The Project Gutenberg EBook of Fifty Notable Years, by John G. Adams

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Title: Fifty Notable Years
       Views of the Ministry of Christian Universalism During the
              Last Half-Century; with Biographical Sketches

Author: John G. Adams

Release Date: February 28, 2014 [EBook #45034]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Transcriber's Note:

Apparent typographical errors and inconsistent hyphenation have been corrected.

Footnote 4 is missing, while Footnotes 5 and 6 identical.


"And I saw that there was an Ocean of Darkness and Death; but an infinite Ocean of Light and Love flowed over the Ocean of Darkness; and in that I saw the infinite Love of God."—George Fox's Journal.

"Universalism was the evening star of the church as the night of the dark ages came on, and appeared as the morning star at the dawn of the Reformation."—Thomas Whittemore, D. D.

Painted by H. Pratt.
Engd. by J. Andrews & H. W. Smith.

Hosea Ballou.

Fifty Notable Years


Biographical Sketches.




Copyright, 1882,
By Universalist Publishing House.

University Press:
John Wilson and Son, Cambridge.



Every intelligent reader of that expressive line of Longfellow, "Let the dead past bury its dead," understands that if "the dead past" may be buried, as it deserves to be, the living past will be remembered, recorded, celebrated, honored in all time to come. It is well, always, that we have our eyes open to this fact.

Among the many voices heard in the discussions going on in the religious world during the last half-century, has been that of Christian Universalism. It is still speaking more emphatically and widely than ever. A brief and comprehensive notice of its manifestations is surely worthy of consideration at the present time. It is the intent of this volume to keep in sacred remembrance some of the preachers and defenders of the Gospel of God's impartial grace, who in times when it was frowned upon and misrepresented in and out of the churches, had the Christian courage and loyalty to avow and maintain it. They have made the past not "dead," but gloriously alive in their faith and works.

In addition to the biographical sketches here given, other kindred matter of interest to the general reader {ii} will be presented, such as the rise and progress of the Universalist church in America; its growth in agreement with the genius and civilization of our republic; its place in the reformatory work of the last fifty years; its present status; its educational resources and aspects; its definite organized work; its missionary spirit and intent, with an outlook into the future.

The reader will understand that the views here taken are from the standpoint of a New England minister's observation, and do not embrace particulars which a wider survey might have included.

Furthermore, the author would say, that in the account of ministers here given, nothing like a complete biographical encyclopdia is intended; hence, he does not consider himself responsible for what is not in the volume, but presents it as it is, with a thankful heart that he is able in this humble effort to vindicate the faithful dead, and to address the living in behalf of that cause which they honored and promoted.

J. G. A. Melrose Highlands, November, 1882.


The Century just passed.—Last Half-century and Changes in it.—Words of Rev. Dr. Macleod and Governor Long.—Moral Progress; Hopeful View.—Enlargement of Religious Thought.—Christianity a Universal Religion.—Words of Dr. Uhlhorn and Dean Milman. 13
The Name; what it indicates.—Ancient Universalism.—Dr. E. Beecher's Testimony.—Statements of Others.—Mr. Lecky and Dr. Shaff.— Universalism of the Present Time.—In Europe. 19
Its Rise with the Republic.—Declaration of Independence.—Its Christian Signification.—Mr. Bancroft's Statement.—Spirit of the Constitution of the Republic.—Nature, Unity, Interest, and Destination of the one Family of Man.—Speech of Dr. T. Whittemore.— Murray in Faneuil Hall. 23
Murray and De Benneville.—Universalists as a separate Sect, and Reasons for it.—Statement of Rev. Dr. J.H. Tuttle.—Murray's Associates in the Ministry.—Their Characteristics.—Statement of Rev. Dr. J. Smith Dodge.—Description by Rev. Dr. A.D. Mayo. 30
Ministers at the beginning of the Present Century.—Statement of Rev. Dr. Miner.—Educational Aids and Publications.—Murray Centenary Fund.—Woman's Centenary Aid Association.—Theological Changes.— Calvinism, Arminianism, Universalism.—Evidences of the Influence of the Latter in these Changes.—Orthodox Concessions. 36
Liberal Christianity.—Indecision of Unitarians respecting the Salvation of All.—Ballou on Atonement.—Bold Vindication of their Faith by Universalists.—Tribute to Unitarianism.—Its Defects.—Mr. Parker's Influence.—Difficulty in answering a Question.—Disavowal of Mr. Parker's Rationalism by Universalists.—Resolutions of Boston Association.—Mr. Parker reviewed by Rev. O.A. Skinner and Rev. Dr. Lothrop.—Discussions respecting Christian Fellowship.—Dr. Ballou's Article in Universalist Quarterly; never Answered.—Mr. R.W. Emerson and his Testimony to Universalism. 42
Universalist Reform Association.—First Meeting, and Festival Addresses.—Continuation of Meetings, a Feature of Anniversary Week.—Anti-Slavery Resolutions.—Festivals in Faneuil Hall.— Rendition of Burns; Notes of Freedom on the Occasion. 50
Mr. Garrison and His Associates.—Marlboro Chapel, "Eloquence dog-cheap there."—The Debaters.—Rev. John Pierpont and his Remarkable Plea.—Wendell Phillips's Reply to it.—Mobs in Boston and at Concord, N.H.—Denunciatory Spirit.—Anti-Sabbath Convention.— N.P. Rogers and the "Herald of Freedom."—Momentum of the Anti-Slavery Reform.—Political Changes.—War of the Rebellion and Downfall of Slavery.—Universalist Churches in this Reform.—Protest of Ministers against Slavery. 58
The Temperance Reform.—Its Rise and Course in the Past; Its Present Aspects.—The Peace Question.—War Spirit of the Past contrary to Christianity.—Growth of the Christian Idea.—Peace Publications.— Sumner's Oration.—National Disputes can be settled by Arbitration; Instances.—Victor Hugo's Words.—Treatment of Criminals.—Capital Punishment.—Position and Work of Woman.—Other Questions. 66
Some of the Gifted Authors.—Women Workers in the Churches, Pulpits, and Educational Institutions.—Organized Effort.—Woman's Centenary Aid Association.—Its Work in the Centennial Year.—Tribute from the "Christian Leader."—Work of the Association since.—Mrs. C.A. Soule and the Scotland Mission.—Church in Glasgow.—Circulation of Church Literature. 79
Hosea Ballou.—Hosea F. Ballou.—Massena Ballou.—David Ballou.— Moses Ballou.—Hosea Ballou, D.D.—Levi and W.S. Ballou.— Edward Turner.—Sebastian Streeter.—Russell Streeter.—Thomas Jones.—Paul Dean.—Walter Balfour.—John Bisbe.—Thomas Whittemore, D.D.—Benjamin Whittemore, D.D.—Dolphus Skinner, D.D.—Warren Skinner.—Otis A. Skinner, D.D.—Samuel P. Skinner.—Joseph O. Skinner.—Nathaniel Stacy.—Stephen R. Smith.—Sylvanus Cobb, D.D.—Menzies Rayner. 84
Thomas F. King.—Thomas Starr King.—Abel C. Thomas.—S.W. Fuller.—William A. Drew.—I.D. Williamson, D.D.—Kittredge Haven.—John Boyden.—John Moore.—Henry Bacon.—D.K. Lee, D.D. 129
George Bates.—Ezekiel Vose.—Lemuel Willis.—John H. Willis.— Theodore Clapp.—John A. Gurley.—Enoch M. Pingree.—Thomas J. Greenwood.—Elbridge Gerry Brooks, D.D.—Ebenezer Fisher, D.D.—Rev. Seth Stetson.—William Bell.—Calvin Gardner. 152
Josiah Gilman.—Emmons Partridge.—William I. Reese.—Albert A. Folsom.—William C. Hanscom.—Merritt Sanford.—Alexander R. Abbott.—Henry C. Leonard.—Abraham Norwood.—Charles Spear.— James W. Putnam.—James W. Dennis.—Henry B. Soule.—Obadiah H. Tillotson. 168
Elhanan W. Reynolds.—Nathaniel Gunnison.—John M. Austin.—Tobias H. Miller.—Martin J. Steere.—Franklin S. Bliss.—Russell Tomlinson.— De Witt C. Tomlinson.—Levi C. Marvin.—Giles Bailey.—John E. Palmer.—William W. Wilson.—William R. Chamberlain. 181
Samuel C. Loveland.—David Pickering.—George Rogers.—Lewis F.W. Andrews.—Charles W. Mellen.—Henry A. Eaton.—W.A.P. Dillingham.— John G. Bartholomew, D.D.—E.H. Chapin, D.D.—Joseph D. Pierce.— Thomas J. Carney.—James M. Cook. 199
A.W. Bruce.—Frederick A. Hodsdon.—Ezekiel W. Coffin.—Edward A. Drew.—Norris C. Hodgdon.—S.P. Landers.—John Nichols.—Robert Killam.—Charles H. Webster.—Asa P. Cleverly.—Thomas J. Whitcomb.— George W. Whitney.—Robinson Breare. 221
Zadoc H. Howe.—Willard C. George.—Mark Powers.—L.L. Record.— H.H. Baker.—James W. Ford.—E.H. Lake.—L.B. Mason.—Lafayette Barstow.—Stillman Barden.—T.J. Tenney.—C.H. Dutton.—Robert Bartlett. 232
Rufus S. Pope.—W.M. De Long.—W.B. Linnell.—Joshua Britton.— George Messenger.—John T. Goodrich.—Franklin C. Flint.—Hope Bain.— Woodbury M. Fernald.—C.P. Mallory.—Elvira J. Powers.—Fanny U. Roberts.—Prudy Le Clerc Haskell.—Living Ministers: C.F. Le Fevre, D.D.—Lucius R. Paige, D.D.—A.A. Miner, D.D.—Thomas J. Sawyer, D.D.—Thomas B. Thayer, D.D.—William S. Balch, D.D.— William H. Ryder, D.D.—Birthplace of Rev. H. Ballou. 257
Universalism and Education.—Tufts College.—Lombard University.—St. Lawrence University.—Buchtel College.—Clinton Liberal Institute.— Dean Academy.—Goddard Seminary.—Westbrook Seminary.—Green Mountain Perkins Institute.—Other Aids.—The Sunday School.—Church Literature.—A Sensible and Urgent Appeal. 293
Needed Support of the Ministry; how the Laity can render it.— Instances noted. 302
Changes.—The Episcopal and Congregational Churches.—The Beecher Family.—Congregationalists at Plymouth in 1865.—Question of the Divine Responsibility.—Dr. Patton, Rev. John Miller, Miss Elizabeth Stuart Phelps.—Orthodoxy at Andover.—Questions respecting it.— Expedients to avoid the Admission of Universalism.—Prophecy of Rev. Dr. Hosea Ballou.—A late Acknowledgment of its Truthfulness.— Spirit of Inquiry among the Sects.—Spurgeon's Words.—The World and Church moving.—Growth of our Nation during the Last Half Century.— Words of Hon. R.C. Winthrop at Yorktown.—Work of the Universalist Church Now and Henceforth.—A Positive Faith.—The Creed Question noted.—A True Christian Life.—Missionary Inspiration and Action.— Conclusion. 307


Rev. Hosea Ballou Frontispiece
Rev. Hosea Ballou, D.D. 95
Rev. Thomas Whittemore, D.D. 111
Rev. Otis A. Skinner, D.D. 116
Rev. Sylvanus Cobb, D.D. 124
Rev. John Moore 147
Rev. Henry Bacon 148
Rev. Elbridge G. Brooks, D.D. 161
Rev. Ebenezer Fisher, D.D. 163
Rev. Lucius R. Paige, D.D. 259
Rev. Alonzo A. Miner, D.D. 262
Rev. Thomas J. Sawyer, D.D. 268
Rev. Thomas B. Thayer, D.D. 275
Rev. William H. Ryder, D.D. 283
Mr. Thomas A. Goddard 298




"Even now, after eighteen centuries of Christianity, we may be involved in some enormous error, of which the Christianity of the future will make us ashamed."—Vinet.

"Yet I doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs,
And the thoughts of men are widened by the process of the suns."

"THE world moves." This is one of the confident sayings of those who believe in human progression. It is an ordination of Divine Providence from the beginning that man should realize mental and moral growth through the successive generations of his earthly life. And this divine purpose has been manifest in the past history of our race. They who think, taking the amplest view of the present condition of mankind, any former time was better than the present, do not rightfully discriminate. "If," says Sydney Smith, "you say that our ancestors were wiser than we, mention your date and your year." Enlightened humanity cannot be content with its present attainments. Its purest and highest aspirations respond to that clarion word of Christian heroism, "Let us go on unto perfection!"

{14} Of all the centuries of human history which have yet been numbered, none have been more notable than the one in which we are living. Since its commencement some of the most remarkable changes that can be recorded of any age or period have taken place. Education, art, science, human government and enterprise, religious thought, all have made progress. Nations have changed, men have changed, if not in nature, yet in convictions respecting man's capability, obligation, and destiny. The Old World and the New have witnessed these transformations.

It is of the changes indicative of human progress within the middle of the present century that I desire to speak in this volume; for during this period there seems to have been a more rapid succession of them than ever, evincing the capability of our race for an advancement to which no philosophy of the past or present has been able to set bounds. There have been, during this time, nobler revolutions than those effected by war, by the downfall of governments and dynasties,—revolutions more excellent and enduring. We mean those wrought by human thought, investigation, discovery, and invention. Apt and forcible are the words of Dr. Norman Macleod, written at the close of the year 1869: "In a few hours the century will have lived its threescore and ten years. I question if since time began,—with the exception of three or four great eras, such as the calling of Abraham, the Exodus, the birth of Christ, the Reformation, the invention of printing, or, it may be, the breaking up of the Roman Empire, the birth of Mohammed or of Buddha,—such an influential period has existed. The invention of the steam-engine, the discovery of gas, telegraph, chloroform, {15} with the freedom of slaves, the British acquisition of India, the opening up of the world to the Gospel, the translations of the Scriptures, will make it forever memorable." Equally expressive are the words recently spoken by the chief magistrate of Massachusetts: "Think of what has been done in the matter of education, of public schools, of universities of learning for both sexes and all races. In science we have unlocked the secrets of the earth, the air, and the sea, and made them not merely matters of wonder, but handmaids of homely use. In all matters of comfort, of use, of elegance, of convenient living, of house and table, and furniture, and light, and warmth, and health, and travel, what thorough and beneficent advance equally for all, shaming the petty meanness with which, unjust alike to the old times and the new, we inveigh against the new times and overrate the old!"[1]

And what, more especially, of moral revolution and progress during the last half century? The indications are evidently hopeful and cheering. Human nature is indeed the same, but it has been under new and better influences in modern than in more remote time. Human governments have improved, and even the worst of them are better now than they were fifty years ago. Human laws have been rendered more human and less barbarous. Sympathy for the poor, the degraded, the sinful, has been more truly awakened, and is at this moment in more active operation than at any previous time. The moral obligations of political rulers, and those who sustain them, have been perhaps more vigorously discussed during these years than in any other {16} fifty years preceding; so that there seems now a more favorable opportunity than at almost any previous day this side that of the Jewish Theocracy, to impress this truth upon the public mind, that if individuals should have consciences and a sense of responsibility to God, so should communities; that "righteousness exalteth a nation, while sin is a reproach to any people." Religious toleration also has increased. The rigid sectarianism of the past has been giving way, so that now the hunters of heresy, and the executioners of those who held it, are read of rather than seen. The false deity which even some Christians have worshipped in the past, and the false humanity with which they have supposed themselves endowed, have been in some good degree exchanged for more rational conceptions of God the Father, and of man the offspring. And this change is daily going on; never was it more perceptible than at the present hour.

We should manifest an unpardonable blindness in noting these evidences of human advancement, if we were to leave out of the account the most significant of all forces in it,—we mean Christianity.

This we regard as the foremost power in the spiritual progress thus far realized in our world, and which promises to effect for the race its highest exaltation. Refinement and barbarism have more or less marked the history of the world in the past; they do still; but where does the light of civilization shine brightest among the nations? The answer is, where the Christian religion, in its true spirit, most widely prevails. And it is the increasing prevalence of it which gives us the assurance of that consummation of the Redeemer's work with men, when they all "come in the unity of {17} the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man; unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."[2]

Christianity is a universal religion. Herein is its pre-eminence. It is for man everywhere and in all time. No other religion has so clearly asserted this claim for itself, and no other promises to do so much for mankind. True, it has had to make its way against the errors and prejudices and corruptions of the world. It has been mixed with human errors, and has been professed, taught, and practised in too many instances by those who have failed to realize clearly the heavenliness of its spirit, and its far-reaching, regenerative, and overcoming power. Its earliest promulgators failed to see at first this grand characteristic of its universality. An able Christian historian has written: "Nothing is more remarkable than to see the horizon of the Apostles gradually receding, and, instead of resting on the borders of the Holy Land, comprehending at length the whole world; barrier after barrier falling down before the superior wisdom which was infused into their minds; first, the proselytes of the gate, the foreign conformists to Judaism, and, ere long, the Gentiles themselves admitted within the pale; until Christianity stood forth, demanded the homage, and promised its rewards to the faith of the whole human race; proclaimed itself in language which the world had as yet never heard, the one, true universal religion."[3]

Rev. Dr. Gerhard Uhlhorn, of Germany, in his able work, "The Conflict of Christianity with Heathenism," speaking of the early development of Christianity in the {18} Roman Empire, calls it the first step to its universalism. "Itself passing out from the ancient narrowness into a world-wide breadth of thought and life, the old world became capable of accepting the Universalism of Christianity."[4] The old world and the new have yet many steps forward to take in this pathway of a continually increasing brightness.

[1]   Oration of Governor Long before the municipal authorities and citizens of Boston, July 4, 1882.

[2]   Eph. iv. 13.

[3]   Milman's "History of Christianity."



"Universalism is a living movement, organized out of the grandest ideas and spiritual facts of the universe; gathering into itself the richest and mightiest moral forces, and working towards the most positive practical ends; and a man is a Universalist, and is the better off for being a Universalist, only as some sense of what Universalism thus is, and of the force of its motives, and the reality of its work, flows down, a quickening power, into his being."—E.G. Brooks, D.D.

THE name Universalism, as connected with Christianity, has been especially notable during the present century. But the principles which it implies were averred by the Christian church in its earliest days. It signifies God's unchanging paternal interest in all his children; an interest insuring his just dealing with them for their obedience or disobedience of his beneficent laws, and their final release from sin, and life in righteousness. Under its present name, Universalism is comparatively recent; its special church history being comprehended in something more than a century. But its principles and doctrines are as old as the Christian records, and are found in the Old Testament teachings. Just as all the sects in Christendom, though belonging to modern times, profess to trace whatever they may deem essential back to the Apostles, so believers in Universalism make the same {20} reference, as one of their number has well stated it: "If we have no business here because we came so late, our neighbors must fall under the same condemnation. In mere assumption we are neither younger nor older than they."

The Universalist Church claims the New Testament as the basis of its doctrines. It cites the Gospels, the Apostolic History and the Epistles, Christ, and his first ministers, as authority for its pretensions. After the apostles, its lights appear in the early centuries of the Christian era. Dr. Edward Beecher, in his able work, "The Scriptural Doctrine of Future Retribution," shows that at about the time of Origen, out of the six theological schools in Christendom, four taught Universal Salvation as the faith of the Christian Church,—the one at Csarea, the one at Antioch, the one at Alexandria, the one at Edessa. That eminent light of the early church, Origen, who so ably and successfully maintained the claims of Christianity against the abusive attacks of the heathen Celsus, was a Universalist. So was Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem, and Gregory Thaumaturgus, bishop of Neocsarea; and so were the most distinguished by piety and learning of the masters of the great theological seminary of the early Church, the Catechetical school at Alexandria. Doederlein said that "the more profoundly learned any one was in Christian antiquity, so much more did he cherish and defend the hope that the suffering of the wicked would at some time come to an end."[5] And Hagenbach, commenting on a remark of Augustine, says, "that even that great father of Orthodoxy admitted a relative cessation of damnation." Also, {21} Gieseler affirms, "A belief in the unalienable power of amendment in all intelligent beings, and the limited duration of future punishment, was general in the West, and among the opponents of Origen."[6] Of the very time when the influence of Origen was so great in the Church, and when, there can be no good reason to doubt, the doctrine of universal salvation was held by many, if not the majority of Christians, Mr. Lecky, in his history of "Morals in Europe," says, "The Christian community exhibited a moral purity which, if it has been equalled, has never for a long time been surpassed."

Dr. Schaff says of the condemnation of Origen, which included the doctrine of universal restoration, "It was a death-blow to theological science in the Greek Church, and left it to stiffen gradually into a mechanical traditionalism and formalism."

The increased light shed upon ecclesiastical history during the present century shows most clearly the growth of this faith from the first centuries of the Christian era to the present time. It has increased with the mental and moral progress of mankind, with its best civilization.

What is written for these pages will represent especially the rise and progress of the Universalist Church in America. It is proper, however, to say that the faith it represents has had growth also in other lands. It has long been known in Great Britain, where a few churches have made a distinct avowal of it, while individuals scattered here and there have had strong interest in it. The Unitarians of England generally avow it. In the Established Church, faith in the doctrine {22} of endless punishment is not demanded as a condition of church-membership, while some of its most distinguished leaders have advocated with marked ability the doctrine of the Fatherhood of God in full agreement with the doctrine of the final reconciliation of all souls to him. We meet with Universalism in its essential elements in Neander, the eminent Christian historian, and in commentators and scholars in England and on the Continent. The faith is expressed in the poetry of Wordsworth, Tennyson, and others.[7] The able ministers Coquerel (father and son) were advocates of it in the Reformed Church in France (Paris). The leaven of this faith is in individuals; the doctrine is often held and openly avowed from the pulpit and through the press, as well as in private by a large number of persons in various communions, who may have but little knowledge of each other, or of the advocacy of this faith elsewhere through special organizations.

[5]   Civitate Dei, lib. xxi., chap. 16.

[6]   Civitate Dei, lib. xxi., chap. 16.

[7]   For evidence of the many utterances of the Universalist idea in the literature of the past, the reader is referred to the volume entitled "A Cloud of Witnesses," by Rev. John W. Hanson, D.D., Chicago, 1880.



"Christianity is recognized as a democratic element, profitable for all conditions of men, as the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are the palladium of our civil and religious rights."—Dr. J.W. Francis, author of "Old New York."

UNIVERSALISM in America took its rise with the Republic. The coming of John Murray to our shores, and the proclamation of the gospel of universal grace, was but a little time previous to the issuing of the Declaration of Independence by the American colonies. These colonies had come to the full and bold utterance with which the Declaration opens: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Through ages of light and of darkness this sacred truth had had but little growth or power in the human mind. But it was there, and was not to die there. It lived through all the world's change, commotion, and revolution, and the set time had now come when it should have a clearer and stronger expression and demonstration than our old or new worlds had yet known. This declaration of our fathers signified the inestimable value of man—of every man—to himself, his fellow man, and his God. {24} It asserts the doctrine of human equality, not that all men have the same intellectual or moral capacities, or should possess an equal amount of property, or be invested with the same political privileges; but the religious doctrine that all are of "one blood," children of one Father, protected by one Providence, made to aid, to bless and build each other up in truth, justice, and righteousness henceforth while the world stands. It signifies human equality and human rights in their broadest and most rational sense. As wrote Alexander Hamilton: "All men have one common origin, they participate in a common nature, and consequently have one common right. No reason can be assigned why one man should exercise any pre-eminence among his fellow creatures, unless they have voluntarily vested him with it." It was this conviction, based on a principle, that carried our fathers through the Revolution, and gave to us that Constitution which was afterwards the work of their hands.

The object of this Constitution is explicitly declared, "To form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." This signified not the growth and strengthening of a sentiment that would justify the building up of one class upon the subjugation of another. We have a statement of the whole truth in the emphatic language of Mr. Bancroft, as he speaks of the intent of the framers of the Declaration on which our Constitution is based. "The Declaration, avoiding specious and vague generalities, grounds itself with anxious care upon the past, and reconciles right and fact. The assertion of right was made for the entire {25} world of mankind, and all coming generations, without any exceptions whatever; for the proposition which admits of exceptions can never be self-evident. And as it was put forth in the name of the ascendant people of that time, it was sure to make the circuit of the world, passing everywhere through the despotic countries of Europe; and the astonished nations, as they read that all men are created equal, started out of their lethargy, like those who have been exiles from childhood, when they suddenly hear the dimly remembered accents of their mother tongue."[8]

It was meet and right that when this great word went forth to awaken the nations to a new realization, there should be heard at the same time in our land the trumpet notes of that gospel which proclaims the unbinding of the heavy burdens of humanity, liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. As Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (and a believer in Christian Universalism), in a letter to Rev. Mr. Winchester, alluding to Rev. John Wesley, writes: "His writings will ere long revive in support of our doctrine—for if Christ died for all, as Mr. Wesley always taught, it will soon appear as a necessary consequence that all shall be saved.... At present we wish liberty to the whole world. The next touch of the celestial magnet upon the human heart will direct it into wishes for the salvation of all mankind."

This new political life, upon which our nation entered, signified the equality, true sonship, brotherhood, capability, and earthly destination of man. It meant democracy, not the democracy of numbers merely, nor of {26} political parties struggling for supremacy and the spoils of the victors, but a democracy having in view a common good—the greatest good of all. It means intelligence, thrift, education, and religion for the masses; it means this for one people, means it for all nations of mankind. Precisely this is signified by the re-affirmation on these western shores of that gospel anciently proclaimed to the Athenians by the Christian apostle: "God, that made the world ... hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth, ... as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring."[9] A common humanity, a common interest and destiny, are declared.

It is a common humanity with which Christ is in sympathy; which makes him who would be highest in the Divine estimation the servant of all; which recognizes the Golden Rule, directs the strong to bear the infirmities of the weak, and men everywhere to be helpers one of another, because their interests are not antagonistic, when the laws that govern their nature are clearly understood. They have unity:

"What binds one, binds all,
Love of things true and right."

Men have, too, a common interest under the Divine guardianship. Wherever there is a man, there is a being in whose soul God has implanted aspirations after himself, a propensity to religion, a feeling after him which may be misled by superstition, or overlaid by ignorance, or elevated by knowledge into purest piety, but which is yet there. Wherever he exists the Sovereign Power holds him in discipline, demands an {27} account from him at his tribunal of impartial justice, and will not permit him to go out of his hands. To whatever heights he ascends, God still encompasses him; into whatever depths he may fall, he is still held by the guardian beneficent power.

One destiny, also, is affirmed of this great body of humanity; a blessing instituted in the beginning, including all families, kindreds, nations. No divine favoritism towards one over another do we see. The law and the prophets point towards this universal grace of God to man. Israel and the Gentile world shall alike share it. The apocalyptic vision opens it up to the eye of faith. "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I, saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever."[10] What is this but the fact, and the ultimate completeness and glory of the unity of the race? One Father, Brotherhood, Saviour, Homage, Destiny.

Other theologies had made distinctions and endless separations in representing mankind; had denied, as they still deny, this fraternal relationship, this positive family connection; had represented God rather as an arbitrary sovereign than loving Father, and the Divine government a wilful monarchy instead of a just and merciful dispensation under which each soul is of equal value, and the good of one is the good of all. Unbelief has said, as in the language of Spinoza: "The right extends as far as the force of the natural right or law, jus et institutum natur is nothing more than the rules {28} of the nature of each individual." The divisions and contentions, classes and castes, the impositions, frauds, and oppressions which have more or less marked the social relations of mankind, all come of this pernicious error growing out of the unchecked selfishness of the human heart. Christian Universalism forever contradicts this error. It affirms that the great body of humanity is one, and that it is death to sunder it. "If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; if one rejoice, all rejoice together; for the body is not one member, but many."[11] In the affirmation of the Gospel, religious bigotry and exclusiveness find a constant reproof; undue boasting, arrogance, and pride are hushed by this grand conviction that "One is our Father who is in heaven, and all we are brethren." The broadest philanthropy is awakened everywhere in man. The world becomes the one great field of effort for the enlightenment, relief, upraising, and perfecting of humanity. In the strong and noble words of another: "Universalism and the Revolution began to rise together. They were rocked together in the same stormy days, in the cradle of American liberty.[12] The banner of Universalism is love. Let that banner be lifted up. It shall symbol yet the true idea of the Declaration of Independence, 'All men are created equal.' I look forward to the time when our flag shall wave in unsullied glory, not over smoking ruins, at the mast-head of our battle-ships, on bloody fields, from the parapets of our forts, merely; but the stars and stripes {29} and the white banner together, floating over slaves redeemed, sinners converted, evil statutes abolished, the people united, and the North and the South one."[13]

[8]   Bancroft's History of the United States, vol. viii.

[9]   Acts, xvii. 24, 28.

[10]   Rev. v. 18.

[11]   1 Cor. xii. 14, 26.

[12]   When Rev. John Murray first preached in Faneuil Hall, Nov. 26, 1773, he discoursed from this appropriate text: "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."—John, viii. 36.

[13]   Rev. T. Whittemore, D.D. Speech at Faneuil Hall Festival, 1858.



"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."—Isaiah, xl. 3.

REV. JOHN MURRAY, from England, landed on the shore of New Jersey in 1770. He came hither much oppressed in spirit on account of severe afflictions in England, and had determined not to place himself before the public again as a preacher. His published biography tells us how differently the arrangements were made by Providence respecting him. It is a remarkable record, that of his meeting with Thomas Potter, who declared that he had been long waiting for the minister who had now come, that he must preach in the new meeting-house which had been builded for him; and who, in face of the preacher's refusal to comply with his request, declared that the wind would not change for him to leave in the vessel until he had delivered his message. After a severe mental conflict the stranger consented to preach on the following Sunday. Due notice was given, and the house was filled with attentive listeners.

There had been some other preaching of Universalism in different places in America previous to this time, as there were here and there those who cherished the {31} faith and made public avowal of it. Dr. George de Benneville, a fugitive from France because of religious persecution, established himself near Germantown, Pa., as a physician, and being a devout believer in Universalism, took occasion often to advocate it in public, with much effect. This beginning on the part of Mr. Murray, however, opened the way to a systematic, permanent movement, and led to the establishment of Universalist churches. He preached much in New England, and was settled in Portsmouth, N.H., and afterwards in Boston, where he remained pastor of one church for nearly thirty years. In his preaching at first, Mr. Murray did not design to establish a separate sect. He was welcomed by ministers and their followers into orthodox pulpits, until his outspoken views respecting the salvation of the race raised a strong opposition against him, which made him an object of persecution, and marked him as the propagator of a dangerous heresy. Thus excluded from Christian communion and fellowship by other sects, it was but reasonable and just that the believers in Universalism should assume for themselves the rights and privileges of a distinct and independent Christian fraternity; so that other sects were responsible for the separation of this branch of the Christian church from themselves. It has been justly said by another:—

"If there was sin in this schism, in this separate religious organization, it was a sin for which the other sects of those times should bear the blame. They turned us out of doors, because we dared express our earnest solemn opinions, and we had only these two alternatives,—to stay out of doors or go in at those which were hung on Universalist hinges. Does anybody to-day condemn us because we chose the latter? {32} We do not uncharitably condemn them for the course they took; they acted, in most cases, conscientiously; and it was, perhaps, a providential necessity of the times that the two elements should separate; that the two classes of Christians, holding views so opposite, should walk apart for a while. Denied the fellowship of other churches at the start, we have tried to be content with the fellowship of Christ; and we neither desire nor ask for any other until we are deemed worthy of it. That we can endure to be called heretics, even infidels, that we can stand alone, and yet live, and grow, and win the respect of the best part of the world, is already demonstrated. Our great anxiety in the future will be to show to all right-minded people, by our life rather than our word, that we are Christians, that this last form of Protestantism is only more genuine, because nearer the truth, than the first."[14]

Contemporary with Mr. Murray during his early ministry in America were Elhanan Winchester, a highly gifted and effective minister; Thomas Jones, formerly of the Lady Huntington connection in England, and afterwards settled at Gloucester, Mass.; Adams and Zebulon Streeter, Caleb Rich, Thomas Barnes, Noah Parker, Noah Murray, George Richards, William Farwell, Joab Young, Hosea and David Ballou, Edward Turner,—most of these preachers in New England; Abel Sargent in Western Pennsylvania, and a few others. Dr. Joseph Priestley was for a time in Philadelphia, where he advocated the doctrine of the final restoration of all souls; and Rev. Dr. Mayhew and Rev. Dr. Chauncey, although not identified with the work of the ministers already mentioned, had made distinct avowals of this same faith. A remarkable fact in connection {33} with the history of most of these men is, that they were not from theological schools, nor largely endowed with literary qualifications. They were men of clear mental perceptions, were well versed in the Bible, ready and apt in their references to it, of sincere convictions, and of indomitable will. They went forth in readiness for whatever encounters might await them, never fearing what theological forces might appear in their way, so long as they felt assured that "the sword of the Spirit" would not fail them, and that they should be made "strong in the Lord," and victorious in his might. Well has it been written:—

"It will be brave reading when somebody shall display to us how the faith came quietly to exist at far distant points, Pennsylvania, New York, New England, variously born of widely different antecedents, but gradually converging to a general likeness by the time John Murray came to be the nucleus around which all should centre, an organic but unorganized mass, without form but not void. Then will follow the long history of separated and desultory warfare with the established prejudices and partialities of the Christian sects, during which every verse of Scripture was discussed, every doctrine examined from the base, every conventional habit of thought dragged to the light and called to account, every inch of theological ground stubbornly fought over. All this while there were annual meetings called the General Convention and recognized as a centre of denominational union, but they were little more than voluntary mass-meetings; all authority was jealously reserved to societies or local Associations, with the largest liberty of individual preference, and Universalists, like Israel under its Judges, did as seemed good in every man's sight. Men in less deadly earnest, or dealing with doctrines less profound and fundamental, would have formed a close compact early in their history. But it {34} was in the nature of the case that these revolted thinkers should be shy of new bonds, and that these divers searching the deeps should think little of the surface. It was only when there came to be multitudes born in the faith, with intellectual habits and social affinities based on Universalism, with established worship and gathered congregations scattered across the continent, that the imperative need of a firm union for work and discipline was felt; and to reach this point had taken almost a hundred years."[15]

As time passes, and new phases of the church representing the Universalist faith appear, and new advocates of it arise, these days of its first advocacy in our land may lose their significance to many minds in the increasing attractions connected with the same church in the present time. But he who would see most clearly the hand of Divine Providence in the breaking of the light of this new dispensation upon our shores, will hold in just and sacred estimation this "day of small things," when these faithful ones stood forth to declare its glad tidings. So graphically have the words of another given the deserved tribute to their works, that we gladly record them in these pages.

"The early defenders of Universalism were plain, earnest men, aroused to the exertion of all their energies by the presence of a great thought. The truth of God's universal love and benevolent purpose in creation possessed them. They saw it everywhere, prefigured in Hebrew types, predicted by the prophets, implied in every word of Jesus, enforced in every letter of his apostles. They taught it in all places, and by all methods, in parish churches and district school-houses, in fields and workshops, in pulpits with stones {35} flying about their heads, in rooms filled with the odor of nauseous drugs, in face of the reckless slander of the undignified and the quiet contempt of the dignified portion of the clergy. They were armed at all points, like the old war engines that, overturned every moment, always stood right side up. They turned the tables upon the literal Calvinistic interpreters, and held a text to floor every opponent. They were not moved by ridicule, for they possessed a keen sense of the ludicrous, and knew well how to expose the absurdities of the piebald theology of the churches. To the threats of their opponents they opposed Hudibrastic rhymes; to their missiles, words like old Murray's, 'While I have a "thus saith the Lord" for every point of doctrine which I advance, not all the stones in Boston, except they stop my breath, shall shut my mouth or arrest my testimony.' To the arguments of their adversaries, a logic like that of Ballou, simple as the talk of a little child, strong as the tramp of a giant. There were varieties of opinion among them; they had not all come up to the mount of their elevation by the same path, but the sublime truth 'God is Love' burned like an undying flame in their souls, and united them like brothers. Thank God that the sleep of the church was awakened by these strong champions. Nobly they spake their words in days when it was a disgrace in the eyes of men!"[16]

[14]   Rev. J.H. Tuttle, D.D.

[15]   Rev. J. Smith Dodge, D.D.

[16]   Rev. A.D. Mayo, Sermon at Funeral of Rev. Thomas Jones of Gloucester, Mass., 1846.



"Day by day the doctrine of the eternity of evil is being driven into its native night before a higher view of the nature of God, and a nobler belief in Him as the undying righteousness."—Rev. Stopford A. Brooke.

AT the beginning of the present century, thirty years from the time of Mr. Murray's first preaching in America, there were a few more than twenty preachers of Universalism here. By the year 1813 there were forty; in 1840 there were four hundred and sixty-three. At the present time our church "Register" reports the number seven hundred and thirty. And this increase of ministerial force is not the most noticeable fact in connection with the advancement of this faith. Other instrumentalities are to be taken into the account. As the preacher at the centenary meeting of the National Convention stated: "Our lists, latterly, have been more closely pruned; our parishes have been greatly strengthened; our bases of operations have been fortified; our clergy have made great advances in devising liberal things; and our laity, possessing far greater wealth, and holding far higher social positions than formerly, more nobly respond, and with greater alacrity, to the far-sighted demands now so frequently made upon them. There are scores of our parishes in the {37} various sections of our Zion, any one of which can now be moved to a greater work for a worthy object outside its own interests, than could our whole church twenty-five years ago."[17]

Educational improvements have also contributed to this favorable change. At first there were no theological seminaries nor academies in aid of this faith. In process of time these grew up and were made serviceable in the promotion of it, so that now not less than seven academies, five colleges, including three professional schools, two of divinity and one of law, having an aggregate property of more than two millions of dollars, are to be counted among its working forces. The publications in the interests of this faith have had large increase. Books, pamphlets, tracts, weekly and monthly journals, and the "Quarterly," commentaries on the Scriptures, together with well-sustained publishing houses, are additional influences constantly in operation to aid the efforts of the ministry. The Murray Centenary Fund, projected in 1869, is designed to aid in the education of the clergy, the circulation of denominational literature, and in church extension. This Fund amounted, Oct. 1, 1880, to $121,757.29. The Woman's Centenary Aid Association was organized in 1869 to assist in raising the Murray Fund, and was incorporated Sept. 18, 1873. It is supported wholly by voluntary contributions and annual memberships. These are all evidences of life and advancement, and indicate a larger increase in the future, which may be realized with a zeal in operation like that which has effected the change already noted.

Of the theological changes realized since the opening of the present century, what shall we say? and all of {38} them indicating an approach to this very faith of which we are speaking. When Murray and his contemporaries entered upon their work in America, the old Calvinistic theology had almost undisputed sway here; and for fifty years afterwards it was more or less so. But since 1830 up to the present time, including the middle of this century, the advancement in theological thought has been as marked as have these other changes and signs of progress to which we have alluded. True, Arminianism came in with the Methodistic movement, and made vigorous warfare upon the old theology, with its "five points" so tenaciously adhered to. But Methodism held fast that abominable dogma, eternal punishment, and failed to see God's purposes any more effective in the final salvation of souls than did Calvinism with its full assurance of the salvation of "the elect" only. The Arminian deity seems to have had no fixed purpose as to the number of the finally redeemed. Though he foreknew, he was not pleased to ordain, or in the words of Dr. Adam Clarke: "I conclude that God, although omniscient, is not obliged, in consequence of this, to know all that he can know."[18] The God of Calvin, though having a determinate will, appeared as a tyrannical sovereign; the God of Arminius, as lacking in purpose and in power. The one made the salvation of a certain number sure; the other left all in uncertainty, because so much depended solely on the will of the creature. The two systems summed up, however, amounted to Universalism. The one affirmed that every soul for whom Christ died would be saved; the other, that Christ, "by the grace of God, tasted death for every man."[19] Opposed as were the {39} two sects representing these theologies, in the beginning, they have settled down into quite a fraternal compromise during the last half century. Pulpit exchanges are free among their ministers, and, although here and there some of the old peculiarities of Calvinism occasionally find utterance, the statement of a noted Congregationalist minister seems to express the thought of both parties, "Election means, whosoever will; reprobation, whosoever wont."[20]

It was in face of what were deemed the main errors of both these theologies that Universalism stood forth as the vindicator of God the just and merciful Father of all his children, their Judge and Saviour, through Christ who gave himself a ransom for all, and whose own expressive statement of the result of his ministry was, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."[21]

It has been during the ministry of this faith in the present century that the leading doctrines of the theology formerly prevalent in our land have been questioned, investigated, and in many minds outgrown. Who now believes in the endless suffering of infants? a doctrine deemed unquestionable in the churches a century ago. Even the existence of it at that time, in face of the most stubborn facts, has been denied by those whose parents and grandparents heard it from the Christian pulpit. Who assents to the doctrine of the total depravity of human nature, its inability "to do a good deed or think a good thought," and its utter odiousness in God's sight? What considerations and reconsiderations are there of that doctrine of atonement which involves the assumption that God was so incensed {40} against his sinful children that Christ, the second and more merciful person in the Godhead, came into the world and died to appease the wrath of God and render it possible for him to be merciful to the delinquents; and how much more emphatic is the conviction finding utterance, so eminently expressive of Christian Universalism, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved."[22] And the doctrine of endless punishment, how, during the time of which we are speaking, has this been questioned in the churches of our land. It has been seen that the divine character is involved in this doctrine, and that one of the most difficult of all theological works is to vindicate this character in the light of it. Formerly, it was deemed little short of impiety to question the justice of God when this horrible doctrine was represented as an indication and vindication of it. To cite emphatically the passage in Matthew (xxv. 46), "These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal," was considered evidence enough that the divine justice could and would be signalized in the utter banishment of great numbers of his children from him, world without end. To question the exegesis of the passage as generally given—the original meaning of the word rendered "everlasting" and "eternal"—was regarded as a direct affront to the human wisdom of the past that had sanctioned it; and to declare such an explanation of it as derogatory to "the Eternal Goodness," was to question the veracity of the High and Holy One! But {41} the thoughts of men have kept at work; inquiry has gone on; the old explanation has been most confidently and emphatically denied, and a more reasonable and consistent one given. Even the most respectable orthodoxy itself has conceded that the aionian punishment here set forth is not necessarily to be understood as implying endless duration, and that in the argument henceforth against the doctrine of universal restoration, this old interpretation of the text need be no longer urged.[23] We have reserved a more extended view of this subject, however, for the close of this volume.

[17]   Rev. Dr. A.A. Miner, Discourse at Gloucester, September, 1870.

[18]   Comm. on Acts, ii. 23.

[19]   Heb. ii. 9.

[20]   Rev. H.W. Beecher.

[21]   John, xii. 32; 1 Tim. ii. 4.

[22]   John, iii. 16, 17.

[23]   Dr. Taylor Lewis.



"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone."—Eph. ii. 20.

SINCE the growth of the Universalist faith during the present century in our country, that phase of Liberal Christianity denominated Unitarianism has had its rise. It was an outcome of the Arminianism in orthodox churches. It advocated the doctrine of the Unity of God, in opposition to that of the Trinity as held by most of the churches in New England.[24] It also rejected the doctrine of total depravity, affirming that man had within him the germs of goodness, and needed the work of Christian culture to insure his true religious growth and perfection. Respecting the destination of man beyond the grave it had no uniform affirmation. Its leading ministers—Drs. Channing, Dewey, Gannett, and others—were undecided as to this great question. Dr. Channing uttered his protest {43} against "the horrible thought" of interminable suffering, as affirmed by the dominant sects, while his statements respecting the wasted and ill-spent life make it an "impassable gulf from our Creator and from pure and happy beings,—a consuming fire and undying worm." Dr. Gannett has similar opinions: "Self-reproach, exclusion from the happiness of heaven, removal from the favor of God; to live but to suffer, to feel one's self at variance with all that is true and good and beautiful in the universe; what more it is, eternity will disclose." Rev. Mr. Alger thinks no fair critic can say that αἰώνιος, eternal or everlasting, when applied to punishment, means absolutely endless, nor, on the other hand, that it does not so mean. The late Rev. E.H. Sears writes that "it is the average opinion of Unitarians that Restoration is not a doctrine of Revelation." The American Unitarian Association said: "While we do generally hold to the doctrine of the final universality of salvation as a consistent speculation of the reason and a strong belief of the heart, yet we deem it to be in each case a matter of contingency, always depending on conditions freely to be accepted or rejected." The editor of the "Monthly Religious Magazine"—the principal of that class published by Unitarians—writes, in 1870: "Unitarians do not believe in Universal Restoration as a doctrine of Revelation fairly yielded by the interpretation of the Scriptures. This, we mean, is the average opinion. They do not think the Bible gives any verdict as to the final salvation of all mankind." Dr. Dewey, in later times (as in his discourse in the volume of "Pitt Street Chapel Lectures"), has defined the doctrine of the Paternity of God so as to seem in agreement with that of the final salvation {44} of all souls. And at the present time perhaps the largest number of Unitarian ministers would not hesitate to give their assent to this doctrine on philosophical or scriptural grounds.

For the full and clear affirmation of the doctrine of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man,—the former giving assurance of a merciful care of God's offspring, and the latter of the final union, and not separation, of the great human family,—we are indebted to the fathers of Universalism in our land,—Murray, the Ballous, the Streeters, and their contemporaries. The Universalism which they declared and defended was that of the absolute and universal reign of Divine love,—love that is ever calling the child to obedience and happiness, and warning him against the inevitable and dire consequences of transgression; love that sent Jesus Christ into the world as the world's Regenerator, unto whom every knee shall bow, and whom every tongue shall confess to be Lord to the glory of God the Father; love that can and will overcome all hatred, make an end of sin, destroy death, and bring in everlasting righteousness. This is the Universalism that has led the way in this great advance and change of theological thought, in the New England and other churches, which is so widespread at this hour. It did not wait for public opinion to be ready for it, but went out on its mission, confronting as determined an opposition as has ever met any rising sect since the apostolic days. Its first advocates, and most of those who have succeeded them, have had a definite theology, a positive faith to affirm. They have declared it to the world as the best, the pre-eminent faith, standing not in the wisdom of men but in the power of God; and have asked, as they are still {45} asking, all the churches and all the world, to show them a better if they are able to do so.

The sincere believers in this faith of the Gospel are glad to welcome all other Christians who would work with them in the eradication of religious error and the enlightenment of men by "the Word of God, that liveth and abideth forever." For what the Unitarian Churches have done of this work they have reason to be thankful, and would heartily co-operate with them in every effort to this desirable and heavenly end. The literary culture and scholarship contributed by Unitarians to the theological thought of the last half-century, as also the faithful and efficient work which they have accomplished, are, we think, justly appreciated by Universalists. They would render to all their dues, while they would humbly but righteously claim their own. It has been a subject of regret on their part,—this was inevitable,—that in consideration of the Rationalism, so-called, which has so marked this period, Unitarians could not have taken a more positive and united stand in regard to the Divine authority of Christianity, as made known in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Since Rev. Theodore Parker avowed his Rationalism, and began his Sunday worship service in Boston, it has seemed to most Universalists, as it has to not a few Unitarians, that a more definite theology and an avowed basis of its claims have been called for on the part of those who would displace old errors and establish the older truth of the Christian Gospel; so that when the question is honestly asked, as it often may be, "What is the difference between Universalism and Unitarianism?" the answer need not necessarily be another question, "What kind of Unitarianism?" Such {46} a diversity of opinion as must abound where there is no theological basis of Christian fellowship in any sect or fraternity, must fail to give it that concentrated power of Christian truth so evidently needed to turn a perverted world right side up in its religious faith and life.

The Universalist Church has all along been aware of this need of a substantial basis of Christian faith in order to its vitality and success. When the Rationalism of Mr. Parker was attracting the attention of the public, a vigorous discussion came up in the Universalist journals of the time, whether a man should be sustained as a Christian minister who denies the peculiarly divine character of Christ and the account given of his miracles in the Scriptures, and of his resurrection from the dead.[25] The adjourned session of the "Boston Association" at Cambridgeport in December, 1847, gave special attention to this subject. The resolution presented at a former session a few months before at Lynn, and now again reported, was this:—

"Resolved, That this Association express its solemn conviction that, in order for one to be regarded as a Christian minister with respect to faith, he must believe in the Bible account of the life, teachings, miracles, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ."

The resolution was sustained by a very large majority of the clergy and laity. It was a plain and honest utterance, {47} and gave the Christian world to understand the position of the Universalist Church in regard to authoritative Christianity.

As might have been expected, there was still much discussion as to the grounds of true Christian fellowship. It was followed up quite earnestly for a time by Universalists. The question of chief interest was, "Is not the faith of the heart (affections) of more importance than the faith of the intellect?" Shall not the good man have Christian fellowship whatever his theological opinions may be? In the light of the apostolic statement, "The letter killeth, it is the spirit that giveth life," is not the spirit of primary interest, and the letter comparatively inconsequential? To which it was replied that the spirit of a religion is to be most clearly understood by the letter which explains it; that the faith of the intellect and that of the heart should correspond, in order to the most perfect Christian discipleship; that the good man may be found in all religious communities, but that a good Mohammedan or Brahman could not properly claim Christian fellowship, not receiving Christ as the pre-eminent teacher of divine truth. Dr. A.P. Peabody, of the Unitarian Church, very fairly stated the subject in a discourse given by him at the time of which we speak:—

"One question is, whether those who take opposite views of the authenticity of the Christian miracles shall recognize each other as good men; and the other, whether they shall give each other countenance as Christian teachers. The former question I am prepared to answer with a cordial yes; the latter, with an unhesitating and an unqualified no."[26]

{48} About the same time there appeared in the "Universalist Quarterly" for October, 1846, from the pen of its able editor, Rev. Dr. Hosea Ballou, an article on "The Faith requisite to Christian Fellowship." The subject is sounded to its depths, and presented in all its bearings, clear as light, and plain and conclusive as logic can make it; and all in a spirit of the utmost candor. It has never been answered.

It may not be improper to speak in this connection of one who, in the beginning of his public life, appeared as a minister in the Unitarian communion, but who afterwards very conscientiously left the ministry and became a literary author and public lecturer, and who acquired a fame everywhere acknowledged in the civilized world as one of its eminent lights and leaders, Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson. As an author, lecturer, and reformer he has made an indelible impression on the minds of men during the last half century. The foremost thinkers acknowledged their indebtedness to him. In his earlier days many of his statements indicated pantheistic opinions. His discourse before the Divinity School in Harvard University in 1838—so clearly and ably replied to by Rev. Dr. Ware—seemed a singular questioning of the personality of God, and his statements in reference to the personal immortality of the soul hardly indicated a strong Christian hope of this blessing. But in his later expressions of opinion we are differently taught. His biographer says of him:[27] "He is not a sceptic or a rationalist in the philosophic sense, and has no real affinity with any of these schools of thought." His own words, indicative of the Deity, are: "Nature is too thin a screen; the glory of the Creator breaks in {49} everywhere. There is no chance, no anarchy in the universe." Of the divine beneficence he says, "We see the steady aim of benefit in view from the first. Melioration is the law. The evils we suffer will at last end themselves, through the incessant opposition of Nature to everything hurtful." And of immortality, "All great natures delight in stability; all great men find eternity affirmed in the very promise of their faculties. The being that can share a thought and a feeling so sublime as confidence in truth is no mushroom; our dissatisfaction with any other solution is the blazing evidence of immortality." And of the divine ruling: "Every wrong is punished; no moral evil can prosper at last; the good is absolute, the evil only phenomenal." And of the significance of Christ, this language is emphatic: "You must not leave out the word Christian, for to leave out that is to leave out everything."

All these declarations, as we apprehend them, are in perfect accord with the teaching, spirit, and assurance of the Universalism of the New Testament. In the grandest conceptions to which their author has given utterance, we know of nothing that reaches beyond this, and it is for this that we welcome him as a witness to the truth of the Christian Gospel.

[24]   The volume on the Atonement, issued in 1805 by Rev. Hosea Ballou, was the first of any note, in this country, in which the subordination of Christ to the Father was maintained. Dr. Mayhew and Rev. James Freeman, of Boston, had already preached anti-Trinitarian views in that city, and Dr. Priestley and a Mr. Butler had preached them in other parts of the country. But Mr. Ballou's circumstances had not, it is likely, allowed him to know what these men believed and taught.—Rev. Dr. A.P. Putnam, in "Religious Magazine," April, 1871.

