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from a hell in the eternal world; and all these were shown to be contradictory, injurious and false. We remember well his arguments on this occasion, and how they stirred and enlightened those who were present. Their faces shone with interest and gladness. It was not so much his purpose to show that all men will be saved (though this he did not forget), as to make manifest the scriptural view of salvation. It is a salvation from sin (Matt. 1: 21). Men had forgotten this; they had been so desirous to be saved from God's wrath, and to keep their souls out of an endless hell, that they had forgotten altogether the duty of being saved from their sins; and yet this was the only salvation which Jesus came into the world to give them.
SECTION II. PROF. STUART'S ELECTION-SERMON.
The sermon of Prof. Stuart before the Legislature of Massachusetts, in the spring of 1827, created no small excitement. He had been elected to preach the electionsermon for two reasons: First, because the honor (for so it was regarded) belonged that year, in the view of a majority, to the Orthodox party; and, second, because it was thought he was of a kind and charitable spirit, and would not be so likely as some others to take extreme ground. Least of all was it supposed that he would recommend that any class of the community should be deprived of their civil privileges. The reader may well judge, then, of the surprise that was occasioned by the following paragraph:
"On similar grounds, men who avow principles which render null all obligation by an oath, either an oath of office or one for the purpose of legal testimony, ought to be subjected to the disability which this creates. All who deny the doctrine of future retribution for crimes committed in the present world do plainly, in the eye of reason, incur a disability of such a nature. Persons of this class fall below the very heathen in their religious sentiments; for most of the pagans have always admitted, in some form or other, the doctrine of punishment in the world to come for crimes committed in the present life. There can be no possible sanction to the oath of a man who rejects all future pnnishment; and it is palpably a mere mockery of all the forms of justice, and of all the rational principles of true liberty, to admit those to the privileges of an oath who deny that God will judge the earth, and reward men hereafter according to their works."
It could not have been expected that Universalists would pass over such an assault upon their political liberties in silence. Had it been made even by some more humble opponent, it would have been regarded as deserving rebuke; but, coming from a man eminent, like Prof. Stuart, and in the election-sermon too, it was somewhat alarming. Mr. Ballou noticed it, at once, in the Universalist Magazine, and offered the following stringent remarks. After having quoted the paragraph, he said:
"In this paragraph the preacher informs the public,
"1st. That, if he did not fear, as pagans do, punishment in the future state, he would perjure himself; and that it would be a mere mockery of all the forms of justice, and of all the rational principles of true liberty, to admit him to the privileges of an oath! "2dly. That no god, except the one in which the heathen believe, who will torment his creatures in the future state, is worthy to be sworn by!
"3dly. That it is consistent with justice and the principles of
true liberty to hold out to men, who do not believe in this heathen doctrine of punishment in the future world, the privileges of oaths, if they will, before proper authorities, deny their honest belief!
4thly. The reverend professor, in the above paragraph, informs the Christian public that the religion of Jesus Christ would be entirely inefficient to render his disciples honest people, if it did not embrace the old pagan doctrine of future retribution! and
5thly. This Orthodox clergyman, in the foregoing extract, informs the public that there is not an individual saint of God in the world, who believes in orthodox sentiments, that ought to be allowed his oath, either for his induction into office, or for the purpose of legalizing his testimony, as all such saints do not believe that they shall be punished in the future state!
"The above extract involves many more absurdities; but those which are here noticed are abundantly sufficient to condemn its sentiments."
This was a specimen of the argumentum ad hominem which Mr. Ballou sometimes used, and which he knew how to wield with great power. He was disposed to try the professor by his own rules; to place him in the situation in which he supposed the Universalists to stand, and then show what he would be, if his declarations were true. If it is a belief of the doctrine of future punishment which prevents men from committing perjury, how has it happened that perjury has been the most frequent in those ages of the world in which that doctrine has been the least denied? If the disbelief of future punishment disqualifies men for telling the truth, then, if Professor Stuart were brought to disbelieve it, even though he held in other respects precisely what he did hold, he would not be worthy of belief. Then it is not a belief
in God which qualifies a man to make oath,—it is not a belief in the Bible, it is not a belief in the divine Saviour, it is not a belief in the fact of the future state, it is not a love of truth, a hatred of a lie, a life of probity and honesty, which qualifies a man to be believed, it is the sole fact of his belief in future punishment. The professor acknowledged that the pagans have always believed in that doctrine; and consequently they believed it before the Christian religion was promulgated in the world. The pagans, then, may be admitted to an oath; but Christians cannot, who believe only in life and immortality beyond the grave. Mr. Ballou said, therefore, strike from Próf. Stuart's creed the single article of future retribution, and he could be no longer depended on as a man of truth; nothing would then be left to sanctify him. And how, after all, could the professor be kept in check, even by that belief? He held, in the words of the creed of the institution with which he was connected, and which he was obliged to reäffirm once in five years, "that God, of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity elected some to everlasting life, and that he entered into a covenant of grace to deliver them out of this state of sin and misery, by a Redeemer." They of course were in no danger of future retribution; for the same creed embraced the fact that the souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory." * Hence Mr. Ballou said that, according to the position assumed by Prof. Stuart, not an individual saint in the
*These are veritable extracts from the creed of the institution.
world, who agreed with him in opinion, ought to be allowed his oath.
Mr. Ballou did not content himself merely with noticing the professor's election-sermon in the Magazine, but he reviewed it publicly in his pulpit, on Sabbath morning, June 24th, in a sermon from the words of Jeremiah: "For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord. Therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.” *
SECTION III. HUDSON'S LETTERS TO BALLOU.
About the time that Prof. Stuart preached the electionsermon, Rev. Charles Hudson (of whom we have previously spoken) brought out a volume entitled "A Series of Letters addressed to Rev. Hosea Ballou," &c. In the first part of this work, Mr. Hudson seeks to state and examine Mr. Ballou's system and arguments. This occupies about one-third of the work. He then approaches the doctrine of a future retribution. He gives his supposed Scripture proofs of a future judgment, as Acts 24: 25; Acts 17: 30, 31; Heb. 9:27, 28; Matt. 11: 23, 24; 2 Peter 2: 9; Jude, verse 6, and 2 Cor. 5:
*See "Orthodoxy Unmasked. A Sermon delivered in the Second Universalist Meeting-house in Boston, on Sabbath morning, June 24, 1827, in which some notice is taken of Prof. Stuart's Election-sermon. By Rev. H. Ballou."
The whole title was "A Series of Letters addressed to Rev. Hosea Ballou, of Boston, being a Vindication of the Doctrine of a Future Retribution, against the principal Arguments used by him, Mr. Balfour and others. By Charles Hudson, pastor of a church in Westminster, Mass. Woodstock, Vt.: Printed by David Watson. 1827." 12 mo., pp. 307.