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stooping and creeping under it, and then he would have got through unhurt. So it is with God's word. Ah! are there none here, who have gone to the Bible without taking a light, and stunned themselves? They could find the way very well by themselves; they had no need of the Holy Spirit to enlighten them; their own reason was sufficient to clear up all the mysteries, and remove all the difficulties, and make out a very simple rational plan of salvation-no wonder they stumbled and fell. There are stumbling-blocks in abundance left in God's word, on purpose to test our humility and faith; on purpose to repulse those, who will not seek for the Spirit's guidance, and who will not stoop to believe any thing which they cannot account for, or explain. To them Jesus Christ becomes a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, and whosoever shall fall on that stone shall be broken. Try, if you like, to batter down the walls of this church with your naked hand; but don't try the strength of your understanding against the mysteries of God-you can only dash yourself to pieces. They cannot be moved, the Rock of Ages can never be shaken, but you may perish in the attempt: on whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder."


But what obstacles do the mysteries of revelation present to the humble Christian, enlightened and directed by the Spirit of God? None whatever. The beam across the doorway is not removed; he does not try to remove it; he does not even wish it removed; he would just as soon it stayed there; and yet it is no obstacle to him at all. Why? Because he is perfectly willing to stoop down and creep under it. There are many difficulties in the Bible, which the Christian cannot explain, many things he is at a loss to reconcile, many objections he is unable to answer: but what of that? Is he shaken by them in his faith? No: God's word warned him of them before-hand, told him to expect them, and he is satisfied with his Master's promise-" What thou knowest not now, thou shalt know hereafter." God says it, and it must be true; God does it, and it must be right. He may not see how it can be true, or how it can be right; but this he acknowledges to be only his own ignorance, knowing that at present he but sees through a glass darkly." Thus the very difficulties, by which the proud reasoner is confounded, and the wisdom of this world brought to nought, only serve to exercise and display the faith, the meekness, the humility, of the true Christian, "whose mind, being stayed on God, is kept in perfect peace." This is to receive the kingdom of God as a little child of such (not of persons born innocent) is the kingdom of heaven, and in this way is it "the glory of God to conceal a thing."


A FOURTH pamphlet has just appeared, in a very different style from either of the three first, and not unnaturally without either writer's or printer's name. It contains an eulogy of Channing, an attack on the interpretation given in our English Bible of Christ's words in Mark iv. 24. "Take heed what ye hear," and a little something else, which we must overlook. With regard to Channing, there cannot be the slightest doubt, that he did mean "true believers," orthodox evangelical Christians, though giving his own view of them. The chief ground of our love to Christ is set forth by the apostles to be, Christ's love in dying for us; but the enlightened, rational, theology of the present day, it seems, despises such childish emotions, and can approve of nothing less dignified than "moral worth." Those who agree with my "Elder Brother" in admiring this practical Unitarianism, may no doubt study Carpenter and Channing to advantage. With regard to Mark iv 24., of course I did not mean, that the word "Blepete" could never signify anything but "beware," but that it could not in the passages quoted-which no one will deny. The wording however of my note to page 17 of lecture I. I am perfectly willing to allow, might certainly lead to the misapprehension; and equally willing to allow, that it would have been better if it had been more courteously worded, though in answer to a not very courteous expression; it is solely on this account, that the pamphlet has drawn forth a word of reply. But pray let me remind those who seem so very much afraid of our interpretation of the words, that if we take theirs (Take heed to what ye hear) it cannot mean, that we are to take heed to heresy; for the Holy Ghost had already said by the mouth of Solomon, "Cease my son, from hearing the instruction which causeth to err from the words of knowledge." Is the interpretation of this passage objected to ?

The writer hints that I may be "possessed." So did the Jews of my master. He calls my views of prophecy "rhapsody," &c. Not quite seeing the point of the argument, I scarcely know how to meet it. If he will endeavour to show, that they are unscriptural, I shall be happy to give him due consideration, though not to enter on a prophetical controversy.

He concludes by giving me two pieces of advice. The first, "Take heed to thyself," I feel obliged to him for, as I stand continually in need of it, and will endeavour to profit by it, when called upon to answer his or any similar attacks; lest the "old man" should get the better of


and I

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[The note above referred to appeared in the first thousand only.]

should become "like unto him." Prov. xxvi. 4. If however by calling himself "an old Churchman," "an elder brother," and dating his letter from "Long-sight Rectory," he means to give the impression, that he is a clergyman of the Church of England, or even a Trinitarian at all, I feel compelled "for the credit of my Church" to take the liberty of saying, that I don't believe it. His second piece of advice, not to print the rest of my Lectures, is, I doubt not, given with all sincerity: nay so very anxious does he appear on the subject, that one is almost tempted to suspectbut it is no matter. Their very unexpectedly rapid sale will scarcely allow me to follow his advice in this instance; but one thing I will promise"never, never to print" what I dare not put my name to, or what the printer dare not put his to.

