« AnteriorContinua »
sented in the terms which have been used by its ablest and most accomplished advocates. The argument has not been disguised by any allusion to the conduct of less cautious or less skilful polemics, nor incumbered by a reference to the vain suspicions of the integrity or conjectural emendations of the Sacred Text; to the unauthorized translation of its words, or the tortuous interpretation of its sense; to the contradiction and disagreement of Unitarian commentators with themselves and with each other; to their confident anticipations of ultimate success; to their insinuations on the probity of their adversaries, and the imputation of interested motives, which induce a tacit acquiescence in error, or prevent a manly investigation of the truth.
These disingenuous arts of controversy need not at this time or in this place to be exposed, where all of critical and theological erudition has been brought to bear in the defence of the truth. The little which has been done upon the present occasion may serve as a specimen of the errors
which our younger brethren will be called to encounter in their future life, and of the power and strength of the instruments with which effectual resistance must be made. Let the inexperienced not scorn the word of exhortation, nor deem it an unjust restraint on the ardent curiosity of the inquisitive, or on the sanguine zeal of the faithful, if they be dissuaded from examining the mazes of Unitarian theology, even for the purpose of disentangling them, without having acquired a competence of scriptural knowledge, and from penetrating the labyrinth without bearing the thread always in their hands. Let it not be offensive to recommend a prudent caution in the exposition of what we conceive to be the truth, that there be no occasion given to the adversary, of which he will not fail to avail himself' in reproaching the righteous cause, and fastening upon our common faith the private errors of the individual.
Now may the God in whose name we have been baptized, the Father, the Son,
f Carpenter, p. 345, 346.
faith : may
and the Holy Spirit, enable us to hold fast and without wavering the profession of our
preserve us in constant adherence to the great mystery of godli
ness," and from all temptation to deny “ the Lord who bought” us, to disparage his nature, or depreciate his office. May we learn to "honour the Son even as we " honour the Father,” and to believe in Christ as we “ believe in God.” In Christ,
though now we see him not, yet believing,” may we always " rejoice with joy
unspeakable and full of glory," until in the fulness of time, the veil of mystery shall be removed from every eye, and “ we “ shall see him as he is,” and “ receive the send of our faith, the salvation of our ** souls,”
THE DOCTRINES OF THE MODERN CALVINISTS
COMPARED WITH THE SCRIPTURES.
Acts xx. 27-30.
I have not shunned to declare unto you all the
counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse
things, to draw away disciples after them. It was the strict law of righteousness, wbich was delivered to the Jews, that they should do all which was “ written in the “ book of the law of Moses, and turn not • aside from it either to the right hand or “ to the left a.” The law was worthy to be delivered by a Governor whose wisdom is infinite, and to be received by a people who were placed in a condition of servitude to fulfil the pleasure of his will.
a Joshua xxiii. 6.
The rule which was addressed to the Jews with the absolute authority of the supreme Governor, is recommended to Christians as a measure of necessary prudence in doing all things which Christ hath commanded. It is in merciful accommodation to our infirmities that we are taught to “ make straight paths for our “ feet, that that which is lame may not be “ turned out of the way, but rather that it “ be healed b,” that our natural weakness may not be inflamed nor aggravated by treading in intricate paths, or by neglecting the highway in which the weakest traveller may pursue his journey in safety and with success. To facilitate the means of salvation, the “ workman that needeth not “ to be ashamed,” will rightly divide “the “ word of truthc;" he will sow the good seed in such straight and even furrows,
b Heb. xii. 13.
c 2 Tim. ii. 15.