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such premises, are, however, equally beyond the pale of ordinary comprehension.
In the conclusion of these discourses, I will indicate, for I can do nothing more, some additional reasons why I cannot receive Unitarianism as the gospel of Christ, or as the system of doctrine taught in the Scriptures.
And my first reason, which is, preliminary to the rest, is that this system orders no deliverance from that uncandid, illiberal and intolerant spirit which is such a stigma upon human nature, and so hostile to peace, charity and good will among men. This spirit is inexcusable, unjustifiable, and promotive only of evil, wherever and in whomsoever, and in whatsoever cause it is found. It overcomes no enemies, makes no friends, and secures no good results. It is alike dishonoring to God's character, truth and cause.
Now this spirit we regard not as the result or offspring of any one system of belief, nor as the undeniable concomitant of any one party in the christian world. It is, we believe, the natural spirit of unrestrained and unrenewed human nature, according to the express and frequent teachings of scripture, (read for instance Rom. III, 9-19, and the passages referred to in the margin,)--and the universal and unvarying testimony of observation, experience and history. It was condemned in his Apostles by our Lord, frequently and pointedly rebuked by the Apostles in others,--and from the beginning of the world until now it has sown dragon's teeth in every field of human ambition and rivalry, to spring up in an army of fierce and revengeful combatants.
This spirit I can see in the discourse of Dr. Gilman, notwithstanding his disposition naturally amiable above his fellows,and notwithstanding the moderation and self-control acquired by age, experience and deep inward strugglings for the victory over himself. This spirit I know to be an element in my own nature, and feel it necessary to restrain its ebullition while I now write. And everywhere, and on all occasions, what evils has it not wrought in the earth.
Shall I then be delivered from this spirit by adopting the Unitarian system? Grant, if you please, that by that system it is reprobated and condemned. Even that reprobation, however, may be uttered in the spirit it condemns, and clothed in words full of bitterness and uncharitableness.
When Dr. Gilman employed what we think a most unfair caricature of Calvinism, which he dressed up in order to heap
upon it and its abettors the withering scorn, contempt and anathema with which he denounces it*—when he represents the Presbyterian church, "as it sits with its eyes dazzled by the awful oriflame of divine right waving over its head, with nothing to gainsay or control it,"—when he declares that "serious fears" have been entertained that the Presbyterian church in this country was making rapid strides to usurp the control of the government,"—when he implies that views similar to those of the Church and State champions of other lands, are furtively held by our churches in the United States,"—when he affirms that "the degree of freedom aimed at, and in some cases obtained by the Presbyterian polity, extends to an exorbitant and tyrannical degree, detrimental to the interests of religion, and dangerous to the peace and happiness of civil society," -when he charges upon the Calvinistic theology "contradiction and perplexity," and "as leading to the existence in its neighborhood of a bitterer, more defiant, and more hostile infidelity" than any other system, -and when he avers that "the liberty of thought and speech, which she claimed from Rome, she refused to indulge to others,"—in these, and in all similar cases, does not Dr. Gilman exhibit the working of this spirit within him?
He introduces Servetus for the sole purpose of throwing obloquy upon the character of Calvin. To do so he represents Servetus as "unoffending," though in every way he made himself amenable to the existing laws of Christendom, whose utmost vengeance he braved by blasphemies of the most fearful kind, uttered in presence of his judges, and by an audacity of conduct to which he was actuated by the party of the Libertines, which finally alienated every kindly feeling, and secured his condemnation. He calls Servetus "as good a man as Calvin," though guilty of avowed deception,-though ungovernable in his furious temper,—though when under solemn oath to speak the truth, "he spoke scarcely any thing but falsehoods, "and at every new examination there was fresh oath and another instance of perjury,"—though he recanted at Vienne, all his principles, and solemnly abjured the authorship of his own works—and though he bettayed the greatest pusillanimity, rancour and malevolence. He calls Servetus a “Unitarian,"
*The "piety of gratitude,” he says in another place, "may be as strongly elicited by the thought that God never did overwhelm us with an arbitrary and terrific condemnation, when it was in his sovereign power to do so, as by the thought that he adopted certain incredible measures to redeem us from such condemnation after it was once inflicted."
though he declared that "he himself believed in the Trinity, and did not object to the term persons as applied to it," but only to "those who make a real distinction in the being of God," — though he also "believed in the eternal Godhead of Jesus Christ, who was begotten in eternity but conceived in time by the Holy Ghost," and though he constantly, in his works and in his prayers, even at the stake, prayed to Christ as God. And he makes his execution “the initial victim” of Calvinism, whereas Calvin had, for years, endeavored to shake off all intercourse and controversy with him—had with extreme difficulty been induced to give up two of his letters to be used as evidence in his trial at Vienne, where he was condemned and burned in effigy, † and though he and the other ministers had used every influence to have his sentence commuted.
But to pass from Dr. Gilman, do we not find this spirit of illiberality and intolerance in the President of Harvard College, the man of "no denomination," who would proscribe men of al! denominations from the government of a state institution, next, in Dr. Dewey, who in his Berry street address, declares that he "would rather be an infidel than a Calvinist, a strict Calvinist of the old school;" and yet withholds the christian name from Rationalists? Do we not find this spirit in that Unitarian clergyman who, not long since, published anonymously in the Christian Register, of Boston, articles in which the ministerial and christian character of the clergyman is assailed, and the moral character of his church as a church is impeached. To Dr. Spring of New York, he imputes a neglect of duty inconsistent with the standing of a christian pastor, and to his people as a whole, "covetousness, extortion, oppression of the poor and all sorts of shaving operations to acquire wealth ;" and these sins are charged as the legitimate fruits of Dr. Spring's ministry of thirty-four years. I
Dr. Gilman claims for Unitarianism the present Rationalistic Unitarianism of the European Continent. Now when, I ask, has greater illiberality, intolerance and even persecution been displayed, than against Orthodox Evangelical ministers and churches in Geneva and the Canton de Vaud ?
