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certainly true that the scholastic sys- Reformers checked. We are not to tem owes all its perfection and scien- look to the Reformers as immediately the establishment to the Arabian introducing any great extension of sebooks, and this fact is sufficient for freedom of inquiry on those religious By purpose. It must further be ad- subjects, at least, which had not been bitted to me, that a principal branch considered as immediately essential to of the studies thus brought into vogue, the interests of the church. The pes consisted of the theological specula- culiar doctrines which they enforced, tions in question, and the popular im- may all of them be said to belong to portance of the latter would certainly the schoolmen; and, of course, (if he greatly increased by such a con. the origin of that school is correctly berion, if they did owe their existence placed,) primarily to the Arabian Unito it.
versities. Instead of increasing the However absurd many of the spe- freedom with which these points were culations of the schoolmen, it is im- to be canvassed, the immediate effect possible to refuse thein their utility of the Reformation was to limit the in exercising the human mind, in pre. boundary, (at least so far as the church pering it for more serious investiga- itself was considered,) and it will be tions, and, above all, in stimulating it difficult to say, that the peculiar docto resistance to the shackles which it trines which it made essential to sal. was the tendency of the Papal govern. vation, and based on scriptural authoment to impose. If the scholastic rity, had not a contracting influence reasoners had only given rise to the on the mind. Biblicists, (who laboured, and in the It is true, that some of the Re. end effeetually, to expose their sophis. formers, in the difficulty which they tries, and draw the mind to nobler might well feel in warranting their objects,) they would have deserved peculiar dogmas from the Scriptures, some gratitude at our hands. The professed to found much on the auorthodox Biblicists little thought that, thority of St. Augustin, preferring a in vindicating the Scriptures as the test Christian father to a Mahometan doc of theological and moral truth, they tor or his scholastic disciples : and if were laying the foundation for heresy these Reformers had been the first much more dangerous to the church, broachers of the opinions they so zealthan could have been brought upon ously enforced, as essentials to salvait by those who were content to give tion, and had not merely adopted docoutward submission to its authority, trines which had been for many ages in exchange for free liberty to pursue the common subject of discussion in their subtle disputations in nonessen- the schools, we might have overlooked tials.
the intermediate progress of opinion, The cultivation of the scholastic and admitted, that the doctrines now taste, however, continued to the æra broached arose from actual investigaof the Reformation. Huss was a zeal- tion, and early Christian authority, ous Realist, Luther a Nominalist. however obscurely developed. At Immediately previous to this epoch, it present there seeins no reason why met a powerful corrective in the re- ihe Motazalite sectary should not at vival of Greek learning; and a bene- least equally share the credit of them ficial result would doubtless (indepen- with the Christian father. " dently of the actual Reformation) have The distinctioa between the tenets shewn itself in the formation of minds held by Luther and his followers, and who would have extracted the inarrow the same opinions in the months of of the ancient "philosophy, illus- the Arabians and schoolmen, scems trated it by the aids of genuine litera- only to be, that the latter had treated ture, and the rules of good criticism, them merely as matters of philosophic and corrected it by the dictates of right speculation; the former warranted reason, and the doctrines and principles them solely from Scripture, and thereof true religion.” Even if the Ger- by gave them a deeper, and, if erron man Reformation had not broken out, neous, a more pernicious influence. this collision must have etablished, in In this view, the good effects of the the bosom of the church, a liberal, Reformation are to be sought not in enlightened and eclectic spirit, which, its immediate results, not in the suin many respects, the violence of the periority or originality of the dogmas SIR,
which it delighted to inculcate, but in brethren to lay this phrascology aside. the principle which it cherished, to be But what is the just conclusion to in time the destroyer of its own ab- which we are led by the absence of surdities, and in the recognition of this phraseology from the sacred vobiblical authority as the ultimate ar- lume, contrasted with its prevalence gument, which, when falsely applied, in the dialect of modern Christians ? inight, for, a while, only sanctify and That the views, of which it is the nagive weight to error, but must in the tural expression, were not the views end complete its work, in overturning of the sacred writers. The same the systems of those who brought it ideas will and must give rise to the into operation.
