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gospel, and eternal salvation, unless he believe in Jesus Christ. 3. That such indeed, is the immense and universal goodness of the Supreme Being, that he refuses to none the power of believing; though he does not grant unto all his assistance and succour, that they may wisely improve this power to the attainment of everlasting salvation. 4. And that, in consequence of this, multitudes perish through their own fault, and not from any want of goodness in God.
It does not, indeed, appear how this mitigated system of the doctrine of predestination can effectually destroy the heart appalling thoughts, occasioned by the more open and direct notions of Calvin and his adherants, but such were the opinions taught by the Hypothetical Universalists: and they were not without their good effect, in softening down many of the rigours of high Calvinism.
But the term Universalist has now obtained a far more extensive signification; as it is used to designate those Christians, who hold the doctrine of the future restoration of all men to eternal life and happiness.
This sentiment was embraced by Origen in the third century; and in modern times, by the Chevalier Ramsey, Dr. Chyne, Dr. Heartley, and others. The most popular advocates for this doctrine were Dr. Chauncy, and the Rev. Elhanan Winchester.
Dr. Chauncy held, that as Christ died, not for a select number only, but for all men universally, that, therefore, all men shall finally partake of the benefits of his death; if not in this state of existence yet in another,
He held, that as a mean, in order to man's being meet for salvation, God will sooner or later, bring them all to a willing and obedient subjection to his moral government. This doctrine is maintained by many, not so much, as they say, because it appears to be indicated by some passages of scripture, but because it is strictly agreeable to the spirit and genius of the dispensation of universal goodness displayed in the Gospel of Christ. They contend that the doctrine of eternal punishments is not only a cruel and hateful doctrine, but subversive of all proper ideas of the benevolent and wise character of the Almighty, as well as destitute of the true use and design of all punishment.
And as punishment cannot proceed from a vindictive spirit on the part of the Almighty, it must be designed so to correct the offenders against his moral laws, as to destroy the necessity of eternal punishment, and restore the sinners to obedience, and a desire after reformation; which, when effected, must render all further punishment both unmerciful and unjust.
In defence of this reasoning, they say that the scriptural words
rendered everlasting, eternal, forever and, forever and ever, are frequently used to express things of limited duration; and that, when they refer to the future state, they are always to be considered so, they are always to be so understood; because, to interpret those words otherwise, would be to reason contrary to analogy of faith, the ideas of the divine goodness, the design of the gospel, and the plain dictates of right reason.
This doctrine boasts of having among its advocates and defenders, the name of Origen and his disciples; of many of the German Baptists, prior to the Reformation; and in latter times, of Petitpiere, a learned Swiss; of Dr. Rust, Bishop of Dromore, in Ireland; of Archbishop Tillotson, as well as Bishop Burnet and Newton. This doctrine is also maintained by most of the Unitarians, whether Arians or Humanitarians. It has, however, been ably approved by many learned men; though the contro. yersy is now pretty much at rest.
MORAVIANS, HERNHUTTERS, OR UNITAS FRATRUM. In church history, a denomination of Christians, concerning whose history, origin, and character, various contradictory reports have been published. Crantz divides their history into what he calls ancient and modern. The former refers to them before the time of their settlement in Upper Lusatia, in 1722; the latter after that period. The United Brethren claim the famous Huss, and Jerome of Prague, as their martyrs. M. Crantz, however, places the beginning of the church of the United Brethren in the year 1457, and says, that it arose out of the scattered remains of the followers of Huss. In the year 1450, this people became re-united to the Greek Church; but on the taking of Constantinople by the Turks about two years afterwards, that union was again dissolved. After this, various attempts were made to form them into a regular constituted Church, but without success. Although after many vexations and commotions among themselves, and sundry persecutions from others, they obtained permission to withdraw to a part of the King's domain, on the boundary between Silesia and Moravia. In the same year, 1457, they formed their church fellowship, calling themselves
Unitas Fratrum,” or “ Fratres Unitatis," the United Brethren. From this period of the reformation they suffered many cruel
and vexatious persecutions; yet they preserved their unity and formed a kind of alliance with the Waldenses, who had for many centuries opposed many of the corrupt practices and doctrines of the Romish Church. After the reformation, they professed to adhere to the Augsburg Confession, yet they continueda distinct body. After various persecutions and discouragements during the seventeenth century, they became in a manner extinct; until about the year 1720, when they began to revive in Bohemia; but as no free toleration could be obtained for them in that country, they agreed to emigrate. Applications were accordingly made to Nicholas Lewis, Coupt of Zinzendorf, who readily granted them permission to settle on his estates in Upper Lusatia. Thither, in 1722, a company of them repaired, and formed the settlement of Hernhut, from whence they are sometimes called Hernhutters. Their friend and protector, Count Zinzendorf, at length became a convert to the faith and practices of the Moravian Brethren, and commencing preacher, was in the year 1735, chosen to be their Bishop. From this period, the sect of the Moravians began to flourish rapidly. Count Zinzendorf was a zealous and enterprizing man, though enthusiastical and mystical in a very high degree. His exertions were of singular service to the cause of the brethren, though his extravagancies sometimes brought him into contempt with the sober and reflecting part of mankind. It is even acknowledged, on the part of the Count's friends, that much of the extravagance and absurdity that has been attributed to him owes its origin, or at least its publication, to those persons who wrote his extempore sermons in short-hand, and afterwards published them with all their indelicacies and imperfections about them.