[25]   Mr. Parker's views were the subject of special note and examination on the part of the Universalist journals. A candid and able review of his opinions was given in "The Universalist Miscellany" of April, 1845, by the editor, Rev. O.A. Skinner. Rev. Mr. Lothrop, of the Brattle Square Church (Unitarian), delivered and published a strong discourse in opposition to the Rationalism of Mr. Parker.

[26]   Anti-Supernaturalism, a sermon delivered July 13, 1845, before the Senior Class of the Divinity School, Harvard University.

[27]   Biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson, by G.W. Cook.



"Universalism is the ultimate of every expansive thought, of every comprehensive sympathy, of all action that embraces man as man, and works in faith for the world's redemption."—Rev. E.G. Brooks, D.D.

THE increasing interest awakened by the discussion of such topics of reform as peace, temperance, human freedom, the treatment of criminals, and others involving the moral uplifting and advancement of mankind, very naturally had its effect upon the Universalist Church. There were not a few in it who saw very clearly that the great Gospel in which they believed was in the world to do a regenerative work with the human family; that its first word to every one to whom it came was the call to reformation of character and life; that it was a direct and perpetual opposition to all that hinders this work, and that therefore they who profess to be its friends and advocates should embrace every opportunity of applying its heavenly forces to the diminishing of human wrong and the establishing of the reign of righteousness in the earth. As other churches were awakened and agitated on these reform questions, so was this one, and in due time it took its stand and made its manifestations in a way creditable to its profession, and in accordance with its hopeful and catholic faith.

{51} One of the organizations for the furtherance of this work of Christian reform instituted by this church was that of the Universalist Reform Association. The first direct action taken in reference to the subject was at the session of the Massachusetts Universalist Convention in Hingham, June, 1846, when the following resolution offered by Rev. C.H. Fay, of Roxbury, was unanimously adopted:—

"Resolved, That this Convention recommend to the Universalists of New England to form an Association to be known as the New England Universalist Reform Association, which shall meet annually in Boston during 'Anniversary Week,' having for its object the collection of such statistical information relative to the various reform movements of the age as illustrates not only the progress of Christianity as we understand it, but the best means of promoting and applying it."

A committee was chosen to carry the resolution into effect. An appointed sub-committee issued a circular, urging upon all interested, attention to the main objects of the Association, which were:—

"1. To consider the influence of Universalist sentiments in the various reform movements of the age. It must be evident that these sentiments are not essentially confined to the sect which openly professes them. We hold that they lie at the foundation of every true effort for the prevalence of Temperance, Love, Peace, Freedom, and all movements which recognize the Paternity of God and the Brotherhood of Man. To establish the truth of the ultimate connection of these doctrines with all the philanthropic action of our age, to collect statistics and facts which demonstrate it, and to exchange sentiments upon the subject, constitute one great object of the Association.

{52} "2. To assume our appropriate position in relation to these reforms; to exert our legitimate influence in them; and to show in our actions the practical conclusion of Universalist premises,—that he who believes in God's universal Paternity and the Brotherhood of the race cannot in any way countenance War, Intemperance, Slavery, or Capital Punishment, but consistently opposes and strives to abolish them all.

"The time of holding the meeting, too, deserves consideration. It is on Anniversary Week, a week when almost every moral question now agitating the civilized world is represented and discussed in Boston. Hitherto we have sent out no such influence on this occasion as we believe we may exert if our power shall be concentrated and put in operation. We see not why our Reform meetings may not be among the most interesting of all now held during this well-known season."[28]

And they were. They began successfully, and were steadily and profitably held, up to 1859, during years when these vital moral questions were more intensely considered and debated in New England and throughout our land than at any previous period. Very carefully prepared and able reports were year by year presented to the Association, and resolutions involving the merits of these reformatory topics freely and amicably discussed. Often in other meetings, conventions, associations, conferences, where ecclesiastical matters claimed the chief attention, the introduction of these reformatory subjects would cause uneasiness and elicit much fault-finding on the part of those opposed to the introduction of such agitative themes into these meetings of the church. But at the yearly assemblings of the {53} Reform Association the largest liberty was taken by all who desired to express their opinions on these great questions of the day.

The first meeting was a success. It was held in the Second Universalist Church, School Street, on Thursday, May 27, 1847. Four addresses were given on these subjects, Peace, Criminal Reform, Temperance, and Human Freedom, and appropriate resolutions discussed and adopted. In connection with this session a social festival was held on Friday morning, and was an occasion of unusual enjoyment to all who took part in it. The historian, Richard Frothingham, Esq., presided, and made an admirable opening address. He was followed by others, among them Chapin, then of rising fame. Pretending to have in hand only "skirts and fragments of ideas," he magically forms them into completeness, and endues them with power. He speaks of Christianity and Reform:—

"Christianity has not changed or added anything to itself. But we find in it latent truths; we discern new meaning in old truths. His eye had rested that very morning upon the passage which Jesus read in the synagogue at Nazareth: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.' What a profound meaning does this passage receive now, in the light of these stirring reforms! How does the truth open before us, vast and deep as the blue heaven over our heads! Christianity authorizes and animates these social movements. Its social spirit and its labors of love make us live more in a year than elsewhere in a lifetime. {54} The early fathers of our faith began their labor in the early morning, when the light of the truth they announced just tinged the mountain-tops; and now, as they are about vanishing from our horizon, the full effulgence shines upon their gray hairs, and makes them a crown of glory!"

The venerable Ballou made the concluding speech. His words were modest, sweet, and patriarchal. From that ancient saying of Jesus, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened," he brought out fresh and comprehensive words inspired by the scenes of yesterday and to-day, and eloquently urged home the admonition to his denominational children around him, that they should seek to accomplish all their reformatory work in the spirit of Christian love. He concluded, and at the word of the president "The Brave Old Oak" was sung, and responded to by the applause of the audience.

From year to year, as these meetings occurred, there was a strong interest in them. They were meetings where freedom of speech was welcomed and enjoyed. The most searching inquiry was invited, and the pro et contra of every resolution offered was presented in all the earnestness in which the debaters deemed it their privilege to indulge. The resolutions at the first meetings of the Association indicate its Christian basis. They are expressive of "gratitude to God in view of the development of our faith in all the great reform movements of the time; that we recognize the Word of God, especially the New Testament scripture, as the basis of all genuine reform; that an age as prolific as is the present in schemes for the improvement of the {55} race, including such variety, from the most reasonable to the most Utopian, demands of every Christian the most candid and prayerful discrimination, that all his endeavors may be wisely directed; that in these movements we discern the promise of a better time coming, and of the kingdom of God upon the earth; that as religious sentiment is the controlling element of man's life, therefore the only true reform is that which seeks to influence men through the medium of religious faith."

In discussing topics involving the morals of politics and the great interests of the American Republic, the members of all political parties were regarded as on equal ground. The minister in these meetings had no hesitancy in preaching the morals of politics as he understood them, whatever the opinions of his parishioners at home might be. The religion of Christianity was "mixed" with politics as the larger quantity, and wrong, as wrong, arraigned wherever it might be found in church or state, in social or individual habit or life. Our public servants in their high places were deemed subjects of note and animadversion, if their conduct seemed to call for it, in the spirit of the prayer offered by the elder Dr. Beecher in Faneuil Hall: "O Lord, preserve us from speaking evil of our public servants, and especially save them from such wrong conduct as may call for such speaking on our part!" A resolution passed at the first meeting of the Association states "that, while the early Christians were only subjects, American citizens are the constituents of civil government; and in all ages Christians are bound to act the Christian principles in all their relations."

During the anti-slavery excitement, when the hunters for fugitive slaves were desecrating the ground of New {56} England, and members of Congress in their interests were repealing the Missouri Compromise, and many of the ministers of New England were bold enough to remonstrate with them for such action, these most emphatic resolutions were freely debated and unanimously adopted by the Association.

"Resolved, That the clergymen of New England, in their Protest against the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, have pledged themselves anew to freedom and the laws of God; that this Association cordially approve the course of those who signed the Protest, or otherwise labored to prevent the desecration of that vast territory which had been consecrated by solemn compact to liberty forever; and we request those Christian ministers who refused to sign that Protest to review their position in regard to this subject.

"Resolved, That the men from the North, and especially from New England, who have voted for the iniquitous Nebraska Bill, have proved themselves traitors to the cause of freedom and to the most hallowed traditions of our fathers, and that their conduct deserves the united, unqualified, perpetual reprobation of all friends to human rights, which reprobation should be emphatically expressed at the ballot-box."

The annual festivals held in those days in Boston by the Universalists were essentially pervaded by the spirit of this Association. The sentiments, songs, and speeches on these occasions were alive with the reformatory inspiration of the Christian Gospel. The signs of the times were clearly recognized by the speakers, and whatever the especial excitement of the day might be, it was sure to find a sympathetic tongue and ear at the festival table. The festival in 1854 occurring about the time of the rendition of Anthony Burns, the anti-slavery {57} feeling was at white heat. When the company entered Faneuil Hall and were taking their seats, some sensitively conservative brethren could not suppress the expression of their wishes that no allusion might be made to that event in the addresses about to follow. But the current was so irresistibly in one direction that these fearful pleadings were as the smallest eddies therein. The notes of freedom made the old hall ring.

[28]   This circular was signed by the sub-committee, Rev. J.G. Adams and Rev. E.H. Chapin.



"What concord hath Christ with Belial."—2 Cor. vi. 15.

THE New England Anti-Slavery Society was one of the most vigorous and persistent bodies that ever appeared on these western shores as a reformatory institution. Its chief leader was the indomitable Garrison, who had vowed that on the vexed question of American slavery "he would be heard," and whose "Liberator" was making its journeys from a Boston press throughout the land; hailed and patronized by a goodly company in the North, denounced as incendiary at the South, where a large sum was offered for the head of its editor. He had sympathetic companions of a persistency equal to his own: Wendell Phillips, Edmund Quincy, Samuel E. Sewell, N.P. Rogers, Stephen C. Foster, John Pierpont, Theodore Parker, Parker Pillsbury, Frederick Douglass, and C.L. Remond, among the men of New England, and the Tappans of New York, and representatives at the annual gatherings from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington. Lucretia Mott and Abby Kelley (afterwards Mrs. Foster) were among the women expounders of this gospel of freedom, and "Anniversary Week" in Boston was made especially {59} notable by their gatherings at Marlboro Chapel and Faneuil Hall. No matter what other meetings on that week were dull, there was always an exuberance of liveliness at the Anti-Slavery Convention. "Eloquence is dog-cheap at Marlboro Chapel," said Ralph Waldo Emerson; and it was. No better could be heard on the continent. The hardest and boldest resolutions were usually up for consideration, denouncing slaveholders and all their abettors, political, ecclesiastical, of whatever standing or profession. Church and state alike were subjects of their maledictions. Their defiance of all opposition had a clarion ring in it. Nothing pleased them more than to have their positions questioned or assailed. The adventurous wight who was willing to appear as a condemner of their doctrines was the very one for whom they were looking, and for whose presence and opposition they were profoundly thankful. Their meetings were electrifying. Such debates and orations, such questionings and rejoinders! Such hymns and spiritual songs, too, sung often by the Hutchinsons to the old tunes of "Amherst," "Lenox," and "New Jerusalem!" We hear them now; they brought the shouts and tears.

We remember a scene in Marlboro Chapel one afternoon during Anniversary Week. There came up for debate the question: "Does the Constitution of the United States justify slavery?" Rev. John Pierpont took the negative, and very logically maintained it for more than an hour. He appeared in the greatness of his strength, and at the close of his argument proposed to those of his auditors who wished, to question his statements. And never was seen a hungrier company of interrogators than then and there came upon him. {60} But he was unmoved as a sea-rock in the midst of the breakers. His side of the question was not popular with most of the speakers and their sympathizers there, and he was subjected to a most searching cross-questioning. But he came out triumphantly (as it seemed) through it all. When three or four would speak at once, he would say: "One at a time, friends; the miller's rule holds,—first come, first served. I desire to hear you all." The afternoon sunshine suddenly blazing in from one of the windows upon his face, he aptly remarked: "Some subjects are involved in impenetrable darkness; but here we seem to have a super-abundance of light!" When the last inquirer had been answered, the speaker asked: "Are you all through?" And no other one questioning, he said: "And now, after the fashion of the good old divines, I come to the 'Improvement';" under which head he carefully and briefly reviewed the substance of the debate. It was a masterly plea.

But the end was not yet. There was an evening meeting. Again the hall was filled, to listen to a reply to Mr. Pierpont by Wendell Phillips. The orator was in his best mood, and his silvery speech kept the audience spell-bound. It was a complete refutation of the arguments adduced in the afternoon. A clergyman sitting near to Mr. Pierpont said to him: "How can his arguments be answered?" to which the latter replied: "I should like to see the man who could tell me!" So Greek met Greek in those stirring and stormy days.

It was an up-hill movement, this anti-slavery agitation. It called out spirits of more colors than those mentioned in "Macbeth." The opposition was intense. {61} Garrison's life was in peril in the streets of Boston in 1835, and a little company of his sympathizers, including the poet Whittier and George Thompson, the English philanthropist, were closely followed in the streets of Concord, N.H., one evening, that they might be seized by certain mobocratic ones, and subjected to an immersion in some liquid coloring of transient, if not indelible, black; but the hounded ones escaped, preserving white men's complexions. They were not to be put down by mobs nor frightened by any human opposition. They had the spirit of Luther as he went to the Diet at Worms. Though the pro-slavery "devils were thick as the tiles on the houses," they proposed to fight them in the name of God and humanity.

Politicians could do nothing with them, and the churches generally discarded them. There was no love lost, however, between them and the churches. The churches did not give them credit for the good they were seeking to do, and they had no words of approval for the humanity of the churches. Even the National Constitution was denounced as "a covenant with death and an agreement with hell," and the churches were accused as upholders of this covenant. So they reasoned, not always, however, in that charity which the New Testament commends. There were those in the churches as strongly opposed to slavery as themselves,—but they were slow to recognize action against it outside of their own organizations,—who could say, as did Dr. Gannett of the Unitarian Church:—

"In principle I am with you. But there are those with whom you are connected, persons who seem to me so to distrust the goodness of all others who differ from them, and to look down upon all such with so great a consciousness of {62} moral superiority, that I feel myself when in their presence to be in a situation not unlike that of a criminal before his accuser and judge."[29]

At one time they held an Anti-Sabbath Convention for a few days, in Boston, during which they said many hard things against the sanctity of this seventh-day worship-time, evidently because they could thus castigate the churches for refusing to discuss freely on this day the crying sin of American slavery. It seemed a pity to hear such harsh denunciations by the speakers who were advocating a righteous cause, against an institution that had done so much towards the world's true civilization. But this was one of their methods of carrying on the reform.

A leading spirit in this movement in the "Granite State" was Nathaniel P. Rogers, for a few years the editor of the "Herald of Freedom," issued at Concord, N.H. He was a lawyer of Plymouth, Grafton County, and a member of the Orthodox Church in that town, and was a descendant of him who was burned at Smithfield, and had the martyr spirit of his noted ancestor. He was a scholarly, witty, and affable man, and wielded as facile a pen as any editor in New England. In many of his descriptive sketches he gave to the scenery of New Hampshire a fascination equal to that with which Sir Walter Scott invests the lochs and hills of Scotland. His plea with Mr. Webster, the great Senator from Massachusetts, to let "his lion voice in one Numidian roar" be heard from his place in Congress on the abomination of American slavery and the claims of American freedom, once read, could never be forgotten. When his "Herald of {63} Freedom" was first issued, some of the stage-drivers from Concord refused to carry it out to the subscribers; but this hostility, through the personal influence of the editor, soon ceased. Its columns were opened to all sorts of radical sayings against the churches because of their presumed hostility to human freedom; but as the columns of the paper were free, there were sometimes sound and strong answers to them. Mr. Rogers, worn out with mental toiling and anxiety, was called from the earthly life in the midst of his years.

And so this work of the anti-slavery reformers went steadily forward with increasing momentum, till a more general awakening took place all over the land. The churches were becoming more and more alive to it, and the politicians could in no wise evade it. The seed of "Free-Soilism" sown, "Know-nothingism" sprang up, and one of the two leading political parties became the party of Freedom—of "free soil, free speech, free men." The passage and attempted enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act, and the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, had served to bring about this result. Hence the election of Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency, secession, war, the downfall of slavery. These first agitators lived to see the end they had striven for attained. They had been heard, and a stronger than they had heard, and had answered them, and an imploring and struggling nation, "in the day of his power!" Now could one of the first of our poets sing:—

"Ring and swing
Bells of joy! On morning's wing
Send the song of praise abroad!
With a sound of broken chains
Tell the nations that he reigns
Who alone is Lord and God!"

{64} Of course the Universalist churches could not evade this controversy between freedom and slavery. Their very faith invited and encouraged it. The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man are doctrines which forever stand in opposition to the presumption that man can own property in his fellow man. Of all the Christian sects, Universalists were the last who could countenance in the light of their beneficent faith the abomination of American slavery. If other theologies gave cause for the aspersion that "God was the greatest slaveholder in the universe," because it was his intention to keep in spiritual bondage and sufferings great numbers of his offspring world without end, Universalism affirmed that this whole human creation now groaning and travailing in pain shall be delivered from its bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.[30] Could this church, bearing its own significant name, be silent, then, when the test time came? Nay, it was a golden opportunity for her to speak and act. She uttered her voice, firmly, freely, faithfully. True, there were conservatives at first in this church as in others, who dreaded the consequences of the agitation of this subject, who deemed it a political question rather than a religious one, and feared not only discord and division in the churches because of it, but a disruption of the national union. This timidity wore off in due time, and this manifesto went forth from the Universalists of Massachusetts and other States in 1845. It is a "protest against American slavery," and is signed by three hundred and four Universalist clergymen. The reasons stated as the basis of the protest are these:—

{65} "1. Because slavery denies the eternal distinction between a man and property, ranking a human being with a material thing. 2. Because it does not award to the laborer the fruits of his toil in any higher sense than to the cattle. 3. Because it trammels the intellectual powers and prevents their expansion. 4. Because it checks the development of the moral nature of the slave; denies him rights and therefore responsibility. 5. Because it involves a practical denial of the religious nature of the slave. 6. Because it presents an insurmountable barrier to the propagation of the great truth of the Universal Brotherhood and thereby most effectually prevents the progress of true Christianity. 7. Because the essential nature of slavery cannot be altered by any kindness, how great so ever, practised toward the slave. 8. Because the long continuance of a system of wrong cannot palliate it, but on the other hand augments the demand for its abolition. 9. Because we would in all charity remember that peculiarities of situation may affect the judgment and moral sense; still, we must not forget that no peculiarity of situation can excuse a perpetual denial of universal principles and obligations."

[29]   Memoir of Dr. Gannett, by his son, p. 294.

[30]   Heb. viii. 21, 22.



"The crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain."—Isaiah, xl. 4.

THE half-century just passed has been notable for the progress of thought in reference to the significant reforms now claiming public attention. Foremost among these is that of


In no other period of the past has its work been so marked and cheering. In Great Britain and America its manifestations were almost simultaneous. Intemperance was seen to be a monstrous national vice, and societies were formed for the suppression of it. Abstinence from distilled liquors was at first the pledge taken; but subsequent discussion of the subject induced the next and safer step forward, of total abstinence from all intoxicants. From 1834 to 1838 nearly the whole of the original societies through England and Scotland extended their principles on the new and broader declaration, and worked with renewed enthusiasm.[31] The same course was taken in our own country, and similar effects followed. The new pledge was consistent, because it struck at the root of the evil.

{67} The Temperance reform enlisted the sympathies of Universalists in the beginning. It was a vindication of the Gospel of enlightened and pure manhood, maintaining its supremacy over the sinful inclinations and indulgences "that war against the soul." Indeed, one of the first avowed advocates of the practice of total abstinence, as early as 1778, was the well-known and honored Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and a firm believer in Christian Universalism. He not only advocated this practice himself, but was especially interested in commending it to the attention of two religious bodies in Pennsylvania, the Episcopalians and Presbyterians, at their annual meetings. When in later days the attention of the Christian churches was called to the consideration of this reform, no more zealous friends of it were found than those among Universalists. The Universalist ministry was well represented, and its services welcomed by others. An instance is remembered of a deserved tribute, given in his peculiar quaintness of speech, by the elder Dr. (Lyman) Beecher, to Rev. Edwin Thompson, at an annual meeting of the Massachusetts Temperance Society. Mr. Thompson was State agent for the Society, and had been very active in its work during the year; so that a speaker alluded to him as having been in that time "the main spoke in the wheel." "Indeed," said Dr. Beecher, "it seems to me that he has been the hub, and all the spokes, and a considerable part of the rim!"

The reform in our country was quickened by the "Washingtonian" movement, which involved the reformation of the inebriate, and his work to redeem others from the destroyer. Although there were backsliders {68} in this, as in all reformatory movements, yet the number of the saved justified a thousand times the interest taken in the great work itself. It was an indication of what might be done everywhere and in all time by Divine aid, and human will at work relying upon it. It seemed also to emphasize the truth that men, however far overcome by wrong habit, are not to be given over as irreclaimable. It was in accord with the grand idea that there are no lost ones so far astray as to be beyond the mercy which sent Him into the world, who said, "I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick."

Legislation took higher and stronger ground in reference to the evil of intemperance. The subject went into politics more than ever. The doctrine of prohibition gained advocates. A law favoring it was passed in Massachusetts, and afterwards in Maine. Prosecutions and law-suits followed, and appeals went up to the highest courts to test the constitutionality of the law. This was affirmed by them, just as the framers of the law knew that it would be. Despite all sophisms and evasions, the common sense of every man will settle down into the conviction that the people of a nation, if they would be really strong and free, must employ every safeguard against this giant evil, that has so constantly outraged and cursed our world.

The rising of the women of the West, in 1873, to suppress the demoralizing work of the liquor-saloons, was an outspoken, providential protest against these scourges of our civilization. Jeered by the thoughtless, and insulted and cursed by the dealers in the death-poison, it was an indication that made the traffickers in {69} strong drink thoughtful, the friends of woman to take new note of her righteous demands and of her reformatory power, and every true soldier in the temperance army to put on new courage in view of the many instrumentalities which God is able to raise up in aid of His redeeming work with His children. One result of the Woman's Crusade has been the formation of the Woman's Christian Temperance Unions in all parts of our land.

The signs of progress in this reform are more significant than ever. The popularity of the Prohibitory Law in Maine; the Prohibitory clause just put into the Kansas and Iowa Constitutions, and proposed in other States; the numerous Reform Leagues; the proposal to institute in our Congress a thorough investigation in reference to the bearing of this question of liquor-making and vending on the industrial, social, and political welfare of our nation; the continued discussion of the effects of the use of intoxicants by leading statesmen, scientists, and medical professors of our age, and the bringing out of new facts, all showing the vital importance of the Temperance reform; and, also, the evident tendency of these movements, as apprehended by the devotees of the liquor interests themselves, moving them, as at a recent convention of brewers in Washington, to avow their determination to defeat, if possible, by all practicable means, the legal, moral, and especially the religious endeavors put forth against the evil by which they are enriched at the expense of the prosperity, happiness, and peace of so many millions of our land,—these facts are unmistakable indications of still greater achievements in the days and years to come.

{70} Like most reforms, this one must work a long way on to its completion. The evil against which it contends is deep-seated and far-reaching. Appetite, avarice, and the drinking usages of society are its strongholds. But all these are not impervious to the inroads of the right upon them. The public conscience is awake to the demands of this reform as it never was before. When that is more truthfully and generally educated, moral suasion will have freer course, and restrictive laws will find a stronger support everywhere.


The history of our race is one of warfare. "Wars and fightings" have been realized among men from the beginning, and the world has not outgrown the sanguinary strife. Even during the time of which we are speaking in these pages, when so much has been done for the mental and moral enlightenment of mankind, these murderous human contentions have been going on in the Old World and the New. Our own nation has passed through one of the darkest passages of its history. The war of the Rebellion came of a war that existed previous to the withdrawal of the Southern States of our Union, the war of slavery,—for slavery itself is war always, an outrage on the rights of human beings, perpetrated by members of a common brotherhood. And thus one war opened the way to another. They who were warring upon others could no longer bear to have their wrong-doings questioned, but claimed the right to multiply and perpetuate them. So came secession, so came the fratricidal contest. The majority of the nation did not seek war, did not desire it. But the Unionists of the nation deemed themselves {71} justified in resisting the efforts of the secessionists to dismember the nation, and so through a defensive warfare sought to preserve the Union. It was a terrible ordeal, and although the abomination of slavery was swept away, it was at the cost of tens of thousands of lives, of a vast amount of treasure, of suffering as yet unrevealed, and of a lamentable demoralization. The Almighty brought out of it a new order of things with our nation, by abolishing human bondage and placing freedom in the ascendancy. The new order, however, is not yet fully effected. It will take time, wisdom, patience, mutual forbearance, sympathy, and fraternal help to secure this result.

But one reform aids another. A higher view of the claims of human freedom will tend to effect a clearer perception of the great claims of the human brotherhood. If man is too good to be enslaved by his fellow-man, he is too good to be destroyed by him. If human freedom is sacred, so is human life. And we are sure that this grand conception has been very clearly realized, and as clearly affirmed, during the middle of the present century.

In the midst of the world's conflicts during this time, the advocates of peace principles, on both sides of the Atlantic, have not been inactive. They have had a hearing, if a limited one, in Christendom. Peace associations have been more operative than before, and the pulpit and press have made new appeals to the public for the promotion of peace principles. Excellent publications in essay, sermon, or oration have been issued from the press. We hear of one Sunday, in 1845, when one hundred and twenty peace sermons were preached in the city of London. Our philanthropic countryman, {72} Elihu Burritt, has done much for this cause. One of the ablest and most admirable of appeals in behalf of "peace on earth and good will to men" was given in 1845, in Boston, by Charles Sumner,—who may be justly reckoned as one of the brightest lights among philanthropists and statesmen of the present century,—on "The True Grandeur of Nations." Moved by the threatening aspect of affairs between the United States and Mexico, the orator denounced the war system as the ordeal by battle still unwisely continued by international law as the arbiter of justice between nations, and insisted that this system ought to give way to peaceful arbitration for the settlement of international questions, as the private ordeal of battle had given way to such substitutes in the administration of justice between individuals. "The oration attracted unusual attention, led to much controversy, and was widely circulated both in America and Europe. It was pronounced by Richard Cobden to be 'the most noble contribution made by any modern writer to the cause of peace.'"[32]

The delusion that wars must always be expected more or less with mankind is a vagary of barbarism, and not a true Christian thought. Rather is the poet right, when he says:—

"War is a game, which, were their subjects wise,
Kings would not play at."

Wars may be lessened, may be outgrown in human society. There are better ways of settling human disputes than by an appeal to arms. Facts in the history of our own nation prove it. Here are a few of them:—

{73} In 1794, the question of the Northeastern boundary between the United States and the dependencies of Great Britain was settled by arbitration.

In 1822, the question of restitution or compensation for slaves found on board of British vessels during the war of 1812. The matter was referred to the Emperor of Russia, and his award accepted by both nations.

In 1858, a difficulty between the United States and the government of Chili and Peru, was referred to the arbitration of the King of the Belgians, and settled by his award.

In 1869, the claims of the United States and Great Britain to landed property in and about Puget Sound were adjusted by peaceable reference.

In 1871, the well-known Alabama claim, which caused so much ill feeling between the United States and England, and threatened to involve the two countries in a terrible war. President Grant, referring to the settlement of this claim, said in his message of Dec. 3, 1871:—

"This year has witnessed two great nations, having one language and lineage, settling by peaceful arbitration disputes of long standing, which were liable at any time to bring nations to a bloody conflict. The example thus set, if successful in its final issue, will be followed by other civilized nations, and finally be the means of restoring to pursuits of industry millions of men now maintained to settle the disputes of nations by the sword."

Is this good possible? Assuredly, if good is able to prevail over evil, right over wrong, love over hatred. And what does the Christian Gospel signify but this: "Peace on earth and good will toward men"? This "good will" shall come, if Christians will do their duty {74} by insisting on the practicability of it. The undercurrent of a better feeling is gaining force as the great truth of the Brotherhood of Man is more deeply and extensively realized. If the present toiling-time is dark, there is light beyond it, the unerring prophecy of the time when "nations shall learn war no more."

As said Victor Hugo, at the Congress of Peace in Paris, in 1849:—

"A day will come when the only battle-field shall be the market open to commerce and the mind opening to new ideas; when a cannon shall be exhibited in public museums just as an instrument of torture is now, and people shall be astonished how such a thing could have been. A day shall come when those two immense groups, the United States of America and the United States of Europe, shall be seen placed in presence of each other, extending the hand of fellowship across the ocean, exchanging their produce, their commerce, their industry, their arts, their genius, clearing the earth, peopling the deserts, meliorating creation under the eyes of the Creator, and uniting, for the good of all, these two irresistible and infinite powers,—the fraternity of men and the power of God."

In agreement with the foregoing statements in reference to the reform movements of our time, we may note more briefly certain other indications of the increase of that spirit which would lessen the afflictions and wrongs and promote the well-being of society.

The Treatment of Criminals

has been a subject of much thought and discussion during the generation just passed. It has been, and still is, an open question among the more thoughtful, whether the subject of the proper treatment of criminals {75} has been regarded aright. We may justly plead for benevolent sympathy without being the apologist of crime. Conscience must be remembered as well as the cry of pitying tenderness, and punishment must have a meaning, or the distinctions of right and wrong are lost. "It will be a sad day," as one has truly said, "when those who violate our laws are more pitied than blamed." Christians are bound by their religion to labor for the prevention of crime, and for the strict application of all righteous laws to the criminal; to impress as they can the awfulness of sin on their own and on other's consciences, and to recall the fallen back to virtue, shamed by his sin, and resolute and strong in the working of a regenerated will, thus vindicating and imitating "the goodness and severity of God." The treatment of convicts in our prisons at the present time is generally more in accordance with these considerations than in the past, when severity was deemed more needful as applied to criminals who were subjects of total depravity, than a proportionate mercy, which regarded them not only as lost ones, but as capable of a possible restoration to their rightful Owner and Almighty Friend. The reform schools in our different States are working in this Christian direction. The subject of

Capital Punishment

has elicited much attention during the time of which we are speaking. It has been discussed in newspapers, pamphlets, legislatures, pulpits, and lyceum halls. Some of our States have abolished the gallows, others are agitating this subject in their legislatures. The present governor (Long) of Massachusetts, in his annual messages {76} of the last two years, has recommended the abolition of the death penalty. A large number of ministers of the Universalist Church have constantly affirmed their opposition to it. Rev. Charles Spear published a sensible work on the subject, and Rev. Hosea Ballou, D.D., thirty years since, gave the whole question a very thorough investigation, in reply to Rev. Dr. Cheever of New York, and others.[33] Michigan was the first State in the Union to abolish the death penalty, and a late Report makes the statement that, with a population of 1,500,000, no man has been executed in the State during the last thirty-five years, and that a less number of murders have been perpetrated during the last ten years, in ratio to the population, than during the same decade in any other State where public or even private executions have prevailed.[34] Capital punishment has also been abolished in Maine.

The Position and Work of Woman

has also been a subject of deep and widespread interest. Christianity has ever given to woman a place denied her by all other religions. As Christian thought has had freer course, and Christian theology and practical work new and brighter development, the relations of woman to the welfare and progress of human society have been more clearly understood and appreciated. Her rights in law are now more plainly and justly defined, and the importance of her equal education with the other sex admitted and emphasized. She is prominent and indispensable as a teacher, all over the land; {77} she is a graduate of the college and a professor there; she is a successful practitioner in the legal and medical professions; she is an ordained minister of the Gospel; she is a merchant, a book-keeper and accountant, an editor, an artist, a mechanic, a farmer, and has more than average success in all these departments of activity. Her right to the ballot is slowly but surely coming to a settlement, which it will take time and thought on her part (for when she asks for the ballot it will be hers), and enlightened legislation to effect. Where she has exercised this right, none but favorable results have been witnessed.[35] Our State legislatures are called upon to give attention to the subject, and a committee of our national Congress have just decided to report a proposed amendment to the Constitution, declaring that "the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex, and giving Congress the power, by appropriate legislation, to enforce the provisions of this article." If Congress will agree to propose this amendment, and three fourths of the States will ratify it, woman suffrage will be legalized.

Other Questions.

The philanthropic and successful efforts in behalf of the blind, the deaf and dumb, and feeble minded, of fallen women, and orphan children, are becoming more and more apparent every year, all in cheering accord with that restorative mercy and power evinced in Him whose mission was to relieve the sorrows and remove {78} the afflictive evils that beset mankind. And no more unmistakable evidence of the decline of that horrible doctrine of endless suffering for the wicked can be realized, than the instituting and maintaining societies for the suppression of cruelty to animals. Surely, the Father of our spirits will not be less merciful towards any of his children, than these children are justly called upon to be to the inferior creatures of his forming hand! These are some of the signs of Christian progress during the last half-century. Laus Deo!

[31]   Chambers' Miscellany.

[32]   New Amer. Enc.

[33]   Universalist Quarterly, Vol. VI. No. 4, October, 1849.

[34]   "Gospel Banner," Augusta, Me., June 10, 1882.

[35]   The Governor of Wyoming affirms that woman suffrage is an unqualified success in the Territory.



"Help those women which labored with me in the churches."—Paul, Phil. iv. 3.

THE Universalist Church is much indebted to its faithful women. Taking into consideration its comparative numbers, no other church in America has been more signally favored in the genial and healthful influence of its writers who have borne the honorable name of Woman. They have been instrumental in spreading the doctrines of the primitive Gospel and the moral bearings of their religion before the world in most attractive and impressive forms, and have disabused the public in its wrong estimate of the character and ability of the advocates of Universalism and the tendency and influence of its principles.

Among those worthy to be remembered in this goodly company, who have passed from the present life during the last half-century, we may mention the gifted sister poets, Alice and Phœbe Cary, Mrs. Sarah Broughton, Mrs. Julia H. Scott, Mrs. Sarah C.E. Mayo, Mrs. Charlotte A. Jerauld, Mrs. Henrietta A. Bingham, Mrs. Elmina R.B. Waldo, Mrs. Luella J.B. Case, and Mrs. E.H. Cobb.

Among the living we may note the names of Mrs. Catharine M. Sawyer, whose contributions to our church journals are so well known; Mrs. Mary A. Livermore, {80} who in her past connection with our church work and literature has gained such a high reputation with her voice and pen, as well as in her deeds of benevolence and mercy during the war of the rebellion; Mrs. Julia A. Carney, whose hymns and instruction books have made her name so familiar in our Sunday-schools and homes; Mrs. Caroline A. Soule, whose consecrated words and works have secured her a name which the church of her love will hold in righteous estimation; Mrs. Nancy T. Munroe, Mrs. Lathrop (formerly Mrs. Bacon), Mrs. E.M. Bruce, Mrs. J.L. Patterson, Mrs. S.M. Perkins, Mrs. P.A. Hanaford, Miss Carnahan, Miss Remick, Miss Minnie S. Davis,—but it is difficult to know where to draw the line in this counting. Others might be named, would space permit, who have made their contributions to the literature of the church. The older and well known retain "their wonted fires," and the new and younger are coming to succeed and honor them. Some of our women are speaking our best and most practical words in our churches, prayer and conference and missionary meetings; in our Sunday-schools, conventions, and associations; in our pulpits, as evangelists and pastors; in our educational institutions. If the Universalist Church has not at this hour as brilliant a presentation of Christian literature from the pen of its women as it had thirty years since, there never was more of the practical and available talent of woman in it than at the present time; never so much organized effort on their part as now.

This effort seems to have taken new form and life since the Centenary Year of the church came round,—1870. Previous to that date, the history of many a new movement, many a new parish or church, had been the {81} history of woman's fidelity in the inception, progress, and success of the enterprise. It was but natural, then, that in the inspiration awakened by the approach of this centennial year, the women of the church should be aroused to new and still greater effort. And thus it was that the "Woman's Centenary Aid Association" was organized at Buffalo, N.Y., in September, 1869. The organization was effected, and the main work under it was to aid in the raising of the proposed "Murray Fund," of $200,000. The total amount raised by that Association for this object, in all the States and elsewhere, deducting comparatively moderate expenses, and placed in the treasury of the United States Convention for the Murray Fund, was $35,000. Nearly 13,000 women thus became members of the Association. The fact was a new and cheering manifestation. The "Christian Leader," a Universalist journal of New York city, thus alluded to it:—

"If our women need no eulogy, we need the satisfaction of making a warm, explicit confession of our admiration of their attempt, and our gratitude for what they have done. They can well afford to dispense with the acknowledgment, but we cannot afford not to make it. It becomes us here to raise no question as to woman's fitness for certain employments and political prerogatives, hitherto the prerogatives of the rougher sex. But should we reach what some call 'extreme views' on the several points, and should our zeal bring us onto the platform as a champion thereof, the sledgehammer we should wield is, the work of the Universalist women in their Centenary Year. God bless and make us grateful for our women!"

Since that time the Association has taken the title of the "Womans' Centenary Association" (dropping {82} the word "Aid" used in the beginning in reference to its work in connection with the United States Convention). It has much other work of its own now. Its tract publishing and circulation, its Scotland Mission, its endowment of women professorships in one of our colleges, its special gifts for the aid of theological students, the helping of needy and worthy parish organizations, establishing Sunday-schools in waste places, and assisting to sustain them and other beneficent works, are included in its ministries. Every year's report of its doings has spoken to the public of the utility and effectiveness of its work.

In May, 1875, Mrs. Caroline A. Soule, the first President of the Association, sailed from New York city for Scotland, on a mission of observation, as a company of believers there had for some time received aid and encouragement from the Association. She passed several months in Scotland, preaching in Dunfermline, Glasgow, Larbert, Dundee, and other places, and organized the "Scottish Universalist Convention." She also assisted at the dedication of a little church in Stenhousemuir, the only Universalist Church edifice in Great Britain. Three years afterwards she went, by approval of the Association, as a preacher and missionary. After preaching awhile in Dundee and Glasgow, in 1879 she organized, in the last-named place, the "St. Paul Universalist Church," and established a Sunday-school and church library. Great numbers of tracts and many books (twenty barrels of closely-packed matter) were circulated as helps in her work. The rite of ordination was conferred upon her by the Scottish Convention. During her work in Scotland she has proved, by her fidelity, self-sacrifice, and persistence in her work during {83} many and severe discouragements, her qualifications for a Christian missionary worthy to be recorded among the most devoted of any in the other churches who have been strengthened and honored by the accomplishment of devoted women in their missionary fields. Her work is a noble beginning of that which may continue to be done by the Universalist Church, if it shall possess a zeal commensurate with the magnitude of that pre-eminent Gospel to be "preached to every creature," which it is called of God to maintain. Christian Universalism and woman, "what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."[36]

[36]   For a more ample view of the position and work of the women of the Universalist Church, we refer the reader to the volume recently given to the public by Mrs. E.R. Hanson, entitled "Our Women Workers." Chicago, 1882.



"Insignificant as the denomination of Universalists may now appear in the eyes of the world, it is not to be doubted that the time is coming when it will occupy in this country, and throughout all Christendom, a much more commanding position, and men will ask for the beginning of what they shall then see, and love to read the story of our present struggles and victories."—Rev. T.J. Sawyer, D.D.

IT is within the first century of our national republic, just passed, that this great faith in the universality of God's love and of the work of Christian salvation with man, has gained a prominence in the churches which it had not known since the earlier times of Christianity. It is of the last half century, in connection with the history of this faith, however, that I would more particularly speak, as it is within this period that the work of its promulgation in our own country has been especially realized, its public advocates multiplied, and their ministries extended in many of the States of our Union. Its publications and other educational forces have increased, and, as we have seen, it has identified itself with some of the most significant reforms of the age. Many of its friends and representatives have been among the worthy and excellent of the times in which they have lived, and not a few of its public advocates deserve to be honorably and thankfully remembered in the present and the future for the contributions they {85} have made to the progress of the church in the knowledge of Christian truth and the realization and enjoyment of the Christian life. It is one of the enjoyments connected with the preparation of these pages, that the writer may call them up in memory and speak of them as they appear to him, and note some of their characteristics, and pay them that tribute of respect and honor which they so justly merit.

Though others may appear as their successors in the same high calling, they can scarcely be more faithful or effective in their labors than have these earnest defenders of the Abrahamic faith who have been foremost in its promulgation during the past generation. If many of them now rest from their labors, their works surely follow them, and their names deserve tender and thankful remembrance by their survivors in the church for whose prosperity and honor they so hopefully, bravely, and faithfully taught and wrought.

It should be understood that, in the succeeding sketches of ministers, it is not the intent of the writer to present anything like a full record of all who have faithfully served in this capacity in our country during the time of our church history comprehended in these pages. A complete biographical encyclopdia cannot be compassed in so limited a space. It is from his own particular standpoint of observation and recollection that the writer presents his testimony. Furthermore, it is mainly to those now departed that these references are made.

The Ballous have been conspicuous in this conflict of religious opinions during the present century. Foremost among the family of preachers, most of whom have departed, stands acknowledged Hosea the elder, one of {86} the strongest theologians of the past or present in New England. He lived through half the present century, being nearly thirty years old when he entered it, and was vigorous to the last at the age of eighty-one. The statement of his life-history is not a new one now. The four ample volumes containing it, by Dr. Whittemore, have been extensively read, and will be for years to come. But having known and revered him, it is an unspeakable pleasure to the writer to state his impressions of the man and the preacher.

Hosea Ballou (a native of Richmond, N.H.), came from the home of a worthy Baptist clergyman, whose means of living and supporting a large family were small. He had but meagre opportunities for education, but employed what he had to the best advantage, and became a school-teacher in early manhood. He joined the Baptist Church when quite young, but afterwards grew out of its theology, and became convinced of the truth of Universalism. Discouraged in his first attempts as a public speaker, he grew more confident, and soon attracted much attention, wherever he appeared, as an advocate of his faith. His pastorates were in Barnard, Vt., Portsmouth, N.H., Salem and Boston, Mass. He died in the last-named city, June 7, 1852, after a pastorate of more than thirty years. His two sons, Hosea F., of Vermont, and Massena B., of Stoughton, Mass., have served in the ministry many years.

Mr. Ballou was gifted with great logical clearness, aptness, and force. His preaching was plain, scriptural, and often fervent, and no one could bring home to the hearer the great themes of the Divine Fatherhood and Human Brotherhood more effectively than he. Wakeful {87} indeed must be the theological opponent who could evade the force of his logic. He employed the Socratic method, by drawing the objector out, so that his own statements would confound or confute him. Many valiant ones of the opposite faith were there who could readily assail and denounce his doctrines, where his replies could not reach them, but who would be very sure to keep at a respectful distance from that "sword of the Spirit" which he wielded with such consummate skill.

Of the published works of Mr. Ballou, none have evinced more mental clearness and vigor than his volume on "Atonement," issued in 1805.[37] Its plainness and adaptedness to the common reader, its sharp logic, and above all its apt and convincing appeals to the Scriptures, render it a timely helper everywhere and always, in the discussion of the theologies which have assumed the Christian name, and which are now being so closely scrutinized. Every reader and student of theology understands something of the old theory of Atonement so long dominant in the Christian Church, so exceedingly perplexing to honest and independent inquirers, so hard to be vindicated by its ablest advocates, and so surely sowing the seeds of scepticism and infidelity in many minds. Volume after volume has appeared in defence and attempted illustration of it. Sin an infinite evil, being a violation of infinite law, and therefore the law requiring an infinite sacrifice, short {88} of which no atonement could be made; the transgression of Adam bringing the whole human race into the same situation of sin and misery, and subjecting them all to the infinite penalty of an infinite law, which they had violated in their parent before they individually existed. In view of this penalty, which was endless suffering, God himself, to placate his own wrath against the delinquents, assumed a body of flesh and blood, and suffered the penalty of the law by death,—not that God himself actually died, but the human body in which he came,—this is deemed the infinite sacrifice by which it is possible for a part of mankind to be saved. "Divines of the greatest ability," writes Mr. Ballou, "and of the first rank among the literati, have drained the last faculty of invention in plodding through the dark region of metaphysics to bring up a Samuel to explain the solecism of satisfying an infinite dissatisfaction."

Now let us note how the author of "Atonement" quietly sets forth this absurdity. It is all comprehended in a single page of the volume:—

"We will state it as it is often stated by those who believe it, which is by the likeness of debt and credit. The sinner owed a debt to Divine Justice, which he was unable to discharge; the Divine Being cannot, consistently with his honor, dispense with the pay, but says, 'I must have what is my just due;' but as the debtor has not ability to pay the smallest fraction, Divine Wisdom lays a deep, concerted, mysterious plan for the debt to be discharged. And how was it? Why, for God to pay it himself!

"Our neighbor owes us a hundred pounds; time of payment comes, and we make a demand for our dues. Says our neighbor, 'My misfortunes have been such that I am not the possessor of the smallest fraction of property in the world; {89} and as much as I owe you I am worse than nothing.' I declare to him positively that I will not lose so much as a fraction of the interest, and leave him. A friend calls, and asks me how I succeeded in obtaining my dues of my neighbor. I reply, 'My neighbor is not, nor will he ever be, able to pay me any part of my demand.' My friend says he is sorry that I should lose my debt. I answer, 'I shall not lose it. I have very fortunately, in my meditations on the subject, thought of a method by which I can avail myself of the whole, to my full satisfaction; and I think it is a method which no person in the world but myself could ever have discovered.' My friend is curious and impatient to know the secret, never before found out. The reader may guess his confusion on my telling him, 'that as I have that sum already by me, I am now going to pay up the obligation before the interest is any larger!' This has been called the Gospel plan, which contains the depths of infinite wisdom."

What could be plainer, and how could the justness of this representation be questioned? Questioned it was, of course, not by any attempt at elaborate examination and refutation, but by a sermon now and then given out from some Orthodox pulpit, by some honest minister, entrenched behind the prejudices of his hearers, and altogether disinclined to meet the whole question in the broadest daylight of investigation. Out of this plain exposition, and others like it, since made, have come the examinations, and statements, and restatements, and amendments, and improvements of the orthodox doctrine of Atonement, which are keeping astir at this hour the pulpits and schools of theology all over the land and across the seas.

Many are the anecdotes of Mr. Ballou given in the biographies already before the public. Were we to {90} attempt a selection, we should be at a loss where to begin. We have one in mind, given us by Rev. Moses Ballou, which we have never seen in our religious journals. A Mr. Buckman, a relative of Mr. Ballou, had taken it upon him as a matter of conscience, with very little mental preparation, to be a preacher. He had a good deal of self-assurance, and, withal, strong love of approbation. Being in company with Mr. Ballou, at one time, he was anxious to get an approving word from him, and said, "Brother Ballou, I am awfully tried with myself." "Ah!" said Mr. Ballou, "Why so? What is the trouble?" "Why," said Mr. Buckman, "it is this: to think that I should ever try to preach, and know so little. Now, what do you think about it?" "Why," said Mr. Ballou, hesitating a little, "if you really want to know my mind, I think—that—if you knew a little more, you would never try again!"

How welcome was he at the great meetings of the church,—conferences, associations, conventions. He was usually called upon to give the discourse at the close of the meeting. And it was often a feast to hear him, as he would dwell upon the excellency of the divine attributes, the "exceeding great and precious promises," and the plain and reasonable precepts of the gospel. A prophetic word of good cheer would be spoken by him at such times. He would see, and make others see, the clouds receding, and the clear day opening in the blue and golden sky beyond. However acceptably others had preached before him, the expectation was that somehow his discoursing would give finish and sanction to them all. And it was so. At Barre, Vt., where the General Convention met in 1831, excellent discourses were delivered by able ministers present, and {91} so rich and varied were the topics dwelt upon, that the query was somewhat humorously proposed, "What will Father Ballou have to say after all this?" Judge of our interest and delight when the modest man arose, and in the most quiet way proposed for his text the words of Elihu, in Job, xxxvi. 2: "Suffer me a little, and I will show thee that I have yet to speak on God's behalf." And such a vindication of the character of the gracious Father of all in face of the aspersions cast upon it by his weak and erring children! It was simply electrifying.

The late Rev. Theodore Clapp, D.D., of New Orleans, and a minister in the Unitarian Church, once related that, being present in a gathering of Unitarian clergymen in Boston, the conversation turned on the changes which had been effected in the theology of New England, and the question who, of all her great divines, had wrought the most and greatest changes. Of course Channing had the most advocates; but there were some who named Edwards, Emmons, Hopkins, and other doctors of the Orthodox Schools. At last Dr. Clapp, who had remained silent, was appealed to. "Gentlemen," said he, "you have not yet named the man!" "What!" replied all in astonishment, "not named him!" "No, gentlemen, you have not yet named him." "Why, who can it be? We have named every preacher of eminence in New England." "And yet, gentlemen, you have not named the man." "Well, who do you say he is?" With great impressiveness, Mr. Clapp uttered the name. "Hosea Ballou has effected more and greater changes in the theological opinions of the people of New England, than any man dead or {92} living." There was silence for a time, and the discussion was not renewed.[38]

Mr. Ballou was a vigorous writer. His "Treatise on the Atonement," "Notes on the Parables," and volumes of sermons, are among his best offerings to the public. The first-named book ought to be read throughout Christendom. He was through his professional life a welcome contributor to the periodicals of the church. He has stood and will continue to stand high. His imposing statue at Mount Auburn will look out upon generations mentally and spiritually blest through his truthful ministries.

The eldest son of Mr. Ballou, Rev. Hosea Faxon Ballou, was born in Dana, Mass., April 4, 1799, and died in Wilmington, Vt., May 20, 1881. At the age of thirty he became desirous of entering the ministry, but hesitated from anxiety as to the support of his growing family. He began the study of theology, however, and in 1832, after a few months with Rev. Benjamin Whittemore, preached with success three times in the vicinity of Boston, and was called to Whitingham, Vt. He was ordained at Boston, June 30, 1833. After a pastorate of nearly twenty-five years at Whitingham he went to Wilmington, where he was pastor until, in 1872, the infirmities of age led him to abandon the pulpit, after a ministry of forty years without the loss of a single Sunday. In person Mr. Ballou was tall, erect, and strong, bearing a marked resemblance to his distinguished father in face and form as well as in mental characteristics. His sermons evinced a high order of intellect and cultivation. During the last seventeen years of his residence in Whitingham, {93} he held the office of town clerk, and in Wilmington was twice elected to the Constitutional Convention and once to the State Legislature. He was President of the Wilmington Savings Bank for seven years before his death, and occupied many other positions of honor and trust. He reared a large family of children, and it has been said of him, in truth we may believe, that during the past fifty years no man in Southern Vermont exerted so wide an influence over religious opinions.

Another son of Mr. Ballou, Massena B. Ballou, was pastor of the Universalist Church in Stoughton, Mass., for twenty-five years, and now resides in that town, at an advanced age.

An elder brother of Hosea was Rev. David Ballou, of Munroe, Mass., a man of remarkable acuteness as a reasoner, and quite as sound a theologian as the more distinguished one just noticed, but whose success as a preacher was much less, because of the want of that ease and fluency in the delivery of his discourses which his brother possessed. But those who knew him well have borne witness to the excellence of his character and his great ability as an expounder of the Word of the Gospel.

His son, Rev. Moses Ballou, held a prominent place in our church as one of its talented ministers, and as a writer of more than ordinary ability. He was born in Munroe, Mass., March 24, 1811. Educated at the academy at Brattleboro, Vt., he began preaching at the age of twenty-two. One of his earliest charges was at Bath, N.H. He was subsequently settled at Portsmouth, where he had pastorates twice. He had charge {94} of the churches at Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven, Conn., and in later years removed to New York city, where he was pastor of the Bleecker Street Church. He then came to Philadelphia, and took charge of the Church of the Restoration. Failing in health, he gave up his work in that city, and removed to Atco, N.J. His friends there erected for him a small church edifice, where he held service when able so to do. He died in Philadelphia, May 19, 1879.

