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Full text of "Memorial of Sanford: Comprising a Selection from His Sermons, with a Memoir"

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MEMORIAL OF SANFORD: 



COHPRIBINO A 



SELECTION FROM HIS SERMONS ; 



WITH A 



MEMOIR 



B Y U? B^A L L O U, 

rASTOR or TBE I7NIVKRSALIST 80C1KTT, BRIDGKPORT, CT, 



NEW YORK : 
HALLOCK & LYON, PUBLISHERS, 

N». 8 ASTOR HOUSE, BARCLAY ST. 

1850. 



4X 

mi 

■S3 

Cf.j 






TO 



HIS BELATITES AND FBI^DS, 



WHO HAVE DESIRED ITS PUBLICATIOil, 



AND 
FOR WHOSE ESPEaAL BENEFIT IT IS ISSUED, 

THIS 

'MEMORIAL OF SANFORD" 
Is ^ffectConatels KnscrCiietr. 

M; B. 



CONTENTS. 



MEMOIR. 

iNTRODrCTIOl^, ...... 7 

Birth anp Early Histort, . . . 10 

commskcss the ministry, . . .17 

Ministry in Bath, N. H., . ... 19 

Ministry in Hartland, Vt., . „ . 26 

Ministry in Middlbtown, Ct., . .^ 42 

Ministry in Lynn, Mass., . .91 

V 

SERMONS. 

I. Affliction, . . ... .' .111 

II. Man created in the Image of God; 140 

III. Sin a Moral Insanity, . .164 

lY. The Example of Christ, . . 186 

V. Human Destiny, . . . .207 

VI. Joy of the Gospel, . . , 2^ 



^-n 



MEMOIR. 



INTRODUCTION. 

If "liistory ought to be re- written/* may it not 
be said; with equal truth, tha^t biography has been 
highly defective, not in its style or manner of com* 
position, but in its subjects ? It has seized, for 
the most pusrt, on the lives of the 'famous : .tie 
world'g warriors and heroes, tyrants, and taea of 
bk>od«; not omitting its ciiminals, and^ those ^ho 

' have beciSme notorious from selfidhnj^ss,. an^tipn, 
pride, and lust. True, it has embraced the no- 
blest |nen ef genius, in literature, scien«e, and art ; 
with many who have deserved- its embalming 
power for their virtues, but how small a space 
has it allotted to unpretending worth ^ to moral 

^ and religious merit alone; to the self-sacrificing, 
philanthropic, and quiet laborers for God and hu- 
majflity ! How many of this class h^ve sprung 
up to bless the walks of private life ; exhaled the 



8 MEMOIR OF SAN FORD. 

sweetness of pious and benevolent souls, made 
their sacrifices, toiled their hours of duty, and 
passed away without memorial save in the hearts 
of those who knew and loved them, and leaving 
their names unrecorded except in "the Lamb's 
book of life!" 

Pictures or sketches of sxich should be scat- 
tered throughout society. They would encourage 
goodness. They would strengthen virtue. They 
would .silently admonish the selfish and Vi- 
cious. They would assist in guiding the mindfi 
and blessing the heaVts of our children. And 
that biography has so far overlooked them ; 
that it has so often passed them by to seize upon 
ei^mples of at least questionable influence, is 
doubtless chiefly owing to that false -system of 
education which- teaches us that goodness is no 
necessary element of true greatness ; that a desi- 
rable eminence may be attained at e¥en the sacri- 
fice of virtue ; and that we may y^ distinction 
and an enviable renown the more surely to kill 
with a Wellington than to heal "With a Howard. 

It is from considerations like these, principally, 
that the following memoir is given to the world ; 
that an outline of Sanford's brief and unpretend- 
ing history has been drawn from the archives of, 
private friendship for the public eye; and that 






INTRODUCTION. 



9 



while it shall serve as a memorial for thoser who 
knew him, and form, to some extent, a suitable 
example for the young, it may, at the same time, 
respectfully appeal to the common judgment and 
the common heart. 



BIRTH AND EARLY HISTORY. 

The Jborder of Yermont, near its south-western 
.extremity, is a wild and picturesque region. The 
Green Mountain range strides across it into the 
upper part^ of Massachusetts, with its eastern side 
broken and ragged, throwe up into huge masses 
ot rock, crowned by noble old forest trees, or 
ploughed into deep ravines by the Deerfieid River 
and its branches, leaving occasional summits, 
slopes, and, intervals, io sustain a hardy and 
honest class of agriculturists. Its inhabitants, 
ever since its settlement, have retained many of 
the peculiar features of their Puritan ancestry.' 
They are characterized by a somewhat strong 
sense of religious obligation, joined to 'a sturdy 
love of personal freedom ; frank and simple in 
their habits ; kind and hospitable in their feelings ; 
laborious, tolerant, and possessing practical but 
vigorous native talent, rather than high culture, 
and plain but attractive home virtues rather than 
great social refinement. Indeed, their local posi- 
tion and mode of life have, to a great extent, 
hitherto shut theni out from the more showy and 



BIRTH AND EARLY HISTORY. 11 

false world of fashion, and primitive habits pre- 
side still over their households, and primitive vir- 
tues gather around their hearth-stones. 

Here, in the town Of Beadsboro', Merritt San- 
ford was born, on the 11th of October, 1812, and 
passed the first sixteen years of his life. He be- 
longed to quite a numerous family, somewhat 
wealthy, and highly respectable, his father being 
one of -the most prominent and trustworthy citi- 
zens of the town. In his early disposition and 
developments there was little to distinguish him 
from the better-disposed class of young men 
around him. He loved the sports incident to boy- 
hood, and was not averse to sharing the toils of 
bis father's farm. Still, there was very early 
manifested, and grew with his years, a disinclina- 
tion to confine himself to the limited sphere of the 
mountain farmer, that was by no means prompted 
by pride, selfishness, or ambition. It sprang, 
rather, from a vague consciousness of powers that 
were capable of a somewhat wider and higher 
field of effort : the first expanding throe of facul- 
ties that required a different atmosphere for their 
development ,* and impulsive aspirations for a life 
less purely physical, and far more desirable. 

His education during this period was such only 
as the place and time afforded. A summer school 



12 MEMOIR OF SANFORD. 

of from three to four months, taught by some 
young lady of no very eminent attainments, and 
which few thought of attending oter the age of 
ten years ; with a winter term of about the same 
length under eharge of a naan of similar qualifica- 
tions, for older pupils, where nothing was at- 
tempted' beyond the simplest elementary studies, 
constituted the principal means of public instruc- 
tion. He made the most, however, of these bum- 
ble means, and was accounted among his com- 
rades as a diligent student and an apt scholar. In 
the summer, his time was chiefly devoted to the 
labors of the farm, and he was often observed to 
take his book into the fields for study during the 
intervals of toil. In his sixteenth year he entered 
a store as clerk, and in a journal which he subse- 
quently kept for a season, he alludes to it, remark- 
ing, that the business pleased him for a while, 
more from its novelty, however, than because he 
had a taste for it, and that in about three years he 
left it and returned again to his father's farm. 
: He was now approaching an important era in 
his history. The magical age of twenty-one was 
near. With the wide world before him, he must , 
choose his path for life. He proposed to his own 
heart the solemn question : *' What* is to be — what 
ought to be the business of my life?" 



BIRTH AND EARLY HISTORY. 13 

It is worthy of remark, as showing his prevailing 
disposition at this early period, that the foregoing 
question, which I have copied from his own lan- 
guage, recognizesf the claims of duty as. paramount 
in selecting bis occupation. . The inquiry indicates 
a loyalty to moral considerations that formed the 
guiding star of his brief career. 

A train of circumstances, together with the ten- 
dency of his own feelings, fixed a determination to 
adopt the Christian ministry as a profession. 

There were many obstacles in the way, however, 
and many difficulties to be previously encountered 
and overcome. A brief view of the religious con- 
dition of society there at the time, will exhibit 
some of the more prominent of them. 

He was educated in the views of the self-styled 
Orthodox. His parents were Methodists of a mod- 
erate kind, maintaining zealously the doctrine of 
endless retribution, and strenuously opposing the 
antagonistic sentiment of the final holiness and 
happiness of all men. ' 

The latter doctrine, however, had many advo- 
cates through all that region. Toward half a 
century previous, Rev. David Ballon, an elder bro- 
ther of the Rev. Hosea Ballou, of Boston, and the 
father of the writer, had settled in an adjoining 

'.^' 2* 



14 MEMOIR OF SANFORD. 

town (Monroe, Mass.), preaching as an itinerant, 
chiefly ia- tl^e four contiguous counties, Berkshire 
and Franklin (Mass.), and Windham and Ben:- 
nington (Vt.). 

For some forty ye%rs or more was he a faithful 
herald of UniversaHsm ; and there was hardly a 
town through all that mountain region , stretching 
nearly from the Connecticut to the Hudson, that 
beard not bis voice in its j>ublic proclamation, 
" without money and without price." At near the 
close of young Sanford's mu^ority, therefore, the 
believer^in Uniyersalism in thfit section had become 
somewhat numerous. He had often attended the 
meetings of my father, as well as those of Rev. 
Hosea Ballon, who usually spent a Sabbath or two 
there on his anntial visits to his relatives, and had 
frequently heard their^ views made the topic of 
private* as well as^ public discussion. At about this 
time, also, the public mind there had become 
freshly excited with reference to these views, by 
several accessrons to the IJniversalist ministry. 
Eev. H. F. Ballon, who has been for many years 
one of otir,most industrious find efficient preachers, ' 
had then but just entered upon his work in Mqpiroe, 
Readsboro', Whitingham, and t^ie adjoining towns l 
in which he was soon followed by Rev. Joseph 



•- 



' ^^ 



BIRTH AND EABLT HISTORY. 15 

Barber, noyr of Paper Mill Village, N. H., a good 
scholar (haying been bred a physician), and a 
logical and philosophical sermonizer. 

The labors of these men gave a new impulse to 
the cause of truth. 'They served to call a more 
general attention to its claims, and, as may well be 
supposed, exerted no little influence in drawing to 
the ministry of reconciliation some four or five 
others, who^oon after attempted it, including the 
subject of this Memoir, who, together with the 
writer, were finally all that adopted it as the great 
business of life. . , 

There had been, too, quite a revival among the 
Methodists of Beadsboro', and especially in the 
neighborhood of young Sanford's residence. 

TThey had succeeded in getting up considerable 
religious excitement, and he began to think it full 
time to settle in his own mind the conflicting claims 
of these difierent prevailing views, and to take a 
decided atand eitherfor the faith of his fathers, or 
what had already began to appeal* to him the more 
attractive and desirable doctrine of Universal 
salvation. 

He began a careful and searching personal ex- 
amination of the Holy Scriptures, reading also 
several important works on theology by able wri- 
ters, among which he subsequently mentioned, with 



16 MEMOIR OlF* 8ANFORD. 

much satisfaction, the admirdble treatise of Dr. 
Southwood Smith, ** On the Divine Goyemment ;" 
a work which, to the hest class of minds, as a proof 
of Uniyersalism, for its simple, clear, and conclu- 
sive reasoning, is hardly excelled by any merely 
humim effort, except, perhaps, by Rev. Hosea 
Ballou's celebrated '' Treatise on the Atonement." 
As the result of this investigation, he says : " I 
came to the conclusion that Universalism is the 
doctrine of reason and revelation. I was filled with 
' joy unspeakable,' and I resolved to preach it. 
Many obstacles were in the way. My parents re- 
monstrated. I was poor,*and my literary acquire- 
ments were quite limited ; but, with the grace of 
God, I was deteimined to preach 'the unsearch- 
able riches of Christ' to my fellow-men. Having 
this cQnstantly in view, I continued with my pa* 
rents, at least for the most of the time, working on 
the farm during the proper seasons for suchlaboir, 
and teaching school in the winters ; at the same 
time, devoting every hour at my command to 
studies which I thought would fit me for^By in- 
tended work,' until the 25th of January, 1835, 
when I began, the work of an evangelist." 



COMMENCES THE MINISTRY. 

t 
His first discourses indicated a good degree of 

talent, with a rem^kable. freedom in composition, 
for one who had hardly written anything more than 
a friendly epistle, and whose education in every 
respect was so very limited. 

True, he was in his twenty-third year. The 
mtervals^f his summer toils and his winter teaching 
had been improved with a zeal and intensity of 
effort that are seldom found in connection with 
greater advantages ; and hours that most young 
men would have given to amusement and recrea- 
tion, he had dedicated chiefly to reading and 
thought. His earlier sermons plainly showed that 
this labor was not in vain. Those who had been 
familiar with his boyhood, and knew his humble 
means of improvement, were astonished to see him ^ 
step forth so suddenly and so thoroughly qualified 
for his great work, with convincing thought and 
persuasive speech. And though 'a prophet is 
generally supposed to have little honpr in his own 
country, he soon won an enviable . reputation in 
Jiis native town, and praise even* from those who 



18 



MEMOim OF BANFORD. 



could not agree with him in religions opinions. 
Methodists and Umyersahsts alike attended lu& 
meetings. There was a fenror of zeal, a singleness 
of porpose, and a goodness of heart, joined with 
firmness, integrity, and a modest deportment, that 
won him a high position in their esteem and affec* 
tions. He was immediately called on to preach 
in his own neighborhood and adjoinmg places, 
and continued his ministry in that region for about 
seventeen months. 

In the spring of 1836, the Uniyersahst Society 
in Bath, N. H., was destitute of a pastor, and, on 
hearing Mr* Sanford, he was invited to remove 
there and take charge of it ; an invitation which 
he finally accepted. 



MINISTRY IN BATH. 

He removed to this place in the month of June. 
The society was a small one, but composed for the 
most part of very excellent individuals. They had 
erected a neat and attractive house of worship, 
and were able to support preaching for one half 
of the time, at a very respectable salary. The 
town was remarkably pleasant. Nestled in at the 
foot of the hills that prop the base of ike far-famed' 
White Mountains, and dotting the shores of the 
Ammonoosuc, near its junction with the Connec* 
ticut River, it formed a delightful place of resi- 
denc*e. As a field of operations for a clergyman 
of rational and libe;cal vilsws, it had ite trials ^isd 
difficulties. ' 

These views had a few warm-hearted and de- 
voted friends ; but they encountered an opposi- 
tion as bitter as it was blind, and as untiring as 
it was unchristian. But it f^med a good battle- 
ground for one clothed in the tru0 panoply of tbe' 
Master. Here Mr. 8. took up his residence, 
spending each alternate Sabjbatii wlt$ the friends 
in the adjoining towns. ^Fbe people soon became 



^^' 



20 MEMOIR OF SANFORD. 

warmly attached to him. It was the beginning of 
a prosperous and happy ministry ; and, for the few 
years that he r^nained, the cause of Divine truth 
moved steadily forward. The following autumn 
he was married to Miss Joanna E., youngest 
daughter of Henry Holbrook, Esq., of his native 
town. This union, though destined to be brief, 
was perhaps as peifect as any ever formed upon 
the earth. 

I would represent neither party as faultless, ex- 
cept toward each oth^r. In this respect, at least, 
they seemed to be so. Probably it falls to the lot 
of Viery- few in that relation to maintain for any 

. length of time the entire congeniality o# taste and 
disposition, habit- and feeling, that characterized 
their married SSe. Boj;h were peculiarly fitted for 
iL - H«hfkd strong social and dotiestic feelings. 
His love of home,'^indred, and friends was more 
than ordinary, and formed a very dis^iguished 
trait in his charaetor. He had great respect for 
females generally — ^too sauoh, iiuj^ed, to allow him 
to address them witK flattery, or treat them with 
the slightest -In^neenty. He always maintained 
that marriage should be based upon sometbmg 
higher than the realization of y^uthfol passion, or 

' the gratificatiMi of sensuoda fancy. -He believed 
tliAt maokind wejre formed for it: tbat, by an in- 



MINISTRY IN BATH. 21 

exorable law of their being, in cultnre, develop* 
ment, and the elements of a true life, they must 
be imperfect without it ; that a single life for either 
sex was unnatural ; and that their cordial union 
was demanded for the perfection of both.* With 

♦ " When I consider the priceless worth of woman, the ten- 
derness and strength of her attachments, the station allotted 
to her by the Creator, togej^ier with the influence which she is 
capable of exerting on the mental and moral culture of the 
human race, I tremble at the contemplation of the work before 
me, in addressing yomig ladies on their relations, thnrpower^ 
and their duties. ♦ * ♦ * But, brief as my time has been 
on the stage ef ezperiencVj^ I have Uyed long enough to know 
something of the dignity of woman's station, and tlw value of 
woman's worth. 

** The mother who gave me birth, who watched over my in- 
fieint years with untiring^ifiE^ction, whose lips gave me my :&rst 
lessons in knowfedge and relijg^on, and Whose ^eSrt was torn 
with anxiety as I lelb'the"|!%ter^)nahsi(m to go foiih into .the 
ivorld and act my jtot in th^g|:«a|j^.cbama of life— that mother 
ifas a woman. Those sisters, that .ware fus olive plants in my 
father's hcfuse, whose hearts we^lmit togethetl>y ties as tender 
aaxd strong as the £|ypa^tliies of angels, whose feet were swift 
to rendeip me aid^and assistance, and wh(«e souls were melted 
in pity and conqpaflsion at every tale of human woe, — those 
Asters Were wormiL And more tl|^ all, that being who was 
^e wife of my youth, who Joined l^er ibrton^, whether for weal 
or woe, unto mine for life; Whose whole soul was Instinct with 
love for my ^tnelfare, an^ who forgot eve* her own dangers and 
snfEMrings in tireletB efforts to bless her infant chaige; bli^ who, 
aia»! now sleeps in the grave, x^th^that only ohild pillowed 
upon her arm, — job, that wife was also a womaH, 1 ki)C|^) 
then, something of the being concening whom I am to speak. 



22 MBMOIB OF SANFOBD. 

Miss Holbrook he had been acquaifiied from 
childhood. 
Their parents had long been on terms of inti* 

I haye seen her in most, of the varied duties of her station, and 
have been witness to both her weakness and her strength. 
* * * * Mnch has be^i said on the comparative merits of 
the sexes. Han has generally claimed the superiority, and in 
some respects truly. In physical strength and endurance ; in 
a.niiTm.1 courage and daring ; and in intellectual vigor for ab- 
struser studies ; for efforts which call for great strength uid 
comprehensiveness of thought — it will be acknowledged, doubt, 
less, on all hands, that he is considerably her siqwrior. But 
there are other elements, equally important in the sight of 
God — el^nents necessary to complete human nature; necessary, 
for the comfort, instruction, and improvement of society, in 
which she most largely excels us. I refer to her social and 
moral feelings, and ee^cii^lly to her affections. 

" Schiller, the G^^nnan poet and philosopher, has well con- 
trasted them in his poem on the worth of woman. Thus i-r 

" * Honored be woman ! she beams on the sight 
Gracefal and Ikir as a being of light ; 
Scatten around her, wheieTer the ttnf^ 
The roses of bliss on onr thoni-ooTered ways ; 
Bases of Paradise I sent fiopoi above, 
To be gathered and twined in a gaxiand of lenre.' 

" * Man on passion's stonny oo^an, , 
Tossed by sargpt mountain hi^, 
Courts the hnirieane commotion, 
Bpnms at reason's feeble cry .' 

" * Woman invites him with bliss in her smilp, 
To cease from his toO and be happy awhile, 
p Whiipering wooingly, oome to my bower I 

Go not in eaarah of the phantom of power I 



MINISTRY IN BATH. 23 

macj, anft the children knew each other well. He 
believed that she combined the qualifications that 
were necessary to make bita happy, and the at- 

Honor and wealth are illnsory — come I 
Happineai dweHs in the temple of Home.' 

" ' Man, with fnry stem and savage, 

Feneontes his brother man ; 
Reckless if he bless or ravage ; 

Action — action-^Still his plan. 
Now creating, now destroying, ' 

Ceaseless wishes tear his lireast ; 
Ever wishing, ne'er enjoying, — 

fllill to be, but never blest.' 

*' 'Woman, contented in silent repose, 

Enjoys in its beanty life's flower jas it blows, 
And waters and tends it with innocent heart, 
Far richer than man with his tnasures of art } 
And wiser by far in her circle confined. 
Than he with his science and^ights of the mind/ 
* « • • • * 

*" In the realm of ma^ s dominion i 

Terror is the mling word. 
And the standard of opinion 

Is the temper of the sword ; 
Strife f xnlts, and pity, blushing, 
■ From the scene despairing flies, 
.Where to battle madly rushing. 

Brother npon brothei^dies.' 

" ' Woman commands with' a mflder eontrol. 

She rules by tfhchantment the realm of the soul ; - 
As she. glances around in the light of her smile, 
.The war of the passions is hushed for awhile, 
And discord, co^ltent fiom his fnry to cease, 
RepoMs entaAmced on the pillow of peace.' " 

^ JBktmeUfnm a Lectutt to Tiftng Wom^n, . 



24 MEMOIR OF* SANFORD. 

tacbment that finally ripened into maiflage had 
early sprang up between them. She was exceed- 
ingly modest and retiring in her manners, simple 
in her tastes and habits, amiable in her disposition, 
and most fondly attached to him. 0, with what 
bright hopes and joyous hearts did they greet that 
November sun which dawned on the day of their 
union ! Happy was it for them that 

" Heaven from all creatures hides the book of Fate !" 

The few years that followed, previous to his 
wife's death, were probably the happiest of his 
life. His subsequent allusions to them were fre- 
quent, and in terms which showed that they were 
never to be forgotten. In the days of sorrow and 
loveliness which succeeded, he terms them a Para- 
dise, and throws back upon them such lingering 
looks as primitive man might have cast toward 
his ^ost Eden. At the close of his third year in 
Bath, he received an invitation to take charge of 
the Universalist Society in Hartland, Vt. Many 
considerations urged it upon his acceptance. The 
Society in Hartland was an old and tried one. It 
was sufficiently lai|fe Co employ his whole time, 
wotild increase his income, which was needed for 
his growing family, and relieve him from the ne- 
cessity of traveling, especially in the winter sea- 



MINISTRY IN BATH. 25 

8011, to supply appointments at a distance, as he 
was obliged to do while remaining at Bath. Much, 
therefore, as he was attached to his friends in the 
latter place, and strong as were their regards for 
him and his wjfe, he decided to leaye, and took up 
his residence in Hartland, in^ July, 1839. 



3* 



. •* 



MINISTRY IN HARTLAND. 

A wiDSB, and, in some respects, a different field 
of labor opened before him here. The doctrine 
of UniTersahsm had been preached for a much 
greater length of time. Hib congregation was 
large, and tolerably well instructed in its peculiar 
principles. The wants of the people were, there- 
fore, somewhat differ^it. His attention was called 
more durecUj to investigations that he had never 
pursued before. And although his preaching was 
still strongly of a doctrinal character, it became gia- 
duaUj less highly controversial : perhaps it maj be 
termed more trulj philosophical. He had studied 
the works of the eminent Dr. Spnrzheim, and was 
channed with them. Mental and moral science 
was revealed in a new light. His previous views 
iqK>n these subjects had been somewhat vague 
and unfonned. Thej now b^an to take shape 
and distinctness. And from smne tnits of his 
sermons, written along at this period, as well as 
from my private recollections of his correspond- 
enoe and conversation, there was too much, per- 
haps, of a tendoicy to make religioa the mere 



MINISTRY IN HAKTLAND. 27 

thing of the intellect. It was a set of propositions 
addressed to the reason. Its entire rationale must 
be mastered. Every psu^ticular must have its de- 
monstration» Too little space was given to faith ; 
too little scQpe was given to the afifecUons. The 
whole sphere of the Divine operations, so varied, 
diversified, and often so mysterious ; its compli- 
cated processes stretching ofif into infinity, abd all 
its wonderful phenomei^a flashing their light across 
the depths of being, as comets across the sky, 
must be reduced to a system, and take a form that 
would bring them within the grasp of the human 
mind. The spiritual norless than the material 
world put. on a stiff and mechanical aspect. The 
magical pencil that had mapped off the human 
skull ; that had given ** a local habitation and a 
name" to all the powers and faculties of the 
mind, had pushed its seemingly arbitrary regula- 
tions into the realms of spirit ; had seized upon 
the most subtle of mental and moral operations, 
and reduced them to a mere clock-work. The 
Universe became a great time-piece, the main- 
spring of which was God. Perhaps the tendency 
of Sanford's mind throughout, though long strug- 
gled against, and finally very much modified, was 
to reasonings a prion. Taking the great fact of 
the Divine "Sovereignty as a stand-pomt, and re« 



% 



28 MEMOIK OP BAITFOKD. 

garding the DiTine attributes as primal forces, bj 
the action of wbicb all things moyed, there re- 
suited a kind (tf pantheism, in the abysses of 
which an subordinate agencies become swallowed 
up and lost. Moral existence, — could there 'be 
an J such thing? Were not all moral actions, 
so termed, mere, phenomena erolTcd front the 
apparent conflict of forces as necessarily operative 
and as purely mechanical as those that impel an 
engine w turn a mill ? Still, he neyer lost sight 
of the fact, that there was such a tlung as duty ; 
that acconntalMlity was a reality; that somehow 
we wei^, after all, moral agoits, with a work to 
pofonn, and a high desfiny to realise. But we 
shaU have occasion to notice more of these specu- 
lations before we dose. Some incidents in his 
personal histoiy now awaited him, of a h^hly im- 
portant character ; the most so^ pohaps, of any 
which he ever encountered in hfe. Four yean 
had rolled away since his marriage; yean of 
almost unintenrupted happiness : a new source of 
]^easure had been opened to him and his amiable 
wife in the birth of a son. The cup tA domestic 
bfiss seemed now filled to the brim. 

The winter of 1840-^1 passed pleasantly away» 
drrided between paroclual duties, £iYorite studies, 
and the ^^hts of hb fitde household. Wm 



MINISTRY IN HARTLAND. 29 

brief journal, which was commenced the succeed- 
ing summer, alludes to this period of sunshine, 
and describes the emotions which its retrospect 
never failed to awaken. 

'^ As the' little boy increased in stature, and the 
germs of mind put forth their promising manifes- 
tations," he remarks, " I looked forward to the 
full enjoyment of a Paradise in my little family. 
But alas ! an evil day came upon me. On the dd of 
June, 1 840, both my beautiful son and my devoted 
wife were taken from me by the mysterious opera- 
tions of Divine Providence. For awhile, notwith- 
standing I had faith in the goodness of God and 
in immortality, I thought my afiUction was too 
great to bear, and when I looked upon my lonely 
condition, and upon the cold, unfeeling world 
around me, I had a desire to depart and follow 
those pure and loving ones who bad gone before 
me. But time and faith have been doing their 
work, and, by their silent influence, bringing me 
into a more calm and reconciled condition. And 
though I believe I have not called in question the 
justice and goodness of God in this measure of 
his providence, yet I have shed more tears over 
my own desolate state than over the destiny of the 
departed. 'And so * I continue unto this day,' 
thanking God for existence, and the^many bless- 



\ 



30 MEMOIE OP SANFOSD. 

iDgs be has givein me, and trusting that ' the ills 
that flesh is heir to' ^ill finally be overruled for 
good by his infinite wisdom, when ' this mortal 
shall put on immortality.' " 

From the effects of this severe visitation he 
never fully recovered. They gave a tinge of mel- 
ancholy to his sober hours, and threw a chastening 
influence over his lighter ones. They pressed a 
restraint upon the activity of his social feelings, 
checked his joyous impulses, rendered the current 
of his thoughts introversive, and gave a sombre 
tone to a character naturally of great cheerfulness. 
And, although he subsequently entered into the 
marriage relation again, with a very interesting and 
amiable lady, forming a union as fortunate and 
happy doubtless as could exist under the circum- 
stances ; and though he became, popular and highly 
successful as a preacher and writer, holding an envi- 
able position in the ministry of reconciliation, with a 
wide circle of very devoted friends, still it could 
not be concealed from those who had known him 
intimately from childhood, that the first freshness 
of the heart was gone, that much of the elasticity 
of his spirits had departed, and that the brightest 
portion, as it were, of his very being had been 
buried in the grave with his wife and child. 

The following extracts are from his journal : — 



MINISTRY IN HARTLAND. 31 

"Oct. 11th, 1840.— To-day I can say that I 
have lived twenty-eight years. Twenty-eight 
years ! This period looks short to me as I cast 
my thoughts on the past ; but it has been long 
enough to bring about, changes in science, politics, 
and religion, which have altered materially the 
complexion of the world. And what shall be 
twenty-eight years to come ? Lord ! Thou 
knowest, and with Thee I leave the result. If 
Thou dost preserve me to see twenty-eight years 
more, preserve me in the ways of truth and vir- 
tue, and grant that my labors may be of some 
benefit to my fellow-men. But, if Thou dost see 
fit to call me from this tabernacle of the flesh 
befpre my present days are doubled, enable me to 
be prepared for the summons." 

" Nov. 20th. — This day brings to my mind most 
touchingly many once delightful but now sorrowful 
subjects of thought It is a year to-day since my 
little son was introduced to the world. * * * 
For awhile * the little angel/ as he was affection- 
ately termed by his mother, grew in stature, and 
put forth tokens of intellect and affection, and then 
closed his heaven-lit eyes on this world of disap- 
pointment, and expired. 0, what a bitter hour 
was that ! But the next one was more bitter still ; 
for in that his devoted, self-sacrificing mother, the 



32 MEMOIR OF SANFORD. 

loving companion of my' youth, sbared the same 
fate, as though the happiness of Heaven could not 
be complete if one was taken and the other left, 
such was their loveliness, their sympathy with each 
other, and with the spirits of < the just made per- 
fect.' Since then my home has been dreary and 
desolate, and my condition like that of Adam 
mourning the loss of Eden. 

" But I will not repine. These, I trust, are not 
the only fruits of time. The period is fast coming 
when all her children shall be born from above, 
and clothed in the garments of eternity. ' For I 
reckon that the sufferings of this present time are 
not worthy to be compared with the glory which 
shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expecta- 
tion of the creature waiteth for the manifestations 
of the sons of God. For the creature was made 
subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of 
him who hath subjected the same in hope : because 
the creature itself also shall be delivered from the 
bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of 
the children of God. For we know that the whole 
creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together 
imtil now. And not only they, but ourselves also, 
which have the first-fruits of the Spirit ; even we 
ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the 
adoption, to wit: the redemption of our body.' 



MINISTKT IN HABTLAND. 33 

Bless the Lord, O my soul, for the light and com- 
fort of Christian hope !" 

The winter was now approaching. Coldly and 
sadly was it settling over that mountain i:,egion, 
robbing outward nature of even the few beauties 
it possessed for the eye dimmed with tears. 

It seemed to increase his depression of spirits, 
and deepen the shadows upon hid heart. His wife 
and child had been buried in Hartland, and it was 
determined to remove their remains to his native 
town, that their final rest might be among the 
ashes of their kindred. He found a 'change of 
scenes, for himself, and a partial relaxation of his 
duties, extremely desirable. He decided, therefore, 
on dissolving his connection with his society. It was 
no hasty step. He pondered it long and prayer- 
fully. He had many warm friends there ; and from 
the best inhabitants of the place, some who were 
most ardently attached to him. They mourned 
bitterly on learning his intention to leave. They 
used great exertions to induce him to remain. 
But he could not bring his feelings to consent to 
it. It had been the scene in part of the brightest 
and happiest moments of his existence, and the 
contrast was too severe. The following extract 
from the letter asking for a dismission will show us 
the leading considerations that urged his removal. 
4 



34 MEMOIR OF 6ANF0SD. 

"The cause of my taking this step, may be 
found not in any very recent event, nor in any dis- 
affection on my part towar4 the Society, but in 
the affliction with which it has pleased God to 
visit me. When I came among you, I flattered 
myself ifith the expectation that I might dwell 
with you, usefully and happily, for several 
years; but in an unlooked-:for hour my family was 
taken from me by death, and my Eden of domestic 
and social bliss destroyed. From that hour I have 
thought that my stay with you would be short ; 
and having concluded to remove the mortal re- 
main§ of my wife and child, where they can rest 
with the dust of their kindred, I have purposed 
in myself to take my leave of you when this is 
done, which I expect will be early in the coming 
month of January. To leave you and my friends 
here — for I know that I have friends here — will 
be a trial to my feelings, -but it is my conviction 
that it would be a harder one to con^e back here 
to live in comparative loneliness, amidst scenes 
which were once so rife with joy, but which are 
now shrouded in almost sepulchral gloom. 
. "It is my design to spend the winter with my 
relatives in the south part of the state, and then, if 
my life is spared, and the great Master of the mor- 
al vineyard has anything for me to do, I hope to 



MINISTRY IN HARTLAND. 35 

resume the pleasing duty of preaching the un- 
searchable riches of Christ." 

The earnest solicitations he received to remain 
had almost shaken his resolution to leave, still he ' 
felt impelled to go. He wanted rest. He could 
hardly summon resolution for the mental efforts 
which his duties demanded. 

" Dec. 3. — ^Thanisgiving day ifl this State. Had 
no meeting, partly ^because it was so thinly attend- 
ed last year, and partly because I have not entered 
so deeply into the spirit of thanksgiving as I did 
last year. Then all was prosperity and hope lyrith 
me,: now nearly all is adversity and discQIii^age- 
ment. This very day numbers just six months 
since my little family— my earthly heaven — was 
taken from me. * Time flies swiftly/ it is true, but 
this period has seemed comparatively long, so 
lonely has been my condition, so bereaved my 
heart. But I' have good health, and many kind 
*and faithful friends. For these, and all other 
sources of comfort and happiness, may I offer unto 
the Lord continual thanksgiving." 

" Jan. 1, 1841. — ' Happy New-Year' greets me 
again, but it falls upon the ear with a more 
melancholy tone than in former years ; not that i^ 
comes from less cheerful and benevolent friends, 
but that my mind cannot give it the same hearty 






36 MEMOIR OF SANFORt), 

response. The past year has taught me a de- 
sponding lesson, and I look upon the future as 
more dark and turbulent than I have done in 
younger and brighter periods of my life, or than I 
did at the dawn of the year which has just now 
closed. I begin to think that the longer we live, 
the darker the future appears to us ; and if this 
is the case,, why should we count it a calamity to 
die in the bright morning of life, before the roses 
of hope have lost their freshness and beauty ? 

/' But I will not look on the future with despur. 
My reason, philosophy, and religion, bid me view 
life as a school, whose elements of discipline, 
though severe, are necessary for the correction, 
development, and improvement of mankind. The 
giant oak has been made by winds and storms no 
less than by serenity and sunshine.^' 

On the third of January he took leave of his 
congregation in an address, which ifas published 
soon after in the " Universalist Watchman," at* 
Montpelier, Vt. The following is from his Journal 
of that date : — " Preached my farewell discourse 
to the Society in Hartland. The congregation 
was very large, and many tears were shed. Oh I 
it was hard to tell them that I must go away 
when I could see regret manifested in the moist- 
ened eye, and hear its language in sobs and sighs ! 



MINISTRY IN HARTLAND. 37 

It may be that I have erred in thinking it best to 
leave this good people at this time ; but if I have, 
I shall find a ready excuse in the sentiment of a 
world's experience, that ' to err is human.' " 

On the following Tuesday, in company with 
several friends who had joined him for that pur- 
pose, he started for Readsboro' with the remains 
of his wife and child. An excellent and appro- 
priate funeral discourse was delivered by Rev. H. 
F. Ballon, from the text, "Be ye reconciled to 
God :" in which he urged that the only ground of 
reconciliation for the afSicted is the deep-wrought 
conviction that all things are under the control of 
a supreme and all-perfect Ruler, who will surely 
work out, by their instrumentality, . the highest 
possible good for all his creatures.. Even in those 
cases, therefore, where no reasons for suflfering are 
visible, there should be the most entire confidence 
and trust, that it is demanded by a wisdom that 
cannot err, and a goodness that cannot be un- 
kind. 