If any of my friends should happen to meet with the production alluded to, let me beg of them not to let their minds be irritated by any such mere personal attacks, as they are really of no consequence whatever. If our opponents cannot overthrow the scripture proofs which are brought forward, never mind what may be said of the advocate; it does not touch the question at issue, and can do no possible harm, unless we allow it to engender a similar spirit within our own hearts: let us rather seek for the beautiful spirit of our Litany, which teaches us to pray

That it may please thee to forgive our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers, and to turn their hearts,

That it may please thee to bring into the way of truth all such as have erred and are deceived,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.



2 Peter ii. 1, 2. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

WHAT intolerable bigotry! How illiberal and uncharitable ! What a lamentable want of the spirit of Christ! Surely it would have been much better, if Peter had confined himself to expounding the Sermon on the Mount, or the Parables, and enforcing moral duties, instead of "hurling damnation at his fellow creatures," and "consigning people to hell for mistaken opinions." But St. Paul is, if possible, more arrogant still; for he sets up his own preaching as the standard which every one is to follow, with the most awful denunciations against any, who should dare to think for themselves, or presume to differ from him in doctrine-" But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." Gal i. 8. And even John, the mild and affectionate John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, and who leant upon his breast at supper, the apostle whose writings speak of nothing but love, actually commands, "If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him* God speed." 2 John, 10. How refreshing to turn from the bigotry and intolerance of Peter, Paul, and John, to the enlightened liberal sentiments of the present day! "Our system "(I lay stress on the word "our" to mark the contrast between it and the apostles' system)-" Our system," writes Dr. Armstrong, a Unitarian minister in Dublin, “is one of unlimited charity, and Christian love. We do not indeed pretend to say, that it is the only way to heaven: God forbid that we should have such presumption! but we maintain that as a system of peace and charity, it redounds more to the honour of Christ, than any system which engenders animosity and strife. With cheerfulness and cordiality we are ready to clasp the hand of every pious believer in every Church, and to hail him as our Christian brother. And though we think it our duty to vindicate our religions freedom, to set forth firmly our own view's

⚫ I understand this, with most commentators, as referring only to false teachers, persons who came to the place to propagate their doctrines. To have afforded accommodation to such would of course have been assisting them in their evil



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of religious truth; yet believing that every pious, sincere, and upright disciple of every Church and sect is on the path that conducts to eternal life," &c. &c. How perfectly agreeable this is with all the feelings of our nature! How instinctively we sympathise with its loving spirit, and recoil from the stern declarations of the apostles! And no wonder; for our nature is fallen, “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God," and "the carnal mind is enmity against God." We therefore naturally choose the evil and refuse the good." I am sure there is not a person here, who, if he considered the sentiments of Peter or Paul to be of no higher authority than those of Dr. Armstrong, would not reject the former as abominably bigoted, and admire the latter as delightfully charitable. A man must acknowledge the Bible to be the word of God, and his will must be conformed to God's will, before he can feel the falseness, and the danger, of sentiments so congenial to human nature.

This system of "universal charity" is, perhaps more strikingly than any thing else, the very spirit of the age. I believe that very much both in and out of Parliament, that looks like a leaning to Popery, proceeds mainly from the popular infidel notion of all religions being equally right and good. Romanists are thought to have been the most oppressed, and therefore, to make all fair, they must have a little extra favour shown them. Nay, even Popery itself is obliged to swim with the stream, and wear the mask of liberalism. Nearly every one's motto is

For modes of faith let graceless bigots fight,
His can't be wrong, whose life is in the right.

Let a man only subscribe to this, and no one will find fault with him, whatever he may profess to believe or disbelieve; "all men will speak well of him." This is especially the case with Unitarians; indeed they boast of it, as one of the loveliest features in their system. The most extraordinary instance however of extremes meeting is to be found in two statements of Mr. Barker's on this subject. When writing against a Calvinist in one of his tracts he says, "that bad as infidelity is, there is no form of infidelity with which I am acquainted, so horrible, so unnatural, so utterly infernal and devilish, as this calvinistic theology, which he has hired himself to preach." Now observe, he does not say that a Calvinist, who dishonours his Christian profession, is worse than an Infidel; but that Calvinistic theology is worse than Infidelity. Well, you will say, this does not look much like universal charity. But stop; there's something more. Hear what he says, when arguing with Mr. Cooke on the question, What is a Christian? His object now is-not to vilify a particular creed, but to show that a belief of certain doctrines is not essential to Christianity, and that a man may believe almost anything, and yet be a Christian. He therefore tells us, that

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