« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
“I make the greatest difference between 'ans' and ‘isms. I should deal insincerely, if I said, that I thought Unitarianism was Christianity. No, as I believe, and have faith in the doctrine, it is not the truth in Jesus Christ. By the by, what do you (Unitarians) mean, by exclusively assuming the title of Unitarians? As if Trio-Unitarians were not necessarily Unitarians, as much (pardon the illustration) as an apple-pie, must of course be a pie! The schoolmen would perhaps have called you Unicists, but your proper name is Psilanthrapists, believers in the mere human nature of Christ. * * * Unitarianism, is in effect, the worst of one kind of Atheism, joined to one of the worst kinds of Calvinism. It has no covenant with God, and it looks upon prayer as a sort of selfmagnetizing ;-a getting of the body and temper into a certain status, desirable, per se, but having no covenanted reference to the Being to whom the prayer is addressed.
“The pel texts of Socinians are quite enough for their confutation with acute thinkers. If Christ had been a mere man, it would have been ridiculous in him, to call himself the “Son of Man ;' but being God and man, it then became, in his own assumption, a peculiar and mysterious title. So, if Christ had been a mere man, his saying, “My Father is greater than I, (John, xv. 28.) would have been as unmeaning. It would be laughable, for example, to hear me say, “my Remorse succeeded indeed, but Shakspeare is a greater dramatist than 1. But how immeasurably more foolish, more monstrous, would it not be, for a man, however honest, good, or wise, to say, "But JEHOVAH is greater than I.
“Either we have an immortal soul, or we have not. If we have not, we are beasts: the first and wisest of beasts, it may be, but still true beasts. We shall only differ in degree, and not in kind; just as the elephant differs from the slug. But by the concession of all the materialists, of all the schools, or almost all, we are not of the same kind as beasts; and this also we say, from our own consciousness. Therefore, methinks, it must be the possession of a soul within us, that makes the difference.
“ Read the first chapter of the Book of Genesis without prejudice, and you will be convinced at once. After the narrative of the creation of the earth and brute animals, Moses seems to pause, and says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And in the next chapter, he repeats the narrative.—“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ; and then he adds these words, and man became a living soul. Materialism will never explain these last words.”
The following letter was written by Mr. Coleridge, to Mr. George Fricker. It is believed in 1807, Mr. F. died 1828 ; pious and respected.
“ Saturday afternoon. My dear young friend, I am sorry that you should have felt any delicacy in disclosing to me your religious feelings, as rendering it inconsistent with your tranquillity of mind to spend the Sunday evening with me. Though I do not find in that book, which we both equally revere, any command, either express, or which I can infer, which leads me to attach any criminality to cheerful and innocent social intercourse on the Lord's day; though I do not find that it was in the least degree forbidden to the Jews on their Sabbath ; and though I have been taught by Luther, and the great founders of the church of England, that the Sabbath was a part of the ceremonial and transitory parts of the law given by Heaven to Moses; and that our Sunday is binding on our consciences, chiefly from its manifest and most awful usefulness, and indeed moral necessity; yet, I highly commend your firmness in what you think right, and assure you solemnly, that I esteem you greatly for it. I would much rather that you should have too much, than
an atom too little. I am far from surprised that, having seen what you have seen, and suffered what you have suffered, you should have opened your soul to a sense of our fallen nature; and the incapability of man to heal himself. My opinions may not be in all points the same as yours: but I have experienced a similar alteration. I was for many years a Socinian; (and at times almost a Naturalist) but sorrow, and ill health, and disappointment in the only deep wish I had ever cherished, forced me to look into myself; I read the New Testament again, and I became fully convinced, that Socinianism was not only not the doctrine of the New Testament, but that it scarcely deserved the name of a religion in any sense. An extract from a letter which I wrote a few months ago to a sceptical friend, who had been a Socinian, and of course rested all the evidences of christianity on miracles, to the exclusion of grace and inward faith, will perhaps, surprise you, as showing you how much nearer our opinions are than what you must have supposed. “I fear that the mode of defending christianity, adopted by Grotius first ; and latterly, among many others, by Dr. Paley, has increased the number of infidels ;-never could it have been
so great, if thinking men had been habitually led to look into their own souls, instead of always looking out, both of themselves, and of their nature. If to curb attack, (such as yours on miracles) it had been answered :—Well, brother ! but granting these miracles to have been in part the growth of delusion at the time, and of exaggeration afterward, yet still all the doctrines will remain untouched by this circumstance, and binding on thee. Still must thou repent and be regenerated, and be crucified to the flesh; and this not by thy own mere power; but by a mysterious action of the moral Governor on thee; of the Ordo-ordinians, the Logos, or Word. Still will the eternal filiation, or Sonship of the Word from the Father; still will the Trinity of the Deity, the redemption, and the thereto necessary assumption of humanity by the Word, who is with God, and is God, remain truths; and still will the vital head-and-heart Faith in these truths, be the living and only fountain of all true virtue. Believe all these, (and with the grace of the Spirit to consult your own heart, in quietness and humility, they will furnish you with proofs, that surpass all understanding, because they are felt and known ;) believe all these, I say, so as that thy faith shall