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forever. What a happy consideration is this, that when we have passed through so many sufferings here, through the dark and gloomy realms of death, there is One that will raise us and make us rejoice in heavenly places. Death will then indeed be swallowed up in victory. Perfect happiness and consummate felicity will be the portion of Adam's vast family. In bringing my subject to a close, in which I have labored to show that our knowledge and happiness will be increased and perfected, I shall endeavor to make a few consoling remarks to the mourners.
To the Parents.-My dear friends, I am sensible that you are mourners indeed. Your dear son has left you, never to return; and while tears flow from your eyes and run down your cheeks, may I supported while I attempt to console you. You are in the first place to consider who has done this. Is it a friend, or an enemy? Your answer must be, a friend. Then I entreat you to be reconciled, and never indulge yourselves in any improper reflections. I presume that an aged and infirm father is ready to say, Far better would it have been, could I have died in the place of my son. But this is not the fact-infinite wisdom never errs. There was much, no doubt, to engage your affection in your beloved son. Flattering prospects, in him, were held out before you. You undoubtedly expected assistance from him in your infirm and declining state of health. And had his life been continued, he would very cheerfully have assisted you. But as it is otherwise ordered, another way for your benefit will be provided. Be not discouraged; drink this cup with resignation, and may the God of consolation be your supporter now and for
To the Brothers and Sisters.-My young friends, I am convinced that this solemn visitation deeply affects you. Your brother, whom you loved, has been called
away from you in a very sudden and unexpected time. Little did you think, when he left your home, it would be the last time you should behold him. If you had believed, the morning he went away, that you should see him no more on the earth forever, how would you have gazed upon him, and with the most painful reluctance would you have parted. I beseech you to make a profitable use of this solemn providence. As your brother has died young, so may you. Be prepared for death by living soberly, righteously, and godly in the present world. Be ever kind to your parents, and do all in your power to render them happy. So may you live and know your Creator, by a well-ordered life and conversation.
And to the more distant relatives.-I discover that you also mourn on this solemn occasion. And methinks you say, how can we help sorrowing? A youth, so amiable, whose mind was so well furnished with literary information to render him useful, taken from us in the morning of his existence. We must weep with those that weep. Well, dear friends, I do not say to you, that weeping, on such occasions, is wrong; it is right but your tears should be shed in submission to the divine will; and this, I trust, is the case with you. May infinite wisdom store your minds with a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, and prepare you for every duty in life, and for a glorious immortality beyond the grave.
The whole assembly are exhorted to remember death, and to conduct wisely for an everlasting state of existence. We may mourn for our fate, but cannot alter it, neither by our precaution, nor laborious efforts. God grant that we may all be reconciled to his holy will and pleasure, and be supported in every trouble. Amen.
From the Universalist Magazine. REV. HOSEA BALLOU'S SECOND LETTER TO DR. WARE.
When I wrote my former letter, I found many things crowding into my mind, arising from reflecting on your arguments, but I then thought it best to add no more. But further consideration has satisfied me that some further notice of your reasoning against the orthodox creed may be serviceable.
As I chose a subject for my former letter, concerning which I was led to fault your reasoning, I am now disposed to notice one, found upon pp. 59, 60, in which I fully agree with you. In order to direct the force of reasoning, which arises from a universal sense of right and wrong, which our Creator has given us, against the partial creed of election and reprobation, as held by the orthodox, you very justly state as follows:
"Now, as God is the author of our being, and as that portion of reason, which we have, was given us by bin for our guide, it is certainly very remarkable, and what we should not expect, that instead of indicating to us truly his character, and dispositions, and purposes, so far as it gives us any information, it should universally mislead us respecting them. Following the light of our reason, and the natural impulse of our feelings, we find it impossible to imagine, that the Author of our being, the common Parent of all, can regard and treat his offspring in the manner, which the doctrine in question attributes to him. That, without any foreseen difference of character and desert in men, before he had brought them into being, he should regard some with complacency and love, and the rest with disapprobation and hatred and wrath; and. without any reference to the future use or abuse of their nature, he should appoint some to everlasting happiness, and the rest to everlasting misery; and that this appointment, entirely arbitrary, for which no reason is to be assigned, but his sovereign will, should be the cause and not the consequence of the holiness of the one, and of the defect of holiness of the other.
A man, who should do what this doctrine attributes to God, I will not say toward his own offspring, but toward any beings that were dependent on him, and whose destiny was at his dis
posal, would be regarded as a monster of malevolence, and cruelty, and caprice. It is incredible that the Author of our being should thus have formed us with an understanding and moral feelings to lead us without fail to condemn the measures and the principle of the government of him, who sq made us.
As this reasoning, Sir, applies to the orthodox creed, which teaches, that from all eternity our Creator, of his own sovereign will, predestinated some of mankind to endless felicity, and others to interminable woe, I agree with you entirely. It seems to me an unanswerable objection against that partial doctrine. And it gives me no little satisfaction to find the resources, which are at your command, directed to dissuade christians from a sentiment which is so dishonorable to our gracious Creator, and so repugnant to the best feelings, of which he has seen fit to possess his rational creatures.
But, Sir, my main object, in this letter, is to show, that this excellent reasoning of yours bears as directly, and as forcibly against your own doctrine, as it does against Calvinism.
It is not necessary for me to show, that you acknowledge that our Creator wills that some of the human family should finally fail of salvation. This I have fully set forth in my former letter. But you contend, that the reason why God wills that some should not be saved, is their rejecting the offers of favor, which are made to them. Altho you destroy even this offer, in thousands of instances, by the circumstances of being, in which many are found, yet I will suppose you really mean, that God will finally exclude none from his favor only such as reject offered mercy.
With a view to set these concerns in as clear a light as is convenient, let a few questions and answers be put down, just as the doctrines of Calvinism and Unitarianism will justify.
1st. Concerning Calvinism. Did God know, from all eternity, all the actions which his creatures would perform in time? He did. Did he determine that all those actions should be performed? He did. Did he determine that some of the human family should be forever happy in the enjoyment of himself? He did. Did he, from all eternity, determine that the rest should be forever excluded from happiness, and suffer neverending woe? He did.
2d. Concerning Unitarianism. Did God know, from all eternity, all the actions which his creatures would perform in time? He did. Did God know that some of the human family would reject all the gracions offers of Divine mercy, which would be made to them ? He did. Did he know, from all eternity, that those, who would thus reject his offers of mercy, would, on that account, be forever miserable? He did. And was it his determination, that they should be thus miserable, for thus rejecting his offers? It was.
Now, Sir, what is the real difference between the Calvinistic God, and the Unitarian God? The Unitarian scheme fixes as certainly and as definitely the endless misery of part of the human family, as does that of the Calvinist. Here let me quote your words: "A man, who should do what his doctrine attributes to God, I will not say towards his own offspring, but towards any beings that were dependent on him, and whose destiny was at his disposal, would be regarded as a monster of malevolence, and cruelty, and caprice." Why would a man who should thus do be thus regarded? Answer, because in so doing he would choose to be the author of an existence that would prove a curse and not a blessing to the creature. Well, God knew, before he made the thousands of mankind who will finally reject the offers of salvation and be forever miserable, that they would thus abuse his grace and suffer such a doom; and yet he