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volume and page. You say, “ the very creed inserted in this 'Spirit of the Pilgrims' expresses precisely what we find represented in works on the opposite side.” In what article of our creed, then, is the doctrine of depravity represented as you have represented it? Be pleased to make good your allegation by quoting our very words, to which you reter. When you have done this, we shall cheerfully acquit you of the charge of misrepresentation in respect to this particular subject. And when you have done this, you will stand acquitted before the public of another and a more serious charge, that of denying the fact of misrepresentation, when, as we say, it exists; and when the existence of it is palpable and open to the view of all.
Mr. S. observes further, in the name and on the behalf of Unitarians generally, “We have, one and all, been ready and happy to acknovledge Calvinists as Christians, on the ground of a Christian character merely. While they would, we were in the habit of interchanging ministerial Jabors." Mr. S. had forgotten, perhaps, when he wrote this, that a long and labored Unitarian sermon has of late ben published, and received with approbation by the whole fraternity, the object of which is, to prove that Calvinists are guilty of denying the Lord Jesus. What sort of Christians, we ask, are those, who persist in “denying the Lord that bought them”? And what sort of Christians, we ask further, are those who, “ while they would, were in the habit of interchanging ministerial labors" with these deniers of their Lord ?
Mr. S. charges the Spirit of the Pilgrims with “openly asserting of Unitarians that they do, as far as they dare, deny the divine authority of the sacred Scriptures." We might require him to name the page in the Spirit of the Pilgrims, where this assertion, in so many words, is made. But waiving this, we may be permitted to press a few inquiries, the proper answers to which will go not a little way towards justifying the assertion, if it were made. We ask then, whether what is called “an Improved Version of the New Testament” has not been extolled by Unitarians in this country as “a version far more faithful, more correct, and more intelligible, than that in common use;"'* and whether this version does not reject whole chapters of the New Testament, against the authority of all the manuscripts and versions extant? We ask, whether “Le Clerc on Inspiration” has not been published and highly praised by American Unitarians, a work which expressly denies the inspiration of no inconsiderable part of the sacred volume ! We ask, whether Mr. Yates, whose authority we have never heard disputed, does not represent “the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures as one of those questions, upon which Unitarians are divided in opinon ?”+ We ask, whether a writer in the Christian Examiner for Jan. and Feb. 1876 does not represent “the sacred documents of our faith as prepared for temporary use, and filled with subjects of local interests or poplllar accommodation ;''--whether he does not represent “the scheme of preparation which led the way to Christianity” (meaning the Old Testament) “as for the most part but dimly discerned, and unsatis
* See General Repository, vol. iv.
Vindication of Unitarianism, p. 19.
faciory, crea in what is plainly to be perceived; mixed with the doubijulness of old traditions, and with systems of superannuated crrors;” --and whether he does not characterise the instructions of Jesus, as a “cautious and half-veiled teaching”? We ask, whether the Chris. tian Register, for Nov. 4, 18:26, does not contain an article expressly questioning, if not ridiculing, the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, whether a writer in the same paper for Aug. 12, 1836, in commenting upon Col. i. 16, 17, docs not affirm, that "no resemblance of words is alone adequate to support the opinion, that what is here said of Christ is precisely that which is affirmed of Jehovah in the Old Testament;" or, which is the same, that words cannot erpress the sentiment that Christ is what the apostle declares him to be, the universal Creator ?* Should these inquiries fail to satisfy Mr. S. as to the estimation in which Unitarians hold the inspired writings, we shall be happy to press some further questions, the next time we have the honor of communicating with him on this most interesting subject.
We have not noticed all the topics adverted to in the article before us; but enough probably to satisfy our readers as to its character, and the general character of the work which contains it.
