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which have been the instruments of her own power. . And along with her overthrow, will crumble to ruin those very engines, by which she has been elevated to her guilty preeminence. And, if there be any light in prophecy, this tumult of the nations will create one mighty vortex, whose centre shall be the heart of Europe, drawing into its whirlpool everything in the civilized world, which now throws its iron hand over human intellect and the holier aspirations of the human heart.
Let me not be suspected of prophecying. I have only indulged in a glance or two, thrown up by some flashes of the burning record of apocalyptic vision. And though this should prove an illusion, it needs no more than the ken of common observation, to predict, that a mighty convulsion awaits the destinies of Europe. And for my single self, I will trust, confiding in the high and benevolent designs of that providence which is preceding this grand event by the universal diffusion of the divine Scriptures, that this change will reduce to a sober temperament, political and civil institutions, so far as their existence may be necessary, and prepare the way for the moral renovation of the world.
If such a change may be contemplated, I know of no nation on earth so likely to endure the shock, and stand up prominent, a lumious example to the world, as the United States of America. Such an anticipated convulsion in the eastern hemisphere, can hardly extend over the surface, or move under the body, of the mighty deep, to agitate very seriously this western world. Though it will doubtless be felt, so far as political and moral corruption shall have obtained a footing here. But although the unhallowed leaven of human policy, originating in the practice of other nations may have influenced the administrations of our State and national governments, it may still be challenged, what of civil, or religious freedom, that is desirable on earth, is not guaranteed by the fundamental laws of this land? And where on earth, on the supposition of such a convulsion, can be found another so fit a pattern of the forms of human policy, as here? Where will the emancipated nations look for models for their new institutions, where will they look for an example by which to form their own character, but to this free and happy country?
And besides the happy adaptation of the forms of our government to a better and more virtuous condition of the world, there are special indications of the high designs of God respecting us, for the prospective melioration of the human family, in the copious effusion of the divine Spirit, producing frequent and extensive revivals of religion, which are constantly multiplying over the face of our country. The spirit of these revivals is becoming more and more the spirit of Christian enterprise. It looks abroad, with burning desire, on the whole family of man. Many noble spirits are nurturing in this cradle of God's providence and grace, for a high destiny—to go forth to any part of the world, with Christ in their hearts, and the Bible in their hands. Many have already gone -many are now going—treading upon the heels of each other. There is no equal of this in any other Christian nation. No, not even a likeness, except in Great Britain. And even there, the likeness is but faint and feeble. There is indeed a spirit in the bosom of that empire, which has already blessed the world, and I hope, will save the nation, though, from the very nature and structure of its government, it can be saved only by purgation.
I did not sit down to write as a politician, but as a Christian. I did not take for my criteria the diplomacy of nations, but the pages of revelation, as interpreted by the moral history and state of the world. And it has been my object to show, that the United States of America are destined, in the providence of God, to take a prominent and leading part in the moral renovation of the world. The statesman, and the worldly wise, may perhaps smile. I shall be well satisfied, if the Christian, waiting and praying for the redemption of the world, is favorably impressed.
At a future time, providence permitting, I shall offer some hints on the relative importance of New England to the rest of the Union, in a moral and religious view.
IS A REFUSAL TO HOLD COMMUNION AND MINISTERIAL INTER
COURSE WITH UNITARIANS, AN INNOVATION ?
To the Editor of the Spirit of the Pilgrims.—Sir,
An inquirer, whose communication appeared in a recent number of the Boston Recorder, requests information as to ThĖ MATTER OF FACT, whether Evangelical ministers or Christians have ever acknowledged Unitarians as Christians, or held ministerial or Christian communion with them as such? This is an important question, deserving a most careful examination. A benevolent man will never unnecessarily give pain or offence to any human being, much less tò one who presents himself under the name and garb of a professor of Christianity. But when the only choice left him is between pleasing men, and sacrificing his duty to God, his decision cannot be long doubtful..
It would seem strange, anterior to all inquiry, that any, especially that any professor of Orthodoxy, should, for a moment, hesitate as to what must have been the matter of fact in reference to the point in question. I suppose all will be ready to grant that a Chris- , tian is one who believes and embraces Christianity. But what is Christianity? It is, in the view of every Orthodox Christian,
e system; whicessence of Chinose it to be an That
a religion which provides salvation for depraved and guilty sinpers; and which, for this purpose, sets before them pardon and acceptance with God, through the atonement and righteousness of a divine Mediator, and sanctification by the power of the divine Spirit. In fewer words, it is a religion which offers to men a title to heaven, and a preparation for heaven, through the atoning blood and sanctifying grace of an almighty Surety. Whether this be a proper definition of Christianity or not, every one will grant that this is, substantially, what the Orthodox suppose it to be. This, in their view, forms the very essence of Christianity; the very life and glory of the system; which, being taken away, it is destroyed, it is no longer the same religion, but “another gospel.” Of course, he who does not receive the doctrine that man is a guilty and depraved creature, and the doctrine of the divinity and atonement of the Son of God, and of the divinity and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, does not receive the Gospel of Christ, that is, does not receive Christianity, and is, consequently, no Christian. That there are doctrines of the Gospel, which a man may reject, and yet be a Christian, there can be no doubt. To suppose all doctrines fundamental, and equally important, would be in the highest degree unreasonable. But that he who rejects those parts of Christianity which form its essence, cannot be a Christian, in any scriptural sense of the word, or, indeed, in any rational sense of it, is just as evident as that a man cannot be entitled to the name of a scholar, who does not know a letter in any alphabet.