He was the author of two books,—one the "Memorial of Rev. Merritt Sanford;" the other, "The Divine Character Vindicated," a review of Rev. Edward Beecher's work, entitled "The Conflict of Ages." This last-named volume indicates the masterly mental strength of the man. Dr. Beecher himself, we are informed, acknowledged it to have been the ablest of any reply made to his work. It has never yet been read by Universalists as it deserves to be. Mr. Ballou was not only a strong and logical writer, but an earnest and eloquent preacher. Dr. T.B. Thayer writes of him:—

"In his best days, when in the vigor of his manhood, physically and mentally, few men could hold a thoughtful and intellectual audience to closer attention than he; and even those who differed from him theologically acknowledged the ability with which he maintained his positions, and were little disposed to enter the lists of controversial argument against them. And at times when the great truths of the Gospel seemed, in the midst of his speaking, to dawn upon him in new and larger revelation, he would break into speech that thrilled his hearers, and lifted them for a space into the fellowship of the angels.

"He knew for a good while that the end was approaching, and he was ready. Death was to him only the door that {95} opened into the new immortal life, which was almost as presently real to him as the life he was living here. And when, at the last, his life-long friend, Rev. James Shrigley, said good-bye to him, he exclaimed, 'Why say good-bye, when we shall meet again to-morrow?'"

From a Dag.
H. W. Smith Sc.
J. H. Daniels Pr.

H. Ballou 2d.

Of all the worthies in this company of church leaders of which we are speaking, not one of them is entitled to a higher place than Hosea Ballou, D.D., or "2d," as he was called before the doctorate was conferred upon him. A rare man was he, a clear-headed and closely logical thinker, an untiring student, one of the soundest of preachers, and humblest and noblest of men. We have no fear of using language too strong in our statement of his character, its pre-eminence and worth. An editor of a volume of his discourses has given it, on the title-page, from Laman Blanchard:—

"His thoughts were as a pyramid up-piled,
On whose far top an angel sat and smiled,
Yet in his heart was he a simple child."

He was of Guilford, Vt., born there in 1796. His parents were Baptists, but the thoughtful and studious boy, before the age of nineteen, had embraced Universalism. He began early the study of Latin and Greek, and gave much attention in later days to ecclesiastical history. He was pastor in Stafford, Conn., and in Roxbury and Medford, Mass. He was for some years one of the editors of the "Universalist Magazine," and afterwards of the "Quarterly," a publication which under his supervision was a most creditable addition to the literature of the Christian Church. His most valuable contribution to this literature is his "Ancient History of Universalism," the result of long and patient {96} research in a new field of inquiry, and which proved to be a work of acknowledged merit. It settled at once and for all time the loose statement that Universalism was a new doctrine, not known to any extent in olden times. Some of the brightest lights in the Christian Church are recognized as its early advocates. Harvard University, of which he was for some years a trustee, conferred upon him its honorary degree of D.D.; and Tufts College, for which he had anxiously pleaded and diligently labored, elected him her first president. "His scholarship," writes another, "was not only general and varied, but exact in details, and frequently astonishing by its minute acquaintance with things and events out of the ordinary channels of information; and his knowledge was so unostentatiously held, and kindly and modestly imparted, that it required special inquiry to elicit it, and seemed but natural to him. His gentle manners and readiness to impart information, and his mild and loving spirit, won for him the esteem of all who became acquainted with him, so that their admiration of the scholar and teacher were often lost in their affection for the friend."

Two brothers of Dr. Ballou, Levi and William S., were for years preachers and pastors in New England. William resided in the West for a time, where he died in 1865. Levi was pastor of the Universalist Church in North Orange, Mass., for nineteen years. Clear-minded, gentle, and yet forcible men were they, making good proof of their ministry.

Rev. Edward Turner was for years one of the ablest ministers in the Universalist Church. He was {97} born in Medfield, Mass., July 28, 1776, and was in early life sent to the school of the celebrated Hannah Adams and her sister. In 1786 his family removed to Sturbridge, Mass., and in his seventeenth year he was at Leicester Academy. He was educated under "orthodox" influence, and used to say that he "held the minister in such fearful reverence that he would jump over the wall to hide himself if he saw that he must meet him on the road." The towns in the section of Worcester County in which he lived were among those where Universalism was first preached. Oxford, especially, was one of its strongholds, the first Convention having met there when he was ten years old. In such a neighborhood he could not have lived long without hearing something of the "strange doctrine," but all that is known is, that he is said to have been a Universalist as early as his sixteenth or seventeenth year. He began to preach in 1798, when, at the age of twenty-two, he preached his first sermon at Bennington, Vt. He first appears in the public records of the Universalists in 1800, when it is stated that a Letter of License was given him by the General Convention. From this time until 1824 his name appears in the records nearly every year. He is mentioned in the records of the Convention for 1803 as of Sturbridge and also of Charlton, from which it is inferred that both these towns had societies of which he was pastor. In 1809 he removed to Salem, Mass. Here he remained till June, 1814, when he accepted a call to Charlestown, Mass. In March, 1824, he accepted an invitation to Portsmouth, N.H., where he continued till the spring of 1828. He was afterwards minister in Charlton, his old home, and at Fishkill Landing, N.Y. In 1841 he removed {98} to Jamaica Plain, to a home left by a son-in-law, where he passed the remainder of his days. He was twice married. He occasionally preached up to the last. He was present as one of the bearers at the funeral of his old friend and co-worker, Mr. Ballou, June 9, 1852, and departed this life Jan. 24, 1853.

With the opinions of the elder Ballou in regard to future (or no-future) punishment he had no sympathy; and an estrangement somehow grew up, which led him to connect himself, later in life, with the Unitarians, instead of remaining with those in the Universalist ministry, such as H. Ballou, 2d., the Streeters and Skinners, Rev. L. Willis, Thomas F. King, and others, whose opinions coincided with his own. A severe illness in 1811 wrought a marked change in him. Before this he was quite robust and erect, afterwards he appeared more feeble. Previous to this sickness, like Mr. Ballou, he had been exclusively an extemporaneous preacher, and is said to have been one of the "rousing" sort,—live, vehement, electric; but from this period his whole manner changed, and his ordinary preaching became subdued, languid, what is called "moderate," at times, perhaps, even heavy. Dr. E.G. Brooks, in an excellent biographical notice of him, says:—

"He had immense latent power. At times, when kindled by some great occasion, or stirred by opposition or some peculiar circumstance, this came out. Then he preached with all his old fire, and sometimes rose into impassioned and commanding eloquence. 'All the fountains of the great deep' within him 'were broken up,' and thought and feeling came in a flood. Rev. Russell Streeter writes me, 'On Convention occasions he was, on the whole, second to no one.' My parents tell me that he was 'sometimes very animated.' {99} They speak particularly of one sermon in Portsmouth, called forth by some bitter outbreak of opposition, when he preached with surpassing effect. Others report similar instances. Doctrinal sermons in abundance he preached, but even those most argumentative and most sharply controversial were flavored with a religious meaning and reasoned to practical ends. He never preached a sermon that was merely doctrinal, but always made dogmatic discussion subordinate to moral impression. Though in a mistaken estimate of duty, as we believe, he separated from us, his name can never be taken out of our records as one of the worthiest of our early heroes, nor his work cease to be an occasion of gratitude and honorable pride to us, nor his reverent and saintly character fail to be one of the most precious portions of our denominational inheritance."[39]

The Streeter brothers are to be numbered in this "company of the preachers." Sebastian was for more than thirty years pastor of the First Universalist Church, on Hanover Street, Boston. He was a minister of marked character, light-framed, nervous, dark-eyed, of quick movement, clear and strong-minded, voluble in speech, affable, at home everywhere, especially in the pulpit.

Under many disadvantages, he laid for himself the foundation of a professional education. He intended to qualify himself for the law, but a superior wisdom and will called him to the Christian pulpit. At the age of eighteen, while a school-teacher in New Hampshire, he was a talented advocate of Christian Universalism. At twenty-two he preached his first discourse. He travelled extensively as a missionary in Maine, encountering the reproach which awaited the advocacy of {100} his faith in those days in many parts of New England, and having the honor of being stoned once while preaching in a Christian house of worship, and by a zealous member of a church. With him, however, opposition was an incentive to new earnestness in his work. He was singularly gifted as a preacher. He despised all garishness and affectation, and was usually full of his theme. There was in him a latent fire of eloquence, which when kindled stirred his audience to the depths of their souls. The writer calls to mind occasions of his preaching: one, while the hearer was standing in the doorway of a church at a meeting of the General Convention in Vermont. The pulpit was between the doors that opened upon the faces of the congregation. The preacher was in the heat of his discoursing on the words of Jesus, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." There were no indifferent listeners, and but few dry eyes to be seen. The remembrance has often been an inspiration. The other was at the session of the Rockingham Association, in Nottingham, N.H., in 1833. Mr. Streeter delivered the occasional discourse, an able and a timely one. He was speaking of reforms and reformers, and was all aglow with his theme. He thus came to a climax:—

"We know of a revivalist and reformer infinitely superior in skill and power to those of all sects combined; one who will continue to move onward, 'conquering and to conquer,' till he has 'renewed a right spirit' in every heart, till he has reformed fully and forever the countless millions of our race. Yes, blessed be God, we know his name. It is Jesus of Nazareth; the Lion of the Tribe of Judah; the Son of God; the Saviour of the world!" ["Amen!" from a brother minister.][40] {101} The preacher responded: "Hallelujah! Glory to God in the highest! Jesus will make all things new. Let heaven proclaim his honor; let earth echo and re-echo his praises; and let eternity respond them through the long and lofty roll of its interminable ages!"

Said Mr. Streeter to a friend, one Monday morning:—

"I had something tender to put into my sermon yesterday morning. As I was going to church, a poor woman came to me to borrow a dollar to get bread for her children, and, as I handed it to her, she offered me a small locket containing a braid of hair from the head of a little child she had buried a week ago. 'Take back the locket,' said I; 'it is too sacred for my hands; but keep the dollar, you are welcome to that. It does me more good to give it than you to receive it, and you can have more if you need.' Then she wept, and said she was a poor widow, living in such a street near by, and her poor children had not had a mouthful since yesterday noon, and she had nothing to buy them bread. I knew by her looks that she told me the truth, but to satisfy her I went and saw where she lived, and saw her children, and gave her more money, and told her I would look to her wants again to-morrow. Then I went into the pulpit, and put the incident into a sermon, and I haven't preached so well, nor enjoyed the service so much, for many a day."

His heart was often overflowing with such charities as this, through all his ministry.

He was the life of a conference meeting, and his Friday evening conferences in the Hanover Street vestry were never forgotten by those who attended them. As a pastor, he was always welcomed in the homes of his {102} parishioners, sharing as he did their joys and sorrows with the sympathy of a brother and friend. As an officiating attendant at weddings, he was exceedingly popular, and his yearly marriage list, for a long time, exceeded in numbers that of any other clergyman in Boston. On funeral occasions, he was eminently a "son of consolation." There was such an unction in his usual manner of preaching—a manner so peculiarly adapted to the services of the Sabbath—that a brother minister who highly respected him, quaintly suggested that Sabbathstrain, rather than Sebastian, might properly be used as his name. As another has written of him: "He was an intensely magnetic man. It was not simply what he said, but the spiritual unction with which he uttered the truth, that won and held you."[41]

Mr. Streeter lived to the age of eighty-four. In his last days he suffered intensely from asthma, which had long afflicted him. He has left the example of a true and noble life to the churches.

Rev. Russell Streeter was a younger brother of Sebastian, and a man of much mental vigor,—sharp, witty, and logical. He had quite a number of ministerial settlements in New England, and in them all was noted for his ability as a preacher, for his peculiarities of character, and his good qualities as a neighbor and citizen. He was the first editor of the "Christian Intelligencer," a Universalist weekly paper, published at Portland, Me.; was minister in that city for some years, and afterwards, much later in life, went to pay the society a long pastorate visit of six and a half years, {103} which proved very agreeable to pastor and people. He died at Woodstock, Vt., Feb. 15, 1880.

Mr. Streeter was a subject of impulses. When in the happy mood, no one, it seemed to us, could preach a more acceptable sermon than he. When not in this favorable frame of mind, he would not always do justice to himself. We can never forget a discourse (the closing one) at a Conference in Orford, N.H., from the text, "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." The sermons previously delivered were timely, and had been well received, and he was fully in the spirit of them all, and felt that he had the strong sympathies of his hearers. His words "dropped like the rain, and distilled as the dew." Doctrine, illustration, exhortation, application, all were excellent, and there was an unction in the whole discourse that left upon the audience impressions most highly favorable to the faith he was setting forth. On another occasion, at the closing of a session of the New Hampshire Convention, at Lebanon, he was the last preacher of the occasion. Very able and impressive discourses had been delivered by five other ministers. Mr. Streeter, in an apparently extemporaneous effort, took special notice of the matter and manner of them all, and of the characters of the speakers; and when he alluded to the sermon of the young and beloved Hanscom, as "an eloquent appeal from one whose hollow and sepulchral tones seemed to indicate that the youthful and faithful speaker was nearing the tomb," the effect was exceedingly impressive.

During the editorial career of Mr. Streeter with the "Christian Intelligencer," he proved himself an able and effective writer, and did much to call attention to {104} the religious principles which he advocated. While in Portland, he was neighbor to Dr. Edward Payson, of distinguished memory in the Congregational Churches; a very zealous advocate of Christianity, as he understood it, and who regarded the Gospel as promulgated by Mr. Streeter as a pernicious and deadly heresy. Mr. Streeter was somewhat fond of looking after him, and noting what he considered to be some of his errors in doctrine. One evening the two happened to greet each other at a meeting where Dr. Payson presided and which Mr. Streeter attended. Soon theological questioning and cross questioning took place, and some very strong denunciatory words were used by the Doctor, who was evidently much excited. Mr. Streeter was cool and keen in his replies, and soon pushed the Doctor into a very close corner, causing him to contradict himself, and to appear to his friends and all present to great disadvantage. It was a triumph of temper as well as of theological ability. The Doctor, saintly man as he surely was, evidently felt the force of his neighbor's replies to him.

Mr. Streeter was an able writer. His "Familiar Conversations" have been much read. They were adapted to the time in which they were written, and so were some of his works on the revival movements of the Orthodox Churches in New England and elsewhere, thirty or forty years ago. His little volume entitled, "The Latest News from Three Worlds,—Heaven, Earth, and Hell," was a scorching satire upon the extravagances connected with these movements. Scriptural argument and strong logic are mixed with keenest wit, mirthfulness, tenderness, and rhetoric most glowing and redundant. The ministers and churches to whom {105} these reviews were addressed must have seen themselves in no very commendable light in that glass. Those who have once read the book attentively are not likely to forget it. While engaged in the "Burchard War" in Vermont, he published a pamphlet entitled, "Mirror of Calvinistic Fanaticism; or, Jedediah Burchard & Co., During a Protracted Meeting of Twenty-six Days in Woodstock, Vt." It was an effective issue.

During most of his ministry, Mr. Streeter was a zealous and successful advocate of the temperance reform. His addresses were always lively and interesting, full of anecdote, ludicrous hits, and quaint sayings. He was popular in all places and with all sects in this work, and many who would hardly consent to hear him advocate his religious sentiments realized much enjoyment in listening to his defence of temperance principles. On one occasion he was in the pulpit with a clergyman whose sense of self-dignity was "above the ordinary," and who evidently had no strong inclination to be the subject of a joke. While Mr. Streeter was addressing the meeting, he took occasion to describe the different mixtures of strong drink which were in use almost everywhere previous to the temperance reformation. "The last article of all," said he, "added to perfect the dram, was—was—really, strange to say, but I have just now lost the name! Will some one please to mention it?" "Nutmeg!" exclaimed the dignified clergyman near him. "That's it!" responded Mr. Streeter. "He's well informed in these matters, I'll warrant you."

We have heard an account of his attendance, in Western New York, at a meeting where a Methodist {106} and a Universalist were to preach in the same meeting-house one Sunday. The Universalist was to speak in the morning, and the Methodist in the afternoon. In the last sermon the preacher was very severe in his treatment of Universalists and their doctrine. Mr. Streeter, seeing that there would be no opportunity for a rejoinder to his statements, asked his ministering brother the privilege of taking his place in offering the closing prayer, in which, in the most reverential, solemn, and emphatic manner, he briefly noted what he considered the misrepresentations of the last speaker, and left upon the audience an impression decidedly favorable to his own faith. The whole exercise, quaint as it was, was so remarkably able and timely, that all criticism of it seemed to be silenced.

Rev. Thomas Jones was a successor of Rev. John Murray, at Gloucester, Mass. He came from the Methodists in England, and once belonged to the Lady Huntington connection. He was a veritable Welshman, honest, kind-hearted, blunt in speech, and unique in his method and style of sermonizing. His discourses were most positive statements of Universalism, and abounded in Scriptural quotations. Some one wittily said of Father Balfour, that so great was his reliance on the authority of the Bible, that he would go to it to find out whether a suspected bank-note were counterfeit or not. A parishioner of Father Jones remarked of him, that he could hardly get through saying grace, even at a Fourth of July festival, without repeating the passage, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." He had a long settlement in Gloucester, and died there at a ripe old age {107} (eighty-three), Aug. 20, 1846. The discourse at the funeral was delivered by Rev. A.D. Mayo, the officiating minister and pastor at the time. He paid a just tribute to the honored old Christian soldier, and to the early defenders of our faith in America.

Rev. Paul Dean received fellowship as a Universalist minister in 1805. He afterwards preached extensively in Vermont and New Hampshire, and moved to Whitestown, N.Y., in 1810. He traversed frequently large portions of Central and Western New York, and held several successful discussions,—two, particularly, with Rev. Mr. Lacy, then a Methodist, afterwards an Episcopalian Bishop. He removed to Boston in 1813, and in 1823 his friends left the First Church, and built for him the church in Bulfinch Street, now Unitarian. About 1828, he withdrew from the fellowship of the Universalists, and, with a few others, formed the "Massachusetts Restorationist Association." On its decline he left Boston, and settled in Framingham, in 1840. He was an eloquent and popular preacher, and was for many years an active Freemason, holding, during the greater part of his manhood, the highest offices of that Order in the United States. He died in Framingham, of paralysis, Oct. 5, 1860, aged seventy-seven years.

In his early ministry, Mr. Dean, while in Central New York, was subject to the oppositions which others of his fraternity sometimes encountered. On one occasion, an over-zealous woman was so highly incensed at the expectation of his coming to the house where she resided, that she had in preparation a kettle of hot water with which to greet him, but was prevented by others from effecting her evil design.

{108} An honest and clear-minded man was Rev. Walter Balfour, who came from his native Scotland to Charlestown, Mass. He was first a Congregationalist, and afterwards a Baptist, and an acceptable preacher with both sects; a Greek and Hebrew scholar, and well instructed in sacred literature. A most conscientious believer was he in the old theology of Scottish orthodoxy. He had never dreamed that Universalism could be true. But he was a reader and thinker, and especially inclined to the good use of his logical powers. He read the works of American orthodox authors, among whom was Professor Stuart of Andover, for whose opinions he had profound respect. The Professor became engaged in a controversy with the eminent Unitarian, Dr. Channing, and Mr. Balfour followed up the discussion with deep interest. In his attempts to set forth Christ as equal with God, the Professor cited the words of the Revelator (Rev. v. 13), where "things in heaven, in earth, and under the earth" (a periphrasis for the universe), are said to bow the knee to Jesus, and ascribe blessing, honor, glory, and power to him. "If this be not spiritual worship," says the Professor, "and if Christ be not the object of it here, I am unable to produce a case where worship can be called spiritual and divine." Mr. Balfour read and pondered. He had not doubted the Trinity, the equality of Christ with the Father. But what is the import of this statement, that the universe is offering spiritual worship to Christ? Is this the Professor's meaning? Would he thus avow the truth of Universalism? He becomes anxious on the subject; addresses a respectful but earnest letter to the Andover teacher, asking an explanation of this statement; awaits patiently an {109} answer, but none comes. Writes again and again, still receiving no reply. After nearly a year and a half, his last appeal is made. An equivocal answer came, expressing unwillingness to reply to anonymous newspaper writers! Frivolous pretension, and in discreditable contrast with the honesty and sincerity of the inquirer. Bound to oppose Universalism, as the creed of the Institution compelled him to, why would not the Professor seek to save this inquirer from its fatal enticements? But the Professor's neglect was the inquirer's opportunity. He continued his inquiries, and the result was his conversion to the Universalist faith, his life interest in it afterwards, and the writing of volumes in its defence, which aided in disseminating a knowledge of it widely throughout the land. Thus Andover inadvertently, through the unwillingness of this its teacher to save the honest inquirer from error, gave to the Universalist Church one of its ablest, most devoted, and worthy ministers and defenders. That is a part of its history henceforth.

A minister of marked character, and of much service to the Universalist Church, was Rev. John Bisbe. He was a Massachusetts man, and graduated at Brown University, in 1814. He was a student of law for a short time in Taunton, and while employed as a teacher in New Hampshire, became acquainted with Universalism, and subsequently a preacher of it. His reading was extensive, and his knowledge of the English language quite thorough. In ordinary conversation he expressed himself with a striking precision. He preached first in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, and was settled in Hartford, Conn., from 1824 to 1827, when he became pastor of the Universalist Church in Portland, Me. {110} He was an impressive preacher, with no attempt at the sensational. His personal appearance was notable: a thin man, of stiff, perpendicular carriage and measured walk; with light hair, pale face, and very dark eyes, almost a glittering black. The distinguished literary author, John Neal, said of him:—

"I have heard Mr. Bisbe repeatedly, and the more I hear him the better I like him. He is fervid, free, and powerful, uses lofty and generous language, and where he fails to reason, it would appear to be not so much from a want of metaphysical power as from a habit of disregarding it. From his appearance you would not expect much; but, notwithstanding this, he is decidedly the most eloquent preacher in our part of the country. He is, moreover, a man of exceedingly happy erudition."

The editor of the "Eastern Argus" wrote of him as:—

"A distinguished and talented preacher, of transcendent powers of mind and eloquence in the pulpit; eloquence that moved and burned as he breathed it, and that sunk deep into the heart through the understanding as well as the passions of his audience."

He took especial interest in the church institution, in the Bible-class for scriptural exposition, and in all that pertained to personal religious culture and the work of Christian charity. He died March 1, 1829, aged thirty six. The death scene was indicative of the strength and joy of his faith.

Soon after Rev. Thomas F. King came to Portsmouth, N.H., he became acquainted with Mr. Bisbe. He had a high admiration of the talents and worth of the man before they met. Previous to the introduction, Mr. {111} King had been told of the stiffness and precision of Mr. Bisbe in his salutations of others, and was humorously inclined to use a little of the same precision in their first greeting. The effect, to an observer, was amusing in the extreme. But both parties preserved their dignity.

H. W. Smith.

Thos. Whittemore.

Among the foremost of the advocates of this old and new Gospel in New England, we may justly name the sturdy and indefatigable Thomas Whittemore. He began earthly life with the present century, Jan. 1, 1800. He came up from life's humblest walks. His parents educated him religiously in moderate Calvinistic sentiments, but he grew out of them and became sceptical, until his attention was arrested and his mind deeply impressed by the preaching of Rev. Hosea Ballou, in Boston. An acquaintance with Mr. Ballou turned his attention to the ministry, and he became a diligent student in preparation for that calling. His first sermon, written upon the bench at intervals between his working hours, was preached in Roxbury, his dress for the occasion providentially coming in to him, as he was too poor to obtain it himself. His first pastorate was in Milford, his second and longer one in Cambridgeport, Mass., in which place he had his home until his death. His work as editor of the "Trumpet" was a long and vigorous one, and the volumes that came from his pen beside this weekly periodical were of much value to the Christian Church. Historical, exegetical, musical, were they, all for the good of the Christian cause, in whose interest it was his delight to work. He was a proud banner-bearer of his church. Universalism was to him the Alpha and Omega of theology and religion. He saw nothing that could take its place, and held no {112} fellowship with those who were disposed to compromise its claims. His editorial pen was alive with clear scriptural expositions, watchful warnings against the religious errors of the times, and bold and defiant defences of what he accepted as Christian truth. His "Modern History of Universalism" is a book of rare merit, and his "Commentary on the Apocalypse" one of the plainest and most sensible ever given to the public, and one which theological critics of the dominant sects have been wary enough to let alone. His four volumes of the life and writings of Rev. Hosea Ballou make out a valuable epitome of the history of Universalism in Massachusetts and in other parts of New England, from the beginning to the middle of the century. He had ready wit, a never-failing flow of spirits, and a genial temperament, which drew to him hosts of friends. His preaching was always popular with the masses,—scriptural, logical, often strikingly illustrated, if occasionally in a homely way, fervent and telling with his congregations. He was a welcome evangelist all over New England. He was a man of rare business qualifications also. He rendered much civic service to the State as legislator, and was highly efficient as president and director of bank and railroad corporations. He was stricken with paralysis more than a year before his decease, and never regained his vigor. He departed this life in 1861, in his sixty-second year.[42]

Mr. Whittemore is remembered as a controversialist, and with those who beheld him chiefly in this light his other qualities may not have been fairly estimated. {113} His very position as a Christian theologian was aggressive. He came into the field to face what he deemed religious error, and to give it battle, asking only that freedom of thought and expression which Christian faithfulness demands. During his active life, years ago, a ministering brother (Rev. T.J. Sawyer, D.D.) wrote of him:—

"Perhaps some may think him wanting in refinement and grace, and others, I know, regard him as at times bolder and plainer than necessary. That he deals severely with some of his opposers is certain, yet, with all his severity, there is a frankness and manliness which challenges the respect even of his enemies. Then it is but just to remember the school in which he has been disciplined. He who has been called to stand at the head of the prominent Universalist press of New England for the last twenty years must have learned ere this to defend himself and his course. It has been no warfare for paper hats and silk gloves. The head needed a helmet of steel, and the hand must know how to grasp the sword and spear. Reflect for one moment on the Batcheldors, the McClures, the Cooks, the Matthew Hale Smiths, with whom Mr. Whittemore has been called to contend, and then tell me if the old soldier has not come out of the fight with charity and kindness worthy of admiration. Paul fought with beasts at Ephesus; Whittemore has been scarcely more fortunate in Boston. Upon the whole, Mr. Whittemore is a man whose life and character deserve high consideration. He is supposed by some to be too much a party man, and to consult with too much exclusiveness the interest of the denomination of which he is so prominent a member. Perhaps it is so, but if this charge is sustained against him, I hope I may be included in the same condemnation."[43]

{114} Mr. Whittemore's strong traits were: 1. Positiveness of interest in the Christian Gospel. He had a positive faith to promote and defend. He seemed to realize the force of Paul's statements: "I know whom I have believed." "Therefore we are always confident." 2. Fervor. He believed in Christian earnestness and zeal; was more afraid of frost than of fire in the churches. 3. Industry. This in him was indomitable. One of his sayings was, "Dead fish float with the tide,—live ones swim against it." He was one of the living ones, who stemmed opposition and wrought victories. The grand words of our poet Fields are illustrative of him,—

"Souls that freed from prison bars,
Struck the blows themselves have won,
Grappling with their evil stars,
Stand, like Uriel, in the sun."

Another minister of the same ancestral family was Rev. Benjamin Whittemore, D.D., born in Lancaster, Mass., May 30, 1801; died in Mattapan, Boston, April 26, 1881. He was educated at the academies in Lancaster and Groton, and became in early life a convert to Universalism, mainly through reading the writings of Rev. Hosea Ballou. He felt impelled to enter the ministry. He had successful pastorates in West Scituate, Mass.; Troy, N.Y.; South Boston, Mass.; and Norwich, Conn. In 1843, he took possession of the old homestead in Lancaster, where he remained ten years without pastoral charge, but working in various ways for the promotion of the Christian cause. He was instrumental in establishing a Universalist society in Fitchburg, Mass. In his later years he became blind, but, in spite of this infirmity, he continued to preach {115} occasionally, repeating his hymns and Scripture lessons from memory. He was always heartily engaged in his work. As an expositor of the Scriptures he possessed eminent ability, and in preaching, his logical method and aptness enabled him to express his convictions with great force. He was a sturdy defender of Christianity against the objections of the doubting and unbelieving. He received the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology, of Tuft's College, in 1867. His wife was Mandana, the third daughter of Rev. Hosea Ballou. They were united in life for nearly sixty years. His intellect was unclouded to the last, and "his faith grew brighter as his spirit took its flight."

An eminent and effective "defender of the faith" was Rev. Dolphus Skinner, D.D., whose death took place in Utica, N.Y., in 1869. He was born in Westmoreland, N.H., in 1800, and passed his minority in labor on a farm, attendance at a neighboring academy, and keeping school. His theological studies were with Rev. S.C. Loveland, of Reading, Vt., and he entered the ministry in 1823. The most of his life was passed in Utica, N.Y., where as preacher and editor he proved himself one of the ablest promulgators of the Universalist faith in the land. The "Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate," of which he was for many years editor, had a large circulation. He was a very popular preacher in Central New York. Of commanding person, with a voice of great volume and softness, with the readiest use of language, he was a favorite with the people. His discourses were strong, doctrinally and practically, and his ministries at funerals were exceedingly satisfactory. During his ministry of forty years, {116} he preached over five thousand discourses. He was the author of valuable books and pamphlets. His letters to Drs. Aiken and Lansing, and his discussion with Rev. Alexander Campbell, evince much ability. He was a Christian reformer. The "Clinton Liberal Institute" has been greatly indebted to his timely and unwearied exertions for its prosperity. He was a Christian patriot also, and took a lively interest in the political welfare of his country. The termination of his earthly life was peaceful. "I am an old soldier," said he to his physician, "and am about to receive my discharge." After a night of quiet from his protracted pain, he entered that morning which opens the resurrection life to man.

A brother of Dolphus was Rev. Warren Skinner, who passed the great part of his life in Vermont, and who was well known there, and in most of New England, as a talented and useful minister. His personal appearance was, like that of his brother, imposing, and his discoursing, if a little heavy in manner at times, always methodical and sound. He was a staunch friend of Universalism, and had great faith in its evangelizing power. During some part of his ministry he was a useful expository writer in the church journals. He did much valuable missionary work, and lived to a ripe old age in full possession of his mental powers. He gave a son to the ministry, Rev. Charles A. Skinner, now of Somerville, Mass.

J. A. J. Wilcox, Boston.

Otis A. Skinner.

Rev. Otis A. Skinner was an honor to the church. His native place was Royalton, Vt., but he came forth as a minister from Langdon, N.H., at the early age of {117} nineteen. He was apprenticed to a clothier for a while before his ministry began. From his first school days he was thoughtful and studious, and succeeded in gaining a very good English education, beside giving some attention to the Greek and Latin languages. He was for some time a student with Rev. S.C. Loveland, of Reading, Vt. The writer first saw him at Kingston, N.H., at the session of the Rockingham Association, in 1828. He was just twenty-one, and a most attractive young man to behold, a sweet sunshiny glow in his comely countenance, which seemed most agreeably set in his golden ringlets of hair. We heard him preach then, at a private house, to a very good audience in the evening. He stood in front of the old family clock, and gave us a very sensible and well-arranged discourse from the text, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him" (Ps. cxxvi. 6). It was full of the plainest Universalism. He was soon settled in Woburn, Mass., where he gave a good account of himself, and afterwards in Baltimore, Md., where he was united in marriage with Angela, eldest daughter of Rev. Sebastian Streeter. He had a vigorous ministry in that city, including a public theological controversy with Rev. Mr. Breckenridge of the Presbyterian Church. From Baltimore he came back to Massachusetts, and settled in Haverhill, where he edited for a time the "Gospel Sun," as he had edited the "Southern Pioneer" in Baltimore.

A new Universalist society having been formed of worshippers in Boylston Hall, Boston, he was invited to become its pastor. So prosperous was his ministry, that a church edifice was soon erected in Warren Street. {118} Here his pulpit services and pastoral work were very acceptable. He became a publisher of valuable books, and again the editor of a monthly journal, "The Universalist Miscellany." In 1846 he became pastor of Orchard Street Universalist Church in New York city; and in 1848 consented to be agent for raising $100,000 for the new college (now Tufts) proposed to be erected in Medford, Mass. For seven years he was in this laudable work, giving it his faithful attention in addition to his duties as pastor of the Warren Street Church, to the ministry of which he had been invited again most unanimously. No man could have been in his "labors more abundant" than he in this canvassing for the new college. He solicited everywhere, and especially among those of like faith with himself. Indifference, the averted eye or "cold shoulder," chilled not his ardor. He drew, by his persuasive words, dollars from pockets that seemed at his first call firmly closed against him. He succeeded in securing the amount needed for the endowment of the college and its necessary expenses, superintended the erection of the buildings, and at times when the means could not otherwise be readily obtained, paid the workmen from his quarterly pastor's income. One of the proudest days of his life was that on which the corner-stone of the college was laid. Since then, the institution has prospered; larger endowments have given it strength, faithful teachers have honored it, and its sons have gone forth bearing with them the evidences of the scholarship which can be secured to its students. Beautiful for outward situation, a literary Mount Zion of the Universalist Church in New England, it gives promise of yet increasing prosperity. But never will it outgrow its indebtedness {119} to its first financial agent, who wrought so indefatigably, nobly, and successfully in its behalf.

In 1857 Mr. Skinner was induced by family considerations to move West. After residing in Elgin, Kansas County, Ill., for a few months, he was invited and persuaded to become president of Lombard University, at Galesburg, Ill. Here again was work for him, as the college needed much exertion that it might prosper. And he aided it essentially. But the task was too heavy, and after two years' hard service his health gave way. The death of his brother Samuel occurring at Chicago, he was called upon to give attention to his financial affairs. This was an additional burden too great for him to bear, but still his spirit for a while seemed proof against his bodily weaknesses. He removed to Joliet, and took upon him more than two healthful men could perform. He would preach to his own congregation in Joliet on Sunday morning, then ride five miles to Lockport and preach at one o'clock, thence nine miles to Plainfield and hold a service at three, and then return home to meet a crowd of listeners in his own church in the evening. This, added to his missionary work in the adjoining country towns, including funeral services on other days of the week, together with his business perplexities in the settlement of his brother's estate, proved too much for him. The end of this useful earthly life was near; fever set in, and did its work rapidly. It was the Christian believer's death scene. His faith was strong, his hope bright, his face and thought were turned heavenward. The last interview with a beloved daughter was inexpressibly touching,—her heroic self-control and his calm, heavenly resignation. His departure was the Christian saint's triumph. It occurred Sept. 18, 1861.

{120} There was nothing of the flashy or sensational in the ministry of Mr. Skinner. He was a plain, logical, practical preacher, "in doctrine showing uncorruptness," an able expounder of the Scriptures, and a faithful looker-up of religious error. His strictures on the revivalism of Rev. Mr. Knapp in Boston, and his review of Rev. Theodore Parker's theology, in the "Universalist Miscellany," were good evidences of his fidelity to the New Testament Gospel and the intent of its work with mankind. As a pastor he was not to be excelled. He knew his flocks at their homes, and personal attachments to him as a friend, adviser, and companion were very strong. He was in this calling one of the models. He received the degree of A.M. from Harvard University, and that of D.D. from Lombard.

Of his brother Samuel P. we may say that he was a man of more than ordinary endowments. He was for a time in the ministry, and preached some in New England. He afterwards became editor of the "New Covenant," in Chicago. He was a quiet and sensible preacher, and excelled as a writer of clear, compact, and well-arranged expositions of Scripture, many of which enriched the columns of his paper.

Rev. Joseph Oberlin Skinner was of Piermont, N.H., born there in 1816. He came into the ministry through much hard study and striving. Trained in the old theology of New England, he became a believer in Universalism by being first awakened to a consideration of its doctrines by the preaching of Rev. John Moore. In 1834 he went to Lowell, Mass., and was for a time employed in a cotton-mill. He was encouraged by {121} Rev. T.B. Thayer, then pastor of the First Universalist Church in that city, to enter the ministry, and was afterwards a student of theology in the family of Rev. Sylvanus Cobb, of Malden, Mass. He was minister in Holliston, Framingham, Dudley, and Concord, Mass.; in Ludlow and Chester, Vt.; in Nashua, N.H.; in Malone, N.Y.; in Montpelier and St. Albans, Vt.; and in Waterville, Me., where he died of paralysis, in 1879. He was for a time associate editor of the "Christian Repository," published at Montpelier, Vt. His labors were many and successful. His literary accomplishments were of a high order, and he was a faithful and impressive preacher. At the last of life he was confined to his bed for more than eleven months, helpless, but in quiet resignation to the Divine will. When asked if the faith with which he had comforted others was sufficient for himself in this great trial, he answered in the affirmative, adding, "I do not want any new revelation; I am satisfied with what we now have." He was a frequent contributor to the denominational and secular papers, wrote many articles for the "Universalist Quarterly," and prepared a history of the Masonic lodge of Waterville, which was very highly appreciated by the members of that order. He was for many years the accurate and able editor of the yearly "Universalist Register." In recognition of his scholarly attainments, Colby University, in 1872, conferred upon him the honorary degree of A.M.

Nathaniel Stacy, born in New Salem, Franklin County, Mass., came to manhood at the close of the last century, and, after hard toiling in early life, with but small educational advantages, he concluded from sincere {122} convictions of duty to become a preacher of the faith which he had embraced in early life. He was small and feeble bodily, but of sanguine temperament and great firmness and persistence of will. He was encouraged by Rev. Hosea Ballou to leave a secular avocation and prepare himself for the ministry. His first sermon was preached with much diffidence on his part, but he was encouraged to persevere in his efforts, and soon came to be a very acceptable speaker wherever he appeared as an advocate of his faith. He itinerated much in Massachusetts and Vermont, and afterwards much more in the Middle and Western States. No preacher of the Gospel was ever more engrossed in his work than he. All the vicissitudes of an itinerant's life were his for many years. Yet his ardor never waned, and his hopefulness helped him to meet all discouragements and surmount all obstacles. He was a veritable Christian apostle, and was welcomed everywhere by young and old wherever he came as a messenger to the churches. Many remember his ministry with deepest satisfaction, and his name stands high in the church as one of the most truthful and devoted of its evangelists. His autobiography was published in quite a large volume, in Columbus, Pa., in 1850. It is full of interesting incidents and apt and able expositions of the faith of the Gospel. Mr. Stacy departed this life at Columbus, Pa., April 4, 1869.

Rev. Stephen R. Smith. Of this eloquent and honored minister, his biographer, Dr. T.J. Sawyer, writes:—

"Few men have risen to a higher position in the denomination of Universalists, exerted a wider influence, or wrought {123} out a brighter or more enviable fame. He was born and educated in the humblest circumstances. Being early led by the force of his own convictions to embrace an unpopular faith, he soon found himself impelled by a stern sense of duty to consecrate his life to its promulgation and defence. His health, never the firmest, was soon shattered by incessant application to study and the hardships endured in the early planting of Universalism in Central and Western New York, so that a large part of his life was spent and his work done under this great disadvantage. But the soul that burned within him was superior to bodily infirmity, and flashed and blazed forth from a frame so attenuated and slender that even those most familiar with him were astonished by the vigor and sweep of his transcendent intellect, the youthful play of his fancy, and the strokes of his wit. Nor was his moral character inferior to his intellectual endowments. Seldom does one meet with a warmer heart or a sterner integrity than distinguished him."[44]

His pastorates were in New Hartford, Clinton, Albany, and Buffalo, N.Y., and Philadelphia, Pa. He was born in Albany, in 1788, and died in Buffalo, in 1850, aged sixty-one. It was truly said of him at his death, "But one individual in the denomination can expect higher or more heartfelt tributes of love and reverence." His eloquence in the pulpit was often compared with that of Henry Clay in the halls of Congress. It was the delight of the writer to hear him three times at meetings of the United States Convention, the last in Boston in the School Street Church, from the text, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." The discourse was radiant {124} with the truth, and electrifying with the spirit and power of the Gospel.

J. A. J. Wilcox, Boston.

Sylvanus Cobb.

A sturdy theologian, as well as a conscientious Christian was that stalwart man from one of the villages of Maine, the Rev. Sylvanus Cobb. The title "D.D.," when conferred upon him, was significant. He was an able theologian. His words in discourse were weighty, his sentences often as ponderous as those of Dr. Johnson, and if called to controversial work, Longfellow's "Village Blacksmith" was an illustration of him:—

"You could hear him swing his heavy sledge
With measured beat and slow."

If warmed up in exhortation or appeal, he was grandly fervent. He never evaded the toughest theological problem proposed to him for consideration, but seemed always in readiness to attempt a solution of it. His "Compend of Divinity" is an elaborate work, his "Commentary on the New Testament" an excellent helper in the family and Sunday-school, and his discussions with Dr. Nehemiah Adams and Rev. C.F. Hudson, involving the questions respecting endless punishment and the annihilation of the wicked, are highly creditable to him as a Christian theologian. As editor of the "Christian Freeman" for twenty-five years, and as a temperance and anti-slavery reformer, he waged a good warfare for the right. He was pastor in Waterville, Me., and in Malden, Waltham, and East Boston, Mass.

During the three years of his service as a lecturing agent of the Middlesex County Temperance Society, he was entertained more or less at the houses of clergymen. On one occasion, in Dracut, at the house of a Presbyterian minister, he was thus questioned by his friend: {125} "I have been thinking, my dear sir, about your doctrine, and it seems to me, even if it is true, it is hardly expedient to preach it, for all men will finally be saved, whether it be preached or not. But if it should prove to be an error, the consequences of believing it will be terrible." "You have reasoned erroneously," replied Mr. Cobb, "from having assumed that my doctrine exerts not so good a moral influence as yours. Here is your mistake: you believe that we are here forming characters for eternity, and that we carry with us into the future life and retain there the moral dispositions and affections which we cultivate in this life. Now if this doctrine of yours proves true, I shall be an eternal gainer from the faith I cherish here, because it produces supreme love to God, sweet reconciliation to his government, and a cheerful, happy state of mind. I would greatly prefer to bear through eternity the mind and character formed by my religion, than such as yours must naturally produce. Yet I am not expecting the heaven of eternity as a reward. I am more than paid for loving and serving God here; I feel that I am God's poor debtor; and I trust in his grace forever." "I was not expecting such an answer as that," was the sole reply of the questioner.

Mr. C. departed this life in East Boston in December, 1866.

In 1827 Rev. Menzies Rayner entered the Universalist ministry from the Episcopalian church. He was born at South Hempstead, L.I., Nov. 23, 1770. His advantages for learning were principally derived from private instruction. He showed early signs of superior abilities. When very young he became a convert to {126} Methodism, and before the age of twenty-one commenced preaching as an itinerant. He was ordained at Lynn, Mass., by Bishop Asbury. He continued to itinerate according to the rules of the Methodist Church for more than two years, when he received and accepted an invitation to settle with the Protestant Episcopal Church in Elizabethtown, N.J., where he was ordained as a minister in that church by the Right Rev. Bishop Provost of New York. After a pastorate of six years in that place, he accepted a call to the rectorship of the Episcopal Church in Hartford, Conn., where he continued ten years. He next removed to Huntington, Conn., and took a joint rectorship of that town and New Hartford (now Munroe). He remained there sixteen years, when from close and prayerful inquiry and study of the Scriptures he became convinced of the truth of the doctrine of Universal Salvation. He asked and obtained an honorable dismissal from Bishop Brownell of that diocese. Through all his subsequent life he continued to enjoy the respect and esteem of several distinguished clergymen of that church. So much Bishop Brownell pledged to him at the time of his withdrawal.

Soon after becoming known as a Universalist, he was called to the pastorate of the church in Hartford left vacant by the removal of Rev. John Bisbe to Portland, Me. He continued in Hartford four years, when he was earnestly solicited to remove to Portland and take charge of the society there left without a pastor by the death of Mr. Bisbe. He accepted the call, and remained there four years, excepting one winter, which he spent in North Carolina, where, and in intermediate places, he preached the Gospel. Afterwards he had pastorates in Troy and Lansingburg, N.Y., and preached {127} in Schenectady, Fort Ann, Hartford, and other places. For a year and a half he ministered to the Bleecker St. Universalist Society in New York city. He resided in that city until his death, which occurred Nov. 22, 1850. He retained his mental vigor until a few days before his departure at the age of eighty.

"Father Rayner," as he was familiarly called, was a remarkable man. His mental powers were of a high order, his social qualities made him always attractive, his wit was keen, but he had great tenderness and depth of feeling. His appearance in the pulpit was venerable and apostolic, and his preaching clear, powerful, and convincing. He gave to the world some printed works, which exhibit the clear and logical character of his mind. While at Huntington, he published a review of a sermon on Regeneration, by Dr. Taylor, of New Haven, and another of a sermon by Dr. Tyler, of Southbury, on the "Perseverance of the Saints." This was replied to by Dr. Tyler, who was again reviewed in a pamphlet of sixty pages, which closed the controversy. While at Hartford, he edited a paper called the "Inquirer," and at Portland the "Christian Pilot." While at the latter place, he delivered "Nine Lectures on the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus." He also published a review of a missionary sermon by Dr. Tyler, and a sermon entitled "St. Paul a Universalist."

While Mr. Rayner was with the Episcopalians, frequent theological discussions took place in the ministerial circles. On one occasion, among other questions considered, Mr. Rayner proposed this: "Has every human being a just reason to be thankful for the gift of existence?" He cautioned all who would answer it directly, "Yes" or "No," to consider very carefully {128} before giving the answer, because of one other question which might follow. But all present were agreed in the decision that every man had just cause for thanksgiving for the life conferred upon him. "Now," said Mr. Rayner, "answer me this: If any of the human race are to be doomed to unending misery, have such ones any cause for such thankfulness?" "Why, Brother Rayner, you are a Universalist," said one of the ministers. "But that has nothing to do with the question," was the response; "you are all agreed, I see, in your answer."

[37]   A new edition of this valuable work, with an Introduction by Rev. Dr. Miner, Mr. Ballou's successor in the Boston pastorate, has just been issued by the Universalist Publishing House in this city. It ought to have a new and a larger circulation than ever. The writer owes his conversion to Universalism, by divine grace, to the reading of this book.

[38]   Account by Rev. A.B. Grosh.

[39]   "Universalist Quarterly" for April and July, 1871.

[40]   Rev. A.C. Thomas.

[41]   Rev. A.J. Patterson, D.D.

[42]   For a more particular account of Dr. Whittemore, the reader is referred to his Memoir, by the author of this work. Universalist Publishing House, 1878.

[43]   "Universalist Miscellany," Vol. VI., p. 290.

[44]   Memoir of Rev. Stephen R. Smith. By Rev. Thomas J. Sawyer, D.D. Boston: Published by Abel Tompkins, 1852.



"Go forth, all hands! God's fallow lands
Need ploughmen, seedmen, reapers!
Plough deep and long; uproot old Wrong;
Turn Sin, turn Slaveries under;
Sow Wisdom, Lowliness, Freedom, Holiness,
And reap in joy and wonder!"
Rev. D.K. Lee, D.D.

REV. THOMAS F. KING was a minister of rare qualities. He came up from the humble walks of life, and by hard study and the improvement of every opportunity for mental culture, became a scholar of excellent acquirements. He was an enthusiastic believer in the Gospel, and one of its most eloquent preachers and defenders. He was especially acquainted with the evidences of natural and revealed religion, and well prepared to present them for the consideration of sceptical minds. His voice was rich, deep, and musical, and as a reader he could hardly be excelled. This, aside from their intrinsic merits, made his discourses strongly impressive. An instance is cited of a disaffected hearer who had concluded not to attend his meetings any more, finding himself at the door of the church one morning, after the service had opened, in expectation of hearing a stranger preach. Mr. King was there, reading the Scriptures,—the invitation in Isaiah's prophecies, "Ho, {130} every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters," &c. The hearer stood still, listened, attempted to leave, and was held fast. Again he started, but the words reached him, "Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live!" Further resistance was useless. His place in the sanctuary was taken again, and held afterwards while he lived. Mr. King had a large, warm, sympathetic heart, and made the joys and sorrows of his people his own. He was the life of the social circle, and his fund of anecdote and good humor usually insured him a warm reception everywhere. He had an unusually rich bass voice in singing. His pulpit services were pervaded with a profound reverential spirit. He was pastor in Hudson, N.Y., Portsmouth, N.H., and Charlestown, Mass., in which last-named place he departed this life, Sept. 13, 1839. His death was a Christian's triumph.

Of his eminent son, Thomas Starr King, what can we say that most readers do not already know? and yet the man and his life will always bear noting and will never fail to be admired. He was born in the city of New York, Dec. 17, 1824. He early manifested singular aptitude for study and deep conscientiousness. His education was desultory, but with his quickness of apprehension he acquired Latin and French at an early age. At fifteen, on the death of his father, he became the head of the family, and worked for their support as a clerk and school-teacher. In the mean time he was an untiring student of metaphysics and theology. One of his historians, Mr. E.P. Whipple, writes of him:—

"He mastered the results of the great German and French critics of the Bible. To many of our present young students exegesis practically means exit Jesus; but King, in all his {131} eager quest of truth, and dutiful acknowledgment of the service which the great German theologians had rendered to the rational interpretation of the Scriptures, never lost his original hold on Christ Jesus as the express image of God,—as the Son who reveals to us the Father,—as the ideal embodiment of a perfected Humanity. Such a person had a natural call to the ministry."

His first sermon was preached in Woburn, in the autumn of 1845. In the summer of the next year he was invited to the pastorate of the Universalist Church in Charlestown, then made vacant by the removal of the Rev. E.H. Chapin to Boston. He accepted the call, and enjoyed a busy and happy ministry there, until his urgent call to become the minister of the Hollis Street (Unitarian) Church in Boston. The first invitation he declined, and made a voyage to Fayal to recruit his health which had been impaired by his incessant labors. The invitation was renewed on his return home, and he was installed in his new place in December, 1848. This course on his part was not agreeable to many of his Universalist friends, but they had no doubt that it was conscientiously taken by him, and most of them always retained their good will and heart-fellowship for him. They knew that his work would be mainly in the right direction always; and they were not disappointed. As a public literary lecturer, he was among the foremost in the land.

In April, 1860, Mr. King took charge of the Unitarian Church in San Francisco, Cal. He saw a field there which he deemed it an opportunity to occupy, both as a Christian minister and an American patriot. He entered with his whole soul into the defence of the national cause and in opposition to the traitorous intent of the {132} secession conspirators. In the pulpit and on the platform he vindicated the national honor and pleaded for the maintenance of the national Union. As his biographer, Mr. Whipple, writes: "As far as regards the keeping of California loyal to the Union during the civil war, he ranks at least in the first file of its eminent citizens. His reputation was not confined to the Pacific coast, but extended over the whole country."[45] He literally wore out his life in this great and glorious field of exertion. Diphtheria came finally, and he passed into the higher life, March 4, 1865. His words at the last were: "I feel all the privileges and greatness of the future."

One of our ablest theologians and most devoted ministers was Rev. Abel Charles Thomas, born in Exeter, Berks Co., Pa., July 11, 1807. He was of Quaker lineage, his grandfather Abel having been a distinguished preacher of the Society of Friends during fifty-six years. It was of Rev. A.B. Grosh, then of Marietta, Pa., that he received his first knowledge of Universalism. In 1827 he went to Philadelphia as a printer, and was there encouraged by resident ministers, Rev. S.R. Smith, and Rev. T. Fisk, to enter the ministry. He preached his first sermon in the Lombard St. Church in November, 1828. In the following January he became publisher and co-editor with Mr. Fisk of the "Gospel Herald and Universalist Review" in New York city, writing editorials, putting them in type, conducting the {133} correspondence, and as he says, "writing his sermons on a pine board by night," for he had begun his ministerial labors April 5, 1829, preaching in a small frame meeting-house on Grand St. In less than a year from the delivery of his first sermon, he responded to a cordial invitation to become pastor of the Lombard St. Church, Philadelphia, which connection continued with mutual interest of pastor and people for ten years. In 1834 and 1835 a discussion took place between Mr. Thomas and Rev. Ezra Stiles Ely, D.D., which was afterwards issued in book form, and has probably been more widely circulated and had a more permanent interest and usefulness than any other theological discussion in our country. It gave to Mr. Thomas a fame which will always be connected with his memory. Visiting New England after the discussion had closed, he received a most cordial and enthusiastic welcome, and preached in many places to large and deeply interested congregations.

