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nature as to wish this prop removed, while it affords rest and comfort to a single weary pilgrim in the chris, tian journey. We cheerfully resign all other supports, if we can be permitted to retain the simple word of God. The Bible is a strong tower, which will stand firm and stately amidst all the ruins of time; the flight of ages and the wreck of worlds will prove its strength. On this, and this only, we desire to lean.
After all, we cannot discover on what ground Mr. Kohlmann himself claims the title of trinitarian. He repeatedly declares, that the three persons in the trinity “cannot be called three distinct beings.” A person, he says, is not a being, but “a mode or manner of existence.” If this be all he means by a trinity, he might have spared his two volumes, and suffered the Fathers to rest in peace; for no unitarian doubts that there may
be three modes or manners of existence in the Deity. He adds, however, that "each person is true God,” thereby making the true God consist in a mode or manner of existence. Now on whichever ground you take him, whether as a unitarian believing God to exist as one being in one nature, or as reducing the Deity himself to a mere mode of existence, you will be equally at a loss to imagine, how he can in any known sense of the term account himself a trinitarian.
Grounds of Christian Union, Will it do us any prejudice to have a larger ground of union? Is it not a christian disposition sometimes to yield to the unreasonable humours of others, and, by somewhat which will do ourselves no prejudice, to consult the good, and promote the agreement of christians? Or is it too great a condescension, too noble an instance of humility, to be more willing to agree than others are, and to comply, as far as is reasonable with them, who will not comply so far as we think reasonable with us? Which of the two is it, that it becomes christians to contend for; who shall stand most upon their guard against union, or who shall step first towards it? Who shall insist most stiffly upon little punctilios, of none
very small concern to the main of religion; or who shall be most disposed to part with things of that nature, for the sake of what God and their common Saviour love infinitely better? And which of the two sorts of men will come off at the great day of accounts with greater glory, they, who have preferred the union of the christian world before their own humour, or opinions of little importance; or they, who have absolutely refused to yield up the least or most indifferent circumstance to that consideration?
Foreign Missions, The annual meeting of the Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was recently held at New Haven. During the past year, ending August 31st, it appears that about sixty one thousand dollars have been received into the Treasury. Of this amount more than fifty nine thousand dollars were donations.
A Review of Mr. Eastin's late Controversy in Kentucky, and a notice of Mr. Smith's Sermon on the Unity of God, will appear in our next number.
Uch interest seems of late to have been awakened in the western country, on the subject of free inquiry and rational views of religion. Respectable original works on these topics have been published in
hat quarter, preachers are becoming more numerous, and the demand for unitarian writings is daily increasing. Another symptom of awakened attention is the alarm of the orthodox; and this seldom fails to be a true index.
It is a subject of curious reflection, to observe how closely all progress in religious knowledge is pursued by the outcries of orthodoxy. In this respect, an obyious sympathy exists among christians of a certain class throughout the world. Although in other things their creeds are as different as the shades of human thought, and the objects of human desire, yet they all agree in shutting up at a certain point the avenues of religious knowledge, and in sounding the alarm of heresy, if any one ventures to break through these prescribed barriers, and seek a better light and a fairer hope. It has been thus from the beginning. The Jews murdered the Saviour as a heretic, and a publisher of new doctrines. Paul was reviled, and mocked, and scourged, as a preacher of a strange faith, and a subverter of the established religion. The Apostles were persecuted for teaching new things, and many of them suffered martyrdom under the charge of heresy. And we have no reason to doubt, that the persecuting Jews and Gentiles felt themselves actuated, in their attempts to suppress error, by as holy a zeal, and as pure a conscience, as their modern imitators in the same undertaking. The former had as good a right to think themselves possessed of all knowledge as the latter.
The same spirit was manifested at the Reformation. Any appearance of advancement in religious knowledge was considered as foreboding danger, and the thunders of the Holy See were ready to burst upon every one, who should dare to wander from the path, which the church had marked out. Luther, and all his associates, who thought it their duty to read the Bible and trust their own understanding, were denounced as odious heretics, worthy of the pious maledictions of the church, and against whom the doors of heaven ought to be closed.
Modern orthodoxy walks in the same steps as the popery of that
age, and with less excuse, because it has the advantage of a better light. The time indeed seems to have come, which was predicted by Eras
This great man wrote a book, which went to show, that true theology consists chiefly in goodness of heart, and a pious disposition. Latomus violently attacked this sentiment, and insisted that there was no necessary analogy between a good divine and a good
In writing to his friend, the Bishop of Roches
ter, on this subject, Erasmus observed, that they would no doubt some time make it appear, that to be a good divine and to have common sense are very different things. Non idem esse, theologum esse, et sapere. Erasmus was a true prophet. The wisdom of modern orthodoxy has at length discovered, that something more is wanting to make a good christian divine, than purity of moral character, piety unfeigned, sincerity of motive, faith according to knowledge and conviction, love of truth, a conscience void of offence, respect for the reason and good sense of mankind, and a desire to preserve consistency in the attributes and dispensations of God. Common sense and reason are found to be fallacious guides in conducting men to a knowledge of religious truth; and it is no wonder that these should be discarded, when we consider what some christians have put forth to the world as truths of the Gospel.
But it is not our present design to pursue this subject. We have been drawn to it by late occurrences in Kentucky, of which we are about to give a short account. Our readers will recollect, that we have on several occasions alluded to the conversion and labours of Mr. Eastin. He has long resided as a preacher in the neighbourhood of Paris, Kentucky. Colonel Garrard, who was several years governor of the state, and who has lately died very much lamented, at an advanced age, was one of his parishioners.* It accordingly became Mr. Eastin's melancholy duty to preach his funeral discourse. The following letter
* An obituary notice of Gov. Garrard may be seen in this work, No. XXI. p. 206. He was one of the first in his vicinity who embraced unitariapism-a man of a high order of intellect, great excellence of character, and universally esteemed.