« AnteriorContinua »
We ask attention to the latter part of this passage. We are indeed again told, that the death of Christ is the only meritorious cause of our justification before God;' but this error, gross as it is, we are willing to let pass, for the sake of the truth, with which it is found in a novel connexion of intimacy.
In the views presented of the preaching of the gospel, we entirely concur.
"The characteristic trait of the preaching of the gospel, consists, not in merely telling us of our danger, but in making this subsidiary to an exhibition of the great plan of salvation by Christ. And yet more, it not only tells us what we must do, it habitually presents before us that stupendous exhibition of the love of God, which, above all others, is designed to endow us with a moral power to obey. To preach the gospel is not merely to offer to every creature the salvation which Christ has purchased, but also to present the love of God in sending his Son, and the love of Christ in dying for us, and the astonishing benefits which he offers to confer upon us, as well as the awful condemnation from which he offers to rescue us, as the motives which should urge us to accept of this salvation. Unless we do this, we may be skilful expounders of the law, we may be good ethical philosophers, but, are we preachers of the gospel ?'
The following sentence contains a truth which Unitarians have been condemued, and even stigmatised as infidels, for maintaining:
• Truly, my brethren, the moral power of the bible resides in the simple, earnest, affectionate exhibition of the love of God in the cross of Jesus Christ.'
Again, Dr Wayland, in speaking of the apostle Paul, remarks, that 'the subject of his preaching was not even Jesus Christ in his meekness, or his wisdom, or his sublimity, or his eloquence; but it was Jesus Christ and him crucified'-that is, we should say, Jesus Christ in his benevolence, and in his exhibition of the divine love. We are greatly mistaken, if the author of this discourse had not read Dr Worcester's admirable work on the atonement; a book, of which far less has been said than it deserves, and which we cordially recommend to all inquirers after truth.
NEW PERIODICALS IN PENNSYLVANIA AND GEORGIA.
UNITARIAN ESSAYIST, nos. 1, 2, 3, 4. UNITARIAN CHRISTIAN, No. 1.
One of the many proofs we have of the progress of the incorrupt gospel in remote parts of our country, is the multiplication of such periodical publications as the two whose titles are given above. We have read them with much pleasure. If they shall continue to be conducted with the ability and spirit with which they have been commenced, they cannot fail of doing a valuable service for the cause of christian truth, holiness, and charity.
The Unitarian Essayist' is published every month, at Meadville, Pennsylvania. As a specimen of its manner,
we take the conclusion of the fourth essay.
•We will close this essay with an observation which we recommend to the earnest consideration of the reader. If Christ and his apostles were Trinitarians, and taught the doctrine of the Trinity, the same language in which they conveyed their Trinitarian ideas
to their hearers, must be not ouly quite sufficient, but the very best that can be used to inculcate the doctrine of the Trinity at this time. But this is found not to be the case. The terms Trinity, Triune God, three persons in one God, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, Consubstantiation, the God-man, eternal Generation, and other terms absolutely necessary to express and inculcate this dogma, are nowhere found in the sacred Scriptures, nor do we meet there with any other terms which are equivalent to these.Hence Trinitarians of all countries and languages, have always found themselves obliged to invent an entirely new set of terms to express this dogma. We cannot say how others are affected by this fact, but to us the inference is irresistible : that that cannot be a doctrine taught in the Scriptures, which cannot be expressed in Scripture language ; and the invention of the above mentioned unscriptural phrases in the third and fourth centuries convinces us, that about this time new ideas nad arisen, to express which these new terms were found to be indispensable. With the doctrine of the simple Unity of God, the case is quite different. Not only can the Unitarian faith be expressed in the precise language of Scripture, but no other terms are so well adapted for this purpose as those that are found there; and this with us is an additional reason for our firm conviction that this is the faith taught in the sacred Scriptures, and that Triuitarianism is not.'
The Unitarian Christian,' is a quarterly periodical, issued at Augusta, Georgia. We quote a paragraph from Mr Gilman's Right Hand of Fellowship, at the ordination of Mr Bulfinch, some account of which was given in our last number.
• Eleven years have now passed away, since Providence allotted my station in this part of our common country, and I have been laboring for that period, almost entirely alone. Destined to maintain an unpopular, but simple and rational creed, many and deep have been the sinkings of my heart, when I looked far, far around me, and amid the wavez of opposition, odium and misconception, that environed me, could find no object in an ecclesiastical relation, with which I could claim affinity and sympathy. You have read of a human being, left for many years on a desolate island. Daily he would ascend some eminence, and pore with a keen and heart-sick anxiety over the whole horizon around him. At length a sail appears to his view, and is to him the harbinger of unutterable joy. He feels that the intercourse of a fellow creature will be dearer to him than the riches of the most luxuriant tropical vegetation, or the sovereignty of an undisturbed and aching solitude, With emotions similar to his do I offer you this right hand. Receive it as a pledge of welcome. Receive it as a token of ecclesiastical fellowship, a bond of sacred union between yourself and all the churches where our common faith is maintained. And receive it lastly, my brother, as an assurance of personal friendship, affection and esteem. Whatever may be the circumstances of your future life, depend upon this right hand for the aid, and sympathy, and support, which may be at its limited command. May your life be as long and happy, as it is already promising and useful.And, having turned many unto righteousness, may you at length be transferred to the glory and happiness of heaven, to shine, as the stars, forever and ever.'
April 13. Mr Washington Gilbert, ordained as Minister of the First Congregational Church and Society in Harvard. Introductory Prayer and Reading of the Scriptures, by Mr Robinson of Groton ; Sermon, by Mr Barrett of Boston; Ordaining Prayer, by Mr Allen of Bolton ; Charge, by Dr Thayer of Lancaster; Right Hand of Fellowship, by Mr Alger of Chelsea ; Address to the People, by Mr Farr of Gardner; Concluding Prayer, by Mr Sibley of Stow.
ERRATUM, Page 215, last line, for 'look' read book.'
I wish to offer a few remarks on those diversified and extended means by which the christian character is formed. This general subject commonly denominated the means of grace, has occupied a very large space in theological discussions. But although it has gone a great way in the pages of theology, I am apt to think it has gone but a very little way into those paths by which the human heart is reached, into those varied methods of iufluence, by which its affections are elicited, its resolutions formed, and its habits strengthened.
It has been too much implied in these discussions that men obtain, and are to obtain religion, only by one particular process of mind, or by one prescribed series of exercises; and it is too easily concluded that, when a man has passed through this, he has obtained the thing he seeks for. It is too commonly presumed