The term Trinity is often considered it from them, that he should be adlas in opposition to the term Unity, dressed under these terms; and the avhereas it is not in opposition to, worship of God under these terms, but is a modification of the term stands on no other footing than the Unity. Trinity is derived from a worship of the mother of God and of Latin word, and compounded of two the saints, according to the doctrine parts, one expressive of three, the of a very great body of Christians. other of unity, and if the Latin word This argument, plain as it is, will had been rendered tri-unity, the ana- naturally be rejected by those who belogy between the two terms would lieve that there is an authority vested have been better expressed. In fact somewhere in men on articles of faith. we often see the term tri-une in the But the Protestant, who is compelled compositions of the Trinitarian sect, in his own defence to appeal to the whose hymns are frequently addressed Scriptures as his only rule, must to the Tri-une God.

abide by them. The Tri-unitarian Christians ac- On the great and important quesknowledge then the unity of God. It tion to whom we, who are Christians, is not our part to cavil with them on are to offer up our prayers, the Scripthat ground. Let it be allowed on tures, and the Scriptures only, can both sides that both acknowledge one decide. But in vain do we speak of God, and are therefore each to be the Scriptures if the readers of them denominated Unitarians; the one be- are not sensible of the liigh imporing contented with the plain term tance of the subject to themselves; if Unitarian, the other modifying their they are not made sensible that it is term Unitarian by the addition of the no light matter to appear in the presyllable tri or three, which expresses sence of God, whether in a public asin their apprehension a modification sembly or in the privacy of our closets. of the Unity. Both parties agree that, We all acknowledge that there is a throughout the Scriptures both of the great Being, the Creator of the world, Old and New Testaments, one God only to whom the secrets of all hearts are is spoken of. We come then to their known. We all acknowledge that He modification of unity, which they say has manifested his will to us by his consists of a God the Father, a God holy prophets, and, lastly, by his Son the Son, and a God the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ, whom we alt acknowand the unity of these three persons ledge to be our Lord. Can it be posconstitutes only one God, denomi- sible then, that he should liave left it nated the Trinity.-Upon this modi- to the rain discussions of inen in what fication the whole discussion arises ; manner or by what titles he should be and it seems not so difficult but that addressed? As he has solemnly deit might be settled by any man of clared that he alone is God, and that common capacity.

no other person but himself should It being acknowledged by both be prayed 'to, it must have a serious parties that one God only is spoken effect upon the minds of his worof in scripture, however, according to shipers when they offer up to him the apprehension of one party, this prayers, whether they do it in the one God may be modified into three inanner which is pointed out in the persons, named as above; and it be- Scriptures, or in a inanner introduceri

, ing certain that God the Father is long after their publication, by the repeatedly spoken of, but the terms authority or influence of fallible men. God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, I could wish to impress this most and the word Trinity, are never used, deeply on the minds of our Unitarian we Unitarians naturally ask, when, brethren, both in their private discuswhere and how they came to be in- sions with our Trinitarian brethren, troduced. Upon this subject we may or in discourses delivered in their safely assert that they were not known churches. I have now had long exvill after the death of the latest of the pericnce on this subject. I have seen apostles. The terms therefore are the the futility of the endless discussions inventions of men, unauthorized by on the Trinity, of the folios upon any revelation from God. They are folios, written on both sides, on ihis cunscriptural terins. Men use them at subject, and they may continue to their own peril. God never required write and to dispite as long as one

side endeavours to prove its doctrine God as our Father is of little avail, if by inference, and the other labours to this belief is confined to a few of our shew that the inference is not just. own peculiar sect or party; it is the Both parties flatter themselves with a faith which worketh by love, that triumph over their adversaries; but must be impressed on all who name in the mean time the poor, to whom the name of Christ. And when Christhe gospel was first preached, and for tians are brought to an agreement in whom it is principally intended, (for worshiping the one only and true God, a rich man can hardly enter into the the God and Father of our Lord Jesus kingdom of heaven,) the poor remain Christ, a vast variety of questions, in a state of hesitation or uncertainty, which now agitate the Christian world, and are bewildered in the intricate and give it an appearance so totally mazes of the controversy.

different from what our holy religion If I should be successful in con- was intended to produce, will fall of vincing our Unitarian brethren that themselves, or, at any rate, will not this is the true way of meeting our be cause of ill-will among brethren. brethren of a different persuasion, I

W. FREND. beg leave to suggest to them, that, to bring it practically into effect, it might be expedient in all our churches to

