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For the Christian Repository.
MR. EDITOR,-In the 2d No. of the Repository, it will be recollected, that I gave a brief account of a modern scheme of sacred criticism; a scheme which is distinguished for its conciseness and facility. The grand object of this scheme, as would appear from my last communication, is, to expunge the doctrine of future punishment from Christianity.
Perhaps your readers may be entertained with a further view of this system, also of the ability and ingenuousness of its advocates. This is the design of the present communication.
Tho the principal design of this scheme is to explain away every passage of scripture which relates to a punishment beyond death, yet its advocates, in order to preserve consistency, carry it to a greater length. They deny any future reward of present virtue. All persons, the most abandoned as well as the most virtuous, are placed on the same footing at the commencement of a future existence. The same key-texts, which are alledged to prove that all punishment is confined to this world, are brought to prove that all reward of virtue is in this life. Example. Such passages as Matt. xix. 28; 2 Tim, iv. 7, 8; Rev. xiv. 13, were all fulfilled in the age of the apostles. See Matt. xvi. 27, 28. xxiv. 34, &c.
Thus every person must perceive, that it is easy to prove by the aid of this scheme, that there will be no future reward of present virtue.
There is another advance which I expect the advocates of this scheme will make shortly; and that is, that the doctrine of a future existence is not to be found in the Bible. Should they make this advance, they will unquestionably maintain it by the assistance of the same scheme of interpretation. For there is as much evidence to believe, that all the passages of scripture which speak of a future existence, apply to the apostolic age, as those which speak of a resurrection, judgement, and future punishment, do. Besides, there can be no
doubt of their succeeding in this point; (in their own imagination) for, of all men, they are the most discerning and powerful reasoners. Such are their wonderful talents, they can show with the greatest ease, that every thing which is alledged by their opposers is absurdity and folly.
How soon this advance will be made by the advocates of the scheme under consideration, I cannot say ; but, from the following hints, we may expect it very soon. "Why then, should we believe, that divine wisdom, with an intention to engage us in the service of virtue, should place its reward in a future state of existence, in a world we know nothing of, from which no traveller ever returned." "But all this must be carried on in a secret place, out of sight of all the living, and none to report it to us, only those who know nothing about it."
When this scheme is carried to its full extent, we shall then have Deism and Christianity in perfect coincidence, and all the doctrines of the Bible will be found to have a relation only to this state of existence. PHILO.
From the Universalist Magazine.
THE SOUTHERN ASSOCIATION.
According to appointment, the Southern Association of Universalists met at the house of Br. Capen in Stoughton, on the evening of Tuesday, the 12th of June, 1821; and chose Br. Hosea Ballou, Moderator. Adjourned to Wednesday morning.
Order of public service Wednesday, A. M.-Br. H. Ballou, the introductory prayer. Br. Paul Dean, the sermon from Isai. xxviii. 20. Concluding prayer by Br. Thomas Whittemore.
In the afternoon, Br. Thomas Whittemore was publicly and solemnly ordained to the work of the christian ministry. The order of service was as follows: Br. J. Flagg, the introductory prayer. Br. H. Ballou,
the sermon from Psalm cxxxii. 15, 16. Br. P. Dean, the ordaining prayer. Br. R. Carrique, the charge. Br. P. Dean, the right hand of fellowship. Br. Crossman, the concluding prayer. Br. T. Whittemore, the benediction.
These services were performed in the Rev. Mr. Gay's meeting house, in the presence of a respectable and solemn audience.
The Southern Association, stands adjourned to the second Wednesday of December next, to be holden at Milford, Mass.
MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE WESTERN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSALISTS IN THE STATE OF NEW
YORK, 1821. .
The Ministers and Delegates composing the Western Association, convened agreeable to adjournment, at Bainbridge, on the 6th and 7th days of June, 1821, and opened the Council with solemn and devout prayer, by Br. N. STACY.
