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knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave whether thou goest." The candid will easily perceive that this text goes as fully to prove, there is no pain or misery after death, as no repentance; for where there is no knowledge or wisdom, there is neither felicity nor infelicity, but a silent rest.
Eccles. xi. 3, "If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be." application of this scripture to a future state, is without any authority from the connexion in which it is found. The preceding verses encourage liberality. If then we may judge from this connexion, the idea is, that as naturally as clouds full of rain, empty themselves upon the earth, and the tree is found in the place where it falls, so naturally would the liberal find their reward.
Who is so well acquainted with future existence as to be able to determine that the wicked are incapable of repentance? should we admit the idea, it is easy to be seen that consequences unfavorable to the common sentiment of endless misery would follow. If the wicked be incapable of repentance, they must be incapable of sorrow for past iniquity; and incapable of a desire to be made better. They must be incapable of mourning, that their wickedness brought them to their destined situation. In short they must be tolerably contented with their condition, though in comparison with bliss and glory, it be a miserable one. That these conclusions are fair, is evident from the following definitions of repentance, which are in perfect agreement with the explanation already given.
"Repentance is either distress and troubles for the calamities procured by sin; or a godly sorrow for sin on account of its malignant nature, and offensiveness to God, which is accompanied with an hatred to sin and a love of holiness."
"To repent as applied to men, is with grief to change one's mind to what is thought more proper." "Men's repentance is a change of mind, earnestly wishing something undone that is done."
WOOD'S BIBLE DICTIONARY.
Should we account the wicked capable of all the sorrow of repentance and yet no pardon can be extended to them, it would seem to fill all nature with horror. "God will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth," but cannot or will not forgive the sorrowing penitent. "He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance," and yet will not relieve the penitent from his sorrowful and perishing condition. Do not these ideas lead to irreconcilable difficulties?
To the Editor of the Christian Repository.
As you requested me to fling in my mite for the encourage. ment of your contemplated publication, I have made the following brief extract, from a volume in my possession, which I hope will be as pleasing to your readers, as it is instructive to me. Your acceptance or rejection of this, will determine, in my mind, whether you suppose such paintings from the pencil of rhetoric, will be both ornamental and useful to your pamphlet. Not doubting your better judgment, I wait your decision.
"THE persuasive and irresistible power of eloquence, has been handed down to us from the highest antiquity. From the time of Aaron, the high-priest of Israel; from Nestor and Ulysses, military commanders of Greece, numerous public speeches, in different ages and countries, have displayed the commanding force of oratory. The thunder of Demosthenes overawed the Athenian multitude, and the
pathos of Tully extorted a favorable sentence from the mighty Cæsar. Nor has the christian church been destitute of sacred orators, who have sometimes had more influence in society than kings or conquerors; who have given a new moral complexion to the people they addressed. The opinions, passions and actions of men have been swayed as a field of wheat before the northern blast.
"Though the effects were deleterious, we may learn the amazing power of eloquence from Peter the Hermit. He had visited the holy land, the city of Jerusalem, and the tomb of his Savior. He had witnessed the sufferings of christians in that country. With his heart penetrated and overwhelmed with the subject, he returned to Europe. Traversing the nations of christendom, he exhorted them to deliver their brethren from Mahometan oppression. Expres sive of his deep concern, and readiness to endure any hardships for the relief of the suffering christians, his head was bare, his feet were naked, and his meagre body was wrapped in a coarse garment. Thousands thronged around him; he described the woes of the saints in Jerusalem, and Europe was roused. He mentioned the profanation of the Saviour's tomb, and they were melted into tears. He conjured them to prove themselves the soldiers of Jesus Christ, and they enlisted under the banners of the cross; he sighed, and millions marched to the holy land. The rustic enthusiast inspired the passions, which he
"It is not half a century since Whitefield blazed through the British empire. Though he had no remarkable charms of person or voice, yet he was an orator, and like a new star in the heavens he attracted every eye; all gazed as if a comet was sailing through the heavens. Though he gave no remarkable luminous or profound views of religious subjects, yet such was the enchantment of his eloquence, that every ear listened, as if an angel spoke. He was in
earnest, his heart glowed with christian benevolence, and he persuaded men to be reconciled to God.
"Dr. Wheelock possessed the genuine spirit of primitive christianity. He was fired with apostolic zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of men." "Possessing a lively imagination, a warm heart, and a deep concern for immortal souls, the impetuosity of his eloquence often presented common and well known truths, with all the irresistible charms of novelty. When he proclaimed the curses of the law; when he warned sinners of the approaching wrath of God, they seemed to stand as on the base of Sinai; the pulpit was cloathed in thunder; the coruscations of truth were as forked lightning, and with one voice they cried, "What shall we do to be saved?" When he addressed the humble saint his voice was that of the angels, who welcomed the spirits of the just to mansions not made with hands. The trembling penitent looked to the cross to behold the lamb of God; he was cheered with hope; he was filled with joy at his approaching glory."
Proceedings of the Eastern Association,
THE ministers, messengers, and delegates, composing the eastern association of Universalists, mét according to previous adjournment, at the MasonicHall, in Livermore, (Me.) on the 30th of June, 1819, and opened the meeting by solemn and devout prayer, and supplication to God, by brother Joseph Butterfield.
Then proceeded to organize the Council.
Chose Br. Joseph ButterfieLD, Moderator.
BENJAMIN FOSTER, Assistant Clerk.
Read the letters from the several branches of this association, and learned that the harvest is truly plenteous, but the faithful labourers of the Lord Jesus, comparatively few. A spirit of general inquiry prevails in this eastern section of the Lord's heritage. Although the messengers of Zion, who publish salva-tion in the name of the Lord, are not many, yet God hath not left himself without witness, in that he doeth good unto the children of men, sending them rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness. And our prayer to God for Israel is, that they may be saved, for which reason we unfeignedly invoke the Lord of the harvest to raise up, qualify and send forth judicious and faithful labourers into his vineyard, whom he shall delight to own and abundantly bless.
The council then proceeded to pass the following votes, viz.
1s. That any or all the brethren belonging to regular societies in this association be permitted to vote in this meeting.
2d. That, pursuant to a request of the brethren composing the Universalian society in Lewiston, (Me.) Brothers Barzillai Streeter, Elias Smith, and Comfort Smith, be appointed to make out a catalogue of books, for the formation and establishment of a theological, social library, treating upon the subject of the infinite benevolence of the Father of all mercies, made known in the final redemption of all mankind from sin and misery, to universal holiness and consequent happiness.
3d. That any brother, wishing to have, at the next association, any question discussed which to him appears obscure, may have the privilege of forwarding the same to the clerk, which shall be inserted in this circular, if by him thought worthy.
4th. That our next annual association be holden two days successively.