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SERIES OF LECTURESina
DELIVERED IN THE
IN THE AUTUMN OF 1818,
AND PUBLISHED AT THE REQUEST OF THE BRETHREN
ATTENDING IN SAID CHURCH.
BY ABNER KNEELAND.
" And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true
, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Jesus.
9943 , • K55
Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to wit:
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the sixth day of November, in the forty-third year of the independence of the United States of Ame. rica, A. D. 1818, Abner Kneeland, of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit: “A Series of Lectures on the Doctrine of Universal Benevolence;
delivered in the Universalist Church, in Lombard Street, Philadelphia, in the Autumn of 1818; and published at the request of the Brethren attending in said Church. By Abner Kneeland. * And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast
sent.' Jesus." In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprie. tors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned.”-And also to the act, entitled, “An Act supplementary to an Act, enti. tled, 'An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned,' and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
THE reader will please to take notice that nothing more than the substance of these Lectures has been committed to paper; and, perhaps, in some parts they are more concise than could have been wished, as many of the illustrations, as well as some of the arguments, are omitted; but, as the principal object was to state the doctrine of universal benevolence, as believed by the author, rather than to defend it, if they are only so explicit as to be fully understood, this object is gained: and the reader is referred to Dr. Lardner's Letter concerning the Logos, Dr. Priestley's History of the Corruptions of Christianity, Dr. Taylor on Original Sin, &c. and also the writings of the Rev. Hosea Ballou, now of Boston, for a defence of the same.
A few extracts have been made from the above writings, which, it is believed, have enriched the Lectures, and which, it is hoped, will be the means of bringing those works more into notice, particularly in this place.
Not being much accustomed to writing, and making no pretensions to erudition in literature, it is to be hoped that any deficiency either in style or composition will be charitably overlooked: the main object has been to write so as to be understood.
Such as these Lectures are, they are the result of a long, candid, and diligent search after truth; and as such, they are humbly submitted to the candid investigation and impartial judgment of the Christian world.
Philadelphia, Nov. 5th, 1818.
A SERIES OF LECTURES, &c.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.John, xvii. 3.
IN these Lectures, several things will be taken for granted : 1. that there is one God, who is the only proper object of supreme worship and adoration ; and, 2. that God has not only revealed himself to his creatures through the medium of the great volume of nature, which is open to the inspection of all, but also through the medium of his son Jesus Christ, who is the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his moral character. For, notwithstanding these are proper subjects of discussion, and would not be refused on a proper occasion, yet they are foreign from our present purpose; and the discussion of them seems less necessary, since, as it must be admitted, “ the invisible things of him (i, e. of God) from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal
power and Deity :" so, as it should seem, none but the fool can have the audacity to say in his heart, “ there is no God!” The discussion of these subjects is also rendered unnecessary, in all Christian assemblies, by the consideration, that Christians of every sect and denomination admit the truth of divine revelation; "the record which God has given of his Son.” Hence it is useless to take up time to prove that which will be ad