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among a number of Alligators, and standing to gaze at these monsters, quarrelling for their prey, beholding the writhing infant in the jaws of the successful animal ; and standing motionless, while it is breaking the bones, and sucking the blood of the poor innocent."

My friend was so much affected as often to be interrupted by sighs and tears ; and though I had been accustomed to read and hear similar accounts of the unhappy state of individuals and societies in our own as well as foreign countries, for nearly half a century, yet my feelings were much wrought upon. He was silent for some minutes : and then broke out in a kind of pious frenzy—“Do you believe this?" Yes, I answered -every word of it.“ How then can you withhold your mite in the good cause of promoting an extension of the Gospel to these deluded wretches,” he cried ? I replied, I never had any objection to sending the Gospel by Missionaries, or any other proper mode, into all parts of the world, where there were reasonable prospects of its being sowed in a soil in the least degree prepared for it. Many people well acquainted with the state of the natives of India were of opinion that our Missionaries, as preachers, did more hurt than good. Though even this I questioned, I wished, as ardently as he did, that the Gospel might be sent to the natives of India ; but I was against the sending batch after batch of hot Canvinistic and Hopkinsian missionaries there. He demanded with surprize and feeling, “ if I did not think Calvinists and Hopkinsians, as many are denominated, were christians, and preached the Gospel in its original purity ?”. I answered him, that I would by no means say they were not christians. For they might be christians and yet teach many errors—and I did not believe they preached the gospel in its original purity. In some of their creeds, I could discover only a few features of the Gospel, and these were, in my opinion, so mixed up and amalgamated with many gross errors and superstitions, that their effect were almost entirely lost upon the mind, and the result of their preaching naturally tended to make up a character, very different from the simple christian. He observed, he had heard many, of late, talk in this general way of errors in the orthodox manner and system of preaching : but he always found they were unwilling to come to particulars and point out, with clearness and sufficient distinctness, what those gross errors were, so that they might be met and cleared up; and desired me, if I were willing, to tell him what those errors were, which, in my opinion, obscured the simple doctrines of the Gospel, and the preaching of which has a tendency to render ineffectual those Gospel doctrines.' I replied, I could have no objectionbecause I believed my notions, on the subject, were justified by reason, scripture and general history. I then stated Original sin and total depravity, a Triune God, or the Trinity, as it is found in all the orthodox creeds I had ever seen-Atonement with its notion of infinite satisfaction made to God's justice by the sufferings and death of Jesus-Special Grace-conversions or miraculous regenerations, Election and Reprobation, all topped off by the still more horrid, if not blasphemous, doctrine of the inconceivably great and never ending torments of a great, if not much the greatest part of the whole family of Adam, through the endless ages of eternity. I then desired him to look back and note the course of preaching since the days that Calvinism has assumed the character of orthodoxy, and I believed he would find that an attempt to explain and to enforce a belief of them, made up much the greatest portion of orthodox preaching; and, as I verely believed, to the exclusion of those simple and infinitely more useful principles that make up the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I told him I could but look upon those doctrines or dogmas, as very unprofitable subjects to be preached to the ignorant, blind and prejudiced Hindoos. Peter never alluded to them in his preaching immediately after the ascension of his and our master in religious matters ; and yet he converted hundreds as ignorant and wicked as the Hindoos. The Gospel is a plain simple thing—It is good news to all that hear it, and ought to be so preached.