The following picture from Sanford's Journal 
closes this sad scene : — 

"Before the remains of my dear wife and child 

were deposited in their final resting-place, I 

thought that I must see them, that I might know 

the condition in which time and the journey ha(d 

4* 



38 MEMOIR OF SANFORD. 

left them. O, saddest picture in the book of mem- 
ory! I had previously fortified my mmd with 
the unavoidable conviction that corruption must 
have made sad havoc with those once beautiful 
objects ; and I had instructed my moral feelings in 
the sublime and cheering truth, that these forms 
were but the casketf, which must turn to dust, 
while the jewels which once dwelt in them, and 
offered me so many attractions, aoid gave me so* 
much joy, are garnered up in Heaven, where I 
shall eternally enjoy them, after I have put off this 
tabernacle of the flesh ; and had I not, my feelings 
could never have endured the sight. The form 
of the upper part of their faces was left, so as to 
be quite easily detected, but that was nearly all. 
' Alas !' said I to myself, ' I have seen an end of 
all perfection ! I have beheld these decajjng rel- 
ics when clothed in beauty and radiant with the 
smiles of love. I have seen them move in the 
gayest scenes, and witnessed the gladness with 
which they enjoyed the beauties of nature, or 
mingled with the society of their kindred. But I 
see now their end. I see now that corruption is 
their father, and the worm their sister and their 
brother. And this is the doom of all. None 
wearing the human form, however beautiful, rich, 
or great, can escape. All that now live, and all ' 



MINISTET IN HARTLAND. 39 

that come after us in the long march of time, must 
submit to a like destiny. I have therefore seen 
an end of all perfection.' 

" But, blessed be God 1 light breaks in upon even 
this scene. This is not the final denouement in the 
drama of being. True, it is an end, but the end is 
not yet. ' This mortal must put on immortal- 
ity' ! Thanks be to God who giveth me the , 
victory !" 

On the banks of one of the pleasant little streapis 
that weave their silver threads through the south- 
ern borders of Readsboro', in a quiet and secluded 
spot, interspersed with forest trees, was planted a 
modest marble slab, bearing the following in- 
scription:— 

JOANNA E., 

WIPE OF 

REV. MERRITT SANFORD, 

' AGED 23 YEARS, 

- WITH M. SPURZHEIM, THEIR ONLY CHILD, 

AGED 6 MONTHS AND 14 DAYS. 

Both died in Hartland, Vi., June 3d, 1840. 
Xnterred 1ier» Jan. 7th, 1841. 

The remainder of the winter was passed, as he 
proposed, among his relatives in his native and the 



40 MEMOIB OF SANFORD. 

adjoiniog towns. Much of his time was spent in 
reading and study, and for most of the Sabbaths 
he preached in the region round about. One was 
passed at home, to which I find the following 
allusion : — 

*' Sunday. — This is the first Sabbath which I 
haye spent without either preaching or going to 
meeting for several years, and I wish it might be 
the last for several years to come. I love the 
sanctuary. I there hear truths of God, Jesus 
Christ, duty, and immortality ; and these, I verily 
beflieve, when heard in the tones of the Divine 
oracles, are the great levers by which the moral 
world will be raised from corruption and degrada- 
tion to virtue, holiness, and Heaven/' 

Very little of his reading was given to the lighter 
works in literature. Indeed, I never knew one of 
his intellect and taste who cared less for them. 
The better class of Reviews, Quarterlies, &c., with 
the works of standard authors on religion, science, 
and philosophy, were the most eagerly devoured 
of any ; especially such as had any direct bearing 
on intellectual or moral improvement. He received 
several invitations to settle with societies in dif- 
ferent places ; from Brattleboro' and Springfield* 
Vt., and from Hinsdale, Winchester, and Man- 
chester, N. H. The call from the society in the 



MINISTBT IN HARTLAND. 41 

latter place was peculiarly flattering, and would 
doubtless have been accepted, had he not just pre- 
viously preached as a candidate in Middletown, Ct., 
and given some encouragement to the friends 
there that he might accept an invitation from them. 
Their official c^U was received by him in April* 
and his labors there as jiastor commenced early 
in May. 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLETOWN. 



Hs entered upon bis labors in this new field with 
considerable diffidence. He questioned seriously 
his adaptation to the place, and his qualifigations 
to meet the peculiar wants of the society and the 
cause in this region. ^ A few remarks in his Journal, 
while on a previous yisit as a candidate<for settle- 
ment, contain allusions to this fact. 

"Marc% 28th, 1841.— Preached again in Mid- 
dletown. Suited my mind better than I did be- 
fore, though the delicacy of ieeling arising from 
the idea that I am on trial, cramp% me, and pre- 
vents the free play of my powers. I know that it 
is foolish to feel so, but I also know several other 
things which I cannot prevent ! I think it doubt- 
ful whether I shall have an invitation to. settle 
^ iiere. And if I do, I doubt whether I shall accept 
it. It seems to me that my* manner of preaching 
is not so well adapted to this region as it is to 
Vermont or Massachusetts. The cause has not 
progressed so far. There is need of more combat- 
iveness and destructivepess : and although I can 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLETOWN. 43 

meet opposition when necessity requires,* yet I 
jn'efer to dwell amidst more peaceful and heaven- 
ly elements,^ especially in my present state of 
mind. And I really question within myself 
wliether I ought to settle anywhere at present.*^ 

* An incident illustratiye of 'this,^had occurred at aboilt the 
same time. In the interval between the two Sabbaths ,whioh 
he spent in Middletown, he visited New Haven, and one even- 
ing listened to the tirade of the celebrated Elder Knapp, 
against Universalism. *' Never before," sajs he, " did I hear 
sach misrepresentation, falsehood, and abuse, from the pulpit, 
and I hopie I never may again. Universalist preachers were 
called, repeatedly, * imps of hell,' * fools,^ ' ignoramuses,' «nd 
* servants of the Devil :' besides, his perversions of their faith, 
and his stories about their conduct, were too bad to be endured. 
My spirit was so stirred within me, that I called him to ac- 
count, and demanded /oc^j to sustain some of his statements. 
But he^wefold not obey this demand of duty. He knew, with- 
out doubt, that he had taken false ground ; a.nd it was a loiat- 
ter of no wonder that I was not to be heard." The following 
day, some of our friends, jdeased with ^he positidh taken by 
Brother S., got out handbills and circulated the notice through 
the city, that he would preach in one of the Halls that even- 
ing. Though many of the jbills posted uj^ were torn down, 
yet the excitement was so great that the hall was crowded at 
an early hour. He spoke upward of an hour and a half, with 
great freedom and power : 1. Showing that the great lead- 
ing principles of Christianity are as held by Universdlists. 
2. Contrasting these, with the statements made by Elder K., 
correcting his misrepresentations ; and 3. Examining some of 
his silly and wicked stories, proving them false from the foun- 
dation. It was a masterly effort, and helped our cause much 
In New Haven. 



44 MEMOIfl OF SANFORD. 

» 

The severe visitation of Providence which he 
had experienced, still weighed heavily upon his 
spirits. It haunted his waking hours with oppress- 
ive' thoughts, and his sleep with visions of de- 
parted joy. 

I cannot withhold the following allusion to it in 
.his Journal : — 

<* May 12th. — For three nights past I have had 
vivid dreams of seeing my wife and child. This 
has afford-ed me a kind of melancholy pleasure — 
the more melancholy on account of their ap- 
pearing to me as in sickness and suffering. 0, 
ye images of purity and loveliness ! I wel- 
come your visitations to the veiled sanctuary of 
my heart : but I would that ye could come in the 
cheerfulness of eternal health and happiness' 
But even in your sufferings, ye appear pleasant 
and lovely as angels*; for I see you in imagination^ 
as 1 have seen you in reality, serene and placid 
amidst the most violent ragings of disease, and ex- 
hibiting such patience and fortitude as seemed to 
indicate that your minds were cast in a heavenly 
mould ! May a remembrance of your charms go 
with me forever ! Ye are the purest lights that 
have hitherto shone in my pathway, and without 
you the future still looks too dark for my endu- 
rance !" 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLETOWN. 45 

I well remember, at about this tipae, we spent 
a very pleasant day together at the hospitable 
and friendly home 'of Rev. John Moore, then pas- 
tor of the church in Hartford. Sanford had* just> 
listened to a coi^le of Lectures from the fiunoua 

0. A- BrowBSon; with whom we had a brief inter* 
view. Brownson'^. philosophy at that time had 
just passed into the phase of a violent eclecticism. 
He maintained, p his usually dogibatic and arro- . 
gant manner, that there were vital elements of 
truth at the basis of all generally- received opinions, 
however discordant or co^^adiptory, and conse- 
quently, that no. dogma of a ^ect or party could be 
entirely false. His lectures, however, just referred 
to, were on other topics. 1. " The Democracy of! 
Christianity," 2. " The Reform Spirit of the Age 
— its good and its bai" Of the first of these, 
Sanford spoke very highly. He thought that, 
the lecturer succeeded adn^irably in answering — 

1. "Those who objected to Democracy becaTuse 
they thought it anti-Christian;" and 2.*'fThose 
who objected to Christianity because they thought . 
it anti-democratic ;" by showing that pure Chris- ' 
tianity was purely democratic, using the term only 
in. its philosophicisil signification. 

The second lecture he was not pleased vrith. 
" My principal objection to it,V he remarked, " is, ^ 
6 



46 MEMOIR OF SANFORD. 

that he spoke disparagingly of the benefits of edu- 
cation ; and after demolishing the systems which 
other men had proposed for th^ amelioration of 
the world, he left liis hearers without a proper 
substttate/' Sanford -was an ardent, though a 
very candi4 and prudent reformer. He had some 
enthusiasip, though he could bearneither fanaticism, 
nor the cold, skeptical rationality of Brownson.* 
In the Temperance* and Anti- Slavery movements, 
he was especially interested ; and in his earnest. 



* At a subsequent period, ^ Jdunial contains the following: 
« FlniaUed reading < Charies.Elwood, or the Inlidel Converted.' 
E^ O. A. Brownson. Brownson has formerly been an infidel, 
but now professes to be a Christian. This book was written 
|o detail his own experience, and let the world know his pres- 
ent views €i Christianity. The woik is written in a bold, simr 
pie, aiul eloquent style, ahd there are many things in it which I 
highly adn^re. But the general train of thought running 
Ihrough it, or the author's theory of philosophy, I cannot ap- 
prove. It is too speculatiTe and mystical to suit me. If I 
imderstand it, it is a kind of German philosophy, which would 
oonyert Christianity into an undesigned, though fortunate pro- 
duction of nature, and immortality into an inheritance of post- 
humous fame. In a word, the professed and boasted Chris- 
tianity of Brownson appears to me tp be nothing better than a 
Christianized Pantheism, virtually denying the identity of 
God, and of Christ ; and reserving God, Christ, Man, and Na- 
ture, into one mass of * oonfui^ion worse confounded.' I shall 
be glad to be dieaf^inted ; but I fear that it is so, and that 
Christianity will suffer from it in this country, as it has in Ger- 



MINISTRY IN MIDOLETOWN. 47 

bttt catholic spirit, labored for both. Of the lat- 
ter, he said but very little in public, though I find 
his name among the ofiicers of an Anti-Slavery 
organization in Hartland, Yt., and it is well known 
among those fapiiliar with him, that he was a zeal- 
ous and able public advocate of the former. 

Having become fairly settled in Middletown, he 
was invited to take a share in the editorship of the 
*' Uuiversalist," a paper published in that city, by 
Mr. Conklin, and devoted to the exposition and 
defence of Universalism. He wrote much for it» 
and many of his conftributions were among the 
most valuable it contained. But he was too la- 
bored a writer for popular reading. He could not 
dash off a racy article or a piquant paragraph 
easily, and was not, therefore, the best fitted to the 
work of an editor of a popular weekly journals 
He was much better as an essayist. 

As a sermonizer, there was still a very evident 
improvement going on, and a far greater number 
of his discourses were practical, and devoted to 
moral and spiritual topics : perhaps too much so 
for the peculiar wants of that society at that time^ 
It had but recently commenced its existence. 
Many of the congregation were not fully instructed 
in the doctrine of the Gospel, or its evidences* 
And, as he suggested, I think that the prevailing 



48 MEMOIR OF SANFORD. 

tone of bis sermonizing would have been better 
•adapted to a region in whieh the cause had been 
longer established. His services, however, were 
for the most part highly appreciated, and he won 
his warmest personal friends from among the most 
intelligent and excellent men of the city. 

In many respects his circumstances at this pe- 
riod were highly favorable to his personal enjoy- 
ment. He had a young but growing society, em- 
bracing several families of high culture and refiiie- 
ment. The town was one of the most beautiful 6f 
all the charming ones that gem the valley of the 
tbnnecticut ; and to one who enjoyed as deeply 
as he the serenity of calm natural scenery, asso- 
ciated with much architectural taste and beauty, 
it formed a delightful place of residence. His in- 
come, too, though not so much as he was offered 
by the society in Manchester, N. H., was still, for 
the first time in his ministry, enough for his com- 
fortable subsistence, leaving means for quite an in- 
crease to his library. But, notwithstanding these 
outward sources of enjoyment, shadows still rested 
upon his spirit ; sad memories came freshly to his 
thoughts, and a deep feeling of loneliness pervaded 
his heart. And yet that heart was veiled to most, 
eyes. Not from the slightest insincerity, but 
rather from a sense of duty. 



iftlNISTRY IN MIDDLETOWN. 49 

He would neither trouble others with his sor^ 
rows, nor court sympathy by their frequeniexhibi*- 
tion. His appearance was for the most part quite 
cheerful, and often highly so, particularly in the 
social circle, and few among the many who enjoy- 
ed his conversation ever dreamed that he carried 
underneath that pleasant exterior a hidden sorrow 
that he must bear to his grave. Only to a few 
very intimate friends, or upon the pages of his 
Journal, that were closed to the public eye, did he 
give clear and frequent exposure to the fact ; and 
then always in the spirit of Christian humility and 
trust. The following is another specimen : 

"June 3. — To-day makes a year since death 
took from me all that I held most dear. I would 
not murmur at my hie; but this has seemed to be 
the longest and the least happy year that I have 
ever spent It is true that I have been blessed 
with friends true and faithful, and I have not been 
without many sources of enjoyment, for all oi 
which I wish. to be grateful; but even amidst the 
brightest hours and the most pleasurable scenes, 
images of the pure and lovely creatures I have 
lost come crowding into my thoughts, and poison 
the purest and highest sources of earthly joy. 

** What the year to come may bring forth is known 
only to Him who knoweth all things, but it apt 
5* 



50 MEMOIR OF SANFORD. 

pears to me that nothing worse ean befall me, even 
though death should summon me away. 

" * If that high world which lies beyond 

Our own, sorviying love endears; 
If there the cherished heart be fond. 

The eye the same except in tears — 
How welcome those untrodden spheres ! 
» How sweet this very hour to die ! 
To soar from earth and find all fears 

Lost in thy light — ^Eternity. 

" * It must be so : 'tis not for self 

That we so tremble on the brink ; 
And BtriTing to O'erleap thp gulf, 

Yet cling to Being's severing link. 
Oh ! in that future let us think 

To hold each heart the heart that shares, 
With them the immortal waters drink; 

And soul in soul grow deathless theirs V 

''For some time I have been thinking that I would 
attempt to describe the eharaeter and amiable 
qualities of mj departed wife, and record them in 
this Journal ; but as yet I have not even dared to 
attempt the work. I eould not express my con- 
victions of the value of her social and moral char- 
acter without creating the suspicibn in all who 
might hereafter see it, that my estimate ci her 
virtues was formed under the influence of a selfish 
and blind partiality; and I certainly could not 
speak of her except in terms of unmeasured com- 
mendation. Her name and her memory will ever 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLETOWN. 51 

be associated in my mind with everything that is 
tender, meek, humble, affectionate, and Christian. 
For delicacy and quickness of feeling, and at the 
same time for equanimity of temper, I have never 
known her equal, and probably never shall. 
Though I was not pemitte4 to live with her quite 
four years, I am indebted to her for the moral and 
religious influence which she breathed into my 
mind and feelings as I am indebted to none other 
except the Son of God. In all her domestic con- 
cerns she was cheerful and pleasant : in suflfering, 
patient and uncomplaining ; and in t^e prospect 
of death, peaceful and happy. Happily fbr her, 
she had been brought up in the nurture of a faith 
through which she viewed her Saviour as * the 
Saviour of the world,' and I have often heard her 
say that she never knew what it was to fear death, 
or anything beyond it. And when the dark mes* 
senger came, she wa»as composed and tranquiias 
a child in the arms of its parent ; and but a few 
moments before she breathed her last, pressing 
her paid, cold lips to my'cheek, she said in the 
most tender and afftfctiotfate tone, — ' Merritt, do 
not weepy it will all be rbelV 

*' Yes,— I will hope that 'all will be well/ but 
I must weep. Yet will I weep in hope. Through 
my tears will I look forward to the time when I 



52 MBMOIB OF BANFOBD* 

shall meet thee and that cherub child in the'bright 
and fadeless realms of immortality." 

Little of interest occurred, that I haye space to 
notice, during the remainder of this summer. At 
the session of the Connecticut State Convention, 
which was held at Miijidletown, in August, his in- 
stallation took place ; and' he very soon after made 
a journey to Vermont, to visit his relatives and 
former parishioners, returning in season to attend 
the United States Convention, in New York, in 
September. At the meeting of the latter body 
he delivered an excellent sermon, which was sub- 
sequently published in a neat volume, embracing 
all the discourses preached on the occasion. These 
journeyings at a pleasant season of the year, and 
the interesting r^igious gatherings connected'with 
them, served to restore in some good degree his 
former cheerfulness of mind and elasticity of spir- 
its, and hb pastoral labors and duties were entered 
into with a greater leadiness and zeal. x 

" Oct. 1 1 . — ^My birth-day. Twenty-nine years ! 
So long have I been a breathing creature, to say the 
least, if there has been ho mistake in dates. How 
much of that time I have thought, would be a hard 
question to answer ; and how much of that time I 
have thought right, and done right, might be a 
still harder one. Oh ! when one thinks of himself. 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLBTOWN. 58 

how little cause bas he for pride ! When I look 
back upon what I have been, I see that my being 
commenced in littleness, as it were in nothing, 
and that I have held it by a precarious tenure — 
resting seemingly updn a thread almost as feeble 
as a spider's web ; and what is still more humilia- 
ting to me, especially while in a moral mood — 
and I would be so continually— I see that the 
greater part of my life has been little more than 
an animal life, devoted to eating, drinking, and 
sleeping, if not to folly, instead of being a highly 
intellectual and moral existence. And then, too, 
my life has not been all sunshine and flowers: it 
has been a series of dfficultie^ and trials ; though 
I would not complain of a hard fate, nor murmur 
against Providence. The past is filled with les- 
sons to make me humble ; and if I venture an eye 
toward the future, what can I see ? Ah, nothing ! 
I cannot penetrate the veil that shrouds the fu- 
ture. I * walk by faith ;' and this is, after all, prob- 
ably the safest way for me lo w^lk. * * * * 
And does not faith tell me that all those things at 
which I sometimes, complain will yet turn, out > to 
my advantage ? Does it not assure me that I am 
a being of progress, and that the mixed vicissitudes 
of life are ordained as the elements of my disci- 
pline to raise me up from littleness to greatness ; 



54 ^EMOIB OF BANFO&Db 

from an infaat to a man ; from a maa to an angel ? 
So I read in Revelation and in nature. O, bless- 
ed faith ! May I live in ^ts spirit ; in resignation 
to the seeming evils of my lot, and act in agree- 
ment with its purpose, in performing the duties 
which it imposes. Then shall I live and act wor- 
thy of myself and of the place assigned me in 
creation. The Lord grant me light and strength 
to do so in future, more fully than I have in the 
past !" 

" Oct. 27. — Had some' conversation with H — 
S — , on religion. He would not admit that there 
was any religion different or distinct from morality ; 
and with still greater regret, I found him to be a 
Pantheist, confounding God with ihe universe; ' 
and still worse, he assured me that some of my 
brethren in the ministry confessed, though in 
confidence, that they agreed with him in his views 
of God !* * ♦ * These things give me a pain 
which I cannot express. If these views are true, 

* I can hardly credit this statement of Mr. H— S — . Our 
ministry is too poor to pay the price asked by hypocri^. An 
infidel, or 'Pantheistic clergyman, would be most likely to 
•eek the more popular and wealthy sects. Thdre was* oiw, 
however, in our ministiy at that time, in this State, who, I 
am prepared to beliere from his subsequent history, mt'gfc/ 
hkve made such an .admission. I doubt there having been anj 
other. 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLETOWN/ 55 

I must throw away my Bible, my highest incen- 
tives to virtue, and my hope of immortality. I 
cannot do it. My head and my heart rise up 
against it." 

It was about this period that he commenced the 
study of authors on Geology, a science to the in- 
vestigation of which he finally devoted much time 
with absorbing interest an4 attachment. Having 
incidentally fallen into the company of Professor 
Silliinan, he was attracted to a perusal of his 
" Appendix to Bakewell's xGeology ;" and with 
that part of it which discusses the connection be- 
tween the science and revealed religion, he was 
particularly pleased. It excited him to pursue the 
subject with the impression that its facts would be 
found to correspond to, and confirm the sacred 
history. He also read an article of Prof. Hitch- 
cock's, on " Tl\e Connection between Geology and 
}^atural Religion;" and "though I am not ac- 
quainted," says he, " with the details of this in- 
teresting science^ (which I very much regret), I 
think that the article is very able. He contends, 
and it appears to me proves, that Geology addft 
new light to natural religion. 1. By furnishing 
evidence of direct and repeated acts of creative 
power. 2. By furnishing proofs both of a general 
ftnd special Providence. 3. By furnishing numer- 



56 MEMOIR 07 SANPOBD* 

CUB illastrations of the Divine Benevolence ; and 
4. By enlarging our conceptions of the plans of 
the Deity." 

To these he added immediately another admi- 
rahle article' from Prof. H» on " Geology and Rev- 
elation/' published in the 5th vol. of the '^Amer- 
ican Biblical Repository/' in which he maintains 
that they agree : '' 1 . In teaching that the material 
universe had a beginning. 2. In regard to the 
agents which have been employed in efifeoting the 
changes that have taken place in the matter of the 
globe since its creation — viz. : water and fire. 
3. They both represent the earth as having once 
been submerged beneath the ocean. 4. In 
teaching that the work of creation was progres- 
sive, after the creation of matter. $, In the fact 
that man was the last of the animals created. 6. 
In the facf that it is but comparatively a recent 
period since man was jplaced upon the earth. 7. 
In representing the surface of the globe to have 
been swept by a general deluge, at a period not 
very remote. And, 8. He imagines that there 
rmj he an agreement in regard to the final disso> 
Itttion or destruction of the ^arth. Still, he ad- 
mits that there is a seeming discrepancy between 
Gkology and Revelation, though chiefly in regard 
to chronology ; a topic which he has discussed in 



^ MINISTRY IN MIDDLETOWN. ' 57 

the 6t]i vol. of the Rep., but which I have not 
read." 

" Nov. 5. — On loohmg over dates, X ^^^ ^^^^ I 
have been in this place six months ; ox rather, tliat 
I have preached here twenty-six Sabbaths. What 
can I now say of my location ? Not what I wish 
I could. Considering its kge, I think the society 
quite a good one, but have not found so much 
Umversalism,here as I expected. And besides, 
the doctrine being but little known, the taste for 
preaching is, I think, for the combative style, 
and it has seemed to me that some of my best, 
most -evangelical sermons, have not been realized. 
Perhaps the fault is in me ; I can only give my 
impressions. Much of the time I have been here 
I have been lonely and low-spirited, except when 
absorbed iti studv, * * * and I have no one to 
whom I can unbosom myself, and with whom 
to sympathize." 

A few days after, an incident occurred concern- 
ing which i ought to speak cautiously, and yet 
which I cannot well overlook, as it had in the end 
not only a powerful influence on his feelings, t)ut 
entered largely into the causes that finally induced 
his permanent separation from the society. 

Attempts were making for a united Temperance 
movement among the various churches in the city. 

.a 



58 MEMOIR OF SANFORD. 

It was proposed to have a series of lectures on 
the subject, one from each of the clergymen ; and 
two of the deacons of differmt Orthodox churches 
called on him to solicit his co-operation. He as- 
sured them that he had for years been deeply in- 
terested in the proposed reform, and that he had 
no objection to complying with their invitation. 
Consequently, at the close of the service on the 
following Sunday, he invited the members of his 
society to tarry for a moment > laid the facts be- 
fore them, and submitted the question, whether 
as a body th^y could participate in the movement, 
and open their house of worship to Tempefance 
Lectures ? 

" Greatly to my regret," says he, *' I found 
only a small minority in favor of it, the most of 
them pleading that the effort was a political and 
sectarian one, and that this step had been taken 
by our religious opposers to injure tiie society! I 
saw that the feeling was so strong that nothing 
could be done, and thought it best to submit with 
all the patience and resignation in my power." 

On receiving a second call from the Temper- 
ance Committee, he concluded to give a lecture 
when his turn came, if a place could be found for 
it, and promised^ at any personal sacrifice, to aid 
the cause what he could. He r^arded it as pre- 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLETOWN. 59 

eminently a good cause ; and felt that if he had 
fallen into a place where he could not freely utter 
his thoughts upon siuch subjects without giving 
offence, his convictions of duty would require him 
to seek an atmosphere more congenial to his taste 
and feelings. His conclusion was : ^' I have said 
to myself that I will be a man, and, if possible, A 
Christian, leavbg results lo God !** 

" De^Or 13. — Bead Ghanniug's two discourses on 
the Evidences of Ghristianity. I think them truly 
excellent. There is at once a candor and clear- 
ness ; a willingness to heai:^ objections, and a sim- 
pficity and force in ' answering them, and in the 
treatment of his whole great subject, which is 
rarely to be found in a^y writer; and his argu- 
ments appear so phillbsophical and conclusive, as 
seem efficient tq convince any candid and intelli- 
gent mind that Ghristianity m and must have been 
Divine in its origin. 

** When I compare it with the systems which 
men have formed, and survey the, age in which it 
commenced its benevolent mission, and see how 
free it was from selfishness, littleness, and crime, 
-^how it rose above the whole world in its views 
of God, duty, and destiny— «and how it has ever 
shone brighter from being examined, I have often 
said to myself, as Channing here says to the world. 



60 MEMOIR OF 8ANFORD. 

* I cannot reconcile these facts with a human 

V 

ongm. 

" Dec. 14. — Heard Rev. Leonard Bacon, of New 
Haven, give a good lecture on self-education. He 
defined it to be the continued exercise and unfold- 
ing of the whole powers of the whole man. He 
said that the greatest mark of distinction between 
the lower orders of creatures and man is, that he 
alone has the power of «c(^-culture. * * * * 
He pointed out a course of study to be pursued 
hy a man wh(> would make the most of himself; 

"1. He would have him learn to read, write, 
. and cipher, well. These are the keys to univer- 
sal knowledge. 

" 2'. He should learn Geography and History. 
These he must study together, or he vrill learn 
neither to any great profit. . 

''.3. He must acquaint himself wi1;h moral and 
political philosophy ; not that he should devote 
himself to what are vulgarly caUed party politics, 
for this would be small business ; but he should 
learn the principles of the government under which 
he lives, and of other states and countries ; inves- 
^ tigate their bearings on the people, and then iii- 
' quire into the right and wrong of all great ques- 
tions agitatipg his counti^. 

"4. He should^^tudy the English language : firsU 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLETOWN. 61 

by its grammar; and secondly, by constantly using 
a good dictionary, (Webster's is the best, for it 
gives the exact meaning of words) ; and thirdly, 
by reading a few choice standard authors. 

" 5. He should make the physical sciences mat- 
ters of study ; not that he must be a complete 
master of them; but he can and should know 
what are their leading principles. Astronomy, 
Chemistry, Geology, and Physiology, were espe- 
cif^y mentioned, and the advantages of knowing 
something of them briefly and eloquently de- 
scribed." 

The subject of Temperance again came up. The 

community was much excited in regard to it. 

The time was approaching whto the question of 

Ucense was to be acted on at the ballot-box ; and 

there was much division of opinion, and some 

warm feeling on both sides in regard to it. ^any 

of the best men in the society, though friends of 

Temperance, feared that its public 4^cussion by 

theit pastor, under the circumstances, would create 

strong disaffection, and probably a division and 

separatibn of the Society ; and though he would 

not relinquish the prospect of ultimately speakings 

upon the subject, yet He agreed to' postpone his 

promised lecture for a ^me, and req«ested three 

cif bis principal fri^nils to coiimiinicate the facts 
6* 



I 

62 MEMOIR OF 8ANFORD. 

to the Committee of the Temperance Society as 
his excuse. 

'* Dec. 3 1 . — ^Here closes the year 1S41 . It has 
been to me a year of uncommon conflict, labor, 
and trial. It would be the grossest ingratitude 
in me not to confess that I have been blessed with 
much of prosperity, but several things have con- 
spired to render the year that is now gone one of 
pecutiar trial to me." Among these he mentions 
the sad memory of his one great loss: "over 
which his heart still'continued to sigh ;" and pass- 
es to speak of his sorrows and difficulties with his 
Society. 

He alludes very feelingly to the hopes and ex*, 
peotations with which he settled there : . pays very 
high compliments to many individuals and families 
in his parish, but expresses his disappointment 
that, the society in general was not in some re- 
spects what he thought it should be — ^that it had 
too little warm love for rehgion ; too much fond- 
ness for anti- Orthodox preaching ; and too little 
for that which was designed only to build up truth 
and virtue — ^facts l^t rendered him but poorly 
^ reconciled^ to his situation. Doubtless his injured 
feelings at the time in regaird to the Temperance 
cause, his somewhal mi^lancholy mood of mind, 
and his extrexne senaitiveneaB and loyalty to what 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLETOWN. 68 

he considered duty, might have helped to give the 
facts a darker coloring to his thoughts than thsy 
deserved ; and most certain I am that he left not 
one word on record that was designed to reflect 
unjustly on a single human being. He concludes 
his remarks thus : — ** But notwithstanding all my 
disappointments and trials, I have hope in God, 
and the most unshaken confidence in virtue — ^in 
true Christianity. With this hope, and this i^li- 
ance, I continue my efforts in faithfulness to my 
mission, under the conviction that ' in due seas6n 
I shall reap, if I faint not.' " 

"Jan. 1.— A New Year ! 1842 ! * * * Well, 
so be it. Let time pass. The world was not 
made to stand still. Changes, decay, and Death, 
are all necessary. The fact that they make us 
think, and sigh, and weep, is not the least of the 
evidences which we have of their value and utility. 
Poor creatures should we be, doubtless, if we were 
governors of the world. We should command its 
sun to stand still ; stop the progress of time, de- 
cay, ruin, and death; and with them we should 
stop ourselves! When shall we, poor mortals, 
kam to be wise? God governs right, ... So the 
Scriptures teach, and we should believe it, if we 
thought right and acted right. Time's changes, 
dark and fearful as they' sometimes are, have a 



64 MEMOIR OF BAVFOBD. 

Divine mission. They are the ordained elements 
of our discipline and improvement. Thabks to the 
Ruler — so I am learning. I say it not boasting- 
ly, but in humility, and with a thankfulness which 
my heart feels. I have drank deeply of affliction. 
For a time, I thought the draught too bitter to 
bear, but it has been gradually ministering to my 
spiritual health. It has served to wean me from 

* ther passing and perishing things of time ; to 
ohasten and elevate my moral feelings ; to give a 
quicker and deeper sense of sorrow for the sufifer- 
mgs of my race ; caused me ta take more thought 
for ' the inner man of the heart/ and the true 

, sources of happiness ; and inspired me with a 
stronger relish for ' the bread of life whicb came 
down from heaven, and giveth life unto the 
world.' 

''The time has been, when I looked upon afflic- 
tion with fear and trembling ; but I believe that I 
can now say, that that time is passed. I have 
learned who it is that usee the rod, and what it is 
used for. K is in the hand of a Father, and he 
never employs it but for the correction and benefit 
of his children. My chief concern now is, that I 
bear its inflictions with patience, fortitude, and ree* 
ignsEtion ; and 4Lat it realize in me its Divine pur- 
pose, in chasteiung and pipifying my feelings ; ia 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLBTOWN. 65 



/ 



elevating my tiews and hopes^ of immortality, and 
thus prepare me for the fulfillment of the object of 
my being. But, that this may be accomplished, 
I have something to do, It will not be enough that 
I am passive. I must act. I must consider and 
second the means of Providence in this work, and 
make it my chief business to bring my whole na- 
ture into accordance with the laws, requirements, 
and will of my Makers 

" To this work,^ may I be more faithful during 
the New Year, than I have been during the old 
one. I will try to keep the words of the poet in 
mind : 

< Connt that day lost, whose low descending son 
Views from thy hand, no worthy action done.' " 

For the three months following he was, as iisual, 
very diligently employed in the duties of his sta- 
tion : writing, as was his general custom, an aver- 
age of almost two sermons per. week, besides much 
for the paper ; attending also with tolerable feith- 
folness to his pastoral duties, — though, like many 
other good men and hard students, he was never 
famous for making frequent calls^on his parishioners 
— ^and still finding time for a considerable amount 
of, reading. ** Guizot's History of Civilization," 
"Channing's Works," The Worjss of Taylor— 
" Natural History of Society," etCfU., " Dewey's 



06 MEMOIR OF SANFOBD. 

Discourses," '' Caldwell's Essays ob Phrenology/' 
and '' Jouffroy's Introduction to Ethics/' were em- 
braced in it, besides ''The American Eclectic," 
" Boston Qu'&rterty," " Biblical Repository," and 
other lighter works ; — ^preparing during this time, 
and delivering a lecture before the Franklin Insti- 
tute, and a lecture on Temperance in Portland, in 
addition to pteaching three times on each Sab- 
bath for the most part, and attending to a Bible 
class on one eyening in the week. Indeed, this 
was little more than an ordinary specimen of the 
l^dr he performed, and the greater part of it genr 
erally w^s well done. 

I have suggested that in the earlier part of his 
ministry thei^e iras a tendency to regard religion 
as addressed chiefly to the intellect, and reasoning 
from those great fundamental principles which are 
first seized on by the theologieal student, it seem- 
ed the clearest result of - logic that there was no 
su&h thing B&evil in the sight of God; that all 
things, even the most minute, being in existence 
from his deliberate choice, must in the liighest 
seivse be perfectly good. This mode of argument- 
ation was fallen into very easily from the frequen- 
cy with which he had been called on to deduce 
the ultimate happiness of all from the supremacy 
and YoU of dod. But a gradual change, not so 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLfiTOWN. 67 

much in his opinions, as his coarse of study and 
habits of thought, now commenced, which kept on 
increasing until it had iSnally affected some of his 
views very materially. 

