Imágenes de páginas


Universalism of the Lord's Prayer.


This work bears a new title and one claiming the attention of the Christian public. It asserts THE UNIVERSALISM of the Lord's Prayer; that this Petition taught by Christ to his followers, and now accepted as his teaching in all Christian churches, affirms emphatically the great truths of the Divine Fatherhood, the Brotherhood of the human race, the reign of holiness over sin, and the final reconciliation of all souls to God the Father through Christ the Son. The practical teachings of the Prayer are recognized as of the highest spiritual interest to all who seek acquaintance withi them.

If the claim of this volume is just, what of the other teachings of Christ and Christianity? This is a question which it will be continually suggesting, whenever and wherever the book is consulted. It is a candid appeal to all inquirers after Christian truth. It is the earnest desire of the author that it may be read and kept in circulation as a Christian missionary message "to all the churches, and to all mankind.'

The price brings it within reach of the largest number of readers. It is a Book FOR THE PEOPLE.

12mo., 132 pages. Finely bound In cloth. Sold at the very low price of 50 cents per copy, postage paid. Orders solicited.








Universalist Conventions and Creeds.



HAVING in previous papers sketched the history of Universalist Opinions as embodied in various Creeds, and shown what were the circumstances under which "The Profession of Belief" was adopted in 1803, I shall now attempt to set forth the Polity of the Universalist Church as manifest in the changes in the Organic Law of the Convention, and its legislation from time to time on the questions of Fellowship, Ordination and Discipline.


The Convention known as the "Philadelphia Convention," -organized in 1790, and continuing its existence till 1809 - although created, among other things, for the purpose of establishing "One Method of Ordaining Suitable Persons to the Ministry," delegated the whole subject of Fellowship, Ordination and Discipline, to the respective Churches, each being at liberty to adopt its own plan.2 The Convention which held its first session at Oxford, Massachusetts, in 1793- our present General Convention has left no record of any action

1 See QUARTERLY for January, 1875, p. 8. NEW SERIES. VOL. XVII

2 QUARTERLY for October, 1875, p. 451.


on these matters, till the session held in 1800, when it issued. "Letters of License to Preach," appointed a "Standing Committee on Ordination," and a Special Committee for a particular case of Discipline. But the Convention did not claim that authority in either of these matters was exclusively vested in itself. The Eastern Association - subsequently the Maine Convention organized in 1799; the Northern AssociationVermont-in 1804; and the Western Association - New York-1806; were entirely independent of the parent Convention in all these respects. Committees were appointed each year to visit these Associations, and they acknowledged, perhaps, some form of dependence on the Convention, but it is impossible to discover in what respects their powers were not co-ordinate. Each was composed of Churches and Societies; each granted Letters of Fellowship and conferred Ordination; and each was a final court for the trial of offences. I find record of only one case of Appeal from an Association to the Convention, and this was not an appeal from the decision of an Association, but merely an expression of a preference on the part of a minister against whom charges were brought at the session of an Association, to be tried by the Convention; a request which was granted without debate. The late Rev. Edward Turner, who commenced writing a History of Universalism, about 1820, says that "the establishment of the several Associations has, in a great degree, superseded the necessity of a Convention Committee on Ordination, as every Association possesses the power to ordain those whom it deems worthy."5 Nor did the Associations assume to have exclusive control of this matter in the territory occupied by them; at least they did not interfere with nor object to Ordination conferred by individuals. Rev. N. Stacy relates that in 1812 the Church at Manlius, N. Y., "desired to enjoy the privilege of

8 It should be said, however, that the Records contain no account of any items of business transacted at the sessions of 1796, 1797, and 1799. The Circular Letters for those years are all that has been preserved. There is no record of any kind for 1798. For the full text of the votes referred to above, see QUARTERLY for October, 1875, pp. 452, 458.

4 Convention Records, 1806, 1807. Memoir of Rev. N. Stacy, p. 172.

5 Manuscript in possession of the Universalist Historical Society.

« AnteriorContinuar »