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that have generally, grown out of what many have considered reformations; such difficulties as make every sincere follower of Jesus Christ, weep. In proof of this assertion look at the Circuit on which you now are ;* ask those that now belong to the Methodist Society, and have for years, what they have to boast of, in all their reformations. They may perhaps tell you, that they have some lasting monuments of it left behind, composed of hate, dissembling and discord; and one might with a degree of propriety suppose, (if he judged by their actions) that the people were Ishmaelites; for their hands are against every man, and every man's hand is against them; and they most certainly fulfil the following scripture, literally, which saith, “the father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against her daughterin-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”! This is too generally the picture presented us after what is · commonly called a reformation. You likewise observed that the doctrine was not true, for the Psalmist said, “ that the wicked should be turned into hell, with all the nations that forget God.” Now, sir, if you will have the goodness to examine and see whom the Psalmist considered wickedalso, into what hell they were to be turned, you will find the passage very far from disproving Universalism. He expressly says, all are wicked, and that he was delivered from the lowest hell. If he was so delivered, can you say, the blood of Christ shall not cleanse from all sin? I think you cannot prove that the belief that “God is good to all, and his tender mercies over all his works,” will make any of its professors worse than they were previous to believing it. It is an established principle among Methodists, and all other Christians, “ that love begets love;" and if it is correct, the more love we discover in God, the more we love him; which is in unison with the words of Jesus Christ, that who had much forgiven, loved much; and the Scriptures inform us that “God is love." "And he that dwelleth in God dwelleth in love." But are we not deficient in that? do we always “reprove with all long-suffering," and search carefully for the beam that is in our own eye,
before we attempt to pluck a mote from the eye of our brother? And now, dear sir, I suggest for your consideration, whether Jesus requires of his followers to forgive, and even pray for their enemies? If so, will he wreak vengeance on his, to all eternity ? He requires us to be like him: but in this case, we should be quite different. Are we not required, as preachers of the gospel of Christ, to preach him, and him only? “to know nothing save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Reflect for a moment, that we are the professed ambassadors of Jesus, and it is our business to persuade men to be reconciled to God. Then, sir, do not condemn others for believing that for which you pray daily; nor think that the Universalists “are sinners above all that dwell in" the Methodist Church.
I am yours in the bonds of the gospel. Rev. Mr. Shaw.
ASA BARTON. Paris, Feb. 4, 1822.
DOCTOR PAYSON AND MR. STREETER. 6 Woe unto you * * * for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men ;-neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."
SAVIOUR. “Stand by thyself, come not near to ME ; for I am holier than thou.”
HYPOCRITES. “These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.”
JEHOVAH. “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith
THE LORD. At a public meeting, for the avowed purpose of uniting Christians of all denominations, called the “Union Prayermeeting,", the writer went to a pew, in which he had previously been requested to take a seat, whenever he came to Dr. Payson's meeting, and as he was opening the door, 2. man from within suddenly reached forth his hand, and closed it, and, in a low voice, forbid his entering. On observing more closely he was found to be the Rev. Dr. Payson.' Seeing there were but two in the pew, the writer thought he must have made a mistake; and after looking a minute, asked the Dr. if that was Mr. K's: pew ; meaning, as every one must know, the pew which he occupied. Dr. Payson said, it was not. But it was the pew of which Mr.
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and ws: The meetinder, that was n he next pew.is
K. hired a part, of the Doctor. By the invitation of one of Dr. Payson's church I took a seat in the next pew, in which sat a Methodist preacher, that was not too holy to sit with sinners. The meeting was very solemn and interesting, and was doubtless profitable, to all who were exercised by a right spirit. After the services were through, the Doctor voluntarily offered the following apology for his conduct, which gave rise to the conversation, of which the subjoined, is the substance. It was conceived most proper to put it down in the form of a dialogue, between Dr. Payson and Mr. Streeter.
Dr. Payson.—Ms. Streeter, I wish to explain to you my motives, in refusing you a seat in this pew. It is not because I have any thing against you as a man, but would wish to show you the same civility that I would any other person. But I must tell you in the fear of God, that I think you are deceived, and are leading others to eternal ruin; and that your hands are stained with the blood of immortal souls. I tell you this, Mr. Streeter, in the most serious and friendly manner, and not because I have any epmity towards
Mr. Streeter. I thank you, sir, for your frankness, and will not question your sincerity ; but I am unable to see how you can justify yourself for shutting the pew-door against me, for no better reason than because you think I am deceived. Why should that prevent your treating me with the civility you would another man? It would not injure you, for me to take a seat, as usual. It is a privilege which every decent person has a right to expect.