His combative propensities were never very 
strong, and though possessing a somewhat logical 
mind, and a fondness for reasoning, he soon felt a 
growing distaste for a merely anti-Orthodox the- 
ology. His tasti^s became more spiritual, his stud> 
ies turned to the moral bearings o£ Christianity, 
and bis sermonizing became more generally ad- 
dressed to the conscience and sense of duty. The 
reading of Jouffroy, and some other similar au- 
thors, at just this period, highly encouraged this 
tendency, and indeed compelled him at last to face 
that inexplicable problem, bom of the reason and ~ 
conscience, viz. : Divine Sovereignty and Human 
Accountability, 

The facts of his moral nature, in the light of 
consciousness ; his conscience, the crowning excel: 
lency of his soul, all assured him, as with -a Di- 
vine overpowering voice, that he was a moral, ac- 
countable being ; and reason answered, '' GocU is 
sovereign, and there can be no mil but his own !" 
This conflict between reason and the moral feel^ 
ings, which goes on, doubtless, to some extent in 
the minds of most men, pan hardly be said to have 



68 MEMOIR OF 9ANrORD. 

terminated in his case daring life, but it changed 
the relative position of his articles of faith. The 
grand idea of human destiny as held by Universal- 
ists, the great central truth of the Gospel, was 
still believed as firmly, and cherished as dearly by 
him as ever ; perhaps more so, as affliction had 
taught him its value ; but still it had brought up 
the important idea of duty into the foreground of 
the picture, had given it a prominence in his 
thoughts, and made it an object of effort, far more 
than it ever had been before. It became a favor- 
ite conviction with him that the purpose of human 
existence was purely moral, that life here was 
merely a discipline, a primal school in which to 
train us for immortality.* 

In the month of April, he was again called to 
test the efficacy of his faith under bereavement, in 
the death of his oldest sister. It was another bit- 
ter trial to him, and called out some of the higher 

* Thft following represents ' the tone of his sermonizing at 
this period. " So teach as to number oar days," Ico. " In mak- 
ing this prayer, it is not enoagh that we sincerely desire the 
good intimated, it i^ of importance that we hare active faith 
in«ON>d as oar Teaeher, the conviction that he ivill so teach as 
if we will hat become his scholars. And are we not already in 
hisBohooll What is this life bat a scliool? What is the 
world we inhabit bat a Divine teminary, in which we are 
placed for instruction and discipline 1*' — (Extract from a dU^ 
eaune on P$. zc, 12.) 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLBTOWN. 69 

traits of his character. He was exceedingly fond 
of her, and mourned much over her early depart- 
ure, and the motherless little ones she had left, 
at the same time giving- utterance to his deep feel- 
ings of confidence and trust in God. A sermon on 
** Human Destiny,'' called out hy this event, is one 
of his most earnest declarations of faith and hope. 
Neither he nor his sister, in passing through the 
diseases incident to childhood, had encountered 
the one most msdignant to persons of maturer 
years. Both had escaped the measles. He had~ 
always dreaded the disease^ and now that she had 
died with it, his apprehensions were so increased 
that he seemed to have a kind of premonition that 
he should never survive its attaek. Twice had he 
been exposed to it within a few years, and in both 
cases referred to it with anxiety : expressing in 
one instance his earnest wish that when it did 
come he might be in his father's house — where he 
could have a mother's care and sympathy. This 
was the disease of which he finally died I 

Early in the spring of 1842, he began' to feel 
the premonitory symptoms of a bronchial ^^c- 
tibn, to which, however, he paid little heed, until 
the first Sabbath in April ; when he remarks, tha^ 
'' for several weeks I have had a difficulty in my 
throat — something, I fear, like the first stages of 



70 MEJi«S>[R OF 8ANF0RD. 

bronchitis, which has troubled my speech ; and 1 
feel it to-day more , sensibly than at any other 
time. I believe/' he adfls, ** that I have spoken 
too much lately, especially as I have had some- 
thing of a cold about my lungs and throat." 

During the intervening year between this period 
and April, 1843, very Uttle occurred in his history 
that I have space to notice. In September he 
became a co- partner with Rev. John Moore, of 
Hartford, in the purchase of the " Universalist," a 
paper of which they had been for some time the 
editors, and which they made a very interesting 
and useful Journal; though it is very doubtful 
whether it increased their wealth very much. At 
any rate, if it did not benefit them in any other 
way, I am very sure that it was an important aid 
to the cause of divine truth in this dark and bigot- 
ed State. The following scrap from his Journal 
must not be passed over, as it indicates, in com- 
mon with the general tone of his writings at the 
time, a greater degree of cheerfulness than he had 
previously enjoyed for a long period. 

"March 1. — Opened the County Court with a 
prayer. Suited my mind better than I did a year 
ago, but not as well as I could desire. I would 
not be^ afraid of men, but when I stand up in the 
presence of gray-haired judges, and hard-headed, 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLETOWN. 71 

if not hard-hearted lawyers, I am almost dis- 
posed to tremble." 

Truly has Channing said, " Formerly Felix trem- 
bled before Paul ; now tke successor of Paul 
trembles before Felix !" His throat had continued 
to trouble him very much for the whole year, and 
this spring seemed to be worse than ever. He 
finally made up his mind to leave Middletown. 

The principal reasons he assigned were — '1. The 
condition of his throat jequiring rest. 2. His un- 
willingness to be fettered in regard to the subject 
of Temperance. 3. His conviction that he was 
onsuited to the wants of the people in this region, 
and unable to perform the labor that the interests 
of his Society demanded. - 

These I find in his Journal : though the letter 
he sent to his Society in June, asking a dismission, 
mentioned, as the chief cause, the condition of his 
throat. Dr. Woodard had just operated on it, 
cutting off the palate, hoping that might help him. 
He was taking medicine for it from various physi- 
cians, with but little advantage from any, except^ 
perhaps, a temporary relief from the use of some 
botanic remedies. 

He began to fear seiiously that he should have 
to abandon the ministry, perhaps entirely, and the 
thought was very painful. He knew that his pro- 



73 MEMOIR OF SANFORI). 

fession was^ a toilsome, and in many respects a 
thankless'one, but still he loved it, ardently and 
devoutly. Life would have been worth little to 
him without opportunities for his favorite studies, 
and these he could hardly hope to pursue to any 
great extent if compelled to give up preaching. 
At any rate, he must suspend his labors for a time, 
and iiccordingly he tendered his resignation on 
the 21st of June. 

But as a dark and portentous cloud seemed 
rising from this source to shadow if not ruin his 
professional prospects, a bright sun from a clear 
sky was at the same time dawning on his social 
being. Once more he began to look forward to 
all the domestic endearments and enjoyments of a 
home. He had been fprming a very pleasant ac- 
quaintance with Miss Adeline Campbell, of Port- 
land, a remarkably intelligent, accomplished, and 
amiable lady, and promises of marriage had 
already passed between them. 

But as the legal sanction of their union was post- 
poned to the early part of September, he still re- 
mained with his Society, preaching the greater 
share of the time until the close of August, when 
leave of absence for six months was granted him, 
and Rev. L. B. Mason employed to fill the desk 
-for that length of time. He took leave of his 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLETOWN. 73 

people in a very touching and appropriate address 
on the first Sunday in September, contributed 
$100* to the Society on settling with it — to be 
appropriated to repairs on their house of worship — - 
paid (50 to have the '* Universalist" taken oflf his 
hands — ^was married on the 13th, and immediately 
started with his lady on a journey, via Boston, 
where they passed a week or two, among the Green 
Mountains of Vermont, and his friends and rela- 
tiyes in that region. It was his design to pass a 
couple of months among them, and return to finish 
the winter in Portland with his wife's friends, and 
if possible renew his regular labors in the ministry 
in the spring. In Boston he obtained from a 
German physician some homoeopathic medicines, 
that he thought gave his throat much relief. He 
also purchased the back volumes of the Christian 
Examiner, to the number of over thirty, which he 
regarded as a very valuable work. 

The following extracts from his Journal will 
give some idea of his studies while ou the moun* 
tains, aside from the time occupied in visits, recre- 
ations,- <&c. I may add, that during this time he 
preached occasionally. 

" Oct. 8. — Concluded reading Neander's His- 

• This, by a vote of the Society, was sabsequently re- 
minded. 

7* 



74 MEMOIR OF 8ANFORD. 

tory of the Christian Religion and Church. I hare 
been much edified in its perusal, though my an- 
ticipations have not heen realized." In another 
place he speaks of the translation as very bad. 

*' Oct. 9. — Read several articles in the Christian 
Examii^er. Am very much pleased wit^h those on 
the Early Literary History of Christianity.*' 

" Oct. 26.— Concluded D'Aubign6, (History oi 
the Reformation). Think myself well paid for 
the perusal. He has truly given a vivid account 
of the times, events, and personages of the Refor- 
mation ; and his history doubtless will continue a 
popular one for a long time. It is my opinion, 
however, that it will not rank with the highest 
class of Histories, as it appears to me that he be* 
trays too great an interest to plead the cause o! 
the Reformers, instead of making the facts of their 
lives plead it for them, and spends quite too many 
words in soliloquizing over the events of the nar- 
rative. As a record of names, dates, events, and 
facts, it is doubtless a masterly work, but as a 
piiilosophical exposition of the great principles 
which were contested at that remarkable era, and 
their influence on mankind, it cannot, it seems to 
me, have the highest praise^" 

"Nov. 3. — ^Read in Macaulay, (Miscellanies), 
his review^ of Lord Bacon. ' It is certainly a splea- 



MINISTRY IN^ MIDDLETOWN. 75 

did production, but with some parts of it I am 
not exactly well pleased. It appears to do jus- 
tice to Bacon's moral character, and indeed to his 
intellectual ability, but it does not appear to me 
that he is just to the ancient systems of philoso- 
phy. Though it is true that those systems were 
not experimental^ they did not spurn — certainly 
not all of them — to, be useful. Was it not the 

f 

great study of Socrates to make all philosophy 
useful ? to apply it to all the purposes and pur- 
suits of human life ?'' 

" Nov. 7. — Continued Macaulay — his review of 
' Ranke's History of the Popes ;' in which he dis- 
courses pretty freely on Romanism and Protes- 
tantism. It is written with great ability and elo- 
quence, though I can hardly subscribe to his 
reason against the decline of the Bomish power — 
viz. : that religion is not an inductive and progress- 
ive science, or subject of inquiry." 

"Nov. 12. — ^Preached two discourses in Stam- 
ford. * * * Throat troubled me but little 
while speaking, but felt rather tender and sore 
afterward. 

" 13. — ^Throat appears the worse for speaking on 
yesterday. Have now preached seven sermons 
since coming on the mountain : too many, I fear, 
for my good. But it is hard for me to^say no." 



76 MEMOIE OF SANFORD. 

4 

" Finished reading Macaulay. I thmk I have 
not read this man in vain. In some respects, I 
" thinlc him the best writer that I ever read, partic- 
ularly in the field of general Hterature. I ought 
to study him thoroughly/' 

/'Commenced reading 'Palfrey's Lectures on 
Jewish Scriptures and Antiquities.' " 

In the latter part of the month he returned 
with his wife to her friends in Portland. Here he 
commenced "Stephen's Miscellanies/' the work 
of an able English Essayist, little kno'v^n in this 
country, but in some more recent productions, I 
am happy to say, an advocate of the doctrine of 
Universal Salvation. He also read Milman's His- 
tory of Christianity, and wrote for thb Trumpet 
and Universalist Magazine a brief bic^aphical 
notice of Rev. David Ballou, who had died some 
years previous, in Monroe, and who was mentioned 
in the early part of this Memoir. It was to him, 
more than to any other individual, that Sanford 
felt indebted for the early tendency of his thoughts 
and affections to Universalism. "Mackintosh's 
History of England," " Hallam's Introduction to 
the Literature of Europe," parts of "Mosheim's 
Church History," "Cox's life of Melancthon,*' 
&c,, were also works which he studied during the 
month of December ; with particular reference to 



MINISTRY IN MIDDIilSTOWN. 77 

the light they shed on the era of the Great Bef^ 
ormation. 

«' Jan. 21. — ^Took up ' Gibhon's Decline and Fall 
of the Roman Empire/ I have before read con- 
siderable in this sublime though infidel work, but 
have now taken hold of it to read in course. His 
description of the suddeQ changes of power in the 
hands of those who aspired to wear th^ imperial 
purple during the second and third eenturies of 
the Christian era, is a luminous but mournful com- 
mentary on the delusive glories of this world.'* 
* * * " Tried to write a sermon, but the ef- 
fort was next to fruitless. After turning from the 
pages of Gibbon, my poor ' faculties are so' op- 
pressed with a sens^ of their own littleness, and of 
the meanness of my efforts in comparison with the 
proofs of dazzling genius in his work, that I can 
hardly muster mental energy enough to fill my 
pen and approach my paper. This may be ridic- 
ulous, but I cannot help it." 

**'Feb. 5« — Finished reading Gibbon's Memoirs 
of 'Himself — ^a most interesting work. That he 
was a man of great genius and industry, must be 
acknowledged by every discerning mind which 
knows *any thing of him. Having read his history 
up to the celebrated l^th Chapteri in which I have 
marked the steps of a stately and dignified giant. 



78 MBMOIK OF 8A1VFORD. 

I have concluded to tufn aside and read tlie ac- 
count of his Life as given in Lord Sheffield's pub- 
lication of his Miscellaneous Works, comprising 
his Autobiography, Correspondence, &c. It is 
astonishing and encouraging to think of the 
amount and intensity of his labors. 

'' He devoured and digested whole libraries ; and 
when he jfcook his pen to commence his great work» 
which he had projected, it seems that his patience 
was sorely tried before he could acquire a style 
which. would answer at all to his ideal. 

" * Three times,' says he, ' did I compose the first 
chapter, and twice the second and third> before I 
was tolerably satisfied with the effort. In the re- 
mainder of the way I advanced with a more equal 
and easy pace ; but the I5th and Ifeth chapters 
have been reduced, by three successive revisals, 
from a large volume to their present size.' He 
was engaged just about twenty years on the * De- 
cline and Fall. ' Considering the labor it cost him, 
and its value, it is a matter of no wonder that he 
felt the emotions, on finishing it, which he describes 
on p. 107 of the vohime before me. 

« Though his fortune was moderate, he bought 

. books after books, till he had a library of between 

six and seven thousand volumes. It is plain that 

after the age of 22 or 23, religion was never a suIk 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLBTOWN. 79 

ject of deep interest with him ; and it is probahle 
that after he had made himself acquainted with 
the great Grecian and Roman writers on History 
and Philosophy, and especially after associating 
with Voltaire, Hume, and other learned infidels, 
he almost scorned to give it a respectable notice, 
or any, except as a baseless and useless supersti- 
tion connected with tl^e course of his History^ 

** I have not yet found the least hint of his having 
read the Bible at all, only while at school, and 
then merely a portion of the Gospels, as an exer- 
cise in the study of the Greek language. He 
seems to hav'e had no faith in immortality ; and he 
does not even speak of his having faith in the ex- 
istence of a God. In alluding to his old age, and 
death, he merely says, ' I will not suppose any 
premature decay of the mind or body ; but I must 
reluctantly observe that two causes, the abbrevia- 
tion of time, and the failure of hope, will always 
tinge with a browner shade the evening of life.' " 

" Feb. 15. — Concluded reading Gibbon's Mis- 
cellanies, though several of his articles I have pass- 
ed over lightly, yet looking diligently for what he 
•ays on subjects pertaining to religion. His infi.- •' 
delity, in my opinion, is easily accounted for with- v 
oat any disparagement to Christianity. If I were . 
to>go into the matter^ I should ascribe his infidel- 



80 MEMOIR OF BANPOED. 

ity : 1. To his natural want of taste for religion^ 
as evinced in bis early^ years and education. 2. 
His conversion, first to Romanism, and secondly, 
to Calvinism. 3. His acquamtanoe and associa- 
tion with Voltaire, Boyle, Hume, and other learn- 
ed itifidels. And 4. His sympathy with the spirit 
of the Greek and Roman Historians and Philoso- 
phers. To these should doubtless be added the 
corrupt forms, of received Christianity.*^ 

'' 28. — ^Read in Gibbon. Concluded his cele- 
brated 15th and 16th chapters. They contain, in 
my opinion, about the strangest and mo^t dextrous 
combination of facts and false coloring which was 
ever put together by mortal hand," 

" March 16. — ^Read in Carlyle's Hero- Worship. 
In the afternoon went to Middletown. The trial 
of the three men, Roberts, Bell, and Hall, for the 
murder of Mrs. Bacon, last September, has' ter- 
minated most unexpectedly. Yesterday, as the 
evidence stood, it all being circumstantial, there 
was more against the two former than against the 
latter ; and the public expected to hear the sen- 
tence of death pronounced against the three to- 
day. But Hall made confession last night, that h% 
was the guilty man, and that the others had na 
pari in U ! What an argument against the validity 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLBTOWN. 81 

i 

of circumstantial evidence in a trial for capital' of- 
j[ences !** 

, Some time previous to this, feeling that the op- 
position of a few individuals to the course he had 
pursued upon the subject of Temperance was im- 
pairing his influence and usefulness ; and thinking, 
too, that his society generally was not disposed to 
aid him in taking a manly and independent stand 
upon the subject^ he once more signified his wish 
to resign his connection with it. Much that was 
unpleasant, not to say wrong, followed in the way 
of discussion and action upon the subject, which 
perhaps it would do no good to repeat, until it 
was finally settled that his resignation should be 
accepted, and his final farewell was protioimced 
on the 28th of April, 1844. 

He again took up his residence with his wife's 
parents in Portland, and in the bosom of that es- 
timable family, reteasred frpm the caires and re- 
sponsibilities of hi% pastoral office, and with the 
pleasant consciousness that he had been faithful 
to his tru8t,-^^that during all the trials and diffi- 
culties which he had been called to encounter, he 
had at least striven with earnestness and prayer to 
do what was right in the sight of God, — he was con<- 
tented and happy. His general health rapidly 
improved ; his diseased throat from time to tima 
8 



82 MBMOIR OF SANFORD. 

seemed to be better, and he resumed fats studies ' 
with renewed zeal, to qualify himself for usefulness, 
when time and opportunity should open a new 
field of labor. I might add, that he occasionally 
supplied the desk in Middletown, chiefly through 
exchanges, until the settlement of the present ex- 
cellent pastor of the Society, Rev. T. P. Abell. 
The following is from his Journal : — 

*' June 18. — In the afternoon went over to Mid- 
dletown, and called to see Hall, the murderer, for 
the last time. He is to be executed' on Thursday. 
He still seems callous to the mordl character of the 
crime for which he is to sufifer. Though he man- 
ifests regret, I can see no signs of genuine peni- 
tence in him. In regard to the moral nature, or 
conscience, he appears to me to be almost a per- 
fect idiot. After talking and praying with him, I 
took him by the hand and said, that in taking my 
leave of him, I would use the last sentence of the 
judge, as expressive of the sincere desire of my 
heart, and that I used it with strong faith: 
* May Almighty God have mercy on your soul !* 
He squeezed my hand, trembled, and wept. 

"As I left his cell, I observed that his eye fol- 
lowed me — ^his countenance speaking the most 
•olemn concern — ^till I passed the window, the last 
aperture through which he could see me. Poor 



MINISTRT IN MIDDLETOWK. 83 

object of pity and compassion ! thought I :— edu- 
cated in vice and crime, thou knowest not the 
serene pleasures of virtue and hope, and thy per- 
verted nature must be disciplined in suffering be- 
fore thou canst enjoy the Mght of the Divine 
countenance." 

" 21. — Heard the sad story of Hall's execution. 
As I expected, he continued to the last seemingly 
callous to the moral turpitude and enormity of his 
crimes, and, of course, without genuine Christian 
penitence." 

He also wrote, at about this time, a series of 
very good articles for the Trumpet, on " The So- 
ciety," over the signature of ** Paubes," taking the 
hint from a series entitled ** The Pastor," and sign- 
ed "Cephas." 

** Aug. 1. — ^Attended the commencement exer- ^ 
cises at Middletown. In the evening, heard an 
address from that comet, O. A. Brownsonl His 
subject was, ', Social Reform.' It was handled 
with great ability, but left his hearers, where he 
generally does his readers, in doubt as to the real 
remedy ior the evils which he contemplates. 
The necessity for a reform in the social state was 
argued : 1. From the fact that on looking at the 
actualy we form instinctively an ideal far above it. 
2. 'From the considersction that while for two or 



# , 



84 MBMOIE OF SANFORD. 

« 

three centuries past, there has been a 'great in- 
crease of the means of physical comfort among 
industrial nations , there has been a great dete- 
rioration in their social and moral condition. A 
principal cause of this was sought in the separa- 
tion of the body of wealth, or capital, from labor. 
The idle are the rich ; the industrious are the poor. 
In considering the question of a remedy, he ac- 
knowledged that he felt himself unqualified to an- 
swer it. 

'' Twenty years ago he could have answered it 
positively, dogmatically, but he had since learned 
to be more modest ! He would, however; pass in 
review the theories which have been devised for 
the relief and regeneration of man. 1. The plan 
which proposes an increase of wages. This he 
said*- would not do, because, when universal, it 
would raise the price, but not the condition, and 
would therefore be ineffectual. 2. The proposi- 
tion to cut entirely from the past, and wholly re- 
organizo society : as contemplated by Owen, 
Fourier, &c. 3. The destruction of all govern- 
ment ; and 4. The destruction of all religion. He 
showed great ingenuity in attacking the weak 
points of these various theories ; but as to a theory 
of' his own^ he had none to give. 

"He believed, however, that the old system 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLBTOWN. 65 

was the best — ^that of Christ — ^the restoration of 
faith and righteousness in the heart. The great 
evil of our times is, want of reverence and want of 
ffuth in the invisible and the eternal. Religion, he 
feared, was doing little more for man in this age 
than it did during the Dark Ages. Then it had a 
controlling influence over wealth ; now wealth 
governs religion. This is evinted in the building 
of churches over storea, and in the fact that if a 
clergyman reproved sin, so as to reduce the in- 
come of the society, he would lose his situation. 
The want of true religicHi, too, was to be seen in 
the respect paid to the rich, and the contempt 
with which the poor was regarded. This feeling 
should be reversed. We^hould learn to say with 
Christ : * Blessed are ye poor — cursed are ye 
rich!' Not that we should haie Hxe richj; we 
should pity tliem. .' It is a great misfortune to be 
rich!'" 

" He also saw the want.oT religion in the little 
fear which men are getting to have for punishment 
in hell I The terrors of the broken law, and of 
eternal judgment, should be preached : for where 
there is no fear, there is no motive to obedience I 
* The good may be governed by love, but not the 
wicked 1' We thought," adds Sanford, <<that he 
was growing a little wild here^ or else that he 
8* 



M - MEMOIR/ OF BANf ORD. 

was playing a game of cunmng to please the mass 
of religionists I On the whole, we cannot but re- 
gard the performance as a strange medley of 
strong sense and nonsense, and therefore pre- 
eminently Brawnsonian,** 

' In August, he preached the occasional sermon be- 
fore the Connecticut State Goi^yention of Universal- 
ists, and was invited to take charge of the Society in 
Hudson, N. Y., as its ^tor. This invitation, as 
well as some others, I Uiink, he declined ; Ihs sym- 
pathies and feelings drawing him strongly toward 
Massachusetts, and his hopes pointing to a settle- 
ment where he could avail himself of the social 
and religious atmosphere of Boston, and the ad- 
vantages, if possible, of the admirable Library of 
Harvard OoUege. 

He now took up the study of Geology in a move 
thorough manner than he had ever before at- 
tempted. 

''Nov. 29. — Commenced Lyell's Elements of 
the Science. I find myself in a new field, over 
whioh I have hardly before even rambled — and I 
see at once that it requires careful study for the 
classification of its particulars.'' 

« 80.— I begin to see my way into the several 
departments of this interesting science, quite as 
readily as I expected ; aud the disentombment of 



MIKISTB7 IN MIDDLBTOWN. ' 87 

organic remains is Kke in£rodacing one into a new 
world. Lyell has been thought to be an infidel. 
He admits, however, that man's remains are to be 
found only in what he terms the Post-Pliocene pe- 
riod, and that at least a great part <^ Europe has 
been submerged since the commencement of human 
existence." 

''Dec. 2.— <I am disappointed at finding this 
science so capable of intelligible classification and 
illustration, as it seems to be irom these volumes. 
I have not read a work with deeper interest for a 
long time. Notwithstanding the alleged infidelity 
of the author, I find nothing in these volumes 
which necessarily conflicts with Revelation, except 
it be his virtual denial of evidence in favor of the 
commencement of the earth ; while he admits that 
man and other creatures have had a beginning. I 
followed him down through the fossiliferous with 
the mosfr pleasurable interest, expecting that he 
would come to a period in the disclosed history of 
the earth ; but to my disappointment, though he 
could trace the marks of organic existence no far- 
ther, be expresses the opinion that the period at 
which it began is not to be reached ; and in hb 
subsequent reasoning on the nature, origin, and 
f^e of the volcanic and motamorphic rci^X% b 
theory seems to ' peep out,' according to which 



88 HEHOIR O? flANPORD. 

the eortli, Etod the types of its living inhatdtanta, 
very possibly had no beginning I 

" In conclading, be eayB, ' If we have found it 
impoBuble to assign any limit to that tinie, through- 
out which it hath pleased an Omnipotent and 
Eternal Bmg to manifest bia creative power, we 
have at least succeeded, beyond all hope, in carry- 
ing back onr researches to a time antecedent to the 
existence at man. 

" 'We can prove that man bad a beginmag, and 
that all the species now contemporary with man, 
and many others which preceded, had also a be- 
ginning ; and that consequently, the present state 
of the organic world has not gone on from all 
eternity, as some philosophers have mmntfuned.' 
This sounds bke good Tbdsm." 

"Dec. 4. — Concluded reading Silliman'a Out- 
lines of Geological Lectures. Do not think they 
give anything like aa clear a view of the scirace as 
Lyell does in his 'dements.' • In spefUdng more 
confidently of the on^n of things, and by refer- 
ring their creation more frequently Xa Qod, he 
appears to be more of a Cbnstian. In fact, he 
professe^i ti> see no contradictiou between the dis- 
'soverics of tliis science and the declarations of the 
Sfel§r---Some of^^iwtiews with regard to the del- 
ge, however, he will probably have to modify — 



MINISTRY IN MIDDLETOWN. ' 89 

» 

if, in fact, lie has not already done so, sinoe his work 
was written — as has been the ease with HitchcQoki 
Buckland, Sedgwick, and others." 

" 5. — ^Began Hitchcock's Geology. This science 
has really more interest in it than any which I hare 
taken ap for a long time^ and 1 regret that I have 
allowed myself to remiun comparatiyely ignorant 
of it so long, /and that I hare not an opportunity 
of studying it under a competent professor." 

" 6.-^Read some in Hitchcock. Commenced wiit- 
11^ a seriQon, thinking that I must allow my Gos- 
pel weapons to become rusty. Subject — ^The 
Communication of Morale Life — the object of 
Christ's Mission." 

''^.--^Read.some, and concluded the sermon, 
such as it is : — ^rather a small affiih*, I think. In- 
deed, my mind is not in the best mood for sermon- 
writing, but I thmk it better to write poor ones 
than none." He also read Buckland's Bridge- 
water Treatise, remarking, that if it had not 
strengthened his conviction of the truth of the 
Mosaic cosmogony, it had at least given him a 
more vivid impression of the Divine wisdom and 
goodness, as displayed in the structure of the va- 
rious races of beings that once lived and moved 
on the face of the earth, and whose . remains are 
left imbedded in the folds of her strata. He then 



W MEMOIR OF BANFORD. 

passed to Lyell's "Principles of Geology," a 
li^ork df wUc^ he speaks in the highest teims of 
praise. 

" 16.— Read in Lyell. Am charmed with the 
liquid clearness of his style, and almost alarmed 
at the comprehensiveiiess of his views. What can 
he more admirable than his historical view of the 
rise and progress of Geology ? It is a remarka- 
ble fact, that among all the nations of antiquity, 
the origin of the earth was ascribed to a Dime 
cause, and its changes and revolutions to the ac- 
tion of two agents, water and fire. In like man- 
ner, have not all the traditions of antiquity truth 
as well as poetry in them ?" 

Still continuing his studies very closely, he- 
preached most of the time in various places, visit- 
ing some societies as a candidate for settlement, 
and among them, the First Society, in Lynn, Mass. 
His services here were very well received, and he 
finally accepted an invitation to remove thwe and 
take charge of the society, on the first of Jan- 
uary, 1845. 



MINISTRY IN LYNN. 

*' I ENTER upon the duties of this new situation/' 
says he in his Jontnal, ** with deep solicitude, and 
with earnest prayer that it may pro#8 hene&sial 
hoth to myself and to my people." 

"I find a very dififerent state of things here 
from that in Connecticut. There, there was too 
much conservatism: here, too much radicalism: 
especially as manifested in Come-outer-ism, the 
most radical of all the isms with which I was ever 
acquainted." This last remark was made after he 
had been in the place long enough to notice^ with 
some care, its peculiarities, as a kind of rallying- 
point for all the outlandish visionaries,-^^oci^ and 
religious, or rather anti-religtous-^of that region. 

He had now attained an age, and an experience, 
which gave distinctness and strength to his views, 
tone and direction to his feelings, stability and ele- 
vation to his characitel* ; and had added materially 
to his qualifications for his position, and the work 
that lay before^ him. The condition of things in 
Lynn was, at this time, somewhat peculiar, and in 
some respects unfavorable to his success as a 



92 MEMOIR OF 8ANF0RD. 

Christian minister. He was a devout and reverent 
lover of the Bible.* He loved the plain, simple 
truths of the Gospel. He believed them to be ''the 
po^pver of God unto salvation." And although 
these facts endeared him to the larger and better 
portion of the people of his congregation, they 
served by no means to recommend, him to the re- 
mainder. These bad grown wiser. A kmd of 
mongrel rationalism, made up of Parkerism and 
water, had been left among them by his predeces- 
sor, Bev. H. G. Smith, of which he was i^orant 
at the time he agreed to take charge of the society. 
In fact, when the vote was taken inviting him, 
many of this class were for attempting to have Mr. 
Smith return, bemg strongly in favor of his pecu- 
liar opinions. Indeed, so unfavorable waS/ the 
condition of affiiirs in this and other similar re- 
spects, that I seriously doubt whether a man of 
very ordinary powers and qualifications could have 
suatuned himself for any length of time, commen- 
cing when he did. But^ notwithstanding these cir- 
cumstances, his labors were attended with a good 

* " I am, and I must be, an ardent lover of the Bible. I 
would not exchange it for all the systemB of philosophy which 
the ingemolty of hanum wisdom has e^er formed. I love the 
Bible for what it teaches of Grod, his nature and character ; 
and, if possible, I loye it more for what it reveals of man, hu- 
man nature, duty, and destiny."— -i^retmcf/roffi a Sennon» 



MINISTRY IN LYNN, 93 

degree of success, and the number of his friends 
was doubtless far greater at the close than at the 
commencement of his ministry among them. His 
congregations were quite large; the friends active 
and zealous ; the church was newly painted in 
fresco, the Sabbath-school reorganized, and a grad- 
ual but healthy growth seemed to have truly began. 
There is a characteristic allusion, in his Journal 
at this period, to some objections made to his 
manner of speaking. "April 3. — ^In returning 
home with a member of my society, I was told "' 
that I should be liked very much if I had more 
enei^ in my delivery. Energy ! — whether it is 
noise or mental activity' that is wanted, I do not 
know. Poor fellow that I am ! I cannot well 
feign what I do not feel ; I cannot easily put 
on the appearance of devotion and earnest-: 
ness — such, I mei^n, as stupidity looks for — wheil 
I am in 'a calm and heavenly frame.' I do hate 
to rage and foam in the sacred desk, much as it is 
liked by the multitude!" For some months from 
this date, I find little in his history that demands 
particular notice. Amidst alternate clouds and 
sunshine, such as usually make up the great body 
of humaA life, he seems to have toiled on. very per- 
severingly, and withal very happily. Once more 
he had emphatically a home — a domestic retreat 
9 -» 



94 MSHOIB OF 8ANFORD. 

to wldch he could fly from cares and trials wiiih- 
out, soothing and strengtheniag his spirit in the 
arms of sympathy and love. He still read much, 
and though he had a large quantity of manuscripts 
on hand, he continued his sermon- writing, prepar- 
ing generally one, and often two discourses per 
week, besides many of his best and most labored 
efforts for the press, in addition to a few literary 
and scientific lectures. We commence his Journal 
agmn, with— 

«May 25th, 1846. — ^For the last six months or 
so, I have neglected to keep a record of my labors 
and afbirs, p4rtly because I could not procure a 
book such as I wanted for the purpose ; partly be- 
cause of mere neglect ; and then, again, partly be- 
cause I have had but little imp<MiAnt matter to 
record. For the most part, things with me and 
mine have passed along in a quiet and prosperous 
way. Among those which have interes|ied me 
most, may be mentioned the following, (leaving, 
of course, domestic affidrs out of the account) : 

" 1. During the early part of the winter, I had 
the satisfaction of hearing Charles Lyell, Esq., in 
a course of lectures on Geology, before the Lowell 
Institute, Boston. Though not exceedingly inter- 
esting as a speaker, he was clear in his arrange- 
ment, ch<Hce in his language, familiar with his sub- 



MINISTRY IN LTNN.' 95 

ject, and, withal, distinct in his enunciation* He 
has a handsome figure, large and well-propor- 
tioned head, and a bright and sparkling, though 
not pronainent, blue eye. The ' first lecture in 
which I heard him was devoted to an inquiry into 
the botany of the carboniferous era. Many com- 
plained of its dryness, but to me it was exceed- 
ingly interesting. The second which I heard, and 
which I think was the ninth of his course, was on 
ttie geographical distribution of fossil organicf life. 
The third, which was his twelfth and last, was the 
conclusion of what he had to say on the same 
subject. 

*' In this lecture, he dwelt on the geological evi- 
dence of the comparatively low antiquity of the 
human race. In adverting to the question in re- 
gard to the probable birth-place of mankind, he 
remarked, that one of the Humboldts, from the 
study of ethnography, has rendered it extremely 
probable that they commenced their being in the 
northern part <^ Asia. In closing, he recapitu- 
lated the grounds Over which he had gone, and in- 
sisted that the causes which, in the course df long 
ages, have wrought such great changes in both 
inorganic and organic nature, are still in full and 
undiminished activity. * If there are any,* were 
very nearly his words, 'who conclude that the 



96 MEMOIR OF 8ANFORD. 

clock has stopped because they are not able to 
hear its ticking, or see the motion of the hands 
upon its face, it is because their observations have 
not extended beyond a jingle soolc^cal era ; and 
though the earth could be struck out of existencfe 
in a moment by the Power that formed it, it wears 
no proofs of decay or dissolution.' 

" 2. During the winter, I prepared and delivered 
a course of five lectures on the science of Geology, 
in its relations to natural and revealed religion. 
They cost me a great amount of labor, but the 
gratification which the study and results afforded 
was a sufficient compensation. The second lec- 
ture—on fossil organic remains — ^I delivered be- 
fore the Lynn Nat. Hist. Society. 

" 3. iSome iour weeks since, I attended the Inau- 
guration of Edward Everett, as President of Har- 
vard UniversUy. His oration, or address, I re- 
garded, all things considered, as the most truly 
eloquent production to which I ever listened. The 
ease, grace, and appropriateness of his manner 
were perfectly astofnishing. His allusions to Web- 
ster, who was present, drew down thundering ap- 
plause. I was never before so deeply impressed 
with, the sense of the omnipotence of eloquence." 

His 4th ^pecincation refers to certain proceed- 
ings had by the friends oi Rev. Mr. Smith, his 



MINISTRY IN LYNN. 97 

« 

predecessor, to obtain the cborch for him to 
preach in. The sum of its efifects were to stir ap 
still greater excitement and division in the So- 
ciety ; though, I believe, that few, if any, of the 
more influential members left Sanford to j<»n 
Smith. He then proceeds to specification 

''5. Within two weddb, a war has broken out 
between Mexico and the United States, in conse- 
quence of the annexation of Texas ! Most sad to 
think of! * * * Our Government has ap- 
propriated ten millions oi doUars, and ordered 
into the field 60,000 men, to carry on the war. 
The late ' victory ' was celebrated among us by 
raising the American flag and the discharge of 
cannon ! ! God ! may these bloody scenes have 
a speedy end !" 

" Last week, besides making a number of calls, 
I wrote two sermons ; one on ' Christ's Sermon 
on the Mount ;' the other on ' The Enemies of 
Christ put under his Feet,' reckoning war among 
the number." 