same language; and no stronger arThe early Biblicists who stood for- gument can be brought to prove that ward, perhaps in a bad cause, and to two persons do not think alike on any support the dogmatic corruptions of topic than that when treating of this the church, were the persons whose topic they do not speak alike. And efforts first led the way to the over- it will appear incredible to any inan, throw of that fabric which they sought who is at all acquainted with the conto protect, and their successors have, stitution of the human mind, that if in like manner, furnished a corrective the apostles had regarded the death of for the absurdity of their creed, in the Christ as the procuring cause of every very authority on which they sought spiritual blessing, they should never to place it, and in the testimony of have adopted that phraseology which the witnesses by whom they intended is so frequently in the mouth of every to give it a more durable existence. Christian who holds this doctrine. I
E. T. know that the mere sound of one text
of Scripture will weighi, with the ge
nerality of Christians, more than fifty VALCKENAER, in his Scholæ on negative arguments, not less convin
V the first Epistle to the Corin- cing than that which has now been thians, p. 153, thus renders part of stated ; but to an impartial man who the last verse of the fourth chapter of possesses comprehension of mind to the Epistle to the Ephesians : Ama- estimate the force of such arguments, biles et gratiosos vos exhibete inter this reasoning will appear to fall little vos invicem, sicuti Deus in Christo short of demonstration. But this is sese vobis exhibuit grative plenum. It not the only instance in which our is, indeed, well known that the Com- orthodox brethren confute themselves, mon Version is wrong; but the all by deviating from the language of thority of Valckenaer is not without Scripture. When they talk of God its value, as his orthodoxy will not be the Son and God the Holy Ghost, called in question, and his profound when they speak of an infinite satisskill in Greek is the just admiration of faction made to infinite justice for the the literary world. But when this sins of mankind, when they speak of verse is properly translated, there re- God as being reconciled to the world mains no passage in the Christian by Jesus Christ, &c. &c., they speak Scriptures in which God is said to as Scripture never speaks. And why? bestow any blessing on mankind for the sake of Christ. Whence, then, did this expression intrude itself into * This reasoning applies to erery' view the Received Version of the New Tes which has been taken of the doctrine of tament, and whence has it found its the Atonement. Whether Christ be supway into the ordinary language of posed to have paid a full satisfaction to professing Christians ? The answer is the offended justice of God, or by his at hand, because it naturally arises
obedience and death to have viudicated out of the views which have been en
the honour of the Divine government, tertained of the end proposed and
so that siu may, with propriety, be foreffected by the mediation of Christ.
given, in either case sin may be said to
be forgiven on account of what he has It flows from the orthodox doctrine
done and suffered, in other words, for his of the Atonement, as the stream from sake. And if the apostles never used its fountain ; and I am much mis- this language, the obvious conclusion is, taken if any force of criticism or of that they did not entertain the views of argument could induce our Calvinistic which this language is the symbol.
Because they think as the writers of the New Testament, and an hypothesis the New Testament never thought. so abhorrent to reason as (previously Much as they reproach their theolo- to all inquiry) to afford no small pregieal adversaries with wresting the de- sumption of its falsehood. And grantclarations of Scripture from their ob- ing that it would explain some passious meaning, they themselves use sages in the volume, there are many a phraseology, inseparable indeed from others (to say nothing of the general their system, but which is no where tenor and spirit of the book) to to be found in the sacred volume; which it stands manifestly and diaand a phraseology which, were they to metrically opposed. cease to use, their doctrine, I verily When I said that the Calvinistic beliere, would not long survive its system is abhorrent to reason, I said disuse. They make it their constant nothing more than what is acknowboast that their views of Christianity ledged by some of its advocates, who are conveyed in the New Testament vehemently object to reason as an from beginning to end, as though their arbiter in matters of religion. But doctrines were there expressed with reason is like nature, expellas furcâ, the same clearness with which they tamen usque recurret. It may indeed are sometimes expressed in their own be inisemployed, but employed it will creeds and confessions; and it never be. Calvinists themselves reason in seems to occur to them that their behalf of their doctrine, though, in system (granting for a moment that it my judgment, they reason ill. Their is not unscriptural) is laid down in system is deduced from Scripture by Ho part of the sacred volume as a reasoning, though reason impartially connected scheme, and that no one exercised will never find it there. Reaarticle of it is promulgated in terms son, indeed, we must, if we wish to which do not at least admit of a dif. reconcile the sacred volume with itself. . ferent interpretation. And yet their Otherwise, we may believe any thing doctrine is capable of being laid down, and every thing; as there is no doce and is laid down by themselves, in lan- trine which certain passages of Scripguage which no man can misunder- ture, detached from their connexion, stand. For instance, that all mankind will not appear to support. were sentenced to everlasting misery in
E. COGAN. consequence of the sin of their first parents, is a proposition, the terms of
Birmingham, which are perfectly intelligible. And SIR.
