« PoprzedniaDalej »
misconception, and erroneous statement, which we recollect ever to have witnessed. Our earnest prayer is, that such of our opponents, as think it their duty to preach and write against unitarians, would also deem it a part of their duty to learn the truth, that they may at least save themselves from the folly of making such gross blunders, as they are perpetually committing, although they may not find it in their hearts to be any the more sparing of their censures.
Mr. Hawley begins by asserting, that unitarians "de. ny the fall of man, the divinity of Jesus Christ, and the influences of the Holy Spirit upon the heart.” This assertion is railically untrue. They deny neither. They believe in the fall of man, as much as any trinitarian. They believe in the divinity of Christ, not that he was God, but that he was a divine person, clothed with divine honours, invested with divine powers, and sent to perform divine works, which none but God, or a being actuated by the wisdom and the special influence of God, could perform. They hold to the influence of the Holy Spirit on the Saviour, the apostles, and all sincere and faithful christians. We repeat, then, that the above sweeping assertion is untrue.
In another place, the preacher says, “With respect to the sacraments of the church, if the declarations of their teachers are to be believed, they are considered of no importance.” This is so glaringly incorrect, that we are astonished any man should be willing to risk his reputation for veracity, or even good intentions, on such a statement. It is well known to all, who know any thing on the subject, that unitarians pay as much reverence to the appointed ordinances of the christian religion, and are as habitual in their practice of them, as any other denomination of christians.
“In every point of view,” continues the preacher, “in which the subject can be presented for your consideration, unitarians occupy the same ground with Mahometans, Jews, and infidels, and have no more right to claim the name of christian than either of them.
“Their system, so far as can be ascertaincd, makes void the institutions of God, overthrows the whole plan of salvation by Jesus Christ, and renders nugatory all the obligations of the holy obedience of faith in a crucified Saviour.
“No matter, therefore, what may be the moral character of the individual, whom the members of the House hare elected for their chaplain; no matter what may be his literary attaioments; if his faith be wrong, all is wrong.
“With respect to the former, bis character, I am informed, stands fair; and as to the latter, he is esteemed a young man of handsome attainments, and of more than ordinary prornise. Yet, after all, in regard to his qualifications as a divine, and his theological views, they might with the same propriety have chosen for that office, that distinguished man, whose bones have lately been transported to Europe, had he been alive, Thomas Paine."
These examples, we presume, will be enough. They exhibit a favourable specimen of the whole, both in point of truth and manner. It is no pleasant duty to expose misrepresentation, or to repeat low thoughts and vulgar allusions, which have been employed in speaking of sacred things. We have condescended to this task only in defence, and we hope this will be a sufficient apology.
Spirit of Orthodoxy.
UNDER this head we have, in a former number, given a curious specimen of the kind of language, which the religious principles of an orthodox preacher could allow him to use. We propose occasionally to select others from various sources, of a similar description. They will serve the purpose of showing our readers the influence of certain principles on the understanding and the
feelings, and at the saine time convince them how important it is on our part to persevere in every laulable atteinpt to enlighten the ignorance, which is su prone to misrepresent the objects of our faith, to repreciate our characters, and mistake our motives. The following extracts are from a periodical work, published in the sity of Washington.
“The atheist, the deist, and the unitarian, are all enemies of the universal church, contending for the subversion of the essential articles of the creed of all other denominations."
“An enemy that can live only upon the vitals of christianity, and can flourish but amidst the ruins of ber churches, is now endeavouring with a resolute and noisy struggle, to erecı her daring front; and by collecting to her ranks a motley group of infidels of every degree and kind, who care not by what naine they go, so that they oppose the religion of the Bible, is threatening, in her vaunting menaces, to plant her standard upon the very citadel of orthodoxy, and erect a statue to her name in every temple of christendom. Her name is unitarianism.”
“Of so little consequence does it seem to the members of this sect, whether they believe one thing or another, after acknowledging those first principles, which the light of nature teaches, so that they only reject the doctrine of the trinity, and those other truths of the gospel, which make u the great distinctive character of the christian religion, that, in reading the Abstract of Unitarian Belief, we have no security for its reception by a single unitarian besides its author; and in grounding an argument upon it in opposition to unitarianism, we may find, that we are doing little more in reality, than contending wiu, the editor of the viscellany."
“It (unitarianism) is a system, which ancient heretics would have made, could their infidelity have been unshackled by the clear investigations of apostolic ages, and unarrested at every step by a clear me mento of something that an apostle spoke. It is a system, which a man ought to make in obedience to the conclusions of reason, when oner he has laid aside the doctrine of our Saviour's divinity, but which the ancient heretics, born in times so near the days of Christ, and surrounded by traditions in support of what the Scriptures related of Christ, had not the hardihood to maintain, or the daring to invent.”
Intelligence from Ohio.
We have spoken of the excitement to which some persons have allowed themselves to be aroused by the choice of a Chaplain in Congress. To show the kind of sympathy, which exists on this subject among a certain class, we publish the following extract from a letter. lately written by a gentleman in Ohio.
“The election of Mr. Sparks to the place he now occupies has been a circumstance highly propitious to the cause of unitarianism. The orthodox, on hearing of the appointment, took the alarm, and the pulpits have since continued to ring with the most rancorous declamation against what are called the pernicious doctrines of unitarianisın, while the whole body of congress have been bitterly aspersed for filling an office at their disposal with a person, holding to these doctrines, and whose situation affords so much facility to the wide dissemination of his opinions. These anathematizing and vituperative discourses have an effect upon the audience quite contrary to that intended by the preachers. Instead of exciting aversion to those reprobated tenets, they have the effect to stimulate the curiosity of the hearers to inquire for themselves, and to know with more certainty the real sentiments of unitarians, and the evidence by which they were supported."
A Letter from a Gentleman in Virginia, and an article on the Testimony of Scripture concerning our Lord, will appear hereafter,
Letter from a Gentleman in Virginia.
To the Editor. SIR,
If the experience of an obscure individual can be deemed worthy of a place in your little work, it is cheerfully offered. I give it also with the hope, that some one of the multitude, whose minds are warped by the misrepresentations of the bigot, or devotee, may, like me, be led to reflection, and instead of receiving the prejudices of any sect for gospel truths, may judge for himself concerning "the one thing needful.”
I was educated in the doctrines of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and my mother, a truly pious christian, spared no pains to inculcate those particular tenets, which she so zealously believed. I had the misfortune to lose her at an early age, but her kind admonitions were already deeply impressed upon my heart. Having attained the age of manhood, I began to weigh more deliberately the religion I professed. My Bible was not only read, but studied. Left now to judge for myself, not only the form of worship, but many of the creeds and doctrines of our church, appeared to me unwarranted by scripture, irrational, and inconsistent. But of all