« ForrigeFortsett »
whelm them. If a body of Christians had undergone for their religion, the trials which thousands of Jews have undergone for theirs, Christendom would have proclaimed them martyrs, and called their constancy noble. It is noble. In Jews, it still is noble. If they worshipped brutes and vegetables, instead of the living God, I would lift up my voice, if I lifted it up alone, and pronounce it noble.
There surely is a majesty in this part of their character, which should command some respect from us, and redeem it from a portion of that odium which has so long been attached to it. Well might a Jew take up the language of a living poet, and say to his bigoted accuser,
"Were my bosom as false as thou deem'st it to be, I need not have wander'd from far Galilee; It was but abjuring my creed, to efface The curse, which thou say'st, is the crime of my race." If we are to convert the Jews, there is one method of doing it, which, though it has not, as yet, been much employed, will, I sincerely believe, prove by far the most efficacious of any. The method is this; that we show them something more of the spirit and influence of Christianity in our own conduct, especially toward themselves, than we hitherto have done. No one can attribute greater strength to the evidence, both internal and external, of the Christian Revelation, than I do. But how are we to induce an examination of this evidence, in the people whom we treat, and that too because we are Christians, and because they are Jews, with so much contumely? Is a man likely to take an interest in the creed of his persecutor? What regard could a Mexican have felt for the religion of Cortes, or a Peruvian for the faith of Pizarro? And when a Jew has passed a Christian, who called him cut-throat dog, and spit upon bis Jewish gabardine,” will he, think you, Sir, beg the next Christian whom he sees to give him a New Testament? Let Christians treat Jews as if they were human beings, and fellow creatures; let them manifest in their behaviour toward them the love of the Gospel, and then, if the Deity should permit, we may succeed in converting them. But not till then, unless an overwhelming miracle should be wrought for them.
Your patience for one word more, and I will end. We are told in the public papers that “the divine veracity is pledged” to convert the Jews; and we are then called on to lend our aid to the work. The signification of this argument is plain. The pledge is not to be redeemed without us. What presumption! A few mortals get together, form a society, choose officers, have their names printed in the newspapers, col. lect some hundreds of dollars and all this to establish the veracity of the Holy One! Yes, Sir, to assist the Almighty in keeping his word!
The Liberal Christian.
We have received the first number of a religious paper, with the above title, which has been commenced in Brooklyn, Connecticut, edited by the minister of that place, the Rev. S. J. May. A perusal of the articles contained in it has afforded us much gratification. It maintains those views of Christianity which we ourselves are labouring to establish. We hope that it will be freely circulated in Connecticut, and that it will receive the support of all our friends who can afford their patronage. Few of our readers will think the title of this paper improperly assumed, when we inform them that it offers half of its pages to orthodox communications.
It is to be published once a fortnight, at the annual price of one dollar; each number containing eight quar
Wells and Lilly of Boston will shortly put to press a work entitled, An Inquiry into the comparative Moral Tendency of Trinitarian and Unitarian Doctrines. By JARED SPARKS. This work is intended to comprise the substance of the Letters, which have appeared at different times in the Miscellany, with the signature of A Unitarian of Baltimore. These Letters will be altered and improved in several parts, and many additions will be made, embracing a greater variety of topics and compass of discussion. The principal doctrines in which unitarians are supposed to differ from other christians will be considered; and especially the prominent articles of Calvinism will be examined, and their influence on piety and morals compared with the same influence of the unitarian belief. The whole will aim to show, that the charges, which the illiberal and uninformed have pressed upon the public mind to disparage the unitarian cause, are without foundation, unjust in their nature, and unrighteous in their tendency.
To the Editor. SIR,
The same motives by which I was governed in sending you the Dialogue on Unitarianism, which was printed in your last number, have induced me to trans. mit to you the substance of another conversation, on the popular doctrine of Atonement, which I hope will be received with equal favour.
It so happened that I fell into company a few days ago, at the house of a friend, in New-York, with two of my former companions in the steam-boat, the Unitarian, and the Episcopalian. They recognized each other at once; and after the usual compliments, manifested a desire to resume the old subject of discussion. The Episcopalian observed, that since their last meeting, he had divested himself of his prejudices so far as to attend divine worship, one morning, at the Unitarian Church.
“And how were you pleased?” asked the other.
Episcopalian. Extremely well. Every part of the services was conducted in a serious, interesting, and devotional manner. I was so well satisfied, indeed, that I purchased, and read, several of the tracts on the subject of the trinity, which are published by their Book Society. To what extent I might have carried my inquiries, and acceded to your belief, I do not know, had I not felt myself obliged to give up the examination altogether, on hearing that you not only denied the doctrine of the trinity, but that of our Saviour's atonement also. This last doctrine I consider as absolutely fundamental, and as a necessary part of Christianity, and I never can give it up. But is it true that Unitarians reject it?
Unitarian. We do indeed reject the doctrine that the sufferings and death of Christ were necessary to appease the wrath of God, and make it consistent with his justice to forgive sin. We cannot believe, and the Scriptures do not require us to believe, that Christ, in the language of some orthodox confession, “died to reconcile the Father to us. We think that such a doctrine is full of impiety, and highly dishonourable to the good and gracious Being who represents himself with every tender attribute of a Father, and proclaims himself a God full of compassion, and ever ready to forgive.
Epis. These are mere general assertions. The doctrine of atonement is certainly the doctrine of Scripture. The Epistles, in a particular manner, declare it most plainly. Unit. Of the truth of that assertion I must, in
my turn, beg leave to doubt. You will not find even the word atonement but once in the whole New Testament; and you would not have found it once, had the translators been consistent in their work. In every other place in which the same original word is used, they