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will be found, however, in the fine spirit which they breathe, in the devotion and benevolence, by which they are manifestly dictated. This author values the simple Christianity of the New Testament, for its moral genius and excellence; and his compositions prove, as did his life, that he saw nothing in the gospel, which should forbid it to enter into all our feelings, all our circumstances, all our objects of pursuit and care. We perceive him to be in earnest, ardent, yet gentle, the determined foe of vice, but the friendly monitor of the vicious. To the religious body, of which he was an ornament, his posthumous sermons must be eminently accepta ble: and we are encouraged, by the demand for them, † to hope, that they will be most extensively useful. By those of the young, at whose immediate desire they have been published, may they be read in the temper with which they were written and delivered!" There is not a stronger bond of union between the youthful heart, and those to whom the forma tion of the mind is," in any shape or degree, “intrusted, than that which is established by the communication and reception of knowledge." In the present instance, may the knowledge which has been so impressively recorded, make numbers of the rising "wise unto salvation!"
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MISIE 2355Y9q rod wi 70 ***
Unitarian Controversy at Calcutta.
their ancient books." Precepts of Jesus, &c., London Edition, p. 122.
"The mysterious doctrine of three Gods in one Godhead," is stated by this Christian Hindoo to be" the origin of Mohummudanism, and the stumbling-block to the conversion of the more enlightened amongst the Hindoos."-Ibid. p. 121.
"For my conviction, and for the satisfaction of those who consider the Precepts of Jesus as a guide to peace and happiness, his word, They may be one as we are,' John, ch. xvij. ver. 11, in God and Jesus, fully suffices. Disgusted defining the nature of the unity between p. 479,5 ni tort & Lisewith the puerile and unsociable system
O the subiect of the Principle the cruelty aliqwed by Moossuimanis at
Hindoo idolatry, and dissatisfied at
against Nonmoossulmans, I, on my searching after the truth of Christianity, felt for a length of time very much per
plexed with the difference of sentiments found among the followers of Christ, (I mean Trinitarians and Unitarians, the grand divisious of them,) until I met with the explanation of the unity given by the divine Teacher himself as a guide to peace and happiness.”—Ibid. p. 167.
In reference to this topic, he pronounces a high eulogium upon Christianity:
ART. II. III. IV. Concluded from www
"If Christianity inculcated a doctrine which represents God as consisting of three persons, and appearing sometimes in the human form, at other times in a bodily shape like a dove, no Hindoo, in my humble opinion, who searches after truth, can conscientiously profess it in preference to Hindooism; for that which renders the modern Hindoo system of religion absurd and detestable, is, that one, as consisting of many persons, cait represents the divine nature, though pable of assuming different forms for the discharge of different offices. I am, however, most firmly convinced, that Christianity is entirely free from every trace of Polytheism, whether gross or refined."—Ibid. pp. 317, 318,
doos, Rammohun Roy is the best of all witnesses. He says that 3-5ths of the inhabitants of Hindoostan consist of this people; the remaining 2-5ths being chiefly Moosulmans. The Blatter are, as all the world knows, firmly devoted to the belief of one God; "the former, (says our author,) are, with a few exceptions, immersed in gross idolatry, and in belief of the most extravagant description respecting futurity, antiquity, and the miradelesqof their deities and saints, handed down to them and recorded in
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A second édition will soon appear.
Rammohan Roy's books are rendered the more interesting by his blending with his arguments and criticisms occasional appeals to his own experience. For instance, he says,
In answer to a question of the Missionary's "Did Mohummud, arrogant as he was, ever make such a declarawith you always, even to the end of tion as Jesus did, namely that I am the world?" our author says,
"I only entreat the attention of the
Editor to the following assertions of
God.' He who has obeyed me, has
It is, however, fortunate for Moos-
temporary Heathens, the doctrines of
to a God any being who rose in their estimation above the level of mankind.”— Ibid. p. 218.
