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or version now extant. On the other hand, their silence with respect to some disputed texts is a demonstration that such texts were not in their copies. That 1 Tim. iii. 16, "God manifest in the flesh," and 1 John v. 7, There are three that bear record in heaven," &c. were never cited by any ecclesiastical writer before the fifth or the sixth century, notwithstanding the vehemence with which the Arian controversy was conducted, is a full proof that these texts were not to be found in any manuscripts then existing, and therefore that they are certainly spurious.
The works of those writers who are called heretics, such as Valentinian, Marcion, and others, are as useful in ascertaining the value of a reading as those of the fathers who are entitled orthodox: for the heretics were often more learned and acute, and equally honest. Citations from scripture even in the works of the ancient enemies of christianity, such as Celsus and Porphyry, also have their use. They show what was the commen reading in their time.*
4. Attempts have been made to correct the Received Text by Critical Conjecture.
This is a remedy which ought never to be applied but with the utmost caution; especially as we are furnished with so many helps for correcting the text from manuscripts, versions, and ecclesiastical writers. This caution is doubly necessary where the proposed emendation affects a text which is of great importance in theological controversy; as the judgement of the critic will naturally be biassed in favor of his own opinions. It ought perhaps to be laid down as a general rule, that the Received Text is in no case to be altered by criti cal, or at least by theological conjecture, how ingenious and plausible soever.
Nevertheless, there is no reason why critical conjec * Michaelis, ibid. ch. ix.
ture should be entirely excluded from the New Testament, any more than from the works of any other ancient author; and some very plausible conjectures, of no inconsiderable importance, have been suggested by men of great learning and sagacity, which, to say the least, merit very attentive consideration. See particularly John i. 1; vi. 4; and Romans ix. 5.*
From the Universalist Magazine.
MINUTES OF THE SOUTHERN ASSOCIATION.
The Southern Association of Universalists, commenced at the house of Br. R. Kilham, in Attleborough, Mass. on Tues day evening, June 8, 1824. Prayer by Br. Sebastian Streeter. Chose Br. Sebastian Streeter, Moder. pro lem,
Chose Brs. Thomas Whittemore, Joshua Flagg, and Hosea Ballou, 2d, a Committee to receive requests for Letters of Fellowship and Ordination.
Adjourned to Wednesday morning, 8 o'clock, to meet at the house of Br. Newell.
Met according to adjournment. Prayer by Br. T. Whitte
Voted to appoint a standing Secretary, whose duty it shall be to procure a book, and to insert therein the Minutes of the former proceedings of this body, and to keep a correct record of its future proceedings. Chose Br. H. Ballou, 2d, Secretary.
Resolved, that this Association appoint a Committee of three, whose duty it shall be, to attend to the settlement of any complaints which may exist between brethren belonging to this body, that no such complaints come before it hereafter; and that it shall be the duty of complainants, to bring all complaints before said Committee, unless the parties can better accommodate themselves, by a mutual council of their own appointing. Chose Br. Sebastian Streeter, Joshua Flagg, and David Pickering, to form said Committee.
The committee on Letters of Fellowship and Ordination, reported in favor of granting letters of fellowship to Bre Stephen Cutler, Wm. Bell, Henry, Belding, and Jason R. Fuller. Accepted their report.
Adjourned till Thursday morning, 8 o'clock. Met accord ing to adjournment. Prayer by Br. Elias Smith.
* Marsh's Michaelis, ibid. ch. xi
Br. Jacob Wood gave his assent to the article signed by Brs. Turner, Streeter, and Hudson, at the session of this Association, in December last. Br. Paul Dean also assented to the same article, and agreeably to his request, was voted into fellowship.
Voted, that henceforth there shall be but one session of this body in each year; to be held on the first Wednesday and Thursday in June annually.
Adjourned to meet again at South Wilbraham, Mass. on the first Wednesday in June, 1825.
Br. Thomas Jones closed the session by prayer.
