Saco [Maine]: Printed for the Author, by William J. Condon, 1832. First edition. 12mo, original plain drab wrappers, stitched, 80 pages. Wrappers browned and spotted; somewhat spotted or browned throughout; a little worn; a very good copy. Item #16648
"It is therefor principally by a careful perusal of the scriptures, that I have been led to renounce the horrid, gloomy, soul-chilling doctrine of eternal torments in a future state, and embrace the glorious gospel of salvation, which proclaims 'Peace on earth and good will toward men.'" A sailor in Maine finds himself becoming a Universalist almost in spite of himself, which brings him into conflict with a committee of his church sent around to inquire of members about their beliefs; this pamphlet reproduces the lengthy formal debate between Norwood and representatives of the church, with some polemical material interspersed. Norwood concludes (after his suspension from the church), "By the word *suspend* I understand "*to hang,* and why the church can want the bad ones *hanging* to it as a dead weight is something that I am unable to comprehend. -- However, I shall trouble myself no more about it at present, but as they have found considerable difficulty in *hanging me,* I will save them the trouble of *cutting me down* by thus publicly declaring myself entire free from their rule, discipline and authority." Despite his theologically peppery liveliness, Abraham Norwood, Jr. (1812-1833), judging from a gravestone in Rockport, seems to have been cut down early. Was he the son of the Abraham Norwood who kept the Wood Island Light on Saco Bay from 1833 to 1841? Or is the lighthouse-keeper Norwood the controversial Universalist?