The following observations on the success of Trinitarianism are sensible, and appear to us perfectly just:
93 522 PS K
Rammohun Roy finds a reason for the prevailing belief of the Deity of Christ in the application of the term "God," though figuratively, to Christ; but, he says, and the remark is worthy of the serious consideration of Trinitarians, whose whole system falls to the ground if each of the three persons in the Trinity cannot be proved to be truly and by himself perfect God, with respect to the Holy Ghost, I must confess my inability to find a in which the Spirit is addressed as single in the whole Scriptures, passage God, or as a person of God, so as to afford to believers of the Trinity an excuse for their profession of the Godhead of the Holy Ghost."-Ibid. p. 239.
worship or festivals been introduced writes Atonement, Rammohan Roy
with peculiar clearness and force. He contends that the sacrifice Christ was literal but and uses the following argument, ad
among Moossulmans of Arabia and Tur
With respect to the final success of the Trinitarian party, it appears to me ***! the event naturally to have been expected. For, to the people of those ages, doc trines that resembled the polytheistical belief that till then prevailed, must have, been more which To were diametrically opposed to such notions. The idea of a God in human form was easy and familiar: Emperors and Empresses had altars raised to them even during their lives, and after death were enrolled as divinities. Perhaps too, something may justly be attributed to a certain degree of pride and satisfaction aydin the idea, that the religion they had begun to profess was dictated immediately by the Deity himself, rather than by any subordinate agency. There had not been among the Heathens any class of mankind to whom they were accustomed to look with that familiarly entertained by the Hindoo Reformer: wards Moses and their Prophets, and they were consequently ready to elevate
Moreover in explaining such phrases I am the living bread, If any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever,'The bread that I will give is my flesh,' Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,' and Unless ye eat his flesh and drink his blood, ye have no life în you,'— My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed,Protestant commentators take upon themselves to interpret that these phrases are in allusion to the manner of sacrifice, and that the eating of the flesh of Jesus and drinking his blood must be understood in a spiritual, not in a carnal sense. If these writers make so direct an encroachment upon sense of those phrases in order to avoid the idea of cannibalism being a tenet of Christianity, why should I not be justified upon the same principles and on the authority of the apostle in understanding by sacrifice in the language of the apostle a virtual oblation; that Christianity may not be represented as a religion founded upon the horrible system of human victims ?"-Final Appeal, (Calcutta Edition,) pp. 44, 45.,
The obvious absurdity of pressing the case of the "scape-goat" into an argument for the common doctrine of batonement, is well exposed by the
"The Editor relates, (page 524,) that the priest used to lay his hands on
the head of a living goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, putting them on the head of the goat, and by the hand of a fit person to send it away into the wilderness as an atonement for all their sins in every year. He then infers from this circumstance that, commandments like these did more than merely foretel the atonement of Christ.' Were we to consider at all the annual scape-goat as an indication of some other atonement for sin, we must esteem it as a sign of Aaron's bearing the iniquities of Israel; both the scape-goat and Aaron having alike borne the sins of others without sacrificing their lives but by no means can it be supposed a sign of the atonement of Christ, who, according to the author, bore the sins of men by the sacrifice of his own life, and had therefore no resemblance to the scape-goat or Aaron. Exodus xxviii. 38: And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things which the chil dren of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead that they may be accepted before the Lord.' I wonder that the Rev. Editor himself notices here that the iniquities of Israel were forgiven by confession over the scape-goat, without animal or human victims, and yet represents the circumstance of the scape-goat as a prediction of the sacrificial death of Christ, and insists upon the forgiveness of sins being founded upon the effusion of blood."-Ibid. pp. 50, 51,
limited capacity of the human understanding to judge the unsearchable things of the wisdom of God, and therefore denies my right, as a worm of the dust, to deduce any thing from human ideas inimical to his view of the Divine will, I can only say that I have for my example, that of a fellow-worm in his own argument to shew the necessity that the Almighty laboured under to have his justice satisfied."-Ibid. pp. 60, 61.
The accomplished Hindoo has been too long accustomed to look through sophistry in the writings of Heathens, to be imposed upon by it in those of Christians. By a single remark he levels the whole fabric of Missionary theology:
"To this assertion of the Editor, the blood of no mere creature could take
away sin,' I add the assertion also maintained by the Editor, that the Creator is not composed of blood and flesh,' and leave to him to say, if the blood of Jesus was not that of a creature, whose blood it was. It is evident from the circumstance of the blood of a creature being unable to take away sin and the Creator having no blood, that the taking away of sin can have no connexion with blood or a bloody sacrifice."-Ibid. p. 85.
