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from the evening to the afternoon; and Mr. Thomas, after complimenting the author upon his courtesy, and respectable standing as a Presbyterian clergyman, gave the notice both then and on two subsequent weeks to his people, and also direction where and in what street the author's church could be found,-evincing certainly an apparent desire to know the truth, and to hear his system canvassed. After replying to what few remarks the author did make, he asked the author if he would be willing to send him the manuscript of his reply, to be published in the “Universalist Union," so that any who should not be able to attend and hear the reply, might have an opportunity of reading it in their paper. To this proposition the author consented. During the next week the author wrote Mr. Thomas a note, stating that he would be willing that Mr. Perry's sermon, and the reply, should be published in the same paper, without note or comment. To this note Mr. Thomas replied on the next Thursday evening, saying that the sermons should be published in successive papers, (Mr. Perry's first and the author's next,) and that while he would not accompany them with notes or comments, he would reserve to himself the right of making his notes and comments in subsequent numbers of his
The author has waited in vain for the promised appearance of Mr. Perry's sermon, willing that the notes and comments of Mr. Thomas should follow in subsequent numbers of the “Universalist Union,” till the day of its death and burial. The author has been informed, by indisputable authority, that Mr. Thomas has stated in public that he has not yet received the reply to Mr. Perry's sermon, and more than intimated that the author is afraid to furnish it. But the public are still looking for Mr. Perry's sermon, according to Mr. Thomas's promise. Perhaps it is not yet sufficiently revised and corrected by proper authority!
The next sermon to which the author replied, was preached by the Rev. S. W. Fuller, a Universalist clergyman. The reply may be found in the second lecture in this volume. On that occasion Mr. Thomas, Mr. Fuller, and a portion of their congregations were present. And here it may be well to state, that Mr. Thomas and many of his people were never seen in the author's church after the delivery of that lecture.
The third lecture in this volume is in reply to one, from the same text, by Mr. Thomas. The author saw, however, that though he could subserve the cause of truth to some extent by replying to them in this way, yet the most effectual method
to unmask their system would be, to commence a course of lectures independent of them, and let them have the opportunity of replying. The fourth lecture in this volume was the commencement of such a course. Mr. Thomas sent a young man for a copy of this discourse, saying that he wished to reply to it. The author refused to comply with this unusual demand, for obvious reasons. The author knew that Mr. Thomas's scribes were present, and that he would have full notes of his lecture; and that this demand for the manuscript was only intended for popular effect. On the next Thursday evening, Mr. Thomas rose in his pulpit, holding the notes of my lecture in his hand, saying, that as Mr. Davis had, by implication, called him a hypocrite, he would not reply to him. This was so shallow a pretext, that even Mr. Thomas's friends looked amazed, especially as he had continued a discussion with Dr. Ely, after the Doctor had charged him with "gross hypocrisy” and
general iniquity!" This did not look much as though the Universalists, as Mr. Thomas has said, “anxiously desire a thorough investigation of the merits of the doctrine they profess.” It was not acting the part of a reformer.
If the public will have the kindness to read the fourth lecture in this volume, they will soon per
ceive why Mr. Thomas laid the notes of it by, and refused to reply to it. The author considered it as an indication that he wished to retire from a controversy, into which he in the first place thrust himself very unceremoniously, and which was not likely to furnish any laurels for an unfading wreath. The author has the satisfaction to know, that these lectures have already done good. Several Universalists have by them been convinced of their error, and a large number of others have declared to the author that their doubts have been removed, and they more firmly persuaded of the great truths of the Bible, and of the utter absurdity of Universalism. It is with the hope that they will continue to recover his fellow sinners out of the snares of the Devil, that he now gives them in a more permanent form to the public. The author believes that all the various sects who do not embrace the substantial doctrines of the Bible, are but one vast and complicated system by which devils are alluring souls down to death, and endeavouring to subvert the government of God. All their systems contain the elements of infidelity and atheism. They may put on the mask of Christianity (we thank them for the compliment) to save themselves from reproach and contempt, but the horrid deformity and malice of hell lurk beneath. All these systems of false re
ligion should be tested by the word of God, as the author has tested the one under consideration, and left to stand before an indignant community in all their intrinsic corruption and folly. The sooner their adherents, by the power of truth, are converted, or driven in one great herd into the abyss of atheism, the better—the better for them, and the better for the cause of God. An open avowal of their infidelity and atheism will arraign them together, where the shafts of truth may reach them, and where they will not be able to deceive themselves or others by any fancied resemblances between their system and God's everlasting truth. As it is now, many a wretched soul is deceived by the mere trappings and adornments of Christianity, which, by stealth, are artfully hung around these pompous vestibules of damnation. The master effort of the devil in the Christian world has been, to broach systems which, in external appearance, should most strikingly resemble Christianity, but which in substance should be most diverse from it. In this way he not only peoples hell himself, but enlists a greater number of advocates and adherents. In this way he makes the ungodly willing to build churches, and support a ministry, and do many other things which God's people do. In this way he makes use of Abel C. Thomas, et id omne