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sure that they belong to the elected number, and they will answer in the negative.
Their system presents them with no cheering promise which gives them an assurance of endless happiness. They feel no certitude that themselves are not destined to people the sulphurous lake, and through the ceaseless ages of eternity to be the victims of infinite ire, and the sport of demons. To such we would say in the language of inspiration, "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which satisfieth not ?" You can as easily quench your thirst by drinking liquid fire, as you can satisfy your souls by exercising faith in such a doctrine.
But could all who are elected to salvation, have an assurance of their election, yet would a knowledge of this fact alone satisfy them? Why not, says the objector? if the elect are assured that it shall be well with them, I should suppose that they ought to be satisfied. O my friends, Almighty God never intended that we should be perfectly satisfied and happy, while there remained a single individual in misery; much less those who are connected with us, by some near and endearing affinity. These elect have fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and friends, who in all probability are as the non-elect, and who according to their system must suffer endless torment. We would ask those who fancy themselves elected, to look on their venerable fathers, who have toiled days, weeks, months, yea, years for their good, who have watched with a vigilant eye for their safety, and for the preservation of their reputation, if that doctrine which consigns these dear parents to hopeless despair, satisfies them? and if they consider candidly, they will say that it does not. If they are not lost to all feelings of humanity, compassion and mercy-if every sympathy has not become extinct, if every finer feeling of the soul has not
forsaken them, they will not, they cannot answer otherwise. Again, we would ask those who profess faith in the sentiment we are considering, to look at their affectionate mothers, on whose gentle bosoms they have so often reclined their infant heads, and to permit the ten thousand offices of kindness they have received from their willing hands, to pass before them in the animated visions of remembrance: And we would then ask them if that sentiment which sentences those kind mothers to perpetual darkness and misery, satisfies them? No, we are persuaded it does not. It must be to them like a gnawing worm and a perpetual fire. Again
Can you who are husbands, contemplate the companions of your bosoms, with whom ye have long lived in the habits of the most perfect friendship, who have ever sought your true happiness, and divided with you the cares of life, and for whom you have felt a love stronger than death glow in your bosoms, and say that you feel satisfied with that doctrine which excludes from the society of the blest, the joy of your hearts, and the delight of your eyes? Or can you who are consorts, look upon those you call by the endearing appellation of husband, whom you recognize as your earthly friends and protectors, the fathers of your children, the objects of your love and fondest affection, and feel satisfied with that sentiment which teaches an eternal separation? No, you cannot., Again-
Can you who are parents, feel satisfied with a system of doctrine, which, tho it may embrace your own happiness, yet destines your children, the dear pledges of your love and consecrated affections, to interminable woe? It is impossible. That parent's heart must be frigid indeed, that would be satisfied with the misery of its own likeness. Is he a christian that can rejoice at the extreme suffering of a near relative? No, he is not. Then he must be an infidel or a savage: Nay, more; a
demon incarnate! No parent upon earth, but a madman, in whose breast the glow of paternal kindness had become entirely extinct, could ever feel satisfied with the misery of his own offspring. Again--
We would ask those who trust that they are the elect of God, to look at the affectionate brother and sister, with whom they have spent days, weeks, months and years, in sportive innocence; whom they love with a tenderness and fondness which baffles description, for whom they would risk their lives, and even shed their blood; to look at the friend their heart holds most dear; at their social circle, and say if that doctrine, which teaches that these were doomed from all eternity to ceaseless misery, is capable of satisfying them? It is impossible.
We will now allow the elect to entertain no doubt with regard to the certainty of their own election, and the election of all their friends and relatives, yet would a knowledge of all this satisfy them? We presume not; for heaven has implanted in the breast of man, a heart, as it were, wider than himself. His capacious soul embraces in the arms of affection and love--
“Friend, parent, neighbor, first,
His country next, and next all human race;
Earth smiles around, with boundless bounty blest,
So that he could never be perfectly satisfied and happy, if but one soul should be endlessly miserable.
We will now, in as brief a manner as possible, notice a different system, and will argue as those do who believe it, viz. that the Deity is not the partial, unmerciful being, the former system represents him to be, nor from before all worlds elected a part of mankind to
eternal life, and doomed the remainder to indescribable sufferings; but that he has made all mankind capable of inheriting eternal salvation, and has rested it on the conditions of their faith and obedience. We will admit this to be true for a moment. And I would ask those who profess faith in this sentiment-can the idea that your future happiness; your everlasting portion; your eternal all depends upon the correctness of your views ; on the conformity of your conduct to the requisitions of Almighty God, while you pass through this world of imperfection, satisfy your minds? When you survey your past lives, and reflect upon the innumerable instances in which you have departed from the holy commandments of heaven, can you feel satisfied in saying, I shall soon appear in the presence of the great I AM -my God will search my heart, with his eye of flame, which is more penetrating than innumerable suns concentrated to a single point-he will judge and reward me according to my works, and I am perfectly satisfied in the belief, that if I have as much happiness in eternity as I merit by good works in time, I shall be as happy as I wish to be? Is there a man in the universe, in his senses, however pious and devout he may be, that will affirm this? Not one. A belief in a sentiment which teaches that Almighty God would leave the vast, the eternal interests of the soul at such loose ends, as to rest it on the conduct of fragile man, can never satisfy the reflecting mind. No--the soul of man is too precious, and its happiness is of too much importance, for Deity to make its eternal all depend upon such uncertainty. What can equal the value of the soul, or the importance of its happiness? Could globes of gold, or scas of pearl? No. Could the sun be transmuted to the richest gem, and every star in the solar system changed to spotless diamonds, yet they would bear no comparison to the worth of the soul, or the importance of its happiness.
All those who advocate either of the systems, of which a cursory view has been taken, I would address in the words of the prophet-"Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not ?" Let not, I entreat you, a love of popularity, of worldly aggrandisement, of fame, of applause, or any other consideration, induce you to spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which satisfies you not; but come ye to the fountain of eternal life, which is open for all mankind, and feast your souls on the richest viands-impartial, eternal love and mercy. Then will your peace be like a river, and your joy like a cloudless morning.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NEW-HAMPSHIRE UNIVERSALIST ASSOCIATION.
The members of the New-Hampshire Universalist Associa tion met at Jaffrey pursuant to adjournment, on Tuesday evening, June 13, 1826, at the house of Br. John Cutter, and opened the council by uniting in prayer with Br. Alvin Dinsmore. Organized the council by choosing,
1. Br. Edward Turner, Moderator.
2. Br. Charles Hudson, Clerk.
3. Appointed Brs. Paul Dean, Warren Skinner and Charles Hudson, a Committee to receive requests for Letters of Fellowship and Ordination, and report thereon.
4. Adjourned to 8 o'clock, on Wednesday morning. Prayer by Br. Nathaniel Wright.
5. Met on Wednesday morning according to adjournment. Prayer by Br. P. Dean.
6. Proceeded to make arrangements for public worship,
which are as follows:
First prayer, Br. E. Turner.
Sermon, Br. Lemuel Willis, from 1 Cor. viii. 6.
Last prayer, Br. A. Dinsmore.
First prayer, Br. Orestes A. Brownson.
Sermon, Br. C. Hudson, from Matt. v. 25, 26.