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<*I AM HOT jgHAmtD OF THi OospBL or Chbxbt." « Bom. 1 : 10. 





Etatved aooording to Act of Congress, In the jear 1854, hj 


In the Clerk's OflBee of tbe District Coort to the District of M assach o sei t B. 

Staraptjrpad by 






It may sarprifle the reader to perceive that the second volnme 
of the present work, containing about as many pages as the first, 
does still embrace only about ten years and a half of Mr. Balloa's 
life, whereas the first embraced forty-dx years. The explanation 
o^the &ct is this, — the ten years that succeeded Mr. Ballou'a 
removal to Boston were the mcN9t active years of aU his life, in 
which he took upon himself a greater amount of both bodily and 
mental labor than he had ever performed befi>re in the same time. 
He had no anticipation, when he left Salem to remove to Boston, 
of the full amount of labor which he should be called upon to do. 
He knew, indeed, that he was about to enter a new field, and he 
doubtless believed that his labors would be increased ; but we 
have no reason to think he foresaw what a great weight of care 
and effort the removal would bring upon him. It was vrell he did 
not ; for, although he would not have shrunk, it would have cre- 
ated unnecessary and premature excitement with him. 

It was not his duties as pastor that exhausted his energies. To 
these were added frequent journeys into the country, some of them 
being extended to places quite distant. He v^as incessantly 
engaged in controversy. No man could attack what Mr. Ballou 
honestly believed to be the truth, in his presence, or in any place 
where he had the opportunity of replying, without-being met with 
promptness and force, but always with a Christian spirit. He 
believed he was set for " the defence of the gospel ; " he believed 



the gospel was capable of defence, or God would never have 
ap|K)inted a class of men to defend it ; and he was ready and will- 
ing to defend it, not merely against '< flesh and blood," but against 
<< principalities and powers," and the <* rulers of the darkness of 
this world," and *' spiritual wickedness in high places." Not 
only by his pen did he do this, but also by the living voice, when 
occasion made it necessary. He never shrunk from any man's 
presence, through an unwillingness to defend the truth. It was 
bis habit of constant reflection — the incessant pondering which 
he kept up — ^that supplied him with subject after subject which 
the various occasions of his duty required. No man, we think, 
ever preached a greater number of sermons at dedications, ordina- 
tions, installations, conventions and associations, than he. And 
yet, those even who heard him the most often, heard him vrith 
continual interest. No man could tire of his preaching. There 
waa such a vein of sound sense in it, such interesting omilitudes, 
such important exhibitions of divine truth, such lucid interpreta- 
tions of Scripture, such turning of enror upside down, that all 
would and must be interested. 

> In bringing this volume to a dose, I oannot &il to confess my 
utter dependence on that divine goodness which has thus &r sus- 
tained me. The present volume has been wholly prepared since 
the puUication of its predecesBor, and in the midst of other and 
very important duties. It will be seen that the work is not fin- 
ished. The biogiaphy of Hosea Ballou, with sufEident accounts 
of his travels and labors, cannot be compressed into a small com- 
pass ; and the writer has been solidted on all hands not to omit 
anything essential to the work, for the sake of reducing the num- 
ber of volumes. To God, the preserver of life and the giver of 
every blesdng, may all paise and glory be ascribed ! 

Mat 1, 1854. 




DECBHBXR 1817 TO JULY 1819. 


The new aodety in Boston, 9 ; Mr. Ballou at this time, 11 \ his first labors In Bos- 
ton, 14 ; first semum published in Boston, 16 ; Strictures by Ber. T. Merritt, 21 1 
Mr. B.>s Brief Beply« 21 $ Mr. Merritt*s Tlndication, 22 } Beply to the Tindlcatioii, 
83 } oontroTersy with Ber. B. Turner, 27 ; Mr. T. relnctant to lead, 81 } scriptural 
proof of fiitore punishment, 84 ; last views concerning the ** spirits in prison," 80 ; 
cAwt of tiie oontroTersy, 46$ review of Dr. Emmons* sermon, 49 { series of leotore- 
seniioos,-62 ; efltet of the lectores, 54 ', journeys Into the oonntry, 69 j events tai 
Atkinson, N. H., 61 ; Mr. BaOou not taitimidated, 64. 


JULY 1819 TO JULY 1821. 


The Unirersallst Magaaine, 67 ; salyect of future ponishment, 71 } first signs of 
Unitarian poUoy, 73 ; brief and pithy replies, 76 ; oraiTentiims of 1818, 1819 and 1820, 
82 ; how Mr. B. was regarded by Unitarians, 87 ; love of reUgioos liberty, 96 ; pub- 
lished sermons, 99 ; travels and preaching abroad, 100 ; letter from Mr. Le Baron, 
106 ; events at Wrentham, Mass., 106 ; installation at Salem, Mass., HI ) defence of 
reveUUion, 112 j correspondence concerning it published, 126 ; a new acquaintance 
formed, 128 } dedication of churches, 133 ; events at Canton, Mass., 138 ] Mr. B.*s 
habits of charity, 141 ; Universalism springs up in Ohio, 142 \ Universalism in Bhode 



Island, 144 \ Mt. B. yiaits Connecticat, 146 ; ordinatton of T. Whittemore, 147 ; a 
new hymn-book, 154 ; pastwal labors in Boston, 156 ; his health impaired, 160 ; edi- 
torial labors suspended, 161. 


JULY 1821 TO MAY 1822. 



Controyersy on ftifcare punishment, 163 j installations and dedicattons, 168 ; new 
papers and new preaches, 170 ) travels, oonvention of 1821, 172 ; journey to Mil- 
fturd, 173 } Journey to Philadelphia, 173 } sermons at Philadelphia, 176 ; the journey 
home, 183 } the fire at Milford, 186 ; interpretation of Bom. 6 : 7, 187. 


MAY 1822 TO MAY 1824. 



Correspondence with Jacob Tidd, 189 ; Mr. B. i^ain an editor, 193 ; pastoral 
labors, 196 •, new preachers in 1822, 199 •, new churches dedicated in 1822, 200 ; 
trarels and preaching, 206 ; convention of 1822, 207 ; Universalist periodicals, 209 ; 
influence of doctrines, 210 ; Southern Association of December, 1822, 213 $ the Appeal 
and Declaration, 214 ; reply to the Appeal and Declaration, 216 j the consequences, 
223 } ordinations, &c., in 1823, 225 ; Mr. B.*8 visits to Maine, 227 } Southern Asso- 
ciation of 1823, 230 ; progress of the cause in 1823, 233 *, convention of 1823, 236 ; 
death of Bev. Wm. Farwell, 236 ; Unitarians, 237 ; English Unitarians, 242 ; sub- 
jects illustrated by Mr. Ballou about this time, 243 j his firm Christian faith, 245 ; 
visits Nantucket, 246 *, Universalist peri^icals in 1824, 249 ; encouraging &cts, 250 ; 
death of friends, 263 ; fiirther action of Southern Association, 257 ; modified opinions 




Bev. Mr. Streeter removes to Boston, 262 ; The First Inquiry, 263 ; Mr. Ballon on 
temperance, 264 ; Bockingham Association formed, 268 ; dedication at Harford, Ct., 
268 ; convention of 1824, 272 } visit to Franklin county, Mass., 278 } dedication at 
Watertown, N. Y., 280 ; opinions advanced in 1824, 283. 



A. D. 1825 AND 1828. 


Anecdotes, 287 ; the 24th and 26th ohapten of Mattheir, 290 ; ordinAtioD of E«r. 
C. Gazdner, 299 ', RocUngham Association, 303 ; oooTeotiaa of 1826, 303 ) dedloft- 
tiooB in 1826, 304 ; his dominant Tiews, 307 ; secret meditatioos, 806 ) ftitare retrl- 
batkm, 310 ; his love of harmony, 319 ; man^s moral freedom, 820 } pulpit exohaogeii 
832 ; doctrine of probation, 323. 


JUNE 1826 TO JT7NB 1827. 


SooHiem Anodation at Dana, 825^j Balfoar*s Second Inquiry, 827 ) death of Dea. 
Moses Han, 329 ; conventioa of 1826, 332 ; dedication at Diudmry, 884 } Mr.B.*g 
lore of UnlTersalism, 334 ; Ber. Aylett Bains, 337 j Inddent coooornlng Dr. L. 
Beecher, 338 ; advice given by Mr. Balloa in his 66th year, 840. 


JUNE 1827 TO JUNE 1828. 


Boathem Association at Springfield, 846 ) Prot Stuart's election-sermon, 346 } 
Hudson's Letters to Ballou, 350 *, ordinations and installations, 861 ) meetings of asso. 
ciations, 366 ; convention of 1827, 357 } Rev. Menxies Rayner, 868 ) Balfour's 
Essays, 360 ; letter to Rev. lorman Beecher, 862 j another letter, 366 ) death and 
glory considered, 371 ; questions on fixture punishment answered, 377 ) Aitnre pun- 
ishment not essential, 379 } Mr. B. had no belief in an intermediate state, 383 ) hoir 
he omsoled mourners, 386 ; consolation for the aged, 389 j on foreign missions, 393 ) 
false doctrines opposed, 397 } on the anger of God, 399 ; Fast4ay sermon, 402 { sec- 
ond visit to Philadelphia, 406 ; transfer of the Universalist Magazine, 406. 




The events of these few months were to Mr. Ballon so 
interesting, and were so important in their influences, 
that, although occupying but a small portion of time, 
we give them a distinct chapter. 


We have come now to the most active and useful part 
of Mr. Ballou's life. He removed to Boston in the 
month of November, 1817. The Second Universalist 
Society in that town had grown out of a want long felt 
The site of the meeting-house in which the First Univer- 
salist Society worshipped, although a good one in 1785, 
yfhen the Universalists purchased it, was felt to be out of 
the centre ; for the town was fast being settled in the 
south and west parts, and no small number of the Uni- 
versalists had removed thither. But still another &ct 
made a new society desirable to many. The pastor of 

10 LWE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1817. 

the First Society (Rev. Paul Dean) did not give his 
attention so much to the doctrines of the gospel as a 
large and very respectable portion of his parishioners felt 
it desirable that he should do. These facts, added to the 
strong belief that the time had come for the formation 
of another society, and that it could be done without any 
material injury to the First, induced a body of gentle- 
men in 1816 to petition for an act of incorporation, as 
the " Second Universalist Society in Boston." The act 
was regularly passed and signed by the Governor, Dec. 
13th, and the first meeting under it was holden January 
25th, 1817. Immediate measures were taken to find a 
Bite and erect a house of worship, which things were 
done in the course of the summer and fall of the last- 
named year, and the house in School-street * was dedi- 
cated on the 16th of October. The writer remembcFS - 

* This site in part is the precise spot on which the old French church 
formerly stood, and in the pulpit of which Mr. Murray was stoned in 
1774. This French church was huilt somewhere about 1716 — 20. In 
1748 the society that built it was dissolved, and it was sold to a society 
of high spiritual pretensions, called the New Congregational Society. 
They inyited Bev. Mr. Croswell, of Groton, Conn., to become their 
pastor, the same indiridual who bears so conspicuous a part in the Life 
of Murray. Thomas Handasyde Peck (the maternal grandfather of 
the late venerable Thomas H. Perkins) was, at the time, one of the 
trustees of Mr. Croswell's society, who purchased this house. He 
adhered to John Murray, and it was probably by his influence that Mr. 
Murray was admitted to preach in the house. He preached there only 
a few times. Mr. Croswell died in 1785, at which time, it is supposed, 
the society became extinct. In 1788, a Roman Catholic congregation, 
which had been gathered three or four years before, obtained this 
house, and worshipped in it until they built the church in Franklin- 
street, Which was dedictated in 1803. The old meeting-house in School- 
street was then taken down, and the land was subsequently sold to the 
Second Universalist Society. 


ihis occasion very well, as he was piesent to assist in the 
aervices of the choir. The house was thronged, and 
almost every face was radiant with joj. Mr. Ballon was 
not present, being at the time in Vermont, whither he 
had gone to fulfil an appointment preyionsly made. Bev. 
Mr. Dean sat in the desk, but took no part, on aoconnt, 
it was said, of ill health. Bey!. David Pickering ofiered 
the Introductory Prayer; Bey. Edward Turner, of 
Gharlestown, the Dedicatory Prayer ; and Bey. Thomas 
Jones, of Gloucester, preached the Sermon, from John 
4 : 28. This house was, in effect, built for Mr. Ballon; 
and the leading members intended to get no other man 
as their pastor, if they could obtain him. The vote by 
which he was invited was unanimous; and the installa- 
tion took place on December 25ih. Bev. Paul Deaa 
preached on the occasion, from Acts 20 : 24. He gave 
also the Fellowship of the Churches. Bev. E. Turner, of 
Gharlestown, oflbred the Installing Prayer and gave the 
Charge ; and Bev. Joshua Hagg, who had succeeded Mr. 
Sallou at Salem, ofiered the Concluding Prayer. Thence- 
forward, until Mr. B.'s death, he maintained the connec- 
tion which was solemnized by these services. 


On his removal to Boston, he was in his forty-seventh 
year, in good health, and in the full maturity of his men- 
tal powers. Not in every respect were his opinions what 
they afterwards became, although there was no substan- 
tial difference. He never felt himself too old to learn ; 
and on any point, irhen he found that he had been 


in error, he was pleased ; and was gratified to speak of 
it, not because being in error was pleasant, but because 
he had made an improvement, and had come more fully 
to the knowledge of the truth. These remarks must be 
understood as applying rather to interpretations of par- 
ticular texts than to any fundamental principle. The 
great central point in his faith was the belief of the final 
holiness and happiness of all men. He saw that doctrine 
clearly taught in the Bible, and clearly confirmed by the 
manifestations of God in nature, and by the teachings of 
man's natural sense of right, and the afiections of the 
human soul. After the fact of the divine existence, it was 
the sun of his system of theology, around which other 
points revolve\l like lesser lights. If that sun were blotted 
out, all was dark indeed. What was there pleasant to 
contemplate in the character of the Supreme Being, if he 
were capable of making his creatures infinitely miserable, 
or of sufiering them to become so ? Mr. Ballou believed 
that all things are in the hands of God ; that all agencies 
are at his command; that God can govern men, and 
make them subservient to his holy will, without any 
infringement upon their moral freedom. He believed in 
the accountability of man, and held that every disobe- 
dience to the divine commandments should be visited 
with due and just punishment. He preached but few 
sermons in which he did not insist more or less on that 
great and important fact concerning retribution. But 
he did not believe that the punishment of sin should be 
delayed until men enter another state of being. In truth, 
by this time he had become fully convinced that there is 
no revelation in tbo Bible of any punishment in the 


futare state for the sins of this life. He had, in former 
years, supposed that certain passages seemed to favor the 
doctrine of a limited punishment after death ; but he had 
been brought to believe that his past views of such pas- 
sages had not been correct, and that the Bible revealed 
no sentient state for man beyond this mortal existence, 
except such as is known by the blessed name of life and 

He never feared controversy. He had, in the first 
place, so strong a confidence in the faith he professed, that 
he almost knew it could not be thrown down. He had 
been long practised also in the defence of it. The leading 
men of the opposing sects had often made that doctrine 
the point of attack ; and, for these reasons, as well as 
firom the obligation of the divine precepts, he had been 
obliged to '' be instant in season and out of season," and 
to '^ contend earnestly for the &ith once delivered to the 
saints." He saw quickly the weak points in the creeds 
of his adversaries ; he knew how to set them off against 
each other ; he could see at a glance, as it were, all the 
consequences that flowed from a proposition, — a power 
which made him a very dangerous antagonist, and 
enabled him sometimes to bring down the most skilfully 
built theory at a single move. He had a wonderful 
readiness ; a wonderful knowledge of human nature ; a 
fiir-sightedness that comprehended at once all an oppo- 
nent aimed at, and beyond it; he had a clear logical 
acumen, which always carried him to a climax beyond the 
point at which other minds generally stopped. He had 
great simplicity, but wonderful power. Such he was 
preeminently when he came to Soston. 




The labors of Rev. Paul Dean, of the First UniYer- 
salist Society, had not been effective. He seemed to con- 
tent himself with discharging as qnietlj as possible his 
duties as pastor. The great doctrine of the Universalists 
had been making but little progress at that time in Massa- 
chusetts. There was a portentous lull in the elements. 
When Mr. Ballou commenced to preach in the new 
church in School-street, there was indeed a '' shaking 
among the dry bones." There were about sixteen Uni- 
versalist societies in Massachusetts at this date, and not 
more than twelve preachers. Mr. Turner was a quiet 
man, not a controversialist, not a doctrinal preacher, 
although he did occasionally speak on controverted points. 
He was not fitted by nature for controversy. At this 
time there were no periodicals devoted to the interests 
of Universalism, if we except the Gospd Visitant^ a 
pamphlet of sixty-four pages, published once in three 
months. It continued but two years, the first series in 
1811, the second in 1817. Needful was it, then, that 
there sBould be a new order of things. Mr. Ballou had 
been living at Salem for two ^ years, and upwards; but 
his labors had not produced the effect which afterwards 
followed them. The time, the circumstances, the wants 
of the denomination, all demanded his removal to Boston. 
This was his appropriate field. From the first, the 
services there were well attended; they were destined 
soon to be overwhelmed by crowds. People began to 
say one to another, '^ Have you heard this new preacher 
in School-street ? ' ' His extempore mann^ of preaching, 


his strong voice, ,his free and forcible utterance, the 
reasonableness of his doctrines, the aptness of his illastra-. 
tions, his occasional pleasant witticisms, his success in the 
interpretation of the Scriptures, his habit of preaching 
on difficult points, — these attractions secured him large 
audiences almost from the beginning. The First Society, 
under Mr. Dean, was not essentially weakened by Mr. 
Ballou's influence. He had no wish to weaken it; the 
world was wide enough both for him and his brother. It 
remained strong; but the great point of attntction in 
Boston, at that day, so far as Universalism was con- 
cerned, was at School-street. When some opponent, or 
some honest inquirer, sent in a text to Mr. Ballou for 
consideration, it was usually one that was thought to 
haye respect to the future judgment ; and, in those cases, 
he would give, perhaps, a week's notice of his intention to 
consider it. On these occasions the audiences were im^ 
mensely large. For some five or six years after this, it 
was usual to see the house filled at the morning service 
so that it would be very difficult to obtain a seat ; in the 
afternoon many would be obliged to stand, especially in 
the galleries ; and in the evening, not only would every 
seat be occupied, ^ut the aisles, the entries, the windows, 
the stairs, the singing-seats, would all be crowded. 


On the evening of the first Sabbath in January, 1818, 
he preached a sermon from the text 2 Thess. 1 : 7 — 9, — 
" And to you, who are troubled, rest with us, when 
the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with 


his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance 
on them that know not God, and that obey not the 
gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ : who shall be pun- 
ished with everlasting destruction from the presence 
of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.^^ His 
object in this sermon, in the first place, was to show 
that the common doctrine of a day of judgment in the 
future state was not supported by this passage ; and he 
went even further, and maintained that said doctrme was 
opposed irreconcilably to other points in the popular 
creeds ; and, if those points were correct, the common 
doctrine of a day of judgment, in which all men are to 
be tried for the deeds done in this life (for this was the 
form the doctrine then had), could not be admitted.^ He 
then sought to give the true meaning of the text. It was 
to have been fulfilled ^^when the Lord Jesus should be 
revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, &c." 
When did that event take place ? Mr. B. advanced a 
startling proposition for that day. True, it was very 
plainly revealed in the word of God ; but the clergy of 
our country had not seen it, or, at least, had not avowed 
that they had seen it. 

" As recorded in Matt. 16 : 27, 28, our blessed Redeemer says, 
* For the Son of man shall oome in the glory of his Father, with 
his angels ; and then he shall reward every man according to his 
works. Yenly I say unto you, There be some standing here, 
which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming 
in his kingdom.' In this passage the following facts are particu- 
larly expressed : 1st. That the Son of man would certainly make 
his appearance in his Father's glory, with his angels. 2d. That 
at that time he would reward every man according to his works. 


3d. That the time of his coming, and jading, and rewarding 
every man according to his works, would commence during the 
natural life of those who heard this deckiation." * 

^ These &cts he went on to sabetantiate by a referenoe 
to the 28d and 24th chapters of Matthew, and by Mark 
8 : 88 ; 9 : 1, and Luke 9 : 26, 27. Thus he fixed 
the time of the judgment. He then considered the object 
(jod had in view in takiog vengeance on men : 

" Having produced the authority of the Saviour on the subjed 
of his coming to judge and reward men acoordiog to their works, 
let our next inquiry be directed to ascertain the occasion and 
object of the punishment described in our text. Notice ; * taking 
vengeance on them that know not Qod, and that obey not the gos- 
pel of our Lord Jesus Christ.* What is this vengeance taken for I 
Because they know not God, and because they obey not the gospel 
of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

<* But will this vengeance, this punishment, operate to bring them 
to a knowledge of God, and to obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus 
Christ? If this vengeance and punishment mean endless suffer- 
ings in the eternal world, the punished will not thereby be 
brought to know God, whom to know is life eternal ; nor to obey 
the gospel, whose law is the law of love. 

*< Tou ask a kind and faithful earthly &ther why he uses the rod 
of chastisemfflit on his son. He informs you it is because his 
child is disobedient. You ask him if he intends that punishment 
as a mean to reclaim his child, and to produce that obedience 
required. He answers in the affirmative. You are satisfied with 
this principle and its application. You can pity the folly of 

*See *'A SermoD, delivered in the Second Uniyersallst Meeting- 
hoase in Boston, on the evening of the firat Sabbath in January, 1818. 
Bj Hosea BaUou, Pastor. Seoond ediUon. Boston : Henry Bowen. 



ohildish disobedience, but you anticipate that the fruits of right- 
eousness and filial love will more than counterbalance the present 

" You ask the wisdom of this world why God will punish men. 
It replies, because they know not God, and obey not the gospel 
of his Son. You ask this same wisdom whether this punishment 
be designed as a mean td bring them to the knowledge of God, 
and to obey the gospel. It answers in the negatiye. If you 
expostulate, if you attempt to reason, if you call such extrayagant 
doctrine to an account, you are soon made to understand that this 
wisdom is the reverse of that which is from above, which < is first 
pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of 
mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypoc- 
risy.' "—pp. 10, 11. 

Mr. Ballon held that the severest judgments of Grod 
were inflicted in love ; that, though they were represented 
by the terrible metaphor of Jire^ the effect of them was 
purification. In this sense, they '^ are true and righteous 
altogether ; more to be desired than gold, yea, than much 
fine gold." Psalm 19 : 9, 10. When God sends these 
judgments on men, it is done for the same purpose for 
which metals are gathered into the furnace, namely, that 
they may be melted and purified ; and this is the precise 
figure which the Jewish prophets of God employed, Ezekiel 
22 : 18—22. Malachi 3 : 1—3. See also the testimony 
of Paul : '' Every man's work shall be made manifest : for 
the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by 
fire ; and the fire shall try every man's work, of what 
sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built 
thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work 
shall be burned, he shall suffer loss : but he himself 
shall be saved; yet so as by fire." 1 Cor. 8 : 13 — ^15. 


Mr. Ballon believed, therefore, that when God took 
vengeance of men in flaming fire, however severe the 
discipline, it was the vengeance of love. Speaking of 
the fire mentioned in his text, he said. 


This flaming fire is firom heaven; the Lord Jesus and hla 
mighty angels are in it. If this fire is from heaven, it must be 
heavenly fire ; and if the Lord Jesus and his mighty angels are in 
it, and are happy, it is the fire of which the prophet Malachi 
3 : 1—3." 

Again he said, 

" This is the fire of love. It is from heaven. It flows from 
God, and is the spirit of Jesus ; and is the spirit of judgment and 
of burning. With this fire, the Lord Jesus and his mighty 
angels, who are his ministers, take vengeance on Zion's hypo- 
crites. But it is the vengeance of love. < God is love : and he 
that dwelleth in love dwelleth in Gbd, and God in him.' This 
kind of vengeance is mentioned in the 99th Psalm : * Thou wast 
a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their 
inventions.' This is a vengeance worthy of a God of mercy ; it 
is connected with forgiveness, and is aided in its execution by the 
spirit of grace." — pp. 12, 13. 

' This was new doctrine to the divines of Boston. They 
might well rise up and say, '' A strange man has come 
among us." They had not heard such thoughts uttered 
before; they were utterly ignorant of this manner of 
interpreting Scripture. I£ the justness of the reasoning 
were allowed, then the whole foundation of the doc- 
trine of endless torture was thrown down. But Mr. 
Ballou did not content himself with the scriptural argu- 
ment merely. He applied the moral argument with 


great force, as deduced from the character of the Son of 
Qod, to show that the *' vengeance " of (jod's judgments 
cannot be the '^ vengeance " of vindictive wrath. 

<< Bat that kind of vengeance which we have been usually 
taught to contemplate, is consistent with nothing but the worst 
and wickedest of human passions. Surely, one would be led to 
believe, on se^g the tragical scene of horror generally repre- 
sented as the fulfilment of our text, that some powerful angel 
from the imaginary regions of darkness was let loose on mankind ! 
Who would suppose it to be that humble, meek, kind.son of Mary, 
of whom we have such an account in the New Testamei^t ? WiU 
Jesus, who opened the eyes of the blind ; who opened the ears of 
the deaf; who caused the lame man to leap as an hart, the 
tongue of the dumb to edng ; who raised the dead, cast out devils, 
and cured all manner of diseases among the people of a wicked 
age and nation, ever appear in our world as a destroyer of human 
beings? Will that blessed, that adorable Son of God, whose 
name is mu£dc in heaven, and consolation to every believer, who 
gave himself a ransom for all mankind, and prayed for his mur- 
' derers on his cross, who taketh avray the sin of the world, ever 
come with hostile intentions against the redeemed, and fulfil all 
the vain imaginations of superstition, by scattering firebrands of 
vindictive vnrath and eternal death among the offspring of his 
Father?"— p. 13. 

Who could resist such reasoning, unless his heart was 
encased in prejudice, or hatred of the truth 1 It shook 
with excitement the immense congregation to whom it 
was addressed. The people not merely listened to every 
word, but they drank in- the doctrine, as the thirsty man 
drinks water. At one time their faces would be radiant 
with jojr ; at another, they would be suffused with tears. 
They honored, respected, loved their new preacher. In 
his intercourse with their families, he moved among them 


without pride, feeling that he had small reason to take 
credit to himself for his labors; but he rather praised 
God, who had called him to a knowledge of the truth, and 
made him the instrument of enlightening his fellow-men. 


The substance of the sermcxi we have now described, 
truly wonderful for its effects, was soon published by a 
young man whose heart had been deeply penetrated by the 
truth, namely, Mr. Henry Bowen. It had not been long 
before the public, when Rev. Timothy Merritt, one of the 
Methodist clergymen of the town, came out with a pam- 
phlet, entitled '' Strictures," &c. &o.* The careful 
reader will perceive that Mr. Merritt did not and could 
not refute the reasoning of Mr. Ballou. He attempted 
witticisms, — played on Mr. B.'s words, — divorced fects 
which belonged unchangeably together ; and argued more 
to the prejudices than to the consciences and judgments 
of his hearers. 


It was not possible for Mr. Ballou, with his views of 
duty, to let Mr. Merritt's pamphlet lie unanswered. He 
therefore wrote "A Brief Reply to the Stricturesj"t 

* Xhe iviiole title was ** Strictiures on Mr. Balloa*8 Sermon, deliyered 
at the Second UniTorsalUt Meeting in Boston, on the erening of the 
first Sabbath in January, 1818. By T. Merritt. Boston, 1818." 

f See the whole title: "A Brief Reply to a pamphlet entitled Striotnres 
on Mr. BaUon's Sermon, delivered at the Seoond UniTersalist Meeting 
in Boston, on the erening of the First Sabbath in January, 1818, by T. 
Merritt." By the author of the Sermon. Boeton, Henry Bowen. 1816. 


in whict he sought to rectify certain of Mr. Merritt's 
mistakes, to take notice of his arguments, and to 
examine his use of Scripture. Mr. M. had endeavored 
to raise much prejudice against Mr. B., because, as 
alleged, he had denied the &ct of "the end of the 
world," so clearly taught in the Scriptures. But Mr. 
Ballou showed that he had not denied the fact of the end 
of the world, as taught in the Scriptures ; but only in 
the sense "so long perpetuated by tradition." In "the 
end of the world," in the sense in which that event is 
treated of in the Scriptures, Mr. B. most fully believed. 
This, however, was but one of Mr. M.'s mistakes. In addi- 
tion to these matters, his arguments were exceedingly loose 

, and fallacious, and he unfortunately fell into many mis- 
interpretations of the Scriptures. Mr. Ballou felt it his 
duty to point out these things concerning his antagonist's 
Strictures, which he did plainly and honestly, but in the 

, spirit of faithfulness and love. 


The " Brief Reply " had been but a short time before 
the public, when Mr. Merritt appeared again, with "A 
Vindication of the Common Opinion relative to the Last 
Judgment," &c.* Mr. M. hoped by this pamphlet to 
close the controversy; but, if Mr. B. wrote again, Mr. 
M. seems to have doubted whether he should make 
another reply. At the close he said : 

* The entire title was << A Vindication of the Common Opinion rela- 
tive to the Last Judgment and the End of the World: in answer to Mr. 
BaUou's Reply. By Timothy Merritt." Boston, 1818. 


'' The writer of these pages mtust here take leave of co n tr o versy 
lor the present, and he hopes it may prove a perpetual leave. He 
has engaged in it thus &r from a sense of duty ; and, should duty 
still call, he is pledged to contend for the fidth once delivered to 
the saints. Should his oppon^it vmte again, and use sophistry, 
declamation and evasion, instead of discussing the merits of the 
case, he vrill consider his production aa already answered, and 
take no further notice of it." — p. 31. 


But tliis was not the end of the controversy. Mr. 
Ballou felt the importance of the position in which he 
had been placed ; he felt that the truth was capable of a 
successful defence. He followed Mr. Merritt's " Vindi- 
cation," therefore, with his "Brief Reply."* This 
was a pamphlet of forty closely-printed octavo pages, and 
was designed to point out certain mistakes of Mr. M., to 
take notice of his arguments, and to examine his appli- 
cations of Scripture. The work must be read if one 
would see the vigor which Mr. Ballou threw into it. His 
opponent's arguments fell before his pen like blades of 
grass before the mower's scythe. Pressed for room, as 
we are, we must give the following extract : 

** Haying now, according to the best understanding which a 
careful investigation of .this subject has led to, refuted the argu- 
ment under consideration in all its parts, the other arguments which 
are connected with the foregoing may be more briefly considered. 
As it has been clearly shown that eternal unmerciful punishment 

* << A Brief Beply to a pamphlet entitled < A Vindication of the Com- 
mon Opinion relative to the Last Judgment and the End of the World: in 
aiuirer to Mr. BaUou's Beply, by Timothy Merritt.' By Hosea BaUoiu" 

2A LIFE or 90SSA BALLOU. A. D. 1818. 

is inoonaifltent with the ioiGnite goodness of God, and also equally 
dissonant to our obligation to love and obey our Father in heaven, 
so it may reasonably be expected that no such punishment can be 
neceesary either as a warning to others, or for Ihe security of the 
divine government. 

'* We may ask, in the tot place, wheire this punishment is to 
serve as a warning to others ! Not in this world, surely, for here 
it is not seen ; nor is it even heard of from any who know it to 
be a fact. But then it may be said that thousands believe it. 
True, many profess to believe it, and many preach it ; but they 
believe and preach it for somebody else, not for themselves. Again, 
it is a &ct that those men who have been the most wicked have 
believed in this endless unmerciful punishment. The reader is 
here cautioned against the supposition that any design exists to 
represent that all those who profess the doctrine are specially 
wicked. What is contended £» is, that this belief is not necee- 
sarily connected with holiness of life. If such a tremendous pun- 
ishment were inflicted on some, to prevent others from sinning in 
this world, why should the whole affair be kept out of sight ? The 
King of Babylon once had a furnace in which to bum those who 
would not worship the image which he had set up ; and he had it 
where the people could see it. This was remarkably effectual, for 
we have no account of more than three who were not terrified into 
submission. If there be in reality such dreadful torments in 
another state, for crimes committed in this world, it seems most 
reasonable to conclude that they are all kept out of sight of mor- 
tals, lest they should have the effect on them to prevent their com- 
mitting those sins for which it is just to punish them in this 
•unmerciful manner. If this be the scheme, it is not agreeable to 
it to persuade people to do well. 

*' Moreover, the way in which this common doctrine is preached 
and believed is directly calculated to defeat its pretended utility. 
The preacher always informs the people that repentance any time 
before death is sufficiently early to avoid this torment, and to 
secure heaven forever. And, as it belongs likewise to this system, 
it IS always insisted that righteousness is not rewarded in this 
worldj but attended with a thousand haidships; and that sia and 


error form an easy path. When aU this is belieyed, it nataraUy 
tends to keep men in sin ; for, generally speaking, we all calcu- 
late to live to be old, and when we are old it is natural atiU to 
keep death at a distance. 

" Suppose we were told that the Preddent of the United States 
will be here at the end of six months. At that time, whoever shall 
not appear before him dressed in a garment which, on eyery part 
of the body, must set so uneasy as to give us scarcely a moment's 
peace, must be put to the most excruciating tortures. Now, sup- 
pose we all siucerely believe this unreasonable report, would it not 
be natural for us to keep the hated garment off until about the 
ezforation of the time ? Should we be likely to get it on imme- 
diately ? How different is the preaching of the blessed Saviour ! 
< Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will 
give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I 
am lowly in heart ; and ye shaU find rest unto your souls, for my 
yoke is easy and my burden is light.' Give any one to under- 
stand that a certain garment becomes his or her person better than 
any other, that it commends one to the notice of otherd, and that 
it is the most comfortable garment that can be worn, and that it 
costs nothing, he vrill be likely to wear it ; there can be but one 
objection that any one can make, — that is to the cheapness of it. 
For, if this garment should become fashionable, it would bring the 
rich and the poor on a level, than which nothing is more hated by 
the heart of pride. But in the garment itself is that meekness 
which removes the whole objection. 

" As we cannot find the necessity of this doctrine of punishing 
people in another state to prevent wickedness here, we will 
endeavor to look for its necessity in the state where it is supposed' 
to exist. And, as our preachers are constantly calling our atten- 
tion to this awful subject, we wiU approach it now in good 
earnest. Well, then, suppose the time is come. This material 
world is burnt up. Eternity commences. The righteous are 
received into heaven, and the wicked are sent to hell. What are 
those poor miserable wretches in hell to be tormented unmercifully 
and eternally for? Answer, as a warning to others, ai^d for the 



Becurity of the divine government. Here the absurdity of the 
whole scheme stares us in the face. What ! must the blessed in 
heaven be terrified v^ith the torments of hell, to keep them from 
committing sin ? Must the righteous husband see his sinful com- 
panion, with whom he lived in this world in love and peace, in 
the torments of hell forever, in order to keep him from becoming 
a sinner in immortal glory ? Must the righteous vnfe see her sin- 
ful husband, with whom she lived in this world in harmony and 
love, and raised a family of children, some for heaven and some 
for hell, in this horrible torment, in order to prevent her from apos- 
tatizing from glory? Will it be necessary in heaven for parents 
to see their own offspring in the burning lake, in order to make 
them love God? And must children there, in immortal bliss, >8ee 
their parents in hell, in order to inspire them vnth the true smrit 
of devotion to the God of mercy? Will all this unspeakable nor- 
ror be necessary 'to heighten the hallelujahs which surround the 
throne of God and the Lamb? Is this the subject proclaimed by 
angels to the shepherds? < Fear not, for behold we bring you 
glad tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people.' " — pp. 

Such was the force, such the clearness, such the hold- 
ness, with which Mr. Ballon advanced and defended his 
opinions on this occasion. Mr. Merritt certainly gained 
nothing by his efforts. His own brethren had no stronger 
faith in the doctrine of endless torments than before ; but 
the public had been aroused, and the attention of thou- 
sands had been drawn by this controversy to the investi- 
gation of Mr. Ballou's views. One suspicion which seema 
to have given Mr. Merritt much anxiety was, if Mr. 
Ballou's views were generally adopted, sinners would not 
be led to repentance. In order to produce repentance in 
the guilty breast, he thought the terrors of endless wrath 
must be felt. Mr. B., on the contrary, believed that 


'^ the goodness of Ood leads the sinner to repentance ;" 
and that as all God requires of man is love to God with all 
the heart, mind and strength, so the best means to pro- 
duce this love is to declare the love of God. '* that 
preachers (said he) would preach no other law than that 
which the blessed Saviour preached ! " '^ God is love 
(he added) ; his law is like himself, it is love. It 
requires nothing but love ; it has nothing but love to admin- 
ister." Mr. B. closed the whole controversy by saying, 

<* BelTore the majesty of thig love the writer of these sheets proih 
trates himself, and to it yields himself a willing captive. Yes, 
and he avails himself of this opportunity of testifying to the pub- 
lic, and particularly to his opponent, that this love is all his con- 
fidence. He knows no God, no law, no gospel, no Saviour, no 
justice, no holiness, no truth, no life eternal, no solid peace, no 
substantial enjoyment, but this same love. If the doctrine of uni- 
versal unchangeable mercy cannot be supported by love, it lalls to 
the ground : but if love divine lies at the bottom of this doctrine, 
the more it is examined, the more it is opposed, the more it is perse- 
cuted, the more it will manifest its immovable foundation." — p. 40. 

This ended Mr. Ballou's first controversy after his 
removal to Boston. The effect was very widely felt. 


We showrf, in the first volume, that during Mr. 
Ballou's residence at Salem, a controversy sprung up 
between him and Rev. Edward Turner, of Charles- 
town, on the question as to the existence of any degree 
of sin and punishment in the future state. Until the 
time of that controversy, Mr. B. had never denied that 


some passages of scripture seemed to admit of the tem- 
porary existence of sin and misery beyond the grave. In 
his youth no one thought of doubting that conclusion, 
although all XJniversalists supposed punishment would 
not be endless. Having obtained satisfaction that none 
of the human race would suffer endless punishment, Uni- 
versalists had rested on that fact with great satisfaction, 
nor sought to push investigation so far as to embrace the 
precise duration of the misery of the future state. This 
matter began to excite a little attention, now and then, as 
early, perhaps, as 1814 or 1815; but in the year 1817, Mr. 
Turner, of Charlestown, and Mr. Ballon, then of Salem 
(in the spirit of two brothers, so far as we know), for 
the purposes of mutual satisfaction, agreed to carry on a 
correspondenoe upon the subject, each to do as well as he 
could. Mr.Ballou offered Mr. Turner the choice of sides ; 
and the latter at once undertook to defend the doctrine of 
future punishment, and left the contrary part to Mr. 
Ballon. The effect of this discussion, at last, on Mr. 
Ballou's mind, was decisive. He became entirely satis- 
fied that the sacred writers begin and end the history of 
sin in flesh and blood ; and teach that beyond this mortal 
existence there is no sentient state but that which is 
called by the blessed name of life and immortality. "^ The 

* Extract of a Letter from Reo, Hosea Ballon to Rev, T%omaa WhUttemore^ 

dated Nov, 26, 1829. 

'< Respecting the doctrine of a future state of retribution, there was, 
in xnj youth, but little said. Uniyersalists, having obtained satisfaction 
that none of the human race would suffer endless punishment, thought 
they had sufficient reason to rejoice with exceeding joy, and to glory, in 
the mercy of God. I never made the question a subject of close 
investigation until lately. When I wrote my Notes on the Parables, 


principal circumstance which had rendered him doubtful, 
up to this time, was that he had seen no way in which 
one passage of Scripture (namely, 1 Peter 8 : 18 — 20) 
ought to be interpreted, without admitting the doctrine 
of future punishment in some form. In the course of 
this controversy, however, he became fully convinced 
that the passage referred to was susceptible of an inter- 
pretation vastly more agreeable to prominent passages of 
the prophetical writings, in which similar phraseology 
occurred, than that which he had been accustomed to 
give it 

and my Treatise on Atonement, I had traveUed, in my mind, away from 
penal sofferings so entirely, that I was satisfied that, if any suffered in 
the futore state, it wonld be beoanse they would be sinful in that state. 
But I cannot say that I was fully satisfied that the Bible taught no pun- 
ishment in the future world, until I obtained this satisfaction by attend- 
ing to the subject with Br. Edward Turner, then of Oharlestown. For 
the purpose of satisfying ourselyes respecting the doctrine of the Scrip- 
tures on this question, we agreed to do the best we could ; he in favor 
of future punishment, and I the contrary. Our inyestigations were pub- 
lished in a periodical called the (xotpd Viaitant, While attending to 
this correspondence, I became entirely satisfied that the Scriptures begin 
and end the history of sin in flesh and blood ; and that beyond this mor- 
tal existence the Bible teaches no other sentient state but that which u 
oaUed by the blessed name of life and immortality. 

" When I sat down to reply to Br. Turner, who urged the passage in 
Peter, respecting the spirits in prison, I knew not by what means I could 
explain the text without allowing it to favor the doctrine of future suf- 
ferings. I had, at that time, no knowledge of any translation of the 
text, but the one in our common version. But, on reading the whole 
subject in connection, the light broke in on my mind, and I was satis- 
fied that Peter alluded to the Gentiles by spirits in prison, which made 
the passage agree with Isaiah 42d. 

'* You will be so kind as to excuse me for not being able to give you a 
more aoourite reply to your questions, and permit me to conclude by 
wishing yon abundant success in your laborious undertaking. 

** Yours, affectionately, Hobba Ballov.'* 



The controversy commenced on the part of Mr. Ballon, 
who, as we have said, offered his brother Tnrner the 
choice of sides. The parties were both wary, at first. 
Mr. T. was more disposed to deal in metaphysics than 
to make the question a plain matter of appeal to the 
Scriptures. He thought that Mr. Ballou's position could 
be maintained only by proving that '^ death necessarily 
produced such a moral change in the mind of the sinner 
as to make him at once a willing, obedient and happy 
subject of the moral kingdom." Mr. Ballou, on the 
other hand, did not agree to this, because, even if it were 
proved that death produced a change like the one de- 
scribed, yet this would not secure the pei^etuUy of that 
desirable condition. Adam and Eve were in that willing, 
obedient and happy state, at first ; but they did not con- 
tinue in it. In order iot mankind to continue to be sin- 
ners in the immortal state, there must be the forbidden 
fruit and the tempter there. But, again, even if it were 
allowed that death would not produce the change in men 
mentioned by Mr. T., might not the Saviour of sinners, 
who has conquered deadi and him that had the power of 
death, do what death could not effeet, and clothe the 
subject in his right mind, as- he did the man among the 
tombs ? 

Mr. B. waited for his Br. T. to remove these difficul- 
ties, or to lead off the discussion in some other way, if he 
saw fit. Mr. T., in reply, said he was willing to waive 
any right he had to lead in the argument ; but he thpught, 
even if men did not commit sin in the future state, they 
might suffer there; for, said he, ''lean be a sufferer 
to-day for sins committed a year ago, without supposing 


the occurrence of any new temptation." Mr. B. took 
the ground that the future condition of men might be 
very different from what it is in this world, without sup* 
posing the change to be wrought by death ; for, if there 
can be no such change except what is wrought by death, 
then all who are any purer and holier in the next world 
than they had been on earth must attribute their change 
to death, and not to him who triumphed oyer it. If any 
shall be admitted to a holier condition in the future state 
than they had on earth, without considering death their 
Saviour, why may not others ? St Paul said, when on 
earth, ^' What I would, that do I not; but what I hate, 
that do I." 'Now, if it was merely death that admitted 
him into the state '' free from sin," then death may prove 
as friendly to others. That men suffer on earth for what 
they had done a long time before they Buffered, Mr. B. 
did not deny ; but that the mental powers of man should 
remain for a considerable time without temptation, and 
without being led into sin, and without being liable to be 
led into sin, and yet man suffer for sins committed before 
this period, surely required some evidence, either from 
actual experience, or some known law of nature, or from 
the fidthful testimony of divine revelation. 


Thus the discussion went on. Mr. Turner did not 
lead off with confidence. He was willing to waive his 
right in that respect ; but Mr. Ballou held that he who 
maintained the negative should not indicate the course 
the discussion should take. Mr. T. said, in reply, he 

82 LIFE OF nOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1818. 

never had much claim to the character of a close investi- 
gator, and still less to that of a deep controvertist ; and 
he should be better satisfied to have Mr. B. aim to prove 
that there is no future punishment, than to open the 
investigation himself affirmatively. 

In the next letter, Mr. Ballou complimented his Br. 
Turner on having managed the subject very well ; and, 
notwithstanding Mr. T.'s disclaimer, Mr. B. considered 
him as possessing certain fine talents for controversial 
writing. Mr. B. submitted thd" following question for 
discussion, namely, '^ Whether the doctrine of future 
punishment be necessarily embraced in the faith of the 
gospel, leaving all other questions relative to the subject 
to be discussed when it shall be thought necessary." If 
this question were acceded to by Mr. T., it would remain 
for him to prove that the doctrine of future punishment 
is embraced in the gospel ; and Mr. B. suggested, as facts 
which would have to be considered, First, that there was 
no intimation of the doctrine of future punishment in the 
communications which God made to Abraham. '^ If it be 
necessary for the Christian to believe in the doctrine of 
future punishment, why was it not equally necessary for 
the father of the fidthful to embrace this indispensable 
matter of fiiith ? " On the ground that the doctrine had 
been communicated to Abraham, when the faith of that 
patriarch was referred to, in the days of Christ and his 
apostles, and in all after ages, that doctrine would have 
been seen to be an indispensable article of faith. Second, 
in all the cloud of testimonies borne by the prophets con- 
cerning the Messiah and his religion, '' there appears to 
be nothing plainly laid down respecting a future state of 


pnnishment." Thirdly, if the belief of future punish- 
ment be required as a part of the gospel &ith, why did 
not Jesus preach that doctrine ? If it be said that Jesus 
did it, and that fact be proved, then the question 
in discussion would be settled ; but Mr. B. thought that 
forced and far-fetched explanations of the parables of 
Jesus can never be admitted as proof. Fourthly, the 
preaching of Jesus was a commentary on the law and the 
prophets ; and the preaching of the apostles was a com- 
mentary on the preaching of Jesus. If, then, the design 
of the law and the prophets, and that of Jesus, were to 
teach the doctrine of future punishment, why was no 
mention made of that doctrine by the apostles? "If 
(said Mr. B.) it be replied that the apostles have taught 
it, let the proof of the assertion be bix>ught," and the 
question will be settled. 

<< fifthly (said Mr. B.), when the Creator laid down the pro- 
hibition of the forbidden tree to our first parents in the garden, 
and laid down the consequence of transgression for their admoni- 
tion, how can his silence on the subject of future punishment be 
accounted for in any other way than by supposing that the 
Almighty Father saw no necessity of Adam's believing in it ? 
And let it be further noticed, that after the transgression, when 
the Creator delineated the effects and consequences of sin to his 
unhappy children, he mentioned particular circumstances relative 
to their mortal existence in this world, but said not a word con- 
cerning this future punishment, which is the subject of our 
inquiry. How is this to be accounted for? Furthermore, when 
Cain had risen up against his brother and taken his life, God 
called him to an account for his wicked act, and announced his 
punishment, but intimated nothing concerning this punishment in 
a future state. Was neither the sin of Adam nor the sin of Cain 
a subject to justify the denunciation of this doctrine? Can we 


reasonably conceive of a better time, or a more proper occasion, 
than one of these, to justify a declaration of it? 

'* If it were possible to give even a plausible reason why this 
doctrine was omitted on the foregoing occasions, could we assign 
a sufficient one for its total omission in all the dreadful threaten- 
ings denounced against the rebellious house of Israel, in all the 
writings of Moses ? 

*< Having noticed the first declarations found in the word of God, 
on the subject of the punishment of sin, and finding no intima- 
tions of a future state of misery, there seems to be a propriety in 
looking at the ' last plagues,' as described in the book of Rev- 
elations. But here again we find all confined to this mortal 

*^ Notwithstanding you may discover many deficiencies in the 
fbregoing reasoning, and be obliged to exercise uncommon patience 
with your brother, it is believed that you will find some particu- 
lars not altogether unworthy of consideration. 

" You will, no doubt, view this subject as worthy of our delib- 
erate researches, and feel no disposition to grant anything while 
it may be opposed on scriptural ground ; and, as you will care- 
fully maintain this independence for yourself, so you will be 
pleased to see it carefully preserved by your opponent." 

Thus the way was open for discussing this important 
question on strictly scriptural grounds. 


Mr. Turner did not reply to this letter until some lit- 
tle time after its date. Passing by two or three para- 
graphs, somewhat metaphysical,' we are met by Mr. Tur- 
ner's notice of the intimations of Mr. B. in regard to the 
silence of the sacred writers on the subject of future 
punishment. Mr. Turner held that one reason why the 
doctrine of future punishment was not more plainly re- 


vealed in the word of God is this, namely, that the object 
of the promise to Abraham, of the prophets, and of Jesus 
and his apostles, was to prove a deliverance from sin and 
misery ; and, this being admitted, it furnished a reason 
why a future limited punishment, and, in fact, any pun- 
ishment of definite duration, should not be made a matter 
of special revelation. Mr. T. went on further to say : 

*<The gospel preached to Abraham, and by Christ and his 
apostles, as we^ as prophets, is mainly conversant with the final 
deliyeranoe of mankind from the power of sin and death ; but this 
deliverance has not, as I reeollect, any specific period allotted it. 
The apostle uses this general language, ' the dispensation of the 
fulness of times. ' And were it justifiable, on principles of reason- 
ing, might I not employ your own mode of argument, and say, 
If the doctrine of a deliverance from sin and its consequences, in 
the article of death, be an evangelical truth, should we not expect 
to find it plainly expressed, in the before-mentioned departments 
of Scripture ? And, if it be not there expressed, is not the conclu- 
sion logical, that such a doctrine is without competent author- 

'< But I am not certain, however, that the prophetic and Chris- 
tian Scriptures are silent on the subject of future punishmei^t, 
though they are not so direct uppn the point as upon some others 
(for reasons above mentioned), and though they do not notice it so 
often as other subjects. I will say, it is difficult for me to under- 
stand the text, 1st Pet. 3 : 19, 20, and also Chap. 4, 5th and 6th 
verses, without admitting a future punishment as su£fered by the 
persons mentioned by the apostle. It further appears that the 
apostle expected a second coming of the Saviour, and spake of the 
event as future, and as involving a judgment of the world, and 
contemplating a state of suffering. I am, however, willing to see 
any explanation of these texts which will show the contrary, if 
such a thing can be done with evangelic propriety. I seek only 


<' You say, a trae knowledge of God, manifeeted through his 
Anointed, and a conformity of heart to his moral perfections, 
alone fit the subject for the kingdom of happiness ; and that ' this 
may be in a good measure, if not wholly, effected in this world.' 
I agree to all this. But does not observation conTince us that 
many pass from this world without the smallest indication of this 
' conformity to moral perfection ' ? And if so, we ought to have 
competent evidence that the gospel promises take such subjects 
upy immediateli/, where death sets them down." 

Mr. Ballou said, in regard to the last intimation, if it 
were necessary to have proof that the gospel takes 
up sinners in the future state immediately where death 
puts them down, then, in the case of St. Paul, or any 
other saint like him, who felt the infirmities of the flesh, 
the same rule would hold. And if Mr. T. felt no diffi- 
culty in one class of these cases, why should he in tibe 


Mr. Ballou reflected deeply on the passage, 1 Peter 
8 : 18 — 20. Was it the intent of the apostle to teach 
that these " spirits " were in prison in the future stixte, 
and that Christ went to them there and preached? If, 
as Mr. T. intimated, the prophetic and Christian Scrip- 
tures were not silent on the subject of future punishment, 
then Mr. B. thought that the natural and safe way, in 
which to bring forward the proof, would be to begin with 
the prophets, and show what they taught concerning thi 
matter, and then to adduce the testimony of the apostles. 

* See vol. I. of this work, p. 366. 


In this way, the one would help to illastrate the other, 
being taken in the order of time in which they were de- 
livered. But these considerations Mr. B. waived, al- 
though he might have pressed them. He had, within the 
last few months, given deep thought to the passage in 
Peter, and an entire revolution had taken place in his 
mind in regard to the true interpretation thereof. He 
was ready to avow the change to the world, for he 
believed it honorable to a Christian to confess past errors, 
and '* to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ" 
The following was the result of his inquiries : 


<« < For Christ also hath onoe suffered for sins, the just for the mgnst, 
that he might bring ns to God, being put to de^h in the flesh, bat quick* 
ened hj the Spirit : by which also he went and preached onto the spirits 
in prison ; which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffer- 
ing of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, 
wherein few; that is, eight souls, were saved by water.' — 1 Peter 3 : 

<' It appears that different opinions liaye- been entertained of 
this passage by Christian commentators. The Papists make use 
of it to support their views of a purgatory, and a deliverance from 
a state of punishment hereafter. St. Augustine, as well as some 
other of the fathers, is said to have held the same opinion of the 

<' Mr. Winchester, with some others, who have maintained the 
doctrine of universal restoration, also agreed with the Papists in 
the use of this passage. But Protestants in general make a very 
different application, and suppose that Christ preached to those 
people in the days of Noah whose spirits were in the prison of 
hell in the time of Peter. 

** By looking at the>different methods by which commentators 


88 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOTT. ' A. D. 1818. 

of varioufl systems explain particular passages of Scripture, it 
appears that the general system of the commentator goyems his 
application. Now, as it is very certain that many passages have, 
in various ways, suffered violence by reason of this arbitrary man- 
ner of interpretation, so there is room to believe that the one under 
consideration has not escaped this influence. 

'' In the present attempt, arguments will be offered to disprove 
both the above-mentioned opinions ; followed by an interpretation 
that is thought to be more correct and consistent with Scripture 
in general, and especially with the subject on which St. Peter 
was treating. 

<' To suppose that the passage teaches that Christ preached in 
the days of Noah to those whose spirits were in the prison of hell 
at the time Peter wrote this epistle, does not well agree with the 
words of the text : ' Being put to death in the ffesh, but quick- 
ened by the spirit : by which also he went and preached to the 
spirits in prison ; which some time were disobedient, when once 
the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah.' It is the 
disobedience which the apostle states to have been in the days of 
Noah, not the preaching. Again ; * By which, also, he went and 
preached.' By what did he go and preach? The relative which 
must eibher refer to Christ's being quickened by the spirit, or to 
the spirit. If it refer to being quickened, it then puts the preach- 
ing subsequent to Christ's being put to death in the flesh : if it 
refer to the spirii, it means that Christ was the preacher ; and the 
spirit by which he was quickened was the spirit by which he 
preached. This also implies that the preaching was subsequent 
to Christ's being put to death in the flesh. 

" Should it be urged that Christ possessed the same spirit in the 
days of Noah by which he was q>iickened after being put to death 
in the flesh, and that he preached by that spirit to the people of 
the old world, it may be replied, that, though Noah is called a 
preacher of righteousness, we are not informed that he preached 
to the people of his day, or that he preached by the spirit of Christ ; 
and, moreover, the apostle does not make Noah the prea^er, but 
Christ, who yms quickened for that purpose after he was put to 
death in the flesh. If it had been the intention of Peter to state 


the &ct we have here disproyed, he would have been more likdy 
to have said : By which spirit Noah preached to thoae who were 
disobedient in his day, whose spirits are now in prison. That the 
preaching of which Peter here speaks was in the days of Noah, 
seems so foreign from the text, there is no probability of its eyer 
haying been thought of, but from the necessity of taUng the pas- 
sage ayray from the use to which the Papists put it ; which use 
shall now be examined. 

'* Examination of the usiuU Application made by UniversaUsts, 

" The opinion founded on this passage, that Christ went to a 
place where the spirits of the literally dead were imprisoned for 
the purpose of preaching the gospel to them, is subject to many 
objections, some of which are the foUowing : 

" 1st. This eyent, which must be considered, if true, of equal 
moment ynth any particular circumstance attending the ministry 
of Jesus Christ, was neyer once menti(med by him, that we haye 
any account of. 

<' Why he should be particular in informing his disciples that 
he should be betrayed by one of them, that they all should be 
offended because of him, that he should ^ deUyered into the 
hands of sinners, that he should be crucified, and that he should 
rise the third day, — and, moreoyer, that he would go before them 
into Galilee, and neyer mention, before or after his crucifixion, 
the weighty fact of preaching to spirits in prison in the future 
world, — if it were a &ct, would be difficult to account for. 

" If he thought best not to mention it before, it seems he would 
haye communicated it after the eyent had actually taken place. 
An opinion inyolying so much as the confining of spirits in a 
prison from the days of the flood to the time of Christ's cruci- 
fixion, and of the Redeemer's going to them after he was quick- 
ened by the spirit, and preaching the gospel to them, seems of 
too much consequence not to haye been spoken of by the blessed 
Agent himself. 

<^ It may be proper to mention here that the temporal circum- 
stances of the people before the flood were noticed by Christ,* and 

• See Matt. 24: 37—39. 

40 LIFB Qjr HOSEA BALLOU. A. B. 1818. 

compared with the state in which the Jews would be found at the 
time of their deBtmction ; but no mention is made by him of their 
oon<&tion afber the flood. 

<< 2d. None of the prophets, who spake of the glorious things 
which the Messiah should do, made mention of this mission to the 
^irits in prison, if the meaning of it be as Universalists have 
generally mterpreted it. And yet none of them haye spoken of 
any particular event of the Messiah's mission which is of greater 
moment than this, if it be a fact. 

'< 3d. No writer of the New Testament has mentioned this 
supposed fact, except St. Peter. St. Paul, whose writings occupy 
so large a part of the New Testament, mentioned not a word of 
this important mission to the spirits in prison, in the seuse in 
which our brethren have usually explained it. 

'* If it be said, although this subject be not spoken of by any 
other writer in the holy Scriptures, as St. Peter has mentioned it. 
that as much consequence ought to attach to it as if mentioned 
by many, or ever so often, it is again objected, that Peter does not 
mention it by making it of the consequence of a main subject of 
communication or argument. He only makes an alluedon to it, 
while writing on ano||ier subject. 

<< The subject on which he was treating was that of suffering 
for righteousness' sake, to which he exhorts his Christian brethr^i. 
In doing this, he mentions the sufferings of Christ as an example. 
In this example Christ suffered the just for the unjust, to bring 
the latter to God. He names this to incite his brethren to act 
upon the same principle, and to suffer for righteousness' sake, if 
need be, that it might operate to bring the unrighteous to God. 

" The True AppUcalion. 

** The particular subject to which he alluded when he spake of 
Christ's preaching to the spirits in prison (in consequence of being 
put to death in the flesh, and quickened by the spirit), is thought 
to be this, namely, he went and preached to the Gentiles who were 
dead in trespasses and sins, and of a character similar to those people 
whq were destroyed by the flood, 

*< During the life of Jesus Christ, he confined his ministry to 


the Jews, charged his disciples to go to noDe of the cities of the 
Gentiles, and said that he was sent to the lost sheep of the house 
of Israel. But, afler his resurrection, he enlarged the mission of 
the gospel, and ordered it to be preached to every creatuie. 

" Now, if we duly consider that St. Peter was writing a gen- 
eral epistle to Christian professors, throughout Pontus, Galatia, 
Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, comprehending multitudes of the 
Grentile believers as well as converts from among the Jews, the 
application now given will appear the more probable. It was 
saying to the Gentiles, Christ has suffered in the flesh for you : 
although he was just and holy, yet for your sakes, to bring yon 
to God, to the true God, and away from your idols, he was led 
as a lamb to the slaughter. And, being quickened by the spirit, 
he comes to the Gentile world with the gospel of peace and 

" It appears not to have hem necessary for Christ to suffer the 
just for the unjust, and to be quickened by the spirit in oider to 
preach the gospel to the Jevro, fi>r this he did in his own person 
and by his disciples during his life. But, comoeming the missioii 
of the gospel to the G^entiles, St. Paul speaks to the Ephesians ; 
and though he does not use the same figure of speech as St. Peter 
did in the passage we are considering, the subject is evidently the 
same. See Chap. 2 : 11, &c. : ' Wherefore, remember, that ye 
being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called uncircum* 
cision by that which is called the circumcision in the flesh, made 
by hands ; that at that time ye were vrithout Christ, being aliens 
from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant 
of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. But 
now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were iar off, are made 
nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made 
both one, and hath broken down the middle vmll of partition 
between us ; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the 
law of commandments, contained in ordinances ; for to make in 
himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he 
might reconcile both unto God, in one body by the cross, having 
dain the enmity thereby,' &c. 

" It appears to have been necesBary, in St. Peter^s view, for 


. 42 LIFB OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. B. 1818. 

dhrist to be put to death in the flesh, and to be quickened by the 
spirit, that he might go and preach to the spirits in prison, to 
bring those to God who knew him not. So, also, by the words 
of St. Paul, we see that it was by the cross that the middle wall 
of partition between the Jews and the (xentiles was removed, the 
enmity slain, and a way prepared for the Gentiles, who were with- 
out God in the world, to be brought to God, and to be reconciled 
in one body with the Jews. 

^* K we examine what St. Peter says in reference to this subject 
in the next chapter, our application of the passage we are exam- 
ining will be further strengthened. This chapter begins on the 
main subject of his exhortation. < Forasmuch, then, as Christ 
hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the 
same mind.' Verses 3, 6. * For the time past of our life may 
suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we 
walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine,revelling8, banquet- 
ingSy and abominable idolatries ; wherein ihey think it strange 
that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking 
evil of you ; who shall give account to him that is ready to judge 
the quick and the dead. For, for this cause was the gospel 
preached also to tii^ that are dead, that they might be judged 
according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the 
spirit.' Here it is evident that the apostle was speaking of the 
idohxtTOUS Gentiles^ who remained dead in sin, notwithstanding 
the gospel had been preached to them. And it is furthermore 
apparent, according to his words, ihe gospel was preached to 
\ them, that they might be on an equality with the Jews, to whom 
" the gospel was preached while they Yr&te in the flesh, or in the 
law covenant, and be judged according to men in the law, but 
live according to God in the spiritual religion of the gospel. 

*' That the Jews, while they remained attached to the law of 
works, were, on that account, said to be in the flesh, we learn 
from St. Paul. See Rom. 7 : 6, 6. " For when we were in the 
flesh, the motions of sin which were by the law did work in our 
members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are deliv- 
ered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held ; that 
we should ierve in newness of the spirit, and not in the oldnees 


of the letter.' The spirit of which the apoetie here speaki is the ^ 
spirit in which the believing Gentiles lived, as expressed bj St. 
Peter. And this is that spirit in which the Jews and the Gen- 
tiles are made anew in Christ. Again, see Gal. 3 : 2, 8. *' This 
only would I learn of jou, received ye the Sfnrit by the works <^ 
the law, or by the hearing of &ith? Are ye so foolish, having 
began in the spirit, are ye now made perfect by the Jleshf ' Hence 
law ajod Jlesh have a like meaning. 

^' If either of the opinions we have disproved be allowed, how 
shall we account for this particularizing the people who lived in 
the days of Noah ? Were not the wicked who lived in after times 
as much the subject of divine government? Instance the Israel- 
ites, to whom the law was ^ven : if the spirits of those of the old 
world went into a state of imprisonment after death, is it not rea- 
sonable to suppose that the thousands of Israel who were destroyed 
for their sins, in the days of Moses, went also to this state of con- 
finement ? yea, and all the wicked from Adam to Christ ? If this 
be allowed, then why does St. Peter mention those only who were 
' disobedient while tiie ark was preparing ' ? Will it be contended 
that, when the Saviour descended into hell to preach the gospel to 
the spirits in prison, he preached to none but those who were dis- 
obedient in the days of Noah ! 

" Again, it may be proper to ask, what this aUusion to those 
who were literally dead — this preaching to spirits in another 
world — bad to do with the subject of the apostle's immediate 
argument? In order to show that believeni ought to imitate 
Christ by suffering for righteousness' sake, surely there was no ^4, 
neeesBsty of refetring to the condition of spirits in anoth^ state of 
edstenoe. Nothing could have been further firom his subject. 
But if by < spirits in prison,' and by those who were dead, the 
apostle meant the unbelieving Gentiles, who in character resem- 
bled the people of the old world, and were shut up in the prison 
of moral darkness, then it will appear that the writer kept to his 
subject. For, if Christ suffered for such benighted and wicked 
men to bring them to God, then those who by such means had 
been themselves brought out of this ^ prison-house,' from 'darkness 
to light/and from death to newness of life, by the quickening 


spirit of Christ, surely ought to arm themselves with the same 
mind, and suffer in the same cause, by which others might be 
redeemed in the same manner. 

<< Allowing our interpretation of the passage in Peter to be gen- 
erally correct, it is^een at once that the apostle alluded to a sub- 
ject on which many prophecies had been deUvered, on which 
Christ himself had spoken with much plainness, and on which St. 
Paul labored with great strength of argument. 

" Bhistrations from the Prophets, 

" The prophet Isaiah no doubt had this subject in his mind when 
he delivered the following testimony (chap. 42 : 6, 7, 8) : < I the 
Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, 
and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for 
a light of the Gentiles ; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the 
prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of 
the prison-house. I am the Lord ; that is my name ; and my 
glory vnll I not give to another ; neither my praise to graven 
images.' Here the Gentiles, who were worshippers of images, 
are represented as blind and in prison, of which infirmily they 
were\to be healed, and from which condition they are promised 
deliverance by the hand of God's elect. Again, chap. 61 : 1 : 
< He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim lib- 
erty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that 
are bound.' 49 : 9 : < That thou mayest say to the prisoners. Go 
forth ; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves.' Zech. 9 : 
10, 11, 12 : ' And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and 
tlie horse from Jerusalem, and the battle-bow shall be cut off: 
and 'he' shall speak peace unto the heathen; and his dominion 
shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends 
of the earth. As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I 
have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. 
Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope.' These quota- 
tions from the prophets are quoted to show that St. Peter's lan- 
guage was similar to the language of the prophets on the same 
subject. I forbear enlargisg this communication with what our 


Sayiour has said on the subject, or with what St. Paul has written 
on it. 

'' It is believed that most of the erroneous applications of partic- 
ular passages of Scripture are made in consequence of an unwar- 
rantable departure from the main thread of discourse into which 
they were introduced ; and the best way to rectify such mistakes 
is to draw a straight line of thought from the beginning of a sub- 
ject to the end of it, and then to be careful that every intervening 
passage be placed contiguous to this line. 

" Though but little has been here said, compared with the 
extent and importance of the subject, it is thought that its gen- 
eral features are made sufficiently apparent for a candid mind to 
judge of them. % « 

'< If the reasoning be found wanting, when carefully weighed 
in the balance of divine truth, a hope is entertained that no pre- 
possessions on my part vrill prevent a compliance with what shall 
appear to be more scriptural. On the other hand, it is hoped 
that notions long imbibed, which have no real foundation in truth, 
may not prevent your mind from a consent to what is both rea- 
sonable and well supported by Scripture. 

" After thus noticing this passage in Peter, it seems proper to 
suggest that what you, dear brother, say respecting the apostle's 
views of a future judgment and sufferings is thought too general 
to render a reply convenient. It is, therefore, hoped that such 
testimony, relative to those subjects, as is relied on, will be 
brought forward in due form, by which its force may be seen and 
carefully considered by * 

' ' Yours, affectionately. ' ' 

* This view of 1 Peter SrlS — 20 was entirely original with Mr. Bal- 
lon, as he had never read any author who had looked at the subject in 
the same manner. Like Heb. 9: 27, 28 [see vol. i. cK this work, p. 
381], the true sense was brought out by theworkinj^ of his own discern- 
ing mind, without any aid except a diligent and sihcere study of the 
Scriptures. Yet it should be stated, concerning the passage in Peter, 
that others had come to the same conclusion, although Mr. B. knew it 
not. In fact, this view had been taken by eminent critics in the church 
for ages. We give two in this place. 

46 . LIFB OF HOSSA BAIJ.OU. A. D. 1818. 


The controversy was continued by the publication of 
one or two other brief letters on each side ] bat nothing 

GroUiu, who wrote A. D. 1650, sajs the preaching waf after Jesus 
ascended into heaven, and refers to rerse 22 ; John 14: 2,3, 12, 28 ; 16, 
28. He adds, " Christ is said to have preached to the Gentiles, because 
the apostles did so in his name and power, 2 Cor. 5 : 20 ; Acts 13 : 47 ; 
Bom. 15: 16 ; Gal. 2:8; Eph. 2: 17." 

Whitby, whose Commentary was published 1683) i» more full : '*Bj 
thpse in prison we may understand the Gentile world, in bondage and 
captivity to sin and Satan, and held in the chains of their own lusts and 
in the bonds of their iniquity. For by tiiis phrase the evangelioal 
prophet doth thrice express the preaching of the gospel by our Lord 
Jesus Christ ; as in those words, * I gave thee for a covenant to the peo- 
ple, for a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring tiie prisoners 
out of the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house .' 
— Isa. 42: 7. And again, *I will give thee for a light to the Gentiles, 
that thou mayest be my salvation ta the ends of the earth, that thou 
mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth.* — Ch. 49 : 9. And a third time, 
* The spirit of the Lord is upon me, to proclaim liberty to the captives, 
and the opening of the prison to those that are bound.' — Ch. 61: 1, 2." 
See an article from the pen of Rev. L. R. Paige, in Thanpetf vol. xxv. 
p. 138. These quotations are given to show that other eminent comment- 
ators had given the same interpretation wiUi Mr. Ballon, although the 
fket was perfectly unknown to him. 

In Bishop Burnett's Exposition of Article III. of the English Church, 
*< of the going down of Christ into hell," he uses the following language : 

" Many of the fathers thought that Christ's soul went locally into 
hdl, and preached to some of the spiritM there in prison : that there he 
tnuny)hed over Saian, and spoiled him, and carried some souls witii him 
into glory. But the account that the Scriptures give us of the exalta- 
tion of Christ begins it always at his resurrection : nor can i£ be imag- 
ined that so memorable a transaction as this would have been passed 
over by the first three evangelists, and least of all by St. John, who, 
coming after the rest, and designing to supply what was wanting in 
them, and intending particularly to magnify the glory of Christ, could 
not have passed over so wonderful an instance of it. We have ^o reason 


of importance waa educed. Mr. Turner maintained tbe 
same reluctance to leading off even to the end ; and Mr. 

to think that such a matter would hare been only insinuated in general 
words, and not have been plainly related. The triumph of Christ orer 
principalities and powers is ascribed by St. Paul to his cross, and was 
the effect and result of his death. The place of St. Peter seems to relate 
to the preaching to the Gentile world, by virtue of that inspiration that 
was deriyed from Christ ; which was therefore caUed Ms apirit ; and the 
sphriu m prUon were the GentiUa, who were shut up in idolatry as m 
prison, and so were under the power of the * prince of the |)ower of the 
air,' who is called * the god of this world ; * that is, of the Gentile 
world ; it being one of the ends for which Christ was anointed of his 
Father, *to open the prisons to them that were bound."* — See an 
article by Ber. J. 0. Skinner, in TVumpcf, toI. xxy. p. 146. 

These authorities are two or three centuries old. We omit many of 
more recent date. In 1836 Mr. Ballon said : 

"As to forming an opinion on what are considered, by the most 
learned writers of different sentiments, difficult passages of Scripture, I 
feel not a little occasion to be cautions, and to avoid an unreasonable 
oonfiddnoe. It is true that I became satisfied, in my own mind, many 
years ago, on those passages, and wrote what I thought their meaning 
was, and published what I wrote, in a periodical entitled TTu Cfoepd 
yuita$uj and the opinion which I then published is the same tiiat I 
now entertain. But I am free to confess that I have some reason to 
believe, that, if I had been on the stage of life at the time Peter was, 
and had been acquainted with him, and his manner of speaking and 
writing, this subject would have been to me less obscure than it now is. 
Long since I published my views of those passages, I became acquainted 
with Wakefield's translation of the New T^tament, and was confirmed, 
in some degree, in my views, by his rendering of the text, and his notes 
on the same." — See Thimpet of March 5th, of that year. 

Mr. Ballon did not believe in an intermediate state between death 
and the resurrection ; hence he saw no prison beyond the grave, nor 
plaoe for any. He said : 

** Let us duly consider this question : Do the Scriptures teach the doc^ 
trine of an intermediate sentient state between the death of the body and 
that resurrection into an immortal state, of which Jesus spake in his 
debate with the Sadducees, and of which St. Paul speaks in 1 Cor. 15 1 
Did Jesus ever speak of such a state 1 Paul, in 1 Cor. 15, speaks only 
of two states, — the earthy and the heavenly ; the mortal and theimmor« 


Ballou did not cease to remind him that it was for him 
to indicate the course which the discussion ought to take. 
Whether the controversy stopped because the parties be- 
lieved the further continuance would not be productive of 
good, or whether it was cut short by the suspension of 
the publication of the Gospel Visitant^ we do not know. 
This work was suspended in July, 1818.* We have no 
proof that the controversy between these two brethren 
was carried any further. A strange fatality has seemed 
to attend the discussion of this question of future pun- 
ishment, from the beginning. The same cordiality which 
had existed between them before the discussion never 
existed afterwards, greatly to the regret of Mr. B. It 

tal. He Bays, * The first iban Adam was made a living soul ; the second 
Adam was made a qaiokening sjpirit. Howbeit, that was not first which 
is spiritual, hut that which is natnral ; and afterward tiiat which in 
spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy ; the second man is the 
Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also tiiatare earthy; 
and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as 
we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of 
the heavenly.' Are candid Christians able to satisfy themselves, that 
between the first man Adam and the second man Adam there is a 
third 1 Can they see clearly that between the earthy and the heavenly 
there is a state which is neither earthy nor heavenly 1 It seems aU this 
must be done, in order to maintain this intermediate state. But I feel 
satisfied that whoever attempts to prove these things from the Scrip- 
tures wUi'find it hard to accomplish. — Trumpet^ as last quoted. 

* The Qospd Visiianty in which this controversy appeared, was pub- 
lished in two series. The first volume commenced in June, 1811, and 
was concluded in March, 1812. It made an octavo of two hundred and 
fifty-six pages. See vol. i. of this work, p. 354. There was then a 
hiatus of five years. The second volume, conducted by Messrs. Ballon 
and Turner, commenced in April, 1817, and was continued to July, 
1818, when it broke off abruptly, probably for the want of patronage ; 
though, as it was printed in Salem, it was, perhaps, interrupted by Mr. 
Ballou's removal to Boston. 


was one of the severest trials of his life to see the friend- 
ship of his hrother Turner lapguishing, which had been 
to him a source of so much joy for twenty-five years pre- 
vious. But it is not to be doubted that this controversy 
had one very important effect, namely, it confirmed Mr. 
Ballou in the belief that there would be neither sin nor 
sorrow beyond the grave, — a doctrine for the defence of 
which he was distinguished through the rest of his days. 
He swerved not, in a single instance, on that subject. 
He was very desirous to preserve the peace of the de- 
nomination ; he saw no reason why this question should 
make difficulty among brethren, any more than any other. 
But we shall have occasion to speak of this subject again 
in another place. 



The celebrated Dr. Enunons, of Frtfnklin, Mass., had 
caused to be published a volume of '' Sermons on some 
of the First Principles and Doctrines of True Religion." 
One of these sermons was designed to prove the fact of 
reprobation to endless torture. It was founded on the 
history of Pharaoh, the text being ExO||9: 16: ^'In 
very deed for this cause have I raised 1^ up." The 
doctor sought to prove the three following propositions : 
1st, That God did destroy Pharaoh. 2d, That he raised 
him up to fit him for destruction. And 3d, That he is 
to be justified in the act. By the destruction of Pha- 
raoh, the dector meant his being doomed to endless tor- 
ture in the future state. Mr. B. showed that the pillars 
on which the doctor's theory rested were his own 



unsupported assertions. Grod did indeed destroy Pha- 
raoh, but there was no proof whatsoever that Pharaoh 
will be endlessly miserable. The doctor maintained 
that "the Deity threatened to cut oflf Pharaoh from the 
earth, which plainly implies something more than merely 
taking his life." If this were not true, the doctor's sys- 
tem fell to the ground. It was sheer sophistry in the 
sight of Mr. Ballou, who said, in reply, " If our preacher 
be right in this assertion, and if cutting Pharaoh off from 
the earth necessarily^ impUes something more than barely 
putting an end to his life, then barely putting an end to 
his life would not have cut him off from, the earth." 
Thus the doctor's system was brought down with one 
blow. The doctor sought to prove that the inhabitants 
of Sodom were made endlessly miserable. Mr. B. called 
to his aid the passage (Lam. 4:6), "For the punish- 
ment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is 
greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that 
was overthrown as in a moment, and no hand stayed on 
her." Now, said Mr. BallOu, " K the punishment of the 
sin of Sodom were 'eternal destruction,' how can the 
punishment of the iniquity of Jerusalem be greater 7 " 
After all the doctor had done for the purpose of describ- 
ing the hardness of Pharaoh's heart, Mr. B. said he had 
not succeeded in representing it to be as hard as he made 
the heart of God, and the heart of the saints in heaven. 

We commend those who wish to judge of the power of 
Mr. Ballou in a review or a controversy, to read the fol- 
lowing paragraphs, which close up his strictures on Dr. 
Emmons' sermon : 


" Why did Pharaoh oppress the children of Israel? Answer, 
for the promotion of his own worldly glory. Would he have 
been thus cruel, if he had not believed that he should promote his 
own interest by it? No. Why does God exercise this unmerciful 
Tengeanceon his creatures? Hear the doctor's answer. 'God 
made Pharaoh for himself, as well as for the day of eril. And he 
would not have made him for the day of evil, had it not been 
necessary, in order to declare his own glory. God has the same 
end to answer, by bringing all the non-elect into existence. He 
intends they shall be the means of displaying his ovm glory, both 
in time and eternity.* Now, let tibie mind be &ee from all preju- 
dice and superstition, and let it answra the following question : 
Which should you choose to be, Pharaoh '» bondman, or God's non- 
elect ? Let the question be put to the doctor himself, Which 
would he choose, to be Pharaoh's bondman in Egypt, or God's 
non-elect in hell ? There is no doubt that he would choose to be 
Pharaoh's bondman ; and if so, it is a fiict, whether he will own 
it or not, that he has a better opinion of Pharaoh than he has of 

<' K, in extenuation of this most horrible character given to the 
Deity, it be said that he treats the elect infinitely better than he 
does the non-elect, this only makes the matter worse. It shovro 
that, while ho could do better, he is infinitely partial and unmer- 
ciful. Therefore, the soul that feels the heavenly dignity of 
impartiality would as soon decline being one of the elect as he 
would shrink from the lot of the non-elect. It was a mean and 
contemptible service to be Pharaoh's fiivorite, to lord it over the 
Hebrew slaves ; and had these taskmasters been in possession of 
those divine qualities of mind which elevate the soul above low 
selfishness, they Would have been ashamed of their office. We 
may now notice what the doctor says concerning the blessed in 
heaven. The following are his words : * It is absolutely necessary 
to approve of the doctrine of reprobation, in order to be saved. 
None can be admitted to heaven who are not prepared to join in 
the employments as well as the enjoyments of the heavenly world. 
And we know that one part of the business of the blessed is to cel- 
ebrate the doctrine of reprobation. While the decree of reproba- 


tion is eternally executing on the yeseels of wrath, the smoke of 
their torments will be eternally ascending in the view of the vessels 
of mercy, who, instead of taking the part of those miserable 
objects, vnll say amen, Alleluia, praise ye the Lord.' This he calls 
a ' touchstone,' by which we must stand or fall. All who have 
not a heart which perfectly accords with this eternal reprobation 
' must be excluded from the abodes of the blessed, and sink 
speechless into the bottomless pit of despair.' With these sweet 
words the reverend doctor closes his sermon, — a sermon which will 
serve as a monument of human weakness and beggarly supersti- 
tion, when its author, as we confidently hope, will rest in the 
arm of that merciful God whom he has so misrepresented. In 
the above passage quoted from the sermon, the preacher makes 
our cordial willingness that our fellow-creatures should be eter- 
nally reprobated to endless torments an indispensable condition 
of salvation. All men who are not willing their dearest connec- 
tions in life should be endlessly miserable, must be made so them- 
selves ! This sentiment is too absurd to need any argument to 
refute it. Did our blessed Saviour preach in this way ? Did he 
who gave himself a ransom for all men, who prayed for his 
enemies, and who teaches us to pray for our enemies, ever inform 
us that we must be eternally miserable if we are not willing that 
others should be so ? Jesus, to whom shall we go 1 Thou hast 
the words of everlasting life." 

