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Calvinist dectrine; Shocking representation of Deity; an
vii Trinitarian hymns, 154; Feast of the Ass, 155; Ideas of a good Christian, 156 Queries.
CHAPTER VIII.-Reason and Rational Christianity. 157 Unworthy acts of the orthodox clergy, 157; Men excluded for their religious opinions, 158; Inquisitorial proceedings of the Hopkinton Association, ib; An essential orthodox fiction, 159; Christianity proved a Rational religion, 160; Universal Truths, 161; Unity and consistency, 162; Revelation founded in Reason, 163; Man's first school, 164; Weighty_considerations, 165; Examples for the use of reason, 166; Reason, its greatness, 167; Common errors respecting reason, 168; Nature and Scripture, their perfect harmony, 169; Agreement of Scripture, 170; Impartial goodness of God, 171; Religion in the soul, an holy spirit, 172; Desires of Reason, 173; Universality of Christianity, 174; Superior excellence of the Gospel, 176; The Trinity an irrational doctrine, 177; No confidence in detached texts, they cannot prove a doctrine, 178; Total depravity, shocking effects of this doctrine, 179; Great mischief and immorality occasioned by Orthodox doctrines, 179; Fanatical sects, their pernicious and destructive influence, 180; Corruption of modern theology; Christianity does not consist in speculative doctrines of man's invention; Idolatry in doctrines as much as in images; the work of Popes, Cardinals, Jesuists, and Protestants.
CHAPTER IX.-Objections to Liberal Christianity Considered. God the Author of Christianity, 182; Divinity of Jesus defended; Great errors of Trinitarians, 183; Flagrant violation and degradation of Scripture; the Bible does not teach an infinite atonement; the Bible never pronounces the sin of man to be infinite, 184; Inconsistency of modern orthodoxy, 185; God the sole author of salvation, and the Father of ALL men 186; Scripture doctrine; Liberal Caristians do not depend on works. alone, 187; Morality and righteousness; Slanders of the ignorant, 188; Zeal, seriousness, and piety, 189; Superior sanctity no evidence of piety; ruinous effects of terrors and transports; they degrade religion, 190; Fear, menace and false zeal; distinguished defenders of Christianity among Liberal Christians; John Locke, Bishop Watson, 191; Liberal Christians are not Infidels, Deists, or enemies to evangelical Truth; the celebrated and illustrious Newton with Dr. Samuel Clark, were distinguished Unitarians, 192.
N. B. The reader is requested to pay no attention to the references in the first part of this volume, as it only forms the First Part of the work. If sufficient patronage is given, the Second Part will soon be put to press-containing a History of the wonderful effects of the Imagination, Ghosts, Dreams, Se
In all ages of the world Christianity has been corrupted and converted to serve the worst passions of the depraved heart; and its ministers have not always obeyed the precepts taught by the Son of God. It will be my purpose to examine some of the doctrines now taught for the Gospel of Christ. In so doing I cannot do better than adopt the following extract:
"I beg you to remember, that in this work I speak in my own name, and in no other. I am not giving you the opinions of any sect or body of men, but my own. I hold myself alone responsible for what I utter. Let none listen to me for the purpose of learning what others think. I indeed belong to that class of Christians who are distinguished, by believing that there is one God, even the Father, and that Jesus Christ is not this one God, but his dependent and obedient Son. But my accordance with these is far from being universal, nor have I any desire to extend it What other men believe is to me of little moment. Their arguments I gratefully hear. Their conclusions I am free to receive or reject. I have no anxiety to wear the livery of any party. I indeed take cheerfully the name of a Unitarian, because unwearied efforts are used to raise against it a popular cry; and I have not so learned Christ, as to shrink from reproaches cast on what I deem his truth. Were the name more honored, I should be glad to throw it off; for I fear the shackels which a party connexion imposes. I wish to regard myself as belonging, not to a sect, but to the community of free minds, of lovers of truth, of followers of Christ, both on earth and in heaven. I desire to escape the narrow walls of a particular church, and to live under the open sky, in the broad light, looking far and wide, seeing with my own eyes, hearing with my own ears, and following truth meekly, but resolutely, however arduous or solitary be the path in which she leads. I am then no organ of a sect, but speak for myself alone; and I thank God that I live at a time, and under circumstances, which make it my duty to lay open my whole mind with freedom and simplicity,"
In this work I have endeavored to show the deception, impiety and gross imposition, of the doctrines and conduct of certain sects, believing that the salvation of souls requires an exposure of the abuses of Christianity. This is my only apology for undertaking this work. I therefore humbly request to be heard, as my only motive is to do good, and lead men to the Bible for heavenly truth, instead of following the impious systems of divinity now taught for divine truth. Some idea of the total depravity of these systems may be gathered from the following articles of faith, of the West Congregational church in Taunton. They are acknowledged as evangelical in every part of the United States, where Calvinism prevails. By a comparison of the different articles, particularly the 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, and 13th, the reader will perceive in how amiable a light this system presents the character of God.
