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those views of the gospel which put forth most mightily this power over the heart, and we openly confess, that it is because we believe it possesses an unrivalled efficacy to save the soul, by bringing it into a holy and trustful union with God and Christ, that we value unspeakably, and adhere to through all temptation and scorn, the faith that is in us. To us it is the light, as it is the gift of God, and we will not abandon it, so long as it points Conscience to the things that are before; leads us up to God through the love and imitation of his Christ; speaks with heavenly serenity of grand and tranquillizing truths in moments of trial: and true to our spiritual connexions with Heaven, suffers our sins to have no peace, and our virtues no fears.
I shall endeavour, briefly but distinctly, to bring out the prominent points of difference between Unitarian and Trinitarian Christianity, in their moral aspects.
And, first, Unitarianism alone puts forth the great view that the moral and spiritual character of the mind itself is its own recompense, its own glory, its own heaven; and that this harmony with God and with his Christ is not the means of salvation only, but salvation itself. Unitarianism alone receives the spiritual view of Christ that the kingdom of Heaven is within us; and works not for outward wages, but to make the inward soul a holy temple for the Spirit of God; that through its purified affections Jesus, our best type of Heaven, may shed his own peace, and that he and his Father may be able to love us, and come unto us, and make their abode with us. Now you are aware that this qualifying of ourselves for Heaven through heavenly frames of mind, is so prominent a part of our faith, that it is actually converted into a charge against us. I heard the Unitarians charged with a want of gospel humility for regarding holy affections and a Christ-like life as the substance of the hope of Heaven; and I thought on the words of the Apostle“ The kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy
118 right ath as sed lapa
purit"* This is not the salvation so loudly Vaunted by Tri
hanism. It assigns another office to Christ than that of leading mo
mig men to God through a resemblance to himself. Jesus was to Trinitarians not principally as the Inspirer of virtue, aut quickener of holiest affections, the guide of the heavenound spirit; but as bearing on his own person the punishment due to their sins, and as performing in his own person the righteousness that is imputed to them, and being transferred, by an act of faith, makes good their claim to Heaven. Now these notions of Heaven regard it as so much property, which one person may purchase and transfer to another. Christ, by an act of self-sacrifice, becomes the purchaser of Heaven, and gives a right of settlement in the blessed land to every one who consents to regard his death as a substitution for his own punishment, and his righteousness as a substitution for his own virtues. There is no flattering unction that could be laid to the soul, no drug to stupify its life, that could more thoroughly turn it away from the spiritual nur. poses of Jesus.t He lived that men might know their own mature, and work out its glory for themselves. He lived that de might rescue that nature from low views of its duties oma
powers, by showing humanity in the image of God. te his cross that men might look to Calvary and beha e moral heroism of the meekest heart when it truste
; with what serenity a filial faith can pass through ssitudes of severest trial, and take the cup from +2 a of a Father, though he presents it from out the darle e of his providence. He died, because Death crossed hi
of Duty, and not to turn aside was part of his loyalt le Spirit of Truth, “ for this cause was I born, and for Cause came I into the world, that I should bear witnese the truth;"—he died that earth and heaven might unite
fi uences on the human soul treading an uninterrupted to God, that its light might come from beyond the Romxiv. 17.
grave, and its hope from the peace of a world that is never
And now shall I be told, that this is claiming Heaven on
through peniter dare not offer pe
ne drag the most selfish passions and fears—bribing over to " side the terrors and the weaknesses, to which, except ugh penitence and restoration, Unitarian Christianity Pot offer peace. Trinitarianism will not deal so justly
So strictly with sin. We are speaking of its tendencies; ut of the forms it sometimes, nay we will say often, assumes in the higher and purer order of minds. It is true to the weaknesses of men ; but false to their strength. It seems to many to save them in their low condition, not from it. It will not meet the soul, and tell it that there is no substitute for holiness, and that to move guilt from its punishment would be to move God from his throne. It takes that guilty soul, and instead of dealing with it truly, cleansing from sin, and pouring in the spirit of the life of Christ, leans it against the Atoning Sacrifice, and the Righte ousness that cometh by imputation, an unhallowed and un natural alliance, to make that glorious virtue an easy retreat for guilt, and the holy Jesus a 'Minister of Sin.* “Ther realed the hurt of my people slightly, saying, Peace, Deace where there is no peace." +
Ind if we value Unitarianism for what we feel to be + cacy of its views in regard to the offices of Christ, w e vol Ven more, for its views of God, and for the connexions s us with his spirit. Piety is the noblest distinction est happiness, the purest fountain of the soul; and 5 without measure, the faith that nurtures it m vagly. We feel our affections to be drawn towards
and Father with a singleness and intensity, that we h
personal God. We boast an undivided worship, and divided Temple, where all the soul's devotion centres " one Father. His spirit was with us when we knew not power that was exciting our irrepressible joy; and • Gal. ii. 17.
though He has led us through his ways of discipline, we knew
But the practical importance" of our views of God consists not merely in that Unity of being, through which all the devotion of the soul is poured into one central affection; it affects also the unity of his Character, the moral perfections of the source of Piety. We reject that faith which represents the moral government of God as a system of favouritism. We meet with nothing in nature to impeach the Impartiality of our Heavenly Father. We believe that the same God who sends his sun and his rain upon the evil and upon the just, is willing to shed the dew of his blessing upon the hearts of all his children. We rejoice to overlook the vain and perishable distinctions of time; to believe that all the human family,