' I 


Mr. Ballou had been but a short time in Boston before 
he began to receive texts from inquirers after truth, with 
requests that he would preach from them. Some wished 
to hear one text explained, and some another ; and these 
were generally such as had been used to support the doc- 
trine of future or endless punishment. There was gen- 
erally a desire expressed that these sermons might be 
published, as we have shown in reference to the one 


which was the cause of the controversy with Rev. T. 
Merritt. On the second Sabbath in February, he brought 
out a sermon on Hebrews 9 : 27, 28, '* Afid as it is 
appointed unto men once to die, but after this the 
judgfnent,^^ &c. Some other sermons were also pub- 
lished this summer. The call for the publication of Mr. 
B.'s sermons led him to contemplate a series of Sunday- 
evening lectures on important subjects. This series 
embraced twenty-six, allowing one for each alternate 
Sabbath evening, for one year. They were published 
by Mr. Henry Bowen, separately, as preached ; and were 
bound, at the close, in an octavo volume. The subjects 
may be learned from the following table : 

1. The nature of salvation. — 1 Timothy 1 : 15. 

2. The divine character the model for our imitation.— 
Matthew 5 : 48. 

3. The law consiBtent with the promiBes. — GalatianB 3 : 21. 

4. Love the centre of all the divine attributes. — 1 John 4 : 16. 

5. Man originally made subject to vanity. — Romans 8 : 20. 

6. Salvation impartial and uniyersal. — Isaiah 25 : 6—8. 

7. Sense in which the wicked are destroyed. — Malachi 4:1. 

8. History of Joseph an illustration of the process of Ohrisfa 
kingdom. — Deuteronomy 33 : 1^, 17. 

9. Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. — Matthew 12 : 31, 32. 

10. The scriptural doctrine of election. — Romans 11: 7. 

11. Reconciliation of the world through Christ. — 2 Corin- 
thians 5 : 18—20. , 

12. All men drawn to Christ. — John 12 : 32. 

13. Christ sowing good seed in tears. — Psalm 126 : 6. 

14. On entering into life maimed ; and being cast into hell.— 
Mark 9 : 43, 44. 

15. All men the children of God ; destruction of the devil.— 
Hebrews 2: 14,15. 



16. The second death. — Revelation 21 : 8. 

17. Salvation a deliverance from error and sin through the 
mercy of God.— 2 Timothy 1 : 9, 10. 

18. Explanation of Matthew 24 and 25.— Matthevr 25 : 46. 

19. Righteousness and wickedness recompensed on earth.— 
Proverbs 11: 31. 

20. Divine goodness in the punishment of rebellious nations. 
Ez^el 16 : last of 30. 

21. Vexation of false religion. — Isaiah 28 : last of 19. 

22. God's love to dnners the cause of Christ's mission.— 
Romans 5:8. 

23. The resurrection a state of holiness and bliss. — 1 Thessalo- 
nians 4 : 13. 

24. The '* resurrection of life," and the " resurrection of 
damnation." — John 5 : 28, 29. 

25. All God's judgments flow from love. — Zephaniah 3 : 17. 

26. The healing efficacy of Christ's doctrine. — Mark 5 : 31. 


These lectures did vast good in spreading the knowl* 
edge of the Scriptures as understood by Mr. Balloa 
throughout the country. Universalism received a new 
impulse in New England. Kot only were the lectures 
attended by immense crowds ^ but, being published, they 
were carried more or less into the interior towns, — not in 
large numbers of copies to each place, but the brethren 
and fathers in Universalism never failed, when they came 
to Boston, to purchase them, one copy for their own use, 
and a few to lend to inquirers. Strangers who were in 
town on Sundays frequently attended on these lectures ; 
and, in the winter especiaUy, were seen in the congrega- 
tion large numbers of the members of the Legislature, 
who could not then return to their homes on Saturday 


evening as easily as they have done since the era of rail- 
roads began. By these means the seed sown by Mr. B. 
was widely scattered, and took root in many places where 
Universalism had not been known before, there to begin 
a new growth of the word, which should increase, bear 
fruit, ripen its seed, and scatter them in its turn. 

We cannot close this brief notice of the so-called 
"Lecture-sermons," without introducing a few pant- 
graphs from the conclusion of the last, and, of course, 
£rom the end of the volume. They show the strong 
desire of the preacher to promote the spiritual welfare of 
his hearers. It will be seen, from the table we have 
given, that the text was, " Tkou seest the mtiUitvde 
thronging thee^ and sayest thou, Who touched me ? " 
Mark 5 : 31. 

" The motiTes which influenoed the mnltitade, who thiongod 
Jesas as he went to the house of Jurus, were no doubt yarious. 
Some, probably, saw Jesus now for the first time, and were highly 
incited with the hope of seeing a miracle wrought. Perhaps 
others were his bitter enemies, and were on the look-out to dis- 
ooyer some fraud or deception in the man. Some went in the 
crowd because others were going, for the sake of the company. 
Some, no doubt, went from the laudable motive of giving their 
countenance and support to the divine teacher, in whom they most 
sincerely believed. Some, yery likely, were there who had experi- 
enced tiie healing power of the Redeemer, and were happy to 
have an opportunity of se^g a miracle of mercy again performed. 
But among the whole, there was one distressed woman, whose 
mind vms far from speculative contemplations. She was impelled 
to press through the crowd, that she might be healed of her ovm 

<< As it was with the multitude, who, on various occasions, 
thronged around the Saviour in the days of his ministry on earth, 


when some for one motive and some for another joined those vast 
assemblies, so, no doubt, it is with those who now assemble where 
the healing doctrine of Jesus is preached. Some go from curiosity ; 
some from habit ; some from fashion ; some to keep the company 
of others ; some, we hope, go because they love the words of ever- 
lasting life ; and now and then one, perhaps, who, feeling the 
infirmity of his ovm sinful heart, goes vdth a determination to 
press through every obstacle and come to Jesus, who is the vmy, 
the truth, and the life, — the fountain opened for sin and 

<' While delivering this course of lectures, your servant has often 
thought of the possible motives which occasioned such uncommon 
assemblies to crowd every part of this house ; and a hope has been 
entertained that, among the many, a few, at least, were striving to 
find him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write. 
A fervent desire has been exercised that the doctrine of our 
blessed Redeemer might be held up to the view of the hearers, 
that they might reach forth the hand of fiEiith, and lay hold on the 
hope which is set before them. 

« Being taught by the Saviour, we did not indulge in an expecta- 
tion that the word of truth would be received and kept by all who 
heard it. Jesus represented the success of his own preaching by 
the instructive parabl^ of the sower, who went forth to sow : ' And 
as he sowed some seeds fell by the vraynside, and the fowls came 
and devoured them up. Some fell upon stony places, where they 
had not much earth ; and forthvdth they sprang up, because they 
had no deepness of earth, and when the sun vras up they veere 
scorched; and because they had no root they vnthered away. 
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up and 
choked them. But others fell into good ground, and brought 
forth fruit, some an hundred-fold, some sixty-fold, some thirty- 
fold.' Ksuch has been the success of my feeble efforts to propa- 
gate the gospel of the kingdom in this place, surely we have 
reason to be thankful to the Lord of the vineyard. If, while the 
enemies of the word have, like the birds in the parable, taken 
away that which was sown in the heart ; if, while the spirit of per- 


Eecution, agitating ihe tongae of censure, has caused many to 
shrink from a steady perseverance in what they gladly received ; 
if, while the cares of the world, the deoeitfulness of riches, and the 
lust of other things, have, like thorns, sprang up and choked the 
word in some, — others have received it in good and honest hearts, 
have retained the precious grain, and brought forth fruit to the 
honor of God, our labors have not been in vain, our exertions are 
amply revnurded. 

*' In this last of the course of lectures proposed for publication, 
in its conclusion, I vnll call on all who hear to form the reso- 
lution which enabled the woman to press through the crowd 
and come to Jesus. Strive, to the utmost of your well-directed 
abilities and means, to come to the knowledge of the Saviour's 

" Is it not the case with many, as It was with the woman, that 
you have spent much and suffered many things of those ' physi- 
cians of no value,' who have endeavored to heal you with the 
doctrines and commandments of men? and do you not find that, 
after all, you are none the better ? Have you found peace in 
believing that our heavenly Father has elected some to everlasting 
life, and reprobated the rest to endless woe ? Have you found that 
all your plague is healed by fancying that you are elected unto 
life eternal, while your companions apd children may be devoted 
to everlasting sorrow ? Can such medicine as this make you per- 
fectly whole ? No, but in the bitterness of your souls, when you 
look on your little ones, and believe that they are exposed to 
endless ruin, you cry out, as Abraham did, < that Ishmael might 
live before the Lord ! ' Come, then, my friends, to the peaceful 
doctrine of Jesus, who took little children in his arms and blessed 
them, and said, <of such is the kingdom of heaven.' O, the 
peace there is in believing this testimony! It overcomes the 
plague of unbelief, and fills the heart 'with joy ! 

" Can you find any real relief from the power of a carnal heart, 
by believing that your immortal state depends on your own good 
works in this imperfect state? Do you feel whole from all your 
plagues, by believing in this prevailing doctrine, which rests the 
weight of eternity on the imperfect works of mortality and time? 

58 LIFE OF H03EA BALLOU. A. D. 1819. 

This doctrine of human contrivance always associates the ' heart- 
chilling' dogma of endless misery for those who come short of 
their duty with every pleasing prospect of a world of joy for those 
who by their good works win the immortal prize. like the doc- 
trine of election and reprobation, it makes an eternal separation 
between those of the most endearing connections on earth. Why 
is there so much mourning, so much gloom, on the countenances 
of those who hope to gain immortal glory by their works ? Is it 
because they have pressed through the superstitions of the church, 
and caught hold of the^rments of the Saviour ? No. Let such 
come to the Saviour's doctrine, and believe that the gift of God is 
eternal life, and they shall find peace in believing, and joy in the 
Holy Ghost. 

" Nothing short of that which God has implanted in the soul 
can satisfy the mind. The apostle says, ' The word is nigh thee, 
even in thy heart and in thy mouth, the word of faith which we 
preach.' This word of faith is the gjift of God, which is eternal 
life in Jesus ; and nothing short of this can satisfy the mind. 
While we oppose this principle, we oppose our own happiness ; 
and while we shut one individual of the human &mily avray from 
this word of life, we* bring death to our own souls in so doing. 

'* Some are so embarrassed vnth one doctrine, and some with 
another, that they are prevented from coming to the doctrine of 
Jesus. Many, very many, are striving to feed on the husks that 
the unclean eat, and neglect to eome to Christ. The vanities of 
youth, the pride and &shions of the age, keep thousands back 
from coming to the purifying religion of Jesus ; and yet his will- 
ing, his gracious arms are extended, as in the last day, that great 
day of the feast, when he stood and cried, ' If any man thirst, let 
him come to me and drink.' 

" To conclude : My Christian friends, I feel it my duty as well 
as pleasure, when I reflect on the more than ordinary attention 
which you have paid to these lectures, and the libei^ patronage with 
which you have favored their publication, to tender you my most 
grateful acknowledgments. And, while I am constrained deeply 
to regret that my labors should come so short of the great subjects 
on which I have treated, I humbly prostjrate my soul before God, 


and implore his forgiyeneaB in every particular wherein I have 
erred through ignorance or infirmity ; and earnestly entreat that 
these feeble e£fbrt8 may be attended with the bleesing of him who 
fed thousands of men, women and children, with so small a por- 
tion. And to his name alone be all the glory ! — Ahxn." 


It was not possible that Mr. B. should produce the 
effect he did in Boston, without its being felt in other 
parts of New England. Universalists were scattered in 
small numbers about iiie country (for up to this time 
Universalism had not preyailed very extensively) ; and 
they felt strong and increasing desires to have the blessed 
doctrine they believed preached in the towns in which 
they lived. This was especially the case with the elder 
Universalists, who felt desirous that the sons and 
daughters might feel their hearts impressed with the 
truth as the hearts of the fathers and mothers had been. 
They prayed God to grant them this privilege, and then, 
like Simeon, they would die in peace. Such strong 
desires were followed by energetic action, in cases where 
it was practicable. Mr. Ballou's ear was always open to 
the call, '' Come over and help us." When no other 
place could be obtained, the generous old &rmer would 
throw open the doors of his spacious house to thcx people. 
The preacher would take the most convenient position 
for addressing them as they sat in all the rooms. The 
discreet old matron had no carpets to be spoiled by the 
crowd ; and, if her almost snow-white floors should be 
soiled, she knew how to make them white again. One 
old mother said) on Mr. Ballou expressing his regret, after 


the people were gone, that they had caused her so much 
trouble, " Never mind it, Br. Ballon ; I will have every- 
thing nice again before breakfast to-morrow morning. If 
you could wash away the errors and sins of the people as 
easily as I can take away the stains they have left on my 
floors, your labors would be much more easy than they 
are now." He smiled, and replied, " Sister, I thank you 
for your patience." But meetings were holden in private 
houses only when necessary. If a school-house or a 
hall could be obtained, it was preferred ; and a meeting- 
house was still more an object of desire in such cases. 
Sometimes the school-committee would refuse to have the 
Bchool-house used; and often, when their consent was 
obtained, the schoolmaster [who in nine cases out of tea 
would sympathize with the opponents of Universalism] 
would be out of town, not to return till the next day, 
and unfortunately he would have the key in his pocket. 
Many kinds of discouragements were resorted to for the 
purpose of preventing the Universalists from holding 
meetings, or the people firom attending them. The places 
where they met were sometimes called, by the '4ewd 
fellows of the baser sort," offices of '^ insurance against 
hell-fire." The preachers were stigmatized as ''the 
devil's agents," and their doctrine as '' the devil's* doc- 
trine." Mr. Ballou bore all these taunts with meekness. 
He knew that the bigotry of the people was stimulated 
by the efforts of their religious teachers, who hated the 
doctrine of impartial love and mercy with what they con- 
sidered a godly hatred. At any rate, it was a very 
bitter hatred. Contentions often arose about the right 
of Universaliats to have preachers of their fidth officiate 


in the meeting-hoiuses built by the towns, a proportionate 
number of Sabbaths, according to the taxes paid by them 
and the rights they had in the house. In these disputes 
Mr. Ballou never interfered, for he never claimed to bo 
a judge of human law. When permission had been 
gained firom the selectmen, or any other competent 
authority, he was not to be intimidated from entering the 
house, even if the opposers threatened to lay hands upon 
him, or to bring suits at law against him. 


As an illustration of what we have said, we here pro- 
ceed to relate an event which occurred in 1819, in 
Atkinson, N. H., a small town on the southern border of 
that state, and adjoining. Haverhill, Mass. Mr. Ballou 
had preached there once, while he lived in Portsmouth, 
in November, 1811, from 1 Timothy 2 : 1 — 4. Unques- 
tionably, a doctrinal sermon. The brethren there had no 
doubt that they had the same rights in the meeting- 
house that any other class of the citizens had, and they 
asked the liberty to enjoy them. At a town-meeting, it 
had been decided by a proper vote that the house should 
be opened to the several denominations of Christians ; and 
a committee had been appointed to apportion the Sabbaths 
to each sect, according to its claims. The Sabbaths being 
thus determined upon, the TJniversalists wrote to Mr. 
Ballou, and he agreed to visit them on the last Sabbath in 
May, 1819, the most lovely season of the year. In the 
mean time the venerable Congregational pastor. Rev. 
Stephen Peabody, was drawing towards the close of his 


62 UFB OF HOSSA BALLOU. A. D. 1819» 

earthly career ; and, in fact, he died on the week previoas 
to Mr. Ballou's expected visit. He was buried upon 
Thursday ; the meeting-house was arrayed in mourning 
drapery ; and, as was customary, one of the Congrega- 
tionalist clergymen of the vicinity was to have been present 
on the next Sabbath to preach an appropriate discourse. 
The Universalists regretted that their appointment inter- 
fered with the services on the Sabbath after the funeral 
of the clergyman ; and they therefore said to one of the 
deacons of the church that, under the circumstances, they 
would give up the meeting-house for the next Sunday, 
if they could be permitted to use the academy, of which 
the deacon referred to had the control. He refused the 
academy, and said further, **We are as willing you 
should occupy the meeting-liouse on the next Sunday as 
any Sunday in the year, for we do not mean you shall 
occupy it at all." It then became a question, not of 
courtesy and Christian sympathy, but of right ; and the 
Universalists took measures to secure the house. 

In the mean time, the leaders of the Orthodox party in 
Atkinson addressed to Mr. Ballou the following letter, 
which they sent him by mail to Boston, and which he 
received before he started for Atkinson : 

" Atkinson, May 22, 1819. 

"Rev. HosBA Ballou. 

" Sir : By a notificatioii posted up at the meetiog-house in thin 
town, on the 9th instant, it appears that you are expected to 
preach in that house on the last Sunday of the present month. 

" We take the liberty to state to you the following circumstances 
for your consideration. The house was built for a Congregational 
meeting-house, and the Congregational society has worshipped in 


it undisturbed on the Sabbath for nearly fifty years, from its 
building to the present time. We have no acquaintance with you, 
but we hope you cherish the feelings of a gentleman ; and we 
know it does not comport with the dignity of such feelings to dis* 
turb a society in their worship so long established. 

'' The committee who assumed to asdgn the meeting-house to the ' 
Uniyersalists in this town acted under a kind of yote of the town. 
This vote we consider nugatory, and of no effect. It is within the 
recollection of persons now living that the house was built by 
voluntary contribution, and the pews sold to discharge the 
expense ; and by the records of the town it appears that the town 
refused to accept of it as the property of the corporation. It will 
suggest itself to you whether the pew-owners have not a right 
paramount to the town. The vote was nugatory, also, for want 
of an object in the warning which the statute requires. The 
assignment was nugatory, as it vras voted that the committee 
should consist of six ; three only acted in the assignment. 

'< The principal part of the Congregational society have had a 
meeting since the said notice, and passed the following resolves, 

'< < Resolved, That the Congregational society of Atkinson have a 
just and legal right to the use and occupancy of the meeting- 
house in said tovm, on the Sabbath, or Lord's day, for public 
worship, without any let or hindrance whatever. 

" ' Resolved, That it is the daty of this society to meet as usual 
at the meeting-house for public worship on the Sabbath. 

" * Resolved, That whatever person or persons shall disturb or 
molest this society in their public worship on the Sabbath shall 
be considered and dealt vdth as disturbers of the peace, and of the 
public worship of God.' 

" The undersigned were appointed a committee to carry the last 
resolve into effect. 

" We have deemed it proper to give you this information, having 
been informed you mode particular inquiry of your employer, as 
though you did not wish to interfere. When you see the feelings 
and views of the society in Atkinson, as before stated, we cannot 
believe you will interfere in a case so delicately circumstanced. 


But, should you think otherwise, and any unpleasant consequences 
should result to you, or your friends here, from your leading your 
people in Boston, and coming hereto preach in this meeting-house, 
you will ha^e the candor to acknowledge you were apprized of 
the existing difficulties previous to your coming. 

" We are respectfully your humble servants, 

** John Vosb, 
"Stephen Peabody, 
" Greenleaf Clark. 

"P. S. — May 25th. Since writing the above, namely, on 
Sunday last, the Eev. Stephen Peabody died. His obsequies will 
be attended on Thursday next. The desk will be clothed in mourn- 
ing, and vdll doubtless, as usual, be supplied on many succeeding 
Sabbaths by the association to which he belonged." 


Notwithstanding the reception of this letter a day or 
two before Mr. Sallou was to start for Atkinson, he 
resolved to go, and inquire more fully into the circum- 
stances after his arrival. He decided, on hearing the 
facts, that the Universalists had done all that could be 
reasonably asked of them ; and, if they occupied the 
meeting-house on the Sunday after the funeral of the 
clergyman, it would be because their opponents compelled 
them to do so, by refusing them the use of the academy. 
It was announced to the deacons on Saturday, by one of 
the fathers of the town, a TJniversalist, that he had the 
key of the meeting-house, and that Mr. Ballou would 
preach therein on the next day. In consequence of 
reports of violence, a watch was placed inside the house, 
for Saturday night, with instructions to ascertain who 
came to break open the doors. This was done because a 
window had been forced and all the doors thrown open 


on Saturday afternoon; but they were at once closed 
again, and barred. At daybreak on Sunday a person 
came with an apparent intent to make an entry ; but, on 
being called by name from within, he desisted. The 
doors remained closed until nearly meeting-time, when 
Mr. Ballou entered and took his place in the pulpit; and 
then the people immediately filled the house in every 
part. The Rev. Isaac Brown, of Londonderry (the old- 
est minister in the GoDgregationalist Association), with 
two of the Orthodox committee, came in just as Mr. Bal- 
lou commenced the services ; and the clergyman ascended 
the stairs to the pulpit-door. Waiting till Mr. Ballou 
had concluded the reading of the chapter, Mr. Brown 
said, '' Sir, do you expect to render divine service here 
to-day?" Mr. Ballou replied, ''I do, sir."— '*By 
what authority? " To which Mr. Ballou said, " I have 
my authority, sir, from the* selectmen of Atkinson." 
Mr. Brown then remarked, ^' 0, 1 must inquire of the 
committee how I must proceed." Messrs. Yose and 
Peabody (the committee of the Orthodox part of the 
parish — the latter the son of the deceased clergyman) 
consulted together, when Mr. Yose looked up to the pul- 
pit and said, '^ Mr. Brown, as we are disturbed, we will 
withdraw and go to the academy." 

Mr. Ballou. continued his services through the day 
without any further molestation, much to the strengthen- 
ing and comfort of his brethren. He disliked conten- 
tion as deeply as any man ; but, when the path before 
him was in his judgment the path of duty, no man could 
frighten him. The attendance through the day was 
immense : and his sermons were remembered through all 


66- LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1819. 

that region for years. There was a threat given out that 
he would be arrested early on Monday morning for dis- 
turbing the Gongregationalists in their worship, and he 
waited several hours on that account ; but no officer came, 
nor were the Universalists ever excluded from that 
meeting-house after that day, on any Sabbath when it 
belonged to them. 

Such is a plain narrative of an event which made a 
great excitement at the time, and concerning which many 
contradictory stories have been told. It shows the oppo- 
sition which Universalists frequently had to meet in sup- 
porting their rights, and the way in which they deported 
themselves in the midst of these exciting scenes. Mr. 
Murray in the first place, and Mr. Ballou afterwards, 
both did much in asserting the religious liberties of the 


Almost the only unhappy effect attending the removal 
of Mr. Ballou to Boston, was the increase of alienation 
which it caused on the part of the pastor of the First 
Universalist Society in the town. On a subject so pain- 
ftil we desire to use few words ; but it will be impossible 
to do full justice to Mr. Ballou without making mention 
of it. Mr. Dean made a most unhappy mistake in sup- 
posing that Mr. Ballou's removal to Boston (an event 
which he seems to have anticipated for some two or three 
years) would have an evil effect either on the cause of 
truth or on himself. But, in consequence of that .error 
in his mind, the relations between tibe two were almost 


entirely broken up. Mr. B. had hoped — and it was 
hard for him to surrender the hope — that he should be 
able to overcome the animosity on the part of his brother 
Dean and others, by proving himself to be, what he really 
was — a brother to them. But, even, if doomed to dis- 
appointment in this respect, he was persuaded that no 
blindness or enmity in others would justify him in enter- 
taining a spirit of retaliation. It would have been more 
than could be expected of a human being, that the 
opposition he was called to meet should not have some 
effect upon him. At times he was obliged to defend him- 
self from reports and insinuations, which, if left uncon- 
tradicted, would seriously have affected his character. 
Very few men would have borne these things with the 
meekness and the forgiving spirit in which he bore them. 
We shall aim, in the chapters that follow, to dwell upon 
this subject no further than a &ithful record of the train 
of events shall render necessary. 



FROM* JULY 1819 TO JULY 1821. 

The events of the preceding eighteen months had been 
exceedingly important in the life of Mr. Ballon. He had 
accomplished more for the spread of truth, and for the 
building up of the cause he so deeply loved, than he had 
ever done before in the same time. He had reason to 
'' thank God and take courage." 


In the month of July, 1819, came out the first number 
of the Universallst Magazine^ of which Mr. Ballon 
was editor, which was the first TJniversalist newspaper 
published in the United States, and probably in the 
world. This publication took its rise in the following 
manner. There was a young man, a member of Mr. 
Ballou's society, Mr. Henry Bowen (whom we have 
before mentioned), a printer by occupation, who was 


publishing a small quarto sheet, entitled The Weekly 
Magazine and Ladies^ Miscellany. It had not suc- 
ceeded well as to patronage ; and it occurred to Mr. 
Bowen, who had found a large sale for Mr. Ballou's ser- 
mons, which he had published, that a weekly paper, 
edited by Mr. B., would be more profitable, and fer more 
useful, than the paper upon which he was engaged. On 
suggesting the matter to Mr. Ballou, he expressed his 
fears of a failure, as it was something so novel ; but Mr. 
Bowen reasoned that the materials which he employed to 
get out his Weekly Magazine would answer just as 
well for the Universalist Magazine ; and that he had 
better make the attempt with the new paper than to con- 
tinue the old one. Obtaining Mr. Ballou's consent to 
act as editor, if the work went on, Mr. Bowen issued his 

This paper commenced just as Mr. Bowen closed the 
publication of the '' Lecture-sermons." The first num- 
ber appeared on July 8, 1819. A copy of that number 

* The following is the prospeotua : 

" Proposal by Henry Bonfen, Congress-street, Boston, for pnblishing a 
new weekly paper, to be entitled the UniversaUst Magazine, devoted to 
doctrine, religion and morality. Edited by the Ber. Hosea Ballou. 

*' The Universalist Magazine will be neatly printed on good paper, in 
a qnarto form, and pablished every Saturday. It will be commenced on 
the 3d of July, if a sufficient number of subscribers should be obtained 
to warrant the undertaking. 

" The price will be $2.50 per annum, payable in advance, on the 
delivery of the first number. No subscription received for a less term 
than one year. 

<' All communications addressed to the publisher or editor must bo 
post paid. 

<* Those who hold subscription papers are requested to make return of 
the number of subscribers obtained to the publisher." 


now lies before me, four pages quarto, which measures 
just twelve inches by nine and a half. It was furnished at 
two dollars and a half per annum ; and commenced with a 
quite respectable list of subscribers, which the popularity 
of the editor had attracted. The leading object of the 
paper, as defined by him in the first number, was to aid 
the growth of truth [or doctrine], religion and morality. 
Whatever correspondents might contribute to aid in these 
objects would be gratefully received; nor would the 
editor exclude articles advocating doctrines opposite to 
his own, if written in a proper spirit, provided he should 
retain the liberty of pointing out any errors that seemed 
to be of a dangerous tendency. He desired to see more 
charity among difierent denominations of Christians ; he 
therefore invited different secta to present their views, 
*' clothed in their most simple light, and shining in their 
purest lustre." He answered the objections which might 
arise in tender minds, in having a religious paper thus 
open to the communications of all sects ; and he showed 
that this fact was what made it a Universalist paper, 
namely, a paper open to all. He invited his ministering 
brethren to write for the columns of the little Maga- 
zine ; and if any persons were oppressed with sorrow, 
that right views on the suly'ect of -religion would heal, 
they were invited to make their sorrow known through 
the medium of this sheet, and perhaps something might 
be said in reply that would give " rest to their souls." 
If any needed light in regard to difficult passages of 
Scripture, he would hear and answer their queries, if 
he was so happy as to understand the proposed subject 
himself But everything must be free from asperity ; 


and although controversy was not only admissible, but 
desirable, yet, in order to secure its admission, '' it must 
appear in the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit." 
Saturday was chosen as the day of publication, that the 
subscribers might have a paper profitable for Sabbath 
reading. It was to be principally devoted to doctrine, 
religion and morality. By doctrine, Mr. Ballou meant 
a system of divine truth founded on the nature and attri- 
butes of the Supreme Being. '' No tenet, no opinion 
can be true, however generally it may be received, how- 
ever long it may have passed for orthodoxy, unless it be 
in harmony with the divine attributes." " Religion is a 
most important concern, between a rational, moral being 
and his Maker. It recognizes the relation in which the 
reasonable soul stands to God, and predicates all its 
requirements on that relation. It directs the eye of the 
mind to observe with careful inspection the wisdom and 
goodness of the divine economy ; and to acknowledge, 
with the full and entire acquiescence of the whole heart, 
the obligation which such goodness imposes." Morality, 
Mr. Ballou supposed, bore the same relation to religion 
that religion bore to doctrine. " As- true and vital reli- 
gion, or piety, is the natural offspring of a knowledge of 
the pure doctrine of divine truth, so morality is the 
necessary production of vital religion." Such were the 
principles on which he commenced the Universalist 

* This paragraph calls to mind the manner in which the writer of this 
biography first became acquainted with the UniversaUst Magazine. At 
the time of the commencement of that paper, he was an apprentice to a 
boot-maker in State-street, Boston — at work in a back room of the third 



Mr. Ballou at this time believed in no future exist- 
ence except that of life and immortality. He did not 
believe in the existence of sin and misery after death. 
But he did not press this subject unreasonably into his 
columns ; in fact, he was more reserved than some desired 
him to be. But he was driven into controversy. The 
editor of a paper entitled The Kaleidoscojie found fault 
because he was not sufficiently explicit pn this subject : 

" We also say that we cannot understand him. "We have not 
yet been able to ascertain, from reading several of his publica- 
tions, whether he believes in any future punishment, or none at ail. 
We have thus far been under the impression that he totally 
denies the doctrine of &ture punishment. J£ this is not the case, 
if he merely believes the ^ final restoration,^ so called, he stands 
on very different ground from what we have supposed. Till this 
point is ascertained, we deem it useless, if not worse, to continue 
the controversy." — Magazine for Aug. 21, 1819. 

storj, with his awl and waxed ends. A stranger came in, holding a 
paper in his hand, and asked if any one was present who desired to sab- 
scribe for the Universalist Magazine, a paper to be edited by Mr. Ballou. 
At onoe our soul responded '* Yes ; " but there was a difficulty in the 
way, namely, we had not the means to i>ay a year's subscription in 
advance. Mr. Bowen (for he was the stranger) willingly recorded the 
name, ** Thomas Whittemore," with the understanding that the young 
boot-maker would pay his subscription before the first half of the year 
expired, which was done. No other sheet I had ever read (excepting, 
^of course, the Bible) had the effect upon me which this magazine exerted. 
I longed weekly for the day to come on which 1 was to receive it ; and 
fVbm that day, through the nine years it was published, I regularly 
received and read every number. In less than three years from that 
time I became an assistant editor with Mr. Ballou, at his own sug- 


Mr. Balloa replied to this suggestion in the following 

<< Our friend in&rms us that he is unable to asoertain whether 
the editor of the Magazine * believes in saiy future puniskment, or 
none at alV And he now very respectfully requests to be informed 
on this subject ; for he thinks if we ' merely believe m final resto- 
ration, so called, we stand on very different ground from what he 
had supposed.' There seem to appear some strong intimations, 
in what he has here stated, that he has no objection to the doe- 
trine of the salvation of all men finally, if a future punishment 
can be allowed for a time. He says, ' If he merely believes the 
final restoration.' This form of expression should indicate that 
he has no particular objections to make, if this be the doctrine. 
Well, we will receive him on this ground with all cordiality. If 
he will allow that all mankind shall finally be reconciled to God, 
love and enjoy him through the power of his grace revealed in 
him who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due 
time, we will not disagree about the times and seasons which 
God holds in his own power, nor will we disagree on the quantity 
or duration of that chastisement which our Heavenly Father may 
administer for the sinner's profit." — Magazine of same date as 

The editor of the Kaleidoscope intimated, if Mr. B. 
believed in any future punishment at all, he stood on 
very different ground from what he [the said editor] had 
supposed. But Mr. B. held that, as it respects the desig7i 
of punishment, there was really no great difference 
between the two doctrines. He said : 

" We will endeavor to show him and our readers that the 
ground or principle is the same in both cases. That is, the Uni- 
versalist who believes that this mortal state, in flesh and blood, is 
the only state of sin and misery, stands on the same principle as 



does his brother i/rho believes thiat there may be a future state of 
discipline which will eventuate in bringing all sinners to a state 
of holiness and happiness. Neither diflference respecting the time 
when the creature is to be made happy, or the particular means 
by which this event is brought about, makes the least difference 
in principle. Two brothers, sons of the same father, may per- 
fectly agree in their sentiments respecting their parent. They 
both believe that he will not fidl to give them all the instruction 
they need, that his discipline over them is ,all designed for their 
benefit ; and yet they may entertain different views respecting 
time and means. One may think that they are to be kept at 
school till they are eighteen, the other may be of the mind that 
they are to be continued under tutors and governors a year 
longer ; yet both believe that their &.ther knows best, and will 
order their concerns according to his own wisdom and goodness. 
He who believes that all sufferings end with this mortal state, and 
he who believes that they end at the expiration of any other 
period, differ only as it respects time, not as it respects principle ; 
for both believe that all discipline is for the good of the puni^ed, 
and therefore the sentiment is the same." 


So far the two phases of doctrine were one in principle. 
The editor of the Kaleidoscope was a friend of the lately- 
embodied sect called Unitarians ; but he was very carefdl 
not to incur any danger of being considered a Uni- 

<< But the editor of the Kaleidoscope thinks it may be worse than 
useless < to continue the controversy,' until we decide the question 
whether we believe in future punishment or not. But why should 
this be the case ? Our controversy is not concerning the question 
which he here states ; we may say with propriety that this ques- 
tion has no immediate concern with the subject of our contro- 


Terey. He had pTomised to explain and defend ' rational and lilv- 
eial Christianity,' as distinguished from Uniyersalism ; and we 
have endeavored to keep him to his promise, but we do not sao- 
ceed ; and we think his sagacity has made the discovery that we 
were right in our opinion that he never would fulfil his promise. 
On a subject so vast, of such infinite importance, as the one em- 
braced in his promise, to discover any desire to avoid coming 
directly to the main question, in the most direct manner for 
decision, is a defect of such a character as gives us very disagree- 
able sensations. What has he answered to the numerous argu- 
ments which we have brought to disprove his statements 1 Noth- 
ing. What has he even pretended to say against universal salva- 
tion, that we have not fully refuted? Nothing. What next? 
A new question is started. Do we believe in future punishment, 
or not? Why does not our firiend act on the noble principle 
which would lead him to say, I cannot prove, neither by the 
Bible nor reason, that all men may not finally be saved, bat I 
think that future limited punishment may be supported? Then, 
if we disagreed at all, it would not be on principle ; it would only 
be concerning times, ways and meaiis,* 

One of the first paragraphs in which Mr. Ballon sought 
to expose the timid, conservative, policy of the Unitarians, 
who had just been driven to take open ground in respect 
to the doctrine of the Trinity, was the following : 

" It is worthy of notice with how much caution our editor 
puts his question : ^ If not inconsistent with his views and feelings, 
we respectfully request him to inform us and the public on this 

* As to the question "whether he believed in fntnre punishment, Mr. 
BftUon saw fit to answer it as follows : 

** But, after all, will it do to answer the question 1 There would be 
no danger, if we could say we believe in a state of future punishment, — 
that is, if no one would oall on us to prove it from the Scriptures. But 
there lies the diffioaUy. We are sensible we cannot prove that sin and 
misery will exist in a future state of being." 


point.' It is evident, from the manner in which this question is 
put, that the writer is sensible that public preachers have their 
profound secrets ! He consider the question here stated of such 
consequence that it may be worse than useless to proceed without 
its being answered, and yet he evidently supposes that it may not 
be consistent with our ^ views and feelings ' to give an answer. 
We believe that preachers, in general, are very careful not to let 
their hearers know what their sentiments are. This is inferable 
from the total ignorance of their hearers concerning their senti- 
ments. We may ask one person, Does your minister hold to the 
doctrine of particular election and reprobation? and he vnll 
answer. No. Ask another, who goes to the same meeting, he will 
answer. Yes. And so. it is generally vrith congregations. We are 
not authorized to find fault with preachers for their secrets, for, 
generally speaking, they have a right to them, for they are of 
human invention ; but whoever has the sentiments of the gospel 
has no right to withhold them from any. Notwithstanding we 
make these remarks, we charitably hope that all preachers declare 
their sentiments as far as they think it profitable to their hearers ; 
and, if any come a little short, it may be for self-interest, from 
which we cannot be free entirely." 


Mr. B. excited much attention, and did ipuch good, in 
the early days of the Magazine^ by his brief, pithy and 
felicitous replies to his opponents. The editor of the 
Kaleidoscope had attacked and had promised to defend 
what was " called rational and liberal Christianity, as 
distinguished from Roman Catholicism, Calvinism, Hop- 
kinsianism, Universalism and Deism." This was the 
first attack of the Unitarians on Mr. Ballou after he 
came to Boston ; and it was but a year or two before 
that time that the sect now bearing that name began to 


be known as such. The editor we have named had 
pressed upon Mr. Ballou's attention the case of Judas, 
and that of the thief on the cross, as evidences that Uni- 
yersalism could not be true. On the first point, after an 
extended reply, Mr. Ballou said : 

'< As Jesus, nor any writer in the Scriptuxes, has given any 
intimation that Judas would be a sufferer in the future state, what 
evidence have we to support the opinion that one who had fol- 
lowed Jesus in the regeneration,. was chosen of the Saviour and 
appointed to preach the gospel, and also endowed with divine 
power to work miracles in his name, is now in a state of torment, 
from which there is no deliverance? " — Magazine, vol. i. p. 14. 

In the second place, the editor of the Kaleidoscope 
desired to know, 

** K the two thieves, who were crucified with Jesus, were to fibre 
alike in the future state, why the ' Saviour did not tell them so at 
once, and thus prevent all doubts and fears, in afler time, respect- 
ing the future destiny of the finally impenitent ? ' " 

To this Mr. Ballou said : 

" The interrogator acknowledges that there was nothing said 
by the Saviour that decides the question respecting the future 
state of the unbelieving thief, We will, therefore, throw the 
question back, and ask the believer in endless unmerciful punish- 
ment, if the unbelieving thief was doomed to everlasting misery, 
why did not the Saviour say so at once, and thereby prevent the 
least hope of mercy for him 1 And, furthermore, if the Saviour 
did not intimate that this thief would be miserable in the future 
world, why should those who profess to believe in the Saviour as 
an allH9ufficient teacher feel under such strong obligations to 
believe in the horrible doctrine of endless misery in a special case, 


78 LIFE OF 'hOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1819. 

in which the Saviour gave no such intimation?" — Magazine, 
vol. I. 15. 

Dr. GriflSn, of Newark, N". J., had preached a sermon, 
regarded as very eloquent, in which Mr. Ballon found 
the following passage : 

<< Standing on^my watch-tower, I am commanded, if I see aught 
of evil coming, to give warning. I agam solemnly declare that I 
do discern evil approaching ; I see a storm collecting in the heav- 
ens : I discover the emotion of the troubled elements ; I hear the 
roar of distant wind ; heavai and earth seem mingled in th$ 
conflict, and I cry to those for whom I watch, -~ A storm ! A 
storm! Get you into the ark, or you are swept away. 0, what 
IS it I see ? I see a world convulsed and falling to ruins, the sea 
burning like oil, nations rising from underground, the sun falling, 
the damned in chains before the bar, and some of my poor hear- 
ers vrith them ! I see them cast from the battlements of the judg- 
ment scene ! My Qod ! the eternal pit has closed upon them for- 
ever ! " — Magazine, vol. i. 20. 

This was the true Griffin style. Mr. Ballon contrasted 
it with the passage (Isaiah 62: 7 — 10), "How beauti- 
ful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth 
good tidings, that publisheth peace," &c. ; and also with 
the description of our Lord's preaching at Kazareth, 
Luke 4 : 16 — 22, on which occasion the people " won- 
dered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his 
mouth." He then said : 

<<But what does our doctor declare? He declares < that the 
inviolable honor of heaven's King is enlisted, and is coming down 
to crush a rebellious world.' Then the facts are as follows : JesuB 
came not to condemn the world, but to save the world, and God's 
honor comes to crush the world ! 


<' The doctor told his audience that ho saw a storm collecting, 
a world convulsed and falling to ruins, the sea burning like oil, 
nations rising from under ground, the sun &lling, the damned in 
chains before the bar, and some of his poor hearers with them : 
he saw them cast from the battlements of the judgment scene ; 
the sight produced a kind of paroxysm, and he cried out, not 
* Father, forgive them,' but * My God ! the eternal pit has dosed 
upon them forever ! ' These were the greuious words that pro^ 
ceeded out of his motUh, 

" Now, as the Scriptures of divine truth give no account of this 
vision, and as it embraces certain things which are unreasonable 
and dishonorable to God, besides being calculated to terrify and 
trouble weak minds, and to answer no other purpose than to pro- 
mote wild and extravagant fiincies, fostered by priestcraft, and 
calculated to keep the people in ignorance, we ask why we may 
not call this passage, which some have described as pulpit elo- 
quence, — PULPIT PROFANITY? If the doctoT did absolutely, in a 
divine vision, see some of his hearers cast down from the battle- 
ments of the judgment scene, and the eternal pit dose upon them, 
could he expect to convert them by telling them their doom ? 
< To the law and to the testimony ; if they speak not according to 
this rule, it is because there is no light in them.' " — Magazine^ 
vol. I. 20. 

A pamphlet appeared about this time, containing the 
foUowing paragraph : 

'' This doctrine led Christopher Simpson, of England, to break 
open fifty houses, to steal thirty horses, and to commit paore rob- 
beries than he could recollect. All this he confessed on the day 
of his execution. It led Purrington, of Augusta, Me., to murder 
his wife, seven children and himself. It led Burnham, in Haver- 
hill jaU, to stab Freeman and Starkweather ; and to declare, after 
he had stabbed a few more, he would let the world know that one 
Universalist could go in triumph to the arms of Jesus. This 
hardened wretch, however, before he vms executed, renounced this 
doctrine, warned others of its immoral tendency, and lamented 


that, under its influence, he had perpetrated such horrid crimeB." 
— Magazine, vol. i. 91. 

The marks of falsehood appear on the very face of this 
paragraph. It was written by some one whose heart was 
fiill of bitterness against Universalists. Mr. Ballon 
replied in the following gentle strain : 

" Such instances of moral turpitude as are enumerated in this 
note, are frequently cited as consequences which have been known 
to result from a belief in the doctrine of universal salvation ; but. 
there appears to be no very good reason for this kind of argument ; 
for all such crimes have been perpetrated by thousands and thou- 
sands who never heard of the doctrine, but were educated in the 
religious belief of endless damnation, for which the author of the 
forgoing letter has, with so much ability, contended. Now, as 
Jesus said to his adversaries, * If I cast out devils by Beelzebub, 
the prince of the devils, by whom do your sons cast them out ? ' 
80 we may say, in the case under consideration, — if Universalists 
commit crimes because they are Universalists, why do those who 
believe in endless misery commit as many and as heinous crimes 
as they? 

<* The rational Universalist looks for security against the com- 
mission of crimes in a fixed and habitual love of virtue, and a dis- 
position of mind corresponding with such a virtuous principle. 
He has learned, by studying human nature, that the fear of tor- 
ment is but a sandy foundation on which to build a moral char- 
acter. But he vnll never have an occasion to prove his doctrine 
true by arguing that he is a better man than his opponent, 
because both reason and revelation furnish sufficient proof for such 
a purpose."— Magazine, vol. i. 91. 

A Presbyterian postmaster in Bradleysville (S. C.) 
had written Mr. Ballou the following pro&ne letter : 


'* Infernal PU. 
<< My good Fbiend : Continue as you have done widely to disBem- 
inate your yeiy princely Magazine, and be assured that you shall 
shortly have one of the most exalted thrones amongst us. 

" Yours, with all the love of a fiend, 

" Nick Lucifkb." 

Mr. Ballou published the epistle, and replied, on the 
principle of answering " a fool according to his folly." 

*<Keply. — We haye for a long time been of opinion that it 
was not necessary to go into the future world to find the infernal 
fit so much talked of, and we are now furnished with a demon- 
stration of the correctness of this opinion ; the above letter came 
by mail directly from that pit, where it appears there is a post- 
office and a post-master. We have the satis&ction also to learn 
that the UniversaUst Magazine does not please those who are in 
this- infernal pit, for the number of the Magazine we sent there 
was sent back with the above letter ; but it was not scorohed, nor 
was the smell of fire or brimstone on it." 

It was not uncommon for the opponents of Uniyersal- 
ism to circulate false stories in regard to Mr. Ballou hay- 
ing renounced his religious opinions. These would be 
proclaimed at some revival-meeting, and then would 
spread and be circulated with more and more confidence. 
In April, 1820, he received an epistle from Randolph, 
Vt, informing him of a report in circulation in that 
state. He said, in reply : ''As the editor has, bj other 
means, been informed that certain zeaUrus^ fiery preach- 
ers have made great use of this story, which is wholly a 
&brication, he publishes the following extract under these 
observations : " 

" I have to inform you of a story flying here concerning you 
and your doctrine ; it has been called a flying story for a while, 


but now it is said to be in the Boston papers, and put in by jour- 
Belf. I do not take the papers, nor have I seen anybody that has 
seen it ; but they say it is so, and probably many will be glad to 
have it so. The story is in substance like ^his : That you, while 
sleeping, dreamM a dream to this amount, — that you saw your 
neighbor, and he informed you of his eternal banishment from 
heaven, and all caused by your preaching, and it gave you a start 
80 that you awoke, but thought it a dream, and paid but little 
or no attention to it ; and fell asleep again, and saw it a second 
time, and then a third time, upon which you arose and dressed 
yourself, and went to see this neighbor, and found his wife not 
gone to bed, and inquired of her where her husband was, and 
received an answer that he was gone to bed ; and you told her 
you vnshed to see him, and took the candle and went to his bed, 
and found him a corpse." 

A short time afterwards Mr. B. received a like epistle 
from Salem, Mass., which we here subjoin: 

*^ DxAR Sir : Though a stranger, I hope I may be allowed to 
make an inquiry concerning a report, which, if tme, will be as 
wonderful as it now seems idle and ridiculous. It has been cur- 
rently reported in this town to-day that a certain young man 
belonging to your society (whose name I have not been able to 
learn) was taken ill last week and died : that a little before his 
death you visited him, and endeavored to quiet his troubled soul, 
by speaking of the certainty of salvation ; that, after returning 
home, and having retired to rest, you dreamed three times sucoes- 
dively the same night that yo.u saw this young man in ?ieU; and 
that the dreams caused such distress in your mind, that you left 
your bed to go and visit the young man again ; but, alas, when 
you arrived there he was dead ! It is said that the dream occa- 
sioned great disquietude of mind, and that you were so much 
staggered in the faith as to decline preaching to your people last 
Sabbath ; and, what is still more wonderful, that it has caused 
you to renounce all the scheme of doctrine which you have so 

AGED 48. CONTENTIONS 07 1818, 1819, 1820. 88 

long and zealously advocated, and prodaoed an entire ooNYEiuiioir 
to Calvinism ! F " 

Although it seemed to be useless to notice these nu- 
merous fabrications, yet Mr. Ballou said, in reply to the 
last-quoted epistle: 

<* Mr. Ballon once more informs his friends that he is knoinng 
of no circumstance which could give rise to the report of this 
dream, &c. He greatly pities those who frame such reports, with 
a view to fill weak minds with horror, the hetter to carry on a 
system of religious hypocrisy and unreasonable fanaticism. It 
seems almost useless to attempt to reason with such people ; yet it 
may be proper to say to them that the editor never dreamed him- 
self into the doctrine of God's universal goodness, and impartial 
salvation of the human family, and therefore it is not likely he 
will dream himself out of it. He is, by no means, to be persuaded 
that dreams are of sufficient validity to set aside the testimony of 
divine inspiration, nor yet the benevolent indications of God's good- 
ness in his universal providence." 

SECTION V. — CONVENTIONS OF 1818, 1819, 1820. 

The Greiieral Convention met in 1818 at Chesterfield, 
N. H. The opposition to Mr. Ballou, on the ground of his 
disbelief of future punishment, was somewhat manifested. 
Bev. Elias Smith was admitted a member this year, and 
preached from Rev. 11 : 8. Rev. John Bisbee received 
fellowship. Mr. Ballou preached from Acts 3 : 25, 26. 
In 1819 the body met at' Lebanon, N. H., where Mr, 
Ballou preached a remarkable sermon from Acts 17 : 30, 
31 : ^^And the times of this ignorance God winked 
at ; but now commandeth all men everywhere to rc- 
pent : because he hath appointed a day, in the which 

84 LIFB Of HOSEA BALLOU. A, D. 1819. 

he will judge the world in righteousness^ by that man 
whom he hath ordained : whereof he hath given aS' 
surance unto all men, in thai he hath raised him, from, 
the dead,^^ He showed that the text had no reference 
to a day of judgment after death, even supposing the 
common views in regard to such a judgment to be cor- 
rect But he thought the supposed fact of a judgment in 
the future state for the sins of this life unreasonable. We 
esteem it proper to give an epitome of his doctrine on 
this occasion : 

<< He considered this docrine exceptionable, 1st, Because based 
on the supposition that a certain day is appointed to try the case 
of every individual of the human race, as a court is appointed to 
try a person who is indicted for some offence ; whereas, the judge 
in this case is supposed to know at all times the whole cause to be 
tried^ and is as well able to determine at one time as at another. 
The conclusion is, there is no trial about it. 

*< 2. He thought it exceptionable, because it implies that all men 
are to be judged accordiDg to their works in this world, and to 
receive eternal rewards for virtue and endless punishment for sin ; 
and yet it is held that the worst of sioners may avoid this punish- 
ment by repenting any time before they die. 

<< 3. He thought it exceptionable, because it predicates the doo- 
trine of repentance of the fear of punishment, and not of the love, 
mercy and goodness, of God. 

'' 4. He objected to this doctrine, because it represents our Father 
in heaven to be so unmerciful as' to punish his creatures forever, 
without designing to effect their reconciliation thereby. 

*' 5. He was constrained to reject this doctrine, because it repre- 
sents our blessed Saviour, who loved us and gave himself for us, 
as a vindictive enemy to those for whom the Scriptures assert 
that he gave himself a ransom. And 

''6. He fully, and in the most direct manner, refuted this doo- 
trine by the words of the text, in which we find that the apostle 

AaSD 48. CONVENTIONS OF 1818, 1819, 1820. 86 

excluded from this jadgmont the Gentiles, who lived in the tixneB 
of ignorance %t which God winked. Nothing ia plainer in the 
text t^an that the old Gentilee, who had lived in idolatry, and 
who had worshipped gold, silyer and stone, grayen by art and 
man's device, are excluded from being judged according to the 
statement in the text: * And the times of this ignorance God 
winked est, but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent ; 
because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the 
world in righteousness,' kc. If God had appointed a day in 
which he would judge the old Gentiles together vrith all the rest 
of mankind, the times of former ignorance would not have been 
winked at, but those Gentiles would have been called on to repent, 
for the same reason which is assigned why God now commandeth 
all men everywhere to repent. The common use of the text is a 
direct violation of its clear and obvious meaning." 

Haying made these objections to the common interpre- 
tation of his text, Mr. Eallou proceeded to show the true 
signification and intent of the passage. Very few, he 
thought, understand the sense in which the word judge 
is here used: '^He hath appointed a day in which he 
^'mi judge the world in righteousness," &c. 

*< The ^otA judge in its different uses may have the following 
meanings : 1. To try and determine a cause rightly. 2. .To rule 
and govern. 3. To censure rashly. 4. To punish. To rule and 
govern is the meaning of the word in the text. That the Scrip- 
ture sense of the -woxdi jvdge is to govern, is evident from the use 
of it in the book of Judges. Tliis book is called by this name 
because it is a history of the administration of government in the 
commonwealth of Israel from the days of Joshua to the time of 
Samuel the prophet. This administration commenced in Othniel, 
continued four hundred and fifty years, and was succeeded by the 
reign of Saul, whom Samuel anointed. And it is worthy of 
notice, in relation to this subject, that it is said, of all those who 
ruled Israel daring this l(xig p^iod of time, that they judged 



Israel, Having proceeded thus far in the illustration of the sub- 
ject, it seems proper to suggest that the day which God has 
appointed in .^hich he will judge the world in righteousness is 
the*gospel day ; and that the Messiah is that man by whom he 
has ajjpointed to rule or judge the world." 

Here Mr. Ballou quoted largely from. the prophets, to 
show that they spoke of Christ as a king, who was to 
have the Jews and Gentiles for his possession, Psalm 2 : 
6 — 8 ; he was to sit on a throne. Psalm 45 : 6, 7 ; he 
was to have dominion from sea to sea ; of the increase of 
his government and peace there should be no end ; for 
he should sit upon the throne of David spiritually, in his 
kingdom, to establish it even with judgment and justice. 
This was "judging the world in righteousness." See 
also Isaiah 32 : 1, 2 ; 42 : 1—4. Daniel 7 : 13, 14. 

<' With these prophecies the language of the New Testament 
perfectly harmonizes. Jesus spake of his kingdom-, and of the 
appointment of his apostles in that kingdom. He likewise told 
thtfn that it was their Father's good pleasure to give them the 

" St. Paul spake of the reign of Christ, and said, * For he must 
reign until he hath put dovm all rule and authority, — And that 
in the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall 
confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." 

"This application of the text is further supported by careful 
examination of the doctrine of repentance. John, the forerunner 
of Jesus, preached repentance to the people, and said, * Repent, 
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.' As if he had said. The 
righteous government of the Messiah is now to be set up, therefore, 
repent and yield obedience to his laws. When Jesus began to 
preach, a like annunciation was made : * From that time Jesus 
began to preach, and to say. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is 
at hand.' He likewise ordefed his disciples to preach in the same 


maimer. Now, the reason why the people were cpinmanded to 
repent was not because eternal destruction in the future world 
awaited them, but because the kingdom of heaven in this world 
was about to be set up. And when St. Paul said, < But now 
oommandeth all men everywhere to repent; because he hath 
appointed a day in the which he vnll judge the world in righteous- 
nees,' &c., the meaning was the same as if he had used the words 
of John and of Jesus, ' Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at 

<< GChis sermon was concluded by the speaker considering the as- 
Burance given to all men of the Messiahship of Jesus, and of his 
appointment to reign over and govern the world ; in his resurrec- 
tion from the dead ; and by a serious call on all to repent of every 
sin, and submit to the lavre of the gospel." * 

In 1820 the convention met in Claremont, N. H. Mr. 
Ballon was appointed moderator. He preached the last 
sermon, from Isaiah 29 : 24. It was a sermon of great 
power, as the biographer well remembers ; for, although 
he was not present at this session of the convention, yet 
he had heard Mr. Ballon preach it a few Sabbaths pre- 
vionsly, at his own church, in School-street. 


It has been shown f that Mr. Ballon began to enter- 
tain doubts of the doctrine of the Trinity shortly after the 
time when he commenced to preach, in 1791. It was as 
early as 1795 that he was an open and avowed Unitarian, 
— a preacher of the doctrine of the strict unity of God, 
and of the system of atonement in the sense of the recon- 

♦ None of the volnmes of Mr. Ballou's sermons contain this disoonrse 
t In the first yolume of this Biography, pp. 85, 93, 96, 107, 111. 

88 UFB OF HOSEA BAIJ4OU. A. D. 1820. 

ciliation of man to God. Upwards of twenty-two years, 
then, had lie been an avowed Unitarian, when he removed 
to Boston. He had not only proclaimed his views in his 
published sermons, but he had brought eut a "Treatise," * 
in which those views were stated at length, and opposite 
ones entirely set aside. By his preaching, his conversa- 
tion, and his writings, he had accomplished more for 
the doctrine of the divine unity than any other man in 
the country ever had done ; having been instrumental in 
bringing thousands to agree with him, and thereby chang- 
ing almost entirely the faith of a whole denomination of 
Christians. It, therefore, becomes a question of no small 
importance, how was he regarded by the Unitarians of 
Boston when he removed to that town? 

Up to the year 1815 (which was the time at which 
Mr. Ballon removed to Salem) the highly-cultivated sect 
of Unitarians had had no distinct organization ; they had 
existed as a part of the Congregationalist body, not wish- 
ing to bring upon themselves public odium by an explicit 
avowal of their opinions. But, at length, an accident 
accomplished for them what they did not wish to do for 
themselves, and they maintained thenceforward an inde- 
pendent position. This accident may be described in the 
following manner: — The letters which. American Unita- 
rians had written to their brethren in England were pub- 
lished in that country, and copies thus published found 
their way back to the United States, and produced an 
excitement such as had not been known before for a long 
me, in religious matters. Unitarianism had spread 

* See Yolame i. of this work, pp. 190 to 236. 


secretly among many of the clergy of Boston and 
yicinity ; and, although the Trinitarian leaders had songht 
to gain tangible evidence of that fact, that they might 
tarn it to the disadvantage of their anti-Trinitarian 
brethren, they found it difficult to do so, until the denoue- 
ment of which we have spoken.* 

* Mr. Belsham, in his Life of Lindsey, hud pnbliBhed the letters from 
the Unitarians of America. He was the suooessor of Mr. Lindsey at the 
chapel in Essex-street, London ; and became his biographer. In the 
Memoir he devoted one chapter to the History of Unitarianism in 
America, in which he gave very copious extracts from the letters of Mr. 
I^eeman, pastor of the Stone Ghapel, to Mr. Lindsey. In an Appendix, 
he published a letter he had then recently received from Mr. William 
Wells, and two or three written to Mr. Lindsey by Dr. Priestley after 
his arrival in America, concerning the state of Unitarianism and his 
success in this country. It is highly probable that Mr. Belsham for- 
warded this work to his American brethren on its publication, about 
1812. But for nearly two years the Orthodox portion of the community 
did not obtain possession of it. They supposed that care had been taken 
to limit the knowledge of it after its arrival. But, by some means, they 
at length obtained a copy, and immediately reprinted the chapter on 
American Unitarianism, with those articles from the Appendix which we 
have named. By these means the public were made fully acquainted 
with the silent spread of Unitarian sentiments. It is now hardly pos- 
sible to describe the effect of the disclosure. Astonishment seized all 
except the leaders in the matter, that there had been so great a defeo- 
tion from Orthodox principles; and they felt no little consternation 
on the appearance of the pamphlet. The effect was increased by a 
review of it, which soon after appeared in the Panopiistf written by 
a person who possessed sufficient judgment to arrange his materials to 
the best advantage, and a great power to excite popular prejudices 
against those who had been the principal agents in the matter now 
exploded. (See the Panoplist of June, 1815.) The Anti-Trinitarians felt 
the necessity of taking open and defensive measures, which manifested 
the very deep anxiety which this exposure had produced. Their char- 
acters were implicated in the sight of the world. They were ** called 
upon by their eongregations for an explicit statement of their opinionB." 
— See Jniroduetory Obtervaiions to Thatchar*M Sermontm 



Mr. Ballou removed to Boston just after the '* Uni- 
tarian controversy," so called, had closed; though it 
broke out again on the appearance of Mr. Channing's 
Baltimore sermon, preached in May, 1819. This ser- 
mon was altogether the boldest, and most aggressive, ever 
preached by that distinguished divine. Mr. Ballou hailed 
it with great satisfaction. He republished large portfona 
of it in the Magazine^ and called the attention of his 
readers to the fact that the preacher had intentionally and 
explicitly defended the great principles of the doctrine 
of Universalism, meaning the fact of the final holiness 
and happiness of all men. But the Unitarians had no 
disposition to show fellowship to Mr. Ballou, although 
he had been so successful a defender of the views they 
had taken twenty years later than he had taken them 
himself. He wal Lt shy of his Unitariaa opinions. 
Soon after his removal to Boston, he assailed the doctrine 
of the Trinity with much power.* He published clear 
and correct surticles on the subject of the atonement,f 
and on the general character of rational and liberal 
Christianity. The leading Unitarians were fearful they 
should be considered Universalists. Dr. McLeod, of 
New York, had accused them of being Universalists ; but 
the younger Mr. Ware, in his " Letters " to that divine, 
pronounced this a ''cruel and unfounded accusation." 
He said, they held to a '' tremendous retribution, incon- 
ceivable and indescribable." Thus manfully did he resist 
the imputation of his Orthodox opponent. Mr. Ballou 
said, in reference to this matter : 

* See thioarsalut Magazine, yolame i., pp. 19, 23, 43, 47, 66. 
t Idem, Tolume i., pp. 114, 118, 180, 184. 


<< What I oonsider to be the most remarkable particular in Mr. 
Ware's pamphlet is the following : < It is probable, indeed, that 
the great body of Unitarian Christians would dissent from any 
description which your [Dr. McLeod's] church might give of the 
nature and degree of future punishment; but when you are 
acquainted with them [ Unitarians] you will know that the doc- 
trine of a tremendous retribution, inconceivable and indescribable, 
awaiting the wicked in a future world, is a part of ^eir creed and 
of their preaching, no less than of your own.' " 

Mr. Ballou ejaculates, 

<<Wfaat eiiall I say? How shall I utter my astonishment 
at the above sentence? After all the heart-chilling and soul- 
appaUing horrors described by Calvinistic &naticifim, setting forth 
the supposed unmerciful punishments of a future world, the Uni- 
tarians, the mild, the Uberal, the tender-hearted Unitarians, come 
forward and dissent from any description which Calvinists have 
ever given of the nature and degree of future punishment. But 
why do they dissent ? Because they believe in future punishment, 
which in nature and degree is so tremendous f^ that it exceeds 
the power of conception, and defies all description ! 

'* When a damsel told Peter he was a disciple of Jesus, and 
others insisted upon it, he made an effort to say something which 
was so very perverse and wicked, as to convince the people, one 
would think, that he knew not Christ. When Dr. McLeod said 
that Unitarians were UniversaJists, a Unitarian makes an effort 
to say something entirely beyond all the horrors of the Calvinistic 

Dr. Ghanning's Baltimore sermon (mentioned above) 
produced no small excitement. The Unitarian contro- 
versy of 1815 had hardly cooled ofiF, when this begun. 
Professor Stuart spoke out, &om his high position at 

f Idem, volume u., p. 19. 


Andover, to vindicate his brethren, the Calvinists, from 
the charges brought against their system by Dr. Chan- 
ning. After him came Dr. Woods, of the same institu- 
tion, with his '* Letters to Unitarians." These things 
happened about one or two years after Mr. B> came 
to Boston, and just as he commenced the Magazine. 
He read these pamphlets very attentively, and waited to 
see how the Unitarians would answer the arguments of 
the Calvinists, especially those which had respect to the 
moral character of God. It should be recollected, that 
Unitarians were just coming into existence as a sect, and 
it was an uncertain matter how they would deal with their 
adversaries in regard to the great question of endless 
punishment, and the salvation of all men. Impossible 
was it for Mr. B. to feel indifferent. Dr. Woods had 
said, in his "Letters," in reply to Dr. Channing's inti- 
mations that the Calvinists denied the paternal character 
of God: 

" We believe, as sincerely as Unitarians do, in the paternal 
character of God. You * ascribe to him,' as this author informs 
us, * not only the name, but the dispositions and principles, of a 
father.' With the qualifications which the divine perfection ren- 
ders necessary, vee do the same. The language refers to the dis- 
positions of a human father. These dispositions belong to God, 
80 far as is consistent with his infinite perfection. It is plain that 
the dispositions of God, and the conduct flowing from them, 
cannot, in all respects, resemble the dispositions and conduct of a 
human father. The nature of a human father, and the relation 
he sustains to his children, have but an imperfect analogy to the 
nature of God, and the relation he sustains to his creatures. From 
this vee conclude, that his treatment of his creatures Xiannot be 
fully represented by the treatment which a human father gives 


his children. Pennit me to iUustrate this by a few examples. 
What human father, pcMaseBBing even a common degree of paternal 
kindnees and compafision, would ever treat his children as God 
treated his rational o£&pring when he destroyed the world by a 
deluge, or Sodom by fire, or when he caused the earth to open 
and swallow up the company of Korah ? Would a compassionate 
fiither drown his children, or consume them by fire, or bury them 
alive in the earth?-:— God suffers his rational creatures, even 
harmless children, to die of hunger, or of sickness, or to be de- 
stroyed by some act of cruelty. Could a human &th«r stand 
and see his children die thus, when it was in the power of his 
hand to afford relief? I mention these among a thousand 
instances, as proof that the analogy between God and a human 
fisLther, though a very striking and delightful one, is not perfect, 
and may be carried too far." 

So fax Dr. Woods, on the part of the Calvinists. 
How, said Mr. Ballou to himself, will the IJnitariaiis 
meet this? Will they come out ''openly, and avow 
the only doctrine on which they can base a proper reply 
to such arguments ? Hear him : 

<< After the reader has carefully considered the passage here 
quoted, it may be profitable to propound the following questions : 
Why would not a kind, natural father drown his children ? Why 
would he not consume them by fire ? Why would he not bury 
them alive in the earth ? Why would he not suffer them to pine 
away vdth sickness and pain, and die, even allowing he had power 
to prevent it ? Let these queries be duly examined. Suffer not 
the appalling nature of the subject to destroy cool deliberation, or 
unbiased candor. In order to assist the mind to come to a right 

• See " Letters to Unitarians and Reply to Dr. Ware. Second edition, 
with an Appendix. By Leonard Woods, D.D., Abbott Professor of 
Christian Theology in Theological Seminary, Andover : Andover, 1822," 
—p. 14. 


conclusion, let us aek how mudi distress, how much suffering, the 
parent who tenderly loyes his offspring would ocmsent to have 
administered to his child ? To ease the suffering child from pain, 
the parent will consent to have a surgeon extract a tooth which 
is defective, to lay on a blister, or even to amputate a limb. We 
know that kind, affectionate parents will submit their dear chil- 
dren to these severe trials, being induced thereto bj a hope of 
benefiting them. Why, then, we ask, would not the same affec- 
tionate parents submit their children to anything else, if they 
believed that it would terminate in the benefit of the children ? 
The fact is, they would. What conclusion remains ? Answer : it 
remains that Dr. Woods, in the behalf of Orthodoxy, proceeds to 
show that, when our Heavenly Father drowned the old world, 
destroyed Sodom, and swallowed up Eorah and his company in 
the earth, he did not design it for the good of those who endured 
those judgments. Will the doctor attempt this ? Dare he attempt 
it 1 Is he prepared to charge our Heavenly Father with acting in 
those cases, or in any other, without designing the benefit of all 
those whom his acts concern ? Let him do this, and we are pre- 
pared to ask him to describe a character more to be abhorred than 
that which he attributes to our merciful Father in heaven." 

But how will the Unitarians answer this? was the pre- 
dominant inquiry in the mind of Mr. Ballou. Alas ! he 
was doomed to disappointment. 

" However bold, however daring, however shocking, this argu- 
ment of Dr. Woods appears, — however dishonorable to the char- 
acter of the divine Being, and however painful to the rational mind 
that is so deluded as to believe in its truth, — yet the Orthodox 
consider themselves as entirely safe from the attacks of their Uni- 
tarian opponents, well knowing that no doctrine but pure Uni- 
versalism can ever destroy this false refuge ; and believing that, 
although the Unitarians are in fact Universalists, they are using 
all possible arts to avoid being knovm as such to the public, they 
entertain no fears that the Unitarians will venture to oppose this 


abuse of the divine character with the only doctrine by which it 
can be BaccessfuUj set aside. 

" When we read this detestable argument, we immediately turned 
to Dr. Ware's reply to Dr. Woods, to find how he managed this 
particular, but found nothing relative to it. Being thus disap- 
pointed, it was not possible to avoid a deep regret, that an argu- 
ment which more than any other deserved a refutation was totally 
neglected. And this regret was mingled with a disappointment 
peculiar to itself and subject, occasioned by the suggestion that 
Dr. Ware well knew that, if he refuted this argument of his antag- 
onist, he could not avoid doing it on the premises on which the 
doctrine of universal salvation is founded. If this were the first 
or the second instance in which the Unitarians have manifested a 
design to avoid coming out in their full belief of universal salva- 
tion, we should by no means have allowed ourselves the liberty 
we have here taken on the subject ; but the practice of evasion 
has been continued until many discerning people have become 
di^usted ; and though they prefer the general arguments of the 
Unitarians to those of the Orthodox, they can never consent to 
hold fellowship with hypocrisy." 

Severe language this may be regarded ; but any other 
man, placed in Mr. B.'s circoinstances, would, perhaps, 
have uttered it. 

In such inconsistencies did the Unitarian leaders 
involve themselves, by their efforts to convince the public 
they were not Universalists. If, at this time, they had 
manifested a disposition to regard with Christian fellow- 
ship and brotherly affection the Universalists of N.ew 
England, and especially the man who for a quarter of a 
century had stood foremost in defence of Unitarian views, 
it seems reasonable that the present relations between the 
two classes would be somewhat different. 



In November, 1820, a convention of delegates elected 
by the people of this Commonwealth for the purpose of 
revising the Constitution thereof, assembled in Boston. 
It consisted of eminent men from every section of the 
state, of almost all occupations and professions. Among 
the amendments attempted and lost, was the one in re- 
gard to religious liberty, leaving it optional with every 
man whether he would support religion, and compelling 
none. Under the old form, a man was obliged to belong 
to some religious society ; and, if he did not elect volun- 
tarily to which he would be attached, he should be held 
to be a member of the regular territorial parish of the 
town, and should be taxed accordingly. There were 
many in the convention of 1820 who held that the whole 
matter should be left to the free will and consciences of 
tha people. Mr. Ballou was not a member of the con- 
vention, but he expressed his opinion through his popular 
little journal in these words : 

<' The question whether the Chrifitian religion must be supported 
by law, or whether it may prosper as well, and do as much good 
in society, without the aid of legislation, seems now to engage the 
attention of the great council of the state. 

" Those who are in &yor of assisting religion by legislation 
contend that without religion society would become immediately 
corrupted ; that there would be no Sabbaths, no meetings for pub- 
lic worship, no piety, &c. Thus they lab^ in vain, and their 
work is for naught ; for the question is not whether religion is 
good and profitable to society, but whether it may not flourish as 
well without the aid of the civil arm as with it. Again, they 


advance, in their protracted arguments, that, if it be granted that 
religion is a good thing, it ought of course to be incorporated into 
our state constitutioil, so that our legislators may give it all the 
support it needs. Thus, ag^, they reason in violatioB of com- 
mon sense ; for it does not follow, of course, that because a thing 
is right, good or necessary for the benefit of society, that it must 
therefore be urged by law. The shining of the sun, the fidling 
of the rain, the distilling of the dew, the flowing of the rivers, the 
blowing of the wind, the springing up and the growing of vegeta- 
tion, are all of indispensable importance to man's existence and 
happiness ; but none of these good things can be promoted by 
legislation. What a wretched state would society be in if the 
covenant of marriage should no more be entered into ; but, because 
ihia is of indispensable importance, is it therefore neceesaiy to 
compel young men to marry, whether they will or not ? Are not 
the laws of nature, which are of God, paramount to any law that 
could be enacted by our legislators? What distress would the 
people all be in, in a short time, if eveiy individual of society 
should say, I vnll do no more labor, and abide by the resolution ? 
Is it, therefore, necessary to make laws to compel the husbandman 
to labor in the field ? No, because the expected profit ia a motive 
quite suffident to induce them to cultivate their £Eirms. What 
would become of our popular towns, if the merchants should all 
say tiiey would do no more business,^ would send no more ships 
abroad, would bring no more merchandise into the country, nor 
carry any more out 1 . It would be disastrous, indeed ; is it, there- 
fore, necessary to compel the merchant by law to see and attend 
to his business ? No, for hicr hopes of gain are a sufficient motive, 
without any such law." 

Daniel Webster, then a young man of about thirty-siz 
years, was a member of this convention. He was in 
&yor of a provision for the legal support of religion. 
Mr. Ballou said : 

"Mr. Webster did not, like Mr. Saltonstall, of Salem, advance 
the superstitious notion, that the decision of the question was likely 


98 LIFB as* HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1820. 

to affect the eternal state of our citizens in a foture world, but 
contended that the policy of the state required the support of this 
religion and the public worship of God. When the learned gen- 
tleman had thus defined the subject, a hope was entertained that 
he would have been consistent with himself, and laid open a sys- 
tem of state policy connected with and embracing the Christian 
religion and its support ; but this he was &r from attempting ; 
and what was regretted more than this was, that there was no 
one, on the opposite dde of the question, to take the advantage 
of his arguments, to show that nothing short of a definite state 
religion^could be the creation to which the gentleman's arguments 
would lead. There is nothing more evident than that, if it be a 
necessary policy of the state to support, by law, the Christian 
religion, it is equally necessary that either the state constitution, 
or legislation on that constitution, should particularly define the 
doctrine of Christianity. This might be done in thirty-nine arti- 
cles, more or less, as the constituted authority should see fit to 
determhie ; but, for the great council of our state to say that the 
Christian religion must be supported by law, and that provisions 
therefor must be incorporated into our bill of rights, and after all 
give no definite description of this religion, nor make any provi- 
sions by which it shall be d^ned, is certainly doing nothiiog." 

Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Channing came out, during the 
debate iathe convention, with a sermon entitled '' Reli- 
gion a Social Principle," the object of which was to show 
the propriety of establishing the Christian religion, and 
its support by law. This sermon Mr. Ballou reviewed, 
. in a pamphlet, published immediately after he read the 

* The title was ** Strictures on a Semum entitled * Beligion a Sociaf 

Principle, deliyered in the Church in Federal-street, Boston, Deo. 10, 

1820 «; by Wm. EUerj Channing, Minister of the Congregational Church 

lin Federal-street.' By Hosea Ballou, Ac. ^c. Boston: Henry Bowen. 




After the close of the series of Ieoture-seraK)D8, which 
we have described in a former section, Mr. Ballou was 
solicited to preach from certain texts, not embraced in 
that series, which gave occasion to the continued publica- 
tion of his discourses. We may make mention of his 
fiunous '' Fox Sermon," so called, preached in Noyember, 
1819, showing the marks of similarity between the false 
teachers and foxes, from the words, '^0 Israel, thy 
prophets are like the foxes in the desert." — Ezek. IS: 
4.=^ Many editions of this have been published. In the 
following month came out the sermon on the source of a 
happy life, — ^-1 Peter 8: 10, 11; t *nd.alBO one on 
"judgment begixmingitt the house of God,"— 1 Peter 
4 : 17, 18.| In January, 1820, be preached and pub- 
lished his sermon on the " New Birth," from John 8 : 8,^ 
several editions of which appeared; and immediately 
afterward came out the sermon on God sending men 

* ** A Sermon, delivered in the Second Uniyeraalist Meeting-house, in 
Boston, on the morning of the third Sabbath in Noyember, 1819. By 
Hosea Ballon, pastor. Second edition. Boston: Henry Bowen. 1821." 

t *< A Lecture-sermon, delivered in the Second Uniyersalist Meeting- 
house, in Boston, on the evening of the first Sabbath in December, 1819. 
By Hosea Ballou, pastor. Boston: Henry Bowen. 1819.*' 

. ^ *' A Lecture-sermon, delivered in the Second Universaflst Meeting- 
house, in Boston, on the evening of the third Sabbath in December, 
1819. By Hosea Ballou, pastor. Second edition. Boston, 1821. 

§ *' The New Birth ; a Leotisro-sermoni^ delivered in the Second Uni- 
Tersalist Meeting4iouse, in Boston, on the evening of the third Sabbath 
in January, 1820. By Hosea Ballou, pastor. Second edition. Bofiton: 
Henry Bowen. 1821." 

100 LIFE OP HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1820. 

strong delu$ionSj from 2 Thess. 2 i 11, 12.* These 
helped to do « great work. At the close of February in 
this year, he published his sermon on the "End of the 
World," from Matt. 18: 47— 60,t and in March a 
sermon on the Church of Christ, from Eph. 5 : 25 — 27. J 
We must be content with this mere reference to these 
very valuable discourses, which were read by thousands. 
All these sermons were preached in addition to the reg- 
ular exercises of the sanctuary, on the forenoon and after- 
noon of the Lord's day. 


But, notwithstanding these numerous duties at home, 
Mr. Ballou did not i^eglect to comply,* so far as he could, 
with the calls to preach the word in other places. He 
had commenced, in the year 1819, to preach a course of 
sermons at the Town Hall, in Roxbury, in which town 
a society had been formed, and a house of worship was 
being erected [July, 1820]. To these lectures he devoted, 
for a year or more, one Sabbath evening in a fortnight. 

* *< God shall send them Strong Delusions ; a Lectnre-sermon, delir- 
ered in the Second Unirersalist Meeting-house, in Boaton, on the evening 
of the second Sabbath in February, 1820. Bj Hosea Ballou, pastor. 
Boston: Henrj Bowen. 1820.'* 

t <* The^nd of the World ; a Lecture-sermon, delivered in the Sec- 
ond Uniyersalist Meeting-house, in Boston, on the evening of the fourth 
Sabbath in Febjruarj, 1820. Bj Hosea Ballou, pastor, Boston: Henry 
Bowen. 1820." 

% *« Husbands, love your Wives ; a Lecturci-sermon, delivered in the 
Second Universalist Meeting-house, in Boston, on the evening of the 
second Sabbath in March, 1820. By Hosea Ballou, pastor. Boston: 
Henry Bowen. 1820." 



And getting a little release from some of his Sunday- 
evening duties at home, he went out also to Cambridge- 
port, to £Lssist in building up a new society there, using 
one of the school-houses, as the best place that could be 
obtained. In both places now named, permanent societies 
were established. The seed '^fell in good ground, and 
brought forth fruit" abundantly. In May, 1820, he 
made a journey to New Bedford, at the call of a few 
friends there, and preached the word of the Lord, as he 
understood it, at a private house, there being, as he said, 
" no naeeting-house in the town whose owners were will- 
ing to have the doctrine of God's universal, impartial, 
unchangeable goodness preached Within its consecrated 
walls." Thence he crossed the river to Fairhaven, where 
he addressed an assembly in the academy, and also at the 
head of the river, so called, in the meeting-house formerly 
occupied by the memorable Dr. West. In the precinct 
called Mattapoiset, in the town of Boohester, he was 
invited to preach, by a physician, who was a large owner 
in the meeting-house. The house was opened by proper 
authority ; but when Mr. B. came to the door, he was 
confronted by the settled pastor, Bev. Lemuel Le Baron, 
who forbid his going into the house. Mr. Ballou was 
very sorry to wound the feelings of the gentleman ; but 
the house had been opened by proper authority, and there 
was no good reason why the people who had assembled 
should be disappointed. The principal reason assigned 
by Mr. Le Baron for his opposition was, that Mr. Ballou 
was a Universalist, and that Universalism was subversive 
of Christianity. Mr. B. invited the clergyman to go in 
with him, and hear what he had to deliver, and then he* 


102 LlFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1820. 

could the better judge whether the doctrine preached was 
the truth or not. But Mr. Le Baron refused to do this, 
and insisted that he had a right to control the pulpit, and 
to say who should preach in it. Mr. B. told him that 
the gentlemen who had given their consent for him to 
preach in the house were of respectable standing, and pro- 
prietors of the house ; and, if they had yiolated his privi- 
leges, they must be accountable. He further added, that, 
however Mr. Le* Baron might think it his duty to forbid 
his preaching, he himself could not see how a man who 
did not own the house could prevent those from the free 
use of it who did own it, when they desired to worship 
God according to the dictates of their own consciences. 
Mr. B. accordingly passed in, and '' a goodly number 
(said he) attended to the word." "* He preached again 
in the same place in the evening. Before leaving the 
place, he addressed Mr. Le Baron a long letter, in which 
he called on him to show wherein Universalism was sub- 
versive of Christianity. Mr. B. quoted many passages 
from the Scriptures, and then wished his antagonist to 
show either that these passages did not prove Universal- 
ism, or else show how they were subversive of Christian- 
ity. This being done, Mr. B. proceeded to a meeting- 
house at Long Plains, at the upper part of Fairhaven, 
where he preached, after which he returned home. 

