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though there were general, but very important duties, he owed to the cause at large. He was ready at all times to hear the call of the sick to visit them; to comfort those who mourned, and bind up the broken-hearted. His pulpit labors were very acceptable; and again and again were the sermons which he preached requested for the press. These sermons he never wrote except for the press. If a sermon were written before it was preached, he never carried the manuscript into the pulpit. We do not say he never read a sermon from the pulpit in his life; but we may truly say we never knew him to do so; and yet in many cases have we known the sermons to have been written before delivery, especially on occasions of dedications, ordinations, &c. &c. On the fourth Sabbath in February, of this year, he preached a sermon entitled "The Golden Calf," from the words, Exodus 32: 35, "And the Lord plagued the people, because they made the calf which Aaron made." Aaron, who made the golden calf, was a prototype, so to speak, of the false priests of our own day, who follow the people, and administer to popular prejudices. Aaron well knew the reverence which the Egyptians had for the ox; and, as the Israelites had imbibed many Egyptian superstitions, he formed his idol to suit those superstitions. Mr. Ballou applied the subject to the false religion of our own times, and the craft of a priesthood by which the people are led into error. He deliberately held that the Jews would never have fallen so deeply into error, had it not been for false leaders. As Isaiah said, "The leaders of of this people cause them to err, and those that are led
of them are destroyed." 9: 16. But Mr. Ballou had no hatred in his heart. He said, in the course of this sermon,
My friends, I solemnly declare that I feel no opposition, no enmity, against any denomination of religionists in the world, if I know my own heart. These remarks are not designed against men, against my fellow-beings; but I acknowledge my determined opposition to all priestcraft, to all religious deception; and I openly avow my entire devotedness to the work of rending the veil of superstition from the minds of men to the utmost of my feeble abilities. I hold in utter abhorrence the craft and art by which thousands are deceived, and made to believe that the spirit of God teaches these abominations, which are as unlike God as was the Moloch of the ancients, to whom thousands of innocent children were sacrificed."
One part of this sermon was devoted to showing how those who preach and sustain false religion are tormented by it, as the people of Israel were plagued because they made the calf which Aaron made. But he turned, at last, from all this scene of misery and servile religion, to lend an ear to the celestial voice of comfort. He quoted the words of Jesus to the weary and afflicted. He invited the people away from all the errors, sins, griefs, cares, and sorrows, of human life, to the religion of Jesus. Come," said he, "all that are weary and heavy laden, come;" "find rest unto your souls." His concluding words were:
"The religion of Jesus is confidence in the divine favor; it is hope in everlasting life; it is forgiveness to those who injure us; it is fervent in supplications for those who despitefully use us and persecute us. This religion is designed to overcome evil with good, and to reconcile all things to God; so that every knee shall
bow, every tongue shall confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."*
On the evening of the third Sabbath in March, he delivered the famous sermon which had attracted so much attention in Philadelphia, entitled the "Feast of Knowledge," which was immediately published and offered to the Boston public. It had been written out by him after his return home.t
In the month of September he preached his sermon entitled "St. Paul a Universalist." The text was 1 Tim. 2: 7,-"Whereunto I am ordained a preacher." The main question, after a proper introduction, was, "Unto what was Paul ordained a preacher?"
"He was ordained a preacher of the sentiment which he had just expressed, and to which he alluded in the words of our text. This sentiment is first expressed in an exhortation, as follows; "I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.' This exhortation makes it perfectly evident that St. Paul did not believe that God had, before the foundation of the world, ordained a part of the human family to endless wrath; for, had this been
* See "A Sermon, delivered in the Second Universalist Meetinghouse in Boston, on the evening of the Fourth Sabbath in February, 1822. By Hosea Ballou, pastor."
"A Lecture-sermon, delivered in the Second Universalist Meetinghouse in Boston, on the evening of the second Sabbath in March, 1822. By Hosea Ballou, pastor. Being the Substance of that which he delivered in the Grand Saloon of Washington Hall, Philadelphia, on the evening of first Sabbath in January."
his sentiment, he surely would not have exhorted men to pray for them, nor to give thanks for them.
"This sentiment is corroborated by an important declaration of the apostle, which follows the last quoted, and which stands as evidence and support of the proposition that it is the will of God that all men should be saved. It reads as follows: For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.' This declaration, that the one mediator gave himself a ransom for all men, and that this ransom was to be testified in due time, evidently shows that it was the apostle's belief that, in consequence of the will of God in the salvation of all men, the mediator had given himself a ransom for all, and that this universal ransom was a truth to be testified to the people. The next words are those we have chosen to lead this discourse : 'Whereunto I am ordained a preacher.' The evident meaning of the apostle in these words is, that he was ordained a preacher of the sentiment which he had just expressed, which sentiment we have already shown to be that of universal salvation."
The preacher then went on to quote, from almost every epistle of Paul, those brilliant passages in which that distinguished apostle taught the great doctrine of the final holiness and happiness of all men.*
SECTION IV. NEW PREACHERS IN 1822.
More or less under the influence of Mr. Ballou's labors, new preachers were continually coming into the denomination; and, like scions from the parent tree, they were set in new places to grow, and blossom, and bear
* "A Sermon, delivered in the Second Universalist Meeting-house in Boston, on the afternoon of the First Sabbath in September, 1822." By Hosea Ballou, pastor.
fruit. We might have mentioned under 1819, 20 and 21, the names of R. L. Killam, Kitteridge Haven, Thomas G. Farnsworth, Benjamin Whittemore, and several others, converted by reading his works, which had been spread abroad far and wide. In 1822, or about that time, Mr. Ballou received the intelligence of the conversion of Rev. Seth Stetson, an Orthodox clergyman in Plymouth, Mass.; Rev. H. H. Winchester, in Windham county, Vt.; and last, though not least, Rev. Walter Balfour, who had been a constant reader of the Magazine from the beginning; yet the credit of first having opened the eyes of the latter to the doctrine of universal grace belonged to Rev. Moses Stuart, of Andover.* All these cases of conversion added greatly to the comfort of Mr. Ballou. Like the venerable apostle John, he said, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”. 3d Epis. 4.
SECTION V. - NEW CHURCHES DEDICATED IN 1822.
There can be no doubt that his labors had also contributed largely to the building up of societies, and the erection of meeting-houses. In April of this year it was announced that the Universalists of Philadelphia, soon after Mr. Ballou left that city, had resolved upon the erection of another church, in the Northern Liberties, so called; and in September the corner-stone was laid, and the work went on.
*See "Memoir of the Rev. Walter Balfour, Author of Letters to Prof. Stuart, and Various Other Publications. By Thomas Whittemore Boston J. M. Usher. 1852."