I admitted the account he gave me of the Hindoos was distressing beyond any thing that takes place in this country, and age ; except the account and prospects held out to the world by Calvinistic preachers, of the future state of mankind, and compared with them, the situations of the Hindoos was an enviable one. To our immediate temporal feelings, nothing can be more excruciating than for a mother to be deprived of her children, and see them suffer in the manner stated in the letter ; but, we must bear in mind, this is a religious act, and the means of obtaining eternal blessedness with their Gods in the other world ; and according to their education it is little more painful, perhaps not so much, than for the most affectionate parents, under our modes of education, to administer nauseous food and physic to their children, as the best means of saving their lives from premature deaths, and greater sufferings by lingering sickness. I inquired, whether he had compared, in his own mind, the sufferings of infants, the hard-heartedness of parents, and the general darkness of mind among the Hindoos s; with the miseries of a great portion of mankind for ever and ever, and the acquired insensibility of soul, taught to be the result of their preaching, according to Calvinism ? For I thought, if he had, he would see no reason to believe these people would ever be made better by genuine calvinistic missionaries. I perceived my friend, on suspecting I was about to make a comparison of Hindooism with Calvinism, began to lose his habitual equanimity of mind; which I had often before noted, in conversing with the professed believers in the eternity of hell-torments, to be the case, whenever it was attempted to prove these punishments would have an end. I requested him, in turn, to hear me read a few sentences from one of the most approved Calvinistic writers of our own country ; and whose works, I had reason to believe, were made the ground of missionary theology so far as I could judge from reading, in missionary publications, accounts of their preaching and

religious teaching. I read from President Edwards “ Vindication of the wisdom, justice and goodness of God in the eternal misery of the wicked."

6. The Saints in heaven will behold the torments of the damned. they shall be tormented in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. So shall they be tormented in the presence of the glorified saints. Hereby will saints be rendered more sensible how great their salvation is ; when they see how great the misery is from which God has saved them, and how great a difference he has made between their state and the state of others, who were by nature, and perhaps, for a time, by practice, more sinful and hell deserving than any. It will give them a greater sense of the wonderful goodness of God's grace towards them ! Every time they look upon the damned it will excite in them a lovely and admiring sense of the grace of God in making them to differ. The sight of hell-torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever. It will not only make them more sensible of the greatness and freeness of God in their happiness, but it will really make their happiness the greater, as it will make them more sensible of their own happiness. It will give them a more lively relish for it, it will make them prize it the more. When they see others who were of the same nature, and born under the same circumstances, plunged into such misery, and they so distinguished !! Oh it will make them sensible how happy they are !!! Again “ the sight of the wonderful power, the great and dreadful majesty, and awful justice and holiness of God, manifested in the eternal misery of ungodly men, will make them prize his favor and love vastly more ; and they will be so much the more happy in the enjoyment of it !!"

I then observed to my friend, who actually appeared affrighted as it he expected every moment some signal judgment to fall upon him, that whatever he and others might think of such sentiments and such writers, I had no hesitation to say the whole of it was untrue and of a pernicious tendency; and it seemed to me that nothing could shield the author of it from a just charge of blasphemy; but his total ignorance of the subject, joined to the blindest zeal to a system he had mistaken for religion. Such sentiments, and supposed feelings in the souls of saints in heaven and sinners in hell, are not warranted by

any rational inferences made from the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in the gospel. Could the mild and compassionate Jesus, who, grieved with the mourners who had lost a brother, and wept at the calamities he saw threatening Jerusalem, have submitted to the agony of preaching such sentiments as the foregoing ? “But,” cried my friend, " it must have been the mere human nature of Jesus that manifested such weakness of compassion in the cases alluded to.”

My letter, I fear, is already too long to comport with the plan of your useful publication, or I would continue the conversation of my friend with my remarks. I shall therefore for the present conclude with assuring you and your readers of the humane regards of yours and their friend,



DOCTRINAL QUESTIONS. Mr. Editor-Through the medium of your periodical paper, I want to propose a few serious questions for the consideration of all into whose hands it may fall, but more especially such, as are inclined to a belief in future, eternal, unmerciful torment.

1. If any of the human family are thus endlessly tormented, must it not have been a part of God's original purpose in giving them existence ?

2. Is it possible for his purpose to fail, or for them to escape the doom to which God destined them?

3. If God can be merciful in creating a part of the world for eternal wo, would he not be equally merciful in making the whole for the saine purpose ?

4. If God honors his justice as well as his mercy in providing a way for the certain salvation of some sinners, would either be dishonored in the salvation of all others of the same description ?

5. Why did the Saviour taste death for every man, if most of them had no interest in his mediation ?

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