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trenched in error and prejudice, that no ray of conviction can ever reach it.
In the next place, this miracle, like all the other works of Jesus, proved his benevolence. For why is it, that he has travelled from a distance to Bethany, and gone with this
of mourners to the grave of their friend, and by an energetic word caused it to give up its dead ? It was indeed, as we have seen, to demonstrate that he was the Son of God, by shewing that he had the keys of death and the grave; but along with this sublime object there was combined the gracious purpose of drying up the fountains of sorrow, and giving unutterable joy to the wounded hearts of an afflicted family. And how much of a piece was this with all his other works! Trace him from the manger to the cross, and you will find him always active in the benevolent cause of alleviating human misery; nothing of his divine energy is wasted in acts merely calculated to gratify curiosity. His favorite element seemed to be in the atmosphere of sorrow, where he could dry up the mourner's tears, or cause the blind to see, or the deaf to hear, or the lame to walk. Wherever he went, some trace of his benevolent activity was left behind him, there was some son or daughter of sorrow, who had dropped the mantle woe, and whose countenance was relumed with the smile of returning joy. On all that he did, and all that he suffered, was most legibly written, "good will to men."
Again, who is there that has any relish for what is most tender and sublime in human conduct, that can be insensible to that memorable incident, recorded with so much simplicity and beauty, that "Jesus wept." He saw his friends weeping, and his own benevolent heart could not withhold its tribute of sympathy. Call this an infirmity of human nature, if you will, it is an infirmity from which no good, man would wish to be free ; way, it is not too much to say that even the character of the Savior of the world would not have been perfect without it. Yes, it is one of the brightest, loveliest features in human nature; and even the deepest sorrow which it ever occasions has something in it so sublime and hallowed, that it is an almost enviable lot to bear it. At the grave of Lazarus, let the miserable speculations of that dreaming philosophy, which makes the moderate indulgence of human sensibility a weakness, be confounded. Here let the man, who sternly refuses the tribute of a tear for the sorrows of others, or who proudly endeavors to reason down the sympathies, which the God of nature has planted in his bosom, learn that he is opposing the gracious designs of his Creator, and has already instituted a process for shanging himself into a brute. No, it is not a weakmess to weep, when the hand of affliction presses hard either upon yourself or your friends. You must indeed guard against immoderate sorrow, for that betrays the want of resignation to the will of heaven; but your tears may fall in profusion, and your heart may even send forth sobs of anguish ; and if any one reproaches you, you may fearlessly plead the example of the Savior of the world. To my mind, I must acknowledge, considering the character of Jesus, that I scarcely know whether there is more of moral gran. deur in that sublime and energetic call, which awoke Lazarus from the sleep of death, than in those tears of sympathy which fell upon bis grave.
An finally, may we not learn at the grave of Lazurus a most consoling truth, to carry about with us in this world of sorrow; I mean the final resurrection of the dead. How.can we doubt this, when, besides the actual promise of God that the dead shall be raig. ed, we have here an instance, in which, at the command of Jesus, the sepulchre gave back its victim ; and what is more than all, he who has the keys of death, and who once yielded to his iron dominion, has actually come back from the grave, and thus justified the title which he assumed, as “the resurrection and the life." Let it be strongly impressed upon the heart of the christian, that the same voice which bade
Lazarus come forth will hereafter disturb the silence of his own grave, and speak into life and vigor his own nouldering dust, and cause him to stand forth, encircled and beautified with the glories of immortality. When, too, he bends in sadness over the spot, where sleep the remains of his christian friend, and finds his breast beginning to throb with sorrowful recolleetions, and that last fond look rises to remembrance, which stamped its own image indelibly on his heart, oh then let him think that that mouldering body will be reanimated, and that friend restored to him, not as formerly, the victim of decay and corruption, but clothed with celestial bloom and beauty. And when his own strength shall have been wasted by disease, and the objects of mortal pursuit shall be fading from his view, and the thin partition that separates him from the eternal world is about to fall, then again, even while his soul is taking its flight for the communion of seraphs, let his faith fasten upon the prospect of a resurrection, and let it dwell there, till he is absorbed in the full vision of God.