* See Life and Times of Calvin by Paul Henry, of Berlin. See Coleridge's Justification of Calvin in this matter-not of the penalty which all now condemn-in his Literary Remains, Vol. 3, p. 7.
See the discussion of this subject, not long since, in the New York Observer.
$The government of the Canton de Vaud has added now to all its other persecuting. acts, that of a law prohibiting all religious meetings, except those of the State Church, under pains and penalties. The law is so rigor.
At two periods Unitarianism had the opportunity afforded by the possession of power, to discover what is its true character. One was in the States of Poland and Transylvania, where it had great prevalence during a considerable part of the sixteenth century. Being divided among themselves by numerous shades of opinions, and some thirty sects, Faustus Socinus employed every effort to reduce them to one harmonious body. As however he still considered the worship of Christ as an essential part of christian truth and worship, and in other points retained views now abandoned by Unitarians, he was not prepared to tolerate the introduction of the heretical opinion advocated and preached by Davidis, that Christ was a mere man and had no more claim to divine worship than any other saint. After vainly endeavoring to convince him of his error, the young prince of Transylvania was induced to cast Davidis into prison, simply on account of his pertinacious adherence to his opinion. Here the persecuted man died. We think that this case may fairly be placed as a parallel to that of Calvin. Socinus not only never changed his opinions respecting the worship of Christ, but he would hold no communion with any one who denied that Christ should be worshipped, and publicly taught and published the opinion that those who received the doctrine of Davidis, had no just claim to the name of christians. ous, that meetings cannot be held, except by men having the spirit of martyrs. The Dissenters, against whom this law is levelled, are what would here be called Evangelical men. And the National church and government is in the hands of what would here be called Unitarians. They are called Rationalists in Europe. But the Unitarian Almanac, published in Boston, claims half of the Protestants in Europe, as Unitarians. And we are not aware that any of the Protestants of the continent are Unitarians of any other school than the rationalistic.—Here, then, is a work of cruel persecution, now in progress by a Unitarian national church ; and our inference is not that any of our American Unitarians are persecutors, or that they approve of those acts, (God forbid,) but simply this-that what is called the liberal creed is not sufficient to ensure liberal conduct. And the abettors of the liberal creed are persecuting, after those of most other creeds have become ashamed of persecution. We would advise those American Unitarians, who have so many regrets that Calvin burnt Servetus, to send over to the land of Calvin and Servetus, some friendly counsel to their co-religionists, to entreat them not to enact, in the nineteenth century, a work of persecution that would throw in the shade the Servetian tragedy of the sixteenth century. They are already in the habit of speaking denominationally and fraternally to governments at home, and to people beyond the seas, and of giving advice about governmental and social abuses. And in the name of our persecuted brethren in Switzerland, we entreat our Unitarian neighbors to favor them with their merciful interference, and set forth to that Unitarian and persecuting government, such reasons as shall induce them to change their course. For it is an outrage on human language, to say nothing of justice, that liberal christians, and a liberal government, should thus have gathered up the broken implements of the inquisition, and gone to work with them.Ņ. E. Puritan.
It is also a fact that Unitarianism, or as it was then called Arianism, || took its rise in the fourth century, and under the royal patronage of Emperors and their wives, became for a time, by means of very terrible persecutions, the religion of the Roman Empire, and was embraced by the Vandals under Genserie, in the East, in Spain and in Italy. “Dissimulation,” says Spanheim, "and craft were qualities notorious with the Arians. This fact was chiefly visible in their formularies, and in their pretended, but not real consent and agreement with the Trinitarians. Their perfidy, inconsistency and calumnies against the Trinitarians were extraordinary, and their ambition of the principal bishoprics, and their flattery of the Emperor and great men at court excessive. Their rage against Athanasius, who almost alone opposed their attempts and sustained their fury, was terrible. They disseminated incredible slanders against him, and laid to his charge rape, murder, adultery, and other notorious crimes, but he was an innocent and pious man.”
Every where we find churches desolated and every species of cruelty and rage was exercised towards bishops and their flocks. Vast numbers continued faithful, and suffered according to the Apostle's expression, “the loss of all things,” and endured the horrors of death itself for their faith.
If in addition to the facts now mentioned we allow Unitarianism to claim as we are told they do, that the Jews, before the time of our Saviour, were strict Unitarians as they still remain,"* then the system is chargeable with an incredible amount of bigotry, intolerance and persecution, both towards all the prophets whose blood they shed, but above all in the horrible and illegal crucifixion of the Son of God himself, whom they put to death on a charge of blasphemy, because He called himself the Son of God, thus as they interpreted it making himself equal with God.
But not to dwell on this painful and invidious point, I would only further mention the fact that Mohammedanism is regarded by Unitarians as "a christian influence," and "a religion which recognizes and is based upon the Old Testament.”+ The English Unitarians; conveyed in an address to the Mahommedan embassador of Morocco, in the reign of Charles the
||They are claimed by Dr. Lamson in his Tract, What is Unitarianism, p. 21-Unitarian Tracts No. 202.
*See Unitarian Tracts No. 202—What is Unitarianism ? *Unitarian Tracts No. 197, p. 97, by Rev. G. E. Ellis. See for the facts Whitaker's origin of Arianism, p. 399. Leslie's Works, vol. 1, pp. 207, 209, 337, 216, 217. Magee on the Atonement, vol. 1, pp. 132, 133; Eng. ed.