« EdellinenJatka »
became temporary—that when this was no longer his home, it should no longer be supremely desirable; at; the same time graciously assuring the offender, that more than what he had lost by transgression might be regained by repentance, and “ turning unto God;" that thus, though
: " Blooming Eden withers in his sight, “ Death gives him more than was in Eden lost.”—YOUNG. Some persons, and (as I have already hinted) even some Divines, whose minds lean towards the Socinian(a)
(a) I do not wish to give any offence by employing the term Socinian in this place: but I am really unable to find any other word that will be both appropriate and distinctive, when applied to the class of Theologians to whom I now refer; and I am not aware that the use of it occasions any doctrine to be ascribed to them which they do not hold. It is not at all essential to our present purpose, to inquire in what minute particulars the opinions of Faustus Socinus differed from those of his uncle Lælius : or in what respects the modern Socinians differ from either: all of them differ from other Christians, by denying the doctrines of original sin, of imputed righteousness, and of Christ's divinity. To call them by the name Unitarian, is to give them a name comparatively new, and to concede them a term which they have often unfairly turned against us; although they know that every firm believer in the doctrine of the Trinity as much abhors the notion of a plurality of Gods as they do. Besides, they generally include under the appellation Unitarian the Arians, who hold at least two doctrines essentially distinct from theirs, namely, that of a propitiation for sin, and that of the divinity of Christ in some sense. If this sense, whatever it be, is not equivalent to Christ's being the supreme and only God, the holders of it are in theory Polytheists; and therefore can no more be classed with the Socinian be lievers in the Unity of God, than with the Trinitarian asserters of the same great truth.
[Addition to the 3d Edition.] Mr. FULLAGAR, who has honoured ine with a pamphlet on the subject of this note, and two or three other gentlemen whom I really esteem, wish me to employ the term Unitarian instead of Socinian. I am sorry to say that their reasonings and observations have rather strengthened than weakened my objections to the terni
hypothesis, contend that the whole story of the fall of man is allegorical. To this it is easy to reply by many obvious arguments. The Scriptures are intended to lead us into all truth, to preserve us from all error. But will this be effected by thrusting an allegory into the midst of an important, interesting, and remarkably simple narration, and not furnishing us with the least clue by which we can ascertain where the allegory is interposed between the links of the
they request me to adopt. I have told them that if they will present me with any term that will be universally admitted as designating the sect, and not in great measure assume the truth of their own system, I will gladly adopt it; but they decline complying with this proposal.
On cool, mature, and conscientious deliberation, I can think of no correct method of employing the word Unitarian in this controversy, but what would, I fear, give these gentlemen greater offence than the term Socinian. It would, for example, be used correctly to designate a class of unbelievers :-Unitarian Unbelievers, persons who loudly profess their belief in one God; who believe also, that great part of the New Testament was written by the apostles; yet do not therefore believe it true, Unbelievers in general deny the truth of Revealed Religion in tota ; Unitarian unbelievers deny the truth of all which does not accord with their own theory. They do not deny that the apostles taught that Jesus Christ is “God over all, blessed for evermore,” that he died “a sacri. “fice for sin, the just for the unjust, to bring us unto God,” that we are " redeemed by the precious blood of Christ,” or that it is by grace we “ are saved, through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of « God ;” but they deny the truth of these doctrines, notwithstanding the apostles taught them. That is, they believe that they themselves know more of the nature of true religion, than the apostles who were inspired to teach it. Admirable humility!