MINUTES OF THE SOUTHERN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVER
SALISTS. The Ministers and Delegates composing the Southern Assoeiation of Universalists, convened according to adjournment at the house of Br. Thomas G. Farnsworth, in Stafford, Con. on Tuesday the 10th of June, 1823. Commenced the labors of the session by uniting in solemn and fervent prayer with Br. David Pickering;
Br. Hosea Ballou was chosen Moderator. Br. Richard Carrique, Clerk. Received a request from the Societies recently formed in Hanson, and Wilbraham, Mass. to be admitted into fellowship with this Association, which request was granted.
Appointed Brs. Richard Carrique, John Bisbe, Jr. and David Pickering, a Committee to receive requests for ordination, or letters of fellowship, and to make report thereon to the Association. Closed the business of the evening with prayer by Br. J. Wednesday morning 8 o'clook, assembled agreeable to the
adjournment of the last evening at the house of Br. Jasper
Sermon by Br. D. Pickering, --Ps. xlii. 11,-"Hope thou in God."
Concluding prayer by Br. Zelotes Fuller.
Sermon by Br. T. Whittemore --Acts xxviii. 22,--"But we desire to hear of thee, what thou thinkest; for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against."
Concluding prayer by Br. T. G. Farnsworth.
Convened in Council, and having attended to business of a general nature, closed by uniting in prayer with Br. Paul Dean.
Thursday morning the Council assembled at 8 o'clock. Br. J. Flagg addressed the throne of grace.
The Committee appointed to receive requests for ordination or letters of fellowship, report that they had received a request from Br. 2. Fuller for ordination, and from Brs. Lucius R. Pagę and William Morse for letters of fellowship, and recommended that the same be severally granted.
The attention of the Association was then called to the consideration of two communications published in the Christian Repository for December, 1822-entitled an “Appeal to the world"--and a “Declaration," having for their authors certain Brethren in fellowship with this Association ; which communications indicate a breach of fellowship, and are injurious to the good feelings, and harmony which ought ever to prevail among brethren engaged in one cause, having for the end of their labors, the cultivation of the moral and social virtues; the libe. ration of the human mind from prejudice and bigotry; and the production in the heart of the spirit of benevolence, philosophy and love.
Voted, That the said “Appeal” and “Declaration” be referred to a Committee of three for their examination ; and that they report what notice this Association ought to take of the same. Brs. R. Carrique, J. Bisbe, and J. Frieze, were appointed on this Committee.
Public Service Thursday Morning. Introductory prayer by Br. D. Pickering.
Sermon by Br. J. Bisbe,--Acts xix. 23,Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you."
Concluding prayer, Br. H, Ballop, pd.
Ordination Services. Introductory prayer, Br. R. Carrique.
Sermon, Br. H. Ballou,--2 Cor. iv. 5,-"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake."
Consecrating prayer by Br. J. Flagg.
Right hand of fellowship and concluding prayer by Br. H. Ballou, 2d.
The Committee to whom was referred the consideration of the "Appeal” and “Declaration” made the following report, which was adopted by the unanimous vote of the members of the Association.*
This Association considers it expedient to express this public disapprobation of a DECLARATION and an APPEAL, which appeared in the Christian Repository for December, 1822, as they tend to dissolve the bonds of union, by manifesting a disposition in their authors to deprive us of the name and character of christian ministers.
Voted, That Brs. Carrique, Bisbe, and Frieze, be a Committee to write to the brethren who are the authors of the Appeal and Declaration, and make known to them the views entertain ed by this Association of said communications.
Voted, That Br. R. Carrique prepare the Minutes of the pror ceedings of this Association, and accompany the same with a Circular Letter ; and that he be requested to publish the same in the Religious Inquirer, printed in Hartford, Con.
Veted, That the next Association be held in Milford, Mass. on the second Wednesday and Thursday in December next. Closed the busiriess of the session by uniting in praise and thanksgiving with Br. H. Ballou.
HOSEA BALLOU, Moderator. RICHARD CARRIQUE, Clerk.
THE PUBLIC CENSURE OF THE SOUTHERN ASSOCIATION.
Our brethren have fondly anticipated a more hopeful prospect in the state of our affairs, than it seems to be our privilege, at present, to realize. The unhappy difficulty into which we have fallen appears still to stare us with all its horrors. Every effort for reconciliation has only multiplied obstructions, and
* Br. P. Dean had returned to Boston.