they were judged and rewarded according to their works, and the only hope they can have is, that they will not be called into judgment ; I say, if all this be true, do not I stand on as good ground as the best of them ? Can I deserve worse than they do, according to his belief? The Doctor must suppose I am ignorant of his Creed and preaching, and do not know that if the God whom he worships appointed me to that hapless doom, we ought to “ ascribe righteousness to our Maker," as his determinate counsel is irrevocable. Whether he holds, with Calvin, that God foreordained the endless suffering of the non-elect, because it was his sovereign will, or with Hopkins, imputes that foreordination “ to universal benevolence, or a supreme regard to the highest good of the universe,” is wholly immateral. The naked truth is, if I am one of their reprobates, there is not even a possibility of my being saved; and for the Doctor to pretend the contrary, is, to renounce his darling Calvinism, for which he has contended for years, or offer an insult to the lowest capacity. But admitting he was in earnest in what he said, did he show himself" gentle unto all men, in meekness instructing those who oppose themselves ?” II Tim. 11. 24–26. Did he follow his example, who condescended “to eat and drink with publicans and sinners ?” Instead of saying, “ Come unto me all ye,” &c. does he not say, in substance, Lord, I thank thee that I am not like this Universalist ? Heaven be praised that such men do not legislate in this State, and country, nor have the power to bind on others heavy burthens, while our Constitutions so boldly confront the aspirations of priestcraft and tyranny.

Should the Doctor reply or apologize, we shall be happy in presenting it to our readers; but if he views this publication beneath his notice, and treats it with silent contempt, we shall be at liberty to proclaim to others his declining popularity, without being suspected of wishing to disturb his magisterial tranquility.

EDITOR.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE INTELLIGENCER.

Rev. Sir—Being a member of the Universalist Church in Roxbury, I will attempt to comply with your late request* that we would state our reasons for omitting our peculiar and distinguishing tenet in our DECLARATION OF Faith. It must be understood, however, that I am not authorized by the other members to speak in their behalf ; I can only assign the reasons which induced me to advocate that omission.

Before I proceed to those reasons, it may be well to remind your readers, that a Declaration of Faith or Articles of Faith, or Creed, (whatever we call it, for it is all one) as used by all churches, is an instrument which every candidate is obliged to sign or assent to, before he can be admitted. There is an important difference between a simple declaration of faith by individuals, and the formal Declar

* See page 94. Article, "Another Church."-Ed.

a

tion of Faith incorporated into the Constitution of Church ; because, in the former case, the declaration regards only the individual who makes it, and imposes no restrictions on others,-it is simply an acknowledgement and profession of a certain belief; but in the latter case, the declaration becomes a test, by which the church must try every candidate ; so that however virtuous and pious, however worthy as a christian he may be, he is inevitably excluded if the creed contain even one article which he cannot subscribe to.

1. Now, Sir, one reason which induced me to advocate the omission of all sectarian sentiments in our Declaration of Faith, is that I think it wrong for a church of Christ to establish such barriers as will inevitably exclude any christian from membership ; and therefore, that it ought not to demand of its candidates any other faith than what is necessary in order to constitute them christians. I look on a church of Christ as a society simply of christians. I look on christians as its proper members, and as naturally entitled to its privileges, as children of the same family are to the privileges of that family, or as citizens of the same State are to the rights of that State. If this view be correct, it is certainly improper to use a creed which demands sectarian qualifications of candidates.

I hope not to undervalue neither those particular truths which are believed and advocated by Universalists, nor other particular truths to which many of almost every denomination arrive by reflection and study. I consider them important; but I think them misused when they are made the tests of qualification of candidates,-the indispensable conditions of admission into our churches. For instance : the truth taught to Peter, by the vision of all manner of four-footed beasts and creeping things, was one of great importance ; yet it would have been improper to demand St. Peter's assent to it, as an indispensable condition of admission into the church, because our Saviour adınitted him, and even appointed him to the Apostleship, long before he did assent to it,

2. Another reason, which I think ought to have great weight, is the example given by the Apostles. It seems that they demanded of the candidates for the primitive churches, nothing but a belief in Jesus Christ. When the Ethiopian intimated a desire to be baptized, Philip told him that he might be baptized if he believed with all his heart: “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God," was the Ethiopian's reply ; and Phillip immediately baptized him. " What shall I do to be saved ?” asked the Jailer ; " believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house," answered Paul and Silas; "and they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.Other instances of the same purport might be quoted ; and among all the cases of baptism and admission into the church, of which we have accounts in the NewTestament, I believe there is not one in which more was required of the candidate, in point of faith, than a belief in Christ. I doubt whether we have a right to add to the simple standard used by the apostles.

3. And I think too, that the natural effect of departing from the simplicity of the original creed, and of multiplying Articles of faith, is what always has been the actual consequence, to create and cherish animosity, strife and wrath among professed christians.

These are the principal reasons which induced me, as one, to advocate the omission of all sectarian tenets in our Declaration of Faith. They are submitted to the consideration and remarks of all our brethren, in the spirit of meekness and christian charity, by A MEMBER &c.

ORIGINAL ANECDOTES. A zealous, eloquent preacher of the Arminian principles, used the following energetic method to induce sinners to repent and serve Cbrist.

“ Come, sinners ; leave the service of the Devil and try religion for one year--one month-one week, or even one day, and if you are dissatisfied and want to go back to your old master again, I will be the Devil's bondsman that he will accept of you.”

An avaricious professor was asked, how he could exhort and pray with such fervor. He replied; “I leave my worldly disposition at the threshold of the house." True, said a neighbor; but you are careful to leave it, where you can find it again, when you come out.

THE

Christian Intelligencer,

DEVOTED TO

TAEORETICAL & PRACTICAL RELIGION.

EDITED BY RUSSELL STREETER, MINISTER OF THE FIRST UNIVERSALIST SOCIETY IN PORTLAND.

VOLUME II.

PORTLAND:
PRINTED AT THE ARGUS OFFICE, BY TODD & SMITH.

.....1823.....

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