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To Rev. Edwin F. Hatfield :
Dear Sir-I can not allow the following Review of your “Univer. salism as it is" to go forth in its present form, without availing myself of the opportunity it offers me, to say a few words to you personally.
And first, let me thank you, in the name of the Universalist denomination, for your “ Text Book”; for although you can not but know that it is far from being what it professes ; although it contains very many things which are allogether incorrect, and are adapted, however they may have been designed, to give a false impression respecting both our faith and character ; yet we are permitted to say to you as Joseph said to his brethren in Egypt, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” Your brethren, who read your work, can not but greatly suspect its truth and fairness; at least, none can fail of doing so, except that portion of your readers, who yielded an implicit credence, a few years ago, to that disgusting humbug, the "Awful Disclosures !" Such persons, it is to be hoped, will never be damned for their "little faith.” All others, who peruse "Universalism as it is,” will be led by it to think more favorably of a cause which can be assailed, with any hope of surcess, only by such means and in such an unchristian spirit, as are exhibited in the work before me. Besides, you have made many references to Universalist authors, and thus given your readers a knowledge of several works of which they have hitherto been profoundly ignorant. Some of them, I know, are disposed to read for themselves rather than to rely im
1 your representations. The result you can foresee without a spirit of prophecy. I regret, therefore, to learn that your voluine meels with so slow a sale, and threatens to burden the shelves of your publisher for a long time to come. It does not speak well for the zeal, intelligence, or taste of your brethren in the faith.
In the next place, I must thank you for myself; for the insight you
have given me into your real character and spirit. I often ask myself whether the man who wrote “Universalism as it is," is the quiet, kind-hearted and friendly class-mate of my earlier days; and I can pot but inquire what it is that has wiought euch a mighty change. Is it the work of religion? Then, the less of such religion the world has, the better.-But at the same time, I must thank you for the trial you have given to my christian graces. To confess the truth, there were scarcely ever so heavy drafts made upon my charity by any other person. How I have answered them, must be left for others to judge. Some of my friends, however, think I have, in several instarices, been rather severe. I confess that I have used “great plainness of speech” The case seemed to me to demand it, and I have sometimes "rebuked sharply.” But if I have spoken unadvisedly with my lips, I sincerely regret it, and beg your pardon. Your conscience will tell you that the truth was bad enough.
For my Review I make no apology, as I ask for it no indulgence. I do not flatter myself that you will deem it worthy of any public notice from yourself, or your friends, but should it fortunately come to such an honor, I shall read what you have to say upon it, with great care, and, I trust, candor.
In conclusion let me say, that although I entertain a very humble opinion of your creed, and its moral influences, both on yourself and your sect, I shall still be happy to see you, and will endeavor to convince you that there is a religion, which, without the fear of endless torments, teaches man to love his enemies.
May it please God to lead you to a more perfect knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, and make you both a better and happier man. I am your sincere friend and well wisher,
T. J. SAWYER.
General character of " Universalism as it is,"
necessary to future happiness, The New Birth,
* This Index, for the most part, merely refers the reader to the page where the subject indicated in Mr. Hatfield's chapter is treated.
erally of such a character as to be easily corrected by the reader.