Clapton, set apart an evening in the week, SIR, November 13, 1824. when our Christian brethren, of all denominations, should be invited to

R. EVANS (p. 584) has very DR:

properly exposed the illibera. hear our reasons on this great and lity and injustice discovered in a late important subject. The topics to be Abridgment of the Religious World insisted on would be simply these :- Displayed; but I submit to his consi

That God is to be worshiped in the deration whether there be suficient manner pointed out in the Scriptures, authority for classing Gale (p. 685, and in that manner only.

col. 2) among Antitrinitarians, who, That the decisions of men, whether indeed, cannot be unwilling to claim a by national authority or by mutual person só respectable both as a wrie agreement, can have no weight in this ter and a man.. Yet when Dr. Gale question, which lies between God and published, in 1711, his learned and each man's own conscience.

very satisfactory Reflexions on Wall, That our Saviour lias given us a he appears of the genus Trinitarian, direction to whom we should pray. though of what species cannot be

That our Saviour never gave us a easily discovered ; and, according to direction to pray to any other person the theological reserve too commonly, but the Father.

though not very laudably, practised That he himself always prayed to by the liberals of his time, such a disthe Father.

covery was possibly beside the learned That we have no direction from any Reflector's purpose. person authorized by our Saviour to In the Reflexions (p. 25) he says, pray to any other person but the that Dr. Wall “ takes occasion se Father.

verely to scourge the Socinians, and That praying to the Trinity, to God all that he fancies favour them any the Son, or to God the Holy Ghost, way.” He then states it as “one of is no where commanded in the Scrip- the most celebrated and intricate contures.

troversies in divinity" to decide “wheThat the Christian religion was in ther the fathers held a numerical or tended to make us all sons of God; only a specifical union in the Divine that we should address the Father Nature." He represents himself (p. with the utmost confidence, and in 26) “as far from Socinianism, or consequence, that we should all aim at Tritheism either,” as Dr. Wall; addpromoting this religion in obedience ing, that “though Crellius's famous to our Saviour's precept, “ By this treatise, de uno Deo Patre, yet wants shall all men know that ye are iny a substantial answer,-all that is there disciples, if ye love one another.” su ingeniously and advantageously

To this last and great test of per- urged might be effectually confuted to sons being Christians, too strong an general satisfaction," if "some learnappeal cannot be made. Our belief in ed hand would in good earnest set


about it.” Such language was not to

Such Dr. Gale appears in 1711, at be expected, and cannot be easily jus. the age of thirty-one. Whether his tified from an Antitrinitarian.

opinions were altered during the sucDr. Gale comes yet nearer to or. ceeding ten years, (for he died in thodory, (p. 31,) while defending his 1721,) I have no means of ascertainintimate friend Le Clerc against Dr. ing, as I am unacquainted with of Wall's attack on “ his suspected hete- his writings, besides the Reflexions, rodoxy concerning the blessed Trinity, except " A Thanksgiving Sermon and particularly the Deity of Christ.” preached November 5, 1713,” and Now a Unitarian, of any description, which appears to have much advanced who designed not to be misunderstood, the preacher's reputation. This serwould scarcely speak of the Deity of mon contains nothing to the present Christ, still less would he compliment purpose, but too much of Protestant the Trinity (in his judgment à gross and Antigallican virulence, and of a perversion of Christian verity, an ab- descending to those common-places of surdity, and not a mystery) with the the day, a tirade against Popery, as epithet blessed. Dr. Gale, however, dispensing with all manner of oaths proceeds to class Dr. Wall among and obligations; so that one can never those who “dispense with the rules depend upon any Roman Catholics :" of charity and forbearance, which the and a panegyric on “ King William of great incarnate God so repeatedly en- glorious memory; whose great soul joins, and has made the discriminating was set so much on the good of manbadge of his disciples.” Soon after, kind, that, not content to make us: (p. 35,) he quotes from the Parrha- happy during his own life, but, looksiana, with evident approbation, a ing forward through distant ages, he

passage that strikes at the very root bent his special care to transmit the of Socinianism.” I copy the following religion and liberties he had saved from Dr. Gale's translation. “ The down to the end of time." Then, on apostles speak of the Messiah not the authority of the Act of Settlement, only as of a man, but in the very and as if “his visual nerve” had been same terms as of God the Father, and strengthened, like that of our first ascribe to him the creation of the father by Milton's angel, the preacher world; whence it is plain they in no beholds through the long vista of ages wise looked on him as a man only, "a succession of Protestant princes but as united to the Divinity in so in the line of her present Majesty and close a manner that we may truly that of the illustrious House of Hana ascribe to him those things which over." Here I take leave of the were done by God long before he was courtly seer, with his anticipations of born.” *