Order of public Religious Services.
1st Service. Introductory prayer, Br. J. Flagg. Sermon.-Br. J. Frieze, Ps. cxxxiii. 1. "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Concluding prayer-Br. T. G. Farnsworth.
2d Ser. Introductory prayer-Br. Adin Ballou.
Sermon-H. Ballou, 2d. Rev. xxii. 1. "And he shewed me a pure river of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb."
Concluding prayer-Br. S. Cutler.
3d Ser. Introductory prayer-Br. T. Jones.
Sermon-Br. T. Whittemore. Ps. lxii. 12. "Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy for thou renderest to every man according to his work."
Concluding prayer-Br. S. Streeter.
1st Ser. Introductory prayer-Br. D. Pickering. Sermon-Br. S. Streeter. Ps. lxxxix. 2. "For I have said, Mercy shall be built up forever."
Concluding prayer-Br. Benjamin Whittemore.
Sermon--Br. T. Jones. Eph. i. 9, 10. "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him."
Concluding prayer-Br. E. Smith.
3d Ser. Introductory prayer-Br. Paul Dean. Sermon-Br. H. Ballou. Gen. xviii. 14. "Is any thing too hard for the Lord?"
Concluding prayer-Br. Jacob Wood.
JACOB FRIEZE, Clerk.
The following is the copy of a letter to Dea. David Heath, of Warner, N. H. As the book mentioned is an evident attempt to degrade the Universalists, and as the deacon could have no apparent good motive in presenting it to Br. Bartlett, it was thought best to offer this, his answer, to the public.
Hartland, May 10, 1824..
Your letter of the 4th instant came safe to me, and also the "sermon preached and published by a doctor of the sect accompanying it." That a man of your professed candor and standing in the church of Christ should send me such a book, did very much surprise me. However, I have learned that many of the Calvinists, (I do not say all of them,) descend to such mean, low scurrility, thinking thereby to support their own sinking system. I shall not attempt to prove to you the absurdity of the little book which you sent, only remark, that I view it a bungling burlesque against divine truth, proving the wickedness of the heart and hand which wrote it. And if this be my opinion of the writer and publisher of this sermon, what must I think of him, (a deacon too) who shall palm such paltry trash on society, making honest men pay the postage? If, sir, you had sent me some honest, candid argument against universal salvation, I would have been much obliged to you; but in sending this, I think that every candid christian, of all denominations, must say that you deny yourself the character of a christian, and gentleman. However I freely forgive you, and hope the Lord may. But what is still more ungenerous and unchristianlike in your conduct towards me, is the charge you make against the doctrine which I have preached in Warner, asserting that it bears a strict resemblance (as "you understand it") to the sentiments of this sermon. Your words are these, "as this short sermon has fell into my hands, I thought proper to send it to you, as it perfectly agrees, as I understand it, with what I have heard from you; that you may see your doctrine without a mask." Dear
sir, what made you write thus hard against me? Did
I remain your friend,
For the Repository.
Having seen Mr. "Balfour's Inquiry" highly recommended in several periodical publications, I was induced to give the work a critical perusal. Altho it evinces a good degree of biblical knowledge, and is written in a candid manner, still I regard the reasoning as extremely defective. The design of the work is to ascertain the scriptural import of the words Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, and Gehenna, all translated Hell in the common version. The avowed object of the treatise is, to sap the foundation of endless misery, but the arguments made use of weigh equally against all misery in a fu ture state, whether temporary or endless. Mr. B.'s views, therefore, introduce all men into heaven at death, tho they expire in the very act of murder. I have mentioned this, that the reader may not be deceived on this point. For in the "Inquiry," there appears to be a studied silence on that point, altho the arguments are levelled at the root of future, as well as endless punishment.
Mr. B. in his introduction gives us to understand, that all the principal advocates for Universal Salvation, whose works are before the public, have been ignorant of their subject, and have only been beating the air; for they proceeded on the ground that there was a punish