Judith Sargent Murray Society
JSM's dates: 1751-1820
The Repository. No. XII.
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This essay appeared in the September 1793 edition of the Massachusetts Magazine under the name "Constantia." It is a Universalist essay that examines the basis of Christianity.

The Repository. No. XII.
THE basis of christianity is broad; its superstructure is noble, important, and comprehensive; it is consistent with itself, with benevolence, and with its divine origin; its consequences are worthy of Deity, they are general, and must finally prevail. Its true votaries, conceive that neither themselves, nor their best actions, as they stand in relation to the God of rectitude, can in any sort abide the test; they are satisfied, in this respect, with the decision of the Almighty; they do not even wish to make an innovation. Most submissively, and cheerfully, they wrap themselves in the robe that is wrought for them, the unspotted, all satisfying, soul covering robe of the Redeemer's righteousness. In the saviour of sinners they are at peace, and they remain perfectly contented. Is there then no moral obligation upon the christian? God forbid that we would admit the thought.

If he should err, capitally err, it is not enough that the civil arm will be upraised to punish him; the rule of right and wrong predominates in his soul; he feels that he is under superiour obligations, and he is enamoured with the beauties of equity; a high sense of the relative duties incumbent upon him, as a human being, is deeply implanted in his breast: He establishes to himself a rule of conduct, from which he may not depart, except he would pierce himself through with many sorrows; he is sensible that virtue is its own reward, this he experiences, in the sweet peace of mind which goodness bosoms over; he mourns, with many tears, the deviations to which the depravity of his nature subjects him; and he is unceasingly solicitous, in all things, to adorn the doctrines of the Saviour of men.



2007 © Bonnie Hurd Smith

Independent scholar and author Bonnie Hurd Smith is the president and CEO of History Smiths, a marketing company that works with businesses to incorporate history -- their own and their community's -- into their branding, marketing, and community outreach to attract customers, boost customer loyalty, and secure a high status reputation in the communities they serve.