He had just before shewn illustrious Houses,“ down to the end that Le Clerc did “neither approve of time," and willingly return to Dr. the opinion of the Arians, nor the Gale in his higher and more approPhotinians' way of interpreting those priate character. Scriptures which speak of the divinity In 1715, Mr. Whiston formed the of Christ.”. I will only add, that, re- Society for promoting Primitive ferring (p. 472) to the famous Letter Christianity;" In his Memoirs of Dr. of Pliny to Trajan, he represents the Clarke, (Éd. 2, p. 58,) he relates the primitive Christians as Christ's “most first chairman was Dr. John Gale," zealous adorers, and those who pro- who was succeeded by “Mr. Arthur fessed to worship him as God.” Onslow,” afterwards the celebrated

Speaker. The third and last chairman * “ Les apôtres parlent du Messie, “Mr. Thomas Emlyn,” till the non seulement comme d'un homme, dissolution of the society in 1717. The mais encore dans les mêmes termes, que result of these associations on the thede Dieu le Père, et ils lui attribuent la ology of Dr. Gale, does not appear création du monde ; ce qui nous fait comprendre qu'ils ne l'ont nullement re

. ), gardé comme un simple homme, mais Sketch by Dr. Toulmin, Prot. Diss.

Gen. Biog. Dict. (V. 490), or the comme étant uni à la Divinité, d'une manière si étroite, qu'on peut lui attri. Mag. (IJÍ.41). In these I have found buer ce que Dieu a fait longtemps-avant no account whatever of Dr. Gale's qu'il naquît.” Parrhasiana, (1701,) 1.

sentiments on the Trinity. It is pro419.

bable, however, that somewhere in his



[ocr errors]

four volumes of posthumous sermons, who knew very well wherein true which I never saw, his last thoughts pleasure and pain consisted. may appear, and may shew that he had It is a pity that you do not elothe become an Antitrinitarian. Should your ideas in scriptural language. * it be otherwise, I am persuaded that Your preference of other terms, and by no writer would a correction of your repeated appeals to the opinious any statement be more courteously of John Calvin, lead me to infer that accepted than by your Correspondent you are much more anxious to impose Dr. Evans.

upon me the peculiar tenets of that J. T. RUTT. able, but fallible, and, in many re

spects, uncharitable dogmatist, than A Friendly Correspondence between thor and finisher of our faith. You

the doctrines and precepts of the auan Unitarian and a Calvinist.

must excuse me for making a distine(Concluded from p. 686.) tion, and a very wide one, between 1. 10 N., with N.'s Observations (inserted ter of which appears to me to be

Christianity and Calvinism—the lat. as Notes).

in many respects essentially different Dear N.

25th October. from the religion of the Bible ; and in I

HAVE no objection to your defic every case wherein such difference

nition of sin, namely, that it con. exists, a substitution of a bad thingt sists in opposition to the will of God. for a good one. I will not call evil The will of God is made manifest by good to please any man. You tell his word, and by his works, in both me that I am blind, § and that I shall of which, suffering, immediate or even- not be a competent judge of these tual, is inseparably united with diso- matters till it shall please God to bedience. You certainly cannot in- open my eyes. My sight, however, tend to say that, in constantly pointing such as it is, will serve me as well to out this connexion as an argument read the word of God, as the writings for deterring men from sin, the sacred of John Calvin and his disciples ; ! writers did not understand what was and I think I shall be quite as much the real nature of sin ; and that they in the way of truth in perusing the ought to have insisted less upon the former as in poring over the latter. sufferings * incidental to a sinful As far as the use of means can prove course, and more upon the evil of of any avail, you will scarcely have opposition to God, t considered ah- the hardihood to deny that the Sacred stractely from pain and misery. Scriptures ** are the best to which

The sense of the disapprobation of we can resort for the attainment of God is doubtless, to a spiritual man, the most painful of circumstances;

* I have quoted many, but not put and when I speak of suffering, I al- chapter and verse, because you know ways include in the term that source

them, How many texts are included of painful feeling. In like manner,

under the designation of the ungodly, when I say that obedience to the will

and the effects produced by the Fall! I of - God is productive of pleasure, I give you credit for kuwing those pai

sages, and have quoted many of them. have constantly in view the paramount | care little about Calvin ;-1 esteem pleasure resulting from a sense of others called Calvinists more than him. the Divine favour and approbation. What I mean by Calvinists is, deeply. “ There are many that say, Who will awakened and spiritually-minded persons shew us any good ? Lord, lift thou † God knows best what is good or up the light of thy countenance upon bad. Blind man cannot see until his eyes us."I This was the saying of a man are opened.

