In religious faith he was from boyhood a Universalist, and for many years was a conspicuous member of the leading Universalist church in New York.
A body of infidels under the leadership of Abner Kneeland (1 774-1844), who had previously been in turn a Baptist minister and the editor of a Universalist magazine, proffered him the use of their small hall; and, no other place being accessible, he accepted it gratefully, and delivered therein (in October 1830) three lectures, in which he unfolded his principles and plans.
He was the first (1847) to urge the necessity of a Universalist denominational college, and this did much towards the establishment of Tufts.
He was associated with the elder Hosea Ballou in editing The Universalist Quarterly Review; edited an edition of Sismondi's History of the Crusades (1833); and wrote the Ancient History of Universalism, down to A.D.
Boston University (Methodist Episcopal, 1867); Tufts College (1852), a few miles from Boston in Medford, originally a Universalist school; Clark University (1889, devoted wholly to graduate instruction until 1902, when Clark College was added), at Worcester, are important institutions.
For while 1-8 was most probably a Jewish apocalyptical fragment and strongly particularistic, 9-17 is clearly universalist in character and is probably from the hand of our author.
In religion he first became a Prebysterian (1822); was a Universalist minister from 1826 to 1831, editing for some time the chief journal of this church, the Gospel Advocate; was an independent preacher at Ithaca, N.Y., in 1831; became a Unitarian minister in 1832, and in 1836 organized in Boston the Society for Christian Union and Progress, of which he was the pastor for seven years.
He founded and edited The Universalist Magazine (1819; later called The Trumpet) and The Universalist Expositor (1831; later The Universalist Quarterly Review); wrote about io,000 sermons, many hymns, essays and polemic theological works; and is best known for Notes on the Parables (1804), A Treatise on Atonement (1805) and Examination of the Doctrine of a Future Retribution (1834); in these, especially the second, he showed himself the principal American expositor of Universalism.
It is the seat of Buchtel College (co-educational; non-sectarian), which was founded by the Ohio Universalist Convention in 1870, was opened in 1872, and was named in honour of its most liberal benefactor, John R.
HOSEA BALLOU (1771-1852), American Universalist clergyman, was born in Richmond, New Hampshire, on the 30th of April 1771.