1. Appointed Br. WILLIAM UNDERWOOD, Modera-
Br. N. STACY, Clerk.
Br. P. MORSE, Assistant Clerk. 4. Received the letters from the several Societies, and the certificates of their several Delegates.
5. Requests from the Societies of Smyrna, Henderson, Brownville, Otsego, Norwich, and Auburn, for the fellowship of this Association.
6. Voted, That the above requests be granted.
Br. I. WHITNALL, sermon-Isaiah lxi. 5, 6.
8. Appointed Brs. N. STACY, S. R. SMITH, and St JONES a committee to receive requests for fellowship and ordination.
Order of afternoon service.
Br. S. R. SMITH, introductory prayer.
10. Voted, That Brs. STACY, SMITH, UNDERWOOD, CRANDAL, and WHITNALL, be a committee of discipline the ensuing year.
11. Instructed the committee of discipline to attend to the difficulty existing between Brs. Miller and Gowdy.
12. Voted, To adjourn the Council to Thursday morning, 6 o'clock. Prayer by Br. A. CRANDALL.
13. Thursday morning, resumed the business of the Council. Prayer by Br. S. A. SKEELE.
14. Appointed Brs. A. CRANDALL, S. ADAMS, J. S. FLAGLER, and A. VANDENBURGH a committee* to visit the Genesee branch of the Western Association, to be holden in Riga, Genesee county, on the first Wednesday and Thursday in October next.
15. The committee appointed to take into consideration the requests for Letters of Fellowship and Ordination, reported in favor of giving Letters of Fellowship to Brs. Oliver Ackley, Job Potter, Geo. B. Lisher, and Samuel A. Skeele.
16. Voted, That the above requests be granted. 17. Appointed Br. Geo. B. Lisher to write a Ciroular, and superintend the printing of the Minutes.
18. Voted, That one thousand copies be printed, and that an insertion of the names of all the Preachers belonging to this Association, be made in said Minutes, with the place of their residence.
19. Voted, That a General Conference be holden in Otsego, on the 23d and 24th of September next. Order of public service-Thursday morning. Br. N. STACY, introductory prayer. Br. S. JONES, Sermon-Eph. iv. 11, 12, 13.
* The above committee are requested to send the Editor of the Christian Repository an account of that meeting.
Br. G. B. LISHER, concluding prayer.
Br. P. MORSE, introductory prayer.
22. Voted, That this Association be adjourned to meet in Lee, Oneida county, on the first Wednesday and Thursday in June, 1822.
23. Br. S. ADAMS offered humble and devout thanks to the Parent of Goodness, and the Association adjourned.
WILLIAM UNDERWOOD, Moderator.
PITT MORSE, Assistant Clerk.
Ministering Brethren, in fellowship-Present. Nathaniel Stacy, Hamilton. William Underwood, Litchfield. Stephen R. Smith, New-Hartford, SethJones, Lancaster. Isaac Whitnall, Camillus. Pitt Morse, Henderson. Amos Crandall, Lisle. Arthur Field, Lancaster. Salmon Adams, Lisle. Oliver Ackley, Hamilton. Job Potter, do. Geo. B.. Lisher, Otsego. Samuel A. Skeele, Greene.
John S. Flagler, Scipio. Thomas Gross, Williamsville. Liscomb Knapp, Victor. Calvin Morton, Murray. Archelaus Greene, Locke. Andrew Vandenburgh, Pompey. James Foster, Lee. Cornelius G. Parsons, Ellisburgh. Stephen Miles, Augusta. Stephen Cook, Hadley. Edwin Ferris, Unadilla. Lewis Pitt, Danby. Lewis Beers, do.
Societies in Fellowship,
Ministering Brethren, present,
PROCEEDINGS OF THE EASTERN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSALISTS, AT WINTHROP, JULY 27, 1821.
The Ministers and Delegates composing the Eastern Association of Universalists, met, agreeable to