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Ordination of Rev. W. P. Lunt, 120 Sermon, extract from &c.
236 Sunday Newspapers, London, 300
43 Time, by E. C. C. with remarks, 8
276, 325, 345, 369
103, 149 Universalist,triumphant death of one 85
progress of &..
another to fanaticism 117
INDEX TO POETRY.
144 Religion, the fairest form must fade 48
TO THE PUBLIC, GENERALLY, AND THE PATRONS OF THE OLIVE BRANCH
AND CHRISTIAN INQRIRER, IN PARTICULAR. Having disposed of the printing establishment, and with it my interest in the paper, before the commencement of the second volume, it would require an apology, did I not believe that the work will be equally well sustained, and equally acceptable, from those in whose hands they will now be placed. Nothing remains for me, therefore, but to return my grateful acknowledgments for all the patronage which the work has received while in my hands, and to request those in arrears to make payment as soon as convenient, as the money will now be wanted immediately. My time and labour have been cheerfully devoted in disseminating what I believe to be truth ; and, of course, most useful for man to know. But inore than this, I have been obliged to advance considerable more than has been convenient, to keep up the work thus far ; and should every subscriber pay what is now due, my time will still have been given gratuitously. All will say, therefore, that iny request is not only reasonable, but that compliance should be immediate.
Another reason for resigning my editorial labours, is a desire, not exactly of retirement, but of liberty to visit more among my friends, and particularly the members of my society. For ten years back I have been almost wholly confined to hooks, types, or my pen; during which time I have produced the following works: The Christian Messenger, a periodical work of two years. The Philadelphia Universalist Magazine,—two years. The Gazetteer-one year. The Olive Branch-one year. The present work-seven months. In the mean time, I have published two editions of iny Lectures on the doctrine of Universal Benevolence, 1000 copies each ; 250 copies of Griesbach's Greek Testament ; 500 copies Greek and English do. ; 1000 copies English do., in the Improved Version. Philadelphia Hymn Book. An Appendix to the Hymn Book now used by my Sociely. Reply to Rev. Mr. Empie. Three Easter Sermons. Sermon on Atonement. Sermon on Psalm ix. 17. Funeral Sermon. Oration. Pronouncing Spelling Book. Key to the New System of Orthography, with several small Tracts. To which may now be added, the Fourth Epistle of Peter. These, 10gether with my public, professional duties, constitute the labours of the last ten years only, and which I offer as a reasonable excuse for retirement. In all the above, my sole object has been the public good. For besides my editorial labours, having been always gratuitous, I presume I am this moment more than five hundred, and perhaps I might say, one thousand dollars in advance on books more than all the nett proceeds of sales; though, perhaps some have afforded a little profit.
Ind still, I am not weary in well-doing ; but think that my time may be more agreeably, if not more usefully employed, and shall therefore, for the present, at least, resign this part of my labour into other hands.
Those subscribers who have paid in advance for two volumes of the Olive
Branch and Christian Inquirer, will receive the first volume of the New York Gospel Herald, &c. in the lieu thereof.
Those who wish to discontinue, who have not paid for the first volume, will do me a great favor by sending two dollars (as they cannot well divide a dollar) and they shall receive the balance in any sermons or tracts which they may
I, perhaps, owe an apology to the public for publishing the Fourth Epistle of Peter. The work is in all human probability spurious, and was designed as a whip for the Clergy generally, and the Missionaries in particular. Those will feel the lash whom it hits, and those only. Let it have been originally written by whom it may, it contains too much truth to be suppressed.
With these remarks, I shall bid my patrons and friends an affectionate adieu.
For the Olive Branch and Christian Inquirer. Mr. Editor,--As the closing No. of the Olive Branch will probably put a period to your labours, as the conductor of a periodical publication, permit a friend to offer you his felicitation. Whatever satisfaction you may have taken in a kuowledge of the effects which your labours have produced, and whatever consolation you may now receive, in anticipation of the tiine when these labours will be more fully appreciated-as regards your private seelings, retirement must be hailed as a blessing. As a pioneer in what is terned a new and strange doctrine, and as an earnest advocate for the power and free use of reason, you will be remembered and revered by a grateful posterity, when the head, and heart which dictated them, shall sleep in the dust.