* On Mr. Le Baron being told "that Mr. Ballon was going to preadh 
in the honse, he said to one of his friends, '* Had i not better go into 
the house, and be saorifioed at the foot of the pulpit-stairs T" On the 
remark bei(ig repeated to Mr. Ballon, he asked, « Who did the poor man 
thinkwas going to harm him 1 '* 



The following is the letter to Bev. Mr. Le Baron : it 
is eminently worthy of preservation in this place. 

" Rochester, May 19, 1820. 

<< Key. Sir : When yoa met me yesterday before the meeting- 
house door, to forbid me going into the house, you gave as the 
reason of so doing that I -was a Universalist, and. that < Univer- 
salism is subversiye of Christianity.' ^aTing meditated upon the 
subject with due caution, I feel that it isan be no violation of the 
strictest rules of propriety to call on you, in this way, to point 
out to me wherein Universalism is subversiYe of Christianity. 
With a yiew to present you with what appears to me necessary to 
be done in this case, I will state to you what I think Uniyersalism 
is, and then you will be so kind as either to show me that what I 
state is not Uniyersalism, or else show that it is subyersiye of 
Christianity. ' 

<< The promises which God made to the fiithers, m which it is 
positiyely stated that in the seed of Abraham, which is Christ, all 
the nations, all the &milies, and all the kindreds of the earth, shall 
be blessed, I humbly conceiye are of uniyersal import ; but, if you 
can show that they are not, and that any of the human family are 
excluded from the promises ; or, on the other hand, if you can 
proye that these promisee are subyersiye of Christianity, you will 
maintain your assertion. Dayid says, * The Lord is good unto all, 
and his tender mercies are oyer all his works.' Will you, rever- 
end sir, undertake to prove that this is subyersiye of Christianity! 
or, will you undertake to show that it is not uniyersal? All 
God's works, it appears to me, must comprehend the universe ; 
and if he is good to all, and if his tender mercies are over all, I 
cannot see why this is not Uniyersalism. It is declared, by the 
iospired vnriters of the New Testament, that the mediator gave 
himself a ransom for all men, that he by the grace of God tasted 
dsath for eyezy man, and that he is the propitiation for the sins 

104 • LITE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1820. 

of the whole world. This well-attested testimony, 1 believe, is 
Uniyersalism ; but, if jou think not, be so good as to show that aU 
men, every man, and the whole world, come short of being univer- 
sal ; or, on the other hand, endeavor to show that this testimony 
is subversive of Christianity. 

'< St. Paul says, that God our Saviour ' will have all men to be 
saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.' This is 
what I view to be Universalism ; but, if you think otherwise, I will 
thank you to point out wherein it is not so ; or, on the other hand, 
show that God's vnll to save all men is subversive of Christianity. 
To the Romans, St. Paul says, < Now we know that what things 
soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law, that 
every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty 
before God ; for all have sinned and oome short of the glory of 
God ; being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption 
that is in Christ Jesus.' It appears to me that this testimony^ 
both in regard to the guilt of mankind, and in r^ard to the free 
grace by which all are justified, is evidently universal ; but, if yoa 
think otherwise, be so g09d as to point it out ; or, on the other 
hand, show that this universal justification is subversive of Chris- 
tianity. This author furthermore says to the Romans, * There- 
fore, as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to con* 
denmation, even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came 
upon all men unto justification of life.' WiU you, dear sir, 
endeavor to show that this is not Universalism? Or, will yoa 
attempt to prove that it is subversive of Christianity? To the 
Ephesians the apostle speaks as foUov^s : * Having made knovvn 
unto us the mystery of his vnll, according to his good pleasure 
which he purposed in himself ; that in the dispensation of the 
fulness of time he might gather together in one all tilings in 
Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth.' To 
the Cokssians he says : < For it pleased the Father that in him 
should all fulness dwell ; and (having made peace through the 
blood of his cross) by him to reconcile all things unto himself; 
by him, I say, whether they be things in earth or things in 
heaven.' These several testimonies appear to me to comprehend 
uaivecsal reconeiliatictt to God, through Jesus Christ ; but, if yoa 


can show the contraiy, or if you can prove that these passages 
are sabyersive of Christianity, you will maintain your assertion. 
This inspired apostle further says to the Ck>rinthians : ' But now 
is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first firuits of them 
that slept. For ai^ in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be 
made alive.' If all men die in Adam, and if all men are made 
alive in Christ, this appears to be universal ; but, if you can show 
that it is not, or if you can prove that it is subversive of Chris- 
tianity, I must on my part acknowledge that you maintain the 
ground which you have taken. We read in Revelations thus: 
* And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and 
under the earth, and such as are in'the sea, oad all that axe in 
them, heard I, saying, Blessing and honor, and glory and power, 
be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for 
ever and ever.' Reverend sir, is this anything less than universal, 
or does it subvert Christianity? 

''Now let us turn our thoughts to the providence of our Heavenly 
Father. Does not the sun shine universally, and the moon like- 
wise? Do not4he clouds give rain to all, and the fruits of the 
earth grow for the benefit of all ? Is not the vital air for the life 
of all; a>nd are tiot all equally entitled to the waters? 

" This, reverend sir, in my view, is Universalism ; but, if you 
can show that it is not, or if you can prove that the universal, 
impartial goodness of God, in his providence, is subversive of 
Christianity, you vdll maintain the assertion which lay as the 
cause in your mind why you ought to forbid me to preach in the 
meeting-house, where I vras invited to preach by the proprietors, 
who built and own the house. 

" I humbly entreat you, reverend sir, not to be offended because 
I have, in this way, called on you to maintain your assertion ; but 
condescend either to grant my request, or be so candid ae to say 
that it is out of your power so to do. And may God's universal, 
impartial grace forever abide in both our hearts, prevail every- 
where, and finally be the theme of universal praise ! 
" Your most humble fellownservant in Christ, 

"HosEA Ballou. 
"Rev. Lemuel Ls Basos^** 

106 LIFB OF HOSBA B^LLOU. A. D. 1S20. 


There was another event, of a somewhat similar cliar- 
acter, that occurred about this time. Mr. Ballou had 
been invited to visit the town of Wrentham, Mass., and 
deliver his message of truth. There were a few Univer- 
salists, especially in the western part of this town, who 
were very desirous to receive a visit from him ; and not 
being able to procure a meeting-house or academy, they 
engaged the hall at the '' Mann Tavern," so called. Li 
those daysj the opponents of Universalists would withhold 
every other place from them, so far as laid in their 
power, that they might drive them into the hall of a 
public house ; first, that they might revile them for hold- 
ing their meetings at a tavern, and, second, that som^d 
might be kept away who would otherwise have gone to 
hear the preacher. This was the first time Mr. Ballou 
had ever preached in Wrentham Centre ; and the event 
greatly disturbed the Rev. Mr. Fisk, the Orthodox cler- 
gynuui. At the first meeting, Mr. Ballou preached to a 
very large audience, on the subject of the new birth. 
The service made a deep impression ; and it was soon 
determined, if possible, to have him come again. This 
wrought upon tixe Rev. Mr. Fisk still more deeply ; and 
he said he must go and oppose Mr. Ballou. Mr. Fisk 
looked upon the parish as his own, — he was set there to 
guard the flock ; and he felt that he must be present at 
the next lecture. There was in his parish a physician 
(Dr. Samuel Bugbee), to whom Mr. Fisk sometimes 
went for advice. At this time the doctor waa an avowed 


unbeliever of rerealed religion, but he was a conscien- 
tious man, of quick discernment ; and he did not advise 
Mr. Fisk to attack Mr. Ballon, but still the reverend 
pastor said be felt that he must defend his flock. 

Mr. Ballou's text on the second evening was Malachi 
1:8: ^^And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice^ is it 
not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not 
evil ? offer it now unto thy governor ; will he be 
pleased with thee, or accept thy person 7 saith the 
Lord of hosts.'^ The object of the sermon was to show 
that the priests of that day rendered the service of the 
Lord contemptible (see verse 7) by the doctrines which 
they preached. They ascribed a character to God which 
they would not ascribe to their governor, or any good 
earthly ruler. " Ofier it now unto thy governor ; will he 
be pleased with thee?" After he closed, Mr. Ballou 
gave liberty to any one to speak ; and Mr. Fisk- arose. 
He took the opportunity to press Mr. 3allou upon the 
question whether he believed in any future punishment. 
Mr. Ballou did ^ not care to make that question very 
prominent in his preaching ; and the very inquiry showed, 
that he had not treated upon it at that time. He said, 
in reply, that the greater point was whether punishment 
was endless. If endless, there will be, of course^ future 
punishment. If Mr. Fisk would disavow the doctrine of 
endless punishment, he might then put the question as 
to the truth of the doctrine of future limited punishment. 
Mr. Ballou was mild in his manner ; and Mr. Fisk imag- 
ined he had obtained a victory, and felt quite confident 
of success, if Mr. Ballou should come again. Dr. Bug- 
bee, whom we have mentioned, was a very attentive lis- 

108 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1820. 

tener, especially to that part of the discourse in which 
Mr. Ballou showed that religion had been rendered 
contemptible by the false doctrines which .the Christian 
clergy had preached, especially the Trinity, the £ablse 
notions of atonement and endless punishment. Perhaps 
there was ho individual in the house on whom the sermon 
produced more effect than it did on the doctor^ 

At the third meeting, Mr. Fisk, encouraged by his sup- 
posed success at the former, appeared in high spirits. 
At the conclusion of the sermon, the subject of which is 
not recollected, Mr. Ballou gave notice, if any one had any 
remarks to offer, there was liberty^ Mr. Fisk thought of his 
parishioners, and began by blaming Mr. Ballou for coming 
to Wrentham to preach his pernicious doctrines to them. 
Mr. Ballou asked him if he would decline a respectable 
invitation to preach in Boston, This puzzled him. He 
lifted his eyes towards heaven, and said, ^' 0, if Mr. 
Messenger, and Mr. Mann, and Mr. Bean [formerly pas- 
tors of the parish], should look down from the blissful 
abodes above, and see. what is going on here to-night, it 
.would fill their souls with sorrow ! " Mr. Ballou said, 
'^ Brother Fisk, do you think there is any sorrow in 
heaven ? " These questions excited him. Of course, we 
give only the leading ideas, for these alternate addresses 
occupied several minutes each. Mr. Fisk became very 
nervous, which brought on nausea, and he was obliged to 
resort to an open window. In a few minutes he got 
relief, and rose again to answer Mr. Ballou. He quoted 
certain texts to prove the doctrines he believed; and, 
thinking he had established the doctrine of endless tor- 
ture beyond Mr. Ballou's power to overthrow it, he was 


evidently pleased, and smiled with satisfiiction. Mr. 
Ballou replied' again. He showed that the texts quoted 
by Mr. Fisk, when properly understood, did fwt sustain 
the doctrines attempted- to be proved by him. This was 
not d(me so much by long and particular criticism, as by 
a brief and happy comparison of text with text, in the 
course of which there were several happy flashes of truth. 
In the midst of his remarks, Mr. Ballou spoke of the 
evident gratification which Mr. Fisk had felt when he 
thought he had. succeeded in proving the doctrine of end- 
less woe, and compared such feelings with those of the 
Lord Jesus when he wept over the temporal sufferings 
of the Jews. Mr. Fisk, who, in the course of these 
remarks, had been obliged once more to resort to the win- 
dow (the people giving way to make him room), felt 
himself in a peculiarly unfortunate position. But the 
fresh air and the vomiting having restored the tone of 
his feelings, he took the floor again, and expressed his 
deep sorrow if he had showed any signs of gratiflqation 
while speaking on the awful subject of endless misery. 
Some fifteen years afterwards, Mr. Ballou saw in a 
preacher, in the course of a public debate, a similar 
indiscretion, which led him to say : 

*< The manifestation of sach a dispodtion and spirit reoalls to 
in J recollection a case of tlie same kind, which I once witnessed 
myself, in a town about thirty miles from this city. I deliyered a 
sermon in &yor of the doctrine of universal salyation. After I 
closed, the minister of the place thought it his duty, having heard 
the discourse, to refute my arguments hy proving from Scripture 
the doctrine of endless punishment. In the course of his eflfort he 
several times succeeded so much to his satisfiiction, that he wore a 
BDiile on his features, which approached ahnost to a laugh. As I 


110 LIFE 09 HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1820. 

waa preparing myself, while he -was speaking, to reply, I put this 
drcumstanoe in a conspicuous place, in the arrangement of partio- 
ulars which I proposed to notice. When I arrived at this part of 
my rejoinder, I endeavored to press on the mind of my opposer, and 
on the minds of the congregation, as just a comparison as I could 
draw, between the awfuL doctrine which he had endeavored to 
maintain, and the apparent gratification which he so evidently 
manifested, on being able, as he thought, to prove the truth of it'. 
The efi'ect was greater than I had anticipated. The minister's 
mortification was so visible that I could not but pity his condi- 
tion. But he made the best of the case in his power, by rising 
and making a very humble ackno'^ledgment to the whole assem- 
bly. The foregoing particulars are not here mentioned as any 
argument against the doctrine of a future limited punishment, or 
of a punishment which is endless, but to bestow a deserved repre- 
hension on a disposition and a spirit which all candid Christians, 
of all denominations, must acknowledge are repugnant to the dis- 
position and spirit of the Divine Master, w:ho, in room of mani- 
festing immoderate pleasure and delight, when informing .his 
deadly enemies of the approaching desolation of their city, vfKpr 
over that city as sincerely as one would weep for a first-bom. If. 
Jesus had tears for his subject, when speaking of man's temporal 
sufferings, what anguish of soul would he have manifested had it 
been hiailot to denounce the more severe torments w4iich are sup- 
posed to await men in the future world ! < He that hath ears to 
Hear, let him hear.' " 

Dr. Bugbee, whom we have mentioned in the course 
of this narrative, was led by Mr. Ballou's sermons to 
see that the objections which he had hitherto felt against 
religion were, in fact, not against the Christian religion 
itself, but against the corruptions of it ; and he became, 
in the coiirse of a subsequent examination, a sincere 
believer in the Son of God. Although a man of peculi- 
arities, he lived a useful, honorable life, and died cherish- 
ing the Christian lu^e. He was ever after, as long as 


he lived, the firm friend of Mr. Ballou. The sickness 
of Mr. Fisk, he attributed to his high state of excitement, 
to the want of ventilation in the hall, and to the chewing 
of tobacco too freely during the services.* 


In June, Mr. Ballou attended the Southern Associa- 
tion, in Scituate, and preached from 1 Thess. 3 : 19. 
Although so much abroad, he neglected none of his duties 
BS a pastor or as an editor. The congregation in School- 
street prospered greatly under his ministry. In- August 
he assisted at the'laying of the corner-stone of the Uni- 
versalist meeting-house in Boxbury ; he also attended the 
installation of Rev. B. Streeter, at Salem, and gave the 
charge. In this he asserted, most deliberately and sol- 
emnly, his faith in divine revelation. To the candidate 
he said : 

" I deem it of indispensable importance that you are reminded , 
in this charge, that the Christian doctrine and hope rest on the 
&ct of the resurrection of Jesus. Though Moses in the law, and 
the prophets in their testimony, bore witness to the doctrine of 
divine truth, and led the people to expect the Messiah, the whole 
system of gospel truth is sealed by the resurrection of Jesus, and 
rests upon it as on a chief comer-stone. And on this rock the 
Christian church being built, the gates of hell can never prevail 
against it. Connected with this all-important truth is the divine 
declaration of an inspired apostle, that ' As in Adam all die, even 
80 in Christ riiall all be made alive.' " 

In September he made a journey into New Hamp- 

♦ An inhabitant of Wrentham says, « The old gentleman always care- 
fully combed his hair, and placed his quid upon a little shelf in tho 
pulpity the last thing before commenoing a discourse." 

112 LIES OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. J>. 1820. 

Bhire, during wliich he attended the General Conyention 
of Uniyersalists, whick we have mentioned in another 


There came out, in the year 1820, a work entitled ''A 
Series of Letters," "^ &c., in which Mr. Ballon defended 
Divine Revelation, in reply to Mr. A. Kneeland's Serious 
Inquiry into the Authenticity of the same. We think 
these Letters were written about 1815 ; f but they were 
not published until 1820. THe publisher made the fol- 
lowing statements in respect to the causes which gave 
rise to these Letters : 

" We leam, from the Rev. Mr. Eneeland, that, haying at differ- 
ent iimeB been exercised in his mind with serious doubts respecting 
the authenticity of the Scriptures, and the system of divine reve- 
lation recorded in them, he was induced to solicit a correspondence 
with the Rev. Mr. Ballou on the subject. That, in order to ren- 
der the controversy the more interesting, by calling into action 
the energies of mind, and by directing the correspondence to defi- 
nite purposes, he assumed the characte]^of a real opponent, deter- 
mining to maint4iin the opposition, in all its forms, until reduced 
by necessity to yield to successful arguments directed against it. 
It was with great reluctance that the advocate for the Christian 
religion, in this controversy, consented to undertake a work of 
this nature ; not, however, because he esteemed it unnecessary, or 

* The whole title was, ** A Series of tietten, in Defenee of Divine 
Revelation; in Reply to Bev. Abner Eneeland'e Serioxu Inquiry into 
the Authenticity of the same. By Rosea Ballou, Pastor of the Second 
Universalist Society in Boston. To which is added a Correspondence,'* 
Ac. Boston : H. Bowen, 1820, The eorrespondenoe added to ^his vol- 
ume was a second edition of the Buokminster and Watton corre- 

t Bee vol i. of this work, p. 414.^ 


because he entertained any doubts with regard to the defensibility 
of revelation y but, as he contends, on account of the want of abil« 
ities and means to do the subject justice. His opponent, how- 
ever, being a fiimiliar acquaintance and friend, as well as a 
preacher in the same profession of faith with himself, having led 
him to believe that a labor of this kind was called for by the most 
sacred obligations of brother to brother, he was induced to render 
what assistance was in his power, without infringing too much 
on other important duties in which he was almost constantly 

Mr. Kneeland was at times troubled with unbelief, 
eyen at this day. He was as good a man as one of his 
mental formation could be ; but he was not of a sound 
and stable mind. There were times when he honestly 
thought he believed in the Christian religion as a divine 
revelation ; and at others he was in great want of faith. 
He was easily drawn from his orbit by any sudden attrac- 
tion. Originally, he was a Baptist ; from which he be- 
came a Universalist. He had been a XJniversalist cler- 
gyman some twelve years, when, from abput 1814 to 
1816, he was engaged in secular business in Salem, 
Mass. Unbelief, in this time, had the ascendency. Bj 
Mr. Ballou's eflTorts, in the work of which we are now 
speaking, Mr. Kneeland was brought back to the gospel. 
While Mr. Ballon dealt with his brother affectionately, 
he also did it faithfully. Shortly after the commence- 
ment of the correspondence, ]ie said : 

" No one can more sincerely wish to have the firivolities of 
superstition and the endless multitude of errors, which arrogant 
creed-makers hare impiously superadded to pure Christianity, 

♦ ♦ " SerioB of Letten,'* p. 3. 


lemoTed from tde church, than I do ; bui wisdom must direct in 
this great and necessary work. It was those who had more zeal 
than discernment ,who asked if they should pluck up the tares 
from among the wheat. They were told that they would pluck 
up the wheat with the tares. Let us be careful, my brother, 
and, in our zeal to deaiise, take care and not destroy. 

<< If you are troubled with unbelief, if this plague have entered 
your heart, permit me to suggest a remedy. Humility is the first 
step ; sincere piety towards God, the second ; and let these be fol- 
lowed by that for which the Bereans were commended, and the 
deadly virus of unbelief will soon be purged. Will you say, 
* Physician , heal thyself ' ? I Teply , I think I have found relief by 
the use of the prescription, and am so much in fayor of it that I am 
determined to continue its application myself, as well as recommend 
it to others. If you ask why I do not direct some arguments more 
cogently to prove divine revelation, I answer, in the first place, 
you have granted the validity of the evidences, and, secondly, if I 
think of the attempt, the brilliant labors of better abilities show 
it is not neceseary. 

*< But, if you think it necessary to discuss this subject, I vnll 
propose the single instance of the conversion of St. Paul for inves- 
tigation. By this means, we shall be kept from rambling after 
different subjects. If you can give a reasonable account of this 
conversion, without admitting the truth of Christianity, I will 
acknowledge you have left me destitute of one evidence on which 
I no^ rely. On the other hand, if you fail in this, you may rea- 
sonably suppose that you would fail in any other case of equal 
moment in this general controversy."* 

Mr. Balloa here refers Mr. Eneeland to some of the 
weaknesses against which it was necessary for him to 
guard. He points him also to the balm of Gilead, to 
the true Physician. He recommends to him piety, 
humility, a love of truth, and freedom from prejudice. 

* « Series of LetUrs," p. 25. 


He knew the effect the gospel had had on himself. '' I 
have found relief by the use of the prescription, and am 
so much in favor of it that I am determined to continue 
its application myself^ as well as to recommend it to 

In his third letter, by way of reply to Mr. Kneeland, 
Mr. Ballou wrote with much power. He was warmed 
by a theme so dear to his heart; he saw no way to 
account for the &.cts of Christianity, which were proved 
by the united testimony of profane and sacired history, 
without supposing Christianity to be true. The thought 
of being left without the consolations of religion was 
dreadful to him. 

<* Ton will dulj cooflider that, in disproving the religion of 
Jesus Christ, jou disprove all religion ; for I am satisfied that 
you \r^ not pretend joa are making a choice between the gospel 
and some other doctrine. No ; the choice is between the gospel 
and no religion at aU. 

« Come, then> drive away all the doads of saperstition, and 
demonstrate at once that there has been no sun in the firmament 
during the whole of a cloudy day ! Soar like the strong^pinioned 
eagle, make your flight heyond the mists of error, and bring us 
the joyless tidings that there is no clear sky in the heavens. Can 
you imagine anything to be more pleasiz^ than the coming of one 
that brought good tidings \ But let us have the worst of it. 
Show, from undoubted authority, that there never was such a man 
as Jesus ; or i&ow that he vras a wicked impostor, and deservedly 
lost his life ! Show, moreover, that there never were such men as 
the apostles of Jesus ; or that they were likewise impostors, and 
all sufiTered death for their wicked impiety ! Give the particulars 
of Satil's madly forsaking the honorable connection in which he 
stood, for the sake of practiEong a fraud which gained him an 
immense income of sufEering ! 

« Bat you say the apostles were not bad men. Yeiy well ; 


then let U8 see how good men could tell so many things which 
they knew were not true, and suffer a,nd die in attestation of what 
they knew to be &l8e. You will see the danger of supposing that 
honest men can bear testimony to falsehood under the pretence 
of doing good, as this would destroy all testimony at once ; even 
your own cannot be relied on, after you maintain this detestable 
principle, which has been practised upon by' a wicked priesthood 
for ages." • 

Mr. Ballou was disposed to l)ase his argument on the 
alleged facts of Christianity. He was satisfied with no 
fine-spun theory. He called on Mr. Kneeland to answer 
the following series of questions : 

" 1st. Was there, in the days of the apostles, such a man known 
in the country of the Jews as Jesus Christ? 

" 2d. Was this man put to death, as the four evangelists and 
others testify ? 

*' 3d. Did the apostles declare to the people who put him to death 
that they knew that he had arisen from the dead ? 

<< 4th. If the Jews who put Jesus to death could haye gone to 
his sepulchre and shown his dead body to the people, would the 
story of the resurrection ever hare gained any credit amoi^ the 

'< 5th. If they could not find the body of him who had been 
crucified, would the opposers^ not endeayor to report somethii^ 
that might appear plausible, especially as they had the keeping of 
the sepulchre in their own hands? 

<< 6th. What would more naturally suggest itself to the imag- 
ination of men, in the situation of the rulers of the Jews, than the 
story of the disciples haying stolen the dead body? &c. Or, 

<' 7th. Was this account written long since the apostles? days, 
by an unknown author, who made the whole story as he wrote it? 
If this last question cannot be answered in the affirmatiye without 
doing yiolence to the most authentic testimony, and also to the 
plainest dictates of reason, it seems to fi»llow that the 6th preoed- 

* " Series of Letters/' pp. 36, 36. 


ing question mxust be answered In the aflbmativey which fomisbes 
sufficient evidence to prove that sai^h a story was reported among 
the Jews in the days of the apostles." * 

Mr. Balloiihcalled on Mr. Kneeland to account for the 
conyersion and subsequent conduct of St. Paul, without 
allowing that the Christian religion is divine. Is the 
whole scriptural account of St. Paul false ? was he really 
deceived in regard to what he says he saw ? or did he testify 
&lsely in reference to these matters ? or was he converted 
in the miraculous manner described by himself 7 One 
of these positions we must take. Mr. Ballon aimed to 
make the case of this eminent apostle available to the 
conversion of his friend : 

'^ I come to notice your remarks on the subject of St. Paul's 
conversion ; for it appears to me that you have allowed certain 
facts, without assigning any adequate causes by which those fapts 
came to exist. You make no attempt to deny that there was such 
a man as St. Paul, nor do you deny his having been educated and 
religiously instructed as the Scripture history sets forth. But you 
assign no reason why he became a believer in Jesus Christ ; you 
assign no reason for his becoming a preacher of the doctrine of 
Jesus ; you assign no reason why he should so patiently suffer for 
the religion the truth of which you are now calling in question. 
Tou allow that before his conversion he persecuted unto death 
the ' weak and defenceless disciples of the meek and lowly Jesus.' 
But you assign no reasons why weak and defenceless men should 
become the disciples of Jesus. You would fain insinuate that 
what he relates of the particular circumstance which happened to 
him on his way to Damascus was a mere revery. But you make 
no attempt to show how such a revery could produce, in this learned 
Pharisee, a belief that Jesus, who was crucified, had actually 
arisen from the dead, when there was not even the shadow of evi* 

• " Series of Letters," pp. 62, 53. 

118 UFB OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1820. 

denoe ezigtiiig to proye suoh an improbable &ot. You ate inolined 
to this noti(m of a revery on aooount of some experience of your 
own, which your good sense and after reflection have dis^yered 
to be nothing on which dependence ought to be placed. Sir, 
where is the similarity of your case to that of the learned Phari- 
see ? Do you really believe you ever experienced a revery that 
Vf ould in the least cause you to believe in the resurrection of a 
man who was hanged in your sight, and who you knew was 
buried, and of whose resurrection you had no evidence only a 
vague revery ? Do you believe you ever experienced a mere imag- 
ination which vms strong enough to produce the above betief, and 
which could continue to influence you all your life long, lead you 
to forsake a most honorable connection, and to espouse a religion 
which aU the prejudices of your education opposed, and to labor 
continually for its support, and to suffer everything for its de- 
fence? No, you pretend to no such thing ; therefore your case is 
very different from St. Paul's." • 

Mr. Ballon was an undoubting belieyer of the religion 
of the Bible as a revelation from God ; but he was no 
enthusiast. He believed it on the ground of evidence. 
He believed that no series'of fects was ever more fully 
sustained. Utterly impossible he beUeved it was that 
the Christian religion could have been the invention of 
men; that, connected as it was with the sacrifices of the 
early Christians, their sufferings, sincerity, martyrdom, 
there was no rational ground on which it could be sup- 
posed to be false. 

<< The proofs of which the gospel is susceptible are, in all 
req)ect8, equal to what they could have been in any other way 
concerted, vnthin the reach of human conception. This is going 
to a great length, I confess ; and yet I am strongly inclined to this 
opinion. I vrill candidly state the reasons. 1st. T^kiag the 

• « Series of Letters," pp. 60, 61. 


sabject in the gross, I am conyinoed of the truth of the goepel of 
Christ. Now, as I believe this gospel is not of man, but of God, 
I likewise believe that God, in consummate wisdom, has planned 
the evidences by which it is and will be supported in the world, 
■aniH it fills the whole earth. 2d. As I believe that divine wisdom 
ha* planned, ordered and directed, all the-means which will finally 
operate as evidences in defaice of the gospel, I dumot believe that 
the vnsdom or sagacity of man could have suggested a chain of 
evidences which could so well have secured the cause to be sup- 
ported. And, 3d. I have spent much time in reflecting and study- 
ing on this momentous subject,— some time in reading authors 
on both l^es of the question, a great deal of time in reading the 
Scriptures, — and have come to this conclusion: that no set of 
men ever lived in this world who could either have planned such 
a scheme as the gospel, or have invented such a chain of evidences 
for its support. 

" If the single miracle of the resurrection be considered, as the 
fact on which all other fiusts relating to the gospel seem to rest, it 
is confidently believed that no human invention could have con- 
certed a system so well calculated to secure a knowledge and belief 
of the fikct to all future generations, as that which has been 
adopted by the divine economy. Had the whole of the Jewish 
nation, with their Gentile neighbors, together with the Boman 
authorities, all confessed Christianity, being fully convinced of the 
resurrection of Jesus, and had they inscribed all the miracles 
recorded in the New Testament on monuments which should defy 
the hand of time to bring . them to decay, it requires but a 
moment's reflection to see that all this would have vastly increased 
the difficulty now to prove that it was npt all contrived by man's 

" But let us consider the unbelief of the Jews, the violent oppo- 
sition of that ancient priesthood, its coalition with the Boman 
government against the gospel, the great jealousy which the 
acknowledged miracles of Jesus had excited, the vigilance by 
which he was watched by his religious enemies, the careful 
scrutiny employed to discover fraud in his miracles, if it were pos- 
sible ; and then add to these oon^derations that tha miracles of 

120 LIFE OV HOSSA BALLOU. A. P. 1820. 

Jesus were publicly performed, and of such a nature as to admit 
of the easiest possible detection if they had not been r6al ; and 
finally, to disarm unbelief at once, consider that the ministry of 
the gospel was set up by the apostles, on the bold declaration 
that God had raised the crucified Jesus from the dead ! — a declara- 
tion, which, if it had not been true, mark well, sir, could ^ve 
been as easily refuted and rendered the derision of all people as 
any declaration that could have been made. But I shall lose my- 
self, and forget that you haye not yet called my attention so 
directly to this subject as to justify my entering largely into it." * 

Mr. Ballou believed in the divine inspiration of the 
pfophets. See pages 66, 67, of the *' Series of Letters." 
He also believed that Jesus had the power of a prophet, 
and foretold future events, as the destruction of Jerusa- 
lem, in the 24th and 25th chapters of Matthew's gospel. 
All these things he urged upon the attention of Mr. K. 
We cannot take up the space that it would require to 
quote all he has said on these points. In coming again 
to consider the evidence of the resurrection of Jesus 
Christ, Mr. Ballou said : 

<< The question seems to remain, and the substance of it is this : 
1st. If Jesus did actually rise from the dead, what kind of eyU 
dence would his disciples need, in orde^ to be satisfied of the fact? 
And, 2d. What kind of evidence must they be able to bring to 
the people, in order to convince them of the fact? 

<< I^ will here suppose that it is not necessary to prove that the 
disciples of Jesus, who preached him and his resurrection all their 
lives, after they commenced at the day of Pentecost, really believed 
What they preached ; but the evidence by which they believed it 
I now inquire for\ We must notice that the disciples did not 
expect the f esurrection ; they were not belifevers of this fact when 
their Master was crucified. They were avrfully disappointed, and 

* « Series of Letters,** pp. 64, 65. 


not only disappointed, but intimidated, as the account fully shows. 
They all forsook Jesus at his trial ; and Peter, for fear of being 
involyed with him, denied being his disciple. 

'' The evidence, then, of his resurrection, must be such as will 
conyince those of the &ct who haye no expectation of the eyent. 
We will now look at the account. < And when the Sabbath was 
past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and 
Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might come and 
anoint him.' This yery rational account shows, as plainly as the 
case will admit, that these women had no expectation of his 
resurrection. I omit hero what passed at the sepulchre when 
these women were there, for this does not relate to the disciples. 
The angel at the sepulchre told these women th«it Jesus had risen, 
and directed them to go and tell his disciples. * Now, when Jesus 
was risen early, the first day of the week, he appeared first to 
Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seyen deyils. And 
she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned 
and wept.' This mourning and weeping could not be the effect 
of the pleasing expectation of soon having their divine Mp>8ter with 
them ; nd, it was the natural effect of the amazing disappointment 
which had closed all the hopes they had entertained. ' And they, 
yrhen they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her,' 
— believed? no, — * believed not.' * After that, he appeared in an- 
other form to two of them as they walked, and went into the coun- 
try. And they went and told it unto the residue : neither believed 
they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at 
meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of 
heart, because they believed not th^m which had seen him after 
he had risen.' It seems unnecessary to quote into this-communi-. 
cation all the instances related by the four deponents of Jesus' 
being seen of the eleven ; his frequently being with them, eating 
with them, holding conversations with them, &c. Now, as these 
disciples knew that -Jesus had been crucified and buried, and a 
guard had been placed to guard the sepulchre, and moreover 
knowing for. certainty that the body of Jesus was not where it had 
been deposited, and being favored with his presence on a variety of 
occasions for forty days, the evidence to the disciples was of a char- 


122 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. B. 1820. 

acter described by the author of the Acts, to wit, ' To whom also 
he showed himself alive afler his passion by many infallible proofs, 
being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertain- 
ing to the kingdom of God.' I believe, sir, that such evidence aa 
Jesus is said to have given his disciples of his resurrection was 
entirely sufficient to remove all doubts'in their minds, however prone 
they were to unbelief. I am o£ opinicm that such evidence would 
convince you and me of a similar &ct. — Two questions are here 
necessary. 1st. Can we conceive how the evidence could have 
been less, without bemg insufficient ? And, 2d. Can we conceive 
how it could have been stronger? I will not take up time to 
argue these questions ; I feel satisfied on them myself. . I will now 
ask whether we can imagine the possibility of any evidence that 
could counterbalance the evidence of the resurrection in the minds 
of the disciples} Thus we are brought to the suggestion, that 
ai^y evidence which could be sufficient to prove such a fact, if 
no evidence appeared against it, must be such as admits of no 
refutation." • 

Mr. Ballou followed this with a luminoua statement of 
the kind of evidence which the early Christians brought 
to the people to convince them of the fact of the resur- 
rection of Jesus. But we ^re fearful of swelling this 
biography too largely, if we quote all that we are 
prompted to introduce, and all that we really think ought 
to be introduced, to do justice to the opinions and the 
arguments of our departed £either. It seems an aston- 
ishing fact, that a man who has defended revealed reli- 
gion with the force of argument employed by Mr. 
Ballou, as well as. with his sincerity and earnestness of 
heart, should ever have been represented by his enemies 
as a Deist, or Atheist in disguise. The authors of such 
charges could not have known his opinions ; they spoke 

♦ «« Series of Letters," pp. 70, 71. 


in the heat of opposition. Mr. Ballou was one of the 
sincerest Christians we ever knew; and his faith was 
founded in evidence. Of all men, he was the last to 
believe without evidence ; and where he believed, it was 
fair to pr^ume that he thought there was sufficient evi- 
dence. Christianity took deep root in his heart ; he felt 
its value and power. 0, said he to Mr. Kneeland : 

<* It is a soul-rejoiciDg fact, that, of the precious things brought 
to light by the Sun of righteousness, the hope of inunortality is 
ite most precious jewel. This makes every thing valuable. Hence 
we may lay up our treasures where neither moth nor rust can 
corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal. Here Qod's bright 
favor will never grow dim, nor will our love and gratitude ever 
decay. Bo you see that celestial form leaning on her anchor, 
while the raging waves of a restless sea dash against her feet, 
unmoved ? Do you observe her aspect firm, and her eyes turned 
towards heaven ? It is Hope. And would you wish to cast her 
down, and dash her on the rocks of unyielding Doubt? Go, 
brother, to the chamber of sickness, where life's waning embers 
can no longer warm the dying heart ; there hear from cold and 
quivering lips this hope expressed, ' I long to be with Christ,' * I 
long to be at rest.' Would you blast this amaranthine flower of 
faith and joyi Would you plant in its stead the nightHshade 
of despair ? 

" Do not, dear sir, listen too long to the wild suggestions of 
vain fiincy and wandering imagination, under the specious pre- 
tence of searching after truth. I am apprehensive that the one 
who persuades you that she is truth really deserves another name. 
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life ; he also is made unto us 

* Give me the light of this bright sun to see. 
All other lights like meteors are to me; 
Oive me that way, that pleasant path to know» 
I '11 walk no other path while here below. 

124 LIES OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1820. 

Woaldst' thou be wise 1 This wisdom learn to soan, . 
Whioh brings to God the wandering heart of man.* " * 

Such was the hold which Christianity had upon the 
heart of Hosea Ballou. It could scarcely be, that such 
arguments, and such an expression of deep feeling, should 
be lost. Mr. Kneeland felt himself moved. He felt the 
insuflBiciency of his own opinions to give him peace ; but, 
if Christianity were true, it was all he desired. He had 
been subject to great conflicts of doubt and hope. He 
said, and we think with sincerity, 

<< I confess I begin to grow dissatished with this kind of reason- 
ing. What does it all amount to ? What am I bringing, after 
all, to oppose the labored researches of Drs. Lardner, Paley, 
Priestley, and others, as well as the pertinent observations of my 
worthy friend who has so long borne with me, and obliged me 
with his friendly and Christian-like aid on this subject! Let me 
pause and consider 1 have acknowledged that there are evi- 
dences in favor of divine revelation ; have I proved any of those 
evidences false? No ! this I have acknowledged I could not do. 
What have I put into the other scale, to weigh down those evi- 
dences ? Ah ! what, indeed ? Nothing ! except it be my own 
ignorance, and the errors of other men, in whose errors I have no 
more faith than those who believe in the truth of that which I 
have been disputing ! I will, therefore, instead of pursuing the 
dispute any further, begin to think once more whether the thing 
for which you so ardently contend may not in reality be true. 
But here, again, I must be cautious, lest I should err as &r on 
the other hand. For, notwithstanding, when I found that I could 
not help doubting, I tried to reconcile myself to my doubts, and 
have sincerely and honestly tried to make myself believe that I 
was perfectly reconciled either way, yet the moment I begin to think 
about the certainty of immortality and eternal life, I am all on fire ! 
I hardly know how to contain myself! And, were it not for the 
special obligations which I feel to my family and to the world, 

* « Series of Letters," pp. 77, 78. 


more than anything which I ever expect to receive from the world, 
I should long to < depart, and he with Christ, which is far better.' 
Thus my doubts, whatever they are, may be needful for me." * 

Two or three letters passed between the parties after 
this concession on the part of Mr. Kneeland. In review- 
ing the whole matter, the latter was brought to believe 
that the publication of the correspondence might be of 
some benefit to the world. He desired that others who 
had the doubts which had beset him, might read the argu- 
ments which had won him back to the truth. In reply 
to his suggestion in this respect, Mr. Ballou said : 

" The purity of your motives, in writing on the subject of our 
discussion, will fully justify the exertions you have made to draw 
forth such arguments as your brother has been enabled to adduce 
in support of our common faith. I regret that my almost con- 
stant employment on other subjects and other duties has afibrded 
me little time to devote to your queries, which, together vnth my 
want of ability to do justice to a subject of this importance, is 
now an embarrassment in regard to giving my consent to the pub- 
lication of this correspondence. And there is still another cir- / 
cumstanoe which seems to operate as an objection to the publish- 
ing of these letters, namely, the wunt of extension of argument 
in many instances, which would have been attended to if the work 
had been written for the conviction of common readers, which 
was not thought to be necessary for the benefit of the mover of 
the queries. 

" However, as all human productions are imperfect, and ought 
80 to be considered, and especially those from your humble ser- 
vant, I am willing to appear to some disadvantage, if any consid- 
erable advantage may thereby result to the cause of Jesui» Christ 
our Lord. 

<'I cannot close this valedictory epistie vnthout a solemn 

* "Series of Letters," p. 161. 

126 LIFE OF HOSE A BALLOU. A. D. 1820. 

acknowledgment of heartMt gratitude to the memful Disposer of 
all events, for the ample evidence which his providence and grace 
have given of the truth of our religion, especially when we consider 
the glorious hope set before us ; and I am permitted to anticipate 
the promised era when there shall be no more death, neither sor- 
row nor crying ; when there shall be no more pain ; but when 
tears shall be wiped from all fitces, and the rebuke of the nations 
removed from off all the earth, and every creature in heaven, and 
on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, 
shall harmoniously ascribe blessing, and glory, and honor, unto 
Him who sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb for ever and 
ever. But I lose myself in the contemplation of the transporting 

" To conclude : as you, my brother, have labored, together vrith 
your fellow-servant, to look into and eiamine these things which 
belong to the kingdom of righteousness, and as we have been 
fikvored with mutual satis&ction in these researches, may it 
please the Great Head of the church still to hold us in his hand, 
still to engage us in his blessed cause, and render our mutual 
labors promotive of his grace among men. And, however distant 
from each other it may best suit the Captain of our salvation to 
place us, may it be his pleasure to continue our fellovrahip in the 
bonds of the gospel. " * 


Mr. Kneeland being streagtbeBed in his faith, and 
feeling himself willing to enter the Christian ministry 
once more, listened to an invitation to remove to the 
state of New York. This was near the commencement 
of the year 1816. Mr. Ballon had referred to this inten- 
tion of Mr. K. to remove at the close of his last lettter : 
" And, however distant from each other it may best snit 
the Captain of our salvation to place us, may it be his 

* *' Series of Letters," pp. 188, 189. 


pleasure to continue our fellowship in the bonds of the 
gospel.'' Bev. S. B. Smith says, in his '^ Historical 
Sketches : " 

" The name of Mr. A. Eneeland appears for the first time as a 
minister in New York on the minutes of this session of the Asso- 
ciation [Western Association of 1816]. He had settled with 
the society in Whitestown, devoting a part of the Sabbaths to at 
least one other congregation. He brought the experience of a 
number of years to bear upon the new field of his labor, and the 
general reputation of talents and acquirements above mediocrity, 
and certainly much above most of those who were now his fellow- 
laborers. Calm, courteous and gentlemanly in his deportment 
and intercourse, remarkably plain and intelligible in his dis- 
courses, he won the respect of opposers, and enjoyed the highest 
confidence of his congregation. And it is deemed but simple jus- 
tice to say, that his location in central New York was at the time 
a matter of pride and of benefit to thS denomination. Ani there 
were very few preachers then in the connection who could have 
thrown around them a greater number of salutary influences, or 
given a more elevating tone to the character of the Univexsalist 
ministry. The permanent establishment of such a man in the 
country was generally regarded as among the certain means of 
advancing the best interests of the denomination, and of approx- 
imating that standard of influence to which it now had a right to 
aspire. Nor were the expectatkms of friends materially disap- 
pointed, save in the peculiar form and matter of his pulpit labors. 
There, while everything was said and done in the most dignified 
and impressive manner, the subjects of discourse were too dry and 
metaphysical to secure continued interest and attention, or to 
awaken the afiections and improve the feelings of the heart. Of 
the ultimate career of Mr. K. nothing need be said in this place, 
as during the two or three years of his residence in c^itral New 
York his preaching had no necessary tendency to infidelity, nor 
did his friends suspect that he wanted entire confidence in the 
truth of divine revelation." * 

• << Historioal Sketches," pp. 160, 161. 


If Mr. Ejieeland removed to New York near the begin- 
ning of 1816, it adds force to the presumption that the 
discussion between him and Mr. Ballou was carried on in 
1815, while the latter resided at Salem. We have been 
the more anxious to fix the time, as all the letters, on 
each side, are without date, nor can we learn from them 
even the place where they were written. Mr. Kneeland, 
having engaged in secular business, resided in Salem in 
1814 and 1815. When he removed to the State of New 
York, he was so desirous for the publication of the cor- 
respondence, that he obtained the consent of Mr. Ballou 
to carry it to the West with him, where he oflFered propos- 
als for publishing it, and obtained a number of subscrib- 
ers ; but, being called soon after to remove to Philadelphia, 
he was under the necessity of {Postponing the publication 
for a season. -Mr. Henry Bowen, in the mean time, »hav- 
ing obtained some knowledge of the correspond^ce, and 
being informed by Mr Kneeland that the arguments 
which it contained were, in his opinion, calculated to 
strengthen the believer, as well as to confirm the doubt- 
ing, he negotiated for the manuscripts, and in A. D. 
1820 he published the book. 


On the first day of January, 1821, a young man 
entered the family of Mr. Ballou, with the intention of 
making some preparation for the Christian ministry. 
The means by which the two had becbme acquainted were 
as follows: Mr. Ballou had rented a house of Mr. Abel 
Baker, the gentleman to whom the young man had been 


apprenticed, that he might learn the art of boot-making. "^ 
Thus the venerable divine and the young boot-maker 
were brought to live in the same vicinity. The latter, 
who in his young days could not love the discipline of 
instruction, had had slight education, except what he 
gained at the common schools in Gharlestown, where his 
parents had resided from 1805 to 1814, and where his 
father had died in the year last named. He had attended 
for three months an evening school kept by Rev. Israel 
Alger, in the winter of 1819-20, in which he had pur- 
sued the study of English grammar ; and, as the term 
expired before he had completed the grammar, he re- 
solved, if possible, to form an acquaintance with Mr. 
Ballou, and gain his assistance in further pursuing the 
science. Upon a certain evening, he arrayed himself in 
his best apparel, which could not have recommended him 
for anything but prudence and economy, and made bold 
to knock at the door of Mr. B.'s house. The sweet voice 
of Mrs. Ballou said, " Walk in." He entered, and was 
kindly received. On his making known the object of 
his visit to Mr. B., who was present, that venerable 
divine commended the pursuit of knowledge, especially 
that branch of it to which the young man's mind had 
been turned, and offered all the assistance in his power, 
to help him through. He had gone through orthography, 
etymology and syntax, and needed help in the matter of 
punctuation. Mr. B. therefore recommended that he 
should commence writing composition, and put in the 
stops as well as he could, and then come and read the 
articles, and, ifany mistakes were discovered, they should 
be pointed out. The young man thought this a great 


privilege, and was very happy. As soon as the conver- 
sation was ended, he rose to retire, not thinking it proper 
to interfere any more than was necessary with the duties 
of Mr. Ballon ; but, as the good man urged him to sit a 
little longer, and as Mrs. Ballou, in the most tender an^ 
affectionate manner, invited him to remain and pass the 
evening, he felt at liberty to tarry a short time. The 
kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Ballou made a very favorable 
impression upon him, for his own father was dead, and, 
in one sense, he was without a mother. In the course of 
a week he had prepared an article to read to Mr. Ballou ; 
it was in rhyme, and was entitled '^ Reflections over the 
Grave of an Infant." Mr. B. suggested but little alter- 
ation, and asked the &vor of retaining it ; but, to the 
young man's surprise and joy, he saw it, in a few days, 
in the Universalist Magazine,* It may now be be- 
lieved that his ambition was fully excited, and almost 
every moment of his leisure time was given to study and to 
writing. Imperfect as his effusions were, they were gen- 
erally admitted to the Universalist Magazine ; and, 
in the course of six months, Mr. Ballou gave liberty to 
the printer to insert any article from the new writer 
which he might bring. Shortly after, Mr. Ballou, when 
obliged to be absent from Boston, would leave his proof- 
sheets for his young friend to read. It was in the month 
of May, 1820, that Mr. B. availed himself of an oppor- 
tunity to ask his new friend if it was not his intention to 
enter the ministry, who at once answered in the negative. 
He had had his faith in divine revelation disturbed by 
the belief that certain doctrines of Calvinism were taught 

* See Magazine, rol. i., p. 184. 


in the Bible ; but he had began to attend on the ministry 
of Mr. Ballon, and these doubts *virere fast wearing away. 
He suggested to Mr. B. the trials of mind through which 
he had passed in these respects ; and the venerable man 
assisted him to understand the proofs of Christianity, and 
urged him to read "Paley's Evidences." Ashe read, 
he became amazed to see with what clearness the Chris- 
tian religion could be proved to be of divine origin ; and, 
attending constantly on the ministry of Mr. Ballon, he 
soon came to see the Bible in a new phase. He learned 
that the doctrine of endless punishment was not revealed 
therein, and that the death of Christ (instead of being 
designed to reconcile an unchangeable God to men, as the 
old divines had taught) was designed to reveal and com- 
mend God's love. **J^or God so loved the world thctt 
he gave his oniy-begotten Son, that whosoever believ-* 
eth in him should not perish, but *have everlasting . 
life. For God sent not his So7i into the world to 
condemn ther world, but that the world through him 
might be saved.^^ — John 3 : 16, 17. The young man 
seemed to enter into a new life ; and, although he an- 
swered the question in respect to entering the ministry 
decidedly in the negative, when first proposed by Mr. 
Ballon, he soon came, from the effect of divine truth 
upon his mind, to cherish an earnest desire to preach the 
gospel. All his leisure time, during the summer and 
fall of 1820, he spent in preparation, though his means 
were very limited. His heart was in the work. 

At this time (as has been shown) Mr. Ballon was 
preaching on one Sabbath evening in a fortnight at Box- 
bury ; and the young man, with much indiscretion, pro- 

182 IiIF£ 07 HOSfIA BALLOU. A. B. 1831, 

posed to Mr. B. that, on a certain Sandaj erening in the 
month of Deeember, he would go out with him to that 
town and officiate at the lecture. Instead of rebuking 
him for his presumption, Mr. B. kindly replied, ''It is 
not for me to say who shall preach at Boxbury ; but I 
will suggest the matter to my friends there, and, if thej 
approve of the arrangement, it will give me pleasure." 
At a future day, Mr. Ballou said to him, '' The friends 
at Boxbury wiH expect you to preach on my next 
appointment." This happened on Sunday evening, Dec. 
10, 1820. A friend took both in a carriage, at the close 
of service at School-street ; they rode together to the 
town named, and the young man conducted the services, 
Mr. Ballou offering the concluding prayer. 

At l^e beginning of the following month this young 
man would have been without a home, had it not been 
for the kindness of Mjt. Ballou. His master, to whom 
he had been apprenticed, and whom he had served faith- 
fully for nearly seven years, would doubtless have given 
him employment ; but his desires now impelled him to 
enter the ministry. Where should he go 1 where could 
he abide while he was preparing for the sacred office 1 
While these thoughts were passing in his mind, corre- 
sponding ones occupied that of Mr. Ballou y and on the 
Sabbath (Dec 31) the reverend pastor gave notice to the 
people of his charge that he had a matter of benevolence 
to mention to them, and such persons as could conve-* 
niently remain after the benediction could hear it. Suf- 
fice it to say, that on that occasion one hundred and fifty 
dollars were placed in the hands of Mr. Ballou, to pay 
this young man's board for one year ; and on the next 


day (the beginning of the new year) hehecame an inmate 
in Mr. B.'a family. Here he expected to remain at least 
for a year, and perhaps longer ; but the early settlement 
which he gained as a pastor, and his subsequent ability, 
by the diyine blessing, to take care of himself, are mat- 
ters that are not to be described in this place. Yet the 
biographer [who was the young man referred to] cannot 
permit this occasion to pass without saying that, so far 
as he can see, he should never have been a preacher of 
the doctrine of universal grace, if it had not been for 
the advice and assistance of Hosea Ballon. The single 
fact of Mr. B.'s removal to the house of Abel Baker, 
which brought him and the young man acquainted with 
each other, probably gave a turn to the whole life of the 
latter. How little we know of what is to happen to us ! 
How much depends on what seem to us to be very slight 
causes ! From the time of which we speak to the hour 
of Mr. B.'s death, an unbroken friendship existed be- 
tween the two. 


In this early day, and for several years previously, 
Mr. Ballou had been generally called on to officiate at 
the dedication of churches, and usually preached the ser- 
mon on such occasions. We remember well two dedica- 
tions which took place at the very beginning of the year 
1821. The first was that of the Universalist meeting- 
house in Roxbury, Mass., which had been erected during 
the preceding summer and fall. It was a beautiful 
house for that day ; and as the society had been gathered 
principally by the labors and influence of Mr. Ballou, 


184 LIEB OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1821. 

{he honor of being chosen to preach the sermon seemed 
to belong to him. There were presait, beside him, Rev. 
Joshua Flagg, of Scituate, who read select portions of 
Scripture ; Bev. Paul Dean, of Boston, who offered the 
introductory prayer ; Rev. Edward Turner, of Charles- 
town, who offered the prayer of dedication ; and Bey. 
Richard Carrique, of Attleboro', who offered the conclud- 
ing prayer. Mr. Bailouts sermon is well remembered. 
It was delivered in the presence of a congregation which 
filled the house densely in every part, every aisle being 
perfectly crowded with persons who were obliged to stand. 
The text was Mai. 3 : 10 : ** Bring ye all the tithes 
into the storehouse^ that there may be meat in my 
houses and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord Of 
hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, 
and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be 
room enough to receive it.^' The preacher spoke first 
of the tithes under the law. They were selected from 
what God had first, in his gracious providence, bestowed 
upon the people. 2d. They were an acknowledgment of 
the divine favor. 8d. They were eaten in the place 
which God had chosen in which to establish his name 
and worship, by those who offered tbem, with rejoicing. 
From this Mr. B. proceeded in the following manner : 

" Ist. He examined the meat which has been offered in the 
sanctuary of Christian devotion, and endeavored to show that, in 
some instances at least, it is not the true spiritual tithes which 
Christ requires. ^ 

'^ 2d. He said, we shall attempt to bring forward the true and 
living bread, that there' may be meat in the house of the Lord, 
and give some true tokens that we are not deceived in the bread 
which we place on the table of the Lord. And, 


'< 3d. By proying God herewith, we Bhall, if we make no mis- 
take, see the windows of heaven open, and a hlesdng poured out 
until there be not room enough to receive it." 

In this sermon he showed that certain false doctrines, 
which had been preached in Christian temples, dishonored 
God, and gave great sorrow to the people. He showed, 
also, the strikingly beneficial effect of the true doctrine of 
God, which was the bread of God that came down from 
heaven to give life to the world. He pointed out various 
portions of that true doctrine, and Jthen^aid, ''Let us 
bring all these tithes into the house of the Lord, that 
there may be meat in his house ; and let us prove God 
therewith, and see if he will not open the windows of 
heaven and pour us out a blessing, until there shall not 
be room to receive it." And then came the gathering 
together of Scripture testimonies, through which God 
pours out his blessings upon men in the richest abun- 
dance. Li concluding, he uttered the following petition : 

" Brethren, may it please an indulgent God to reward all your 
labore, your highly honorable exertions, and your commendable 
perseverance, from the commencement of the gathering of your 
society in this place, to the completion of this beautiful house, 
and to its present dedication to the worship of the one true and 
living God, with an abundance of those spiritual provisions with 
which Zion is blessed. And may the divine glory abide in this 
house ; may there be wholesome meat on the table of the Lord in 
this place contiaually, for you and for your children for a long 
time, to come. And may it also please God to continue your happy 
tinion, and your good agreement and friendly intercourse with the 
. other Christian societies in this place." * 

♦ See « A Sermon delivered at the Dedication of the First Universalist 
Meeting-houae in Roxbury, Thursday, Jan. 4, 1821. By Hosea Ballon, 
Pastor of the Second Universalist Society in Boston.*' Boston : Henry 
Bowen, 1821. 

186 LIFB OF H08EA BALLOU. A. D. 1S9I* 

On the following week (January 10), Mr. Ballou 
went to Milford, Mass., to assist in the dedication of a 
new and substantial bouse for public worship recently 
erected in that town. The brethren desired him to 
preach the sermon, and would accept of none other, even 
though he suggested the pr<^riety of their calling on 
Bey. Mr. Turner. The day of dedicatTon was remark- 
ably pleasant, and the congregation was uncommonly 
numerous. It was such a gathering as had not been 
seen in that vicinity for years. Scriptures were read by 
Bev.B. L. Eillam, of M&rlboro'; introductory prayer 
by Rev. Richard Carrique; prayer of dedication by Rev. 
Elias Smith ; ^ sermon by Rev. H. Ballou ; and conclud- 

* Elias Smith had professed to embrace TJniv-ersalism about the year 
1618. He had been at first a Calrinistio Baptist, afterwards a Free-wiU 
^ptisti afterwards a Ghrist-ian, and then a Universalist. He had formed 
some connection with the celebrated Dr. Thompson, in the Thompsonian 
practice, so called, and gave much of his attention to healing t^e sick. 
He had friends around him who loved his preaching, even when he was 
a Baptist. They still clung to him ; and he attempted to establish a 
Universalist society, which he -ealled the Tlurd UniyeVsali^ Society in 
Boston. They met at first in a hall in the second story of a building ia 
Clark-street, near the meeting-house of Eev. Francis Parkman. Hero 
he was installed on Wednesday, 3d January, 1821. Rev. B. Streeter, of 
Salem, offered the introductory prayer ; Bev. B. Garriq^ue, of Attle- 
boro*, preached the sermon, from 2 Tim. 2 : 24, 25 ; the consecrating 
prayer was offered by Rev. Joshua Flagg, of Scituate ; the charge was 
given by Rev. Hosea Ballou, of Boston ; right hand of fellowship, by 
Rev. Edward Turner, of Charlestown ; and concluding prayer, by Rev. 
Hosea Ballon, 2d, then of Stafford, Conn. After holding meetings in thii 
place for a jear or two, Mr. Smith removed, with his congregation, to ft 
new building, built for a market-house, next east of the City Hotel, 
where thftre was a fine hall. We think the congregation did not prosper 
for many years, but was scattered and lost. Mr. Smith afterwards 
renounced Universalism, and still later accepted it again ; and, finally, 
his influence was entirely used up as a clergyman, and he gave his whole 
attention to the practice of medicine on Thompson's system. He Wft0 
the father of D. D. Smith and M. Hale Smith. 


ing prayer by Bev. Z. S. Crossman. Mr. B.'s text was 
Isaiah 2:8: ^^And many people shall go and say^ 
Come ye^ and let us go tip to the mountain of the 
Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and 'he will 
teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: 
for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word 
of the Lord from Jerusalem,.^' The sermon created a 
great sensation, and three of the most respectable citizens 
of the town were appointed a committee to solicit a copy 
for the press.* He spoke first of that law of our social 
nature which led people to say one to another, '' Gome, 
let us go up to the mountain of the Lord." He made a 
beautiful use of this section of his text, and closed his 
remarks upon it by expressing the hope that no senti- 
ment might ever be preached in that house which -in its 
nature or tendency is subversive of the social affections 
and charities of our nature. He then went on to describe 
^^ the mountain of the Lord, the house of the God of Ja- 
cob." This was the spiritual kingdom of Christ. It is 
universal ; all nations shall flow unto it. There is a 
feast provided there for all people, — see Isaiah 25 : 7 — 9. 
Any place is the mountain of the Lord's house wherever 
this feast is prepared. This is the city of the living God, 
the heavenly Jerusalem. From this Zion, is to go forth 
the law ; to this shall the people come and learn the ways 
of God. He dwelt largely on the subject of God's ways, 
and in closing he expressed his hopes in the following 
strain : 

" Brethren, may you long enjoy the privilege of aaying one to 
another^ and to your families, Come, let us go to the house of the 
God of Jacob ; and Jbere may you meet in peace and love, and may 


188 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1821. 

it please God that you may here learn hi9 ways, and be directed 
in his paths. Be cautious that you do not mistake the ways of 
man for the ways of God, the doctrines of men for the doctrine of 
God, the spirit of the world for the spirit of God ; but be ye per- 
fect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Here may 
you, and your children, and your children's children, be enlight- 
ened in the knowledge of God, and delight yourselves in hid^ law 
and word. And may it please the great Head of the church to 
gi^e peace in this place for a long time to come, and grant many 
to hold sweet communion with their God within these vmlls. 
Come, my friends, enter into covenant with God this day, as did 
Jacob of old, and let this house be witness that tHe Lord shall be 
your God from henceforth and forever." • 


On one occasion, two or three years after Mr. B.'s 
removal to Boston, he was invited to Canton, Mass., to 
deliver a sermon. The people had heard of him, and 
they desired to see him and hear him speak. He was 
always a favorite of the common people; they '^ heard 
him gladly." Accordingly he consented to visit this 
town ; and, as the best place which could be obtained was 
a hall, the meeting was appointed there, and when the 
hour for service arrived it was filled to overflowing. I!^e 
Methodist clergyman (a Bev. Mr. Tinkham) came to the 
meeting, and after he was introduced to Mr. Ballon he 
said to him that he should be glad of the opportunity to 
make some remarks on his discourse at the conclusion, 

* " A Sermon, delivered at the Dedioation of the First Universalist 
Heeting-house, in Milford, Mass., Wednesday, January 10, 1821. By 
Hosoa Ballon, pastor of the Seoond UniversaUst Sooiety in Boston. 
Boston: Henry Bowen. 1821." 


thus showing that he expected to be opposed to what Mr. 
" B. might say, although he knew not what doctrines were 
to be advanced. Finding him in this state of mind, Mr. 
Ballon determined that he would give the man something 
important and solid to work upon. The* text chosen was 
the well-known words of the apostle, 1 Tim. 2:4: " God 
will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the 
knowledge of the truth." Mr. Ballon, of course, showed, 
what was almost self-evident, that God's will is in favor 
of the salvation of all men ; and if Grod's will he done, 
all men will be saved. He then proceeded to show that 
the will of a Being of infinite wisdom a^d power cannot 
be defeated. '^He doeth according to his will in the 
army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; 
and none can stay his band, or say unto him, What doest 
thou 7 " — Dan. 4 : 85. With many other considerations 
did Mr. B. prove that the will of God must be carried 
into effect When he drew towards a close, he told the 
people that the reverend gentleman present with him 
desired to make some remarks on the discourse ; and he 
hoped they would sit patiently and listen respectfully to 
what he might say. They observed a perfect silence. 
Bev. Mr.- Tinkham rose, and proceeded to agree with Mr. 
Ballou so far as to allow that Ood willed the salvation 
of all men ; but he maintained that the will of God might 
be defeated. It was the will of God that men should not 
sin here on the earth ; but they did sin. Thus we saw, 
he said, that the will of God might &il of being accom- 
plished. He went on further to quote certain texts of 
Scripture, to prove the doctrine of endless misery. And, 
having done this, he asserted again, with great emphaeos. 

140 ^ LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1821. 

" You see, my hearers, that although God wills the sal- 
vation of all men, it furnishes no proof of the doctrine 
Mr. Ballou has preached here to-night ; for the will of 
God will not he done." Here he sat down. 

Mr. Ballou rose slowly, and said meekly, "Our brother 
has told us that the will of God is in favor of the salva- 
tion of all men, but he thinks the will of God will not 
fce carried into effect Suppose, now, I allow (continued 
Mr Ballou) that he has in this way refuted my argument 
in favor of Universalism, as based on the will of God, — 
what, then ? Answer. He has refuted himself also ; for 
if /cannot depend on the will of God to support my 
argument, neither can he to support his ; for, if the will 
of God may not be done in one case, it may not in an- 
other : if it may not be done in saving men, it may not 
be done in damning them. Thus the gentleman, in an 
attempt to refute Universalism, has actually refuted his 
own theory ! " This reply struck the minds of the peo- 
ple with such force, that nearly every person in the house 
rose at once upon his feet ; and it seemed to them so evi- 
dent that the Methodist clergyman had overthrown his 
own cause, that they dispersed. He sought to say some- 
thing to them, but they judged he woul^ make a bad 
matter worse, and they did not stop to hear. He turned 
then to Mr. Ballou, and said, " I did not mean to give the 
sense you attributed to me." " Well," «aid Mr. B., "I 
certainly did not intend to misrepresent you ; but I had 
no means of knowing what you meant, except from what 
you saldy The carriage being in waiting to take Mr. 
B. to his lodgings, they parted. Mr. Tinkham felt sore. 
He complained that the congregation did not treat him 


respeotfally. A gentleman asked, '^ Did not Mr. Balloa 
treat you well, sir? " " He did,'' said Mr. T. 


The great apostle to the Gentiles has given the world 
an eloquent description of charity in his first epistle to the 
Corinthians. It was the desire of Mr. Ballou to form his 
character on that model, and he had sedulously endeavored 
to do so from his earliest days as a Christian. He would, 
if need be, ' ' suffer long, " but he desired still to be ' ^ kind ; ' ' 
to be "not puffed up;" "not easily provoked;" to 
think "no evil," to "bear all things" and "endure all 
things," rather than violate the precepts of Christ. This 
is beautifully illustrated in the following interesting rela- 
tion of facts, sent me by a clergyman, who once studied 
with Mr. Sallou : 

''An incident occurred, while I was under the instructicHi of 
Father Ballou, which, while it rebuked my indiscretion, and 
taught me a lesson never to be forgotten, at the same time exhib- 
ited a trait in his, character which I ever afterwards admired ; 
showing the perfect discipline to which his heart had been sub- 
jected, and how thoroughly it was imbued with the spirit of 

'' A certain person who, from envy or some other ungovemed 
passion, entertained very unfriendly feelings towards Mr. B., and 
who improved every convenient' opportunity to prejudice the minds 
of others against him^ had repeatedly, and with considerable 
urgency, invited me to his house. His connection with the 
denomination, and with the sacred office for which I was then 
endeavoring to prepare myself, induced me to make him a call. 
His object in seeking the interview was soon manifested by his 
anxiety to know how far my mind had become * tainted,' as he 


142 LIFB or HOSBA BALLOtJ. A. JD. 1821« 

ezpreflfled it, with Mr. Ballou's opinions. And, finding that, so 
far as I understood them, they were regarded to be generally 
sound and scriptural, he indulged in a strain of remark, with ref- 
erence both to the opinions and their distinguished advocate, 
marked by a degree of severity which betrayed a very unhappy 
frame y)f mind. Upon returning home after tea, I related to one 
or two of Mr. B.'s family some of the harsh things that had been 
said, which seemed rather to amnse than offend them. But Mr. 
B. himself made no inquiries of me respecting the interview, for 
he was aware of the feeling indulged toward him in that quarter* 
And when, at the table the next morning, I was about to relate 
to him some things that were said, he turned, and, with a look and 
a manner I, shall never forget, salid, * JBr, F., stop ! «top ! I will 
hear not one word about it. If anything uncharitable! was said 
in reference to me, I beg of you not to repeat it iq any one 
living.' " • 


At this date, Ohio was a small state compared with 
what it is at the present time. It had, perhaps, a hal(- 
million of inhabitants of every kind. Universalism was 
little known there. A few Universalists had migrated to 
the vicinity of the Muskingum river, and settled at a new 
place, called Marietta. As early as 1814, Rev. Timothy 
Bigelow removed to the state, bearing with him a recom- 
mendation from the General Convention of Universalists. 
He had been ordained in 1809 (see vol. I. of this work, 

* I reoeived this aoooant from Rev. Thomas G. Farnsworth, of Wal- 
tham, Mass. About the beginning of the year 1821 he was dismissed 
from the First Baptist Ghnroh in Boston, and immediately devoted him- 
self to a preparation !br the ministry among the Universalists. He went 
to reside in the family of Mr. Ballon ; and it was daring this residenoe 
that the fact related oconrred. 


pp. 808, 892). Mr. Ballou's paper (the Universalist 
Magazine) found its way into Ohio, and did much good 
in spreading a knowledge of the truth. The following is 
an extract of a letter received by Mr. B., and dated Huron 
county, February 10, 1821 : 

'< Theire is a large share of this county friendly to your works, 
and of the principal characters, too ; and I have no doubt a 
preacher of our order may have good encouragement, and would 
he well provided for. There has been but one among us since I 
have been here, namely, a Mr. Johnson, from Vermont. I had a 
short opportunity with him ; and he did himself and profession 
honor with us, and encouraged another yifdt, but has not yet 
attended. He had left Vermont for his health, which he said was 
mending. He told me there were so many calls for his labors that 
he did not know how to dispose of that which he could do. We 
look to your quarter for help, hoping that Providence will so 
order that we in this part of the vineyard shall not wholly be 
neglected. Please be so good as to forward such sketches of the 
general prosperity and progress of the church as you have reason 
to believe v^ill be new and interesting to me, and that you can 
conveniently attend to. 

" This county is settled principally of people from New England 
and the State of New York and we are veiy well pleased with the 
country ; but the country is yet quite new, and, although we are 
blessed with an abundance of the produce of the land, yet the 
scarcity of money is such that we cannot realize it from our prod- 
uce, and of course get very little." 

We see, from this extract, that Mr. Ballou's works had 
reached Ohio, even at this early day^ and were laying 
the foundations of Universalism in that state. The Mr. 
Johnson refb^ed to in this extract was, we think, Bev. 

144 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1821. 

N. B. Johnson. In 1821 he wrote that there were not 
twenty Universalists in all Ohio in 1814."^ 


Mr. Ballon had always aimed to travel as much as he 
could, consistently with his duty to his society. He was 
wondrously successful wherever he went. From the first 
daysof his ministerial life he had been in the habit of 
visiting occasionally the State of Rhode Island, which was 
the native place of his parents, and of all his ancestors, 
so &r as he could trace them ; and he had frequently 
preached there. Universalism had sprung up under Mr. 
Murray, and perhaps a society or two had been formed ; 
but, for the want of preachers, the doctrine did not extend. 
Yet the seed of truth cannot die. 

In June, 1821, Mr. Ballou had the happiness to re- 
ceive an epistle from a beloved friend in Providence, from 
which we take the following paragraph : 

<< But I have digressed ; my design was, to state the progress 
of the doctrine of universal salvation. For several years we have 
had occasional preaching in this tovm, and frequently has our 
place of meeting been very full, and the hearers very attentive to 
the word preached ; of late more attention has been manifested, 
and it v^as thought advisable by some to attempt the formation 
of a society ; accordingly, a meeting was held on the lOth o^ April 
last, the society formed, and officers appointed, at the head of 
which stands our worthy and venerable friend, Rufos "Waterman. 
On Sunday, 29th of April, Rev. Mr. Carrique attended, and 
delivered three discourses to respectable audiences ^ p the evening, 

* See Modern History of Universalism, first edition, vol. t., p. 428.^ 


especially, the audience was yeiy numerous and attentive. Soon 
after this, it was deemed advisable to open a subscription for the 
purchase of a lot of land, on which to build a house for public 
worship ; having succeeded, it is probable that a foundation for a 
house will be laid as early as the ensuing spring." 

The place of meeting here referred to waa the old town- 
house, which was rery large, and was capable of contain- 
ing a great number of hearers. Sometimes, especially at 
the Sunday-evening lectures, it would be crowded. Rev. 
Richard Garrique resided at this time in Attleboro', 
Mass., about eight miles from Providence. 


In May, 1821, Mr. Ballou made a visit to Connecticut 
He left Boston on Monday, 14th of May, and stopped a 
day or two at Stafford, where he preached on the 17th. 
On Friday he reached Hartford, and, as there was no 
meeting-house there, at this time, owned by the Univer- 
salists, he obtained liberty to enter Rev. Dr. Flint's 
church (Orthodox) in the evening. On Sunday (20th) 
he delivered two discourses in the State-house, to very 
large congregations. On Monday and Wednesday eve- 
nings following, he occupied again the pulpit of Dr. Flint; 
and on Friday went to Berlin, eleven miles south of 
Hartford, where he occupied the pulpit of Rev. Mr. 
Goodrich (supposed to be Orthodox). On Saturday, he 
pursued his way to Middlefield, a parish in Middletown, 
and preached in the afternoon, after which he returned to 
Hartford to^repare for the duties of the Sabbath. The 
serrices of Sunday, the 27th, were long remembered by 


146 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1821, 

the elder TJniversalists of Hartford. They were holden 
in the State-house, 'where the preacher, not worn out by 
the past week's toil, preached two admirable sermons. 
He went in the evening to Windsor, where he preached, 
and returned after lecture to Hartford. He left the lat- 
ter place on Monday morning, preached at Stafford in the 
afternoon of that day, and returned to Boston, his lovely 
home, on Tuesday. He enjoyed this journey richly. It 
was May ; the season was delightful ; the country was 
variegated with the beauty of grass, waving grain, and 
trees adorned with foliage and blossoms ; the air was full 
of perfume ; everything gave promise of a full harvest. 
He said : 

" I was led, as I passed along through the country, to compare 
the wisdom of this world, as displayed in the limited doctrine of 
the Calyinistic creed, with the divine benevolence impartially set 
forth in creation and providence. This comparison led me to pity 
my brethren of limited faith, and to raise a desire to the Giver of 
every good and perfect gift, that he v^ould remove from their 
minds those deceptions which lead them to dishonor him." 

During this visit to Hartford, he remembered his last 
interview with the lamented Elhanan Winchester, in that 
city, twenty-four years before,* when Mr. B. himself 
was but twenty-six years of age. Mr. W. died, much 
lamented, shortly after that interview, and was buried 
there. In 1802 the General Convention voted to put a 
stone at his grave, which was accordingly done ; the in- 
scription on which was drawn up by Rev. George Rich- 
ards. During the visit of 1821, Mr. Ballou went several 

* See vol. I. of this work, pp. 122, 123. 


times to the grave-yard, and walked pensively among the 
tombs. He had a calm, pleasing sensation in leaning 
upon the stone at the good man's grave, and reading its 
inscription.* On the whole, this .visit was the most im- 
portant in its effects of any one that Mr. B. had ever 
made to that place. The brethren and fathers were 
revived and strengthened, so that the little band, which 
before had seemed to have but little life, immediately 
determined to move onward. They engaged a preacher, 
Bev. R. Garrique, who settled there and held regular 
meetings in the State-house, and soon after commenced 
a paper, entitled " The Religious Inquirer. ^^ Prepa- 
rations were made without delay for building a meeting- 
house, which was dedicated in 1824, as we shall show 
in 'the proper place. 


We have already described the part taken by Mr. 
Ballou in advising the individual above-named to enter 
the ministry, and the assistance obtained for him in a 
pecuniary respect But the young man, to his surprise, 

* The following is the inscription : 

*< The General Convention of the ITniversal Churches, in memory of 
their dear departed brother, the Rev. Blhanak Winchbstkr, erected 
this monumental stone. 

"He died AprU 18th, 1797, aged 46 years. 

'< *T was thine to preach, with animated zeal. 
The glories of the resurrection mom, 
When sin, death, hell, the power of Christ shall feel. 
And light, life, immortality, be born." 

148 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. B. 1621, 

within three months from the time he entered Mr. B.'s 
family, was invited to settle as pastor of the Universalist 
society in Milford, Mass. He looked to Mr. B. for ad- 
vice, who thought the invitation should be accepted; 
which was done, and almost the whole of the money con- 
tributed for the young man's benefit was left in Mr. B.'s 
hands, for the aid of such students as should afterwards 
stand in need. Thus the young man became the pastor 
in Milford, although unlearned and inexperienced. He 
was almost totally unprepared for the position into which 
he had been drawn, and nothing could have justified the 
step on his part, except the great need there was of 
preachers, and the resolute will he felt that after he 
should have removed to Milford he would pursue his 
studies with all his mind and strength. 

Within a few weeks he found himself embarrassed, 
because he had not received ordination ; and he wrote to 
Mr. Ballou for advice. The good man returned for 
answer, that not only could a clergyman not marry with- 
out ordination, but, according to the custom of our order, 
he could not administer the Lord's supper, nor baptize 
children. Here the matter (as the young man supposed) 
was dropped. In June, he went to Stoughton, Mass., to 
attend the session of the Southern Association of Univer- 
salists, where he met his friend Ballou, with Revs. Paul 
Dean, J. Flagg, R. Garrique and Z. Grossman. There 
was no house in the town owned by the Universalists, 
who had holden their meetings, hitherto, on the Sabbath, 
in a hall ; but permission had been obtained to hold the 
public services of the association in the meeting-house of 


Rev. Mr. Gay.* Mr. Ballou proposed to the association 
to confer ordination on young Whittemore. It was known 
to them all, that he was settled at Milford as a regalar 
pastor, and that it was necessary, therefore, he should be 
ordained. The service took place on Wednesday, 18th 
June. Mr. Dean had preached in the forenoon, from 
Isaiah 28 : 20 ; and the afternoon was devoted to the ser- 
vices of the ordination. Mr. Flagg offered the introduc- 
tory prayer ; Mr. Ballou preached the sermon ; Mr. Dean 
offered the ordaining prayer; Mr. Garrique gave the 
charge ; Mr. Dean the right hand of fellowship, and Mr. 
Grossman the concluding prayer. Mr. Ballou's sermon is 
well remembered even now, nearly a third of a century after 
its delivery. The words of the text were, ^^IwiU abun- 
dantly bless her provisions : I will satisfy her poor 
toith bread. I will also clothe her priests with salva- 
tion, and her saints shall shout cdoud for joy.^' — Psa. 
132: 15, 16. The preacher began by saying, '^We 
must, in the &st place, endeavor to learn who is referred 
to in the text. ' I will abundantly bless her provisions.' 
Whose provisions? • ' I will satisfy her poor with bread.' 
Whose poor? ' I will also clothe her priests with salva- 
tion.' Whose priests? 'And her saints shall shout 
idoud for joy.' Whose saints ? " To obtain answers to 
these questions, he read the two preceding verses. " For 
the Lord hath chosen Zion ; he hath desired it for his 

* The majority of Mr. Gay's parish soon beeame I7niv«nali8t8 ; and 
it waa but a few years after the time of which we speak, when they set- 
tled a TJniyersalist clergyman. Rev. M. B. Ballon, son of Hosea, 
remained for a long series of years their pastor. The same meeting- 
house stiU stands. 


150 LIFB OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1821. 

habitation ; thi? is my rest forever ; here will I dwell, for 
I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provi- 
sions." *'Ah," said he, "now we have the answer. 
We will read the text anew. ' I will abundantly bless 
Zion's provision ; I will satisfy Zion's poor with bread ; 
I will also clothe Zion's priests with salvation, and Zion's 
saints shall shout aloud for joy.' " 

The audience hung wilh almost breathless attention 
upon the speaker's lips. He went on to show what was 
meant by Zion. He said that Sinai and Zion were used 
as metaphors by the sacred writers, to represent the law 
and the gospel, and turned immediately to the words of 
Paul (Qtil. 4 : 24—26), " Which things are an allegory : 
for these are the two covenants ; the one from the mount 
Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For 
this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to 
Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her chil- 
dren. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the 
mother of us all." Here it was evident that Zion was a 
figure of the heavenly Jerusalem, or new covenant. The 
preacher then turned the attention of his hearers to the 
following passage in the epistle to the Hebrews, — " But 
ye are come unto Mount Sipn, and unto the city of the 
living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumer- 
able company of angels. To the general assembly and 
church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, 
and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men 
made perfect."— 12 : 22, 28. " Now," said he, " it is 
evident that Zion, and the New Jerusalem, and the city 
of God, all mean the same thing ; and the Hebrews had 
come to it. "Ye are come unto Mount Zion," &o. 


" These things," he said again, '^are an allegory; it is 
the gospel covenant which is here described, which is the 
new Jerusalem that came down from God out of heaven, 
as mentioned by the Revelator, — 21: 2 — 4." Thus he 
went on, without the slightest embarrassment, adducing 
one passage after another, every additional one making 
the matter plainer than any other had. Having thus 
gone through with the first part of his subject, he went 
on to show what were the provisions of Zion ; and here 
he described to us the feast which God had made for all 
people. Never, since we had begun to hear the gospel 
preached, had we known a passage of Scripture to be 
quoted with that, peculiar pertinency ajid effect with which 
Mr. Ballon, on this occasion, quoted the prophet's words, 
'^ And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make 
unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on 
the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the 
lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain 
the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail 
that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up 
death in victory ; and the Lord God will wipe away tears 
from off all &ces ; and the rebuke of his people shall he 
take away from off all the earth; for the Lord hath 
spoken it."— Isa. 25 : 6—8. " Behold," said he, " how 
God hath blessed the provisions of Zion." And then he 
called, ** Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ! ye hungry, 
come ! " And he uttered the words of Watts : 

" Eternal wisdom hath prepared , 

A Boul-reviying feast, 
And bids our longing appetites 
The rich provision taste. 

152 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1821. 

** Ho ! ye that pant for living streams, 
And pine away and die, 
Here you may quench your raging thirst 
With springs that never dry." 