Rammohun Roy can retort smartly without ill-nature, e. g.
"In answer to one of the many insinuations made by the Editor in the course of his arguments, to wit, If this be Christ, what must become of the precepts of Jesus?' (Page 576.) I most reluctantly put the following query in reply. If a slain lamb be God Almighty or his true emblem, what must be his worship, and what must become of his worshipers ?"-Ibid. p. 209.
The Indian Unitarian well exposes the inconsistency of the system of attributes to the Father and the Son, "Satisfaction" in imputing contrary whom it yet supposes to be one and the same being:
"The Editor in common with other Trinitarians conceives that God the Sou equally with God the Father (according to their mode of expression) is possessed of the attributes of perfection, such as mercy, justice, righteousness, truth, &c., yet he represents them so differently as to ascribe to the Father strict justice or rather vengeance, and to the Son unlimited mercy and forgiveness, that is, head, having been in wrath at the sinful the Father, the first person of the God
conduct of his offending creatures, found his mercy so resisted by justice that he could not forgive them at all, through mercy, unless he satisfied his justice by inflicting punishment upon these guilty men; but the Son, the second person of the Godhead, though displeased at the sins of his offending creatures, suffered his mercy to overcome justice, and by offering his own blood as an atonement for their sins, he has obtained for them pardon without punishment; and by means of vicarious sacrifice, reconciled them to the Father and satisfied his justice and vengeance. If the justice of the Father did not permit his pardoning sinful creatures, and reconciling them to himself in compliance with his mercy, unless a vicarious sacrifice was made to him for their sins; how was the justice of the Son prevailed upon by his mercy to admit their pardon, and their reconciliation to himself, without any sacrifice, offered to him as an atonement for their sins? It is then evident, that according to the system of Trinitarians, the Son had a greater portion of mercy than the Father to oppose to his justice, in having his sinful creatures pardoned, without suffering them to experience individual punishment. Are these the doctrines on which genuine Christianity is founded? God forbid !
"If the first person be acknowledged to be possessed of mercy equally with the second, and that he, through his infinite mercy towards his creatures, sent the second to offer his blood as an atonement for their sins, we must then confess that the mode of the operation and manifestation of mercy by the first is strange and directly opposite to that adopted by the second, who manifested his mercy even by the sacrifice of life, while the first person displayed his mercy only at the death of the second, without subjecting himself to any humiliation or pain."-Ibid, pp. 240-242.
The fanciful hypothesis of two natures in Christ is laid bare in the following remarks of Rammohun Roy:
"The Editor says that the expression of Jesus to Mary, John xx. 17, Go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God,' was merely in his human nature. I wish the Editor had furnished us with a list, enumerating those expressions that Jesus Christ made in his human capacity, and another shewing such declarations as he made in his divine nature, with authorities for the distinction. I might have in that case attentively examined them
as well as their authorities. From his general mode of reasoning I am induced to think, that he will sometimes be obliged, in explaining a single sentence in the Scriptures, to ascribe a part of it to Jesus as a man, and another part to him in his divine nature. As for example, Johu v. 22, 23, For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father who sent me.' The first part of this sentence hath committed all judgment unto the Son,' must have been (according to the Editor) spoken in the human nature of Jesus Christ, since the Almighty in exercising his power does not staud in need of another's vesting him with that power. The second part of the same senteuce, all men should honour the Son as they honour the Father,' must be ascribed by the Editor to Jesus as God, he having been worthy to be honoured as the Father is-and the last part who hath sent me,' relates again to Christ's human capacity, since it implics his subjection to the disposal of another. Is this the internal evidence of Christianity on which the orthodox divines lay stress? Surely not.”—Ibid. pp. 289, 290.