December 6, 1822. it would have been as easy for an ITAVING many applications for apostle, as for Calvin or any other information respecting the maman, to have stated this proposition nagement and success of the Sundayin language which would have equally Schools belonging to the Old and New precluded mistake and evasion. And Meeting Societies in this town; and if the belief of the Calvinistic doctrine each such request subjecting me to a is essential to our future happiness, lengthened detail in writing of parti.. the least that we might have expected culars, which even leisure itself would would have been, that it should be rather avoid, I beg leave to trouble clearly defined in that volume which you with the insertion of the following is intended to make us wise unto sal. proposal in your liberal Miscellany. vation, and not be left to be inferred Some time ago, I published a statefrom it by the interpretations of falli- ment of the establishment and proble men. The orthodox divine, in- gress of the said institution, with the deed, will tell us that his interpretations display of its laws and management, of Scripture are obvious and certain, together with a few lectures prepared and can be rejected only by a mind for and delivered to the youths there which is perversely and wilfully blind with connected, under the title of to the truth. So says the Catholic; “Moral Culture.” (See Mon Repos. and so, if he pleased, the Unitarian XIII. 767.] This contains all the might say too. But who is to judge general information in my power to between ihem? In truth, the whole give, as it was not intended to enter Calvinistic system is neither more por into the minutiæ of the arrangements, less than an hypothesis to explain a but rather to exhibit such an outline certain phraseology which is found in as would be better filled up by the
judgment and discretion of such per presented themselves at the comsods as may be desirous of making mencement of the institution ? One similar atteinpts, and who must be of the resolutions of the original comguided by local and undefinable cir- mittee, in the year 1787, was, that the cumstances. Whoever, then, of your number of children should be limited correspondents or readers may be to twenty! On the present and ultianxious to avail themselves of the ex- mate consequences I need not attempt perience necessarily connected with to enlarge. The advantages of public such a large establishment, and of so instruction are now almost universally long standing, and will apply through admitted, and any attempt to direct the medium of their booksellers or to the benevolent zeal of its patrons, will your publishers, I shall be glad to by the public be duly appreciated. supply the demand by sending each
JAMES LUCKCOCK. of them a copy of the work as far as fifty of them may extend, or more if
Liverpool. they can be made useful, and shall Sir,
December 3, 1822. feel honoured by their acceptance. I THE following is an extract from propose waiting two months to see I one of the first numbers of a what applications may be made, and periodical publication, lately estathen one arrangement will do for all. blished at Charleston, South CaroThe books to be then forwarded with lina, entitled the “ Uniturian Defenthe Numbers of the Repository, and dant;" a work conducted with no little whatever trouble and expense may talent, and certainly in the same exattach, I will cheerfully remunerate. cellent spirit which shines so conspicu. · I cannot refrain from improving the ously in the writings of our Unitarian present opportunity, by stating the brethren in America. It may not be great encouragement held ont to unknown to your readers that at others by the uniform and gratifying Charleston there is a very large and success of this establishment. There respectable society who profess to are two buildings exclusively erected worship the Father only, and who, in for the purpose, each of them at not consequence, have been subjected, to less than £1000 expense, in which use the language of the “Unitarian there is an average of 1200 children Defendant,” to “a species of perseregularly instructed in the duties they cution that has sprung up within a now or hereafter may owe to them- few years against that class of Chrisselves, to society, and to their Maker. tians, who, believing in the strict unity Their tcachers are upwards of fifty in of God, have ventured to conform number, all giving their attention and their worship to this great and iminstruction gratuitously, most of whom pressive doctrine.” were themselves educated by the insti- The article alluded to is headed by tution, and have now unitedly almost the Editor, “ Signs of the Times.” the whole management of the concern “ One of the most grateful and sain their own hands. The discipline of tisfactory indications of the progress the schools and of their own society of correct opinions on the subject of is steady and effective; and the orga- religion in our country, is the rapid nization of the whole seems to admit increase of periodical publications of no doubt of its being well calculated a decidedly liberal character. By this to provide for its continuance and im- term we mean to designate, in general, provement. The fund connected with all such publications as maintain, in the provision for relief in cases of ill. its broadest sense, the right of private ness has realized nearly £600; the judgment in matters of faith. We Committee having honourably, and in hold it to be the privilege and the duty some cases generously, discharged of all men to examine the records of every claim which the rules enjoined; our faith for theinselves; to form and most of the teachers are them- their own opinion of the facts and selves interested in the benefit they doctrines which they contain, and of may hereafter derive from this valua- the duties thence resulting ; and to ble part of the plan.