He expostulated with the people in the words of 
the same prophet : " Wherefore do ye spend money for 
that which is not bread? and your labor for that 
which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, 
and eat ye that which is good." — 55: 2. In making 
an application of this part of his subject, he said there 
was no peace, nor comfort, nor spiritual nourishment to 
be deriyed &om the doctrines of men. He then went 
to the next clause of the text, " I will satisfy her poor 
with bread." "Satisfy," said he; **mark that word 
satisfy, '^^ God's truth only could satisfy the soul. Men 
might imagine, for a time, that they had rest in believing 
the creeds which the wisdom of this world had invented ; 
but they soon awoke to a sense of their wants. " It 
shall be even as when a hungry man dreameth, and 
behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is 
empty ; or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and be- 
hold, he drinketh ; but he awaketh, and behold, he is 
faint, and his soul hath appetite." — Isaiah 29 : 8. 
This imperfect description must suffice on this point. 
Here he went on to show that the gospel in its fulness 
gives satisfaction to the human soul — perfect satisfac- 
tion. He turned to the creeds of men, and showed the 
dreadful effects they had produced ; he quoted the words 
of Saurin, that the cup of life had been poisoned, 
by his belief in the dreadful doctrine of endless pain, and 
that he did not wonder that the fear of hell had made 


some men mad and others melancholy. But it is in vain 
for us to attempt to report, in a brief space, this extraor- 
dinary sermon. The audience were very deeply affected. 
At once, they were motionless as statues; then they 
wept ; then again their faces were radiant with joy ; 
then, at some sudden flash of the speaker's argument or 
illustration, a movement would pass over the whole 
assembly, a rustling as audible as that of the leaves in 
the forest when stirred by the wind. At any rate, the 
writer felt sure, then, that he had never heard a sermon 
in his life which had had such an effect upon him ; and 
now, looking back, he can remember but few that have 
profited him as this did. 

At the close of the sermon, the other services went 
on ; but so excited had we all been, that we were poorly 
prepared for what was to follow. Such an admonition as 
the preacher gave the candidate at the end of the sermon 
can never be forgotten. His main desire seemed to be 
that the young man should love the gospel and preach it. 
" Study the Bible," said he, *'my young brother, if you 
mean to make yourself useful ; and do not come here and 
profess to receive this book as the man of your counsel at 
your ordination, and then neglect to study it, and to pro- 
claim its doctrines to the world." This was a day of 
deep and solemn interest and joy to the young man. 
One of the fathers, a layman by the name of South- 
worth, took him to his house to spend the night, and 
gave him much good counsel and advice. On the next 
day, the Milford pastor returned to his flock an ordained 

*I reooUeot that in the month of Jane, 1821, 1 had been to Scituate, 
Mass., to preach on an exchange with an old preacher. Rev. Joshua Flagg. 

154 LIITB OF HOSfiA BALLOU. A. D. 1881. 


In the winter of 1820-21, Mr. Ballou had proposed 
to his Br. Turner to join with him in bringing out a 
hymn-book for the use of Universalist societies. The 
Convention Hymn-book * had gone almost entirely out 
of use. The two brethren named believed that the spirit 
of devotion should be attended with a clear apprehension 
of the consistency and truth of the matter of the song ; 
otherwise, the worshipper cannot ''sing with the spirit and 
understanding also." It was also highly proper, they 

On my way from MUford, I stopped at Boston, and Br. Elias Smith 
invited me to tarry as I returned, and deliver a sermon to his congrega- 
tion on Monday evening. I consented to do so, and fulfiUed the agree- 
ment. Father Ballon was present to hear me, and sat in the pnlpit. I 
preached what I thought was as good a sermon as I could give, from the 
text, Matt. 11 : 28 — 30, <* Come unto me, all ye that labor," Ac. 
Several times during the sermon, I heard father B., who sat behind me, 
groan quite audibiy. I thought perhaps he was sick ; but I learned 
afterward what was the cause of his trouble. I went home with him to 
spend the night ; and all the way to his house he said but little to mo, 
but he kept talking to himself, as if " treasuring up *' something. 
When we arrived at his house, he began about the sermon. The sub- 
stance of his remarks was, that it was in bad taste, words were mispro- 
nounced, new words were coined, bad metaphors occurred, Ac, and 
instances of these things were pointed out. I, of course, was crest-fallen, 
for up in Milford I was m great man. Finally, said he, there was one 
good thing in the sermon. ** What was that, sir 1 " said I, glad of a lit- 
tle praise. <*The text,** said he, " the text ; and that was the only good 
thing in the whole ! " The reproof was severe, but I have no doubt it 
was deserved. If he had had no regard for me, he would not have 
reproved me. He aimed ht my good ; and, although the medicine he 
administered was vety unpalatable, I have no doubt the effect waf 
• See vol. I. of this work, p. 269. 


thought, that the songs sung in a Christian assembly 
shoold correspond with the doctrine preached for their 

'< The hymn-books hitherto used in many ot oar societies possess 
many excellences, and considerable matter of a character truly 
evangelical. Such, in particular, is the Boston Collection. Yet 
this work, with some others which have been in use, appears to the 
compilers to be exceptionable, and that in cases of highly doctrinal 
importance. The sentiments, that the Deity required an expiring 
victim J hy way of satisfaction to his justice; that the death of Christ 
operated to cancel the Jebt which the sinner owed; and that God died 
upon the cross and rose from the dead; — these, though undoubt- 
edly believed with sincerity by those who composed the hymns in 
which they are found, are consideted as unsupported by revela- 
tion and unapproved by reason ; and they are not qenerallt 
believed in our societies. While seleotions have been cheerfully 
made, from the works oontainii^ such sentiments, of hymns 
which appeared to possess claims to the devotional attention of 
Christians, those of the above description have been carefully 
omitted. A large number of the hymns now used in the Univer- 
salist societies in Boston have been retained. Selections have 
been made from the Philadelphia Hymn Book, Watts', Belknap's 
and Emerson's Collections, and the hymns published some years 
since at the request and by the direction of the General Conven- 
tion of Universalists. With these selections a small number of 
ori^nal hymns have been incorporated." 

This hymn-book differed very essentially from that 
which had been brought out by the Convention. That 
was composed of hymns entirely original; this was a 
compilation. It must be confessed that it was a great 
improyement on any hymn-book then in use among Uni- 
versalist societies. It was generally called Ballon and 

156 LIFB OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. V. 1821. 

Turner's Hymns ; * and it remained the standard hymn- 
book in that denomination for nearly ten years, when 
Streeter's took its place. Among the few original hymns 
in this collection, was that beautiful one by Mr. Ballou : 

" In God's eternity 
' Shall there a day arise, 
When all that 's bom of men shall be 
With Jesas in the skies. 

" As night before the rays 
Of morning flees away, 
Sin shall retire before the blaze 
Of God's eten^l day. 

" As music fills the grove. 

When stormy clouds are past, 
Sweet anthems of redeeming love 
Shall all employ at last. 

" Redeemed from death and sin. 
Shall Adam's numerous race 
A ceaseless song of praise begin. 
And shout redeeming grace." 


In the midst of all the other labors which Mr. Sallou 
performed, he did not neglect the people of his charge. 
So far as was possible, he made himself acquainted with 
all who came to his church upon the Sabbath day. He 
could not know them all ; many came merely to his ser- 

* The whole title was, " The Universalist Hymn Book ; a New Collec- 
tion of Psalms and Hymns, for the use of Uniyersalist Societies. By 
Hosea Ballou and Edward Turner. < I will sing with the spirit and I wiU 
sing with the understanding also.' Boston, Munroe & Francis, 1821." 



mons, who never even spoke with him. But he was 
always ready, when called on, to visit them, especially 
in cases of sickness. Many were the calls of this nature 
which he had, from persons not connected in any way 
with his society. He never refused to go. The suflFer- 
ing felt that they might take the liberty to send for him, 
for, if he cultivated in his own heart the spirit of the doc- 
trine which he preached, he was the friend of all men. 
Families attached to no religious society would call on 
him to comfort the sick and the mourning, and to offer 
prayers at the burial of the dead. On one occasion he 
was requested to visit a sick man on Fort Hill, so called, 
(in Boston). The wife was a Baptist. She saw her 
husband declining day by day, and, although he had asked 
to see Mr. B., she was very anxious that he should see one 
of the Baptist clergymen of the town. The latter was 
accordingly sent for ; and he came, and advised the man 
to get a new heart. He then knelt down and prayed that 
God would save the soul of the sick man from the second 
death. Such a comforter did no good; and the man 
asked again to see Mr. Ballou. He was then sent for ; 
and, in the course of a few hours, he stood at the bedside 
of the sufferer. He saw signs of destitution around the 
room. He sat down and said, " Well, my friend, you 
are quite sick. I am sorry to see you so low. [The 
wife, by the way, had left the room.] Sometimes," said 
he, ** the sick permit themselves to suffer by not making 
their wants known." The feeble man intimated that his 
landlord had made them unhappy by pressing them for 
the payment of a little rent which was due — about seven- 
teen dollars. "Well," said Mr. B., "he will probably 



not harm you. Do jou feel the need of any little mat- 
ters of food, that you think will strengthen you and do 
you good ? ' ' The man diffidently expressed his wants in 
these respects. Mr. B. took* a ten-dollar bill from hia^ 
purse. "I thought you would need something; I have 
heard of your case from others ; take this, and let your 
wife purchase you such nourishing articles as you need. 
Don't pay your rent with it ; it is not enough for that, 
and the money is for your own private use ; the rent we 
will talk about another time. Now, brother," continued 
Mr. B., ^^we trust your case is not utterly hopeless; 
you are indeed very sick, but possibly you may recover, 
with the blessing of God, and the help of good nursing. 
Cast all your cares upon the Lord. He is our Shep^ 
herd ; he will not let us sufier more than is for our good ; 
and though we walk through the valley of the shadow of 
death, we should fear no evil, for he is with us, his rod 
and his staflf will comfort us." '' I thank you ! I thank 
you ! " said the sick man, making an effort to sit up in 
the bed, his eyes seeming to enlarge with gratitude, 
though the appearance was produced merely by the con- 
trast between the full eye and the sunken face. "Mr. 
Ballou," the sick man continued, '^you have done me a 
great deal of good ; I thank you a thousand times. I 
had one other preacher to see me, and he gave me no 
comfort. I have not been a very bad man ; but I have 
not been mindful of the blessings God has given me. I 
have a dear son absent at sea ; I want you to pray for 
us, and for him, that he may return, and then all, all — 
will be well." Mr. B. rose; and there, in that small 
chamber, alone with the afflicted, he offered prayer, with 


a soft voice, and commended first the sick man, and then 
his wife, and last of all the absent son, to the kind care 
of God. The man, the father^ sobbed audibly. When 
Mr. B. rose to retire, he said, '^ I am unwilling to leave 
you alone; " but the sufferer intimated that his wife 
would return as soon as she heard him go down stairs; 
and thus he left. He said to his family, on his return, 
it was one of the most affecting visits to a sick chamber 
that he ever had made."^ 

But his labors as a pastor did much good, also, in other 
ways. Many were the persons who attended on his min- 
istry from distant towns, who were detained in Boston on 
the Sabbath day. They carried home intelligence of the 
new preacher ; and when their neighbors came to Boston, 
they, in their turn, went to hear him, and thus the word 

* We received this aooount by the kindness of a friend who learned 
all the facts from an aged lady by the name of Wild, an attendant at 
School-street, who will be well remembered by the Uniyersalists of Bos- 
ton of that day. This good old mother at last was stricken with paral- 
ysis, bnt she oonld not give up her meeting. As soon as she recovered 
so far as to go out, she would, with much effort, walk to the church, lean- 
ing upon the arm of some member of her family. On a Sunday morn- 
ing, as she was on her way, she was met by a friend, who said to her, 
** Is it possible. Aunt Wild, that yon are trying to get to church, when 
you are so lame 1 '* " Yes, William," said she ; "and I thank God my 
faith is nof lame," At the last she died, as she had lived, in the full 
triumph of Christian hope. 

On reading the manuscript to the friend who furnished me with the 
fihcts, he said, ** You have forgotten one of the most important things in 
regard to tiie sick man whom Father Ballon visited upon Fort Hill." 
** What was that 1 " I asked. •< Why," said he, " the wife, who was so 
opposed to Mr. BaUou when he first came to see her husband, afterwards 
became a Universalist, and joined Mr. B. 's church. She deeply respected 
him as long as she lived." 

160 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1821. 

was spread. Unirersalism Jbegan to assume a new &ce 
all oyer the state, and, in &ct, all oyer New England."^ 


But these numerous exertions of Mr. Sallou produced 
bodily derangement. The year 1821 was, in one sense, 
a year of pain and discouragement to him. In the first 
place, indigestion set in, followed by not very dangerous, 
but yet by quite serious, consequences. He had also 
some membranous inflammation on the left side, which 
became chronic, and troubled him for some time. Those 
consequences of indigestion followed which frequently 
occur in cases of men of Mr. B.*s age. Other organs 
sympathized with the disorder of the stomach. Pains in 
the region of the heart and back, and an intermittent 
pulse, came on, so that he supposed at the time that he 
had an organic affection of the heart. The unavoidable 
consequence of this state of things was lowness of spirits. 
There were times, when the mind was deeply excited, 

* The people from Cape Cod frequently were in Boston on Sabbath 
days, and many of them attended on Mr. Ballou's preaching. They 
carried the seeds of truth into that section of the state, and societies 
sprung up in Barnstable, Brewster, Plymouth, Ac. Ac. In 1821 the fact 
was announced (and it was very remarkable for that day) that there 
were twenty-three Unirersalist societies in Massachusetts. We scarcely 
know where that number could have been found at that time. To the 
best of our recollection there were two societies in Boston, two in 
Gloucester, and one each in the towns of Charlestown, Salem, Roxbury, 
Cambridgeport, Scituate, Shirley, Attleboro', Canton and Stoughton 
(one society for both), Marlboro', Milford, Oxford, Brookfield, Hard- 
wick, and Dana. Some of these were small. We do not attribute to 
Mr. Ballou the rise of all the societies named ; but it cannot be denied 
that his labors gave a new impulse to Uniyorsalism in Massachusetts. — 
UnivertaUst Miacellanyf Tol. Tl., p. G5. 


that he did not feel this ; but, when the mental ezeite- 
ment occasioned by the preparation* for j»>eaching, or by 
the writing of an article, or the presence of friends, was 
oyer, he sunk again into gloom. He would sit moodily 
before the fire, his arms folded, his head inclined toward 
the shoulder, his eyes nearly closed ; and occasionally he 
would heave a sigh, and ejaculate some sentence of sor- 
row, as if he were in pain or discouragement. This state 
of things lasted for a year or more. His medical friends 
(Dr. Ingalls among the number) understood his case 
very well, and recommended to him only such remedies 
as would oorrect the action of the liver and stomach, and 
thus restore the tone of the mind. 

The cause of all this was indigestion ; and the cause 
of the indigestion was the excessive taxation of the men- 
tal powers. He had done too much in a short time, 
at an age when he could not bear what he had been 
able to bear in former years, and what he might perhaps 
have borne at sixty. Many of his friends felt a fear that 
he would not live to old age ; but in the course of five or 
six years all these unfavorable symptoms passed away ; 
and, ^ving gone through what may be called the defile 
of middle life, he emerged into the bright and broad scene 
of his quiet old age, with naught but the clear heavens 
above, and the prospect bounded at the close of life with 
the gorgeous clouds of evening. 


We must not close the present chapter without stating 
that Mr. Sallou's connection with the Universalist 


162 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1821. 

Magazine was suspended at the end of the second vol- 
ume, June 23, 1821. His reasons for this change he 
described in the following words : 

<< As this number concludes the second volume^ it likewise ter- 
minates the present editor's particular charge of the UniversaUst 
Magazine. A hope being entertained that, instead of an indi- 
Tidual, a number of able brethren will lend their special aid to 
this work in future, it is believed that the present editor may, 
without injury to its usefulness, discontii}ue a concern and a labor 
which, together with his other professional duties, have evidently 
tended to impair his health. In taking this leave, he is induced, 
by many considerations, to tender his most grateful acknowledg- 
ments to patrons and correspondents who have so liberally sup- 
ported this humble means of instruction, and have largely con- 
tributed to render M columns interesting to sincere inquirers 
after truth." 

He had lost no part of his interest in the cause of 
divine truth. Universalism, to him, waa a heavenly 
doctrine ; he loved it no less than he did in his youth. 
In all the changes of life, its sorrows and disappoint- 
ments, and amidst all the opposition he was called to 
bear, his attachment to that doctrine remained unabated. 
The last paragraph of his valedictory shows this : * 

^* Still feeling an undiminished ardor for the promotion of that 
heavenly doctrine, so honorable to God, so- consoling and edifying 
to every true believer, to which this paper has heretofore been 
devoted, the editor's best wishes will still accompany its future 
numbers to those who shall lend it their patronage and religious 
attention ; nor will he withhold a mite which he may be able to 
contribute, which may be thought to be serviceable in promoting 
that truth in the love of which he hopes to increase while he 
lives, and to the spread of which he has devoted his strength and 
his years." 





FROM JULY 1821 TO MAY 1822. 

We have shown, in the preceding chapter, the manner 
in which Mr. Ballon had managed the Magazine, in 
regard to the doctrine of future punishment. He had 
not obtruded the subject upon the public officiously, 
neither had he been unwilling to express his opinion 
whenever it had been necessary. He had regarded that 
matter as not belonging to the essential points of Univer- 
salism, and had stated that there was no reason why 
the different classes of Universalists should not go in har- 
mony ; and while he had been editor of the Magazine 
the gentlemen who afterwards pushed this subject to 
extremes had not attempted to do so. But, shortly after 
he resigned his connection with that paper, the contest 
begun. He was succeeded in the editorial charge by a 
man who was utterly unfit for the duty ; who understood 
very little of Universalism, or of a wise course in regard 
to the denomination. In fact, there appeared, in the very 

164 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. B. 1821. 

first number that came out under this man's charge, an 
article which brought on a controversy. =^ In the next 
appeared a reply, signed "Stater," who was Rev. 
Edward Turner, of Gharlestown.f Mr. Ballon felt it his 
duty to reply to "Stater." But "Stater," who was 
willing to discuss the subject with the correspondent, was 
not ready to discuss it with Mr. Ballon : 

*< If I may be permitted, I will say that, in my opinion, that 
controversy lies between E. A. R. and me only. H. B. and my- 
self are not before the public. I am willmg, in a regular way, 
to meet his remarks ; nay, if 1 know him, we have already writ- 
ten on this subject, even to verbosity. At present, therefore, I 
shall content myself with replying, in l^e next number, if my 
piece shall be found admissible, to E. A. R.'s charges in the last, 
that < my sentiments are ^roneous,' and that the doctrine of 
< future misery is one of the chief causes of so much controversy 
on matters of religion, and is very raoonsiBtent with the fidth c^ 
Universalism.' "J 

There came out, about this time, a work in favor of 
Universalism, entitled " Final Restoration," by an author 
[Kenrick] assuming the name of " Philo Bereanus," in 
which certain reasons were offered in C^vor of the doctrine 
of future punishment, that seemed to Mr. Ballou to be 
fellacious ; and he accordingly replied to thein, by the 
indulgence of the editor of llie Magazine, in a brief 
article.^ The book referred to caused several articles to 
appear, some in favor of and some against that doctrine. 

* See the artiole signed <* S. A. R.," Univeraaligt Magazine, volume 
III., p. 1. The true name of thiB writer was Bae. 
t Idem, pp. 6, 7. f Idem, p. 27. 

§IdMiH pp. as, 97,aIiO 126« 129» 131, 133, 153, 162. 


There was an effort made at this time to establish a 
belief of the doctrine of future punishment as a test of 
Christian fellowship; and it was principally on this 
account that Mr. Ballou took a prominent part in dis- 
cussing it. He said to '* Philo Bereanus : " 

<< So important do I view the subject of our discuflsion, that I 
am entirely opposed to having it rest on human conjecture or 
imagination ; nor am I willing to call anything evidence in this 
.case, but the plain word of God. If you, sir, or any one else, be 
disposed to believe in opinions, respecting a future state, v^hich 
you acknowledge are not the subjects of scripture testimony, and, 
at the same time, do not make those opinions a matter on which 
you rest Christian fellowship and brotherly communion, I have 
no disposition to say aught against it. But, if you, or any other 
person, come forward with any sentiment, which is set up as a 
term of Christian fellowship, and contend that such a sentiment 
is an indispensable article of the Christian faith, and that a denial 
of it is deism, and an inlet to every species of immorality, it is 
then time to call for the divine authority on v^hich this doctrine 
is founded. I am satisfied, dear sir, that you do not consider the 
doctrine of future punishment as above described, and therefore I 
can very quietly acquiesce in your discontinuing this corre- 

Then came up another phase of this controversj, 
begun by a writer signing himself **-3Esop.''t He waa 
replied to by Rev. Paul Dean, in favor of future punish- 
ment, over the signature of '' Christian Universalist," 
which was assumed to distinguish believers in future 
punishment from the other class.^ To add to the general 

* Umversalist Magazine, p. 162. 
fFor <'.£8op*s" articles, see pp. 92, 125, 135. 
^For the articles of *< Christian Universalist," see 113, 123, 131 
See also an article from H. Ballon, 2nd [B*****], p. 130. 

166 LIFE OF H08SA BALLOU. A. B. 1821. 

discontent, the new editor of the Magazine^ over the 
signature of ^' Justitia," commenced a series of articles 
in favor of future punishment, in which he endeavored to 
prove that doctrine from , the fact that Christ was to 
** judge the world in righteousness," — cast **the chil- 
dren of the kingdom into outer darkness," — divide the 
sheep from the goats. In fact, this author maintained 
that all the passages which speak of a day of» judgment 
help to establish the fact of future punishment.* Mr. 
Ballou said nothing in regard to this writer, who pub- 
lished some six or eight articles in defence of his position. 
But one of the chief causes of controversy was an article 
that appeared in March, 1823, signed '^Bestorationist" 
[Rev. Jacob Woodj.f He proposed : 

*• 1. That a brief statement of the evidence that all misery is 
confined to this life be written by one who believes in that doc- 
trine, and published in the Magazine, and that we will engage a 
[fimilar communication in proof that misery will extend beyond 

<'2. That both these communications shall be lodged in the 
hands of the editor of the Magazine before either \r published, so 
that no alterations may be made in them aflerwards, by reference 
one to the other. 

"3. That both these communications shall be submitted to the 
public, to draw their own conclusions, without any controversial 
replies on either side." 

He further added : 

" We think these terms are feir and equal on both sides of the 

•For the articles of «« Justltia," see pp. 127, 132, 138, 143, 147, 151. 
t We do not esteem it improper, at this distance of, time, to give the 
real names of the writers of these articles. 


controYeray. If the advocates of the doctrine of no futate misery 
are honorable and conscientious in their cause, they will be will- 
ing to meet us on this just and equal ground. And we hereby 
call on them to accept this invitation, and show the strength of 
their cause. We are perfectly willing that the public should 
make their impartial decision on which side of the controversy 
lies the balance of proof. It is wished that the gentleman who 
shall accept this invitation will be one who is qualified to do full 
justice to his side of the question ; and we hope that honor will 
restrain all others from mterfering."* 

Mr. Ballou regarded this communication as originating 
in a mischievous spirit. He thought it aimed at divi- 
sion and contention ; and he was the more alarmed on 
account of it, because the writer seemed to speak in 
behalf of others, who kept themselves totally in the back- 
ground. He was not pleased, also, because they sus- 
pended the character of the non-believers in future 
punishment on an acceptance of their terms. He said, 
in the succeding number of the Magazme : 

" Mr. Epitor : If * Restorationist ' will give his real name, 
and the names of his brethren who were with him in framing 
the proposals which were published in your last paper, I will 
then assign my reasons for not accepting their proposals, and give 
them and the public to understand what I think of their suspend- 
i])g my honor and sincerity on the condition which they suggest. 

"H. Ballou."! 

" Restorationist" refused to give the names of himself 
and his brethren. J These ** proposals," as they were 

*For this artiolo of '< Beitorationist," see UmvenaUH Magazine, pp. 
160, 161. 

tldem, p. 164. ^Idem, p. 166. 

168 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1821. 

called, gave rise to a somewhat bitter controversy, which 
served to make the two parties more distinct than thej 
ever had been before. But here we take leave of this 
subject for the present. Before we leave it, however, we 
ought to say, that the writer *' JSsop" was Dr. John 
Brooks, of Bemardston, Mass. He had previously lived 
in Newfane, Vt., where he had been a member of the 
Presbyterian Church, from which he had been excommu- 
nicated ''for believing and preaching universal salva- 
tion." He was, for a number of years, a representative 
to theXreneral Court of Massachusetts, from Bemardston, 
and is still living [April, 1854] highly respected by 
his fellow-townsmen. He was a writer of more than ordi- 
nary shrewdness, courage and force of character. While 
ihe^troversy ^^ gokg on which we have described, 
the Magazine passed into the charge of other editors, a 
fact which will be more fully noticed in another place. 


In the midst of all the engagements and labors we 
describe, it must be remembered that Mr. Ballou dis- 
charged his duties as pastor of the society over which he 
was settled. He kept the desk well supplied with 
preachers, filling it the larger part of the time himself; 
and was ready, except when absent from the city, to 
give ear to all the calls which the afflicted, the sick, or the 
dying, might make upon him. But he was ready also 
to discharge other classes of duties, which called him 
abroad, his society always acquiescing in these arrange- 
ments. On the 26th of July, 1821, he attended the 


installation of Bey. H. Balloa, 2nd, as pastor of the new 
Universalist society in Roxbury, Mass. He took a deep 
interest in the wel&re of this society, which had grown 
up under his care, as well as in the prosperity and use- 
fulness of the young candidate, who was the grandson 
of his oldest brother. The sermon was preached by 
Bey. Paul Dean, from 2 Corinthians 6 : 8, 4 ; the charge 
was giyen by Mr. Ballou ; and the fellowship by Rev. 
Edward Turner. His love of the Scriptures was particu- 
larly manifested on this occasion. He said, very affec- 
tionately to his nephew : 

" By delivering the Scriptures into your hands, on this solemn 
and interesting occaaon, we signify several things : 

''1. That we believe that they contain a revelation from God to 
man, and that this revelation constitutes the great theme of the 
Christian cKspensation and ministry. 

'< 2. That we use these Scriptures as our directory and guide in 
all matters of &ith and practice, disovraing all the creeds im- 
posed by councils, in the dark ages of the church, as being 
binding on us, or a^ having any legitimate control over our 

"3. That we expect that you will make them your peculiar 
study, by which you vnll be furnished with suitable ^idowments 
to discharge all the duties of a gospel minister, and a faithful, 
useful pastor to the flock of God,~ in thia place ; over which, we 
trust, the Holy Ghost has made you overseer. 

<< 4. That, by a fidthful adherence to these Scriptures, we shall 
be enabled to maintain a unity of sentimeht, and a cordial fellow- 
ship, as workers together in the vineyard of our common Lord and 
Master ; whereby th^ design of our Christian ministry will be 
accomplished, the darkness and errors of the church will give 
place to the light and truth of the gospel, and men will be saved 
from sin and death, to righteousness and life. 
*< Brother, receive the^ Scriptures from the ecclesiastical counsel, • 


170 LIF£. OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. B. 1821. 

the servant of which I have the honor to be, in this solemn act ; 
and be assured that our hearts' desire and fervent prayers are, 
that you receive them not in vain. 

" I charge you, therefore, brother, that you preach no other 
gospel, no other doctrine, than that which you find plainly set 
forth in these sacred records ; and that you shun not to declare 
the whole of this counsel to the people of your charge, accordingly 
as the spirit of Christ shall lead your understanding." 

On November 14th, Mr. B. went to Brookfield, Mass., 
to attend the dedication of a new meeting-hoase in that 
town, and the ordination of Rev. John Bisbee as pastor 
of the two societies in Brookfield and Western [the lat- 
ter is npw known by the name of Warren]. So far as 
the weather was concerned, it was not a favorable day, 
but an excessively crowded assembly was present, col- 
lected from several towns. The whole was a scene of 
joy and exicouragement to the lovers of truth. In the 
morning the dedicatory services were introduced by read- 
ing of the Scriptures, by B;ev. Edward Turner ; intro- 
ductory prayer, by Rev. Charles Hudson; dedicatory 
prayer, by Rev. Hosea Ballon; sermon, by Rev. Edw^ 
Turner ; concluding prayer, by Rev. J. Frieze. In the 
afternoon came the ordination. The introductory prayer 
was by Rev. H. Ballou, 2d, of Roxbury; sermon, by 
Mr. Ballou, of Boston ; charge, by Rev. E. Turner, and 
fellowship, by Rev. J[. Ballou, 2d. 


Among the subjects of encouragement to Mr. B., about 
this time, was the commencement of Several new papers 



devoted to the inculcation of Universalism, which had 
probably been established in consequence of the success 
with which the Magazine had been greeted. The first 
paper that followed this, in the order of time, was the 
Christian Messenger , edited by Rev. A. Kneeland, at 
Philadelphia, and devoted to doctrine, religion atid mor- 
ality. Then came the Gospel Herald^ at New York, 
which began early in 1820. Its editor was Mr. Henry 
Fitz, a worthy, substantial and very talented layman, of 
remarkable independence of mind, but not always strictly 
guarded in his language. The Herald was a very spir- 
ited and valuable periodical. In JTuly, 1820, appeared 
at Woodstock, Vi, the first number of the Christian 
Repository, under the management of Rev. Samuel 0. 
Loveland. It was then a 12mo., and came out once in 
three months. The £fth in the order in which the Uni- 
versalist papers arose, commencing with the Magazine, 
was the Christiafi Intelligencer, published at Portland, 
Me., to which place Rev. Russell Streeter had removed 
about the commencement of 1821. It was devoted to 
" theoretical and practical religion." And, in addition 
to Mr. Streeter, other valuable laborers came- forward 
about this time. At the session of the Eastern Associa- 
tion of Universalists, in the last-named year, at Win- 
throp, Rev. Wm. A. Drew received letters of fellowship, 
and Rev. Sylvanus Cobb was ordained, both of whom 
have distinguished themselves as defenders of the truth. 
All these accessions gave joy to Mr. B. He cherished 
the dearest fellowship for these brethren to the hour of 
his death. 
In Vermont, too, there were new signs of encourage- 

172 LIFE 07 HOSEA BAUjOU. A. D. 1821. 

ment, where he had spent so large and active a portion 
of his life, and where Brs. Loveland, Bartlett and Haven, 
with several others, were engaged. An excellent man, 
who had been for nearly thirteen years a preacher in the 
Christian connection, avowed his conversion to Universal- 
ism. We reefer to Rev. John E. Palmer. As soon as 
he became fully convinced of the truth of Universalism, 
he commenced to preach it Jboldly, and to call on all who 
believed that the grace of God bringeth salvation to all 
men to be careful to live soberly, righteously and godly, 
in. the present world. His former brethren dismissed 
him amicably from their connection ; and he has been, 
ever since, a faithful, modedt, consistent preacher of the 


In addition to Mr. B.'s travels to exchange pulpit ser- 
vices with his ministering brethren [and it must be re- 
membered there were no railroads in those days], he 
performed several other journeys. In September he went 
to Hudson, N. Y., to attend the annual session of the 
General Convention. He left Boston on the Sunday 
previous, aftl&r the forenoon service, in a chaise, with 
which he reached Hudson on Tuesday afternoon, his 
nephew, Rev; H, Ballqu, 2d, being with him. There 
were twenty-one preachers present ; md the names of 
fifty-seven others were given as living in all the United 
Stales. The venerable Solomon Glover, from Connecti- 
cut, was made moderator. 



In December, the Southern Association met at Mil- 
ford, Mass.^ and the two Messrs. Hosea Ballou were the 
only preachers present, except the resident pastor. It is 
well remembered that the junior Mr. Ballou preached on 
the strait gate and narrow way, as contrasted with the 
broad road ; and the elder preached twice, — in the after- 
noon, from Gal. 1 : 11, and in the evening from Jer. 17 : 
10. The sun shone brightly in the afternoon, and, as 
there were no blinds at the windows, the preacher was 
disturbed by the rays falling directly upon his face. He 
took occasion to refer to that glorious sun, as a proof of 
God's impartial goodness, "which (said he) nearly blinds 
me with its abundant light." Affcer such a hint, some 
one rose and hung a garment at the window as a screen. 


But the most important journey which Mr. B. made 
this year was to Philadelphia, his first visit to that city. 
We have shown that Mr. Kneeland was there, and he had 
undoubtedly planned the visit in the hope to give an 
impulse to the cause of Universalism in that place. Mr. 
B. took the stage on Monday morning, 17th of December, 
for Providence, R. I., where he preached in the evening, 
to a numerous and attentive audience, in the Town- 
bouse. His sermon was requested for the press, but as 
it was not written, and as he was on a journey, he was 
obliged to decline complying. On Tuesday, the stage 


174 LIES 07 HOSEA BALLOU. A. B. 1821. 

carried him to Hartford, Connecticutf where he arrived 
too late for a lecture; and on Wednesday he went to New 
Haven, and preached to a large audience in the Court- 
house. One of the Galvinistic clergymen of the city 
(Rev. Mr. Taylor) attempted to reply to the sermon ; 
but he became very much confused, and his jaddress 
amounted to nothing. As Mr. Ballou described the 

" Sometimes he would exert himaelf to the extent of his powers 
to vindicate partial election and reprobation. This would appear 
80 glarmgly absurd as to repel ev^i his own feelings, when he 
would go over to Arnunian conditionB, free and uniYersal ofl^ 
of grace, and endeavor to persuade the people that God would be 
obliged to send them to eternal torments against his own will. 
This did not satisfy either himself or the people : they manifested 
great uneasiness, and he no small embarrassment. In this 
dilemma, he endeavored to call the attention of the people ; but 
having nothing for them to listen to^ he said that he had oome 
there quite unprepared. Until this statement was made, I had 
remained perfectly silent, well enough pleased to see my adversary 
destroying his own cause. Bat supposing, by appearances, that 
the affair would end with the apology that he was not prepared, 
I was constoained to speak ; and, taking the reverend gentleman 
by the arm, said, ' Br. Taylor, you have undertaken to reply to 
my sermon, but you and the people appear to be satisfied that you 
do not do it ; and, as you say that you came unprepared, and it 
verily appears that you did, I have this advice to give you. Go 
to your study, sir ; take as much time as you need ; you can 
recollect my discourse, and there refute it in writing, and let me 
have your manuscripty to which I will reply.' This evidently 
offended my brother, and he replied that he thought it out of 
order to be thus challenged, and soon left the house without giv- 
ing me his hand, or wishing me a good-night. His friends were 
mortified, and one of them told me that he thought as Mr. Taylor 


liad come forward in this nuumer, he had no tight to xefiue the 
offer which I made him." 

Such were the events in New Haven. On Thursday, 
Mr. B. left that city for New York, in the stage, at half- 
past three P. M., and was obliged to travel all night. It 
was dark and rainy. The coach was crowded ; the air 
within was impure ; and, as he was suffering from a slight 
congestion of the lungs, he felt his situation to be very 
uncomfortable. He arrived at New York at seven in the 
morning of Friday. His friends were desirous to pay 
him every attention, and, instead of permitting him to 
rest, they took him about the city, although the day was 
damp. In the evening he had a lecture at Rev. Edward 
Mitchell's church, but in the midst of the sermon he 
nearly fainted, and was obliged to sit down. Being par- 
tially restored by a little cold water, he was able to fin- 
ish the discourse, and Mr. Mitchell assisted in the closing 
services. The thought of leaving the next morning, on a 
journey of ninety or a hundred miles, in the stage, in 
the middle of wjinter, was appalling. His friends in New 
York, and none more earnestly than Mr. Mitchell, sought 
to dissuade him ; but, feeling revived in the morning, he 
took his seat in the coach, and after a long, painful, 
dreary ride, he arrived in Philadelphia on Saturday eve- 
ning, at eight o'clock. On the next day he entered the 
desk in Lombard-street. He felt peculiar emotions on 
going into the pulpit. The fathers — Winchester, Mur- 
ray, Jones, Richards — all had preached there ; and all 
except Mr. Jones had gone to the grave. Mr. Richards' 
body lay in a burying-ground near by. Mr. 1B. began his 

176 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1821. 

course of sermons with a respectable audience, that con- 
tinued to increase until the last, at which he probably 
addressed a greater number of people than he had ever 
preached' to before at one time, or ever did afterwards. 
He always spoke of it as the largest body of persons he 
ever addressed in his life. But we shall understand this 
better as we proceed. We shall not describe all the ser- 
mons he preached at this visit, but shall content ourself 
with a brief hint in regard to the most of thep. 


The first was from the text Psalm 8 : 4, — " What is 
man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man 
that thou visitest him ? " 

The second was from Heb. 4 : 3, — " For we which have 
believed do enter into rest." 

The third from James 1 : 25. 

The fourth (delivered on Christmas day) was from the 
' words Isaiah 9 : 6, — ** Unto us a child is born, unto us a 
son is given." 

The fifth was from Psalm 51 : 13,— " Then will I 
teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be con- 
verted unto thee." 

The sixth, which treated on the needed increase of 
Christians in knowledge, was from 1 Thess. 3 : 10, — 
"And might perfect that which was lacking in your 

The seventh was from Gal. 1 : 11, — " But I certify 
you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of 
me is not after man." 


The eighth sermon, in answer to requests that he would 
take up some of the passages which were thought to dis- 
prove Universalism, was from Psalm 9: 17, — "The 
wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that 
forget God." ^ 

The ninth was from 1 John 4 : 10, 11. 

The tenth was an explanation of the famous passage, 
Matt. 25 : 41, — **Then shall he say also unto them on the 
left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting 
fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." 

The eleventh, and last, a sermon long remembered, 
was from Jer. 3 : 15, — ** And I will give you pastors ac- 
cording to my heart, which shall feed you with knowledge 
and understanding." 

The congregations had increased from the beginning, 
and the throng was very great, especially on the last eve- 
ning. Efforts were made to obtain a place larger than 
the church in Lombard-street ; and, after application for 
several others, Mr. B.'s friends were so happy as to ob- 
tain the hall of the Washington Benevolent Society. 
The room in which the meeting was holden was called 
the Grand Saloon, and was one hundred and twenty by 
seventy feet, with spacious galleries all around. Al- 
though the service was appointed to begin at seven, yet a ' 
full half-hour before this the hall was crowded as full as 
it was thought it could be, and thousands went away who 
could not obtain seats. When Mr. B. arrived at the 
door, he was astonished to behold the crowd, and he had 
great diflSculty in reaching the stand provided for the 
speaker. He had fears that he might not be heard in all 
parts of the assembly ; and, if the building was sufficiently 

178 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1821. 

strong, he thought some slight breaking of a seat, or any 
little matter of that kind, might throw the people into 
disorder, and produce very serious consequences. Hap- 
pily, however, everything went on in an orderly manner, 
and at the close Mr. B. learned that he was heard dis- 
tinctly in the remotest parts of the hall. On no former 
occasion had he ever so deeply felt the weight of duty 
which lay upon him. At the close of the service the 
parting was painful. It is niore the custom in Phila^lel- 
phia than in New England, for all who please to tarry 
near the door, and take a formal leave of the preacher. 
The scene was very affecting to Mr. B. He said : 

" On no former occasion did I ever feel more pressed with the 
weight of duty which lay upon me, nor a more sensible need of 
divine presence. The attentions of the audience, and the muUi- 
tvde of friendly hands which were extended to reoeiye my adieu, 
seemed to speak a language that signified the approbation of my 
Divine Master, vrhich to me is better than life." 

Happier than earthly conquerors he who thus wins the 
hearts of the people, by turning them from darkness to 
light ! The sermon preached on this last occasion has 
been entitled the *' Feast of Knowledge," in allusion to 
the words, " which shall feed you with knowledge and 
with understanding." When God appoints pastors for 
the people "according to his heart," [as the prophet 
speaks] they are educated by his wisdom, actuated by his 
will, and are employed entirely in the promulgation of 
that which is consistent with the mind that sent them. 

" When the wisdom of the world appoints a ministry, it 
appoints a ministry according to its own heart, and its o^ vns- 
dom. If any church appoints a ministry, it appoints it according 



to its own heart and according to its own interests. Thns we 
may say (and I hope without giving offence) , that if any partic- 
ular theological school appoints a ministry and sends forth min- 
isters, both the ministry and the ministers will be according to 
the wisdom, according to the will and disposition, of that theo- 
logical school which appoints them/' 

Mr. Ballon instucted the people that it was easy for 
them to know a true teacher from a &lse one : 

" I would add, it is possible, from motives which have a peculiar 
influence on the human mind, for an individual to appoint him- 
self to the work of the ministry, and set himself up as a teacher ; 
and he will tell you it is dangerous not to believe, and not to 
receive his preaching as truth, because A^ is a minister after God's 
heart. How shall we know whether he is or nott Bem^nber 
the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, < He that speaketh of him- 
self, seeketh his ovm glory.' My friends, you may always know 
a false teacher from a true one. It is the easiest thing in the 
world. How will you know him ? He will alvntys set himself up 
above €k>d. He will always represent himself to be more lovely, 
if possible, than he will allow the Saviour to be. He will tell you 
how much lie would do to save you. He would lay dovni Iiis Ufe 
to save one poor soul ; but he will not allow the Redeemer, who 
did lay dovm his life for us, the power of saving you. Now, which 
is the best, the preacher or his master? Why, according to his 
own account, the preacher. Yes, he is the best himself; because, 
in the rooiA of belug hi the cause of his Divine Master, he is in his 
own cause ; and, instead of endeavoring to get people to love the 
Lord Jesus Christ, he is interested in making them love himself; 
for he is holding himself up as being more interested in their sal- 
vation than he will allow the Redeemer to be. Such a man is 
not a * pastor after God's own heart.' " 

Mr. B. then proceeded to pass in review the doctrines 
which the wisdom of this world has invented, and which 
it seeks to uphold : 


« I will not undertake to prove' them Mm [said he], but -wiH 
only ask, Do those who preach them kn<n^ them to be true ? I 
will ask, at the same time, this question, Do they understand 
them 1 and are the people capable of understanding them ? And, 
if we are convinced that no man can understand such doctrinesj 
then we know that they never could give people knowledge." 

He tookupforconsidaratioB, consecatiyely, the various 
doctrines of the partialist^s creed ; and, first, the supposed 
fall of man by Adam's transgression. Who /mew it was 
true ? Who could understand it ? Dolose who preach 
it ktiow it is true? Can they understand it? These 
were the questions discussed somewhat at length, under 
each head. 

He put the doctrine of partial election and reprobation 
through the same process of inquiry ; and then the doc- 
trine of total depravity; and then the supposed &ct that 
sin is not punished in this world. We have heard that 
the woes which sin brings upon men in this life were 
never described paore forcibly by Mr. Ballon than on 
this occasion. These are things which men can know^ 
and feel, and understand. We have the following 
imperfect report of his remarks under this head : 

<< Do the clergy know God does not punish wickedness in this 
world? No. I have a question to put to those who administer 
the penal laws of our country, and also to those who make them. 
I would ask them whether, in their view, we can do best in society 
without the law or with it. * Why, with it, to be sure.' Very 
well ; is not the administration of public justice declared in the 
Scriptures to be of God ? and are not rulers ministers of«God for 
good, a terror to evil doers, and a praise to thoee who do well, 
and who hold not the sword in vain? Are these laws and these 
puniflhmezits according to the wisdom of God ? So &r as they are 


^uit, they oertaiolj are. God has ordained laws on earth bj 
which yioe is punished, and we see the wicked are miserable 
beings in the present time. Every day we are under the neces- 
sity of punishing those who commit crime, and every day's expe- 
rience convinces us that the way of the trangressor is hard. 

* There is no peace to the wicked, saith my God.' Is it true that 
man is made happy by lifing in sin ? Is it a fiict that the righ1>- 
eous live in misery, wretchedness, and want, in this world 1 You 
know to the contrary. When your eyes are open, when you 
inspect the state of society, and look around you, you see that 
those who live in peace and happiness are the virtuous part of the 
community ; they are those who honor God by obeying his com- 
mandments. Look at those who are destitute of the enjoyments 
of thb world, who are crushed under misery, v^etchedness and 
d^radation. Has righteousness brought them to this? Has a 
godly life brought them to this ? " 

Last of all, Mr. Balloa referred to the doctrine of end- 
less misery. Coald any one understand it ? Can any 
one tell us why God should employ his boundless power 
to make men as wretched as he himself can make them? 
[For this was the form of the doctrine as it was then 

But, turning away from these subjects, Mr. B. said, 
'' I shall ask your attention for a few moments to certain 
great &cts which you can understand." 

*< Our text says, ' They shall feed you vrith knowledge and 
with understanding.' Our blessed Saviour went before his disci- 
ples. He taught them in his own school ; he taught them how to 
do this ; and what was the doctrine he preached to the people? 

* Te have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt 
love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, 
love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them 
that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and 


182 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1821. 

perseiBute you ; that je maj be the children of your Father which 
is in heaven ; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the 
good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.' 

'* Do, my friends, let me compare this with the doctrine of our 
divines. Did you ever hear them preach on personal election, and 
undertake to demonstrate it by such a simile as this? No, they 
never preach it ; and the reason is, ilf would make Gbd better 
than themselves ! But our bleosed Saviour preached the univer- 
sality and impartiality of* the blessings of Providence, in order to 
discover the excellency of Ids Heavenly Father, that we might 
know his nature and always love him." * 

* The eleven sermons which Mr. Ballon preached on this visit to Phil- 
adelphia were reported from stenographioal notes, and published imme- 
diately, under the following title : ** The Eleven Sermons wLdoh were 
preached by the Rev. Hosea Ballou, Minister of the Second Universallst 
Church in Boston, Mass., during a visit to Philadelphia, in the months 
of December and January, 1821-22, ten of which were preached at the 
Universallst Church in Lombard-street, and the last in the Saloon of the 
Washington Hall. To which are added Critical and Explanatory 
Notes, by the B.ev. Abner Eneeland. The Sermons were taken in short- 
hand V J. A. Dowling.** Philadelphia : Edwin T. Scott, 61 No. 
Eighth-street. 1822. ** The last sermon,*' said ^e editor, in his pre- 
face, " in many parts, seemed to be the most imperfect of all ; owing, 
it is presumed, to the immense crowd, on account of which the stenog- 
rapher was not able at all times to hear, and at other times so pressed 
'that it was with much difficulty he could write. We have endeavored 
to supply this defect." A second edition of these sermons was published 
in Boston, in 1832, by Thomas Whittemore, under the title, "Sermons 
on Important Doctrinal Subjects. By Hosea Ballou, Pastor of the Sec- 
ond* Universallst Society in Boston. To which are added Critical and 
Explanatory Notes. Together with a Memoir of the Anther, written by 
himself." At the close of the prefaoe, the editor of this edition said, 
<* The brief memoir of the author was written by himself for the Modem 
History of Universalism, from which work it is copied. We are happy 
to close our remarks by observing that, with unimpaired energies, Mr. 
Ballou continued to discharge his duties as<i)astor of the Second Univer- 
sallst Society in this city, besides other arduous labors ; and that the 
present state of his health is such as to justify the hope that his useful- 
ness will be continued yet for a long time.*' Mr* Whittemore had pnr- 
ohased the copyright of E. T. Spott. A third edition came out in 1853. 



Such is a brief and imperfect report of the sermon 
preached by Mr. Ballon before the largest congregation 
he ever addressed. It produced a thrilling effect, and 
led the six or seven thousand persons present to see 
clearly that the doctrines generally called orthodox were 
imscriptnral, unreasonable, and false. That they were 
&lse he had not a shadow of a doubt, — false in every- 
thing peculiar to them, wide off from the doctrine of the 
Bible, not only for what they were, but also in their 
effects ; for they dishonored God, and alienated his chil- 
dren from him. There were times when Mr. B. could 
not resist the conviction that some of the clergy who 
preached these doctrines must feel doubtful of their 
truth ; but his general custom was to pray for them in 
the words of the dying Jesus, " Father, forgive them, for 
they know not what they do." He loved and pitied 
those who were in error, for no man had a kinder heart ; 
but he felt it his duty to God and to man, from the per- 
formance of which nothing could turn him, to point out 
the error to the world. 


Mr. B. had passed through the painful scene of taking 
leave of the great body of his friends after service 
on the previous Sabbath evening. None can know the 
tenderness of such a parting, except the faithful preacher 
himself, who, by a careful exhibition of the truth per- 
taining to the -eternal interests of men, having entwined 
around him the affections of the people, like the tendrils 

184 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1821. 

of the vine, is obliged, to tear himself awayirom tliem. 
It seems as if heart-strings were being ruptured. 

On the next morning after the last-named discourse, 
he took leave of his more immediate friends, and turned 
his &ce towards Boston. The stage for New York came 
up ; he entered, leaving the family in tears with which 
he had sojourned ; and he arrived in the last-named city 
just as the sun resigned his sceptre to J;he queen of night. 
His heart had swelled with gratitude through the day. 
He had accomplished the great objects of the journey ; he 
had done &r more good than he expected to ; and now he 
was on his way to his own dear home, where his richest 
earthly enjoyments were found. Never man had a hap- 
pier home, a kinder wife, more affectionate and dutiful 
children ; and it is certain he deserved them all. He 
reflected his own image of love and kindness upon them. 
But to the journey; Mr. B. was met on the margin of 
the North river by several of his friends in New York, 
who conducted him to the place where he was to rest. 

The next day was rainy ; but he dined in Pearl-street 
with a dear brother, in company with Rev. E. Mitohell, 
Mr. Fitz, editor of the Gospel Herald^ and others. In 
the evening he preached in Mr. Mitehellh •church to a 
respectable audience, and on Wednesday morning left by 
stage for New Havm. Here he preached another lec- 
ture in the Court-house, to an audience more numerous 
than before. Rev. Mr. Taylor did not appear ; but so 
much opposition was manifested as to lead Mr. B. to say, 
'* New Haven is the bitterest place I ever visited, and 
manifests the most unreasonable opposition to everything 
that looks like charity." From New Haven the stage 


took him, on Thursday, to Hartford, where he preached 
in the eveftig in Dr. Flint's [Orthodox] palpit. The 
lecture was well attended, and the word was received 
with attention. Here he had the satis&ction to meet his 
friend and ministering brother, Bev. Richard Carrique, 
who had recently removed to the city, and, influenced by 
Mr. B.'s example at Boston, had commenced to edit a 
paper in support of Universalism, entitled the Religious 
Inquirer [the sixth Universalist journal, in the order of 
time, in the Vnited States]. 


But mingled tidings of sorrow and joy reached him at 
this city. The house occupied by Thomas "Whittemore, 
in Milford, Mass., who had gone to Boston to supply Mr. 
B.'s pulpit, had been burned, in the dead of night, on the 
80th of December. Mr. B.'s son was there, in company 
with Bev. Benjamin Whittemore, afterwards his son-in- 
law ; and they both saved their lives by throwing them- 
selves from the window of the chamber in which they 
slept to the frozen ground. Had they attempted to 
descend the stairs, they would inevitably have met a 
dreadful death. It was the coldest night of the season ; 
and they had no time to throw on the slightest covering. 
They ran round to the front of the house, and shouted to 
Mrs. Whittemore to jump from the window for her life ! 
In the absence of her husband, she had invited her cousin 
to spend the time with her. These two ladies awoke at 
the first cry of fire, and had sought egress from the 
burning chambers in the ordinary way of descent; but 


186 UFB OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1821. 

the farther they went in this direction, the greater the 
difSculties grew; and Mrs. W.'s cousin fA exhausted 
and nearly suffocated upon the floor. Mrs. W., still 
able to keep her feet, seized the fallen woman and 
dragged her back to the chamber where they had slept. 
She then raised the window, from which the smoke com- 
menced to escape as from a chimiiey's top, and lifted out 
the half-sensible creature, and let her go to the ground. 
The two young clergymen whom we have named were 
there, dimly visible through the smoke and falling cin- 
ders, and sought to catch the body, thereby abating the 
violence of its fall. Having done this, they cried again 
to Mrs. W., "Jump! jump! for your life!" She 
sprung into their arms, and was saved, — the last who 
left the tottering edifice. In ten minutes everything was 
a mass of ruins in the cellar. The intelligence of this 
event, so terrible while it was passing, reached Mr. B. 
(as we have said) at Hartford ; and the mingled emo- 
tions of horror, surprise and joy, at the great danger and 
narrow escape of his friends, nearly overwhelmed him. 
It was only about one week before he left Boston for 
Philadelphia that he had visited Mr. Whittemore at Mil- 
ford, and slept, with his young friend, Hosea Ballou, 2d, 
in the very chamber from which his sons had escaped. He 
thanked God, again and again, that none had suffered the 
terrible agony of a death under such circumstances. Wait- 
ing a few hours at Hartford, to recover from his exhausted 
state, he left in the stage on Saturday morning ; and he 
arrived at home between one and two o^clock in the 
night We will not leave this part of our subject until 
we say that he immediately exerted himself among the 

AaZB 60. INTEllPBSTATION Oie ROMANS 6 : 7. 187 

people of hia charge to make up to Mr. Wliittemore, of 
Milford, tHe loss he had sustained, which, by his exer- 
tions, and the kindness of other friends, was fully done. 


Mr. Ballou had scarcely got home from his journey, 
when an article appeared in the Philadelphia Universal- 
ist paper, from a gentleman of that city, calling upon 
him to sustain his interpretation of Romans 6 : 7, — " For 
he that is dead is freed from sin." Mr. Ballou was 
utterly unable to see the least propriety in supposing 
that there will be punishments for sin in a state where 
sin will never exist. To him it was altogether unac- 
countable why the advocates for future punishment 
should always direct their observations to the particular 
subject of punishment, and never attempt to prove that 
men will sin in that state, by which this punishment will 
be rendered necessary. St. Paul said, '' He that is dead 
is freed from sin." With this scriptural declaration 
before us, Mr. Ballou would ask. Can we say that men 
will be sinners in the future state ? K not, what use will 
punishment serve ? In reply to the writer in Philadel- 
- phia, he said : 

" If the whole of the apostle's statements and arguments, in 
this place, are lounded on the literal death of Jesus Christ, then 
must it be granted that the word dead, in the seventh verse, 
means the extinction of animal life. That we may ascertain this, 
let us carefully examine the context. * • * • * 
• •#•## j^ seems to be evident that the word dead 
here means what the same word in the whole of the context means, 
namely, the extinction of animal life. The fact is, the apostle 

188 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1821. 

in the seventh verse expresses the grand maxim on which his 
whole argument rested, namely, that whoever was literally dead 
was of course freed from sin. And for this very good reason, the 
body of sin being destroyed, sin could no longer exist. If sin 
exists after the body is destroyed, then I acknowledge that I see 
not the least sense-in all the apostle has here said." 

We have given this interpretation in this place, first, 
because it belongs here in the order of time ; and, second, 
because we must show somewhere, in the course of this 
work, the sense which Mr. Ballou put upon the passage 
here explained, and which he continued to regard as its 
true sense as long as he lived. 



VBOM MAT 1822 TO MAT 1824. 

Soon after Mr. Ballou's return from Philadelphia, 
there sprung up a correspondence between himself and 
a Mr.* Jacob Tidd, a lay-preacher, we believe, among the 
Ghrist-ians, or Free-will Baptists. We should not think 
th)^ matter of sufficient importance to deserve a notice 
h6re, had it not happened that a book grew out of it ; 
and we should regret to have any person take up a book 
hereafter, to which Mr. B. was in any way a party, of 
which some' information could not be obtained in the 
work we are writing. 

Mr. B., it seems, had been urgently invited to attend 
a lecture preached by Mr. Tidd. On his return home, he 
addressed him a letter, of which we here give the introduc- 
tory paragraph. Mr. Tidd probably knew that Mr. Ballou 

190 LIFB OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1822. 

"Was among his hearers, and he accordingly embraced the 
opportunity to assail the doctrine of universal salvation : 


''Boston, February 5, 1822. 
Dear Sir : It is now some past nine in the evening, and I have 
just returned from your meeting, where I went by an invitation of 
gentleman who is your friend, as well as mine. He gave me so 
good a recommendation of you, as an honest, good man, that I 
thought the time might be well spent in attending to what yoa 
might deliver from the sacred Scriptures ; and although I have, on 
some accounts, been disappointed, yet I hope all may finally tend 
to some profit. Believing the good report which our mutual 
friend gave me of yourself, I entertain a hope that you will 
receive from me a few suggestions and queries, in the spirit of 
Christian friendship, and consider tiiem vnth suitable candor, and 
return me a rational answer when it shall suit your convenience. 

'VAs you had much to say, in a very unfavorable manner, 
against UniversalistB, in a discourse from the words of St. Paul, 
2 Corinthians 5 : 19, ' God was in Christ reconciling the world 
unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them ; and hath 
committed unto us the word of reconciliation,' it is in my mind 
to ask you whether you can discover anything in this text which 
naturally suggests opposition to the final reoondliation of all men 
to God. If you allow that God really undertook to reconcile the 
world unto himself, can you, consistently with this, contend that 
he will not finally effect this reconciliation ? 

" As you contended, with much labor, that the human family 
would have been all annihilated if Jesus Christ had not made an 
atonement by his death and resurrection, — and as you earnestly 
endeavored to give your hearers to understand that there is no 
other way for us to obtain salvation, only by accepting the pardon 
offered through the death and resurrection of Christ, — it came into 
my mind to ask you what you think of the future state of all the 
mUlions of mankind who lived and died before Christ made this 
atonement; and also of the millions of the ^ human family who 
have lived and died since that great work was accomplished, but 


who never heard a word about it m all their liveB. Permit me 
also to inquire what you think of the future state of little chil- 
dren who die in infancy, as you insisted that faith in Jesus 
Christ, and repentance towards God, are indispensable unto a state 
of happiness in the world to come. 

" One question more, sir, and, for the present, I have done. 
As you positively asserted that Universalists held there is no 
need of the repentance of Burners, I humbly ask of you either to 
inform me who these Universalists are, or quote me this sentiment 
from some of their writings. 

*< Do not allow yourself to believe that these queriee are sug- 
gested from any unfriendly motive, nor neglect to answer them 
because you may think the mover of them will not duly consider 
and suitably acknowledge the &vor. 

" Yours, affectionately, H. Ballou. 

"Mb. Jacob Tidd." * 

To this gentle and candid epistle Mr. Tidd returned a 
brief and tart reply i 

" Boston, FdfTuary 6, 1822. 
" DiAB Sib : I have received your very polite letter, and am 
sorry that I misrepresented the doctrine you preach. I must 
confess I had no authority for the assertion, for I never heard 
but one universal salvation sermon, neither have I ever read one 
—* therefore to prove the assertion is with me entirely out of the 
question. I naturally fell into the error from the supposition that 
if all men were finally saved, it must be without conditions. I can 
only atone for my error by informing those who may meet at my 
place next Tuesday evening [12th instant] that I was mistaken, 
and that you believe that those who repent will be saved, arid those 
only; and in reference to your questions, I decline any private 
controversy, being perfectly satisfied with my belief, and, with this 
additional consideration, am doubly assured that if all men are 
eventually saved, I must, per necessity, be included in the numb^. 

" I remain your most obedient servant, Jacob Tidd. 

"Mb. Hossa Ballou." 

192 LIFB OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1822. 

From this, the controversy extended to some length ; 
but it was exceedingly to be regretted that Mr. Tidd was 
not able to control his impeU^osity, or neutralize his bit- 
terness. By the solicitation of Mr. Ballou, the letters, 
on both sides, were published in the Universalist Mag^ 
azine; and were continued until Mr. Tidd's epistles 
became so offensive in their manner that prudence and 
delicacy required a discontinuance. In the mean time, 
Mr. Ballou had come again to be connected with the 
Magazine^ as one of its editors ; and it was necessary 
for him to decide on the propriety of farther admitting 
Mr. Tidd's conmiunications. He published the following : 

" To Mr. Jacob Tidd. * 

" Sir : In reply to your notice, in the Palladium ^ I will observe 
that the reason why I was^ as an editor, opposed to the admission 
of your communication, was, because you stated that I had given 
proof that I am an enemy to Christians. As such a statement is 
entirdy derogatory to every Christian principle, as an editor I 
thought it my duty to refuse it. This is the only reason it was 
refused ; and 'had you seen fit to have seen the editors, I doubt not 
that you would have been willing to strike out the exceptionable 
sentence, when no objection would have been made to the admis- 
sion of the communication. That I am disposed to use fairness, 
and that I will not lean too much to my own opinion, I will now 
say, that if you will obtain the signature of a respectable preacher 
of your own order, to signify that he thinks, as you have stated, 
that I have given proof that I am an enemy to Christians, I will 
be in fiivor of inserting your communication in the Magazine, 

" Yours, truly, H. Ballou." 

Thus ended the controversy, so far as Mr. Ballou was 

* The title of Mr. Tidd's book was as follows: « Woe nnto the wicked! 



The manner in lyhich the Magazine was conducted 
after Mr. Ballon gave up the charge, especially the long 
controversy on future punishment, and on certain '^ pro- 
posals " as to the way of discussing that subject, &c. &c., 
had created so wide a discontent umong the patrons of 
the paper, that Mr. Bowen, the publisher, on the 4th 
May, 1822, published the following paragraph : 

"The publisher has the satisfaction of announcing to the 
friends of the Magazine, and to the public, that he has engaged 
the Rev. Hosea Ballou, of Boston, the Rev. Hosea Ballon, 2d, of 
Boxbiiry, and the Rey. Tlfomas Whittemore, of Gambridgeport, 
to edit this paper in future. It is presumed that these gentlemen 
are too well known to render any remarks respecting their abili- 
ties necessary." 

Mr. Ballou, 2d, as we have shown, had been settled at 
Roxbury, and Mr. Whittemore had removed the preced- 
ing month to Cambridgeport, where he has ever since 
resided [April, 1854]. 

During the time that had elapsed since Mr. Ballou 
retired from the Magazine^ the controversy concerning 
future ' limited punishment had found its way into its 
columns ; and communications from dijSerent individuals 

It shall be ill with him! A correspondence, in part attempted to be sup- 
pressed by Hosea Ballon, an editor of the UniversaUst Magazine, pub- 
lished in Boston. [By Jacob Tidd.] Boston : printed for Jacob Tidd, 
1823." Mr. Tidd omitted the title Rey. from Mr. B.'s name intention- 
ally, and boasted of it in the course of the book; a fact which showed 
what manner of spirit he possessed. 


194 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1822. 

sprang np as thickly as weeds in a garden, and threatened 
to bear an abundant harvest of discontent. This diffi- 
culty, wliich seemed to be about future punishment, 
did not rest ex&ctly on its merits. There had been 
uneasiness for four or five years previously, through a' 
fear, on the part of the pastor of the First Universalist 
Society, that Mr. B. would remove to Boston. The 
former, on one occasion, sought to get a promise from 
Mr. B. that he would not remove to Boston, even if Mr. 
D. should be dismissed. Mr. Ballou replied, '^ I do not 
know, even if I shall be invited to remove to Boston, that 
I shall accept the invitation ; it will be time enough for 
me to consider that question when I am called on to do it. 
This much I will promise you, Mr. D., that I will not do 
anything to cause you to be removed." Mr. Dean was 
not satisfied ; and said, in rejoinder, that if Mr. Ballou 
would not promise that he would not remove to Boston, 
if he [Mr. D.] were dismissed, he should consider it a 
*' breach of fellowship." Mr. B. could not so regard the 
matter. Rev. Jacob Wood, who became a principal actor 
in these scenes, was a person of some fine qualities, but he 
was ambitious, and very meddlesome. He was strongly 
attached to the doctrine of future limited punishment ; 
and it is thought he took some improper means to bring 
about the controversy between Messrs. Turner and Ballou. 
Oscillating between Charlestown and Salem, he would 
say to Mr. T. that Mr. B. desired a controversy with 
him on the point mentioned, and then communicate to 
Mr. B.. that Mr. T. desired the same with him. In 
this way probably the discussion between the two (which 
we have fully described in Chapter IX.) wafi brought 


aboat, the first letter being carried to Mr. T. ty Mr. 
Wood.* This mental struggle, perhaps, had some effect to 
alienate Mr. T. from Mr. B., though we speak doubtfully, 
because we would speak charitably. After the contro- 
yersy, M&r. Ballou ought always to be regarded as holding 
that the Scriptures do not reveal the dogma of punish- 
ment in the future state ; yet he held there was no reason 
for animosity, much less of two parties, or of disfellow^ 
ship. He stated his views clearly, and he was willing 
others should do the same ; but he wished for peace and 
love among the brethren. Such were the feelings with 
which lie entered upon his first duties as editor of the 
Magazine ; and during the two years in which he had 
the sole control, the controversy between Universalists, 
at least, was but slightly seen in that paper. It was 
during the ten months [namely, from July, 1821, to May, 
1822] while the paper was not at all under the care of 
Mr. B., that the controversy entered there. We have 
shown, in a former paragraph, Mr. Wood's proposition 
in regard to the manner of discussing the question, out 
of which grew a useless display of words. Two of the 
new editors (Mr. Ballou, senior, declining to act, as he 
had been engaged in the matter) determined to put an 
end to l^e petty war, and it was d(Hie.t 


It must not be forgotten, Mr. Ballou believed that his 
first duties were owed to the flock of bis care in Boston, 

* Gospd Visitant, volume n., p. 116. 

fSed UniversaUat Magazine, yotume in., pp. 183i, 191. 

196 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1822. 

though there were general, but very important duties, he 
owed to the cause at large. He was ready at all times 
to- hear the call of the sick — to visit them; to comfort 
those who mourned, and bind up the broken-hearted. 
His pulpit labors were very acceptable ; and again and 
again were the sermons which he preached requested for 
the press. These sermons he never wrote except for the 
press. If a sermon were written before it was preached, 
he never carried the manuscript into the pulpit. We do 
not say he never read a sermon firom the pulpit in his 
life ; but we may truly say we never knew him to do so ; 
and yet in many cases have we known the sermons to 
have been written before delivery, especially on occasions 
of dedications, ordinations, &c. &c. On the fourth Sabbath 
in February, of this year, he preached a sermon entitled 
" The Golden Calf," from the words. Exodus 32 : 85, 
'' And the Lord plagued the people, because they made 
the calf which Aiskron made." Aaron, who made the 
golden calf, was a prototype, so to speak, of the false 
priests of our own day, who follow the people^, and admin- 
ister to popular prejudices. Aaron well knew the 
reverence which the Egyptians had for the ox ; and, as 
the Israelites had imbibed many Egyptian superstitions, he 
formed his idol to suit those superstitions. Mr. Ballou 
applied the subject to the &lse religion of our own 
times, and the craft of a priesthood by which the people 
are led into error. He deliberately held that the Jews 
would never have fallen so deeply into error, had it not 
been for false leaders. As Isaiah said, ^' The leaders of 
of this ^people cause them to err, and those that are led 


of them are destroyed." 9 : 16. But Mr. Ballou had no 
hatred in his heart. He said, in the course of this sermon, 

" My friends, I solemnly declare that I feel no opposition, no' 
enmity, against any denomination of religionists in the world, if I 
know my own heart. These remarks are not designed against 
men, against my fellow-beings; but I acknowledge my deter- 
mined opposition to all priestcraft, to all religious deception ; and 
I openly avow my entire deyotedness to the work of rending the 
veil of superstition from the minds of men to the utmost of my 
feeble abilities. I hold in utter abhorrence the craft and art by 
which thousands ar»dece^red, and made to believe that the spirit 
of God teaches these abominations, which are as unlike God as 
was the Moloch of the ancients, to whom thousands of innocent 
children were sacrificed." 

One part of this sermon was devoted to showing how 
those who preach and sustain false religion are tormented 
by it, as the people of Israel were plagued because they 
made the calf which Aaron made. But he turned, at 
last, from all this scene of misery and servile religion, to 
lend an ear to the celestial voice of comfort. He quoted 
the words of Jesus to the weary and afflicted. He invited 
the people away from all the errors, sins, grie&, cares, 
and sorrows, of human life, to the religion of Jesus. 
'^ Come," said he, '^ all that are weary and heavy laden, 
come ; " '^ find rest unto your souls." His concluding 
words were : 

<< The religion of Jesus is confidence in the divine &vor ; it is 
hope in everlasting life ; it is forgiveness to those who injure us ; 
it is fervent in supplications for those who despitefully use us and 
persecute us. This religion is designed to overcome evil with 
good, and to reconcile all things to God ; so that every knee shall 


198 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. J>, 1822. 

bow, every tongue shall confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the 
glory of God the Father." * 

On the evening of the- third Sabbath in March, he 
delivered the famous sermon which had attracted so much 
attention in Philadelphia, entitled the 'VFeast of Knowl- 
edge," which was immediately published and offered to 
the Soston public. It had been written out by him after 
his return home.f 

In the month of September he preached his sermon 
entitled '^ St. Paul a Universalist." The text was 1 
Tim. 2: 7, — "Whereunto I am ordained a preacher." 
The main question, after a proper introduction, was, 
" Unto what was Paul ordained a preacher? " 

" He was ordained a preacher of the sentiment which he had 
just expressed, and to which he alluded in the words of our text. 
This sentiment is first expressed in an exhortation, as follows; 
« I exhort, therefore, ih&tj first of all, supplications, prayers, 
intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men ; for 
kings, and for all that are in authority ; that we may lead a 
quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.' This 
exhortation makes it perfectly evident that St. Paul did not be- 
lieve that God had, before the foundation of the world, ordained 
a part of the human f(Eunily to endless wrath ; for, had this been 

* See *' A Sermon, deUvered in the Seeond UnlTertallst Meetiiig- 
honse in Boston, on the evening of the Fourth Sabbath in Febnuury, 
1822. By Hosea BaUou, pastor." 

t << A Leoture-sermon, delivered in the Second Universalist Meeting- 
house in Boston, on the evening of the second Sabbath in March, 1822. 
By Hosea Ballou, pastor. Being the Substance of that which he delivered 
in the Grand Saloon of Washington HaU, Philadelphia, on the evening 
of firit Sabbath in January." 

AGED 51. KEW PREAGHSRS IN 1822. 199 

his sentiment, he surely would n«t have exhorted men to piay 
for them, nor to give thanks for thte. 

• • • • • • • 

'< This sentim^t is corroborated by an important declaration of 
the apostle, which follows the last quoted, and which stands as 
evidence and support of the proposition that it is the will of Qod 
that all men should be saved. It reads as follows : ' For there is 
one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ 
Jesus ; who gave himself a ransom fbr all, to be testified in due 
time.' This declaration, that the one mediator gave himself a 
ransom for all men, and that this ransom was to be testified in 
due time, evidently shows that it was the apostle's belief that, in 
consequence of the will of God in the salvation of all men, the 
mediator had given himself a ransom for all, and that this univer- 
sal ransom was a truth to be testified to the people. The next 
words are those we have chosen to lead this discourse : * Where- 
unto I am ordained a preacher.' The evident meaning of the 
apostle in these words is, that he was ordained a preacher of the 
sentiment which hd had just ezpxesBed, which sentiment we have 
already shown to be that of universal salvation." . 

The preacher then went on to quote, from almost every 
epistle of Paul, those brilliant passages in which that dis- 
tinguished apostle taught the great doctrine of the final 
holiness and happiness of all men."^ 


More or less under the influence of Mr. Ballou's 
labors, new preachers were continually tSoming into the 
denomination ; and, like scions from the parent tree, they 
were set in new places to grow, and blossom, and bear 

* « A Sermon, delivered in the Second UniversaliBt Meeting-houae 
in Boston, on the afternoon of the First Sabbath in September, 1822." 
By Hosea Balloa, pastor. 

200 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1822. 

fruit. We might have mentioned under 1819, 20 and 
21, the names of B. £. Eillam, Kitteridge Haven, 
Thomas G. Famsworth, Benjamin Whittemore, and 
several others, converted by reading his works, which 
had been spread abroad &r and wide. In 1822, or about 
that time, Mr. Sallou received the intelligence of the 
conversion of Rev. Seth Stetson, an Orthodox clergyman 
in Plymouth, Mass. ; Rev. H. H. Winchester, in Wind- 
ham county, Vt. ; and last, though not least, ,Rev. Wal- 
ter Balfour, who bad been a constant reader of the 
Magazine from the beginning; yet the credit of first 
having opened the eyes of the latter to the doctrine of 
universal grace belonged to Rev. Moses Stuart, of Ando- 
ver.* All these cases of conversion added greatly to the 
comf(»i; of Mr. Ballou. Like the venerable apostle John, 
he said, '^I have no greater joy than to hear that my 
children walk in truth." — 8d Epis. 4. 


There can be no doubt that his labors had also contrib- 
uted largely to the building up of societies, and the erec- 
tion of meeting-houses. In April of this year it was 
announced that the Universalists of Philadelphia, soon 
after Mr. Ballou left that city, had resolved upon the 
erection of another church, in the Northern Liberties, so 
called ; and in September the comer-stone was laid, and 
the work went on. 

. * See " Memoir of the Ber. Walter Balfour, Author of Letters to 
Prof. Stuart, and Various Other Publioations. By Thomas Whittemore 
Boston : J. M. Usher. 1852." 


A noble church had been erected in Providence, B. I., 
upon one of the most beautiful sites in the city ; and 
Mr. B. went down, with several of his brethren, to the 
dedication. He always reflected, when he went to that 
state, that be was going to the land of his fathers. On 
the occasion referred to, after Scriptures had been read 
by Rev. BL Ballou, 2d, of Roxbury, and prayer offered 
by Rev. R. Carrique, of Hartford, Ct., Mr. B. preached 
the dedicatory discourse from Gen. 28: 17, — "How 
dreadful is the place ! this is none other but the house 
of God, and this is the gate of heaven." The sermon 
was regarded . as an admirable one. He recited, in his 
own language, the interesting events mentioned in the 
context, and then he said that the facts which made the 
cold ground on which the patriarch lay the house of God 
and the gate of heaven were : 

" 1st. The special presence of God. Jacob said, * Surely the 
Lord is in this place, and I knew it not.' 

<< 2d. A ladder set upon the earth, whose top reaches to heaven, 
on which the angels of God ascend and descend. 

'< 3d. A divine manifestation of the covenant of promise, which 
God made vnth Ahraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And, 

'* 4th. The testimony of the divine Being, that he would keep 
the patriarch in all places whither he should go, and never leave 
him nor forsake him until he had fulfilled his promise." 

It was a beautiful illustration by Scripture' which led 
him to say that Jesus was the ladder that reached from 
earth to heaven. Our Lord seems to have had his mind 
on the vision of the patriarch, when he said to Nathaniel^ 
" Verily, verily I say unto you, hereafter ye shall see 
heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and 

202 LIFE OF HOSSA BALLOU. A. p. 1^22. 

descending upon ihe Son of man." This ladder may be 
very justly styled " the gate of heaven," for it reaches 
from earth to heaven, and is a passage-way from one to 
the other. Jesus says, '' I am the way, the truth, and 
the life." The general idea of the discourse was, that 
the gate, or way, to heaven, was Christ and his doctrine. 
We enter into heaven by those means, — by believing 
truth, by keeping the commandments of God, by cultivat- 
ing the spirit of love. 

Ab it was the manifestation of the divine promise to 
the patriarch, that in him and his seed all the nations of 
the earth should be blessed, which made the place where 
he slept the ** house of God " and ** the gate of heaven," 
BO it is the doctrine referred to by Mr. Blallou which 
would equally bless the house which they had assembled 
to dedicate. 

In concluding the discourse, he expressed his desires 
in this strain : 

" May it please the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and 
the God of Jacob, to grant to the builders of this house, to the 
worshippers therein, and especially to our brother who may labor 
in holy things in this place, clear manifestations of the everlasting 
covenant, of Jesus its divine mediator, of the doctrine and spirit 
of his love, that thisliouse may be to old and young, to male and 
female, none other than the house of God and the gate of heaven. 
Here may the gentle reproof of the spirit of truth seasonably 
check impure desires, and the admonitious of righteousness be 
successfully dispensed ! May the fidthful word of reconciliation, 
the doctrine of Grod our Saviour, drop as the rain, and distil as 
the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, i^id as the gentle 
dews upon the mown grass. Here may the church of God flour- 


nh, and tbose who hear and know the joyfnl sound of the goepd 
walk in the light of the dirine oountenanoe." * 

The Rhode Island American, one of the secular 
papers of the town, said that this '^ ingenious and perti- 
nent discourse" was delivered before an audience ^'nu- 
merous to excess/ the whole body of the house being 
almost exclusively filled with ladies. Many of the 
respectable clergy of the town, and several from abroad, 
attended on the occasion." Fifteen thousand dollars' 
worth of pews were sold on the next day. 

Following the dedication at Providence, came the ded- 
ication of the church at Gambridgeport. This happened 
on Wednesday, 18th December, 1822. Messrs. H. Bal- 
lon, 2d, T. Whittemore, H. Ballon, T. Jones, and Jacob 
Frieze, performed the services, the sermon having been 
assigned to Mr. Ballon, senicxr, under whose teachings the 
society had grown up. He took for his subject Deut 
14 : 23, — '' And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, 
in the place which he shall choose to place his name 
there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, 
and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks ; that 
thou mayest learn to fear the Jjord thy God always." 
The festival here referred to was designed for the happi- 
ness and prosperity of the people. They were to takd a 
tithe of all the produce of their fields and flocks, and 
come together, in the sacred place where God had set up 
his name, and eat religiously and joyfully before the 
Lord. They were to be happy, but it was the happiness 

* See « Sermon deliyered at the Dedication of the Universalist Chapel 
in Providence^ R. I., Noyember 20, 1822. By Hosea Ballon. Boston: 

204 LIFS; 07 HOSfiA BALLOU. A. D. 189». 

which sprung from a recognition of divine goodness. It 
was to be a social servdce ; all the people were to come 
together, and learn in this joyful manner to love and 
serve God. Mr. B. said : 

** In applying this subject to the happy occajnon which has 
invited this solemn and joyful assembly, the following partioulaiB 
will be briefly noticed : 

"1, The true doctrine of the divine name, the establishment of 
which in a certain place consecrates and renders it a proper place 
for religious assemblies, and the solemn exercises of divine worship. 

'< 2. The true nature and spirit of devotion ; and, 

'< 3. The design or object to be promoted by the worship of 

At the close, he congratulated the society on their 
success : 

*< Christian friends and brethren, who have cheerfully and wil- 
lingly offered of your substance to erect this beautiful and con- 
venient house for the public worship of our common Father in 
heaven, may I be indulged, not only in my own behalf, but in 
behalf of my ministering brethren, to congratulate you for the 
good success which has attended your laudable and praiseworthy 
exertions. And this day brings us to the mutual enjoyment of 
reciprocating our best and most refined affections, while bowing 
before the sacred name, and dedicating this fruit of your labors 
and expenses as a nursery for your &milies, and the rising 
generation, in the wisdom, love, knowledge and true fear of the 
Lord. Brethren, may all your hopes be realized, and may tho 
ministry of reconciliation prosper within these walls, to the honor 
of God, and to4he comfort of multitudes for many generations to 
come." • 

* See " Sermon delivered at the Universalist Meeting-house in 0am- 
bridgeport, on Wednesday, Deo. 18, 1822." By Hosea Ballon, Boston. 



In addition to the journeys which the reader will per- 
ceive Mr. B. must have taken to have fulfilled the duties 
already described, there were other travels this year. 
He attended, June 12th, the Southern Association at West 
Wrentham, Mass., of which he was elected moderator, 
^nd at which he delivered a discourse on the preaching 
of the gospel, but not with wisdom of words^ — 1 Cor. ' 
1 : 17. The fourth Sabbath in the same month he 
spent with the little flock at Atkinson, N. H. Whether 
there were any reasons for the selection of the subject we 
do not know ; but he preached, in the morning, from 
this singular text, Isa. 8: 12, — ''As for my people, 
children are their oppressors, and women rule over 
them." On Wednesday, 14th August, he visited Ded- 
ham, Mass., by invitation [for all his journeys to preach, 
except at conventions and other like meetings, were 
made by invitation]. The subject of his discourse was, 
the unreasonableness of the opposition to the doctrine 
of universal grace, from John 15 : 25, — " They hated 
me without a causeJ^ It produced a sensation ; a copy 
was at once solicited for the press, and it was published 
in that town.* In October he made a journey to the 
southern section of Vermont, in company with Mr. Bal- 
lott, 2d, to visit their kindred in that region. The Uni- 

* " A Sermon on the Nature and Tendency of the Opposition to the 
True Doctrine of Jesna Christ ; deliyered at Dedham, on the evening of 
August 14th, 1822. By Bot. Hosea BaUou, of Boston. PubUshed by 
request. Dedhvn : H. & W. H. Mann. 1822/* 



versalists of Franklin county, Mass., availed themselves 
of the presence of the preachers to form a new associa- 
tion for that county. The meeting was holden in Ber- 
nardston, on the 10th of the month named, when the 
Franklin County Association of TJniversalists was formed. 
The venerable Rev. David Ballou [then in his sixty-fifth 
year] was elected moderator, and Dr. John Brooks, a 
respected physician of the town, who sometimes officiated 
as a preacher, clerk. We do not describe any of the 
doings of the new association, for want of room. The 
services through the day were performed by the three 
Messrs. Ballou, — Hosea 2d, Hosea senior, and David. 
Concerniiig the sermon of the second here named, Dr. 
Brooks wrote at the time : 

<< A large and respectable audience were then entertained and 
instructed by the word of God, dispensed by our much-beloved 
and faithful brother, Hosea Ballou. Never did people listen 
with more profound attention, and, we trust, spiritual profit. 
Most truly did the doctrine of divine love ' drop as the rain, and 
distil as the dew.' Many, we doubt not, will ever remember the 
text, — ' So then faith oometh by hearing, and hearing by the 
wordof God.'— Rom. 10: 17." • 

Such testimony as this, which we have frequent occa- 
sion to quote in regard to Mr. B., did not originate in a 
taste for extravagant praise, but it sprung from the irre- 
pressible feeling of the heart. From Bemardston, Mr. 
B. went to Wilmington, Vt., where, on the 22d October, 
he delivered a sermon at the ordination of Eev. H. H. 
Winchester, one of the new preachers mentioned in Sec- 
tion IV. of this chapter. Every Sabbath during this 
journey he preached to large congregations, who were 

AGBD 51. CONYSNnOK OF 1822. ' 207 

animated, instructed, and made better and happier, by 
what they heard. 