Mr. Thomas removed to Lowell in the autumn of 1839, and took charge of the Second Church. Here he and his co-laborer, Rev. T.B. Thayer, started the "Star of Bethlehem," a vigorous weekly publication in support of the Universalist faith. While living here, he established the "Lowell Offering," a new movement for that time, and which elicited much interest in this country and in England. After three years' active and efficient work in Lowell, and after a few months' travel for his health, he went to Brooklyn, N.Y., where he organized a society and was one of eight men who built the first Universalist church in that city. From Brooklyn he went to Cincinnati, O., in 1844; but declining health and overwork obliged him to resign his charge in 1847. {134} After a year's rest he returned to his old parish in Philadelphia. Twelve years later he was induced to go out as a missionary of Universalism to England and Scotland; the required funds were promptly raised, and accompanied by his family, in May, 1852, he sailed for England. His time was spent chiefly in London and Edinburgh, though he preached in all the principal cities of the United Kingdom, and made careful investigation of the religious aspect of affairs there. At the close of a year's labor he was joined in London by his co-worker in Lowell, Rev. T.B. Thayer, and wife, and for six months they travelled together on the Continent. He then returned to Philadelphia, and resumed his labor there.

During the late war, with its manifold excitements and fatigues, the visiting and caring for the sick and wounded in the hospitals, and his active interest in assisting the soldiers constantly passing to and fro, made serious inroads on his long-enfeebled frame, so that he was obliged to resign his charge in 1863. He removed to Hightstown, N.J., where he preached two years, one sermon a Sunday, as a labor of love. He then spent two years in Bridgeport, Conn., preaching in Danbury and other places as his strength permitted. In the spring of 1867 he purchased a farm at Tacony, Philadelphia, which was thenceforth his home.

Mr. Thomas was the author of several volumes besides the "Ely and Thomas Discussion;" his "Autobiography," "The Gospel Liturgy," "The Songs of Zion," "A Century of Universalism," &c. He wrote also some very useful and popular tracts,—among them "213 Questions without Answers," which has had a wider reading and attracted more attention than any {135} other tract ever issued from our press. It has had a circulation of at least a million copies. The questions are strong, awakening, and searching.

Rev. T.B. Thayer, D.D., makes this brief but truthful statement of the character of Mr. Thomas:—

"As a teacher, he was a man of wonderful gifts. His sermons were largely doctrinal, expository, and defensive, as the position of our church at the time he began preaching demanded. He was clear, terse and logical, and original in the statement and discussion of his subject, with just enough of quaint Quaker phrase to give it spice, yet alive with the beauty and the glow of the poet's vision and illustration; and sometimes, when a sudden burst of feeling and inspiration came upon him, he rose to the highest demands of oratory, his eloquence became electric, and, like a full-charged battery, thrilled the entire congregation, until every heart beat with the pulses of his own faith and fervor. As a controversialist, he had few equals. His discussion with Dr. Ely, as an exhibition of the Universalist argument, was, and still is, the best and most persuasive work of the kind in our denominational history, and admirably displays the skill, logic, fairness and manly courtesy of Mr. Thomas as a debater. As a Christian gentleman, he was distinguished for the grace and courtesy of his manners, for his thoughtful kindness towards all, for his remarkable conversational gifts, and for the personal magnetism by which he attracted to himself all with whom he came in contact, young and old, strangers and friends alike."

For the last three years of his life he was confined to his home, and quietly passed on in full assurance of the immortal life, Sept. 27, 1880. Mr. Thomas was married Feb. 14, 1843, to Miss M. Louise Palmer, of Pottsville, Pa., who survives him, and is one of the active and efficient "women workers" of our church.

{136} Contemporary with Mr. Thomas during his ministry in Philadelphia was Rev. Savillion W. Fuller, who became pastor of the Callowhill Street Universalist Church in that city in 1833. We are indebted to Mr. Thomas, who, in his "Autobiography," has given us a truthful though brief account of the worthy man:—

"His mind was comprehensive. His power of analysis was displayed alike in sermonizing and conversation. His perception was quick, his reflection rigid, and his stern conscience denounced what logic condemned. As a public speaker he was unequal. Sometimes he was tame, at others mightily stirring by forcible thought embodied in unusually glowing language. The average placed him in a high rank among the eloquent men of the age. In every respect of social nobility I never knew his superior.

'He bore through suffering, toil, and ruth,
Within his heart the dew of youth,
And on his lip the smile of truth.'

He carried sunshine into all circles of the young and the old, the literary and the religious. Even the house of mourning seemed radiant in his visitations of loving trust. His keen wit was without asperity, and his ardent zeal was uniformly tempered by charity. His beaming face was a true index of the inner man."

He united with Mr. Thomas in a letter to four distinguished clergymen of Philadelphia, inviting them to lecture in the Universalist churches in that city on points of doctrinal difference between the parties. The result of the invitation was, finally, the Ely and Thomas discussion.

An instance in illustration of Mr. Fuller's aptness in emergencies is given in the "Companion and Register" of 1858. Entering the stage-coach for Utica one day, {137} he found it full of passengers, among whom was a somewhat noted "revivalist" of that time, and his friend, a deacon. Mr. Fuller soon became disgusted with the coarse, brow-beating dogmatism of the revivalist toward the unassuming passengers, and took up the argument against him. Enraged at being foiled in controversy and overmatched in wit, the elder poured out a torrent of abusive language, when Mr. Fuller arrested his vulgar tirade by saying in a dignified and authoritative tone, "Stop, sir! Not another word from your lips! Why, sir, you are making a mere blackguard of yourself. Not another word, sir!" (arresting the reply before it could be commenced). "Not another word, I tell you! Why, you have already disgraced yourself and your profession, and, if allowed to continue, would disgrace the company you are in and the very horses that draw you along!" The mortified man shrunk into his corner, cowed by an imperiousness as much excelling his own in energy and power as it towered above him in dignity and truth.

But his deacon was determined not to be put down thus, and spoke up with much spirit, "Sir, this is a free country, and others have a right to speak as well as yourself." "Most certainly, my dear sir," said Mr. Fuller, with one of his beaming looks and in his blandest tones, "most certainly, sir; and I hope you will exercise your right." "Yes, sir; and I mean to exercise it, sir; I'll let you know, sir, that I shall speak as much as I please, sir," said the now enraged deacon. "That's right," replied the very courteous Fuller, "speak on, my dear sir; we wish to hear you speak." "Yes, sir," continued the choking deacon, "and I'll let you know that you can't shut my mouth, sir." "Oh, no, sir,—Heaven {138} forbid that I should attempt it—I want you to speak—so, speak on, sir—we like to hear you." "Yes, sir, and I won't ask your permission, neither! I'll let you know, sir, that you are not my keeper, sir!" said the deacon, now almost bursting with rage. "Certainly not, sir," was the very quiet but smiling reply, "certainly not, sir,—I am a pastor, not a keeper of swine." A prolonged, hearty laugh from the passengers finally died away, and "there was a great calm." The deacon reclined in sullen silence, and the remainder of the journey was enlivened by pleasant and profitable conversation between Mr. Fuller and the other passengers.

Rev. William Allen Drew, most of whose life was passed in Maine, was born in Kingston, Mass., Dec. 11, 1798. He fitted for college in early life, but adverse circumstances compelled him to abandon his studies and go to Bath, Me., in 1813, where he was employed as a clerk for two years. He then spent four years at work on a farm in Hallowell. In 1819 he accepted an invitation to take charge of Farmington Academy, and remained in that position five years. He preached his first sermon in Farmington, Oct. 1, 1821, and was fellowshipped the same year. He remained in Farmington as teacher and preacher until 1824, when he began preaching in Belfast, and removed there Jan. 1, 1825. He remained there two years, preaching also in Camden, in Thomaston, and in other towns in the vicinity. In December, 1825, he began the publication of a religious paper called "The Christian Visitant," which was afterwards merged in "The Christian Intelligencer," published at Portland by Rev. Russell Streeter, and Mr. Drew was associated with him in the editorial work. {139} In January, 1827, he removed to Augusta, in which place he had his home during the remainder of his life. The "Intelligencer" was removed to Gardiner at the same time, and he became its sole editor. From 1831 to 1833 he published "The Christian Preacher," a monthly journal of sermons. He established the "Gospel Banner" in 1835, and edited it with marked ability until 1857. After his connection ceased with the "Banner," he was editor of the "Rural Intelligencer" for a few years, and was at different times connected with the "Maine Cultivator," the "Augusta Courier," and perhaps some other papers. He was a contributor to the "Gospel Banner" even after the burden of years and infirmities pressed heavily upon him. He was eminently fitted for the editorship of a public journal.

Mr. Drew organized the First Universalist Church in Augusta in 1833. He was ordained its pastor when the meeting-house was dedicated, Nov. 26, 1835, preached to it constantly, and performed pastoral labors until 1848. Rev. Dr. Quinby, who published a biographical sketch of him after his decease, writes:—

"As a writer and editor he had few equals. His pen was ever ready, he never tired. Many of his productions bore the marks of great research and deep thought, though evidently written in the midst of a pressure of other occupations. His theology was plain and straightforward. All could understand him. His descriptions of scenes and places were vivid, natural, and generally true to the life. He had many admirers as a controversialist. Possessing a wide range of thought, good knowledge of the Bible, a well-balanced and discerning intellect, a ready wit, and naturally exceedingly sarcastic, he was a stalwart defender of Universalism in Maine, and proved himself competent to any emergency."

{140} Rev. Isaac Dowd Williamson was one of the ablest advocates of the Universalist faith. He was born in Pomfret, Vt., April 4, 1807, and died in Cincinnati, Ohio, Nov. 26, 1876. In early life he learned the clothier's trade, and had no other schooling than that of the common district school; but his ardent thirst for knowledge, his force of character and enthusiasm made amends for lack of external aid. He was troubled with many doubts in his thoughts about religion until, at about the age of fifteen, Ballou's "Treatise on the Atonement" was put into his hands. He read it with avidity, and was greatly enlightened and encouraged. He had hitherto thought that all sorrow and suffering were inflicted by God in anger upon his children for their sins. The first sermon from a Universalist to which he listened was delivered by Rev. Kittredge Haven, from the text, "Whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth" (Heb. xii. 6). It lifted him out of his doubts and sent him away rejoicing. He went into a solitary place and wept for joy, and upon his knees vowed that if God would spare his life, and he could ever be qualified, he would enter upon the work of the ministry, a purpose which he followed out most faithfully. He preached his first sermon Oct. 1, 1827, in Springfield, Vt. After supplying the pulpit a short time in Langdon, N.H., he settled in 1828 in Jaffrey, N.H., and was ordained by the Franklin Association, at Townsend, Vt., Sept. 10, 1829. In June of the same year he removed to Albany, N.Y., where he lived seven years. From 1837 to 1851 he resided as pastor in Poughkeepsie a year and a half, in Baltimore two years, in New York city three, in Philadelphia three, in Mobile two winters, {141} in Memphis, Ky., in Lowell, Mass., one year. From Lowell he removed to Louisville, Ky., remaining there two years, from there to Philadelphia, where he spent three years, which was his last regular pastorate, although he supplied in Cincinnati after his return from Philadelphia. He was with Rev. C.F. Lefevre, editor of the "Gospel Anchor" at Troy, N.Y., about 1830, a paper afterwards merged in the "Religious Inquirer," published at Hartford, Conn., Mr. Williamson continuing to edit it. He was one of the editors of the "Herald and Era," published at Louisville, Ky., and was for about ten years connected with the "Star in the West" as joint proprietor and editor, though for several of his last years performing no editorial labor.

Dr. Williamson, through most of his life, was afflicted with asthma in its severest form, but his vigorous will enabled him, in spite of it, to perform much labor. He delivered nearly 4,000 sermons, published nine volumes, beside many pamphlets, and for forty years was connected with our periodicals. He once crossed the Atlantic, and preached the Gospel of Impartial Grace in Great Britain. He took seven voyages of 2,000 miles coastwise by sea on the same errand. In his voyage to Europe, one of his fellow passengers was Washington Irving, then on his way to Spain. Mr. Williamson conducted the religious services on board the vessel, one Sunday morning, discoursing on the Paternal character, purposes and requirements of God, in accordance with Christian Universalism. After the service, Mr. Irving, who had been an attentive listener, cordially thanked the preacher for his sermon, adding emphatically, "These, sir, are my views, and I am trying to live in agreement with them."

{142} Mr. Williamson was a prominent and highly respected member of the Society of Odd Fellows, lectured far and wide in exposition and defence of their principles, and went to England mainly in their service. He was for many years Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of the United States, and the ritual now in use by the Order was largely from his pen. He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Norwich, Vt., University, in 1850. The writer of this sketch first heard Dr. Williamson preach at the session of the Universalist General Convention held in Strafford, Vt., in 1832. The subject was "Lukewarmness rebuked;" the text, Rev. iii. 15: "I would thou wert cold or hot." No noisy, declamatory appeal was it, no clap-trap effort reminding the audience of the "smartness" of the one to whom they are listening; but a clear, strong, earnest statement of the greatness of the Truth of God and of its pre-eminent claims upon the attention, love, and consecrated zeal of every believer in its unsearchable riches. In illustration (not profuse), in persuasiveness and application, it could not have been improved. The large old church was filled, the audience were in closest attention to the end, and many were the silent, sympathetic "amens" in response when his words were ended. The discourse afterwards appeared in the "Gospel Preacher," a monthly publication issued at Augusta, Me.

The "Rudiments of Theological and Moral Science" may be considered the summing up of Mr. Williamson's theological thinking during his ministry. It is a notable vindication of the Divine Sovereignty, a sovereignty infinitely glorified in the Divine Paternity. Although some of its reasonings savor too much of what is called {143} fatalism to be accepted as practically healthful when men are called upon to "work out their own salvation with fear and trembling," it is in the highest degree helpful and hopeful to all of weak faith who need to realize that God has will and purpose of his own, and works within his children "to will and to do of his own good pleasure." God's beneficent sovereignty was to him the adamantine foundation of the Gospel. As strong and effective by voice and pen as the ministry of this good man has been, there were those at the beginning of it who were inclined to wonder at his attempt to enter this profession. Light-minded critics uttered their innocent witticisms, and sober well-wishers of our denomination very plainly hinted to him that he might possibly do quite as much service to it in some other line of effort than that of preaching! But all this to the pure-minded young soldier of the Cross was but an incentive to renewed exertion. They who doubted knew not that the Lord had called him, and had purposed for him a life of honorable labor in his holy service. Father Ballou used to say, "When the Lord undertakes to make a minister, he always makes a good one." Dr. Williamson was thus made. He has given "full proof" of his ministry, and now having gone "up higher," his works will follow him.

One of the ministers of a long pastorate in Vermont was Rev. Kittredge Haven. He was of a family of nine sons and two daughters, and was born in Framingham, Mass., Feb. 24, 1793, and died in Shoreham, Vt., May 4, 1877, aged 84. His father removed in 1802 to Cambridge, and in 1810 to Boston, where he established himself in a crockery store. The subject of this notice {144} was providentially drawn to attend the ministry of Rev. Paul Dean, under whose preaching he was converted to Universalism, sang in his choir at his installation as colleague with Rev. John Murray in 1813, studied for the ministry with Mr. Dean, and in his pulpit preached his first sermon in July, 1819. In the spring of 1820 Mr. Haven made a preaching tour into Maine, spending one Sabbath in each of the towns of Waterville, Brunswick, Livermore, Winthrop and Turner, and in Portland three Sundays. After returning to Boston he received a letter from Turner, inviting him to become a pastor there, but he declined the call. Soon afterwards he took a journey into Vermont, and in Dec. 1820 settled in Bethel, on a salary of $5 per Sunday, which was the customary pay of a young preacher in those days. He was ordained at Kingsbury, N.Y., Oct. 14, 1821, by the Northern Association, embracing Vermont, a part of Canada, and all that part of New York which bordered on Lake Champlain. Two ministers only besides himself were present on that occasion, Rev. S.C. Loveland and Rev. Robert Bartlett. In 1829 Mr. Haven moved to Shoreham, and there he remained until death, preaching there regularly thirty-seven years, and occasionally, every year, from Jan. 1, 1825, to Jan. 1, 1870,—in all forty-five years.

Mr. Haven was an earnest and effective preacher. He was not especially noted for learning or eloquence, but was a plain, vigorous, and scriptural advocate of the Gospel. His preaching was a continuous stream of truth flowing forth in a strong and fervent delivery from the beginning to the close of his discourse. He possessed excellent judgment, sterling integrity, an amiable and Christian spirit, and unostentatious piety. {145} He won and secured the respect of all men by his kindness of heart, his gentlemanly manners, and pure life. He made Universalism respected wherever he was known. Congregational ministers even called him evangelical. He left an honored name to his children and to the church which he had faithfully served for fifty years. He was uncle of the late Bishop Gilbert Haven of the M.E. Church.

The ministry of Rev. John Boyden was one of the most useful and honored of any in our churches. He was born in Sturbridge, Mass., May 14, 1809, and died in Woonsocket, R.I., Sept. 28, 1869. He attended the public schools in his native town during his youth, and engaged in teaching schools winters before he reached his twentieth year. In 1829 he resolved to enter upon the calling to which he had for some time felt drawn, and began his studies for the Christian ministry under the direction of the elder Rev. Hosea Ballou. His first sermon was preached in Annisquam, near Gloucester, Mass. In the following year (1830), he was ordained at Berlin, Conn. It was his first settlement, and he remained there four years. He next located at Dudley, Mass., where he continued as pastor until 1840, when he removed to Woonsocket, where he had before preached occasionally, and became the first pastor of the new society in that place, which had just erected a church. His pastorate here reached nearly the limit of thirty years.

As a preacher, he was plain, sound, and forcible. He never attempted great things in the way of sensational effort. He had too much good sense, and too refined notions of propriety to do that. His eloquence was in {146} the sincerity, truthfulness, and earnestness of his statements and appeals. He was a clear and strong reasoner, and had always good illustrations of his subject at hand. Incidents from his own experience were often made most timely and impressive in his discourses. He was pointedly doctrinal and thoroughly practical in his sermons, generally using great simplicity and plainness of speech, but always giving evidence of a deep heart interest in the message he was delivering.

As a minister of Christian consolation he seemed pre-eminent. In this respect no preacher perhaps was more acceptable to our people. His calls to attend funerals, sometimes at long distances out of his own parish, were many. Old friends, who had long known him, when bereaved and afflicted were thankful to hear his voice speaking to them the comforting words of divine truth.

He was a true Christian reformer. All through his ministry this had been his character. Clear in his perceptions, sound in his judgments, consistent in his positions, and with an adamantine firmness in his adherence to principle, he was always ready to give his word and influence in aid of the reforms of the times. As an advocate of temperance and human freedom, he was surpassed by none in his faithfulness.

How his own people loved him! and how long and closely and happily were they united! That silver wedding celebration of the pastoral union in 1864; what evidence it gave of that unity of the spirit which can bind a good pastor and an appreciative people for so long a time with interest deepening as years increase, and which is such a reproof of the many injudicious calls and frequent resignations which afflict too many churches! What a golden halo is set around this long settlement of the faithful pastor and his loving people.


John Moore.

Rev. John Moore was another of the worthy and beloved of this ministerial company. He was born in Strafford, Vt., Feb. 5, 1797, and was early nurtured in the Puritanic theology of New England. Soon after he had passed out of his teens he became acquainted with the faith of the Universalist church. It answered to the true call of the manliness that was in him, and soon became an inspiration to his spiritual powers. He grew in its light, and his soul expanded in its genial atmosphere. Reading, meditation, and the culture of his mental powers soon opened the way for him into the ministry, the work of which he entered upon with hesitancy, not from lack of zeal in its interest, but from modesty as to his qualifications for the great calling. The counsellings of friends encouraged him, and his first messages were received with favor, and he became one of the most acceptable ministers and missionaries in Northern New England. Of noble personal appearance and gentlemanly demeanor, full of plainness and common sense in his discoursing, a clear expositor to the inquirer after Christian truth, and a son of consolation to those who sought its hopes in their sorrows, he was welcome wherever he appeared as a representative of our faith. His pastorates, nine in number (viz. in Lebanon, N.H.; Danvers, Lynn, and Lowell, Mass.; Hartford, Conn.; Troy, N.Y.; Strafford, Vt.; and Concord, N.H.), all gave evidence of his fidelity. As a moral reformer, he stood well without the church as well as in it, and as a man he was esteemed and loved wherever known. Even the politicians conferred upon him the nomination for the gubernatorial chair of New Hampshire; not so much because of his service to them as a partisan, as from the fact of the excellences in him that were above {148} all mere party considerations, and which gave them the assurance that his honest and sturdy manliness would prove an honor in any position he might be called to fill. It afterwards appearing that his residence in the State had not been quite long enough to render him eligible to the office, another nomination was necessarily made. His death was sudden. He fell, of heart disease, near his home in the city where he had his last pastorate, lamented wherever his name and ministry were known. A public journal wrote of him, after his departure, "As a man, he was the very one that Diogenes with his lamp was looking for."

J. Andrews & H.W. Smith.

Henry Bacon.

Rev. Henry Bacon.—How shall we write of that minister of all work, of versatile genius, nervous temperament, indomitable will, constantly alive in his love of Universalism, rooted and grounded in its theology, and full of its healthful and hopeful spiritualism as the sea is of water! He was a Boston boy, of the old North End, born June 12, 1813; a hearer of Dean and Streeter and Ballou in his youth, and taught at home by precept and example in the excellency of the knowledge of the Gospel of limitless grace. He was a born minister, for it was as natural for him to think and speak and write Universalism as it was to breathe God's air. He entered the ministry early in life (1834), and was successively pastor of the societies in East Cambridge, Haverhill, and Marblehead, Mass; Providence, R.I.; and Philadelphia, Pa. He was for many years editor of the "Ladies' Repository," a monthly publication issued at Boston by Mr. Abel Tompkins; and his prolific pen often sent out sermons, tracts, and pamphlets in advocacy of the faith of which his soul was so full. As another (Rev. John {149} Boyden) said of him: "He was a living encyclopdia of current facts, and a living philosopher to arrange and expound them." The Universalist Reform Association appointed him their Corresponding Secretary, and an annual report on the topics usually embraced in their discussions was expected from him, because, as one remarked, "He got hold of everything."

He consecrated himself to his labors, and in them he was abundant. The poet Quarles describes him:—

"Thy life's a warfare, thou a soldier art,
Satan's thy foeman, and a faithful heart
Thy two-edged weapon, patience thy shield,
Heaven is thy chieftain, and the world thy field."

His preaching gave evidence of his consecration to his work. It seemed as though he could never tire of the pulpit service. He was always ready to speak for God's truth. His words were earnest, full, and strong; his illustrations inexhaustible; and there was an unction in all he said which gained the sympathy of every hearer susceptible of religious emotion. Up to the last of his working he loved the pulpit, and stood up in it until exhausted nature would allow him to remain there no longer. And when he withdrew with reluctance from that sacred place, it was to finish his work in the retirement of his home, to give his dying testimony to a life full of the beauty and strength of divine truth. He departed this life in Philadelphia, March 19, 1856. A biography of him by his wife has been given to the public.

Another of the saintly ministers of our church was Rev. Day Kellog Lee. He entered the Christian ministry early in life, and, although his educational {150} advantages in the beginning were not many, he was so close and constant a student as to become an expert in literature and science, as well as an able expounder of the Christian faith. He was one of those who felt that he was called upon to preach, and that he must not be kept too long from entering upon his work. The text of his first sermon indicates his anxiety in this regard: "Let me go, for the day breaketh." Gen. xxii. 36. And he went out into the fields of the Lord to be his faithful and profitable servant. Astronomy was a favorite study with him. His sermons were often illustrated and beautified by his presentation of its facts, and he came to be a most acceptable lecturer on the science itself. He had seven pastorates in New York and Massachusetts, and in them all was deeply loved for his admirable character and intense interest in his calling. He was a son of song, and put his soul into his verse. What can be sweeter than his tribute to the beloved poet and author, Mrs. Scott, inserted in her "Memoir"?

"To say I'd pressed her hand, 't was not for me—
To share her friendship, it was not my gladness;
'T was ne'er the blessing of these eyes to see
The form whose slumber wakes this note of sadness.
But O! I weep for those who yet remain,
To know so bright a spirit hath ascended!
Fond of that lyre, enraptured of its strain,
I weep to hear its melodies are ended!

"Short years ago, in boyhood's rosy morn,
When Aspiration seemed its measure brimming,
Longing for joys that crown the spirit-born,
I heard the lays of life that she was hymning.
Who that hath drunk those melodies that rose
Sweet as the murmur of celestial fountains,
Hath not in fancy pictured her with those
Whose feet are beautiful upon the mountains!


"The seraphs all had joy in fuller streams,
When her pure lips their symphonies were swelling;
They'll want her there, while God's own glory beams,
And while the ransomed keep their starry dwelling,
To hymn the beauty of immortal mind,—
For, of that world, mind is the greatest splendor,—
Lift holier anthems as new bliss they find
And drink new life as loftier praise they render."

He was a writer of attractive volumes containing Tales of Labor; "Summerfield, or Life on a Farm," "The Master Builder, or Life at a Trade," and "Merrimac, or Life in a Factory;" works of merit, which have been extensively read. His modesty, conscientiousness, devotion to duty, and religious spirit, all serve to make blessed his memory, a memory that can never be dwelt upon but with affection by those who knew most of him in life. In 1868 St. Lawrence University conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. He passed suddenly but peacefully away from the earth, in New York city, June 2, 1869, aged 53. His son, Rev. Charles F. Lee, is at present pastor of the Universalist church in Charlestown, Mass.

[45]   The mother of Mr. King was a woman of keen intellect and of many virtues, and her talented son held her in highest esteem. As his popularity in California was increasing, there was a serious talk at one time of sending him as senator to Congress. The mother, hearing of this, wrote in a letter to her son: "Be on your guard. Don't let Satan take you to the top of Mt. Shasta, and show you Washington!"



"There be of them that have left a name behind them, that their praises might be reported.... Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth evermore. The people will tell of their wisdom, and the congregation will show forth their praise."—Ecclesiasticus, xliv. 8, 14, 15.

REV. GEORGE BATES, one of the faithful ministers of Maine, was born there in the town of Fayette, in 1798. In early life he was a mechanic, but in due time, as Rev. W.A. Drew wrote of him, "He laid down the sledge of Vulcan, and put on the Gospel harness." He was a student for a time in the family of Rev. Hosea Ballou, at Boston. He was pastor in Livermore, and afterwards for twenty-five years in Turner, Me. It is worthy of note that after a suit at law, in which the town recovered the ministerial fund against the Congregational society, the people of Turner, by legal votes, dismissed the clergyman of that church, Rev. Allen Greeley, and settled Mr. Bates as the town's minister. With true liberality, on acquiring possession of this fund, the town parish made a per capita distribution of it to all the societies in Turner, that each might enjoy its proportional share of support from the same fund.

Mr. Bates was one of the best of country pastors. He was at home everywhere, and a welcome visitor in {153} most homes where he went. He was clear and scriptural in his expositions, and in his discourses "a workman that needed not to be ashamed." He was a minister of consolation far and near, and had many calls to officiate on funeral occasions. No clergyman in Maine was more respected and honored than he. His departure took place at his home in Lewiston, Me., Jan. 24, 1875, at the age of 77.

Ezekiel Vose. A small, lame, modest, but wide-awake-looking man was this minister, as the writer remembers his first meeting him in Northern New Hampshire. He came from the First Universalist Society in Boston, and settled in St. Johnsbury, Vt., preaching there and in many other places in Vermont and New Hampshire for some years. He had enjoyed only common educational advantages, but was a studious man and a strong and clear thinker. He wrote but little. His preaching was usually extemporaneous, not always very methodical in plan, but usually successful, especially in making his subject plain. He could say a great many things in one of his missionary discourses, and would bring them in quite miscellaneously. But they were usually things which proved interesting to his hearers, especially to those who had seldom, if ever, listened to ministers of our faith. Long remembered will be a discourse which he gave in the writer's hearing one winter evening in Dorchester, N.H. A large corner school-house was packed full, and the speaker stood in one corner with his little Bible in hand. His text was, "Prove all things;" and so wide was his range in topics, and so many things did he undertake to prove, and so long, and rapidly and earnestly did he talk to {154} that attentive audience, that it seemed as though no man in the same time could come nearer than he to a compliance literally with the direction of the text! He was a sincere, humble, warm-hearted Christian. Every one who knew him thought and spoke well of him. From St. Johnsbury he moved to Orleans, Mass., and afterwards to North Turner, Me., where, after a busy and useful life, he died in 1861, aged 67.

Rev. Lemuel Willis of Windham, Vt., was born April 24, 1802. His father was a convert to Universalism as taught by Rev. Elhanan Winchester, and the son was educated in the same faith. At an early age he became the student of Rev. S.C. Loveland, of Reading, Vt., and in July, 1822, preached his first sermon. His first professional labors were in Washington, Stoddard, Marlow and Acworth, N.H. His subsequent pastorates were at Troy, N.Y. from 1826 to 1828; then in Salem, and afterwards in Lynn and Cambridgeport, Mass. and Portsmouth, N.H. At the time of his death, Dr. G.H. Emerson wrote of him justly:—

"He always preached well. There was in his preaching a good basis of thought, with a practical application, and a tone of fervent piety. But he had and has no 'earthquake' gifts. The city did not run mad because Lemuel Willis preached. We have heard one of his supporters say that he does not remember one sermon that would be called poor; but in all his Salem ministry he never once startled his hearers. His manner is best described by the word impressive. Steady work, steady power, and ever-increasing influence, and the radiation more than the example of a good life, made him successful in the purest sense of this much abused word. But not alone in Salem, but everywhere, Mr. Willis did good {155} in his character of minister. Literally he was all minister. He cared to know only Christ and Him crucified. And to this end all personal interests were subordinate. Not alone in the pulpit, but on the street, in the house, at the private gathering, he was the minister. But as he never put the minister off so he never put the minister on. It was his nature to be a minister and he could never seem to be otherwise."

Mr. Willis seemed the embodiment of a dignity, not offensive but agreeable. It is said that on one occasion he was in company at a store in Salem with one of the orthodox pastors of that city, who was a very animated and cheerful man in conversation. After they had left the store, a gentleman who had quietly listened to them both, on asking the proprietor what clergymen they were, was told, and was asked to "guess" which one was the Orthodox and which the Universalist. His decision was directly contrary to the facts. Mr. Willis departed this life at his home in Warner, N.H., July 23, 1878.

A younger brother of Lemuel, Rev. John H. Willis, was born in Windham, Vt., March 6, 1807. At the age of eleven he became deeply interested in a Calvinistic Baptist revival, and was immersed in the Connecticut River in very cold weather, when the ice, a foot thick, had to be cut away for the purpose, and soon afterwards joined the Baptist church in Chesterfield. By reading and reflection he became an intelligent and zealous Universalist. He was a good scholar, and taught school successfully when quite young. He worked as a mechanic for some years, and in 1830 went to Salem, Mass., where his brother Lemuel was then settled, and after studying a year under his direction he began to {156} preach, speaking in several places in Worcester County, to the acceptance of the people. He was ordained at Greenwich, Mass., Nov. 23, 1831. He was pastor for varying periods at Dana, Greenwich, Petersham, West Boylston, Annisquam, Wakefield, Irving, Orange and Warwick, Mass., in Brattleboro', Cavendish and Chester, Vt., and in Stafford, Conn. In 1850 he was elected to the Mass. Legislature, and was for several years station-agent at Irving on the Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad. Yet amid his secular labors and cares he still preached and lectured often, especially in behalf of the Temperance reform. He was noted to the end of his days for his spiritual fervor and religious enthusiasm. He died Oct. 9, 1877, at the house of his daughter, Mrs. W.R. Shipman, at College Hill, Mass., aged seventy years.

There went out from New England a talented advocate of the Universalist faith in the person of Rev. Theodore Clapp, a native of Easthampton, Mass., and a graduate of Williams College, in the same class with William C. Bryant. His theological studies were pursued at Andover, Mass., and he was licensed as a minister of the Presbyterian church in 1817. He became pastor of the First Presbyterian church in New Orleans, succeeding the brilliant Sylvester Larned, whose fame as a pulpit orator was far extended. Mr. Clapp proved a fitting successor of him, and achieved great celebrity for his pulpit gifts. Henry Clay pronounced him the most natural pulpit orator he had ever heard. His church in New Orleans was usually crowded.

Some twelve years after his settlement in New Orleans {157} changes occurred in his theological opinions, which led to the dissolution of his relations with the Presbyterian Church. He was deposed from his ministerial office for heresy, and was afterwards known as an independent minister, cherishing Universalist and Unitarian opinions. This change of relations however did not alienate his parish from him. The church building at an earlier date had passed into the hands of the well-known Hebrew millionnaire, Judah Truro, and by his liberality Mr. Clapp occupied the church and preached to his old hearers. His services will long be tenderly remembered in New Orleans. During twenty seasons of epidemic cholera and yellow fever, Mr. Clapp was at his post of duty, and by his ministry of consolation carried comfort to the great multitudes stricken by the pestilence. His "Autobiographical Recollections" is largely devoted to these memorable seasons, and is one of the most interesting volumes ever published. In later years of his life he felt compelled by failing health to relinquish the work of the ministry, and in 1866 departed this life in Louisville, Ky., aged 74. Of him it was said by Dr. Alexander Campbell that he could not believe the doctrine of endless misery if he tried: "You have too much benevolence," added the Doctor. He read this in the face of Mr. Clapp, in the soft lines, and in the warm and benignant glow, that told of a heart full of sympathy and pity.

A stirring and industrious laborer in the propagation of the Universalist faith was Rev. John A. Gurley, of Connecticut. At the early age of twenty he was preaching in Maine, and after a short settlement in Methuen, Mass., he purchased a denominational paper, {158} the "Star in the West," and went to reside in Cincinnati, Ohio. He became pastor and editor in that city. He did much missionary work, journeying into distant States and Territories, holding discussions and preaching wherever he had opportunity, the circulation of his paper constantly increasing. His bodily powers becoming weakened by over-exertion, he deemed it advisable to change his mode of life somewhat, and disposed of his paper and ceased to preach. He subsequently became an active politician, served two terms as representative in Congress from Ohio, and was at the time of his death the appointed Governor of Arizona. Although apparently a frail man, he was capable of great endurance, and few of his years have put more diligent work into a life. He was emphatically an executive man, and had the faculty of making all his plans and movements tell to advantage. He was fond of theological debate, and during the presidency of the elder Dr. Beecher at Lane Seminary, he sought to draw out that noted man in a statement of his arguments against Universalism. He received promises more than once from the doctor that his request should be answered to his entire satisfaction, but the fulfilment of them was never realized. Mr. Gurley was a genial man and an attractive companion. He made many friends in his life, and will not be forgotten by the Universalists in Ohio, who regretted that he could not have devoted the last of his life solely to the interests of the church.

Rev. Enoch M. Pingree was by birth a New Englander, born in Littleton, N.H., but through some of the most important years of his ministry a laborer in the West. He was one of the born ministers, and had {159} good opportunities for study at the Methodist Seminary in Newbury, Vt. At this school he was an earnest advocate of the Universalist faith, which rendered him unpopular with most of the students and teachers. He distinguished himself in the lyceum and debating society, and exerted such an influence as to call out the professors to defend their cause against the arguments and bold positions of this ardent youth. After preaching a little in New England, he started for the West, in 1837. He was pastor in Cincinnati and Louisville, and a missionary in various places in the Western States. Here he became developed from a quiet and diffident man into a bold and confident advocate of his sentiments. He became a public debater, and "waxed valiant in fight" in many controversies. His published discussion with Dr. Rice, an able and distinguished Presbyterian divine, does him great honor. He was a busy, sympathetic, and faithful pastor, also a ready thinker, fluent speaker, and rapid writer. His industry was untiring, and it wore him out at last. In discussion he was candid as well as strong, never descending to any low or unmanly reference to his opponent, no matter how much abused, nor attempting to take advantage of the prejudices of the people. Religious discussions were matters of purest conscience with him. His ministry was brief, but one of intense vigor and action. Greatly beloved by multitudes of friends, he departed this life in 1849, at the early age of thirty-three.

Rev. Thomas J. Greenwood, before his entrance upon the work of the ministry, held the position of overseer in one of the mills in Lowell, at the beginning {160} of the growth of that city. He was born in Newton, Mass., and was a fairly-educated, strong-minded, and trustworthy man. An attempt had been made to establish a Universalist Society in Lowell, and Mr. Greenwood was deeply interested in it. The mill authorities were opposed to the movement, and intimated to this their employee that his heresy could not be favorably regarded by them, and that if he continued to be its active supporter, they and he must part company. His conscience was true to principle as the needle to the pole, and he readily accepted their terms, and turned away from their service to enter and honor another, to which he afterwards gave the most of his life. He had profitable pastorates in New England, his last three having been in Dover, N.H., and Malden and Saugus, Mass. His good reputation was in all our churches, as a ready and vigorous writer, an eloquent preacher, a loving and industrious pastor, and, more than all, a royal man. A faithful biographer (Rev. A.J. Patterson, D.D.) has written of him:—

"He was the central figure in the entire community where he dwelt. His manly, dignified presence, his genial manners, his willing, helpful hand in every worthy cause, his charity towards other sects, his kindness to the poor, his pity for the erring, his sympathy in chambers of sickness and towards all kinds of suffering, his words of more than human comfort at the open grave, and withal his rare good judgment and solid common sense in everything, caused him to be respected and consulted far beyond the circle of the church. He was devoted to all public interests, served several terms in the Legislature of Massachusetts, and was once nominated for the National Congress from his district."

He departed this life in Malden, Sept. 12, 1874.


Fraternally Yours, E. G. Brooks.

Rev. Elbridge Gerry Brooks, D.D., was born in Dover, N.H., July 29, 1816, and died in Philadelphia, Pa., April 8, 1878. During his infancy his parents removed to Portsmouth, where he passed the years of his boyhood. He was a strong, healthful youth, and was blessed with parents who were devoted to his highest welfare, and whose exemplary religious characters made a deep impress upon his after life. Just previous to his ninth birthday, a sad accident occurred, by which his leg was so severely injured that amputation became necessary. He bore the painful operation with manly fortitude, and during the consequent confinement saw many of the pleasing visions of his coming life dispelled. When he recovered, however, his brave nature did not brood over his misfortune, but his heart was made more tender by it, and as he grew older was filled with a strong religious interest, and he early decided to devote himself to the Christian ministry. His pious parents, rejoicing in the zeal and enthusiasm of their crippled boy, did all in their power to encourage his aspirations and to have him suitably fitted for his chosen calling.

At that time, Rev. T.F. King was settled in Portsmouth, and, discerning the rare promise of his young friend, gave him hearty and effective encouragement. After acquiring such knowledge as the Portsmouth schools could give him, he was aided by his faithful pastor in the further pursuit of his studies, and at the early age of nineteen he began to preach. His first sermon was delivered in Portsmouth, and gave great satisfaction to those who heard it. He was first settled in Exeter, N.H.; then in Amesbury, Mass., where he was ordained, Oct. 19, 1837; then in East Cambridge, Mass.; then in Lowell, and, in 1846, took charge of the {162} parish in Bath, Me. In 1850 he returned to Massachusetts and settled in Lynn, where he remained nine years. In 1859 he was called to the Sixth Church in New York, where he remained eight years, and until he was chosen, in 1867, General Secretary of the United States Convention. His duty in this new capacity was to direct and take the lead of the missionary enterprises and to visit all sections of the country. His labors were manifold and arduous, but very efficient and successful, until his health became impaired, and he was obliged to resign his office and return to his family. After resting a few months, and partially recovering his strength, he accepted, in November, 1869, an invitation to the Church of the Messiah in Philadelphia, to which he gave the last years of his useful life, and where he joyfully resigned that life April 8, 1878.

As a preacher, Dr. Brooks was in the front rank of our ministers. As another has written:—

"He was entirely consecrated to his work, and in the pulpit he spoke as one having authority. His sonorous voice and majestic bearing were in perfect harmony with his clear and forcible presentation of his thought, and emphasized his urgent appeals to the conscience of his hearer. He was by nature an ardent reformer, and was always true to his convictions. He could not keep back the smallest fragment of what he believed to be God's truth. He early threw himself, heart and soul, into the anti-slavery cause, and during the war of the rebellion his clarion voice gave no uncertain sound."

He was a clear and vigorous writer. His two volumes, "Universalism in Life and Doctrine," and "Our New {163} Departure," evince this. They are valuable additions to our church literature. He was one of our best organizers. Seldom absent from our conventions, and nearly always serving on executive boards and important committees, nearly every department of our church work received an impression from his hand. In 1867 Tufts College conferred on him the degree of D.D.

It has been truly said of him:—

"He was born into Universalism. He was cradled in its arms. He was taught it at his mother's knee. He believed it from his earliest conscious years. He never was influenced by any other faith. What he was it made him. Let no man say it is not the power of God unto salvation, while we can point to such examples of its influence in life and death. He has gone to that home which his faith made so real to many souls."

H. W. Smith.

Ebenr Fisher.

Rev. Ebenezer Fisher, D.D., has won honorable distinction in the Universalist Church. He was born in Charlotte, Me., Feb. 6, 1815, and died in Canton, N.Y., Feb. 21, 1879. His father was one of the pioneers of Eastern Maine, and the son passed his early years in a new country, in the midst of hardships incident to such a condition. With the exception of a single term at the Readfield Seminary, he had no advantages beyond what were afforded by the common schools of his native town. His early religious training was in the Orthodox church, against whose gloomy doctrines his whole soul revolted. When about sixteen years old a few Universalist books and papers were put into his hands, the perusal of which, in connection with the Bible, brought him "out of darkness into marvellous light," and he gradually formed the purpose to fit himself for the Christian ministry. He {164} sought and obtained fellowship of the Maine Convention in 1840, and in 1841 settled at Addison Point, Me., until in April, 1847, he accepted a call to Salem, Mass., where his pastorate was eminently successful. In November, 1853, he removed to South Dedham (now Norwood), where he remained until 1858, when he was appointed President of the Theological School at Canton, N.Y., and thenceforth he gave his time, labor, thought, and strength to a work for which he proved himself peculiarly fitted. For more than twenty years he was the honored head of the first Universalist Theological School, and during that time one hundred and three students were graduated, who are now scattered over the country, and bearing testimony to his faithful teaching, his rare devotion to duty, his profound scholarship, and his eminence in all Christian virtues. However marked may have been the results of his labors in other fields, his work in the Theological School was the most important and conspicuous, and will be his most enduring monument. The degree of D.D. was conferred upon him in 1862 by Lombard University. Rev. I.M. Atwood, D.D., his successor as President in the Canton Theological School, thus truly and graphically presents him to us:—

"A grand man, made up in a large and noble fashion, with paternal benignity in his face and a note of sonorous warning in his voice, able, acute, aggressive, unmovable, the sturdy strength and wintry rigor of his nature relieved by a certain charm of tenderness which affected one like the scent of sweet flowers amid the majesty of the primeval woods; in his preaching a strain of deep sincerity which made the hearer feel the solemn reality of those things about which there is so much superficial prattle,—a great, brave, patient spirit, loyal {165} to the truth, trustworthy as a star, and of such a breadth and strength of moral build as made him an imposing Christian force in the community,—such to our thought was Ebenezer Fisher, who fell asleep Friday morning, Feb. 21, 1879, having just passed his sixty-fourth birthday.

A well-remembered elder of apostolic aspect and spirit was the Rev. Seth Stetson, born in Kingston, Mass., in 1776, and dying at the age of ninety-one in Brunswick, Me. He was reared in the faith of the Puritan fathers, near the old Plymouth rock; learned the trade of a ship-carpenter, emigrated to Maine, gave himself to much study, entered the Congregationalist ministry, and was pastor in Maine and Massachusetts for some years. When the Unitarian controversy arose in New England, he became deeply interested in it, accepted Unitarianism as the truth of God, preached it as a missionary, and soon saw clearly the doctrine of the salvation of all men as a revelation of the Scriptures. He was minister of this faith in Charlestown and Salem, Mass., and afterwards had several pastorates in Maine. His heart and life were full of the spirit of the great Christian Master. Universalism to him was not only a divine word, but a regenerative power. The love which it inculcated he possessed and exercised. His heavenly spirit beaming from his pleasant countenance and pervading his sweet conversation made him welcome everywhere. What the New Testament says of another was applicable to him: "A good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith."

Rev. William Bell, son of a Calvinistic clergyman, was for many years an active advocate of the Universalist {166} faith. The rigid theology of his father had the tendency to push him into Deism, until the light of the greater Gospel broke upon his mind. After years spent in mechanical pursuits, with a moderate education, under the instruction of the senior Rev. Hosea Ballou, he began to preach, obtained fellowship, and spent the first ten years of his ministry in New Hampshire and Vermont. Subsequently he became editor of the "Watchman and Christian Repository," at Woodstock, Vt., and in after years of the "Star of Bethlehem," in Lowell, Mass. He preached much up to his seventy-eighth year, retaining his vigor of body and mind. He was plain and direct in his style as a preacher, keen in his expositions of what he deemed error, a good logician, strongly doctrinal in his discourses, and deeply religious in feeling. One of the last occasions of his speaking in public was at the Centennial Convention in Gloucester in 1870. Near the close of his life he wrote a strong and searching letter to Rev. Henry Ward Beecher in review of a sermon on future punishment published by him. He died in Boston in 1871.

"An able minister of the New Testament" was Rev. Calvin Gardner, a native of Hingham, Mass., and pastor in Charlestown, Duxbury, Lowell, and Provincetown, Mass., and for twenty years in Waterville, Me. In early life he wrought at his trade in one of the mechanic arts. Becoming interested in the doctrine of Universal Salvation, he entered the ministry in 1825. He was a reader and thinker, a sound theologian, and forcible preacher. He was always welcomed at associations and conventions, and listened to with interest by {167} those who came to be fed with the plain and wholesome food of the Gospel. He was a genial companion and high-minded man. He passed suddenly away by death while seated in a store which he had entered but a little while before.



The weapons which your hands have found
Are those which Heaven itself has wrought,
Light, Truth and Love;—your battle-ground
The free, broad field of thought.

REV. JOSIAH GILMAN was another of the sturdy mechanics who came from the forge, and after his best endeavors to gain a tolerable preparation for the ministry, entered it, if not with much mental culture, yet with a heart full of love of the new faith into which he had grown out of that theology which one of the Beecher sisters has said evinces "an awful mistake somewhere." He was always alive with his theme. His work in the pulpit was as strong and as faithfully done as any which he had wrought out upon the anvil. He was a useful missionary. No one could have been more conscientious than he respecting the religious qualifications of a Christian minister. His own character was the best illustration he could give of his ideal. That was above reproach.

Mr. Gilman had a stentorian voice when excited in speaking, but was often slow in speech, and to some hearers might seem at times wanting in animation. It is related that while preaching in a country place in {169} New Hampshire one hot summer afternoon, a part of his audience being hard-working haymakers, his discourse became somewhat quiet in its manner, so that an evident drowsiness had taken hold of some of the listeners. The speaker, perceiving it, suddenly paused for some seconds, and then bringing his clenched hand down quite loudly upon the desk before him, exclaimed good naturedly, "Come brethren, wake up! and let us take another view of this subject." The call was effective, and both speaker and hearers were in sympathetic wakefulness to the end. The good man departed this life in Lynn, Mass., in 1858, aged 67.

Another comer from the anvil, a strong, cheery, blunt, warm-hearted man, deeply in love with the truth of the Gospel, and running over with zeal in his advocacy of it, was Rev. Emmons Partridge. He was superintendent of the Sunday school in the First Universalist church in Providence, R.I., while Rev. David Pickering was its pastor. He entered the ministry with but little scholarly preparation for it; but somehow, by divine grace, he did quite an acceptable work as a missionary and as pastor of a number of societies. God chooses his own instruments in his work, and this minister was one. Without the graces of oratory, he was a plain and often instructive preacher, because he was usually highly charged with his subject and eager to declare it to his hearers. If his illustrations were sometimes homely, they were usually to the point, and if they excited a smile carried a conviction. He was ready in expedients, if these were necessary, to win the good will of his neighbors who might be strongly prejudiced against his theology. "I had hard work," {170} said he, "to get the kind attention of one man. I tried many ways: but at last, as we were both very much interested in raising rare kinds of poultry, I opened his heart towards me by occasional exchanges of choice eggs with him!" He could meet pulpit embarrassments coolly and more successfully than others might have done. Lecturing one evening in his pulpit at Watertown, Mass., he came to a place in his manuscript where the matter was confusedly mixed. The leaves had been wrongly stitched together, and he vainly tried to put them in order. Despairing of this, he quietly and quaintly remarked, "Well, this is strange. I thought I put these leaves in as they ought to be, but they are so mixed that I can't make anything out of them. I think I will say the rest without the notes!" and he did, to the satisfaction as well as amusement of the audience. He died somewhat advanced in years, highly esteemed by all who knew him.

Rev. William I. Reese began to preach in Central New York, in Onondaga County, and was ordained at the session of the Cayuga Universalist Association in 1824. For a few years he was the minister of the Universalist societies in East and North Bloomfield, and then of the church in Portland, Me. He went to Buffalo on call of the church there in the early spring of 1834, and there in the succeeding summer his earthly ministry suddenly came to a close. It was the second year of that terrible visitation, the Asiatic cholera, and the city to which he had only just removed was awfully ravaged by the sweep of the dark-winged pestilence. Unfalteringly at his post of duty in all those dark days, devoting himself to loving ministries among sick and {171} suffering and dying people, showing himself everywhere an angel of mercy and consolation, he fell a victim at last to the desolating scourge, and in the prime of his grand manhood, the good fight fought, the faith kept, the course finished, he passed on to receive his crown, and to be enrolled among the brightest and most faithful of ministering spirits.

Rev. Albert A. Folsom, an active and devoted minister, was born in Exeter, and passed his early life in Portsmouth, N.H. He had settlements in Maine and Massachusetts, and departed this life, aged 39, at Springfield, Mass., in 1849, after a ministry there of five years. He was very acceptable to his congregations, in all his pastorates. He had a rich voice, subject to a wise control, was a ready speaker, and could acquit himself in a most happy manner. He often had texts handed him when entering the church, which he discussed to the evident satisfaction of his hearers. He was social and companionable, and his views of life and Providence were very hopeful. In his home he was a light and blessing. No minister ever had warmer friends than he.

William Cutter Hanscom, a sincere and zealous young man, a clerk in a prominent dry goods store in Portsmouth, N.H., left his secular pursuits to prepare himself for the ministry in the study of the Rev. T.F. King of that town. He was soon known as an acceptable preacher, and, receiving ordination, was called to two pastorates, the first at Newmarket (Lamprey River village) N.H., the second at Waltham, Mass. He had much mental ability, was a vigorous and rapid writer, {172} and an energetic and enthusiastic speaker. He was greatly beloved by a large number of friends, and his pastorates were a joy to him and of much profit to the churches. He was an evangelist in the true sense of the word. His career was short, as he was cut off by consumption, at Cambridgeport, and was buried at Waltham, in 1838. But his pathway was an illuminated one, and its light lingers in many memories. He departed at the early age of twenty-three.

Rev. Merritt Sanford, born in Readsboro, Vt., and religiously educated in the Methodist church, became by attentive reading and much anxious thinking a believer in that divine goodness which will bring all souls at last in conformity to its will. With but ordinary means of education in country schools, he grew, by close mental application to study, to be a scholar of very considerable acquirements, and entered the ministry at the age of twenty-three. He was minister in New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. He was a quiet but forcible preacher, because of the soundness, strength, and aptness of his discourses. He was continually growing mentally and spiritually, was deeply conscientious and devout, and left a fragrant memory wherever he sought to do his work. He closed his earthly life after a short illness, in Warren, Mass., in May 1849, aged 37.

Rev. Alexander R. Abbott, who was somewhat advanced in life when he gave himself to the ministry, was a native of East Livermore, Me. His early life was that of a hard toiler, his advantages for obtaining an education were limited, but his thirst for knowledge {173} overcame his early deficiencies. With little if any aid from others, he became proficient in French and Latin and the mathematics, and for many years was successfully employed in teaching. His first sermon was preached while residing in Lowell, Mass., in 1844, and his ordination took place in the following year. His first settlement was in Bath, N.H. For a time he was employed as a missionary, to preach in destitute places within the limits of the Boston Association. Afterwards he was settled successively in Newburyport, Mass., Pawtucket, R.I., Gardiner, Me., South Dedham, Mass., Hudson, N.Y., and Rockland, Me. He was an indefatigable student, and a clear, strong preacher. No useless verbiage encumbered his discourses. He grappled with the hardest questions in theology, and brought light out of them. His last sermon before the Maine Convention is remembered as a clear and masterly treatment of one of the problems which has greatly occupied the religious thought of the day. He stirred the consciences of his hearers. He was outspoken as an anti-slavery man, when to be so was to incur the hostility of men of both political parties, and endanger his success in the places of his settlement. The temperance cause always found in him a firm, consistent, and able advocate. And while he was thus efficient in performing the more rugged duties of his calling, he was equally well-fitted, by the tenderness of his heart, for the more sympathetic offices of the ministry. The death of Mr. Abbott, at Rockland, Me., in 1869, was occasioned by disease of the heart, aggravated by the fracture of a limb. He was conscious and composed to the last.

