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garded, and a conviction of its utter inability to make its legislation anything more than a dead letter, kept it from the folly of assuming a power which no one would submit to. The State Conventious, each independent of the other, paid no respect to each other's official acts, and hence, especially in the matter of discipline, confusion followed, and the denomination at large greatly suffered from its inability to rid itself of unworthy ministers, who, if disciplined and disfellowshipped in one State, sought and in most cases obtained good standing in another State.

The first attempt of the Convention to give advice on this subject was at the session in 1838 when it adopted the following: "Resolved, That the Council of the United States Convention respectfully advise the several State Conventions in its fellowship, to respect the official acts of discipline of each sister State Convention." 39 In 1839 the following was adopted:

"Resolved, That it be respectfully recommended to the State Conventions and Associations having power to grant Fellowship and confer Ordination, to consider the propriety of adopting such a system of government as shall allow no Preacher to receive Ordination till he has been in fellowship at least one year, except at the request of a Society over which he may have been invited to settle, and that in case of such request, such application be considered and acted upon by an Ordaining Council assembled for that purpose.

"Whereas many individuals having Letters of Fellowship as Universalist preachers, have neglected all the duties belonging to the ministry- and whereas others, being avowed preachers, have brought reproach on the cause, by improper conduct, and this reproach has been the greater and continued longer, because their cases have not been attended to by the denomination, Therefore,

"Resolved, That this Convention earnestly recommend to all the State Conventions and to all the Associations in America, that if they have not a proper discipline which will reach such cases, they form such discipline and apply it to the evil afore mentioned; and if any of them already have such discipline, that they put it into operation, and suffer no wicked conduct in any of their ministers to pass unnoticed and without correction." 40

89 Ibid, p. 443.

40 Ibid, p. 454.

In 1841, a letter - not preserved was received and read, from the Miami (Ohio) Association; whereupon Rev. S. R. Smith presented the following, which was adopted:

"Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed to draft a Constitution and Plan of Church Compact and course of Discipline, for Societies, Associations and Conventions in fellowship of this body, in conformity to the suggestions of the Miami Association of Universalists in Ohio, and to report at the next annual session of this body.

"Rev. S. R. Smith and Rev. T. J. Sawyer, of New York, Rev. T. J. Greenwood, of Massachusetts, Rev. A. Moore, of Pennsylvania, and Rev. E. M. Pingree, of Ohio, were appointed said committee.

"Resolved, That each State Convention, through its Standing Clerk, be requested to ascertain and report to the Chairman of the above named committee, its approval or otherwise of the foregoing resolution." 41

How many State Conventions signified their "approval or otherwise," the writer is not able to say. The only ones, so far as the published minutes to which access has been had show, that took any notice whatever of the request, were Connecticut, New York and Ohio. These voted approval.

At the session in 1842, the Committee made a Reportwhich is not recorded concerning the character of which, not a hint is given in the Records. It was voted to accept and publish their report, and that "the committee be continued for another year, with instructions to draw up a Plan of Organization and Discipline, and publish the same as early as practicable, in our religious periodicals, and to make report of their doings at the next session of this body." 42 The "Circular Letter," written by Rev. L. C. Browne, said:

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"The resolution touching a formation of a Plan of Organization and Discipline is of great moment. A denomination like

41 Ibid, p. 472.

42 Ibid, p. 430. Diligent search of our Periodicals fails to discover the Report made in 1842. Rev. Dr. Sawyer, the only surviving member of the Committee, says that nothing had been done, and that the Committee could not have reported progress. He also says that the Convention of that year changed the composition of the Committee and reduced its numbers, so that it consisted of Revs. S. R. Smith, T. J. Sawyer, of New York, and Hosea Ballou 2nd, of Massachusetts.

ours, embracing twelve State Conventions, fifty-nine Associations, and from five to six hundred preachers, without any uniform or written code of discipline, presents an anomaly in the religious world. The resolution of the Convention is before you; and the report of one of the Committee appointed at the last session to attend to this matter, will soon follow.43 And it is to be desired that all the State Conventions will give their countenance to the execution of some measure on the subject." 44

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At the session in 1843, held at Akron, Ohio, Rev. T. J. Sawyer, the only member of the Committee present, reported that nothing had been done, the members of the committee being too far distant from each other to make it convenient to hold a meeting. Whereupon the Convention

"Voted, That Bro. T. J. Sawyer be a committee to draft a Plan of Organization for the Universalist Denomination, and to report at the next session of the Convention."4


Christianity, as Science and as Life.

