Universalist Quote of the Day #19

“Behold the death of the celebrated John Murray, the early defender of Universalism in the United States.  In the last hour he dwelt with rapture on the inspiring theme which had animated his soul for more than half his days, and on which he had expiated with such great effect in hundreds of pulpits throughout the land. . . The biographer of that great and good man, Elhanan Winchester, who labored so long and so zealously in defence of Universalism, both in this country and in Europe, assures us ‘that he continued preaching until about the first of April (1797, then residing in Hartford, Conn.) where he delivered a sermon, under a strong impression that it was his last, from St. Paul’s farewill address to the elders of the Ephesian church.  He never entered his desk again.  His death was fast approaching, and he contemplated it with serenity and joy.  On the morning of his decease, he requested two or three young ladies, who were sitting by him, to join in singing a hymn, observing at the same time that he might expire before it should be finished.  He began with them; but his voice soon faltered, and the torpor of death fell upon him.  They were disconcerted, and paused; but he, reviving, encouraged them to proceed, and joined in the first line of each stanza until he breathed no more.'”

–Thomas Whittemore, The Plain Guide to Universalism.  Boston, 1840: 274.

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