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III. The third peculiar characteristic of the wisdom that is from beneath, and that which will, in addition to the two that have been mentioned, complete the general rule by which all false doctrines may be detected, and by which the hearer may always decide whether the preacher preaches himself, or Christ Jesus the Lord,-is that of unmerciful cruelty. 'There is not, there never was, a false doctrine invented by man, which may not be known to be false by its containing this most shocking attribute. Will the hearer inquire whether we mean to call the just punishment of sin unmerciful cruelty? whether we mean to accuse the righteous Ruler of the Universe with cruelty, if he punish such as rebel against his holy laws, and contemn his authority? To this inquiry we answer, by no means. Just punishment is not cruelty; it is perfectly consistent with mercy, as may be seen both in sound theory and in wholesome practice.



Let these three infallible characteristics of false doctrines be always remembered, and let them be associated in the mind of the hearer of preaching, and there will be no difficulty in determining correctly as to the character of the sermon: Contradiction, partiality, and cruelty. These three abominations are contained in all the systems of doctrine which have their origin in the wisdom of man; and whoever preaches them, preaches himself, and not Christ Jesus the Lord."-Universalist Expositor, vol. I.



"Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

In the foregoing chapter, I have briefly alluded to some of the features of orthodoxy, and given a test, by which every Christian reader may be able to decide this question, What is Truth? It remains for me to state the leading and primary object of this work. It is expressly designed for the public good, for the information of ALL denominations, who may wish or desire to know what Unitarians believe and teach. In these pages I shall condense the whole belief of Unitarians, and plainly and clearly state the true doctrines of the Gospel; so that our opponents, male and female, may no longer have this pitiable excuse to make-"they do not know what the Unitarians believe!"-and it is surprising, to see those, who make this excuse, so confident, and very sure, that Unitarians do not teach the fundamental and essential doctrines of the gospel! This is rather a heavy charge for those to make who really are ignorant of what Unitarians teach and believe; --and such charges are very common-and, I am sorry to say it, these uncharitable and unchristian accusations, are zealously and perseveringly spread through the community, by religious papers, of particular sects; in sermons and tracts,and often from the sacred desk.-Taking all these facts into consideration, is it any wonder that the true doctrines of the Unitarians are so generally unknown? The Trinitarians, it is true, pretend to teach to their admirers the real sentiments of Unitarians—but it is done by gross and inexcusable misrepresentation-and violent invective, by which the timid and credulous are deceived.

Unitarians have to contend against the fixed and unrelenting prejudices of the multitude-strengthened by the denunciations and slanders of the Trinitarian clergy, who, in this respect, follow the example of the Romish church, and are compassing sea and land, purposely to prevent religious enquiry among the people, that they, the clergy, may sway the sceptre of government! This I honestly believe, is the wish and desire of some leaders among the orthodox; and their movements, and plans carried into operation, for the last twelve

years, of which I have been an attentive observer, has satisfied my own mind that the orthodox mean to effect, if possible, a uniformity in public opinion! If this is not the case, what is the meaning of the exclusion and persecution_now raging against the Catholics, the Universalists, and the Unitarians? Why do the Calvinist Baptists and the Orthodox, in their pulpits warn their hearers not to read any thing published by these Christians? I have repeatedly heard orthodox clergymen warn their hearers to beware of the 'damnable' heresies! of Unitarians. I am at a loss to account for the proceedings of the orthodox, unless my conjectures are true. I am happy to find I am not alone in this opinion. I shall present to the Christian public, some of the observations of eminent writers on this subject, and commence with the following, written by Dr. CHANNING of Boston

"NOTHING is plainer, than that the leaders of the party called Orthodox,' have adopted and mean to enforce a system of exclusion, in regard to Liberal Christians. They spare no pains to infect the minds of their too easy followers with the persuasion, that they ought to refuse communion with their Unitarian brethren, and to deny them the name, character, and privileges of Christians. On this system, I shall now offer several observations.

"I begin with an important suggestion. I beg that it may be distinctly understood, that the zeal of Liberal Christians on this point has no other object, than the peace and prosperity of the church of Christ. We are pleading, not our own cause, but the cause of our Master. The denial of our christian character by fallible and imperfect men gives us no anxiety. Our relation to Jesus Christ is not to be dissolved by the breath of man. Our christian rights do not depend on human passions. We have precisely the same power over our brethren, which they have over us and are equally authorised to sever them from the body of Christ. Still more;

if the possession of truth give superior weight to denunciation, we are persuaded that our opposers will be the severest sufferers, should we think fit to hurl back the sentence of exclusion and condemnation. But we have no disposition to usurp power over our brethren. We believe, that the spirit which is so studiously excited against ourselves, has done incalculable injury to the cause of Christ; and we pray God to deliver us from its power.

"Why are the name, character, and rights of Christians to be denied to Unitarians? Do they deny that Jesus is the Christ? do they reject his word as the rule of their faith and practice? do their lives discover indifference to his authority and example? No, these are not their offences. They are deficient in none of the qualifications of disciples, which were required in the primitive age. Their offence is, that they read the scriptures for themselves, and derive from them different opinions on certain points, from those which others have adopted. Mistake of judgment is their pretended crime, and this crime is laid to their charge by men, who are as liable to mistake as themselves, and who seem to them to have fallen into some of the grossest errors. A condemning sentence from such judges carries with it no terror. Sorrow for its uncharitableness, and strong disapprobation of its arrogance, are the principal feelings which it inspires.

"It is truly astonishing, that Christians are not more impressed with the unbecoming spirit, the arrogant style, of those, who deny the christian character to professed and exemplary followers of Jesus Christ, because they differ in opin

ion on some of the most subtile and difficult subjects of theology. A stranger, at hearing the language of these denouncers, would conclude, without a doubt, that they were clothed with infallibility, and were appointed to sit in judgment on their brethren. But for myself, I know not a shadow of pretence for the language of superiority assumed by our adversaries. Are they exempted from the common frailty of our nature? Has God given them superior intelligence? Were they educated under circumstances more favorable to improvement than those whom they condemn? Have they brought to the scriptures more serious, anxious, and unwearied attention? Or do their lives express a deeper reverence for God and for his Son? No. They are fallible, imperfect men, possessing no higher means, and no stronger motives for studying the word of God, than their Unitarian brethren. And yet their language to them is virtually this;


We pronounce you to be in error, and in most dangerous error. We know that we are right, and that you are wrong, in regard to the fundamental doctrines of the gospel. You are unworthy the christian name, and unfit to sit with us at the table of Christ. We offer the truth, and you reject it at the peril of your souls: Such is the language of humble Christians to men, who in capacity and apparent piety are not inferior to themselves. This language has spread from the leaders through a considerable part of the community. Men in those walks of life which leave them without Leisure or opportunities for improvement, are heard to decide on the most intricate points, and to pass sentence on men, whose lives have

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