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according to the dictates of his own judgment, desiring this only, that we may all come to
is in Jesus.
know the truth as it
For the Repository.
REMARKS ON PROV. III. 1, 2.
"My son, forget not my law, but let thine heart keep my commandments; for length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add to thee."
1. We are to receive the words of Solomon, as the words of the Lord; for, as he wrote by inspiration, he wrote in the name of the Lord. We should, therefore, consider it as being the Lord who says, "My son, forget not my law," &c.
2. How can the promise of length of days, long life and peace, to the obedient, be reconciled with the notion, that the present life is a state of probation, and the future life a state of retribution? If the present life be a state of probation, and the next a state of retribution, then the Lord by Solomon, promises a long period of probation-a long period, during which the obedient shall be kept from their reward, as an encouragement to obedience. Is not this inconsistent ? Is it not calculated rather to discourage obedience, than to excite it? If I were to tell my son, that, in case he would conduct well, he should inherit an independent fortune out of my estate, would it be any encouragement to him thus to conduct himself, to assure him that the trial should continue a long time? Would not the length of the trial be rather a matter of dread than otherwise? How often it is said that this present life is but a state of trial, affliction and sorrow, and that the disobedient often fare better, during its continuance, than others. And yet the Lord promises that this same life shall be long, as an encouragement to obedient conduct; promises, that if
we will not forget his law, but in our hearts keep his commandments, we shall have length of days, and long life, of affliction and sorrow, from which, if we were disobedient, we should probably be exempt! Does not reason say, does not the practice of mankind say, Give us short life, if we must live virtuously, that the trial may be over, and that we may enter upon the enjoyment of our reward, in another state of being? And is not this the language of reason and practice, in consequence of the error, that a virtuous life is an irksome one, and is to find a reward only hereafter? But the Lord, in contradiction of all this, says in the text, that with a long life, the obedient shall have peace. A long life of peace, therefore, is held up in the text as an encouragement to obedience. And is not a long life of peace a sufficient reward? If so, then that state, where long life and peace are enjoyed, must be a state of retribution, and not of probation. Therefore, unless the long life and peace, spoken of in the text, belong to a future state, (which they manifestly do not) the notion that this present life is probationary, and the future retributionary, must be
3. Some think the doctrine that this present life is probationary, and the future retributionary, was not taught in the Old Testament, but is taught in the New. At the same time they suppose that those who lived under the Old Testament, as well as we under the New, were in a state of probation here, for eternity. But if so, why did not the Holy Spirit reveal it then as well as now? If the doctrine be of any consequence now, was it not of equal consequence then? To say that the Holy Spirit did not reveal this doctrine in ancient times, when men were in the same condition, in reference to probation and retribution, that we are now, is but to say that the doctrine is of no consequence; for if it were of any consequence, the Holy Spirit would surely have revealed it
My conclusions therefore are, first, that this doctrine of probation and retribution is not true; and secondly, if it be true, it is of no consequence. It is enough for me, that virtuous conduct tends to produce long life, and that, at any rate, it procures peace; peace which the world can neither give nor take away; and I fear that those who think that a virtuous life is a hard one, requir ing a reward hereafter to make amends for its inconveniences, will not sincerely and gladly live such a life. JOHN BROOKS.
From the Evangelical Repository.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NEW-HAMPSHIRE
ASSOCIATION, FOR 1827.
The Ministers and Delegates of the New Hampshire Association convened in Washington, N. H. on the 12th June, according to previous adjournment, and opened the meeting of the council by prayer from Br. Nathaniel Wright, Jun. and then proceeded to business; and Chose Br. Edward Turner, Moderator, Br. Samuel C. Loveland, Clerk,
Brs. Paul Dean, Warren Skinner, and Lemuel Willis, a committee to receive and report on applications for ordination or letters of fellowship.
Arrangements for public services, Wednesday.
1. Br. E. Turner, Prayer, Br. W. Skinner, Sermon, Rom. viii. 16. Br. John Moore, Prayer.
2. Br. R. Bartlett, Prayer. Br. L. Willis, Sermon, 1 John v. 10, 11. Br. N. Wright, Prayer.
3. Br. E. Vose, Prayer. Br. S. C. Loveland, Sermon, 2 Cor. iv. 3. Br. O. A. Skinner, Prayer.
Adjourned till 8 o'clock on the morrow.
Wednesday morning, met according to adjournment,
and opened the business of the council by prayer from Br. O. A. Skinner.
Attended to the reading of several refreshing letters from several Societies belonging to this Association.
Voted, That Br. S. C. Loveland superintend the pubJishing of religious tracts, authorized by the N. H. Association, for the present year.
Voted, That Brs. Turner and Loveland be a committee to address the Rockingham Association, to be holden at Eaton, N. H. in August next, on the expediency of uniting it with this body, so as to form but one Association. Voted, That Br. L. Willis publish the proceedings of this session, accompanied with a circular letter.
Adjourned till the morrow, 8 o'clock, A. M. Prayer by T. J. Whitcomb.
Thursday morning, met according to adjournment. Prayer by Br. J. Moore.
The committee appointed to attend to the requests made for letters of fellowship and ordination, reported in favor of granting letters of fellowship to Brs. Josiah C. Waldo and Otis A. Skinner; and of conferring ordination on Brs. N. Wright, Jun. and T. J. Whitcomb.
Arrangements for public services, Thursday.
1. Br. T. J. Whitcomb, Prayer. Br. P. Dean, Sermon, Col. i. 20. Br. J. C. Waldo, Prayer.
2. Br. S. C. Loveland, Prayer. Br. E. Turner, Sermon, 1 Thess. ii. 4, 5, 6, 7.
3. Br. L. Willis, consecrating Prayer. Br. P. Dean, charge and delivery of the scriptures. Br. R. Bartlett, the right hand of fellowship.
Adjourned this Association to meet at Claremont, N. H. by divine permission, the last Wednesday in May and the Thursday following, 1828.
Concluded the business of the Association by uniting
with our venerable and worthy Br. E. Turner, in the expression of our grateful acknowledgments to God for his goodness to us and to us all.
EDWARD TURNER, Moderator.
SAMUEL C. LOVELAND, Clerk.
The New-Hampshire Universalist Association, in the good providence of God, has been favored with another annual session among brethren who rejoice in the truth, and who greeted us and made us glad while we enjoyed a reciprocity of brotherly love and christian salutation. The members of this body can, and do most gratefully acknowledge the realization of what was "more precious than the dew of Hermon, or the ointment which ran down on Aaron's beard." Our hearts were made glad at the annunciation of the prosperity of Zion's cause in this distinguished portion of the Lord's heritage. Thirteen ministering brethren, and several delegates, associated with a goodly number of brethren and sisters, who held spiritual communion with us in our deliberations, constituted our council. Unanimity and good feeling characterized our deliberations and administrations. Devout and listening hundreds in the sanctuary, evinced the interest they felt in hearing and understanding the faith once delivered to the saints, proclaimed from time to time by those who were ambassadors for Christ on that occasion. Truly did many feel that God's spirit bore witness with their spirits, that they were his children, and joint heirs with the Messenger of the new and better covenant, established on the sure promises of the world's Savior, who has been pleased to give to man a record of his Son, that whosoever believeth on him might have the witness in himself, that God is true, altho the excellencies of the glorious gospel have been hidden from many. The peace of heaven glowed Vol. 8.