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you may, perhaps, remember. When my Lecture was concluded, Mr. K. rose, and addressed a few remarks to the audience, noticing in a kind and favourable manner what they had just heard. In a few minutes after, he approached, and introducing himself to me, requested my permission to visit me at my house, frankly stating, at the same time, that he was a Unitarian Minister, and expressing his hope that I would not consider that circumstance an obstacle to our interchange of the courtesies of life. I replied as you may anticipate; assuring him of my readiness to receive his proposed visit, and of my gratitude for his favourable notice of my Lecture. During our first interview at my house, which followed in a few days, he introduced the subject of religion; observing, that he thought Unitarianism was in general misunderstood, and endeavouring, by the suggestion of various considerations which I cannot now recall, to produce in my mind a favourable impression toward it. Such was the origin of our discussion. My opinion of Mr. Ketley's powers, and my distrust of my own, rendered it morally impossible that it should originate on my part; indeed a sense of duty was the only motive which induced me to engage in it, when begun by him. A distinct desire for his benefit could not actuate me then; for it would have implied a hope of being instrumental toward it,
which I did not then venture to entertain. At a few subsequent interviews my friend appeared still to indulge the expectation of leading me over to his own religious opinions, and directed his conversation accordingly. That expectation, however, very soon vanished. He advocated his opinions from conviction; in addition to conviction, at least, not weaker than his own, I clung to mine for life. He could not but know that a transition from his ground to mine would leave his eternal safety unendangered, even on his own principles; while, on my principles, a similar transition to his ground would involve the most ruinous result. He consequently confined himself, from that time, to a defence of Unitarianism: and of the hand then employed on her bulwarks, I think I may affirm, in the language of the Roman Poet,
'Si dextrâ Pergama possent
Mænia defendi, saltem hac defensa fuissent.'
"To her cause, if I can judge, he did ample justice. During many successive interviews at our respective residences, he drew largely from the resources of abstract argument and of Biblical criticism; and nothing that he brought forward seemed in any degree deprived of its clearness or force, by his manner of employing it. If such were the self-diffidence felt by me, and the ability manifested by my friend, whence the issue of our discussion, with which you are all ac
quainted? With no hypocritical affectation of humility, I wholly disclaim the merit of it. Our discussion took place not amid the alternating applauses of a multitude, but in the quiet of unostentatious retirement, with no other witness than our Maker. It was conducted not in the spirit of combatants, but with the mutual goodwill of friends. We were aware that not the sincerity, nor the intellect, of either party could suffer any just disparagement by the result, whatever it might be. A philosopher, self-dependent, may fail in the investigation of religious truth: while the agency of Omnipotence and the instrumentality of a child may discover it to his mind. It is very strange that a man may avow alteration of sentiment on almost any subject but that of religion, without calumny called forth, or indignation excited: while a change in the latter, beyond all others, is entitled to a calm and kind. consideration. If the convert be wrong, he is a proper object of the deepest commiseration; if he be right, of the purest satisfaction. Too often is he looked on as an enemy and a traitor by the community whose religion he has abandoned, and as the author of a dire calamity to its interesta thing impossible if that religion be true. Truth must ultimately prevail; and he who abandons her cause, injures, not it, but himself. At length these feelings of anger, which originate in a mere illusion, gradually subside, like all others of the
kind. It is discovered that the sun shines not more feebly than before the calamity of this conversion; and the course of nature flows on, unaltered by its influence. It is found, perhaps, in addition to all this, that the convert has not ceased to be human: his integrity is unimpaired, his understanding vigorous as ever: and his testimony and example may in the end be appreciated by many, who once execrated both in the bitterness of their hearts.
"The arguments of my friend were, principally, throughout, and altogether in the first instance, founded on what appeared to him rational principles, rather than on the testimony of Revelation. After briefly contending that they applied not to the doctrines I advocated, my endeavours were employed to convince him that all such arguments proceed on a false supposition; namely, that, admitting the authority of Scripture, we are competent to sit in judgment on the wisdom of its contents. He constantly endeavoured to draw me into argument on the doctrine of the Trinity, which I as constantly avoided; contenting myself with, at most, very brief replies to his objections, and then returning to the consideration of what appeared to me a prior, and yet more important, question, the scheme of salvation revealed. I had frequently to remind him that his line of argument was unwittingly inconsistent with his admission of the
authority of Scripture; but the complete inspiration of the latter I do not recollect him to have ever directly questioned. Hence, from the origin to the end of our discussion, the main subject of it continued to be the scheme of salvation revealed; including the natural state of man, and the doctrine of the Atonement. This subject I invariably endeavoured to consider with him, as one involving his own eternal interest, about which I avow that I felt a more than ordinary solicitude, from the moment when I dared to hope I might be employed in promoting it a solicitude which augmented as my acquaintance with him proceeded, from causes which you, who have known him, will readily conjecture. The first day on which I can now, in looking back, discern any impression made upon his mind was the 3d of April, 1835. I then proposed that we should read together a portion of the Bible. He consented. I chose the 3d chapter of the Epistle to the Romans; and read, briefly commenting as I proceeded. In answer to some remarks I made on the term 'propitiation,' he contended that the word in the original, being the same by which the mercy-seat is denominated, merely implied the manifestation of divine mercy by Jesus Christ, without any reference to atonement; and that nothing was mentioned of His blood. I repeated the words which had escaped his attention,—“ through faith