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and that on those rights is inscribed nemo me impune Lacessit.
An appeal to your candour must be nugatory; if you possess any, Universalists and Universalism are excluded from its benefits ; but the candid of any denomination, who dare to judge by facts, may decide for themselves, whether those who compose our congregation, male and female, do, or do not, possess as much integrity, as much of the Christian temper, as much of the courtesies of civilized life, are as temperate, and as good and constant husbands and wives, as those, not merely of your congregation, but of your church. Facts might be given which would decide this question at once.
Are none to be found in our ranks who visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and in whose hearts love to God and man is a living, an active principle? We desire not to boast; but what say the suffrages of your citizens? Have no instances, or rather have not instances in abundance, testified the confidence of society in their integrity, their responsibility ? Faots, indeed, are stubborn things.
In relation to those whom you represent as composing the chief, or only hearers, at a Universalist meeting, the selection of “ Bible saints," by way of contrast, is certainly a little unfortunate. Noah is represented as building the Ark because he was not a Universalist ; but he was drunken, unless the Bible lies," and you say the intemperate form a large portion of the audience of a Universalist preacher. Lot is also brought forward as an example of one in oppotion to a whole city of Universalists, viz. Sodom.The Bible says, respecting this opposer of Universalism, “ thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.” O tempora! O mores! How astonishingly do the Bible saints differ from their degenerate offspring! Now, all the vagabonds in society
are Universalists, forsooth, and vice versa ; for, by your logic, all the Universalists, are vagabonds, and for any thing which appears to the contrary, are not a whit better than their opposers were, in former times. The moral humours of the “ body politic and corporate,” which have been gathering for centuries, seem to be concentrating for an explosion, the result of which may be more dreadful to modern Universalists
, than the flood, and the fire, were to the ancient.
Perhaps, sir, you have seen a book, purporting to be a refutation of Universalism, written by one Roswell Judson. Perhaps you do not know that the author of that book peddles it round the country for liquor, on which he becomes so intoxicated, as to be a public nuisance. Perchance you do know how warnly this book was recommended by the orthodox, who had not read the Lectures which it is intended to refute;—but it is not to be presumed that you know, that one of these recommending gentlemen has an orthodox son, who stood for the hideous picture of Universalism which is said to be daily presented to the view of this very feeling father. Yet such are incontrovertible facts, the inference is to be drawn by yourself.
But it may not be necessary to attend to these matters of fact in detail, as belonging merely to the audi
Another method will be first attempted. If a successful turning of the tables on an opponent be considered as a complete triumph, the present opportunity shall not be neglected. The leaders of or thodoxy shall come in for a full share of the odium which you represent as belonging to us. When the continuance of such people as teachers, or employing them with a known bad character, is indicative of a pious audience, then a tree is no longer to be judged by its fruit.
Within a few years, a city, within 100 miles of Hartford, containing 14,000 inhabitants, has witnessed the disgrace of six clergymen, at least, (all sturdy believers in eternal damnation) for gross immoralities, and some of them after being discarded from other societies on account of their crimes. One of these has lately been ejected from the third society in which his intemperance has been repeatedly witnessed. He was certainly expelled from one, and it is believed from two Presbyteries, for the same allegation. But I have no wish to exhume the frailties of the dead, more particularly of those who were our contemporaries. Another of these, after repeated hearings by a Presbytery, or clergymen deputed for the purpose, was silenced as a confirmed drunkard. The remainder were guilty of the most flagrant lasciviousness ; one of a clandestine elopement with another man's wife ; another of the seduction of a young female under bis protection; the latter of whom has lately appeared in the public papers as a forger. of notes, a swindler, who has fled to escape the state prison. This person was a most violent opposer of Universalists.- The next confessed, that he had lived in a state of the most indiscriminate intercourse with the vilest of the community for eight or ten years, and the other was dismissed for the most obvious licentious conduct.
But it can hardly be necessary to recapitulate the facts which stand out in bold relief against those in the front ranks of orthodoxy, merely to repel a charge, which, with a man of sense, carries its own refutation on its front. The charge, if true, is as directly made on the whole community, and especially on the conservators of the public peace, as on Universalists. If an overwhelming majority of the orthodox permit such preaching as you impute to us, theirs is the fault.You know that it has not been uttered in this place ; you know that if a wretch were found, who dared to utter such stuff,—he would be amenable to the majes. ty of the laws.
Intimately connected with this subject is another, to which we will now attend. You have written considerable, evincing much solicitude for your favourite principle, that a fear of future misery is the efficient sanction of God's law; an almost certain bar to disobedience. The mode in which you have chosen to maintain this, is by substituting your own dreams in the room of facts. By reasoning on these figments of the imagination, as consequences flowing from given causes, you have attempted to prove a posteriori, that the cause is good or bad, as prejudice or passion might dictate. As
have laid so much stress upon fear as the basis of morals and religion, and depend so much on alleged facts in support of your premises, the subject may as well be examined now as ever; let us then revert to the effect produced by this fear, appealing to historical facts, and the acknowledgments of its advocates.
That the fear of endless punishment, as the consequence of sin, is the broad principle on which
you found the practice of virtue, in this world, and the possession of happiness in the next, is evident. Sects differing in name, which hold this principle in common, have all the advantages deduced from it in their favour, if the premises are correct, and on this broad principle it will first be examined.
It will be conceded that the Romish Church is not a whit behind the Protestant in this respect. Indeed, as a body, they are more explicit in their denuncia. tions on transgressors than the Protestants. What now is the history of that church? It is written with the blood of persecution. It is needless to specify particulars. History records more than fifty millions of victims to the Holy Catholic Church. Massacres and
assassinations too numerous and too horrid to relate are the dreadful concomitants of this belief in that church. Centuries have witnessed her violations of every principle of honour, humanity, and virtue-her own historians acknowledge it, and the Protestant church has long resounded with anathemas on her head as the mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth. No proof is here needed, nor will a professed Protestant utter a dissenting voice, unless it be to the deductions.
But some eminent and excellent members of that church, give a faint relief to the dreadful picture.With these exceptions, a whole church stands as a beacon to others professing the same fundamental doctrine. But, heart-chilling as is the picture of this church, the same features are distinguishable in the Protestant. From her own history, and the acknowledgments of her children, will the facts in support of my argument be drawn.
To begin with a celebrated Reformer, from whom your denomination claims its origin. He was a bigoted, intolerant, persecutor and murderer. Mr. Benedict, the Baptist historian-a Trinitarian Calvinist, thus writes :
"A multitude of testimonies go to prove that Calvin was at the head of this murderous affair.” [The burning of Servetus, as an anti-Trinitarian.] But omitting all others, I will transcribe part of a letter to the Marquis Paet, high chamberlain to the King of Navarre. “Honour, glory, and riches, shall be the reward of your pains; but above all, do not fail to rid the country of those scoundrels, who stir up the people to revolt against us.
Such monsters should be exterminated, as I have exterminated Michael Servetus, the Spaniard.”
I am fully aware that it will be objected, this was a solitary instance. It is not necessary to prove that