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made impression; these called forth a just resentment, even from the noble and compassionate heart i but it never came to malice and revenge ; or, after the miserable objects were dead To the Friends of UNIVERSAL SALVATION.
increased so upon them as to wish they might meet with no favor or pity, no relen. tings of heart, from the gracious and most merciful Saviour. On the contrary, (were that his will) they could wish, when they think upon it, that they might obtain favor and life ; be one day made the monuments of his mercy and restoring goodness; and not the endless victims of his vindictive justice, and wrath. Restoration, the final Restoration of all rebellious creatures, implies this in it: for which reason some have embraced, and with all their heart come into it. But here I must conclude at present, as one among the rest ; and Your faithful and affectionate
NOTE. I conclude that the author of these Letters de signed to have given one or two more, but unhappily, the work was discontinued, and consequently several important subjects are cat short. This is the case with the Heroic Poem, called, the Process and Empire of Christ; I have seen this beautiful Poem, published in a book by itself; and I hope, sometime, it will be printed in this country,
AMONG all the social affections, universal Love and Benevolence is the most enlarged, the most lovely and venerable ; since it embraces the whole human race, and is not confined within the narrow limits of a family, a neighborhood, a sect, or a nation : but it includes all, without distinction. The complacency and delight we feel when a grateful, generous, or kind action or character, is presented to our minds, is a convincing proof, that our most benevolent Creator highly regards this temper ; and which is the immediate object of those kind affections, which nothing but an universal benevolence can enjoy. But if we consult the deliberate reason of our minds, we shall soon find, that it also concurs to recommend it : for as all men are esteemed rational agents, and capable of virtue and happiness ; the same considerations, which make the happiness of one man the object of our rational desire and pursuit, make the happiness of all to be so, and in a greater degree. If some men, as men, are the objects of our kind affections ; the same common nature and capacity for happiness, the same common wants and evils, render every man so ; but much more the man who, by his generous spirit, looks upon every one as dear in the sight of God as himself; and looks upon him with a kind and
generous affection, as a Christian ought to do.
For instance-Suppose I was (as I have been) reduced to want, and in great misery, and in some distant part of the globe ; I think my fel. low-being, though a follower of Confucius, or an Indian Brachman; I think, it was no more than his duty to relieve me ; and I might justly condemn him, if, when able, he refused me. Nay, I myself have had that kindness shewn me, by an African negro, upon the coast of Guinea, that could not be exceeded by a Christian : and it would be a hard matter to find such a piece of humanity in our Christian empire. I also, as his fellow-being, must see it my duty to have compassion, and, if able, to relieve an Indian Brachman, or a follower of Confucius, when I see him reduced to distress, This is the true spirit of an Universalist : For let me tell my Reader, that for the blessings I enjoy, in being possessed of the liberty of thinking for myself, I ought to allow the same liberty to another; and my being so happy as to understand more perfectly the will of my all-gracious Creator, shoulch be far from making me either hate or despise his creatures, who have not yet obtained the knowledge of the truth,
How greatly do such sentiments as these expand the human heart ! and what a constant spring of pleasure must arise in the mind, from considering the whole human race as the offspring of the same Almighty Parent.
The Happy Death of the Righteous,
DELINEATED IN A
S. ERM ON, Delivered at Langdon, (N. H.) on Sunday, the 15th day of Janu:
ary, 1804, at the Funeral of Mr. JOHN WHITË, who died with the Consumption, on the 13th instant, aged about 40 yea.s.
BY ABNER KNEELAND,
Ministering at Langdon, and at large. . Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” Yob. " When I awake, I shall be satisfied with thy triump!a.” David.
REVELATIONS XIV. párt of qerse 13. BLESSED ARE THE DEAD WHICH DIE IN THE LORİ:
FROM HENCE FORTH SAITH THE SPIRIT, TE 1, TNT THEY MAY REST FROM THEIR LABORS; THEIR WORKS DO FOLLOW THEM.
I WOULD just remark, that I have given this text as it stands in the marginal reading, believing it to be better aclapted to the original meaning, differing a little from our translation, which reads thus : “ Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth : yea, saith the Spirit,” &c. which seems to carry an idea, that those who then died in the Lord, and froin that time forward were more blessed, than any of the dead that had gone before them.
But the true meaning of the text appears to be this;
« Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord :" that is, all that ever did, do now,or ever shall die in him; “ From henceforth, saith the Spirit :" that is, from the time that they die in the Lord and forward; “ Yea, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."
In discussing this subject (having made this brief explanatory remark) I shall endeavor to shew,
1. What we may understand by dying in the Lord.
II. Set forth the blessedness of those who die in the Lord.
III. I shall speak of the labors which they rest from.
IV. Treat of the works that do follow them.
V, Conclude by an application of the whole, and a few usual addresses suited to the present occasion.
I. What may we understand by dying in the Lord? Jesus saith, “ He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." John vi. 56. Now we may observe, that to be, or dwell in Christ, is to have Christ dwell in us, which causes a perfect union be. tween us and him.
But what shall we understand by eating Christ's flesh, and drinking his blood, so that he may dwell in us, and we in him? This I conceive to be believing in him, so that by a living faith, our souls do feed upon him, and he gives us to have life in ourselves, even as he hath life in himself. As he saith, "He that eateth of this bread shall live forever.” (ver 58.) And as it is certain that these mortal bodies must die, so it is certain that they cannot feed on Christ, until this mortal shall have put on immortality : but as the soul is immortal, it may eed upon that immortal food which giveth life.