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THE ASSERTION OF UNITARIANS, THAT THEY BELIEVE IN THE TRUTH OF SCRIPTURE, AND USE IT AS THEIR ONLY GUIDE IN RELIGIOUS MATTERS.
O YE Unitarians upon what principle do ye act? Assisted by infernal agency, you mangle the Holy Scriptures, and make of no effect the Holy Revelation of our Divine Lord. Having done this you build upon the sandy foundation of your own reason; but "the stone which the builders rejected the same is become the head of the corner." How dare ye, sinful men dictate to the Highest, and most Holy, "the King of kings and Lord of lords," the Creator of the heavens and of the earth? Before the Eternal all the Host of Heaven vail their faces with their wings. How dare you then think of dictating to an infinite Creator, an allwise and omniscient God?
Dare you venture to contradict the Son of God, say that the God of all mercy can only evince his justice in the way and manner that you contem
plate. You trample under foot the Son of God, who will one day be your inexorable Judge.
You assert that the Scriptures have been inproperly translated. O Ye Socinians, allow me to ask you one question. When the whole Scripture is opened before you, which was written eighteen hundred years ago, by our Lord's Apostles, was it not important that not one jot or one tittle should be lost or misconstrued? Knowing too that we are mortal - that we have no abiding place on earth, but must ere long be hurried either into eternal bliss, or everlasting misery.
Socinians! when you laid the foundation of your faith, numbers of you chose to ride in your carriages to Heaven, and to stop up the rugged path of Scripture truth, making a new way smoother and more easy. You choose those parts of Scripture which suit your own opinions, denying the divinity of the Son of God. Have you ever considered, who this offended Son of God is? whose words you have been striving to make of none effect, whose high towering branches you have been cutting down, which heal all diseases both of body and mind.
Would you but ask yourselves the question,who are we Socinians? A number of creatures of flesh and blood; grown up into every evil disposition, filled with pride, and inflamed by worldly and sensual pleasure. Yet we wish an easy access into Heaven, though we give ourselves no trouble to prepare for it. Well would we wish that the
road was broader, that we might neither disarrange our dress, nor forsake our passions. Since our comforters are on earth (our gold, our silver, and our possessions) we wish not to be disturbed in the enjoyment of them. We have laboured hard,-we have destroyed the Devil, and in our opinion we have done it effectually. Our comforter is better than those of others, for we have it now,—it is already in our possession.
O foolish Unitarians! rest your hope upon the genuine Scripture. Trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, and ask yourselves whether reason does not require, that every man should think seriously of the everlasting state to which he is hastening, more seriously than of this transitory life, from which we are passing away daily and nightly. Is it not wiser to lay up our treasure where we must remain for ever, and not where we are to stay but a little while, daily looking to be called away, and be seen no more on earth.
NOTE ON THE SECOND CHAPTER.
It would be an interesting question for the consideration of a Unitarian,—what is it that constitutes the inspiration of the Bible? It is not merely its truth; for there are many works both on history, philosophy and divinity, which though strictly true, do not claim on that account any portion of inspiration. It is not merely the grandeur of its language or the beauty of its descriptions; a strong mind, and a vivid imagination might accomplish this without any extraordinary divine influence. It is not because it describes the rise, corruption, and future state of man, that it is divine. Tradition might teach the first; experience the second, and reason might, (as it has done in other instances,) form some opinion of the latter. It is not because it relates prophecies which were afterwards accomplished; we have in prophane history accounts of extraordinary predictions, but the history which relates them is not therefore divine. What then constitutes the inspiration of the Bible, and distinguishes it from all other works, however vivid in description; however true in their narratives ?
We suppose the acknowledged belief of the inspiration of the Scriptures to be true; and therefore need not stop to prove what is to both parties a common doctrine. According to this opinion the Bible is the work of God; that is, it has God for its author. Now in perusing the writing of a human author, what is it that we expect? We look in that writing to find the wisdom of the writer. We examine it, as affording a view of the ideas and thoughts of the author, and as far as words can do it, exhibiting an image of his mind. But as the mind of man
is imperfect, and continually pervious to error, so his work, however correct, as exhibiting his ideas to others, must be imperfect likewise, and can never claim for either itself or its author the attribute of infallible truth.
If then the writing of a man, exhibits the mind and wisdom of man; the Book of which GOD is the author must contain within it the mind and wisdom of God. But this wisdom and this mind are infinite. The wisdom of the Bible must therefore be infinite. Though the knowledge of the Deity is in strict agreement with reason, because He himself is eternal reason, yet the reasoning power of man can penetrate but a very little way into its "depths:" can take in a very small part of its extent. The Scriptures therefore which contain this knowledge must, like it, be infinite in their depth of wisdom; infinite in their extent of application: and though never opposed to reason, because proceeding from reason itself, yet in many instances too deep for the imperfect faculty of man: too wide for his finite comprehension.
Here then perhaps we may see how the WORD OF GOD differs from all human compositions. These are the transcript of imperfect minds: that is the image of Him who is the Source of all Perfection. These exhibit only the fallible ideas of a creature, subject to error and liable to mistake: that sets forth to view the infinite ideas of an infinite God. In the one there is wisdom, but it may be comprehended, because finite : in the other there are incomprehensible depths of wisdom, because that wisdom is infinite. The Bible therefore differs as far from all other works, as perfection differs from imperfection-as finite differs from infinite-as God differs from a creature. But reason it has been said, is that by which the Bible must be judged. This we deny. Reason is the eye of the mind; it is that faculty by which we perceive and form an opinion; not with the dicta of a judge, but with the docility of a learner. As well might we assert that the disciple is the judge of his teacher, as that human reason is the judge of the Bible. It is certain that reason, though a powerful faculty, is, considered in itself, inactive. As the eye can only act when light is communicated, and is without light incapable of action; so reason can only exercise itself when truth is given, and without truth is useless and inert. But the eye forms not its own light, nor does reason produce its own truth. It can indeed receive truth