*' June 19. — Yesterday I attended the services 
at the dedication of the Umversalist Church, in 
BeverlVf and the installation of Brother J. L. Ste- 
vens, as Pastor of the Society. Rev. S. Cobb 
gave the sermon on the first occasion, and Rev. 
H. Ballon 2d on the second. Everything seemed 
9* 



98 MEMOIR OF SANFORD. 

of the right kind until Rev. J. Prince came to give 
the Address to the Society, when a whole hour 
was devoted to an attack upon the miraculous in 
Christianity, in the style of Parkeri«m, as the 
Americanized system of German Rationalism is 
called in this quarter. To say nothing of the er- 
roneousness of the ^sentiments he advocated, the 
effort .was entirely out of place, and was plainly 
received with much disapprobation. When he got 
through, Mr. Ballou arose, and in a very decided, 
yet kind and tender manner, expressed his dissent 
from the views which had been announced. He 
probably felt under stronger obligation to do so, 
from the fact that many members of other sects 
were present." 

It was ascertained during the summer that the 
pecuniary affiurs of the Society wer^ not in a very 
flourishing condition, and Sanford addresisedMt a 
note upon the subject, expressiing his suspicion 
that much of this was owing to the influence 
which the friends of his predecessor, Mr. Smith, 
had exerted. 

Two or three meetings were held to consider the 
subject, and the result is Ibuad in the following 
letter : — 

"To Rev. Merritt Sanford : 
' " At an adjourned meeting of the members 



MINISTRY IK LTKN. 99 

t 

and others, who desire the prosperity of the First 
Universalist Society, held after Divine service 
yesterday afternoon, the following Resolution was 
adopted by ballot : — ' 

" Resolved, That in our present pastor we are 
united' ; that his devotion to the cause and to the 
best interests of the Society has*been unceasing, 
while the present condition of our financial con- 
cerns is by no means attributable to his ministry, 
but is easily traced to other causes. 

" Whole number of ballots, 77 

"Yeas 66 

"Nays ...... 11 

" Voted, That the Clerk be requested fo for- 
ward to Brother Sanford the Resolution, and the 
vote on the same. 

" James M. Sabqeant, Clerk.'' 

This was early in October, and the following re- 
marks concerning it are from his Journal : — 

" Considering all things, I must say that I am 
somewhat surprised at the vote in my fa^or, it is 
so much larger than when I was called to the 
pastorship of the Society. On ascertaining the 
facts, I find that I had hardly twenty votes in the 
majority at that tinie ; twenty-five voting for Mr. 
Smith on the last ballot. This I did not know 



100 MEMOIB OF SANFOBD. 

theo, but have perceived all along that I had a 
strong influence to work against. I am thankful 
to Heaven that there is now so fair a prospect of 
getting rid of the influence of hb dispensation. I 
have had a trial, and now hope to come forth pu- 
rified." 

During the fall he succeeded in organizing a 
church in connection with his Society, and aided 
much in establishing the " I>y|m Mechanics' Ly* 
oeum/' and obtaining a course of lectures for the 
winter. 

" Jan. 1, 1847. — Another New Year 1 It seems 
but as yesterday that 1846 commenced ; and 
should health and prosperity continue, 1848 will 
come before we are aware of it. But it is of lit- 
tle use to moralize. To act, in doing something of 
utility or virtue, is far more important." 

A course of lectures addressed to the young 
was prepared and delivered through the winter, 
and in the spring he commenced the study of the 
Latin language, aided only by his brother, who 
came to reside with him and attend school. 

He also preached an excellent occasional sermon 
before the Massachusetts :^tate Convention, and 
prepared for the Universalist Quarterly an able and 
valuable article on the "Archeology of the £arth 
and its Inhabitants." 



MINISTRY IN LYNN. 101 

*' July 18. — ^Last week was almosd wholly giv- 
en to the study of Latin, writing but about one 
sermon. In Latin I am making rather slow, but, 
I think, sure prepress. Have just got fairly into 
tlie Reader. I like it very much, and even if I 
did • not, I should be encouraged to, proceed, so 
strong is my desire to be able to read a few ,rare 
and important works in the language ; particularly 
Cicero's De Natura Peorum and De Finibis, 
and Pliny's Natural History.** 

" 19. — Brother John M^oore passed last night 
with us, having preached to the S^ond Society 
yesterday. It is believed that an effort is making 
to get him at that part of the town. For the So- 
ciety's sake, I cotdd wish he would come, but for 
bis sake I could desire that he might keep away !" 

In September he wtote another admirable arti- 
cle for the Universalist Quarterly on the Scripture 
Doctrine of Creation ; and in th&earlj^ part of Octo- 
ber announced to his Society that, in consequen^se 
chiefly of the disfkdvantages he had labored un- 
der from the want of union in it, and the oppo- 
sition he still had to meet from the peculiar friends 
of Mr. Smith, it was his intention to close his pas- 
toral labors there with the ending of the year. De- 
cember 26, he preached his farewell sermon in 
Lynn. The oflScers of the Society gave him a very 



102 MBMOJR OF SANFOU). 

oomplimentaiy letter, and he continued to supply 
the desk during the winter by way of exchange. 
The following is a more detailed aoepont of his 
reasons ibr leaving there : 

''The causes which have opeiated to bring 
about the close qf my labors in Lynn may be said 
to be these : 1. The love of novelty and change 
in the place. For this Lynn has been long and 
widely celebrated; and after living here three 
years, I am able to say 4;hat it has come honesl^y 
by the reputation. The people are quick to fall 
in love with a man, and equally quick m falling out 
of it. This has operated to make the stay of minr 
isters short; 

** 2. The peculiar half-revolutiofury state of things 
in the Society, as left by my predecessor. And 
this, in my view, has been the most influential 
circumstance of &11. On coming here, I found a 
large number who were not only greatly in favor 
of his Infidel radicalism, but seemed to feel a land 
of spite toward the rest of &e Society for not 
joining them in efforts to get Jiim back. This 
party has violently opposed me ever since I have 
been here. 

*' 3. In some instances I have given unintentional 
offence in my preaching — ^in disowning some views 
in respect to the future state— maintaining that 
death produces' no change in the character, and 



MINISTRT IN LTNN. 103 

that man enters the hnmortal world in the same 
moral state in which he leaves the present life. 
It may be pocHr policy to preaeh this doctrine, but 
I believe that duty, that principle, requires its dis- 
tinct enunciation.* 

* I 4Pegret io say that xQ|pkpprehentlon seemed to exist 
in some minds willi regard to the ^oimd whieh Mr. San- 
ford occupied upon this sul^ject. The writer has had an op- 
portunity of knowing something of his views, haying been 
rery ^ltimate with him from his youth np« Ahnost his entire 
religious ezperienoe, as well as the few modifications that oo- 
eurredin his opinions, were the , subject of frequent and un- 
resenred communication between us. Most of these modifica- 
tions I haye already hinted at, and they were comparatiyely 
triiing at most. True, his yiews of the resurrection, and of 
the moral connection between the, present and the future state, 
differed a little from those held by a large and respectable class 
in the denomination ; and it is equally true that they were 
yezy nearly in agreem^it with those held by another class. 
Besides the means of information deriyed from the most frank 
personal correspondence, I haye examined the great body of 
his manuscripts, and his private journal, and unhesitatingly 
affirm that he was a strong, untoavering XTnivertaUst. I nev- 
er heard the first word from his lips, or saw the first |^m his 
pen, which indicated a dqvht even in regard to a single point 
of &ith that the UniveiBalist body would deem of very great 
Importance. 

I make these remarks not only because X deem them just, but 
because we have a, small band of enemies — wiaU every way — 
who would like very well to see unpleasant differences among 
110. One of them, in a veiy complimentary notice of Sanford 
in the *' Christian Herald," intimates that, "as a Theologian, 
he was regarded by some of his brethren as ' rather too Ortho- ^* 
dox."' 



•: 



l04 MEMOIR OF SANFOED. 

"To these should doubtless be added two other 
causes. Some have not liked the simplicity of 
my manner, having a taste for a more noisy style ; 
and the Society has labored under a debt, so as to 
render it .difficult to meet its expenses." 

During the remamder of the winter he pursued 
his studies with unwearied industry, spending 
most of his time on the Latin. He found great 
difficulty, however, from the want of a regular aad 
competent instructor; and made some inquiries 
as to the^ terms on which he could spend a season 
m Harvard College. 

The time demanded for preparation, however, 
was greater than he could afford, and after fol- 
lowing up his Latin, with such aids as he could 
obtain, till early in March, he took hold of the 
Oreek with the most indomitable resolution. The 
summer was almost entirely taken up with the 
study of these two languages ; in which, consider* 
mg his want of assistance, he made rapid prog- 
ress. 

He had reached the 10th book of theEndd,and 
was prepared to begin the Greek Reader, when, 
early in September, he left with his wife for Yer- 
n)ont, where they spent among their friendff some- 
thing over two months, returning to Portland, Ct., 
in November, to spend the winter with his father- 



^HINISTRY m LYNN. 105 

in-law, and prosecute his studies there, aided by 
Rev. Mr. Emery, the Rector of the Episcopal 
Church. 

" March 4th, 1849.--^I continue steadily at work 
on my studies. Have recited to Mr. Emery twice 
a week for two months. I like him quite well as 
a teacher, though I continually feel that he would 
be of greater service to me if he were familiar 
with Sophocles' Grammar. It is, this week, just 
a year since I commenced in Greek. I have found 
it hard digging, I confess, but I have not yet had 
a momentary feeling of repentance for oammeneing 
it, and I do not know but what I ought to be sat- 
isfied with iny progress. In Jacobs* Reader I 
have read 72 pp., ending with ' Natural History ;' 
and in Arnold's Greek Composition, I have ad- 
vanced 60 pp., and I feel that I have been doing 
a good work in the Grammar. In Latin, I have 
finished Sallust, and just commenced on Cicero's 
Select Orations." 

But his time on earth was now rapidly drawing 
to a close. Though in the enjoyment of perfect 
health, and ardently engaged in acq\)iring the 
means of still greater usefulness, his labors, trials, 
and enjoyments herfe were about over. Early in 
the spring he had made engagements with the 
Universalist Society in Warren, Mass., to assume 
10 



106 MEMaiR OF 8ANFOBD. 

its pastoral charge ; and while preparing to re- 
move there, was exposed, while on a visit to Bos- 
ton, to that disease he had so long dreaded^— the 
measles. Still thinking that he might escape an 
attack, as he had hefore done under similar ex- 
posures, he made no mention of the fact to his 
family and friends in Portland, but we^t alone to 
Warren, where he was taken suddenly on Sunday, 
April 2 2d. On the day previous, feeling, as he 
feared, some of the premonitory symptoms of ill- 
ness, he sent for hisT wife, who, arrived the same 
evening. .On Sunday he became delirious, and 
remained so until the following Thursday, when 
he expired. His remsdns were taken to his native 
town, a funeral discourse delivered by Rev. H. F. 
Ballou, and there, amidst the scenes of his child- 
hood, on the banks of that little streamlet where 
he had then played, they laid him, with many 
tears, to sleep by the side of his early wife and 
child! 

The following is extracted frpm a brief notice of 
his death, which appeared in the Trumpet and 
Universalist Magazine, of May 5th, under the 
editorial care of Rev. Thos. Whittemore : — 

" We feel no ordinary emotions of grief in an- 
nouncing the death of BrO. Merritt Sanford, late 
pasjbor of the First Universahst Society in Lynn» 



HIS DSATH, 107 

Mass. * * * * He was a man of sound mind, 
a fine wrker, and a good preacher. He died at 
Wairen, Mass., on Thursday of last week (26th 
April), at eleven o'clock, a. m., in the 3 7th year 
of his age. He had recently entered into an en- 
gagement to preach to the Uniyersalist Society in 
that town ; and after supplying the pulpit (or two 
or three Sundays, he was attacked by a very 
dangerous disorder, called by some the black 
measles. He was sick only six days. The best 
of attention was paid him ; it was not in the power 
of man to do anything more than was done ; but 
all was of 110 avail. The sickness was unto death 
— ^the hand of God was in the event. Much as 
we regret the loss of our beloved friend and broth- 
er, and much as we feel that our ministry has 
been deprived of one of its brightest ornaments, 
we slill can say, ' The Lord gave, and the Lord 
hath taken away ; blessed be the name of the 
Lord.' " 

The following extracts are taken from the notice 
published in the ** Christian Herald" — the organ, 
I believe, of the sect of Christians — and to which 
reference was made in a note on a previous 
page:*- 

" The death of Rev. Merritt Sanford, for two or 
three years pastor of the (Ist) Universalist Society 



108 MEMOIR OF 8A1IFORD. 



I 



in Lynn, is announced in the Trumpet of last week. 
« « * * I was acqufdnted with this gentleman, 
and cannot hut mingle a tear of sympathy with 
his afflicted companion and family friends. Mr. 
Sanford was a gentleman of talent and general 
intelligence, and manifested an active spirit of 
philanthropy. * * * * He was much respected- 
as a good citizen and an active philanthropist by 
his neighbors and acquaintances in Lynn." . 

As soon as the news of his death reached Us 
former parishioners in Lynn, it called out the fol- 
lowing earnest and warm expression of thdr sym- 
pathy and respect (I quote from the Trumpet) : — 

" Bro. Whittbmorb : — ^At the close of Divine 
service, yesterday afternoon, the following pre- 
amble and resolutions were imanimously passed 
by the First Universalist Society of this place : — 

" WhereaSt it has pleased the Universal Fa- 
ther, in the plenitude of His wisdom, to remove 
our late pastor and well-beloved brother, Merritt 
Sanford, from the scene of his earthly labors, to 
cut him down in the midst of life, and an extended 
sphere of usefulness : Therefore, 

" Resolved, That we recognize in Bro. Sanford 
one of the brightest ornaments of society ; a faith- . 
ful, talented, and useful minister ; a tender and 



HIS DEATH. 109 

devoted husband ; and an affectionate and beloved 
brother and friend. 

** Resolved, That we cherish his memory with 
sentiments of profound esteem and affection, that 
we deeply sympathize with his afflicted companion 
and relatives in their sad bereavemedt, and tender 
to them the assurance of our sincere sympathy and 
condolence, and commend them to that Gospel 
which he both preached and adorned by his life, 
for the consolation they so much need in this theif 
hour of trial. 

** Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions, 
signed by the Trustees and Clerk of this Society, 
be forwarded to Mrs. Sanford, and that they be 
published in the ' Trumpet' and ' Christian Free- 
man.' 

^f GusTAvus Atwill, 
Geo. W. Lord, 
Nathl. Blakohard, 
Alakson Bubrill, 
Edmund Perrt, 
C. W. Todd, 
Job C. Wait, 

' " James M. Sargeant, Clerk." 
Thus lived, and passed away, in the vigor of 
early manhood, one who is believed to have bad 
as many virtues and as few faults as can well b^ 
10* ' ^ 



»• Trustees. 



no 



MEMOIR OF 8ANFORD. 



expected from our frail humanity. *' And I heard 
a voice from heaven, saying unto «ne, Write, 
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord." 
Amen. 



'I 



SERMONS. 



AFFLICTION. 






Although affliction oometh not forth of the dnst, neither 
■doth tronble spring but of the gro'ond ; yet man is bom unto 
trouble^ as the sparks fly upward."— /o6 v., ^^ 7. 

I UMDER6TAND by this language, that human suf- 
ferinig is not accidental but natural ; Hot the prod- 
uct of chance, but the appointment, of the Crea- 
tor ; and that, severe and protracted as may be 
man's sufferings in the furnace of affliction, its fires 
are kindled and ttepered by the Hand that made 
him, and for the purpose of purifying and elevating 
his nature. 

This lesson is what we should all be solicitous 
to learn. The more I see of the affairs of human 
life ; of its short and deceitful pleasuves, and of the 
burdens which are laid upon human shoulders, 
the deeper is my conviction that inan knows noth- 
ing — nothing of himself and of the true end of hi^ 
being, till he has learned this lessoi^till he has* 
learned that he is bom to experience the trials andF 
fiorrows of adversity, as well as the ease and pleas- 



112 AFFLICTION. 

ure of prosperity'; and that it is absolutely neces- 
sary to his growth and welfare, as an intellectual 
and moral being, ; and though this may be thought 
by some to be) a sad reflection, it is to me a sad- 
der one, that his nature is so weak, that he hardly 
ever learns this lesson until fortune frowns upon 
him, and he drinks of the bitter draught which 
Providence pours into the cup of mortals. 'And 
the consideration that he there learns this truth; 
that he generally comes forth from the furnace 
^th higher thoughts and purer foelings, removes 
all sad and sorrowing reflections from my mind, 
and enablea me to look upon all the pains and 
groans of this suSining world with resignation^ 
almost with joy. My experience, I know, has not 
been long, but it has been full of meaning. The 
morning of my days was bright and full of 
pronuse. The heavens were garnished with ^tars, 
and the earth was strewed with flowers; and I 
walked forth in the vivadty and vigor of youth, 
looked upon the beautiful world that lay before 
me, and I more than half said to myself, ''These 
Iteavens shall never lose their brightness; these 
. flowers shall never wither, and life will be to me 
an unbroken round of prosperity and felicity.'' 
'The word adver^ty I indeed read in books, and 
my teachers told me that this is a world which is 



AFFLICTION. 113 

swept by the storms, and visitedTwith the frosts t»f 
disappointment and suflfering ; but that word I did 
not imderstand, beeause those storms and frosts 
I had not experienced. Possessed of vigorous 
health and joyful spirits, and surrounded by 
friends who had hung over my cradle, and by a^ 
least one other who stood ready to sacrifice care 
and even life to my comfort and welfare, 'Mn my 
prosperity/' I almost said, ''I shall never be 
moved." But years have taught me another les- 
son. Providence has told me what meaning there 
is in the word adversity. The heavens have 'been 
darkened by tempests, and' the earth has been 
rudely swept by winds and storms. The tenderest 
and strox^gest ties of my nature have been sunder- 
ed, and the grave has closed over the sweetest 
and loveliest beings which Heaven has yet given 
me '* to bless the present scene/' But, thanks to 
ihe goodness of the Creator, and to the influence 
of the Gospel of his grace, I mourn not without 
hope. For a while, however, I thought the blow 
too severe, and my poor, feeble nature almost 
sunk beneath the load — ^thoug^ there was no pe 
riod when Christianity did not spe^k comfort to 
my troubled heart ; but I can now say, and I be- 
lieve without ezaggeiation, that " it is good for me 
that 1 have been afflicted." If I know myself, I 



^114 AFFLIOTION. 

have acquired new Atrength, and the i^ost valu- 
able strength, from the burdens which have been 
laid upon me. I have been led to think more of 
myself, of God, and of Christianity, and to feel 
more the ties which bind me to my race, and of 
the obligations un4er which I am placed to sym- 
pathize with them, and try to minister, to their 
welfare. In particular, I have been led to consider 
the intentions of the Creator in making man a sub- 
ject of suffering, and I have learned, at least to my 
satisfaction, that he is in greater danger from pros* 
perity than he is from adversity ; and that all the 
sufferings of this world are ordered in mercy, and 
that they are exercising man's powers, elevating 
his conceptions and feelings, and conducting him 
onward imd upward, to the gleiy and perfection 
of his nature. Accordingly, I now look upon the 
world, not, indeed, with that thoughtless gayety 
and pleasure m which I gazed upon it in earlier 
Hfe, but with higher conceptions, and, I will say, a 
sublimer joy. I have not ceased to see suffering 
^ound me, land I have not lost a heart to weep 
aver it ; but I think I have learned itspwrpoae. I 
see it in the hand of an infinite Father ; and I see 
how be udes it to discipline and elevate his chil- 
dren. I have therefore ceased tp fear it, and my 
only concern now is, that I may bear its inflictions 



' AFFLIOTION. 115 

with patience, and with a clear view of the great 
purpose for which it is administered. 

My hearers will pardon this allusion to myself, 
hecause it is made not only to give you a short 
diapter from the book of human experience; but 
to hold up before you the object of the present dis- 
course. I wish to teach others the lessons I have 
learned. Words, I know, are poor things; pre- 
cept, and even example, are often powerless in 
their influence ; because the majority of mankind 
will learn wisdom from nothing but from the cold 
and icy hand of suffering. And th^ solen^n fact^ 
that* I am surrounded by sufferers, that there are 
&ose who have drank of the bitter waters of ad- 
versity, encourages me to speak ; and I have great 
hope that I shall succeed in my efforts to convince 
such that the ministry of affliction is the ministry 
of benevolence ; in other words, I have hope t]^it 
such will bear witness that I am not dealing in 
fiction, or mere theory, when I speak of the bene- 
ficial influence of adversity. The pampered and 
spoiled children of worldly prosperity, those who 
have lived in perpetual ease and pleasure, and 
who have not yet been made to wrestle with diffi- 
culty and sorrow, will have but a dull ear and a 
doubting heart while I speak on this subject^ 
and they will doubttesB think it an unprofitable 



I 



116 ArFLioTioir. 

theme ; but I ant sure that in the hearts of the 
suffering and the unfortunate there are cords 
whioh will vibrate to the sentiments which I utter, 
and that thej will bless God for makmg this world 
a mixed scene of pleasure and pain, in proportion 
as they have weighed and felt the several elements 
which enter into the composition of human life. 

Of the fact that suffering enters largely into life, 
and that no mortal can long escape the approach 
of adversity, I need not speak, except for the 
mformation — if, mdeed, they will receive it — of the 
young, the inexperienced, or the thoughtless. 
This world, I know, is a good one. was made 
by a Being who knew what he was about, and I 
doubt not that his wisdom, directed by his benevo- 
lence, has adapted all its parts to the nature and 
welfare of its inhabitants. I look upon it, not as 
a gloomy prison, filled with the victims of divine 
hatred and wrath, but as a glorious theatre, occa-^ 
pied by the o£&pring of infinite and impartiai 
goodness. The great dramatist has well said, * 

'J 
" All the world's a ttag«, ; 

And all the men and women merely players : 
They have their exits, and their entrances ; 
And one man, in his time, plays many parts.*' 

» 

Ah ! yes, there are ** many parts " played 



AFFLIGTI09. 



^117 



this theatre ; and he who has not learned that 
tragedy, as truly as comedy, enters largely into its 
drama, has not seen more than the first scene. As 
spring is the most lovely season in the year, youth 
is the happiest period in the history of man. Ma;i- 
hood brings its cares, and old age its burden/. I 
have no disposition to induce . gloom in a single 
mind, by holding up the dark side of life's picture ; 
but we had better see the truth, if it is not so 
agreeable, than to be the dupes of errpr. I give 
you the word which came from heaven, and which 
the history of the earth has confirmed. "The 
voice said. Cry. And he said, What shall I cry ? 
All flesh is grass, and all the gpodliness thereof is 
as the flower of the field ; the grass withereth, the 
flower fadeth." " Man that is bom of a woman 
is^of few days and full of trouble. He cometh 
forth like a flower, and is cut down ; he fleeth also 
as a shadow, and continueth not." ** For what is 
your life ? . It is even a vapor, that appeareth a 
little while, and then vanisheth away." "Men 
dwell in houses of clay ; their foundation is in the 
dust ; they are crushed before the moth." " One 
dieth in the fullness of his ^strength, being wholly 
at ease and quiet. His breasts are full of milk, 
and his bones moistened with marrow. Another 
dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth 
11 



118 fArPLICTION. 

with pleasure. They shall lie down alike in the 
dust, and the worms shall cover them.'' "Hie 
mighty are exalted for a little while ; but are gone 
and brought low ; they are taken out of the way 
as all others, and cut off as the tops of the ears 
of com." " My days are swifter than a weaver'a 
shuttle." " I know that thou wilt bring me to 
death, and to the place appointed for all living." 
** Man goeth to his long home, and the mourners 
go about the streets." 

Solemn this may be, my friends, but it is true. 
The history of six thousand years has* proved it. 
Disease, pain, and death have preyed upon every 
form that has trod our earth, and deposited their 
ashes in its bosom. And there \& nothing in all 
this world which is permtoent and unfading. 
There is no dwelling, no palace, though its foun- 
dation be granite, and its walls be adamant, which 
shall not yield to the touch of time, and be laid 
even with the ground. And there is no family^ 
sweet and strong as are l^eties which bind its 
members together, and be there ever so much 
beauty and wealth, which will not be separated by 
the hand of the Destroymg Angel, and be made 
the common food of the worm of corruption. 

. '* The clond"Oa{yped towen, the gorgeous palaoei. 
The Bolemn templet, the great g^obe itself. 



AFFLICTION. - 119 

Yea, all which it inhabit, shall diflBolToJ 
And like this unsubstantial pageant faded, 
Leave not a wreck behind.*' 

And what is the cause of all this ohange, de- 
cay, and suffering ? A cause there certainly is, 
whether man find it, or not» and whether he it 
satisfied with it, or not. What is it? Is it 
chance? Philosophy tells us that^ there is no 
such thing in the ^niTerse, and every thinking; 
mind, it would seem, must gnxit the correctness- 
of her conclusion. Order, design, and law— these 
are written all over creation. He who does not 
see them is blind to everything m Nature, and he 
might as well deny the existence of the universe 
itself. 'Every form of inanimate and animate 
existence has its distinct and appropriate laws; 
and wh^e there is law, there is no possibility of 
chance. It would be as proper to talk of a discord 
in a harmony. " Nature never makes mistakes,'' 
was the saying of a wise man ; and the reason is^ 
because she is under the dominion of laws through- 
out all her works. If she produces earthquakes 
and volcanoes, or what, we may regard as dreadful 
accidents, it is not because there is chance in her . 
operations, but because she acts in obedience to 
laws beyond our feeble comprehension. And it is 
so in the ruptures and sufferings which take place 



120 ' AFFLICTION. 

in 'human life. There is nothing accidental-— - 
nothing like chance, in them. Laws preside OTer 
them ally and who will deny that they take place 
according to the will and appointment of that m- 
finite Lawgiver, who balanced the machinery of 
the universe, and gave to it all its laws ? Perhaps 
I shall be told that man's afflictions and sufferings 
come upon him for disregarding, or transgressing, 
the laws of the Creator. It may be argued, that 
every law of God is benevolent in its nature, and 
that it has enjoyment for its object, and, conse- 
quently, that all human suffering results from 
transgressmg the laws which the Creator has 
established. I freely admit that there is much 
philosophy, much truth, in this. I see that the 
young die, because some violence is done to the 
laws of their existence ; and I see that health can 
be promoted, life prolonged, and enjoyment aug- 
mented, by learning and obeying the laws which 
are interwoven with the human economy. But 
may we not look further ? Who made these laws, 
and did He not foresee the manner in which they 
would be treated ? Did not His eye run along 
the whole course of humanity, and were not the 
transgressionil^ which would result from the action 
of His laws, as truly present to His mind as the 
laws themselves ? And if so, and especially as 



AFFLICTION. 1 181 

He fixed the condUiana from which the transgres- 
sions would flow, did He not yirtually ordain 
them, 2Uid absolutely provide for their results ? I 
see not how an affirmatiye answer to these ques- 
tions can be avoided. And there is another view 
to be taken of this matter. God could have or- 
dained all the changes, afflictions, separations, and,, 
if you please, all the ttansgressions, which take 
place among men, without the production of pain, 
sorrow, and lamentation, had He so willed. He 
could have given man nerves of iron and a heart 
of stone, so that he could have passed through all 
life's changes without feeling the touch of pain, 
and buried his kindred, and gone himself down to 
the gates of death, without shedding a tear or 
heaving a sigh. But He did not so will — He has 
not 80 done. He has given man both a frame and. 
a .soul, which are tenderly alive at every pore. 
Hb physical powers and' sensations are far m<H'e 
tender and acute than those of the brute creation 
below lum, and the consequence is, that he knows 
more of disease, pain, and suffering. And then, 
thfflk of his mental sensibility, and mental sorrow. 
O ! how many and deep are the fountains which, 
easily disturl^ed, send fcH'th bitter waters from 
within him ! His reason, how often is it mocked 
in its attempts to rise to the comprehension of 
11* 



122 AFFLICTION. 

truth, and sinks back upon itself, in doubt, in 
darkness, sometimes in despair ! His social feel- 
ings — ^feelings which require him to seek the 
companionship and love of his race, and bind him 
in bonds of gentleness to his kindred and friends : 
alas ! how often are they made to bleed over un- 
requited love, over disappointment and bereave- 
ment! His moral affections — affections which 
give him ideas of right and duty, of justice and 
benevolence, — how they plead with him to keep 
on the even tenor of his way, and go not in the 
path of sin, and how do they upbraid him and 
torment him, when he finds himself in the way of 
evil ! And his religious instincts and aspirations — 
instincts and aspirations which impel him to seek 
and feel after his Maker, " if haply he might find 
Him/' and to look upward to a happy immortality 
as the true end and good of his being, — ^and.how 
they minister to his inward pain*, and degradation, 
and despair, even when he does not find the true 
God, and the hope of a blissful future ! And in hia 
present natural state of imperfection and weak- 
ness, how Ksan he avoid these errors, and free him- 
self from all these unhappy results ? 

Here, then, we find that reason and nature jom 
revelation in teachitfg that affliction, adversity, 
suffering, has its orig^ in the will and appointment 



AFFLICTION. 123 

of God. Th^re is nothing accidental, and nothing 
merely mechanical or material in its cause. ''Afflic'' 
tion cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth 
trouble spring out of the ground." Its fires' are 
kindled by the hand of the Maker. " Man is born 
unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward." It is the 
natural result of the nature which is conferred 
upon him, and it is an essential element in the 
purpose of his being. In giving him his acute 
sensations and exquisite sensibilities, God has 
opened, so to speak/ fountains of pain and sorrow 
in every fibre and pore of his physical and mental 
nature ; and the changes and reverses of Providence 
with which he has diversified the journey which 
he takes in his passage through this nether world, 
doubly proves that his afflictions and sufferings are 
ordained by the Being that made him. 

Hiis brings us to the main business of the pres- 
ent discourse — to inquire into th6 object or pur- 
pose for which man is made a subject of affliction 
and suffering. Why has God opened inlets of 
pain and sorrow within him, and why does He lead 
him through so many difficulties, trials, and suf- 
ferings? This is a great, though a very natural 
question. The sufferer has asked it, as he has 
turned himself in agony upon the bed of sickness ; 
and the philosopher has asked it, as he has sur- 



124 AFFLICTION. 

vey«d the world, and beheld the safferings which 
abound in it. 

If we turn to the Scriptures for an answer, we 
get one which is at once worthy the character of 
God and the reception of man. We are there told, 
on almost every page, that man is visited with suffer- 
ing, not to gratify and satiate the hatred and wrath 
of his Maker, nor because he is doomed to bear the 
evils of his state for the sin of his first parents, but 
to quicken and elevate his own nature—to dis- 
cipline and strengthen his intellectual and moral 
powers, and to give him, moral energy and spiritual 
perfection through its severe and faithful ministry* 
" Our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, 
work out a far mor& exceeding, eternal weight of 
glory." " No chastening for the present seemeth 
joyous, but grievous^ nevertheless, afterward it 
. yieldeth the peaceable fruits of rigliteousness unto 
them who are exercised thereby." "Ye shall 
weep and lament, but your sorrow shall be turned 
into joy." " They that sow in tears shall reap in 
joy." « Weeping may endure for the night, but joy 
cometh in the morning." I need nbt multiply these 
divine, sweet assurances. They are scattered over 
the whole field of revelation, and every one who 
has made himself familiar with the sacred writings 
will bear me witness, that the cause of affliction is 



AFFLICTION. 125 

there always ascribed to the goodness of God and 
to his interest in the welfare of his creatures^ and 
that it is declared to be inflicted for the purpose 
of correcting and elevating them. 

Can we learn this lesson, my friends ? From 
observation, experience, and reflection, can we so 
lift up our thoughts, that we can see the goodness' 
of God in His making man a child of sorrow, and 
loss the rod when we bear its stripes ? So weak 
is our nature, we may not be able to do this in 
every instance of suffering which we witness or 
experience ; but, if we will withdraw our minds 
from the glare and noise of the world, and think 
pf the condition of human nature, and of the rela- 
tive influence of prosperity and of adversity upon 
it, I am sure we shall come to the conclusion that 
affliction is as the refiner's fire to silver in its in- 
fluence on man, and we shall see reasons for bless- 
ing God in his darkest dispensations. 

The common argument in vindication of the 
goodness of God in human sufllering is, that the 
amount of enjoyment is greater than that of pain. 
This is a good argumeirt, because it is founded in 
truth. Yes ; it is a glorious truth, that, great and 
trying^as are the pains and sorrows of this world, 
the amount of happiness is fai:, almost infinitely, 
greater. For one tear there are a thousand smiles, 



ink) AFFLICTION* ^ 

andrfor one day of moumiiig there are whole years 
of rejoiciog. There is so much truth in this, that 
when we hear the notes of gladness and enjoy- 
ment, they scarcely fix our attention^ they are so 
common i and when we hear the tones of sadness 
and suffering, we turn that way with wonder and 
surprise, so uncommon in the aggregate are such 
tones in the music, of this world's experience. 
Happiness is the rule, misery the exception. This 
is a verity, and it clearly demonstrates the good- 
ness of the Creator and Rul^r of our world. But 
still, there is suffering in it. It has written its lines 
on almost every countenance. Its wails come to us 
from the mourning, and its groans from the dying. 
How can God be good in permittmg or sending it ? 
My friends, this has been deemed a very hard ques- 
tion, but I think we can all easily answer it, if we 
will look into the nature of the being who is the 
sufferer. What is the purpose of his being ? Not 
merely to enjotfj but to grow — ^to advance in knowl- 
edge and virtue, to develop his intellectual and 
moral powers, and to rise to true greatness — the 
greatness of moral excellence, by an exposure to 
difficfulty, danger^ and suffering. I suppose that 
God could have made the trees and the rocks 
happy, and filled every pore of them with enjoy- 
ment, but I know not how he could have made 



APPLICTIOM. 127 

» 

man a being of intellectual and moral. yfJue^-in 
other words, how he conld have raised up a being 
from nothingness and dust to the heights of knowl- 
edge and moral excellence, without subjecting him 
to danger, hardship, and suffering, tie could, as 
he does, make him innocent, without thi» severe 
process, but not vhrluous. Virtue, moral excel- 
lence — ^the true end and glory of man, is not a 
communicated thing : it is the mmd's own act and 
work, and it is in the field of trial, and conflict, and 
sorrow, that it is formed. 

The world thinks httle of it, but it is true, that 
man's true glory fades and die8,-*->or it would fade 
and die, in the perpetual sunshine of favor and 
enjoyment. Prosperity,^-alas ! - the prosperity 
that he courts so much/ kills him^ He cannot 
bear it. Give him wealth, and he becomes proud. 
Give him power, and he corrupts it, aye, corrupts 
himself, and tyrannizes oYer his species. But God 
knows how to humble him. God understands hb 
frame, he remembers that he is dust, and he visits 
him with reverses, trials, conflicts, bereavements, 
sufferings. And what do they do to him ? Fre- 
quently they make his heart stoop, mdeed, and in 
a few cases, we grant, they crush h^n to the earth, 
but they constitute a burden which i^ is good for 
him to bear. They exercise hia powe^ and ther«* 



128 .AFFLICTION. 

by multiply his strength ; they arouse his atten- 
tion to a thoughtfulness and study of his condition 
and true interests^ humble his pride, subdue his 
stubbornness, chasten and refine his social and 
moral feelings, giving him a heart more alive to 
the wants of his fellow-pilgrims, and more ready 
to rejoice with them that rejoice, and to weep with 
them that weep, and schooling his whole nature 
to the love of that virtue and the observance of 
those laws which are the true 6nd and real good 
of his being. 

Be patient, my hearerS) yet a little while, and I 
will specify and briefly illustrate some of the par- 
ticular benefits which flow to mankind from the 
influence of adversity. There is no need that I 
speak of the blessings of prosperity, because 
these BTe comprehended; but it is not so easy 
for men to see that adversity teems with bless- 
ings to the children of men, and therefore there 
may be need that a word or two be spoken in their 
Jbehalf. 

