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of love in himself? Need we intermediary beings to give him interest? These are the implicit blasphemies of those idolatrous, mentally idolatrous, systems which have disturbed Christianity for ages. It is the system of original sin, and that of redemption, that monstrous series of contrivances attributed to God to save his own creation, it is this system lurking in almost every mind, that gives Unitarianism its air of coldness. As no God has died for us, it seems we have no reason to be thankful, no ground for loving the Father of our natural being. What is natural, and what supernatural, in the great mystery of man? This distinction is the bane of theology. No, my dear Sir, you yourself know that our pure belief in God does not generate coldness. From my own experience I feel certain, that all such church systems diminish the true love of God in the heart. Since I became convinced that the misnamed supernaturalism is no part of Christianity, no doubt has interposed its shadow between my soul and my God. My confidence in Him has increased; I await death as his fatherly message of love, not troubling myself to form schemes of the life to which he calls me, but feeling certain that in his hands I shall be safe. I am safe, and shall be so to all eternity."
From Thoughts in 1840:
"Meditation and Prayer.
"O thou great Being, who, from the dawn of my reason, didst reveal thyself within my heart, to Thee I may venture to speak humbly but freely, in the sanctuary of my soul. It is there that I obtain the nearest approach to Thee; there alone I know Thee face to face, not in
the figure of a man, not in the colored shadows of imagination, but in the truly spiritual character of knowledge, power, will, consciousness. Thou hast identified me with Thee; and yet infinitude lies between us. Thus mysteriously united and distinct, a mere thought undraws the spiritual veil of the oracle to which Thou hast consecrated me a priest; I am instantly conscious of Thy presence. No fire or thunder, no smoke weltering in the flames, no sound of the trumpet from the summit of a blazing mountain, can so surely attest that nearness. Thy still, small voice' penetrates my very essence, and I reverence Thee from the mysterious centre where my being and my nothingness unite. How great, how little, I am! Less than dust and ashes; nobler than the morning star, by my powers of thought; - though not a breath of life is properly my own, yet I can confidently pour the workings of my heart into Thy infinite bosom; nay, those spiritual workings which I call mine seem to proceed from Thee. What! if in passing through me they become subject to obscurity and distortion! I will every moment refer them back to the eternal, immutable light which is their source, and much of the distortion will
"Nor shall I be deterred because other men tell me that these very thoughts are grievous offences in Thy sight. To exert my mind under a vehement desire that my thoughts may conform with Thine is the only form of worship in my power, not unworthy of Thee. Eternal Spirit! I am thy child; to trace and to increase in myself a likeness to my Father is bliss unspeakable. This is what I would purchase with ten thousand lives; this is that which I have but one way to accomplish; a way
which Thou didst show to one who, in spite of many human imperfections, did ardently love Thee, and was frequently taught by Thee. I must, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, (be) changed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Spirit of the Lord." "
We close these extracts with Blanco White's beautiful sonnet, which Coleridge (Vol. I., p. 439) calls "the finest and most grandly conceived in the English language."
"Mysterious Night! when our first parent knew
And, lo! creation widened in man's view.
Who could have thought such darkness lay concealed
JESUS CHRIST OUR PATTERN.
BY REV. MOSES G. THOMAS.
PRINTED FOR THE
American Unitarian Association.
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