Mr. S. laments, in conclusion, that "a hostile spirit should be so unweariedly fostered in this community.” And he asks, “ What would the Orthodox have ? Must we give up our faith ?" If we may be allowed to speak in the name of our brethren, we have no hesitation in replying. We wish you to see, and abandon, those errors, the influence of which, we must seriously believe, is hazardous, if not fatal, to the soul. You are mistaken if you think we are angry with you, and you do us great injustice in branding our efforts to promote and defend our own views of religion, and consequently to refute yours, with the name of persecution. Most gladly would we take you by the hand, and go with you to the foot of the cross, and with you rest our hopes of heaven there. Most gladly would we unite with you in labors and sacrifices to promote the cause of Him, who was the “ Child born," and the “Son given;" upon whose shoulder the government is laid; and whose “name is Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace.” But, in your attempts to spread a system of religion, which we are confident degrades this divine Saviour, and detracts infinitely from the honors due to his name, we can never unite. We can never cease to exert the faculties and the influence, with which the God of grace has been pleased to bless us, on the opposite side. We do not impeach your sincerity altogether; we do not doubt that you think you are in the right way : but this does not prove you either correct or safe ; For “there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." * The Cliristian Register, in 1826, was published by the American Unitarian Association.
The following article was read as a public exercise at the anniversary of the Theological Institution at Andover, in 1827, by one of the Senior Class of that year; and was first published in the Christian Spectator for May, of the present year.
JOHN Calvin, the celebrated reformer, was born at Noyon, a city of France, on the 10th July, 1509. At an early age, he gave indications of distinguished intellectual endowments; and, through all the stages of his education, made very rapid progress in the acquisition of knowledge. As he exhibited in his whole deportment an uncommon degree of piety and moral virtue, he was early devoted by his parents to the service of the Catholic church. But his almost intuitive apprehension of the corruptions and errors of that church, soon led him to renounce the tonsure for the study of the civil law. Light was now beginning to dawn upon the world, after a night of centuries. In Germany, the intrepid Luther had commenced his attack upon the prescriptive and exorbitant claims of the papal power. In Switzerland, France, and England, a few undaunted souls had arisen and resolutely espoused the cause of religious truth and freedom. At this important crisis in the most valuable interests of men, the enlightened and efficient mind of Calvin did not sleep. At the age of twenty-three, having become firmly established in those views of religion now embodied in his Institutes, he renounced the profession of the law, and devoted himself exclusively to the interests of the Protestant cause. Calvin was peculiarly qualified to act at the time and in the scenes he did. Luther had gone before. Possessed of a harsh and impetuous temperament—a reckless energy of soul, he convulsed, agitated, roused the sleeping elements of society stirred up the public mind to active and independent investigation. Hence, when Calvin came upon the stage, the whole mass of intellect about him was in a state of bold inquiry, of perilous agitation. An impulse had been given to society : it required the hand of a master to regulate the motion. The storm had been raised : some presiding energy was needed to control its rage, or it would have spread over the dearest interests of men entire and unlimited desolation. Calvin was the man for this delicate and difficult task. God raised him up for the work. He was calm, intellectual, collected. He had outstripped the world in the discovery and developement of truth. As an expositor of the Scriptures, he was sober, spiritual, penetrating. As a theologian, he stands in the very foremost rank of those of any age or country. His Institutes, composed in his youth, amidst a pressure of duties and the rage and turbulence of the times, invincible against every species of assault, give him indisputably this pre-eminence. As a civilian, even though the law was a subject of subordinate attention, he had few equals among his contemporaries. In short, he exhibited, in strong and decided developement, all those moral and intellectual qualities which marked him out for one who was competent to guide the opinions, and control the commotions, of inquiring and agitated nations. Through the most trying andh azardous period of the Reformation, he exhibited, invariably, a wisdom in counsel, a prudence of zeal, and at the same time, a decision and intrepidity of character, which were truly astonishing. Nothing could for a moment deter him from a faithful discharge of his duty; nothing detrude him from the path of rectitude. When the very foundations of the world seemed to be shaking, he stood erect and firm, the pillar of the truth. He took his stand between two of the most powerful kingdoms of the age, resisted and assailed alternately the whole force of the papal domination-maintained the cause of truth and of God against the intriguing Charles on the one hand, and the courtly and bigotted Francis on the other. The pen was his most effectual weapon; and this was beyond the restriction or refutation of his royal antagonists. Indeed, on the arena of theological controversy, he was absolutely unconquerable by any power or combination of powers, which his numerous opponents could bring against him. fe not only refuted and repressed the various errors which sprang up so abundantly in consequence of the commotion of the times, and which threatened to defeat all the efforts which were making for the inoral illumination of the world; but the publication of the Institutes contributed, to a wonderful degree, to give unity of religious belief to the friends of the Reformation, and, of course, to marshal the strength, and combine and give success to the efforts, of all contenders for the faith once delivered to the saints.