The Church of the United Brethren is Episcopal, and their church government is conducted with great form and regularity. Questions of dispute are settled by ballot, and in cases of real or supposed importance are often settled by lot. The lot is deemed a solemn appeal to heaven, and is made use of with great seriousness. They have economies or choir-houses, where they live together in community: the single men and the single women apart, widows and widowers apart, each under the superinten. dance of elderly persons of their own class. At Fairfield, near Manchester, is a Moravian settlement; it is a small village uncommonly neat and clean, consisting of one large open street, having a handsome chapel, and a small public bouse for the reception of strangers who visit the settlement from Manchester and the neighbourhood, particularly on Sunday and other holidays. The Moravians are very strict in their attention to youth of both sexes, and
never suffer them to come together, or to marry, without the
previous consent of the church. As the lot must be cast to sanction their union, each receives his partner as a divine appointment. Though the Moravians are united in one body, they are by no means illiberal in their views towards other Christians, who hold what they conceive to be the essentials of religion, and pay divine adoration to Jesus Christ. In doctrine they appear to incline to Sabellianism. They address all their prayers to Jesus, or the Lamb, and they have been accused, not without reason, of adopting a phraseology in their hymns and prayers not consistent with the rules of decency and chastity. They are, however, a very harmless and unoffending people. They appear to be Arminians, in opposition to Calvinism, and they reject the use of the term Trinity, and some other popular and upscriptural terms and phrases. In zeal, tempered with modesty, and in silent perseverance in attempting to convert the heathen world to Christianity, the Moravians are unequalled. While some other bodies of Christians are filling the world with pompous details of their missionary labours, and every day and hour sounding the trumpet of their own fame to all the world, the Moravian missionaries are quietly and successfully pursuing their labour of love in almost every part of the known world.
They have settlements in various parts, particularly in the following places: begun 1732, in the Danish West India islands ; in St. Thomas, New Hernhut, Nisky, in St. Croix, Friedensburg, Friedenstal; in St. Jan, Bethany, and Emmaus. In 1734, North America, Fairfield in Upper Canada, and Goshen on the river Muskingum. In 1736, at the Cape of Good Hope, Bavians Kloof. In 1738, in South America among the Negro slaves at Paramaribo, and at Sommelsdyk; among the free negroes at Bambey on the Sarameca, and among the native Indians at Hope on the river Corentyn. In 1754, in Jamaica, two settlements in Elizabeth parish. In 1756, in Antigua, at St. Johns, Grace-Hill and Grace-Berry. In 1760, near Tranquebar in the East Indies, Brethren's Garden. In 1764, on the coast of Labrador, Nain, Okkak, and Hopedale. In 1765, in Barbadoes, Sharron, near Bridgetown. In the same year, in Russian part of Asia, Sarepta. In 1775, in St. Kitts, at Basseterre. In 1789, in Tobago, Signal Hill. By the latest accounts published, most of these settlements appear to be in a flourishing state. Whoever wishes to see a more detailed account of the Moravians, will do well to consult Crantz's Ancient and Modern History of the United Brethren; the same author's History of the Mission in Greenland, La Trobe's edition of Spangenburg's Exposition of Christian Doctrines; also Rimius's Narrative of Moravians Compared and Detected; and the Periodical Accounts of the Missions of the United Brethren.
A secr of Christians, chiefly Baptists, who observe the Jewishi or Saturday Sabbath, from a persuasion that it being one of the ten commandments, which they contend are all in their nature moral, was never abrogated by the New Testament. They say that Saturday must at least be deemed of equal validity for public worship with any day, never particularly set apart by Jesus Christ and his Apostles. Those of this sect who are what are denominated Particular Baptists, hold, in common with most other christians of the present day, all of the other doctrines of grace as they are sometimes called, viz. the Trinity, Atonement, Predestination, &c. &c.
In England, this sect is by no means numerous. They have only two congregations in London, the one of General Baptists, and the other of Particular or Calvinistic Baptists. In America, however, as we are informed by Morse, author of the American Geography, there are many christians of this persuasion, particularly in Rhode Island, New-Jersey, and at Ephrata in Pennsylvania.
This tenet, frivolous and unimportant as it may appear, has contributed its quota to the odium theologicum of modern divinity, and has been productive of several weighty controversies. Drs. Chandler and Kennicott; Messrs. Amner, Palmer, and Estlin, in behalf of the Sunday Christians; and Mr. Cornthwaite on the side of the Sabbatarians; have all displayed their ingenuity and talents on this very important question. In taking a serious view of the authority on which the Sabbatarians fix their belief with respect to the Sabbath, reason says they have as much right to contend for it as any other denomination has for the Christian Sabbath. As that, appears to be an institution of man, the other, is agreeable to Moses the inspired and meekest man of his day who says he received it from God. He says that the Almighty Maker of our system completed in six days all his works of creation, and rested from his labour, which is the first Sabbath on record. Moses received a confirmation of it at Sinai's burning mount, in one of the ten commandments which seems, from the place confirmed, and from the Divine author of all events, to give it as high a standing as any other day set apart by any sect or denomination. In North America, the civil law allows every person to worship Almighty God agreeably to the dictates of his