The following quotation from the pious and able Dr. Wardlaw, when speaking of the radical dissonance between Orthodoxy and Unitarianism, must satisfy, one would think, every intelligent and impartial mind of its correctness.
" It is very obvious, that two systems, of which the sentiments, on subjects such as these, are in direct opposition, cannot, with any propriety, be confounded together under one common name. That both should be Christianity, is impossible ; else Christianity is a term, which distinguishes nothing. Viewing the matter abstractly, and without affirming, for the present, what is truth, and what is error, this I think I may with confidence affirm, that to call schemes so opposite in all their great leading articles by a common appellation, is more absurd, than it would be to confound together those two irreconcileable theories in astronomy, of which the one places the earth, and the other the sun, in the centre of the planetary system. They are, in truth, essentially different religions. For if opposite views as to the Object of worship, the ground of hope for eternity, the rule of faith and duty, and the principles and motives of true obedience; if these do not constitute different religions, we may, without much difficulty, discover some principles of union and identity among all religions whatever ; 'we may realize the doctrine of Pope's "universal prayer,' and extend the right hand of fellowship to the worshippers at the mosque, and to the votaries of Brama.”
Accordingly, we find the inspired writers speaking in perfect harmony with these representations. Scarcely anything could be more pointed than the language of the apostle Paul, in reference to this matter. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel ; which is not another, but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.' As we sạid before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye har; received, let him be accursed. Galatians i. 6—10. The apostle John, in his second Epistle, speaks in these decisive terms. He that abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed ; for he that biddeth him God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds. The apostle Peter employs language no less decisive and solemn. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Peter ii. 1.
Now, it cannot be doubted that the inspired writers are, in all these passages, speaking of those who rejected the true doctrine concerning our Saviour's person and work; it cannot be doubted by any Orthodox man, that the language employed includes those who denied the divinity and atoning sacrifice of the Son of God. If so, and if they pronounce such persons to be heretics, nay, advocates of “damnable heresy;" if they represent them as teachers of “another gospel ;" as "accursed ;” and as not to be ecclesiastically countenanced or received : I say, if these "holy men of old who were taught by the Holy Ghost,". pronounced thus concerning those who were radically erroneous as to the divine character and mediatorial work of the Son of God; if, as the Orthodox conscientiously believe, they pronounced thus concerning those who denied the divinity and atoning sacrifice of Christ; is it possible, for those who believe this, and who make the word of God their rule, to hesitate a moment whether they ought, by any ecclesiastical act, to countenance Arians or Socinians; to recognize them as Christians; to hold communion with them; to acknowledge the official advocates of such doctrines as “ ambassadors of Christ;" to invite them into their pulpits; or, in any way, to sanc-. tion their ministrations ?
But, what was the matter of fact? It was, as is most evident from ecclesiastical history, that all the early Christians considered the word of God as forbidding them to hold communion with heretics of the description just referred to; and that they did invariably withhold communion from those who were convicted of such heresies. This was so uniformly the case, that a single exception is not now recollected.
Cerinthus, toward the close of the very first century, denied the divinity of Christ, believing that Jesus was a mere man, born of Joseph and Mary ; that a superangelic being, or influence, was united to this man at his baptism; that this superangelic being, however, was not so united to him as to form one person, and abandoned him before his crucifixion; and that it was the mere man who suffered on the cross. And how was this man regarded by the Orthodox? Irenæus expressly declares that the evangelist "John designed by his Gospel to remove the error which was sown among men by Cerinthus.” Jerome also attests the same fact, and unequivocally calls his opinion a heresy. And Irenæus relates, that the apostle John, while he resided at Ephesus, once going to bathe, and perceiving that Cerinthus was in the bath, came out hastily, saying, “ Let us flee, lest the bath should fall, while Cerinthus, an enemy of the truth, is within."
The Cerinthians were soon succeeded by the Ebionites, who took their name from Ebion, and taught substantially the same opinions. Irenæus, Justin Martyr, Clemens Alexandrinus, Tertullian and Origen, again and again, speak of these people as heretics, and several of the number decisively represent them as “ separated from believers," and as “out of the way of salvation."
In the second century arose Marcion, who denied the plenary divinity of Christ, and taught that he had not a real, but only an apparent, human body. This man is stigmatized as a heretic by Irenæus, in terms of very strong reprobation ; by Justin Martyr, who represents his error as a destructive heresy; by Tertullian, who condemns him as a gross heretic, and speaks of him as having departed from the faith and the church of Christ; and finally, by Polycarp, who not only denounced him as a heretic, but when Marcion, mortified at Polycarp's treatment of him, said, “Polycarp, acknowledge us ;" the good man replied, “I do acknowledge thee as the firstborn of Satan.” This anecdote is related by Irenæus, who was nearly contemporary with both the individuals concerned.
About the close of the second century, Theodotus appeared at Rome, and publicly taught that Jesus Christ was a mere man. Concerning this errorist, Caius, a presbyter of Rome, whose account is preserved in Eusebius, speaks in terms of the most unreserved condemnation. He speaks of him as “the chief and