[The reader will find this subject continued in our next number.]
“Be of the same mind one towards another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate.” Romans xii. 16.
Having from the commencement of these sermons confined myself to prescribed limits, I had no room in my last to pursue the first division of my subject so far as I intended. I will therefore here resume it.
“Be of the same mind, one towards another.” We have thus far confined our attention to family union, and have just glanced at the necessity of union in religious societies. This is a day of inquiry and light when the most keen and searching glances are sent into every creed. Many denominations that have walked together heart and hand for many years, each repelling the assaults of those, who attempted to extinguish their ism, have at length been separated by internal divisions and formed two opposing parties, even though they once believed the same creed, and advocated the same church government. The present is a trying period, and it stands us in hand to endeavor to “keep the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace.” Let us not dream of religious union, and prosperity, unless we allow each one to think for himself in matters of scripture interpretation. Nor let us dream of prosperity, if there is among us more theory than practice. It is true, Universalists are as moral as any other denomination; but this is not enough. They ought in kindness and benevolence to transcend other denominations as far, as their doctrine of universal beniguity transcends the doctrine of unending wo.
Neither are we to dream of religious union and prosperity, unless we raise our united voices against those who revel over the flowing cup of intoxication, which pours so many streams of misery and disunion on the world. Let no one fancy to himself that the drunkards toast, “here is health and success to us!” has any charm to avert his ruin, or to stay the judgment of heaven. The more frequently that toast has been uttered, while smiling upon the cup of inebriation held in a trembling hand, the farther have health and success been removed from the deluded victim, and the more swift and deadly have misfortune, sickness, distress and pain fallen upon him. Intemperance is a demon, that sows the seeds of discord among all ranks, orders and conditions of men. Beneath his crushing hand creation reels, and fortunes fall in broken ruins! And peace the sweet angel of mercy flies these turbulent skies, and lights on realms unmoved by the hand of commotion and discord. At his approach, blooming health is driven back from its warm abode and the fairest flowers of domestic love, hope and joy are withered forever! Let this frightful foe of discord and confusion be barred from our sacred heritage and peace be within our borders.