We give a distinct section to Mr. B.'s visit to Warner, 
K. H., to attend the session of the General Convention. 
He was elected moderator. Sermons were preached by 
H. Ballon, 2d, Elias Smith, Sylvanus Cobb, Sebastian 
Streeter, Hosea Ballon, and I. Whitnall. The congre- 
gations at such meetings generally increased until the 
afternoon of the last day, after which the people sought 
their homes in the towns around. The sermon in the 
evening of that day was designed £br the benefit of those 
who remained until. Friday morning. Mr. Ballou's ser- 
mon in the afternoon was from the words, Ps. 46 : 4, — 
'' There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad 
the city of God." This was regarded, at the time, as a 
discourse of unusual power. Bev. S. Cobb attended the 
convention for the first time this year, and heard Father 
Ballon for the first time. The discourse made an im- 
pression on his mind which he will probably bear with 
him to his death-bed. "^ 

* Rev. Sylvanas Cobb iias famished the foUowing reminiscences of 
the session at Warner. They will be read with interest by all : 

« The first session of the General Convention of Uniyersalists which I 
attended was held in Warner, N. H., September, 1822. And it Was 
there that I heard, for the first time, a discourse from Bey. Hosea Bal- 
lou. That convention #as more nnmerously attended by ministering 
brethren than any which had preceded it, and ten young men then and 
there received letters of fellowship as preachers of the gospel. Father 
BaUon manifested a very deep and paternal interest in the young 
preachers. I received the fellowship of the convention two years 


Ten ministering brethren receiYed *' letters of fellow- 
ship" at this session, several of whom made themselves 

before. I was appointed to preaoh on the erening of the first day of 
the session, at Warner. Father Ballon sat in the desk. He felt so 
earnest a concern for the young stranger that his silent thoughts moyed 
bis lips, and became audibU to my ear. These audibly-whispered 
thoughts at first betrayed doubts whether I thoroughly understood the 
oubjeot on which I chose to speak. At length, his distinctly-whispered 
thoughts, which he was not conscious of whispering at all, expressed 
emotions of such satisfaction as had the inspiring effect upon me which 
was apparently exerted upon Mdthodist preachers by the responsiTO 
amen of the hearers. 

** Pardon this reference tomy own i>erfonnanoe on that occasion. It 
is Olily to bring out an amiable trait in that servant' of Jesus, who came 
to me the next day with words of kindness which strengthened my soul, 
and begat in my heart a filial lore and respect which has neyer ceased 
to live and glow. 

« On Thursday afternoon. Father Ballou was the preacher. He was 
then in the prime of life, being about fifty-one years of age. His text 
was Ps. 46 : 4, — * There is a river, the streams whereof shall make 
glad the city of God.' As this rirer supplies yarious streams, be took 
it to be synonymous with fountgin, ^nd this fountain is Godj the 
source of all good. He proposed to visit and explore several different 
streams from the fountain of infinite wisdom and lo^e. 

** 1st. He explored the stream of Divine Providence, bearing blessings 
adapted to our temporal wants. 

** 2d. He took us along the fiowery banks of the stream of the Divine 
promises, given us in the gospel of his Son. But he did not permit us 
long to walk upon the banks of that stream. He charmed our souls to a 
willing plunge with him into the deep waters of the stream, < a river to 
swim in> a river that could not be passed over.' We were certainly all 
believers in free-will then ; and yet we were drawn by a force which we 
found it not in us to resist. 

" 3d. He took us to the stream of the Divine economy in the dispensa- 
tion of rewards and punishments. This stream, he said, was from the 
same fountain, but, fiowing through diflferent channels, it was sometimes 
a medicinal -stream, bitter to the taste. Taking it in this connection, he 
showed most beautifully the harmony of the retributive dispensations 
of God's government with that spirit of grao9 whence issues th^ gospel 


highly useful, of whom it were improper not to name 
Thomas S. King, Lemuel Willis, Dolphus Skinner and 
Massena B. Ballou, son of Hosea. The father's heart 
was seldom more full of joy than at this session. 



The brethren in all section^ had become much encour- 
aged by the influence which was being exerted by the 
Universalist periodicals. The Universalist Magazine 
was the leader in the point of time. There had been pe- 
riodicals previously in the country, devoted to Universal- 
ism ; but they were not weekly issues, but pamphlets, 
published monthly or quarterly, as the Berean, in 1802, 
the Gospel Visitant, in 1817, and the Herald of Life 
and Immortality, by Elias Smith, in 1819. But there 
were, in 1822, besides the Universalist Magazine, the 

" 4th, and lastly. He brought ns to the stream of brotherly love. This, 
he said, flowing from the same divine fountain into the human heart, 
takes the name of brotherly love when it flows from heart to heart. On 
this branch of the subject he was surpassingly eloquent. The stream of 
love from beaven filled and overflowed his own soul, and thence ran and 
filled and overflowed the souls of the great congregation. The stoutest 
hearts were melted, and all the people wepi like children, overcome with 
gratitude uid joy. 

" The preacher closed with addresses to the society, ministers and 
delegates, and singers. The address to the singers carried them too far 
into heaven to admit of their immediately finding a comfortable restin^^ 
place on earth. Half an hour after the services were closed, I went into 
the house where I had received entertainment, and two of the /emale 
singers were walking the house, with clasped hands pressing their bo- 
soms, weeping convulsively, but joyfully, from the overpowering emotions 
produced by the preacher's heavenly eloquence. 

" Suoh is a meagre sketch of the first sermon which I heard from 
Father BaUon." 


210 LIFB OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1822. 

foUowiBg : The Gospel Herald^ published weekly, in 
the city of New York, in eight royal octavo pages, Mr. 
Henry Fitz editor; The PhUadelphia Universalist 
Magazine and Christian' Messenger^ published 
monthly, in Philadelphia, in forty-eight royal octavo 
pages, Bev. Abner. Kneeland. editor; The Christian 
Repository^ published quarterly, in Woodstock, Vt, in 
thirty-six duodecimo pag^s. Rev. Samuel C. Loveland 
editor; The Christian Intelligencer^ published quar- 
terly, in Portland, Me., in thirty-two octavo pages, Bev. 
Russell Streeter editor ; and The Religious Inquirer ^ 
published semi-monthly, in Hartford, Conn., in leight 
Buper-roy^l octavo pages. Rev. Richard Garrique editor. 
Four years previously, there was not one work of this 
kind in America, conducted by Universalists, except Elias 
Smith's, which was little more than a tract 


Mr. Ballou preached much on the subject of punish- 
ment. He believed that God had ordained that sin should 
carry with it its own punishment, — that " the way of 
the transgressor is hard." He believed, if men were made 
to feel the force of this doctrine, they would be less likely 
to sin than if they thought they could escape. The 
expectation that the way of sin is easy and pleasant is 
the only fact which gives force to temptation, especially 
if added to the hope that punishment threatened against 
sin may be avoided ultimately by repentance. He said 
to his fellow-men : 


<< Whether yon will hear, or whether yoa will forbear, it is 
duty which dictates me to tell you that the way of transgreesors 
is hard. The mistaken notion that this is not true, is the real 
cause which leads the wicked In the way of transgression. If the 
temptations to sin were not so contrived as to hold out a promise 
of present ease and enjoyment, they would never succeed. Who- 
ever will look on this subject with the eye of reason, enlightened 
with experience, will see its truth as clearly as he can behold the 
sun in the heavens in a cloudless day. Now, if this be granted, it 
is equally clear that all the mighty host of clergy who contend that 
it is a licentious doctrine which teaches that virtue and vice are 
competently rewarded in this life are in error, and are giving to 
temptation the only attraction that can poadbly render it &tal." 

Mr. B. had no belief that the fantasy of a terrible 
hell in the future world ever did any good. It was one 
of the means bj which bad priests had -in all ages ruled 
the world ; it had been the cause of indescribable anguish 
to men ; for it was the weak and timid, like Gowper, who 
feared it, more than the wicked and the yiolent. While, 
therefore, it has done much hurt upon the one hand, it 
has done little good upon the other. It is because the 
fear of hell in the future state has been so strong an aid 
in sustaining priestcraft, that the clergy have always 
been so loth to weaken it. It is this, in part, which 
leads them to detest the doctrine of TJniversalism, and 
represent it as a wicked and dangerous doctrine. In 
dwelling on this subject, in the course of this year, Mr. 
Ballou said : 

<' Reader, whether you wUl hear, or whether you will forbear, 
the time is come that the plain, honest truth must be told, that 
the way of trangressors la hard. It is here, in this life, that 
wicked men make their hell, and toxioent themaelves in it. And 

212 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1822. 

that sort of religion which excludes peace and enjoyment from its 
paths is the way of transgresBors, and is hard. This religion, 
like all other wickedness, is the tormentor of iia votary. There is 
no false religion in the world that does not torment those who 
adhere to it, and there is no sin in the world which does not tor- 
ment those who practise it. On the other hand, the true religion 
gives peace in believing and joy in the Holy Spirit ; it imparts that 
rest which remaineth for the people of God ; and all the virtues 
to which the divine. commandments invite us are so many invalu- 
able treasures, more to be desired than the most fine gold." 

Mr. B. maintained, always, that the doctrine of the 
best tendency was that which gave the clearest and 
strongest assurance that sin should have an adequate pun- 
ishment in the present life. He urged this again and 
again. But the world said his doctrine was of evil tend- 
ency; and even' his own brethren, who believed in a 
future limited punishment, joined in this cry. 

" The writer of these observations deeply regrets that fiiithiul- 
nesB to the cause of truth compels him to be further particular in 
these preliminary remarks ; but, it having of late become common 
for those Universalists who profess to believe in a future state of 
retribution to contend that a disbelief of this article of faith is of 
an immoral tendency, it seems as necessary to understand the 
merits of the assertion when urged by this class of Christians, as 
when it is used by other denominations. 

• • • • • • • 

<' So, likewise, both Calvinists and Arminians unite against . 
Universalism, and,say, K all men are to be saved, it is no matter 
what we do ; if we believed this doctrine, we would never worship 
God ; we would never read the Scriptures ; we would never pray ; 
but would blaspheme, lie, steal, get drunk, rob and murder. 
Their zeal, which is not according to knowledge, drives them so 
rapidly in the dark, that they never stop to ask themselves whether 
real Universalists do not go to meeting as much as any denomina; 


tion ; whether they are not as well read in the jBcriptaree as any 
people in Christendom ; whether it be certain that they are not 
as attentive to the closet, according to the Saviour's directions, as 
themselves ; nor do they ask whether Universalists blaspheme, lie, 
steal, get drunk, lob and murder, more than those who believe in 
eternal misery." 

Again he said, a few months after : 

" My study of human nature and of moral principles has led 
me to believe what the Scriptures, to my understanding, do plainly 
teach, that 4hose are blessed in this world who fear God and work 
righteousness, and that the way of the trangressor is hard. Men 
are now as happy as they are righteous, and they are as miserable 
as they are sinful ; therefore, to my understanding, if all men are 
to be rewarded in the future world according to their works in 
this, they will be just as happy and just as miserable as they are 
in this world." 

Such were his views, expressed year after year, and 
almost month after month, as long as he lived. He 
believed in their correctness, without the' slightest doubt; 
and he was very desirous that the world should receive 


la December, 1822, Mr. Ballou attended the session 
of the Southern Association, at Western (now Warren), 
Mass., of which he was elected moderator. The most 
interesting event of this session was the ordination of Rev. 
Jacob Frieze and Rev. Thomas G. Farnsworth ; and Mr. 
B.. was selected to preach on the occasion. He took for 
his text the words of Peter (1st Epis. 4 : 11), *' If any 
.man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God ; if any 

214 LIFB 01 HOSBA BALLOU. A. B. 1822. 

man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God 
giveth : that God in all things may be glorified through 
Jesus Christ ; to whom be praise and dominion for ever 
and ever. Amen.'' What text could be more appro- 
priate for a sermon at an ordination? 


Some who will read this book will remember these 
ominous words, as descriptive of two publicq^ions that 
brought about a more serious rupture in the Universalist 
body than had ever before occurred. The '* Appeal to the 
Public " was published by Jacob Wood, over the signature 
of " Restorationist,*' undoubtedly with the concurrence 
and approbation of others. I'he "Declaration" was a 
paper addressed to the world, signed by Jacob Wood, by the 
request and in the behalf of others, in which the authors 
thereof attempted to show that the ancient doctrine of 
universal restoration had been corrupted ; that this cor- 
ruption was seated and growing among the Universalists 
of the United States ; and that it had become a great 
hindrance to the spread of the truth, as well as detri- 
mental to the morals of &e community. The authors 
of this "Declaration" professed, therefore, that they 
considered it a duty which they owed to God, and fheir 
own consciences, to make the following declaration : 

<< 1. That, in our opinion, the doctrine of universal salvation 
at the commencement of a future state, and that of the final res^ 
toration of all men by Jesus Christ, through faith and repentance, 
are distinct and different doctrines, and are incapable of being 
reconciled together. 


*< 2. That we consider the former doctrine to he sahrersiye of a 
just sense of our accountahility to God, and the proper distinction 
between virtue and vice ; and, consequently, lessens the motives to 
virtue, and gives force to the temptations of sin.'* * 

This was the wedge that split the denomination asun- 
der. These men went on to declare that the kind of 
Universalism which they had attacked set aside the 
scheme of salvation by Christ ; was subversive of a just 
sense of our accountability to God, and of a proper dis- 
tinction between virtue and vice, &c &c. The most of 
thosp engaged in this matter had preferred not to give 
their names, Mr. Wood appearing over his proper signa- 
ture in their behalf Mr. Ballou knew perfectly well 
who they were ; and it pained him to the heart fb see 
that he was denounced by brethren with whom, in former 
years, he had taken sweet counsel. 

By the concurrence of the three editorsK)f the Univer- 
salist Magazine^ both the "Appeal'* and "Declara- 
tion" were transferred to the columns of that paper on 
January 25, 1823. The introduction was vrritten in 
their behalf by the elder Mr. Ballou, and was in the fol- 
lowing words : 

" By presenting the following Appeal and Statement of Faith, 
found in the Christian Repository for December last, to our 
readers, we comply with the request of those who framed them. 
We are authorized to state that they are the result of the advice 
and counsel of the following ministering brethren, who belong to 

* Those articles were first published in the Christian Repository, Wood- 
stock, Yt., December, 1822, edited by Rev. S. 0. Lovelaod, a gentieman 
who did not seoede with the Reslorationisto. 

216 LIFE OS* HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1823. 

and stand in fello\vship with the General Convention of Uniyer- 
salists ; namely, Rev. Jacob "Wood, Rev. Edward Turner, Rev. 
Paul Dean, Rev. Barzillai Streeter, Rev. Charles Hudson, and 
Rev. Levi Briggs. 

Mr. Sallou further said in the introduction, addressing 
the Universalists at large : 

'^ Christian brethren, it is 9. most j)ainful, heart-agonizing task, 
to put into your h§,nds what we know must produce in you sur- 
prise and grief of no ordinary character ; but you are assured 
that this gall and wormwood has for years been tasted by those 
who saw the first germ of this root of bitterness. Yes, the shade 
of many a night has witnessed the, anguish which preyed on the 
heart of him who writes this notice, and his pillow has received 
the tears of grief, occasioned by the increasing symptoms which 
portended the unhappy schism now made manifest to the public. 
We expect the daughters of the uncircumeised will triumph; 
but what is this in comparison with our sighs and tears on the 
defection of those we love ? Let us, with eonfidenoe, rely on Him 
whose invisible hand worketh all things after the .counsel of his 
own will ; and in our hearts say, ' Not our vdll, but thine, 
God, be done.' — Editors," 



The editors * of the Magazine proceeded at once to 
reply. K the spirit manifested by the authors of those 
publications were to be encouraged, they felt there was 
an end to all good fellowship. It was never objected to 
those brethren that they defended the doctrine of future 
punishment, for that they had a perfect right to do ; but 
they evidently aimed at division. It was, feared they 
wished to« drive out Mr. B. an4 his friends from the 


denomination, or, failing in this, to secede and form a 
new sect. The plan grew to maturity; and, as they 
had not the influence to control the whole body, they 
went out and formed another, called ^^Bestorationists." 
This they had a right to do, if they were willing to take 
the consequences ; but was it right to throw the odium 
of the measure upon others ? Had they the right to 
claim that they were the friends of peace, and that others 
made the separation, when it was fairly their own act ? 
There was one thing that gave great trouble to these 
half-dozen brethren, namely, they could not carry with 
them, in their measures, many who professed to believe 
in future punishment, as Rev. Bussell Streeter, Rev. 
Lemuel Willis, Bev. Dolphus Skinner, and some others. 
Let us attend to the reply of the editors of the Maga- 
zine, We shall give extracts merely, for the article was 
a long one, and we do not desire to take up more room 
with this painful subject than is necessary : 

<'In last week's Magazine we republished, firom the Chris- 
tian Repository y * An Appeal to the Public,' signed * Restora- 
tionist ; ' and a Declaration (as we shall call it) , signed * Jacob 
Wood,' in behalf of others. 

*' It is now about seven weeks since those pieces were first pub- 
lished. In the mean time, we have labored 'with our brethren 
who were the authors, for the purpose of persuading them to recall 
their publication ; but to no avail. We now submit to the alter- 
native of publicly disproving their representation, and exposing 
the real character of their procedure, in preference to permitting 
it to stand uncontradicted before the world, alienating the hearts 
of brethren, and exciting suspicion and discord." 

They then proceeded to lay open the mjitery which 


218 LIFE OP HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1823. 

hung over the origin of the "Appeal" and "Declara- 
tion." Although Mr. Ballon and his friends were re- 
ported as fomenters of discord, they were left without any 
certain knowledge who were the authors of these pieces 
for about three weeks, and then the names were obtained 
after one refusal. But, having learned who were the 
authors, they proceeded to perform what was the most 
painful duty that had ever devolved upon them as 
editors : 

** To begin, we must beg the reader to compare their ^ Appeal^ 
with their ^ Dedaraiion,^ He will discover a most condemning 
absurdity on the very face of those two pieces, when they are 
compared. How do the authors represent themselves in the 
Appeal? Answer : as striving * to preserve the union of the 
order,' — as seeking to continue in fellowship with those that 
deny, as well as with those that believe, the doctrine of future 
punishment. Indeed, it is one of the grand objects of the Appeal 
to convince the public that they had assiduously endeavored to 
prevent a separation. Very well. Now, turn to their Declaration. 
What do they there say concerning the doctrine of no future 
punishment ? Answer : that it * is subversive of a just sense of 
our accountability to God, and the proper distinction between 
virtue and vice, and, consequently ,^essens the motives to virtue, 
and gives force to the temptations of sin.' And still they pre- 
tend to have been laboriously pursuing a course of measures for 
the very purpose* of continuing in fellowship with those who 
believe and avow this pernicious doctrine I — this doctrine*, of 
which they again say, * If it be not certain that ' it * gives force 
to the temptations of sin, there is no moral certainty upon any 
subject whatever ! ' — of which they also say, repeatedly, it * sets 
aside the scheme of salvation by Christ ! ' Mark this, reader : it 
* sets a^ethe scheme of salvation by Christ! ' as well as is * detri- 
mental to the morals of community,' and irreconcilable with 
their own dj|ctrine ; — and yet they are willing to profess, before 


Grod and man, to fellowship those who believe and avow it, — to 
fellowship them as Christian ministers ! and have even studiously 
sought to prevent everything that might lead to a separation from 
them ! Let those believe all this story who can. The fact is, he 
who contrived this story has not wished to prevent a separation ; 
he has sought one with all his heart, as we shall show before we 
conclude ; but he and his associates knew that a separation would 
be unpopular, and wished to fix the odium of the measure on 

Faithfulness to the truth compels us to declare that 
the authors of this "Appeal" and "Declaration" had 
not sought to preserve peace and tranquillity. This 
is very evident from the following statement of facts 
which we copy from the reply of the editors of the 
Magazine : 

" Li the year 1816, Mr. Jacob Wood applied to the General 
Convention of Universalists for a letter of fellowship, and received 
one. In this very year (more than six years ago) he persuaded 
one of the Universalist ministers to believe that it was necessary 
that the convention should take a decided stand in &vor of the 
doctrine of future punishment ; and at the same time privately 
instilled prejudices into his mind against Mr. Ballou, then of 
Salem (now of Boston) , who was supposed to doubt that doctrine. 
At this period, Mr. Wood was preaching in Haverhill, Mass., 
where he talked so much against Mr. Ballou that the society 
became dissatisfied with him as their preacher. All this while he 
pretended much friendship in Mr. Ballou 's presence, as he like- 
wise generally has since. Soon after this, he represented to Mr. 
Ballou that Mr. Turner was desirous of a correspondence with 
him on the subject of ^ture punishment, and persuaded Mr. 
Ballou to write to Mr. Turner, and invite such a correspondence. 
Let it be noticed that, until this correspondence, which was carried 
on in the Gospel Visitant, there had been nothing special said or 

220 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. B. 1823. 

written against the doctrine of future punishment. After engag- 
ing Mr. Ballou and Mr. Turner in the controTersy, Mr. Wood 
obtained letters from ahnost all the Universalist ministers in New 
England, stating their belief in future punishment ; and then 
published extracts from those letters, without the knowledge of 
the writers, in an appendix to a ' Brief Essay on Future Retribu- 
tion.' He said he did this for the purpose of making known that 
the Uniyersalists were belieyers in iuture punishment. The essay, 
with the letters, was published under the approbation of Messrs, 
Turner and Dean, who had written their own letters for pvhlica- 
tion in it. In this. essay, Mr. Wood manifested some harshness, 
of which the following extract is a specimen : *■ The many gross 
absurdities to which the doctrine of immediate universal salvation 
is liable, and the vicious effects which it is calculated to produce, 
render it a doctrine justly deserving of disapprobation and con-- 
TEHPT.' This pamphlet came out about the first of September, 
1817 ; and, within a week or fortnight afterwards, the General 
Convention met at Charlton, where Mr. Wood was then preach- 
ing. At this convention, Mr. Wood privately endeavored to per- 
suade a number of ministers (among whom was one of the editors) 
to join him in a separate association, under the title of ' Kestora- 
tionists,' but did not succeed. It would seem, from several 
circumstances, that Messrs. Turner and Dean then knew and 
approved of this attempt. 

" Mr. Wood had previoudy agreed, with one of the ministers, 
to bring the subject of future punishment before this convention 
at Charlton ; and, if there proved to be a majority of members 
who would not assent to that doctrine, to declare their separation 
from them, and declare it openly. However, when the period 
agreed on had arrived, Mr. Wood refused to act according to 
agreement, but took the clandestine manner we have described. 
We wish the reader to bear in mind that at this period there had 
existed no excitement against the doctrine of future punishment ; 
there had been so little said or written against it, that very few 
of the Universalist ministers knew each other's opinions on the 
' '* At the convention in Charlton, Mr. Wood pursued his former 


practice of privately instilling prejudices, some of them of the 
most cruel kind, against Mr. Ballou ; and boasted that < he had 
got to come down.' He had likewise pursued the same practice 
in his conversation with the members of his society in Charlton, 
till it had become a subject of very general complaint among 

<* Ever since that convention, he has, both in conversation with 
the ministers and in letters to them, confidently declared that 
there would be a separation of the convention. Of himself and 
his associates, he has said, that they do not think that a union 
ought to be maintained, or can be justified, between two so oppo- 
site theories as are professed by the members of the convention. 
[Mark this, reader ; for they, in the Appeal, pretend to have 
labored for union.] He has almost uniformly maintained that 
the doctrine of no future punishment tends to immorality ; and 
that the professed believers of it are, in general, infidels. The 
foUowing is only a spedmen of his representations : Returning 
from Boston, he stopped at Mr. Nathaniel Whittemore's, in Lan- 
caster. Mr. Whittemore asked him, < What news?' to which 

he replied, *Bad news, bad news, Br. Whittemore : 1 am 

really sorry ! ' *What is it?' rejoined Mr. Whittemore. Mr. 
Wood answered, < Nine-tenths of Br. Ballou's society are infidels, 

1 am really sorry.' As to his common practice of talking 

against Mr. Ballou, it may be well understood by considering the 
fact that he has repeatedly declared to the ministers that it is his 
design and determination to lessen Mr. Ballou in the public 
esteem ; and the societies where he has preached can bear him 
testimony, that he has showed himself in earnest in the prosecu- 
tion of that design. 

<< When we consider all these &cts, — the part that Mr. Wood 
has acted vrith the knowledge, and, often, cooperation of Messrs. 
Turner and Dean, — and the course that Messrs. Turner and 
Dean themselves have pursued, though not so openly, — we stand 
in utter astonishment at the falsehood of the Appeal. Have they 
endeavored to preserve union ? Are we the authors of the threat- 
ening separation ? Why, Mr. Wood himself has voluntarily and 
deliberately stated that he knew bntt to be the cause of the 


222 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1828. 

threatened schism ! Br. B. Whittemore had asked him the cause 
of Messrs. Turner and Dean's opposition to Mr. Ballou. < Br. 
Whittemore,' said Mr. Wood, in answer, < I know human nature 
so well as to know that envy is the cause of the impending schism.' 
He likewise told one of the editors that he had no doubt that the 
opposition of Messrs. Turner and Dean was caused by envy 
towards Mr. Ballou. 

" Mr. Dean has reported, secretly, that Mr. Ballou retained 
nothing of Christianity but the name ; and has talked against him 
in such a manner, to some of the brethren, that they have told Mr. 
Ballou they never should repeat the conversation, nor tell him 
what it was, unless they saw him in real danger from it. About 
two years ago, Mr. Turner intimated an unwillingness to proceed 
on in harmony ; fi>r, said he, * then there would be nobody but 
BaUou.' " • 

Such were some of the leading facts in the reply. It 
produced a stunning effect. The brethren who had pub- 
lished the "Appeal" and "Declaration," made no 
further movement for some time. No rejoinder to the 
reply of the editors was attempted, and it seems to have 
had the force of demonstration among the people. The 
only thing in which Mr. Ballou had done wrong, if it 
was wrong, was in defending what he honestly believed 
to be the doctrine of retribution, as taught in the Scrip- 
tures. Ho had not sought division, but peace. He saw 
no reason why Universalists might not go on in harmony, 
although they differed somewhat on the subject of punish- 
ment.t If he defended his opinions, they had the same 

* The original reply of the editors of the UniveraaUst Magazine to the 
*' Appeal " and « Beolaration " will be found in the fourth volume of 
that paper, pp. 125—127. It was prepared and written by Key. H. 
Ballou, 2d, and was signed by the three. Rosea Ballon, Hosea Ballon, 2d, 
and Thomas Whittemore. 

f He laid, two or three yean after this : « SappoM a wbole family if 


right and opportunity to defend theirs ; and the public 
could judge which was in the right. He felt deeply 
wounded, especially at the defection of Mr. Turner, 
whom he had known and loved so long. He resolved 
to be faithful to the cause of truth, — to do his duty to 
the utmost of his ability, — and leave the consequences 


It is painful to look at the consequences that followed 
these publications. Brethren who had heretofore stood 
high, found that their influence was greatly impaired. 
Mr. Wood soon left the society of which he was pastor ; 

on a journey, from New England to the western country, where the 
proyident father has vested a large sum in landed estate, where he pur- 
poses to settle for the remainder of his life. He has prorided comfort- 
able means and eligible accommodations for his whole family on their 
journey, and their prospects justify eyery rational gratification of hope. 
But among the children, who are ignorant of the country whither they 
are bound, and of the distance they must trayel to reach it, some differ- 
ence of conjecture arises. One thinks it will require six months to 
perform the journey; another is fully persuaded that they shall all be 
safe at their home in three months; there are also different opinions 
among them respecting the country through which they are to pass. 
Some haye formed a notion that they must encounter very rough and 
fatiguing way, — others think the road is more smooth and comfortable ; 
but they all agree that in due time, having passed all which was neces- 
sary, they shall arrive at their destined, happy home. Would it not be 
unwise for these children to indulge a bitter spirit toward each other on 
account of these various notions 1 Would it not be the very height of 
folly, and even perverseness, for these children to refuse to travel together 
on their journey, because they entertained these different opinions 1 Let 
the children be quiet and love one another, trust all their concerns to 
the wisdom and providence of the parent, who impartially regards them, 
and who wiU bear them company, and bring them safely home." — Univer- 
taUst Magazine, volume yii. 139, 140. 

224 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. B. 1823. 

and, after obtaining one or two subsequent settlements, 
abandoned the ministry altogether. He was less mali- 
cious than ambitious. Mr. Turner had stood very high 
in the public respect ; and the society of which he was 
pastor, was one of the largest and most respectable of the 
Universalist societies. From this time bis influence was 
broken. He made an ineffectual attempt to restore it, 
by a sermon subsequently published, from the words, 
'* Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence, which 
I make now unto you," Acts 22 : 1. A majority of the 
society became dissatisfied, and, after a brief lapse of 
time, he removed to Portsmouth, N. H., to supply the 
vacancy which had been made by the removal of Rev. 
S. Streeter to Boston. Messrs. Levi Briggs and Barzillai 
Streeter soon left the ministry, as did abo Mr. Hudson, 
a few years later, who went into political life. It 
remains for us to speak only of Mr. Dean. He had been 
settled in a new and beautiful church in Bulfinch-street, 
in Boston. The society kept along for years, but 
dwindled gradually, until, by his consent, it went into 
the hands of Unitarians, and his connection with it was 
dissolved. He entered the last-named sect as a preacher. 
Mr. Ballon never harbored a particle of ill-will towards 
these men. He would ofl;en speak of them with great 
affection ; and when he referred to his intercourse with 
some of them in early days, it was difficult for him to 
refrain from tears. His influence in his own society, 
and among the Universalists at large, was not abated, 
nor did it abate to the day of his death. Having thus 
taken a glance into the future, we will return to the 
regular course of the narrative. 

AGED 62. ORDINATIONS, ETC., IN 1823. 225 


It was with much satisfaction Mr. Ballou learned, at 
the very beginning of 1823, that the Universalists of 
New York were zealously engaged in the formation of a 
new society, and contemplated the erection of another 
house of worship. His visit to the city had evidently 
inspirited them to this, although he probably gave no 
direct advice to that end. He took little part in advising 
the brethren when they should form societies, or build 
meeting-houses ; his great object was, in all his labors, 
to edify men in Christian truth. When we say, therefore, 
that his visit to New York inspirited the brethren to 
make the efforts we have described, we do not mean that 
he was a schemer, forming plans for the action of others ; 
but it was done in no other way than in bringing them to 
feel the power of the truth as it is in Jesus. The corner- 
stone of the edifice referred to was laid July 10th. 

In February, he made a journey to Vermont, to attend 
the dedication of the new Universalist house of worship at 
Hartland. His old friends gathered together, in scores 
and hundreds, to see him again. The services took place 
on the fifth of the month ; the day was remarkably fine, 
and the congregation overwhelmingly numerous. The 
services were performed by Revs, Lemuel Willis, Robert 
Bartlett, Dolphus Skinner, and Hosea Ballou, — the 
latter preaching the sermon. 

The ordination of Rev. Benjamin Whittemore^ as pas- 
tor of the Universalist society at West Scituate; Mass., 
took place on Wednesday, 21st May. Mr. Ballou 

226 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1823. 

gave an admirable sermon from the words of Paul, 2 
•Timothy 2: 23 — 25. The day was remarkably fine, 
and a crowded audience manifested a deep interest in the 
services. The ordaining prayer was by Rev. Hosea 
Ballou, 2d, the charge by Rev. Seth Stetson, and the 
fellowship by Eev. Thomas Whittemore. 

On the twenty-ninth of the same month (May) Mr. 
Ballou was invited to Medway, Mass., to deliver a ser- 
mon at the dedication of a new meeting-house there. 
The other services were by Rev. J. Frieze, of Milford, 
and Rev. T. Whittemore. 

Among the new preachers of this year, we must not 
fail to mention Rev. L. R. Paige, who had been converted 
to Universalism by reading the Treatise on Atonement. 
In a letter to Mr. Ballou, dated April 28th, 1823, he 
said, "About this time" [the time of his conversion] 
*'I had an opportunity to peruse your * Treatise on 
Atonement ; ' and it is a duty which I owe to you and 
to myself to state, that that was a mean, in the hand of 
God, of removing from my mind many clouds, which had 
heretofore obscured my vision." Mr. Paige has been a 
very useful man. He was much engaged, shortly after 
he entered the ministry, in defending the truth against 
the attacks of its enemies ; and is the author of several 
valuable works, as his " Selections from Eminent Com- 
mentators," and three volumes of a commentary on the 
New Testament, embracing the four Gospels and the book 
of Acts. He will, we trust, complete this work, if his 
lifft nnd bf»«lth shall be spared. 



In the month of June Mr. Ballou visited the State of 
Maine. He embraced this opportunity, on account of the 
meeting of the Eastern Association at the time in Water- 
ville. This was not his first visit to Maine. He had 
been in the district as early as 1811, to attend the meet- 
ing of the Eastern Association, at Freeport ; and he went 
down again in 1814, and attended the session of the same 
Association at Turner, where he acted as moderator, and 
wrote the Circular Letter. He made a visit as far as 
Portland, 16th August, 1821, to attend the dedication of 
the Universalist meeting-house in that city; and he 
preached the sermon in the afternoon of that day, at the 
installation of Bev. Bussell Streeter. He did not go to 
Maine again tintil the time we Eave mentioned; — June, 
1823. He left Boston, in a private carriage, on the 
seventeenth of the month, and journeyed leisurely to 
Portland, where he preached on Sunday, 22d. On 
Monday he reached the banks of the beautiful Kennebec, 
and on Tuesday passed on to Waterville. There he met 
his brethren, Russell Streeter, Sylvanus Cobb, William 
A. Drew, William Frost, Fayette Mace, Alvan Dins- 
more, J. W. Hoskins, Daniel Young, and perhaps some 
others. He preached on both days of the session. On 
the first day he took as his text Gen. 49 : 10, — '' To him 
shall the gathering of the people be." 

" It YTOs (says the Rev. Russell Streeter) decidedly one of the 
most finished and powerful diBcourses which I ever heard him 
deliver. He dwelt with exoeeding emphafiis and pathos apom 

228 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1823. 

' the gathering of the people ' to Jesas, according to numerous 
rich and glorious promises and prophecies, which he felicitously 
introduced. I remember well, that * ihe gathering of the people ' 
was finely and eloquently illustrated, by considering the promised 
Shiloh as *■ the light of the worlds the bread of Ufe^ and the 
fountain of living waters f'' and showing how these desirable and 
indispensable objects would < gather ' the benighiedy the hungry , 
and thirsty people, when revealed or made known to them. The 
several descriptions of sufferers were depicted in natural and affect- 
ing colors ; and their ' gathering ' to the light of love, the 
bread of heavenly life, and the living, gushing waters of salvation 
and joy, was described in a glow of earnest rapture, and in tones 
as sweet as angels use. But, it is almost profane to attempt to 
give any idea of the sweeping eloquence of that occasion. The 
Scriptures quoted were such as the above glorious topics would 
naturally suggest. ' ' 

His sermon upon the next day was from 2 Corinthians 
. 4 : 5, — ** For we preach not ourselves j but Christ Jesus 
the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus^ sake J' 
Of the two sermons preached by him on this occasion, the 
former struck some minds the more forcibly, and the lat- 
ter others. Mr. Streeter, whom we have already quoted, 
describes it as '^ able and good, and the same in sub- 
stance as it appeared from his pen in print ; but, in read- 
ing it, as was said of the Grecian orator, the storm of 
eloquence is not felt. It was not so splendid and 
melting as the one before mentioned, but, on the whole, 
equally instructive and useful." The Rev. William A. 
Drew says, "It was one of the best Mr. Ballon ever 
preached or published. It contained doctrines so attract- 
ing to an Orthodox clergyman in Dresden, Me., that he 
obtained a printed copy, and preached it nearly verbatim 
to the people of his charge, and thus greatly enhanced 


his credit among them as a clear thinker and sound 

One of the interesting events of the session was the 
dedication of children. B^v. S. Cobb and Rev. William 
A Drew were then young, and they brought their first- 
born to this meeting to consecrate them to the Lord. 
The beloved father Ballou was selected to perform the 
service. He received each child, pronounced its name, 
and, lifting his tearful eyes to heaven, said, '^ I receive 
thee as a member of the body and church of our Lord 
and Saviour, Jesus Christ, to whom I now dedicate thee, 
to be baptized of him into the name of the Father, Son, 
and Holy Spirit ; pronouncing upon thee the blessing 
which the Lord commanded his servant to pronounce 
upon all the congregation of his people : The Lord bless 
thee and keep thee ; the Lord make his face to shine 
upon and be gracious unto thee ; the Lord lift up the 
light of his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. 

* ThiB practice of the dedication of children, was first suggested bj 
Mr. Murray, to take the place of infant sprinkling. He did not belie re 
in water baptism. John baptised with water, bat Jesus baptized with 
the Holy Ghost. As there was only one true baptism, and as that must 
be baptism as communicated by Christ, therefore water baptism is not a 
Christian ordinance. Soon after Mr. Murray had commenced preaching 
in this country, he was repeatedly requested to baptice children ; and he 
had doubts of the propriety of the serrioe. We giye his own words: 

" After much deliberation, I proposed, and many of my hearers have 
adopted, the following mode: The parent or parents (I am always best 
pleased when both parents unite) bring their children into the great 
congregation, and stand in the broad aisle, in the presence of the wor- 
shippers of God. The father, receiving the babe from the arms of the 
mother, presents it to the servant of God, who statedly ministers &t his 
altar. The ambassador of Christ receives itnn his arms, deriving his 


230 LIFB or HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1823. 


We notice paxticularly the meeting of this body, on 
account of the action taken in respect to the authors of 
the ^^ Appeal " and the ^^ Declaration." The session 
was holden in Strafford, Conn., the residence, at the 
time, of Rey. Thomas G. Farnsworth. Mr. Ballou was 
elected moderator; Revs. J. Frieze, D. Pickering, T. 
Whittemore, J. Bisbee, and H. Ballou, preached; and 
Rev. L. R. Paige and Wm. Morse received letters of 
fellowship. One brother (Z. Fuller) was ordained, on 
which occasion Mr. Ballou preached from 2 Cor. 4 : 5. 

<< The attention of the Association was called to the consideia- 
tion of two communications published in the Christian Repository 
for December, 1822, entitled an < Appeal to the World ' and a 
' Declaration,' having for their authors certain brethren in fel- 

anthority for this practice from the example of the Redeemer, who says. 
Suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of 
heaven. The minister, therefore, taking the infant from its father, who 
gives him, as he presents it, the name of the child, proclaims aloud, John 
or Mary, we receive thee as a member of the mystical body of Him who 
is the second Adam, the Redeemer of men, the Lord from heaven. We 
dedicate thee to Him, to whom thou properly belongest, to be baptized 
with his own baptism, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of 
the Holy Ghost; and we pronounce upon thee that blessing which he 
commanded his ministers, Moses, Aaron, and his sons, to pronounce 
upon his people, saying, 

" The Lord bless thee and keep thee; 

" The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto 

*< The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. 

** For this procedure we have the command, lihe express command of 
God. Our reason and our religion concur to approve the solemnity, and 
our hearts are at peace." — Letters and Sketches of Sermons. Boston, 
1812. Volume u. 367, 368. 


lowE^ip with this Association ; which communications indicate a 
breach of fellowship, and are injurious to the good feelings and 
harmony which ought ever to prevail among brethren engaged in 
one cause, having for the end of their labors the cultivation of the 
moral and social virtues, the liberation of the human mind from 
prejudice and bigotry, and the production in the heart of the 
spirit of benevolence, philanthropy and love. 

<< Voted, That the said ' Appeal ' and < Declaration ' be referred 
to a committee of three, for their examination ; and that they 
report what notice this Association ought to take of the same. 
Brs. K. Carrique, J. Bisbee and J. Frieze, were appointed on this 

This committee, which was certainly a very respect- 
able one, after taking due time to deliberate upon the 
subject, made the following report : 

" The committee to whom was referred the consideration of the 
'Appeal' and * Declaration ' made the following report, which 
was adopted by the unanimous vote of the members of the Asso- 
ciation : 

'< This Association considers it expedient to express this public 
disapprobation of a *■ Declaration ' and an ' Appeal,' which ap- 
peared in the Christian Repository for December, 1822, as they 
tend to dissolve the bonds of union, by manifesting a disposition 
in their authors to deprive us of the name and character of Chris- 
tian ministers. 

" Voted, That Brs. Carrique, Bisbee and Frieze, be a committee 
to write to the brethren who are the authors of the ' Appeal ' and 
* Declaration,' and make known to them the vievre entertained by 
this Association of said communications." . 

Kev. Mr. Dean, the only one of the six signers of 
the " Declaration " who was present, left at the close of 
the first day of the session, and returned to Boston.* In 

* He effected an individual settlement of his diffioulties with Mr. Biil- 

232 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1823. 

six months from this date the association met again in Mil- 
ford, Mass., when the committee above referred to reported 
that they had attended to the duty assigned them, without 
success. >But, at the close of the first day,, there were 
symptoms that the authors of the '^Declaration" had 
relented, and a committee was appointed to draft terms 
of reconciliation; and on this committee were placed 
Hosea Ballou, D. Pickering, J. Frieze, Richard Car- 
rique, and H. Ballou, 2d. They reported, upon the 
next day, the following plan of settlement : 

" Whereas certain publications, called an * Appeal to the Pub- 
lic,' and a ' Declaration to the World,' have been construed to 
indicate a disfellowship, as expressed in a resolve of the Southern 
Association, the undersigned, authors of the ' D^laration,' being 
possessed of a fervent desire to restore the happy union and fel- 
lowship of our religious order, and to enjoy ourselves, and to assist 
our brethren to reciprocate with us, the inestimable blessings of 
harmony and brotherly love, desire to remove all difficulties above 
noted, by certifying that we do most cordially acknowledge and 
accept, as Christian ministers and brethren, such as differ &om us 
on the subjects of doctrine maintained in the above-named publi- 
cations. And we receive and consider the acceptance of this pro- 
posal by the Association as an assurance on their part that they 
reciprocate the sentiments and feelings of Christian fellowship 
above-mentioned. ' ' 

The aboye paper having been signed by Revs. Edward 
Turner, B. Streeter, and Charles Hudson, it was voted 
^^ That the same is fully satisfactory in relation to the 

lou At this session in Strafford ; bat lie could not give a correot state- 
ment of it after he arrived home. Mr.' BaUou's heart was ever ready to 
receive him, when he would come as a brother ; but such were Mr. D.'a 
representations in regard to the settlement, that it was not a month 
before he was far deeper in diffioaltj than he had been before. 


signers thereof; and that this body reciprocate the Chris- 
tian feeling and fellowship therein expressed." Of the 
six authca^of the "Declaration,'' these three were the 
only persqqs present. 


It is impossible to tell in every case how &r the influence 
of Mr. Ballon reached. The light that radiated from his 
mind extended out on every hand ; but how widely who 
can know 1 There is no exact rule by which we can cal- 
culate the influence of a man. We describe the state of 
the cause as we go on, and leave others to form the best 
judgment they can how far Mr. Ballou's labors and 
influence contributed to produce it. A writer in the 
New York Gospel Herald said, in August of this year : 

*< There are now eight periodical publications devoted to the 
interests of this denomination in the United States ; four in New 
England, one in Philadelphia, and three in the State of New 
York ; ' not less than ten thousand copies of the different papers 
are subscribed for, and in constant circulation,' — probably thou- 
sands more are distributed gratuitously, — ' there is no state, dis- 
trict, or section of country, where they are not more or less known 
and read.' The Uniyersalists have about one hundred and twenty 
preachers. They have about two hundred separate societies in 
the United States, of which seventy are in the State of New York.'' 

It was reported, also, that ten Universalist meeting- 
houses had been built this year. There was much spec- 
ulation and hope in regard to a book which would soon 
appear, it was said, from the pen of Rev. Walter Balfour, 
a recent convert to the Universalist &ith. It was believed 


234 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1823. 

that he would show, more clearly than it had heen done 
before, that the doctrine of endless misery had no just 
ground of support from any of the original words ren- 
dered hell in the common English version; that his 
examination into the subject would be more thorough 
than any that had been made, although he would arrive 
at the same results to which others had come, before him. 
Indeed, the " proposals " for the book were out as early 
as August, 1823 ; and the new work would be called 
" An Inquiry into the Scriptural Import of the Words 
Sheol, Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna, all translated 
Hdl in the Common English Version." Expectation 
was high, and the four words mentioned came into very 
common use among Universalists. Oiir new friend said, 
in his prospectus, that his principal object had been to 
ascertain, by an examination of all the passages in which 
these words occur, whether the inspired writers used any 
of them to mean a place of endless misery for the wicked. 
Though it was generally allowed that the first three were 
not so used, yet, as some of the texts in which these 
words occur were still quoted in proof of this doctrine, 
such texts were considered. As it was universally con- 
tended that the word Gehenna is always used by the 
sacred writers to signify such a pl^e of misery, all the 
texts in which it occurs would be particularly examined. 
• This investigation of the above words, as to their Scrip- 
ture usage, had ended in the dbnviction, in the author's 
mind, that, originally, no such idea was attached to them. 
It was undertaken merely for his own satisfaction upon 
this deeply interesting subject to the human race ; but, 
having delivered what he had written in a series of dis- 


courses, at the request of many who heard them, they 
would be now submitted for publication. Many people 
blessed the Lord for this man's conversion, and none did 
it more fervently than Mr. Ballou, as will be shown here- 
after. He waited impatiently for the book. 



The convention this year was in some respects a joyful 
one, and in others melancholy. It was holden far off, 
namely, in the village of Clinton, Oneida county, N. Y., 
some few miles south of Utica. The great body of the 
people and of the preachers went to hear the gospel 
preached, and to feast upon the bread of heaven ; but 
several of the ministers from Massachusetts went with 
personal difficulties to settle. Very deep indeed was the 
disappointment of the great body of the persons present. 
Mr. Ballou had no ill will to any one ; he had held out 
the olive-branch to Mr. Dean till it had withered in his 
hand. A necessity^ e2dst6d that he should make a com- 
plaint against that brother ; but, to o£&et this, Mr. Hud- 
son (one of the six signers of the *' Declaration") also 
instituted a complaint against Mr. Ballou. The conven- 
tion, averse to acting in the matter, voted to exonerate 
them both, though under circumstances which showed 
there was little doubt that in the opinion of the convene 
tion Mr. Ballou had been a promoter of peace so &r as. 
was in his power, and that he was a deeply-aggrieved 
man. Mr. Dean immediately requested liberty to with- 
draw &om the ' fellowship of the convention, and this 
request was granted. The brethren were led by this 

236 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. > A. P. 1823, 

fact to hope that the chances of peace were greatly in- 
creased. Before we close our account of this session, we 
take occasion to say that Bey. Thomaa F. Bang was 
ordained, and Rev. Warren Skinner, among others, 
received letters of felbw^hip. The ordination sermon 
was preached by Mr. Ballon, from John 6: 33. Be- 
tween Mr. Ballon and Mr. King, as long as the latter 
lived, "^ there existed a cordial friendship. 


In the month of December (llih), the aged and ven- 
erable Wm. Farwell died, at the house of his son, in 
Barre, Yt. He was always a friend of Mr. Ballon, — a 
good man, a sincere, ardent lover of the gospel. Bev. 
John E. Palmer, who knew him weU, and who preached 
his funeral sermon, said : 

<< He had enjoyed very good health, for a man of his years, 
till within two weeks of his death, when he fell on the ice, and 
about the same time took a violent cold, which terminated hia 
mortal life. He had but just returned from a journey of four 
months into New York, New Hampshire, and through this state, 
and preached, the Sabbath before his confinranent, in this vicinity. 
Br. Farwell remained firm in the belief ' that the Father sent 
the Son to be the Saviour of the world,' to the last, and met death 
with Christian fortitude and resignation, giving, in the manner 
of his death, the lie to the old assertion, that a belief in universal 
salvation may do to live by, but will not do to die by. His wife, 
with whom he had lived a full half-century, survives him, and la 
happy in the &ith of the gospel." 

* Mr. King died in Oharlestown, while pastor of the TTniversalisi 
society in that place, in Septembw, 1839. 


Mr. Ballou was written to, at the time of the death, and 
requested to furnish a suitable notice of the man. He 
always respected Father Farwell, for his honesty, good- 
ness, faithfulness, purity of heart,' ardent love of truth, 
freedom from all worldly amoition, and quick sensibility 
to the woes of his fellow-men. But he said he felt inad- 
equate to doing justice to the man's life and character. 
His beloved brother, he added, had endeared himself to 
the whole fraternity of TJniversalists by "his amiable 
and Christian character ; " and his '^ life and conversation 
formed the best eulogium of him whose memory would 
live long in all our hearts." 


The course whic^l would be adopted by the new sect of 
Unitarians, in regard to the doctrine of the final holiness 
and happiness, was stiU to be revealed; and it was 
watched «by the TJniversalists with much interest. Rev. 
J^rmes '^alker, now President of Harvard University, 
hvfX theu the'' pastor of the Unitarian society in Charles- 
town, and one of the editors of the Christian Disciple 
[the leading Unitarian review], said, early in 1823 : 

" If by * everlasting punishment ' is meant * the proper eternity 
of hell-torments,' it is a doctrine which most Unitarians^ of the 
present day 'concur in rejecting; some understanding, by that 
* everlasting destruction ' to which the wicked are to be consigned, 
an absolute annihilatTon ; others conceiving of their sufferings as 
consequential, and indefinite as to their duration; and others , that 
all punishment will be remedial, and will end at last in a universal 
restoration to goodness and happiness.''^ 

238 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. B. 1823. 

This was, perhaps, the boldest statement on this point 
that had ever been made by the American Unitarians. 
In copying it, the editors of the Magazine said : 

" It is with heartfelt joy that we see a gentleman of 'so high 
standing among our Unitarian brethren lay before the public 
this plain and explicit declaration ; and, would those brethren 
deign to recdve a well-meant exhortation from us, we would uj^ 
them to become just as plain and explicit on this point in their 
preaching, before their congregations. If they do reject the doc- 
trine of endless misery, it is a duty they owe to God and man 
never even to connive at its support. It is a doctrine which 
reflects the most horrid character conceivable on Deity, as they 
themselves vrill admit ; and as to its effects on the mind, they need 
not be informed that it is driving multitudes to madness and 
death, and rendering the lives of some of tjae most affectionate and 
some of the best of their fellow-creatures intolerably wretched. 

" Those of the Unitarians particularly who believe in * uni- 
versal restoration ' ought not to conceal the light God has granted 
them. Admit that, if they frankly avow their trust in the living 
God as the Saviour of all men, they will suffer reproach, — are 
they not willing to endure the little odium, for the sake of impart- 
ing to their hearers and to society at large those unspeakable 
consolations and glorious hopes which themselves enjoy ? Brethren , 
ye are debtors to the Greeks and to the barbarians, to the wise 
and the unwise ; be not ashamed of the gospel of Christ." 

But the editor of the Christian Register [the Uni- 
tarian paper in Boston] had not the same courage and 
spirit with Rev. Mr. Walker. The dominant sects were 
becoming very much alarmed at the spread of the Uni- 
versalists; and the editor of the Boston Recorder [the 
leading Orthodox journal in Boston], more frantic -than 
others, had unavoidably given vent to his long-increasing 
sorrow at their success. The editor of the Register ^ 


after joining in the dirge, turned upon the Calvinist, and 
charged him and the party to which he belonged with 
being the cause of the existence of Universalism, to which 
he maintained the people had been driven by the abomi- 
nations of the Galvinistic creed. Mr. Ballou said, in the 
Magazine^ over his own initials : 

<< My brother, the editor of the Christian Register, has noticed, 
in that paper of Augast Ist, the great alarm which a writer in the 
Boston Recorder expresses at the prcTalenoe of Uniyersalism ; 
and although he, in heart and soul, unites his lamentations with 
those of said writer, on account of the spread of a doctrine so 
pernicious to the morals of society, he &ces about directly, his 
back towards the Uniyersalists and his bold and imposing front 
towards the whole yeteran phalanx of Galyiniam, and charges his 
pious and holy brethren of that long-yenerated order with being the 
principal cause of this pernicious principle, and of its fearM 

As to the relative influence which Calvinists and Ar- 
minians have in leading men to Universalism, Mr. B. 
said, on the same occasion : 

<* He is confident of the following fiicts, as he evidently consid- 
ers them : 1st. That Calvinism has led people into the dangerous 
error of Uniyersalism. 2d. That Uniyersalism naturally tends to 
wickedness ; and, 3d. That what he calls liberal Christianity is 
calculated to prevent the prevalence of this dangerous doctrine, 
and to counteract its evils. What have the Calvinists maintained 
which has at all promoted Universalism, or given it countenance ? 
I will giye the answer. They have maintained, and will always 
be able to maintain, that our heavenly Father knew what he w«as 
doing when he created man, and that he created all those for a 
state of endless blessedness who will finally enjoy such a state ; 
and that he designed all those for a state of endless suffering who 

240 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1823. 

are finally io endure such a state. This is one grand point of 
Galyinism ; and it is a &ct that no man, in the exercise of sound 
reason, who believes in divine revelation, will ever contradict this 
self-evident proposition. But how does this general proposition 
give support to Universalism ? Answer: By no other rule of 
argument than that which is furnished and used by those Armin- 
ians who style themselves Wferal Christians, They contend that 
it is absurd to suppose that the all-merciful Creator ever made 
any rational being for endless misery ; and they further contend 
that it is charging him with absolute cruelty to maintain such an 
opinion. And this the Universalists believe, on the same author 
ity — the authority of divine revelation, and the testimony of 
reason— on which our Arminian brethren found and support it. 
Now, I ask, and I leave it to all candid Christians to answer, 
Which of the two, Calvinists or Arminians, do the most towards 
maintaining and promoting Universalism ? 

<' The Arminians successfully contend that the divine Creator 
designed all men for the enjoyment of holiness and happiness for- 
ever ; that he still wills the felicity of his whole creation ; that he 
is using means to effect his will : and the Calvinists as successfully 
argue that God ' worketh all things after the counsel of his own 
will.' Now, it is a plain fact, which any one may see, that, if God 
designed all men for a state of holiness and happiness, and if he 
ever carry into effect his original design, Universalism is as plain 
a truth as either of the propositions by which it stands proved. 
But which ©f these two propositions gives to Unive];salism the most 
support? The fact is, they afford to the doctrine of universal sal- 
vation equal support. And nothing is plainer than that the 
Calvinist has as good a right to accuse those who call themselves 
liberal Christians of being the authors of the doctrine of Univer- 
salism, as the latter have to accuse the former of being so. It is 
a remarkable circumstance, that the two enemies of the simple 
gospel of Jesus Christ should accuse each other of supporting the 
very principle which they are endeavoring to pull down ! The 
Calvinists are so sanguine on this subject that they openly declare 
that these professed liberals are, in fact, Universalists, and that 
they should esteem them better if they were honest enough to 


oonfesB it. And it is also a &ct, that many of the liberal Ghria- 
tians have found out that their CalviniBtio brethren are in the 
right, and acknowledge that they do not believe in the unmerciful 
doctrine of endless punishment." *^'' 

And there Mr. Ballou quoted the paragraph of Rev. 
Mr. Walker, which we have given above. 

Ko man was ever more thoroughly convinced that 
Universalism exercised a good influence than Mr. Ballou. 
He believed it with all his heart ; and he knew th#effect 
of it was good on himself. He had seen the effect of it 
in his own family, where every one, even from childhood, 
had been taught to believe it. He lived in the very 
atmosphere of the doctrine, and he knew the conse- 
quence was salutary. He therefore replied to the editor 
of the Christian Register^ who charged Universalism 
with evU consequences, in the following strain : 

« But the editor of the Christian Register seems anxiously con- 
cerned about the evil consequences, to the morals of society, which 
he so clearly sees will result from a belief that we are not to be 
punished in another world for the wfongs we do in this. He is 
confident that such a belief naturally tends to vice ; but he does 
not condescend to show wherein it can thus tend ^ vitiate our 
morals. He is charitable enough to suppose that we who main- 
tain this dangerous doctrine are, ourselves, ignorant of its moral 
consequences. I must, therefore, be permitted to ask him, how 
it should happen that he, who does not believe this doctrine, 
should be any better acquainted with its moral effects than I am, 
who came into this happy belief in youth. 

" I was told in my youth of the immoral tendency of my doc- 
trine ; I was told that, if children were brought up without the 
fear of hell in a future world, they would become the most aban- 
doned characters. Thanks be to God, I have out-lived the decep- 


242 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. . A. B. 1823. 

tion. God has blessed me with a numerous feirmily ; and I am 
confident that I never intimated to one of my children that pun* 
ishment awaited them in the future world for the wrongs they 
should commit in this ; nor do I believe that any of them can say 
that they have shunned the evil practices in which too many 
youths have indulged because the thought of future torment 
repelled them. 

" I have another question to ask this editor, namely : If he 
supposes ih&t I am ignorant of the moral tendency of my doc- 
trine, why has he neglected to point it out? He only tells me 
what #thousand ignorant, superstitious people have told me long 
ago. Why does he not point out particulars? In a word, why 
does he not show what connection there is between the genuine 
love of virtue and the fear of torment in a future world ? K he 
has a wife, and family of children, I request him to show to them 
that he loves them, provides for their wants, and refrains from 
murdering them, because he fears the torments of hell hereafter. 
I demand of him, and I have a right to, to show me, not merely 
assert it, how it is that the fear of hell in the future world now 
makes him and keeps him an honest man, a lover of Qod, and a 
good Christian.'' 

So much for the relative position of Mr. Balloa and 
the Unitarians in 1823. 


But, while the American IJnitaxians were thus shy of 
their TJniversalist brethren, the latter had the happiness 
to learn (which they did about this time) that all the 
leading English Unitarians were, and had been for several 
years, believers in the great doctrine of the final holiness 
and happiness of all men. All their leading writers have 
espoused it : Dr. Priestly, in several of his works ; Mr. 
Lindsey, in his Conversations on the Divine Government, 


showing that everything is from God, and for good to all; 
Dr. Estlin, Mr. Grundy, Mr. Yates, Mr. Belsham, and 
Mr. Richard WrighlT, in their numerous works. Also, 
Dr. Smith, onoe minister of the Unitarian church in 
Edinburgh, then of Teovil, Eujgland, in his admirable 
work, entitled ''Illustrations of the Divine Government ; " 
tending to show that everything is under the direction of 
infinite wisdom and goodness, and will terminate in the 
production of universal purity and happiness. - This 
excellent work, first printed in Glasgow, in 1816, had 
passed through two London editions, and had received 
the decided approbation of the Unitarians as a body. 


In addition to the subjects named, there were others 
that dwelt much on the mind of Mr. Ballou at this time. 
He treated often on sin as a source of great disquiet and 
torment to mankind ; but it could not harm God. In 
the words of Job, "K thou sinnest, what doest thou 
against him ? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what 
doest thou unto him ? K thou be righteous, what givest 
thou him? or what receiveth he of thy hand? Thy 
wickedness may hurt a man as thou art ; and thy right- 
eousness may profit the son of man." Job 35, 6 — 8. 
Sin cannot deserve an infinite punishment, said Mr. B. 
It may injure man on earth, but it cannot injure God. He 
knows that the sins of men can never do Him any harm. 
Why, then, should he inflict infinite torments on men ? 
When it was said it is impious to ask such questions, 
he replied, it was 7u>t so ; but it was really impious to 

244 LIFB OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1823. 

charge on God the cruelty of making his creatares end- 
lessly miserable. God will not justify man in becoming 
his neighbor's enemy, even when ihjured by him ; will 
he therefore become our enemy, when our sins cannot 
injure him at Sill ? 

In his view, the doctrines of men were full of inconsist- 
encies. They represented God to be good, but he would 
torture his creatures forever; the authors of these doc- 
trines taught that God had ''preordained whatsoever 
comes to pass,'' and yet he had become the enemy of 
his creatures on account of what they had done ; God's 
vengeance burned against sinners to that degree that they 
were in danger of endless ruin, and yet he so loved the 
world that he sent his Son to save it ; that he has an 
elect number who will be saved, and the rest must be 
lost, and yet missionaries are sent to the heathen to save 
their souls from immortal woe ; that God has prepared a 
pit of fire and brimstone in which to torment sinners in 
the future world, and yet he has sent his Son on purpose 
to prevent their going there ; that God deigned all man- 
kind for happiness, when he positively knew that mil- 
lions of them would be lost forever ; that Jesus Christ 
will eventually execute divine vengeance on millions of 
the human race, and yet he graciously gave himself a 
ransom for all, to be testified in due time, &c. &c. 

Mr. B. addressed himself to the Methodists, in a fine 
article, to endeavor to convince them that the doctrine of 
the Trinity, which they had incorporated into their 
Articles of Faith, was inconsistent with the Bible and 
with itself, and ought not to be regarded as any portion 
of the Christian fidth. He labored much to give men 


true views of the nature of salvation; to show them 
that Jesus did not die to save men from misery in 
the eternal world, or from any wrath in God, or from 
any corruption of their own natures, except such as is 
caused by the practice of sin ; but to save them, in fact, 
from sin itself, and '^ deliver them from the present evil 
world," Galatians 1 : 4. Such were some of the opinions 
to which Mr. B. gave prominence during this year, in 
the course of his labors in the pulpit, and by the press. 


But let us not forget how ardently he sought to incul- 
cate faith in the revelation which God hath made to man. 
In writing to an unbeliever, in September of this year, 
he said : 

<< The words of sacred truth, < The Lord is risen indeed,' are, 
to me, a soarce of confidence and joy, in the same degree as I am 
enabled to exercise &ith in them. * The Lord is risen indeed.' 
Give me assurance of this, and I care no more about all the theo- 
logical speculations of the schools for ages, than I do about a 
wind which passes oxer a desert of sand. Just as firmly as I 
believe that Jesus arose from the dead, I believe that all mankind 
will eventually be so made alive, and enjoy an eternity of immortal 
holiness. And I am satisfied, beyond a reasonable doubt, that this 
was the sentiment which St. Paul meant to express in 1 Cor. 15 : 
22, &c., * For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be 
made alive. — It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption ; 
it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory ; it is sown in weak- 
ness, it is raised in power ; it is sown a natural body, it is raised 
a spiritual body.' In that spiritual glorious constitution, divine 
revelation gives us no intimations of any physical or moral evil ; 
and where neither of these is, there oan be no infelicity." 


246 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. J>. 18». 


It waa not fiir &om this time that Mr. Ballou made a 
visit to the island of Nantucket. There had arisen a 
dissatis&ction there between some individttals of wealth 
and th6 clergyman of the principal society ; and they, 
from opposition to their former clergyman (not the most 
honorable motive), resolved to form a new society. The 
fate of this sodety was what might have been expected 
under such circumstances, — it flourished for a few years, 
then dwindled and died. Whether the event we are 
about to relate took place at the first visit of Mr. Ballou 
to the island, we are not prepared to say. He was on 
his return home, had crossed to the main land, and taken 
the stage, we believe, at New Bedford. A stranger who 
was in the coach commenced conversation with him. 

Stranger, " Are you from Nantucket, sir." 

" I am," replied Mr. B. 

Stranger. '^ Is there any news at the island ?" 

" I heard none," said Mr. B. ^' There might be much 
news, and I not hear of it." 

Stranger. " Ah ! well ! They say old Ballou is 
down there preaching; did you hear anything about 

'< He has been preaching there, sir." 

Stranger. <' Large congregations, I suppose ; did you 
hear him, sir?" 

" I did, sir, several times." 

Stranger. " Well, I don't like him ; he 's coarse in 
his preaching ; he don't believe in any future punish- 
ment; he holds that all men will go to heaven when 


they die, just as thej leave this world; I don't like him. 
There 's Mr. Dean, I think he is a very fine man, a 
gentleman, — I should like to hear him preach." 

''Did you ever hear Mr. Ballon preach?" said Mr. 
B., very calmly. 

Stranger, " No ! no, sir, I never heard him preach ; 
I have no desire to hear him preach ; but I should be 
gratiied at an opportunity to hear Mr. Dean. Did you 
ever hear Mr. Dean, sir 7" 

" Yes, sir, I have heard him several times." 

Stranger. "Well, he is a fine man, sir,— a gentle- 
man ; but Ballou I do not like at all ; he preaches a 
horrid doctrine." 

'' And what does he preach, sir, that is horrid?" 

Stranger. "0, he holds that all men will go to 
heaven at once, when they die ." 

" Well, sir, suppose they do^ is that horrid? Is it 
not very desirable to have all men become holy and 

Stranger. " Ah, sir, but he holds that men will go 
to heaven in their sins." 

'' But, sir, you have confessed that you never heard 
him preach; how do you know he preaches in that 

Stranger. '' ! I have heard so, a thousand times." 

'' But you may be misinformed, my friend. I am 
quite confident Mr. Ballou holds no such doctrine. K 
you were to put the question to him, I think he himself 
would say he held to no such doctrine." 

Stranger. ''I am surprised. Well, what does he 
hold to, then?" 

248 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1823. 

'^ I think if he Tfere here^ he would say he did not 
believe, what you have attributed to him, that men are to 
go to heaven in their sins. I am quite confident he 
would not (almost tempted to reveal himself). He 
would probably say he held that men are to be saved 
from their sins." 

Stranger. " Well, you seem to know. Will you 
let me ask where you live ?" 

'* I live in Boston, sir." 

Stranger. '^ Do you attend a IJniversalist church 7" 


Stranger, " What church do you attend ? " 

" I attend Mr. Ballou's, sir.^' 

Straiiger. "Are you intimately acquainted with Mr. 
Ballou, sir?'" 

Here was the point for the denouement, and Mr. 
Ballou replied, amiably, 

" My name is Hobea Ballou, my friend ! " 

The stranger looked as if he would gladly have shrunk 
under the seat on which he sat, if it had been possible. 
He sought to stammer out an apology ; but what could 
he say? If he had said, " Sir, excuse me, I did not 
know it was Mr. Ballou," it would have been a mere 
confession that he would not knowingly have said those 
things in Mr. Ballou's presence, but he was perfectly 
willing to say them in his absence. So bigotry and impu- 
dence sometimes get punished. Mr. Ballou was very 
quiet, and uttered not a recriminating word ; but the 
stranger fejt so deeply embarrassed, that every kind 
expression from Mr. B. only added to the man's confu- 
sion^ and he left the coach at the first convenient place, 


without intimating to Mr. Ballou that he was going to 
part from him. 


As the Universalist Magazine had led oflF in thei 
matter of newspapers devoted to the subject of Univer- 
salijj^, it seems to belong to a true history of Mr. Bai- 
louts influence, to show how this class of publications 
increased.* In 1824 there were the following : 

" UniversaUst Magazine, published weekly at Boston, quarto, 
$2.50 per annum, or $2 if paid at the commencement of the yol- 
ume. Rev. H. BaUou, H. Ballou, 2d, and Thomas Whittemoxe, 

" The Gazetteer, published weekly, at the city of Philadelphia, 
8 pages quarto, $3 per annum. Bey. Abner EJaeeland, editor. 

" Gospel Herald, published weekly, at the city of New York, 8 
pages royal octavo, $2 per annum. Mr. Henry Fitz, editor. 

*^ Christian Repository, published once in two months, at Read- 
ing) ^t., 48 pages duodecimo, $1 per annum. Bev. S. C. Ii0v&- 
land, editor. 

^^ Christian Intelligencer, published semi-monthly, at Portland, 
Me., 4 pages quarto, $1 per annum. Bev. Bussell Streeter, 
editor. • 

* The publisher of the UniversaUst Magazine said, in an address to his 
patrons, published this year : ** As soon as it was known in different parts 
of the heritage of our common Lord that the Magazine was well encour- 
aged, it was an inducement to the brethren in different states, who were 
equally desirous of promoting the common cause, and of contributing 
their labors and exertions to help forward with the good work, with our- 
selves, to commence similar publications, and to use all suitable means 
to obtain the public patronage. And, wonderful as it may seem, no less 
• than a dozen have since been projected, and sent forth to enlighten the 
public hemisphere, to warm and fertilize the mental regions with the 
fruits of- righteousness." 

250 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. J>. 1824. 

" Religious Inquirer, published semi-monthly, at the city of 
Hartford, Conn., 8 pages royal octavo, $1 per aimam. 

*^ Evangelical Repertory, published monthly, at Gharlestown, 
Mass., 16 pages octavo, 75 cents per annum. Bey. Edward 
Turner, editor. 

^^ Gospel Advocate, published weekly, at BuffiJo, N. Y., 8 
pages royal octavo, $2 per annum. Rev. Thomas Gross, editor. 

^^ Herald of Salvation, published semi-monthly, at Watertovni, 
N. Y., 8 pages royal octavo, $1 per annum. Rev. Pitfc Morse, 

"Gospel Inquirer, published semi-monthly, at Little Falls, 
N. Y., 8 pages royal octavo, $1 per annum. Rev. George B. 
lisher, editor. 

"Messenger of Peace, published semi-monthly, at Hudson, 
N. Y., 8 pages royal octavo, $1 per annum. Rev. R. Carrique, 
editor. • 

" Rochester Magazine and Theological Review, published 
monthly, at Rochester,. N. Y., 16 pages octavo, $1 per annum. 
Rev. J. S. Thompson, editor. 

"Christian Telescope, published at Providence, R. I., 4 pages 
quarto, weekly. Rev. D. Pickering, editor." 


Besides the removal of Rev. Mr* Streeter to Boston, 
there were some other encouraging facts as to affiiirs in 
the vicinity of Boston. A hope sprang up at one time 
that B.ev. Elias Smith would cease to be unstable, and 
become of use to the denomination. True, the hope was 
doomed to disappointment, but it gave comfort at first. 
He said he felt in his own soul, since he had become a 
Universalist, that he had reached a place of rest, and that 
he should wander no more. To use his own language : f 

" The Scriptures foretell an end of transgression and sin : That 


all shall be gathered together in one in Ghrist; that all in 
heaven and earth shall be reconciled in Christ ; that all shall in 
Christ be made alive, who die in Adam ; and that all who have 
borne the image of Adam shall bear the image of Christ ; that all 
shall bow before him, and confess him Lord, to the glory of God, 
and that every creature in existence shall, to the approbation of 
the four and twenty elders, sing. Worthy is the Lamb. That 
God's will shall be done in earth as in heaven. This cannot be, 
until tli^re shall be none sinners, none mortal or dead. 

'< How glorious ! How suitable to man ! How honorable to 
God ! In what harmony with the angels' song ! Li what har- 
mony with the Saviour's declaration, to give all flesh eternal life ! 

* Here will I set up mj rest; 

My fiuotaating heart 
fFrom the haven of his breast 

Shall never more depart.' 

" These things are fiuthful and true, and will stand forever." 

But, alas ! Elias Smith could not avoid change. He 
was "carried about with every wind of doctrine." We 
have no doubt he felt all he said on that occasion ; but, 
like the apostle Peter before his Master's resurrection, 
he did not know how feeble he was. 

A matter of much more importance, which cheered the 
heart of Mr. Ballou about this time, was the publication 
of Mr. Balfour's Inquiry, for which the Universalist pub- 
lic had been looking for several months. It was a grand 
work for that day, and animated the hearts of thousands 
of good men."*^ Mr. Ballou had labored for years to 


^ * The title was, « An Inquiry into the Scriptural Import of the Words 
7 Sheol, Hades, Tartarus and Geheima : all translated Hell, in the com- 
mon English version. By Walter Balfour." Charlestown : 1824. The 
flzit edition was a large octavo of 4i8 pages. 


bring men to entertain the views taken by Mr. Balfour in 
this work ; and he therefore felt no common degree of 
satisfaction in seeing those views adopted by a man of 
Mr. Balfour's repute for learning and candor. Mr. Bal^ 
four had not learned his opinions from Universalists, but 
from a diligent, careful and honest study of the sacred 
Scriptures, with a sincere desire to know what is truth. 
This course brought him out where Mr. Ballou had 
arrived before him ; but Mr. Ballou said, in his meekness 
of spirit, that it made him inexpressibly happy to see 
" that what he had feebly endeavored to vindicate " was 
" espoused by a man of abilities and endowments which 
are compatible with the vast merits of ^e subject." ' He 
hailed Mr. Balfour as a fellow-laborer; he exerted all 
his influence to give encouragement to the man, and cir- 
culation to his book. He caused a notice of it to be pub- 
lished, in which he said : 

^* This work is recommended to Universalists as being wonder- 
fully calculated to show the true meaning of those passages in 
which the word hell occurs, and to prove that in its Intimate 
sense it gives no support to the gloomy doctrine of a future state 
of sinfubiess and misery. 

** This work, is recommended to the clergy who continue to 
preach the doctrine of eternal torments in Jiell, as a work which 
cannot &il to redeem their minds from the worst of all bondage, 
and bring them into the enjoyment of that fidth and hope which 
correspond and harmonize with their benevolent desires and 
prayers, that they are in the habit of offering for all men. 

" The attention of the public, and of every Christian denomi- 
nation, is most fervently solicited to this work, it being an effort 
of much labor, designed for the purpose of accommodating both^ 
the learned and the unlearned with an understanding of many 
important facts relative to divine revelation, calculated to show 


that the sacred oracles give no support to a doctrine which has so 
long repelled the heart, and tended to infidelity. Freed &om this 
doud of darkness and error, rendered dense hy hiind tradition, the 
divine oracles shine forth in their native splendor ; nor will they 
fiiil to attract eveiy eye, nor to irradiate and warm eveiy heart." 

Mr. Ballon had no envy to gratify. He hailed every 
new GO- worker with great joy, and still kept praying to 
'^ the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth labor- 
ers into his harvest." 


Bat, if there were joys this year, there were also sor- 
rows. Several of Mr. B.'s friends had passed away. We 
cannot fail to mention one, an old man, whom we dis- 
tinctly recollect, — Salmon Datton, Esq., of Cavendish, 
Vt. He was a believer of Universalism almost ten years 
before Mr. Ballon began to preach. The last session of 
the General Convention which this man ever attended 
was the one at Warner, in 1822, one of the most precious 
meetings ever holden on earth. From Warner, father 
Datton travelled to Boston, where he called on Mr. Bal- 
lon. On this journey he took a cold, and a disease set 
in from which he never recovered, although he lived 
nearly two years. As he drew near the gates of death, 
he desired to hear from Mr. Ballon once more before he 
died; and, calling one of his grandsons (A. Wheeler, jr.) 
to his bed-side, he requested him to write down the words 
as he uttered them. 


254 UFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1824. 

''Caoendish, May 7, 1824. 

« Dear Brother : l^ese are to inform you of the present sita- 
ation of my body and mind. I have not enjoyed a well day since 
I saw you in Boston, about the 24th or 25th of September, 1822, 
which was caused by my taking a bad cold, the day after conyen- 
tion, on my way to Boston. I have experienced but little pain 
during my sickness, and my mind has been yeiy calm and clear, 
and my judgment and memory remain unimpaired. By a long 
and happy experience, I find the sentiment I embraced mo^ than 
forty years ago, which was in the meridian of my life (being now 
in my eighty-first year), to be a good sentiment to live by, as it is 
a faith which works by love, and purifies the heart, and causes 
the subject to put his trust in God. This sentiment I obtained 
by a persevering and prayerful search of the Scriptures ; which I 
was induced to, by the different and contradictory systems that 
were taught in the world. It was my heart's desire and prayer 
to God that the truth might be made clear to my understanding. 
This was all previous to my having any human aid. I think that 
the writings of Shippie Townsend, of Boston, and a book vmttea 
by James Relly, were among the first on the subject which I 
read, and which proved very instructive to my mind. I think it 
was not many years afVerwards when I formed an acquaintance 
with yourself, and in a short time our acquaintance became very 
intimate, and from your preaching and private conversation I 
have received much instruction and edification. I am constrained 
to make mention of this, from smcere and humble gratitude to 
God for so great favors bestowed on me, through your instru- 
mentality. I find it is not only a good principle to live by, but 
also to die by, as it has been a great source of comfort in my old 
age, and bed of sickness. My meditations have been sweet and 
comfortable, free from any/ear/wZ apprehensions of an hereafter. 

" I view myself now very near my end ; and, if I could receive a 
consolatory letter from you before I depart, informing me of your 
health and enjoyment, and such other matter as you may think 
proper, it would be very gratefully received. 

" This letter being written verbatim from my own words, I 
wish to have it read in the same way and manner as though I 


had written it myself. And so I remain your sincere and loving 
brother, Salmon Button."* 

Such was the sentiment of the aged believer on his 
death-bed, for he died in a very short time after this let- 
ter was despatched. The doctrine he had long believed 
comforted him in the trying hour. He wished to give 
his dying testimony to the efficacy of the truth. He 
loved Mr. Ballou, from whose conversations he had en- 
joyed much consolation, and he desired one more commu- 
nication from him. Mr. B. immediately sat down, and 
addressed him as follows : 

''Boston, May 11, 1824. 
" Venerable Sir and Dear Brother : 

" I rekim you my sincere thanks for your fayor of the 7th 
instant. Although it gives me to understand that there is no 
probability of my ever having the satis&ction of seeing you again 
in this transitory world, yet it presents me with your dying testi- 
mony in honor of that blessed &ith which you long since sought 
and found, and which you have ever esteemed as a most precious 

<< The opposers of this faith have often said that it would do to 
live by, but that it would fail of giving consolation in death. 
You, dear brother, are enabled to assure your friends and the 
world that the doctrine which embraces the whole human family 
as heirs of immortality and eternal life, which are brought to light 
through the gospel, has been a constant source of comfort in life, 

* The friends of Mr. Ballou were found among the most substantial 
inhabitants of the places where he was known. The Gazetteer of Ver- 
mont makes honorable mention of Salmon Button. Speaking of Caven- 
dish, it says, <* There are two villages, namely, Duttonsville and Proo- 
torsvillew Duttonsyille derives its name from Salmon Button, Esq., the 
first principal inhabitant."— flwftwy*/ Vermont, by Zadock Thompson, 
Part in., p. 48. 

256 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A, D. 1824. 

and is now, at its dose, the staff on which you recline in peace. 
As yoa have been enabled to defend the tnith by your life and 
oonyersation in the world, and also by seyeral valuable publica- 
tions, sa it seems to be the will of God that you shovild add yonr 
dying testimony to all your past efforts to defend and support the 
truth. Thanks be to God for his goodness ! 