1. Adversity does much for the acquirement 
and promotion of knowledge. Mankind have a 
natural love of ease, and were it not for the influ- 
ence of pain ^d suffering, they would be a race 
of stupid, ignorant, degraded creatures. The ter- 
rible fury of the tornado and the awful noise of 



AFFLIOTIOW. 129 

the earthquake maybe thotighttobe dreadful dis- 
<H)rds in the music of natute, but if we had an ear 
frhich took in all the sounds which make up the 
great harmony of the universe, we should doubt- 
less understand that the most fearful ^nes are, we 
mighfsay, the most necessary, inasmuch as they 
are the only effectual means by which mankind 
<Sfem be kept awake to their true good. If we 
should look over the history of nations, we could 
^edly leul to discover that the fearful judgments 
and calamities which Providence has brought 
down upon them, have had a mighty influence on 
them for good, in calling the attention of the peo- 
ple to their real condition, and in causing them to 
use the means in then* power to become acquaint- 
ed with the sources of greatness and happiness.' 
And we* can all see that this is the effect of adver- 
sity in the common walks of life. How often do 
we see the thoughtless and the giddy turned into 
serious and anxious inquirers after the path of vir- 
^e and the light of hope, — by some instance of suf- 
fering, by the approach of sickness or death \ And 
how much would oUr physicians and physiologists 
have known of the human frame, and of the laws 
which govern the human system, if there had, been 
no disease and pain ? Very little — ^very little in- 
deed, in our opinion. The fact is/ and it is one 
Id 



IM AFFUCTIOII. 

idikh dioidd lead IIS to see a gnad pinpcMe in the 
eastenee of snfferii^ ia the present system, that 
the whde stock of knowledge which modern 
science gives of the natme of man has grown out 
ci his sufferings ; for had he not sofiEsred, there 
could have heen no motive, higher than curiosity, 
to study his nature^ and his suflferings have answer- 
ed the purpose of reveshng the laws and purposes 
of his nature, in the same way that the laws of 
anything are most visiUj revealed hj the eoase- 
qnenoes which Mlowa departure horn them. 

One purpose, then, for which sufierii^ is inflkt- 
ed upon man, is to keep him from mental stupidi- 
ty, to fix and ccmfine his attention an smous and 
important matters, and tho^hy to imaneaae the 
amount of his knowledge ; and could we see how 
much has been done for both the progvess of 
sci^ice and the progress ci Christianity by the in- 
fluence ci pain and sorrow, we should thank God 
that he sends stcNrms as well as the sunshine. 

2. Adversity does much for the cultivation of 
the 90cM 4Mfieiumi and ocrlaea. Indeed, afflic- 
tion is the only school in whidi these divine pkuto 
can have a healthy growth and come to perfection. 
Enter the most virtuous ^£unily where there has 
been nothing but proq)erity,-i-where abundanoe, 
health, and almost unbroken ^joymeni have rdgn- 



AFFLICTION/ , 181 

ed, — ^and you wiU find a good degree of order and 
peace, indeed, but you would find also; iC you have 
eyes which can penetrate the surface of things/ 
fretful and irritable dispositions — an easy willing- 
ness to find fault and pass condemnation, and very 
little will be known of the highest social virtues, 
such as pity, compassion, and forbearance. But 
let the angel of adversity visit that family, and lay 
one of its members upon the b^ of sickness, and 
a diviner influence will immediately commenee its 
work among themi All their little rivalries, con^ 
tenlions, and animosities will be hushed, repented 
of, and forgiven, and they will watch with breath- 
less anxiety around the couch of the sufferer, to 
see if they cannot do somethiDg to relieve or com- 
fort him, if it be no more than to show him that 
their hearts beat in pain with his ; and whether he 
lives or dies, they will derive from this scene a 
spirit which will be of greater benefit to them than, 
a whole lifetime of ease and pleasure. There 
will he more tenderness and strength in their 
aflfections, a greater readiness to feel each other'ji 
sorrows, and to ministifr to each other's welfare, 
and a deeper and broadw Sympathy toward their 
neighbors. And so it is, not with one family 
merely, but all over the world. The social virtues 
do not thrive in the siinshine of continual prosperi* 



132 AFFLICTION. 

ty. PeeyisbDess, pride, and hatred will grow ihefe. 
in rich abundance ; but if you would seek for sweet 
and strong sympathies, for hearts quick to feel 
every want and weep over every pain, and for aU 
the offices of tenderness, compassion, and undying 
love, go where adversity has reigned — where 
darkness hath brooded — where storms have raged 
— ^where frosts have blighted, and don.e dreadful 
havoc with beauty, and loveliness, and affection.. 
In this spirit the ffre^i Spurzheim chose for hia 
wife a woman who had experienced great sufferings 
believing that her social nature « had been refined 
and exalted by what she had suffered ; and the 
result verified the correctness of his opinion. And 
we are certified that suffering was one'of the ele- 
ments in forming the perfection of Jesus Christ ; 
for it is written, " The Captain of our salvation was 
made perfect through suffering." And shotild we 
expect to become perfect in either aocial or moral 
virtue, without suffering ? No, we cannot spare 
the influence of pain, bereavement, and sorrow. If 
we truly know ourselves, we would rather spare 
everything el$e. The voices which speak to us in 
the sick chamber and in the grave-yard, are solemn 
indeed, but they breathe an influence whjph is 
stronger in behalf of virtue than all the other voices 
which we hear. For what is the language which 



AfFLlGTION. . 183 

thsy convey to the heart ? What sentiinents do we 
derive from communioQ with the sick and with the 
dead ? Ah ! slow as the young and the thought- 
less are to helieve it, they are rich in meaning and 
purifying in. their influence. Who can witness a 
fellow-heing wasting away imder son&e loathsome 
disease, without feeling a deeper sentiment of pity 
and compassion toward his feeble, erring, and 
suffering race ; and who can follow the cold, re- 
mains of a neighbor, a friend, or even an enemy, 
to the silent resting-place of our poor mortality, 
without deep and moving thoughts, and without 
purer and better feelings toward both the dead 
and the living ? We pity the man, — from our 
very hearts we pity him,-^for his hardness of heart 
we pity him, who can visit* the chamber of sick- 
ness, or stand over the fresh grave of the fallen, 
and harbor an unkind thought or a hard feeling 
toward a single being which wears the human form, 
even though he* has enemies which have tried to 
do him injury. '' Truth should be there felt and 
taught, in the silence of meditation, more persua- 
sive, and more enduring, than ever flowed from 
humim lips. The grave hath a voice of eloquence 
which speaks at once to the thoughtlessness of the 
rash, and ther devotion of the good ; which address- 
es all times, and all ages, and all sexes ; which 
12* 



184 AFFUCTIOir* 

tells of wisdom to the wise, and of comfort to the 
afflicted ; which warns us of our follies and our 
dangers ; which whispers to us in accents of peace, 
or alarms us in tones of terror ; which steals with 
a healing balm into the stricken heart, and lifts up 
and supports the l^roken spirit; which awakens 
a new enthusiasm for virtue, and disciplines us for 
its severer trials and duties ; which calls up the 
images of the illustrious dead, with an animating 
presence, for our example and glory ; and which 
demands, of us, that the powers given by God 
should be devoted to his service, and that th^ 
mind, created by his love, should return to him 
with .larger capacities for virtuous enjoypaent, and 
with more spiritual and intellectual bnghtness."* 

3. Adversijty does much also for the cultivatioQ 
of piety ; by which I mean, gratitude and resig- 
nation toward God. I confess that I once thought 
this impossible. I looked upon prosperity and 
contii\uous enjoyment as the means of giving man* 
kind confidence in the goodness of th^ Maker, 
and of kindling their hearts into gratitude and 
love toward him. But observation and experience 
have led me to a different conclusion, and I say. 
in the language of another^ '' The most sceptioal 
men, the most ins^isible to God's goodness, the 

• Stoiy. 






AFFUCTIOK^ Idd 

most prone to murmur, may be found among 
those who are laden abov^ all others with the 
goods of life, whose cup overflows with prosperi- 
ty, and who, by an abuse of prosperity, have be-^ 
come selfish, exacting,- and all alive to inconve- 
niences and privations. These are the cold-hearted 
and the doubting. If I were to seek those whose 
conviction of God's goodness is faintest and most 
easily disturbed, I would seek them in the p^ce 
sooner than in the hovel. I. would go to the luxu- 
rious table, to the pillow of ease, to those among 
us who abound most, to the self- exalting, the self- 
worshiping, not to the depressed and forsaken. 
The profoundest sense of God's goodness which it 
has been my privilege to witness, I have seen in 
the countenance and heard from the lips of the 
suffering. I have found none to lean on God with 
such filial trust, as those whom he has aflSicted» 
I doubt, mdeed, if true gratitude and true cpnfi- 
dence ever spring up in the "human soul, until it 
has suffered, A superficial, sentimental recogni- 
tion of God's goodness may indeed be found 
among those who have lived only to enjoy. But 
deep, strong, earnest piety strikes root in the soil 
which has been broken and softened by calamity. 
And such, I believe, is the observation of every 



189 AFFLZOTION. 

man who has watched the progress of humaa 
character."* 

I might speak of the beneficial influence of ad-» 
versity in another respect. I might show how 
the dark dispensations of Providence teach man- 
kind the value of the Gospel of Christ, and how 
disappointment and bereavement give them a 
relish for those streams of life and peace which 
make glad the city of Zion. I might ask you |o 
go to the dark chamber of sickness, or the darker 
chamber of death, where a belovediform is dressed 
in its last, robes, and where the bereaved hang 
over it and weep with groanings which cannot be 
uttered ; and I might show you that in such scries 
^—scenes which we must all witness, the voice of 
the Gospel, which speaks of a glorious immortality 
beyond the grave, and which brings the assurance , 
that all these afflictions will be ov^ruled for gpod^ 
and terminate in greater purity and more substan- 
tial happiness, is sweeter to the ear than honey to 
the taste ; and you could not fail to conclude that 
though men may neglect and even ridicule the 
Gospel while they are in the gayety and sunshine 
of prosperity, their folly is rebuked, and they are 
made to see that it is more precious than ten 
thousand worlds, when the darkness of affliotbB 

* Channing. 



AFFLICTION* 187 

and deajih settles around them. But I must not 
speak on this subject. I have already drawn too 
liberally upon your time, if not uppn your patience. 
And I have done what I undertook. I have given 
you my thoughts on the reality/ origin, and end of 
human suffering. To reconcile all the mysteries 
which hang about this great subject, and vindi<! 
cate all God's ways in his dark dispensations, I 
have not had the folly to attempt. This is not 
my business. God will take care of his own ways^ 
and in due time he will vindicate the goodness 
thereof to every creature, whether I comprehend 
it or not. It is enough for me to know that the 
mixed elements of my lot are under the direction 
of a kind and good Being, and that the sufferings 
which I am called to endure are ordained in mercy, 
and have for their end the purification and eleva- 
tion of my nature. And I have found this grand 
truth in the teachings of Revelation and in the les- 
sons of experience. I cannot doubt it^ I see, 
every day of my life, that )nan cannot bear con- 
tinual prosperity ; that it corrupts him, tnakes 
him proud, peevish, overbearing, selfish, and sen- 
sual, and would blot out his true glory ; and I see 
that it is the sublime purpose of adversity to 
check and humble his pride, to give him serious 
thoughts and tender feelings, to discipline and 



188 AFPLIOTIOW. 

strengthen his social and moral powers, and thus 
to lead him forth to righteousness and victory. I 
bless God, therefore, for the storm, as well as for 
the sunshine — ^for suffering, as well as for enjoy- 
ment. I pretend not to see hU goodness in every 
instance and form in which it is inflicted, but I 
should not dare, had I the pow^r, to stretch forth 
my band to lessen its amount^ in the present state 
of human nature. Man needs its sweet but saltita- 
ry influence. " Favor," even in fortune, *' is dec^t- 
fttl," and leads ten thousands in ruinous paths ; but 

*« This lino ilatfteiy; ihMearecooiifleloii 
That feelixiglj persuade me what I am. 
Sweet are the uses of adversity ; 
Whieh, like the toad, ugly and venomous. 
Wears yet a preoioiis jewel in his head." 

Let man, then, conclude with the poet : 

« What, then, am II 

Anvidst applauding worlds. 
And worlds celestial, is there found on earth 
A peevish, dissonant, reheHious string. 
Which jars in the giand ehoros, and complains 1 

All, all is right, by God ordained or done ; 
And who, ^ut God, resumed the friends he gfkve t 
And have I been complaining, then, so long 1 
Complaining of his fkvors, pain and death 1 
Who, without pain's advice, would e'er be good 1 
Who, without death, but would be good in vain 1 



AFFLICTION. 139 

Fftin IS to saye firom pain ; all paniahiiient 

To make for peace ; and death to sare from death. 

Hearen gives ns friends to bless the present soene ; 
Kemoves them, to prepare us for the next. 
All evils natural are moral goods ; 
All discipline indulgence, on the whole. 

Great God of wonders ! 

What rooks are these on which to build our trust ! * 
Thy ways admit no blemish ; none I And ; 
Or this alone, — ^that none is to be fonnd : 
Not one, to soften Censure's hardy crimes ; 
Not one, to palliate peevish griefs complaint, 
Who, like a demon, murmuring from the dust. 
Dares into judgment call his judge — Supreme ! 
For all I bless thee ; most for the severe ; 
It thunders, bat it thunders to preserve ; 
It strengthens what it strikes; its hideous groans 
Join heaven's sweet halleli^ahs in thy praise, 
* Great Source of good alone ! how kind in all ! 
In vengeance kind, in pain and death." 

''Bless the Lord, my soul, and all that is 
within me, bless his holy name ; who forgiveth 
all thine iniquities ; who healeth all thy diseases ; 
who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who 
crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender 
mercies.** 



MAN CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. 

t 

" So God created man in his own image."— Gen. I., 27. 

This was the last and noblest work of the 
Creator. He bad arcbed tbe beavens and monld- 
ed the earth ; he had set bounds to the great deep, 
and caused the dry land to appear ; he had clothed 
the mountains with verdure^ and filled the vales 
with life and beauty ; he had peopled tbe waters 
with the finny tribes, with " great whales" and the 
mighty leviathan ; be bad made the air to swarm 
with the humming insect and '' flying fowl/' and 
he had covered the earth with " cattle and -creep- 
ing things ;" but there was as yet nothing within 
the boundaries of the new creation which was 
worthy to receive the impress of Us own nature. 
" And God said. Let us make man in our image, 
after our 4ikeness, and let them have dominion 
over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the 
air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, 
and over every creepiog tbiog that creepeth upon 
the earth. So God created mtm in his own image, 
in the image of God created he him ; male and 



MAN CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. Y41 

female created he them ; and God blessed them, 
and said unto them. Replenish the earth, and 
subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the 
sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every 
living thing that moveth upon the earth." 

Here is the beginning of wisdom. Here is the 
basis of all moral trath. Toman there are no 
greater question^ than these : — ^What is my na- 
ture? and what was I made for? If he cannot 
answer, he is wofully blind and ignorant of every- 
thing that most vitally concerns his true interest 
and welfare, however learned he may be in litera- 
ture and science. He knows^ not the law and 
purpose of his being, and he is as little prepared 
to see the wisdom of God in the constitution of 
his nature, and to act well his part on the stage of 
human life, as the mariner would be to shun the 
perils of the ocean, if he should push out to sea 
ignorant of the several parts of his vessel and of 
their uses, and without chart or compass with 
which to regulate his passage. 

" God created man in his otbn image" What 
does this mean ? Is it true 1 And wliat Iig!it does 
it shed on human nature, duty, and destiny ? These 
questions seem to cover the main ground of the 
subj set-matter of the text, and I feel that I can- 
1» 



148 MAN CEBAT&B 

not better employ your minds at the present time 
than in their discussion.' 

I. What are we to understand by the state- 
ment that "God created man in his own image?" 
An* image is t^e representation or likeness of a 
thing. It has long been a custom to enstamp the 
image of the reigning king or ruler upon the coins 
that are put into circulation, and when this has 
, been done, the features of the original h&ve had 
an impression upon the circulating medium. We 
have a case in point in the Gospel history. Some 
cavilers came to Christ with the question, " Is it 
lawful to giye tribute unto Caesar, or not ? And 
Jesus said unto them, Show me the tribute money. 
And they brought unto him a penny. And he 
saiith unto them, Whose is this image and super- 
scription? They say unto him, Caesar's.'' The 
penny wore the impression of Caesar's features, 
and therefore they cpuld not mistake its parent- 
age and ownership. So it is with man. The 
image of God is enstamped upon his nature. The 
features of the Divine Mind are drawn upon his 
own, ^^ he. who will read them cannot doubt the 
divipity of his parentage. 

We shall obtain more distinct conceptions of 

the nature of the divine image in man by oonsider- 

, ing the nature and attributes of God. '' God is a 



IN TfiE IMAGE OF GOD. 14S 

Spirit/' said the great Teacher, and all creation 
proclaims the same truth. The laws of nature all 
point us to a spiritual existence ahove them, ''who, 
retired behind his own creation, works unseen." 
Gross, unthinking matter could no more have been 
the cause of creation and her wonderftil opefations, 
than eternal darkne^s could have been the cause 
of the existence of light. Hence philosophy and 
revelation are one in saying that the Author (^ 
nature is a spiritual being. He is Mind. He is 
Infinite Intelligence, ^ow here we may see the 
nature of the divine image in man. He is not all 
matter. " The life is more than meat." He has 
a spiritual, intellectual nature. A ray of the di- 
vine light is given him, and it makes him a b^ng 
of thought, intelligence, knowledge. But we 
must n6t stop here. God is not mere Intelligelice. 
There is a higher principle in his nature. He is a 
moral, as well as a mental being. " Justice and 
judgment are the habitation of his throne." Per- 
fect Rectitude, impartial Equity, unspotted aiid 
everlasting Purity, and infinite Benevolence, are 
tiie qualities of his nature, and the Iftivs of his gov- 
ernment ; and theji make it inconsistent with his 
own happiness and the welfare of his subjects to 
do wickedly, or pervert judgment. And here do 
we see what is the highest glory of the divine 



144 MAN CEBATED 

image in man. He is not mily an intellectna], but 
a moral being. The ideas of justice, of right, of 
rectitude, and of benevolence, are the noblest ele- 
ments of his being ; and in virtue of these elements, 
sin is inconsbtent with his nature and welfare ; 
moral purity is his. natural element, and the only 
one in which he can be happy. 

When, therefore, it is said that " God created 
man in his own image,'' the simple meaning is, 
that. man was endowed with an intellectual and 
moral nature. There is nothing in it to favor the' 
idea (which some have supposed to have been 
the meaning of the sacred writer) that man was 
made immortal or incorruptible ; but the whole of 
the matter is simply this, — that a likeness of the 
divine attributes was impressed upon human na- 
ture making man an intellectual and moral being. 
This view is abundantly confirmed by the Apostle 
Paul, who defines the image of God to be **kneu>i' 
^g^t* "righteousness and true hoHness ;** that is, 
moral purity. 

II. Let us now inquire, Is this true 1 True I I 
need not ask this question, except for the purpose 
qf saying a few things by way of confirmation. 
Little as some men think, and much as some men 
doubt, there can be but few who will call in ques- 
tion the doctrine of the text. And if there are 



IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. 145 

any sticb, we believe that their scepticism can be 
removed by their looking into the natm*e of man. 
The time has been whan the Mosaic account of the 
creation of the world was denied, even by men of 
science ; and it was confidently said, that the be- 
ginning of the Bible was a lie, and that, for aught 
that man could tell, the world has existed forever ; 
but since then, the bosom of the earth has been 
bored and dug, and her successive strata and the 
remains of her former children have been laid open 
to the gaze of a doubting world ; and the conse- 
quence has been, that the recent creation of the 
earth, with its productions and inhabitants, has been 
made, not a matter of mere faith, but of positive 
demonstration. So here : if there are any who 
doubt that the Bible tells the truth when it says 
that *' God created man in his owh image,'' they 
will find a cure for their scepticism in the investi- 
gation of the nature of man. Let them penetrate 
its cms ti let them go beneath its surface, and lay 
open its inward strata; and let them read the 
prints and impressions of the divine hand, and 
decipher the hieroglyphics that are written upon 
the soul ; and they will find the image of God, 
dii|jtinct and clear, on the tablet of human nature, 
and they will henceforth look upon man, not as a 
mere lump of animated clay, but as a spiritual 
13* 



146 MAN CEBATEO 

being ; not as a brute, but the child of God ; Bot as 
the insect of a day, but the heir of immortality. 

" Call now to mind ivbst high, 
C^paciouB powers lie folded np in mftn." 

Look upon his works. Mark his conquests over 
nature. <Read the productions of his genius. Proofs 
of mental weakness and folly you will doubtless 
find, but you cannot look upon the temples be has 
reared, the cities he has built» the continents he 
has explored and subdued, much less can you ex- 
amine the arts and sciences which he has devel* 
oped, and the systems of law and philosophy 
which he haa elaborated, without being led to the 
conclusion that there is within him an intellectual 
energy which claims kindred with that mighty 
Mind whic)i contrived and built this vast, and glo- 
rious universe. So evident b the fact that man b 
an intellectual being, that it has never been de- 
nied, certainly by no man of intelligence ; but there 
has been one way by which some men, calling 
themselves philosophers, have endeavored to prove 
that intelligence, is not a natural attribute. It 
has been said that man's powers are the result 
of education ; that they are not innate, but the 
growth of circumstances. This is a part of that ' 
system of philosophy which has contended that 
liiere has been no such thing as absolute (HreaUon 



IN THR IMAOe OF GOD. 147 

in nature, hnt that everything has sprouted and 
grown up spontaneously. They have imagined 
that the earth, somehow or other, in some strange 
way, hut in a fortunate moment, brought forth a 
vegetable, that this grew awhile, and then sproitt-^ 
ed up into an animal, and that the animal cfawled 
about awhile upon the earth, but, through in- 
convenience or pride, it soon took to itself legs, 
which happened to come that way at the right 
time, and walked, and finally, aspiring still higher, 
it threw away its fore legs and paws, and took a 
pair of atms and hands, and became a man I On 
this hypothesis, the elephant once had no trunk, 
and the Urda no bills nor wmgs, but they gradu- 
ally grew out as they made efforts to gather their 
food, or to fly! And accordingly, it has been 
argued that the mental powers which so distinguish 
and ennoble man are not innate, were not originally 
created in him, but are the result of effort, the 
product of circumstances^ the fruit of education. 

I^ow, if this theory coald be sustained, the idea 
that God created man after his own image, might 
be all a delusion ; the dream of the atheist might 
be a reality, and man would trace his pedigree 
and find his parentage, in the brute, and thence 
downward to the vegetable, and lower still, down — 
down to nothbg 1 But the theory will not abide 



14S llAN OttATKD 

the test of facts. Who ever knew vegetables 
grow up into animals, and animals into men ? 
Who ever saw an elephant without a trunk, or 
birds without bills or wings ? We should really 
like to know ! But we suspect that nothing of 
this kind was ever seen, and for a good reason, 
because nothing of the kind ever existed. This 
is the decision of modem science. The discoveries 
in geology and physiology have abundantly proved 
that each species of plants and animals is distinct 
and separate, not intermingling one with another, 
nor growing out of each other, being endowed at 
the moment of their creation with the perfect 
germs or attributes of all that they wDl be in their 
maturity. Hence every species of the vegetable 
kingdom, and every tribe of animakp^ is the same 
now, in the essential properties of their nature, as 
when they were firdt called into being. Time, 
circumstances, education, may have developed 
their qualities and powers, but they have not, be? 
cause they 'could not have, created them. Talk of 
education creating the powers of the mind ! There 
cannot be a greater absurdity. You might as 
well say that education would create wings on our 
bodies, or give us another set ^f ears or eyes*! It 
is the work of education, not to create, but to 
train, develop, cultivate, what alrea^ exists. 



IN THE IMAGE OF .GOD. 14^ 

« 

EdAication learns the young bird how to fly ; but 
it did not create its wings ; these were the work 
of its Maker^ and they were folded up in the *Yery 
egg whose shell it has left behind it. And so it 
is with man. When he comes from the hand of 
his Maker, he has within him the germs of all that 
he is ever to becomei either in this world or in the 
future; and all that education, philosophy, or 
revelation can do, is to bring out his primitive 
powers, and guide them to their legitimate objects. 
Newton, when ho lay '^mewling and puking in 
his nurse's arms,'' possessed within the folds of 
his inward being every attribute of that godlike 
intellect which afterward weighed the planets in 
its scales, and unravelled the laws which govern 
their action. It was effort, education, discipline, 
which called out his powers, and made him sue- 
oessfol in his career of glory. And if you, and I, 
and the rest of our race, are ignorant like the beasts 
which perish, and our minds are unenlightened, 
unstored with knowledge, it is not because God 
has denied us the requisite capacities, but because 
we have neglected to employ them ; and though 
it may not be true that we are all endowed with 
the same degree of mental capacity at our crea- 
tion, yet it may be put down as a fact that the 
differenaes among us, in point of knowledge, are 



150 MAN OBBATED 

owing more to circumstances than nature, moi« 
to education than innate capacity. 

It is therefore a matter of demonstration that 
man is naturally an intellectual being ; and so it 
is that he is naturally a moral being. And when 
we say that man is naturally a moral being, we 
mean that his nature is ^ cast in such a mould — 
that his faculties are of such a constitutional char- 
acter, that virtue is his natural condition, and 
nioral purity the only element in which he can be 
happy: We know that different views of our na- 
ture are entertained. There are philosophers, as 
they call themselves, who view virtue as a mere 
accident of our nature, "as the product of habit or 
education ; and inhere are theologians who affirm 
*that there is naturally no good thing about man, 
and that his nature must be worked over, be made 
anew, before he can perform a virtuous deed. But 
we believe that our position can be abundantly 
sustiuned, that man is naturally a moral being; 
and there are two facts which would seem to be 
enough to put the matter beyond the reach of 
cavil. 

1. Man has moral faculties or affections, and 
they are the highest portion of his nature. 

The moral is placed above the animal, and in- 
vested with authority to govern it. Col^ience, 



IN THE IMAGE OF OOD. 151 

the divimty within, is the highest power of the 
soul. When man hearkens to its sacred and au- 
thoritative voice, — ^when he listens to the dictates 
of his moral nature, he redsts the impulses of his • 
appetites and passions, gets the victory over 
temptations, and fulfills the law and purpose of hid 
being ia maintaining a course of virtue and purity. 
This is his natural condition. Bat when he turns 
a deaf ear to the voice of his moral nature, and 
gives himself up to the guidance c^ his animal 
appetites 'and passions, he reverses' the order, and 
violates the law of his nature, and thus becomes 
a sinner. You say' of' a fish, that it was made to 
live in the water; and of a bird, that it was de- 
mgned for the air; because they are physically 
adapted to these different elements. So with 
man. His faculties are adapted to virtue ; he has 
a moral nature ; and when he goes into vice, he 
goes out of his natural element. We shall come 
to the same conclusion, if we consider, — 

2. The eff(Kt$ of vice. Man, we very well know, 
has sinned, and come short of the gloiy of God. 
His nature, we confess, has been corrupted, de« 
praved, degraded ; he has reversed the order, and 
violated the law of God within him ; and this is 
sometimes referred to as proof that depravity is 
his natural element, and that tho image of God 



)t» 



15S MAN CEEATBD 

has been blotted out from his natiuie. We admit 
the fact, bat we ^draw from it a different concln- 
lion. Yon tell me that man is a great sinner. I 
grant it ; I know it. What then ? Why, that he 
has - a great capacity for yirtne, for groodness. 
** Sin is the transgresnon of the law ;'' and if the 
law of duty, of virtue, were not written on his 
I^art, he could not be a sinner in transgressing it ; 
indeed, he coidd not transgress it, if it were not 
written there, beeause he could have no sense of 
virtue before sinning, and no sense of guilt when 
and after he had sinned. 

There is another fact which has more weight 
than the opinions of divines, and which clearly 
proves that «11 this depravity is unnatural. It is 
this : What is its effect ? What influence does it 
exert on man? Does it exalt and ennoble him ? 
Does it carry peace, joy, and contentment to the 
soul ? Does he find it the way of prosperity and 
happiness ? If so, depravity is natural to him ; 
it is his true olement, and he had better remain in 
it forever. But no. Dqnavity, sin, is a deadly 
enemy to man. 

It destroys the divine hannony of his nature, 
eats away its beauty like a moth, and makea him 
uneasy, discontented, unhappy. It pollutes aU 
the fountiEuns of enjoyment within him^ and fre* 



IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. 158 

quently forces faim to use the langraage wbioli 
MUton has put mto the month of Satan, — 

" Me miserable ! 
Which way I fly is hell ; myself am hell. 
And in the lowest deep." 

Now why is this ? It is because depravity is 
an unnatural condition. It is because man has^ii 
moral nature, and because he can find no peace, 
no happiness, but in moral purity, the element in 
which he was created. When you see a fish 
gasping upon the shore, you say it is unhappy, 
because it is out of its natural element ; and when 
we see man uneasy, unhappy in his depravity and 
sin, we know that it is because he is in' an unnat- 
ural state, — because he has departed from the 
original purity of his nature. 

Moses, then, was dealing in no fiction when he 
affirmed that '' GokI created man in his own 
image." He declared a truth which can yet b^ 
read upon his inner nature. Ignorant and de- 
praved though he be, enslaved and degraded as he 
b, there is still to be discerned the distinct and 
clear impressions of, the attributes of his Maker 
upon him. « He^ has intellectual and moral facul- 
ties, and these are his highest powers. They con- 
stitute the man, and should regulate his^ whole 
U 



154 UUff CEKATED 

conduct. They give him domiDion over " every 
living thing that moveth upon the earth/' and 
over "the subtle^ beast " of his own animal na- 
ture ; and when he maintains this dominion, and 
regulates his whole conduit by enlightened rea- 
son and a good conscience, he stands forth in his 
true glory ; " the benignity, serenity, and splen- 
dor of a highly-elevated nature beam from his 
countenance, and radiate from his eye. He is 
then lovely, noble, and gigantically ^reat." And 
when he allows his appetites and passions to lead 
him astray, and this divine order is broken, the 
degradation and misery, which are the certain 
consequences of sin, proclaim; in tones of sad but 
truthful eloquence, that the image of God yet 
shines within him, revealing to him his guOt, and 
giving him a witheiing sense of his fallen condi- 
tion, and causing him to say as the Prodigal did 
^hile afar off in the barren land of transgression, 
** I perish ; I will arise and go to my Father,^* And 
these facts show, not only that man was created 
in the Divine image at the beginning of our race, 
but that he still wears this image ; for if this 
were not the case, he could be neither a moral 
nor an accountable being. And this is confirmed 
by the Apostle James, who says, **'Men Aits mad/R 
after the similitude of Ood,** 



IN THE IMAOS OF GOD. 155 

III. We OQW come to make a practical improve- 
ment of the truth which we have illastrated and 
defended. Man wears the image of God. What 
conclusions shall we draw from this -great fact ? 

1. We may here learn the dignity and worth of 
Human Nature. It is not created with powers 
which place it above the possibility of error and 
sin ; to use the expressive language of an Apostle, 
it is created ** iubjeci to vanity ;" but it has ca- 
pacities and desires for « truth, purity, and perfec- 
tion ; and when, through' its present weakness, it 
falls short of. their attainment, the dissatisfaction, 
pain, and woe which it experiences bear eloquent 
testimony to the fact, that it has fallen from its 
true sphere, from its natural dignity and gloiy. 
How clearly do we here see the grossness and the 
folly of the two views of our nature, which have 
been too common in all ages, — the one contending 
that man is a mere animal, with a little more intel- 
lect, it may be, but endowed with no high moral 
qualities, and intended no more for the Attainment 
of knowledge and virtue than he was to live in ig- 
norance and vice; the other affirming that our 
nature is a hateful mass of moral corruption, de- 
void of every natural capacity for virtue apd good- 
ness, and incapable of a pure thought or a virtu- 
ous deed, until it is worked over and made anew 1 



156 MAK CRBATBD 

We can say in the language of Ghanning : — 
" I do and I must reverence human nature. Nei- 
ther, the sneers of a worldly scepticism, nor the 
groans of a gloomy theology, disturb my faith in 
its godlike powers and tendencies. I know how 
it is despised, how it has been oppressed, how 
civil and religious establishments have for ages 
conspired to crush it. I know its history. I shut 
my eyes on none of its weaknesses and crimes. I 
know the proofs by which despotism demonstrates 
that man is a wild beast^ in want of a master, and 
only safe in chains. But injured, scorned, and 
trampled on as our nature is, I still turn to it with 
intense sympathy and strong hope. The signa- 
tures of its origm and its end are too deeply im- 
pressed upon it to be ever wholly effaced. I bless 
it for its kind affections, for its strong and tender 
love, 'i honor it for its struggles against oppres- 
sion, for its growth and progress under the weight 
of so many chains and prejudices, for its achieve- 
ments in science and art, and still more for its ex- 
amples of heroic and saintly virtue; and I thank 
G-od that my own lot is bound up with that of 
the l^uman race." 

In this view of our nature, we find an answer 
to the inquiry which arose in the mind of the 
Psalmist, when he cast his eye abroad over the 



IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. 157 

universe, and beheld the infinitude of the Creator's 
works : ** LcH-d, what ifi man, that thou art mind- 
ful of him, and the son of man, that thou visitest 
him ?" How natural was the inquiry ! Who has 
not felt, when, in some bright and beautiful even- 
ing, he has gazed away into the blue heavens, and 
looked upon the unnumbered worlds that people 
the realms of space, — who has not then felt that 
man is too insignificant a creature in the universe 
to receive the care and protection of his Maker ? 
Who has not then felt that the Being who presides 
over such vast domains cannot stoop so low^ as to . 
be mindful of him, and to visit him with a Saviour 
and with revelations of his will and requirements ? 
So felt the Psaimiat when he considered the heav- . 
ens, the moon, and the stars which God had or- 
dained. But he was relieved from the trouble- 
some thought and the sinking feehng, when he 
called home his discursive spirit, and turned his 
mind inward upon the nature of man. He saw 
there the image of his Maker ; he perceived that 
he had an intellectual and moral constitution which 
made him superior to all the glories and wonders 
of the material universe. He then seized his harp 
anew, and sung an answer to the question : ''Lord, 
what is man, that thou art mindful. of. him?'' 
'' For thou hast made him a little lower than the 
14* 



158 MAN CEEATED 

angels, and hast crowned him with glory and 
honor. Thou madest him to have dominion 
over the works of thy hands : thou hast put all 
things under his feet : all sheep and oxen, yea, 
and the beasts of the field, the fowl of the air, the 
fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through 
the depth of the sea. O Lord our God, how 
excellent is thy name in all the earth !*' And 
if we hare correct views of oiir nature, we shall 
see beauty in all the works oi God, and we shall 
feeliiT^ithout pride, that we are of more value in 
his sigl)^ than many worlds, that the very ** hairs 
of our head are numbered'' before him, and that 
there is not a want in our nature which has not 
provided means to satisfy. We shall read the rec- 
otds of Revelation, and in the mission of prophets 
and the visit of the Son of Gk>d, in their astonish- 
ing annunciations and* their wonderful miracles, 
when the heavens spoke and the grave gave up its 
dead, we shall see nothing incredible— nothing in- 
consistent with the works and ways of God, but 
we shall regard these things as speaking and faith- 
ful witnesses of his mindfulness of his children, 
and as the means of giving them a knowledge of 
himself, of his everlasting love and his holy laivs, 
and of carrying them forward to the perfection 
and glory of their being. 