Rev. Henry C. Leonard came into the ministry at {174} Haverhill, Mass., where he had studied under the direction of Rev. Henry Bacon. He was born in Northwood, N.H., April 25, 1818, and died at Pigeon Cove, Mass., March 7, 1880. His earliest labors were on Cape Ann, at Gloucester and in other neighboring places. He was afterwards settled four years in East Thomastown (now Rockland), Me. He then removed to Orono in 1847, where he remained about eight years, and then went to Waterville, in 1854. At the breaking out of the war, in 1861, he closed his labors in Waterville, and accepted the position of chaplain in the Third Maine Infantry. He was afterwards transferred to the Maine Eighteenth Infantry, and then to the First Maine Regiment of Heavy Artillery, where he remained, greatly beloved by officers and soldiers, till his term of service expired in 1864. He was publicly pronounced by Gen. Howard the most faithful chaplain he ever saw.

In 1865 he took charge of the Universalist Society in Albany, N.Y., where he remained three years. He moved to Philadelphia in 1869, and was pastor of the Lombard St. Church two years. He then returned to his home at Pigeon Cove, Mass., intending to remain there permanently. But he was called to be pastor at Deering, Me., and was Professor of Belles-lettres at Westbrook Seminary at the same time. His last pastorate, at Annisquam, Mass., began in December, 1875. He preached for the last time Sept. 28, 1879. He was for a time editor of the "Gospel Banner" and of the "Universalist." He published a volume of sermons entitled "A Sheaf from a Pastor's Field;" also a little work called "Pigeon Cove and Vicinity."

Mr. Leonard was a writer of rare accomplishments. Had he chosen literature for a profession, and cultivated {175} more fully his rare poetic gifts, his name might have been prominent among the writers of the country.

He was an enthusiastic lover of nature, and delighted to dwell in her outer temple. He had a sunny nature, and wherever he lived, won hosts of friends by his geniality and radiant joyousness of heart. The truest, most cultivated and intelligent of all denominations welcomed him to their companionship, and recognized the purity of his life, the elevation of his thought, and his rare intellectual endowments.

Rev. Abraham Norwood began preaching in Annisquam, Mass., and was ordained in 1833. He had been a student with Rev. Sylvanus Cobb, in Malden. He was a member of the Congregationalist Church in early life; but, finding himself dissatisfied and troubled with his theology, he gave much attention to the study of the Bible, and became thereby a firm believer in Christian Universalism. He had a clear and vigorous intellect, and great aptness in setting forth his opinions. He was settled in South Dennis and Marblehead, Mass., in Fiskville, R.I., in Canton, Mass., and in Salisbury, from 1845 to 1855. He then went to Meriden, Conn., and acted as State missionary, with rare fidelity, for six years. He was widely known in Connecticut, and, after the close of his regular ministerial labors, served the town of Meriden in several positions of trust. He was warmly interested in education, and a faithful and devoted laborer in the Temperance cause. Besides his work as a preacher and pastor, he wrote and published two books,—"The Book of Abraham," and "The Pilgrimage of a Pilgrim." While marked with the quaintness of the author, they are direct and telling in their setting forth of Christian truth.

{176} Rev. Charles Spear was a remarkable man; a printer by trade, a philanthropist by nature, a self-sacrificing Christian by divine grace. He was quiet and unostentatious, but persistent as fate in his work. He was a Massachusetts man. He commenced life in humble condition, and his constant liberality to every object and form of distress kept him poor. His high religious zeal and strong philanthropy forced him into the ministry, and into ministrations especially connected with human degradation and suffering: the abandoned, the outcast, the down-trodden, the intemperate, and especially the prisoner, were his parishioners. His absence of mind, forgetfulness of self, and disregard of (if not inability in) pecuniary matters, often subjected him to painful embarrassments when from home; but that Providence on which he relied for aid as for guidance, always provided friends and means to deliver him. Mr. Spear's work on Capital Punishment, and his larger one on the "Titles of Jesus," are readable and valuable books. Besides these, his literary labors produced "Voices from Prison," and a periodical called (like himself) "The Prisoner's Friend," extended through several years. Had he belonged to almost any other denomination than the Universalist, he would have been much more widely known and more highly praised during life, and his death would have been announced and his funeral attended with greater eulogy and higher honors. Previous to his death he had been chaplain in the St. Elizabeth Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he died in April, 1863. His wife was a faithful helper in his hospital work. His funeral services in Washington were attended by a Presbyterian (Dr. Sunderland). The body was removed to Boston for burial.

{177} Rev. James W. Putnam, who died in Danvers, Mass., where he had been a beloved and successful pastor, was a man of admirable qualities. He was just past forty when he departed. Rev. Dr. Miner said of him, in an address on the funeral occasion, that he had known the deceased twenty-four years before, when a pupil in New Hampshire,—a boy in years, but a man in character:—

"As a pastor for sixteen years in one parish, where he constantly grew in strength, in the affections of his people, in the opportunities for public usefulness, serving not only his parish, but the town, the sure test of his worth is to be seen. His character was so well rounded, so complete, so efficient in all particulars, that no one trait seemed to predominate over another. He was very modest and unassuming. When Tufts College conferred an honorary degree upon him, it was so unexpected that, though he saw the statement in the papers,—saw his own name,—he did not suspect that it meant himself, but some other person! He had given the highest evidence of his hold upon his people. Twice he represented the town in the legislature, an experience which often breaks the pastoral relation and sows the seed of disaffection. But he came back from that official service to a united parish."

His settlement in Danvers was his only one. Calls to other parishes with strong financial inducements were declined. He felt that the pastoral relation should be broken as seldom as possible, a consideration which, if more generally regarded, would be of great blessing to many churches.

Rev. James W. Dennis was pastor in Stoughton, Mass., for ten years. He was justly and highly esteemed. {178} Much afflicted with a painful and fatal disease, he had great conflict of mind because of his inability to meet all his duties as he desired; the sympathies of his people were strongly enlisted in his behalf, and they shared with him in some measure his trials. He died in the triumphs of the unfailing hope of the Gospel, and was buried by his friends of the church in the cemetery which his own words had helped to consecrate. "It was an affecting sight," writes one, speaking of his funeral obsequies, "and a sure testimony of the profound esteem in which he was held. Little children, tearful women, and strong men were bowed in deepest grief. I shall never forget the appearance of one old patriarch who approached the coffin with tottering steps, laid his hand upon the head of the deceased, and then placing it upon his own forehead, turned away with an expression of the deepest sadness, as though he had lost a treasure never to be replaced in this world. I saw him again at the cemetery, standing at the door of the sepulchre, with eyes suffused, his gray hairs fluttering in the wind, and his head bowed in the attitude of prayer." Mr. Dennis died in 1863, aged thirty-eight.

Rev. Henry B. Soule was of Dover, Duchess Co., N.Y. He was another instance of "the pursuit of knowledge under difficulties" in his youthful days. He was determined to educate himself, and through much anxiousness and privation and toiling he found his way in 1835 to Clinton Liberal Institute in New York, where he was afterwards a tutor. The next year he was encouraged to prepare for the ministry by his kind and honored friend, Rev. S.R. Smith. His first work as a pastor was at Fort Plain, N.Y. He was subsequently {179} at Troy, Utica, and in 1844 removed to Boston and became assistant pastor with Rev. Hosea Ballou. Here he proved himself adequate to his position. His sermons were forcible, well arranged, and calculated to convince the understanding and enlist the affections. A year's pastorate in Gloucester was a happy one. Then he was minister in Hartford, Conn., where his first sermon was preached to forty-one, his second to sixty-four hearers, and his last to a crowded house. In 1852 his ministry in Lyons, N.Y., commenced. At the end of its first month he had suddenly departed,—a victim of that fearful disease, small-pox. But his bright life shed its radiance back upon many souls who had been blest by his ministries, and his name has since been an honored one in our churches. His widow, who survived him, has won an honorable reputation in our church by her literary publications, and by her devotion to our missionary interests under the auspices of the Woman's Centenary Association, of which she was the first president, and in whose employ she has for three years labored faithfully as a missionary in Scotland. An interesting biography of her husband was prepared by her and given to the public in 1852.

Rev. Obadiah H. Tillotson, of New Hampshire, was an active worker in the ministry; a successful pastor in Worcester, Mass., Hartford, Conn., Northfield, Vt., and in other places. He departed this life in 1863. He was a ready speaker, and was ardent and resolute in his ministerial work. "His ability," writes a friend, "as a public debater was signally shown in a protracted discussion (in Worcester) with a religious opposer who was put forward to defeat him if possible. Four nights {180} the contest went on, and the result was a complete success. He more than met the expectations of his friends, and the opponent afterwards acknowledged that of all his contests (and he was a gladiator) Mr. Tillotson was the strongest opponent he had ever met. There was much of sunshine in his soul, and it beamed out upon others in his social life. For a time he studied and practised law, but his old love for the ministry returning, he entered it again with renewed zeal, and continued earnest and faithful in its work unto the end."



"Thus bravely live heroic men,
A consecrated band;
Life is to them a battle-field,
Their hearts a holy-land."

A HIGHLY-esteemed minister of our faith, and a vigorous and stirring advocate of Christian reform, was Rev. Elhanan W. Reynolds. Although his career as minister and author was not long, the most valuable years of his life were given to the work of promulgating the Gospel. He was settled as pastor in Java, Sherman, Buffalo, Jamestown, Watertown, and Lockport, N.Y.; in Norwich, Conn.; and Lynn, Mass. He was a highly acceptable preacher, and wielded a fruitful and facile pen. His little volume, "The Records of Bubbleton Parish," is one of much interest in showing as it does the trials of Christian ministers and parishes because of the discordant elements in them, and in the vividness with which some of the characters in the particular parish at Bubbleton are drawn. But his best work, and one that evinces unmistakably the strong qualities of the writer's intellect and the soundness of his orthodoxy in morals, is his volume entitled "The True Story of the Barons of the South; or, the Rationale of the American {182} Conflict," issued in 1862. It is a compact but lively presentation of the origin and growth of American slavery, from its inception with the Virginian colonists to the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion. It is an unequivocal statement of facts, and an irresistible appeal to Americans for the overthrow of the gigantic abomination of slavery, and the defence and maintenance of that freedom signified in the immortal Declaration sent out by our Revolutionary fathers from this nation, to all the other nations of the earth. It is one of the trumpet-calls to duty among the many that gave inspiration and life to that desperate strife which sent American slavery to "the receptacle of things lost on earth." Mr. Reynolds is worthy of honorable remembrance as one of the heroes of that strife. A discriminating writer has said of him: "As a preacher he was strong and often brilliant; as a scholar his explorations were extensive, and his acquisitions the gold refined from innumerable heaps of dross, patiently searched out; and as a writer he was master of a style which would have been his passport to the first literary circles of America." He died at Milwaukee, Wis., August 31, 1868, aged thirty-nine years.

Rev. Nathaniel Gunnison, a native of New Hampshire, was ordained to the ministry in 1837. He had entered it through much painstaking, and was thoroughly in earnest in his work. He was pastor in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine, and for eight years in Halifax, N.S., in which place he met with marked success. At one time the bishop of the Episcopalian church assailed him, and, not having a correct knowledge of our doctrines, laid himself open to a {183} searching review from Mr. Gunnison. The controversy was a prolonged one, both oral and written, and the result was that the Episcopal church lost ground and members, and the Universalist church realized a corresponding increase. The civil war in our country broke out towards the close of Mr. Gunnison's pastorate. Halifax being in strong sympathy with the South, he stood almost alone in his defence of the North, and gave offence to some of the leading members of the society by his zealous exertions for the North while acting as Deputy Consul of the United States. He subsequently removed to Maine, where he died of paralysis in 1871, while in the midst of his active labors. His son, Rev. A. Gunnison, of Brooklyn, N.Y., pays this touching tribute to his honored parent:—

"At the age of fifty-seven, the pastor of whom we speak was paralyzed. Upon the early morning of the Sabbath, the secret blow fell upon him, but yet he went to his work, and with half his body dead went through his Sabbath service. Then came the weary months of battling with death. Disease was stayed by the vigor of an unconquerable will, and dragging his heavy limb, with right arm lifeless at his side, he took up again the burden of his work.... The other day, in the lumber of a storage room, we found the old trunk which contained the sermons of this veteran preacher, and there upon the top a package of huge MSS. written in rude fashion, unlike the singularly clear penmanship of the remaining mass. These were the sermons written after the fell shock came to him, for at fifty-eight years of age, finding that never again could the accustomed hand hold the pen, the old man had with his left hand learned to write, and until the last, week by week, the fresh sermon came quick and vital from a brain which would not cease to work."

{184} His busy ministry of thirty-four years was a Christian success.

Rev. John Mather Austin was, on his mother's side, a descendant of the Mathers distinguished in early colonial times, of which Cotton Mather is best known in history. He was born in Redfield, Oswego Co., N.Y., Sept. 26, 1805, and died in Rochester, Dec. 20, 1880. The first fifteen years of his life were spent in Watertown, N.Y., to which place his parents moved during his infancy. He learned the art of printing in early life, and while employed in it in Troy, N.Y., he became a member of the Universalist society in that place. His interest in religious truth became here stimulated to activity, so that he studied for the ministry, and received fellowship at the Hudson River Association in 1832. His first pastorate was in Montpelier, Vt., his next in South Danvers (now Peabody), Mass., when, after a pastorate there of nine years, he was settled in Auburn, N.Y., in 1844. In 1851 he resigned his pastorate in Auburn, and took the editorship of the "Christian Ambassador," then published at that place.

In 1861 Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State during the administration of President Lincoln, and a firm friend of Mr. Austin, tendered him the consulship of the West Indies, which was declined. The consulship of Prince Edward's Island was afterwards offered him, which was also declined. In 1863 a commission was sent him, signed by Secretary of War Stanton, by which he was appointed paymaster in the army with the rank of major. Mr. Austin was reluctant to relinquish his work in the ministry, but after much persuasion he entered the governmental service and remained {185} until 1866, when he was mustered out. After leaving the army he resumed his labors in the ministry, preaching occasionally until 1875, when the disease began to develop which ultimately caused his death.

For many years Mr. Austin was probably the most prominent preacher in Central New York. He was a profound theologian, and a preacher and debater of great power. His theological discussion at Genoa with Rev. Mr. Holmes of the Methodist church gave him a wide notoriety. So ably conducted was it on the part of Mr. Austin that, it was said, many who heard him were converted to his views.

Secretary Seward at one time began to write a life of John Quincy Adams, which was neglected and finally abandoned for want of time to complete it. At the request of Mr. Seward, Mr. Austin undertook and finished the work. He was the author of several books of merit; among them, "A Voice to the Young," "Austin on the Attributes," "Golden Steps for the Young," and "A Voice to the Married." Mr. Austin had excellent traits of character. His mind was keenly logical, his emotional nature was deep and strong, and his social qualities were eminently attractive.

Rev. Tobias H. Miller. A rare man was he, of clear intellect, unfailing memory, tenderest sympathies, always thinking, always ready to talk, and always talking well. He was deeply religious, but his religion was of the cheerful, hopeful kind. He was born and had his early rearing in "the old town by the sea"[46] —Portsmouth, N.H., and was blessed with the watchful care of a pious and faithful mother. He was early instructed {186} in the Puritanic orthodoxy of New England, and grew up to be an approved expounder of it. For a time he was editor of the "Observer," the Orthodox weekly journal of New Hampshire, and was a kind of active adjutant-general of the forces of that division of the church militant in his native State. He was always to be trusted in his work, and was held in high esteem by all his brethren as by all who best knew him. In later life his Scriptural investigations led him to accept the doctrine of Universalism as the truth of God, in which doctrine he continued as an acceptable preacher to the end of his days. His espousal of Universalism did not lessen the respect of his former brethren for him. They never seemed to doubt the purity of his motives nor the excellency of his Christian character. He stood in their pulpits from time to time during his later years.

He was a devoted Christian reformer. He became interested in the "Washingtonian" temperance movement in Portsmouth in 1841, and whenever opportunity offered gave his word and work to promote the cause of total abstinence from all intoxicants. In the anti-slavery agitation his voice was raised for freedom, and soon after the Proclamation of Emancipation made by President Lincoln he repeated, in the Universalist pulpit in Portsmouth, an address which he wrote and delivered nearly thirty years before on the subject of slavery, which showed how accurately he had forecast the future and how his early auguries had been fulfilled.

Being a practical printer, soon after his arrival at manhood, while in Newburyport in the office of the "Herald," he formed the acquaintance of John G. Whittier and William Lloyd Garrison. With the latter he stood side by side at the printer's case, and a strong {187} life-long friendship grew up between them. Mr. Garrison says of him:—

"He was a very Benjamin Franklin for good sense and axiomatic speech, in spirit always as fresh and pure as a new-blown rose. His nature was large, generous, sympathetic, self-denying, reverent. From his example I drew moral inspiration, and was signally aided in my endeavors after ideal perfection and practical goodness. He was as true to his highest convictions of duty as the needle to the pole."

Mr. Miller was a terse and ready writer. A journalist speaks of him as one "who with a stroke of his pen would illumine dark themes and confound vain philosophers, and who blended the clear vision of a Franklin with the modesty of a child." He was born Aug. 10, 1801, and died in Portsmouth, March 30, 1870.

Rev. Martin J. Steere was originally from Rhode Island. He was for nearly twenty years a minister of marked ability and excellent reputation in the Free Baptist Church, and for some time the editor of its weekly journal, "The Morning Star." Given to scriptural investigation, he anxiously, but slowly and cautiously, reasoned himself into Universalism. Convinced that this was the New Testament Gospel, it was his desire to make known the pre-eminent faith to others who might be seeking religious truth. He soon issued his "Footprints Heavenward; or, Universalism the More Excellent Way;" a volume in the form of letters, addressed to his former brethren in the ministry, relating his travail of mind in search of Christian truth, and stating some of the evidences which led him to see "the truth as it is in Jesus." The work has been read with {188} interest and profit by many. In 1859 Mr. Steere received the fellowship of the Universalist Church, and subsequently had pastorates in Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. He was a vigorous thinker, plain, direct, and impressive in his discoursing, and deeply devotional in spirit. One who knew him has written: "The continued tone of his spirit was restorative to the perplexed and desponding; his piety was cheerful, his deportment humble. His religion was his life." His death, in the triumph of Christian faith, occurred at Athol, Mass., in January, 1877.

Rev. Franklin S. Bliss was born Sept. 30, 1828, in Cheshire, Mass., and died March 23, 1873, in Greensboro, N.C., whither he had gone for the benefit of his health. At the age of ten he removed with his family to Lanesboro, Mass., where two years afterwards his mother died. At the age of eight an illness so affected his eyes that he became nearly blind, and when he began to regain his sight his hearing became impaired. At the age of sixteen, finding he could see by using very powerful glasses, he applied himself to close study. Being soon prostrated, twice by fever, the foundation was laid for infirmities which attended him ever after. He became a believer in Universalism while on a sick bed, but did not avow his sentiments until some time afterward, when he resolved to enter the ministry. His family were at first strongly opposed to this course on his part, but they all afterwards became pleased with his success and reputation as a Gospel minister. After some time spent in school-teaching, in 1853 he entered the Liberal Institute at South Woodstock, Vt. (then under the charge of Rev. J.S. Lee), at which time he {189} was described as a pale-faced, feeble-looking young man, but with a firm will and settled purpose to do the most and the best that was possible under the circumstances. His decision of character, concentration of purpose, and love for the work of his chosen profession, overcame all impediments, compensated for lack of health, and rendered him eminently successful and useful as a Gospel minister. He was ordained at Enfield, N.H., in 1855, in which place he ministered for two years. Subsequently he removed to Barre, Vt., where he labored for fifteen years, with exemplary fidelity and abundant success. In him we have a striking instance of the inward force of Christian character to overcome bodily infirmities and accomplish wonders in that ministry whose most eminent apostle said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me."

In the winter of 1871, Mr. Bliss sought release from pastoral labor and care, and for some time tried a southern climate for aid. But the hope proved illusory. His earthly work was done, and well done. A friend with him at the departure writes: "I wish you could have witnessed his last days—and his beautiful death. It was glorious."

Rev. Russell Tomlinson had a long and unbroken pastorate of twenty-seven years in Plymouth, Mass. He was born in Newtown, Conn., Oct. 1, 1808, and died in Plymouth, March 4, 1878. In his early ministry he entered the field as a missionary in Western New York, where he labored for two years, travelling on horseback hundreds of miles, and preaching wherever opportunity offered, receiving slender compensation for his services, and often none at all. He was settled at Le Roy, {190} Buffalo, Ridgeway, and Rochester, N.Y., before his removal to Plymouth. He resigned his charge in the latter place in 1866, and thenceforth devoted himself to the practice of medicine of the Homœopathic School, to which he had previously given much study, obtaining a fair practice and a good reputation.

Mr. Tomlinson was a very positive man, of strong will and inflexible purpose. He was of such dignified demeanor that strangers were likely to suppose him cold and austere in his nature; but those who knew him intimately speak in highest terms of his kind and tender heart, that was instant in response to any appeal from the unfortunate, the sick, or afflicted. After his decease, instances of his unostentatious charity came to light that were never suspected by his nearest friends. He was strongly interested in the temperance reform, and was through life an earnest and unflinching worker in that cause. He was interested and active in educational enterprises, serving for many years on the school board of Plymouth, and under Governor Boutwell he was appointed a member of the School Board of Massachusetts. He was a preacher of no ordinary talent, an honest and devout Christian, a faithful worker in the Church, to the end that he might induce men to become followers of Him whose religion is not in "the letter that killeth, but in the Spirit that giveth life."

Rev. De Witt Clinton Tomlinson was born in Gaines, Orleans County, N.Y., Aug. 24, 1824, and died at Wedron, Ill., July 27, 1881. He prepared for the ministry at Clinton, N.Y., under the supervision of Rev. Dr. T.J. Sawyer, and began to preach in 1846. He had twelve pastorates in New York {191} and at the West, also one in Boston, Mass., during twenty years of his ministry. He was at Chicago, Ill., in 1880, and maintained his residence there until his death. He was a vigorous, fervent, and faithful man. With a physique that seemed to defy fatigue and disease, he was able to do a vast amount of pastoral and other work. He had a peculiar aptness for the financial work of the church. He was employed in soliciting aid successively for the Canton Theological School, for the Murray Fund, and for Buchtel College in Ohio, and his labors for each were successful. His last employment was as State Superintendent for Illinois, in which he was engaged nearly up to the time of his death. In the midst of his strength and usefulness, he was stricken with disease at a grove meeting, where, although slightly indisposed, he preached what proved his last sermon. His work had been well done.

Rev. Levi C. Marvin, born in Alstead, N.H., in 1808, was one of those energetic men who achieve their position in life by their own unaided efforts. His first work in a literary course beyond the common schools was done in an academy in Chesterfield, N.H., in the fall of 1828. The next year he is a teacher in Rhinebeck, N.Y. In 1831, being invited by Rev. I.D. Williamson to enter his household, as a student of theology, he accepted, and after some months commenced preaching. He was ordained in 1834. The next year he removed to Newark, N.J., where he had a pastorate of more than three years, when he went to Missouri, and took up his residence in Arrow Rock, Saline County. A few years later found him a resident of Booneville, Cooper County, where he held a discussion with Rev. {192} Mr. Slocum, a Presbyterian. The discussion embraced twelve lectures on each side, and extended with unabated interest through six weeks. In 1848 he removed to Jacksonville, Ill., where he had a discussion with Rev. C.W. Lewis, Methodist. In 1850 he became a resident of Springfield, Ill., where he made the acquaintance and secured the warm personal friendship of the late President Lincoln. From that place, in 1856, he returned to Missouri, and made in Clinton his permanent home. After his return he had two public discussions: one at Springfield, Ill., with Rev. Mr. Johnson, Campbellite, and the other at Georgetown, Mo., with Rev. W.W. Suddath, Presbyterian.

Mr. Marvin was an exceedingly hard toiler. Much of his ministry was spent as an itinerant, with but small remuneration, so that extra efforts in teaching school were necessary on his part. His moral uprightness, his genial nature and social qualities were of the highest order, and secured him many friends. During the rebellion he was a strong Union man,—the only man in the county where he lived who gave a vote for Abraham Lincoln for President. His efforts in behalf of the Union awakened a bitterness of feeling often endangering his person and life. During that period he was for two sessions a member of the Legislature of Missouri. At one session he was chosen Speaker of the House. At the same time his brother, Hon. A.C. Marvin, was a member of the Senate and acting Lieutenant-Governor. On one occasion the two houses met for the transaction of some special business, when the unusual scene occurred of two brothers presiding over the joint session. He was a strong, pure-minded, and conscientious Christian reformer, religiously and politically. His {193} last days of long confinement and much pain were cheered with the hopeful light and comfort of that Gospel which he so loved to commend to his fellow-men. He died July 5, 1878.

Rev. Giles Bailey, born in Acworth, N.H., in 1815, was a diligent scholar and an able preacher. He acquired considerable knowledge of the classics, receiving instruction from Hon. Horace Maynard. At the age of seventeen he began a successful career as a school teacher in Vermont and New Hampshire, and was through life warmly interested in educational movements. After pursuing his theological studies with the late Rev. Lemuel Willis, he was ordained in Winthrop, Me., in 1840. He was settled in Winthrop for two years, then moved to Brunswick, where he remained seven years, then lived three years in Oldtown, three in Dexter, two in Claremont, N.H.; then returned to Maine, and lived eight years in Gardiner and two in Belfast, and finally, in the fall of 1869, he removed to Reading, Pa., where after nearly nine years of faithful labor, he closed a noble and useful life.

Adherence to right and principle was a marked feature in the character of this "good minister of Jesus Christ." He was strongly interested in all reform movements, and the energetic boldness of his position on the anti-slavery question is well remembered by his associates. His addresses on that subject were so filled with burning indignation and tender pathos, that all hearts were stirred by his eloquence. In addition to his regular work as a preacher and pastor, he was a frequent and valuable contributor to our denominational papers. He wrote, many years ago, a series of {194} letters over the signature of "Lucius," for the "Christian Ambassador," which attracted much attention. They revealed unusual literary ability and grasp of thought, and excited much curiosity in regard to their authorship. For a time he occupied the editorial chair of the "Universalist." He has left a clean, manly, and luminous record.

Rev. John E. Palmer, who lived to the great age of ninety years, was a native of Portsmouth, N.H. He was by trade a printer, and became a convert to the doctrines of the "Christian Baptists," under the ministrations of the noted Elias Smith. He began to preach in the fellowship of that sect, and was ordained in 1809. The earlier years of his ministry were spent in Warren, N.H., and Danville, Vt. It was while living in the latter place that he outgrew his early belief in endless punishment, and came to an undoubting faith that God will have all men to be saved. He was suddenly arrested by a circumstance which called his attention to a comparison of his own faith with that of the "more excellent way" in which afterwards his footsteps were directed. A very respectable young man, who had never been converted, while on a fishing excursion, was drowned. It was a deeply afflictive blow to the surviving family and friends. Mr. Palmer knew that he should be called upon to preach the funeral sermon. He was greatly distressed. What could he do? The apostles, he saw, had a faith which enabled them to comfort those who were "in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith they themselves were comforted of God." Had he that faith? He says: "I slept not a wink that night. I walked the house, I read my Bible, I prayed {195} for light; and I never preached the doctrine of endless woe again."

In 1819 Mr. Palmer was called to the charge of the Universalist Society in Barre, Vt., where he labored for eighteen years, scattering the seed of truth over a wide region, for he was an indefatigable missionary all through his life. On leaving Barre, he lived two years in Waitsfield, Vt., and then gave himself to missionary work in Northern Vermont and New Hampshire. One who was well acquainted with his ministry writes of him:—

"We can vouch for the devout, evangelical spirit of his services, the logic of his sermons, the perspicuity of his style, his fluency of speech, the impressiveness of his delivery. He spoke always extemporaneously, but his discourses were always coherent, sound, and clear. There was an evident sincerity and earnestness in the man that attracted the hearer's attention, and there was a natural tremulousness in his voice that gave a peculiar pathos to his discourses. There were in his words a certain indefinable grace and force which are the gift of God, and not communicable by art or learning. He was a man of deep religious feeling. Though he had decided opinions, yet he was the soul of candor and forbearance in his treatment of 'those of the contrary part.' He was a faithful and true witness."

Rev. William W. Wilson was of Stoddard, N.H., born in 1819. An accident, by which he lost one of his hands at the age of thirteen, turned his attention to books and study. He was educated in the Orthodox faith, as it is called, but was awakened to a special interest in the subject of religion by listening to the preaching of Rev. J.V. Wilson (not a relative) in his {196} native town. Acquiring an academic education, and becoming a believer in Christian Universalism, he began to preach at the age of twenty-two. He was ordained in 1842 at Laconia, N.H., preaching in that town about two years. He was afterwards two years in Centre Harbor, four years in West Haverhill, Mass., five years in Dover, Me., and in Southbridge, Mass., eight years. In 1867 he went to Chatham, Mass., but was compelled by ill-health to resign his charge. In 1870 he removed to Oxford, Mass., but after two years was again compelled to rest. In 1873 he was stricken with a partial paralysis, and from that time, though not entirely helpless, was unable to go on with his ministerial work. However, he never ceased to take a deep interest in the welfare of his parish and of the denomination. He was a great sufferer during the last days of his life, but was constantly hopeful in the light of his holy faith. He departed this life June 19, 1874. He was quite well known to our clergymen in New England, and beloved and honored for his many virtues and for his faithful ministry. He was a Christian reformer, was genial and utterly sincere in all his work, and leaves a fragrant and blessed memory.

Rev. William R. Chamberlin, born in Brookfield, N.H., Nov. 2, 1816, was a man of marked ability, and a very acceptable preacher. In early manhood he was a successful school-teacher. He was ordained as a preacher in Dighton, Mass., in 1847, and was induced to go to Abington, Va., and engage in missionary work in that State. For two years he preached in the Virginia backwoods,—in its highways and byways, in school-houses, mills, and log cabins,—enduring great {197} hardship, encountering many dangers, risking his life from violence, and depending for support solely on Divine Providence. In the autumn of 1849 he went to Cincinnati, O., and for twelve years was employed as a book-keeper. But though engaged during the week in secular pursuits, his activity in behalf of his faith did not in the least decline. He connected himself with the Second Universalist Church in that city, and for three years was superintendent of its Sunday school. Subsequently he became superintendent of the school at the First Church, and held the position for seven years. It was in this capacity that he was eminently useful and happy. His influence over children was unbounded; they were irresistibly drawn to him. He had a most fertile imagination, and was ever ready with stories such as children love to hear. He laughed and wept by turns, and with these emotions the school was always in close sympathy. He had all the gifts of an improvisatore of the olden time.

Uneasy in his work out of the ministry, in 1867 he laid aside his accountant's pen, and entered it again. He was settled successively at Mendota, Ill.; Vinton, Council Bluffs, and Dubuque, Iowa; and at Clinton, N.Y., at which last place he closed his earthly life. His work in Clinton was very successful. He attached his people to him by his amiable disposition, his unselfish spirit, and devotion to his work. His sermons were always compact and often highly polished. Intellectual and cultivated people always admired and enjoyed them.

When in 1873 he went on a kind of missionary tour to England and Scotland, wherever he preached, his sermons were highly spoken of, and it is known that they {198} impressed on those who heard them a high idea of American Universalism.

For the last three or four years of his life he was a great sufferer from an incurable disease, but he worked steadily on until nearly the end. His last service was held in his own house, in March, 1876, when he arose from his sick-bed and gave the right hand of fellowship to twenty-one persons, baptizing seven, and consecrating the babe of a friend. The announcement of his physician that his end was near he hailed with joy, and thus entered into the heavenly rest.

[46]   See Harper's Monthly Mag. for October, 1874.



"Like angels sent from fields above,
Be yours to shed celestial light."
A. Balfour.

REV. SAMUEL C. LOVELAND resided nearly all his lifetime in Vermont. He was born in Gilsum, N.H., in 1787. His opportunities for schooling while young were but few, but he improved them, as he had a strong desire for study. He wished to be eminent as a scholar and linguist, but from force of circumstances was self-taught. His parents had become deeply interested in the doctrine of Universal Salvation about the time of Mr. Winchester's return from England, who preached a few times in the region where they lived, and was followed soon by several others. He early participated with them in their religious views and feelings, and in due time became anxious to enter upon his studies for the ministry. To this end he began the study of Greek. But as there were no books in those days with English notes and definitions, it became requisite first to study Latin. Finding a part of an old Latin Bible, with a grammar and dictionary he plodded on through several chapters. By close application he was able generally to read out a whole verse in half a day. {200} Words that he could not trace were carefully noted down for further developments to bring to light. At length he was enabled to read the Greek Testament. He received fellowship at the General Convention at Cavendish, Vt., 1812. He afterwards studied Hebrew, and prepared and published, at great labor, a Greek and English lexicon of the New Testament. The degree of A.M. was conferred on him by Middlebury College. He afterwards made himself quite well acquainted with several other languages, Chaldee, Syriac, Arabic, &c. At one time he published a work in defence of Universalism entitled "The Christian Repository," which was commenced at Woodstock, Vt., in 1821. The work afterwards passed into other hands, and was for years the weekly Universalist journal of the State. In the latter part of his life he commenced a reply to an infidel work by Robert Taylor of England, entitled "The Diegesis," in the columns of the "Star in the East," issued at Concord, N.H. A few ably written chapters were issued, when he was forced to relinquish the work in consequence of failing health.

In 1827 and onward he became interested in political affairs, which for a time lessened his influence as a preacher. But he was conscientious in this step. His course was successful and honorable. He represented the town of Reading, Vt., in the State legislature, and his county in the council; he was a judge of the county court, and held several other offices of honor and responsibility. During the last ten or more years of his life he devoted his whole time to his books and the ministry. He died at South Hartford, N.Y., of paralysis, April 8, 1854, leaving the record of a true and noble Christian life.

{201} Rev. David Pickering was a native of Richmond, N.H., the birthplace of the elder Hosea Ballou. He joined the Freewill Baptists at an early age, and was very active in their meetings and in the promotion of their church interests. He was led to embrace the doctrine of Universalism under the preaching of Rev. Paul Dean, in Barre, Vt. He entered the ministry in 1809, a very acceptable and much admired preacher. His first settlements were in Shrewsbury, Vt., and Lebanon, N.H. He was afterwards in Hudson, N.Y., and in 1823 took charge of the First Universalist Society in Providence, R.I., where he remained eight or ten years. As a preacher and writer he had few equals. He compiled and published a hymn-book, and conducted and edited with much ability a Universalist paper, entitled "The Christian Telescope," from 1824 to 1828; also one volume of "The Gospel Preacher" in 1828. While in Providence, he delivered a course of lectures in favor and in defence of "Revealed Religion," which were issued in book form, and are very creditable to the author, and a valuable contribution to the Christian Evidences. Rev. James Wilson, pastor of the Broad Street Congregational Church in Providence, had made some very severe statements against Mr. Pickering's ministry, and advised his people by all means to keep themselves away from it. When, however, this volume was published, he read it attentively, and took occasion to say to his congregation that, whereas he had warned them against the preaching of Mr. Pickering, he wished to call their especial attention to this book, and assured them that the reading of it would be really profitable to them. Mr. Pickering was very agreeable in social life, and had many warm friends. He had some severe {202} trials in his last days, and departed this life in Ypsilanti, Mich., Jan. 6, 1859.

From 1830 to 1846 Rev. George Rogers was an active itinerant and sometimes pastor in different States of the Union. He was at first with the Methodists, and came into the Universalist ministry, in the vicinity of Philadelphia, in 1830, preaching his first Universalist sermon in the Lombard Street Church, where Rev. A.C. Thomas was pastor. He was for a time settled in Brooklyn, Pa., then he itinerated in the States of New York and Connecticut; and afterwards journeyed West, and ministered to the Universalist Society in Cincinnati, Ohio. Here the field of his labors widened indefinitely. His "Memoranda," a volume full of incident and adventure, issued in 1845, gives us the account of his varied experiences in city, town, country place, and wilderness; from New England to New Orleans, from Pennsylvania to the then farthest West, preaching the Gospel of God's impartial grace in all available places and at all available times; holding discussions, meeting rebuffs of bigotry and the pitiable opposition of ignorance and sectarian hate; but in all and through all self-possessed, patient, never losing heart in the mission on which he was persuaded his heavenly Father had sent him. His "Memoranda" is an admirable book for the family library.

Mr. Rogers had great aptness in adapting himself to circumstances in his pioneer work. Sometimes a belated hearer would drop in when he was half through a discourse, and interrupt him with the honest question as to his text and topic, that he might better apprehend the speaker's message; a request which the preacher {203} would very kindly answer, and then proceed with his discoursing. Once, when preaching in Lexington, Ky., he was greatly disturbed by people going out after he had begun his sermon. Suddenly stopping in his discourse, he said: "My friends, I have always noticed that people who go out of church during service, as a rule have more brains back of their ears than they have in front of them; and if you don't believe it, just notice the next person that goes out!" It is needless to say that no persons put their heads up for examination after that.

Under similar circumstances, when once preaching in Baltimore, he said: "My friends, if any person here tonight finds himself in better society than he is accustomed to keep, I hope he will try to endure it until the services are out!" As in the former instance, this sharp rebuke was effectual.

It is seldom that profanity receives so sharp and witty a reproof as was administered by Mr. Rogers to a Tennessee boatman. One day, when seeking for a place where he could safely ford a small river, he sought information from a person whom he saw upon the opposite side, and the following dialogue ensued:—

Rogers.—"Hollo, stranger! Can you tell me if there is any place about here where I can safely ford?"

Stranger.—"Go to hell!"

Rogers.—"What is that you say?"

Stranger.—"Go to hell!"

Rogers.—"What? Where is that place you speak of? I am a stranger in these parts; can I reach it tonight?"

This witty retort so amused the stranger that he {204} courteously told Mr. Rogers that he was the ferryman, and that if he would drive back to the ferry he would take him across. When subsequently he offered the ferryman the accustomed toll, it was flatly refused. "No," said the ferryman, "I take no toll from you. You are the funniest man I ever rowed across this drink. I take no toll from you." Thus a witty answer turned away wrath.

He was in presence a modest, meek man, with thin voice as a speaker, but clear and profound in his discoursing, and in religious debate wary, keen and pointed in his reasoning, and, like Apollos, "mighty in the Scriptures." Soon after his last visit to New England, in 1846, his death took place in Cincinnati. Rev. A.C. Thomas, who was present at his departure, writes: "The valley of death was radiant by reason of the glory beyond. We conveyed his body to the quiet burial ground in Delhi, near Cincinnati. I had introduced him to the Universalist ministry, and it fell to my lot to deliver the funeral sermon. A monumental obelisk was placed on his grave."

Among the active ministers of Universalism in the Southern States from 1831 to 1875 was Rev. Lewis F.W. Andrews, M.D., a son of Rev. John Andrews, an eminent minister and journalist of the Presbyterian Church. He was favored by his father with the advantages of a classical education, and received the degree of Doctor of Medicine at Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky. He practised as a physician in Cleveland, Ohio, and in the region round about Pittsburg, Pa. His attention was first called to the claims of Universalism on hearing a sermon by Rev. J.C. Waldo, in {205} Augusta, Ky. Mr. Andrews had requested the preacher to discourse on the parable of the Sheep and Goats. He did not suppose the minister able to give a reasonable interpretation of it in the light of the Universalist faith. He was greatly disappointed, however, and though he came a doubter, he remained to accept thankfully and joyfully the doctrine of the preacher, for he professed to have been converted by that sermon. He soon afterwards, by the aid of Rev. Mr. Waldo, then of Cincinnati, entered the ministry, and in 1832 became pastor of the Second Universalist Church in Philadelphia. In 1834 he travelled extensively in the South, visiting New Orleans, Mobile, and Montgomery. In the last-named city he gathered a society and started the "Gospel Evangelist," a paper which was subsequently moved to Charleston, S.C., and Dr. Andrews became pastor of the Universalist Society in that city. In 1836-7 he was senior editor of the "Southern Pioneer and Gospel Visitor," then published in Baltimore, Md., it having been founded in 1832 by Rev. O.A. Skinner. After this removal to the far South, Dr. Andrews published the "Evangelical Universalist." Like that persistent itinerant, George Rogers, he journeyed extensively in the Southern States, preaching wherever a door of opportunity was opened to him. The "Universalist Register" said of him: "In labors abundant, in long and frequent missionary journeys, and in the midst of opposition and great tribulations, he, like our other Southern preachers, had to fight his way in the promulgation of the doctrine of a world's salvation. Dr. Andrews was steadfast in his Universalism to the last. He was generous, free-hearted, liberal, almost to a fault. His prodigal generosity tended to improvidence. The {206} marked trait of his mind was activity. All he could know he grasped at a glance. Hence, though not profound, he was ready for all encounters." He died suddenly at his home in Americus, Ga., March 16, 1875, in the seventy-third year of his age.

Rev. Charles W. Mellen was a worthy minister and pastor in Massachusetts for twenty-seven years. Simple and unostentatious in his manners, he was thoroughly consecrated to his work. A clear and strong writer and impressive speaker, his discourses were characterized by sound sense and earnestness. He worked from love of his calling. He was hopeful and active in the temperance and anti-slavery reforms, and was a son of consolation in his ministries with the sorrowing, afflicted, and bereaved, who looked to him for sympathy. He passed from this life in Taunton, Mass., while pastor there, in 1866, aged forty-eight.

Rev. Henry A. Eaton came into the ministry after having been a devoted and faithful member of the Universalist Sunday-school in Malden, Mass., during the pastorate of Rev. J.G. Adams. He was born in South Reading (now Wakefield), Mass., Nov. 27, 1825, the youngest of seven children, and lost his mother at an early age. He was an apt scholar, but at sixteen was compelled to earn his livelihood, which he did by serving in a store for two years, and afterwards by setting up for himself in Newburyport. Resolving to enter the ministry, he left his secular employment, and spent some time in Dr. T.J. Sawyer's Theological Class in Clinton, N.Y., and studied also with his brother, Rev. E.A. Eaton, until he preached his first sermon. He first {207} settled in Hanson, Mass., afterwards at East Bridgewater, Milford, East Cambridge, and Waltham, Mass., and in Meriden, Conn. Overworking and injured health compelled most of these changes, for in each place he was much esteemed for his labors and beloved by many friends. The illness and decease of his worthy wife, at East Cambridge, and his devoted attention to her night and day, exhausted his vital powers, and bronchitis, followed by hmorrhage from the lungs, finally compelled him to abandon the ministry. He retired to Worcester, and engaged in business for the support of himself and children, struggling manfully with various difficulties. Having provided for his children, and arranged all his affairs, he calmly met death, cheered and strengthened by the unfailing hope of the Gospel, May 26, 1861, in the thirty-sixth year of his age. He was a man of deep consecration, of most attractive social qualities, whose memory will be sacredly cherished by those who best knew him. His only son, Rev. Charles H. Eaton, is the successor of Rev. Dr. Chapin in the ministry of the Fourth Universalist Church in New York city.

Rev. W.A.P. Dillingham was a son of Maine, and a graduate of the Harvard Divinity School. He had pastoral settlements in Augusta, Waterville, Dover, and Norridgewock, Me., and Portsmouth, N.H. For a time he became interested in the Swedenborgian Church, and entered its ministry, but without changing his views as to the final destiny of men. While in this connection, he writes: "I never preached the eternity of the hells, nor any doctrine inconsistent with the divine benevolence, and I never heard Universalism or Universalists attacked or spoken of in derogatory terms as to their {208} moral influence by some church people, without putting in a square defence of those whom I knew only to respect, and who had treated me with a consideration beyond my deserts." In due time he returned to his own church, with the honest confession that he had found no better, more conscientious, spiritual, intellectual, or tolerant people than those he had left. While in Waterville, he represented the town for two years, and was chosen Speaker of the House of Representatives the second year. Other positions of public trust were held by him, all of which he honored. He was active in business, "fervent in spirit," and devoutly religious. Few men had better qualities for a public speaker. With a tall, dignified, imposing presence, and a voice of extraordinary compass, richness, and power, his speech was impressive and effective. He was suddenly stricken down with acute pneumonia, and died in 1871, aged forty-six.

A comparatively brief but very active ministry was that of John Glass Bartholomew, D.D. He was born in Pompey, Onondaga Co., N.Y., Feb. 28, 1834. He had the benefit of a good common school and academical education, was a lover of books and of intellectual effort. His parents being Universalists, he was sent to the Clinton Liberal Institute, and after a time prepared himself for the ministry. He first preached in his native town in 1853 to great acceptance, those who heard him being quite convinced that he had not mistaken his calling. After preaching for a few years in Upper Lisle, Broome Co., in Oxford, Chenango Co., N.Y., and in the city of Aurora, Ill., he became pastor of the Universalist Society in Roxbury, Mass., {209} where his ministry continued from July, 1860, to January, 1866. During this pastorate the parish was carried prosperously through a season of peculiar trial, and the membership of both the church and society considerably increased. In the year last named he accepted the invitation of the Greene Avenue Church, Brooklyn, N.Y., to become their minister. The expectations of those who had called him were high, and his pulpit efforts fully met them, but adverse circumstances prevented that prosperity all were desiring. The church building was inadequate to the occasion, and a failure to unite with a remnant of the old "Church of the Restoration" so disheartened the minister that he turned to a new field of work to which he had been invited in Auburn, N.Y. His ministry here was highly successful. His influence reached beyond the city in which he labored, rendering his work peculiarly attractive. He subsequently removed to Syracuse, where for some months he highly enjoyed his pastorate. His biographer, Dr. I.M. Atwood, writes of him: "Crowds flocked to his ministrations, and he seemed animated by extraordinary energies. But gradually he became aware of some insidious malady repeating its attacks on his vigorous constitution." He sought various means to master it, but in vain. Once or twice he rallied, under new treatment and diet, and came up surprisingly. He made a visit of two weeks to his old friends in Roxbury and Boston, but was all the time failing, and with difficulty reached his home in Newark, N.J., where he departed for the better life, April 14, 1874. His mind was on his work to the last, but the unfailing hope cheered and sustained him. He was a preacher of remarkably magnetic power.

{210} One of the most noted of Christian ministers in the present century was Rev. Edwin Hubbell Chapin, D.D., LL.D., of the Universalist Church. He was born in Union Village, Washington County, N.Y., Dec. 29, 1814, and died Dec. 26, 1880, in the city of New York. In his childhood he became a resident, with his parents, of Vermont, where he received his academic course of studies in Bennington. His father, a rigid Calvinist, trained his son in the traditional theology of their ancestors; but the creed proved too narrow for him to be satisfied with it. In 1836, while with his father (an artist), who was on a professional visit to Utica, N.Y., he first had access to a collection of books teaching a more consistent interpretation of the Scriptures, which he read with avidity. He attended the church of our larger faith there, and in due time became convinced that Christian Universalism was the Gospel of the New Testament. After attending to the study of the law for a short time, he gave it up, and accepted the position of associate editor of the "Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate." His powers as a speaker and thinker soon becoming evident, he was urged to enter the ministry, which after much serious and anxious reflection he concluded to do, and began his preparation accordingly. His first sermon was delivered in a barn at Litchfield, and he continued preaching in the vicinity until his ordination in 1837. In May, 1838, he became pastor of the "Independent Christian Church," composed of Universalists and Unitarians, in Richmond, Va.

In 1839, on his way to the meeting of the General Convention, Mr. Chapin attended the funeral of Rev. Thomas F. King, at the Universalist Church in Charlestown, Mass., where Mr. King had been pastor. Complying {211} with an invitation to preach in the church in the evening, the result was an invitation for him to supply the pulpit for three months. In December, 1840, he was installed as pastor there. He was next invited to become colleague of the venerable Hosea Ballou, in the School Street Church, Boston, and was installed there Nov. 28, 1845. Finally, he became pastor of the Fourth New York Society, and remained so until his death. He first occupied the pulpit of the Murray Street Church, but this proving too small, the society moved to All Souls Church in Broadway, where it grew to such proportions that a new and costly edifice was erected at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Forty-fifth Street, dedicated Dec. 2, 1866, and named the "Church of the Divine Paternity." During the years of his matured strength he ministered to his people, while thousands of every name and creed came from near and far to listen to his eloquent words. Here on Palm Sunday, March 21, 1880, he preached the last time on earth. And here on December 30 was gathered the most august assembly that ever sought to honor the memory of an American clergyman, every Christian sect of the city being represented at the altar by its ablest divines, while great numbers of men and women of all denominations turned away unable to gain admittance to his obsequies. In the other churches where he had been pastor, memorial services were held.

The public life of Dr. Chapin was one of incessant action. He was not merely a church preacher. As another has written of him:—

"His was a divided throne between the pulpit and the platform. For many years he was active in the temperance {212} and other reforms, and his magnetic eloquence made him sought by all associations of the kind that desired the presence of a crowd and a stirring and persuasive appeal. Then for five-and-twenty years he was one of the most prominent of a long catalogue of lecturers whom every lyceum must hear."[47]

In his memorial address in Boston, Dr. Miner thus alluded to the aptness and force of his appeals:—

"I remember on one occasion, in the suburbs of Boston, when, after discussing in a somewhat general way the great waste occasioned by intemperance, he asked his auditory to reflect upon the waste that would be involved in gathering up the cereals of the Commonwealth, converting them into whiskey, taking the whiskey down to the end of Long Wharf, knocking in the heads of the barrels, and spilling the whole into the dock; and, said he, 'would it be any less a waste if you were to strain that whiskey through human stomachs, and spoil the strainer?' What more telling exhibition of the vital diabolism of the whole business of making and drinking whiskey than is involved in that simple illustration."

The address of Dr. Chapin before the Peace Congress at Frankfort-on-the-Main, in 1850, surpassing every other of the occasion in eloquence and power, made his name known through Europe, and placed him among the greatest orators in the world. His religious character was deep and strong, an embodiment of consecration to Christian principle.

The volumes containing Dr. Chapin's sermons, orations, and addresses are so many, and their character in substance and style so uniformly attractive, that we hardly dare venture on quotations from them, even if {213} space were allowed us. As a specimen, however, we present his strong and glowing words in conclusion of his Fourth of July oration, in 1854, at the Crystal Palace, in New York city.

"Men constitute eras. Washington himself was the embodiment of the Revolution, and may fitly personate to other men and other ages the principles of that movement. But let not even the greatness of Washington overshadow the merits of the least of those who labored and sacrificed in that early struggle. Come up before us to-day from many a battle-ground, from many a post of duty; from the perilous enterprise and the lonely night-watch! The pageant of this hour sinks from my sight. This temple of industry, with all its emblems of civilization, dissolves into thin air. These tokens of a great and prosperous people pass away. This magnificent city dwindles to a provincial town. I am standing now upon some village green, on an early summer morning, when the dew is on the grass, and the sun just tips the hills. I see before me a little band clothed in the garb that is now so venerable. There are the cocked hat, the continental coat, the well-worn musket. They have turned away from their homes; they have turned from the fields of their toil; they have heard the great call of freedom and of duty, and before God and man they are ready. Hark! it is the tap of a drum, and they move forward to the tremendous issue. That drum-beat echoes around the world! That movement was the march of an irresistible Idea—the Idea of the spiritual worth and the inalienable rights of every man; out of which grow the stability of nations, and the unity of the world."

A more positive and thorough expositor of the doctrine of Universalism could not be heard from the pulpit than Dr. Chapin. This has been acknowledged on all {214} hands by those who were most constant and attentive listeners to him. But the great aim of his ministry was to make men know and feel the power of the inner life of the Gospel. He distinctly states this in the first published volume of his discourses:—

"The great end of preaching is to reform the life, to reconcile man to duty and to God. The great principle to be propagated and established in the souls of men is not this or that particular ism, but the spirit of Christ. Without this no denomination can be right, no society can flourish, no soul can live."