<* Brother Button, should this reach you while living, be assured 
that I feel desirous of presenting you with my dying testimony in 
accordance and in unison with your own ; for, though I may have 
years yet to live in this world, yet this communication is, no doubt, 
my last to you ; and, in a sense, is the same as if it were my last 
to the world. We have travelled in mind in great harmony ; we 
have seen wonders vnrought in advancing our precious faith, and 
we have reason to rejoice vdth suitable triumph in the name of 
Him to whom every knee shall bow, and whom every tongue shall 
confess to be Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

" My health, which was much reduced in consequence of a 
greater pressure of business, and more incessant labor, after I came 
to this city, than even a good natural constitution was able to 
sustain without damage, has been, on the whole, improving for 
more than two years, and is now better than it has been for sev- 
eral years past. I have likevdse the satisfaction^f vntnessing a 
truly wonderful increase of rational religion and liberal principles. 
Even Orthodoxy itself begins to borrow some features from liberal 
sentiments, not only to hide some of her native defects, but that 
she may attract attention by charms which are not her own. 
You, my venerable fitther in Israel, can, vnth the fullest confi- 
dence say, as did Simeon of old, when in his withered arms he 
held the blessed Saviour, ' Now lettest thou thy servant depart in 
peace, according to thy word ; for mine eyes have seen thy salva- 
tion, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people ; a 
light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.' 
So may it please God that your last moments may be as tranquil 
as the unruffled lake when the soft beams of the setting sun are 
reflected from its bosom, and leave a promise- of a glorioles morn- 
ing to come. Yours, affectionately, 

<< HosEA Baujou." 


Whether the venerable old man lived to read and 
understand Mr. B.'s answer, we cannot say ; though it is 
probable he did. His death took place on the 7th of 
June, which it will be seen was just one month from the 
date of his letter. No inconsiderable number of the aged 
fathers of our faith, as they passed away from earth, left 
messages, either written or verbal, to Mr. Ballou, assur- 
ing him, with their latest breath, of the comfort they had 
' received from their faith, both in living and dying. 


In June, 1824, the Southern Association of Univer- 
salists held its session at Attleboro, Mass., where the 
difiSculties between certain brethren, whom we have 
before named, and the rest of the Universalists, came up 
again for a settlement. Mr. Ballou was present. The 
societies had begun to take a decided stand against this 
division. It must be confessed, in truth, that Mr. B's 
influence was in no way impaired. The people believed 
he had done right ; that he had sought '' after the things 
which make for peace" ; and notwithstanding the efforts of 
others to impair his influence, he stood erect in the midst 
of the storm, like the gigantic oak, while other trees 
of the forest had fallen. Those who had signed the 
"Declaration" and "Appeal" were losing their hold 
upon the affections of the people. Such was the state of 
things when the association we have named met at 
Attleboro. Rev. Sebastian Streeter, then just settled in 
Boston, was made moderator. Bev. Messrs. Dean and 


258. LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. B. 1824. 

Wood were both present, althongh the former had been 
dismissed from all fellowship with the order, at his own 
request, bj the General Convention of 1823. The diffi- 
culties with Rev. Messrs. Turner, B. Streeter, and Hud- 
son, had been settled, as we have shown, at the preceding 
session of the association in Milford; and Bev. Mr. 
Wood signified his assent to the same terms at Attleboro, 
and thus the cause of complaint against him was remoyed. 
Bey. Mr. Dean stood, as it were, alone, professedly a Trin- 
itarian Uniyersalist, and an ardent defender of future 
punishment. It was rumored among the clergy, early in 
the session, that he would ask to be received into the 
order again. The ^ most of the brethren took ground in 
favor of admitting him, though a few were decidedly 
opposed to such a measure. Among the former was Mr. 
Ballou; among the latter was Mr. T. Whittemore. It was 
a rare thing then to see these gentlemen on q)posite sides. 
The truth was, Mr. W. believed that, as the denomination 
had then no connection with Bev. Mr. D., — as he had 
gone out from among us of his own accord, — as his con- 
nection with the order for the last eight or ten years had 
been the source of great disquiet, and as there was not 
sufficient ground of faith that his renewal of connection 
with us would not fan the flame anew, Mr. W. felt it his 
duty to oppose, and did oppose^ the granting of Bev. Mr. 
D.'s application. Mr. Ballou's heart was so full of ten- 
derness, that the moment Mr. D. looked towards him, and 
asked for fellowship again, expressing thereby in the 
most formal and sacred manner a desire to live in peace 
and harmony with the denomination, he was entirely 
overcome. He made not the slightest objection to grant- 


ing Mr. D.'s request; but, on the other hand, used his' 
influence publicly and privately to have it granted. He 
took Mr. Whittemore aside, and said, " I believe Br. 
Dean is sorry for what has happened ; I cannot vote not 
to receive him ; if we err at all, let us err on the side of 
forgiveness. Withdraw your opposition, Br. W., for my 
sake ; perhaps the joys of former days will return." Mr. 
Whittemore saw nothing but evil in the vote about to be 
taken ; but, at the request of Mr. Ballou, he abated his 
efforts to prevent its passage, which probably he could 
not have done, had he made his fullest exertions to that 
end. Mr. Dean was received again into fellowship. 

The sermon which Mr. Ballou preached on this occa- 
sion was a most singular and remarkable one, from the 
words, " Is anything too hard for the Lord ? " — Genesis 
18 : 14. We cannot give a description of it. It was 
purely extemporaneous, and was never published. The 
doctrines of men were never more faithfully exposed than 
they were at that time. Smiles and tears were visible, 
like alternate sunshine and rain. The people were so 
deeply moved that they kept in almost constant motion, 
quite unconsciously to themselves. Look up into that 
pulpit. Mr. Ballou had taken up with him Bev. Messrs. 
Dean and Wood. It was a spectacle we had not seen for 
a long time. Mr. Dean had offered the principal prayer, 
and Mr. Wood was to offer the concluding one. They 
sat on the right and left of Mr. B.,'as he delivered this 
masterly discourse. He was a happy man at that service. 
He believed he had regained a broUier. 

260 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1824. 


When Mr. Ballou began to preach, we may alniost say 
the whole country was given up to the belief of the awful 
doctrine of Calvinism. It was thought that by far the 
greater part of mankind would sink down to deep and 
long despair; but, as early as 1808, or 1810, the effect 
of t^e labors of Universalists to remove the popular super- 
stitions concerning this subject began clearly to be seen. 
How far we are to attribute this change to the labors of 
Mr. Ballou, it is, of course, difficult to tell; but that the 
change was wrought out by the Universalists cannot be 
gainsayed. It was caused by the silent working of their 
doctrine upon the public mind. Dr. Lyman Beecher was 
one of the first to come out on this subject. He said : 

<< It seems to be the imagination of some that the kingdom of 
darkness will be as vast as the kingdom of light, and that happi- 
ness and misery, of equal dimensions, will expand, mde by side, 
to all eternity. But, blessed be God, it is a mere imagination, 
totally unsupported by reason or revelation. Who eyer beard of 
a prison that occupied one-half of the territories of a kingdom? 
and who can believe that the universe, which was called into 
being, and is upheld and governed, to express the goodness of 
God, will exhibit, in &.ct, equal evidence of malevolence ? How 
could the government of God be celebrated with such raptures in 
heaven, if it filled with dismay and ruin half the universe ? How 
vast soever, ^therefore, the kingdom of darkness may be, in itself 
considered, it is certainly nothing but the prison of the universe, 
and small, indeed, compared to the realms of light and joy. The 
misery of that unholy community, when the eye is fixed upon that 
only, fills the soul with anguish ; but when, from the dreadful 
exhibition of sin, and display of justice, we raise the adoring eye 


to Ood, reigning throughout his boundless dominions, and rejoic- 
ing in their joy, the world of misery shrinks to a point, and the wail^ 
ings of the damned die away and are lost in the song of praise." 

After Dr. Beecher, came Emerson, in his work on the 
Millennium, who said that, although we are not to sup- 
pose that Satan is to be destroyed, as a serpent is de- 
stroyed, by crushing his head,* yet it does not look like 
bruising the serpent's head to have a great part of man- 
kind go to destruction. " If the greater part of the 
human race are to be lost," said he, " by the cunning 
craftiness of Satan, would that look like bruising his 
head? To me it would seem far otherwise." f We 
shall dwell but a moment on this topic. From this 
time, the features of the so-called Orthodoxy were more 
and more changed. A &yorite figure used by Mr. Bal- 
loU, to show the effect of Universalism in bringing that 
system of worldly wisdom into discredit, was that of the 
power of the ark of the Lord over Dagon, the idol of the 
Philistines. In one of the battles between the Philis- 
tines and Israel, the former had taken the ark of the 
Lord, the seat of the divine presence, in the camp of 
Israel. ''And the Philistines took the ark of God, and 
brought it from Eben-ezer unto Ashdod. When the 
Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the 
house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. And when they 
of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was 
fallen upon his fa«e to the earth before the ark of the 

* This, howeyer, was the yery figure of the saored penman. See 
Gen. 3 : 16. 

t See " Lectures on the Millennium, by Joseph Emerson. 2d edition. 
Boston : 1830." pp. 10, 11. 

262 LIFB OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1824. 

Lord. And they took Dagon, and set liim in his place 
again. And when they arose early on the morrow morn- 
ing, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground 
before the ark of the Lord ; and the head of Dagon and 
both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the thresh- 
old; only the stump of Dagon was left to him." — 1 
Sam. 5 : 1 — 4. Dagon became essentially changed by 
the power of the divine presence. When men bring 
truth and error into contact, the latter must fall. Mr. 
Ballou said, if the idol Calvinism continued to be muti- 
lated, it could not be many years before only ''the 
stump " of Calvinism '' would be left to him." 




Early in 1824, Rev. Sebastian Streeter, then of Ports- 
month, N. H., received and accepted an invitation to take 
the pastoral care of the First Universalist Society, in Bos- 
ton. Rev. Mr. Dean had followed a portion of his society to 
Bulfinch-street, in this city, where a new meeting-house 
had been built. It was a matter of great satisfaction to 
Mr. Ballon to have his faithful ifriend and fellow-laborer 
from Portsmouth remove so near to him ; for, since the 
coldness of others had been manifested so painfully. 
Christian sympathy had become doubly precious to him. 
Mr. Streeter was inducted into office in Boston on 
Thursday, 13th of May. His brother Rev. Barzillai 
Streeter, of Salem, offered the introductory prayer, and 
his brother Rev. Russell Streeter, of Portland, preaxjhed 
the sermon, from 2 Cor. 8:6. The installing prayer 

264 LIFE OF H06BA BALLOU. A. B. 1824. 

was ofiFered by Rev. H. Ballon, 2nd, of Roxbury; 
the charge was by Rev. Thomas Jones, of Gloucester ; 
the fellowship by Rev. H. Ballou, of Boston ; and the 
concluding prayer by Rev. Edward Turner, then of 
Portsmouth. Mr. Dean took no part, although he had 
been the late pastor of the First Society. Rev. Edward 
Turner had removed from Charlestown, where he once 
stood a monument of glory to the Universalist denomina- 
tion ; but the difficulties in which he had been engaged, 
in respect to Mr. Ballou, had impaired his influence. 
Many were the tears that were shed when he left that 
town. He had been loved, cherished, honored, there. 


At this early day, Mr. Ballou raised his voice in favor 
of the cause of Temperance. As an individual, he was 
'^ temperate in all things." In food, in drink, in labor, 
in dre^, in all the habits of his life, he was free from 
excess. The writer can remember the time when Mr. 
B. used intoxicating drinks ; but it was at the time when 
almost everybody used them, and when the melancholy 
spectacle was sometimes seen of a clergyman overheated 
with alcoholic fire on the Sabbath day. Mr. B., even 
then, used such drinks very sparingly ; for at no time, 
after we knew his habits [1820], would he drink more 
than a half-gill of spirit in twenty-^our hours. He 
became convinced, as early as 1824, that the use of 
intoxicating drinks was wrong. This was before the 
temperance reformation arose. The American Temper- 
ance Society was formed in 1826. In the same year, 


Rev. Win. Collier commenced the publication of the 
National Philanthropist ^ and this was the beginning 
of the temperance reform in the United States. Dr. 
Lyman Beecher's sermons on the nature, signs, evils and 
remedy of intemperance, did not appear until 1827. 
Mr. Ballou did not enter the field as a lecturer on tem- 
perance, nor did he produce any book expressly on this 
subject ; but the matter was in his thoughts, and he waa 
not fearful to publish his opinions. We recollect an 
article of his which appeared in August, 1824, entitled 
" American Condemnation : " 

" Header, you startle at the title which heads tliis communica- 
tion, and, perhaps, feel inclined to ask, What poor, bewildered 
soul caii be so ignorant concerning the glory and prosperity of 
our country, the peace and happiness of society in general, and, 
more than all, the excellency of our moral and religious improve- 
ment, as to speak of our condemnation ? I own that our country 
is justly celebrated for its poetical, civil, religious and literary 
institutions ; for the prosperity, peace and happiness, of society in 
general ; and yet, after all, I have to mourn the deplorable ini- 
quity for which we, as a* people, stand condemned at the bar of 
moral adjudication. One deadly vice, one damning sin, lies at our 
door ! I mean the vice of intemperance. ' ' 

Mr. Ballou introduced the temperate drinker and tho 
vendor of ardent spirits as justifying himself in the fol- 
lowing manner : 

" Yes, yes, the vice of intemperance, says the temperate drinker, 
that is a very great evil in society ; but, thank <7od, I am clear. 
Notwithstanding I deal largely in all sorts of ardent spirit, yet it 
is but seldom I use any myself; those who use it to excess are 
alone accountable for the offence ; they alone must suffer the con- 
sequences of the crime ; I am clear. And now stand forth a vast 


266 LIFE OF HOSfiA BALLOU. A. D. 1824. 

multitude of respectable citizeus, and plead entire innocence in 
respect to the sin which has been named ; and, casting their eyes 
at a poor, miserable group of idle, dissipated -wretches, whom 
they spurn from their company, exclaim, * These are the guilty ; ' 
< On them let the condemnation foti ; ' < At their doors let the 
iniquity lie.' " 

Mr. B. took the ground that the vendor was guilty, 
as well as the consumer. '* Let us," said he, " examine 
into the case, and comprehend the relation in which 
those who protest their innocence stand to the vice under 

** If the parent of a numerous fiimily, who is vastly rich, who 
has a large estate for each of his children, should bring them up in 
the habit of intemperance, till their appetites became strongly 
inclined to ardent spirits, and then should sell them as much as 
their several estates would purchase, and by- this means reduce 
them all to entire poverty, and their health, their strength and 
their mental powers, to utter ruin, could he, in strict moral pro- 
priety, say that he was entirely innocent ? Is it said that this 
parent is himself temperate, that he seldom tastes of ardent spir- 
its, that he has been prudent and saving, has been kind to his 
children and given them large estates, and that they have been 
prodigal, intemperate, and havd spent the whole, and ruined 
themselves ? No one is so blind as not to see that a most unrea- 
sonable avarice in the parent, whose duty obligated him to guard 
his children against intemperance and every temptation which 
leads to so deadly a vice, was the cause of parental neglect, and of 
the ruin of the wretched children. Now, as parents are to chil- 
dren, so are those who have wisdom and knowledge in society to 
those who lack these advantages ; and they are accountable for 
the use they make of the whole of their powers and abilities in 
relation to those who are naturally dependent, and need the wis- 
dom of others to guide them." 

Thus Mr. Ballou held the temperate drinker and the 


vendor of ardent spirits to be guilty, in part at least, of 
the wide-spread drunkenness there was in the land. He 
expostulated with the public in the following strain : 

" Finally, we must come to the following queries: Have cup 
laws, our magjistrates, our public men, Our merchants, parents of 
fiunilies, our ministers of religion, done all that their duty calls 
them to do in order to check this vice of intemperance? Is there 
not, in this enlightened age and nation, wisdom enough to devise 
some means to prevent a vioe which renders thousands worse than 
useless ? Is there no better way that can be invented, than to 
amass wealth and riches by ruining thousands, soul and body, 
and then maintaining them in charitable institutions? " * 

Thus we see that the opinions of Mr. Ballon on the 
subject of intemperance were sound, and such as have 
been adopted by the leading firiends of temperance since 
that time. 


The truth made many triumphs this year. Among 
Mr. Ballou's travels, all of which it is impossible for us 
to describe, he went up, in the month of August, into the 
interior of New Hampshire, to form a new association. 
The meeting was holden in Deerfield, and the new body 
was called the "Rockingham Association of Universal- 
ists." Besides Mr. Ballou (who was elected moderator), 
there were Bevs. S. Streeter, Dolphus Skinner, Lemuel 
Willis, Josiah Gilman, Eliphalet Case, jr., and Wm. 
Bell. The meeting was continued for two days ; and 
Mr. Ballou preached on the afternoon of the second. 

* These extracts on the matter of intemperance are from the Vmver' 
talut Magazine, yol. Yi., p. 26. 

268 LIFB Of HOSHA BiXLOU. A. D. 18S4. 


He went, also, in the same month, to Hartford, Conn., 
to officiate at the dedication of the new house of worship, 
which his services had been so instrumental in procuring 
to be erected; and also at the installation of Bev. John 
Bisbee. In the performance of these services he was 
joined by Rev. Messrs. Flagg, of Dana, Mass. ; Mitch- 
ell, of New York; Pickering, of Providence, R. I.; 
Dodge, of New Z^ondon ; and T. F. King, then of Nor- 
walk. Conn. On the first day (Wednesday, August 18), 
the dedication took place. Mr. Mitchell (^ered the ded- 
icatory prayer, and Mr. Ballon preached &om Haggai 
2 : 6, 7, — *^ For thus saith the Lord of hosts : Yet once, 
it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the 
earth, find the sea, and the dry land ; and I will shake 
all nations, and ihe desire of all nations shall come ; 
a^ I will fill this bouse with glory, saith the Lord of 
hosts." Great harmony prevailed. Mr. B. re^rded 
the original application of his text in the following light : 

« The shakiiig of nations, the oonvulsions, of kingdoms, the con- 
fusions and diviaons whieh characterized doctrines and the min- 
isters of religion, at that eventful period when the kingdom of 
the Redeemer was set up in the world, together with ihe glory of 
the gospel daj, may be legarded as the fulfilment of the words of 
the prophet." 

But there was a modern application of the prophecy. 
The desire of all nations, who was promised, was the Mes- 
siah. His glory filled the temple. But Christianity 


soon became corrupted ; and it has become necessary to 
shake the order of things once more. 

" The falling away of the Christian church, the corruptions of 
its doctrines by the inventions of an ignorant, superstitious priest- 
hood, sanctioned by the authority of synods and coundls, having 
introdaoed the man of sin into the temple of Qod, who has for 
ages been worshipped as God, ihe glory which Jesus mazLbTested 
departed, aad the darkness of papal errors and abcmiinations has 

'' But the reign of the beast may be said to have come to an 
end ; the true testimony is received, and God is now carrying on 
the work of shaking earth and heaven, removing those things 
which are shaken, as tBl&gs .which mgai have made, that those 
things which cannot be dbaken may remain. The desire of all 
nations is advancing to enter the Christian sanctuary, and God' 
is about to fill the same with gloiy." 

He ii^ent on to speak <^ those things which may be 
shaken, and to show that these are the systems of doc- 
trine which men have invented, and which must be 
removed. ELaggai -s words were interpreted, in the epistle 
to the Hebrews, as follows : " And this word. Yet once 
more, signifieth the removing of those things that are 
shaken, as of things that are made, that those things 
which cannot be shaken may remain." — 12 : 27. Under 
this part of his subject, the preacher went into a consid- 
eration of the &lse doctrines which the wisdom of this 
world has invented and set up in the holy places of Zion, 
which, instead of making religion 'Hhe desire of all 
nations/' have made it repulsive and painful to the pious 
and benevolent mind. He spoke of despotic governments 
as one manifestation of unrighteous authority, and showed 
the offset which the establisbxaent of our own &rm of 


270 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. B. 1824. 

govemment had had in shaking the thrones of Europe. 
And then he came to what he called the ^^ erroneous 
creeds of Antichrist," and he said he saw before him '^ a 
mass of rubbish, whose incoherence produces confusion, 
in comparison with which the confusion of languages at 
Babel might seem like harmony." There was scarcely 
ever a time in which he exposed the errors of Calvinism 
with more force. In the course of his remarks, on sug- 
gesting a caution whether he might not misrepresent the 
dogmas of that system of worldly wisdom, he said, hon- 
estly, that men could not misrepresent it to its disadvan- 
tage ; that, as it presented to us the most horrid concep- 
tions of the Almighty and his govemment which it was 
possible for the human mind to conceive, any misrepre- 
sentation could only make it appear better than it was in 
itself"^ Thus Mr. Ballou thundered against Calvinism 

* His words were : '* We are not endeavoring to giye these things anj 
false color to represent them as odious ; no, any fklse color would serve 
to hide their native deformity, and would give them a grace which they 
do not possess." See " A Sermon Delivered at Hartford, Conn., on 
Wednesday, August 18th, 1824, at the Dedication of the New Univer- 
salist Meeting-house. By Hosea Ballou, Pastor of the Second Univei^- 
ealist Society in Boston, Mass. Boston : 1824.'* These words of Mr. 
Ballou bring to mind the language of the Welsh writer, Llewellyn, who 
in his Tracts (see Monthly Repository, enlarged, vol. vni. A. D. 1792) 
describes the Calvinistic theology in the following forcible manner : 

** I challenge the whole body and being of moral evil itself to invent, 
or inspire, or whisper anything blacker or more wicked ; yea, if sin 
itself had all th6 wit, the tongues and pens, of all men and angels to all 
eternity, I defy the whole to say anything of God worse than this. 0, 
8in ! thou hast spent and emptied thyself in the doctrine of John Calvin. 
And here I rejoice that I have heard the utmost that malevolence itself • 
BhaU ever be able to say against ;the Infinite Benignity ! I was myself 
brought up and tutored in it, and, being delivered and brought to see the 
evil and dang;er, am bound, by my obligatiosB 4o God, angels and men, 

— - — I 


in the very centre of Connecticut, in 1824. He came, 
at the close of his discourse, to enter upon a duty infi- 
nitely more pleasing to him, namely, to show what was 
** the desire of all nations." 

" What do all nations mostly desire? Answer, Light. * And 
God said, Let there be light, and there was light.' Jesus is 
* the light of the world, the true light that lighteth every man 
that cometh into the world.' Will any object, and say that 
men put darkness for light, and light for darkness ? This proves 
two things in favor of my argument : 1st, it shows that the desire 
is so strong for light, that, even when darkness is mistaken for it, 
the mind is tenacious to hold it &>st. And 2d, it proves that 
more light is needed. We may accuse the nations, if -ire please, 
of an aversion to the true light, and in return we may receive their 
recrimination ; but, if we travel to the ends of the earth, we shall 
never find the people who will ^y they do not desire the knowl- 
edge of divine truth. Light to those who are in darkness is surely 
most desirable. ' God is light f and he has given Jesus, ' a light 
to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel.' f 

<< When all the dark and diftmal clouds of error and superstition 

to warn my fellow-siimem ; I therefore here, before God and the whole 
unirerse, recall and condemn every word I have spoken in favor of it. 
I thus denounce the doctrine as the rancor of devils ; a doctrine the 
preaching of which is babbling and mocking, its prayers blasphemies, 
and whose praises are the horrible yellings of sin and hell." 

* There seems to be a manifestation in this paragraph of the fact 
that Mr. Ballon was a member of the fraternity of Free Masons. We 
take the occasion, therefore, to say, that such was the fact. He joined 
that order when he was a young man. The principles of brotherly love 
which Free Masons professed always had a great attraction for him, and 
he loved the order the more ardently, when they showed the more clearly 
these principles. We have showed (vol. i., p^ 260) that he delivered a 
sermon at a Masonic festival, in 1806. After his removal to Portsmouth, 
he was elected Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of New Hamp- 
shire, which office he held in 1811. This, we believe, was the highest, 
except two, of any eleotive Masonic office in tHe state. 

272 LIFE OF HOSEA BALIiOU. A. D. 1824. 

shall have passed away, this eternal Sun of righteousness shall 
arise with healing in his beams, and be the fulness of uniyersal 


This was ihejirst session of the General Gonyention 
the biographer ever attended. It was holden in Straf- 
ford, Vt. Father B. invited the writer to accompany 
him. As it will show the care and diligence with which 
he pursued his journeys, we will describe this one with 
some particularity. We had agreed to start immediately 
after s«rvice on Sunday aftemocm, for otherwise we could 
no thave reached in season the place where the conven- 
tion would meet. He was to obtain the horse and chaise ; 
and we had no concern about tliat matter, &r we knew 
him to be an excellent judge of horses. He was, too, 
one of the most tender and careful men with a horse we 
ever knew. He never could eat his own food with full 
pleasure, unless he knew that the horse was well taken 
care of. In consequence of his care in this respect, he 
could always obtain the best horses, perform remarkable 
journeys with them, and bring them back as well as they 
were when he took them, so that the hostler would some- 
times say, "Why, sir, I should not think you had been 
a journey at all." But we pass on. He came to our 
residence, took tea, and we went off through South B.ead- 
ing to Andover, Mass., where we spent the liight. He 
walked to the stable to give special directions in regard 
to the horse, as tO'What feed he should have that night; 
and precisely at four o'clock in the morning, he remarked 
to the hostler, he must hav6 thus and so [whatever it 

AGED 63. CONVENTION OF 1824. 278 

was]. " Now," said he, "I want you to be very partic- 
ular.'' — ** I will, sir,'' the man would reply. — ** Yes, but 
are you sure you shall wake at four? How shall I know 
that ? I have got to leave at five, and this horse must 
not go on without his proper feed." — ^^ 0, sir, don't be 
afraid ; I '11 have the horse ready." — ** Well, I hope you 
will ; now tell me over what I have said to you, that I 
may be sure you understand me." So the hostler would 
repeat his instructions, and the preacher would go in and 
^0 to rest, having seen that his wishes in regard to the 
horse were fully regarded, so far as the night was con- 
cerned. If he had any doubts, he would himself be out 
in the stable at four, and perhaps be obliged to wake the 
lazy hostler. He said to us on retiring, we will make 
one revolution of the wheel by five o'clock; and we knew 
that we must be ready at the precise time. He never 
wanted to stop to look after baggage, or umbrellas, or 
gloves ; he expected a man travelling with him always 
to put those articles where he could lay hands on them 
at once ; and, if they had got to be looked up, the time 
for doing it was before the hour for starting. Let the 
reader forgive these trifling particulars; we describe 
them because they bring out some of the characteristics 
of the man. 

We have said we spent the night at Andover. We 
were in the chaise three minutes before five, and he drove 
to Salem, N. H., to breakfast ; thence te Hookset to 
dinner, and to Sali&bury before stopping for the night. 
The rule was to drive six miles an hour, and to stop once 
in two hours to refresh the horse, and at least an hour 
and a half at noon. At each place the horse had that 

274 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A, J>. 1824. 

food which he received the most readily, and as much as 
iras good for him. On Tuesday mcmiing we drove to 
Andover, N. H., where we stopped to break£ust at a pub- 
lic hoase kept by a very intelligent, neat and amiable 
mulatto lady. Father B. was pleased with her good 
sense, modesty, neatness, devotion to her duty. She 
gave us fish from a neighboring pond, with beautiful 
bread and butter, which she made with her own hands ; 
than whidi there was nothing sweeter on the table, ex- 
cept the pure honey in the comb, which she had taken 
from her hives. " Why (said he, after he came out), 
bow little we need to make us happy in this world ! God 
has supplied us with everything which is necessary for 
our wants ; and the only condition to fulfil, to make us 
happy, is to be prudent and wise ourselves. Br. Whitte- 
more (he continued), there is more real happiness in that 
house, small as it is, than lliere is in the palaces ci 
Europe and Asia.'' We spent the hours, as we rode, in 
very profitable conversation. The noon brought us to 
Lebanon, N. H., where we dined, and thence we passed 
on sixteen miles, northwardly, to Strafford, Vt We were 
received at the house of Judge Harris, whose wife was the 
daughter of Rev. Joab Young, formerly the Universalist 
clergyman of the town, who had been dead many years. 
Here we found a happy resting-place for two days. On 
Tuesday evening the convention was organized by the 
choice of Bev. Edward Turner moderator, Hosea Bal- 
lon and Sebastian Streeter clerks. The first sermon 
was by Thomas Whittemore ; the second, by Bev. S. 
Streeter, at the ordination of Rev. E. Case, Mr. Ballon 
offering tl^ ordaining prayer ; the third was by Rev. Mr. 

AOEB 63. CONYBNTION 01* 18S4. 275 

Turner, and the fonrth by Mr. Ballon. Besides these, 
-which were the principal services, there were several eve- 
ning meetings. Mr. Ballou's text, we well remember, 
was Matt. 22 : 87 — 40. The following extracts are from 
an epitome of the discourse made at the time. He com- 
menced by repeating the words, ^' Thou shalt love the 
Lord thy God with all thy heart," &c. 

<< Who makes this dedaration, and pats forth this oommand ? 
Answer : The Lord, who is the Creator, Preserver and Ruler of all 
beings. On whom is this commandment binding? On the Jews 
only? No; on the Gentiles also. Of what moral principle is 
this commandment predicated ? Is it predicated of the sovereignty 
and majesty of the Lord our God % No ; for a moral command mtist 
be established on a moral principle like itself; and this command 
zequires no sovereignty nor majesty ; but il requires love. Then 
love is its foundation. And as a foundation must be laid before 
a superstructure can be raised upon it, the love of which this comr 
mandment is predicated must have existed before this command- 
ment could have become binding. One mcanentous truth is now 
clear : — the Lord our God loved all mankind before he could, on 
moral principles, require all men to love him." 

Such were the sentiments of the first section of the 
sertidon. He proceeded to illustrate them. 

" The subject under conaderation is made plain as follows : 
There is in* nature a requirement binding on children to love their 
parents ; and this requirement has its foundation in the love which 
is previously exercised by parents towards their children. The 
command to Ipve our parents is only an expression of our duty, 
growing out of the £a.vors which are the fruits of the relation that 
subsists between them and us. If no such relation existed, or if 
no such fruits were enjoyed, then no such natural requirement 
could be binding, no such conmubnd could be reasonably put 
forth ; and» of coarse, no teamfgression could be cognizable where 

276 LIFB OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1824. 

Bach love ms not exercised. It is then dear, on the most simple 
ground of reasoning, that, if our Creator did not loye us, fk could 
not require us to love hiin ; and if his loye Tvas not fruitful in 
favors towards us, there could be no requirement binding on us to 
love him, nor just cause of censure if we did not." 

Mr. Ballou then proceeded to speak of the extent of 
this love. 

** There is another subject of inquiry respeciing the conunand- 
ment under consideration, which is no less important than those 
which have been considered. The question is, how extensively 
does the divine love operate, on which this commandment is 
founded ? The answer to this question is easily obtained by the 
extent of the requirement ; for, as the requirement is founded on 
the divine lOve, it must be as extensive as the love on which it is 
founded, and no more so. If the command to love God meant no 
more than that we should honor him -^th some outwurd rites, or 
a few respectful ceremonies, then it would be reasonable to sup- 
pose that the Lord our God has laid us under these obligations by 
some outward tokens of his favor, by which nothing could be cer- 
tainly known of his real disposition tovrards us. But the oonw 
mandment runs thus, ' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God ydtb all 
thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with 
all thy strength.' Now, as it must be allowed that the expres- 
sions, all thy hearty and all thy soul, and all thy mind, and all thy 
strength, were designed to express all the moral and physical 
powers of man, we must allow that the command will not be ful- 
filled while we hold the least power or faculty in reserve which is 
not devoted entirely to love the Lord our God. This being under- 
stood, it furnishes the true answer sought; for, if the Lerd our 
God had any power, faculty or principle, which vras not wholly 
exercised in love to mankind, he must, to be consistent, allow a 
reservation in us, which should correspond with the one in him- 
self. But, as he requires us to love him with all the ability we 
possess, so he loves us with all the ability possessed by him. 

<< Here is an inheritance which is ' incorruptible, undefiled, and 


wbich &deth not away.' In the light of this most glorious sub* 
ject the enemies of truth must find themselves confounded. How 
can they maintain the doctrine of the divine enmity towards men, 
without absolving them from both law and offence ? The moment 
that God should cease from loving^ a creature whom he has made, 
would be the moment that that creature's power to ain would 
oease. But, while the Lord our God shall continue to love all his 
creatures, it wiU remain our duty to love, obey and serve him." 

Such 19 an epitome of the arguments of Mr. Ballon in 
his sermon at the Convention of 1824. The illustrations, 
the searching interrogatories, the masterly appeals to the 
heart, do not appear. We cannot give them. We re- 
member with what eagerness his old friends clustered 
around him, rejoiced to see the one who in his early man- 
hood used to dwell among them. But he was obliged to 
hurry home. We left Strafford after service, and rode to 
Lebanon, thence on Friday to Hooksett, and on Saturday 
we reached Boston. 



In October, Mr. Ballou went to Franklin county, 
Mass., to attend the meeting of the association bearing 
the name of the county. It seemed, to those who knew 
him best, that he nevier wearied in doing good. He never 
required any compensation for attending these meetings 
of conventions and associations. Sometimes he bore the 
whole expense of the journey, with no reward except that 
which arose from the reflection that he had done his duty; 
sometimes he would take a brother with him, and they 
would divide the expenses between them; and sometimes, 
though very seldom, the friends in the vicinity of the 


278 hin ov M081A iiAUOir. a* d« isu. 

meeting ironld pay hia chaise-hire. Htfl heart was in the 
work of spreading the gospel ; it was his meat and his 
drink ; and this is the fact which accounts for his zeal 
through a long ministry of sixty-one years, that abated 
not, from the time he began to preach, at the age c^ twen- 
ty, to the last hour of his life. For, let it be remimn- 
bered, he was taken with his last sickness while in the 
very act of preparing to go to the meeting of a conven- 
tion ; and at his death he left two Sabbaths' appointments 
unfulfilled. But to the association of which we are now 
to speak. 

The meeting was holden in Bemardston. The venera- 
ble David Ballon was appointed moderator. Three ser- 
mons were preached : one by Br. Lemuel Willis, from 
Col. 1 : 13 ; one from Mr. B., from the words (2 Cor. 
5 : 20), " Be ye reconciled to God ; " and one from Br. 
H. Ballou, 2d, from 2 Tim. 4 : 4. By turning to the 
texts, the reader will be the better able to understand 
and enjoy the following paragraph from the account of 
this meeting, which was published at the time, by Dr. 
John Brooks, the clerk. 

*^ The intense attention manifested by the audience, to the sev- 
eral discourses which were delivered, and to the fervent prayers 
which were offered, afforded convincing proof that the pure gospel 
of God our Saviour was a welcome theme, even to those whose 
ears, in time past, have been turned away from the truth, turned 
unto fables. The folly of all attempts to placate the wrath of a 
God of unchangeable love, and by religious sacrifices and services 
to induce him to be gracious, and thus to reconcile him to the 
sinner, as a substitute for being reconciled to him, was presented 
in so clear and convincing a light, that it is believed none could 
avoid seeing that the common doctrine of atonement is not the 


truth, but a mere &ble ; even one of those fitbles to which people 
tarn, when they turn away from the truth. It is, therefore, 
deyoutly hoped that there were some who were delivered from 
the power of darkness, and were translated into the Jdngdom or 
God's dear Son, on that happy occasion. Did not our heart bum 
within us when they talked with us, and enabled us to understand 
the Scriptures? Was there not joy and peace in belieying? 
Gould we not say, 0, how I love thy law 1 Did we not feel that 
m keeping the commandments of God there is great reward, and 
that it is unreasonable to suppose we haye need of bdng other- 
wise compensated for it ? A thousand blessings rest on our breth- 
ren, for the good they were instrumental in imparting to us 
through the ministration of the word. A thousand thanks be 
rendered to God our Saviour, for the fiivorable opportunity 
enjoyed to hear the good news of salvation from the lips of our 
fidthfttl brethren in the ministry, especially from our long-trkd, 
devoted, worthy and beloved brother, who delivered the second 
discourse. We trust our venerable brother is realizing the truth 
of the declaration, < He that goeth forth and weqpeth, bearing 
precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing 
his sheaves with him.' " 


On Monday, Not. 1st, Mr. Ballon left Boston in the 
stage, for a journey to Watertown, N. Y. ; and in some 
respects a long anil tedioud^ one it proved. His main 
object was to attend the dedication of the new Univer- 
salist house of worship in that place. The travelling was 
bad, and he passed on through Brookfield, Ware and 
Northampton, in Massachusetts, holding pleasant and 
profitable conversations with his fellow-passengers, on 
the subject of religion. There was one incident we will 
not pass over, but will give it in his own words« 

280 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1824. 

<< The day after, a widow, belonging to Pittsfield, Maaei., entered 
the stage in that town to go to Denmark, in the State of New 
York, to yifflt her young son, whom she had not seen for six years, 
who is now about fifteen. Denmark is about axty miles north 
of Utica. This lady I found to be quite Orthodox in her yiews, 
and quite disposed to question me concerning mine. At the inn 
in Albany, where the stage put up, we had some yerj serious con- 
venation on the subject of the ignorance and unbelief of men. 
Her queries respecting this subject were directed in the usual 
way, and wer& designed to prove that, in consequence of unbelief 
in the Saviour, the sinner is exposed to be cast off, without mercy. 
Having noticed in this lady an anxious desire to find her child, 
and perceiving that her affections were tender towards her &ther- 
less son, I thought proper to try to open her eyefr by the means 
of appealing to her maternal affections. Madam, do you think 
that your son will know you ? She, with manifest emotion, replied, 
' It is so long since he saw me, that I do not think he will.' And, 
should you find that he has so forgotten you as not to recognize 
your person and countenance, do you think he would be in dan- 
ger, on that account, of losing your favor ? Tears started in her 
eyes, and the weight of the question was sensibly manifest. She 
replied, in the softest accents, in the negative. Well, madam, 
should you find that your son has forgotten your countenance, and 
should you inform him of the fact of which you should find him 
ignorant, and yet he should not believe, should you then feel no 
kindness for your son? She fuU^ appreciated the question, and 
still answered in the negative. I then called her attenticm to that 
remarkable passage in the 49th of Isaiah, in- which the divine lov- 
ing-kindness is recommended to exceed the compassions of the 
mother to her tender offspring. She signified her satisfaction, and 
gave me to understand that the argument had reached its object. 
I wished her good-night, and retired to get a little repose, as we 
were to take the stage for Utica at eleven o'clock that night." 

He did not permit small matters to discourage him. 
Such a journey as this, in the months of November and 


December, was exceedingly disheartening and tiresome. 
He said : 

*' The next evening we arriyed in Utica, which place we lefl at 
twelve o'clock that night. As a sample of the disagreeable trav- 
elling in this region at this season, I Vnll here mention that, with 
all possible diligence, the stage was ^ye hours going from Utica 
to Trenton, a distance of only thirteen miles. Two gentlemen 
and one lady belonging toSackett's Harbor, and a lady belonging 
to Watertown, were our fellow-sulFerers this dark night on this 
tiresome road. Late the following evening we arrived at Den- 
mark, and the next day (Saturday) about one o'clock, at Water- 
tovra, N. Y." 

Thus he had been six days in going from Bostcm to 
Watertown, travelling almost day and night. On Son- 
day forenoon he preached in the conrt-hoose in the latter 
place, although the day was cold and stormy, to a great 
crowd. The Methodists, learning that the court-house 
would not contain the people, generously offered their 
church in the afternoon, whidi was much crowded. On 
Monday he offered prayer in the new church, after which 
the pews were sold. On Tuesday he preached in Brown- 
yille, in the Presbyterian church, the clergyman being 
present The dedication was on Wednesday. A greater 
number of people collected than could by any possibility 
get into the house. In the evening he gave another ser- 
mon, to many hearers. On Thursday he officiated at 
the installation of Rev. Pitt Morse, at Watert6wn. In 
the evening he preached at the village of Sackett's Har- 
bor, on Lake Ontario, in the Presbyterian church, which 
.was obtained for him with much difficulty. On Friday 
he preached in the town of Henderson, on the lake ; and 


282 LIFB OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1824. 

the next morning at Lewisburg, to a large assembly. 
Returning to Watertown, he preached, on the next day 
(Sunday), twice in the new church, " which was much 
crowded with an attentive and devout audience, though 
the day was unpleasant, and the travelling uncomfort- 
able in the extreme." 

The people were exceedingly unwilling that he should 
return speedily home. They desired' him to spend at 
least a month in that region. He said : 

" On Monday I took my leave of my friends in "Watertown, 
who manifested, on the occasion, an affection and concern for me 
which have made an impression on my mind that will, without 
doubt, endure the remainder of my pilgrimage on earth. Not- 
withstanding my fervent solicitude to return to my &mily and 
friends at home, I deeply regretted that it was not consistent for 
me to comply with a ^eat number of requests to preach in differ- 
ent towns in that region, and a number of places on the road as I 
returned. But, knowing that I should be expected in Boston the 
coming Sabbath, I set my face accordingly, praying God to pro- 
tect me from danger, and prosper my return." * 


It may not be unprofitable to notice the opinions 
which seemed to take the lead in Mr. B.'s mind during 
this year. From the time of his conversion to Univer- 
salism, he had believed Calvinism to be radically false in 

* The sermon which Mr. Ballon preached at the dedication just 
described was from Psalm 36 : 7, 8. It was never published, except in 
the Herald of Salvation, a religious paper issued in the place where the 
sermon was delivered. We have preserved a copy of it, and we consider 
it very valuable ; but we feel constrained, for want of room, to omit 
quotations from it. 


everything that was peculiar to itself. He had believed, 
indeed, in the superintending agency of God, and that 
not even a sparrow falls to the ground without his notice 
and permission. He never looked upon the world as the 
sport of chance. God was as much the Governor of men 
as the Creator of them ; and He executed His holy will in 
ways not always clear to mortal sight, but still always 
-wise and just. But, above everything in the opinions of 
men which Mr. B. lamented, was the partiality and 
cruelty which the systems of human invention ascribed 
to God. He was, therefore, the decided, constant and 
active opponent of the Galvinistic divinity, and of the 
doctrine of endless torture in every form. He could not 
believe that all those who professed to hold that doctrine 
actually regarded it as truth. They were wedded to it 
as a system, — it was embraced in the creeds they had 
subscribed ; but they did not act as if they truly believed 
it. They did not maintain it with that confidence which 
would arise from a strong and clear conviction that it was 
capable of defence ; nor were they so ready to enter into 
an investigation of the true sense of those passages which 
they regarded as pillars of the doctrine they held, as we 
might suppose men would be who had entire confidence 
that it was the doctrine of the word of Grod. He 
was sometimes fearful that sect^ianism had an effect on 
the popular clergy so blinding, that they thought it good 
policy to teach to others what perhaps they had doubts 
of themselves. Possessed of such a conviction, and hav- 
ing for years been in the habit of freely speaking his 
opinions, he often expressed the fear that there was more 
sectarian pride than love of truth manifested in the zeal 

284 LIFB or HOSEA BALLOtr. A. D. ISti, 

with which the partialist clergy, so called, defended their 
peculiar doctrines. He nerer ceased to oppose those doc- 
trines. He believed them to have originated not in the 
wisdom of Grod, but in '^ the canning crafiinesa of men, 
whereby they lie in wait to deceive." — Eph. 4 : 14. 
He felt that he had adopted the ministry of reconcilia- 
tion ; and, having such a ministry, he fiunted not, but 
'^ renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking 
in craflnness, nor handling tlie word of God deceitfully; 
but, by maetiifestation of die truth, commending himself to 
every man's consdence in the sight of God." — 2 Cor. 
4 : 1, 2. If it had been possible for the great apostle of 
the Gentiles to have known Hosea Ballou, he could not 
have described him more accurately. Mr. Ballou could 
say with that iq)06de, " We are not as many, which cor- 
rupt the word o( God ; but as of sincerity, but as of God, 
in the sight of God speak we in Christ." — 2 Cor. 2 : 17. 
Not once in all his life, we have often heard him say, 
did he give an interpretation to a passage of Scripture 
which he did not believe was consistent with thcvwill of 
God. Because he believed ^diat the texts which are used 
to prove the doctrine of future judgment and endless 
punishment were continually misapplied by the clergy of 
our times, he labored, on every proper occasion, to show 
that such texts, when psopa*ly understood, give no sup- 
port to thiose doctrines. He dwelt much on these points, 
this year. As an instance, see what he said oa the pas- 
sage, 2 Cor. 6: 10, — "For we must kll appear before 
the judgment-seat of Christ ; that every one may receive 
the things done in his body, according to that he hath 


done, whether it be good or bad." The .extract occurred 
at the close of a somewhat long article : 

'^ Observe, then, the true reading of the passage, leaving out 
the supplied words, by which it will be easily perodved that the 
Tecompense mentioned in the text is to be received in the body 
wliere the works are wrought. ^ Fo»>W8 must all appear before 
the judgment-seat of Christ, ib&t every one may receive the things 
in his body, according to that he hath done, whether good or bad.' 
Where is this retribution to be received? Answer : in the body, 
where the works are done. The author of the text had been 
brought before the judgmentHseat of Christ, and had received 
according to what he had done. When the Lord met him, on his 
way to Damascus, and said, < Why persecutest thou me? ' the 
question opened such a scene of inward inquiry and heart examin- 
ation as resulted in a most perfect adjudication in his own con- 
science ; he then received according to what he had done. Sin 
revived, and he died : but, wherein he had acted according to his 
understanding, he obtained mercy. 

*< In the verse following our text the apostle says, < Knowing, 
therefore, the terrors of the Lord, we persuade men ; but we are 
made manifest unto God, and I trust also are made manifest in 
your consciences.' Here let us remark, Ist. The apostle spake of 
what he knew. < Knowing, therefore, the terrors of the Lord.' 
He had experienced the trial ; he had appeared before the judg- 
ment-seat of Christ. 2d. This the apostle expresses when he 
says, ^ But we are made manifest unto God.' The word appear 
in our text, and the word manifest in the verse following, are 
variations of the same word in the Greek ; and, when considered 
in their connection and relation, make it plain that the apostle's 
meaning was, that he had passed this ordeal and had received 
according to his works, and that we must all be made manifest to 
the light of divine truth, as he had been. 

" Now comes the cry of licentiousness. Says the opposer, I 
will indulge in all manner of sin, if there is to be no future judg- 
ment, and no retribution in the future state for what I do here. 
Well ; out of thine ovni mouth shalt thou be condemned. Hear 

286 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. B. 1825. 

the words of the Judge, — Mark 7, — ' The things which oome 
out of him, those are they that defile the man. Out of the 
heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, mur- 
ders, thefts, coyetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an 
evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness ; all these evil things come 
from within, and defile the man.' And you hereacknowle<^ that 
you have all these things within you ; and the reason you do 
not practise them is, you stand in fear of retributioii in a future 
world! Thou art most unclean. May the thoughts of thine 
heart be forgiven thee." 

What an exposure of hypocrisy and love of sin, in the 
objector ! 




We have already shown that Mr. B. believed in no 
salvation except a salvation /rom sin and unbelief. The 
notion, which so generally prevailed, that salvation is a 
reward^ that it cannot be enjoyed until man shall enter 
the eternal world, and that it will consist in deliverance 
from being sentenced to endless pains, was entirely dis- 
carded by him. A slight anecdote illustrates this matter 
quite clearly. He had gone into some interior town to 
preach, and had found lodgings at a house of which the 
mistress was opposed to Universalism, but she was not a 
bigot. She held that mankind were to be saved as a 
reward for being good, and that this reward consisted in 
being admitted to the holy presence of God. Pass- 
ing out through the broad kitchen, he found this woman 
engaged in the labors which Saturday afternoon generally 

288 ' LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1825. 

imposed upon her. He had not seen her until this 
moment, when she spoke to him very politely, — 

" This is Mr. Ballou, I«suppo8e1 " 

<* Yes, madam, my name is Ballou." 

<< Well, Mr. Ballou, they say you hold that all men will be 
saved. Do you really believe that doctrine ? ' ' 

" Yes, madam," said he, " I reaHy believe it." 

"Why, sir!" — with some astonishment, — '"do you really 
believe that all men are going to be saved just such creatures 09 
they aref " 

He saw that she did not understand ^ nature of salvation ; 
and he therefore adopted the following method to enlighten her : 

" What is that you have in your hand, dear woman 1 " 

[Laughingly.] — " Why, it is my mop." 

" Your mop? Well ; what are you going to do with it ? " 

" I am going to mop up my floor. I always do it on Saturday 

" Well, sister, I understand you. Are you going to mop it up 
just as it is / " 

** Mop it up just as it is ! " 

" Yes ; you wished to know if I hold that all men will be saved 
just as they are. Do you intend to mop up the floor ^'u^^. as it is .'" 

" Why," said she, " I mop it up to clean it." 

" True," said he ; " you do not require it to be made clean 
before you will consent to mop it up. God saves men to purify 
them; that's what salvation is designed for.' God does not 
require men to he pure in order that he may save them." 

On another occasion, he was the guest of a gentleman 
whose wife was a member of the Congregationalist church; 
but she was a kind woman, and she was more willing 
to have Mr. Ballou at her house than some clergymen of 
her own faith, for she said he was so humble and quiet, 
and made her so little trouble, it was a pleasure to see 


him. Some clergymen, she said, — and most frequently 
those that were young, — would seem as if they thought 
other people were made only to wait on them. On a 
certain day this good lady said, 

** Mr. Ballou, I wish our minister could have as full an 
attendance upon his preaching as you do." It was a 
bright Sunday morning in May, and she saw that the 
services of Mr. Ballou would be largely attended, that 
^^J^ ^7 people within the distance of five or ten miles 
around. " Yes," she added, ^*I wish my good minister 
could have as large an attendance." 

"Well; what is the reason he does not?" said Mr. 

" 0," said she, " I don't know ; he 's almost discour- 
aged; the people don't attend public worship as they 

" Well ; what do you think is the reason ? " he inquired 

'^ Because," said she, "they do not love the Lord's 

" But why do they not love the Lord's house? " he 

" I don't know," she replied ; "I don't know." 

"Well," said he, "sister, I will tell you. Their 
souls are not nourished by the doctrine your good minister 
preaches. When any place is really a Zion, in the 
scriptural sense of that term, the people will love to go 
there. They will say one to another, as we read in 
Isaiah, ' Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of 
the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob.' — 2 : 3. 
Now, concerning this Zion, God hath said, * I will abun- 


290 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1825. 

dantly bless her provision ; I will satisfy her poor with 
bread ; I- will also clothe her priests with salvation, and 
her saints shall shout aloud for joy.' — Psalm 132 : 15, 
16. In this Zion he will make unto ' all people a 
feast of fat things,' — Isaiah 25: 6. If your minister 
(continued Mr. B.) would feed the people with the 
bread of life, they would love to attend upon his teachings. 

iff * ^ * * * 

" But, see here," said Mr. B. ; " what makes all the 
poultry gather around you so ? " for the woman had gone 
out upon the lawn with a half-peck measure in her hand 
(he following her), and the hens and half-grown chickens 
came running and flying and leaping over each other's 
heads, to get near to her. '' What makes them so eager 
to gather around you 7" 

" Because," said she, " they know I am going to feed* 

" Well," he added, "if the people could only know 
that your minister would "feed their souls, he would not 
have to preach to empty pews." 


At the beginning of the year 1825, Mr. Ballon gave a 
careful review of his opinions concerning the intei*preta- 
tion of the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth chapters of 
Matthew. Where he saw reasons to alter them, he did so ; 
but this critical examination tended only to confirm him 
the more in the general application which he had pre- 


viously made of these chapters. At the close of a series 
of observations, he said : 

** I deem it unnecessary to be further particular on these para- 
bles, which were evidently introduced into our Saviour's reply to 
his disciples, to represent various circumstances relative to the 
destruction of the Jews and their city and temple ; also concern- 
ing those who should profess his gospel, or propagate his religion, 
at the time when those judgments were executed on the Jews. 
Especially do I deem it unnecessary further to occupy the reader's 
time on this subject, having formerly vnritten on these . parables. 
But, not having in my notes made all the distinctions which I now 
think ought to be made, I was induced to write the foregoing ^ 
remarks, in addition to what I had written before." 

We must look at this additional light, — these 7iew 
distinctions. In his ^' Notes," he had taken this general 
ground, — that in the parable of the virgins the kingdom 
of heaven represented the house of Israel under the law ; 
the lamps were the rites observed in *the law and its 
priesthood ; the oil was the knowledge which these rites 
were intended to signify ; the slothful state of the Jews 
before the coming of Christ was represented by the sleep 
of the virgins (see Matthew 25 :' 1 — 13). The parable 
of the unprofitable servant (Matthew 25 : 14 — 30) Mr. 
B. interpreted on the following basis : Christ was repre- 
sented by the servant who received five talents; John 
the Baptist by the servant who received two, and the 
house < of Israel by him who received one. In reading 
Mr. Bailouts earliest interpretations of the parables, we 
find our wonder excited, not that he sometimes did not 
give the interpretation which he would have given in sub- 
sequent years, but that he so often, of his own unaided 

292 LIFB OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1825. 

study, reached the full truth, so that forty or fifty years' 
subsequent study of thQ Bible did not cause him to 
change his opinions. In regard to the parables, he had 
been obliged to view them dififerently from all his seniors 
in the ministry, but more especially from Mr. Murray. 
He had been obliged to get a new plan of interpretation 
altogether, — to strike out a new course, without compass 
• or star, except the Bible. In some minor particulars he 
afterwards had reason to change his views ; but, in the 
great points, the leading facts, his opinion remained the 
same. When he came to review his interpretations of 
the three parables in the twenty-fifth of Matthew, he saw 
that he had been correct in supposing that they did not 
refer to the future world, but rather to the time of 
Christ's coming at the destruction of the Jewish nation. 
But he saw that he had erred in applying the parables 
of "the virgins," and "the unprofitable servant," to 
the open and avbwed enemies of Christ in any sense. 
These two parables referred to the faithftd and unfaith- 
ful disciples ; while that of the " sheep and the goats " 
took a wider range. It is better that we permit him to 
describe his own opinions : 



<< There are three parables in this chapter, and it is thought, 
by some, that they all represent the same things. They are all 
applied, by divines, to what they call the last and general judg- 
ment. The five foolish virgins in the first parable, the servant 
who received the one talent in the second, and those who are 
called goats, on the left hand of the Son of man, in the third, are 
supposed to reprasent the same kind of persons ; and divines, who 


belieye in the doctrine of a final separation of the human family 
in the future world, and the endless happiness of one class and the 
endless misery of the other, uniformly suppose that the characters 
mentidhed in the parables represent the class which is to be finally 
and forever miserable. 

'< Haying the case thus clearly stated, let us next determine to 
whom the Saviour delivered the discourse which contains these 
parables. See chapter 24 : 3, — * And as he sat upon the Mount 
of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, 
when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy 
coming, and the end of the world ? ' Here it is of importance 
that we carefully notice the fact, that all which follows in this 
twenty-fourth and in the twenty-fifth chapters is one continued 
reply to the several questions which the disciples asked him, as 
above ; and. also, that this lengthy reply was delivered to the dis- 
ciples only, and to them in private, 

" The question now arises, why the divine teacher did not 
deliver these parables to the scribes, pharisees, elders, doctors, and 
the Jews in general ? Ag&in, the inquiry suggests itself, why the 
Saviour did not urge it upon his disciples, that they should utter 
these parables to the people in their preaching ? and tell them, in 
plain language, that those portions of the divine word all alluded 
to the last judgment, and to the final separation of the human 
&mily ? It does not appear that the disciples were directed to 
utter these parables to the people r iK>r can we learn that it ever 
came into the minds of the apostles to use them as they are now 
used by those who apply them, as has been stated, to a final 

division of the human family. 

• • • • •• • • 

<< It is one of the most important labors to which what is now 
called the Christian ministry is directed, to urge the people to the 
consideration of religion, with a view to be prepared to meet their 
judge at the solemn and awful tribunal, which the preachers con- 
tend is set forth in this twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew. 

<' Our queries on this subject have already called up the ques- 
tions, why Jesus Christ did not deliver these parables to the 
Jews, nor direct his disciples to state to them their substance ? 


294 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1826. 

or why the disciples, in their ministry afterward, never preached 
this last judgment to the people, as it is alleged their Master had 
preached it to them t 

<< By a careful attention to the manner in which this general 
subject was introduced, and to the order in which the wisdom of 
the Saviour directed it, we may very easily dispose of the foregoing 
queries, and arrive at a satisfactory understanding of the several 
parables under consideration. 

*' This general subject begins in the twenty-third chapter, which 
contains a denunciation on the religious enemies of Christ, such as 
scribes, pharisees and doctors of the law, and on the city of Jerusalem. 
The two following particulars, concealing the last-named chapter, 
the reader is requested to keep in recollection : 1st, That those* 
on whom the Saviour denounced the judgments of heaven he 
repeatedly called hypocrites; and, 2d, That he assured them, 
verse thirty-six, that the judgment which he denounced would be 
executed on that generation. 

" When he had ended his communication to the rulers of the 
Jews, and to all the different persons whom he addressed, as stated 
in this twenty-third chapter, he went out and departed from the 
temple. He had now finished his ministry as it respected the 
Jews, and had delivered to them his last message. And whoever 
will carefully read this twenty-third chapter will marvel at the 
plain dealing with which Jesus treated those dignified professors 
of righteousness on whom he denounced the righteous judg- 
ments of God. As he departed from the temple, his disciples 
came to him, to show him the buildings of the temple. < And 
Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say 
unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that 
shall not be thrown down.' This declaration concerning the 
temple was evidently connected with what he had just before 
delivered to the scribes, pharisees and doctors, in the temple, in 
hearing of his disciples ; for Jesus had just before closed his 
statements to the Jews, by speaking of the desolation of their 

" The account proceeds in chapter 24, verse 3. * And as he 
sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him pri- 

AGED 64. Matthew's gospel. 295 

vately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what 
shall be the sign «f thy coming, and of the end of the world 1 ' 
The reply of Jesus commences with the fourth verse of this 
twenty-fourth chapter, and continues to the end of the twenty- 
fifth chapter. Beginning with the fourth verse of the twenty- 
fourth chapter, we see that Jesus, in his reply, speaks of the 
destruction of the Jews and their city, together with the signs 
which should precede that terrible event, until we come to the 
thirty-sixth verse. In the thirty-fourth verse, he assured his dis- 
ciples that that generation should not pass away till all the things 
of which he had been speaking should be fulfilled. The reader is 
requested duly to notice that this declaration is evidently con- 
nected with the one made just before, whicH the reader has 
already been requested to keep in mind, namely, that the judg- 
ments denounced on the Jews should be executed in that genera- 
tion. See verse thirty-sixth, of chapter twenty-third. There is 
another circumstance which we do well to notice here ; and that 
is, that among the things which Jesus told his disciples should 
take place in that generation, his coming in his glory, &c., is 
included. See verses thirty and thirty-one, of chapter twenty-four. 
And it is also necessary to remark that this coming of Christ is 
the same as set forth in the last parable of the twenty-fifth 
chapter, which our divines are in the habit of calling the last and 
the general judgment. As I have elsewhere, and in a number of 
instances, shown that the parable of the sheep and goats was 
spoken to represent the rejection of the Jews and their dispersion, 
and the reception of the Gentiles to the privileges of the Gospel, 
I deem it unnecessary to labor to substantiate this application in 
this place, except to request the reader to notice that the coming 
of Christ, set forth in the parable of the sheep and goats, is 
the same coming of which mention is made ia the preceding chap- 
ter, and which Christ said should take place in that generation. 
Whoever will carefully notice this will be fully satisfied that our 
divines are incorrect in applying the last parable in chapter 
twenty-five to a future judgment. 

'* Let us* now return to the order of the account in chapter 
twenty-four. See verse thirty-six. * But of that day and hour 

296 LIPE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1825. 

knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but mj Father 
only.' The Saviour then proceeds to oompave the event which 
^e had been relating to that of the flood, and, at the forty-seoond 
verse, begins a special exhortation to his disciples. The reader 
will keep in mind that Jesus was speaking to his disciples only, 
and alone. He says, ' Watch, therefore, for ye know not what 
hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the good 
man of the house had known in what watch the thief would 
come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered 
his house to be broken up. Therefore, be ye also ready; for 
in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.' 
Here again is the same coming of the Son of man of which Jesos 
Bpeaks in the last parable of the twenty-fifth chapter, which our 
doctors constantly apply to the last judgment in the future state. 
But who will undertake to account for thdr mistake ? Do they 
suppose that Jesus meant to exhort his disciples, there on the 
Mount of Olives, to keep up a constant watch, looking out for the 
coming of the Son of man, until some period of time which in out 
day is BtiU future ? Do they suppose that these disciples have, ever 
since the interview which they had with Jesus privately on the 
Mount of Olives, been looking for his coming ? Nearly eighteen 
hundred years have passed away since Jesus told his disciples that 
he should come with power and great glory in that generation, and 
exhorted them to watch that they might be duly guarded on the 
occasion ; and our divines contend that he has not come yet ! 
And, to keep along with their error, they now come forward with 
these exhortations, which Jesus delivered to his disciples in pri- 
vate, and insist that he meant to exhort us, in this day, to watch 
for his coming ! And, if things go on as they have done, after we 
have watched all the days of our lives, the generations which may 
come upon the stage hereafter may be told that Jesus meant that 
they also should watch for it. 

*< It is possible that the reader may wish to ask why Jesos 
exhorted his disciples to watch. The answer is, because his com- 
ing would be at a time when, if they were not watchful, they 
might least expect him ; and also because the coming of which he 
had spoken to them was for the desolatiiA of Jerusalem, and, if 


they were not on their guard, they would be ||iut up in the city 
by the armies of the Romans. Look back to verse fifteenth and 
on : * When ye, therefore, shall see the abomination of desola- 
tion, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place 
(whoso readeth let him understand) , then let them which be in 
Judea flee into the mountains ; let him which is on the house-top 
not come down to' take anything out of his house ; neither let him 
that is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto 
them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those 
days ! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither 
on the Sabbath day. For there shall be great tribulation, such as 
was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever 
shall be.' That his disciples might watch and make their escape 
from Jerusalem at the day and hour of danger, Jesus gave them 
these warnings and -exhortations. It is truly humiliating to hear 
our divines, who pride themselves in their learning and in their 
high attainments as to the knowledge of the holy Scriptures, now 
urging the exhortations of Jesus to his disciples, respecting their 
escape from the destruction of Jerusalem, on the people of our 
day, as if toe were in danger of being shut up in that ancient city 
by the Romans, who destroyed it nearly eighteen hundred years 

'< Let us return to the account as it proceeds in order. See 
verse forty-five, and on : * Who then is a fiiithful and wise ser- 
vant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give 
them meat in due season ? Blessed is that servant whom his lord, 
when he cometh, shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that 
he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil 
servant shall say in his heart. My lord delayeth his coming ; and 
shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with 
the drunken, the lord of that servant shall come in a day when 
he looketh not for him^ and in an hour that he is not aware of, 
and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion mth the 
hypocrites; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' The 
reader will now call up what he was requested to remember, 
namely, that Jesus <»lled those on whom he denounced the judg- 
menter of heaven, in the twenty-third chapter, hypocrites ^ by 

298 ' LIFB OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1826. 

which it appears t]^t the divine teacher intended to signify to his 
disciples that, if they neglected their duty, got off thSr watch, 
and proved unfaithful to his cause, he would, at his coming, 
appoint them their portion with those hypocrites on whom they 
Ittd just heard him denounce destruction. These disciples were 
appointed rulers over the household of their divine Master, to give 
to his household their meat in due season ; and, if they proved 
&ithftil, he promised them promotion ; but, if they should prove 
unfaithful, he would devote them to the same destruction which 
he had just denounced on his enemies, the Jews. This general 
intimation would properly apply, not only to those disciples who 
were then present, on the Mount of Olives, but also to others, 
who should, in their day, be employed in the gospel ministry. 

'* I have thus pursued the account to the conclusion of the 
twenty-fourth chapter, where it appears evident that the Saviour 
was speaking to his disciples as to how it would fare with them, 
and other professors of Christianity, at the time when Jerusalem 
should be destroyed, and the Jews dispersed. 

** The twenty-fifth chapter contains three parables, which ^- 
dently relate to events set forth in the twenty-fourth chapter. 
But care should be taken to make the distinctions in the parables 
according to their evident application^ The two first, no doubt, 
apply to the disciples of Jesus ; the last applies to three classes, 
namely, to the unbelieving Jews who persecuted the disciples, 
to Christian believers who kindly entreated the disciples, and to 
the disciples themselves. The disciples of Christ and professors 
of his gospel were r^resented by ten virgins in the first parable, 
and by servants who received different sums of money in the 
second ; and it is very clear that these two parables apply to the 
subject with which the twenty-fourth chapter closed. See the 
close of that chapter : ' There shall be weeping and gnashing of 
teeth.' See also the close of the second parable : ' There shall be 
weeping and gnashing of teeth.* The reader will do well to open 
to the place, and carefully read the passage, comparing these two 
first parables with the subject treated on in the last of the twenty- 


f5arth chapter, which will supersede the necessity of my saying 
more on this part of the subject. 

'* But the last parable has a more extensive application ; for 
there are evidently three classes of which the Judge speaks, — the 
sheep on the right hand, the goats on the left, and his brethren 
who had been kindly entreated by those on his right, but neglected 
by those on his left. 

" Here, again, recollect that Jesus was speaking to his disci- 
ples, whom he was going to employ in the promulgation of his 
gospel ; and, as he had jiist before, in this discourse, informed 
them that they would be persecuted by his and their enemies, he 
now gives them to understand that he would treat the people, 
when he came to execute the judgments which he had just 
denounced on the Jews, accordingly as they should treat Chris- 
tians. These he calls his brethren, and assures them that any 
fkvor which the people should show them he should consider as 
shown to him, and any neglect with which they should be treated 
he would accept as done to himself. The conclusion of this para- 
ble introduces those who received the gospel through the ministry 
of the disciples, and entreated them kindly, to the life and peace 
of the gospel age ; but consigns the enemies of the gospel, and of 
the disciples of Jesus, to the age of suffering which has, ever since 
that generation, been the lot of the Jews, on whom Jesus 
denounced»the righteous judgments of Heaven. 

<< The reason why these parables were not delivered to the Jews 
appears evident. They were designed for special information to 
the disciples of Christ, which information was to them of no 
inconsiderable advantage. It gave than certain signs and tokens 
by which they would know when to leave Jerusalem, for the 
security of their lives ; it informed them of the necessity of &ith- 
fulnees in their callings, that they might obtain his approbation 
at his coming, and avoid the calamities which he would at that 
time execute on his enemies." 


In June 22d, of this year, Mr. B. was present at tbe 

800 LIFB OF HOSEA BALLOU. A^ D. 1825. 

ordination of Rev. Calvin Gardner to the pastoral care 
of the Universalist society in Charlestown, Mass., as suc- 
cessor to Rev. Edward Turner. It was the wish, both 
of the candidate and of the society, that Mr. B. should 
give the charge. The sermon was preached by the ven- 
erable Rev. Thomas Jones, of Gloucester, from the words 
of the apostle, 1 Peter 4 : 11, — '^If any speak, let him 
speak as the oracles of God,'' — a passage which many 
years before had made a deep impression on Mr. Ballou's 
mind. The fellowship was tendered by Rev. Benjamin 
Whittemore, then of Scituate ; the address to the society 
by Rev. Seth Stetson, of Salem, Mass. But our pur- 
pose is to speak merely of the charge. The effect which 
it produced upon the people is well remembered. In 
presenting the Bible to the candidate, according to the 
custom of that order of Christians to which Mr. B. 
belonged, he said : 

" We present the Scriptures because they contain a true mani- 
fest of the whole doctrine which the gospel minister is bound to 
hold forth to the people, and are a perfect directory, by which he 
should perform his whole duty, and form his moral and religious 
character. They contain the Christian's bill of rights, chartered 
by the only potency to which he submits the dictation of his conr 
science. They are not only paramount to but supersede the 
authority of councils and synods, containing the world's fran- 
chise from sin and death, and man's title to immortality and eter- 
nal life." 

** Adhere, my brother," said he, "to the word of Grod. 
That will give your own soul peace, and make your min- 
istry to abound in all good fruits." Devotion to creeds, 
formed by worldly wisdom, has done great harm. 


** Ages of darkness, during which the Christian church has 
been rent into separate and opposing parties, thundering the most 
cruel anathemas against each other, carrying beneath their ban- 
ners the sword and torch of persecution, with all the apparatus 
of torture and death, have furnished most solemn and awful me- 
mentos, written in blood, against the foUj of departing from the 
holy Scriptures, and of framing creeds and formularies as guides 
to faith and practice. 

<< Thus admonished, we, my brother, receive these Scriptures as 
the substance of our faith, and as the guide of our practice ; and 
as such we present them to you. 

, ** Taking St. Paul's charge to Timothy for a model and guide, 
' I charge thee, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall 
judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and kingdom, 
preach the word ; be instant in season, out of season ; reprove, 
rebuke, exhort with all longHSuffering and doctrine.' 

" Much of the duty of a Christian pastor is embraced in the 
words just quoted. He must preach ; but he must not preach his 
own inventions, nor the inventions of other men ; he must not 
preach his own imaginations, nor the imaginations of other men ; 
he must not -presLch fables and idle stories, though rendered sacred 
by tradition, and though prescription be urged in their defence ; 
but he must preach the worb, and this is all he must preach. 
This word is the word of God ; it is the word of promise ; it is 
THE word of faith ; it is the word of life ; it is the word of 
BEooNciLiATiON, ' to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the 
world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.' " 

As to the ordinances, meaning principally the Lord's 
Supper, he said: 

'< In attending to what may be termed gospel ordinances, be 
careful that they are not set up as idols before which the trem- 
bling knee must bend, and the fearful heart must shrink with 
horror ; but let them be administered as emblems and tokens of 
the divine favor, designed for our accommodation, edification and 
comfort ; and understand how to apply our Saviour's sentiment 



legarding the Sabbath to these oonyenienoeB. * The Sabbath ms 
made for man, not man for the Sabbath.' And, above all things, 
avoid the anti-Christian practice of ezduding from Christian 
ordinances such as are the purchase of the Saviour's blood, because 
their understandings are not graduated by your scale." 

Mr. Ballou persuaded the young candidate, who would 
be called to move about in a large circle of fashion, not 
to forget the poor. Jesus never disregarded such. 

/< Visit the people of your charge, the poor as well as the rich ; 
and let them always behold in you the open, frank, onoere friend ; 
the truly humble and faithful disciple of our divine Master. Prac- 
tise no artful dissimulation ; it is enmity to tiie spirit of Christ, 
it can never commend you to this people ; their genius would 
despise it." 

The candidate was warned ^t there were enemies 
without, and enemies within. He must keep a watch 
upon his own heart ; and, if he should be faithful, he 
would be an honor to himself, and he would stand like a 
pillar, a support and an ornament, in the temple of the 
New Jerusalem. 

<< Brother, you will meet with trials. There is opposition 
from without; there are imperfections that will war within. 
The first you will overcome with the sword of the Spirit, which is 
the word of Qod ; the latter * kind goeth not out but by fiisting 
and prayer.' 

. " For your encouragement, you will duly regard what the Spirit 
saith to the churches and to the angels of the churches : < Him 
that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my Qod, 
and he shall go no more out ; and I will write up<m him the name 
of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New 
Jerusalem. To him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is 
in the midst of the paradise of God.' I will ' give him a white 

* AGED 64. GE17BBAL OONVBNTION OF 1826. 808 

stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man know- 
eth, saying he that receiveth it.' " 

What other man could give a charge like father 
Ballou ? 

On that occasion the candidate felt all the deep respons- 
ibility of his situation. The prayer of consecration, 
offered by Father S. Strecter, has been answered ; C. 
Gardner has stood faithful to the cause of Christ to the 
present day. 


There was a mistake, in 1825, as to the time of the 
meeting of the Rockingham Association, and there were 
but two brethren in attendance, namely, Bev. Edward 
Turner and father Ballou. The meeting was holden in 
Nottingham, and was continued for two days. Both the 
preachers gave sermons on each day. The meetings were 
well attended, and many friends appeared, said Father 
B., and gave much proof of their c(»nmendable zeal and 
devotion to the cause in which the association professes 
to be engaged. The meeting adjourned to Meredith 
Bridge, N. H. 


The convention met this year at Hartland, Y t. Bev. 
Paul Dean was elected moderator. Twenty-four preach- 
ers were present. Sermons were preached by Brs. S. 
Cobb, then of Waterville, Me. ; H. Ballou, from 1 Kings 
8:5; William Morse, late of Philadelphia ; S. Streeter, 

304 LIFB OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1825. 

of Boston, and Rev. P. Dean. Mr. Dean in his sermon 
avowed distinctly Trinitarian opinions, attempting to 
maintain from his text (Acts 20 : 28) that it was God 
himself who suffered upon the cross. This, we believe, 
was the last time the doctrine of the Trinity ever was 
preached before the convention. It was thought at the 
time that Mr. D. was more of a Trinitarian than he 
would have been if Mr. B. had not been a Unitarian. 


The Universalist meeting-house on the island of Nan- 
tucket was dedicated on the 3d of November. Although 
Mr. Ballou had done much to build up the Universalist 
society in that place, it was not possible for him to be 
present at the dedication, and the sermon was preached 
by Rev. Joshua Flagg, which, we believe, was the last 
sermon he ever preached at the dedication of a church. 
A meeting-house was also dedicated on the 17th of this 
month, at Brooklyn, Susquehanna county. Pa., though 
with that Mr. B. had no direct connection, as he had 
never been in that part of the country. . Still another 
house was dedicated this month, namely, the new brick 
one at Haverhill, Mass. ; and at the latter service both 
fether Ballou and the writer were present, with Br. 
William Bell, then of Salem, N. H. The sermon was 
preached by father B., and a discourse in the evening 
by Mr. Whittemore, from Deut. 32 : 31. We remember 
this journey very well. The two last-named persons 
started from Boston in a chaise, and rode to Haverhill on 
Tuesday. On Wednesday, the services which we have 

AGED 64. DEDICATIONS IN 1826. 806 

described took place. On Thursday morning, all the 
preachers rode to Pelham, N. H., where a public meet- 
ing was holden in the Methodist church, which was some- 
times used by the Universalists. It was the day of 
the annual Thanksgiving in New Hampshire. A large 
number of persons came together, and listened to a ser- 
mon in the forenoon from Mr. W., based upon Col. 8 : 
25. In the afternoon father B. preached, what we find 
described in our journal as '*a most excellent sermon." 
The text was, ^' Behold what manner of loye the Father 
hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons 
of God." — 1 John 8 : 1. The great aim of the preacher 
was to show what manner of love it is which God cher- 
ishes towards mankind. It was not a partial lo¥e ; it 
was not a fickle, changeable love ; it was not a blind, 
undisceming love ; it was not a purchased love ; for 
'' many waters, cannot quench love, neither can the floods 
drown it : if a man would give all the substance of his 
house for love, it would utterly be contemned." The 
love of God was higher than all earthly love, higher 
than that of an earthly par^t to his o&pring, higher 
than that of a tender mother to her nursing infant ; for 
she may forget her child, but God cannot forget his chil- 
dren. There is only one thing God can forget, and that 
is the iniquity of man; for he saith, '^ Their sins and 
their iniquities will I remember no more." ^'Behold 
what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon'us," 
said the preacher ; and here he entered into a thrilling 
description of God's love as compared with his other at- 
tributes! His love was as great as his wisdom; it was 
as great as his power. God has manifested his wisdom 


806 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1825. 

in everything he has made. With what force did the 
preacher here introduce the passage, " Lord, how 
manifold are thy works ! in wisdom hast thou made them 
aW^ God never made anything, said he, that does not 
manifest his wisdom. His love is as extensive as his 
wisdom. What would wisdom be, if not accompanied by 
love 7 It would be mere cunning, and would be more 
dangerous than even folly itself And behold the power 
of God : he is almighty ; " he doeth his will in the army 
of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and 
none can stay his hand, or say unto him, why doest thou 
so?" The power of God is unbounded, infinite ; but it 
is no greater than his love. What is power, if unaccom- 
panied by benevolence or love ? It is fearful. Power 
without love and kindness makes the tyrant ; there is 
nothing which is more to be dreaded than power unaccom- 
panied with wisdom and love. We see, then, that in 
God these three attributes harmoniously blend. " Be- 
hold (said he) what manner of love the Father hath be- 
stowed upon us." It is a love as great as his wisdom, as 
great as his power ; and, of course, it is infinite. Thus 
the preacher went on, enlightening our minds, and draw- 
ing out our hearts in fervent gratitude to the Eternal 
One, who is the author of all our blessings. The effect 
of the sermon was great. Men who were not used to 
weep, wept then, — not tears of terror, but of joy, of 
gratitude, of contrition, that they had sinned against so 
great and so good a being. Almost every hearer went 
away from the house musing upon the theme, ^[ Behold 
what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, 
that we should be called the sons of Gt)d." But we must 


here close the description. We went to spend the night 
at the house of Rev. William Bell, and on the next day 
we rode together to Boston. 


We have shown, under the year 1824, the views which 
Mr. Ballou took of various important subjects. There was 
one on which he was almost always deliberating, name- 
ly, that of retribution. He believed most devoutly that 
God wiU render to every man according to his deeds ; 
that there is no possibility that the sinner can escape the 
punishment of his sins. He was careful never to repre- 
sent punishment so distant that the effect of it would be 
lost, or so great as to appear improbable. He believed 
that it would be impossible ever to punish the sinner ac- 
cording to his works, consistently with the partialist 

<< Respecting thk subject there seem to exist some- very unac- 
countable peculiarities in the opinions of religious people. All 
denominations of Christians profess to believe the apostle's declar- 
ation, that * God will render to every man according to his works.' 
Even the XJniversalists think they are of the apostle's opinion, 
though they are accused by all their opposers, of every creed, of 
denying this divine testimony directly. 

<< It must be acknowledged, by everyone who is at all acquainted 
with the Scriptures, that they are not clearer on any one subject 
than on this. But, is it a fact that religious people, generally, 
believe this plain, Scripture doctrine 1 Is it a fact that the oppos- 
ers of Universalism, who accuse the XJniversalists of denying this 
doctrine of retribution, do indeed believe it themselves ? For my- 
self, I am fully satisfied that they do not. And I will here state 

808 LIF£ OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1826. 

certain things wnich they profess to believe, which fully deny the 
apostle's testimony. They profess to believe, and they are engaged 
in defending it as a fundamental doctrine of Christianity, that €in 
is infinite, and deserves infinite punishment ; and they also as fully 
believe and as zealously contend that th^ themselves, and all the 
rest of mankind, < have sinned and come short of the glory of God ; ' 
and yet they do not believe that they are to endure this infinite 
punishment. They profess to believe that many of the human 
family will endure it to all eternity, but they do not even pretend 
to believe that they are thus to suffer. The apostle says, ' God 
will render to every man accor^g to his deeds.' He gives no 
intimation that a wicked man, who, among other abominations, 
accuses the Universalists of denying the apostle's doctrine of ret- 
ribution, shall not receive according to l^is deeds ! These reli- 
gious professors openly, boldly and fearlessly, present themselves 
before their Maker, and tell him to his face that they have so 
vilely transgressed his commands that, according to strict justice, 
they deserve to be conngned to endless woe ; and then, with about 
the same countenance, and in the same monotonous yoice, they 
close the dull performance of addressing the Supreme Being, by 
formally thanking him for his &vor, which, on the one hand, 
remits the punishment which is according to their deeds, and, on 
the other, without the consideration of the least merit, grants them 
a state of never-ending, unspeakfible felidty ! " 


But Mr. Ballou did not always dwell upon contro- 
versy. He had frequent moments of pious meditati^m, 
in which he realized the truth of the apostle's assurance, 
"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to thee." 
He did not often commit these thoughts to paper. He 
had not a taste for that kind'of daily record which some 
pious people keep of the exercises of their minds. He 
had so often seen outward forms abused, that, if be erred 


at all, it was in paying too little respect to them. Publio 
festings and proclamations for days of prayer he regarded 
as violations of the injunction of the* Son of God, who 
said, "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and 
when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which 
is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall 
reward thee openly." Most careful was he not to " draw 
nigh to God with the mouth and honor him with the lips, 
while the heart was far from him." Vital piety, that 
lived and glowed in the soul, he loved. No man was 
more susceptible of pious emotions than he. No man 
reflected more upon God, or held more secret and spiritual 
communion with him. He inherited from his &ther a 
deeply religious nature, that was ever overflowing, like a 
gushing spring, with gratitude and praise. We recollect 
a short article which he published this year, which will 
corroborate what we have said. It was given in the form 
of an " Address to the Deity." 