IN THB IMAGE OF GOD. 150 

2. What clear and useful light does our subject 
shed upon human duty ! It not only shows that 
a course of sin is inconsbtent with the nature apd 
welfare of man, hut that he should seek his glory 
and happiness, not in mere earthliness and world- 
liness, but in the culture of his intellectual and 
moral powers. He may and he should take an 
interest in the things of this world, and it b his 
duty to make a portion of them his own ; but. if his 
attention and affections are all confined to these 
transient, perishing objects — if he does not employ 
his mtelleot and his moral nature in the study of , 
truth, in the acquirement of knowledge, and in the 
love and practice of virtue, he perverts the great 
purpose of his J)eing, and he is " poor indeed." 
He may and he should ]abor for the meat which 
perisheth, for the means of preserving and enjoy- 
ing an animal existence, but he should labor harder 
for that which endureth unto everlasting life, — for 
the elevation and gratification of his intellectual 
and moral nature, — ^for the acquisition of a correct 
knowledge of God and his government, and for 
increase and triumph in moral excellence. 

Look, my friends, within you. Read the writ- 
ing which the divine hand has put upon the soul. 
'^Whose image and superscription is this ?" Say 
you not, " It is God's T* Wherefore, let me say, 



160 MAN GRBATBD 

"render unto him the things which are his." 
Give him your affections, your gratitude, your 
obedience. Let every faculty of your nature be 
kept in agreement with his laws. Love him with 
all your hearts, and with all your strength, and 
with all your souls. 

** Let deep this truth impress our mind, — 

Through all his works abroad. 
The heart benevolent and kind, 

The most resembles Grod.*' 

And, 3. What light does this subject shed ou 
the question in regard to human destiny ? Does 
it not furnish proof that the Ohiistian hope of 
immortality has a foundation in human nature? 
Does it not give at least strong prosumptive evi- 
dence that man was made for a higher and better 
life than the present ? How others view the mat- 
ter I cannot say ; but, for one, I cannot see how 
an affirmative answer c^ be avoided ; I cannot 
see why man was endowed with the image of his 
Maker; why his intellectual and moral powers 
were conferred upon him, giving him " thoughts 
which wander through eternity," and aspirations 
after infinite and eternal good, if his career was to 
end at the grave, and the light within him quenched 
in eternal night. Why, if this is to be his doom, 



IN THE IMAGE OF 60D* 161 

were not his powers adapted to his end ? Why 
not made a brute, if he is to perish with the bmte ? 
Why do his thoughts claim an infinite field for 
their exercise, and an imperishable good for their 
end, if he was not made for immortality ? I must 
adopt the conclusion of an Apostle : *' The crea- 
ture was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but 
by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in 
hope, because the creature itself also shall be de- 
livered from the bondage of corruption, into the 
glorious liberty of the children of God." " For 
this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this 
mortal immortality." 

" It must be so," — ^Paul, " thou reasonest well ! — 
Elae, whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, 
This longing after immortality 1 
Or, whence this secret dread and inward horror. 
Of falling into nanght 1 Why shrinks the soul 
Back on herself, and startles at destruction 1 
'Tis the divinity that stirs within us ; 
'Tis Heayen itself that points out an hereafter. 
And intimates eternity to man." 

I^re-ad this glorious truth in the teachings of 
Christianity and in the nature, capacities, and 
aspirations of the human mind. I think I cannot 
be mistaken in supposing that the image of God 
in man makes him of more worth than the whole 
outward universe, and that it will exist and reflect 



162 MAN CREATED 

the glories of its Maker, after the present form of 
our creation shall h£ive passed away. 

" The stars shall fade away, the son himself 
Grow dim with age, and Nature sink in year? ; 
But this shall flourish in immortal youth. 
Unhurt amidst the war of elements. 
The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.*' 

And we may not only learn from this subject, 
that man shall have immortality, but that it will 
be an immortality which will be a blessing to ail 
our race. 

It does not seem consistent or reasonable, that 
God would banish his own image, his own child, 
from him forever. What if it is now corrupt ? 
Has he not power to cleanse it ? What if he is 
now a transgressor ? Will he not still require him 
to obey him ; and will he not continue to love him, 
and strive to bring him into the enjoyment of his 
favor ? Because he is so unfortunate as to have 
gone astray, will God forever disown him, and give 
him over, to the service and dominion of an infinite 
being, called the Devil ? Be not hasty in' your 
conclusion. Look on the heart of Humanity. 
Bead the writing on human nature. " Whose 
image and superscription is this ?" Ah ! it is 
God's. " Render unto God, therefore, the things 
that are God's.'* Consent that he will eternally 



IN THE IMAGE OF 60D. 163 \ 

ckum the obedience of his ofispring, and that the 
ends of his government will not be answered, till 
all shall pay the tribute of their love into the treas- 
ury of heaven, and are made the heirs and recip-. 
ients of an incorruptible and fadeless inheritance. 
The image which they wear upon their nature 
mayjbe soiled and marred, while in its present incip- 
ient state, but it shall be made bright and glo- 
rious in its ascent to the world for which it is 
destined. And so it is written : '^ It is so^yn in 
corruption ; it is raised inincomiption. It is sown 
in dishonor ; it is raised in glory. It is sown in 
weakness ; it is' raised in power. It is sown a 
natural body ; it is raised a spiritual body. 
There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual 
body." " The dust shall return to the earth as it 
was ; and the spirit shall return unto God who 
gave it." , 

** Bless the Lord, my soul, and all that is 
within me, bless his holy name." 



SIN A MORAL INSANITY. 

'* And he came to himself." — Luke zt., 17. 

SiK is always held up in the'Bible as the great- 
est evil under the sun, and the figures which the 
sacred writers employ to describe its nature and 
influence are strikmgly sigtiificant of blight and 
ruin to the happiness of man. It is generally 
Ipompared to some loathsome and mortal disease ; 
frequently it is represented under the figure of 
that worst of all diseases — the leprosy, which, 
although unseen in its first stages, and slow in its 
progress, leads to the most ruinous and dreadful 
consequences. In the words which I have just 
read, or in the great lesson of our Saviour from 
which they are taken, it is. set forth as a moral tn- 
sanity i and in this light I propose to consider it in 
the present discourse. I will consider, 

I. ItslTature. 

II. Its Causes. 

III. Its Effects. And 

lY. Its Treatment and Cure. 

I. The nature of sin — ^what is it ? In the par- 






BIN A kOBAL INSAHITT. 165 

able of the PFodigal Son, it is represented as a 
state of moral insanity. The young man, though 
blessed with all the means of enjoyment which a 
good home and a kind father could affofd, be- 
comes uneasy, discontented, and finally takes his 
portion of tlje estate, and makes his way into a far 
country. He there spends his property in the 
haunts of degradation and vice, and reduces him- 
self to a state of the most abject want and misery* 
And while suffering the sad effects of his folly, 
" he came to himself," and he then said, " I will 
arise and go to my father." You see, therefore, 
that he is represented as being in a state of insan- 
ity when he went astray, and until he li^med that 
there was no permanent happiness but in the house 
which he had deserted. Now what is the phil^- 
ophy of this matter? Wherein lies the propri- 
ety of calliag sin a species of insanity ? 

Insanity, you must all know, is a disease wU^ 
has severely tried the wisdom of .the wisest ^en. 
Through all ages it has been regarded as the worst 
of maladies and the greatest of mysteries. While 
all have seen and lamented its evils, few have ven- 
tured to unravel its nature. Very generally, it has 
been looked upon as an, effect for which no cause 
could be found, or as a judgment from r God for 
something which no mortal could understand* 
16 



166 8IN A MORAL INSANITT. 

Bat we believe that tbe progress of mental science 
has thrown some light upon it, though, it must be 
confessed, not jet enough to scatter all the darkness 
that lies around it. Since the days of Gall, Rush, 
and Spurzheim, the human mind has been more and 
more regarded as being made up oft a variety of 
animal, intellectual, and moral fetculties, and so 
much has been done in the way of discovering 
their functions, that light now shines where there 
was formerly nothing but darkness. When these 
faculties are all in a healthy state, and in harmo- 
nious action, the mind is perfectly sane; every 
power in the wonderful machine fulfills its mission, 
and the man stands forth in all the dignity and 
glory of his nature. But when one or more of the 
faculties^' m consequence of some undue excite- 
ment, becomes unhealthy, irregular in its action, 
then the mind falls into a state of insanity, and the 
•^Hree of insanity will be in proportion to the nnm- 
bet'^f the faculties which are thus affected, and the 
extent or degree m which they are thus affected. 
If only one of the faculties are disturbed in its 
functions, the mind will be sound on all subjects 
but one, and the degree of that insanity will de- 
pend upon the amount of. injury done to it. 

Insanity, then, According to this view of the 
matter, is nothing more nor less than derangemeni 



* 



SIN A BfOEAL INSANITY. 167 

— derangement of one or more faculties of the 
mind; and, consequently, there are a^ many 
species of insanity as there are kinds of facul- 
ties. And how many kinds of faculties are there ^ 
im man? Evidently three — the 'animal, intel-. 
lectual, and moral. The animal is the source of 
his appetites and propensities^ making him a creai* 
ture of this world ; and when they act within the 
bounds which nature has set to their gratification, 
they fulfill their offices, and minister to his welfare ; 
but when they overleap these bounds, and run 
into wild, unlawful excesses, the order among them 
is bro&en, and they fall into derangement. This 
is animal insanity. The intellectual fEiculties are 
the powers which have been given him for the at- 
tainment of knowledge, and by which to choose 
his way in the walks of life ; they are the means 
through which he observes facts, and rises to the 
ccHnprehenston of laws and principles ; and wlien 
they are all inhealthy^and harmonious action, his in- 
teUect is clear and sound, his memory and judgment 
are go^d ; and he will shed the sun-light of wisdom 
on all subjects to which he gives his attention; 
but when these faculties become unduly excited, or 
they are directed into: wrong channels, they fall 
into derangement, reason leaves her royal throne, 
and 'Uhe dome of thought, the palace of the 



168 SIN A MORAL INSANITY. 

soul," crumbles to a heap of noble » ruins. This 
is intellectual insanity. But there is a higher na- 
ture and a worse insanity than this. Man has 
moral faculties, and they are his highest, no- 
blest powers. In these originate all his ideas of 
right, of justice, of benevolence, of veneration, 
of duty, and they make it the end and aim of bis 
being to " depart from evil and do good, to seek 
peace and pursue it," to restreun his appetites and 
passions, and keep them within the bounds of mor- 
al virtue, and to square all his conduct by the 
dictates of a pure conscience. And when he does 
this, he maintains the true glory of a moral being, 
be wears a crown upon his head which gives him 
more dignity than the richest badge of royalty 
ever worn by king. He then treads the allure- 
ments ^and temptations of the world under his feet, 
lives in an atmosphere of moral purity, considers 
virtue the only true good, , and vice the' greatest 
curse of his nature, and reaps a rich reward in 
constant harmony and peace of soul. But when this 
moral harmony is broken, when appetite and pas- 
sion get the ascendency over the moral nature, over 
conscience, and the solemn voice, which speaks of 
virtue as the supreme good, is drowned by the 
clamor and noise o/the propensities, his noblest 
powers fall into disorder and d^^ngement, and he 



SIN A MOBAL INSAKITT. 169 

sinks into degradation and ruin. This is moral in* 
sanity ; and it is to be " deplored as human na- 
ture's darkest, foulest blot/' as the greatest curse 
whieh man brings upon himself. The loss of rea- 
s(»i we know is great, but what is it in compari- 
son with loss of conscience, loss of virtue, loss 
of moral order ? Nothing, and almost less than 
nothing. When you visit the Insane Retreat, 
and behold the wild ravings, anil listen to the 
strange mutterings of the unfortunate inmates, you 
witness a most horrid spectacle, it is true ; you 
see intellect ii^ ruins ; but if you looked through 
pure eyes, you might see in your streets and the 
dwellings around you, worse ruins than these — 
the ruins, not of reason merely, but of the moral 
nature ; you might see men in fetters and chains 
more galling than those which are made of iron — 
the chains and fetters of deranged appetites and 
passions, and you might realize that they were in 
more gloomy retreats than those in which the ma- 
niacs are confined — the retreats of shame and 
guilt, — ^ah ! and they are retreats which their own 
hands, their own crimes, have built. '.Those who 
are under the influence of intellectual m^nia are 
generally blind to their n^^eries ; they are fre- 
quently joyful and happy in their lunacy; but 
those who are under the influence of moral ma- 
'16* 



170 SIN A MOKAL INBANITT. 

nia are not often so highly favored ; if they are 
blind to the deceitfalness of sin, they are not to 
its ffiiseries ; memory and conscience are at work 
within, and they hatint and torment- him, not with 
the mere spectres, hut the reaUties, of their guilt. 
Such is the nature of sin. It is moral insanity — 
moral derangement. Man is made upright, in the 
image of God. He has a moral nature, and it 
should hold the ascendency over his animal im* 
pulseiS and earthly interests, and regulate all his 
conduct by the great principles of justice and 
benevolence toward man, and of reverence toward 
God. While he does this, he has moral soundness 
of mind ; every faculty is i& a healthy and har- 
monious action ; virtue is loved and) sought as the 
true good, vice looked upon with loathing aM 
horror, and he is in his right mind on all subjects 
relating to duty and the true welfare of .his being. 
But when this divine order is broken, and the 
^animal nature gets the ascendency over the moral, 
his moral powers are in a state of derangement ; 
he is insane in regard to his duty and the means 
of happiness ; he prefers the path of vice to that 
of virtue ; he leaves the lovely mansion of right*- 
eousness, and treads the barren wastes of sin in 
pursuit of enjoyment ; and he spends his powens 
in animal pleasures and sensual degradation. Such. 



SfN A MORAL IN0ANITT. 171 

• 

is sin. It is moral derangement. Will you mark 
this? Sin is derangement in. the moral nature. 
It is not, then, inherent and natural, as our divines 
have told us ; it is not the legitimate fruit of our 
nature ; it is the fibtue, corruption, derangement 
of our nature. " To sin is to resist our sense of 
right, to oppose known obligations, to cherish 
feelings, or commit deeds> which we know to be 
wrong. It is to withhold from God the rever- 
ence, gratitude, and obedience which our own 
consciences pronounce to be due to that great 
and good Being. It is to transgress those laws of 
equity, justice, candor, humanity, benevolence, 
which we all feel to belong and to answer to our 
various social relations. It is to yield ourselves to 
tho^e appetites which we know to be the inferior 
principles of our nature, to give the body a mastery , 
over the mind, to sacrifice the intellect and heart 
to the senses, to surrender ourselves to ease and 
indulgence, or to prefer outward accumulation and 
|)ower^ to strength and peace of conscience, to 
progress toward perfection. Such is sin. It is 
voluntary wrong-doing," with the idea that it will 
lekd to happiness. 

How clearly is all this set forth in the case of 
the Prodigal Son! That young man had a joyful 
home and a kind father, and every means of en- 



172 SIN A MORAL INSANITY. 

joyment were at his command. It would seem 
that he had Dothing to do, in order to be happy, 
but to be contented, to stay at home, and to obey 
the parental requirements, which were not griev- 
ous, which were indeed made» for his, own good. 
But a strange hallucination came over him. He 
became discontented, and resolved to leave his 
.home. He thought himself wisei; than his father. 
He preferred the gratification of his appetites and 
passions to moral obedience, and he went forth to 
waste his substance with harlots and riotous living. 
JI. From the nature, let us turn to the causes 
of the dreadful malady we are considering. Sin 
is a moral derangement, which disturbs the action 
of the noblest faculties, and leads its, unfortunate 
victim to believe that the way of transgression is 
the path of happiness. What is the cause or 
causes of this sad derangement? Much .has been 
said in. the theological world about the origin of 
sin, and many are the theories which have been 
framed to account for it. The most common one 
supposes that all sin had its origin in. heaven — that 
one of the angels of God in that high and holy 
place became overcharged with pride, and was 
cast out as a sinner, and that he has since wan- 
dered up and down in the universe, seeking whom 
he might lead to ruin ; and it is contended that 



8IN A MORAL INSANITY* 173 

mankind sin, in consequence of being tempted by 
this devil. But we do not see the necessity of 
looking so high to find the origin of sin. If sin 
had its source in heayen, we cannot see why our 
earth should receive scT much condemnation. And 
if man sins because of the influence of a personal 
devil, why fasten the guilt upon him ? If he sins 
by being tempted of a devil, the devil would be a 
convenient scape-goat on which to bear away his 
guilt. There is a more rational way. I believe 
that the time has been when intelkctual insanity was 
generally thought to be the work of some foreign evil 
being ; they looked upon the raving taianiac, and 
being ignorant of the laws and operations of the 
mind, they could not account for it, except on the 
supposition that some malignant, personal agent 
had done it ; and I presume that there are thou- 
sands in the world who entertain th6 same opinion: 
But men of intelligence and science find no diffi- 
culty now in accounting for this awful disease, 
without referrii^g it to the influence of such an 
agent t they see that it is no more nor less than 
the derangement of one or more of the intellectual 
faculties, and they understand that it is caused by 
some disappointment or unnatural excitement. So 
wiHi moral insanity. Many honest - people have 
long supposed that it is the work of a personal 



174 Sllf A MORAL INSANITY. 

evil being, Called the devil, and many still li61d the 
same opinion; but it would seem that a little 
knowledge would be sufficient to ccmvince any 
man that sin is nothing more, than a derangement 
in the moral faculties, and that it is caused by 
deception, or by corrupting influences acting on 
the mind and heart. 

How is this matter set forth in the Bible? 
Listen, and ye shall understand : <* Every man is 
tempted, when he is drawn away of his own iust, 
and enticed.** Here animal appetite and decep- 
tion are held up as the causes of sin, not a personal 
devil. And so the matter is represented through- 
out the Scriptures. A serpent, we know, is men- 
tioned as the agent of tr^nsgressidn in the roqr 
bowers of Eden, — and some have said that this* 
serpent was a personal devil ; but what more ap- 
propriate figurd could have been used to repre- 
sent the animal part of man's nature ? It is most 
truly styled *' the mbs<r aubtle beast of the field," 
and when left ' to itself, it is groveMbg in its pur- 
suits ; it crawls upon the earth, and it eats dust 
all the days of its life. It is true, also, that Je&us 
Christ is said to have been, tempted of the devil, 
and we admit that he was, when the term devil is 
used in its Scriptural import, as signifying an ad- 
versary, wrong spirit, or wayward propensity ; and 



SIN A MORAL INSANITY. 175 

in this sense the Apostle plainly understood the 
temptation of Christ, when he said of him, " He 
was tempted in all points like as we are, jet with- 
out sin.'' He had all the appetites and propensi- 
ties common to our nature, and they tempted him 
to tread the ways of sin, but he had too much 
knowledge to be deceived, and he escaped. 

• What, then, are the causes of sin ? The an- 
swer is a plain one. They are unlawful appetite 
and mental deception. " Every man^ is tempted, 
when he is drawn away of his own lust, and en- 
ticed ; and when lust hath conceived, it bringeth 
forth sin." Man does not sin because he has an 
inherent love of it in his nature. No, "feurely not. 
The love of virtue is strong within him ; he has a 
deep thirst for purity and perfection ; but while 
he would do good, evil is present with him. 
While he has moral faculties which have an up- 
ward, elevating tendency, he has animal appetites 
which have a downward, degrading tendency ; 
they clamor for present and sensual gratifications ; 
and they would persuade him that these are more 
conducive to his happiness than devotion to moral 
principles ; and when they succeed in this, he is 
under the influence of moral insanity ; he loses a 
just sense of the evil of sin ; dead to virtue, he 
looks upon it as the way to happiness, and he is 



.176 aiK A MOKAL INSANITT. 

readf to ogqimii all iniqidtj with greedineai* So 
it was vitb mother Eve. " The woman, being de- 
ceived, was in the transgression." And so with 
the Prodigal Sont When he made up his mind 
to quit heme, and said, '^Father^giye me the por- 
tion of goods that fiaUeth to me," and when he 
'' gathered all together/' and bade farewell to the 
household, '' and took his journey into a far coim- 
%rj," ah ! poor deceiyed boj, he little ]@)6fF what 
he was about : he thought he was it^er than his 
&ther, and he supposed that he, was entering on a 
glorious and happy , careen He shed no bitter 
tears to leaye behind him his father and the family ; 

* he went jforth with a proud step and a joyous 
heart, and when the parental manabn laded from 
his view in the dim distance, he hardly cast '* one 

• lingering lodi behind ; he heayed not a sigh, and 
' <ahed not a tear, but pressed <m with a bold and 

hurried step, in the conyietion that he should find 

. a^better home axl'd a greater good than he had left 

behinjl him. 

' And«here you may mark the symptoms^ as well 

4M the catiges, of the malady und^ consideration* 

•Does & man laok confidence in yirtue to make him 

happjp ? Does he talk of the pleasures of sm, and 

of the hardships and perils of righteousness? 

Does he think more of dollars and cents than he 



SIN A MORAL INSANITY. 177 

does of the demands of duty and truth? An^ 
does he say that he would drink iniquity like wa- 
ter, and deal Ifirgely in transgression, if he did not 
fear the flames of a future and foreign hell? 
These are the certain symptoms of his moral in- 
sanity ; they are sure proofs that his moral sense 
is deranged, and that he contemplates leaving the 
mansion of virtue, and goktg into a far 66untry, 

UI. Whskt are the real consequences of moral 
Insanity ? What are the effects of sin ? 

There seem to be some who consider sin as a 
very little thing, and who nnagine that there are 
no direct and natural consequences flowii^ from 
it, which make it an, object of so much concern. 
But is not insanity a great evil ? When a friend 
of yours is seized with derangement of intellect, 
and you witness the strange worMngs of his luna- 
cy, do you not feel that you could have borne it 
with greater patience, if it had Ibeh any bodily ^ 
disease — of the^mtnel had be€n spared? And if« 
you were in ybui right mind, if you had d trud 
sense of the evil which sin does to human nature 
and human soofsty, you would feel still worse td^ 
know that that friend, though sound in intellect,, 
was morally insane, — ^that though his reason was 
clear and strong, his moral affections ware de- ^ 
pravedand corrupted. 
16 



178 SIN A morAl insanity. 

* 

Look into the Garden of Eden. The first trans- 
gressors were so deceived as to suppose that the 
forhidden fruit would promote their spiritual 
health, htit no sooner did they eat it than they 
found it poison and wormwood to all the fountains 
of their enjoyment. What shame, regret, and re- 
morse did they experience ! There is both nature 
and Scripture in Milton's description of their moral 
condition. 



(( 



Not at rest, or ease of mind. 



They sat them down to weep ; nor only tears 
BAin'd at their eyes, but high winds rose within ; 
^ Began to rise, high passions, anger, hate, 
Mistm^t, suspicion, discord, and shook sore 
Their inward State of mind, eakn region once, 
~ And fall of peace, were toss'd and turbulent ; 
For understandiag rul'd not, and the will 
Heard not her lore, both in subjection now 
To sensual appetite, who from beneath, 
Usurping oyer sov'reign reason, claimed 
Superior sway." 

And how vividly are the same sad effects of sin 
pictured in the parable of the Prodigal ! Although 
he commenced his journey with the idea that it 
' would be a land of plenty, of sunshine and roses, 
when he got fairly into it, he learned his mistake. 
The patrimony of his father was socoi spent ; a 
. mighty famine came over the land, "and he began 
to be in want. And he went and joined himself 



9IN A MOEAL IN0ANITY. 179 

to a citizen of that country/' as the only means of 
supporting life ; " and he sent him into his field to 
feed swine. An4 he would fain hare filled his 
belly with the husks wl^ich the swine did eat, and 
no man gave unto him." O, how degrading is 
the service of sin ! It is compared to the lowest 
business which the world knows — the feeding of 
swine. And how full of want and suffering! 
" He would have fainjeat the husks which the awine 
did .eat, and no man gave unto him." Naked/ 
hungry, friendless,^ and forlorn, what could he do ? 
Ah ! there was' one thing that he could now do, 
and he did it. He began to think of his folly. He 
called to mind the joyful home he had forsaken, 
and contrasted its splendid apartments and rich 
viands with the degradation, #nd want, and filth 
which now surrounded him. And he understood 
the matter. He could no longer be deceived. 
He came to himself. He saw that obedience was 
the only way in which to be happy, and he felt 
that the way of the transgressor is hard. And in 
what plaintive eloquence did he poi^r forth his soul 
upon the field of his degrading toil ! '' And when 
he came to himself, he said, How many hired 
servants of my father have bread enough and to 
'spare, and I perish with hunger? I will arise and 
go to my father, and will say unto him. Father, I 



IM Sm A MORAL INBAIIITT. 

have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and 
am no more worthy to be called thy son ; make 
me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, 
and came to his father.'* 

Such are the effects of sin. This disease of the 
soul deranges its divine powers, binds its victims 
in the most wofal slavery — the slavery of the dis- 
ordered passions, — and although it teaches them 
their folly, so much as to induce them to renounce 
sin, it ifastens upon them the conviction that their 
sinfulness destroy^ their sonship, and that they 
can receive no favors in future from the hand of 
God, except such as they earn by thei]: own ex- 
ertions. This leads us to consider, 

lY. The treatment and cure of the disease 
we kave been considering. 

Moral insanity, we very well know, is a most 
dreadful disease, and the wisdom of philosophers, 
and even of doctors of divinity, has been baffled 
in their attempts to remove it from the vitals xxi 
suffering humanity. But there is an arm higher 
than that of man's. He who made man, and who 
knew that moral mechanisin would become de- 
ranged by exposure to temptation, has. provided 
a remedy for this worst of all maladies, in the 
Gospel of his Son, and whoever will acquaint 
himself with the remedy, and use it according to 



BIN A MORAL INdAiriTr, 181 

the Divine prescriptions, ihaj be healed, and restor- 
ed to moral health and life. Jesus Christ is styled 
the Physician, and he still has power to speak to 
the moral lunatic, cast out the evil demon, and i 
clothe him in his right mind. 

But there has been much ignorance and scepti- 
cism in regard to this matter. Sin, it is said, is an 
infinite crime ; it is rebellion against God ; a^d 
how can he look down upon its subjects with th» 
smiles of his favor, treat them in the spirit of kind- 
ness, and give them means of relief ? God hatefr . 
sinners, and unless they *do something to gain his 
favor, he will shut them up in the mad-house of 
hell, and compel them to be moral maniacs, and 
howl out their miseries through unwasting ages! 
This has been the common do^rine. We think it 
has arisen from ignorance of the disease and of the 
remedy. The disease is a moral insanity, and the 
remedy is the love of God. The insane man is 
mexe an object of compassion than of indignation, 
and mild and merciful treatment will have a bet- 
ter infliuence on him' than harshness and severity. 
Tlie moral lunatic is decMved ; he thinks that sin 
is better than righteousness, and he looks upon 
his best friend as his worst enemy, and if he is 
not dealt kmdly with and in the spirit of love, he 
will be driven into worse and worse stages of de- 
16* 



182 mn a moral iNflAHirr. 

nngemeat. The time was when intellectiial in- 
sanitj was thought to be incurable. The most 
tiiat was done to its unfortunate victims was, to . 
confine them in mad-houses, fasten them in fetters 
and stocks, and keep them from doing injury. And 
this is about the extent of God's wisdom and pow- 
er in. the treatment of the morally insane, accord- 
ing to a popular doctrine ! Because of their aber- 
rations, he will confine them in an eternal mad- 
house, pronounce their cure impossible, and make 
it their everlasting business to bite their fetters 
and gnaw their chains. Man, however, has finally 
gone beyond' this. It has been found out that in- 
tellectual insanity is not altogether a hopeless dis- 
ease ; for though the skill of man has not yet suc- 
ceeded in efforts to cure it in all cases, it has done 
much to remove the awfulness of the malady, and 
restore its subje^s. And how has this progress 
been made ? By the progress of knowledge and 
the influence of love. Thanks to the benevolence 
and energy of Pinal and his successors, who went 
into the mad-houses, where ihe insane were con- 
fined in darkness and in chains, talked with them 
in l^e tones of tenderness and love, and in many 
cases restored them to soundness of mind, and led 
them forth into the light of day ind the sunshine 
of reason. From this spirit has sprung oiir Insane 



flIN A MORAL INSAiriTT, 188 

Retreats, where tbese unfortunate beings can have 
a comfortable home, and where many of them, at 
least, can be restored by the kind and affectionate 
treatment which Js now applied for their relief. 
And will not mankind soon believe that the skill 
and treatment of the Divine Physician -are fully 
equal to this, — ^that be has power, and that be 
will use it to tame the wild workings of the human 
passions, and to restore the morally insane to their 
right mind? We cannot question it. ''His arm 
is not shortened, that it cannot save." 

Look once more into the history ot the ProdigaL 
You will see that there were 'two means by which' 
he was weaned from sin, and restored to obedi- 
ence. One watf punishment, or the want and the 
soiTow which were the eff(jcts of his folly ; tjie 
other was the exhibition of his father's compassion 
and love to him. The first convinced him that sin 
was the way of misery, and induced him to retrace 
his steps ; the second convinced him that his trans- 
gression had not extinguished the Ibve of his fa- 
ther, and restored him to confidence and obedience. 
Mark the poof ereature. Convinced of the evil of 
sin, he sets out on a return to his home. He 
thinks of the bounty and happiness which he had 
left there, biM^'he awfully fears that his. disobedi- 
ence has had a sad influence on his father, and 



M 



184 SIN A MORAL INSANITY. 

that he will nottneet him and own him as a son. 
He drags himself toward the pareiftal mansion, ex- 
pecting that his father will meet him with frowns, 
and the most which he dare promise himself is, 
that he will be received as a sef vant, and be put 
to wprk for his daily wages. But as he comes in 
(Ught of the house with a feeble step and a trenhp 
bUiig heart, does his father meet him with a ter- 
ribly rod and a withering frown ? No, no. - If he 
had, the sun would have turned from him at once. 
" But when he was yet a great way off, his father 
saw him, and had compassion on him, and ran and 
fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son 
said unto him. Father, I have sinned against heav- 
en, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to 
be called thy son. But the father said to his ser- 
Yan|8, Bring forth the best robe and put it on him, 
and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet ; 
and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it ; and 
let us eat and be merry ; for this my son was dead, 
and is alive again ; he was lost, and is found. Ai^d 
they began to be merry." Soon, however, the 
joys of the occasion were marred by a paroxyiraa 
of madness in the elder brother, who, under the 
mistaken notion that virtue is hard work and poor 
pay, complained that this wandering brother was 
received into equal favor with himself, who had 



SIN A MORAL IITSAIIITT. 186 

stayed at home all the time, and labored hard in 
the field. But the father argued the case with * 
him/ saying, ** Son, thou art ever with me, and 
all that I have b thine. It was meet that we 
should make merry, and be glad; for this thy 
brother was dead, and is alive again ; and was lost 
and is found." f 

Thus it is that God treats his disobedient chil- • 
dren. He attaches such consequences to sin, that 
they soon learn that there is no happiness but in ^ 
the way of obedience ; and when they return to 
Him, burdened, oppressed with their guilty fears, 
he meets them in the smiles* of his ever-reconciled, 
benignant countenance, woos them to his man^ 
sions by the influence of his love, clothes them 
in their right mind ; and if any complain at 
the mercy of his dealings, he pleads with them, 
vindicates his ways, and persuades them to be rec- 
onciled to the equality of his government. 

Hearer, bind this lesson to thy heart. God 
hath given thee a moral nature, and -it is " vanity 
find vexation of spirit," — ^it is morftl insanity, to 
expect to find happiness in anything but virtue. 
" He that is wise, shall be wise for himself.'* ' 



THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST. 

** We have not a High-priest whieh cannot be touched with 
llie feeUng of our infirmities ; but was in all points tempted 
like M we are, yet without tin."— JSre6reu« iv., 16. 

That man has not traveled far on the journey 
of human life, or he has heen a very careless oh- 
server, vrho hfts not discovered that the road which 
mortals tread is beset with difficulties, dangers, 
trials. As a general thing, there is doubtless more of 
dood than evil, more of pleasure than pain, in it; 
and the light and joyous heart of youth is extremely 
apt to look upon it'as a continuous scene of delight 
and joy ; but it is the solemn testimony of expe- 
rience, that " each pleasure hath its poison, too, 
and every sweet its snare." Inquire of those who 
bes( know — the aged, whose locks have been 
bleached by the dews of three^ore years and ten, 
and they will tell you that the journey of life, 
from the cradle even to the grave, is literally filled 
with dangers and obstacles, and that the traveler 
needs all the wisdom he can ^et, and all the he^ps 
at his command, in order to i^hun the perils to 
which he is exposed, and secure to himself safety 



THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST. 187 

and happiness. At eyery step of his progress, he 
is met with the allurements of vice, and if he 
yields to their pleasant and enticing voices, he is 

^ led into dark wilds and dreary deserts ; and at in- 
tervals, not distant from each other, he is vtsited 
with the storms of adversity ; his fellow-pilgrims 
fall and die around him, leaving him almost alone 
to bear the burdens of Hfe ; and if he gives hita- 
self up to the inihience of despair, and his mmd 
is not blessed with light and hope, he is, of all 
creatures, most miserable. 

And while there are difficulties and dangers all 
along in the jouiney of human life; while it i$ 

^ filled with the temptations of vice, and it is swept 
by the storms of adversity, how weak, how feeble 
is our nature ! Strong as we may sometimes feel, 
able as we may think we are, we are poor, fraHj, 
feeble creatures. We are children. We can 
hardly go. We stttaible almost at every step. 
Yet we talk of our strength. We say we are in-^ 
tellectual and moral beings; we affirm that we 
have the powers of reason, and that conscience 
and our nroral resolutions are sufficient to guide 
us. In this we tell some truth, doubtless, but not 
the whole of it. Reason is surely given us, and' 
conscience is a noble power within us ; but this 
reason is not always very well enlightened,- arid 



1S8 THE EXAMPIPE OF CHRIST. 

tbis conscience is not the only power thiat is lodged 
in our nature. We are formed with "passions 
wild and strong/' with animal appetites and carnal 
propensities, and they are so clamorous for imme- 
diate gratificaticm, ihaX tbej oft^i blind the rea- 
son mtki stupefy the conscience, and urge us into 
ruinous paths* Thanks to Qod for our nature, we 
were made for virtue ; w^ would do good ; all our 
higher powers lore moral ezciilence, and we seek 
it as our " being^^s end and aim/' Bu^ ah I we 
are weak. We can think right ; we can resolve 
nobly ; but while we would do good, evil is with 
ti8. How to per/oruh we find harder than to will. 
The infiUnilies of our nature are too much fdr us. 
Though the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak ; and 
we are easi^ overcome by the dangers and diffi- 
ealties that lie on our road, and sank under the 
burdens which Providence has. laid upon our 
shoulders. 

, What, then, is the highest want of our nature ? 
What is it thait we need more than everything else, 
in order that we may be able to meet the evils to 
which we'^e exposed, and gain the victory over 
them ? You must all see. It is stmpatht. " It 
18 not good for man to be alone." He is too weak 
to be successful in his stiioggle with the world, 
without help. He Deeds the sympathy and en- 



THB EZAMPLE OF dHRMT. IM 



conragement of a kindred being — a being who 
knows his weaknesses and wants — one who can be^ 
touched with the feeling of his infinnitles, and 
breathe encouragement and strength into his 
thoughts and resolutiotis ; yea, he needs a com- 
panion on the journey of Ufe, who will not only 
have s nature Uke his own. and sympatbiM with 
him in all his trials and conflicts, but one who im- 
derstands all the windings and obstacles in the 
road on which he has entered* who has borne the 
burden and heat of the day, and who has gotten 
the victory over all the evils to which poor, weak 
humanity is subject. And when he finds himsell 
in the company of such a being, he can look upon 
the journey before him, dark and rugged though 
it be, and smile ; he knows that the eye of One 
is upon him who cares for him, and into whose ^ur 
his wants will not be whispered in vain; the 
weakness of his nature will be fortified, and he 
will be prepared for triumph over the evils of life. 
Now such a companion is given to the faith of 
man in the Gospel of our salvation. It is the 
man Christ Jesus. It was the highest purpose of 
' His mission to give man what he most needed — a 
perfect example, to show man, in a way which he 
could understand, what he was made for, and how 
he should act, and by what means he can ov<ir- 
11 



IfiO TSB BXAMPJUX OF OBKEST. 

come the world. He Game forth from the mys- 
terious depths of infinity, to reveal the great pur- 
pose and end of Himianity ; and to do thb, it was 
necessary that He should be clothed with the at- 
tributes of humanity, and to be a partaker of all 
the infirmities, as well as all the sublimities^ of our 
■ature. And it was so. While He vfts the Son 
of God, He was the Son of man. While He had 
His commission from Heaven, He had ^ nature of 
the earth. He was perfect human nature, inspired 
of God^ — inspired to tell man what his nature is, 
aad what his conduct should be. And as He wore 
human nature, and felt all its infirmities, man can 
turn to Him, and find sympathy and encoursge- 
. ment in all his trials and sufiferings. 