“ The soul's calon sunshine and heart-felt joy
Then give humility a coach and six.”
Were not public good and individual happiness the goal for which talent and virtue continually toil-where, alas! would they be found ! For
" Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All fear, none aid you, and few understand.”
The verity of this sentiment you have fully experienced. Having dug deeply for the truth, you have found it, and presented its fair features to public view, that your country a:d the world might turn from idols of the imagination, to serve the living and true God. Had you sought honour and emolument, you are too well versed in the knowledge of our species, to expect either, by opposing popular prejudices. From a desire for vain glory, a verdict of acquittal will be recorded by the rising generation, and the veil which has been cast over your principles by prejudice, or malice, will be destroyed. Your language will not then be perverted, nor your name slandered, to obscure the blaze of truth which has been shed abroad for the benefit of your fellow beings.
That you have been feared, even by those who advocate liberal principles, is evident—but they are those who have said to the advances of science-thus far shalt thou go, but no farther and this because they have misunderstood, and therefore misrepresented-not merely the sentiments advocated, but the dress in which they are clothed. May you now rest from the strife of tongues, and your latter days be as peaceful, as your career has been luminous avd useful.
The above is a brief transcript of what lives in the understanding and affections of one who has experienced a portion of the benefits which have been deri
ved from your untiring exertions in the cause of mental improvement, and who is not ashamed to acknowledge his obligations. This is not offered as flatiery at the shrine of human pride, and human folly ; nor would I present you a tribute of respect, while the incense of gratitude was a stranger to my beart. Humanum est errare is written on most sublunary productions, while few, VERY FEW, will bear the inscription- Vincit amor patriæ. Whether the latter motto is appropriate to your labours, time, which is a revealer of secrets, will determine.
Yours in the cause of Truth, New-York, Dec. 22.
EXTRACTS FROM THE DEMURRER.
(Concluded from page 392.) While believers in the creed in question, continue to abuse, slander, and say * all manner of evil” of others, not for any criminal act, but barely for the imputed error of thinking wrong on the subject of what is, and what is to be in another world; we shall remain unbelievers in the influence of that creed, to restrain abuse-slander-detraction-illiberality, and uncharitableness. While the believers in the creed in question, continue to impose il-legal disabilities on others, only for exercising the natural, unalienable, and constitutional “right to think on the subject of religion, according to the dictates of their understanding," we cannot recognize the influence of that creed, to restrain its believers from invading the rights of other men. While they continue to intermeddle as men“having authority,” with “ the solemn concern of a man's conscience” in matters pertaining to religion—" a subject in which no human tribunal has a right to interfere," we cannot perceive that the pretended legal creed has any efficient influence to restrain its professors from violating the rights of conscience, or infringing the religious rights of their fellow men. And while the believers in the creed in question, continue to commit those acts of injustice, spiritual oppression and intolerance, as if they were not forbidden, but enjoined by the precepts of their religion, and with as little restraint, as if those offences were not interdicted by the moral law, and the constitution of this state, we cannot allow that it would operate as a better or greater restraint against perjury or any other crime. In short, until we see all believers in the pretended legal creed, guiltless of doing, or even thinking wrong, and the proscribed infidels, the only criminals in the community, we shall continue to adhere to our proofs, that the faith in question has no more influence to prevent, than the alleged infidelity has to produce crimes of any kind. And when we assert the right to the free exercise and enjoyment of that opinion, we freely admit the equal right of others to think otherwise, give their “reasons for their faith," and prove ours erroneous if they can; and we should neither be disposed, nor deem ourselves authorized, to impute moral turpitude to any, merely on account of a difference of opinion. But whea any persons, from a wiltul disregard to the rights and opinions of others, or a mistaken estimate of their own, accompany their opinions with illiberal—ancharitable-false and slanderous acts, of charging others on account of their opinions only, with inoral depravity, or attempting to coerce them in violation of their equal rights, to disavow their own, and