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be not merely real in the acquiescence of the intellect ; but actual, in the thereto assimilated affections; then shalt thou Know from God, whether or not Christ be of God. But, take notice, I only say, the miracles are extra-essential : I by no means deny their importance, much less hold them useless, or superfluous. Even as Christ did, so would I teach : that is, build the miracle on the faith, not the faith on the miracle. May Heaven bless you, my dear George, and Your affectionate friend,
S. T. C."
The following comments on Socinianism, are extracted from the “Literary Remains ” of Mr. Coleridge, (Vol. ). p. 375) and which show the coincidence of his later and last sentiments, with those he so explicitly avowed in 1807.
“Socinianism is not a religion, but a theory, and that, too, a very pernicious, or a very unsatisfactory theory. Pernicious because it excludes all our deep and awful ideas of the perfect holiness of God, his justice and his mercy, and thereby makes the voice of conscience a delusion, as having no correspondent in the character of the legislator ; regarding God as merely a good natured pleasure-giver; so happiness be produced, indifferent as to the means :--Unsatisfactory, for it promises forgiveness, without any solution of the difficulty of the compatibility of this with the justice of God; in no way explains the fallen condition of man, nor offers any means for his regeneration. “If you will be good, you will be happy,' it says: that may be, but my will is weak: I sink in the struggle.
“Socinianism never did, and never can subsist as a general religion. For, first, it neither states the disease, on account of which the human being hungers for revelation, nor prepares any remedy in general, nor ministers any hope to the individual. Secondly.-In order to make itself endurable on scriptural grounds, it must so weaken the texts and authority of Scripture, as to leave in Scripture no binding proof of any thing. Take a pious Jew, one of the Maccabees, and compare his faith, and its grounds, with Priestley's, and then, for what did Christ come ?
“Socinianism involves the shocking thought that man will not, and ought not to be expected to do his duty as man, unless he first makes a bargain with his Maker, and his Maker with him. Give me, (the individual me) a positive proof that I shall be in a state of pleasure after my death, if I do so and so, and then I will do it, and not else! And the proof asked is not one dependent on, or flowing from, his moral nature, and moral feelings, but wholly extra-moral, namely by his outward senses, the subjugation of which to faith, is the great object of all religion !
“Socinianism involves the dreadful reflection, that it can establish its probability (its certainty being wholly out of the question, and impossible, Priestley himself declaring that his own continuance as a Christian depended on a contingency) only on the destruction of all the arguments furnished for our perinanent and essential distinction from brutes ; it must prove that we have no grounds to obey, but, on the contrary, that in wisdom we ought to reject and declare utterly null, all the commands of conscience, and all that is implied in those commands, reckless of the confusion introduced into our notions of means and ends, by the denial of truth, goodness, justice, mercy, and the other fundamental ideas in the idea of God; and all this to conduct us to a Mahomet's bridge of a knife's edge, or the breadth of a spear to salvation. And should we discover any new documents, or should an acuter logician make plain the sophistry of the deductions drawn from the present documents (and surely a man who has passed from Orthodoxy to the loosest Arminianism, and thence to Arianism, and thence to direct Humanism, has no right from his own experience to deny the probability of this)—then to fall off into the hopeless abyss of Atheism! For the pre
sent life, we know, is governed by fixed laws, which the Atheist acknowledges as well as the Theist, and if there be no spiritual world, and no spiritual life in a spiritual world, what possible bearing can the admission or rejection of this hypothesis, have on our practice or feelings?
Lastly.—The Mosaic dispensation was a scheme of national education. The Christian is a World Religion. The former was susceptible of evidence and probabilities which do not, and cannot apply to the latter. A people forced, as it were, into a school of circumstances, and gradually, in the course of generations, taught the unity of God, first and for centuries merely as a practical abstinence from the worship of any other ;-how can the principles of such a system apply to Christianity, which goes into all nations, and to all men; the most enlightened, even by preference ?"
In Mr. Wade's family bible, Mr. Coleridge made remarks with a pencil, on some few of the Thirty Nine Articles, which are here transcribed.
“ ART. 8. On the Three Creeds.
O, that we were rid of the Athanasian Creed ! ART. 18. Of obtaining Eternal Salvation only by the
name of Christ.
In order to make this consistent with St. Paul, (Rom. ii. 9—16) we must suppose the Article to imply that Christianity, or the Name of Christ, is within the possibility of their knowledge ; yet even those who never heard the sound, may and can only be saved, ovouatı in and by the power of Christ. As Christ is called doyos the Word. Analogously are his blessed influ. ences expressed by Ovoua, the Name.
In article the XIX. it is said, with christian prudence, whai a Church is, but to God it is left to decide which is a Church. ART. 22. Of Purgatory.
How mild! ART. 23. Of ministering in the Congregation.
I would this had been an article of discipline, not of faith. Art. 27. Of Baptism,
I would that this too had not been made an article of positive faith, but discipline. ART. 35. Of Homilies.
This surely is no article of faith, but only a recommendation and an ordinance of discipline. ART. 26. Of consecration of Bishops and Ministers.
This also is no article of faith, but of discipline.
I question whether there ever existed so many articles in which there is so little, to which a modest