Mr. Chapin was a poet as well as an orator. Some of his hymns, long used in our church services, are of great merit, having the beauty of Moore with the spiritual fervor of Charles Wesley. The writer takes pleasure in transcribing one of them for these pages, which was written from a sense of duty, and at the close of a very hot day in July, when we had been very diligently at work on the new Hymn Book, compiled by us jointly for Mr. Abel Tompkins, publisher, in 1845. We were about to make up the last package of matter for the press. The writer had prepared one or two hymns expressly for the book, while such of Mr. Chapin's as had a place in it, were selected from papers and church service programmes of the time. He was urged to write one then wanted for the miscellaneous department of the book, the subject to be, "During or After a Destructive Storm." Wearied as he was, he consented, and standing at the desk, wholly absorbed in his theme, soon brought out the following, which speaks for itself:—


Amid surrounding gloom and waste,
From nature's face we flee,
And in our fear and wonder haste,
O nature's Life, to thee!
Thy ways are in the mighty deep,
In tempests as they blow;
In floods that o'er our treasures sweep;
The lightning and the snow.

"Though earth upon its axis reels,
And heaven is veiled in wrath,
Not one of nature's million wheels
Breaks its appointed path.
Fixed in thy grasp, the sources meet
Of beauty and of awe;
In storm or calm, all pulses beat
True to the central law.

"Thou art that law, whose will thus done,
In seeming wreck and blight,
Sends the calm planets round the sun,
And pours the moon's soft light.
We trust thy love; thou best dost know
The universal peace,
How long the stormy force should blow,
And when the flood should cease.

"And though around our path some form
Of mystery ever lies,
And life is like the calm and storm
That checker earth and skies,—
Through all its mingling joy and dread,
Permit us, Holy One,
By faith to see the golden thread
Of thy great purpose run."

The closing of the life of this eminent man was in accordance with his whole ministry. At his funeral services in the Church of the Divine Paternity, Rev. Dr. Armitage, of New York city, in a most impressive address to the congregation, took occasion to speak of an interview with him in his extreme weakness:—

{216} "'Doctor, do you realize now the sweetness of the promise of Christ in your broken condition?' He looked at me with the simplicity of a babe; but I saw a tear moisten his eye and a little tremulousness mingled with his voice, and he said, 'My dear brother, what should I do without Christ. Christ is everything to me now.' So he spoke of the loving Redeemer. I said, 'Well, then, may I have this consolation, Doctor, of knowing that you, who have been in the ministry so long, labored so hard, done so much to lift up other minds and pour consolation into disconsolate hearts, that you to-day realize the same breadth and fulness and sweetness of consolation in Christ that you have ministered to others?' He simply made this answer: 'Doctor, Christ to me is all in all.'

"I asked him if it would be pleasant to have a word of prayer. He made an effort to rise, as if he greeted the proposition with great joy. I said, 'No, Doctor, you can't rise; do nothing; lie quietly, and I will kneel at your side with my hands in yours. Let us give each other to God our Father to-day.' He said, 'Well, we will.' I bent at his side, and with such simplicity and brotherly love and confidence in God as I could summon, sought the blessing of heaven upon him. He joined in the prayer; he buried his brow in one hand, and held my hand with the other. He seemed to glow with love. I asked the Lord to give him strength, and, if possible, to spare him to the church, and presented those wishes at the Throne of Grace which any of your hearts would prompt under similar circumstances. At the close of a brief prayer, as I said, 'Lord, Lord, grant these things to thy servant, for Jesus Christ's sake,' holding my hand with a firm grip, and lifting up his eyes towards heaven, in the same ringing, fervent, strong voice that you have heard so often from his lips, his whole nature said, 'Amen.'"

In 1856 Harvard College conferred upon him the {217} honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity, and Tufts College that of Doctor of Laws in 1878.[48]

During twenty-five years Rev. Joseph D. Pierce was pastor of the Universalist Church in North Attleboro, Mass. He was born in North Scituate, Mass., Nov. 15, 1815, and died in North Attleboro, Nov. 16, 1880. During his minority his educational advantages were limited to the public schools. After serving an apprenticeship as a carpenter, he entered the Derby Academy in Hingham. He taught in the public schools, devoting his leisure to reading and study. Resolved on entering the ministry, he began his preparatory studies with Rev. Hosea Ballou, 2d, in Medford, Mass. His first sermon was preached in East Boston, in 1839. He then supplied the pulpits in South Dedham and East Boston for a year, and was ordained in 1841. He was first settled at Hartland, Vt., where he also taught school, remaining until May, 1845, when he was called to North Attleboro. After a pastorate here of one year, failing health induced him to abandon regular preaching and engage in teaching. He became principal of the Attleboro Academy, continuing to some extent his pastoral work, and occasionally supplying at West Wrentham. In 1850 he took charge of the Universalist parish in Claremont, N.H., where he preached, teaching school also most of the time for five years. He also served as a member of the school committee in that town, and discharged the duties of his office with such marked ability and benefit to the schools that, {218} upon hearing of his intent to remove to Massachusetts, a deacon of the Baptist Church said, "We cannot get along without him." By a unanimous invitation from the parish in North Attleboro, he was again settled there in 1855, where he remained until his death. He was representative of Attleboro in the State Legislature for 1868, and served his constituents with credit. He was an untiring student, logical in thought and method, and an effective preacher. He had great modesty, and never sought for oratorical display. His heart and hand were given to every good work. He was feeble in health, and endured much physical suffering. He once said that he had not known a waking hour free from pain for fifteen years, yet his religious trust and unsubdued spirit sustained him through a life of unremitting toil.

Rev. Thomas J. Carney, of Dresden, Me., was a minister of varied experiences, and a useful laborer in the Gospel field. He was taught the gospel of universal grace and salvation in the home of his childhood. He travelled over the States extensively in youth, and visited the West Indies, and afterwards studied for the ministry. The last years of his life were spent as pastor and missionary in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois. He extended his journeyings and missionary work to Missouri and Kansas, and visited New Mexico. He was a man of strong convictions, and an earnest advocate of the doctrine which he loved. He made many friends, and well deserved them. Four church edifices are standing as monuments of his faithfulness. He was fatally injured by a fall from his horse, and died at Buffalo, Ill., in 1871. His wife was, before her marriage, {219} Miss Julia A. Fletcher, a well known and very acceptable writer in our church and to the public.

Rev. James Munroe Cook was born in Marcellus, Onondaga County, N.Y., Nov. 24, 1818. He was a favorite in the family circle, and kindly regarded by his schoolmates and teachers. At an early age he was a diligent student of the Scriptures, and before he was fifteen years of age was not unfrequently engaged in defending the doctrine which he afterwards preached, and laboring to show to unbelievers its consistency and attractiveness.

In 1837 he came to Rochester, N.Y., and commenced his studies for the ministry with Rev. George Sanderson. He was a diligent student, and had a remarkably retentive memory. His first sermon was preached in Gates, near Rochester, in October, 1837. He had pastorates in Chili, Churchville, Perrinton, and Victor, N.Y. In November, 1845, he entered upon his duties as pastor of the Second Universalist Society in Providence, R.I. Through discouraging circumstances in the beginning of his work here, he went forward with great faith and earnestness, and realized a successful ministry. His pastorate in Providence continued four years, when, in November, 1849, he took charge of the Universalist Society in Baltimore, Md. His good reputation in Providence had preceded him, and he was warmly welcomed by his new friends. They were highly pleased with his pulpit ministries, and the services in the church were well attended, and his popularity in the city was increasing. But the society had a heavy debt upon it, and looked to Mr. Cook as the chief instrumentality in the removal of it. He saw what was before him, and {220} realized the discouraging magnitude of the work. But he would not shrink from what was expected of him, and entered upon the effort with a bravery that overcame all obstacles, and secured the end desired,—the removal of the debt. But, alas! the strain had been too great; his strength gave way, and in the midst of his usefulness he was called to the higher life. He died in calm resignation, and in strongest hope of entering his final and immortal home.

Of his ministry, Rev. Dr. Thomas Whittemore, at the time of his death, in 1850, wrote:—

"As a preacher he excelled in certain respects. He was a man to move the masses. He spoke without writing, and delivered his message of divine truth with great power. He aimed not at elegant words and polished sentences, but to speak the truth in demonstration of the spirit. He aimed to reach the heart. He would keep the attention of a thousand people fixed intently upon his theme through a long discourse. His sermon, delivered in the Warren Street Church, during the session of the United States Convention in Boston, in 1845, is an illustration of the truth of what we say. There an immense auditory listened to him with the greatest interest for a long time, for they were unconscious of its rapid flight. They caught his feelings, they rejoiced with him, they wept with him, and at the close the general expression of the people was, 'that was the Gospel, that came from the preacher's heart and reached our hearts.'"

Cut off in the midst of his years, his memory is a blessing for what he was enabled during his short life to accomplish.

[47]   Rev. Dr. T.J. Sawyer.

[48]   For a more particular acquaintance with the life and character of Dr. Chapin, the reader is referred to the excellent Memoir of him by Rev. S. Ellis, D.D., just issued by the Universalist Publishing House.



"As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand."—Jesus.

A FERVENT and devoted servant of the Christian Master was Rev. A.W. Bruce. Born in Bennington, Vt., he was taught the Methodist faith, and held it until his nineteenth year, when by his own diligent investigations he became a believer in Universalism. After practising as a physician for a short time, he entered the ministry, and became an indefatigable and successful worker therein. He was ordained in 1843, had settlements in New England and in three of the Western States, and died in Lafayette, Ind. in 1871, leaving a good name in the churches and with all who knew of his work for human reform, and were co-operators with him.

Rev. Frederick A. Hodsdon was a native of Berwick, Me. In his childhood his parents removed to Kenduskeag, where his early years were mostly spent. When but eighteen years of age, he was the subject of religious impressions, and gave himself by personal consecration to the service of Christ. He became a Universalist in spirit as well as in belief, and resolved to devote his life to the ministry. He was a student with {222} Rev. J.B. Dods and Rev. S. Cobb, D.D. His first settlement was in Readfield, Me., his next in Danvers, Mass., his third in Goffstown, N.H., and from his labors here there came the church now existing in Manchester. He was next in Kenduskeag, his old home, where he purchased a place of residence, and was for a time pastor of the society there. In 1839 he preached the sermon at the dedication of the Universalist church in Belfast, and was unanimously invited to become pastor of the society; but was obliged to decline on account of previous engagements. A few years after he accepted a second invitation to the place, where his ministry was very prosperous. In 1849 he acted as General Agent for the Maine Universalist Missionary, Educational, and Tract Societies. In 1850 he accepted a call to New Haven, Conn., where his labors were highly successful. Failing health compelled him to resign his charge, and return to his home in Maine. He did not however, relinquish the work of the ministry, but preached at times in different places, until, on recovering his strength, he was induced to become again minister of the society in Belfast, where he continued for most of the time until he was obliged to abandon the active work of his calling. He was for a little time Chaplain of the 24th Maine Regiment, and minister to the Second Society in Portland. Before his departure he had a long and painful sickness, through which his strong faith sustained him. He died Aug. 19, 1869, aged 64 years.

Mr. Hodsdon was one of the most faithful and honored of our ministers. His convictions were strong, his motives the purest, his preaching clear, earnest, and convincing. A devout man himself, he made others {223} devout and prayerful. The cause of vital religion prospered under his ministry. Of attractive and commanding personal appearance, courteous in manners and Christian in spirit, he won the hearts of old and young, and made hosts of friends wherever he resided or was known. The savor of his noble life still lingers in the churches which enjoyed his ministrations.

Rev. Ezekiel W. Coffin was one of the truly faithful of the ministerial fraternity. He came from Gilead, Me., where he was born August 14, 1810. His parents were Methodists, but in his youth his attention was called to the doctrines of Universalism by the preaching of Rev. Sylvanus Cobb. He afterwards resolved to devote himself to the ministry. He was a student with Rev. Mr. Averill of Eddington, Me., and was ordained June, 1840. He was first settled at Centre Harbor, N.H., for four years; then at Weymouth, Mass., then at Canton St. Church, Boston; afterwards at North Attleboro, Annisquam, Beverly and Shirley, Mass., Jaffrey, N.H., Bryant's Pond, Me., Orange, Mass., West Concord, Vt., and Bernardston, Mass. His ministerial life included about forty-three years.

Those who knew Mr. Coffin bear ample testimony to his many excellent traits, both as a minister and a man; that he lived the doctrine which he taught, and that in his last sickness "he gave the whole community a lesson of patience and resignation in suffering." His illness extended over a period of three and a half years, and was very painful; but he never lost his faith and courage. After he had become so helpless that he could not walk, or even stand, he still continued his work. Faithful friends bore him in his chair to the pulpit {224} on each returning Sunday, and for more than two years he thus,—like Father Murray in his last preaching days,—delivered his testimony while sitting. Weak in body, but strong and upraised in spirit, he gave his testimony to his people inspired with that glorious apostolic assurance, "For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the Gospel is preached unto you."

Rev. Edward Augustus Drew was for a few years a useful minister. He was born in Plymouth, Mass., Nov. 22, 1845, and died in Lynn, Mass., Oct. 11, 1874, in the twenty-ninth year of his age. He was very studious from early life. Graduating from the High School in his native town, he entered Tufts College in the autumn of 1863. To assist in defraying his expenses, he was obliged to teach during the winters, and by his ambition and perseverance he took many prizes, besides graduating at the head of the class of 1867. He then became a teacher of the ancient languages in the Medford (Mass.) High School, where he remained two years. In 1869 he became Principal of the Green Mountain Institute, now known as the Green Mountain Perkins Academy, at South Woodstock, Vt. He afterwards took the position of Chase Classical Instructor at Dean Academy, which he occupied until the summer of 1871, when the conviction that he should enter the ministry induced him to enter Tufts Divinity School, where he graduated in June, 1872. He was first settled as pastor of the Universalist Church in Newburyport, Mass., and in one year afterwards became pastor of the Second Universalist Society in Lynn, where he remained until his death. {225} His labors were blessed with excellent results, but his course was impeded by failing health. Another has written of him:—

"He was highly appreciated and esteemed as a preacher of the Gospel. His manner was pleasing, his language well chosen, his thoughts clearly presented, his illustrations appropriate, often the fruit of his scholarly reading and taste; and there was a blending of the doctrinal, practical, and spiritual in his discourses that made his preaching both instructive and inspiring, and adapted to interest and benefit all classes of hearers. Outside of his own church he was greatly esteemed and beloved."

Rev. Norris Coleman Hodgdon was born in Epping, N.H., Aug. 22, 1818. His means of education in the beginning of life were limited, but he was fond of books and study, and earnest and persevering in his search for knowledge. After becoming a conscientious believer in the faith of Universalism, he made every effort to strengthen his own convictions, and to awaken the attention of others to the claims of Christian truth. He preached his first sermon July 23, 1841. He then preached a short time in Baltimore, Md., Philadelphia, New York, and Brooklyn; went to Maine in 1843, and was ordained in Paris, December 28, of the same year. He preached in that vicinity for a short time, and then awhile in Ludlow, Vt. He was afterwards settled in East Randolph, Chester, Jacksonville, and Vernon, Vt., in Kingston, N.H., Harvard, South Dedham, Marlborough, and Foxborough, Mass. His last settlement was for one year in Pittsfield, Me. While living in Vernon, Vt., he compiled and published a book called "A Denominational Offering from the Literature of Universalism." {226} It contains extracts from different writers in exposition and enforcement of the doctrine and spirit of Universalism, and has been well received. While attending a meeting near Wilton, Me., in 1877, he was stricken with paralysis, from which he rallied, and was able for a while to read and write and visit his friends. He moved to Benton after his illness, where he passed the last years of his life. He was a faithful, earnest man and minister.

Rev. S.P. Landers, of Central New York, entered the ministry in 1836. He was for a little time in Andover, Mass., and in 1841 began his work as pastor in Worcester, where he laid the foundation of the Universalist church in that city. He afterwards resided in West Cambridge (now Arlington), preaching on Sundays, and devoting his other time chiefly to his favorite pursuit, horticulture, and to the interests of a private seminary established by members of his own household. He was highly esteemed for his many virtues. "His whole family," writes his daughter, "are Universalists, and have been since Universalism as such has been known in the land. In his native town (Afton, N.Y.) half the Universalists are named Landers, or are related to them."

Rev. John Nichols, of Cohasset, Mass., had pastorates in different places in Massachusetts, and in Claremont, N.H. He was pastor in Holliston nine and in Beverly ten years, and while in the former place represented the town in the Legislature of 1848-9. He was a pure-minded, warm-hearted, toiling man. In every one of his settlements he wrought a good work, and the {227} influence of his character and deeds made not only the minister, but the cause he represented, respected. He was in sympathy with every moral reform, but was called suddenly away. While preaching his last discourse in Beverly, he was stricken with paralysis, from which he never recovered, his farewell sermon being thus his farewell to earthly scenes.

Rev. Robert Killam was another faithful, modest, and earnest man. His pastorates were in three considerable towns in Massachusetts. He closed his earthly work in West Scituate in 1866, aged seventy-six. He was a Bible Christian, a plain and clear expositor, practical in his preaching as in his daily conduct. Another writes of him: "He early saw and illustrated the duty of applying the Gospel to all the affairs of life. He joined the advancing hosts in the grave questions which have convulsed the nation, his countenance aglow with youthful fire when he argued the equal rights of man."

Rev. Charles Henry Webster was born in Georgetown, Mass., Dec. 5, 1817. He was from early life fond of books and study, and determined if possible to obtain a liberal education. But at the age of eighteen, while attending school at Bradford (Mass.) Academy, he was accidentally injured in one of his eyes, and did not fully recover for some years. He was afterwards able to prepare for the ministry at Clinton, N.Y., and was first settled at Beverly, Mass.; afterwards at East Lexington, South Dedham, East Boston, Chicopee, Mass.; at Auburn and Lewiston, Me.; at Collinsville and Granby, Conn. At the last-named place he lived nine years, acting for two years as State Missionary. In December, {228} 1864, he was appointed chaplain of the 29th Maine Regiment, and served to the close of the war. His son, a young man of much promise, died of wounds received in the service. Mr. Webster's first wife was Miss Mary Buckminster, of Georgetown, Mass.; his second, Mrs. M.C. Granniss, a lady long and favorably known to the denomination by her contributions to the "Ladies' Repository" and other periodicals. Upon his second marriage he went into secular business, still continuing to preach as opportunity offered. He died of pneumonia, after great suffering, March 8, 1877, in his sixtieth year. He was one of the true and brave spirits who endured obloquy and repudiation by family and friends because of his fidelity to his religious convictions, and was made more than victor in his persistent and devoted life.

Rev. Asa P. Cleverly did good service in the ministry. Ordained in 1834, he became the pastor of societies in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He had not the wide recognition of some ministers, but his character was pure, and the best results of faithful Christian exertion were found in every parish in which he labored. The pastors following him had cause to speak in praise of the good works of their predecessor. He died in Boston in 1871, aged sixty-four.

Rev. Thomas J. Whitcomb was born in Hanover, Mass., June 4, 1801, and died in Canisteo, Steuben County, N.Y., Feb. 9, 1877. He attended for a while the academy in the neighboring town of Hingham, and studied for the ministry with Rev. Paul Dean, in Boston. He was ordained in Washington, N.H., in June, 1827. In 1830 he was at Hudson, N.Y., and was afterwards {229} located at Schenectady, Victor, Cortland, Newport, Springville, Buffalo, and Alexander, N.Y., and, in 1844-46, at Hightstown, N.J. In 1868 he went to live in Cambridgeboro', Crawford County, Pa., where he resided four years. He then removed to Canisteo, and remained there until his death. He has left an excellent name as a citizen, minister, and pastor. Rev. Dr. Le Fevre, who knew him well, says:—

"Brother Whitcomb was not what is termed a sensational preacher, nor did he possess rhetorical powers, but he was a good preacher, and left on his hearers the conviction of his earnestness and devotedness. As a disciple of the Master, he followed his direction 'Go preach the Gospel!' That was the sum and substance of his message. In his pastoral relationship he was very efficient."

Rev. George W. Whitney, born in Nashua, N.H., March 27, 1843, was another of our worthy ministers called away from his earthly work in the prime of his usefulness. He received his early religious training in the Congregational Church, when after his eighteenth year becoming an attendant at the Universalist Church, of which Rev. J.O. Skinner was pastor, he embraced the doctrines there taught, and subsequently entered upon the study of divinity. His first sermon was preached on the day of his majority, at West Windsor, Vt., where he preached part of the time in 1865. He was afterwards located as pastor in Westminster, Beverly, and Quincy, Mass., and in 1878 assumed the pastorate of the parish in Augusta, Me., remaining here until the progress of his disease (consumption) forced him to resign. He preached his last sermon Jan. 9, 1881, concluding a rich and successful ministry. He {230} had the inborn elements of a Christian minister. He was a logical, ready, and gifted speaker, but his great strength lay in his earnest and sympathetic nature, which found out the best qualities in his hearers and roused them to action. When conscious that his life-work was ended, he saw the approach of death with calmness; his sufferings seemed but to develop greater spirituality. In one of his last letters to a friend, he says: "Never until these days of trial and sickness has the spiritual and divine been so real, or my faith in another life so strong." He died in Waltham, Mass., May 26, 1881.

Rev. Robinson Breare came into our ministry from England. He was in early life a member of the Wesleyan Church there. In 1832 he was inducted into the ministry of that church, having been examined by the Rev. Richard Watson, the author of Watson's "Institutes." In 1839 he was sent as a missionary to Halifax, N.S. In 1841, while engaged in the work of a revival in his church, a Universalist book was put into his hands, and after a careful reading of it, and long and prayerful inquiry and meditation, he became a believer in the Gospel of God's impartial grace and salvation. And there in Halifax, in the face of persecution by his former parishioners, in spite of the severance of all former friendships, he began, in painfulness and trial, the work of building up the Universalist Church. From that time, the work has gone steadily forward. Our church in Halifax is as true and substantial as any that exists in the Province.

Mr. Breare remained in Halifax until the first church was built. He then came to Massachusetts, where he {231} labored from 1844 to 1853. In this last-named year he came to Ohio, where he successfully canvassed for the "Star in the West." Afterwards, for two years, he was employed as missionary by the Ballou Association. In 1856 he came into Gallia County, where he lived during the remainder of his days, having his home at last in Wilkesville, Vinton County. He was loved and honored wherever known, and no man, it would seem, could have had a more complete consecration than he to the Christian cause. With his immovable faith in Universalism, he united the enlightened and fervent zeal of a true Christian revivalist.



Workman of God! O lose not heart,
But learn what God is like;
And in the darkest battle-field
Thou shalt know where to strike.
Lyra Catholica.

REV. ZADOC H. HOWE, of Maine, after receiving an academical education in Readfield, Me., prepared for the ministry, and was ordained in 1846. After a service of some years in his native State, he removed to Monroe, Madison County, Wis., where, after preaching a year and a half, he was compelled by failing health to suspend his labors. A severe bronchial trouble, making public speaking difficult, was the cause of frequent removals. For the last six or seven years of his life he was postmaster of Monroe. During the war of the Rebellion he was appointed chaplain of the 5th Wisconsin regiment, but was obliged after a few months to resign. He was a gentle and pure-souled man, with keen intellectual powers. One who knew him well, has written of him:—

"In theology, as in his theories of reform in general, he was very radical, holding firmly and conscientiously to the naturalistic views of the so-called liberal wing of the theologians, and did not feel himself in complete harmony with the {233} policy of the Universalist denomination. Yet embracing with his whole heart its fundamental and distinguishing tenets, his soul was all aflame with noble and generous impulses."

Rev. Willard C. George was one of the preachers of Maine, having had pastorates there in Bremen, Dresden, and Calais. He was one of the most modest of men, of feeble voice, but a speaker who was very acceptable to his hearers, because of the good thoughts brought out in his discoursing. Convinced that his health required a change of occupation, he adopted the medical profession, making a visit to Europe to gain information from foreign sources that might aid him in his new vocation. On his return home he published a book of his travels and observations abroad. He was a successful practitioner in several places, and finally returned to his native town, Norway, Me., where he died in October, 1869, aged fifty-seven. He was not only a sound theologian, but was well versed in the physical sciences, upon which he frequently lectured. He never abandoned his purpose to return to the ministry as soon as his health would allow. He was a devoted Christian, and gave his life to much of the good work which Christianity requires.

Rev. Mark Powers began his preparation for the ministry with Rev. L.H. Tabor, then of West Charleston, Vt., in February, 1854, and in July, 1855, was ordained at Washington, Vt., where for four years he lived, preaching there and at Strafford, twenty miles distant. He afterwards removed to Strafford, where he continued to preach for six years, making in all ten years of labor in the latter place. He then removed to {234} Gaysville, Vt., where he continued for four years, and from thence to West Concord, which was his last settlement. In Strafford he induced the Universalists to buy out the Free Will Baptists, who claimed to own one half of the meeting-house, and to repair it, and was thus instrumental in giving them a house of their own, and freeing them from the constant annoyance to which a union house had subjected them. Essentially the same thing was accomplished while he lived in Gaysville, while the effort there resulted also in a better edifice. In West Concord, his ministry, though short, was successful. His sermons were sound, his spirit excellent, and the result of his teaching every way good. In the autumn of 1870 Mr. Powers attended the Centenary Convention at Gloucester, Mass., where he was taken with a hmorrhage of the lungs from which he never recovered. He died in June, 1872.

Rev. Lewis Leonard Record was born in Minot (afterwards Auburn), Me. He graduated at Bowdoin College in 1845. In 1850 he was ordained, and was settled as a preacher in Houlton, Me., in Scituate and Anisquam, Mass. In 1863 he went into the army as chaplain of the 23d Massachusetts regiment of volunteers, and served eleven months. While with the army in North Carolina he was attacked with the yellow fever, from the effects of which he never recovered. When his strength was somewhat restored, he engaged in missionary work, and did good service, especially in Biddeford and Saco, Me., preparing the way for a new house of worship in that locality. In 1870 he moved to Marlboro', N.H., where he labored earnestly and successfully until July, 1871, when he was compelled to {235} desist from labor, and from that date he steadily declined until his death, which took place in Marlboro, Dec. 7, 1871, in the fifty-sixth year of his age. At his burial the clergymen of different denominations in the town acted as pall-bearers. He was highly respected, and his whole being was consecrated to the cause of the Gospel.

Rev. Henry H. Baker was born in Minot, Me., Nov. 24, 1811, and died of paralysis in Rochester, N.Y., Sept. 28, 1881. He was aided by friends in obtaining an education with the expectation that he would become a Methodist preacher; but being converted to Universalism in his school days, he was unable to comply with their wishes, and desired to enter the ministry of his newly-adopted faith. Being restrained from this by the fear of alienating his friends, he determined to study medicine; but after devoting a year to this, he yielded to his stronger impulse, and by advice of Rev. D.T. Stevens, then of Lewiston Falls, Me., abandoned medicine and began the study of divinity. He was ordained in 1841. His first pastorate was over the societies of Windham and Gray, Me., where he preached on alternate Sundays for two years. He was afterwards settled over the parishes in Elliot and Kittery, Me., in Essex and Georgetown, Mass., in Ludlow, Vt., in Hammond, Fort Plain, St. Johnsville, Fordsbush, Argusville, and other neighboring towns, N.Y., one year in Orange, Mass., and six years in Middleport, N.Y. After this he lived in Rochester and preached in Conesas, when his health declined, and he preached only occasionally as his health would permit. He was a member of the Massachusetts Legislature from Georgetown while he {236} lived there in the winter of 1850-1. He was an earnest, sincere, and faithful servant of the Christian Master.

Rev. James W. Ford was born in Orford, N. H., in 1796, and died at Kendall's Mills, Me., Dec. 16, 1861, aged sixty-five. He was educated for the medical profession, and gained a good reputation as a physician, having served in that capacity in Westbrook and Waterville, Me. His love of Universalism, however, gradually led him into the ministry. He appears as a new minister in 1841, at Claremont, N. H. He was at Morristown, Vt., from 1842 to 1844; at Glover, Vt., 1844 to 1847; at Winchester, N. H., 1847 to 1851; at Springfield, Vt., 1851; at Springfield, Mass., 1852 and 1853; at Holyoke, Mass., 1854-5; at Norway, Me., 1856 to 1860; at Kendall's Mills from 1860 until his decease. Wherever he resided he was respected as a physician and minister. After an illness of several months he passed away quietly and peacefully, leaving a family and numerous friends to cherish his memory. He was buried with Masonic honors, and two Methodist clergymen assisted in the funeral services.

Rev. E. H. Lake was born in Haverhill, Mass., and moved to Lynn when fifteen years old. He soon became constant at church and active in conference meetings. In 1839, when only seventeen, he commenced preparing for the ministry, and soon after began preaching in school-houses in the surrounding towns. He was afterwards settled successively in Middleton and Bridgewater, Mass., and East Kingston and Westmoreland, N. H. About 1850 he removed to South Carolina on account of failing health, and travelled extensively {237} in that State, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi. He wrote much for the Universalist paper of that region, held several public discussions, published a book, and did the full work of a very strong man. He was a ready speaker, earnest, keen, yet pleasant, and had a retentive memory. He was difficult to manage in controversy, but was always orderly, respectful, and kind to his opponent. He had purchased a small farm of 100 acres in Magnolia, N. C., where he resided with his family. He had seemed to be on the borders of the grave with consumption for two years, but still kept actively engaged in his profession, and died while on a visit to Rev. A. Bosserman, then just released from prison in Richmond, in the autumn of 1862, aged about forty years.

Rev. L. B. Mason died in May, 1864, in Madison, Wis. He was favorably known as a minister and highly esteemed in New England. He was at one time pastor of the Second Universalist Church in Lowell, Mass. From this city he moved to Haverhill, Mass., and was pastor of the Universalist Church in that place several years. From Haverhill he was called to the pastorate of St. Paul's Church in Chicago. He became proprietor and editor of the "New Covenant," and conducted the paper with much ability and discretion. After the breaking out of the Rebellion, he became chaplain of the 12th Wisconsin Regiment, but the hardships and exposure incident to the position were too much for his frail constitution, and he was compelled to resign his office in the autumn of 1863, after having faithfully served his regiment from the day of its organization. His men loved him devotedly, and testified to his faithfulness {238} as a chaplain. But he came home quite broken in health, though afterwards preaching and working when many men of feebler determination would have been utterly discouraged. On one or two occasions he fainted in the pulpit when officiating, but still persisted in his work till within a few weeks of his decease.

Rev. Lafayette Barstow died in Orono, Me., Nov. 10, 1865, aged forty-three years. In his youth he was connected with the Universalist Church in Chicopee, Mass., where he won the confidence and respect of his brethren. In 1850 he went to Oregon, where he remained several years. Returning to the East, he entered Tufts College, and was afterwards called to the pastorship of the Universalist Society in Orono, Me., where he labored with diligence and success for eight years, closing his only pastorate with his earthly life. Ex-Governor Washburn, for several years one of his parishioners, wrote in regard to his death and the loss to the Orono Society and to the denomination:—

"In the community where he lived his place will not be easily supplied. He had become, as it were, an integral part of the life of Orono. His well-known form will be missed upon the street, the light of his genial face, radiant with spiritual beauty, will be a joy in its homes no more, but his memory will be sweet and precious to all, of whatever religious name or party, who have known him intimately."

Rev. Stillman Barden was a fervent and devout man. Born in Stoddard, N.H., he commenced his ministry in 1839, and labored with but little cessation for twenty-six years. Most of his ministry was in Massachusetts. He was settled as pastor in South {239} Reading, Orleans, Beverly, Marblehead, and Rockport. His whole ministerial, domestic and social life, was one of Christian fidelity. Not preaching to large congregations of people, never receiving a large salary, he was, nevertheless, truly successful in securing the best results of the ministry. His religion was intensely practical. He was active in the cause of Temperance, and the Anti-slavery cause had not a well-wisher more ardent or conscientious. He loved the prayer and conference meeting, and was always ready with a warm and suggestive word to give it effect. He was much interested in the science of mineralogy, and had gathered quite a large and valuable cabinet of choice specimens. He died in Rockport, Mass., Aug. 7, 1865, aged fifty-three years.

Rev. Timothy J. Tenney was a native of Weare, N.H., and came into the ministry from the instruction of Rev. T.F. King, of Portsmouth, N.H., in 1834. In 1836 he moved to Maine, where in Fryeburg and neighboring towns he labored successfully for nearly four years. He was afterwards minister in Norway and Denmark, and then in St. Johnsbury and in Glover, Vt., where he closed his earthly career. So good was his health generally that he failed in no one instance to meet his appointments on account of illness, until at the very last of his days. He died in Glover, Vt., Oct. 8, 1854. He was an able and devoted minister of the New Testament, a conscientious and faithful man, true to his own convictions. He was a Christian reformer, always the active friend of Temperance, Freedom, and Peace. His son, Rev. C.R. Tenney, is at present pastor of the Universalist Church in Stoughton, Mass.

{240} Rev. Orren Perkins, born at Savoy, Mass., Aug. 11, 1823, preached his first sermon at South Adams, and was ordained at Bernardston, by the Winchester Association, in June, 1847. He was settled at Bernardston four years; afterwards had a short pastorate at Wilmington, Vt., and then moved to Winchester, N.H., where he remained twelve years. For five of those years he was a member of the State Legislature, being three years in the House and two in the Senate. He was also for ten years State superintendent of schools. Later, he took charge of the Academy at Cooperstown, N.Y., with which he was connected some years. He was settled at West Concord, Vt., the last two years of his life, and left there for Chicago, where he was to be employed in editorial work on the "Star and Covenant." He had a peculiarly sensitive and nervous temperament; and during the last few years was subject to great depression of spirits, caused by the loss of his property and the almost total failure of his voice. A gloomy cloud hung over him: he felt that his usefulness was at an end, and his mental anguish became insupportable. In a moment of frenzied despair his mind, affected by hereditary insanity, gave way, and he freed himself from the earthly life. He was much beloved, and his life was blameless. He was an accurate scholar, a very successful teacher, and an able and interesting writer. He died at Chicago, Ill., Oct. 30, 1880. He leaves a widow, Mrs. Sarah M. Perkins (one of our woman preachers), and three daughters.

Rev. Charles Heman Dutton was born in Ogden, Genesee County, N.Y., Oct. 5, 1823, and died in Hamilton, Ohio, July 17, 1877, in his fifty-fourth year. His {241} family removed to Rochester, N.Y., when he was seventeen years old; and he was a student in the Rochester Collegiate Institute. His thoughts at an early age had been turned to the ministry through the preaching of Rev. J.M. Cook. His studies preparatory to the ministry were very meagre; a few months were spent with Rev. Mr. Hammond of Rochester, and a few more with Rev. S.R. Smith, then of Buffalo. He was licensed as a preacher in 1843, when he was scarcely twenty years old. He was pastor in Essex, Canton, Marblehead, and Lowell, Mass. Afterwards he resided in Rochester and Leroy, N.Y., in Springfield, Marietta, and Hamilton, Ohio, in which last-named place he died. He was credited, in the various places of his residence, with a vigorous intellect, superior pulpit talents, gentlemanly manners, and the conscientious and faithful performance of his duties as a minister of the Gospel. His Christian faith grew stronger and stronger as the outward man failed.

Thirty years since, there was a minister of the Universalist faith in New Hampshire and Vermont, "a plain, blunt man," with no pretensions to a classical education, but speaking in words of most expressive English, with "the Bible at his tongue's end,"—Rev. Robert Bartlett. He was one of the pioneers, who preached the Gospel as opportunity occurred, in any place—school-house, barn, parlor, kitchen, church, or in the open field. He was always astir, and always full of his theme, "the Gospel of Universal Grace and Salvation." In the country places, rather than in cities, he seemed most at home. Once, it is said, when appointed to preach an occasional Convention sermon, at the yearly {242} assembling, in a large and beautiful church, he seemed in his simplicity and modesty so overpowered by the thought of the occasion as to be able to make only a faint demonstration of his speaking powers. But in his usual Sunday services in the rural places and with plainest surroundings, he would preach the word of the primitive Gospel "in demonstration of the spirit and with power." He is remembered, by not a few who have heard him, as such a preacher.

In recent time Mr. Bartlett disappeared from public notice; his work being done, and the infirmity of years resting upon him. He recently departed this life in Boston, January, 1882, aged nearly ninety. The funeral was attended by Dr. Miner, who in his youth had often listened to his preaching. The remains were taken for burial to Laconia, N.H.



"Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ."—2 Cor. v. 20.

REV. RUFUS SPUR POPE, pastor of the First Universalist Society in Hyannis, Mass., died in that place June 5, 1882. He was born in Stoughton, Mass., April 2, 1809. His father removed from Stoughton to Dorchester, and thence to Marlboro, where the son spent his youthful days in agricultural pursuits. He received his education in the common schools and in the Marlboro Academy. While young he was drawn toward the ministry, and his love for it continued to the end. He spent some time in theological studies with the late Rev. Sylvanus Cobb, D.D., in Malden; and in 1833 preached his first sermon, in South Dedham. Besides his settlement in this place, he had pastorates in Milford, Sterling, and Hardwick, covering a period of ten years. In 1843 the society in Hyannis invited him to be their pastor. Accepting the call, he labored in this place faithfully thirty years. After closing his work here, he ministered to the church in Orleans three years, and briefly supplied some other parishes. His health has been gradually failing for some years.

Mr. Pope was a public man in more than one sense. He served Barnstable for years very faithfully and acceptably {244} as one of its school committee, and was for two years representative from the town in the State Legislature. He filled for some time the office of Register of Probate for Barnstable County, and was for several years postmaster of Hyannis. He was an active and much respected member of the Masonic fraternity.

Rev. William M. De Long was born in Pittsfield, Otsego County, N.Y., Sept. 2, 1815, and died in Binghampton, N.Y., Oct. 30, 1877, aged sixty-two years. He was the youngest of a family of five brothers and nine sisters. When he was nine years old the family moved to Hastings, Oswego County. His mother became entirely blind by an inflammation in her eyes, and by reason of afflictions, of hard times and many children to provide for, the family was reduced to abject poverty. The father died soon after removing to Hastings, and the family was broken and scattered. The mother moved to Clark's Mills, near Utica, where she died in 1830, when William was fifteen years old. He lived a year in Sanquoit, with a friend of the family, and while there heard Rev. W. Bullard and Rev. Dolphus Skinner preach a few Universalist sermons, in which young De Long became deeply interested, as well as in reading the "Magazine and Advocate," and for this reason was dismissed from the machine-shop at Unadilla Forks by its proprietor, a Mr. Abel Stillman, who, however, reconsidered his unreasonable conduct, and reinstated Mr. De Long, who worked there long enough to acquire the money to pay for a year's tuition at Hartwick Seminary. He afterwards attended the New Berlin Academy. His faith in Universalism grew with his increased facilities for study, and in August, 1835, he preached his {245} first sermon. He was ordained July 20, 1837, and preached under different engagements at Lebanon, Oran, and Binghampton, in New York. In 1841 he joined Rev. George Rogers in a missionary tour through Ohio and Indiana. For many years he itinerated over a large circuit in New York and Pennsylvania. He was twice married, first to Miss Mary Ann Ashcroft, who died in 1870, and in 1871 to Miss Mary Jane Swart, an acceptable preacher of the Universalist faith, who survives him. There is a good account of her in "Our Woman Workers," by Mrs. Hanson.

In 1873 Mr. De Long began to suffer from a paralytic affection, from which he could get no relief. These sentences, written and signed by him a short time before he had lost the power of guiding his pen, show the strength of his faith: "I know that God is, that my Redeemer liveth, and that we have a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. This is the source of my consolation."

Rev. W.B. Linnell was born in Birmingham, England, in 1804, and died in Indianapolis, Ind., Sept. 6, 1868. His first settlement in the ministry was in Springboro, Ohio, in 1844, where he continued for seven years. He afterwards had a settlement in Fairfield, Ind.; Mt. Pleasant, Ia.; and Oquawka, in which last place he remained until the breaking out of the war. He then enlisted in the service of his adopted country as chaplain of the 10th Illinois regiment. Health failed him, and he returned to his home, after enduring the hardships of camp life for nearly a year. After recovering his health, he took charge of the church in Vevay, Ind. He was one of the pioneers {246} of Universalism in the West, and did good service as a Christian minister. Having much of the missionary spirit, his appointments were always numerous, and they were made many weeks ahead. As a preacher, though not particularly brilliant, he was always efficient. He inherited the traditional shrewdness and humor of the Yorkshire people, who were his ancestors, in such a degree as to make him a marked character among his brother ministers. He was kind and tender-hearted to a fault, yet his will was unbending, and when his mind was once made up it was difficult to change him.

Rev. Joshua Britton came from Westmoreland, N.H., where he was born Aug. 14, 1803. His early life was spent upon a farm, where he had but limited opportunities for attending school. But he diligently improved those that offered, and at the age of eighteen began a successful career as a teacher, which extended over ten years, pursuing his studies at the same time, and still adding to his stores of knowledge. He had from youth a serious and devout mind, and was always a regular attendant on public worship. He was inclined to the faith of the Presbyterian Church until about the age of twenty-three, when he had opportunities for hearing the doctrines of Universalism advocated and defended by the late Rev. Dolphus Skinner, and others. He became deeply interested, and his intelligent mind eagerly drank in the new views presented. His faith grew stronger with the lapse of time, and he finally resolved to enter the ministry. He preached his first sermon in 1831, and was ordained at Burlington Flats, N.Y., June 6, 1832. He was settled over parishes in {247} the State of New York till 1839, when he was in Chesterfield, N.H., for a year. He spent the next ten years in Dudley and North Chatham, Mass.; then three years in Stoddard and Richmond, N.H. He removed to Vermont in 1853, and preached in Brattleboro, West Concord, Lyndon, and Bradford for the next fifteen years, when he went to Fort Atkinson, Wis., which was his home for the remainder of his life. He was a faithful and excellent pastor; he had a mild and loving heart, and won many friends. If not one of the greatest ministers intellectually, he was one of the best spiritually, and his life was a pure and useful one. He died at Fort Atkinson, Wis., Oct. 30, 1878.

An instance illustrative of the orderly habits of the man was, years ago, related to the writer. The books in his library were always exactly in their places, and the backs of them in a straight line. At one time an exchange minister, who had the free use of the library during a Sunday's tarrying, had failed to replace the volumes he had taken down according to the rules of the proprietor. When Mr. Britton entered the study on his return home, while his brother was yet there, the first kindly salutations were scarcely over when the projecting volumes were all noted and quickly adjusted by their owner. A singular and timely suggestion.

Rev. George Messenger was originally from Berkshire, Mass., removing from thence to the State of New York, and afterwards, in 1838, to Springfield, Ohio, where he ever after lived, a widely known and highly respected citizen. He was licensed as a preacher at Madison, N.Y., in 1824, and ordained, at Eatonsbush, N.Y., Oct. 12, 1826. He was an itinerant preacher, {248} and much interested in the prosperity of the church where he resided. As one of the trustees of Buchtel College, he gave much of his time and attention to the supervision of the erection of the college building. For the last few months of his life he was very hard at work at Akron, and while thus engaged contracted a sickness which terminated in death. "It may be said of him," wrote the editor of "The Star in the West," "that he died a martyr to the work which had enlisted his sympathies, namely, establishing Buchtel College on a permanent basis. He subscribed largely and liberally to the fund for its erection, and was an unceasing worker in its behalf. His widow, since his death, has been a substantial helper to the institution. She endowed the chair of Mental and Moral Philosophy, in memory of her husband, to the amount of $25,000; and has also contributed largely to the expenses of the institution, and given again and again for various special purposes."[49]

Rev. John Temple Goodrich, of Middlefield, Otsego County, N.Y., born in 1815, studied theology with Rev. Stephen R. Smith. In 1836, when less than twenty-one years of age, he was settled as a preacher in Oxford, Chenango County, N.Y., where he remained about twelve years. In 1850 he was called to the pastorate of the Universalist Church at Canton, N.Y., where he remained for five years, doing good work there and in neighboring places. An affection of his throat induced him to accept a call to Reading, Pa., where he labored two years, and where his influence was strong and extended as it had been elsewhere. {249} After this he was persuaded to return to Canton, and take the agency of the new Theological School and College projected at that place, and served in that capacity for five years, successfully, preaching in the mean time in Canton and elsewhere. It was largely through his efforts that the New York Legislature appropriated $25,000 to the Canton schools. Released from this work, he became pastor of the Eighth Street Church, Philadelphia, where he remained four years, when he left them out of debt and himself out of health. After an interval spent in travelling, he went to Wilmington, Del., and supplied that missionary station for about two years.

While he lived in Canton, he held an oral discussion with Rev. Mr. Wheeler, Baptist, which continued several evenings, and was a marked success on the part of Mr. Goodrich. In Wilmington he held a written controversy with Rev. Mr. Hoffman, a Presbyterian minister, a success also. Years before this, he had held a written and oral discussion with Rev. Mr. Dyer, a Presbyterian, of Preston, N.Y., which gave the cause of Universalism an impetus in that place. Mr. Goodrich was not combative, and would not seek a controversy, nor would he shrink from one if duty called him to engage in it. He was devotedly attached to his family, and was anxious to close up his secular concerns, and settle down over some parish where the labor required was such as his health would enable him to perform. With this intent he left home on the 25th of September, 1871; went to Fulton, then to Watertown, to Rochester, and to Chicago, where he was seen by acquaintances, and where his name was entered on the register of the Metropolitan Hotel, for room No. 36, on the 5th of {250} October, and where it afterwards remained, with bill unsettled. He, with many others, perished in the dreadful conflagration at that time.

Rev. Franklin Charles Flint was born in Nelson, N.H., June 16, 1836, and died in Shrewsbury, Mass., March 23, 1876. In 1840 his family moved to Hancock, N.H., and in 1842 to Shrewsbury, Mass., where he worked on his father's farm and attended a district school. At an early age he was quite studious, and desired a classical education. He went through his preparatory course at Thetford (Vt.) Academy, and in 1857 entered Amherst College. But, after spending two years there, he left, entered at Tufts, and graduated in 1861, the third in a class of twelve, with a philosophical oration. He was enabled to work his way through college by gaining, in a competitive examination, one of the scholarships granted by the State of Massachusetts to Tufts College, and by what he could earn in teaching school during his vacations. Upon graduating, he took charge of the high school in Westboro, Mass., and in the mean time turned his attention to theology. He preached his first sermon at Groton (now Ayer Junction). In 1863 he preached in Dana and vicinity, teaching meanwhile a select school. In 1864-5 he taught a select school at Hyannis, Mass., and afterwards was assistant in the academy at Dudley. In 1865 he removed to Chatham, on Cape Cod, where he was ordained, July 31, 1866. In 1867 he became pastor of the Universalist Society in Southbridge, Mass., where he proved himself a faithful minister, a useful member of the school committee, an efficient worker in the temperance cause, and by his active interest and co-operation in {251} every good work, and by his frank and genial manners, won the respect and good will of the people in and out of his parish. In 1874 he took charge of the Willow Park Seminary, at Westboro, Mass., but resigned after one year. He preached for short periods at Oxford and Rockport. In 1874 he prepared for the press a memoir of the late Rev. W.W. Wilson, one of his predecessors in the pastorate at Southbridge. In 1875 he took charge of the Universalist Society in Attleboro, Mass., but failing health compelled him to resign the position in March, 1876. His people voted him leave of absence, hoping he might recover, and he went to his father's in Shrewsbury, but he rapidly grew worse, until death came to his relief. His record is with that of "the faithful in Christ Jesus."

Rev. Hope Bain was a Scotchman by birth, from Aberdeen. His father, once an officer in the British navy, removed with his family to Maryland, and died in Baltimore in 1812. The son served during the war of 1812, young as he was (fifteen), as a member of a Baltimore company of volunteers attached to the 5th regiment, and was in the battles of Bladensburg and West Point. He was at first a Presbyterian, and member of that church for many years. In 1830 he was appointed an agent to labor in West Tennessee, and in the valley of the Mississippi, for the American Sunday-School Union. He became a Universalist in 1847, and was ordained a preacher at Norfolk, Va., in 1848. He was for fifteen years a teacher in Virginia. He moved to North Carolina, in December, 1851, and preached, before the war of the Rebellion, in twenty-six counties, and, after the war, in six other counties. His {252} last sermon was in Goldsboro, in 1875. Anticipating his approaching departure, he said that at the age of eighty-one he could not expect to remain here much longer, nor did he desire to. He was nearing a home where he should be united to loved ones gone before. He was widely known in North Carolina. He was a Union man in the strictest sense, thoroughly loyal to the government during the late war, which alienated from him many of his former associates and hearers, but he never wavered in devotion to his country, and to the cause of the Christian Gospel. Although without pecuniary resources, he continued to preach wherever there was an opening, and with little or no remuneration labored faithfully and steadfastly in the ministry as long as health and strength lasted. His faith uplifted and sustained him as he passed from these earthly scenes.

Rev. Woodbury M. Fernald was for several years a prominent preacher with the Universalists. He was born in Portsmouth, N.H., March 21, 1813, and died in Boston, Mass., Dec. 10, 1873. He was ordained at Portsmouth, N.H., in 1836. In 1838 he was pastor at Cabotville (now Chicopee), Mass. In 1840 and 1841 he was located at Newburyport, and while there published a volume entitled "Universalism against Partialism," an able statement of the contrast set forth. He was next in Stoneham as pastor for three years. In 1854 he removed to Boston, and becoming interested in the works of Swedenborg and the writings of Andrew Jackson Davis, he was after a while ordained as a Swedenborgian minister. He was so fascinated by the New Church doctrines as to become alienated from his former associates and lost to their ministry. He published, {253} in 1854, a "Compendium of the Theological and Spiritual Writings of Swedenborg," and in 1859, "God in His Providence," in which he implicitly renounced the notion of "the eternity of Hell," and put forth a Universalist view of human destiny, turning Swedenborg's principles against the Seer's own conclusions, and making those principles the ground of an assurance of Universal Restoration. He published afterwards other works, evincing much ability. His sincerity was never doubted.

Rev. Caleb Perin Mallory was a minister of the Universalist faith in Canada during most of his life. He died at Huntingville, P.Q., July 13, 1882, aged seventy-one.

He was born in Eaton, C.E. His early training was under the influence of the theology after the kind taught by Calvin and Arminius. Being of a thoughtful and studious disposition, however, he came to see in the teachings of the New Testament strong and unmistakable evidences of the Gospel of Universalism. When about thirty years old he appeared before the public as an advocate of it. Rev. L.H. Tabor, who officiated at the funeral, gave the following account:—

"As nearly as I can learn, he preached some three years in various places to good acceptance, and was ordained at Glover, Vt., Sept. 19, 1843, and in just one year from the time of ordination (Sept. 19, 1844), was installed at the request of several brethren residing in as many of the eastern townships over which he was installed. For several years he preached regularly at Huntingville and other places in the vicinity, and for over forty years had attended funerals and weddings, baptizing children and adults as the disciples of Jesus, the Saviour of the world. He was a Christian reformer, {254} ready for every good word and work. No one man could have been taken from that community whose departure will be felt more. And when we saw the multitude that gathered at his burial, with weeping eyes, we were led to say,'Behold, how they loved him.' It was said, by good judges, that there were a thousand people at his funeral, some coming the distance of fifty miles.

"Brother Mallory was a man of great energy of character, often travelling and preaching under such adverse circumstances as would have discouraged others of less inherent power. His compensation for services has been comparatively small, but, sustained by the ministry of the reconciliation, he fainted not, occupying till the Master came."

In the yearly Universalist "Register," the names of nearly thirty women are given as ministers,—evangelists or with pastorates,—in the Universalist Church.[50] Among the number of those who have served in this capacity, the record is made of the death of the following:—

Mrs. Elvira J. Powers. She came into the ministry from the Canton Theological School as a licentiate of the New York Convention. At the end of six months she was compelled to give up her work on account of {255} ill-health, and was not able afterwards to resume it. During the war of the Rebellion, in the office of nurse, she rendered good service, and wrote an interesting book of her experiences, entitled "Hospital Pencillings." A friend and former pastor speaks of her personal worth in very strong terms. "In fidelity to her conviction of duty, in her industry, zeal, and integrity, in her constant sacrifice of the superficial and temporal for the profound and eternal, her life was a great success." She died in Worcester, Mass., Sept. 21, 1871.

