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DOCTRINE OF SATISFACTION FOR SIN.
Chard, Oct. 20, 1828. ACCORDING to an intimation given at the close of my narrative, [Vol. XIV. p. 385,] I am now about to lay before your readers the reasons why I have thought it right to reject, as a great error, the above-named popular doctrine. But before I proceed, I beg to premise that the course of argument by which I was led to my present convictions on the subject, has not been influenced by any assistance derived from the preaching or writings of Unitarians.* Not that I wish to depreciate their labours and productions, or to con
* In making this assertion, I do not mean to be understood that I have not read any Unitarian works; or that, since my mind has been decided on the subject of the atonement, I have not read any production in some measure treating thereon. Indeed, through the kindness of a respectable Unitarian minister in a neighbouring town, I have had the pleasure and satisfaction of perusing the writings of several highly esteemed authors of the denomination alluded to, since my decided convictions on the doctrine in question.
temn their aid; for I have no doubt my progress in the inquiry would have been facilitated by the means alluded to: but I merely mention it with a view to obviate the insinuation of seductive delusion which the orthodox are sometimes disposed to bring against those who renounce their creed; and likewise of offering a testimony to the efficiency and happy results of a free use of the understanding in religious investigation. If, however, there should be any coincidence in my arguments with those of other Unitarians, I can only account for it by supposing, that the unbiassed pursuit of truth, in different cases, is attended with a similar train of thought, and its discovery founded in a sameness of radical and legitimate reasoning.
First, then, I reject this doctrine because, like that of the Trinity, it cannot be expressed in scripture languuge. This I consider a good criterion by which to detect the erroneousness of a creed; yet so imposing is a false system when plausibly connected with high-sounding terms, that for years I had no suspicion but that the current phraseology by which this notion is variously expressed, was identical and synonymous with the word of God. Thus every scheme of divinity which predominates through human authority and popular credulity, is an impediment in the way of a proper use of the Scriptures. Had this been a doctrine made known to the writers of the New Testament, no doubt they would have used such terms and phrases as—“ inexorable justice"