Who requires you to do so ?

§ Yes, you and 'I and all by nature. Sufferings of wrath in the soul. The Lord, I trust, will give you sight, + What more could they say ? We and me too; for I have not seen ani read, but do not see or feel what we felt enough yet of the evil of my fallen read.

| Shew us all the evil of sin, for we || The meaning of neither is perceived cannot see it ourselves! If we keep to

nor felt. such passages as these, both sects will f Praying for siglit and light. agree.

** Really understood.


spiritual knowledge. I by no means exclusive right to interpret the oracles undervalue the labours of good men, of God. * Our Lord has said that though nninspired; but, after all, their publicans and harlots are more likely value will be precisely in proportion to enter into the kingdom of heaven to their conformityt to the doctrines than men who are thus puffed up and precepts of the religion which with spiritual pride. It is, indeed, they profess to teach ; † and in order well said, that the heart is deceitful to judge of this conformity, what they above all things; for we are always say must be compared with the sacred the last to detect tbis deleterious poitext. You will not allow me to per- son in ourselves, I although it tinges form this operation for you, 9 (it would our conversation, sours our tempers, be very wrong if you did,) nor will and is conspicuous in its general efyou expect that I should exonerate fects. Think not that I am all this myself of this obligation, and permit while congratulating myself upon my you to discharge it in my behalf. If freedom from this pestilent disease. I am to read with other men's eyes, I have, I dare say, a good share of it ; I had as lief they were those of the it is manifest whenever I betray anger man with the triple crown, as of him or impatience at opposition. This is in the Geneva cloak.

the test which few can abide. S This assumption || of a right to I observed, in effect, at an early think and judge for each other, is the period of this debate, that I could not world's disease. It manifests itself in expect any beneficial result from it, a thousand shapes; and more or less unless you would waive the claim to infects all sects and parties. Spiritual inspiration, || and agree to discuss the pride I has ever been the bane of free question upon equal ground. You inquiry. It matters not whether the did appear at one time to be inclined cry be The temple of the Lord are thus to condescend; but you have we;" or, “Stand aside, I am holier jerked back to your old station, and than thou ;" or, “I am the chiefest of it only remains for me henceforth to sinners, ** but nevertheless a chosen hear without replying ** I will not vessel ;” or, “I am a real Christian, say that I have no wish to effect a and you merely a nominal Christian;" change in your opinions, tt (for this or, ** The Lord has been pleased to would be to acknowledge myself inopen my eyes,tt but you are blind.”II different to your happiness, which is I say it matters not what the cant of far from being the case,) but I see the day is; the thing is still the same. little or no probability that any thing The Pope will style himself the ser- coming from me will have any weight vant of servants, while he is in the act with you, and therefore it is my preof kicking the crown from the head sent determination to observe silence. of an emperor; and the Calvinist will If it is agreeable to you to prosecute confess himself to be the vilest of the the attempt to convert me from my vile, at the moment that he claims an

Through awakenings of which you * I think little of authors in general : can form no just conception until you are 'very few awakened men among them. awakened. † What an unawakened man says, goes

+ Pride cannot allowedly exist in a for little.

true, awakened Calvinist. Is it pride to I Yes.

discover danger? Ś God only can do this. Let us say, | God does it for us, and in us; by Lord open mine eyes ! “ For judgment Him we are made to know and feel it. am I come into the world,” &c. All are § Opposition to divine convictions is therefore blind till Christ gives them impotent. sight.

ii Inspiration of alarm. l! If God alarms and awakens one, he Cannot be equal, while you remain must endeavour to awaken those who are unalarmed. asleep, though wide awake as to suffering. ** The expense of time is to be la

Is it pride to say, “ I am alarmed, mented. and endeavour to alarm you'' ?

t The change to be effected is to ** True Calvinists feel that they are make ine feelingly and unreservedly to simers. They mistrust themselves. coufess that God might justly consign me tYes, to see danger.

and all to eternal perdition. Nature re11 Yes. Here the whole maller is solved. volts at this.

« VorigeDoorgaan »