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tion will still prevail, since this preacher is yet alive, and not in the least superannuated; and every effort against him only enrages him more and more, and excites him to new inventions and exertions to build up his cause.
To close the subject. As the author of the foregoing discourse has confined himself wholly to the character of Satan, he trusts no one will feel himself personally injured by this short sermon. But should any imbibe a degree of friendship for this aged-divine, and think that I have not treated this universal preacher with that respect and veneration that he justly deserves, let them be so kind as to point it out, and I will most cheerfully retract; for it has ever been a maxim with me, "Render unto all their dues."
. The following lines, taken from the Theological Magazine, were repeated after the delivery of the preceding discourse :—
A late writer in favour of Universal Salvation having closed his piece with these last lines of Pope's Messiah,
"The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,
his antagonist made the following addition to them :—
"When seas shall waste, and skies in smoke decay,
Bless'd are the clam'rous and contentious crew,
A Letter to the Reverend Hosea Ballou, being a reply to his Epistle to the author; or, his attempt to vindicate the Old Universal Preacher. By Lemuel Haynes, Pastor of a Church in Rutland (Vt.). Rutland: printed by William Fay, 1807.
You may perhaps think it strange that I have so long neglected answering your epistle, and that my inattention is a mark of disrespect. It is not more than two or three weeks since I have had time to give it only a cursory reading. Should you think that there are things in these remarks inconsistent with Christian sobriety, you will turn to Prov. xxvi., 5, which passage has had peculiar influence, and repeatedly dictated the following strictures.
In your first page you charge me with calling the master of your house Beelzebub, together with his household. 1 have examined the sermon, and find no such title applied to him or to his household. So that I plead not guilty. , „ . : -..,-., ,j*
You tell us that the design of your epistle is to inform me and the public how you viewed my conduct at the time I delivered the sermon, about which you seem to be so much agitated. You say, "It was the most unchristian-like behaviour I ever saw in one who professed to preach Christ and his salvation; and that some of my own parish and others have said the same." Possibly you might think so, and some others might think so—and myself and many others think very different, and what of all that? there is nothing proved; it comes to this,—you and I, and other people, will think just as we please. However, should the matter terminate according to the decision of my own parish, as you call them, you may be very jealous that it would not be agreeable to your wishes. But what kind of advantage it would be to the public to have us inform them what we think of each other, I cannot conceive; I have real doubts, should we bring it all out to view, whether we or others would derive much advantage by the exhibition.
You go on to tell us that the sermon you delivered at that time was a lovely thing; or, "like its subject, love;" to prove it, you have directed us to your text; that it was 1 John iv., 10, 11. If preachers were to determine the merit and worth of their own discourses, perhaps we should have but few bad sermons. Quoting your text would have proved the point, if it was always certain that if a man has a lovely text he has a lovely sermon; there are exceptions to this rule. Many of your heavers had a very different idea of your performance than what you represent in your epistle.
You proceed, further, to extol the discourse—that there was nothing "corrosive against any name or denomination of professors." Let me here observe that, had you treated my name or the names of any denomination of men with contempt, and let another name alone, you would never have heard from me; but, sir, let me tell you that there is a name which is above every other name; this is a name in comparison of which your name arid my name are of little worth. If I am not mistaken, this name was treated by you with utmost contempt, as well as all such as have a real veneration for it. By this time, I believe, you have my ideas of your sermon and of your conduct, and it may be our ends are equally answered.
You call my discourse "fraught with low cunning." Sir, when you will show the difference between low cunning and high cunning, perhaps I shall be able to determine to which of these cunnings your answer to such a piece belongs. You express great astonishment, and seem to be filled with two great wonders— the one is, that I should ever deliver such a discourse, and that it should ever come to you through the medium of the press; this is a second astonishment, and that it should be done deliberately. Sir, the piece has gone through several editions—some of them through rny approbation,—which may lead you on to a third, fourth, fifth, or sixth wonder. I hope you will never be led to "wonder and perish."
You observe, "Every person of discernment must see that your design was personal." But how came they to find out my design, or who was intended? It could be only by comparing the doctrine of the old preacher with others. If men of discernment could see a likeness between that and yours, I can see no ground of complaint; unless it be that there are persons of discernment in the world who are able to judge right. Had you found any thing said about the character and preaching of that old declaimer contrary to truth, you ought to have pointed it out; or, if there is no similarity between his sermon and yours, you should have showed it, and then persons of discernment would have been undeceived.
You tell us, page 3, that your moral character is good. Sir, as you know more about it than anybody else—and are under peculiar advantages to recommend it,—being destitute of prejudice and prepossession, I have no disposition to call your assertion in question.
You cannot help repeating that my conduct is un
friendly, injudicious, unchristian-tike,—inconsistent with meekness, piety, good works—with solemn ordination—with feeding the lambs of Christ—injurious to the cause of Christ—and wounding to the feelings of all the friends of truth. Sir, men have very different views about the cause of God, piety, good works— the friends of truth—-feeding the lambs of Christ, &c. I have my doubts whether such a group of hard censorious expressions, just now adverted to, is perfectly consistent with pure benevolence or attachment to the cause of God—with meekness, with solemn injunction, &c. I would observe, " every person of discernment" will see that your intention was to prejudice the minds of your readers, to prepare them for your remarks, in pertinency with your object. You immediately add, "I will now begin my reply."
I have no doubt at all but the discourse you complain of, and my conduct at the time of delivery, tended to injure what some may call the cause of God, to cut or wound lhefeeli?igs of some, and did not afford such food as many are hungering after. I can see no injury done to the cause of God in giving the devil his due, or in calling him a universal preacher, if he was one. Or how any person's "feelings" need be "wounded," unless they approve the doctrine, or can make it appear that he has repented and given up the sentiments.
You proceed to correct a very capital error that myself and many others have made; we have "really mistaken the character of the devil for that of the Almighty." Wretched mistake! oh, fatal delusion! that Satan should have the services of the church for so many ages—that so many should suffer and die to his glory, trusting to him to support them in death, and all their hope beyond the grave! How thankful should we be for so remarkable a light, to illuminate our dark world, and correct the fatal delusion! Generations passed away will lament the tardy rising of this cheering star, while posterity, yet unborn, will hail its exhilarating beams!
We will now attend to your "easy argument."