Ir is not altogether uncommon to meet with dissertations, sometimes long and sometimes bitter, upon doctrines long held in the world before Christ came into it, and upon man's propensity to warfare and to the shedding of blood, which also is somewhat earlier than Christ, in which the unhappy author seems to think he is speaking of Christianity. In the present paper the design is to speak of Christianity,- that is of the system of life and doctrine which Christ exemplifies and teaches.

Christianity is at once a doctrine and a life. As a doctrine it covers common ground with science, and cither itself is

48 Probably Rev. T. J. Greenwood, who was the only member of the Committee present at the session of 1842.

44 Convention Records, Vol. I., pp. 485, 487.

45 Ibid, p. 502.

science, or is in conflict with it, according as it is or is not true. As a life it is not science, but furnishes material for science. We shall speak of it first as a doctrine, secondly as

a life.

We speak advisedly when we say that Christianity as a doctrine either itself is science, or is in conflict with it. No sober system involving intellectual conceptions can escape the test of science. Christianity seeks no escape. On the contrary it not only professes to concern itself with truth which is for man, whereby it becomes amenable to the test, but itself deliberately invites, and from itself designedly necessitates, the scientific test. The necessity that his teachings should be taken up in the understanding Christ emphasizes, and emphasizes repeatedly. He testifies that he came to "bear witness to the truth." To witness the truth implies minds capable of receiving the witness. He testifies that he "speaks that he does know and testifies that he has seen," and adds, "All things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." He says again to his disciples "If ye continue in my word ye shall know the truth," and "when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth." When he had spoken many parables unto them he asks "Have ye understood all these things?"-and continuing says, "Therefore every scribe" that is every student, every intellectual man -"which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like untò a man that is a householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old." Often from his lips falls the half reproach, the half lament, "That seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand"; nor less often falls the strong injunction "He that hath ears to hear let him hear." Thus Christianity professedly dealing with truth, and appealing to the faculties of man to apprehend the truth, distinctly announces itself as a science, and with equal distinctness necessitates its scientific treatment. The Christian doctrine however bears different phases according as it concerns the miraculous in the past, the events of the future, or the facts of the present.

The teaching of Christ that God makes the sun shine, sends the rain, feeds the ravens, and clothes the lilies, and that as for man it is his constant duty to do God's will, this teaching involves the absolute dependence of the order of nature. upon God, and its spirit perhaps is to make natural law one continuous miracle in the sense that it is the expression of the immediate exertion of the Divine power, and thus to make little or no difference between the continued and the original creative act. But at the present time by the miraculous in the past reference is made particularly to those alleged occurrences in the life of Christ unlike any which are generally admitted to take place to-day,— such as the birth, the descending dove, the voice from heaven, the fast of forty days and forty nights, the blind made to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk, the lepers cleansed, the sick healed, the dead raised, the multitudes fed, the walking upon the water, the resurrection, the appearing to his disciples, the ascension. The actual occurrence of these would be scientifically determined by the historical testimony could we make sure that no error has entered into the history. This, especially in history reaching back to a time when there was no class of learned men especially set apart to foster scientific accuracy, cannot be so effectually done but that the majority of minds will test the credibility of the history by the credibility of the thing that it records. Upon the laws of historical evidence the evidence is ample to establish the miracles, provided they are not deemed incredible in themselves.

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If however they be deemed incredible, a comparison is instituted between their incredibility and the evidence, and to the investigator the miracle will stand or fall as he deems it more rațional to accept the miracle or to reject the evidence. Now what the investigator will antecedently think about the credibility of the miracles, or of unusual occurrences, depends upon his beliefs in other things. If on the ground of fate or of unchanging law he feels justified in saying unqualifiedly that nothing has taken place in the past out of the ordinary range of events, he logically precludes the possibility of mira

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