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once, but at different times, is the last trumpet to sound at the raising of each of your orders? But does the apostle say it is to sound twice? Once more, I ask, allowing all you say about different orders raised, is there a single word in the whole chapter which intimates that any of them are to be sent to hell to suffer your punishment of anxiety, guilt and remorse? There is not; and we fear, that implicitly following Dr. Chauncey has led you astray in your views of this passage.
Letter 9th. In this letter Mr. Hudson proposes to make some remarks on the moral influence of the two systems. He premises two things: "1st, Doctrinal views do not have so great an influence upon the morals of society as most people imagine. 2d, Doctrines have different influences upon different persons." Presuming he applies these remarks and illustrations to both systems, I make two remarks in reply. 1st, Unless he had made these remarks, it would be difficult to account for Mr. Ballou's morals, considering the licentious system he says he holds. 2d, It was also necessary to premise these remarks, for fear his superior system was not more fruitful in producing good morals in those who believed it, than the one he condemns. Be this as it may, throughout this letter he proceeds to condemn Mr. Ballou's system as very licentious in its tendency, and speaks very highly of the contrary tendency of his own. Aware that he trod on delicate ground, he makes an apology, p. 287, and refers to the famous declaration and appeal, issued several years ago by him and others. In it an alarm was sounded to the whole Universalist body, that the system held by some among them, was of the most licentious tendency. But as the people did not get so much frightened as was expected, those who sounded the alarm being disappointed in their object, were content still to remain in fellow
ship with those men, licentious as their system was represented to be. And even now, bad as Mr. H. represents it, he says, "I do not intend this as a withdrawal of fellowship."
The reader ought to recollect, that in comparing the moral tendency of the two systems, Mr. Hudson compares his own only with the caricature he has given of Mr. Ballou's system, and this he frankly owns was drawn in the dark. How, I ask, can we judge correctly of the superior moral beauties of Mr. Hudson's system, when we are to compare it with a distorted, mutilated, disingenuous account given of Mr. Ballou's system. It is comparing his own with a hideous monster, drawn by himself in the dark, and as some suspect was drawn on purpose, that what beauties his own had, might appear to the more advantage by the contrast. Or, shall I rather say, that the deformities of his own might not be so easily detected. To compare the moral tendencies of religious systems is delicate work. Truth can never be determined by it, for it is seldom done with fairness. Mr. Fuller, of England, compared the moral tendencies of the Calvinistic and Socinian systems, but has Calvinism advanced much since? Some Calvinists in this country have shown some fondness for comparing the moral tendencies of Calvinism and Unitarianism; but have they lessened Unitarianism by it?
But as Mr. Hudson asserts that Mr. Ballou's system is very licentious in its tendency, and his the very reverse, how shall we decide between them? I know no better course than to bring them to the following tests. 1st, To compare the morals of the two men themselves as illustrative of their systems. But I find that this cannot determine the question; for Mr. Hudson allows Mr. Ballou to be a moral man, and I presume Mr. Ballou would not charge
him with being immoral. 2d. To compare the respective amount of morals, which the systems in the present day produce in those who believe them, and according to the numbers which embrace them. But here again it will be doubtful to decide. Is Mr. Hudson prepared to say that all who believe his system are moral men? Is he even prepared to say that it has a decided superiority over the other in producing good morals in those who embrace it? If he is, I confess I am not, from all I have witnessed of the temper, spirit and conduct of such as profess to believe in the two systems. I pray God all of us were more holy, and lived more in accordance with the glorious gospel of God we profess. 3d, Let us compare the two systems on a large scale, and their influence on the world in past ages. Mr. Hudson has repeatedly contended that his system of a future judgment and retribution has been believed in all ages, and in all lands, both by Jews and Gentiles. Its antiquity and universality he considers very strong proofs of its truth. We then very seriously ask him-did his doctrine produce good morals among all nations in past ages? Has it ever done this generally? He knows that the very reverse of this is the case. In the apostolic age "the world lay in wickedness," and the name of God was even blasphemed among the Gentiles, by the wickedness of the Jews. But he contends that his doctrine in that age prevailed among both Jews and Gentiles. In this last letter he might have gone off the field with flying colors, if his doctrine in past ages had only produced good morals generally among the nations of the earth. But alas! notorious, indisputable facts are here against him. Had the doctrine of his opponents-no future punishment after death, been the faith of all nations in time past, as his system has been, what would he not have said and done, to hold
their system up to public scorn? He would have pointed with his finger to its effects on the nations, saying-see the horrid and licentious tendency of your system, in the fruits which it has produced. We should not very soon have heard the last about this from him. He might well say then, as he now says to Mr. Ballou and Mr. Kneeland, that their system not only leads to all manner of licentiousness, but to downright atheism. But he has all along been contending, that not their system, but his has been the universal belief of all nations. And he may now see, what has been its effects. What Mr. Hudson will say to these palpable facts against his system, in ages past, I am unable to devise. They stand as an eternal monument against his system, and ought to seal his lips forever in silence against those whom he opposes. I feel grateful to God, that whether my system is right or wrong, the heathen nations were believers in his system, not mine. If he claims kindred with the heathen in his faith, he must expect to share in the disgrace which their immorality entails, as the fruits of the system they mutually embrace. If my system had produced such fruits for so many ages, I should indeed think it was of an immoral tendency.
Mr. Hudson has been very careful to remind Mr. Ballou, that his system is but of yesterday, and glories in the antiquity as well as the universality of his own. He has told us, Mr. Ballou's system began with Dr. Huntington only about thirty years ago. He may think it has not had time yet fully to develop its licentious tendency, but when it comes to be as long and as universally believed, its effects on the world will be worse than his has been. This is a mere surmise: and I would add, that worse it hardly could be, for what system could produce more superstition, immorality, and wicked
ness than the one which Mr. Hudson lays claim to, in common with all nations in past ages? There can be no great risk at any rate, in discarding his, to make an experiment, if possible to produce a better state of things.
But our orthodox brethren, will likely turn the tables on Mr. Hudson, respecting what he says in this letter and many other parts of his book. I have only room for a single specimen from p. 288. They will say to him, with a slight variation of his phraseology, what he says to Mr. Ballou-"I very much doubt whether you can lay your hand upon your heart, and say in the presence of your Maker, that you believe that future endless misery corrupts the morals of society. If your system has any salutary influence, ours has all its advantages and others superadded. Your doctrine tells the villain who is plotting the assassination of his fellow creatures, that if he falls in the attempt, he must experience a state of correction and chastisement from his own mental reflections; ours tell him that if he loses his life in such a horrid attempt he must experience endless hell torments." And probably will add, “ Mr. Hudson, if your mere scarecrow of a hell produces thirty fold good fruits, you must allow ours to produce a hundred. But better your hell than none; and we hope you will join your exertions with ours in getting up religious excitements by means of it. Prove your faith by your works in all time coming, by preaching your doctrine openly and fully to the world. If preaching our hell produces an earthquake, yours may produce a thunder clap, and by continuing faithfully to preach limited punishment you may in due time come to be of one mind with us that it is endless." In taking our leave of the subject, we recommend to all to re-examine the Scriptures, and see if either limited or endless punishment were the