Page images

friendship, they must be deceptive, or else, “ fools and blind."

5. Their divinity is popular; it ensures them the respect of great men, and the reverential deference of small ones; which among men who are fond of the flattery of superiors, and the homage of inferiors, has a powerful tendency to blind their eyes, and strengthen their hands in error. This is a weakness, not peculiar to professional men, but is common to all. It however lessens their diligence in searching for errors in their creed, and encourages them to travel in the beaten path of their ancestors, and to maintain the traditions of their fathers,” whether right or wrong

But the last reason I shall offer, is, that as this scholastic divinity is popular, those who defend it with any good degree of ability, stand an excellent chance of being advanced to a state of affluent independence abont home; and the less gifted can find employ on foreign missions; so that all may live, and many get independent. If I am uncharitable in this suggestion, I am not alone, for Paul and Peter were of opinion that 'filthy lucre,' would have some influence upon, even a Bishop's mind. With these reasons before him, I am satisfied that a rational, candid man, will not only consider school theologists, fallible beings, but even the least qualified to guide others in religious opinions of any set of men whatever; for it is against popularity, personal elevation, and ease, and interest, to detect and expose the errors of a system, which possesses them of so many ornamental and lucrative advantages. Was their case like that of Peter suffering under a shower of stones, or of Paul receiving forty stripes save one, and they should still persevere, with nothing in prospect but deprivations and poverty and death, we could think them sincere ; for, then they would feel an interest in anatomizing their system ; and if they found it false, to proclaim it “on the house top.” But their case is directly to the opposite of this; they float on the wave of popular respect, and are wafted along by the wind and current of fame. But finally; it is a question usually put to witnesses in courts of justice, whether they get or lose by the success of the cause, and if either, they are dismissed. I cannot think this an unimportant question for our modern theologians, who are so unwilling to submit their cause to the trial of scripture and common sense. It might answer as a criterion, by which to decide in some measure, whether they are infallible guides, or blind guides.

B. S*******

MONEY FOR PREACHING. It is diverting in the extreme to peruse the Circular of the Cumberland Baptist Association, for 1822, in which they boldly ask money for preaching, and witness the holy zeal which they manifest, in defending that preachers should be hired and have their wages, as much as though they wrought in a man's vineyard. We do not condemn their arguments, but admire they should come from that source. The Baptist ministers have long condemned all as hirelings who agreed to preach a given time, for a certain compensation. But now their voice is wholly for hiring and paying preach

Dr. Chapin labors the subject faithfully, in an Ordination Sermon. The Freewill Baptists in their Letter, published in the “ Christian Herald,” fully agree with the Calvinists, in demanding a regular support for ministers. A better time could not have been chosen to introduce their claims. While Missionaries are calling aloud for money, money by millions to save Heathens, may not our ministers at home, modestly ask for a few hundreds or thousands, annually, to enable them to save gospel hardened sinners, without being suspected of

laboring for the meat which perisheth ?" Ministers should remember, the shrewd Leland's favorite maxim, Those who live in glass houses should be careful not to throw stones .!"


RELIGIOUS CALUMNY DETECTEÐ. It is a solemn duty which we owe to ourselves, and to the public, to detect and faithfully expose every instance of bold misrepresentation, or insidious religious calumny, as far as opportunity admits. No other consideration would induce us to notice, in this manner, the “Two Sermons on Christian Fellowship, preached at Gorham, Oct. 16, 1816,” by Rev. Asa RAND, present Editor of the “ Christian Mirror.The first sermon does little more than proclaim the author in fellowship with all Calvinists, by whatever name they may be distinguished from Arminians; but the second exhibits his uncandid and censorious spirit towards “Universalists,Elias Smith," "Quakers," " Freewill Baptists,and Wesleyan Methodists." As there are gentlemen in each of those denominations abundantly able to meet and repel Mr. Rand's unprovoked attacks on their reputation, we shall direct our remarks exclusively, to his calumniation of Universalism. It is but justice, however, to observe, that the Quakers have already manfully defended themselves. Friend Edward Cobb published “A few Observations, &c. in reply” to Mr. “Rand's sermons, which led him to publish another pamphlet, entitled “ A Word in Season;" which was answered and refuted. by Friend Samuel F. Huzzey, of this town, in a work called, “A brief examination of Rand's book,” &c.We presume that the puritanic author of the sermons is convinced by this time, that it is "out of season” to attempt to hang Quakers, even in controversy; for he has hung about a year,on the Calvinistic gallows, which, (Haman-like,) he erected for the peaceable Friends.