Dr. P.-You must know, sir, that I could not feel right to have a man at my elbow, which I knew would not join in the prayers of this meeting, but is directly opposed to them, and disposed to take every possible advantage of whatever is offered in prayer or exhortation.
Mr. S.-Dr. Payson, I wish to know who made you a judge of my disposition, and by what authority you say, I am directly opposed to your prayers. I am sorry to be under the necessity of contradicting you in this house of God; (pardon me for it, sir ;) but I must do it, for I have joined in every prayer which has been offered in this meeting, as far as I understood it; and, God being my witness, I
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have enjoyed myself extremely well, in devotional exercises. Now, sir, either your assertion or mine is true; and I am willing to meet you in the presence of our Judge and hear his decision concerning it.
Dr. P.-But how can we believe you sincere when you say you join with us in our prayers, when we know you labor to the utmost of your abilities to oppose every thing for which we pray ?
Mr. S.-Dr. Payson, a moment's reflection will convince you of your mistake. You pray for the conviction, conversion and salvation of sinners; and are you authorized to say that I oppose you, and pray they may not be saved ? No, sir; did you pray exactly opposite to what you now do, I should oppose you. You all pray for the very thing, which I believe the Saviour came to perform · Dr. P.-But how can you pray for a reformation, when you preach against it, and lead your hearers to believe that men can be saved in their wickedness; and that a change of heart is unnecessary ?
Mr. S.-Sir, I should be glad to know how you learned that I preach as you have asserted.
Dr. P.-Why, Mr. Streeter, all your hearers so understand you, and build their hopes of happiness on that false and ruinous delusion.
Mr. S.-When a man makes such statements, Dr. Payson, he ought to be able to support them. Your assertion is destitute of proof, and all my hearers will tell you so. None of them understand me to teach that men can be saved in their wickedness ; and lest some, who occasionally come in, should misunderstand me, I frequently assert the contrary, and that I will not hold myself accountable for those who pervert the truth. Now, sir, I solemnly demand of you the evidence, that your assertions are true, instead of mine.
Some of the Doctor's friends said that every body understood that I preached as he stated; but acknowledged that they did not know of any one who had ever heard me preach those things.]
Dr. P.-But you assert, unqualifiedly and frequently, that all men will be saved, do as they will; and how can your hearers draw any other conclusion, than that the
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wicked are as safe as the righteous ? Can you deny that you make these assertions in your preaching ? · Mr. S.-Yes, sir, I can, and do, deny it; and furthermore tell you, that you cannot bring the man of good character that will say, he ever heard me make such assertions, either in this town or any other.
Dr. P.-Then you are very much misrepresented; for I am told you frequently do.
Mr. S.--No doubt of that, sir.
Dr. P.-Well, I hope you will not consider me your enemy, or in the least unfriendly to you, as a man; but as I said before, I believe you are deceived, and your hands are stained with the blood of precious immortal souls, and that you will find it so at last. I really consider you as being in the most dangerous situation of any man in this town. I will quote you a passage from the old Testament, which I think describes your situation.—“Because with lies you lave made the hearts of the righteous sad, whom God has not made sad ; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life:” I tell you plainly, sir, that you are making the hearts of the righteous sad, and I warn you of the final ruin to which you are exposing yourself and others. As a friend to your welfare, I pray you to renounce your doctrine and prepare yourself for the destinies of eternity.
Mr. S.--You will permit me to tell you, Dr. Payson, that you no more believe that we can alter the destinies of eternity, than I do; but that our final destination was unalterably fixed, in the divine purpose, before either of us existed. I am as willing to meet you in eternity, as in this world; and when we meet there, it will be a proper time to attend to the affairs which concern that state. Let us do every thing in its proper season, and, in the first place, do what belongs to time. You see how you have been misinformed concerning my sentiments, and you now have a fair opportunity to inform yourself. I should rejoice to meet you at any time and place you may please to anpoint, either in public or private, and converse with you upon doctrinal points. As I want nothing but truth, I am willing to be examined by you, or any other minister in this town, and if you convince me of error, I will gladly renounce it. But I do not consider