Rev. Fanny Upham Roberts, daughter of Frederic and Hannah R. Cogswell, both of whom were preachers in the "Christian Connection," was born in South Berwick, Me., in June, 1834. She joined the Congregational Church in Northwood, N.H., and was for some time a superintendent of a Baptist Sunday-school. She had, however, from a child been acquainted with the Universalist faith. In 1870 she began to give lectures in public on lyceum topics, and not long afterwards commenced preaching in Kensington, N.H., and Wells, Me. In the spring of 1871 she removed to Kittery, Me. (where she had been ordained), and preached there until April, 1875, when from loss of voice she resigned her post, and went to Minnesota, hoping to regain her health. But the change of climate failed to arrest her disease, and she steadily declined until death came to her relief. She died in Winona, Minn., Aug. 26, 1875. Her friends testify to her vigor of mind, her goodness of heart, and the graceful modesty and sweet womanly dignity that ever shone out in her life. An intelligent member of the Universalist congregation of Portsmouth, N.H., once informed the writer that in listening to her {256} discourses, as he did occasionally, he was forcibly reminded of the logical clearness and strength of the elder Ballou.

Rev. Prudy Le Clerc Haskell was born in Louisville, Ky., Feb. 6, 1844, and died in Oxford, O., Dec. 27, 1878. In her youthful days she was thoughtful, intelligent, and studious. Her parents were Universalists in sentiment, and her mind was impressed by the influences of their religious faith. An only brother, who had intended to enter the Universalist ministry, died in a Southern prison during the war, and she felt herself called to take the place which he would have filled. She was ordained at Madison, Ind., Oct. 14, 1869, where she preached two years, and succeeded in gathering the scattered remnants of a former congregation into a living form. She then went to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and labored there successfully for two years, greatly endearing herself to the people; but the climate proving unfavorable to her, she was obliged to leave and return to the home of her parents in Aurora, Ind. She was afterwards settled at Mt. Carmel, Ind., at Jeffersonville and Newtown, O., and at Covington, Ky. She was an attractive and interesting preacher, and very popular as a pastor. While residing in Covington, she was united in marriage to Mr. Cassius L. Haskell, who afterwards entered the ministry. She had been married but a single year when her earthly life ended. The remembrance of an evening with her at a meeting in Mt. Carmel, O., is very vivid in the mind of the writer. She had been deeply interested in a new church organization there, and had induced a good number of young believers to become members. Her welcome and counsel to them were pervaded with the Christian spirit.


Living Ministers.

It has been thought advisable to append to this record of the departed the names of a few of the living ministers, now advanced in years, who have earned an honorable reputation by their works during the time included in the survey here taken. It would have been agreeable to the writer if the number of such could have been increased, but this was forbidden by the limits prescribed to this volume. Besides, as already stated, it will be understood that this historical sketching is by no means exhausted; that there is another and a larger roll of those passed on, who have done faithful service in the redeeming army, as there is a noble company of the living who are yet adding their good work to the history of the church, and whose names and deeds may in some future day be truthfully and gratefully given to an appreciative public. For this brief review we are able to take of the faithful dead and living, let us be thankful.

One of the most aged living ministers of the Universalist Church is Rev. Clement Fall Le Fevre, D.D., of Milwaukee, Wis. He was born in Berkhamstead, County of Hertfordshire, England, Nov. 12, 1797. He was christened in the parish church, as was the poet Cowper, who was a native of the same county. The father of Mr. Le Fevre was a clergyman and graduate of Oxford University, and was acquainted with the distinguished poet, and always held his works in high estimation. In 1814 Mr. Le Fevre had a commission in the British navy as second lieutenant of the Royal Marines, and was appointed to a frigate and sailed for Halifax. His war {258} record was a short one, however, for with the peace of 1815 he was put on half-pay. He was never in any engagement with the enemy, and, as he writes, "my sword was never stained with American blood, and theirs was never stained with mine, and that I consider the better." Having no particular employment, he was for some time adrift as to a life-calling, but subsequently inclined to his father's profession, and in nautical phrase "bore up for a parson." His father was educating some young men for the Universities, and the son joined in their classes. Having by this means obtained some knowledge of Latin and Greek, he received ordination, and was adopted by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. This was in the year 1821. His appointment was to a church in Canada, in the diocese of Quebec, where he remained until the close of the year 1829, when, rejecting the doctrine of the Trinity and endless punishment for the sins of this life, he withdrew from the ministry and communion of the Church of England.

He next removed to New York, and made his home at Hempstead, L.I., the native place of his wife; and here and at several places on the island and in the city of New York he frequently preached. In 1830 he received fellowship of the Universalists, at the New York and Philadelphia Association, met at New Brunswick, N.J. He was next pastor four years in Troy, N.Y., six in New York city, four in Hudson, and six in Milwaukee, Wis. In the last-named place he purchased a farm and settled down for the enjoyment of a permanent home. Although having no special pastorate, he has been doing much missionary work, has constantly attended the meetings of the church, and often written {259} for its publications. His health at this present writing is quite firm for one of his years, a slight failure of eyesight and a partial paralysis of the right hand being his principal infirmity.

Mr. Le Fevre enjoys a deservedly high reputation. His pulpit talents have always been appreciated by his congregations. His discourses have indicated a keen and well-balanced mind, logical force, and ripe scholarship. In social life he has always exerted a salutary influence; his wit and humor being admirable accompaniments of his gentlemanly dignity and sympathetic spirit. He has proved a valuable acquisition to the church whose pleasure it is to make this truthful record of him.

Lucius R. Paige.

Rev. Lucius Robinson Paige, D.D., is, with two exceptions,[51] the oldest living minister in the Universalist Church. He was born in Hardwick, Mass., March 8, 1802, and was educated in the public schools of his native village. On reaching his majority he began his work as a preacher, and did some effective missionary work as a layman. In 1825 he was ordained, and was settled at Springfield, Mass., where he remained four years. During this time, his faith being assailed by two ministers of the Methodist church, Rev. Timothy Merritt and Rev. Wilbur Fisk, Mr. Paige entered into a controversy with them, and proved himself an able advocate and defender of the Christian Gospel. The debate still exists in pamphlet form, and is one of the most pithy and searching that can be found. The spirit and behavior of the bigoted opponents of Universalism {260} are strikingly illustrated, as well as the readiness and efficiency of the assailed one to meet and to deal with them. Mr. Paige was next minister in Rockport, and removed from there to Cambridgeport, where he was installed pastor of the First Universalist Society July 8, 1832. He held this position until 1839, after which he took no pastorate, but continued to preach frequently for more than twenty years afterwards, and has been active in the ministry until within a few years.

In 1833 he published his "Selections from Eminent Commentators," a work showing most conclusively the admission on the part of orthodox writers of the very ground taken by Universalists in their explanation of many passages of Scripture supposed to stand in opposition to Universalism. It was a strong call upon all candid inquirers after Christian truth, and has made its impress in the progress of Christian thought since it was issued. In 1838 he published "Questions on Select Portions of the Gospels," designed for Sunday schools and Bible classes. His greatest work, however, is his Commentary on the New Testament, the first volume of which was published in 1844, and the last in 1870. The work is the result of sound judgment, careful research and close thought, and is a monument of the steady and untiring industry of the writer. It has been highly acceptable to those on whose behalf it was prepared. While engaged upon it, he also contributed to the denominational papers, and gathered materials for the history of Cambridge, which was published in 1877.

He has also been actively engaged in secular pursuits. He was town clerk from March, 1839, to January, 1840, and from March, 1843, to May, 1846, and city clerk {261} from May, 1846, to October, 1855, and representative in the General Court in 1878 and 1879. He was treasurer of the Cambridgeport Savings Bank from April, 1855, to April, 1871, and has been cashier and president of the Cambridge Bank. He received the degree of A.M. from Harvard in 1850, and D.D. from Tufts in 1861. Although he has retired from business, during the past few years Dr. Paige has given much attention to the preparation of a history of his native town, Hardwick, and after many years of hard work the task is completed and the manuscript is now ready for the printer. He is a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and one of the oldest on the roll; also of the American Antiquarian and Phi Beta Kappa societies.

As a Mason he has stood high. He joined the Order in Little Falls, N.Y., in 1824, became Worshipful Master of the Hardwick Lodge in 1826, having previously been exalted to the Royal Arch degree at Greenwich, and having joined the Knights Templars in 1824. He is now the oldest Past Commander of the Knights Templars within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He became Steward of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1848, and deacon in 1850. The year following he was elected right worshipful deputy grand master. Upon retiring from that position, he became a permanent member, and is now the oldest surviving permanent member of the Grand Lodge. In 1861 he received the thirty-third degree Scottish, and was at once admitted a member of the Supreme Council. Here he served as Secretary two years, and Minister of State three years. He is now, as he has been for nineteen years past, resident representative of the Supreme Council of Belgium.

{262} One of the most noticeable events in the life of Dr. Paige was that of the celebration of his eightieth birthday, in the vestry of the Universalist Church in Cambridgeport, on the evening of March 8, 1882. A large company was assembled, and after a feast at the tables, very impressive exercises followed. Rev. O.A. Safford, pastor of the Universalist Church, presided, and introduced Dr. Paige to the company, who heard from him a very appropriate and affecting address. The assembly was then addressed by Mayor Fox of Cambridge, Rev. Dr. McKenzie of the Congregational church, Rev. Drs. Sawyer, Adams, Miner, and Capen, Rev. C.A. Skinner, J.A. Jacobs, Esq., the city clerk, and Capt. J.W. Cotton. A letter, expressive of his sincere and hearty respect for Dr. Paige, was read from Professor Longfellow. A handsome illustrated copy of Longfellow's Poems was presented to the doctor, bearing this inscription: "Presented by a few old friends, with their congratulations and best wishes on the 80th anniversary of his birthday."

J. H. Daniels Pr. Boston.

A. A. Miner.

On Monday, May 1, 1882, the Columbus Avenue Universalist Church celebrated the thirty-fourth anniversary of the pastorate of Rev. Alonzo Ames Miner, D.D., LL.D., who entered upon his duties as a colleague of the late Rev. Hosea Ballou, pastor of the Second Universalist Society in Boston, in place of Rev. Dr. E.H. Chapin, called to New York. Mr. Miner was born in Lempster, N.H., Aug 17, 1814. His ancestors on both sides were distinguished by good sense and firm physical constitutions. His remote American forefather, Thomas Miner, landed at Boston in the same year with the elder Winthrop (1630), {263} and removed to Connecticut with the company of the younger Winthrop about 1646. His grandfather, Charles Miner, served in the Revolutionary War, and removed to New Hampshire soon after its close. Thomas Miner, his ancestor, was a descendant of Henry Bulman of the Mendip Hills, Somersetshire, England, who furnished Edward III., when on his way to embark for the wars of France, with an escort of one hundred men, selected from his servants and from the men employed in his mines. For this service the king honored him with a coat of arms, and changed his name to Miner.

Dr. Miner was so feeble in his youth that it seemed doubtful whether he would grow up into mature life. But good care and judicious training wrought a change for the better, which was doubtless aided by a vigorous will. His education was gained at village schools and academies in New Hampshire and Vermont. He began teaching between terms when he was sixteen years of age, and in 1835 took entire charge of the Scientific and Military Academy at Unity, N.H. His first discourse in the pulpit was delivered in February, 1838. In 1839 he received ordination, and was settled in Methuen, Mass. In 1842 he removed to Lowell, where he became an efficient yoke-fellow with the pastor of the First Universalist Church, and where they made good proof of their ministry in the pulpit and through the press. Dr. Miner remained in Lowell as pastor of the Second Society until the removal of Rev. E.H. Chapin from Boston to New York, when he was called to take his place as colleague with Rev. Hosea Ballou at the Universalist Church in School St. On the death of Mr. Ballou, he became pastor of the church, which office he {264} still retains. His health failing him partially in 1851, he visited Europe, and on his return found that his church edifice had been remodelled during his absence, at a cost of $20,000. Subsequently, in 1872 the building in School Street was put to secular uses, and the edifice now occupied on Columbus Avenue was erected at a cost of $150,000. During his long pastorate, two colleagues have been settled with him, Rev. Roland Connor, for a short time, and Rev. Henry I. Cushman, now pastor of the First Universalist Church in Providence, R.I.

In 1862, after the decease of Rev. Dr. Ballou, President of Tufts College, Dr. Miner was chosen to this office, and took upon himself its duties in connection with his work as pastor in Boston. His energy seemed adequate to this double task for a time, until it became evident to him and his friends that the interests of both college and parish required his main attention to be given to but one of them. He chose the parish, to the great satisfaction of its members, and Rev. E.H. Capen, one of the alumni of the college, was elected its president.

Through his past life-course Dr. Miner has been one of the most indefatigable of toilers. As a Christian minister and reformer he is widely known. His pulpit talents are of the highest order. His clear, strong, and readily modulated voice, his sharp logic, often "on fire," his good scholarship, his aptness not only in making his points, but in the elucidation of them; his thorough acquaintance with the evidences of his faith, and especially with the scriptural proofs of it; his directness in striking at the wrong, as he perceives it, with most telling blows, and his uncompromising adherence to what he {265} considers the right, are sure to gain him a respectful and serious hearing wherever he comes before the public. His many published discourses evince his power as a theologian, and his little volume, "The Old Forts Taken," embodies a searching review of some of the over-confident statements of Rev. Joseph Cook on the religious signs of the times. It would have been well for Christian truth, and for some of the churches professing it, whose representatives so readily applauded many of the stirring and sensational words of Mr. Cook at the moment of their utterance in Boston, could they have listened also to a close and rigid questioning of them by Dr. Miner. The Universalist Church generally, we think, would be quite willing to abide by the presentation of its faith and the claims of it, by him. At a conversation circle, embracing members of the "Radical Club," held in Boston within a few years, where all shades of religious opinion were represented, the question "Is Christianity a Finality?" or, in substance, can any religion superior to it be given to man? was proposed for consideration. After various discussions on the subject from the purest orthodoxy to the most radical "liberalism," Dr. Miner, who had come in while the subject was under discussion, was invited by the chairman to speak. His statements were very readily made, viz. that the Christianity of the New Testament included the best religion conceivable by man, meeting his deepest spiritual wants, answering his highest aspirations after the purest life here, and his most anxious hopes respecting the future of himself and the race. All this is presented, and its complete fulfilment with all souls assured through Christ, the promise of whose mission is, that ultimately "God shall be all in all." If Christianity is true, therefore, it will have no successor. The discussion was at an end.

{266} As a Christian reformer Dr. Miner has gained a deserved prominence. He has been outspoken on the subject of Capital Punishment, advocating its abolishment, and in the Anti-slavery war proved himself one of the veterans. It is in the Temperance reform, however, that he has taken a strong and marked interest. As an advocate of Prohibition he is one of the leaders in the land. The pamphlet on Prohibition, published in 1867, containing his arguments on the subject before the Massachusetts Legislative Committee in the Representatives' Hall, is one of the most readable documents of the times.[52] His ready answers to the questions proposed to him, and his telling questions pressed upon the advocates of liquor license laws, on that occasion, evinced a mastery of the situation not often realized. In temperance conventions and conferences he has often some searching criticisms on the city officials in their evasions of the laws respecting the liquor traffic; and on every available occasion when called to speak on the moral needs of the State and the moral responsibility of the people, he is quite sure to give a few ringing notes emphasizing the temperance reform. Dr. Miner has been for ten years past President of the Massachusetts Temperance Alliance.

As an educator Dr. Miner has done good work. He began it early, and has never lost interest in it. As president of the college, a member of the State Board of Education, and Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the Normal Art School, he has been true to it constantly.

His business talent is well known. He is a safe and far-seeing financier, to whom the interests of the busy {267} movers "on 'change" are somewhat familiar. In all financial plans and operations demanding his action he is especially and effectively at home. He is President of the Universalist Publishing House, and is still one of the trustees of Tufts College. The degree of D.D. was conferred upon him by Harvard College, and that of LL.D. by Tufts soon after his resignation of the presidency of that institution. He was one of the "Hundred Boston Orators;" having been called to deliver the oration before the authorities and citizens of Boston, July 4, 1855.

The positiveness and persistence of Dr. Miner have sometimes had the effect to alienate rather than conciliate those who might conscientiously differ from him in their convictions of right and duty. It is to be lamented, however, that where we find one possessing his degree of positiveness in what he believes to be right, we are more or less "troubled on every side" by those who are only half-men because of the low policies and expediencies by which they are governed. His confidence in the right seems instinctive; as he says, "A mountain can be tunnelled; a principle never." A Boston secular journal just now speaks of him:—

"His honesty nobody has ever questioned. If he hit hard, he hit where he believed hard hitting was warranted and indispensable. It is fortunate for the world, perhaps, that he took a liberal side in theology. Had he been a Calvinist, he would have been as uncompromising as any one of those Puritan inflexibles who drove Baptists into Rhode Island and Quakers into eternity; had he embraced Catholicism, heretics would have fared the worse for it, and he could hardly have found his fitting place anywhere short of the college of cardinals, with its possibilities toward the chair of St. Peter. By {268} the same qualities that make him a terror to his enemies, he binds his followers to him with hooks of steel."[53]

F. T. Stuart Boston.

Thomas J. Sawyer.

Rev. Thomas Jefferson Sawyer, D.D., was born in Reading, Windsor Co., Vt., Jan. 9, 1804. His father was one of the earliest settlers of the town, having removed with his father's family from Pomfret, Conn. The son enjoyed very good advantages for acquiring a common-school education, and at the age of eighteen had gained such a mastery of the branches then taught in such schools as to become a teacher, in which capacity he served three or four months every year until he entered his profession. He entered Middlebury College in the autumn of 1825, having completed his preparation after he was twenty-one, and graduated in 1829. As there were no theological schools to aid him, he went to study with Rev. William S. Balch, then at Winchester, N.H., who was soon called to Albany. Mr. S. remained in Winchester through the winter, preaching occasionally, reading the Iliad of Homer, and studying such theological works as he had opportunity to find.

In April, 1830, he went to New York, and took charge of a small society there in Grand Street. The chapel in which he preached had been built and was for several years occupied as an Episcopal church. It was afterwards purchased by the Universalists.

In 1832 Mr. Sawyer entered upon his ministry with his people in a new place, a church on Orchard Street. The church was built three or four years before by a small society of the Reformed Dutch Church, from which the property fell into the hands of two enterprising builders who had been the contractors for it {269} when it was erected. It was rented to Mr. Sawyer for two years. He was then a young minister of scarcely two years' standing in New York, and had entered the ministry only two years and a half before. He had been married six months and had no cash investment. Four members of his congregation became his security for the payment of the rent, and he in turn pledged for their security the whole income of the church,—pew-rents, collections, and all. Under the circumstances he was assuming quite a responsibility. The income of the society had been small, and its receipts now were not equal to the rents alone. Besides, Universalism in New York had suffered greatly through the defection of Abner Kneeland, and the consequences of his lamentable course were still fresh in the memory of all. Divisions and heart-burnings still existed, and the prospect was not greatly encouraging to the new adventurers. Yet it was seen that, if success was to be realized, a new movement, as independent as possible of the old issues, must be made. Hence this piece of wise policy in securing a new location, and beginning church-life under new auspices. It was a bold step, but a good Providence had directed it. Mr. Sawyer writes of it:—

"I well remember the joy we all experienced when we entered the Orchard Street Church. The transition from the little Grand Street chapel which we had previously occupied was striking enough. The church was large, very large, to my unpractised eyes. True, it had no side galleries, as it had afterwards, and was in every respect inferior to what it became, but I doubt if Solomon, when he first entered his majestic temple, felt more deeply impressed with its greatness or its awful sanctity than I did on the day when we first occupied {270} this church. It seemed to me a goodly place, where, as I hoped, Universalism was to be revived and restored in that great city."

There were prophecies of failure on the part of some friends, but the persistence and faithfulness of the young pastor (encouraged by his companion, whose whole heart was in her husband's work) and his brave adherents, by God's blessing, wrought success.

In 1832 the city of New York was visited fearfully with the cholera. It was suggested by some that the church should be closed during the epidemic, and the members of the congregation were one day desired to remain after service to express their opinions on the subject. Many were about to leave the city, and thought the church might be closed for two or three months and the pastor dismissed to the country. At last Captain Packard, a somewhat eccentric but warm-hearted and worthy man, rose and said that he should remain in the city, and if ever he needed the support and consolations of religion, it was during such seasons as they had already entered. If the pastor felt alarmed and desired to leave, he of course would not complain, yet he should greatly desire to come up to the house of his heavenly Father to listen to his word and worship at his altar. This settled the question, and the Orchard Street Church was open regularly, morning and afternoon, through the whole of that gloomy and trying season. And in this case, as always, the path of duty proved in the end the path of greatest advantage. Many—perhaps a large part—of the churches in the city were closed, and the pastors gone. The minds of the people were seriously impressed, and the Gospel of infinite grace proved {271} itself well fitted for such an emergency. The Universalist church was uniformly well attended, and great good was accomplished by its ministrations. The society continued to increase. Old friends, whom circumstances had alienated or caused to stand aloof from the movement, returned one after another and forgot their former difficulties and discontent. The best of feeling existed among the members and greatly encouraged all hearts.

Though the Reformed Dutch Church gave up their new house on Orchard Street, yet no sooner had it come into the possession of Universalists than the members of that communion began to express a most lively concern for the interests of religion. Dr. Sawyer writes:—

"The 'Christian Intelligencer,' their religious journal, soon began to pay some attention to Universalism; and Dr. Brownlee, one of the boldest, if not one of their ablest, men and ministers, commenced a course of lectures against the doctrine. The lectures were repeated in the Dutch churches in the city, and briefly reported in the 'Intelligencer.' An attempt was made to get them repeated in the Orchard Street Church, but failed. The Doctor was quite too busy to permit it. His lectures were regarded by his friends as exceedingly able and altogether irrefutable. He possessed a great deal of assurance, and made assertions with vast boldness and emphasis. As a reasoner he was but a third or fourth rate man. The ad captandum was his forte, and among those who knew nothing of Universalism, and undoubtingly believed in endless misery, his reasons were satisfactory if not convincing."

The lectures were closely examined by Mr. Sawyer before large congregations. It was a grand opportunity, and he improved it. This review was afterwards given to the public through the press. The attack intended {272} to check the spread of Universalism served to increase and strengthen it. During Mr. Sawyer's subsequent pastorate of thirteen and a half years, other controversies followed. With Rev. Mr. Slocum, a Presbyterian clergyman, he held a discussion that occupied fourteen evenings, and added twenty families to the Universalist congregation. He answered Rev. Mr. Remington, a Methodist clergyman, and reviewed Rev. Dr. Parker's lectures on Universalism. These lectures of Mr. Parker had been preached and published in Rochester some years before, and were, without essential alteration, repeated in several churches in New York. Mr. Sawyer happened to possess the Rochester copy of the production, and very much to the astonishment of many he replied to the learned Doctor's lecture on the very evening after he had delivered it in the immediate neighborhood in the morning. Another debate was also held by Mr. Sawyer with Rev. Mr. Hatfield, the substance of which was published in a small volume entitled "Universalism as it is." It was a rule with this sentinel on the Universalist watch-tower in that city never to allow any antagonist of "the faith," whose position and character deserved attention, to pass unnoticed or unanswered.

The Orchard Street Church was emphatically a success. After Mr. Sawyer left it in 1845, it enjoyed the effective pastorates of Rev. Otis A. Skinner, since deceased, and Cyrus H. Fay (still useful and honored among our older ministers), and others. It has probably done more for the diffusion of Universalism than any other single society in the State. All the societies in its immediate neighborhood, Bleecker Street, Murray Street, Fourth Street, Brooklyn, and Williamsburg, were first formed by members of Orchard Street, and may be regarded as {273} offshoots from that parent stock. It labored not merely for itself, its own ease or aggrandizement, but for the good of the cause, a veritable missionary institution.

In the autumn of 1845 Mr. Sawyer removed with his family to Clinton, Oneida Co., N.Y., and took charge of the Clinton Liberal Institute. He succeeded in converting it into a Universalist school, and opened in connection with it a primitive theological school from which he sent out about twenty-five students, more than twenty of whom are still in the ministry well and successfully employed. At the close of 1852 he returned to New York, and, having preached for what was formerly called the Dry Dock Society a year, he returned to his old parish and continued with it until the spring of 1861, when, on the breaking out of the Rebellion, and the volunteering of his oldest son on his farm at Clinton, and on account of parish affairs in that distracted time, he resigned and went to Clinton, where he remained, preaching for the parish there until January, 1863, when he again returned to New York, and took the editorial charge of the "Christian Ambassador." This paper was founded by Philo Price in 1831, under the name of "The Christian Messenger," of which Mr. Sawyer was the theological editor for several years. It passed under several names, and is now published at Boston as the "Christian Leader," united with the Universalist weekly formerly issued in this city.

In the autumn of 1865 he removed his family from Clinton to Star Landing, N.J., and took possession of a farm he had just purchased there. Here he remained, managing the farm and preaching occasionally, until the autumn of 1869, when he came to College Hill, Mass., and assumed the duties of Professor of Systematic {274} Theology in the Divinity School, to which he had some time before been elected. He was one of the original trustees of Tufts College, having called the educational convention held in New York in 1847, which resulted in the establishment of the college. He was also chiefly instrumental in calling the first meeting in New York city to consider the necessity of establishing a theological school, which resulted in the founding of the Canton Theological School and the St. Lawrence University, of which he was also one of the original trustees, and for several years President of the Board. He received the honorary degree of S.T.D. at Cambridge, in 1850.

Among the published works of Dr. Sawyer are his Letters to Dr. W.C. Brownlee and to Rev. Stephen Remington in review of their Lectures against Universalism; the Occasional Sermon delivered before the United States Convention of Universalists in New York, September, 1841; "Endless Punishment, its Origin and Grounds Examined, with other discourses," 1845; Review of Rev. E.F. Hatfield's "Universalism as it is," 1841; Two Discussions with Rev. Isaac Wescott on Universal Salvation; "Who is Our God? The Son or the Father?" a Review of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, 1859; a preface to the Philadelphia edition of Petitpierre on "Divine Goodness," in 1843; "Endless Punishment in the Very Words of Its Advocates," Boston, 1879; an article in the North American Review, one of a series on the subject of Endless Punishment, in the March and April numbers of 1878. Besides the Occasional Sermon already noted, he has preached two others before the United States Convention, one in Middletown, Conn., and the other at Rochester, N.Y., in 1876. From the beginning Dr. Sawyer has taken a deep interest in the {275} literature of Universalism. He has written much for the "Quarterly" and for the other church periodicals. He was instrumental in originating the Universalist Historical Society, which has now a very valuable library at Tufts College.

Dr. Sawyer has been an incessant and faithful toiler; and in all his work, whether as preacher or teacher, has sought the promotion of the Gospel of Universal Grace. His adherence to the work and advancement of the Universalist Church has been steady and unfaltering, and his defence of the Christian Revelation as an authoritative dispensation from Heaven through Jesus Christ, clear and unequivocal, in admirable contrast with the flippant rationalism and scepticism which have in too many instances found expression under the names of "Liberal Christianity" and "Free Religion."

There is a church edifice in New York city in 127th Street, near Lexington Avenue, which represents the Second Universalist Society of New York, organized in 1828. It was completed two years ago, and is called the "Sawyer Memorial Church."

F. T. Stuart Boston.

Thos B. Thayer.

Among the older living ministers who have made themselves specially and constantly useful in the Universalist Church during the last half-century, no one is deserving of more grateful notice than Rev. Thomas Baldwin Thayer, D.D. He was born in Boston, Sept. 10, 1812. Having received the usual rudimentary training and experience of boyhood, he successively passed through the grammar schools of his native city, and at an early period in youth he entered the Latin school under the direction of Mr. B.A. Gould. The young student had testimonials that his diligence was {276} observed with marked approval. He entered college at Cambridge, where by permission he was to pursue his studies for the first year, without college rooms, under the tutorship of Mr. F.P. Leverett, the distinguished author of the Latin lexicon. For certain reasons he was induced at the end of his first year to abandon a collegiate course, and from the duties of a college student he very soon entered the Hawes Grammar-school in the capacity of an assistant. Soon after this, Mr. Leverett, resigning his position as principal of the Latin School in Boston, opened a private institution, mainly with a view to prepare students for college, and invited his former pupil to become his assistant, which invitation Mr. Thayer accepted. It was while connected with this school that his purpose to devote himself to the work of the ministry was formed.

His first engagement to preach was with the Universalist Society in South Dedham (now Norwood), where he supplied the pulpit for several months. This made his work quite arduous. His duties in his school and those in the growing parish kept him constantly and closely employed. In June, 1832, Mr. Thayer received Letters of Fellowship from the Boston Association, and was ordained by the same body in the following December. In April, 1833, he accepted an invitation from the First Universalist Society in Lowell, and entered upon a pastorate there, which he kept for twelve years. While in this city, as another has written:—

"Encouraged by the large congregations which regularly attended on his preaching, he was moved to consider whether it were not possible to meet the inquiring spirit of the people by a course of sermons under circumstances which would give opportunity to present the leading doctrines of Universalism {277} to a larger number of persons than could be accommodated in a church. This thought was communicated to some of the leading members of the society, and after due consultation, followed by prompt action, it led to the experiment of a series of sermons in the capacious City Hall. The immense room was filled with attentive hearers throughout the entire course. He then proposed that, in conjunction with his own labors in the church, regular preaching should be held four or five Sundays in the City Hall, and that a subscription of fifty cents from each person friendly to the project should defray the expenses incident thereto. Rev. J.G. Adams was engaged to supply the specified time. The result was that to this day the meetings have never been discontinued. The germ was originated, which, under the ministry of Rev. Zenas Thompson, developed into the Second Society, now worshipping in the beautiful edifice on Lowell Street."[54]

From Lowell Mr. Thayer removed to Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1845. His six years in this city were years of great usefulness to his church and beyond its limits. He connected himself with the Odd Fellows, and became editor of the "Golden Rule," a paper published in the interest of the fraternity. In 1847 he gave a series of lectures on "Social Progress," which were reported in part for the N.Y. "Tribune," as also a series of lectures on the "Dangers of City Life," especially in reference to young men. He was active in advocating social reform, the efforts for juvenile vagrants, and for the moral elevation of the poor.

Dr. Thayer has remarkable qualifications for a Christian minister, teacher, pastor, and writer. His sermons are always alive with thought, easily and earnestly delivered, doctrinally strong and clear, practically pointed, {278} and plain; a mixture often of forcible preaching (not reading) from manuscript, and freest extemporaneous outpouring, sweet and fresh with the heavenly fragrance of the Gospel. In his Scripture readings at the opening of the church service, he is usually very acceptable to the hearers, interspersing the reading with explanatory words and brief practical inferences.

Dr. Thayer is well known as an author. In the early days of his ministry he published a volume entitled "Christianity against Infidelity," an able and a timely offering to the public,—a strong and candid appeal to the reader in behalf of the Christian Gospel from the Universalist standpoint. The work was some years afterwards enlarged, embracing the objections to historical Christianity by Strauss and Renan, and replies to them. A republication of this work would be timely now, in this season of theological thought, of religious drifting and doubt, of indifference and scepticism. His "Theology of Universalism" is a work of great merit, as also his admirable volume "Over the River." They deserve a place in the library of every minister, and should find a home in every Universalist family.

His most valuable work, however, has been done as editor of the "Universalist Quarterly." His qualifications for this service are striking. In addition to the able discussions in the publications from the pens of other authors, the department containing the editor's outlook into the religious world, his notes and comments on the times, and his discriminating notices of new publications, is of itself a rich and welcome entertainment to all who are familiar with the pages of the Quarterly, a review reflecting great honor upon the Universalist Church, and which the Universalist fraternity cannot afford to lose or neglect.

{279} After closing his ministry in Brooklyn, Dr. Thayer had a second pastorate in Lowell with his old society, during which a severe calamity came to him. He was thrown from a carriage by a frightened horse, and so badly injured that for some time his survival seemed very doubtful. His many friends were deeply anxious, and the strain upon his physical system was intense. But through all this terrible sorrow his faith and hope sustained and inspired him, and the lessons of his sickness and Christian endurance were to many souls more impressive than any they had ever received from his pulpit ministrations. It was a cheering event to hosts of friends that he was gradually restored to the calling he so much loved, though with the effects of the accident upon him which must go with him through life. He afterwards removed to Boston, and was for a few years the much-esteemed pastor of the Shawmut Universalist Church in this city. Since his resignation there he has frequently supplied pulpits in the vicinity of Boston, always to great acceptance. At the present time he is engaged principally in his work with the pen.

Notwithstanding the unquestionable qualifications of Dr. Thayer as a public speaker, he is usually inclined to distrust himself, but no one of our ministers, when called upon to present any question of importance at the public assemblings of the church, is more acceptable than he. His lively musical notes of Christian truth and earnestness are sure to awaken a response in the souls of the listeners.

Rev. William Stevens Balch, of Elgin, Ill., is one of the oldest of the Universalist ministers now in active {280} service. He was born in Andover, Vt., April 13, 1806. He received fellowship as a minister, of the General Convention at Saratoga, N.Y., in September, 1827, and ordination in Claremont, N.H., in June, 1828. His first location was in Windham County, Vt., boarding in Dummerston, preaching in neighboring towns one Sunday in each month, travelling on foot to the several stations, and receiving the payment of five dollars per Sunday. He remained there preaching in nearly every town in that region, until invited to his first settlement in Albany, N.Y., January, 1831. Being after a time worn down with over-exertion, he felt obliged to leave, and was settled next in Watertown, Mass., to which place he had been invited before going to Albany. His health soon improved, and he found himself in the receipt of a salary of $450. But again his health failed, and he was induced to remove to Claremont, N.H., in April, 1832. He preached there half the time, and supplied in Hartland and Springfield, Vt., and Newport, N.H., until a new church in Claremont was finished. Here he was very actively employed, not only as a pastor, but in doing missionary work in every direction.

In September, 1835, at the General Convention held in Hartford, Conn., he was recommended by Rev. Dolphus Skinner to a committee of the society in Providence, R.I., which was there to find a preacher "not committed to Restorationism or Ultra-Universalism," in reference to which isms the parish was quite divided. Mr. Balch consented to supply three Sundays, not as a candidate, for he desired to live in the country. He was, however, invited and urged to settle there, which he did, after some hesitancy, in March, 1836. His ministry proved a successful one. In two years the large {281} church was crowded, and a second society was formed in the city. In 1842 he was invited to go as a candidate to the church in Bleecker St., N.Y. He declined, but soon after received a call to become the pastor there. Having become interested in what was known as the "Dorr" movement, and freely expressing his wish to have a "Republican form of government" by a Constitution, and seeing a political storm brewing, he accepted the call from New York, and settled there in November, 1842.

In 1848 he visited Europe, intending to go to Palestine. The troubles of that year made it difficult to go further than Rome. In 1852 he was asked by two men, not of his church, with whom a third joined, to go abroad if he wished, with full permission and means to journey as far and stay as long as he pleased. He was wise enough to accept the generous offer, and travelled extensively in Europe, extending his journey to Palestine, across the Desert, and through Egypt to Nubia.

After seventeen years' hard work in preaching, lecturing, and writing on religious and moral reform topics, he became quite worn down, and resolved to take life a little more leisurely for his body's sake, an exceedingly difficult course for him. He went to Ludlow, Vt., in 1859, preaching there half the time, and supplying other places, lecturing, and really working as hard as when in New York city. He then had another removal, to Galesburg, Ill., where he preached five years, and again resolved to retire, and removed to Hinsdale in 1870. But he still preached. In 1871 he was urged to come to Elgin, Ill., where the minister's work was still before him. In 1877 he entered the plea of old age and resigned, purposing a visit to California. Meantime he {282} was invited to preach a Sunday in Dubuque, Iowa. The result was another pastorate. He refused to "settle," but consented to supply a few Sundays until the society could obtain a pastor. He continued three years and three months, not removing his family, but staying there. His ministry gave great encouragement to the church in Dubuque.

In 1880 Mr. Balch visited California; in 1882 the City of Mexico; and last winter Florida. At the present time his health is quite firm. As he writes of himself, "I am comfortably situated, use no glasses except in dim light; and am fairly content in contemplating the past, still busy with the present, and hopeful of a happy and immortal future."

When in Providence, R.I., Mr. Balch gave a course of "Lectures on Language," which were published in 1838. He also wrote a "Grammar of the English Language, explained according to the Principles of Truth and Common Sense," published by B.B. Mussey, Boston, and passing through four editions. In 1849 his volume "Ireland as I saw it" was issued, and in 1881 "A Peculiar People," the first edition of which sold in eight weeks. He is the author of a "Sunday-School Manual," published in 1837.

The business capacity of Mr. Balch was evinced in his raising funds for the Theological School at Canton, N.Y., taking charge of the location, plan, and rearing of the buildings, and selection of a principal. He afterwards completed the raising of a large fund for the institution, obtaining also $10,000 for the library, and securing the valuable libraries of Dr. Credner, and Rev. S.C. Loveland. He devoted much time to the business of making the "Christian Ambassador" of New York a {283} denominational paper, and placing it on a sound financial basis. His work in these particulars was well and faithfully done.

Mr. Balch has always been a very ready and popular speaker with the masses. The graces of oratory he has not sought, but his talking power seems inexhaustible. Although in favor of fraternal organization for the good of the cause, yet his ideas in reference to creeds and to centralized authority are not accordant with those of many others of his brethren, who hold in high estimation the work he has done in the spirit and in the truth of the Gospel.

Black. Phot. H. W. Smith.

W. H. Ryder.

Among the long and successful pastorates in the great city of the West,—Chicago,—we may note that of Rev. William Henry Ryder. He is a New England man, having been born in Provincetown, Mass. (the son of Capt. Godfrey Ryder), July 18, 1822. During the early life of the son it was supposed that he would become one of the fraternity of seamen, as his worthy father had been. But this seems not to have been the Providential intent. The parent did his part in sending the lad to sea in a vessel bearing his own name, "William Henry," but the experience of a shipwreck cured the young sailor of what nautical tastes he might have possessed, and turned his attention in another direction. He became anxious for the life of a student, and in his eighteenth year entered Pembroke, N.H., Academy. He was a diligent and progressive scholar, and while at this institution decided as to the profession upon which he afterwards entered. At the age of nineteen he preached his first sermon in Manchester, N.H., and during the year following he preached frequently in Concord, in the same State.

{284} Leaving the school in Pembroke, he entered Clinton Liberal Institute (Clinton, N.Y.), then in care of a learned and efficient teacher, Dr. Clowes. He preached frequently during his stay there. In the autumn of 1843, soon after he was twenty-one, he was invited to take charge of the Universalist Society in Concord, N.H., to which place he removed, and in November of that year was united in marriage with Miss Caroline Frances Adams, who has proved a worthy and faithful helper to him in all the experiences connected with his profession. His ordination took place in December, 1843. His ministry here was successful. The society had been formed under the ministry of Rev. J.G. Adams while doing missionary work in New Hampshire, in 1834. Faithful men and women had kept it alive through changes and vicissitudes until it realized a new prosperity under Mr. Ryder, which has continued to the present time.

After two and a half years of successful labor here, he accepted a call to the neighboring city of Nashua, a larger and more promising field, which he occupied to good effect. While giving great satisfaction to his people, he became deeply impressed with the conviction that his ability to serve the church in the capacity of a Christian teacher according to his own ideal would be made greater by a more thorough course of study than he had yet been able to take, or than he could take with the cares of a pastor upon him. He therefore determined to spend a year and a half abroad in study and observation. Resigning his charge in Nashua, he sailed from New York to England. Landing at Kinsale, Ireland, and exploring the lake region of Killarney, he passed on to Dublin, and crossed the channel into England, {285} where he tarried awhile, visiting places of historic interest, and making the acquaintance of several persons who were specially interested in his own faith and profession. While in London and vicinity, he was cordially greeted by the Unitarian ministers there, and preached in two of their churches. He soon crossed to the Continent and came to Berlin, where he applied himself diligently in a course of study under German instructors for seven months. He next extended his travels to Palestine, visiting Jerusalem and many other noted places there. He also visited Athens, Constantinople, Cairo, the Pyramids, Malta, Naples, Rome, Florence, Geneva, and Paris, from which last-named place he went again to Berlin. He was absent a year and a half.

Soon after his return to his native land he was called to the pastorate in Roxbury, Mass. Here he had a successful ministry of ten years, not only fully sustaining the high reputation which the church had long enjoyed, but giving it new inspiration and vigor by the high and truly evangelical tone of his ministry. In 1860 he was called to that great city of the West, Chicago, then twenty-seven years old, and containing 150,000 people. He took charge of St. Paul's Church at a time when just such a helper and director as he proved to be was needed. His discriminating mind and firm will and patience and steadiness of action, worked effectively in building up the cause of Universalism in his own church, and giving it an honorable reputation in that great and growing city. And out of the city and through the State and the whole West the influence of his teaching and work as a representative of the Universalist Church has been justly acknowledged. He has done work for {286} the Christian cause that deserves to be kept in perpetual remembrance. In the pulpit, as a pastor, as an earnest worker in all matters affecting education, reform, and the public weal, he has been found constant and faithful.

In 1860 Harvard conferred upon him the degree of A.M., and in 1863 Lombard University the degree of Doctor of Divinity. In 1868 he made a second visit to Europe, and brought home many treasures of art which were subsequently destroyed by fire in the two great conflagrations with which Chicago was visited. The fire that destroyed St. Paul's and his own beautiful residence on an adjoining lot imposed great responsibilities upon him, which he assumed and discharged with admirable skill. He visited New England and returned with $40,000 with which to repair the shattered fortunes of St. Paul's Church; and such has been his administrative skill, that, notwithstanding the heavy financial reverses to which the parish was subsequently subjected, their grand church, worth $200,000, is now without an incumbrance. Dr. Ryder himself suffered great loss by the fires, but it is pleasant to record what one who knows says of him, that he is still "in possession of 'enough and to spare.'"

Dr. Ryder's life has been crowded with duties. As a preacher and pastor and man of business he has made his mark on public opinion and human life during the forty years just closing. He has thoroughly identified himself with the faith and work of the Universalist Church. As an expositor of its faith he has always been clear and positive, and as an advocate of its work unmistakably emphatic. Organized church work, State work, national work, mission work—home and foreign, he has {287} continually urged. The zealous and faithful women-workers of the church have always found in him a warm, hearty, and outspoken advocate on all occasions when and where his word of good cheer has been asked. As a preacher, another has thus truthfully spoken of him:—

"He has rare power. A model pulpit voice, deep, sonorous; a manner of wonderful impressiveness; a personality behind his words that makes every word tell; and long years of sagacious work without mistakes re-enforcing what he says, so that it is safe to say that no man's word in any Chicago pulpit, on any question before the people, goes as far as his in impressing the public mind."[55]

Dr. Ryder has what another has termed "an impressive presence," not in bodily size, but in a pleasant dignity which is attractive rather than imposing. An indication of cool self-confidence is in every word and action. He is thoroughly in earnest as a public speaker, and as thoroughly sincere and fearless in maintaining what he believes to be the right of the subject under consideration. A capital instance of this quality in him was given in the discussion of a topic that came up at the United States Convention during its session in Lynn in 1875. He had been invited to speak of "The Needs and Methods of Spiritual Awakening," and used great plainness and force of speech in reference to what he deemed some of the spiritual failures of professed Universalists which needed amendment. His matter was well considered, and his words were stirring and strong. An attempt was made to pass a vote of censure. He had discharged a duty laid upon him, and deserved the thanks of his hearers, even though they had not assented {288} to a word he uttered, if they were convinced—as doubtless all were—that he honestly believed what he said and discharged a conscientious duty. His defence and vindication of himself were admirable. The attempt to censure so significantly failed that the author of the resolution very readily withdrew it. A chronicler of the occasion wrote that it was worth a long journey to listen to that "outpouring."

During the war Dr. Ryder was a strong helper of the Union cause, active, eloquent, and untiring in his support of the government in manifold ways.

In addition to his other agreeable personal characteristics, Dr. Ryder is well known to those most intimate with him as a genial, courteous, and warm-hearted friend and companion. All his pastorates bear testimony to the love which the children and youth bore him, because of the interest in their welfare which he so constantly manifested.

In April, 1882, Dr. Ryder resigned his position as pastor in Chicago, and has since, with his companion, made a voyage to Europe. It is not his intention to take upon him the duties of another pastorate, but he will doubtless be always in readiness to aid as he may the interests of the church to whose prosperity his life thus far has been so constantly devoted.

The Birthplace of Hosea Ballou.

In concluding the accounts of ministers here given, it seems appropriate to add a brief reference to an event of recent occurrence, to which the attention of the Universalist public had been specially called. We refer to the meetings held under the direction of the "Cheshire {289} Association," on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the 18th, 19th, and 20th of August, 1882, in Richmond, N.H., the birthplace of Rev. Hosea Ballou, and in honor of this distinguished and venerated man. During these days, discourses were preached by Rev. Quincy Whitney, Rev. S.S. Fletcher, Rev. Dr. S.H. McCollester, Rev. Dr. A.A. Miner, and Rev. Dr. G.H. Emerson. Multitudes were in attendance, and the occasion was deeply impressive, and is significantly historical. Appended to a special account of the great gathering, Dr. Emerson, editor of the "Christian Leader," presents the following description of the birthplace of Mr. Ballou. We are glad to give it a place in this volume:—

"Stratford-upon-Avon has its one interest for the great world in the happy fortune of giving to every age the Bard who, in the faculty for putting an almost inspired wisdom into verse that is not simply matchless, but at a vast altitude above that of every other poet who has spoken the Saxon tongue,—William Shakespeare. The little town of Ayr would be nothing but a Scottish post-village but for the circumstance that Robert Burns first breathed within its borders. But first Stratford and then Ayr, for the English-speaking world, rise to an importance simply unique, above every hamlet upon the British Isles, London and Edinburgh hardly excepted.

"Those who with us fully believe that the future is to honor Hosea Ballou with a niche in the temple of fame, as the peer of the elder Edwards, and as hardly the second of Franklin, who find in the 'Treatise on the Atonement' the quarry where Bushnell has polished a few boulders, will further agree with us that the gazetteer of the coming century will put into conspicuous type, and honor with some detail of description, the New Hampshire farming town where Hosea Ballou was born. The compiler of Lippincott's did not know its claim to distinction, when he summarily disposed of Richmond, {290} N.H., as 'a post-township in Cheshire Co., 53 miles S.W. of Concord.'

"In a recent attendance upon the grove meeting, not the least among the inducements to make the journey was the opportunity to see the homestead where Hosea Ballou first took the breath of life, and to explore some of the vales and hills his boy feet must have trod more than a century ago.... As we enter this little village, a church at our right, half a century old, is the Universalist church,—the members of which have nearly all left, to be good parishioners at Winchester, Keene, and other more thriving and distant neighborhoods.

"A little farther on, at our left, is a 'meeting-house,'—it is true to that classic cognomen. It is black with age. It seems hardly strong enough to keep timber, board, and shingle together. It cannot be less than a century and a half old. The very sight of it takes us back to a former and very primitive age. The glass is held to the sash by bits of tin,—the putty got tired long ago and 'let go.' We cannot enter, but we can look through the windows. On the north side is the great, square pine pulpit, possibly one that never knew the smell of paint. The square pews have high seats from which only tolerably long limbs can touch the knotty floor. There is no grace of form, no cunning device of architect, nothing to woo a trained fancy. In and of itself, it is a hulk that only cumbers the ground.

"Why, then, did we look often, long, and spell-bound upon this wretched old rookery, and see therein a fascination not to be noted in the Capitol at Albany or the mammoth and costly post-offices of New York and Boston? The answer is in the history. More than a century ago, Rev. Maturin Ballou preached regularly from that pine pulpit. Among the regular auditors, possibly the most thoughtful of them all, his little legs dangling from the rough benches, sat his little son—Hosea.

{291} "On the morning of Sunday, our friend and host, Mr. L. Martin, says to his pastor of many years, the Rev. E. Davis: 'Take my horse and carriage, and show these people where Hosea Ballou was born.' 'These people' include Dr. Miner, Rev. Mr. Stone, of Canton, Rev. Q. Whitney, and the editor of the 'Christian Leader.' Mr. Davis knows the way, but in Mr. Bowen, who owns the farm contiguous to the once Ballou territory, he finds and calls a pilot and village antiquarian. Perhaps a mile east of the Keene and Richmond road, a mile and a half from the Universalist church on the hill, right at the foot of 'Grassy Hill,' we find a strictly modern house, and a very old barn, and a much older corn-house,—less now by a good sample than it was before we saw it. It is a one-story house, with modern windows, and three small chimneys. Mr. Bowen explains: 'That house contains the frame within which Hosea Ballou was born, and the form of the interior is substantially the same.' He was confident that the three chimneys were the same in material as the one big chimney of the old structure. Of the corn-house near by, Mr. Bowen says: 'That is just the same, only it is older and is now going to decay.' Knoll, stream, valley, plain, and high hill to the east,—in the woods of which run the fence or wall that bounded the Ballou farm: upon these time can have wrought but little change. We saw them upon that Sunday morning as Hosea Ballou saw them,—as child, as boy, as youth, as man. From that quiet spot, so rural, so out of the way, so completely in the backwoods, almost hidden by precipice and hill, came the acorn, the oak whereof is now strong and vigorous,—we trust with healing in its leaves. The little boy entering that corn-barn to get fodder for his father's horse, cows, and oxen,—is that the same whose stalwart form first rose before us in the School Street pulpit forty years ago; whose eloquent tongue set the blood thrilling in our youthful veins; whose majestic bearing seemed to us—what it was—that of an Apostle?

{292} "It has been our good fortune to look upon the Forum where Cicero declaimed in orations that yet thrill; to traverse the Colosseum where Trajan had a private box; to walk the streets of Pompeii whose pavements were trodden by resident Greeks and strangers centuries before the advent of Jesus.

"But there is an ample niche in our memory left. We place therein, to recall reverently, gratefully, and with weird association, our visit, on the morning of August 20, 1882, to the birthplace of Hosea Ballou, Richmond, N.H., 'twelve miles from Keene, due south.' The town of hill, vale, and forest is largely deserted by man. Farms that once waved with corn are now covered with forests of pine. The locomotive has never been seen—hardly heard—within its borders. But its history is precious. For what it was, for what it bequeathed, it shall live in history and in song."

[49]   "Our Woman Workers," p. 353.

[50]   The first Universalist woman who appeared in the pulpit as a preacher of the Gospel was Miss Maria Cook, who preached before the Western Association in Bainbridge, N.Y., in June, 1811. She is spoken of by Rev. Stephen R. Smith, in his "Historical Sketches" (Vol. I. pp. 31, 32). Notwithstanding the good impressions made by her as a speaker, there were those who deemed "so extraordinary an undertaking as an evidence of mental alienation!" A more enlightened and candid judgment in reference to this subject has since prevailed.

[51]   Rev. Thomas G. Farnsworth of Waltham, Mass., ordained in 1822, and Rev. Alvin Dinsmore of Woodland, Cal., ordained in 1823.

[52]   "Argument on the Right and Duty of Prohibition." By A.A. Miner, April 2, 1867.

[53]   Boston Transcript of May 1, 1882.

[54]   Rev. G.H. Emerson, D.D., Ed. in "Christian Leader."

[55]   Rev. J.W. Hanson, D.D.



THE Universalists, like some others of the Christian sects in America, were at first destitute of the educational forces which have so signally aided and strengthened the more popular churches of the land. They had no colleges, no academies, or theological schools at their command. Although some of their ministers were very respectable scholars, giving good evidence of their literary attainments in their pulpit instructions, and now and then an uncommon genius would appear, making his talents specially available as a writer or preacher, the larger number were more notable mainly for their plain good sense, their reasoning powers, their very intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures, and their aptness in the use of them in the defence and advocacy of their faith. These last named qualifications gave the Universalist minister a vantage-ground in the elucidation of his faith, which often rendered it impossible for a theological opponent, however well trained as a scholar, to sustain himself in an attempted vindication of his opinions. If, therefore, Christian truth could be thus clearly and impressively set forth by those of but limited educational resources, how much more effective might it prove if thoroughly prepared and armed with {294} a ripe and ready scholarship? This consideration, as was to have been expected, in due time moved some of the wisest and best friends of the Universalist Church to take steps towards the accomplishment of this object.