*' Supreme Majesty of heaven ! wilt thou permit those sensitiyo 
powers and faculties of mind which thou hast combined in me 
to speak in thine ear ? Yes, I am assured, though thou art infi- 
nite in thy glorious perfections, it is not inconsistent with thy 
greatness to indulge the aspirations which it is thy pleasure to 
awaken in the most humble being who is the production of thy 

*' When I behold thee in those twinkling stars which attract 
my wondering eyes, and contemplate thy wisdom, thy power and 
thy goodness, which are displayed in all their perfections in those 
unnumbered worlds, my heart and all my affections are kindled 
into devotion, and my whole soul becomes one flame of grateful 
incense on thine altar. Lord, thou wilt accept it, for that 
flame is thine own breath. 

" And when the curtains of the night are withdrawn, and the 

810 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1825. 

glory and beauty of the morning call me from sweet and refresh- 
ing slumbers, and mine eyes are opened to behold the welcome 
ruler of the day, who advances, at thy command, to scattter 
unnumbered blessing^ through earth and sea, the outgoings of the 
morning make my heart rejoice, and inspire devotions which are 
as fervent and as acceptable to thee as those of the evening. 

*' When, directed by a portion of thy wisdom, I contemplate 
thy varied goodness, the productions of the several seasons of the 
year, which are abundantly ample to dupply the wants of crea- 
tion, and so perfectly adapted to the oonstitutionB and appetites 
of those beings who wait to receive their food from thee, my heart 
becomes extended in gratitude, and seeks the fellowship of every 
living thing, to assist in rendering to the Giver of every good and 
perfect gift the grateful homage due for such mercies. 

" But, as it has suited the counsels of thine unerring wisdom 
that man shall be raised to a scale of being which shall be free 
from the imperfections of his earthly nature and constitution, thoa 
hast, in goodness, appointed that the imperfections of the present 
state serve to bring to dissolution our present mode of existence, 
that the more glorious may succeed. This, by thy divine favor, 
thou hast brought to light through the brightness of thy glory, 
whom thou hast appointed Lord of the dead and of the living. 
When, enlightened by thy word and quickened by thy grace, I 
am enabled to realize these gospel truths, and connect with them 
thy gracious favor in the forgiveness of my trangressions, — repent- 
ance, humility, gratitude, and joy unspeakable, seem to vie with 
each other in a heart which now loves thee to the fulness of all 
its powers. 

" Wilt thou, my God, preserve in me these hopes and joys, 
and keep alive this celestial fire of sweet devotion, that by their 
influence the powers of temptation may be resisted, and the soul 
that loves thee be preserved from evil I " — Universalist Magazine , 
vol. VII., p. 102. 


The subject of future retribution dwelt much in Mr. 


B.'s thoughts. He had come to an honest result him- 
self, and he desired to bring others to the same con- 
viction. But his mind was always open to evidence, 
like the watchful eye to the sunlight, or the thirsting 
earth to the refreshing shower. He said : 

*< As the subject of a future state of retribution has received 
much attention, and as considerable ability has been employed, 
both to maintain and refute the doctrine, from Scripture author- 
ity, and as I feel well satisfied, for one, that the Bible teaches no 
such doctrine, it seems proper that I should endeavor to be able, 
if possible, to give a satisfactory answer to such questions as are 
suggested, and such as the subject, in conjunction with the preju- 
dices of education, is calculated to elicit." 

He felt desirous to settle this question by the divine 
testimony; but those who contended the most earnestly 
for a belief in future punishment did not seem disposed 
to rely entirely on such a source for evidence. 

" The reason why I am now particularly inclined to notice 
some objections which are suggested, is because these are now more 
relied on to prevent people from giving up the doctrine of a future 
state of punishment than any quotations which are brought from 
the Scriptures ; and yet we acknowledge the latter to be our only 
infallible guide. It appears very evident that all those passages 
which have been generally applied to a state of retribution, in a 
future world, are capable, to say the least, of an application 
which finds their accomplishment in the present mode of existence. 
And it seems that those who feel engaged in supporting the former 
and general use of the above-maintained passages are sufficiently 
aware of this fact, which renders it necessary for them to propose 
these arguments, not from Scripture, but firom reason." 

He enjoyed, about this time, an interview with a Uni- 

312 LIFE OP HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1825. 

tarian preacher, during which came up the subject of 
which we have spoken. 

'< It is now bafc a few days since I enjoyed a very pleasant oppor- 
tunity, in conversation with a Unitarian preacher. We foond 
that on most of subjects embracing doctrines, we were perfectly 
agreed ; and I thought he manifested as little relish for Ortho- 
doxy as myself. But there was one question with which he 
seemed disposed to fiivor the doctrine of a future retribution, 
though he was by no means inclined to contend that punishment 
will be endless. The sum of his question was this : If a man of 
power and wealth oppress the honest and industrious, and swell 
his own coffers by such oppressions, — if he, being artful, in order 
to cover his iniquities, goes so f^r in them as to persecute and put 
the just to death, all the time so deceiving the public as to secure 
to himself the respect and even homage of society at large, and 
lives in this deceit and wickedness until old age, and dies suddenly, 
at last, without repentance, — how can it be made to appear that 
such a sinner is revrarded according to his works, unless he 
receive a punishment for his sins in a future state? 

In reply to this question, which is not new, but has been urged 
against the Universalists as long as I can remember to have heard 
of TJniversalism, I vras led to proceed aa follows : 
' 1. K it had pleased our heavenly Father to reveal in his written 
word anything which so applies to this question as to make it evi- 
dent that such a person, so liviog and so dying, must be punished 
in the world to come, there could "he no need of this question, 
because such Scripture being adduced would decide the whole con- 
troversy. Here I paused, and intimated that, if he beHeyed that 
there was any such Scripture, I expected he would bring it in 
place of his question. But he, in room of intimating that any 
such Scripture could be brought, desired me, in a very good- 
natured manner, to proceed and answer to the question as it 
stood. My reply, then, proceeded on the following Scriptures as 
its foundation : ' Eccle. 4 : 1, 2, — < So I returned, and consid- 
ered all the oppressions that are done under the sun : and, behold, 
the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter ; 


and on the side of their oppresBors there was power ; but they had 
no comforter. Wherefore I praised the dead which are already 
dead more than the living which are yet alive.' Solomon says, in 
ProT. 3 : 17, speaking of wisdom : ' Her ways are ways of pleas- 
antness, and all her paths are peace.' 13 : 15, — ' The way of 
transgressors is hard.' Isa. 57 : 21, — < There is no peace, saith 
my God, to the wicked.' 

<' The first of the above passages seemed to meet his question as 
dir^tly as if it had been written for that express purpose ; and, 
taken in comiection with the others, seemed to lay open the whole 
subject. All who are oppressed under the sun enjoy as much 
peace and pleasantness as are the natural consequences of all the 
righteousness which they practise in walking in the ways of wis- 
dom ; and this leaves all their sufferings, which are caused by the 
injustice of their oppressors, no other character, in reference to 
themselves, than those physical evils possess which are acknowl- 
edged to be inflicted by the hand of divine Providence. As moral 
beings, then, our enjoyments, at all times, correspond vnth the 
degree of moral righteousness to which we attain. This being 
established, it must follow, on the other hand, that the trans- 
gressor, at all times, as a moral being, suffers in a due proportion 
to the degree of vnckedn^iss of which he is guilty. The man, 
therefore, who was made the subject of the Unitarian's question, 
did, in fact, endure a suffering, during his whole lifetime, which 
corresponded with the wickedness which he had practised. As to 
what this man appeared to enjoy, there certainly could not be any 
more of moral enjoyment than there was of conscious integrity in 
the means which procured his enjoyment ; and surely no Christian 
ought to allow that sensuality is real happiness. 

*' If it were the sentiment of Solomon that oppressors, after 
they die, are miserable in consequence of the oppressions which 
they practise while they live, and that they enjoy much while 
they are practising their oppressions, why should he say, < Where- 
fore I praised the dead which are already dead, more than the 
living which are yet alive ' ? Whether this sort of reasoning gave 
my Unitarian brother any satisfaction, he did not directly inform 
me ; though, by his smiling and making no objections to my 


814 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1825. 

answer, I thought that he did not view it to be very excep- 

But it was sometimes alleged bj Mr. B.'s opponents 
that there must be a retribution in the future state, in 
order to prepare the impenitent, by discipline and correc- 
tion, for a state of happiness. This, he said, was a very 
amiable objection, and did not seem to proceed from that 
spiritual pride and Phariseeism which led men sooietimes 
to hope that sinners would be punished hereafter, and to 
assert that God would be partial to the wicked, and unjust 
to his saints, if all men should be made happy in the 
future world. 

<< The objection, in this form, has one amiable quality which waa 
not discovered in the other views in which we have considered it. 
It now becomes disencumbered of the doctrine of retaliation, and 
ceases to oppose the doctrine on the ground of partiality. He 
who urges the objection in its present shape feels no disposition 
to maintain the doctrine of future retribution merely because he 
is not willing that the chiefest of sumers should be happy imme- 
diately, even to-day, nor yet because such may not have suffered 
what punitive justice requires ; but his objection rests on the 
necessity of punishment in the future world, as a corrective, 
designed to bring the impenitent to a holy submission to the divine 
government and to the law of love. 

'^ In order to give it a due consideration, in the shape in which 
we now have it, it becomes necessary to institute an inquiry 
respecting the nature and tendency of punishment to produce that 
reconciliation to the divine government which the objector looks 
to as the effect to be produced by it. This inquiry will necessa- 
rily be, what sort or kind of punishment will naturally tend to 
bring the sinner to love the law of holiness ? The objector is 
called on to resolve this question in his mind ; for, if he does him- 
self /ove the law of holiness, and if he wus brought to love it by 


being afflicted ynih punishment, no doabt he can answer the 
question. It seems a proper one for the consideration of all those 
who profess to be genuine lovers of holiness. Were they brought 
into the spirit of this love by enduring punishment, such as is 
contended will be inflicted on the wicked in the future world ? 
The question is of such importance that it may be urged in 
another form : Were the ancient patriarchs, the prophets of old, 
the apostles and primitive Christians, brought into the spirit of 
divine love by enduring such punishment as it is said will be 
inflicted on the wicked in the future world ? 

<< If this question be duly considered, it must be granted at 
once that there will be no need of any severer punishment, in the 
future world, to reconcile sinners to God, than those have endured 
in this world who have been thus reconciled, unless it can be 
maintained that the wicked, in the next state of existence, will be 
more obdurate than they are in this world, which may render a 
more intense punishment necessary. 

<' It is very possible that a correct understanding of the subject 
of punishment, as to its utility, may be of service in this place. 
That our heavenly Father does punish us for our benefit, by 
causing us to endure the necessary and inseparable consequences 
of our crimes and folly, is a fact which we have already sufficiently 
proved from Scripttire ; but that such punishment produces in ub 
love to the moral principle of divine holiness seems very doubtful. 
It ia the loveliness of an object which induces the mind to love it, 
not the hatefulness of its opposite. Moreover, it must be allowed 
that the proper, proximate cause of our love of the principle of 
divine holiness must continue, in order for our love to continue. 
But who' will contend that punishment must continue in order to 
keep us steadfast in the divine love 1 

** Let this subject be illustrated thus : The briers, the thorns 
and the thistles, which perplex and torture the traveller who has 
wandered from the right path, tend to arrest his progress, and 
even to compel him to stop and consider. While in this perplex- 
ity, he hears' a voice behind him, * saying, This is the way, walk 
ye in it.' He turns and finds an highway, a smooth and beauti- 
ful path, in which he travels with ease. The difficulty which he "» 

316 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1826. 

found in one direction rendered him unwilling to proceed further 
in that way ; but the good qualities of the other reconciled him 
to it, and continued to grant him satis&ction while he continued 
to travel in it. 

, << If we have now a correct understanding of the necefisity and 
utility of punishment or chastisement, it shows us, at once, that 
there can be no use for this punishment in the next state of exist- 
ence, unless there be some wrong path in which the traveller will 
there wander. There must be, in that future state, the same appe- 
tites and passions, the same lusts to tempt and draw away, as those 
which, in this mortal state, lead into sin ; or our heavenly Father 
must provide us with a dififerent constitution, possessed of different 
passions and lusts, which may there serve to lead us into sins 
corresponding with such constitution and passions, or there 
seems to be no ground on which to maintain this necessity of 
punishment in a future state. J£ either philosophy or the Scrip- 
tures teach us to believe that our next state of existence is to be a 
peccable state, I am in the dark reacting this subject, and need 
to be conducted into the light." 

We feel a sincere desire to give Mr. Ballou, even 
tbough he now is dead, the fullest opportunity to speak 
for himself on this interesting topic. His language will 
describe his own opinions, touching this matter, better 
than any form of words which we can devise. He paid 
no little attention to the views of his Unitarian brethren. 
They were very liberal, he thought, on the subject of 
future punishment, except on those occasions when their 
Orthodox antagonists took advantage of their liberality, 
to represent them as inclining to Universalism ; and then 
they would preach the supposed terrors of eternity as 
severely as any other class. 

*< I have never been able to learn that the Unitarian divines 
^have framed any system of doctrine respecting this subject. They 


appear to maintain it by no argument ; but merely to state it aa 
a fact, and as if it were not disputed. They generally, or fre- 
quently, at least, state it, wholly or in part, in the language of 
some passage of Scripture, which th^ very well know the com- 
mon people understand as referring to such a subject, and the 
divines entirely depend on popular prejudice to justify themselves 
in the procedure. 

** They congratulate themselves, however, on account of their 
not making the future state of the wicked quite as bad as our 
Calvinistic divines represent it ; but, if they find the Calvinists 
disposed to make use of this in any way unfavorable to the popu- 
larity of the Unitarians, they will then go to work in earnest, and 
insist on the existence of a hell so dreadful that it would even 
fright themselves, if they should believe one-half of their own 

" Kthe reader should say that the above statement seems to 
wear an uncharitable aspect, he must be told that the sole reason 
is, it is a true representation of the case. If the question be 
asked, how I can justify them in their proceedings, I answer : I 
have no right to judge them as -to their motives, and therefore, as 
they are not accountable to me, I judge them not. * To their own 
Master they stand or fall.' 

" The doctrine of a future retribution, as taught by our Uni- 
tarian divines, is this, — that happiness and misery, in the future 
world, wiU be enjoyed and suffered accordingly as men shall have 
lived virtuously or otherwise in this world. This is their simple 
statement, and it is likewise the statement of Calvinistic divines ; 
but what they respectively mean to teach by this statement is 
vastly different. The Calvinists intend to teach that all who are 
regenerated by the irresistible grace of God are the virtuous, and 
that all the rest are wicked, let them do ever so well as to their 
acts between man and man. But, unlike the Calvinists, the 
Unitarians are so^beral as to allow every man a due reward for 
all his virtues, and a due punishment for every transgression. It 
must furthermore be understood, that the Calvinists have but one 
heaven for all the righteous, and one hell for all the wicked ; 
while Unitarians, whether they know it or not, if we may believe 


818 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1826. 

what they preach, maintain that there will be no other distinctioiu, 
in the conditions of men in the future state, than such an infinity 
of variations as shall correspcmd with the infinite variety of moral 
character formed in this mortal life. None who have sinned 
will ever be so happy as they would have been if they had never 
sinned ; and none will be so miserable as they would have been 
if they had been more sinful in this world. This doctrine cer- 
tainly allows that everlasting condemnation will be endured, and 
everlasting happiness enjoyed, by the same individual. For 
instance : David, King of Israel, will be forever justified for the 
good deeds which he did, and in that justification will enjoy ever- 
lasting felicity ; on the other hand, as he was, in some of his acts, 
extremely wicked, so for such acts he will be forever condemned, 
and in that condemnation will endure everlasting sorrow. And, 
taking David for an example, will it not be so with every indi- 
vidual of the human race ? St. Paul, before his conversion to 
Christianity, was a most infuriate persecutor of Jesus and his 
disciples, for which he must suffer everlasting condemnation ; but 
after his conversion he was a faithful disciple and minister of his 
divine Master, and fi>r this he will enjoy everlasting justifica- 
tion. And, taking St. Paul fi)r an example, so will it be with all 

'< I shaU not undertake to state all the objections to this doc- 
trine which might be brought ; but a few may be mentioned. 

'< Ist. It is based on the supposed fiict that what is denomi- 
nated sin is an evil, which must be attended with evil consequences 
eternally, and this constitutes an infinite evil. This should not 
be allowed, as it must involve the original cause of this evil in 
moral blame. But it certainly does not require a very minute 
investigation to arrive at the fact, that the original cause must be 
good ; and when this is se^i, it is perfectly consistent to allow 
that the final result of all things must be the same as the original 

<< 2d. This doctrine is not worthy of our belief as Christians 
for this very good reason, the founder of Christianity never 
taught it. Our blessed Saviour never informed his disciples that 


they should suffer, in the eternal world, everlasting condemnation 
for the faults of this mortal life. 

<< 3d. This doctrine is a denial of the New Testament doctrine 
of entire sanctification. St. Paul speaks of a sanctification which 
shall leave neither spot nor torinkle; and the beloved disciple 
says, the blood of Christ ckqnseth from all sin. Surely, if David 
and Paul are to suffer everlastingly for their sins, and every other 
sinner also, it is very difficult to understand the doctrine of entire 
sanctification. But, 

** 4thly. There is hardly any view of this doctrine which shows 
its impropriety more evidently than its awarding everlasting hap- 
piness for our virtues ia this world, but no reward for any good we 
may be employed in hereafter ; and, on the other hand, as award- 
ing endless punishment for our sins in this world, but providing 
no punishment for wrongs which the wicked vnll practise in the 
future state." 


Notwithstanding these views of Mr. Ballou were widely 
different from those of other Christians, he embraced all 
true followers of the Lord Jesus in the arms of his charity. 
Especially did he desire to see the two classes of Univei^- 
salists, who were distinguished by their different views 
on this subject, walking together in love. We have before 
shown (vol. ii. 228, note) how ardent were his feelings 
on this point. He had his views, and they were very 
dear to him ; and he could not change them without evi- 
dence, nor could he keep them back from the knowledge 
of his fellow-men; but he was willing others should 
enjoy all the privileges which he claimed for himself. 
He could hate no one, not even his worst enemies. He 
loved Universalists with a fondness, becoming, with the 
increase of his years, somewhat paternal. He held that 

820 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 182€. 

they need not be split into parties ; they could mSk 
together in loye. If they had differences, they coald 
saffer them in charity ; for those who held that all things 
should end well at last, should not become divided about 
the ways and means, or the times and seasons. '' Let ns 
not embitter our intercourse during the journey of life,'' 
he would say, '* in consequence of our differences of 
opinion as to what shall happen at the end thereo£ We 
believe that all shall end well at last; and let this be 
the bond of our union." 

BBcnoN XI. — man's mobal freedom. 

Mr. Ballou regretted deeply that the Unitarian divines 
had adopted not only loose and unscriptural views con- 
cerning the future state, but he felt that they had also 
received certain opinions concerning the freedom of man, 
in his volitions and powers, which were at variance with 
the omniscience of God, and the divine sovereignty. 
The fact that Unitarians rejected the doctrine of the 
Trinity, a course in which he early and fearlessly led the 
way, endeared them to him ; and he was grieved to see 
their timidity, and their attachment to certain errors of 
the Arminian cast. The early Arminians had some 
reasons for avowing the doctrine of free agency, which 
the Unitarians had not ; for the former believed in a 
punishment absolutely endless and infinite, and they 
therefore felt the need of the doctrine of total human 
freedom, that they might save the divine character unim- 
peached by throwing upon man the entire responsibility 
of his endless ruin. But the Unitarians of New England, 

AGED 65. man's MORAL FREEDOM. 821 

if they would but carry out their own benign principles 
concerning the divine character, especially as taught by 
Dr. Channing, need not hesitate to ascribe to God all that 
should happen to man, for all should be benevolent, and 
should redound to his glory. There was but little contro- 
versy among Universalists on the subject of human agency 
and divine sovereignty, in that day ; but Mr. B. sought to 
show the Unitarians that their views were opposed to fhe 
divine foreknowledge ; for how could God know an event 
to be certain^ which it was not at all certain would ever 
take place ? 

" With this laudable candor, be so good, brethren, as to look 
at some particular cases. Agreeably to your acknowledged belief in 
the divine foreknowledge, you allow that it was always known to 
God that the persecuting Saul of Tarsus would, on his way to 
Damascus, be converted, and become a faithful disciple and min- 
ister of Jesus Christ ; but the views which you maintain of human 
agency suppose that it was possible for Saul to have resisted the 
operations of divine favor designed to effect his conversion, and to 
have remained an obstinate opposer and an inveterate persecutor 
of the Christian faith, all the days of his life. Can you, brethren, 
candidly look at these propositions in your creed, without seeing 
a direct contradiction ? But you will say that this agency must 
be maintained, or you must consent to the Calvinistio doctrine of 
irresistible grace. Well, but you should consider that it is not 
irresistible grace to which you are, agreeably to your other tenets, 
necessarily opposed, but only to the partiality of grace, which 
may be irreostibly exercised for the conversion of sinners. If you 
believe that God will finally reconcile all men to himself, by the 
efficient operations of his favor, the belief that this grace is irre- 
sistible, in room of opposing, necessarily harmonizes with such an 
exalted sentiment. If you, like the Calvinists, believed in the doc- 
trine of endless sin and misery, you could not allow that divine 

322 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1826. 

grace is irresistible in its operatioiis, without believing aJso in its 
partiaJity ; and it is this partiality alone which renders ineBistible 
grace exceptionable even to Arminians. But what objection can 
you have to the doctrine of irresistible grace, now, since you have 
given up the belief of never-ending mn. and misery ?" 

Mr. Ballou reasoned here on the ground that the 
Unitarians rejected the doctrine of endless sin and misery. 
But this they did not generally do. Some of them, less 
timid than the rest, would reject it with abhorrence, and 
intimate a hope that perhaps all men would be saved from 
sin at last ; but none of them professed to approye his 
idea that the Bible teaches no state of sin and punish- 
ment beyond the grave. This they professed to regard 
as a dangerous doctrine. 


Mr. Ballou was in favor of a free system of pulpit 
exchangea between clergymen of different sects. 

<* Why should not ministers of different denominations and of 
various creed& condescend to exchange pulpit labors with each 
other ? WiU it be said that, by so doing, the Galvinist would 
show too much lenity to Arminians and Universalists ; that 
Arminians, in so doing, would give too much countenance to Cal- 
vinism and Universalism, and th&t Universalists would thereby be 
too tolerant in regard to the partial creeds of the other two ? It 
is confidently believed that many good reasons may be rendered 
against such objections. In what age of the world, and where 
was it ever known that an exclusive spirit ever dictated those 
means which were best calculated to promote truth and to sup- 
press errort " 


In the days of which we speak, it was a rare thing for 
a Unitarian clergyman to exchange with a Universalist, 
except the latter were one who believed in a limited 
future punishment, to whom a little more lenity, in this 
matter, was shown. On this state of things, Mr. Ballou 
remarked : 

<' As to our Arminian or Unitarian brethren, they profess to be 
liberal ; they are willing to exchange with other denominations 
in aU cases where they think the advantage is fairly on their side. 
They will exchange with the Congregational Orthodox, or the 
Oalyinistic Baptists, because they are persuaded that they can 
expose their errors, and reconcile the people to ^eir own peculiar 
doctrines. But, if a Universalist proposes an exchange, he is 
politely informed by the minister that he would be glad to 
exchange, but he fears it would give ofifence to his people. He is 
not afraid of offending his people with Orthodoxy, of which they 
believe nothing ; but Universalism, which the minister himself 
believes, as well as nearly all his hearers, he is afraid will offend 

<' But, after all, on general principles, liberality is visibly on the 
increase ; and the period is not far distant, as we hope, when 
different names vrill subside, and the true lovers of Christ and his 
religion become as united in their walk as they always are in 


The common doctrine of probation Mr. Ballou did not 
believe. In his sight it was unreasonable and unscrip- 
tural. The word probation occurs nowhere in the 
Bible ; nor any word, or form of words, that signify what 
the divines mean by the doctrine of probation. The 
common doctrine of the Unitarian divines was, that men 

824 LIFB OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1826. 

are placed in this world to be trained for another ; that the 
preparation is our great work here. Mr. Ballon did not 
believe this. He saw no such notion taught in the Scrip- 
tures. God had not suspended man's endless happiness 
on his mere human acts. We should think a parent 
excessively cruel who should determine the whole charac- 
ter of his child's existence, by its acts when it was in the 

'< 0, Father of loye ! how long shall thy children be blind to thy 
goodness ? When <xod created man and placed him in the garden, 
did he preach to him this doctrine of probation ? Did he tell him 
that he was placed here to prepare for another world ? No ; God 
told man to * be firuitful, and to multiply and replenish the 
earth.' And, if we had no other teacher than Adam had, we 
should never think that^pur future eternal state depended on any- 
thing but the wisdom and goodness of that Being who is the 
author of this." 


ntOM JUNE 1820 TO JUNE 1827. 


In June, of this year, Mr. Balloa visited once more 
the place of his early residence, namely, Dana, Mass. 
His object was to attend the annual session of the South- 
ern Association of Universalists. The delegates con- 
vened at the house of ApoUos Johnson, Esq.,* one of the 
brightest and best men ever reared in Dana ; amiable in 
character, enterprizing but just in business, who always 
believed, professed and honored Universalism, and whose 
sickness and death, some time after this date, shed as 
bright a lustre on the truth as had been reflected from 
his life. Rev. Joshua Flagg, who then resided in Dana, 
was elected moderator. We shall not describe very par- 
ticularly this meeting. One item of business was the 
passing of a resolution declaring that Elias Smith was 
no longei; a member of the Universalist denomination, for 
the reason that he had renounced the faith. Mr. Ballou's 
sermon, on the afternoon of the last day, was from these 

* The son of Aaron, mentioned in yol i., p. 99» of this work. 


826 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1826. 

words : " The Lord taketh pleasure in his people," — Psa. 
149 : 4. It was an able sermon, and gave much satis- 
faction to a very large collection of persons, among whom 
were some that had listened to the preacher in the dajs 
of his early manhood. But the most of those who used 
in those days to rally round him were gone ; and he made 
a very affecting allusion to them, at the close. There was 
scarcely ^n eye in the house that did not overflow. And 
when, at the adjournment of the association, he lifted up 
his voice in prayer, at the special request of several 
brethren, there was such a life-like calling up of past 
scenes, such emotion, such mellowness and tremulous- 
ness of voice, such tenderness of cadence, and through the 
whole such a gentle flow of appropriate thoughts and 
language, that we remember very well all were deeply 
moved. Several sturdy men wept to that degree that 
they at once left the house at the close of the prayer, and 
walked into the neighboring grave-yard, as a place of 
quiet, where they could remain unobserved until the 
emotion passed away. The clerk said, in the usual cir- 
cular to the churches : 

V <* Our public services were attended by large numbers, whose 
breathless silence, overflowing hearts and glistening eyes, evinced 
that they were grateful and devout worshippers of God. And, if 
we may judge from the powerful effect which yras produced by 
the communications from the sacred altar, we labored not in vain, 
nor spent our strength for naught. There viras no worldly policy. 
The public speakers proclaimed their sentiments openly and ingen- 
uously, shunning not ' to declare all the counsel of God.' Con- 
vinced that * great is the truth and it shall prevail,' they were not 
fearful to expose it both to friends and enemies, with the hope 
that it would comfort the hearts of the former, and break down 


the oppoBition of the latter. It was peculiarly aflfecting to see the 
multitude of people whose heads * were silvered o'er with age,' 
some of whom had travelled their twenty, thirty and fifty mUes, 
worshipping, while, like Jacob, they leaned upon the tops of their 
Btaves. * Young men and maidens, old men and children, praised 
the name of the Lord.' " 


About the same time came out Balfour's '' Second In- 
quiry," which was designed to show that the words 
Satan, Devil, &c. &c., did not apply to a being, and 
that there was no evidence in the word of God, when 
properly interpreted, in proof of the existence of such a 
being. Mr. Balfour, by a comparison of all the passages 
of Scripture in which these words occurred, waa able to 
show this to demonstration. Mr. Ballou found great 
gratification, in reading the book, to see that the views 
taken by himself, more than thirty years earlier, had been 
clearly illustrated and abundantly proved. He addressed 
to Mr. Balfour the following epistle : 

"To Mb. "Walter Balfoub. 

" Sir : Having for more than thirty years been convinced that 
the Scriptures fiimish no evidence that virhat is in them termed 
Devil and Satan is a fidlen angel ; and having uniformly, in the 
discharge of the duties of the ministiy, both publicly and pri- 
vately, endeavored to dissuade people from the vulgar superstition 
respecting this subject ; and having, also, more than twenty years 
ago, published my opinion, and accounted for the temptation in 
the garden, and of our Saviour, in the way you have adopted in 
your late publication, as may be seen in my < Treatise on Atone- 
ment,' — you may be assured that it gives me no small satisfaction 
to find so much learning, ability and patience, employed on this 

828 LIFB OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1826. 

subject, 88 is found in your Second Inquiiy, and employed^ too, 
with each sucoeBS. 

<< Though the tribute be but small, as it is your due, I tender 
you my thanks for this service. 

<< In future ages it will be a matter of wonder to the carious, 
who shall acquaint themselyes with ancient opinioifti, that as late 
as A. D. 1826 it was necessary to publish a book for the expresB 
purpose of overcoming the superstitious belief in a personal Devil, 
who was supposed to be a &llen angel, and to whose agency the 
temptations of men were attributed. It will, unquestionably, be 
one point of their inquiry, to ascertain whether the author was 
one of the Orthodox clergy of his day ; but they will not find D. 
D. attached to his name. Whether people will, in the times to 
which I allude, know enough about the hypocrisy of our times, 
to determine how it should happen that the clergy generally, in 
this age, were defenders of such a ridiculous superstition, I am in 

" I really pity our clergy, for I most sincerely believe that they 
would honestly give up the old doctrine, concerning the Devil, if 
they were possessed of sufficient courage. But several considera- 
tions embarrass them. They have so long maintained this doc- 
trine, that they now feel ashamed to abandon it. The doctrine, 
too, has been of incalculable advantage to the cause in which they 
have been for ages engaged ; and they are in real doubt whether 
there is, or can be, a substitute found, which will be as profitable 
to them as the Devil has been ! Moreover, the sentiment is still 
retained, by many ignorant people, that there is a peculiar pte^y 
in the fear entertained of this invisible agent ; and when a min- 
ister, with a lon^ fitce, such as he has learned to put on by 
the assistance of his theological preceptors, expresses, in a low, 
hollow voice, some fearful appreheuEdons of Satan, there are not 
a few who venerate him for this indication of grace I All these 
advantages, and many more, operate as weights in the balance 
against the lighter one of ample honesty. However, the clergy 
will yield finally ; but not until so many of the populace give up 
the superstition as to render it safe for them to do so. 

<* There are some who, with the intention to keep themselves in 


oountenanoe, will pretend that the saperstition about the Devil is 
harmless, and therefore it is best not to disturb it. But candid 
discernment will see that when the vulgar noti(m about the Devil 
is discarded, the vast kingdom which has been assigned him in the 
invisible world veill have no existence, and that many other 
frightful notions vnll at once disappear. To these considerations 
we may add the vast advantage it is to every one to know that the 
lusts of his flesh are the only enemies which he need to resist. 

" Your Inquiry also into the extent of duration expressed by 
the terms Olim, Aion and Aionios,* must prove of no small 
advantage to those who are not familiar with the original 

*' But what, sir, do you expect from that formidable host who 
build their religion on the fear of future punishment in the invis- 
ible world, and who contend for the licentiousness of a contrary 
sentiment? Are you vnlling to endure the holy sneers which 
await you ? The cup of obloquy is • large, and it will be filled to 
running over, which you vnll receive at the hands of the righteous. 
Be patient, therefore, my brother, for you shall reap in due sea- 
son, if you fikint not. 

'' With sentiments of respect and gratitude, I am, sir, your 
obedient servant, Hosba Ballou." 


In August of tliis year, Mr. B. was called to part 
with another of his early friends, — a most estimable father 
in the profession of Universalism, — Dea. Moses Hall, of 
Charlestown, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. His 
sickness was a slow decline ; but, 0, with what patience, 

• The work was entitled, " An Inquiry into the Bcriptnral Doctrine 
oonoeming the Devil and Satan, and into the extent of Duration 
expressed by the terms OUm, Aion and Aionios, rendered everlasting, for-' 
ever, Ae,, in the common version, especially when applied to Punish- 
ment.*' By Walter Balfour. Charlestown : 1826. 


880 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1826. 

irith what cheerfulness, with what a spirit of rapture, was 
it endured ! If Dea. Hall had actually been able to look 
into the eternal world, as did Stephen the martyr, and to 
see what Stephen saw, he could not have been more re- 
signed and happy in the view of his departure. He left 
an amiable companion, and a large family of descendants, 
whom he exhorted to rejoice, rather than to mourn, that 
his deliverance from the pains of this life was so near. 
But there was another duty which lay near his heart. 
He sent for the Universalist clergymen settled in the 
vicinity of Boston to visit him, appointing a separate day 
for each ono. The writer will not attempt to describe 
what the dying man said to the others, but he remembers 
very well what he said to him. He gave me as hearty 
a greeting, when I entered his chamber, as it was possible 
for a man, as weak as he was, to do. I will compress an 
address of fifteen minutes into a very brief space. ^'I 
have sent for you, Br. Whittemore [stopping at almost 
every sentence to gather breath], I have sent for you to 
tell you of the value of Universalism. It is a glorious 
doctrinei I have tried it for many, many years. * * 
* * * 0, how precious has it been to me ! " He 
referred to my labors at Maiden, where I had been 
preaching a course of Sunday-evening lectures, and where 
several of his descendants lived ; and said, '' I have heard 
from Mr. Barrett * how much good you are doing there. 
Now, Br. W., I have sent for you to give you my dying 
testimony. ***** When they tell you our 
doctrine will not do to die by, you will know to the con- 

* WiUiam Barrett, Esq., his son-in-law. 


trary. ***** I am soon going, but I am 
happy, happy ! 0, the gospel is precious ! We part, 
but we shall meet again. Be faithful to the truth ! " His 
aged and venerable wife sat near, of the same faith with 
himself, whose countenance was lit up with satisfaction, to 
see her husband, whom she had loved so long, completely 
triumphant over the fear of death. 

** We are going to part," said she, " but it is as if he 
was only going a short journey : I shall meet him again 
very soon." It is a lesson of inestimable value that one 
learns in such a death-chamber. When he had said what 
he desired to express, "Now," said he, 'Met me hear 
you pray once more ; " and I knelt down at his bed-side, 
and thanked God for the power of Christian faith, and 
for the cheerful hope inspired by the gospel, that all men 
at last shall enter into the mansions of eternal rest. 
''Amen," he responded, and I left him, to meet him no 
more upon the earth. Mr. Ballou was called to attend 
the good man's funeral, and preached on the subsequent 
Sabbath in Gharlestown, from the words, "And by it, 
he being dead, yet speaketh," — Heb. 11: 4. In the 
course of this sermon he described his last earthly inter- 
view with the dying saint, as follows : 

^* A short time since, when I called to see him, when we both 
sapposed it was the last time we should speak to each other this 
side the grave, he conversed freely on the subject of his belief in 
-the salvation of all men. He seemed to feel desirous to give me 
and others to understand that his mind was clouded with no 
doubts ; that his confidence in the unbounded goodness of our 
heavenly Father remained unshaken. He was confident at that 
time that the day of his departure was at hand, and he expressed 
lui entire willingnefls to go, axid cB*id that he had no desire to 

832 LIFB OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. J>. 1826. 

reoorer his strength, or again to "walk abroad. He spoke to his 
son, who was present with me, of his approaching cLussolution, 
with as much composure of mind as I ever heard him oonverse on 
any subject in his life. He gave particular directions where he 
would have his body laid, and expressed his wishes respecting his 
funeral, requesting me to attend it. And, taking me by the hand, 
with a smile which indicated heavenly peace of soul, said, ^ Brother 
Ballon, I jQrmly believe that I shall meet you again in the king- 
dom of our heavenly Father, where we shall part no more.' 
Many happy moments had we spent together, but this seemed to 
surpass them all. It was joy to my heart to witness the triumphs 
of his faith, and my prayer was that my last days might be like 


The General Convention of this year met at Wells, 
Vt, a town in the western part of Rutland county, ad- 
joining the State of New York. The principal fiwst con- 
cerning this session was that Hosea Ballou was not pres- 
ent: Thirty-five years in succession f had he attended 
the meetings of that body ; and now, for once, he was not 
there. It must have been either that he was sick and 
unable to go, or else he was absent upon a journey. No 
small hindrance would have induced him to omit his 

* This sermon was pablished, and was entitled " The Speech of the 
Dead ; a Sermon occasioned by the Death of Dea. Moses Hall. Deliv- 
ered in Gharlestown, the first Sabbath in August, 1826." Boston: 1826. 

t We said repeatedly, in the first volume, that Mr. BaUou's invariable 
custom was to attend the sessions of the convention. This was strictly 
true. We further said that he attended the meetings of that body " for 
nearly a half-century," p. 72 ; and in another place we added, <<for 
more than forty years," p. 391. The latter expressions need some qual- 
ification. It was just thirty-five years in succession that he attended 
without any omission, namely, firom 1791 to 1825, inolosive. 

AGED 66. CONVENTION OF 1826. 888 

attendance. The Rev. Hosea Ballou, 2nd, was elected 
moderator, and Revs. L. Willis and Warren Skinner 
clerks. Sermons were preached by Revs. L. Willis, W. 
Skinner, B. Hickox, H. Ballou, 2nd, D. Skinner, and 
Sebastian Streeter, who had arrived at some time 
during the session. The brother last named wrote the 
epistle to the churches for this year, from which we make 
the following extracts : 

<' From unavoidable causes, several brethren in the ministry, 
whose presence was expected, were absent ; but a respectable 
number, some from a great distance, by the good providence of 
Qod, attended. Many societies sent representatives, and many 
others forwarded communications refreshing to our hearts, and 
encouraging to our future prospects. 

* # # * # • • 

<* Let us, then, wake up all our powers, marshal all our means, 
and, with one united, mighty, ceaseless effort, ' strive together for 
the faith of the gospel.' Let an increased attention be paid to 
the sessions of the general convention. Let no preacher be 
absent, unless through absolute necessity. Let every society send 
a representative, or, at least, a letter stating in detail its condi- 
tion. Let all committees, and especially those appointed to visit 
associations, without fail, make a faithful report, either in person 
or by communication. Let a more general and liberal patronage 
be given to our periodical publications. These may be made 
powerful vehicles of truth to the world. Let every believer con- 
tribute as generously as his circumstances will possibly admit to 
the maintenance of public worship ; and be particularly careful to 
patronize and encourage the younger preachers. They, so far as 
instruments are available, are our chief dependence. Finally, 
brethren, let us be * constant in prayer, fervent in spirit, serving 
the Lord in all holy conversation and godliness.' " 





In October, 1826, Mr. B. visited the town of Dux- ' 
bury, Mass., to dedicate the house which had been 
erected by the Uniyersalist society in that place. A j 
moBt impressive dedicatory prayer was offered by Bev. 
Sebastian Streeter (and with what unction he would pray 
many who will read this book have known), when Mr. 
Ballon arose to deliver the discourse. His text was Ps. 
100 : 8, 4, 5. He sought to show the important truths 
suggested by the fact that the Divine Being made us, and 
that we did not make ourselves. He presented a concise 
view of the reasons given in the text why we should pay 
our devotions to our Maker and Preserver ; and, third, he 
spoke of the benefits arising &om a fsdthful attention to 
these devotional duties.^ 


He had consecrated his whole Ufe, from his nineteenth 
year, to Universalism. He had given to it '' himself, 
his powers, his hopes, his youth." He had labored for it 
by d&y and by night. He had suffered reproach in its 
behalf He had known little else among the people 
besides Jesus Christ and him crucified. One of the chief 
glories of the gospel, in his sight, was the revelation it 

* This discourse wa^ published. See ** A Sermon deliyered at the 
Dedication of the New Universalist Meeting-house in Duzbury, on 
Wednesday, Oct. 18th, 1826. By Hosea Ballou, Pastor of the Second 
Uniyersalist Society in Boston.'* Boston : Bowen A Gushing. 1826. 


gave of the end of sin, and the final harmony of the uni- 
verse — the redemption of every soul. Universalism 
was to him a sweet and cheering theme. He never tired 
of it ; he loved it above his chief joy. In a poetical 
address which he wrote in November of this year, he 
shows us his love for that doctrine. He personifies it ; 
it is '' a nymph of heavenly birth : " he early gave her 
his heart; he heard her slandered, and charged with 
being a fiend. fled from hell. He pondered long; he 
hoped, he feared ; the doctrine warmed his heart with 
grace ; but still he was blind, and could not see her full 
beauty. He continues : 

<< A touch of thy celestial hand 
Took from nune eyes that fatal band, 

And then thy form I saw : 
As is removed a funeral shroud, 
Or as retires a stormy doud, 

Did all my feais withdraw. 

<< What light and love, what joy and peace, 
I felt withm my soul increase, 

As waters gently rise ! 
Love was thy banner o'er my head, 
Thy dazzling glory round me spread, 

And blessed my strengthened eyes. 

<< My heart to thee I gave, and thine 
Receiyed in covenant divine, 

As wedded hearts are one ; 
Against thy foes thou didst me arm ; 
And in thy strength, secure from harm, 

To victory I run ! 

336 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1826. 

*' Not all thy foes on earth can say 
Can turn my heart from thee away, 

And yet my heart is free ; 
These wounds and scars, which men despise^ 
Are jewels precious in thine eyes, 

And this is all to me. 

" Had I ten thousand years to live, 
Had I ten thousand lives to give, 

All these should be thine own ; 
And that foul scorn thy foes bestow 
Still prove a laurel to my brow, 

And their contempt a throne. 

" My soul, a flame of love, aspires, 
As does my heart, with warm desires, 

To live in thine embrace ; 
Were this whole globe a diamond bright, 
I 'd give the whole for thy pure light, 

For thy &r richer grace." * 

Such was Hosea Ballou's estimate of the doctrine in 
1826, after having preached it for thirty-five years. He 
had not become tired of the theme. No hope of worldly 
honor could draw him away from it. He truly, like 
Paul, "kept the faith." No insidious philosophy could 
divert his heart from the truth ; for, although he was in 
love with all wisdom, and prized knowledge of every 
kind, yet the gospel was, in his sight, the highest of all 
science^ for it was this only which could make men 
" wise unto salvation, through faith in Jesus Christ." 
And yet at this time his work was little more than half 

^ ♦ For the whole piece, see "Voice to Unirersalists,*' by J. M. Usher, 
1st edition. Boston : 1849. pp. 145—148. 


done. To the age of eighty-two he continued to preach 
the same doctrine. Never even for once did he doubt, 
after he had received the truth; never did he give 
back or falter; but onward, onward was his course. 
How few men could have written in sincerity the poetry 
here given ! How very few have lived Uves that would 
correspond as well to the sentiments as Mr. Ballou's ! 


In February, 1827, Mr. Ballou received a letter from 
a young clergyman in Ohio, of the name here given. It 
contained very encouraging accounts of the springing 
up of Universalism in various parts of that state ; and it 
attributed the spread of truth in that region, in no small 
degree, to the influence of the eastern periodicals. 

'' It is astonishing that the doctrine of divine love should have 
spread in this ooantrj as rapidly as it has. It seems by its native 
energies to have taken hold upon the minds of multitudes, and, 
unaided by ministerial instructions, to have led them by its own 
peculiar efficacy into the way of life. When a respectable man 
in this country becomes a Universalist, he is a centre of light, 
whence many rays diverge; and thus, in many cases, are his 
friends and relatives enlightened, and obtain a like precious faith. 
Eastern periodical publications are extensively useful among us in 
the diffusion of the truth. Hundreds in the West have been 
translated from darkness to light by the instrumentality of these 
publications ; while others, like the noble Bereans of old, have 
resolved to search the Scriptures for themselves, and, by the unso- 
phisticated truths of inspiration, have burst from the dark tombs 
of apostasy, and have come forth into the resurrection of life, 
* and tasted of the powers of the world to come.' " 

At the time this epistle was written, there was scarcely 

838 LIFE or HOSEA BALLOU. A. B. 1827. 

a Univcrsalist publication in all the great West ; but the 
publications from the older states flowed out there; and 
no one, we think, exercised a more decided influence 
than the Universalist Magazine, at the head of which 
stood Mr. Ballou. Now, the Western States are abun- 
dantly supplied with Universalist periodicals, published 
and edited by faithful brethren who dwell there. 


In the spring of 1827, Dr. Lyman Beecher, then m 
the meridian of his days, was busily engaged in "getting 
up " a revival in Cambridgeport, Mass. He had the 
use of the Baptist meeting-hotLse for the purpose, as the 
present Orthodox society had not then come into being. 
All our readers will remember the words of Jesus, 
Matt. 16 : 27, 28,—" For the Son of man shall come in 
the glory of his Father with his angels ; and then he 
shall reward every man according to his works. Verily 
I say unto you, There be some standing here which shall 
not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming 
in his kingdom." On a certain occasion, when the doctor 
was preaching with great vehemence, he found himself in 
an unhappy predicament concerning these two verses. 
It is evident, beyond all contradiction, the Saviour was 
particular to inform the people, that the coming of the 
Son of man would take place before all those should taste 
death who stood near hiih at that time. Whenever any 
clergyman should read these verses in connection, every 
sensible person who heard him would immediately see 
this fact. But Dr. Beecher did not read them both. 


He read the whole of the twenty-seventh verse with 
emphasis, and one or two words in the twenty-eighth ; 
but, probably seeing that by reading the twenty-eighth 
it would be made evident that his application of the pas- 
sage was incorrect, he stopped short, after he had begun 
it, and directed the minds of his hearers to something 
else. The following was the manner: [reading very 
rapidly] ** * For whosoever will save his life shall lose 
it ; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find 
it. For what is a man profited, if he should gain the 
whole world, and lose his own soul? or, what shall a man 
give in exchange for his soul ? For the Son of man shall 
come in the glory of his Father with his angels ; and 
then he shall reward every man according to his works. 
Verily I ' — hem ! and another evangelist says, * Whoso- 
ever denies me, I will ddhy him.' " 

This matter came to the knowledge of Mr. Ballon in 
the course of a few days ; and it gave him great pain. 
He found it very difficult to reconcile it with honesty on 
the part of the preacher. He called to mind the words, 
'^Thou, therefore, which teachest another, teachest thou 
not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, 
dost thou steal ? " He then proceeded to say : 

**Thofle preachers who testify that endless oondemnation will 
be the just retribation of those who steal do, themselves, oommit 
the worst of theft, when they craftily deprive the people of the 
divine testimony. When the preacher threatens his hearers with 
a day of judgment in eternity, and attempts to support his threat 
by citing the words of Jesus, Matt. 16 : 27, 28, — * For the Son 
of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels ; 
and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 

840 LIFB OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1827. 

Verily I say unto you ' — but stops short here, knowing, if he adds 
the remainder of the sentence, he will defeat his object, and, in 
room of proving his notion of a judgment in the future world, 
will prove that this judgment took place in the generation 'm 
which Jesus lived in the flesh, is he not guilty of spiritual theft? 
Is he not guilty of handling the word of God deceitfully % Is he 
the fEiithful servant of the divine Master ? I believe in a day of 
judgment : and I believe that such preachers will be compelled to 
give an account. I furthermore believe that this judgment is 
now going on ; and I believe that the good sense of honest people 
will consign such persons to the condemnation which is appro- 
priate to their acts." 


On completing his fifty-sixth year, Mr. Ballou felt 
that the down-hill of life was before him. The bright 
scenes of youth and middle age never would return. He 
had reflected very deeply on the relation existing between 
parents and children, and on the proper method of bring- 
ing up children. He seems, at this time, to have dwelt 
thoughtfully on the subject. 

'< Having lived in this world fifty-six years, I have passed 
through the several stages of infancy, childhood, youth and mid- 
dle age, and I know that the down-hill of life lies directly in my 
future path. Infancy, childhood, youth and middle age, I shall 
never again experience ; but, though I am sensible of this fact, I 
really feel more interested for the good of those who are to pass 
these seasons of life than at any former period. That I may, 
therefore, cast in a mite, which may, in some possible case, tend 
to the advantage of human nature while travelling the path I 
have trod, I here attempt to give some advice. 

" For the good of infancy, I must advise parents to look on 
their little ones according to the testimony which Jesus bore of 


tbem in the days of his flesh. He said, < Of such is the kingdom 
of heaven.' I advise parents to believe not one vrord of the doc- 
trine which teaches that infants are bom with a taint of hered- 
itary guilt, infinitely criminal in the sight of our Maker, and 
which exposes them to his endless displeasure and wrath ; because 
such doctrine is directly calculated to dry up the sweet stream of 
parental kindness on the one hand, and on the other to produce a 
revolt in the heart from that Qod whose tender mercies are over 
all his works, and whom his rational creatures ought both to love 
and adore. It is to this doctrine that we may reasonably trace 
that bitter, unreasonable severity which millions of little children 
have sufieifed from the very hands to which nature presented them 
for protection ; and to the same origin vre look for the cause of 
all that spurious religion, whose object has ever been, by all the 
means at the disposal of human wisdom, to reconcile an offended 
Qody and to placate his wrath, which was supposed to bum 
against man for his native depravity. I therefore advise parents 
to habituate themselves to look on these little ones as Jesus hath 
taught them to do, and ever consider them and treat them as the 
heirs of Qod's infinite love. By so doing, all the native fondness 
of the parental heart and affections will be rendered lively and 
active ; and, while it affords indescribable pleasure to the parent, 
it will at the same time be the medium of oomfort and support to 
those tender ones whose cries are wounds and whose smiles are 

" I would furthermore advise parents to attend strictly to the 
injunctions of St. F^ul, to bring up their children < in the nurture 
and admonition of the Lord.' Teach them, while very young, to 
believe in God as their Creator and Preserver ; aa the Giver of aU 
good things, who deserves our supreme love for his universal and 
efficient kindness to hia creatures. Let them early be taught to 
exercise the same spirit to each other, and to all persons, which 
our heavenly Father exercises towards aU his creatures. This 
being the very essence of the doctrine of the Saviour, they vdll 
be hereby nurtured up into the Christian spirit and &.ith. They 
will become Christians in disposition before they ever know the 
absurd sentiments which have darkened the understandingB of 


842 Lin 07 HOSBA BALLOU. A. B. 18». 

professed diyines, and filled Christendom with contentions and 
persecutions, and stained her direst possessions with blood. Let 
parents be cautious that their good and wholesome examples are 
duly connected with their precepts and iostructions, that childr^ 
may know thmr parents believe those sentiments and principles 
which they endeavor to persuade them to imbibe. It is of import- 
ant service that children are taught to attend to the duties of devo- 
tion; that they are careful to attend public worship, paying 
attention to the loveliness of the divine character, which is held 
up in sermons and prayers, and which is celebrated in hymns of 
praise. If parents always discover to their children a fervent 
dedre to attend public wwship <m the Sabbath, th^ children 
will naturally imbibe the same desire, and the habit will not only 
prove advantageous, but agreeable and pleasant. I am aware 
that some parents may feel a remissness with regard to attending 
public worship, on account of the dulness or want of tal^it in the 
preach^ ; and, as preaching is my profession, I am very sensiUe 
that these fiuiltsare in me, and I heartily pity my hearers on this 
account ; but, at the same time that I reaUze my defects and fed 
the necessity of endeavoring to remove them, I will go on with 
my advice ; and will advise parents to attend with their children 
to the devotions of the sanctuary, that the young may have the 
example of age and experience operating to their constant advan- 
tage. Let parents deliberately ask bow much attention thej 
would be glad to have their children pay to religion ; and when 
they have brought out the answer to their entire satis&ction, then 
I advise them to pay as much attention to religion themselves ; 
for they ought not to desire their children to do more than they 
are willing to do ; and th^ ought to accommodate, their offspring 
with the advantages of their example. 

" While on this subject (a subject of the greatest interest to the 
rising generation) , I must be indulged to advise par^its to be 
extremely cautious not to indulge in any habits in which they 
would not be glad to have their children follow them. You are 
a father ; would you be glad to see your son in the habit of drink- 
ing ardent spirits ? Would you like to have him punctual to his 
dram before breakfost, and to aiK>ther before ^oner, &o, ^J 



Then set him the example ! But, if not, by the love you bear 
your rising son, let me warn you not to indulge in a practice 
which leads directly to ruin. You are a father ; remember, then, 
that good example and good advice are far better for your chil- 
dren than riches. 

'' You are a mother. S^iould you be pleased to see your daugh- 
ter addicted to any bad habit ? Look forward and anticipate the 
time when she may be a wife and a mother,'like yourself, and say 
whether you feel willing she should wound the heart of her hus- 
band, and mortify his manly feelings, in any manner ? If not, 
then let me beseech you, by the love you have for your angel 
daughter, not to poison her by bad example, nor wound her deli- 
cate spirit by bringing shame to her father. But shall I not give 
offence by even supposing that wives and mothers may be so lost 
to a proper sense of propriety? Dear sisters, forgive me if I 
offend, but hearken to my advice. 

'* To your wholesome precepts and good examples, dear parents, 
you are advised to add prudence in your indulgence of the desires 
of your children, and wisdom where you feel compelled to deny. 
By no means deprive your children of pleasures which are inno- 
cent, and which lead to no inconvenience. When you deem it 
proper to deny their requests, be careful that they are made to 
perceive that their benefit is the object of the denial. In this 
way you will secure their love and their confidence, and by this 
possession you will find your task of government easy and pleas- 
ant. I most fervently beg of you not to punish your children 
cruelly for their faults, nor allow them to be unreasonably pun- 
ished by their instructors. The practice is growing out of use ; 
but there remains too much of it still. Rods will harden ; kind 
words will soften. 

" But I must not forget to give some advice to children, as 
well as to their parents. Children, you are most precious in the 
sight of God ; you are his heritage. You are most precious in 
the sight of your Saviour ; you are most precious in the eyes of 
him who now advises you. Hearken to the injunction of that 
apostle who was specially commissioned to preach the gospel to 
the Gentile nations. ' Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for 

844 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1827. 

ihiB IB right. Honor thy father and mother (which is the fiist 
oommandment with promise) , that it may be well with thee, and 
thou ma jest liye long on the earth.' That you may duly honor 
your parents, you must obey them. Your parents have lived 
longer than you ; they have had more experience ; they are there- 
fore capable of giving you good counsel and profitable advice ; 
and, as they have no interest to serve but the promotion of your 
benefit, you may safely yield your judgments to theirs, and your 
inclinations to their directions and restraints." 


PROF. Stuart's attempt to deprive universalists 


VBXm JUNE 1827 TO JUNE 1828. 

In June, Mr. Ballou journeyed to Springfield, Mass., 
for the purpose of attending the Southern Association of 
Universalists, which met in that place, the residence, at the 
time, of Rev. L. R. Paige. During the occasion Mr. P. 
was installed as pastor of the Uliiversalist society in that 
town. The services of both days, excepting those of the 
evening, were held in the Unitarian church. Mr. Sallou 
preached at the installation, from 1 John 4 : 14 ; and the 
theme of the sermon was salvation, — "The Father sent 
the Son to be the Saviour of the world." It was a 
highly doctrinal and creed-searching discourse. The 
main question was. From what evils did Jesus Christ 
come to save men ? Here he passed in review the man- 
devised systems of salvation, such as deliverance from 
God^s wrath, from the curse of the divine law, from a 
totally-depraved nature, from the just punishment of siui 

846 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. B. 1827. 

fix)m a hell in the eternal world ; and all these were 
shown to be contradictory, injurious and false. We re- 
member well his arguments on this occasion, and how 
thej stirred and enlightened those who were present 
Their faces shone with interest and gladness. It was not 
so much his purpose to show that all men will be saved 
(though this he did not forget), as to make manifest the 
scriptural view of salvation. It is a salvation from sin 
(Matt. 1 : 21). Men had forgotten this ; they had been 
80 desirous to be saved from God's wrath, and 4x> keep 
their souls out of an endless hell, that they had forgotten 
altogether the duty of being saved from their sins ; and 
yet this was the only salvation which Jesus came into the 
world to give them. 


The sermon of Prof. Stuart before the Legislature rf 
Massachusetts, in the spring of 1827, created no small 
excitement. He had beeil' elected to preach the election- 
sermon for two reasons : First, because the honor (for so 
it was regarded) belonged that year, in the view of a 
itiajority, to the Orthodox party ; and, second, because it 
was thought he was of a kind and charitable spirit, and 
would not be so likely as some others to take extreme 
ground. Least of all was it supposed that he would 
recommend that any class of the commimity should be 
deprived of their civil privilegei3. The reader may well 
judge, then, of the surprise that was occasioned by the 
following paragrs^h : 


'' On similar grounds, men who avow principles which render 
null all obligation by an oath, either an oath of office or one for 
the purpose of legal testimony, ought to be subjected to the disa- 
bility which this creates. All who deny the doctrine of future 
retribution for crimes committed in the present world do plainly, 
in the eye of reason, incur a disability of such a nature. Persons 
of this class fall below the very heathen in their religious senti- 
ments ; for most of the pagans have always admitted, in some 
form or other, the doctrine of punishment in the world to come 
for crimes committed in the present life. There can be no possible 
sanction to the oath of a man who rejects all future punishment ; 
and it is palpably a mere mockery of all the forms of justice, and 
of all the rational principles of true liberty, to admit those to the 
privileges of an oath who deny that God will judge the earth, and 
reward men hereafter according to their workSk" 

It could not haye been expected that Uniyersalists 
would pass over such an assault upon their political lib- 
erties in silence. Had it been made even by some more 
humble opponent, it would have been regarded as deserv- 
ing rebuke ; but, coming from a man eminent, like Prof., 
Stuart, and in the election-sermon too, it was somewhat 
alarming. Mr. Ballou noticed it, at once, in the C/wt- 
versalist Magazine^ and offered the following stringent 
remarks. After having quoted the paragraph, he said i 

" In this paragraph the preacher informs the public, 

*' Ist. That, if he did not fear, as pagans do, punishment in the 
future state, he would peijure himself; and that it would be a mere 
mockery of all the forms of justice, and of all the rational prin- 
ciples of true liberty, to admit him to the privileges of an oath ! 

" 2dly. That no god, except the one in which the heathen 
believe, who will torment his creatures in the future state, is 
wcffthy to be sworn by ! 

" 3dly. That it is consistent with justice and the principles of 

848 UFB OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. J>. 1827. 

trae liberty to hold oat to men, who do not believe in this heathen 
doctrine of punishment in the future world, the priyil^es of 
oaths, if they will, before proper authorities, deny their honest 

«4thly. The rererend professor, in the above paragraph, 
informs the Christian public that the religion of Jesus Christ 
would be entirely ineffid^t to render his disciples honest people, 
if it did not embrace the old pagan doctnne of future retribution ! 

<< 5thly. This Orthodox clergyman, in the foregoing extract, 
informs the public that there is not an individual saint of God in 
the world, who believes in orthodox sentiments, that ought to be 
allowed his oath, either for his induction into office, or for the 
purpose of legalizing his testimony, as all such saints do not 
believe that they shall be punished in the future state ! 

^* The above extract involves many more absurdities ; but those 
which are here noticed are abundantly sufficient to eondemn its 

This was a specimen of the argumentum ad homi- 
nem which Mr. Ballou sometimes used, and which he 
knew how to wield with great power. He was disposed 
to try the professor by his own rules ; to place him in 
the situation in which he supposed the Universalists to 
stand, and then show what he would be, if his declara- 
tions were true. If it is a belief of the doctrine of future 
^ punishment which prevents men from committing per- 
jury, how has it happened that perjury has been the most 
frequent in those ages of the world in which that doctrine 
has been the least denied ? If the disbelief of future 
punishment disqualifies men for telling the truth, then, if 
Professor Stuart were brought to disbelieve it, even though 
he held in other respects precisely what he did hold, he 
would not be worthy of belief. Then it is not a belief 


in Grod which qualifies a man to make oath, — it is not a 
belief in the Bible, it is not a belief in the divine Saviour, 
it is not a belief in the fact of the future state, it is not a 
love of truth, a hatred of a lie, a life of probity and hon- 
esty, which qualifies a man to be believed, — it is the sole 
fact of his belief in future punishment. The professor 
acknowledged that the pagans have always believed in 
that doctrine ; and consequently they believed it before 
the Christian religion was promulgated in the world. 
The pagans, then, maybe admitted to an oath; but Chris- 
tians cannot, who believe only in life and immortality 
beyond the grave. Mr. Ballou said, therefore, strike 
from Prof. Stuart's creed the single article of future ret- 
ribution, and he could be no longer depended on as a man 
of truth ; nothing would then be left to sanctify him. 
And how, after all, could the professor be kept in check, 
even by that belief? He held, in the words of the creed 
of the institution with which he was connected, and which 
he was obliged to reafltaoa once in five years, " that God, 
of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity elected so?ne 
to everlasting life, and that he entered into a covenant of 
grace to deliver them out of this state of sin and misery, 
by a Redeemer." * They-t)f course were in no danger 
of future retribution ; for the same creed embraced the 
fact *'that the souls of believers are at their death made 
perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory." * 
Hence Mr. Ballou said that, according to the position as- 
sumed by Prof Stuart, not an individual saint in the 

* These are yeritable eztrftots from the creed of the institution. 


850 LIFB OF HOSBA BAXLOU. A. B. 1837. 

world, who agreed with him in opinion, ought to be 
allowed his oath. 

Mr. Ballon did not content himself merely with notic- 
ing the professor's election-sermon in the Magaz'itie^ 
but he reviewed it publicly in his pulpit, on Sabbath 
morning, June 24th, in a sermon from the words of Jer- 
emiah: *'jPor the pastors are become brtitishj and 
have not sought the Lord, Therefore they shall not 
prosper^ and all their flocks shall be scattered.^' * 


About the time that Prof. Stuart preached the election- 
sermon, Rev. Charles Hudson (of whom we have pre- 
Hously spoken) brought out a volume entitled '^A Series 
of Letters addressed to Rev. Hosea Ballon," fccf In 
ike first part of this work, Mr. Hudson seeks to state and 
examine Mr. Ballou's system and arguments. This 
occupies about one-third, of the work. He then ap- 
proaches the doctrine of a future retribution. He gives 
his supposed Scripture proofs of a future judgment, as 
Acts 24 : 25 ; Acts 17 : 30, 81 ; Heb. 9 : 27, 28 ; Matt. 
11 : 23, 24 ; 2 Peter 2:9; Jude, verse 6, and 2 Cor. 6 : 

* See ** Orthodoxy Umnasked. A Sermon delivered in the Second 
Unirersalist MeetiDg-hoase in Boston, on Sabbath morning, June 24, 
1827, in which some notice is taken of Prof. Staart*s Election-sermon. 
By Key. H. Ballon." 

t The whole title was "A Series of Letters addressed to Rev. Hosea 
Ballon, of Boston, being a Vindication of the Doctrine of a Future Ret- 
ribution, against the principal Arguments used by him, Mr. Balfour and 
others. By Charies Hudson, pastor of a church in Westminster, Mass. 
Woodstock, Vt.: Printed by David Watson. 1827." 12 mo., pp. 307. 


8 — ;10 ; and of a future retribution, as John 5 : 28, 29 ; 
Matt. 10 : 28 ; Luke 16 : 19—31 ; 1 Peter 8 : 18—20, 
and several other texts. From these matters he proceedsx 
to consider the supposed fact of future rewards. He 
shows that future misery was adopted by the general 
opinion of mankind ; he considers the objections to the 
doctrines he defended, the moral influence of each sys- 
tem, and concludes. This was as shrewd an argument in 
favor of the doctrine of future retribution as had ever 
been published by the so-called Kestorationists. We may, 
indeed, doubt whether Mr. H. took a correct view of Mr. 
Ballou's opinions. The excitement of the times was un- 
favorable to clear sight, and to calm reflection. The 
" Letters " did not have a wide circulation. The work 
was made more memorable by Mr. Balfour's reply to it, 
and the controversy that ensued, than it otherwise would 
Lave been. Mr. Ballou made no reply. He probably 
knew that Mr. Balfour intended to take some notice of 
it; and he judged that to be sufficient."^ 


On June 11th, a singular genius, but a man of some 

* Those who desire to see Mr. Balfour's notice of Hudson's Letters 
wiU find it at the end of his Essays. Mr. Hudson came oiit in 1829 
with his Reply to the Essays ; and Mr. Balfour followed, the same year, 
with his " Letters to Hudson," a large duodecimo of 360 pages, yalnable 
for the history it contains of the doctrine of future punishment. The 
history is traced from the earliest times to the introduction of philos- 
ophy into Rome ; and then from the latter period to modern times. 
This part of the work is principally an abridgment of Enfield's Phi- 
losophy ; and this, it should be remembered, is an abridgment of the 
larger work of Bmoker. 


852 IiIFB OF HOSSA BALLOU. A. P. 1837. 

learning and talent, — Bey. John Samuel Thompsoo, 
— was installed as pastor of the Universalist society in 
Gharlestown, Mass. He was an Irishman, and had come 
to this country some five or six years before. After his 
arrival, he professed to have become a Universalist ; and, 
by his specious learning, he made himself somewhat 
&mous in the denomination. But he was a man of strong 
passions, of gpreat vanity, and of unconquerable will. The 
society at Charlestovm were struck with his first labors, 
for he could certainly make himself appear to very great 
advantage ; and they invited him to become their pastor, 
which gave prudent men in the vicinity great apprehen- 
sion. On the occasion of his installation, father Ballou 
preached the sermon,'^ and father Jones, of Gloucester, 
gave the charge. Everything appertaining to these ser- 
vices was driven from our minds by the sermon in the 
evening, preached by the candidate himself. It utterly 
disgusted everybody who heard it. It was in praise of 
a learned ministry ; and was so clearly the result of 
vanity and arrogance, and so disrespectful to the aged 
clergymen present, that every person went home cha- 
grined and disappointed, except, perhaps, the preacher 
himself. After the shock occasioned by this discourse, it 
was apparent to all that his residence at Gharlestown 
would not be of long duration. Father Jones la- 
mented deeply the part he had taken in the services. 
'^ The Bible," said he, '' commands us to lay hands sud- 

* The sermon was published. See ** A Sermon delivered at the Instal- 
lation of Rev. John S. Thompson as Pastor of the First Universalist Soci- 
ety in Gharlestown, Mass., on Wednesday, July 11th, 1827. By Rev. 
Hosea Ballou, Pastor of the Second Society of Universalists in Boston." 


denlj on no man ; and I am afraid we have violated that 
injunction." *' I will never again," he added, *' take part 
in the installation or ordination of any man, without know- 
ing more about him than I knew of Mr. Thompson." 

Mr. Ballou published, in the same paper in which an 
account of the installation appeared, the following para- 
graph, which we have no doubt had reference to the exhi- 
bition Mr. Thompson had made of himself in the ser- 
mon referred to : 

<' Such are the beauties of all the Christian graces, that when 
we contemplate them assembled together, we can hardly make a 
choice of one in preference to another ; as, when we look into a 
casket of precious jewels, if we attempt to choose one, the beauties 
and charms of others bring the mind to a hesitancy. But, if we 
look at one of these jewels alone, its charms are so attracting that 
we seem to conclude at once that no other jewel can vie with it. 
So do the charms of meekness affect the heart ; when seen alone, 
or contemplated by themselves, we become so absorbed with the 
mild radiance of this precious gem, that we feel in6lLned to exclaim, 
Its beauties are unrivalled. 

<< < Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you 1 ' 
Have you such an one ? If you have, he will, out of a good con- 
versation, show his works with meekness of wisdom. 

<^ As I walked in a garden of flowers, I was pleased with many 
towering beauties, which seemed to glitter in the eye ; but, turn- 
ing to leave the scene, I was a while prevented by the charms of 
the humble violet, which made me almost forget those I had seen 

He wrote again, under the head of '* Pride Reproved," 
the following Agnificant article : 

" 1 Cor. 4 : 7, — * For who maketh thee to differ from another? 
And what hast thou that thou didst not receive t Now, if thou 



didst receive it, why dost thou glory <is if thou hadst not received 


'^ The first question in this passage is evidently designed as an 
assertion that, whatever difference there may be between men in 
relation to the writer's subject, such difference must be owing to 
the all-wise direction of Him who dispenses every good and ped^ct 

** It seems that the subject to which the apostle here refers 
embraces whatever endowments are in such a manner estimable aa 
to incline the incautious to ''be puffed up for one against another.' 

*' The second question asserts, that whatever any man possessesy 
as a qualification for usefulness, he has received as a kind bestow- 
ment, for which he is in duty bound to be thankful. 

" The last question reprimands such as are vain of those gifts 
which make them differ from others, and cautions them not to 
glory, by way of boasting, as if they were not indebted to the 
Giver for such favors. 

'< Being taught the lesson of our text, and having our minds 
and hearts regulated by the sentiments it teaches, we shall vratch 
over ourselves, and carefully guard against the foUy which the 
> text was designed to correct. 

<< If among professing Christians we meet with those who think 
so highly of their spiritual graces as to be constantly speaking 
of them, as one praises himself, our text should be their admoni- 
tion. If a man endeavor to entertain us with a long and circum- 
stantial account of his habits of piety, and seem inclined to 
reproach others for coming short of his standard, the instructions 
of our text might prove salutary to him. If a preacher appear 
to be vain of his public gifts, and seem inclined to vapor in his 
own praise, he should be called to consider the meekness of the 
divine Master, and the reproof of this portion of Scripture. If a 
minister render himself remarkable for boasting of his literary 
acquirements, does he not need to be reminded of the useful 
instructions found in the passage which heads this article ? Such 
imprudence is also well corrected by the suggestion of Solomon, 
* Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth ; a 
stranger, and not thine own lips.' " 


The dedication of the new Uniyersalist church in 
Watertown, Mass., and the installation of Rev. R. 
Streeter as pastor of the society which had erected the 
same, took place on Wednesday, August 15. The ser- 
mon at the first service was preached by father Ballou, 
from the expressive words of the prophet, Isa. 56 : 6, 7, 
— and he took a part, also, in the exercises of the after- 
noon. This day was rendered doubly joyful by the 
beauty of the weather, and by the order of Grod's house. 
Every pew and avenue in the house was filled. The 
sermon of installation was preached by the brother of the 
candidate (the present venerable Sebastian Streeter), 
from Titus 3:8; and Mr. Ballou found himself asso- 
ciated on that day with the two Rev. Messrs. Streeter, 
Messrs. Thompson of Charlestown, Leonard of Glouces- 
ter, Ballou, 2nd, of Roxbury, Whittemore of Cambridge- 
port, and Adin Ballou, at this time, we think, of Milford. 


On Sunday, August 19, Father Ballou and the writer 
started in a chaise to attend the meeting of the Rocking- 
ham Association, held at Eaton, N. H., within some 
thirty miles of the White Mountains. He left Boston 
immediately after the afternoon service, passed out through 
Gambridgeport, where he was joined by the writer, and 
we passed on to North Andover that evening. On Mon- 
day morning we took breakfast at the house of Br. T. G. 
Farnsworth, of Haverhill, dined at Newmarket, and rode 
on to Milton, N. H., that night, where we obtained lodgings 
atthehouseof a good Baptist lady, as there was no tavern 

856 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. B. 1827. 

in the town. On Tuesday morning we reaxjhed Wakefield, 
drove to Ossipee Corner by noon, and arrived at Eaton, the 
place of our destination, two or three hours before sunset 
The latter part of the ride had been exceedingly exciting, 
in consequence of the mountain scenery. One grandeur 
after another broke upon our view ; and when we came 
in full sight of Chocorua Peak, we were both lost in won- 
der and astonishment. We mention these incidents the 
more particularly, to show how people were obliged to 
make their journeys before the era of railroads. On 
arriving at Eaton, &ther Ballou received a most cordial 
greeting. There were present at this meeting, besides 
tiie two persons named, Bev. E. Case, jr., of Einggton, 
N. H. ; Rev. T. G. Farnsworth, of Haverhill, Mass. ; Rev. 
Josiah Oilman, of Meredith, K. H. ; and Rev. Henry 
Hawkins, of the neighboring town of Fryeburg, in Maine. 
Sermons were preached by Messrs. Ballou, Farnsworth, 
and Whittemore. The first-named preached twice, 
namely, on Wednesday and Thursday. His sermons are 
well remembered, as of great clearness and power. The 
first was on our duty to declare God's love, in all its ful- 
ness and beauty, from the words of Isaiah, 63: 1, — 
^^ I will mention the loving-kindness of the Lord;^^ 
and the second was on the life-giving power of the ever- 
flowing river of the gospel, from Ezek. 47 : 9, — " And 
everything shall live whither the river cometh." It is 
very difficult to describe such sermons. He had not a 
scrap nor memorandum before him, — nothing but the 
Bible. Language flowed from his lips like the running 
of a crystal stream. His illustrations electrified the 
audience; his arguments convinced them of the truth of 

AGED 66. CONVENTION OF 1827. 857 


what he declared ; and they said, at the close, We never 
heard the gospel after this manner before. The principal 
men of the town, who had never had any connection with 
the Universalist society, came up and requested to be in- 
troduced to him, and expressed very heartily their satis- 
&ction at his teachings. We left here at the close of 
service, rode to Wakefield that night, arriving about ten 
o'clock. On Friday the writer left father B. at Exeter, 
where he was to preach on the following Sabbath. 

Early in September (4th day), Mr. Ballou went to 
South Scituate, Mass., for the purpose of holding con- 
versation with his brethren in regard to forming a new 
association, to meet the wants of our common cause in 
the Old Colony, or that section of Massachusetts which 
was formerly the colony of Plymouth. The meeting for 
deliberation was holden at the house of B.ev. Benjamin 
Whittemore ; and there were present father Ballou, 0, 
Gardner, Paul Dean, T. J. Whitcomb, T. Whittemore, 
J. Flagg, and H. Ballou, 2nd. Public services were 
holden on Wednesday (5th), when sermons were preached 
by father Ballou and Rev. Paul Dean. At the close of 
the latter service, father Ballou extended the fellowship 
of the churches to the newly-formed -church at West 
Scituate, where the meeting-house was located; after 
which, the Lord's Supper was administered. It was 
voted to call the new association '* The Old Colony Asso- 
ciation of Universalists." 


The convention met, this year, at Saratoga Springs, 

358 Lurs OF hosea ballou. a. d. 1827. 

N. Y. Father Ballon was appointed moderator, and 
Bra. T. F. King and P. Dean clerks. Three brethren 
were ordained on the afternoon of the last day of the 
session, at which service father Ballon preached from 
2 Cor. 4 : 5. The Lord's Sapper was administered at 
the close of the morning service, Messrs. Ballou and 
Dean officiating at the table. 


Near the close of the year 1827, Rev. Menzies Ray- 
ner, of Connecticut, pastor of an Episcopal society at 
Monroe in that state, believed it his duty to leave the 
communion of the Episcopal church, and to unite with 
the Universalists. The Univeraalist society in Hartford, 
in that state, on hearing of his intention to that eflkct, 
invited him to become their pastor. After a very aSdo- 
V tionate correspondence with his bishop, his connection 
with the Episcopalians ceased, and with the Universalists 
began. He was a little advanced in age of Mr. Ballou ; 
and the latter always respected him deeply, and enjoyed 
his society. On hearing "of the change in his ecclesias- 
tical relations, Mr. B. wrote him as follows : 


" Rev. Sib : It seems a Toasonable duty, and one, too, which 
accords with my feelings, that I should express to you the satis^Eus- 
tion which your sermon, delivered to your former congregation in 
Monroe, and also to your present one, in Hartford, has afforded 
me. The general theme of doctrine embraced in your text, and 
ably illustrated and defended in the discourse, must be considered 



of the utmost concern and intereet to man, as a ratumal, moral 

** It seems perfectly consistent with the records of the divine 
economy in former times, that those who maintain that the living 
God, in whom they trust, is the Saviour of all Qien, should suffer 
reproach. But, in regard to this, they enjoy what was allotted 
to Moses, who, ' when he was come to years, refused to be called 
the son of Pharaoh's daughter ; choosing rather to suffer affliction 
with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a 
season ; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the 
treasures of Egypt. ' 

*< Having spent many years in hearing this testimony, and 
being still engaged in the same cause, it gives me no small satis- 
faction to be informed that one whose experience in the Christian 
church, and whose talents and acquirements, together with an 
honorable repute, cannot &il to give weight and influrace to his 
future labors, has devoted himself to the interest of the * faith 
once delivered to the saints.' 

'< That your future labors and the evening of your days may be 
extensively useful in the ministration of life, and receive a cor- 
responding recompense of reward, is the sincere prayer of your 
fellow-servant and brother in the gospel of Christ, 

<' HosEA Ballou. 

«* Boston, Jan. 23, 1828." 

To this epistle Rev. Mr. Rayner returned the follow- 
ing affectionate answer. We take this occasion to say 
that the purest affection existed between Messrs. Bayner 
and Ballou until death separated them. 

^ « to the key. HOSEA BALLOU, BOSTON. 

^^ Rev. and Dear Sir : Your obliging letter of the 23d ult. 
claims my acknowledgment. 

" The terms of approbation in which you allude to the sermon 
of mine lately published could not fail to be gratifying to one 
always professing * the &ith of Abraham,' but who only for a few 


months has appeared the public and avowed advocate of the glo- 
rious doctrine of God's universal grace and salvcUion. 

*< Althoagh I have heen for some time persuaded of the truth 
of this doctrine, and for several years have taught nothing contrary 
thereto, yet having, until lately, heard or read hut few arguments 
in support of it, except those v^hich appeared in a careful exam- 
ination of the sacred writings, I may with confidence say, * I 
neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the 
revelation of Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath 
brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.' 

<* To be subjected to reproach can give but little uneasinesB to 
one who reflects that this has been the lot of better men, and, in 
succession, the common fate of all religious denominations, and of 
every section of the Christian church. How desirable is that 
period, so expressly promised, when we shall all * see eye to eye, 
when all shall know the Lord, and when there shall be nothing to 
hurt nor destroy.' 

"In whatever light my principles and proceedings may he 
viewed by my brethren of the Episcopal church, I shall still cher- 
ish for them sentiments of respect and Christian charity, and 
especially the uniform candor and kindness vrith which I have 
been treated by the excellent bishop of this diocese merit the 
acknowledgment of my gratitude and esteem. 

(' The good wishes which you are pleased to express for my 
future usefulness and prosperity are duly appreciated, and I beg 
you to be assured that on my part they are &ithfully reciprocated. 

*< A visit from you again to this part of our Lord's heritage 
would gladden the hearts of many, and none more truly than, 
Bev. and dear or, your Mend and brother in the gospel, 

'^MsNziss Bayveb. 

" Hartford, Conn.y JPe6. 5, 1828." 


On the appearance of Balfour's Essays, early in 1828, 
Mr. Ballou gave the work a cordial welcome, notwith- 


standing there were certain opinions stated therein which 
he himself did not hold. The leading facts in regard to 
Mr. Balfour's theory concerning the future state were, 
that men have no inherent immortality; that they can 
only be rendered immortal by the resurrection of the 
dead; that the resurrection of men will be simulta- 
neous, in the distant futul'e, and that between death and 
the resurrection men will lie in the unconscious sleep of 
death. Notwithstanding Mr. Ballou did not receive all 
these views, yet he regarded certain parts of the Essays 
as very worthy of public attention, especially those 
which established the fact of the resurrection of the dead, 
and gave support to Christian hope. He was pleased, 
too, with the cogent arguments advanced against the doc- 
trine of endless misery. He addressed an article to 
'^religious inquirers of all deilomiaations," in which he 


<' BsETHREN : Having perused Mr. Balfour's Essays, just pub- 
lished, I feel it my duty to recommend the work as worthy of the 
careful reading of all who feel an interest in obtaining a knowl- 
edge of the doctrines which are taught in the sacred Scriptures. 
The patient, critical and learned investigations which the author 
has bestowed on the common opinions entertained in the Christian 
church seem to give to those labors a faur claim to the serious and 
candid attention of all those by whom these opnigns have been 

'* Should the sentiments which he has disproved, and whose 
origin he has shown to be of no higher authority than heathen 
superstition, become generally discarded in the religious world, 
and the gospel of Jesus Christ, in its purity and simplicity, be 
generally embraced, there would be at once an end of all priest- 
craft, unholy fanaticism, horrid fears of a merciless God, and the 


8^ ' LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1828. 

terrors of hell in the future world ; and in place thereof would 
spring up that blessed hope of eternal life, which is an anchor to 
the soul, both sure and stead&.st, and which induces every man 
who possesses it to purify himself as Christ is pure." 


