« EdellinenJatka »
Reput, and withost any
Dan other character, pret
: We are oblized, then
thes and of Protest, to res jeans some most strenuo
to trapt again the expienu presentare lacons of life.
Ta distindor stated by us it fatores, that not upon any han did we discredit those le miraculous (or as, in is
tiality, and accuraey, productive of a true result. We have struck out whatever was untrue, and we have supplied whatever was wanting, to exhibit a full statement of the respective Evidences of Unitarianism and of Trinitarianism. Lecture qualifies Lecture; and Preface corrects Preface. We are satisfied to have thus placed, side by side, the contrasted views of Man and God, and to await the issues.
To return upon the “ thirteen Clergymen of the Church of England” the words of their General Preface, (p. xi.) " it is no uncommon practice in modern criticism to neglect the statements” of an opponent's case, as if they never had been made, and the corrections passed upon one's own as if they never had been experienced. It is the policy of the " thirteen Clergymen” to reiterate, nothing daunted, arguments, our careful replies to which are not even noticed, and misrepresentations whose injustice had solemnly been protested against. By these resolute repetitions some are seduced to believe, and attention is withdrawn from the overthrow of an error or a calumny by the hardihood with which it rises from its fall, and reasserts itself. Strike them down ;-they get up, and coolly offer themselves to be struck down again. Great ought to be the power of Truth; for great is the vitality and the power of effrontery in a popular error. It is only in the long combat of years and generations that the Real manifests at last its imperishable quality. The “ General Preface” quietly gathers up all the “ disjecta memora or
fles buman feelings, our parallit, the imunaculate CC
of them was formed shte eredibility, and of po in themselves and with th Nha Testament. Yet in
en he Preface (p. xii. pre led been contradicto
hat the miraculous conc stiu Chitarianism, -tha penit; yet it is the pe that me pervert these ed erading a fact fa
so little concert l es conception, the
error and misstatement, and without a word of answer to our analysis of their character, presents them again to have sentence and execution passed upon them. It is a careful redintegration of the broken particles, which in our simplicity we had hoped would not so readily reunite. We are obliged, therefore, by way at VICE Ol Preface and of Protest, to repeat our solemn. contradiction of some most strenuous misrepresentations, and to attempt again the exposure of some fallacies most tenacious of life.
It was distinctly stated by us in the course of mns Controversy, that not upon any grounds of literary evidence did we discredit those prefaces which resale to the miraculous (or as, in insult to the purest
u holiest human feelings, our opponents are not ashamed to
lamed to call it, the immaculate) conception; and that our estimate of them was formed solely upon grounds merent incredibility, and of proved inconsistencies with themselves and with the general statements
e New Testament. Yet in total disregard of this of denial, the Preface (p. xiii.) reasserts the charge, as
dever had been contradicted. We also distinctly 'that the miraculous conception in no way inter
with Unitarianism,—that many Humanitarians eved in it; yet it is the policy of Trinitarianism to at, that we pervert these portions of Scripture, for ke of evading a fact fatal to our system. Uniism is so little concerned to evade the fact of a Us conception, that many Unitarians them
if it never h stated that the fered with Uni
antakel for their emendment, but
p. .) Is this the Reli:
z lisch was Christianity, a pel pering of devotion, a fi
selves adopt it. It is the “i tactics" of the “ thirteen Clergymen,” their system “ of holy war,” (see Preface to Mr. Ould's Lecture) to ignore whatever we may say on our own behalf, either in way of correction or of defence, and to reassert the false statement.
II. The “ Unitarian Creed” is described by our reverend opponents as “ a mere code of unbelief,” (p. xiv.) it being the policy of the “ thirteen Clergymen,” not only to pay no. regard to our most solemn assertion of our faith in Christianity, as God's full and perfect revelation to man, but also to assume to themselves the functions of infallible judges of what is Christianity, and what is not; and so, again to return upon them their own language, to “ deify their own fallible” (p. xii.) interpretations and inferences. Yet they can impose upon the simplicity of the world, by charging others with the “ pride of reason.” Infallible themselves, to differ from their infallibility can of course be nothing else than the pride of reason.
III. It is stated (p. xv.), that we“ utterly deny" " the eternity of punishments," without adding what we have added, that the moral consequences of actions are eternal, and that in its influence on character and progress, the retribution of every evil thought or deed is everlasting. What we do deny, as the blackest misrepresentation that can be conceived of the God of Providence, whose glory it is to lead his children to Himself, is the horribly distinct statement of their own “ General Preface"_" that the sufferings of the lost
la loik as to the existence ha atemal Devil, permitic? jestel men, has been convert es -first, as manifestius pode te porer of the suti la racealed from us his and us captive at his will; Homag the existence of pe emissaries of Satan
bre, and our Lord hin om of God, so Cnita
pes, is his present inst pe testing the world Me teampted Eve and C pela matter to the jud stately and decency be e me the influences c
are not intended for their amendment, but as a satisfaction to divine justice, when the hour of pardon shall have passed away.” (p. xv.) Is this the Religion, and this the God of Love? These are the men who make the Unbelief, of which they afterwards so blindly and bitterly complain. If such was Christianity, unbelief would be a Virtue, a prompting of devotion, a protest on behalf
IV. Our doubt as to the existence of, or neces. only for, an external Devil, permitted by God to ruin me souls of men, has been converted to two uses in uis Preface;—first, as manifesting that we are ourselves under the power of the subtlest device of Satan.
10 has concealed from us his existence, that he might lead us captive at his will; and, secondly, that though denying the existence of Satan, we are yet our. belves the emissaries of Satan ; for that as the Devil lempted Eve, and our Lord himself, by perversions of the Word of God, so Unitarianism, by its inter. pretations, is his present instrument,-in fact, Satan nself tempting the world by the word of God, as
be tempted Eve and Christ. (pp. xv. xvi.) We are this matter to the judgment of men whose sense propriety and decency has not been borrowed exclu. ovely from the influences of a dogmatic Theology. ..". It is said of us (p. xvi.), contrary to our own most winct averment in this very Controversy, that “ac. willing to the theologians of this unhappy school, it
s to be almost a fundamental rule, that no doc.
of old he tem!
trine ought to be acknowledged as true in its nature, or divine in its origin, of which all the parts are not level to human understanding: and that whatever the Scriptures teach concerning the counsels of Jehovah, and the plan of his salvation, must be modified, curtailed, and attenuated, in such a manner, by the transforming power of art and argument, as to correspond with the poor and narrow capacities of our intelligence.”
Where are the simplicity, the sincerity, the love of Truth, which alone can make Controversy fruitful of good results, when such a representa tion of the spirit of our Theology can be given by “ thirteen Clergymen” after we had published the following words in our fifth Lecture (p. 9), for their special instruction :“Let me guard myself from the imputation of rejecting this doctrine because it is mysterious; or of supporting a system which insists on banishing all mysteries from religion. On any such system I should look with unqualified aversion, as excluding from faith one of its primary elements; as obliterating the distinction between logic and devotion, and tending only to produce an irreverent and narrow-minded dogmatism. ' Religion without mystery' is a combination of terms, than which the Athanasian Creed contains nothing more contradictory; and the sentiment of which it is the motto, I take to be a fatal caricature of rationalism, tending to bring all piety into contempt. Until we touch upon the mysterious, we are not in con