The calumnious paragraph in which the preacher made a hostile attack on Universalism, is found on the 19th page

of the “Sermons." It contains one truth and three untruths. The one truth is thus stated

Of the Universalists. They believe that all men will be saved ; either as soon as they die, or after a future punishment of limited duration; whatever their lives may be.”

No Universalist will deny that statement, if words are to be taken in their common acceptation. They do believe with Paul, that “God will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.—1 Tim. ii. 4. And why should they not believe it, since it is expressly revealed by Him, who worketh all things after the council of his own will? They believe “God is the Saviour of all men," and can Mr. Rand prove be is not their Saviour ?-1 Tim. iv. 10. Universalists have faith in the salvation of just as many, (and no more nor less) as God has willed to save, viz. ALL MEN. If Mr. Rand had made it appear we “believe” that more than “all men will be saved,” his declaration would have stood against us ; for in that case, our faith would have been unscriptural. But as it now stands, it is altogether in our favor. Hence, we render to all their dues, and give him the credit of stating one truth.

But his untruths are three.

1. “Hence, they fully agree in doctrine with the first and great deceiver of the human race."

2. “The whole substance of their belief is contained in these words to Eve, Ye shall not surely die.

3. “The natural consequence of this belief is a life of sin, in any particular course to which corruption or temptation may lead; the end of which is death."

These statements are unfounded and indefensible. When a public teacher deliberately publishes three palpable untruths, to one truth, his conduct is too reprehensible to pass unnoticed. Neither Mr. Rand, nor any Calvinistic divine in this town, or elsewhere, can maintain his assertions; nor do we believe they will have the pertinacity to attempt it. His declarations are destitute of argument, evidence, prudence, discernment, and common decency. They are remarkable only, for falsity, censoriousness, contumacy, stupidity, obstinacy, and indecorum. We call on Mr. Rand to devote a column of his “Mirror” to a defence of these unprovoked calumniations, or like a christian editor, acknowledge his error.

[ocr errors]

Did" the first and great deceiver of the human race, believe that God would be the Saviour of all men ? that as “sin had reigned unto death, even so should grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord ? Does he “ labor and suffer reproach," as do Universalists from such men as Mr. Rand, “ for trusting in the living God who is the Saviour of all men, especially of believers ?" If the great deceiver do thus believe, he fully agrees with St. Paul and Universalists; but if not, Mr. Rand's statement is untrue, and in that respect, he and the deceiver agree ; for neither of them abide in the truth. John viii. 44.

Again. Do the words “Ye shall not surely die” contain the substance of Universalism; viz. “As in Adam ALL DIE, even so, IN CHRIST shall all be made ALIVE Do the words which say, in substance, “Neither Adam nor his posterity shall die, nor need a Saviour,” embrace the substance of the truth, that “Both Adam and all his posterity have died in trespasses and sins, and will be saved by the grace of God ?" Universalists are “constrained to believe that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all.” Thus they wholly disagree with the great deceiver;" for he said they should

not die. Yes, reader, it is Mr. Rand who agrees, at least, partly, with the deceiver, by maintaining that some men will not surely die the death which the Lord threatened. But we contend that death in sin, was intended, and that all do surely die; the preacher and the deceiver, to the contrary notwithstanding.

The next question is, whether the belief that all men will be saved from sin, naturally leads to a more sinful life? Does it "encourage the wicked to continue in sin, and escape the righteous judgment of God ?” Does it raise a syren voice, “Let us sin that grace may abound?” Are men encouraged "to continue in sin because we are not under the law, but under grace?" If Universalists maintain that "stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant;" if they say “the way of the transgressor is delightful, and there is

« PreviousContinue »