We have room for only one further extract from these able defences of Christian Unitarianism: it relates to the identity of Christian and Heathen Polytheism :
"The Editor denies positively the charge of admitting three Gods, though he is in the practice of worshiping God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. I could wish to know what he would say when a Hindoo also would deny Polytheism on the same principle, that if three separate persons be admitted to make one God, and those that adore them be esteemed as worshipers of one God, what objection could be advanced justly to the oneness of three hundred and thirty-three million of persons in the Deity, and to their worship in different emblems? For, oneness of three or of thirty millions of separate persons is equally impossible, according to human experience, and equally supportable by mystery alone."-Ibid. pp. 301, 302.
In perusing these volumes we have experienced great pleasure at seeing this Hindoo scholar familiar with our best biblical critics. He frequently quotes by name, Cappe, Newcome, Macknight, Doddridge, Whitby and
others. Citing the "Improved Version," he says, (Final Appeal, p. 297,) "for which the Christian world is in debted to its eminently learned authors." And having occasion to refer to Locke, he characterizes him as one of the greatest men that ever lived."-Ibid. p. 80.
Mr. Adam, the author of the Sermon which stands third on our list, is a native of North Britain, who was sent out to India by the Baptist Missionary Society. Having become an Unitarian through the instrumentality of Rammohun Roy, whom he had hoped to bring over to Trinitarianism, he has seceded from his former connexion, and become the minister of the first Unitarian congregation in Bengal. His abandonment of the system of his former patrons has exposed him to bitter reproach, but we are authorized to say that his old, no less than his new, religious associates hold his moral character and talents in high respect.
Some incidental expressions in Rammohun Roy's works lead us to conclude that he at first adopted, if he does not still hold, the Arian hypothesis of this hypothesis the "Claims of Jesus" is an avowed defence. The argument of the sermon is summed up in the following observations on the nature of Christ, as the Son of God:
"Thus we find that whether the title is applied to Adam or to Jesus-to the former in reference to his creation, or to the latter in reference to his conception in the womb of Mary, and his resurrection from the dead, there is one idea common to all those uses, and on account of which it seems in every instance to have been applied-the idea of the communication of existence by the power of God immediately exerted, without the intervention, as far as we are told or are able to perceive, of any inferior agent. It is necessary to take only one step further to apply this principle of interpretation in another single instance, and we shall then possess a consistent view of all its uses, together with a scriptural and definite notion of the original nature of the person of Christ. He is directly and immediately derived from God his Father, without the intervention of any other agent, whereas all other beings have been mediately and indirectly derived from God, i. e. through the instrumentality of Jesus Christ, as has been
already established from Scripture, in a preceding part of this discourse. From this we must at once perceive the inconsistency of maintaining his supreme, underived and independent Deity, as well as the propriety of those numerous scriptural expressions which describe him as the only-begotten Son of God, the firstborn of every creature, the beginning of the creation of God; and the just ground of that superiority to every other order of beings which is uniformly claimed for him in the New Testament. He is as far below the unoriginate Jehovah as the derivation of his nature can place him— and he is as far above every other existence as the immediateness of that derivation can raise him. Such, then, is Jesus:-the first and only being created originally by the immediate power of God-the first and only being begotten in the womb of a virgin by the imme diate power of God-and the first and only being raised from death to life by the immediate power of God."-Pp. 22, 23.
The reader of this passage will judge of the propriety of Mr. Ivimey's denunciation of Mr. Adam in a newspaper as a Socinian, and his vindication of the term as applied to this gentleman on the ground of his declaring "that Jesus Christ was a mere man, and that he had no existence before he was born of the virgin."
We do not agree with Mr. Adam in his Arianism, but we revere his love of truth, admire his ingenuousness, respect his talents, and hope for much good to India from his enlightened zeal.
Since we began this article we have received the copy of a letter from Rammohun Roy to a friend at Liver, pool, lately come to hand. The interesting writer expresses great satisfaction in the marks of regard which have been shewn him by the English Unitarians, whom he assures of his warmest esteem. He sends copies of the Final Appeal to several of the Unitarian ministers in this country. He acknowledges with gratitude the receipt of several of our publications, and especially of the "Improved Version," the advantages that he has derived from these, he says, it is impossible for him fully to estimate; and he expresses the hope of being benefited by future favours of the
See Mon. Repos. XVII. 685.