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tion that none of the human race would suffer endless punishment, that thought they had sufficient reason to rejoice with exceeding joy, and Church to glory in the mercy of God. I never made the question a subject stating
of close investigation until lately. When I wrote my Notes on the at God
Parables, and my Treatise on Atonement, I had travelled, in my mind, away from penal sufferings, so entirely, that I was satisfied that if any suffered in the future state, it would be because they would be sinful in that state. But I cannot say that I was fully satisfied, that the Bible taught no punishment in the future world, until I ob
tained this satisfaction by attending to the subject with Br. Edward creatie Turner, then of Charlestown. For the purpose of satisfying ourselves
respecting the doctrine of the Scriptures, on this question, we agreed to do the best we could; he in favour of future punishment, and I the contrary. Our investigations were published in a periodical, called the Gospel Visitant. While attending to this correspondence, I be. came entirely satisfied that the Scriptures begin and end the history of sin in flesh and blood; and that beyond this mortal existence the Bible teaches no other sentient state but that which is called by the blessed name of life and immortality.
When I sat down to reply to Br. Turner, who urged the passage in Peter, respecting the spirits in prison, I knew not by what means I could explain the text without allowing it to favour the doctrine of future sufferings. I had, at that time, no knowledge of any transla. tion of the text, but the one in our common version. But on reading the whole subject in connexion, the light broke in on my mind, and I was satisfied that Peter alluded to the Gentiles, by spirits in prison, which inade the passage agree with Isaiah 42d."
Mr. Ballou's first settlement as a Universalist preacher, was in the town of Dana, Mass. After the expiration of some years, he was
s l22 riterhe som
per te sina! Feas
ermise induced to remove to Barnard, Vt. While resident at this place, he
wrote his " Treatise on the Atonement," and "Notes on the Para.
tion of the Second Universalist Society in Boston to become their slov: Pastor, and as such he was installed on the 15th of December. He u Fou still sustains said official character.
Mr. Ballou is in the 64th year of his age--yet “his eye is not dim, nor is his natural force abated.” His public communications are
distinguished by extraordinary penetration, perfect knowledge of hu. man nature, aptness of illustration, and closeness of reasoning. In private intercourse, he manifests the feelings of a heart baptized into the spirit of the living God. It is impossible to listen to his public exhibitions of love divine, without according to him the meed of sincerity and intellectual power; and it is equally impossible to min. gle with him in the walks of social life, without loving him from the heart.
The following is a list of Mr. Ballou's works:~" Treatise on the Atonement”—“Notes on the Parables"_"XXVI Lectures"_"XXY Select Sermons”—“Candid Review"_“XI Sermons," delivered in Philadelphia in 1821-2_* Examination of Future Retribution""Letters in Defence of Divine Revelation"--besides many smaller publications.
A. C. T.
Delivered in the Callowhill Street Church, Sunday Morning,
November 2, 1834.
"Behold, I have given him for a wilness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.”—Isaian ly. 4.
I deem it unnecessary to occupy any of your time, in proving that this is a prophecy concerning the great Messiah.
The connexion in which the passage is found, fully justifies this conclusion, and it is not controverted by any Christian sect. We shall therefore proceed directly to speak of the Messiah, even of Jesus, as sustaining the several characters mentioned in the text.
In the first place, we shall speak of him in the character of a WITNESS:
In the second place, in the character of a LEADER:
In the third place, in the character of a COMMANDER. “Behold, I have given him for a Witness to the people, a Leader and Commander to the people."
Let us iņquire, in the first place, into the utility and necessity of a WITNESS. And by attending to
this inquiry, we shall naturally be led to attempt the correction of some errors, which have almost imperceptibly crept into the Christian church.
The office and work of a witness is, to make known the truth, not to those who already know it, but to those who are not in possession of the knowledge thereof. When a witness is called into any of your courts of justice, it is in order that he may bring to your knowledge facts and circumstances which have a bearing on the case in hand, that those who are judges in the matter may obtain the information that is necessary to form correct judgment. A witness is not expected to make any thing true that is not true before his testimony is heard. No person supposes that the testimony of any witness will make that true which is not true. A faithful witness testifies only to facts which are true before his testimony is given.
Here, then, you perceive that Christ, the Saviour of the world, in the character of a witness, makes nothing known to the children of men but what was true before he came into the world. Every point of doctrine that Jesus taught to the people, was just as true before he came, as it has been since. Every divine promise contained in the Scriptures, in relation to the gift of everlasting salvation, and in reference to being blessed of God forever, was equally true before the advent of Jesus, as it has been since, or ever will be.
So far from having these views distinctly in their minds, many Christians have supposed that the truth of the Christian system began to exist about eighteen hundred years since! They talk about the Gospel, and the Christian religion, and the scheme
this inquiry, we shall naturally be led to attempt of man's salvation, as though these things had their the correction of some errors, which have almost
beginning at the time the Saviour entered upon his perceptibly crept into the Christian church. ministry! But this is not the case. All truth is The office and work of a witness is, to make
coeval with the Divine existence and consequently i nown the truth, not to those who already know
the doctrines above mentioned, were just as true be:, but to those who are not in possession of the fore Jesus proclaimed them to the world as they are gowledge thereof. When a witness is called inbo 3:,5 of your courts of justice, it is in order that he “But,” says the hearer, “ if this be so, we do not may bring to your knowledge facts and circumstances perceive the necessity of the mission of Christ.” which have a bearing on the case in hand, that thos: My hearers, be not too hasty. The Messiah came who are judges in the matter may obtain the in the character, and to do the work, of a witnessormation that is necessary to form correct jud- to make that known which was true before he came. test. A witness is not expected to make any
As I have already remarked, a witness comes to rue that is not true before his testimony is heart. manifest that which was true before his testimony is io person supposes that the testimony of any wit heard, and not to make something true by merely 199 will make that true which is not true. A faith
testifying to its existence. 1! witness testifies only to facts which are true be
According to the views of thousands of Christians, Pre his testimony is given.
the truth of the whole scheme of man's salvation deHere, then, you perceive that Christ, the Saviour pends entirely upon our believing it! This is anthe world, in the character of a witness, makes other step in error. They seem to suppose that the »thing known to the children of men but what thing to be believed, is not
true until it is believed. as true before he came into the world. Every
Now, your common sense teaches you better than int of doctrine that Jesus taught to the people
, this. You know that believing a thing does not is just as true before he came, as it has been since.
make it true, neither does disbelieving a thing make ery divine promise contained in the Scriptures
, relation to the gift of everlasting salvation, an! Says the objector, “I never could see any utility referenec to being blessed of God forever
in, or necessity for preaching, if your doctrine of ually true before the advent of Jesus, as it has
And yet, my hearen since, or ever will be.
ers, you readily perceive that the position we have So far from having these views distinctly in their
laid down, is approved and admitted by common nds, many Christians have supposed that the truth
sense. The testimony of a witness is to confirm, the Christian system began to exist about eigh
and not to make a thing true by testifying to it.
Allow me to present an illustration. Suppose this n hundred years since! They talk about the spel, and the Christian religion, and the scheme
congregation was induced to believe, that the sun
Universal Salvation be true.”