But I will not keep you longer from the lan- 
guage of an Apostle : — '* We Aao^- not a IBgh' 
Priest which cannot be touched with the feeHng of 
our infirmities ; but toe» in all points' tempted Wee 
09 we are, yet without Hn." You cannot fail to 
jaoUce that the Apostle places the value of the 
eiEample of Christ in the idea, that His nature was 
human, and that He hence felt all the infirmities 
and temptations common to man. His meaning is 
doubtless brought out more distinctly in the trans- 
lation of Macknight :-^'' We have-not a High- 
Priest who cannot fympo^Aixe withowr weatnea, 



THE EXAMPLE 07 CHRIST. IM 

bnt One who was tempted in all poiiUs according 
to the likeness of His nature to ours, without 
sin." — Mark. " He was tempted in all points ao* 
CORDING to the likeness ofHiB nature to ours.'* 
This makes it very strong that He had a purely 
human nature, but it is not stronger than it is 
made by 'the Apostle in another ^lace :-^" He 
took not <m Him the nature of angels ; but Hd 
took on Him the seed <^ Abraham. Wherefore, 
it behooyed Him to be made like unto His brethren, 
that He might be a merciful and faithful High- 
Priest in things pertaining to God, to make recon- 
ciliation for the sins of the people. For in that 
Be himself hath suffered being tempted, He is 
able to succor them that are tempted." 

The Church has taught quite another doctrine. , 
There is an old creed which still says, " Christ is 
very and eternal God." It is very widely affirmed 
that the Son of God is the Father, that Jesus 
Christ is the' infinite Jehovah ! We will not now 
quote the divine testimony against this notion ; we 
will not here call in question the truth of this doc* 
-trine ; but we will say that this view of Christ 
deprives his example of its beauty and fitness as a 
guide for man. The example of a God would no 
doubt be a good one ; it might give a presenta- 
tion of infimte perfection ; but it would be above 



108 THE EXAMPLE OF CHBIST. 

08 ; it would not be adapted to the weakness of 
our nature, and we could derive no essential aid 
from it. We should say, " Qod is in heaTen, we 
are on earth : he never knew the weakness of our 
iSkture, and he cannot be touched with the feeling 
of our infirmities ; it cannot be that He ever felt 
the temptations which take hold of our feeble na- 
ture, and his example, bright and glorious though 
it be, does not meet our wants. We want the ex- 
ample of one who bore our common nature, — ^who 
felt the worldngs of our sinful impulses and 
passions, but who restndned them, who experi- 
enced all the scnrows which we are bom to, but 
who overcame them ; and such an example we 
must have, or the greatest call of our nature can 
have no answer." Can we have it? Not m 
Christy according to Trinitarianism, for it says that 
he was* really the eternal Qt)d. But, to help the 
.matter, it is said that he had two natures, one 
divine, one human. The old creed used to read, 
— and I think it still reads, '' Jesus Christ was 
perfect God and perfect man." We will not stop 
here to prove 'that this is not true, (though it is a 
little strange that we find nothing in the New 
Testament about his, having two natures, on the 
supposition that it is true,) but you must all see 
that this view of Christ takes away the value 



«i • 



THB taXAlfPLE OF CHEI8T. 199 

, and efficiency of his example. If he had two dis- 
tinct natures, one making him a "perfect God/* 
and the other a ''perfect man/* a part of his 
character would answer my wants, it is truej-r— the 
human, but the other part — ^the divine — the God 
would be above the reach of my infirmities, and 
it would have the influence to destroy the power 
of the other portion of his character over me. I 
should say within myself, " K he'liad two natures, 
while I have but one, how can I be required to 
imitate him ? True, he showed that he felt my 

^ infirmities in his human nature, and he has given 
me a perfpct example, but how do I know but 
what his human nature was governed by the di- 
vine ; and if it was, his case was not like mine ; 
he was a God, while I am- a man, and his exam*- 
pie is not suited to tny wants and condition. I 
want one for an example who had just such a ^ 
nature as my own, who was just such a being as 
myself in thought and feeling, — ^in everything, ex- 
cept in extent of ktiowledge ; and when I see such 

' a being resisting the power of sin, and treading 
the sorrows of the woild under his feet; I can im- 
derstand him, and I can draw from his example 

, a moral power wHch will make me strong in my 
conflict with the evils ihat beset my pathway/' ■$. 
And such a being I find in the New Testament. 
17* 



104 THE EXAMPLE OF CBSLlS 

He was '' the man Christ Jesus," — ^not the God 
Christ Jesus ! He was " a man approysd of God 
ijf miracka, and woiukrs, and signs, which God 
DID B7 him/' — ^not a God approved of men for 
the miracles and wonders which he did by him* 
self! True, he had divine endowments, but his 
nature was human. He had miraculous power, 
and miraculous knowledge ; but they were not 
or^;inal with luifn; he received them from the 
Father ; and his own powers and feelings were 
like our own, made after the pattern of humanity, 
as fashioned in the first man. And as such, he 
stands forth in all his history. He was like unto 
his iMrethren — the human race. He grew up 
among Uiem like a van ; he walked with them 
like a man, yea, he felt temptation, fatigue, anx- 
iety, sorrow, and adversity, like a man. He had 
within him the nature of a man ; he had appetites 
sad propensities, as well as reason ^nd conscience ; 
and, in ccHisequence, he was tempted in all points 
like as we are ; pleasure presented to him its al- 
lurements, wealth its coffers^ and power its glory ; 
yet, through obedience to his moral nature, 
through devotion to God, truth and duty, through 
watchfulness and control over his appetites and 
passioQS, he came off " without sin ;" he got the 
victory over the evils incident to humanity, and 



THE BXAHPLB 07 CHSIST. . ' 195 

thus showed man bow he ean meet the dangers 
and trials in his path, and overcome tho world. 

In this view of the character of Christ lies the 
power of his example. " If I regard Jesus as an 
angnst stranger, belonging to an entirely different 
class of existence from myself, having no common 
thoughts or feelings with me, and looking down 
upon me with only such a sympathy as I have 
with an inferior animal, I should regard him with 
a vague awe; but the immeasurable space be- 
tween us would place him beyond friendship and 
affection. But when I feel that I have the same 
nature with him, and that he came to communi* 
cate to me, by his teaching, example, and inter- 
cession, his own mind, to bring me into communion 
with what was sublimest, purest, happiest in him- 
self, then I can love him as I love no other being, 
excepting only Him who is the Father alike of 
Christ and of the Christian. With these views, I 
feel that, though ascended to Heaven, he has not 
gone beyond the reach of our hearts ; that he has 
now the same interest in mankind as when he en- 
tered their dwellings, sat at their tables, washed 
their feet ; and that there is no being so approach- 
able, none with whom such unreserved intercourse 
is to be enjoyed in the future world." . 

But what are the evils and difficulties to which 



196 TBK EXAMPLE OF CHBIBT. 

I 

/ 

we are exposed, and how can we d^me sfrength 
from Christ sufficient to oyercome them ? 

1. We are exposed to sin. We would do 
good, but evil is present with us. We delight in 
the law of God after the inward man, but we find 
another law in our members, warring against the 
law of our higher nature,< and bringing us into 
d^ttrity to the law of sin. We have a deep and 
strong love of virtue within us ; we know and feel 
that it is the chief good and glory of our being; 
but how numerous and haw powerful are the 
temptations which are presosited to us to lead us 
astray! What allurements, baits, enticements, 
are placed all along the path which we tread ! 

" Here danger Ij^e a giaat stands, 
Mustering his pale, terrille bands ; 
There pleasure's silken banners spread. 
And willing souls are captive led. 

* ** See where rebellious passions rage, 
And fierce desires and lusts engage ; 
The meaniest foe of all the train 
Has thousands and ten thousands slain." 

Sin meets us with its enticements on every 
hand. Appetite calls for the rich dish and the 
sparkling cup ; the dainties and luxuries of .differ- 
ent climes are placed before us, and we are tempt- 
ed to make eating and drinking the chief business 
of Sfe, to prefer the pleasures of the taste to the 



THE EXAMPLE OF CHEIflT. 197 

serener delights of the loiiid, and to allow reason 
and conscience to be stifled and quenched in the 
indulgences of a gross animalism. The love of 
wealth calls for large possessions, and we are 
tempted to barter the durable riches of truth and 
righteousness for the dust which glitters awhile, 
and then takes to itself wings and flies away. The 
love of popularity, of power, and earthly domiu" 
ion has a deep hold in our nature, and we are 
tempted to sacrifice principle to policy, to love 
the praise of men more than the praise of Qod, 
and to act the part of Milton's Satanic Majesty* 
and say, 

"Better to reign in heU, than serve in heaven." - 

How can we conquer ? By what means can 
we gain sufficient strength to get the victory over 
all these temptations ? The Gospel points us to 
the Captain of our salvation. He has traveled 
this road ; he has Icnown these inducements to sin ; 
he " was tempted in all points like as we are ;" and 
yet he triumphed ; he resisted the impulses of ap- 
petite, conquered the ragings of passion, checked 
and s)ibdued the love of worldly fame and glory; 
he brought his whole nature into conformity to 
the will and requirements of God, and thus gave 
mankind, an example, that they should follow his 



198 TBB EXAMPLE 6f 0HEI8T. 

steps. . 0, what a lessoil did he gire our world in 
the wilderness of temptation ! What a conflict he 
had there with the pleasures and honors of a cor- 
rupt generation, and how nohly did he triumph ! 
He was first tempted to yield to the gri^fications 
of his animal appetites, rather than listen to the 
yoice of moral virtue ; he was next tempted to 
throw himself at the feet of the Jewish aristocracy, 
and serve his country, in preference to obeying 
^e will of his Father ; and he was next tempted 
to use his powers to ge&n ** the kingdoms of 
the world and* the glory of them," instead of using 
them for the purpose for which he had received 
them, to establish truth and righteousness in the 
earth. And these are the temptations that take 
hold of our nature. We are prone to let the ani- 
mal govern the moral, to love policy more than 
principle, to place pleasure before duty, to bow to 
the throne of worldly power rather than to the 
throne of God, and to think more of outward glory 
and earthly empire, than of inward empire and 
moral glory. Here are the springs of all the 
error and«cfime which disturb and darken our 
world ; and if, when we feel their workings within 
us, we would fix x)ur eye on him who was " touch- 
ed with the feeling of our infirmities," — if we 
would mark his struggles against the enemy, and 



TSB BXAMPLfi OF OHRIBT. 199 

catch his spirit, we should gam from him the pow- 
er of victory over the adversary within us, ancL be 
able to say to him, *' Get thee hence, Satan, for it 
is written, JThou shalt worship the Lord thy God, 
and him onlyshalt thou serve." 

2» We may derive aid from Christ in seasons 
o/ suffering and adversity. 

You all know, my friends, that this is a world 
.not only of temptation and sin, but of sorrow and 
affliction ; or, if any of you are too young or too* 
thoughtless now to know it, you will not need to 
live long to learn this lesson. There are but few 
countenances on which this solemn truth is not 
written. '' Although affliction c<>me(h not forth of 
the dust, neither dolh trouble spring out of the 
ground; yet man is bom unto trouble, as the 
sparks fly upward." While there is no such thing 
as chance in the affairs of the world, in the govern- 
ment of creaUon, we are born to experience the 
pains of sickness, the bitterness of disappointment, 
the darkness and gloom of adversity, and the pangs 
of death. It has pleaj^ed God to make these a 
part of our inheritance under the suq, Aftd in vam 
shall we strive to flee from their approach. Go 
where we will, live how we may, the unwelck>me 
messenger of suffering, sorrow, adversity, will 
sooner or }ater find us, and he will tell us,!^ Iad- 



V 



200 THB EXAMPLE OF CHRIST. 

guage which we can understand, that ** man was 
made to mourn." Clouds and darkness will gath- 
er around us : sickness and death will enter our 
dwellings, and tear from our fond embrace the 
lovely and the good ; our frames will become bent 
and broken by the winds and storms of dme, and 
the dark, cold grave will open its mouth to re- 
ceive us. Then we shall need sympathy, encour- 
agement, and hope. Then shall we feel that this 
world is all an empty show, a vain, fleeting, fading 
thing, and over the whole creation, which had 
once looked so bright and beautiful to us, will be 
drawn the crape of sorrow. The ardent hopes of 
youth and the gay scenes of prosperity will then 
have faded; the companions of our early days 
will be missing ; heaviness and grief will weigh 
down our hearts; and we shall look about us, 
and inquire if there are any who can feel for us, 
and from whom we can receive sympathy, and 
derive aid. And there may then be those around 
us who will have experienced the evils that ** flesh 
is heir to," to whom we can relate our sorrows, 
and from whose sympathizing hearj^s we can draw 
strength and comfort. And how sweet and 
soothing will be the influence which we shall thus 
derive ! ** Heaviness in the heart, of man maketh 
it stopp, but a good word miAeth it glad." Who 



r 
f 



THE EXAMPliB OF OHBIBT. 201 

has not felt, in the dark hour of suffering and af- 
fliction, how precious it is to have the experience 
and sympathy of a confiding friend, and how in- 
jipiring and cheering it is to breathe our wants 
into his. ear ? The heart acquires new power, new 
Hfe, and we can suffer with less complamt, with 
more patience. And, dear and precious as is the 
sympathy of the pilgrims of our way, there has 
One gone before us from whom we can derive ' 
more aid, more power, more resignation, than 
from all other bebgs in the world. "We have 
not a High-Priest which cannot be touched with 
the feeling of our infirmities." He was a man of 
sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He knew 
what it was to suffer the winds and storms of ad- 
versity, and to weep over the grave of friends. 
With pain and trial, he was not only familiar, from 
his own personal acquaintance, but he had a soul 
to feel for the grief and bereavement of all the 
afflicted and suffering around him. And how did 
he bear his griefs and sorrows ? Ah ! just as hu- 
.manity should bear all its woes; just as man 
should bear all the sufferings that are laid upon 
liim. Not with a stoi^ indifference, nor a sullen 
gloom, nor a comfortless despair. While his 
heart was all aUve to the most acute sensations, 
and his bosom hea^red with the most tender emo- 
18 



20S TBI BXAMPLB OF OHSIBT. 

tions, he looked upward to his Father, and leaned 
upon his Almighty arm, perfectly assured that all 
theiBe trials And sufibriiigs were ordered in mercy, 
and that they would conduct him to higher good, 
and greater glory. In the darkest hour of his 
sorrow, how much of human nature did he hreathe 
forth in the petition, ** Father, if it be possible, let 
this cup pass from me;" and what a lesson for 
human nature did he give in the very next sen- 
tence : '' Nerertheless, not my will, but thine be 
donel" Thus he triumphed. He looked above the 
world ; He cast all his care upon Him wha suffer- 
eth not a sparrow to fall to the ground without 
his notice, and beUeyed that his afflictions would 
conduce to his ultimate welfare. And thus we 
may triumph. It was the purpose of his suffering 
life to reveal to man the object of God in sending 
.afflictions upon him, to show him that they come 
from the hand of a Father, and that they will end 
in the greater perfection and happiness of his 
children, and thus to breathe into man the spirit 
of encouragement and hope in the darkest scenes ; 
and if, in seasons of trial and suffering, we would 
turn to Jiim, mark how he bore our griefs, and 
carried mir sorrows, and imlnbe the spirit which 
he breathed forth from Gethsemane and Oalvary, 
we shall find a remedy for the weakness of our 



THE SXAMPLE OF CHEI»T. 208 

nature, and gain the Tictory oyer ihe trials and 
suffering of the world. ^ 

3. We may gaift aid from the example of 
Christ in our labors in the cause of human im« 
provement. What is the nature of the work in. 
.which we are^engaged ? Is it the cause of impar- 
tial justice and unirersal benevolence ? Woujd we 
strip religion of > the exclusiveness and bigotry of 
sectarianism, and make it the equal friend and 
benefactor of all ranks and conditions of men? 
Would we see all men regard each other as the 
children of God, treat each other as equals before 
him, and look forward to immortality as their 
equal home ? Is this th^ cause which we love, 
and which we would spread in the world ? And 
is this cause hated and condemned by the wealthy 
and popular sects around us ? Are we looked 
upon as the en^oues of all religion, denied the 
name and character of Ohristians, excluded from 
the communion of the great mass of professing 
religionists, and met with proscription and abyae 
on every hand ? Do we have to fight against 
principaHties and powers, against spiritual wicked- 
ness in high places ? And is our warfare so se- 
vere that we sometimes yield to diifootiragement, 
and almost faint in the conflict ? Let us turn our 
eye toward our Master. In this cause of umver- 



X '^ 



204 THB BXAMPLB OF CHRIST. 

sal beneToIence, he was engaged wiUi aU the ener- 
gies of his 80ul> and he was hated and persecnted 
by all the sectarians of his t age. And what pri- 
vations did he suffer, and what opposition and 
malignity did he experience, in his devotion to this 
oanse ! Look over his life. See hifli going about 
doing good. ''The foxes have hoks, and the 
birds of the air have nests, but he hath not where 
to lay his head." He is despised, scorned, ridi- 
culed, menaced, and frowned upon, whererer he 
goes ; and theje are none to sympathize with his 
labors, but a little company of fishermeii from the 
Galilean lake. He sees the whole world in array 
against hiaC; and though his disciples are ignorant 
and timid, yet he faints not,- and he cheerfully 
takes up the cross, and dies upon it, that he may 
establish the Gospel of peace in the earth. O, let 
us think of his labors and conflicts. It is good for 
us to follow him in his journeys, to watch with him 
in the garden of Gethsemane, and to linger around 
his^ cross on the hill of Calvary. From these 
scenes we may draw strength to labor in the cause 
of God and man, and be encouraged with the 
hope of success and victory, if we continue faith- 
ful to truth and duty. 

Finally, in what scenes, and under what circum- 
stances, may not the Christian derive encourage- 



TH2 EZABfPLS OF CBBIST. 905 



ment* and strength from his Master, in his passage 
through this world of danger and conflict ? While 
he se^s that the journey on which he has entered 
is filled with difficulty and peril, he is not deserted ; 
his eye is fixed on a ** celestial Leader, who has 
himself fought and conquered, and holds forth to 
him his own crown of righteousness and victory," — 
a Leader who had a kindred nature with himself, 
and who was touched with the feeling of his in- 
firmities. Is he poor ? So was his Master. Is 
he neglected by the world ? So was his Master* 
Is he. hated by enemies, and betrayed by those 
whom he had chosen for his friends ? So was his 
Master. Is he tempted to sacrifice moral princi- 
ple to worldly policy, and to prefer the pleasures 
and honors of this world to the convictions of con- 
science and the voice of moral virtue ? So was 
his Master. Is he visited with adversity, and 
borne down by the weight of grief and sorrow ? 
So was bis Master. And would he triumph? 
His Master has shown him bow. He had an en- 
counter with all these evils of humfmity, and 
** tfrhen he ascended up on high, he led captivity 
captive, and gave gifts imto men." In his own 
trials and conflicts, then, let him keep his eye 
steadily fixed upon this Conqueror ; let him imi- 
18* 



206 TBB BZAMPLB OF CHRIST. 

tate his noble deeds, and drink in bis lofty spvit 
of moral daring and celestial virtue ; and be will 
be able to say with the hen»e Paul, " / can do all 
thififfi through Christ, which sirengtheneth me." 



HUMAN DESTINY. 

'* And when neither son nor Stan in many days appeared, 
and no small tempest lay. on as, all hope that we should he 
sared was then taken away." — AcU zxrii., 20. 

Soon after Paul's defence of Christianity at 
Jerusalem, be took passage in a ship for Rome, 
with a crew of " two hundred, threescore and 
sixteen souls." The first part of their voyage was 
prosperous and delightful ; the silvery waters of 
the Mediterranean were quiet and placid ; the sun 
lighted their course by day, and the stars by night, 
and they were encouraged to hope that they 
should make their " desired haven*' without in- 
jury or loss. But soon a change came over them. 
" A tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon," began 
to sigh through their rigging, and roughly to toss 
them upon the rude surges of the agitated sea, 
threatening them with shipwreck and the seaman's 
grave. "And when neither sun nor stars in 
many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on 
them, all hope that they should be saved was , 
then taken away." Pale with fear, and ghostly 
with terror, they looked upon each other's- coun^ 



1 



/ 



208 HUMAN DESTINY. 

tenanees with strange and despairing expresaons, 
every moment expecting to sink into the bosom of 
the raging deep. But in the midst of this dread- 
ful scene, there was one whose bosom was calm 
and serene, and who spoke words of peace and 
comfort to the affrighted c^rew. It was Paul. In 
the spirit of the Gospel, and with his charaoterii^o 
fortitude and benevolence, he " stood forth in the 
midst of them, and said, Sirs, I exhort you to be 
of good cheer ; for there shall be no loss of any 
man's life among you, but of the ship. For there 
stood by me this night the anggsl of God, whose 
I am, and whom I serve, saying. Fear not, Paul i 
thou must be brought before Caesar, and, lo, God 
hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 
Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer : for I believe 
God, that it shall be even as it was told me* 
Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island." 
Onwak-d they were driven by the violence of the 
wav^, but little believing the testimony of Paul, 
till they came in sight of land, when hope began 
to revive ; and. in their eagerness to escape, .some 
were for throwing themselves out of the ship, and 
attempt to'galn the shore. Here Paul interposed, 
and said to the captain, 7 Except these abide in the 
ship, ye cannot be saved." And he succeeded 
not only in ))ersuading them to abide in the ship^ 



HUMAN DESTINY. 209 

but he prevailed upon them to take refreshment 
and receive comfort. As they had now been 
iAven by the storm fourteen days, they had be- 
come weary and exhausted with toil and fear, and 
they had neglected to take their usual food, and 
refused to be comforted. See how like a philoso- 
pher and a Christian the apostle labored with 
them. " I pray you to take some meat ; for this 
is for your health ; for there shall not a hair fall 
from the head of any of you. And when he had 
thus spoken, he took bread, and gave tjianks to 
God in presence of tHem all ; and when he had 
brokexvit, he began to eat. Then were they all 
of good cheer, and they also took some meat. 
And falling into a place where two seas met, they 
ran the ship aground f* and tHbugh she was broken 
and ruined by the violence of the waves, " it came 
to pass that they escaped all safe to land.'' 

I have thought this piece of history a fit imUpo- 
duction to a discourse on Human Destiny. I 
think I see in it a picture which may be very ap- 
propriately used to illustrate the present condition 
and the probable final destiny of the human race. 
The final destiny of the human race ! Whose soul 
is not stirred with a deep and solemn interest at 
the thought? Who does not feel the moment- 
otisness of the inquury, — ^Where and is what wiU 



210 HUMAN DBSTZMT* 

ten&inate our being? To what coast are we 
bound, and what will be our everlasting haren? 
When we <' shuffle off this mortal ooil,^ shall we 
sink into the waters of nonentity ? or shall we be 
landed on some fordgn shore ? and what will be 
our condition there, — ^shall. we be bound in the 
ohains of slavery, or shaU we enter the domains 
of intellectual and moral freedom? There axe 
those wbo seem to be indifferent to this subject, 
and who would persuade us that it does not be- 
come man, that it is none of his business, to exer- 
cise his mind upon it, or to beitow upon it his 
attention and interest. There ma^ be sucl^^ indi- 
viduals, — and if there are, we freely grant them 
the right to their opinion^ but I must say that I 
cannot be of their ntfmber. I have an infinite in- 
terest at stake in the matter. I am ready to con- 
fess that my main business is with the present 
world, that I have duties here to p^form which 
call for .the action of my best powers, and for my 
constant attention, but I cannot confine my 
thoughts and aspirations to the present. There 
is^fiomething within me which looks beyond the 
Bmits of the passing bour, and loudly inquires. 
What will be the issue of my being ? The inqui- 
ry I cannot repress. This bright and glorious 
niuverse is pothhig to me, in comparison with its 



X. 



HUMAN DEBTIITT. 21 1 

importance. I must i}mk upon it, and if I can- 
not find an answer to it wMch will meet and satis- ' 
fy the wants of my heart, I must weep and la- 
ment that I was ever^ushered into existence. And 
the importance which I must and do attach to 
this inquiry, does not arise solely from my interest 
in my own being. I have associated with those ^ 
who were as dear to me as myself, and ' some of 
them — ^the brightest and the best, are gone ! The 
sweetest and loveliest flowers that bloomed in the 
•garden of my youth, alas ! where are they ? The 
tender and self-saerificing companion of xnyyouth- 
ful days, and the bright and promising child, the 
only being that ever wore my own image, have 
been torn from my embraces, leaving me to buffet 
the storms of life alone, and making me feel; at 
times, as if I were living in a world which is little 
else than a huge sepulchre, outwardly beautiful 
indeed, but literally filled with bones and putrefac- 
tion, and often leading me to say to " corru|>tion. 
Thou art my mother, and to the worm. Thou art 
my brother and my sister;" yet from this dreary 
prison qf sorrow, I have looked upward^ and ask- 
ed, with an ardor and a solemnity which. I never 
Imew before, for ''the way, the truth, and the 
l^t," in regard to the purpose of Go* in the 
creation of man, especially as it respec^ hia final 



212 HUMAN DESTIMT. 

condition. And during tbe past week, my heart 
has been touched again, and additbnal interest 
given to this subject, bj hearing of the sudden 
and most distressing death .of a kind and affec- 
tionate sister, who grew up with me as a tender 
plant under the parental roof, but whose offices of 
sympathy and kindness I can share no longer in 
the land of the living. And I am beginning to 
think that the longer I live in this world, the 
deeper will be the wounds which will be made 
upon my once young and joyous, heart ; or, at 
least, that the more yeurs I see, the more of trial 
and suffering I shall be called to experience — ^the 
more of my friends will be torn from me ; and, of 
consequence, the dearer and more precious to me 
will be the subject of human destiny. And I 
know that I am not alone in this matter. I look 
around me, and I see a world '* groaning and trav- 
ailing in pain." *' A few seem -favorites of fate,'' 
a few Appear to live in sunshine and unmixed 
prosperity ; but misfortune, affliction, suffering, is 
the comndon lot of mortals. Disease and death 
ace all abroad in the world, cutting down the 
Aged and the young, the parent and the child; 
and though some may stand longer than others, 
all wilkfinally have to confess that there is no dis- 
charge in the war of death ; and there must be a 



B0HAir DS8TINT. 218 

wide and deep desire to knov whether the ene- 
my with which they have to contend can be over- 
come. I know, therefore, that I am not speaking 
on an indifferent or useless topic when I speak on 
the condition and destiny of man. 

The ship of Humanity has been launched, and 
we are out upon the broad ocean of existence. 
The first part of our voyage has been delightful 
and full of promise. The season of yduth is rife 
with innocent pleasure, and warin with ardent and 
promising hopes. The mind has not yet been 
made to feel the bitterness of disappointment, and 
the cold pressure^ of affliction upon^ the heart has 
not yet checked its joyous aspirations, and caused 
it to realize that this is a world of danger and trial. 
The wateili over which we are passing are smooth 
and beautiful ; the winds and stprms of adversity 
have not yet swept over them, anSl lashed them 
into fury ; the heavens are all clear and bright ; 
and we fondly imagine that we have set sail upon 
a sea which is unvisited with tempests, and on 
which we are in danger of no mjury, no evil. But 
we go not far before we learn our mistake. The 
heavens gather clouds and darkness; winds and 
storms arise, and sweep over the face of the great 
deep with dreadful violence, making the ocean 
foam and '' boil like a cakiron/' and tossing our 
19 



* 



214 BUMAir .DBsninr. 

bark '' to and fro like a dmsken man," and at 
times we ^ give up our minds to the influence of 
despair, and wonder why it is that our Creator 
has put us out upon a sea which is agitata mth 
80 many currents and swept with so many storms. 
When fortune frowns upon us, and the raven 
wing of a£9ietion is spread out over our prospects, 
when the pale messenger of death comes up from 
the ghosMy shades of corruption^ and takes from 
our bosoms our friends, and conveys them away 
to his misty and dreary regions, the sun of our 
mental horizon becomes shrouded in darkness, the 
stars hide their beautiful faces from our view, and 
" all hope is taken away/' 

Complete, settled despair, however, is not com- 
mon. We are creatures of hope, and this princi- 
»ple of our nature rarely if ever fails us, however 
dark the heavens, or gloomy and fearful the storm. 
The world within is not so changeful as the world 
without. The soul, like the compass of the 
mariner, is its own place, and the magnetic needle 
is not more faithful in its. attractions toward the 
Pole, than is the mind of man in its aspirations after 
immortality and infinite good* He cannot rest his 
mind on the scenes of the present. He is not 
content to stop at the grave. His wants, his 
thoughts, his affections overleap this dark barrier, 



HUMAN DESTINY. 215 

and ''expatiate on a life to come.'' Even if his 
head is so cool and doubting that he cannot look 
with the eye of faith beyond it, his heart is un- 
willing to stop at the narrow house, and sink into 
its cold precincts to dwell forever. The depths 
of his ii^ward being, and all the affections of his 
moral nature, cry aloud for an immortal field for 
their exercise, and an eternal inheritance for their 
portion. This desire is so natural and strong in 
the human heart, that in the majority of our race, 
whether enlightened or ignorant, in Heathen and in 
Ohristain lands, it has begotten a hope of another 
and higher existence. Even the untutored savage 
has not been without it, and as man has ascended 
in the scale of civilization and refinement, it has 
been more and more attractive to his mental eye, 
and dearer and dearer to the affections of his 
heart. 

" Lo, the poor Indian, whose untutored mind 
Sees God in douds, and hears him in the wind ; 
His soul proud science never taught to stray 
Far as the solar walk or milky way ; 
Yet simple Nature to his hope has given 
Behind the olond-topt sky, an humbler heaven. 
Some safer world in depth of woods embrao'd. 
Some happier realm beyond the wat'ry waste, 
"Where friends once more their native land behold. 
No fl«nds torment, no Christians thirst for gold." 

And when man cannot exercise this hope, and 



210 HUMAN DE8TINT. 

he cannot believe that he shall finally enter the 
haven of immortality, how dark are his prospects, 
how disconsolate his condition ! The discontent- 
ment and misery which he feels loudly testify that 
his faith is not in (Agreement with his nature, and 
that he was made for a higher destiny than he 
anticipates. If in this life only he has hope, he is 
of all creatures most miserable. The brute has 
not his capacious thoughts, and his ardent de- 
sires after immortal good, and therefore it can 
know nothing of the bitterness which is diffused 
through all the fountains of his enjoyment by the 
rejection that he is doomed to be swallowed in 
the ocean of eternal forgetfulness. And when the 
winds and storms of adversity gather around him, 
und his frail bark is tossed upon the heaving bil- 
lows, he has no comforter ; his spirit, like the dove 
of Noah, goes out upon its trembling pinion to 
survey the vast and troubled deep, and seek for 
some island where it can find repose and rest, but, 
alas, she returns with weary wing and downcast 
look, and bearing no olive-branch from the land it 
had sought. And when neither the sun of truth 
nor the stars of promise appear, and no small tem- 
pest of sorrow lays upon him, all hope is taken 
away, and he yields himself up to despair. 
But, my friends, to save us from tMs dark and 



HUMAN DBBTIHT. 217 

sorrowing state of mind, Ood hatb stooped to our 
wants, and given us a Revelation. In the teach- 
ings of prophets, and especially in the mission of 
His own Son, we shall find that the Creator has 
spoken to the mariners on the sea of time, and in 
tones of tendeniess and love exhorted them to " be , 
of good cheer," to trust in him amidst the tem- 
pests which lay heavily upon them, and to believe 
that he '' rideth upon the storm," and will finally 
bring them to their ** desired haven." To these 
ignorant and weary mariners, the Gospel of Jesus 
Christ brings a chart of the great ocean of being, 
and a compass by which to regulate their voyage. 
It is a chart of the divine government, and the, 
compass of eternal truth. It is true, tha^ there 
are some who have but little confidence in iheir 
correctness, and even think that we should know 
.just as much of God and futurity, if we should 
throw them into the sea ; but it is an undeniable 
fact that those who have studied them with the 
most care^ and especially those who ha^ve tried, 
them, and used them most constantly and thorough- 
ly, have had the greatest confidence in their cor- 
rectness, and they have found themselves cheerful 
and happy, at peace with themselves and with 
God, just in proportion as they have yielded to 
19* 



218 HUMAN DESTINY. 

, their instructions, and. regulated their course hj 
their directions. 

I have called the Gospel a chart of the great 
ocean of being, and I think there is no extrava- 
gance in the comparison. It ^ves a revelation of 
the character of God and the nature of his govern- 
ment. It tells us that He who made us is not 
merely our Creator, but our Father ; that he hath 
created us in his own image, and for the reflection 
of his glory ; that he regards us and treats us as 
his own children^ and that though he lead us 
through many dark and trying scenes, he will nev- 
er leaye nor forsake us ; he will lead us forth by 
a way which they know not, and conduct us to the 
green pasture of his favot. How big with sub- 
limity^ and how replete with wisdom and comfort 
are the views which are given of the character of 
Him who sits at the helm of the universe ! Listen. 
" He hath created all things^ aitd for his pleasure 
they are and were created.'* ** He loveth all the 
tilings that are, and hateth nothing which he has 
made, for he never would have created anything to 
hUve hated it.'' " He is good unto all, and his ten- 
der merci€lB are over all his works." '* Clouds and 
darkness are round about him, but justice and 
judgment are the habitation of his throne." " He 
will not cast off forever ; but though* he cause 



HUMAN DE8TINT. 219 

grief, yet will be have compasctMn according to the 
multitude of bis mercies. For he doth not affliet 
willingly, nor grieve^ the children of men." *' He 
will not always chide, for the spirits would fail be- 
fore him, and the souls he has made«" '* Con- 
sider the birds of the air ; ypmr heavenly Faliier 
feedeth them: will he not much mqre take 
care of you, O ye of little faith ?" " He seeth Jp, 
secret." '' Not a sparrow falleth to the ground 
without his notice, and the very hairs of your bead 
are all numbered before him : Fear ye not, there- 
fore ; ye are of more value tiian many sparrows." 
Whoever looks up to God through these yiews, 
will have a light within him which will be to his 
soul what the sun is to the ,eye ; and though 
clouds and storms come over him, his inward eye; 
will see that, while ''God maketh darkness his 
pavilion^" he ruletb in goodness, and wUl make 
present affliction nvork for him future and greater 
good. * 

I have caUed the Gospel also a compass, and 
have I not very appropriately ? To the mariners 
on the sea of time it is a guide, and amidst storm 
and sunshine it points them to the haven of im- 
mortality and eternal delight. How plam is the 
language, and how rich and consoling its mighty 
import 1 " The creature was made subject to van- 



S30 BUMAX DBBTIHT. \ 

Hj, not wQlingly, but by reaaon of Hbai who bath 
subjected the same in hope, because the creature 
itself shall be delivered from the bondage of cor* 
mptioHi inlo the glorious liberty of the children of 
Ood/' ** The children of this world marry and 
are giyen in marriagei but they which shall be 
accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the res- 
urrection from the dead, neither marry, nor^are 
giTcn in marriage; nether can they die any more; 
for they are equal unto the angels, and are ike 
diildren of God, being- the children of the resur- 
rection.'' " The last enemy, death, shall be de* 
stroyed." " As in Adam al] die, evcoi bo in Christ 
shall aU be made aliye." ** As we haye borne the 
image of the earthy, we shall also bei^r the image 
of the heayenly." ''So when this corruptible 
shall have put on ino(HTuption, and this mortal 
shall haye put on immortality, then shall be 
brought to pssB the saying that is written. Death 
is swallowed up in yictory. death, where is 
thy sting ? O grave, where is thy victory ? The 
sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the 
law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the 
victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ." " And 
I heard every creature which is in heaven, and on 
the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in 
the sea, and all that are in them, saying, Blessings 



HUMAN DESTINY. 221 

and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him tha^ 
sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for 
ever and ever." 

