Imágenes de páginas

in his blood.' He coloured; was confused, and silent. When leaving me, he shook my hand, visibly struggling with deep emotions. From that time his manner became more serious in our discussion, and he appeared to defer more to the authority of Scripture. I requested him to study the Epistle to the Romans, in the original of Griesbach's edition, being one which the most learned Unitarians generally consider impartial. He readily consented to do so; and was soon convinced, by the Latin Preface of Griesbach, of the genuineness of some portions of the Bible which he had doubted before. The common version was now rapidly read; the original, at the same time, being consulted on all disputed passages. At this point of his progress I gave him a copy of my Sermons. [*] He at first declared himself gratified, but unconvinced, by the perusal of them. In a few days, however, he acknowledged to me that his confidence in Unitarianism was completely shaken—that he more than suspected the soundness of the mode of interpretation employed in its support-and that second Sermon had shewn him the moral impossibility of serving God without a belief of the Atonement. He asked me to name some books


[* The volume is entitled "The Rationality of Revealed Religion, illustrated in a series of Sermons. To which are added an Essay on the Merits of Modern Fiction, and a Lecture on the Diffusion of Knowledge."-ED.]


I would recommend him to read for additional information on the subject. I mentioned Magee and Wardlaw. His progress was now rapid and decisive. He saw the Atonement, first as appointed, and deriving efficacy from divine appointment; then as 'elect, precious,' intrinsically meritorious, and therefore appointed to reconcile mercy with justice, and man with God. On the latter point, the 10th chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews appeared to him decisive. He perceived at once the connection of the Atonement with the Deity of Christ; on which subject we discussed but one only text, Thy throne, O God, is for ever,' &c., as quoted from the 45th Psalm, in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews. He argued for the Unitarian translation, God is thy throne,' &c.; to which I replied, that our explanation of the passage alone coincides with the scope of the whole context, which is evidently to exalt the dignity of the Mediator. What appeared to him the strongest evidence of the Deity of Christ was the recorded fact, that inspired men transacted immediately with Him the business of personal religion. (2 Cor. xii. 7-9.) Similar evidence appeared to him for the Personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit; who is declared to be the immediate agent in the inward change inseparable from salvation-the prompter of prayer in all who acceptably praythe sanctifier and upholder of all who live for

God. It was in the beginning of December 1835, that the crisis arrived in the inquiries of my friend. His intention of publicly announcing to you his change of sentiment in religion was communicated to me only on the day before you heard him announce it. He solicited my advice. I observed, that the duty of confessing Christ was inseparable from belief in him (Rom. x. 9)— that the time when we believe in him must, therefore, be the time to confess him-and that he could not, without hypocrisy, preach Unitarian doctrine while he disbelieved it. What followed you already know."

The reader may like to be informed that, since leaving Ipswich, Mr. Ketley has passed three years and a half at Cambridge University, and has now entered the Church of England: having obtained a title at Tooting, Surrey; of which it is expected he will become the curate. He purposes, it is said, shortly to publish a longmeditated treatise on the subject of Unitarianism.







« AnteriorContinuar »