Whether the majority of modern Socinians do or do not belong to this class of speculators, I have no inclination to determine. But if they do, I may then add, that unless belief retain all, or nearly all, the essential characteristics of unbelief; and unless true religion be that which, among all known religions professing to regard a Revelation, approximates most nearly to infidelity in its nature and tendencies, modern Socinianism can. not be the true religion.
history? Besides, if the fall of man be allegorical, does it not follow as a necessary consequence, that the redemption of man is allegorical also ? for “as in “ Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made “ alive.” (6) Yet every well-regulated mind revolts from so strange an inference. Again, if the fall of man be allegorical, it follows, by parity of reason, that its effects are allegorical, and the effects of the curse denounced in consequence of that fall are allegorical likewise. How has it happened, then, that moral turpitude has been traced every where, and in all ages ? for we have seen that the hypothesis which imputes it to imitation is untenable. And how can it be that the curse should have been always so astonishingly fulfilled, as I showed in the first letter I wrote to you? What, besides the female human species, has “sorrow” during pregnancy,-has, as Aristotle long ago remarked, headachs, vertigos, faintings, loathings, and a sad train of concomitants ? What animal besides man is compelled to “ labour” for necessaries, and even for knowledge. Quadrupeds graze the turf untilled, drink at an unbrewed stream, sleep on a bed prepared for them by their Creator, are clothed with a garment as durable as themselves, find a paradise in every field, and possess þy instinct a knowledge perfect in its kind, needing no cultivation : while man, the “ Lord” of these animals, can neither eat, drink, sleep, nor be clothed, but in consequence of labour; obtains his knowledge by an effort, greater and more continuous, than all others; and, after all, does not reach the wine in the goblet,
(6) 1 Cor. xv. 22.
but sips merely the dew from the outside—refreshing, it is true, but never filling. Call all this, as Moses authorizes you to do, the result of just punishment, and every thing is plain and easy: deny the fall of man, its permanent effects upon mankind in the tendency to sin, the maladies attending pregnancy, and the necessity for labour, and you must then be precipitated into the conclusion, that because “ Man is unhappy, “ God is unjust.”
There are those, I am aware, who not only refuse their assent to the doctrine of the fall of man, but who advance still farther in the same train of sentiment, and affirm most positively that the notion of the universal depravity of human nature is incompatible with the general tenour and language of the Bible. Let us see how far an unstrained abstract of the sentiments of the principal Scripture-writers, as to this particular, will tend to confirm their assertion.
Moses gives us the result of the observation of Deity, and not of a fallible man, when he says, “ God saw " that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, " and that every imagination of the thoughts of his “ heart was only evil CONTINUALLY.” And again, after the Deluge, “ The Lord said, The imagina« tion of man's heart is evil from his youth.” (bb)
The language of the PsALMIST, descriptive of himself and of all men in his time, is not less decisive. 66 Men are corrupt; they have done abominable “ works ; there is none that doeth good. They are 66 all gone aside ; they are altogether become filthy:
(bb). Gen. vi. 5. viii. 21.
66 there is none that doeth good, no not one.” 66 I was “ shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother con“ceive me.” “ If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniqui66 ties, O Lord, who shall stand ?” “ In thy sight “ shall no man living be justified.” (C)
Job's reprover, Eliphaz, inquires, “ What is man “ that he should be clean ; and one born of a woman “ that he should be righteous ? How abominable “ and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like “ water !" (d)
SOLOMON says, “ the way of man is froward and “ strange.” “ There is not a just man upon earth, “ that doeth good and sinneth not.” “God made man 6 upright: but they have sought out many inven" tions.” “ The heart of the sons of men is fully set in “ them to do evil.” “ The heart is full of evil, and “ madness is in their heart while they live.” (e)
The language used by Isaiah, when influenced by the Spirit of prophecy, is, * Thy first father hath “ sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed. All we, “ like sheep, have gone astray: the Lord hath laid on “ him the iniquity of us all.” “ We are all as a “ polluted thing, and all our righteous deeds are as a “ rejected garment, and our sins, like the wind, have “ borne us away." (f)
JEREMIAH says, “ We have sinned against the Lord “ our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even “ unto this day.” “ The heart is deceitful above all
(c) Ps. xiv. 1, 3. li. 5. cxxx. 3. cxliii. 2.