But time will not allow me to give anything like a detail of the excellencies of this illustrious reformer's character, or of the invaluable services which he has rendered to society. He was a great and good man. To the full import of the phrase, he may be styled a benefactor of the world. Most intensely and effectually too, did he labor for the highest temporal and especially for the eternal interests of his fellow men. He evidently brought to the great enterprize of the age a larger amount of moral and intellectual power than did any other of the reformers. Even the cautious Scaliger pronounces him the most exalted character that has appeared since the days of the apostles, and at the age of twenty-two the most learned man in Europe. And the immediate influence of his invincible mind is still deeply felt through the masterly productions of his pen, and will continue to be felt in the advancement of the pure interests of the church, until the complete triumph of her principles.
But notwithstanding the noble virtues of Calvin's character, and the imperishable benefits which he has conferred upon the world, perhaps there never has been the man whose name has been the object of so frequent and so gross slanderous imputations as his. Catholic and Protestant, infidel and believer, have often most cordially united in their endeavors to obscure the reputation of this illustrious man. Indeed, Calvin and Calvinism are sounds at which many stand aghast with a species of consternation, as expressions which import something unutterably barbarous and horrible. And it often happens that those who are the warmest in their hatred of of him, and most plentiful in their reproaches, have never read a single line of his writings, and know scarcely a fact of his life. Now
why it is that Calvin has been singled out from the rest of the reformers, as a mark for the poisoned shaft of obloquy, is very strange, not to say altogether unaccountable. He was plainly in advance of his cotemporaries in all those moral and intellectual qualities which conspire to form a lovely and dignified character. True, he had some of the harsh features, the irritable and impetuous temperament, and inflexible spirit, of the times. Well for the world that he had. How could he have done the work assigned him, without some of these severe ingredients in his constitution ? Where everything around combined to crush hiin down, or thrust him from his course, how could he have stood erect and undaunted for the truth, without something unbending and invincible in his principles and feelings!
Calvin deserves the thanks, and not the curses, of posterity. He was ardently esteemed by all the good of his own time; and he has since been, is now, and will continue to be, esteemed, so long as higi moral excellence and the stern miajesty of virtue shall, to any extent, be objects of human approbation.
THE REFORMATION IN ITALY.
It is not, we believe, generally known, that the Reformation of Luther and Calvin extended into Italy, and even into the States of the Church. The following extracts will therefore communicate, to some of our readers, information not before possessed, and will, we think, be interesting to all. They are from a Review, in the seventy third number of the London Quarterly Review, of a History of the Progress and Suppression of the Reformation in Italy, in the sij. teenth century; including a Sketch of the History of the Reformation in the Grisons, by Thomas M-Crie, D. D.; &vo. Edinburgh, 1827.
From the time when Christianity was first planted, there has ever been in existence a body of men, obscure, perhaps, as the seven thousand in Israel, to whom the name of the true church more especially belonged; and who, amidst the corruptions, the discouragements, and the danrers, of a world with which they had but little in common, and which was not worthy of them, pursued their pure course in privacy. It is not easy, indeed, to get with accuracy at the state of religious opinion, where it differed from the church of Ronie, before the Reformation. Then it was that the strings of the tongue were thoroughly loosed, and many sentiments, which, though in being, had been nearly without witness, first found a free utterance. It would be contrary to all experience, to believe that such a revolution in the world as Luther effected, could have been wrought by one private individual, without the aid of powerful predisposing causes. It is not usual with men, who are more than half a century in advance of their generation, to make any great and permanent change in its character. Luther happened to be the first to put the world into the waters, after the angel had sufficiently troubled them. But soine hundred years before the reformer was born, (perhaps, in one instance, from the earliest ages of Christianity,) there had been communities of men to be found, in the south of France, in England, in the valleys of the Alps, in Calabria, in Bohemia, perhaps in Spain itself, who held doctrines essentially the same as those afterwards established at the Reformation, and by means of whom the leaven could not fail to be propagated in some degree throughout Europe.