profess opinions adverse to the honest dictates of their own conscience, we shall resist those acts, and assert the right to believe them as great violations of moral principle, as any crimes which may be attached, by imputation, to infidelity to the pretended legal creed. The constitution of this state, following the line of moral rectitude, equal right and eternal justice, which constitute the “ benevolent prnciples of rational liberty,” tolerates all opinions on religious and other subjects, and secures to all alike, the full and free exercise and enjoyment of the right to think and speak, according to their conscience and understanding, on the subject of religion. li manifests equal kindness, charity, and good will to all men; and is intolerant to no religion, but that which is intolerant and oppressive
to any or every other ; for such acts of spiritual oppression and and intolerance, are among those “ acts of licentiousness," which the constitution derlares - the liberty of conscience thereby sccured, shall not be construed so as to exace." A statute law, making death or imprisonment for lise, the penalty for pijmy or other crimes, but deferring the execution of the sentence of the law twenty or thirty years after the conviction of the offender, leaving the offender at full liberty all that time, could not be rationi lly expected to operate as a terror to evil doers," sufficient to restrain them from the perpetration of crime. Its most certain effect would be to excite confident hopes that it would never be executed. The many chances which might intervene to enable offenders to escape its penalties, would increase their hopes of impunity to a legree that would render dishonest men fearless of the threatened penalties of such a law. So with the denunciations of " future punishment in another world”—being unsusceptible of proof so much doubted--so much disputed-so uncertain--so generally unheeded-and even when religiously believed, being, as it usually is, associated with belief in the efficacy of repentance, confession, religious worship and absolution, it is so easily and certainly avoided, as to render it terrorless to dishonest men, and all others are influenced by moral principle, and not by the belief or fear of future punishment for crime.
“ Devils (dæmons] believe and tremble.” But what better are they for that? If belief is the evidence or the measure of merit, to what portion is the old tres passer in Eden's garden entitled, who never doubted" the existence of God, nor future pnnishment ?” That belief neither prevented his njoral depravity-induced his reformation, nor restrained him a moment from the pursuit of his impined object—the propagation of sin and misery. Is that belief evidence of his veracity, or a test of credibility? He is still * a liar, and the father of lies.” Who would ever think ef quoting his belief in the assumed legal creed, as proof or his veracity, or his moral or religious character ? If uch was the creed of the original author of lies, and instigator of lying, where is its influence as a " tie or obligation" to tell the truth, or its utility as a test of the credibility of its possessor ? If that belief was entertained at the very lonntain head of human depravity, where is its efficacy to prevent crime-where its force as evidence of moral rectitudeand wbere the justice of imputing a waat of veracity or moral character to those only who disbelieve it? This argument is addressed to those who believe in the existence, personification, omnipresence, origin, biography, and history of an evil spirit, called the devil. The reality of the premises they will not deny; and the conclusions deduced from them, are as certain as the predicate on which they stand,
But let us pursue this figure further. Should the evil being just named, assume a visible form, and appear in court, as we are required to believe he has done on various occasions, at other times and places, to corrupt the innocentsustain bis friends or to turn state's evidence against those who have served him in the inquisition or elsewhere, under the cloak of religion--would his legal orthodoxy be conclusive proof, or prima facie evidence of his veracity, and make him on that account a competent witness ? He certainly could not be stigmatized as an infidel to the legal creed, and declared incompetent or incredible, and be rejected on account of his incapacitating infidelity” to the faith assumed to be required by law. If recognized as the father of lies,' and rejected for that cause, or is proved to be a reputed liar, and his testimony disbelieved on that account; in either case, the truth appears, that adhesion to the alleged legal creed is not a proof of character or credibility, nor a test of the competency of a witness; and that moral character and reputation for truth and veracity, as a tie or obligation of an oath,” is more to be relied on for “the developement of facts, and the ascertaining of truth," than the mere belief in any religious creed, be it what it may.