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lowship with this Association; which communications indicate a breach of fellowship, and are injurious to the good feelings and harmony which ought ever to prevail among brethren engaged in one cause, having for the end of their labors the cultivation of the moral and social virtues, the liberation of the human mind from prejudice and bigotry, and the production in the heart of the spirit of benevolence, philanthropy and love.
"Voted, That the said Appeal' and 'Declaration' be referred to a committee of three, for their examination; and that they report what notice this Association ought to take of the same. Brs. R. Carrique, J. Bisbee and J. Frieze, were appointed on this committee."
This committee, which was certainly a very respectable one, after taking due time to deliberate upon the subject, made the following report:
"The committee to whom was referred the consideration of the 'Appeal' and 'Declaration' made the following report, which was adopted by the unanimous vote of the members of the Association :
"This Association considers it expedient to express this public disapprobation of a 'Declaration' and an' Appeal,' which appeared in the Christian Repository for December, 1822, as they tend to dissolve the bonds of union, by manifesting a disposition in their authors to deprive us of the name and character of Christian ministers.
"Voted, That Brs. Carrique, Bisbee and Frieze, be a committee to write to the brethren who are the authors of the Appeal' and 'Declaration,' and make known to them the views entertained by this Association of said communications."
Rev. Mr. Dean, the only one of the six signers of the "Declaration" who was present, left at the close of the first day of the session, and returned to Boston.* In
*He effected an individual settlement of his difficulties with Mr. Bal
six months from this date the association met again in Milford, Mass., when the committee above referred to reported that they had attended to the duty assigned them, without success. But, at the close of the first day, there were symptoms that the authors of the "Declaration" had relented, and a committee was appointed to draft terms of reconciliation; and on this committee were placed Hosea Ballou, D. Pickering, J. Frieze, Richard Carrique, and H. Ballou, 2d. They reported, upon the next day, the following plan of settlement :
"Whereas certain publications, called an 'Appeal to the Public,' and a Declaration to the World,' have been construed to indicate a disfellowship, as expressed in a resolve of the Southern Association, the undersigned, authors of the Declaration,' being possessed of a fervent desire to restore the happy union and fellowship of our religious order, and to enjoy ourselves, and to assist our brethren to reciprocate with us, the inestimable blessings of harmony and brotherly love, desire to remove all difficulties above noted, by certifying that we do most cordially acknowledge and accept, as Christian ministers and brethren, such as differ from us on the subjects of doctrine maintained in the above-named publications. And we receive and consider the acceptance of this proposal by the Association as an assurance on their part that they reciprocate the sentiments and feelings of Christian fellowship above-mentioned."
The above paper having been signed by Revs. Edward Turner, B. Streeter, and Charles Hudson, it was voted "That the same is fully satisfactory in relation to the
lou at this session in Strafford; but he could not give a correct statement of it after he arrived home. Mr. Ballou's heart was ever ready to receive him, when he would come as a brother; but such were Mr. D.'s representations in regard to the settlement, that it was not a month before he was far deeper in difficulty than he had been before.
signers thereof; and that this body reciprocate the Christian feeling and fellowship therein expressed." Of the six authors of the "Declaration," these three were the only persons present.
PROGRESS OF THE CAUSE, 1823.
It is impossible to tell in every case how far the influence of Mr. Ballou reached. The light that radiated from his mind extended out on every hand; but how widely who can know? There is no exact rule by which we can calculate the influence of a man. We describe the state of the cause as we go on, and leave others to form the best judgment they can how far Mr. Ballou's labors and influence contributed to produce it. A writer in the New York Gospel Herald said, in August of this year:
“There are now eight periodical publications devoted to the interests of this denomination in the United States; four in New England, one in Philadelphia, and three in the State of New York; not less than ten thousand copies of the different papers are subscribed for, and in constant circulation,' — probably thousands more are distributed gratuitously, there is no state, district, or section of country, where they are not more or less known and read.' The Universalists have about one hundred and twenty preachers. They have about two hundred separate societies in the United States, of which seventy are in the State of New York."
It was reported, also, that ten Universalist meetinghouses had been built this year. There was much speculation and hope in regard to a book which would soon appear, it was said, from the pen of Rev. Walter Balfour, a recent convert to the Universalist faith. It was believed
that he would show, more clearly than it had been done before, that the doctrine of endless misery had no just ground of support from any of the original words rendered hell in the common English version; that his examination into the subject would be more thorough than any that had been made, although he would arrive at the same results to which others had come, before him. Indeed, the "proposals" for the book were out as early as August, 1823; and the new work would be called "An Inquiry into the Scriptural Import of the Words Sheol, Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna, all translated Hell in the Common English Version." Expectation was high, and the four words mentioned came into very common use among Universalists. Our new friend said, in his prospectus, that his principal object had been to ascertain, by an examination of all the passages in which these words occur, whether the inspired writers used any of them to mean a place of endless misery for the wicked. Though it was generally allowed that the first three were not so used, yet, as some of the texts in which these words occur were still quoted in proof of this doctrine, such texts were considered. As it was universally contended that the word Gehenna is always used by the sacred writers to signify such a place of misery, all the texts in which it occurs would be particularly examined. This investigation of the above words, as to their Scripture usage, had ended in the conviction, in the author's mind, that, originally, no such idea was attached to them. It was undertaken merely for his own satisfaction upon this deeply interesting subject to the human race; but, having delivered what he had written in a series of dis
courses, at the request of many who heard them, they would be now submitted for publication. Many people blessed the Lord for this man's conversion, and none did it more fervently than Mr. Ballou, as will be shown hereafter. He waited impatiently for the book.
CONVENTION OF 1823.
The convention this year was in some respects a joyful one, and in others melancholy. It was holden far off, namely, in the village of Clinton, Oneida county, N. Y., some few miles south of Utica. The great body of the people and of the preachers went to hear the gospel preached, and to feast upon the bread of heaven; but several of the ministers from Massachusetts went with personal difficulties to settle. Very deep indeed was the disappointment of the great body of the persons present. Mr. Ballou had no ill will to any one; he had held out the olive-branch to Mr. Dean till it had withered in his hand. A necessity, existed that he should make a complaint against that brother; but, to offset this, Mr. Hudson (one of the six signers of the "Declaration") also instituted a complaint against Mr. Ballou. The convention, averse to acting in the matter, voted to exonerate them both, though under circumstances which showed there was little doubt that in the opinion of the convention Mr. Ballou had been a promoter of peace so far as. was in his power, and that he was a deeply-aggrieved man. Mr. Dean immediately requested liberty to withdraw from the fellowship of the convention, and this request was granted. The brethren were led by this