What ia heavenly and joyful faith ! To all 
on^ board the ship Humanity it says, " Be of 
good cheer," your FiEkther's at the helm, and 
no harm shall befall you. You shall outride 
the -storm that hangs over your heads ; and 
tiiough you are cast upon the island of death, 
and your present barque is made a wreck, 
and goes to ruin, yet ye shall all escape safe to 
the land of your desire. "For if your earthly 
house of this tabernacle be dissolved, ye have a 
buDding of God, a house not made with hands, 
eternal in the heavens." , O, how precious the as- 
surance to the tempest-tost mariner on the bcean 
of life ! It gives an anchor to his soul, which is 
sure and steadfast in the darkest, stormiest hour; 
when he is weary and worn down with toil and 
conflict, it persuades him to take nourishment an4 
comfort, to ** be of good cheer," like the crew 
which Paul instructed ; and he is enabled to say, 
even when the storm rages around him, *' my 
soul ! why art thou cskst down, and why art thou 
disquieted within me ? Hope thou in God. Yea, 
though I walk through the valley of the shadow 



^ *3\ 



283 BUMAH DBSTIlfT. 

of deathi I wOI fear no evil, for Ood is with me ; 
hig rod and his staff they comfort me.'' 

But, cruel as it would seem, there are those 
in the world who would take from us this glorious 
hope, and leave us to the mercy of the wind^ and 
wayes, without chart, without compass, and with- 
out anchor. There are two systems which are en- 
gaged in this imnatural and unmerciful work. 
One is the doctrine of Atheism ; the other the doc- 
trine of Endless Misery. The ship Atheism sails 
from the port of Chance, and is bound for the 
maelstrom of annihilsktion. The harque Endless 
Misery sails from the h^bor of Total Depravity, 
and is bound for the coast of eternal slavery, where 
the passengers are to be confined in chains as 
much more galling than any worn on earth, as the 
infinite is greater than the finite ! 

The Atheist teUs us that man, with all his won- 
derful powers, came into being without design; 
that he lives without a purpose, and that death 
closes his promising career, and plunges him into 
the black gulf of eternal forgetf ulness ! And 
the advocates of this theory call themselves phi- 
losophers, and the friends of science, and of our 
race ! Ah f 

« Ib this your iriamph — this your prond applause^ 
C3iildr«i of Truth, and ohampioiu of her cause \ 



HUMAN DE8TINT. 228 

Fvr this hath soienoe setrohed, on weaiy wing. 

By shore and sea, each mute and liying thing 1 

Launched with Dona's pilot from the steep. 

To worlds unknown, and isles beyond the deep 1 

Or ronnd the ci^w her living chariot driVen, 

And wheeled in triomph through the sighs of Heayen 1 

Oh ! star-eyed science, hast thou wander'd there. 

To waft OS home the message of despair 1 

Then bind the pa^, thy sage's brow to soit^ 

Of blasted leaf, and death-distilling fmit ! 

Bat if the warring winds of Nature's strife 

Be all the faithless charter of my life, — 

if Chance awak'd, inexorable power ! 

This fraU and feveridi being of an hqnr, 

Doom'd o^er the world's precuions scene to sweep. 

Swift as the tempest travels on the deep. 

To know Delight bat by her parting mile, 

And toil, and wish, and weep, a little while ; 

Then melt, ye elements, that formed in vain 

This troubled pulse and visionary brain ! 

Fade, ye wild flowers, memoriab of my doom ! 

And sink, ye stars, that light me to the tomb !" 



Surely, in the belief of this dark creed, man is 
wrapped in impenetrable clouds of darkness and 
gloom ; the sun of truth and the stars of immor- 
tality cease to glimmer on the mmd, and ** all hope 
is. taken away." 

Confident as the advocate of this theory may 
be of its truth, there are two or three things 
which should cool the ardor of his zeal, and at the 
same time strengthen the faiih of the Christian. 



2S4 mumAM d 



1. Be csnmoi prow tiliat tiiere is no faiiirB 
and holier eixstence for man. * He can assert it* 
bal aasertioB b not pnM^ He can aigne against 
it, but argmncnt is notdem ons tratioB. Hecanrid- 
icole US for trusting in RevalaticMi as our nuun 
gioand of hope of a fatare fife ; bat be stands in 
jnsi as mncb need of a reYviation to prore that 
there is no fatare existence, as the Christian does 
to prore that there is. He does not see eyeiy- 
thii^ that is in the oniverse. For angfat he can 
teD to the contrary, man has within an immortal 
principle, and it may outfiye the existence of the 
whole outward creation. The fact is an important 
one, that some cause has given us existence ; and 
whatever that cause be, — ^if it be crude, onnonscious 
matter, or even chance, — it cannot be proved that it 
may not raise us from the dead, or by some other 
process continue our being ; for certainly, it is 
quite as conceivable that it should continue our 
existence, as that it should have created us. 

2. In denying to man the hope of a future 
state, he denies the harmony of nature. He is 
sometimes heard to discourse largely on the beauty 
and harmony of nature ; but we cannot see how 
he can deny to man the hope of a future life, with- 
out making nature inconsistent with herself, yea 
without affirming that there is discord and contra- 



HUMAN DESTINY. 225 

diction in the noblest being which he recognizes in 
creation. Why ? Because there is no meaning 
in the powers and wants of man, if he is not 
destined for immortality. In other words, if he 
were not made for immortality, then his nature is a 
conti-adiction to tbe harmony of creation : yea, his 
nature is at war with his destiny. " The powers of 
the inferior aoimals are perfectly suited to their 
condition and their end. They know nothing, and 
seek nothing, higher than their present state. , In 
gratifying their appetites, they fulfill their destiny, 
and pass quietly away. Man alone, according to 
this theory, comes forth to act a part which car- 
ries no meaning, and tends to no consistent end. 
Endowed with capacities which.extend beyond his 
present sphere, fitted by his rational nature for 
running the race of immortality, and having aspi- 
rations for the attainment of that high goal, he is 
stopped short at the very entrance of his course. 
He squanders his activity on pursuits which he 
sees to be vain. He languishes for knowledge 
which is placed beyond his reach. He thirsts for 
a happiness which he is never to enjoy. He sees 
and laments the disasters of his state, but upon 
the supposition that there is no future life, he can 
-find for them no remedy.'' Verily, nature is here 
turned into an enemy to herself by this theory, 



226 HUMAN DESTINY. 

and its advocate is obliged to confess that man, in 
his yiew of his destiny, is so far from being the no- 
blest of God's works, that he is the greatest of his 
failures ! And, 

8. He can give us nothing better, nothing 
more consistent or consoling, Uian the Gospel. 
*' He looks around him, and he sees the unfortunate 
cheered bj its hopes, the aged and infirm on the 
yerge of the grave supported by its spirit, and the 
dying pillow rendered soft and joyful by its power. 
I would beseech him, in the name of mercy, to 
take not this staff from the hand of the tottering 
veteran, till he can give him a better. Destroy 
not this last refuge of the unfortunate, till you can 
offer a safer retreat. Dash not this last cup of 
consolation from the quivering lips of the dying, 
Wess you can administer a cordial more inspiring. 
If you can give us anything that will make us more 
happy in life, or more resigned in death, we will 
talk of an exchange. But until you are prepared 
to do this, I entreat you to spare our hopes, and 
let us drink freely and copiously of the river of 
life." 

But our attention is drawn toward another 
sail. Ah ! she is no stranger. EndleaB Misery — 
KKDLBSS MISERY, is Steaming upon her flag I 
Clearing the ma&lstrom of annihilation, she is mak- 



HUMAN DESTINY. ''^ 2ST 

iag her way to a foreiga coast. There the crew 
is to be landed, and then separated ; a few will be 
conducted into the fields of partial freedom, — tbe 
rest are to be led away into the regions of eternal 
bondage, where the most galling chains are to be 
riyeted upon them, and they be made to work for- 
ever in the prison of infinite despair under the di- 
rection and the blows of the Prince of everlasting 
rebellion] And this is called the Gospel of Christ I 
And this is brought to us in the dark night of ad- 
versity, and presented to our lips as the Balm of 
Gilead, the cure of our woes I Ah ! it is more 
bitter than worn\wood ! We cannot drink it. It 
would disturb the functions of our inward life, and 
pollute all the fountains of our enjoyment. It 
would wring tears from the benevolent soul, and 
plant thorns in the dying pillow. It would blast 
the glory of God, veil the liuninary of heaven's 
goodness in rayless darkness, blot out the bright 
stars of rede9iption, and quench the beams of hope. 
To the evils and sufferings of .this world, it woul4 
add the prospect of infinite woes and endless ago- 
nies, and the soul of man might well murmur at 
his fate, and even curse the day of his birth. If 
he thought and felt on the subject, he would — he 
must Ray, "Oh I this is quite too much for poor 
humai^ nature ; yea, let me rather quietly sink into 



23S HUMAN DESTINT. 

the dreary rortez of non-existence, than to be 
grafted to the shores of. immortality, to behold a 
part of my race, and perhaps the dearest of my 
friends, torn from God and heaven, and dragged 
down to the flames of a quenchless hell, where 
they will be 'forever burning, yet unconsumed ; 
forever wasting, yet enduring still ; forever dying^ 
yet never dead/ " 

(. But it is said that man must submit,'if it does 
seem hard. ''The "conditions of the Gospel were 
given them," it is said, "and they might have 
obeyed ; but they refused to comply with them, 
and the fault, therefore, is all their own/' So it 
is very generally argued, and many there be who 
think that it makes the crooked all straight. We 
grant that there are conditions in the Gospel, and 
if we did not believe that they would ultimately 
be complied with, we should despair of the final 
salvation of our race. But we believe that God 
knew what he was about when he established 
these conditions, and made such arrangements for 
their being regarded and obeyed, that they will 
harmonize with his own good purpose, and result 
in the fulfillment of his will — the ultimate salvation 
of man. We have an appropriate illustration in 
the case of Paul and the ship. He told the af- 
frighted crew that though they should be cast 



HUMAN DESTINY. 229 

upon a certain island, they should aH ultimately 
be saved. " There shall be no loss of any man ;" 
and so the end proved. But, while on their voy- 
age, as they came in sight of land, some resolved 
* to " flee out of the ship." Here Paul interceded, 
and sdd, '* Except these abide in the ship, ye can- 
not be saved." This was equally true, but it had 
no efiFect to annul the first declaration, because 
they yielded to^ the condition, ^nd were saved. 
So, w^ conceive, it is and will be with mankind. 
The Gospel comes to Ihem while they are on the 
rough ocean of Ufe, and says, '* Be of good cheer, 
for there shall be no loss of' any man, but of the 
ship f* *' The living God is the Savour of all 
men f* ".He will not cast ofif forever,*' for " he 
will have all men to be saved, and come to the 
knowledge of the truth." .This is divine truth. But 
Wihile on their passage to the haven of eternal sal- 
vation, as they pass islands which seem to promise 
them pleasure and profit, \hey are tempted to 
throw themselves into the waters of sin, and risk 
their fate to their individual exertions. Here the 
voice from above speaks again, "Except these 
abide in the Gospel, ye cannot be saved." This 
also ' is divine truth, and so they find it. For if 
they plimge out into the troubled ocean of trans- 
gression^ they find in it no rest day nor night ; it 
20* 



230 HUMAN DESTINY. 

is an element for which they were not made, and 
in which they cannot be happy ^^ and they will all 
therefore be glad to hearken to their commander, 
and obey; and ''the Captain of our salvation" is 
of such a character, that he will not cast them 
from him, and commit them to the devouring ele- 
ments, because they have been so foolish as to try 
them, but he will stretch .forth his soft but mighty 
hand, and receive them to himself^ so that all will 
finally " escape eafe to land" And so it i^ writ- 
ten, " Every knee shall bow and every tongue 
shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the 
glory of God the F^her/' " Then cometh the 
end, when ke shall have ddivered up the kingdom 
to God, even the Father, when he hath put down 
all rule, and all authority, and power ; for he must 
reign, till he hath put all en^nies under his feet." 
" And the Lord God shall swallow up death in 
victory, and wipe away tears from all faces." 

Such, my friends, is the hope of the Gospel. 
Do you not feel the need of its tidings and conso- 
lations, to cheer, and sustain you in the journey of 
human Ufe ? Do you aot want its chart, compass, 
and anchor, in your passage across the storm- 
swept ocean of existence ? Alas, there are some 
who seem indifferent in regard to this matter, and 
there are those who even say that " if this doc- 



HUMAN DESTINY. 231 

trine is true, there is no use in preaching it !" 
What ! no use in knowing the truth ? Why did 
Paul tell the truth to the despairing crew ? Ah ! 
it ma^e th^ free ! It made them of " good 
cheer/^ and availed to give them nourishment and 
comfort. And' is there no use in knowing the 
truth in relatidti to our final destiny ? — no use in 
being made cheerful and joyful by its divine as- 
surances ? I know the answer. Wliile driven 
and tossed by the winds and tempests of adversity^ 
I have lent an ear to its ''stjll small voice/' as it 
has whispered to my pained and burdened heart, 
and I know it has power to still, at least, the tem- 
pest within, :and to gi¥€t quietness, nourishment, 
and '' good cheer*' to the soul ; and I say with the^ 
poet, .' 

<* Should all the forms which men devise 
Assault my failfti with treacherous art, 
I'd call them vanities and lies, 
And bind the Gospel to my heart.** 



• • 



THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL. 

** These things h^ve I spoken unto you, that my joy might 
remain in yon, and that your joy might be fu]|." — John, xv. 11. 

When I turn to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, 
and lend an ear to its tones, I feel sure that I am 
listening to such music as never had its origin in 
this jarring, discordant world. The strains which 
I hear are so sweet and harmonious, so well 
adapted to the moral ^ar, and so soothing and 
tranquillizing in their influence, that I can ascribe 
their origin to nothing but that Hand which spread 
out the heavens, moulded our nature in the image 
of the Infinite, and gave our souls their capacities 
and wants. 

It is to me one of the strongest evidences of the 
divinity of the' religion of the Son of God/ that it 
does not aim to augment the fears, and multiply 
the sorrows, of mankind ; but that, on the con- 
trary, it speaks to them in words of peace and 
love ; and would hush all their fears to rest, by 
persuading them that He, whose ** kingdom ruleth 
over all," understands their condition and wants, 
and that He will forever he their Friend and 



THE JOT OF THE GOSPEL. 233 

Benefactor. I Ix&ve studied this religion in yain» 
if it brings any other than joyful tidings to the 
children of men, and if it has any other tendency 
than to give them reconciliation and t comfort. 
Be their condition and circumstances what they 
may, be they rich w poor, in prosperity or adver- 
sity, in the paths of virtue or in the ways of vice, 
it bears to them a cheerful message, and tells them 
that they all have a Friend and Father in heaven, 
who will much more take care of them than of the 
outward world, and who will never become their 
enemy and hater, even though they disregard his 
authority, and tread under feet his laws : he will 
still love them, and use the rod of his justice as 
an instrunlent of mercy, to correct, reform, and 
bless them, ** even as a father the son in whom he 
delighteth." It is not so, I think, with the reli 
gious systems which owe their origin to the wis- 
dom of men. They all go upon the idea that 
there is something wrong in God, or his govern- 
ment, that the Deity has become an enemy to his 
creatures on account of their sins ; or, at any rate, 
that there is great cause for fear and alarm, and 
that some bloody offering is to be made, or some 
disagreeable and irksome duty to be dischar^d, 
before the soul can be safe under the government 



234 THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL. 

of its Maker. So it was with the religious teach- 
ings of the Heathen in days of *old, and so it has 
been with every system of religion under heaven, 
save the Gospel of Christ. The burden of their 
communications has been, that the order of the 
universe has-been, broken, that the world is rest- 
ing under some infinite curse, and that God will 
send all to everlasting destruction, unless they do 
something to heal the breach in his government, 
or to obtain the smiles of his angry countenance'. 
In this way, false religion has engendered melan- 
choly and fear, and instead of relieving or abating 
the evils of life, and giving man such views of the 
divine character as to enable him to triumph over 
them, false religion has added the prospect of 
imaginary woes to his real miseries, and to the 
fact that his own conduct is wrong, it has con- 
nected the idea that there is something wrong in 
God ; thus making it impossible for him to have 
that confidence and joy which constitute the life 
of the soul. But the Gospel comes to man with 
better news. It tells him that there is no disor- 
der in the universe, except it be in his own con- 
duct, that God has made no mistakes in the ad- 
midstration of the world, and that- He will never 
leave nor forsake the creatures he has made ; and 



THE JOT OF THE GOSPEL. 235 

hence, it would cause them to trust in him ^ith 
all the heart, and to have peace and joy in the 
knowledge of trutlu 

Am I right, my friends ? Why did Jesus 
Christ t^ch and lahor ? Wby did he preach the 
great {)rinciples of the Gospel to the children of 
men ? What was the object ? ' We have the an- 
swer in our text. " These things have I spoken 
unto you that my joy might remain in you, and 
that your joy might be full,** What a beautiful 
commentary on his life and labors! His public 
ministry was now closed. For years, he had trav- 
eled through the vales and over the hills of Pales- 
tine, uttering things which had been kept secret 
from the foundation of the world ; and though he 
had preached repeatedly to great multitudes, and 
though he had been followed by a dozen Galilean 
fishermen, there was not yet a single being on earth, 
himself excepted, who fully understood the pur- 
pose* for which he had labored. That purpose he 
now states with great explicitness. '* I have spo* 
ken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and 
that your joy might be full" He had labored to 
impart his own joy to men, and to give their 
hearts a fullness of the same. And what was hie 
joy ? Not delight in sensual and worldly pleas- 
ures, nor in scenes of revelry and mirth, but cob- 



386 THB JOY OF THE 60BPBL. 

fidence in God and hope of good things to come. 
In this one respect, what a miracle was his tife ! 
He was environed with danger, difficulty, and 
even death in its bitterest form, but he always had 
a joy within him which the world did not give, 
and which it could not take away. When his en- 
emies persecuted him ; when his friends forsook 
him, and when he looked in vain to find a being 
on earth to sympathize with him, and comfort him 
in his trials and sufferings, there was sunshine and 
gladness in his soul. To God and the future he 
always turned with emotions of delight, confident 
that the «vils of the present were ordered in mer- 
cy, and that all things would work together for 
good. And this joy he wished to impart to his 
human brethren. He knew that they needed it. 
He beheld their condition. He saw them exposed 
to sickness, misfortune,poverty, suffering, and death, 
and he counted not his life dear unto himself, if 
he could impart to them his own riews of the di- 
vine government, and give them such a fullness of 
joy as to enable them to gain a complete triumph 
over the evils of the world. 

And did he labor in vain ? Look into the New 
Testament. " God said, Let there be light, and 
there was light." The introduction of the Gospel, 
so different was its message from the teachings of 



THB JOY pF THE 60SP£L. 287 

the world, — so glorious and joyful were its tidings, 
it was like tbe bursting forth of light upon the dark- 
ness* and turmoil of chaos, when " the earth was 
without form and void, aild darkness was upon the 
face of the deep." It was ushered in with the 
announcement, *' Behold, J bring you good tidings 
of great joy, which shall be unto all people.** And 
whenever and wherever it was preached, and by 
' whomsover it was received, it was attended with 
demonstrations of joy. In one of the parables, 
the joy which it yields to the true believer is rep- 
resented by the delight which a certain man had 
on finding a valuable treasure in a field*; so great 
was his joy, that he was ready to give all he had 
for the field. And so it was, in fact, with all who 
received the Gospel, as it came fresh and pure 
from the lips of its heaven-commissioned teachers. 
Will you mark the fact ? It is a thing of no small 
importance. It shows that the true Gospel is not 
after man. Ij; proves that the genuine religion of 
the New Testament is adapted to tbe condition 
and wants of human nature, and that it has power 
to wipe away the tears from the weeping eye of 
humanity, and carry comfort and consolation to the 
burdened heart of sorrow. The sacred historian 
ays, " The disciples were filled with joy." 
And when they went forth preaching, like their 
21 



288 THE JOT OF THE GOSPEL. 

Master they carried joy and gladness to all hearts 
who received iJieir message. They preached in 
Samaria, and we are told that " there was great 
JOY in that city** And in their preaching, they 
were frequently heard to say, " We declare unto 
you glad tidings," — " There is peace in believing, 
and joy in the Holy Spirit," — " Whatsoever things 
were writCen aforetime were written for our learn- 
ing, that we through patience and comfort of the 
Scriptures might have hope ;" an4 after preaching 
in this manner, they often^ pronounced upon the 
people this benediction, '* Now the God of hope 
fill you with all joy and peace in believing." 
And they were not using words without meaning. 
What was the testimony of those who heard and 
believed their preaching ? Were they filled with 
doubts and fears ? ' Did they look up to God with 
trembling, or upon the unseen future with dread 
and terror ? They have given the answer : will 
you hear it? " We who believe^ do enter into 
BEST." ** God hath called us out of darkness into 
his marvelous light." " We have peace from God 
.our Father/ and from the Lord Jesus Christ." 
" We rejoice in hope of the glory of God." " Be- 
lieving, we have joy unspeakable and full of 



GLORY." 



Here we learn something. Here is a fact which 



THE JOT OF THE GOSPEL, 239 

die Christian should hold in perpetual remem- 
brance. Jesus Christ spoke to the children of 
men, that he might impart his own joy to their 
hearts, and that their joy might be full, . And 
' this glorious purpose was accomplished in all who 
received it as it was preached by him and his disci- 
ples; they were delivered from all withering 
doubts and tormenting fears ; they had peace from 
God, and were filled with joy unspeakable and 
full of gjory* 

Now, why was this ? What was it which those 
who received the Gospel beheved, that gave them 
so much joy ? Let me ask. Was it the cold doc- 
trine of scepticism ? Did the Gospel bring them 
the tidings that there is no God, or that, if there 
is an Author to the existence of man «.nd oT na- 
ture, he is a mere abstract principle, a virtual non- 
entity, which takes no supervision of the affairs of 
the universe, no interest in the condition and wel- 
fare of mankind, and devises no means for th^ir 
moral and spiritual happiness ? And, consequent- 
ly, did the Gospel tell them that man is an abso- 
lute orphan in* creation, that he cameoAto existence 
without design, and without a purpose, that he 
lijires for no higher end than the stone over whioh 
he stumbles, and that when his body sinks in 



240 THE JOT OF THE GOSPEL. 

death, his spirit evaporates, and his being ends in 
eternal night ? I say, was this the doctrine of the 
Gospel which Jesus preached that he might fill 
men with joy, and which the disciples and all the 
early believers found "joy unspeakable" in re- 
ceiving to their hearts ? My hearers can answer 
the question. It is a question which they can un- 
derstand, which comes within the scope of their 
powers. Say, then, can the heart of humanity 
find joy in this doctrine ? Does, it do your souls 
good, — does it fill you with comfort and gladness, 
to think that this bright and beautiful creation is 
without a wise and kind Creator, that yourselves 
are children without a Father, and that all your 
high thoughts and pure aspirations are mere bub- 
bles on the waters of existence, and that they 
must perish in everlasting nothingness? I know 
that I need not press the question. Every think- 
ing, feeling mind answers^ in a loud voice, No. 
This doctrine has no food for the hungering soul 
of man. There is no nourishment in' it for the 
social affections and the moral sentiments. It has 
no higher tendency than to starve the soul, aiid 
diffuse the coldness of death over all its noble 
faculties. Most truly did an eloquent orator say 
of this doctrine, when it was the prevailing philos- 



THE JOT OF THE GOSPEL. 241 

ophy in France, "It spreads the funeral crape 
over nature, discourages oppressed innocence, and 
insults death." 

No ; the chilling, freezing doctrine of scepticism 
was not the faith which Jesus Christ hrought into 
the world, and which warmed and rejoiced th© 
hearts of the first believers in Christianity. Such 
a belief, so far from giving them cheerful views of 
the government of the universe, and' filling them 
with "joy unspeakable and full of glory," would 
have eclipsed all the beauty and glory of the uni- ^ 
verse to their minds, and filled them with sorrow 
and despair. What, then, was the doctrine which 
^ey received ? Let me ask again, Was it the 
doctrine which was the universal sentiment of the 
Christian world during the dark ages, and which 
is still quite common in the church,— the doctrine 
which teaches that God is an enemy to a part of 
his human family, and that he will shut them up 
in a great furnace, and there burn and torture them 
with " burning racks and fiery coals," as long as 
his own throne shall stand ? Do not say this is an 
improper question. The doctrine of which I 
speak is a very common one, and the question 
which I ask is one which you can easily answer. 
Does the idea that God hates a portion of his 
creatures, and that he will eternally pour upon 
21* 



242 THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL. 

them the besom of his wrath, give peace and joy 
to the heart ? Does it fill the soul with "joy un- 
speakable and full of glory/' to think even that 
we shall be the favored ones, — that we shall 
finally enter the high and holy habitation of heav- 
en, but that we shall be obliged to look down into 
a great flaming furnace, and behold a part of our 
race, perhaps our own children and friends, rolling 
and writhing amidst the flames, and to know that 
they can never, never be relieved ? I can imagine 
hearts so steeped in selfishness, and so hardened 
in cruelty, as to prefer this doctrine to every other, 
and to find in it fullness of joy. It was no doubt 
a joyful thought with the ancient Pharisees, that 
God hated the Gentiles, and it is written of Nero 
that it would have been his greatest pleasure to 
have had all the people of Rome made into one 
man, and then to ' have cut his head off with his 
own hands ; and to such monsters of pride and 
cruelty, this doctrine of divine partiality and end- 
less misery would be the very perfection of re- 
ligion. They could have no greater joy, than to 
know that their enemies are the outcasts of God, 
and to gaze upon their endless agonies ; and they 
would shout, " Glory, glory to God in the high- 
est," when they heard their wailings and groans. 
But I cannot conceive th^t the human heart in its 



THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL. 243 

natural state, much less the heart of the true 
Christian, can derive joy from such a faith and 
such prospects. 

. Who can^ fulfill the Gospel rule, "Love thy 
neighbor as thyself," and be filled with joy at the 
thought that his neighbor is under the curse of 
God ; and who can lay any claim to humanity, to 
say nothing of Christianity, who talks of expe- 
riencing delight in the ceaseless torture of a part 
of his race, even though they are his enemies ? I 
have known many nominal believers in this doc- 
trine, but I must say that I have known but a 
very, few real believers in it. The heart which 
God has given them it too good for it. They 
read it, perhaps, every day in the creed, and a blaz- 
ing hell is kept constantly before them in the 
preaching to which they listen, but human nature 
is generally too strong for the creed and tb,e 
preacher, and they persuade themselves that they 
and their friends will escape. But when the creed 
and the preacher prove too mighty for the plead- 
ings of the heart, and the mind adopts the senti- 
ment as a living truth, what is the effect ? Ah ! 
peace and joy forsake the breast ; hope, the only 
comfort of the miserable, expires within then», 
and the soul sinks into despair, often into insanity. 
Mark it where you will, the advocates of this doc- 



244 THB JOY OF THE GOBPEL. 

trine are joyful and happy just in proportion 
as they disbelieve it, that is, just in proportion as 
they succeed in throwing off the idea that the doc- 
trine is true ; and they are filled with sorrow and 
misery just in proportion as they believe it. Can 
this be the Gospel, then ? Can this be any part 
of that faith which rejoiced the hearts of the 
early Christians ? Nay, nay, not a particle of it. 
And do you not see why ? Belief in the G-ospel 
gave joy, but belief in this doctrine gives sorrow. 
The early Christians said, ** Bblievino, we have 
Joy unapeAkable and full of glory ;" but if they 
had been believers in the doctrine of endless mis- 
ery, they wotdd have said, as its modern believ- 
ers say, at least in their hearts, ''Believing, we 
have sorrow unspeakable and full of despair.'' 
This is certainly the sentiment of all wh* have 
made a hearty trial of the doctrine, and the con- 
clusion ought to be that they are not true Gospel 
believers. I will give you a^ illustration. I know 
of a mother who was lately called to bury a son. 
She had been educated in the doctrine which 
teaches that this world is a state of probation, and 
that all who do not experience' a miraculous con- 
i^rsion in this state must suffer never-ending tor- 
ments in the one to come. The son died without 
giving satisfactory evidence that he had expe? 



THE JOY OF THE GOSPEXi. 245 

rienced such a change, and tl>^ good woman was 
almost distracted. She awfully feared that there 
was no safety for her son, and she more than half 
imagined that he had fallen under the endless 
curse of his Maker. ' Her faitk gave her no recon- 
ciliation, no joy, and as she gave utterance to her 
sorrow, she was heard to say, "I cannot be a 
Christian, because I am not reconciled.'' In all 
sincerity ^nd charity, we believe that the woman 
was more than half right. She had a good heart ; 
she loved her son, and she could not bear the 
thought that he would be banished from her for- 
ever ; but she was wanting in the faith of the 
true Christian. Had she bfeen a believer in gen- 
uine Christianity, in the Gospel in its fullness, as 
preached by Jesus Christ, and as believed and re- 
joiced in by all the first Christians, she would 
have given up her dying son to his Father in heav- 
en without a murmur or a fear, and bowed with 
resignation to the word which called him away in 
the brightness and beauty of youth. 

We therefore come to the conclusion, that Je- 
sus Christ taught neither the cold doctrine of 
scepticism, which teaches that there is not a God 
who loves and will take care of his creatures, nor the 
more common doctrine which teaches that God 
loves but a part of his creatures, and that 'he will 



\ 



246; TBB JOT OF THE GOSPEL. 

foreyer burn tbe rest of them in tbe fires of a 
qneDcbless hell ; and we have come to this con- 
clusion from the fact, that the things which Jesus 
spake filled men with joy, whOe these doctrines 
have no other influence than to fill the mind with 
gloom and sorrow. And we bare positive proof 
6[ the correctness of this conclusion in the teach- 
ings of Christ I will give you his words. " Take 
heed, and bewate of the doctrine of the Sadducees 
and of the Pharisees,^* The doctrine of the Sad- 
ducees was a system of speculative scepticism, 
which contended that God took no interest in- the 
human race, and that their existence would end in 
the grave ; and Christ warned men agsunst it, be- 
cause it would have a chilling influence on their 
hearts, and leave them without God> and without 
. hope in the world. The doctrine of the Pharisees 
was a partial system of religion, which taught that 
God loved none but a favored few, and that he 
would inflict endless torments upon a large portion 
of his creatures ; and he warned men against it, 
because he knew that it had a tendency to shut 
the mind up, even in a worse state of darkness 
and sorrow than the gloomy doctrine of the Sad- 
duoees. 

" Thesif things have I spoke^ unto youj that my 
joy mighf remain in you, and that your joy might 



THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL. 247 

I (fuli:' What things ? That is, what views of 
the divine character and human destiny did Jesus 
give, which could fill mankind with joy? We 
will give you a brief answer, and ask you to search 
the Scriptures, to see if we do not t^ll the truth. 
1. He taught that God is the equal Friend and 
Father of all his intellectual and -moral offspHng, 
that he loves them with pure and undying affec- 
tion, and that he will much more take care of 
them than he will of tho outward creation. Will 
you hear Jesus speak"? ** Your Father seeth in 
secret." *' He knoweth what ye have need of 
before ye ask him." " He maketh his sun to rise 
on the evil and the good, ' and sendeth rain upon 
the just and the unjust." " He loveth the world." 
'* He is kind to the unthankful and the evil." " Be- 
hold the fowls of the air ; for they sow not, nei- 
ther do they reap, nor gather into barns ; yet your 
heavenly Father feedeth tbem. Are ye not much 
better than they ? Consider the lilies of the field ; 
how they- grow ; they toil not, neither do they 
6pin ; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomoa, 
in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. 
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass which is to- ' 
day in the field, and is to-morrow cast ^into ^he^ 
oven, shall he not much more clothe you, Q ye of 
little faith ?" "Are not two sparrows sold for a 




248 x£tE JOY jor 79£ gospel. 

farthing ? and one of them shall not fall on Che 
ground without your Father. But the very hairs 
of your head are' all numbered. Fear ye not, 
therefore, ye are of more value than many spar- 
rows."' What exalted and exalting conceptions of 
' the character of our Maker ! How well calculated 
to give mankind confidence in the care and- love 
of their Creator, and to inspire their souls with 
jpy in every scene and trial of life ! 

2. He taught that a glorious immortality is in 
reserve for man, in which he will be delivered 
from the imperfections and sorrows incident to 
flesh and blood, and be made equal to the angels 
in heaven. Hear him again. ** I came down from 
heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of 
him that sent me ; and this is the will of him 
that sent me, that of kll he hath given me," 
(** and he hath given me power over all flesh,") 
'' I should lose nothing, but raise it up at the last 
day." " And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, 
will draw all men unto me." *' Other sheep I 
have which are not of this fold ; them I n^ust bring, 
and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be 
one fold and one shepherd." " In the resurrection 
they shall neither marry, nor be given in marriage, 
but they shall be equal unto the angels in heaven ; 
neither can they die any more, for they are the 



THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL. 249 

children of God, being the childlw^ qf^^^ resur- 
rection," Wh^- cheerful and soul- comforting 
views of humtin destiny ! No !wotider that the 
first believers of the Q-ospel were filled with joy 
unspeakable by their faith, and ^^e able te «ay, 
even in affliction and death, " We joy in-'tjod 
through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have 
received reconciliation/' . , 

Such are the things which Jesus spake, that his 
joy might remain in men, and that their joy might 
be full ; and what a Uessfng have these^ divine 
sentiments been to the world \ How much cheerftfl- 
ness have they shed over human life, and how many 
hearts have they soot)ied and comforted, when 
they have been pained jby the weight of adversity 
or by the inroads of death ! Ah ! we think but 
little of the value of their influence on thexondi- 
tion and happiness of our race ; aye, very little 
indeed, till we have been made to suffer the trials 
and evils which lie in the path oi mortals. The value 
of the cheerful vieW which the Gospel imparts has 
been seen by the celebrated Dickens, and be has ex- 
pressed it in the following sentence : — "If Y have 
put into my writings anything which can fill the 
young mind with better thoughts of death, or 
soften the grief of older hearts ; if I have written 
one word which can aibrd pleasure or consola- 
22 



850 THE JOY OF TH£ GOSPEL. 

tion to old or ..young in time of trial, I shall con- 
sider it something achieved — something which I 
shall be glad to look upon in after life." This is 
the language of benevolebce, and thousands. have 
been madtf to shed tears of joy to think that there 
is a writer of fiction whobreathes sp much cheerful- 
ness through bis writings^ as to soothe the fears 
and mitigate the sorrows of some of his race. But 
what has Dickens said, or what can he say, which 
has or can have half the power to give our race, 
cheerful and joyful vieW« of God and the future, 
as the things whidh were ^oken by Jesus Christ ? 
And yet, there are many in the world who seem to 
be unconscious that the Gdbpel has been, or can be, 
of any service to mankind, and who would even 
have us believe that it is a cheat and a curse ; and 
there are others who say that, if the Gospel is 
good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all 
people, there is no need of preaching it ! 0, when 
will mankind learn the true sources of happiness , 
and act as if they were the friends of their race ! 
" These things have I spoken unto you, that 
• my joy might remain in you, and that your joy 
might be full." 



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