Rev. Dr. Lyman Beecher removed to Boston, we 
think, about the year 1824 or 1825. He had a great 
popularity among his religious brethren. He was sup- 
posed to be the most capable of them all to put down the 
so-called heresy of Universalism. On the removal of 
this Goliath to Boston, Mr. B. went not out of his way, 
either to meet him or to shun him. He heard of many 
things the doctor had said and done to arrest the spread 
of Universalism ; but he looked on such efforts as he did 
on those of the Jews, who were gathered together against 
the holy child Jesus, to do whatsoever the hand of God, 
and his counsel, determined before to be done. He was 
accustomed to say, ''The wrath of man shall praise the 
Lord, and the remainder thereof he will restrain." 

In December, 1827, he addressed a letter to the doctor 
on the existence of a personal devil, whom the latter had 
described as a mighty fallen spirit, who seduced mankind 
from their allegiance to God, and who has been con- 
stantly employed, ever since, to maintain his bad emi- 
nence over tiiem. We here submit to the reader the 
letter referred to : 


<< Rey. Sir : In the commeneement of your missionary sermon, 
delivered in New York, Oct. 12, 1827, before the American Board 


of Miaaions, you say : < The Scriptares teach that sin commenced 
its reign on earth under the auspices of a mighty fallen spirit^ 
and that he, haying seduced mankind from their allegiance t<l 
God, has been constantly employed to maintain his bad eminence 
over them.' This assertion, sir, appears to me not a little excep- 
tionable, on account of .the following fiicts : 

'^'Ist. I have carefully- read the Scriptures, particularly for the 
purpose to ascertain whether they anywhere ass^ what you 
here say they teach ; and I am happy to say that I find no such 
fact stated. < A mighty fallen spirit.^ Sir, where in the Scrip- 
tures do you find this mentioned ? You assert that a mighty fallen 
spirit < seduced mankind fix>m their allegiance to Qo4 ; ' but the 
Scriptures nowhere say this. The Sqripture account of the seduc- 
tion of our first parents attributes this seduction to the subtilty 
of a serpent that crawls on his belly and feeds on dust. If you 
say that this account is an allegory, and that by a serpent a 
mighty fiUlen spirit was meant, you not only assume the respons- 
ibility of so doing, but become obligated to give a fair account of 
your authority for the assertion ; and, moreoTcr, to satisfy the 
inquiry how this mighty fallen spirit was to go on his b^y and 
eat dust all the days of his life. 

*' 2d. Tou make no attempt to prove, by citing any Scripture 
passage, this assertion which I deem exceptionable. Does it, 
sir, well, become the meekness and modesty of a Christian minister 
to rest such an assertion on his 0¥m authority, while he knovra 
that the proposition he asserts is disbelieved by sober, sensible, 
pious and learned Christians ? By such procedure you continue 
the pernicious practice of imposing on the public the opinions of 
weak and fallible men as of divine authority. This unwarranted 
practice has been the means of accumulating a mass of errors, to 
the immensity of which one deluded mortal has as good a right to 
contribute as another. 

'< 3d. Your assertion necessarily provokes, iigt the mind of the 
honest inquirer, the question, Under whose auspices did this 
mighty fallen spirit act when he seduced mankind from their 
allegiance to God, and ever since that time, while he has been 
constantly employed to maintain his bad eminence over them ? 

864 LIFE 07 HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1828. 

You sorely do not belieye in a mighty fallen spirit who is almighty 
aid independent. This mighty &llen spirit, then, must be de- 
pendent on his Father in heaven, who upholds him as in the hol- 
low of his hand, and guards him as the apple of his eye. 

*< A little below the aasertion which has been noticed, on the 
same page, you say, * I am aware that with some the doctrine of 
fallen angels is but an Eastern allegory, and the idea of a conflict 
between the creature and the Creator lidiculous, and unworthy 
of the divine supremacy.' Being aware of this fact, sir, why 
should you mention it, and neglect even an effort to reflect a single 
ray of light on the subject ? If the opinion to which you referred 
were, in your judgment, too absurd to deserve a refutation, why 
did you mention it at all ? If otherwise, and you deemed it anti- 
scriptural, why did you not proceed to sbpw that it is reasonable 
that the all-wise and omnipotent Creator should furnish this 
mighty &llen spirit, and millions of others like him, with myste- 
rious powers, and endue them vnth real devilish cunning, and 
carefully keep them in being and uphold them by his power, for 
the puroose of maintaining a conflict vrith himself, and to show, 
also, that the Scriptures teach such doctrine ? In room of doing 
this, you say : < I can only say, that if there be not an order of 
sinful intelligences above men, the Bible is one of the most decep- 
tive books ever written.' 

" How long, sir, did you deliberate on this subject, before you 
came to the conclusion that you could say no more, and nothing 
more to the purpose ? 'An order of innful inteUigenoes above men. ' 
If they are above us, they are our rulers. If our Creator and their 
Creator has seen fit, in his infinite vnsdom, to place over us an 
order of sinful intelligences, is it not our duty to obey them? 
Why were they placed above us, if not to rule us ? * The powers 
that be are ordained of God.' But in what does their smfolness 
consist? Does it constitute them sinful to exercise the govern- 
ment over us which the Creator has assigned them ! Sir, it 
appears to me that what you say on this subject involves absurdi- 
ties of a monstrous character, to say the least. 

" But, notwithstanding your statement that you < can only say 
that if there be not an order of sinful intelligences above men, the 


Bible is one of the most deceptive books ever written,' you imm^ 
diately proceed as follows : ' The entire history of the world shows 
that human depravity, though operating in accordance with the 
laws of mind, is yet methodized and wielded with a comprehension 
of plan wholly inexplicable upon the principle of accidental coin- 
cidence among men. That there should have been a system of 
well-constructed opposition to the gospel, varying with drcum- 
stances, and comprehending the great amount of bad moral influ- 
ence which has existed, without some presiding intellect, is as 
improbable as that all the particles of matter which compose the 
universe should have fallen into their existing method and order 
by mere accident, and vnthout the presiding intellect of the 
Deity.' Here, sir, it seems that you'have said much more l^an 
you thought you could say. You have given to your mighty 
fiOlen spirit not only a supremacy over mankind,^ but also a 
power of intellect to methodize and vneld human depravity, in a 
well-constructed system of opposition to the gospel, equal, at least, 
to the power of intellect exerted by Deity himself, in estaUishing 
the existing order of the material universe ! It is very evident 
that, if the system of opposition to the gospel, of which you speak, 
could have been concerted by a less powerful intellect than that 
which constituted the order and system of the material universe, 
it would be more probable that all the opposition ever exerted 
against the gospel was planned by human wisdom, than that the 
material universe should have derived its system and order from 
< mere accident.' 

'' Are you prepared, sir, to abide the consequences which neces- 
sarily follow from your statement? Do you not see that, if you 
are right in what you have ascribed to your mighty fallen spirit 
and his ghostly coadjutors, God vrill never be able to circum- 
vent his ^ well-constructed ' system of opposition to the gospel? 
You vrill not allow that the Deity exercises a power of intellect 
superior to that exerted by this mighty fallen spirit. And what 
appears most surprising is, that, in your opinion, if all this be not 
as you represent it, the Bible is one of the most deceptive books 
ever written ! The Bible, then, teaches that man is governed by a 
well-constructed system of opposition to the gospel, planned by a 


866 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU, A. D. 1828. 

mighty &llen spirit, whose power of intellect is equal to that 
which systematized the uniyerse. And this is the Bihle which 
you wish to send to the heathen. By it you think they will learn 
these great and essential truths Vrhich you have here asserted ! 

'* Suppose, reverend sir, you should ^er learn that all that yoa 
have heen in the hahit of calling a system of opposition to the 
gospel has, in all the events produced by it, tended to promote 
the wise and gracious purposes of our Father in heaven, * who will 
have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the 
truth,' — who would you then suppose exerted that presiding intel- 
lect by which the great whole has been governed? With such a 
view of the subject do not the follovnng inspired declarations fully 
accord ? ' I form the light, and create darkness : I make peace, 
and create evil. I the Lord do all these things.' ' For of a 
truth, against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, 
both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gfentiles, and the people 
of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand 
and thy counsel determined before to be done.' < In whom, also, 
we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to 
the purpose of him who worketh all thij^ according to the coun- 
0el of his own will.' 

<< With due respect, Hosea Ballou." 


To the last-named epistle Dr. B. returned no answer; 
and probably it was not expected that he would at the 
time it was written. It was not designed so mueh to 
open a correspondence, as to call the attention of the 
public to the boldness of the doctor in -making assertions 
which he could not in any manner prove. It was bat a 
few months afterward that Mr. B. felt himself called on 
again to address the doctor. The latter had preached a 
sermon in March, 1828, designed to disprove the doc- 


trine of llnirersalism. Mr. B. did not enter into a 
direct argument to refute the doctor's proofs, for he did 
not give any. The sermon wi^s distinguished for mere 
empty assertions, misrepresentation^ and bold declama- 
tion. Its author was not to be reached by eyidence ; to 
that his creed made him invulnerable. Like the false 
teachers of old, he was " ever learning, but was not able 
to come to the knowledge of the truth." His position, 
his prejudices, his habits, were all hindrances to his be- 
holding the '^ simplicity there is in Christ." Mr. B., 
therefore, did not expect to convince him ; but the letter 
addressed to him would be read by many others. There 
is a strain of irony in it, the force of which would be felt 
by all who understood the subject on which it treated. 
Without further remark, we inscribe the epistle on these 


''Boston, March 29, 1828. 

'' Sir : I addressed you some time ago on the subject of ' a 
Mighty Fallen Spirit,' of which you said not a little, in one of 
your sermons. In that address I endeavored to point out some 
of your errors ; and I had some hope, though I confess it was but 
small, that jou would profit by my attempt, feeble as it was. Id 
my humble opinion, it was your duty to defend the sentiments on 
which I then animadverted, if you were of opinion that they were 
either capable or worthy of defence ; but what you think of 
them I know not, nor do I pei^ceive any way by which I can 

'' I have still a mind to do you good, without the smallest 
expectation of receiving any thanks from you. Being informed 
that you recently gave out public notice you were going to prove, 
in a lecture, the immoral tendency of Universalism, and having 

868 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1828. 

also been iofoimed that you made the attempt on the evening of 
the fourth Sabbath inst., bat utterly failed in making out any- 
thing on the subject, more than your bare assertions, aooompanied 
with numerous gross sophisms, I thought it my duty to suggest 
some method by which you may better succeed in such an under- 
taking. There is nothing which makes a public preacher appear 
to a greater disadvantage, than to promise a piece of work before- 
hand, and, when the time comes to ftilfil the pronyse, then to go 
on without understanding his subject, and without any proper 
method of executing the undertaking. 

*' First, then, let us distinctly understand what is to be proved. 
It is this : Wickedness proceeds from a belief that all mankind 
will eventually be made holy, happy beings, through the media- 
tion of the Lunb of God, who taketh away the eon of the world. 
Having this statement perfectly distinct in your own mind, make 
it equally plaio to the understanding of your hearers. This &ith- 
fully done, you must next proceed to demonstrate that the germ 
of immorality is necessarily wrapped up in this fiuth, and natur- 
ally grows from this hope. To do this to the understanding of 
your hearers, you can take an individual for an example. And 
as it is to be expected that a man knows as much about himself 
as he does about any other person, you may speak in the first per- 
son singular ; and if it sound a little like egotism, jio matter ; the 
subject is of importance, and the object of infinite concern. Stand 
up, then, boldly, and address your congr^ation thus : * My fellow- 
travdlers to «temity, I assure you that I believe, vnthout a doubt, 
that when my mortal pilgrimage on earth is ended, I shall be vnth 
Jesus, the Saviour of sinners, that I shall be holy as he is holy, 
and happy as he is happy ; and I also know that this belief and 
this hope work in my very soul the. work of sin, and briag forth 
in my actions the vilest abominations which ever violated the 
' divine law, dishonored God, or degraded human nature.' 

« Tou will easily perceive, dr, that less than this amounts to 
nothing. You certainly cannot know the fruits of a belief that 
you never possessed ; and you can eaoly see, also, that, if a firm 
belief in your own salvation will not produce those evil eflfocts, 


the belief that others will be saved could have no such effect on 

<^ Haying pointed out one method o£ substantiating the fact 
that Universalism tends to all manner of immorality, it may be 
proper to furnish you with another.. It is said that, in your late 
discourse on this subject, you quoted no proof from - Scripture, 
This, sir, is a great pity. How happened it that you did not 
quote the £rst transgression of man, as recorded in Genesis, and 
show your hearers that the sole reason why Adam transgressed 
was his faith in Jesus as his Saviour ? And why did you neglect 
to den\onstrate that the whole difficulty which incited Cain to 
murder his brother was his firm belief that 1;K>th he and his 
brother were embraced in the evei^blessed covenant of salvation ? 
Had you shown these things,* you would not have been laughed at 
for your puny, puerile assertions, unaccompanied with the least 
shadow of proof. No, but your convinced auditors would have 
been weighed down vrith an awful solemnity, and a deep convic- 
tion of the danger of believing in the doctrine of salvation ; and 
would have fled for safety to the doctrine, the purifying doctrine, 
of everlasting sin and eternal condemnation ! And, by this time, 
my dear doctor, you might have elevated your voice, and even 
commanded fire from heaven to vindicate your reasoning, showing 
that the sin of Sodom and the cities of the plain T^as all owing to 
Universalism : and when you had set forth the fiery vengeance 
that fell on that abominable people for their faith in salvation from 
sin, you might have said that you had got before your story* and, 
by way of a parenthesis, given your hearers to understand that 
no other sin was the occasion of the drowning of the old world. 

*' How can you account, sir, for your neglect, on this all-import- 
ant occasion, to instance the horrid murder of the Lord of life 
and glory, by the high priest of the Jews and the hypocritical 
Scribes and Pharisees, vfith the whole estate of the elders of the 
nation ? Do you not know that it was this immoral doctrine of 
universal salvation that so enraged that wicked people against the 
Son of God ? If they had not been frilly persuaded that he wa|i 
the Saviour of all men, what in ^all the wprld could have so 
incensed them against him ? Sir, it is astonishing that you should 

870 LIFB OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. B. 1828. 

neglect such palpable proofSa, recorded in the Seriptores, and 
stand up in your desk, pronouncing empty assertionB, until you 
and your hearers were weary ; and, after all, they were not 

" Doctor, you must make another appointment for the purpose 
of Qonyincing the good, but ignorant, people of this city, that 
immorality was never known in the world until the doctrine of 
universal salvation was set up and believed. And, before you 
again attempt this necessary work, a labor so much needed, make 
yourself perfectly acquainted with this method which I have here 
recommended. Begin your task at the right end, and go on r^- 
ularly ; be careful that you do not forget to add the weight of 
history to your conclusive argiynents. Show your hearers that 
all the-persecutioDS which have deluged the world in biood were 
set on foot and carried on by Universalists. Quote history, 
and prove that Nero was a believer in the final salvation of all 
mankind, by Jesus Christ ; and that it was this belief which 
caused him to set fire to the city of Rome, and lay the crime to 
the Christians. Show, moreover, that the whole of the ten per- 
secutions which preceded the reign of Constantino, in wiiich many 
milUons of professed Christians lost their lives, were all carried on 
by Fniversalists. But do not stop here ; go on and demonstrate 
your subject, by showing that all the persecutions practised by 
Christians against Christians were entirely owing to a belief that 
finally all mankind will ^ be made holy and happy. Give your 
hearers, sir, to know that the Papal Inquisition^, and always 
has been, an engine of Universalism ; and, after you make them 
understand that more than fifty millions of Protestants have been 
put to death by those believers in univeisal salvation, go on and 
prove from history that all the persecutions which have been car- 
ried on by the Protestants were owing to their belief that God is 
good and gracious to all mankind, and will finally make all holy 
and happy. I beg you would not forget that those who hung the 
Quakers in Salem were Universalists. Make this truth known to 
your hearers, and assure them that the very spirit of universal 
grace is the spirit of persecution. Show them, also, that all the 
crimes which have been committed in our country, and for which 


many have been execated, were committed by Univenalifits ; and 
that there is not now a criminal in confinement, who is not a 
believer in this demoralizing doctrine. 

<' Sir, yon must not think your work is done until you prove, 
on the other hand, that the spirit of everlasting condemnation and 
eternal punishment is the meek and humble spirit of Jesus ; that 
it is the spirit of charity, which suffereth long and is kind ; that 
such as believe in endless punishment are so tender hearted that 
they would rather suffer death, in the most cruel manner, than to 
persecute others. I beg you not to forget to state the fact that 
John Calvin would never have put Dr. Servetus to death, in so 
eruel a manner, had not Calvin been a UniversaUst. 

" When you shall have made all these things evident, your 
undertaking vrill be accomplished ; and you will hear the welcome 
sentence, Well done, good and fidthful servant. 

*< Yours, &c., B.Q8XA Ballou." 



What were Mr. Ballou's opinions on this topic? In 
the course of ihis year his attention, was called to the 
subject, by a letter from Bey. A. Kneeland, who had 
been reading Hudson's Letters,, and who had been led to 
think that Mr. H. had not, in all cases, described Mr. 
B*'b opinions correctly. Mr. Ejieeland was a material- 
ist, a follower of Dr. Priestley ; and his system agreed 
much more nearly with that of Mr. Balfour than that 
of Mr. Ballou. He, however, at the time, supposed Mr. 
Ballou to agree with, and wrote as follows : 

** I have never understood you to teach the doctrine, which, I 
am aware, is maintained by some, of immediate death and glory : 
that is, that man is immediately happy after death. To such an 
idea there are insuperable objections in my own mind ;; neither 

872 LIFB OF H06EA BAIXOU. A. D. 182& 

am I able to leooncile it with the doctrine of the reBarrection, bm 
taught in the New Testament. *' 

On the general subject of Mr. Kneeland's letter, Mr. 
B. replied aB follows : 

<* If OUT brethren who maintain future punishment wouM ood- 
sent to do what they have been 80X)ften called on to do, namely , 
prove from the testimony of Scripture that the next state of exist- 
exice will be so far like the present that man will there be liable 
to temptation, and to be led into sin, there would be an end to 
the controversy ; for it is allowed, on all hands, that where sin m, 
it is punishable ; and it ought to be allowed, -by all, that where 
sin does not and cannot exist, it cannot be punished. There is 
an9ther consideration, whidb these brethren se^m entirely to dis- 
regard ; which is, if the Scriptures prove that the next state is a 
state of imperfection, sin and suffering, they must also prove an 
end to that state, or be incapable of proving universal holiness in 
any state. But it has never appeared to me that they felt so 
much disposed to enlighten us respecting the nature and evidences 
of the subject for which they contend, as they are to lean on the 
prejudices of the pubHc in &vor of a future hell, in its popular, 
sense, and to turn the bitterness of that prejudice towards those 
whose arguments they vrere conscious they could not answer." 

In regard to the question touching *' death and glory," 
Mr. B. ansvfered in these words : 

<* But I must hasten to notice your queries. 1st. In relation to 
what you term * death and glory.' 

" This subject has never been much agitated among brethren 
of our order, uAtil quite lately. Dr. Priestley ^s views of an 
unconscious state after death were not known to me when I vnrote 
my Treatise on Atonement, nor had that subject then ever been 
considered by me. This accounts for my silence on it. Of late I 
have endeavored to know what divine revelation has communicated 
on this subject ; but, owing to my vyant of discernment, I have 

AGED 67. ' DEATH AND aLORT. 378 

not been able to reconcile all the passages which seem to relate to 
the case to a fair support of either side of the question. My 
efforts, I acknowledge, haye not been made with such intenseness 
of application, respecting this matCer, as they would have been 
bad I been p^suaded that the question was of any great conse- 
quence. Being fully satisfied that the Scriptures teach us to 
believe no moral state between the death of the body and the res- 
urrection state, in which that which was sown In dishonor will be 
raised in glory, and that which was sown in corruption shall be 
raised in incorruption, it seemed to me immaterial whether we 
enter, immediately after the dissolution of the body, on the resur- 
rection state, or sleep in unconscious quietude any given time 
before that glorious event shall take place. In either case, it is 
what you call < death and glory,' for it makes no difference as to 
the length of time during an unconscious state. In such a state 
there can be effected no moral preparations." 

But Mr. Ballou had another occasion to write on this 
subject of immediate happiness at death, in the course 
of this year. There appeared in the Olive Branchy a 
publication issued in the city of New York, a remark like 
the following : 

<* We are sorry to be obliged to say that these remarks will 
apply to one class of Universalists just as well, for they believe 
that they shall go right straight to heaven, immediately , wh^i they 
die. It may be well for such brethren that they are not very 
strong in the faith ; not so strong but that they esteem a bird in 
the hand worth two in the bush. — Eds." 

Mr. B.'s eye saw this, and he sat down and addressed 
the writers calmly Jind wisely, stating such questions as 
had had much weight on his own mind. It will be seen 
there is a climax in the considerations \ they increase in 
importance to the end. 


874 LIFB OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1838. 

" The sabject on which yoa were ammad^serting, which awak- 
ened such sorrour in regard to 'one claas of UniTersalists,' is the 
Calvinistio belief, that when the elect die they < go right straight to 
heaven.' In these animadyersions you assert, in the stroi^est 
terms which our language furnishes, that there is nothing to pre- 
Tent one who believes he shall (to use your terms) ' go right 
straight to heaven when he dies,' &om committing forgery and 
suicide. It seems, brethren, that you have done what yon evi- 
dently intended to do ; you have ^v^i it as your opinion that 
there is nothing to prevent real Galvinists and one dass of Uni- 
versalists £rom committing the above-named crimes. 

*' With your indulge£K», and aesured of your candor, I will 
proceed "to suggest some considerations which may operate in the 
mind of such believers as you have pointed out, to prevent them 
from committing such crimes. 

" Ist. It appears to me that men of this belief may entertain so 
strong a desire to appear with a fair moral character in the eyes 
of mankind, and that their families should enjoy the benefits of 
their reputation, that this consideration should operate as a pow- 
erful dissuasion from the commission of such offences. I have no 
reason to offer why men of such belief should not love their fiumly 
connections as well a» those who embrace an opposing sentiment. 
And it appears very unreasonable to suppose that such love or 
regard for connections should have no influence on the actions of 
those who are possessed of such regard. 

"2d. We may reasonably deem it possible that men of this 
faith may be so circumstanced, and their families so situated, that 
the sudden death of the husband and fiither might l^ no small 
damage to them, in respect to their temporal concerns ; and the 
supposition that by living longer the fath^ could greatly serve 
their interest, in|tiany ways, besides granting them the sweets of 
his society, is a most reasonable one. Are you, brethren, prepared 
to say that such &ct8, and a due consideration of them, could have 
no influence dissuasive of suicide ? 

*' 3d. I see no reason why men of this faith may not love their 
fellow-men as well as those do who believe in a different creed. 
There appears nothing in the belief that, as soon as we depart out 


of this mortal state, we are immediately with Christ, that necessa^ 
rily prevents such a believer from loving his fellow-K^reatures. 
Now, if it be granted that such believers can love their fellow- 
men, then it must be granted that such love would naturally 
incline men to do good to others, and operate to prevent their 
committing any act of fraud. 

" 4th. Having duly examined this subject, I am satisfied that 
there is nothing in this belief that tends to prevent the believer 
£rom loving righteousness, as a principle. But, if a man in heart 
is a lover of the moral principle of righteousness, are you certain 
that this love would not operate to prevent his committing the 
crime of forgery, to wrong his neighbor out of his property, and 
orphans out of their patrimonies? Brethren, I believe you are 
men of sense and men of principle. Say, then, if you really did 
believe that in less than one week you should all < go right straight 
to heaven,' would you commit forgery, if you could by it obtain 
more gold than you could weigh and count in this time? 

" 5th. To my apprehension, you have not only been guilty of 
stating a very great absurdity, but you have furnished a very good 
and efficient cause why a man of this belief should not commit 
even any an. What is this belief? It is this : when I die I 
shall immediately go to heaven. Well, what is heaven ? It is 
* not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the 
Holy Ghost.' Now, if a man embraces righteousness as the ulti- 
matum of his belief, as the heaven to which ha is bound as soon 
as he dies, as the immortality which he hopes to inherit, is it not 
absurd to say that this assurance of a state of holiness will not 
prevent present acts of vice? No man can love heaven, or desire 
to be in it, any further than he loves tighteousness. Therefore, to 
insinuate that a belief that we shall soon be in a state of right- 
eousness tends to the commission of crimef) is what we see no 
reason to justify. 

*< You will further indulge me, brethren, in asking you to show 
the moral difference between the belief of the < one class of Uni- 
versalists,' of which you speak, and the belief which you your- 
selves profess. They, according to your statement, believe in 
immediate holiness and happiness after this mortal life ends. 

876 LIFB OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. J>. 1828. 

Ton, if I understand rightly, believe that when men die they d]»- 
oontinue every sentient faculty, and eilently, and in a seneelesB 
state, sleep until the resurrection ; and at the resuxrection you 
believe that all vnll be made immortal, holy and happy. Now, if 
you can see ia.ny moral difference in the two belie&, or point out 
any difference in their moral influence, or show any considerable 
dissimilarity between the hope which accompanies this proscribed 
belief and that of which an apostle speaks, where he says, < Every 
man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is 
pure,' you will assist my understanding. 

'< In your concluding remarks, respecting the particular cajses 
on which you wrote, you assure your readers that the occasion 
was painful, but you justify you^lves on the ground that the 
Orthodox are continually harping on the dangerous tendency of 
Universalism. It is very true the opposers of Universalism have 
made use of this sort of reasoning against Universalism for a long 
time. They have contended that the doctrine is demoralizing, 
and that there is noticing to prevent the believers of it from the 
commission of all sorts of crimes, especially that of suicide. But 
this argument has been so often refuted that its currency has really 
become reduced. But, biethren, it appears to me that you have 
endorsed it ! As wortUessas the bill is, your names are on its 
back ! 

<< Brethren, if it gave you as much pain to endorse this bill as 
it does me to see your names to it, I certainly pity you. 

*< We have often had occasion to notice deplorable instances of 
despair of the mercy of God, which have issued in suicide, which 
v^ere evidently occasioned by a belief in the Calvinistip creed ; 
but the supposition that a belief in the goodness of God -mU. lead 
men to sm never entered our hearts, since we have enjoyed any 
realizing sense of such goodness. 

** To conclude, brethren, if I did not believe that you were my 
real friends, I should not have called on you in this viray. But, 
being confident of your brotherly feelings tovmrds me, I have ven- 
tured to invite some explanation of the note to which I have hero 
referred. I remain your fellow-laborer in the cause of truth." 



It was a very common thing for Mr. Ballou to re- 
ceive questions from opponents or inquirers, in respect to 
his religious views. They always thought him under 
obL'gation to answer such questions, and give them light. 
These would sometimes come to him by the mail, or at 
other times appear in some newspaper. An individual 
who had heard him preach addressed him through the 
Christian Intelligencer, in the following strain : 

*' Revxrbnd and Dear Sir : HaTing read most of your geo- 
logical writings, and heard you preach frequently, I understand 
you to believe that the wicked shall not go unpunished, and yet 
that none of them shall be punished in the 'future world ; conse- 
quently eyery man must be punished for his sins in this world 
before his spirit leaves his body. 

<< In reading the account, in the public papers, of the piracy 
and murder committed by the notorious Tardy, on board the brig 
Crawford, I felt as if I wanted to propose one or two questions to 
yourself, in a respectful and friendly manner, hoping that you 
will do me the favor — for such I should really esteem it — to 
inform me when that man received the punishment due to his 

We have given but a mere section of the epistle, but 
the reader will see clearly the drift of the article. Mr. 
B. said, in reply : 

" Dear Sir : I am of opinion that your queries are not so well 
adjusted, nor the principles which they embrace so clearly mani- 
fested, as they ought to be before definite answers are given. Two 
very important questions, as it appears to me, should first be duly 
considered 9nd saiis&ctorDy answered, before your main query 


878 LIFE OP HOSEA BALLOU. A. I>. 1828. 

need be decided. Ist. In what does the punishment of sin con- 
sist ? 2d. How much of such punishment does justice require to 
be suffered as the full penalty of such crimes as jou have desig- 
nated ? And I think you will readily perceive that it is necessaiy 
also to determine the required duration of such penalty. 

<< There is another thing, sir, which your queries suggest, 
which, perhaps, you did not think of at the time you wrote ; I 
mean why you should have had any occasion to question me on 
the subject. We will suppose that the Scriptures are clear and 
decided on the subject of your questions, and we will suppose, 
also, that they directly prove that a man who first kills his fel- 
low-creature and then kills himself must suffer a punishm^it in 
a future state of existence for so doing ; if such were facts yoa 
would have had no occasion to ask me the questions you have; 
you would only need to point me to the divine testimony which 
contradicts what you call my doctrine, and thereby refute such 

<< As you pretend to predicate your queries on what you have 
read in my writings, and what you have heard me teach in public, 
you give me the right to ask in which 6f either you ever found 
any direct assertion that sin will not be pimished in the future 
state? I have often said, and allowed in my writings, that, if eon 
exist in the future world, punishment must there be endured ; 
but I have also expressed the opinion that the Scriptures nowhere 
prove that either sin or punishment will exist in any other world 
but this. Now, sir, if you are desirous of information on this 
subject, and feel satisfied with su6h as the Scriptures give, why 
do you brhig a case of which no mention is made in the Bible, and 
ask me questions concerning it which the Scriptures do not 
answer ? Or, if you believe that the Scriptures do answer your 
questions, why have you not directed me where to find the testi- 
mony? You will permit md to ask, whether it be reasonable to 
aUow that modem crimes are so different in their moral character 
from all which the divine writings treat of, as to require a new 
system of punishment, not revealed in the Scriptures? And, fur- 
thermore,, whether aU the penalty of which the Bible speaks is in 
this world, but that it has been found to be neoeasary, in times 


rince the Scriptures were written, to institute punishments in a 
future state of existence? If you say that neither the moral 
nature of crime or of punishment has been changed, -and that no 
new dispensation has been established since Moses wrote his code, 
then all controversy on the subject of your questions may discon- 
tinue ; for it is very certain that it cannot be shown, from the 
writings of that great law-giver, that the crimes of men, commit- 
ted in this world, are to be punished in a future state." 

Mr. Ballou did not say that sin would not be pun- 
ished in the future state. He believed that the New 
Testament furnished no proof of a state of sin and misery 
hereafter; but, if there shall be sin there, he had no 
doubt it will be a source of misery. The labor of prov- 
ing the doctrine of future punishment to be true belonged 
to those who affirmed the truth of it. He had no desire 
to be '^ wise above what is written." He thought he saw 
nothing revealed as appertaining to the future state but 
^4ife and immortality." If, however, any person sup- 
posed the doctrine of future punishment for the sins of 
this life could be proved by the testimony of the Scrip- 
tures, Mr. B. would always lend a listening ear to what 
such an one had to say. 


Mr. B. did not believe that the doctrine of future 
punishment in any sense was essential to Christianity. 
He had no doubt that many very pious and sincere Chris- 
tians believed it ; but they were not Christians on that 
account. It was some other point in their faith which 
made them Christians. When any individual took fche 

880 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1828. 

ground that the doctrine of future punishment, either 
limited or endless, was essential to Christianitj, Mr. Bal- 
lou would reason with him kindly, and address him in 
such arguments as we giye in the subjoined paragraphs : 

<< 1. The existence of one sapreme Creator and Ruler of the 
uiuTerse is belieyed by all denominations of ChxistiaDB. This 
doctrine of one God is taught by Moses, by all the prophets, by 
Jesus and all his apostles. But is the doctrine of a future state 
of punishment as dearly taught by Moses, by all the prophets, by 
Jesus and all his apostles 1 It is very certain that this is not the 
case ; and one simple matter of well-known fact is snfiBcient to 
prove that it is not. There are many who were educated in the 
belief that the doctrine of a future state of punishment is taught 
in the Scriptures, who have been led to search the Scriptures with 
much care and patience, to ascertain whether this doctrine is, in 
&ct, a Scripture doctrine, who haye, after all their researches, 
been obliged, contrary to thdr educations and early prejudices, to 
come to the conclusion that no such doctrine is supported by the 
Bible ; but never was there an individual who, by studying the 
Scriptures, came to the conclusion that they do not maintain the 
existence of Jehovah. 

** 2. All professed Christians agree that the Scriptures abun- 
dantly maintain the belief of a divine inspiration, according to the 
following passage. Heb. 1 : 1,2, — ' God, who at sundry times 
and in divers manners spake in time past unto the &thers by 
the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son ; ' 
and there is no contention respecting this matter of acknowledged 
fact. But we ask the believers in a future state of punishment 
whether the Scriptures are as clear in support of this tenet as 
they are in vindicating the doctrine of divine inspiration ? It is 
not expected that any one will contend for the affirmative of this 

*< 3. There is no dispute among professed Christians respecting 
the fact of tiie resurrection of Jesus. All denominations seem 
equally to embrace this as the foundation of the Christian fiuth. 


hope and religion. But will any one contend that the doctrine 
of a future state of punishment is as forcibly and as clearly main- 
tained in the Scriptures as is the doctrine of the resurrection of 
Jesus? On this subject St. Paul speaks as follows : ' If Christ be 
not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your £uth i£r also yain. 
Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God ; because we have 
testified of God that he raised up Christ ; whom he raised not up, 
if so be that the dead rise not.' But do we meet with any lan- 
guage designed to teach the doctrine of a future retribution, that 
corresponds with these words of the apostle ? Has this, or any 
other inspired author, ever said'. If the wicked are not punished 
in a future state, then is our preaching yain, and your &ith is also 
vain 1 Tea, and we are found fitlse witnesses of God ; because we 
have testified that God will punish the wicked in another world, 
whom he wiU not punish ? It is very true that many, very many 
preachers of our times might, vrith much propriety, use this kind 
of language respecting their own preaching ; but, then, they are 
not inspired, and are therefore not entitled to the confidence which 
we place in the testimony of the apostle. 

*< 4. All denominations of Christians agree that the religion of 
Christ requires men to love one another, and even to love their 
enemies, that they may be the children of our Father who is in 
heaven ; and St. Paul argues that, though he had all other gifts 
and had not charity, he was but. as * sounding brass and a tinkling 
cymbal.' Let us here ask whether the doctrine of future punish- 
ment is as forcibly and as evidently vindicated in the Scriptui*es 
as is this doctrine concerning love and charity? Is there any 
passage of Scripture which, on a fair construction, amounts to as 
much as to say, though I speak with the tongues of men and of 
angels, and proclaim not the doctrine of a future state of punish- 
ment, I am as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal ? And though 
I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and 
believe not in future punishment, I am nothing. And though I 
bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and believe not in future 
punishment, I am nothing. The belief in future punishment 
never fidleth. And now abideth charity, hope, and a belief in 
future punishment ; but the greatest of these is this faith in future 

882 LIFB OV HOSBA BALLOU, A. D. 1828. 

retribution ! If this item, eo much contended for, be in fiict 
indispensable in the religion of Christ, why should it not be found 
expressed in the foregoing strong and impreesive language ? Why 
did not St. Paul state this doctrine so plainly that its present 
advocates might find Scripture language sufficient for its defence? 
And, after having thus stated it, proceed to give it as high an 
encomium as he bestowed on charity ? Why did he not say, the 
doctrine and belief of a future state of sin and punishment for 
some of our fellow-creatures suffereth long and is kind ; it envieth 
not ; it vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave 
itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not easily provoked, 
thinketh no evil ^ rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the 
truth ; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, 
endureth all things, and never faileth ? Among most of Christian 
denominations, in our day^ this belief is as the new name in the 
white stone ; — with it, anything will do ; without it, nothing. 

" 5. All Christians are united in the belief that life and immor- 
tality are brought to light through the gospel ; and no one, who 
pretends to believe the Christian religion, refuses his assent to 
this glorious and heart-cheering doctrine. But vrill any one pre- 
tend that a future state of punidmient is broughtio light through 
the gospel ? Can we with safety contend that it is as necessary to 
believe in this tenet as in life and immortality, in order that we 
may enjoy peace and rest in believing ? 

<* To conclude. If we firmly believe in Qod, and believe that 
he is Our Father and unchangeable firiend ; if we believe that he 
hath revealed the counsels of his divine wisdom and &vor through 
his holy child Jesus, and his determination to reconcile all things 
to himself through his mediation ; if vre cordially embrace the 
precepts of the Saviour^ and love Gpd with all the heart and our 
neighbors as ourselves, and exercise love and good will even to our 
enemies ; if we believe that ' as in Adam all die, even so in Christ 
shall all be made alive,' in gloiy and immortality, must we be 
denied Christian fellowship because we cannot find the doctrine 
of a future state of sin and punishment laid dovm in .the vmtten 
word, nor feel the evidences of this doctrine to grow out of th» 


Bpirit of Christ within us, or to be dictated by any of the yirtuoB 
or duties commanded by our divine Master ? 

<*A hope is entertained that those to whom this article is 
addressed will give it a serious attention, and allow the queries 
here suggested the weight and consideration which their import- 
ance demands. It must be granted, on all hands, that the interest 
of Christianity cannot be promoted by attaching a consequence to 
unessential opinions to the entire dissolution of fellowship and 
brotherly love." 


Many very sincere and honest Christians believe in an 
intermediate existence between death and the resurrec- 
tion; but Mr. Ballou did not entertain such a belief. 
He saw only two states — the mortal and the immortal, 
the corruptible and the incorruptible. On one occasion 
be was musing on the passage, Eccle. 9 : 5, — " For the 
living know that they shall die, but the dead know 
not anything, neither have they any more a reward ; 
for the memory of them i^ forgotten,^ ^ It was neces- 
sary, he thought, that the living should know that they 
must die. God would not have given this knowledge, 
had he not seen it would have been for their benefit. 
Mr. B could see various ways in which the-knowledge of 
the fact that we must die is beneficial to men. It checks 
our desires for wealth; it represses our ambition; it 
softens our enmity and hatred of one another ; it leads 
us to prepare for our departure from the world. His 
thoughts ran on still farther, in regard to the passage we 
have quoted. He said : 

<* 2. The opinion that the dead know infinitely mpre than the 

884 LIFB OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1828. 

living, that they are capable of &r greater enjoymenta and sub- 
ject to greater 8u£ferings, Beems to be corrected by our text : 
*■ The dead know not kny thing.' And this agrees with the follow- 
ing context : ' Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, 
is now perished ; neither have they any more a portion forever in 
anything that is done under the sun : there is no work, nor 
device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou 

*^ Before we came into this world we were all in the same con- 
dition. Those who in this life differ the most were a short time 
ago on a level. And in a few moments more they will be so again. 

" We are not to suppose that the author of our text vras an 
unbeliever in the doctrine of the resurrection, or that this passage 
denies it. life and immortality, which are brought to light 
through the gospel, and which were also taught by Moses, accord- 
ing to the words of the Saviour, may remain' the Christian's hope 
and. consolation, vdthout contradicting our text. In fact, the 
text, in room of opposing the doctrine of the resurrection, proves 
its necessity ; for if, as has been supposed, the dead are capable 
- of knowing and enjoying, it seems there could be no necessity of a 
resurrection. On reviewing the common opinion on this subject, 
it seems a question how our doctors have satisfied themselves that 
the dead, before they are raised into that state which is promised 
in the resurrection, are capable of knowing far more than while 
living, and also of enjoying and suffering to degrees as increased 
as is their knowledge. If such were the state of the dead, what 
necessity could there be^of a resurrection from this state ? Surely 
not for the purpose of either happiness or misery. But what 
may justly increase our surprise on this subject is, that such a 
sentiment has been received and adhered to without the least sup- 
port from the Scriptures. In them we have no account of the 
dead, tliat they know anything, or that they enjoy or suffer any- 
thing. We have accounts of several who were raised from the 
dead, but we have no account of a sentient state in which they 
have been either happy or miserable during the time they Temained 
without life. Jesus raised Lazarus, who had been dead four days ; 
but no account is given concerning what he experienced during 


these four days. If he knew more then than he ever did while liv- 
ing, why was not this ftind of knowledge brought with him when 
he returned to life ? and why was it not communicated for the 
infonnation of the living, and especially for the support of this 
common opinion, that the dead know more than the living, that 
tiiey are capable of enjoying and of sufifering more than the living ? 
Before the Saviour was <9rucified, he several times informed his dis- 
ciples that the event was approaching ; and he also informed them 
that he should arise from the dead the third day after his death ; 
but he never told them what would be his employment during the 
time his body should remain in death. Nor did he, after his res- 
urrection, ever inform them that during the sleep of death he 
had been in a sentient state, actively employed among spirits in 
the invisible world. It seems furthermore worthy of notice, that 
Jesus, who certainly was acquainted with the Scriptures of the 
Old Testament, sfaiould never have corrected the error in which he 
must have found Solomon, if he knew that the dead know, enjoy 
and suffer, according to the opinion which has been entertained in 
the church. 

<* 3. * Neither have they any more a reward.' This member of ' 
the text seems to correct the almost universal opinion, that while 
men live in the world they are not rewarded for their conduct, 
but that this reward comes after they die. The text supposes 
that men are rewarded while they live ; for it asserts that after 
they die they have no mare a reward, which implies that they 
have a reward while they live, but none afterwards. 

<< That men are rewarded for their good and bad conduct while 
they live, is a truth which both experience and observation very 
clearly demonstrate. *It is true that, by the force of error, so obvi- 
ous a truth has been generally disbelieved ; and a sentiment which 
violates reason, experience and observation, as well as the plainest 
declarations of Scripture, has been maintained. 

*' Lost in the labyrinth of this error, many have looked at the 
wealthy wicked as a standing proof that the sinner lives happily 
in the world. Yet no mistake can be greater. Was the wealthy, 
wicked Haman happy ? Glorious in riches, surrounded with a mul- 
titude of children, possesnng the highest confidence of his sovereign, 


386 LIFE OF*fibSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1828. 


and supposing himself in the best graces of her majesty the queen, 
was he happy ? His own testimony was, * Yet all this availeth 
me nothing.' Look at yonder splendid seat. There are riches to 
overflowing, there is splendor that dazzles the beholder. But this 
wealth was wrenched, by &aud, from him who now wanders a 
mendicant in the streets, whose scanty pittance is received from 
the almost weary hand of charity. Would you be that wealthy 
sinner? Would you be willing, for all he possesses, never to eat, 
never to drink the fruits of honest industry ? For all his wealth, 
would you condemn yourself never to enjoy anything in an honest 
way? Have you lost all appetite for the sweets of an approving 
conscience? You are then fit for his society, and to be wretched 
with him. 

<* Where is the individual who is not as happy as he is virtu- 
ous, or who is not as miserable as he is vicious? Who will under- 
take to desctibe those virtues which are barren and unproductive 
of enjoyment in the present life, or that class of vices which do 
not, in this world, produce wretchedness and misery? 

<* It seems to have been believed by Solomon, that, if the dead 
could always be remembered by the living, they, in this respect, 
might be said to have some reward after the scenes of this life are 
closed ; but, on general principles, the memory of the dead is for- 
gotten, and therefore they have no more a reward. 

" In view of this subject, let us all be admonished so to keep 
death in view as to moderate oul: desires for this world's good, and 
to chasten all our passions into subordination to a meek and quiet 
spirit, which, in the sight of Qod, is anomament of great price." 


No man knew better how to console the afflicted than 
Mr. Ballon. For this reason, his services were fre- 
quently sought in behalf of the sick, and in the house of 
death. He not unfrequently received letters from per- 
sons in affliction who lived at a distance, stating their 
sorrows to him, and the cause of the same, and asking 


the expression of such thoughts on his part as would 
meet their case. To these applications, we are confident, 
he gave attention, so far as we have had the means of 
judging. He aimed to act the part of the good Samari- 
tan, and pour the oil and wine of consolation into the 
bleeding heart. A lady in the town of Union, Ct., had 
been called to surrender into the arms of death a dearly- 
beloved son. She said to Mr. B., ''My soul is bowed 
down at the loss of my son. 0, dear sir, if you have 
comfort for such as I am, I need it now. I feel scarcely 
able to bear up under my afiUction. My son is dead ; I 
shall see him no more in this world." He addressed her 
in these words : 

<* Madam : The affliction with which you have been recently 
visited is of that kind which is calculated to prey on the natural 
affections of the heart, to bring a gloom over the disconsolate 
mother, and to produce even murmurings against that ProTidence 
-which dooms our earthly hopes to disappointment, and our tem- 
poral jojs to the blasts of sorrow. In this condition, it is needful 
that a source of consolation should be sought, that some healing 
balm should be applied, and that some celestial drops of comfort 
should be mingled in the cup of sorrow, that the mourner be sus- 
.tained under affliction, and all murmurings repressed. 

** Let me, madam, invite your attention to Him in whose hand 
is that rod by which you are afflicted. Is it the pleasure of the 
Almighty to afflict his creatures? Are the sorrows of all the 
mourners of the earth delightsome to our heayenly Father? 
Hear what he says by his prophet, — * For the Lord will not cast 
off forever : but, though he cause grief, yet vnll he have compas- 
sion according to the multitude of his mercies. .For he doth not 
afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.' Will you ask, 
Why, then, does he afflict us? See the answer by an apostle : 
Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. We have had fathers of 


>ur flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence ; shall 

888 LIFE OF HOSBA BAUiOU. A. X>. 1828. 

we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits 
and live ? For the j yerily for a few days chastened us after their 
own pleasure ; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers 
of his holiness.' Did not the Saviour admonish the people, witii 
arguments drawn from parental love, against doubting tiie good- 
ness of our heavenly Father? ' If ye, being evU, know how to 
^ve good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father 
which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him ! ' 

'' Here, madam, Jesus certifies us that our heavenly Father is 
better to us than we are to our children. If this be true, there 
oan be no more severity in his chastisements than his love and 
wisdom dietate and govern for our benefit. 

*' But what is the occasion of your grief? You have often seen 
your beloved son repose in sleep. Was he ever more lovely in 
your eyes than when thus at rest? Well, he never slept more 
quietly than he now does, where sickness and pain can never dis- 
turb, where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the 
weary are at rest. 

" Have you never felt a concern for fear your dear son might 
possibly be drawn &om the path of virtue, by the arts and allure- 
ments of vice? He is now out of danger. But you will say. He 
is hid from my sight and I shall see him no more, no more enjoy 
his company. But reflect, dear madam ; ask yourself the ques- 
tion. How long will it be before you meet again ? See 1 Thess. 
4 : 13, 14, — < But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, 
concerning them that are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as oth- 
ers which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died, and 
rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring 
with him.' Now turn your thoughts to the expiring Saviour, and 
hear him say, < Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.' 
To the same care, madam, you are invited to trust your beloved 
son, and in the same hope which sustained the blessed Jesus in 
death ; and to take hold on the divine assurance, that < as in 
Adam all die, ev^n so in Christ shall all be made alive.' And 
may God, in his tender mercy, sanctify all your afflictions for 
your good, and grant you and your husband everlasting consola- 
tion and good hope through grace. 


« There 's pily in » Sfryionr*ii breast, 

GompasdiOB in hii eye ; 
To him, dear madam, fly for rest : 

He marks the mourner's sigh. 

*• 0, fly to him ; he ^s ever near ; 

Thy grief he makes his own ; 
With full assuranee, then^ draw ne«r. 

And lum belbre has l&fone. 

« In him you *11 And a oalm retreat^ 
And every blessing share. 
While humbly bending at his feet— • 
Another Mary there. 

'< I am, dear madam, 

'^ AffectioDately jovaa. 


He remembered not only the afllicted, — tbose who 
mourned the loss of friends, — but the aged and infirm, 
also. His heart was ^wn out with tender reg^d for 
them. What should he say for their comfort? Wha(t 
was appropriate to their situation? He used to say 
" !rhe hoary head is a crown of glory, if found in the way 
of righteousness." To be permitted to live to old age 
was a blessing, a reward, often, of a prudent and obedient 
life. Parents were entitled to the respect of thdor diil* 
dren, which claim inoreased as the parents descended 
more and more nearly to the grave ,' and no daughter or 
son, of good sense or good principles, would permit him- 
self, even for one moment, to show the slightest disre- 
apect to his father or his mother. Mr. Balloa would 
speak to the aged and io&tm m limguage like this : 


890 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. B. 1828. 

"Ybnxrable Fathers Ain> Mothers: Your advanced yean 
entitle you to the attention and respect of sodetj generally, but 
more especially to the attention and respect of your connections, 
and the younger branches and members of your £sunilies. Your 
age is eyidence that you discharged your duty to your parents in 
their day, by which you are entitled to the promise with which 
such duty is rewarded : < Honor thy fia.ther and thy mother, that 
thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God 
giveth thee.' 

<' In all ages it has been esteemed a favor to live to be old, and 
therefore divine instruction is given on this ground. * Hear, 
my son, and receive my sayings ; and the years of thy life shall be 
many. My son, forget not my law ; but let thine heart keep my 
commandments : for length of days, and long life, and peace, 
shall they add to thee. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, 
and the man that getteth understanding : length of days is in her 
right hand; and in her left riches and honor.' You see, then, 
that your advanced years are evidence of the divine approbation. 
This should be a source of comfort and satisfaction. It is a pleas- 
ant reflection to the servant to be satisfied that the master's 
approbation is obtained. Thus circumstanced, yoiThave reason 
to be glad that your journey is so ifear through. Gould you be 
set back twenty or thirty years, would you view it an advantage ? 
You might make mistakes, which by due caution you have 
avoided, and lose the crown you have now secured. Let it be a 
comfort, then, to your minds, that the dangers of life's voyage are 
past, that its great object is obtained, and that a good name, which 
is better than precious ointment, is yours. 

'< As you have been fiuthful in the discharge of your duty, in 
bringing up your children in the nurture and admonition of the 
Lord, so it is probable that you now enjoy the due recompense of 
so doing, in the prosperity of your ofiEspring. What can more 
cheer the hearts of afifectionate parents than to see their children 
and their children's children virtuous and prosperous in the 
world?, < The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion ; and thou shali 
see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thoa 
ahalt see thy children's children, and peace on Israel.' 


" The manifestation of the divine favor and the prospect of 
much good to our country and to the world, are wonderfully cal- 
culated to reconcile the aged to depart and to be with Christ, 
which is &r better than to stay here. When aged Simeon held in 
his arms the Saviour of the world, he said, in a transport of joy, 
* Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to 
thy word ; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou 
hast prepared before the face of all people ; a light to lighten the 
Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel.' You who have lived 
to be old, in this happy country of unexampled privileges, who 
have discernment to look forward and calculate on the promised 
prosperity which awaits an industrious, Enterprising people, pos- 
sessing our advantages ; who have seen the march of mind which 
has distinguished the present age, and the advancements which 
have been made in liberal sentiments in religion, which give &.vor- 
able assurance of a general diffusion of truth throughout the 
world, have no less occasion to raise your hearts to God, ii> resig- 
nation to depart in peace, than had Simeon, who stands on divine 
record as your example. 

" But are any of you so droumstanced as to be induced te say, 
We are not only old and infirm, but we are helpless and a burden 
to our children ? Let me ask, were your parents a burden to you 
when you so kindly waited on them in their helpless old age? 
Were your children a burden to you when they vrere helpless in 
your arms? .Such a thought should never be indulged. Nothing 
could give your children more unpleasant sensations than to know 
that you thought yourselves a burthen to them. In such a case 
they would feel that they were accused before God, who has com- 
manded thus, ' Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and 
despise not thy mother when she is old.' It is not unfrequently 
the case that old and infirm people trouble themselves and their 
children by indulging the notion that everything should be done 
accordingly as they see fit to direct ; not realizing that the con- 
cerns of bufflness necessarily devolve on those who, being in the 
vigor of manhood, can exercise a better and sounder judgment 
than they whose powers both of body and mind have' become fee- 
ble. In relation to this particular, you will allow me to give 

892 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. B. 1826. 

8om6 advice. Lay aeide, then, the concern about busmess, which 
gives you this trouble, and trust the direction of temporal oon- 
oems to the judgment of those on whom the duty most properly 
&Us. If they manage them prudently, they receive the benefit ; 
if they manage foolishly, the damage is theirs. Why should you 
take this care and responsibility on youiselves? Have you not in 
your days had care enough ? Let others now take tibieir turn, 
and rid yourselves of a burden which no one can rationally wish 
you to bear. Should cases occur in which you are satisfied thai 
your advice is needed, you can, without burdening yourselves with 
a concern for the event, surest, by way of query, what you are 
satisfied would be for the best, without perplexing those whose 
proper concern it is, and without rendering yourselves responsible 
for consequences. 

<* Novr is the preoiottS moment to attend to the divine direction : 
' Gather up the firagments, that nol^iing be lost. " The gay scenes 
of youth, blossoming vnth hope and flushed vrith ambition, are 
long since past ; the multiplied cares and concerns of middle age 
are now no more ; all that the world caUs pleasure has become 
insipfif , — what now remains t There remains your kind, your 
everlasting Father in heaven, whose eye is on you still, whose 
ear is still open to your devotions, and whose arms are about 
you for your protection. There remain your children, and 
your children's children, all devoted to your service. Tour 
neighbors and your firiends are near, to lend you aid, if needed. 
Your Bibles you can read, or your children can read them in 
your hearing ; and many other wholesome writings, calculated 
to revive the drooping spirit and to gladden the sad heart, stiU 
remain. The truth of the Lord endureth forever. Toucan now 
meditate on the doctrine of the blessed Saviour, and by faith in 
him can apply his precious promises to yourselves. You can love 
your God, you can love his truths you can love all who are about 
you ; and you can do them much favor by giving them to under- 
stand that you have confidence in them, love for them, and satis- 
^tion in their duties to you performed with filial affection. 
Immortality and eternal life, wMdi axe brought to light through 


the gospel, still remain an inheritance inoorruptible and unde- 
filed, and which &deth not away, reseryed in heaven for you." 


There was much excitement, in these days, on the 
subject of foreign missions. Agents were out among 
the churches, calling upon the people to give their money 
to aid in the work of saving the heathen. Mr. Ballou 
felt a warm desire that the benighted heathen should 
come to the knowledge of Christ ; and he offered fervent 
prayers to that end. But he did not desire to have them 
converted to Calvinism, or any other form of faith which 
was to be attributed to the vrisdom of this world solely. 
When he was charged with being opposed to the conver- 
sion of the heathen, he said, '^ No, I am not opposed to 
their conversion to Christ ; I am ardently desirous that 
they should all know Jesus in his true character ; but 
I am fearful that the missionaries who are sent to 
Asia, Africa and the islands of the sea, will not teach 
Christ ; I am fearful they will not speak as the oracles 
of God ; I am fearful they will substitute their own inven- 
tions for the divine word." Nothing gave him greater 
pain, in reflecting on this subject, than the reasons which 
were assigned by the leading clergy why the gospel 
should be sent to the heathen. These divines averred « 
that the '^ poor heathen" did not need to be saved so 
much from their blindness, from their idols, from their 
evil practices, from uncleanness, from the sacrifice of 
children, from cannibalism, as from the wrath of God^ 
and from the pains of hell forever. K it were not for 

8d4 LIFB OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. B. 1828. 

God's wrath and endless burnings, the clergy thought 
there would not be the need of sendmg missionaries abroad. 
The great fact which was urged as the reason why the 
people should contribute money to support the missiona- 
ries was, not so much to improve the practices of the 
heathen in this life, as to save their souls. The most 
stirring appeals were made in their behalf, because they 
were dying srt; the rate of many thousands per day, anj 
were thus dropping into an endless hell. It was some- 
thing in God &om which these worldly-wise divines 
wished to save them, and not from sin in itself. « How 
happened ^these missionaries," Mr. B. would ask, ^' to 
have so much less wrath and so much more kindness than 
the Father of mercies? " Again and again he put this 
question, in the course of his ministry. There was 
another matter on which he bestowed much thought, 
namely, the motive which moved these missionary pro- 
ceedings. It will be remembered that the highest motive 
which our Lord attributed to the missionaries sent out by 
the Pharisees of his day, was the desire to make prose- 
lytes, '' Ye compass sea and land to make proselytes.'^ 
Jesus would not allow that they had any other purpose. 
Mr. Ballou supposed that the miissionary operations in 
our times sprung, in some measure at least, from the 
same cause. He was fearfril, too, that Christians would 
carry the sad example of their divisions into foreign 
lands ; that, as the different sects were almost all about 
to engage in this work, all the different shades of faith 
which we saw among us would become visible wherever 
they were successful. There was but little hope of suc- 
cess to be entertained, considering the way in which the 


chnrchetf had commenced. Mr. B. therefore had no 
great satis&ction in beholding what the churches were 
doing for the alleged purpose of converting the heathen. 
He looked at it as a vast operation of the earthly wis^ 
dom ; and, for ihe ends for which it was arowedlj carried 
on, it seemed to him to be almost a denial of the gospel 
itself. He reasoned on the matter in the following 

" Ist. Is not tiiifl whde argament a denial of the reHgion of 
Jesus Christ? It is allowed that this religion is founded entirely 
on the divine benevolence towards mankind. This proposition ia 
acknowledged by all Christian denominations. How, then, is it 
possible to reconcile this matter of £aiet with the idea that so &x 
the greatest portion of the human £unily is in danger of endless 
Buffiaring|9, as a dispensation from this same Divine Being, whom 
benevolence to the whole human race has, in infinite mercy, 
revealed a dispensation of favor? 

<< If God really meditated or designed the gospel for the benefit 
of all men, he must have loved all ; and, if he is unchangeable, 
he loves them still, and will so love tiiem forever. What danger, 
then, can any portion of the human &mily be in of receiving from 
Qod anything but good? If the friend of missions should be so 
lost and inconsistent as to say that Qod has limited man's oppor- 
tunity to become interested in the gospel of his Son to this life, 
and that this day of probation may expire before we make sure of 
the prize, he may be told that this suggestion involves inconsist- 
encies as repugnant to reason as the one it is designed to dear 
up ; for, if the gospel is in fiu)t founded on the benevolence of God 
towards all men, then the whole race of man was intesested in this 
gospel even before it was revealed to. any. And, furthermore ; if 
the divine benevolence produced this dispensation of &vor for the 
benefit of all men, how is it possible that Qod should ordain that 
the conditions by which we are to obtain this &vor should be such 

896 LH^ OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1828. 

that but a oomparative few Ethoold even have it within their power 
to avail themselves of their benefits? 

" 2d. Is there not a very great want of oonenstency in pretend- 
ing that the people here, by being moved by the spirit of Christ, 
will, in very deed, by contributing money for that purpose, be the 
means of saving immortal souls from the endless wrath of this 
same Christ ? lis not this absurdity equally as egregious as it 
would be to argue that by sending missionaries to the heathen, 
especially if it cost us everything we could possibly spare, we 
should be the means of saving them &om our ovm virrath ? People 
are made to believe that Almighty God has been at infinite expense 
to save those of his own creation from his ovm virrath, and that 
because he loves them vnth an infinite love ! They are made to 
believe that the Son of God came into the world and gave himself 
a ransom to save men from his own vengeance in the future 
world ! And, to complete the solemn &rce, our clergy are now 
persuading the people that all that God has done, and all that 
Christ has done, to save people from their everlasting vengeance, 
will fail, unless thev send, at an immense expense, these miasiona- 
ries to complete the work ! 

<* 3d. When our missionaries; duly qualified for this great work 
of converting the heathen, arrive in the country where they are 
destined to labor, what have they for doctrine to teach the poor 
heathen? The &ct is, they preach as great absurdities there as 
they do here. They there proclaim the infinite goodness of God 
in sending his holy child Jesus to die for all men ; they there pro- 
fess to be sent to the people vrith a message of grace from him 
who vnll have all men to be saved ; and they there pray that the 
Redeemer's kingdom may fill the whole earth, and then require 
the people to believe that far the greatest part of mankind must 
be eternally miserable, for the glory of God ! 

<< 4th. As4God promised the father of the faithful that he would 
bless all nations in him, do not the pretensions of those who 
patronize these missionary vievra manifest that they believe that 
God will fail of his promise in part, and almost wholly so unless 
they assist him ? In this they manifest a similar vnsdom to that 
by which Sarah disturbed her own peace and that of her fiunily, 



by contriving a way to help the God of A4>Taham to fulfil his 
promise respecting his seed. A bond-woman and her son became 
a burden and an offence. So will this wonderful wisdom, which 
has 80 artfully planned the missionary scheme, end in a very few 
eonvertfi, who will know as little of the nature of the gospel as do 
those who compass sea and land to convert them. 

** 5th. As this scheme of missions carries professed Ohristian 
ministers of different creeds into heathen countries, is it reasonable 
to suppose that they can any better agree there than here, where 
they are forever in contention ? Each will there endeavor to pro- 
duce his £Eivorite belief in his proselyte ; and when he perceives 
what he callfl the work of regeneration commencing, he, like 
Jacob of old, will be careful to peel his rods and present them 
before the subject, and will never allow him to be bom again, 
until the right rings and spots appear ! And when these differ- 
ent creeds have engaged their respective votaries in their causes 
offensively and defensively, will there be anything wanting to com- 
plete a Babel confusion equal to the one which sends these mis- 
sionaries abroad? 

<< Trusting in the increasing majesty of the Sun of righteous- 
ness, in due time, to enlighten all the ends of the earth, I have as 
little expectation that our missionary divines will effect this work, 
as I have that the polar ices can be all melted by carrying water 
in vases from the torrid zone." 


We have shown, in former parts of this work, that Mr. 
Ballou had no faith in the common vagary concerning 
the existence of a personal devil. There was never a 
time, after he became a Universalist, that he did believe 
it ; it was one of the points of Calvinism that he was 
earliest brought to reject. After his opinion was care- 
fully formed it seldom changed, although he was always 
ready to change, when proper evidence was presented. 


898 LIFB 07 HOSSA BALLOU. A. ]>. 1B39. 

He believed all which the sacred writers had tattght in 
regard to the devil; but he desired to receive their 
teachings in a proper manner, that is, he* sought not to 
make a sense for their words, but to receive them in the 
precise signification which the writers intended. The 
common notions on this subject he utterly disregarded ; 
and he sometimes addressed the reverend divines on this 
matter, somewhat in the style in which the prophet Eli- 
jah addressed the prophets of Baal, 1 Kings 18 : 27. If 
those divines saw fit to defend absurd notions, he thought 
they ought to be willing to take the consequences. He 
proposed the following queries respecting the devil : 

" The clergy who believe, and teach others to believe, that there 
is an immortal, spiritual being, who was once a holy angel in 
heaven, and who, by transgression and rebellion against God, fell 
from his moral rectitude, for which he was cast out of heaven 
down to a place which they call hell, there to be confined and 
tormented, in a lake of fire and brimstone, to all eternity ; and 
who tempted Eve in the garden of Eden, in the form of a serpent, 
and who now tempts every man and woman in the world to all 
the sin wlHch is committed, and who intends thereby to provoke 
God, who sent him to hell, to send us there too ; which being the 
clergy call the Devil ; they are humbly called upon to give us, in 
short, all the information on this subject in their possession, which 
they may think it will not endanger their craft to disclose. As a 
good reason for calling for this information, may be stated the 
fact that there iire many people who not only disbelieve this doc- 
trine, on which the clergy wholly depend for their standing in this 
world, but who go so fiir as to treat it with no small disrespect. 
Should this dangerous heresy, of denying this fundamental doc- 
trine concerning the devil, generally prevail, even a novice, with 
half an eye, can see the whole foundation of the popular hierarchy 
at once swept away. 

** As some, with vain curiosity, ask, how it happened that sin 


sliotild orij^to in heaveiti, and hc^ it was |x)ttible for thci devil, 
who yroB confined m h^, to have the opportunity of dressing him-* 
self up in tiie garb of a serpent and Tirating Eye in Eden, and bow 
it is that he, being in hell confined, can be present with eyery 
man, woman and child in the world, it might be well to stop the 
mouths of these querists by plain and direct answers to their 

No answers, of course, could be obtai&ed. He con- 
tinued to expose Calvinism with great force and clear- 
ness, in his sermons, in his written articled, and in his 
conversation. Every doctrine of partiality and cruelty 
looked to him as if it originated and had been nurtured 
in the benighted minds of priests in the dark ages, and 
was sustained in our day by the force of tradition, and 
priestcraft, and sectarian pride. On the contrary, love, 
in his sight, bore the stamp of heaven. '^ Love is of 
God." Love belongs to heaven. If the doctrine of an 
endless hell were true, there would be no love there. 
Love springs not up from hell. Anything bearing the 
stamp of love proves its divine origin ; while that which 
bears the stamp of cruelty and partiality shows it had 
its origin in darkened and diseased minds. 


Speaking so often as he did on the love of God, he 
sometimes drew out upon himself questions like this : 
Does not the Bible teach us anything concerning the 
anger sndfury of God? He would answer, ''Yes." — 
"Well," the inquirer would say, ''what does it teach 
us?" — " It teaches us," said Mr. B., ^' ' that God is slow 

400 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1828. 

to anger ; ' that his anger may be ' turned away ; ' that 
it ^ endoreth but a moment ; ' that ^ weeping may endure 
for a night (it is transient), but joy cometh in the morn- 
ing/ — Psa. 30 : 6 ; * that the Lord is merciful and gra- 
cious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy,' — Psa. 103: 
8 ; * will he reserve his anger forever? will he keep it 
to the end?' — Jer. 3:5; 'I am merciful, saith the 
Lord; and I will not keep anger forever,'— verse 12; 
' He retaineth not his anger forever, because he delight- 
eth in mercy,' — Micah 7 : 18. He never delighteth in 
wrath; that is his strange work. Now," Mr. Ballou 
would say to the inquirer, '^ if people really desire to know 
what the sacred writers say in regard to the anger of the 
Lord, let them not forget the facts which I have here 
named."* But the inquirer perhaps would proceed to 
say, ^^ If God is love, as you assure us he is, how can he 
ever be swd to be angry?" — **|Well," said Mr. B., "you 
do not mean to deny that God is love, I trust?" — "No." 
— " Then you merely wish to know how the fact of God's 
anger can be made to appear consistent with his love? I 
will tell you, my friend. We must never suppose that 
Grod is angry in the sense in which wicked men are 
angry; for, in that sense, 'anger resteth only in the 
bosom of fools.' God is angry only in that sense in 
which a God of love and true holiness can be angry. But 
let us give his own language more directly. On the 
words "anger resteth in the bosom of fools" (Eccl. 7: 
9), he said : 

" From these words learn, Ist, That a wise man*s bosom may 
be the receptacle of anger for a short time, but he will never con- 
sent to harbor it as an inhabitant at rest or at home. When a 



wise man is angry, finding that something has entered his bosom 
which gives him unpleasant sensations, he sets himself immedi- 
ately to work to examine and find oat the exact and true oharae- 
ter of this unwelcome intruder. He very soon discov^s that he 
has got a troublesome guest, who will never allow him any peace 
so long as he is suffer^ to abide with him. He then very pru- 
dently takes means to dislodge so duigerous a foe, before he can 
fi)rtify himself, and become formidable in his intr^ichments. 

<< But with a foolish man the case is widely different. When 
anger enters his bosom it finds a settled abode ; and the fool bids 
it a hearty welcome, and immediately devotes his whole attention 
to accommodate this inmate of his heart. Anger now becomes 
the absolute master of the man who is fi3ol enough to become its 
slave, goaded and driven here and there as the tyrant dictates. 

" The folly of this man appears in his elbrts to injure anothei^, 
but a^ the time tormenting himself. His anger dec^ves hkn, and 
makes him b^eve thl^t, if he can effect a certain matter of mi»- 
chief, it will give him satis&ction. But, evei^ in case he succeeds^ 
he finds himself exposed to a reaction which he cad not anticipate, 
and this provokes him to attempt a second injury. In this he, 
perhaps, failB, and brings on himself mortification as well as dis- 
appointment ; all which enrages his anger still more, which now 
prompts him on even to fiiry, giving him no rest day nor night. 

*' From the words of our text learn, 2d, That those Scriptures 
which represent the Divine Being as ex^cised with anger should 
never be understood to represent him as harboring anger or enmity 
in his bosom, even towards the wicked. It is worthy of remark 
that the Scriptures speak of God's anger as something which he 
can turn from or put av^ay ; see Micah 7 : 18. * Who is a God 
like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the 
transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not 
his anger fbrever, because he delighteth in mercy.' — Psalm 30 : 5. 
'For his anger endureth but a moment; in his &vor is life; 
weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.' 

<< Should the question arise in the reader's mind how it is that 
an Tznchangeablo God can be angry at one time and not at another, 
we may have leeourse to the divine testimony lor light on this 


402 LIFE OF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1828. 

subject. Learn, then, that anger is not in God, but in man, 
whom God uses to correct men's disobedience and folly. See Isa. 
10 : 5, — < 0, Assyrian, the rod of mine anger ^d thestaff in thdr 
hand is mine indignation.' 51 : 17, — * Jerusalem, which hast 
drank at the hand of the Lord the cups of his fury ; thou hast 
drunken the dregs of the cups of trembling, and wrung them out.' 
27 : 4, ;— < Fury is not in me : who would set briers and thorns 
against me in battle ? I would go through them, and would bum 
them up together.' in the light which these passages reflect on 
our subject, we see that in the Divine Being there is nothing con- 
trary to loye. ' God is love,' and in him there is no enmity. 

<* What shall we think of that impious creed by which men are 
taught that anger will abide in the bosom oC our heavenly Father 
foreyer, and be exerted, too, in the administration of endless tor- 
ments on millions of his own offitpring ? When Solomon said that 
anger resteth in the bosom of fools, did he dream that any man 
would ever be so foolish as to suppose that it would rest in the 
bosom of the Creator forever! " 


On Fast Day, April 8d, Mr. Ballou preached a dis- 
course of peculiar stringency, at the School-street church. 
In addition to the attempt made by Professor Stuart to 
deprive Unirersalists of the power to make oath, there 
were other facts, in regard to the dominant clergy, which 
seemed to show that they were aiming to gain great 
power, the exercise of which might be dangerous to the 
people. There were attempts to get certain societies, 
which were principally under the control of the clergy, 
consolidated and strengthened by acts of incorporation, 
with power to hold large amounts of property. There 
were efforts, too, to create a '^ Christian party in poll; 
tics," so called, which was to control the state and 


national elections, and bring the country under the influ- 
ence of the Presbyterians, and other sects of kindred 
faith. It was this state of things which led Mr. B. to 
select as the subject of his discourse, on the occasion 
referred to, the words of the prophet (Jer. 6 : 30, 31), 
^^A wonderful and horrible thing is com/mitted in the 
land ; the prophets prophesy falselt/, and the priests 
bear rule by their means ; and my people love to have 
it so : and what will ye do in the end thereof 7 " * 

When Mr. Ballou came to apply the subject to his 
own times, he spoke the honest convictions of his under- 
standing : 

*< That the clergy in our oonntry are determined to gain an 
ascendency oyer the people, even &r beyond what they now exer- 
cise, is abundantly evident from the unwearied exertions which 
they are making to add to all their other means of influence that 
of moneyed institutions. No scheme which clerical ingenuity and 
deceit have been able to inyent and cause to act has been omitted. 
At our doors stand their runners and beggars ; in our parlors they 
solicit money of our wives and daughters ; in our kitchens they 
wring from the female hand of labor its penny, its last farthing. 
With hearts harder than flint, and colder 4han marble, they vrill 
plead, in the most persuasive manner, with little children to relin- 
quish the grateful sweets which the God of nature adapted to 
their taste, that the unnatural sacrifice may be turned into money 
to be used in saving souls. And such is the mania of deluded 
parents, that, in many instances, such degrading folly is indulged, 
while the clergy, in room of being ashamed of conduct so deroga- 
tory to humanity and good sense, boldly publish to the world their 
success in deception, and endeavor to excite others to become 
equally stupid. 

* See «A Sermon delivered in the Second UniversaliBt Meeting-honae 
ia Bolton, on Fut-day morning, AprU 3d, by Rev. H. BaUou, paator.** 


" This order of men study Inuima natioeywith aridity of ap|^ 
cation, to find out every poasible ayenae to the weakness of man- 
kind ; and they have discoTered that a blind enthusiaam, regard- 
ing religion, will drive people fastest and furthest of any spirit by 
which they con be moved. In order to elude detection, they place 
their objects all in a future world, to which regkm the eye cannot 
extend. On these 8ul]ject8 they dw«3i with boldness and pathoe, 
deeoribmg the miaery of the damned inthemoetUvelyMid mo^ 
manner, insisting, at the same time, on the strict eternity of its 
duration ; and, directing the attention of their hearers to the des- 
titute condition of the heathen, who have Hot the hkssed sound of 
their gospel of endless torments, they assure them that nothing 
oan save those millions of rational beings fieom such tcmnents in 
the future, eternal world, but the labors of missionaries. And 
now comes the cry for money. Money is wanted to carry salva- 
tion to heathen lands; money is wanted to present Bibles for 
heathen to read ; and mao^ are so stupid as to think, if the 
heathen had our Bible to read, it would be the means of saving 
th^n from divine wrath. But all this deception is carried on fin 
the purpose of obtaining the people's money. McHiey they know 
IB power. By it they are peisuaded that they can contEol the oon- 
cems and affairs of state." 

It may seem ta have been ahiost u&diaritable to de- 
clare the fact, yet lif r. Batlloii really believed that the 
popular clergy of our country were seeking to bring the 
whole land under the control of certain dominant, sects.* 

* That Mr. B. was fully borne out in such an opinion» wiU be evident 
to every one who will read the following extract from a sermon preached 
by Dr. Ezra Styles Ely, in 1827: 

** In other words, onr presictents, secretaries of the government, sena- 
tors, and other representatives in Congress, governors of states, judges 
state legislators, justices of the peace and city magistrates, aire jasi as 
much hound as any other persons in the United States to be orf Aodbsr in 
their faith. 

•* Onr TdUa, like ai^ other meaifters of lie (MamaaS^, fr&o are widtt 

AQm> 67. FAST-DAT SERMaN. 405 

If the following paragraph appears severe, let it be par- 
doned, on the ground that it was an honest expression of 
the preacher's opinion, which it gave him as much, pain 
to avow, as it could possibly give others to hear it. 

<*~Wliat shall we think of these men, who thus endeavor to 
enslaye their fellow-creatures ? It is hard to judge them, and say 
they are dishonest, — that they are designing, crafty men ; and yet 
we must say this, or, what they would as little like, that they are 
not possessed of common sense. Can they possibly believe that 
money is wanted to save the souls of men from the wrath of our 
Creator? This is what they pretend ; and they cry money, money, 
as if they were .in distress. Scarcely do we hear a word from 
their lips concerning the redeeming favor of our heavenly Father, 
which is so richly communicated in the gospel of his beloved Son, 
who gave himself a ransom for the whole world. Not to save us 
from the wrath of God, but from priestcraft and its degrading 
oppressions. The clergy would cause us to fear falling into the 
hands of God ; but, my friends, I think the danger is pf falling 
into the hands of the clergy." 

law to God M rational h«ingfl, and under law to Ohrist, Binccthey have 
the light of divine revelation, ought to search the Soriptares, assent to 
the truth, profess faith in Christ, keep the Sabbath holy to 6od, pray 
in private and in the domestic circle, attend on the public ministry of 
the word, be bapHzed and edthrate the Lord's Stopper. The doctors of the 
five classes of true Christians, united in the sole requisition of apparent 
friendship to Christianity in every candidate for office whom they will 
support, cotdd govern every public election in our country, without infring- 
ing In the least upon the charter of our civil liberties. 

** The Presbyterians alone could bring half a million of electors into the 

** I propose, fellow-citizens, a new sort of union, or, if you please, a 
Christian party in politics, which I am exceedingly desirous all good men 
in our country should join. 

** I am free to avow that, other things being equal, I would prefer for 
my chief magistrate, and judge, and ruler, a sound Presbyterian. It 
will be objected that my plan of a truly Christian party in politics will 
make hypocrites. We are not answerable for their hypocrisy, if it does.** 

406 LIFE QF HOSBA BALLOU. A. D. 1828. 


In the month of May Mr. B. made his second visit to 
Philadelphia, the first (vol. ii., pp. 173 — 85) having 
been made late in the year 1820. No particular account 
of the second journey has been preserved. Rev. S. B. 
Smith was the pastor at Callowhill-street, in that city, 
though we believe he was absent from home at this time. 
The society in Lombard.-street was enjoying the labors 
of Rev. T. Fisk. The young man who has since been so 
eminent — we mean Rev. A. C. Thomas -^ had not then 
preached, although he had become a Universalist. He 
was residing at the time in Lancaster, Pa. He preached 
his first sermon at Lombard-street church, in the No- 
vember following. At the time Mr. B. was in Philadel- 
phia, the health of Rev. S. R. Smith was much broken, 
and he h^ formed the determination to leave that city, 
which he did in June, and went to make his second resi- 
dence in Clinton, N. Y. What were the subjects dis- 
cussed by Mr. B. during this visit, we are not able to 
state, with one exception. On Monday, June 2d, he 
preached from 1 Tim. 4 : 10, at the ordination of Rev. 
Mr. Fisk. The sermon was intended to show the benevo- 
lent design of the gospel, and the necessity of self-sacri- 
fice, and willingness to bear reproach on the part of 
those who preach it. 


Li the month of July of this year was issued the first 


number of the Trumpet and Universalist Magazine, 
Mr. Whittemore, who had abandoned the design of re- 
moving either to Philadelphia or to Cincinnati, and had 
agreed to remain in Cambridgeport, found his time hang- 
ing heavily for the want of sufficient employment. This 
was in April. He suggested 'to Bev. Bussell Streeter, 
then of Watertown, Mass., the design of commencing a 
new paper, to defend Universalism, much larger than the 
Magazme^ and at no increase of price. The plan, we be- 
lieve, struck Mr. S. quite favorably, and he entered with 
Mr. W. into the design. The prospectus was issued in April. 
It created no little excitement in Boston, for some thought 
it to be an infringement upon the privileges of the publish- 
er of the Magazine, who was entitled by preoccupation 
to the field for this kind of a paper. It is well remem- 
bered, and duty requires us to state, that Mr. Ballou 
was not pleased with the idea of this new publication. 
He thought Mr. Bowen should not have been disturbed, 
or, at least, that he should have been consulted in the 
matter. The publishers of the Magazine said, at the 
foot of the prospectus for their tenth volume : 

<< Since the above was in type, we have learned, with no small 
regret, that proposals have been issued, and extensively circulated, 
for publishing a paper in this city, at $2, precisely on the plan on 
which we have proposed to publish the tenth volume of the Mag- 
azine; we are therefore induced humbly .to solicit of the patrons 
of the Magazine, and of others, fiivorably inclined to the promo- 
tion of the cause to which our paper has been and will continue 
to be devoted, to regard with their £i.vor the first publication of 
the kind ever established in the world, and thereby strengthen the 
hands which first made an exertion of this sore to enlighten the 
human mind." 

408 LIFE OF HOSEA BALLOU. A. D. 1828. 

The threatened difficulty was settled with kindness on 
both sides, and the following announcement appeared in 
the Magazine for May 31 : 


'* The patrol^ of the Magazine are hereby informed that, bj 
mutual arrangement, the establishment will be transferred, at the 
end of the ninth volume, to the Rev. Russell Streeter, of Water- 
town, and Rev. Thomas Whittemore, of Cambridgeport. The 
tenth volume will be issued by them, as editors and proprietors, 
on a royal sheet, elegantly executed, for two dollars per annum. 
The present publisher cordially wishes sucoess to the work, and 
recommends it to the patronage of his friends, and the friends of 
liberal sentim^ts generally. Henrt Bowen." 

On Mr. B.'s return to Boston, he was happy to learn 
that this arrangement had been made, especially as by 
the terms of the agreement his friend Mr. Bowen was 
indemnified. He hailed the new paper with satisfaction. 
But this is a subject not to be treated of in this place. 


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