hold and express these opinions withCould the most sanguine enthusiasm out let or molestation-without inhave anticipated such , result from curring a liability, on account of their
* apparently small resources which sentiments merely, while they are guilty of no conduct that violates the not to downright disbelief. Incalculaw of Christian kindness, or disturbs Sable is the injury which society has the peace of society, to censure or re. in this way sustained. The influence proach ; to any injury to their feelings of inany of its brightest ornaments, or reputation; or to exclusion from in every other respect, has, with rethe charity and fellowship of their gard to this, its highest interest, been Christian brethren. This is what we neutralized at least, if not rendered mean by liberality in application to positively hurtful. The progress of this subject; and we consider those liberal Christianity is, we rejoice to as liberal Christians, by whatever think, effecting a remedy of this evil. name they may be known, who agree This interesting portion of the comwith us in this fundamental principle. munity are fast returning to their na.
“Six years since, there was but one tural allegiance. We say natural, and periodical publication in the United we speak advisedly; for it is not, States to which the above description whatever our opponents say or think, could apply, and this one, though it is not natural for well-informed conducted with ability by its venerablemen to reject the gospel, when fairly Editor, had a very limited circulation presented to their minds. It approves There are now tuelve, at least, of this itself at once to the judgment and the character, and most of them well sup- conscience; and they are guilty of a ported. From soure of these we do libel on human nature, or the gospel, indeed differ, and differ widely, on cer- or both, who affirm otherwise. There tain points of doctrine; neither can is in the minds of all men an inherent we altogether approve of the manner love of truth. Error is never embraced in which some of them are conducted, for its own sake; it is only admitted on the ground either of taste or prin- under the disguise of truth. ciple. But they are all, each in his “ The cause of truth and righteousway and manner, the strenuous advo- ness has nothing to fear, if they can cates of religious freedom; the fear. but fairly meet their adversaries in less assailants of bigotry and spiritual open day. They are meeting them in domination ; and on this ground we every quarter with triumphant success, hail them as fellow-labourers, and cor- and they will go on ‘from conquerdially bid them God-speed. The ef. ing to conquer.' On this state of forts of these publications are daily things we heartily congratulate the becoming more conspicuous and strike friends of the good cause throughout ing. There is, unquestionably, a the world.” growing attention to religious subjects
H.T. in almost every part of our country; and especially among that portion of Sir,
January 6, 1823. the cornmunity whose influence and THOUGH I have noticed with saexample, if engaged on the side of tisfaction the increase of Unitatruth, will be likely to produce the rian opinions in various parts of the most salutary effects; we mean per- world, yet I am inclined to believe the sons of strong sense and cultivated accounts which have been received of minds. Men of this character have Jate from Eastern India, hold up to been too often driven into the ranks us appearances of a more glorious of infidelity by the repulsive form victory in favour of genuine Chriswhich Christianity, in the hands of tianity than even those which it has bigots and sectarians, has been made already obtained. The conversion to assume. The absurdities of the from Ídolatry of that wonderful man vulgar system, which they were taught Rammohun Roy, and the singular to consider as the system of the gos- conversion of Mr. Adam, the Baptist pel, their minds instinctively, as it Missionary, cannot fail to make a were, rejected. They were too busy, strong sensation at Calcutta, and the too much engrossed with other pur- Unitarian doctrines will gradually suits, to institute a laborious investi. work their way without European aid. gation for themselves, and the gospel But the efforts of our humbler friends in its native truth and beauty had at Madras call upon us for assistance, never, perhaps, been presented to their and I hope they will not call in vain : minds. They were left, therefore, to approving, therefore, of your proposal a cold and comfortless scepticism, if of a contribution from those friends to