« PoprzedniaDalej »
Br. W. Skinner, Sermon, from Mat. v. 17, 18, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” 2d Prayer, by Br. T. J. Whitcomb.
1st Prayer, Br. D. Skinner.
Sermon by Br. B. Hickox, from Ezek. xiii. 10, "Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar.” Last Prayer, Br. J. Wallace.
8. Met in Council, and attended to the reports of Committees, appointed at the last session, to visit the respective Associations in fellowship with the Convention. Several of these committees were absent; but the reports of those present were favorable.
9. Made arrangements for public exercises on Thursday.
Br, S. Streeter, Introductory Prayer.
Br. H. Ballou, 2d., Sermon, from Titus ii. 12, "Teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world."
Br. N. Wright, concluding Prayer.
Br. Uriah Smith, Introductory Prayer.
Br. D.Skinner, Sermon, from Isa. i. 18, "Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Br. J. H. Ellis, concluding Prayer.
1st Prayer by Br. J. Wallace.
Sermon, by Br. S. Streeter, from Eph. i. 13, 14, "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of
truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
Last prayer, Br. H. Ballou, 2d.
10. After joining with Br. J. Ward in prayer, adjourned to 8 o'clock on Thursday, A. M.
14. Met agreeably to adjournment, and commenced our labors by uniting with our venerable Br. S. Hilliard, in prayer to God for his direction and blessing.
12. Appointed the following brethren to visit the Associations in fellowship with the General Convention.
Southern, Springfield, Mass. 1st Wednesday and following Thursday in June, 1827; Brs. B. Whittemore, C. Gardner and J. Bisbe.
Eastern, Livermore, Me. on the last Wednesday and Thursday in June, 1827; Brs. E. Turner, R. Streeter, S. Cobb.
New-Hampshire, Washington, N. H. on the 2d Wednesday and Thursday in June, 1827; Brs. P. Dean, T. Whittemore, W. Skinner,
Rockingham, Eaton, N. H. on the 4th Wednesday and Thursday in Aug. 1827; Brs. E. Turner, T. G. Farnsworth, W. Bell.
Northern, Barre, Vt. on the 1st Wednesday and Thursday in Oct. 1826; Brs. J. Wallace, R. Bartlett, S. C. Loveland.
Franklin, Whitingham, Vt. on the Sd Wednesday and Thursday in Oct. 1827; Brs. L. Willis, H. Ballou, D. Ballou.
13. Voted unanimously, that the Black River Association is recognized by the General Convention as a member in fellowship. Appointed Brs. J. Wallace, D. Skinner, and B. Hickox, a committee to visit this Association at Potsdam, on the 2d Wednesday and Thursday in June, 1827.
14. The Committee on application for fellowship, &c. reported in favor of granting letters to Brs. J. S. Green, T.J. Whitcomb, J. Ward, and L. Moore. Accepted.
15. Voted that the Committee appointed last year, to consider the expediency of instituting a fund for the relief of the widows and orphans of deceased Clergymen, have till the next session to make up their report.
16. Appointed Brs. H. Ballou 2d. S. Streeter, P. Dean, H. Ballou, and T. Whittemore, a committee to consider whether it is expedient to establish any general rule, in addition to our former usage, in the admission of applicants for the fellowship of the General Convention as preachers of the gospel; and report at the next session of the General Convention."
17. After joining with Br. S. Streeter in devout thanksgiving and prayer, the General Convention adjourned to meet, by divine permission, at Saratoga Springs, N. Y. on the third Wednesday and Thursday of September, 1827.
HOSEA BALLOU, 2d. Moderator.
CIRCULAR FOR 1826.
The General Convention of Universalists convened in annual session, tender christian salutations to all who may read this epistle; and particularly to their brethren of like precious faith with themselves whithersoever scattered abroad.
It has been our custom, after a session of the General Convention, to address a Circular to the believers in the Abrahamick faith. This custom we esteem a commendable one, and are, therefore, disposed to continue it. Our leading motive, in these annual communications, is to acquaint you, individually, with our experience of the divine favor; and to lay before you such suggestions as will, in our apprehension, conduce to the prosperity of the glorious cause in which we are mutually engaged, and in the success of which we are equally interested.
This is the cause of God, of truth, of the salvation of the world, by the mediation of Jesus Christ; and who that possesses the sympathies of a rational and social being can be indifferent to this stupendous subject? Surely no one who has "tasted the good word of God," and felt in any degree, "the powers of the world to come." You, therefore, brethren, will rejoice to hear that the "Captain of our Salvation" has vouchsafed another anniversary to our associated churches. Under his auspices we came "from the east, and from the west, froni the north, and from the south," and by faith in him, as the risen Savior of the world, "sat down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God." The season was uncommonly interesting and refreshing. It was thought by the few patriarchs present, who have frequented these annual convocations from "olden times," that a more cordial, solemn, powerful and profitable session has never been experienced from the first organization of the body. Like the peaceful days of Solomon, there was, during the whole session, "rest on every side, and neither adversary nor evil occurrent." If it ever were known this side the kingdom of celestial glory, we surely knew "how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." May God Almighty grant us the same oneness of spirit, the same consecration of every power of the soul to the cause of Christ, the same antepast of heavenly bliss in these great annual asseinblies in all time to come. From unavoidable causes, several brethren in the ministry, whose presence was expected, were absent; but a respectable number, some from a great distance, by the good providence of God, attended. Many societies sent representatives, and many others forwarded communications refreshing to our hearts, and encouraging to our future prospects.
We had six public exercises, all of which were numerously attended. The labors of the sanctuary were listened to with the appearance of a deep and heartfelt love of the truth.
Four brethren of promising gifts and graces, received letters of fellowship, as preachers of the gospel. But we cannot enter much into detail; suffice it to observe, that it did not appear, from any quarter, that any thing very unfavorable to our general connexion had occurred during the last year, if we except the defection of two preachers; and these, at least one of them, is to proverbial for capriciousness of mind to produce any serious consequences. If they can exert any influence at all, it is with a class of people from whom we, at present, have little or nothing either to hope or fear. We sincerely pity their weakness, forgive their folly, and pray for their temporal and eternal welfare.
Before we close this communication, you will permit us, brethren, to call your attention, and if possible to fix your attention, upon some things which we deem most intimately connected with the future progress, at least, the most rapid progress of our order.
If we look upon the way in which God has led us these 40 or 50 years past, we are constrained to say in the language of Samuel, "hitherto the Lord hath helped us." The means exerted have evidently been inadequate to the extensive spread of the doctrine we advocate, a circumstance which obviously indicates not only the approbation, but the aid of heaven. With but little claim to talents, to learning, or to reputation, in the estimation of the public, "one has chased a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight." The "Lord has given us room," and we already, in a great measure, "possess the gates of our enemies." Our cause is good, our numbers are respectable, our prospects are flattering. Much has