And not for the ministry only was this advantage sought. Those who were needed to sustain the ministry were equally involved in the attainment of it. Every Christian sect has been elevated and sustained in a great measure by giving its support to educational institutions,—the college, the divinity school, the academy. If an educated ministry is one of the great aids in sustaining Christian truth and the Christian Church, so is an educated laity. Both would have their religion represented and upheld by the highest educational supports and influences of modern civilization.

Besides, Christian Universalism is a child of the light. It is "not of the night nor of darkness." It would send out its inquiries everywhere into the universe in its readiness to "prove all things and hold fast that which is good." It would stand face to face with all the questionings that come up in science, history, philosophy, fully persuaded that all these, truthfully consulted, will more and more confirm its great doctrines of God, the divine law and its operations, the divine purposes and their fulfilment, the reign of righteousness and its final triumph over all evil, as made known through Christ, the Head, Guide, and Emancipator of Man. Hence it could not be otherwise than that the enlightened Universalist should be the earnest advocate and friend of educational institutions.

A notable evidence of this interest was seen in the instituting of Tufts College in Medford, Mass. It was {295} a timely generosity that gave it being on that pleasant hill which "the centuries had piled and planted to be the candlestick on which Charles Tufts should set the light of this institution."[56] It was incorporated in 1852, and opened for students in 1855. Its prosperity has been of steady growth, its funds have multiplied and its endowments increased; the last report of the President (E.H. Capen, D.D.) showing it to be "no longer an experiment, but a power." The aggregate assets of the college at the present time, including the buildings and one hundred and twenty acres of land, are not less than $1,000,000. With a Faculty of great practical efficiency, and with the close personal intercourse of teachers and pupils, no institution of the kind in America affords better facilities for a thorough education. In connection with the college is the Divinity School, with its able and devoted instructors. A professorship in the school was endowed by Charles Packard, Esq., of Boston. An elegant chapel near the main college building is soon to be ready for use, at a cost of $25,000, the gift of Mrs. Mary T. Goddard, of Newton, Mass.

Lombard University, at Galesburg, Ill., is another institution, founded by Benjamin Lombard, of Galesburg. The university building is of brick, three stories high, with spacious rooms. It has libraries of about 5,000 volumes; an extensive mineralogical cabinet, including a rare collection of shells; a valuable philosophical and chemical apparatus, and a permanent fund of about $100,000. Young men and women are admitted alike to all classes and all courses of study. Rev. N. White, Ph.D., is President, as also of the Theological Department in connection with the university. All departments {296} of the university are open to the students of theology without charge.

St. Lawrence University is at Canton, St. Lawrence Co., N.Y. It has two fully organized departments. 1. The collegiate, comprising the usual four years' classical course, and a four years' scientific course. Rev. A.G. Gaines is president and Craig Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy. Young men and women are admitted to the institution on the same conditions. 2. The theological, of which Rev. I.M. Atwood, D.D. (the successor of the late Dr. Fisher) is president. Competent and faithful teachers are in both schools. The location and surroundings of the school are favorable to uninterrupted study. A good number of well-educated and useful ministers have gone out from Canton.

Another college worthy of special attention is Buchtel, Akron, Summit Co., Ohio. It was founded by the Universalist State Convention of Ohio, and was named in honor of Hon. John R. Buchtel, its most generous and devoted benefactor, and was opened to students of both sexes, Sept. 11, 1872. The curriculum of study embraces: 1. A complete classical course of four years; 2. A thorough philosophical course of four years; 3. A full scientific course of four years. There is also a preparatory course of three years for each of the above courses. Rev. O. Cone is president of Buchtel, who has a company of able teachers with him. There are thirty-two perpetual scholarships of $1,000 each; and four professorship endowments (two for women), two of $25,000, and two of $20,000 each. The outlook from the institution was never more promising than at present, and its friends were never more devoted to its interests. Its generous founder has lived to see this child {297} of his many anxieties and strong affection one of the great joys of his lifetime; and he richly deserves it. The college was lately freed from debt. Its total capital is $290,000.

Clinton Liberal Institute has been of good service. It was founded in Clinton, N.Y., in 1831, and removed to Fort Plain, N.Y., in 1879, and came into possession of the buildings and grounds formerly known as the Fort Plain Seminary and Collegiate Institute. It was the first academic institution set up by Universalists, and has had a steady success from the beginning. Charles V. Parcell, A.M., is president, and has with him a full corps of competent teachers. The amount of its property is $100,000.

One of the most convenient and beautiful educational buildings in New England is Dean Academy, at Franklin, Mass. It was incorporated in 1865, and derives its name from the late Dr. Oliver Dean of Franklin. The edifice with the outbuildings is valued at $200,000, is lighted with gas and heated by steam, and has every modern improvement and convenience for the comfort of the pupils. Its principal is Lester L. Burrington, A.M., Chase Professor of Latin and Greek. The institution is well endowed and is increasing in prosperity. It is an honor to the Universalist denomination as well as to its venerable founder, and deserves to be widely patronized and vigorously sustained. The edifice stands upon land once owned by the distinguished Orthodox divine, Dr. Nathaniel Emmons, formerly the minister of the town.

Goddard Seminary is situated in the beautiful village of Barre, Vt., six miles from Montpelier. The school is for both sexes, and offers three complete courses of {298} study, viz. the college preparatory, of three years; the ladies' collegiate, of four years; the English course, of four years. The seminary is well supplied with anatomical models, skeletons, charts, globes, stereopticon, table and gas microscope, and apparatus for the illustration of physiology, astronomy, philosophy, and chemistry. The cabinet contains an excellent collection of minerals, fossils, and natural history specimens, and superior facilities are offered for the study of natural science.

H. W. Smith.

Thos. A. Goddard.

This institution bears the name of one whose generous encouragement was given it in the beginning,—Mr. Thomas A. Goddard. He was a member of the Second Universalist Church in Boston, and during the long pastorate of Rev. Hosea Ballou was the faithful superintendent of its Sunday-school. Prosperous in business, he was always liberal in his contributions to the church and its charities, which in a large city were ever making appeals to him. From the time of the first movements for the founding of Tufts College, he was among its most interested and generous helpers, and was one of the first treasurers of the institution. When, a few years since, the infant seminary at Barre became embarrassed, a devoted friend, acting as its agent, determined to make a vigorous effort in its behalf. He came to Massachusetts, and calling on Mrs. Goddard, whose husband had aided the school in the beginning, the result was Goddard Seminary.

Westbrook Seminary and Female College is a boarding-school for young men and women, near Portland, in Deering (post-office Stevens Plains), Me. The institution began to be talked of as early as 1830. A generous citizen of Westbrook, Mr. Zechariah Stevens, had {299} resolved to donate land ample enough for the school buildings and the needed adornment around them. How his gift has been improved, the present attractive appearance of the seminary declares. The institution was chartered in 1831, and opened in 1834. It has had friendly aids from time to time, one of them being Hersey Hall, the gift of Gen. S.F. Hersey of Bangor. Common and higher English courses, a college preparatory, and two collegiate courses for ladies are provided. The school-building contains the chapel, recitation-rooms, library, laboratory, and cabinet of minerals. Rev. J.P. Weston, D.D., is president of the institution.

Green Mountain Perkins Institute is situated in the village of South Woodstock, Vt. It was incorporated in 1848, and has since been in successful operation. The school is for both sexes, and offers three complete courses of study. The classical, of three years, includes Greek and Latin sufficient to prepare students for admission to any New England college. The ladies' collegiate for four years is offered to those wishing to take an extended course in Latin, French, and German, and higher English. The school has gained a good reputation.

In this presentation of the principal educational institutions founded and sustained mainly by the Universalist public, it is seen what influences may go out from them to the honor of the Universalist Church, the promotion, of literary culture, scientific enlightenment, and Christian civilization.

It may be well here, as we speak of educational aids, to recognize the instrumentality of the Sunday-school, which has found such a good degree of encouragement from the friends of Christian Universalism. It has been {300} an outgrowth of the increased conviction among them of the duty of instructing the rising generation in the truth and life of the Gospel. From the beginning of the present century in America this work has been recognized, the Universalists in Philadelphia and Boston manifesting their special interest in it.[57] Growth in this work has been gradual but encouraging, and the Sunday-school is now one of the cherished institutions of the Universalist Church. Its interests are widely and earnestly discussed, and the means for its advancement through the children's paper and teachers' "Helper" promise good results, if wisely utilized in the future. Although still needing improvement, the Sunday-school may be regarded with this church, as with others bearing the Christian name, as an indispensable aid in the moral advancement and religious culture of the children and youth on whom will rest the responsibilities of the church in the years to come. The Sunday-school cause was never more generally and unitedly encouraged by Universalists than at the present time.

Another educational aid worthy of note is that to be found in the circulation of the literature of the church; its periodicals, books, pamphlets, and tracts. These have thus far done excellent work in reaching and awaking interest in religious truth where the living preacher has not gone. A hundred-fold more can this be done by a just appreciation of this great instrumentality,—the Press. It is always a power in the advocacy of any cause; it will be in its tendency to deepen and strengthen the loyalty of Universalists to the church {301} they represent. An active and clear-sighted agent of one of our Western colleges just now writes:—

"In my work for the college, the closest readers of our church papers are the ones who have responded most readily to the call for help. Loyalty to our church among them is the rule, while among those who do not take a paper, he is the exception, only, who responds to the call. Nothing else can be so powerful an ally of the preacher in keeping the people informed of our schools and colleges and all other interests; and that Universalist family which refuse to take a church paper for the pittance which our Western organ costs,—four cents a week,—not only lose much of interest and enjoyment, but thereby advertise their own indifference to the best interests of the church.

"Strenuous efforts should, for these reasons, be put forth by the ministry and other agencies to place a church paper in every Universalist home throughout the land."[58]

The appeal here made will apply to any locality. And more than this. These readers of the church publications are themselves to seek a larger distribution of this means of Divine enlightenment to others. Ignorance of Christian truth at home and abroad,—in our own land and in lands less blessed with heavenly knowledge,—is constantly calling for this educational work on the part of those who are permitted to live in the light and cherish the hopes of the Gospel of God's impartial and efficient grace.

[56]   Wilmot L. Warren, Esq.; Address before Alumni, June 20, 1882.

[57]   See an article in the Universalist Quarterly for October, 1882, entitled "The Universalist Origin of American Sunday-schools," by Rev. Richard Eddy.

[58]   Read at the Ohio Convention, by W.F. Crispin, Financial Agent for Buchtel College.



"All the members have not the same office. One body in Christ, and severally members one of another."—Rom. xii. 4, 5.

ALTHOUGH in the biographical sketches contained in this volume those of the ministry are made conspicuous, the writer is sensitively aware of the fact that many devoted and honorable laymen, who have faithfully and essentially sustained the ministry, are equally worthy of record for their works' sake. A separate volume, such as we are not able to make up, would be required to do them justice. We take occasion, however, to speak a word in way of sincere and grateful tribute to these good and strong helpers, through whom the ministry has received inspiration and strength.

No sect can live mainly on the dignity, or piety, or learning, or good reputation of its ministry. Leaning too much on these, it will grow formal and cold; will fail to become an active force among the masses, in the midst of the opposing hosts of this great world around it. To sustain a ministry as a kind of moral or spiritual convenience, to wait upon it chiefly to be entertained, or to be satisfied with the respectable precision with which its functions are performed, and thus to keep in "good standing" with the Christian community and the observant world, is different entirely from the intent {303} of that great spiritual enterprise which the New Testament upholds.

It was a significant saying of the rebuilders of the ancient temple, that "the people had a mind to work." Leaders, priests, prophets, master-builders were aided by others on every hand, and so the work went successfully on. It must be thus in the uprearing and strengthening of the walls of the Christian Zion. With the diversities of gifts, there is to be the one spirit, one will and endeavor, and the one glorious end constantly in view. The direction of the apostle to the Church at Rome gives us the true idea: "We, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." He used the well-known illustration of the limbs and members of the human body to describe the several offices and functions in the Church; setting the right estimate on the diversity and unity of those who composed it, giving to all their places and to each its share of the essential life-work to be done.

Of the true and faithful "women-workers" of the Universalist Church we have freely spoken; to the fidelity of the good and faithful men we would as readily testify. Names we may not mention, for, these once given, we should be unable to decide where to close the record. But this we can say,—and every faithful minister will bear witness to the truth of our statement,—that among his experiences none have been more uplifting than those connected with the co-operation of true souls who have waited on his ministry, and given their ready counsel and sure and steady support. The minister of the city with his incessant toils and cares, the country pastor in his quiet rounds of duty, or the missionary-evangelist having his preaching-stations at long {304} distances from each other, all have been doubly blessed in their anxious and unremitting toils in the Lord's field by the cordial smiles and welcome greetings and generous encouragements of the lay friends who, by spirit and action, have been all the time bidding them "God-speed" on their way.

"How shall they hear without a preacher?" is a very sensible New Testament question. How shall the preacher be sustained and blessed by his hearers? is another of equal weight and timeliness. A society or church is to be formed; a Sunday-school organized; ways and means instituted to secure a financial basis to carry on the work of the church. Where rests the responsibility, and where the directing and sustaining force, but in the few, perhaps, who are to be depended upon in every such movement, and who give confidence and courage to others who are gladly willing to do their parts with them.

A low tide comes in society affairs; adversities have been realized, and the faint-hearted are prophesying failure. Who but the few "stand-bys" are among the hopeful and helping; those always readiest with their money, always in their places at the worship service, or in the conference meeting or the Sunday-school? What would be the courage of the minister but for this loyal church-guard ever to be depended on?

A church edifice is to be built, or a church debt cancelled? Who shall lead in the business? the minister? Yes, if he can more conveniently than any other one. But what shall his "lead" be without followers? On whom does he most rely? On those laymen who are only waiting for his word to begin the work. Their generous zeal will awaken new interest in others, and {305} this "striving together" of minister and people will insure success.

A pastor is out on a mission of private charity. The case of a poor widow, or sick and needy husband and father, or some suffering and desponding one needing help and comfort, is tugging at his heart-strings, and the immediate resources of his pocket are not equal to the demand. What then? He knows just where to go, directly, quietly, to the counting-room, or store, or farmhouse of that layman whose religion makes him glad to "do good and to communicate," and whose worldly store gives him opportunity thus to bless himself as he confers a blessing on others.

A college needs an additional endowment. Money is required. The president or some other friend of the institution goes forth in confidence that, on a truthful representation of the needs, certain ones will listen with interest and liberally respond to the call, and, as the annual report at the next Commencement declares, he is not disappointed. He has consulted the laymen.

The General or State Convention makes its annual call upon the parish for its apportioned contribution to the funds for the general work of the church, and its extension beyond existing parish lines; for missionary operations in the waste places, that they may be blessed with the light and joy of the Gospel. Who will be sure to meet truly and promptly this call? The loyal layman who has made himself acquainted through the church journals and from his minister in the pulpit with the just and holy demands of this enterprise, and who has never indulged himself in laying back from it, saying, "We have enough to do to meet our own parish expenses!" No, he and such as he now cheer the heart {306} of his minister, and make glad sister parishes, and add credit to the whole church.

A blessing like this cannot be too highly prized, cannot awaken too strong a thanksgiving. A faithful ministry the church must have or fail. But this ministry, to be strong and prevail, must have for its fresh inspiration the hopeful eyes and ready hands and throbbing hearts of a constant and loyal laity.



"No man can be assured of his own salvation, except he see the same salvation in the same Saviour for all men, as well as for himself; which is to love his neighbor as himself."—Richard Coppin.[59]

THAT the errors connected with what has been deemed the Orthodoxy of the past are passing away is undeniable. We have been noting this on every page of this volume. The Christian pulpit and the religious and secular press are bringing out new confirmations of it continually. Take two indications; first, the emphatic utterances coming from the Episcopal Church in England and America. It is Rev. Charles Kingsley who writes: "I preach to you a Son of God who has declared everlasting war against disease, ignorance, sin, death, and all which makes men miserable. Those are his enemies, and he reigns and will reign, till he has put all enemies under his feet, and there is nothing left in God's universe but order and usefulness, health and beauty, knowledge and virtue, in the day when God {308} shall be all in all." It is Canon Farrar at Westminster Abbey who is awaking deep interest in his vigorous exposures of the hideousness of the old ideas of a wrathful God who would punish some of his simple offspring hereafter "without relief and without end." His volumes entitled "Eternal Hope" and "Judgment and Mercy," are full of references to the opinions of others in the past, who have opposed these errors,—although most of them are not new to readers and students of Universalist literature,—and are among the harbingers of that coming day when the absurdities which he assails shall be numbered among the things that were. His admissions of the force of the arguments of Universalist writers are such as will awaken new inquiry in many directions, notwithstanding he takes occasion to affirm of himself most distinctly, "But I am not a Universalist." We can only say that, if he is not, he is doing no small share of a work which will tend to make others avowers and defenders of this faith. Others of the ministry in England, like the late Dr. Maurice, Rev. Frederick Robertson, and Rev. Stopford Brooke, have given their testimonies in behalf of these higher and clearer views of Christian theology. In America, such men as Drs. Holland and Phillips Brooks, are advocates of the improved theology, the last-named explicitly affirming his faith in the final salvation of all souls. Dr. Heber Newton, rector of the Anthon Memorial Episcopal Church at New York, in his sermon on the death of the late Rev. Dr. Chapin, said that—

"Dr. Chapin, knowing the feeling of the church against the new ism, boldly became its preacher, for he recognized its great and noble mission. That sin had its recompense, he never doubted, but his doctrine of 'God is love,' was so eloquently {309} preached that the theologians reconsidered their doctrines of retribution. Even the Episcopal Church, he says, in recently reviewing the articles, struck out the one about eternal punishment. When Universalism began its mission, religion so to speak, had become ossified and rigid, and it was necessary, to meet the advanced thought of the age, that some change be made in it. The force that wrought this change, developed outside of the Orthodox Church, and it has been instrumental in banishing much of the barbarism and cruelty of expression which Christians borrowed from the Pagans."

The Presbyterian and Methodist Churches have had their experiences in the agitation of these questions involving the acceptance or rejection of the leading points of theology held by them in the past. But the freest and boldest utterances on this subject seem to have come from the Congregationalist Churches. Members of the Beecher family have been quite conspicuous in their allusions to the old and abhorrent doctrines of Calvinism; as for instance, Mrs. Stowe, in her "Minister's Wooing" and "Old Town Folks;" her sister Catherine, in her emphatic saying, that, as this theology is set forth, "there must be an awful mistake somewhere;" Dr. Edward Beecher, in his "Conflict of Ages" (a work ably reviewed by Rev. Moses Ballou); and Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, who has just now affirmed that he will never more preach the horrible doctrine of endless punishment. After repeating a statement he had made, that the dogma of endless suffering is the cause of increasing infidelity, Dr. Edward Beecher says, that "Universalism is no longer restricted within denominational lines, but is now diffused more widely than some suspect," that "the {310} preaching of the doctrine is largely neutralized by a latent Universalism within the walls of evangelical churches," that some of the clergy "dare not investigate the dogma (endless suffering) in an impartial, scientific method, lest they bring themselves into conflict with the creed they are expected to defend;" and closes thus: "Meanwhile the creed-doctrine of an endless punishment is seldom discussed from the pulpit, and never willingly heard by the pews." Significant indeed is the closing of his volume on the "Scriptural Doctrine of Retribution:" "Even admitting that the doctrine of eternal punishment is the word of God, it seems to be forgotten that allegations may be attached to it that shall make it to be not the word of God, but the greatest falsehood in the Universe."

At the Congregationalist Convention in Boston in 1865 the difficult problem came up to be solved, "how they could state what they themselves had come to believe, without appearing to deny what the fathers believed." Assembled at the old Burial Hill of the Pilgrims in Plymouth, they affirmed their adherence to the "substance of the Westminster and Saybrook Confessions of Faith." To clothe this "substance" in verbal forms, making it a true statement of the old theology of Puritanism, and at the same time a living thing of to-day, would seem to be an undertaking resulting in as great a confusion of tongues as in any instance recorded in the history of the past. To keep intact the theology of the past in their churches is an impossibility.

For, let us understand that the most thoughtful among the theologians of nearly all the churches are now beginning to feel the force of the question hitherto {311} hushed down, as it has been boldly asked or even whispered in the face of the theology of the past: What is the Divine responsibility in the creation of man? It is the question asked by Hosea Ballou, in his youth, of his father, a Baptist minister: "Would it be an act of goodness on my part to create a human being,—had I the power,—knowing that his existence would prove an endless curse to him?" a question which the father was unable to answer, and which the son did not press strongly upon him. This question, though familiar enough to Universalists and long made a ground of argument concerning human destiny, has usually been evaded by the supporters of the popular theology, as beyond the reach of human reason. They have regarded the inquiry as to the responsibility of God in the creation of man as irreverent on the part of his feeble offspring. But the question has been considered and earnestly examined, and the discussion of it has elicited the most outspoken opinions as to the result of the investigation.

Rev. W.W. Patton, D.D. of Howard University, has recently spoken very definitely on this subject, although he acknowledges that it has not been a legitimate one to be decided upon by the theologians of his school. He affirms that the Divine reason like our own (we being made in the Divine image) includes the eternal, unchangeable, and imperative idea of right, the practical synonym of which is love,—love being that which always, everywhere, and in all beings, expresses the right or sums up duty. He reaches the conclusion that God chooses love as the rule of his activity, that when he creates rational sensitive beings, by that very fact he put himself voluntarily into a relation which {312} calls upon him to act upon the principle of love, which gives them a right to expect that he will so act.

It is an answer to the question of Abraham, "Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?" and of Paul, "Is God unrighteous?" In agreement with this reasoning of Dr. Patton, is that of Rev. John Miller of Princeton, N. J., who just now affirms:—

"A deformed God is a great light gone out from any religion, and is the chief ally of infidelity. God is not to be worshipped because he is powerful, any more than Satan is; but because he is moral. If he wrongs me in bringing me into being, he is no sovereign to me."[60]

In the same strain comes this testimony from Miss Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, of Andover, in a late number of the "North American Review:"—

"The Bible meets us squarely upon the deepest and the highest question which the finite intellect has the right to ask: What, having made us at all, is God's moral attitude toward us? When he thrust into space this quivering ball of pain and error, did he mean well enough by it to justify the deed? Profounder than all our philosophy, wiser than all our protest, comes the sublime and solitary answer: 'He so loved the world that He gave his only Son.' This magnificent reply, which theology has distorted out of its grand and simple proportions, to which science has refused its supreme reasonableness, the true human heart and the clear human head have accepted. The contortions of faith and the malice of doubt have almost equally united to shake the hold of this great re-assurance upon the world. The world will have it in spite of both. The world will have it, because it is the {313} best it can get; and by all the iron laws of common sense it will keep the best till God or man can offer it something better."

Even so. Amen!

At the present time the orthodoxy of Andover Theological Institution is assuming new and strange aspects. During the recent discussions respecting the invitation to Dr. Newman Smyth to accept a professorship at the institution, this avowal on the part of the professors still in their places there is given to the public:—

"It cannot be denied that the doctrines of eternal punishment and of the judgment have lost their proper place in the teachings of the pulpit. That method alone can restore them to a reflective age which refuses to put into them more than our Saviour left in them, and which brings them into accord with the knowledge of divine truth which the spirit of Christ is ever developing in his Church. Christianity educates men to ever higher, broader, more truthful conceptions of God. The questionings of to-day in Christian hearts respecting the doctrine of eternal punishment are a consequence of the elevating and spiritualizing power of the Gospel. The Church should seek out positions that can be held. It should be in advance of its enemies."

This change, it is affirmed by the Andover professors,—

"... is a natural development of principles which the New England theology has especially cultivated. These principles have gained their rights only by hard conflicts. At every stage the cry of heresy has filled the air, but they have won the day. They have banished the dogmas of guilt for Adam's sin, of infant damnation, of passive regeneration, of the universal perdition of the heathen. They have been attended all along by concessions,—concession of the dogmas that all men {314} sinned in Adam, that Adam was their federal head, that the death of Christ was only for the elect; concession that 'elect infants' who die in infancy include all such; that we cannot fix the time when moral agency begins; that none who die before this point is reached are excluded from salvation; and so on, through ever-advancing modifications. The path of New England theology is thus strewn with concessions,—concessions to an advancing knowledge of God's Word, concessions to truth!"[61]

Very explicit language, surely. And yet, in direct conflict with it, there is the fact that the Andover creed, to which all professors of the institution must give their assent, involves the doctrines of the Trinity and Vicarious Atonement; that "by nature every man is personally depraved, destitute of holiness, alike opposed to God; and that, previously to the renewing agency of the Divine Spirit, all his moral actions are adverse to the character and glory of God; that, being morally incapable of recovering the image of his Creator, which was lost in Adam, every man is justly exposed to eternal damnation; so that, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God; that God of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, selected 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." Yes, the Andover creed declares there is a final separation from the love of God, which cannot wrest the erring soul from the grasp of death, cannot bridge the grave, cannot descend into the depths and bring up to life and light its own offspring. Christ himself may declare, "I will draw all men unto me;" the {315} Andover creed says, No! No salvation for the soul that has entered death's dark realm. No matter that Christ has the keys of hell, he cannot rescue! No matter that the time has been foretold when "death and the grave shall be destroyed," when "there shall be an end of sin," when pain shall no longer pierce and tears no longer flow; in opposition to all this the Andover creed tells us, as an essential part of Christian faith, as one of the inspiring strains of the Gospel message, that "the wicked" whom Christ came to save, "will awake to shame and everlasting contempt, and with devils be plunged into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone for ever and ever."

How are these theological contradictions to be explained? Infidels are sneering at this double-dealing; honest Christians are asking, "What is to be the issue of this conflict? Why do not these religious leaders state plainly where they stand, and what they would have the churches accept and affirm as the truth of God?" The question has been aptly asked, "Is the moral sense at Andover Institution paralyzed? The situation is perfectly clear to every honest barber, shop-keeper, or shoemaker, and it makes a hundred infidels where the 'Age of Reason' makes one."[62] It is a matter for congratulation that the Christian world has been moved, that its thought has been so largely modified, and that it is our great honor "to stand at the centre, however men may hesitate to acknowledge it, towards which these lines of influence are tending."[63] But why, we must ask, are not these professed friends of Christian truth in all the churches more in readiness to acknowledge this indication, and plainly state what they think {316} of it? Why hesitate and stand in the shadow of their old errors, when it is so clearly evident that they can be no longer successfully maintained, and which do not represent their real opinions? Why not say outright, "We were mistaken in accepting and teaching these doctrines of total depravity, election, and reprobation, infant and endless damnation, and have come to see that God is the Father of all men, and that in all his dealings with his children he will act in strict conformity with his paternal justice and love?" Are we to conclude that there is with them the plague of a confused moral sense, which hinders the honest and prompt avowal, on their part, of the truth of that Gospel of Divine grace "that bringeth salvation to all men?"

To avoid the admission of the truth of Universalism, there are not a few who seem disposed to tarry at the half-way ground of the doctrine of the annihilation of the wicked, as though in these desperate cases of sinfulness the saving resources of the Infinite love were exhausted, and God could make no better disposition than this utter destruction of those created in his own image, and capable of knowing, serving, and enjoying him forever. Strange that God's children can so limit his saving love and power! Is there any instance of sinfulness that cannot be reached by that grace which so much more abounds than any transgression of men?

Another conclusion which inquirers reach is that of the indefiniteness in which this question of the ultimate results of the Divine government is involved. As though, on a subject of such unspeakable interest as this to every mortal, there could be indefiniteness in a Revelation involving the truth of man's origin, duty, and destiny! Why not indefiniteness in this Revelation as {317} to the being of a God and his attributes, as to man's whole duty, as to the objects of Christ's mission, as to the immortal existence of any souls? No! the eminent Christian apostle will teach us all better, as he does in his lofty assurance of the extent of God's claims on his children and his paternal interest in them: "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."[64] Everlasting thanks to heaven for the definiteness respecting this great question, which the advocates of Christian Universalism have constantly maintained. These hesitancies, haltings, evasions, policies, will have their day, and through them and after them the truth of the Gospel will find its open avowal and vindication. Here is the prophecy, years since made by one of the ablest and worthiest of Christian ministers. "Whoso readeth, let him understand."

"A few generations more, and the system you have advocated will be among the things that are only remembered. You will abandon it, but by degrees; as the truth increases you will begin by first exploding the old notion that infants are damned, and by avowing the salvation of all who die in early life. Then you will proceed to reject so much of your doctrine as to allow that a very small part of mankind, here and there an individual, will be sent to hell. And continuing the work, you will at length determine that even these will there suffer no other pain than the remorse of conscience; next, that their remorse will be no greater, in degree, than what is experienced in this world. And finally you will give {318} up the remainder, first, in confidential whispers among yourselves, and then, after the common people shall have generally led the way, you will come out boldly, and preach God as the Father of all and the Saviour of all."[65]

Many a one not now ready to acknowledge the claims of the faith of the Universalist Church has this, mainly, as his reason for it, that it has not been for centuries past the popular faith of the churches in Christendom. There are great numbers of Christians who have in reality no more plausible reason why they are not better acquainted and more in love with this faith. Whenever they have heard it spoken of it has been in such words as to lead them to regard it as a modern innovation. Beyond this they have not looked. Convinced of this, they have not desired to look farther. But they should. A faith making such pretensions and appeals ought to be looked after. Men are not wise and humane; they are not lovers of their race and its truest well-wishers in the Christian sense; they are not in readiness to rejoice in view of the widest and most thorough dispensation of Divine grace, in the most extensive and effectual work of salvation through the "One Lord Jesus Christ," while they regard with indifference the affirmation which the Gospel makes of this very work with all souls. Is it true? This ought to be the eager inquiry of everyone professing faith in the significance of {319} the second commandment, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Where this love pervades the heart, will not that heart seek every evidence that can be offered in proof of this most desirable of all results, the reconciliation of all souls to the Divine administration, the Divine love regenerating, uplifting, and glorifying all God's offspring? We press these questions home, without a word of apology, to every lover of Christ and the Christian cause.

If these hesitating ones of whom we speak would take up the examination, they would find that some of the clearest and noblest minds of the past have given their assent to this very faith, and that the doctrines in opposition to it are not to be regarded as past questioning when they have been sanctioned by generations involved in as much mental and moral darkness as most of those which have preceded us.

Christ came to teach positive truth, and his religion invites the largest and freest inquiry as to its claims. And so this theology of the past will be investigated. It is undergoing the process now in minds and in the midst of institutions where this old conviction of the superiority and sacredness of the past has been revered as it never can be again. All the sects are more or less affected with this contagion of inquiry. It will not be suppressed. To silence it for a season is but allowing it to accumulate greater force with which it shall again make itself manifest. Said a speaker, a few years since, in a Methodist Conference in New York city:—

"What reason can be given for the difference in manifestation of conviction of sin between our day and the times of our fathers? Whereas we used to preach to sinners that an endless hell awaited all who died in their sins, we now {320} leave the fact almost wholly out of sight. We say we believe that when men thus die they go to a place of everlasting burnings, where the Almighty tortures them alive as long as he the Almighty lives. If we believe this, why do we not preach it now? Why do not our editors write about it, and our bishops thunder it from their pulpits till the people tremble?"

A brother minister present took exception to these remarks. He thought that the Christians made by what were termed the "reformed methods" of the day are as abundant in good works, and their lives redound to the glory of God full as much as was the case under the machinery of fifty years ago. "We do not propose to go back on the operation of the Holy Spirit to-day, because he acts now in ways different from those of old." A sensible conclusion. The churches are growing,—growing out of unreasonable doctrines which had their origin in the darkness of the olden time, and which must vanish away as the full day of Christian truth comes in to gladden the waiting world.

Christianity will stand all this controversy. It was made to. It is not only the wisdom and the love, but the power of God, and that endures and triumphs. It needs of itself no alteration. While it can suit itself to all the shifting phases of human history, it is of itself, like its author, "without variableness or shadow of turning." It has the same fulness and adaptiveness now that it ever had. Says Rev. Mr. Spurgeon:—

"Men in the days of Whitfield looked back to the days of Bunyan, and men in the days of Bunyan wept because of the days of Wyckliffe, Calvin, and Luther; and men then wept for the days of Augustine and Chrysostom; men in those {321} days wept for the days of the apostles; and doubtless men in the apostles' days wept for the days of Jesus Christ; and, no doubt, some in the days of Jesus Christ were so blind as to wish to return to the days of prophecy, and thought more of the days of Elijah than they did of the most glorious days of Christ. Some men look more to the past than to the present. Rest assured that Jesus Christ is the same that he was yesterday, and will be the same forever."

Verily so; and what he is, it is our business in the present to ascertain. How much of his fulness may we now be able to comprehend?

And so again we say, "the world moves," the church moves, the spirit of the All-wise and Almighty is moving upon the heart of humanity. Man advances. This is the Divine process. For long centuries there may be but little, comparatively, accomplished; then a new activity will be realized. We do not expect to go back to the Dark Ages again. The very last half-century, as we have seen, has been more marked with progress than any other before in the world's history. Our own nation has given signal evidence of this. Our Declaration of Independence has an increased luminousness at the present hour. That the next half-century will have equal advancement, we are not sure; but all signs are hopeful that there will be more growth, continued improvement. One thing seems evident in reference to our own nation, which is, that the religion of the Gospel is needed in it more than ever before, to meet its increasing needs, and to give it strength of character and permanent life. Truer words were never spoken than those by the orator at the Yorktown Centenary celebration during the past year:—

{322} "No advanced thought, no mystical philosophy, glittering abstractions, no swelling phrases about freedom,—not even science, with all its marvellous inventions and discoveries,—can help us much in sustaining this republic. Still less can any Godless theories of creation, or any infidel attempts to rule out the Redeemer from his rightful supremacy in our hearts, afford us any hope of security. In that way lies despair! Commonplace truths, old familiar teachings, the ten commandments, the sermon on the mount, the farewell address of Washington, honesty, virtue, patriotism, universal education, are what the world most needs in these days, and our own part of the world as much as any other part. Without these we are lost. With these, and with the blessing of God, which is sure to follow them, we may confidently look forward."[66]

If we are reading the signs of the present and the indications of the future aright, we readily conclude that it is but early day yet in the history of humanity,—we mean in its moral and spiritual history. Gross darkness, fearful wrong, appalling sin yet afflict and demean it. If we have the gain of the past to encourage us, if we would be aids in the world's progress, the new instrumentalities of the present which we possess must be used as though we had full faith in their power, that is, in the Divine indications that are in them. If the true millennium is yet afar off, it is advancing. So should we be, not as children of the night, nor of any darkness of the past, but of the Christian day, which has had its heavenly breaking, and whose rising bids us to be risen also, and to be moving on! We are debtors to the past, how great we can never fully realize. We are equally {323} debtors to the future. What can we now do for its largest blessing, its permanent life?

Seeing that these errors, delusions, and wrongs of the past are to be dissolved, what is the work of the Universalist Church now and in the time to come? The answer is ready. It is to magnify its office, to extend the spirit and life of its holy faith. It is false to its trust if it fail to do this. It is to advance, "strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." To boast of its grand conceptions of truth, its reasonable interpretations of the Bible, of its pre-eminence in any way, and still to have no quickening power in the work it is called to do, is not to seek advancement and success, but to court disappointment and failure.

This highly-favored church, then, should offer to the acceptance of the world,—

1. A positive faith. At this peculiarly transitional time in the Christian Church history, great watchfulness and discrimination are needed on the part of those who are regarded by the majority of the churches as "liberal Christians," because this word "liberal" is often quite vague in its meaning and covers very many phases of belief and unbelief, scepticism, and credulity. A candid and able writer of the Unitarian fraternity has just given to the public these very timely and wholesome suggestions:—

"Liberal Christians will make a fatal mistake if they dream of gaining strength and influence by statements so nebulous and so universally inclusive that even those who deny all spiritualities can ally themselves with them, and speak from their pulpits. If they intend to form a debating club or a school of philosophy, they might naturally and wisely pursue such a policy. But if they wish to form a church, with a faith {324} to offer to the world, and a positive and definite work for a definite end, such a course is self-destructive."

"The effort of liberal Christianity should have been to strengthen the things that remain. Instead of that, its work has tended too much to minimize faith and to maximize doubt. Everything has become the subject of dissection, almost nothing the object of enthusiasm and trust. That religious body whose supreme function is criticism, however skilful it may be in special work, will never be a regenerating power in human society."[67]

Well said. And this leads us to speak directly and freely on the subject of creeds as connected with all Christian churches, and especially as involving the policy and duty of the so-called Liberal churches. We know that at the present time many are cutting themselves away from old creeds, such as have held them and their ancestors before them; when there is more religious inquiry abroad than ever before, and when it is becoming quite fashionable to speak lightly of all creeds, and to intimate that, on the whole, the church and the world may get along about as well without them as with them,—perhaps much better without them. It is well, as this impatience of creeds is increasing, "to think soberly," if possible, on the whole matter.

What is a creed? Let us "begin at the beginning,"—the dictionary. Creed comes from the Latin credo, and signifies to believe. It is "a summary of Christian belief, or of the articles of faith. Any profession of that which is believed; a statement of the articles of belief, as the creeds of political parties." All religionists have creeds of some kind; from the most liberal to the most exclusive of them. Take the most radical "free religionist" {325} you can find, and ask him, immediately after you have heard him berating creeds and adjudging all as bigots who would be bound by them, what he believes, and as surely as he says anything, he will state to you what. And this is his creed, whether he calls it so or not. He might as well deny that he has a head by calling it something else, or by not allowing it to have any name. A creed he has, if he believes anything. The same of all men.

What, then, is the objection to creeds? Why, that the Church has been full of bad creeds, narrow creeds, unreasonable creeds, contradictory creeds, creeds dishonorable to God and to humanity. There is no doubt of this; and the evil still abounds. But what then? Away with all creeds? You cannot do it. A creed you will have, at last, after all you have thought and said and done against having one. It is inevitable.

Most of the creeds of the Church, for centuries past, have contained doctrines revolting to the common sense and to the holiest affections of mankind. The Church and the world are outgrowing them, and they must be put away. There will be no rest nor peace for those who hold and defend them until they are put away. But what more? Will there be nothing instead of these falsehoods, in the forms of human creeds? Are there no TRUTHS to take the place of them? Every reasonable mind concludes that there are. Better views of God and man will be taken, more reasonable and scriptural doctrines will be accepted, and these will go to make up the new creeds. If these new creeds have errors in them, then there will be new siftings in the controversies that will be continued on the old apostolic principle, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is {326} good." Notice; to be continually questioning is not the great object of Christian investigation. There is something to be held fast. It is that truth which will commend itself to every man's conscience in the sight of God. This will constitute the perfected Christian creed at last, just as surely as that "every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Because the churches have not yet the right creed is no reason why they may not be seeking for it, and may not one day find and adopt it. We do not mean, of course, that all minds can be alike, but that all minds will unite in acknowledging certain truths, such as the Divine Paternity, the Human Brotherhood, the necessity of personal holiness, the divine and human mission of Jesus, the immortality, holiness, and happiness of mankind. If these are truths, as we believe they are, they will constitute a part, at least, of the Christian creeds of the churches.

To what, then, does this sweeping denunciation of creeds amount? May not much of it be of very questionable utility and soundness? We know that good and wise men talk thus. But are good and great men, even, always sure of being right in their statements and conclusions? One of our distinguished public men, Mr. Wendell Phillips, said in his discourse on "Christianity a battle, not a Dream," that the New Testament was nothing but the New Testament, and that "nothing like a creed could be tortured out of it,—nothing like Universalism, Catholicism, or Unitarianism." We have as little faith in the torturing process as he; but we utterly deny that a Universalist creed cannot be clearly and undeniably found in the New Testament. We {327} have already stated a part of it. If the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of the race, the unceasing obligation of man to love God and his fellow-creatures, the lordship and mission of Christ the Saviour of the world, the immortality of all mankind, are not positive doctrines of the New Testament, then no doctrines, no precepts, no principles can be proved from it. This is the very question at issue between Universalists and those who deny that their faith has its foundations in the New Testament. We are ready to stand on this issue with all who will meet us there as honest inquirers after truth.

A gifted and highly honored member of the fraternity of Friends took occasion some time since to speak lightly of an attempt on their part to "tinker a creed" for themselves. And why might they not do it? If not satisfied with their present statement of faith they have a right to search for that which will enable them to make a better one. Tinkering! What are we all doing in our investigations and conclusions but just this? Rather poor workmen, most of us; but here, in this great workshop God has given us, we have a right to keep hammering and welding away,—a right and a duty to see how perfect a piece of work we may show as the result of our patient and persistent labor. Newton deemed himself but a picker-up of pebbles, while the great ocean of truth lay all unexplored before him. Our best searching will only give us indications of that truth which is infinite. Yet this is no reason why we should not be looking for it, and stating it when we think we have found it. God will accept even our homeliest work, when honestly done.

"When done beneath his laws,
Even servile labors shine."

{328} So, in reason's name, do not let us be afraid of "tinkering" on creeds, any more than we should be ashamed to be diggers, hammerers, furnace-workers and explorers in the fields of science. Truth will come of it all; truth that shall be worked into a good creed at last.

Universalists have a creed. Its articles, we believe, are reasonable and uncontradictory, commending themselves to the clearest intellect and to the holiest affections of mankind. Their principal creed or "Confession" is a short one, yet remarkably comprehensive. It can be and is enlarged, and in this form adopted in many of the churches. The world asks what Universalists believe. They have been in existence as a sect long enough to tell them; and ought to be in readiness to do this. Yea, anxious to do it, because of their convictions of the need of this truth in the understandings and hearts of men. Our Unitarian neighbors have been much troubled with the fact that many of their own people, especially their younger ones, have not known what Unitarians believed,—what were the articles or doctrinal statements of their creed. Just one thing, surely, that they and others ought to know. If Universalists have had any defect of this kind, it should cease to be with them, especially if they have definite convictions of Christian doctrines such as the Divine Paternity, the Brotherhood of Man, Christ, the Holy Spirit, Regeneration, Retribution, Forgiveness, Atonement, Salvation, Immortality. If they have not definite convictions respecting them, let them say so, honestly, as in the hearing of all men. Otherwise, let them have a positive creed to state and defend.

A positive creed, we say. For, to have a creed made up of statements that are questionable in the minds of {329} its defenders, is to have anything but a New Testament—a truly Christian creed. The Apostles had no such creed. Their creed reads thus: "To us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we by Him.—Christ is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.—Now is Christ risen, and become the first fruits of them that slept.—God will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. God shall be all in all." With them these were not questions open for self-settlement in their minds, but truths of which they were thoroughly convinced, and in the promulgation of which they were most thoroughly in earnest. This is the Christian ministry now needed, not a ministry made up of inquirers and sceptics mainly, who are "ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth," but of those who have settled convictions of what the truth of God is, and who are in readiness to state and maintain a creed which they believe to be every way in accordance with reason, with the Scriptures, and in answer to the most earnest and anxious inquiries of the human soul.

"But creeds are binding," says one. Of course they are if we believe them to be the truth, and are truthful ourselves in the acceptance and use of them. But how are creeds binding? Erroneous, evil creeds bring the souls who hold them into bondage. We understand this. But what about true and good creeds? It appears to us that these give liberty, aye, the largest liberty. Jesus says, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Who says, in the light of this statement, that the truth of Christ adopted in a creed tends to bondage? God's truth, dear reader, is binding on you, and on us all, according to our convictions of it. {330} What freedom do you desire? That which will give you indulgence in perpetual scepticism, unsettlement in regard to anything? Call you this liberty? We regard it as about the worst of bondage; because we are thus in uncertainty; we have no permanent habitation in God's love and life. We have, indeed, the poor liberty of an outcast, but not that of "a child at home." This last is a liberty which a creed embracing Christian truth will allow us. We want no greater. It will help us in all our interpretations of God and His works and ways in the universe which is open before us.

Two considerations, then, we may bear in mind; one is, that of the reasonableness and propriety of Christian creeds. This indiscriminate denunciation of them is not wise. It is one of the flurries of the present age, but will not endure the long run of theological investigation. Creeds may not all be written, but they will exist, even with those who denounce them. The logic of fact and human experience effectually settles this, so that a further superfluity of breath on this subject does not seem to be really needed. A faith in the unseen that is most in accordance with nature, human intuitions, sound philosophy, and the Word of God, is the one after which all souls may rightfully seek.

Next, of the Universalist creed, let us understand that it is not only a theological affirmation, but a constant teacher of the most thorough virtue,—a call to the purest, highest, and most heavenly life. The Universalist Church needs nothing so much as to be vitalized by its spirit; the world needs nothing more than this vitality for its present salvation.

2. And this leads us to speak, briefly, of the true {331} Christian life which this Church should seek to commend to the world. Here is the Apostle's direction which opens to us most clearly the practical influence of the faith of the gospel: "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation to all men hath appeared, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world."[68] It is the indwelling heavenly love, the love which Christianity is ever indicating and proving, that will find its expression in the true Christian believer. It is the practical interpretation of that text from John, "We love him because he first loved us."[69] It is the faith with works, proving its spiritual vitality. It is at war with sin and wrong; it comprehends the scriptural statement, "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil." And it realizes how evil is to be overcome and put away. It aims to live here and now as it becomes the soul born of God to live, "soberly, righteously, godly." What words more expressive of its life can be given? They sum up the whole of the Christian life.

This religion which the Christian Gospel recommends is reverential and worshipful. The flippant inquiry of atheism of olden or modern time, "What is the Almighty that we should pray to him or serve him?" it answers, rationally and emphatically, "The Lord he is God; serve him with gladness; for he is good, his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endureth to all generations." Worship is the natural utterance of the true believer as he looks upward to the Father. Forms of worship are means by which his adoration finds expression. Monotony, routine, repetitions, drony formality, {332} will not be in the offering, for the reason that his whole soul is seeking God, and finds the enjoyment of his holy presence and ineffable light.

This religion is affectional and emotional. It is intellect awakened into love; it is sober thought seeking most earnest expression; it is logic on fire. Those who have no taste for the emotional in religion have only a partial conception of the most effective expression which the Christian religion seeks, and in which it may properly and profitably indulge. The needy, empty-souled, impulsive world-masses are not to be reached and warmed, uplifted and inspired, by clearly exact and well-stated and well-worked-out theological problems. The multiplication table is true, and useful, but we do not look for any spiritual inspiration in it. The religion that has most blessed the world is a religion that appeals to and draws out the affections; that, while it repudiates imprudent zeal and fanaticism, insists on that earnestness which everywhere meets us in the New Testament Gospels and apostolic records and epistles; which reaches men's hearts and convinces them of their need of heavenly aid; awakens the question asked by the converted soul, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" and realizes the significance of those apostolic declarations, "Be filled with the spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts unto God the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." All this signifies living interest, fervor of spirit, emotional, wakeful expression.

This religion is, moreover, eminently practical. It is not only ready to say, "Lord, Lord!" but to do the Lord's work as well. It forecloses this inconsiderate {333} criticism sometimes heard, "Why all this wordy demonstration and noise about religion? Good works are of a thousand times more avail; the best religion is to do good." True, indeed, and this is what Christianity is constantly teaching. No one taught it more forcibly than Jesus himself. The parable of the Good Samaritan is emphatic on this point, that the reputed unbeliever who did good was worthy of more praise than the most punctilious professor of religion who was deficient in the essentials of the Christian kingdom,—Justice, Mercy, and Love. "What doth it profit, though a man say he have faith and have not works? Can faith save him? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."[70] But good works do not exclude these other manifestations of the true religion. "These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."

3. Once more: this religion is reformatory and progressive. Reformation and progress are words always indicative of the Christian dispensation with man; the call to holiness and the response to it, growth in God's grace, new achievements,—never resting in present attainments, but ever striving with fresh inspiration for new accomplishments in the heavenly course. Most religions (especially under the Christian name) have some of these characteristics; but the religion nearest to that which Christ taught and exemplified will have them all. To secure the highest blessings of the Christian kingdom, the churches must be based on the principles, and conform to the requirements, of this kingdom. The Universalist Church must. Its true prosperity has been and will be in accordance with its fidelity in this particular. {334} One of its earnest preachers of the present time has truly said:—

"Opinions as faith will never serve to build up any Christian character. There is not a saved soul in any paradise anywhere which was ever saved by any opinion. It is only when opinions become faith—become rooted forces of the soul—that they have any effect."

It should have the Christian missionary inspiration and action, should open its eyes to the magnitude and glory of the missionary outlook which no faith short of that of Christian Universalism presents to every lover of this humanity now groaning in bondage, and waiting "for the manifestation of the sons of God." It should rise to a new and grander conception than has been realized by those who have borne to souls in the darkness of heathenism the limited doctrines of human wisdom. "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature." To no other church in Christendom does this great text of the ages speak more explicitly than to the Universalist. It has the truth of the Human Brotherhood, which all the world should understand and embrace, for which all heathendom is waiting, and to which in the long run it will come if this favored church is true to its heavenly calling. That it may be thus true, it is not to deceive itself with any false ideas of the leavening process which is to go on in other churches, while it is inclined to do the least and not the most to keep the leaven in healthy and constant operation. When Rev. Otis A. Skinner was canvassing New England to raise the first one hundred thousand dollars for Tufts College, he was met with such suggestions {335} as this from certain ones who professed friendliness to the success of his movements: "Is it really necessary to make this attempt to build a new college? Why not keep quiet, and wait until the time comes when Harvard College will fall into our hands?" Supposing such short-sightedness and apathy had prevailed, where would Tufts College with all its benefits have been to-day? Universalists should be about their own church missionary business. It is theirs, and no others are called upon to do it for them. Dr. Edward Beecher, in his "Records of the Church in the Third Century,"—many of whose members were avowed believers in the final reconciliation of all souls,—states that they were among the most zealous and devoted Christians of that age in personal piety and in active missionary labors. They sent out the Gospel to the remotest shores of the then known world. Here is the same world to be reached by the messengers of this very Gospel to-day. "How shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach except they be sent?" No corner of the earth is exempt from the benefits of this message; no means should be left unemployed to send it forth. Are Universalists acquainted as they might be with the missionary work that has been already done by the other churches around them? Are they familiar with their reports and other publications involving the missionary enterprise, showing what good they have accomplished in opening the Christian Scriptures and aiding a Christian civilization in other lands? Do they realize that if these missionaries have propagated errors in theology, they have cleared the way in part for a better dispensation of Divine Truth by the translations of the Bible into other languages, which they have made? These {336} are important considerations, and Universalists will do well to act upon them.

As the Lord liveth, the now "open questions" will one day be settled, and settled on the side of the Divine Beneficence. The love of God in Christ has come into the world, and will not go out of it until its work is here done; love that is long-suffering, that rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; that beareth, believeth, hopeth, and endureth all things, and that never faileth; love that will bring the last lost one home, that will obliterate all the hells, and people all the heavens in the universe.

[59]   These significant words of an advocate of Universalism more than two centuries ago are in striking agreement with those of an advanced orthodox thinker of the present time. "It should never be forgotten that in the Biblical philosophy of salvation the life of the individual is bound up with the life of the whole, and reaches its fulness and completion only in the liberty for which the whole creation waits."—"The Orthodox Theology of To-day;" by Rev. Newman Smyth, D.D.

[60]   Article in the "Universalist Quarterly," for July, 1882, "The Divine Responsibility," by Rev. C.W. Biddle.

[61]   Published opinions of the Professors of Andover Theological Seminary, April 10, 1882.

[62]   "Christian Leader."

[63]   Rev. A.A. Miner, D.D.

[64]   Rom. viii. 38.

[65]   Rev. Hosea Ballou, D.D. Reply to Dr. Hawes's Arguments against Universalism. It was nearly a half-century ago that these words were written. And now at this very time there comes this echo of them in confirmation of the truth of the prophecy: "Little by little the pulpit shrinks from the medival theology. Ministers first gloss it by new interpretations, then they prudently hold it in suspense, then doubt it, then cast it away." Rev. H.W. Beecher, in "North American Review," July, 1882.

[66]   Oration of Hon. Robert C. Winthrop at Yorktown, Va., October 19, 1881.

[67]   Rev. F.B. Hornbrooke, in Unitarian Review, August, 1882.

[68]   Titus, ii. 11, 12.

[69]   1 John, iv. 19.

[70]   James, ii. 14, 26.

[71]   Rev. James Pullman, D.D.

University Press: John Wilson and Son, Cambridge.

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