THE ARTICLES OF FAITH.
1. There is one, and but one God, who is the Creator, and Preserver, and Governor of the Universe, and who possesses every natural and moral perfection.
2. The Bible was written by holy men, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit; and it is a perfect rule of faith and practice.
3. God exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one God, the same in essence and equal in every divine perfection.
4. God has for his own glory, fore-ordained whatsoever comes to pass; and he works all things after the council of his own will.
5. God created Adam perfectly holy, and constituted him the representative of all his posterity, suspending their moral character upon bis probationary conduct.
6. In consequence of the fall of Adam, all mankind are by nature in a state of total depravity, and deserve to be punished with eternal death.
7. The Lord Jesus Christ who is God and man, has by his death or the cross, made an atonement for the sins of the world.
8. Through the atonement, salvation is freely offered to sinners in the Gospel yet they all naturally reject this gracious offer, and refuse to come to Christ that they may have eternal life.
9. God has, in the covenant of redemption, given to Christ a certain number of mankind who were from eternity predestinated to be holy and to be heirs of eternal glory.
10. The Holy Spirit, by an act of special grace, renews the hearts of all the elect, and causes them, in the present life, to accept the salva. tion of the gospel.
11, The foundation of the elect's forgiveness and salvation from end. less punishment, is the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, in which they become interested by true faith alone, yet God will reward them for all their holy services.
12. God promises to preserve all who have been renewed in the tomper of their mind, from final apostacy, and to conduct them, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth, into the kingdom of glory,
13. All who were not given to Christ, in the Covenant of redemp tion, will persist in sin, and be formed into vessels of wrath and fitted for endless perdition, to which they are appointed.
The above Creed contains the substance of the doctrines now taught by the Presbyterians, the Calvinist Baptists', and the Orthodox, throughout New-England. These sects declare them heavenly truth-and pronounce those persons infidels and enemies to the gospel, who deny the truth of such horrid sentiments as their articles of faith advance. Indeed, these sects, by their abominable doctrines make infidels of their people, because they teach them to believe doctrines which are not found in the Bible. I will go further, and say, that these evangelica? sects, as they call themselves, actually deny the plain doctrines of the Scriptures, and substitute "vain babblings" and doctrines of men, which are ruinous to Christianity, and put even Infidelity to the blush. I will mention only one of their essential and fundamental doctrines, and show its complete blasphemy and perfect impiety. It is contained in what these orthodox sects claim for divine truth, and commonly called the 'doctrine of the sacred trinity. Let me show you the great wickedness and absolute error of this doctrine.
It teaches that our Heavenly Father, after he made man and pronounced him very good, was pleased,' for his own glory,' to create a Devil to deceive our first parents, that all mankind through them might be eternally miserable! And they also teach us that our Heavenly Father took upon himself human nature, dwelt on earth, and was put to death by his creatures !! The great impiety of these doctrines is not generally considered. It makes God the author of sin-and represents Him as delighting in tormenting his creatures. This is not the worst. feature of their doctrines. They teach us that the Father of the Universe was led about, while on earth, at the will of the Devil, and was actually set on a pinnacle of the temple! by Satan. Think of the blasphemy of this doctrine. Here we have Almighty God set on a pinnacle of the temple by the devil, and commanded, with promises, to obey this Satan! I cannot express my horror at such sentiments. But the Presbyterians, Calvinist Baptists', and the Orthodox, insist that this blasphemy is heavenly truth-and that we shall certainly be damned if we reject this absurd dogmas and perfect infidelity. I shall not enlarge on this unscriptural doctrine. It is astonishing that any can teach such impiety for the true gospel of Christ--but it is taught, and the New-Hampshire Observer, the last summer, labored hard to prove this absurdity, that, the Devil teok Almighty God and made him sit on a pinnacle of the temple !These sects declare that God has made a devil, and that Jesus