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They are dogmatical. They are angry. Unable to convince, or be convinced, because unable to conceive a state of mind different from their own, and yet dreading and hating the implied doubt cast on their own opinions, and, desiring to suppress it, they attempt to persuade, to frighten, or to coax. They would frighten a man out of his honest convictions, by telling him that the world will call him fickle. They would cajole him out of them, by telling him to think of his usefulness; and in the name of utility not lightly to resign bis present power of doing good, as if to be useful, a man must be a liar, or as if he was not as likely to be useful when following the beckonings of the God of truth, as when following them. Out of these elements, however, dreadful suffering may arise to a sensitive mind through its affections.

Our author tells us how a conscience, trusting in Providence, will make its way out of such perplexities. With what tears and sighs he has not told us, but we can conceive :

“Of consequences we are very incompetent judges : on principles alone can we depend with confidence and certainty. If the consideration of usefulness could be allowed in my case, Spain, my native country, would long, long since have had my services. But dissembling, whether in deference to Transubstantiation or the Athanasinn Creed, is equally hateful to me. Yet, why any real good of which I may have been the occasion should be destroyed by a fresh proof of my love of honesty and fair dealing, is what I cannot conceive. If any thing could invalidate or weaken the force of my testimony in regard to the corruptions of Popery, it would be my silence in favour of what I deem other corruptions. The great Chillingworth would have added weight to his unrivalled works, if he had not permitted his subscription to the Thirtynine Articles to remain in full force, when neither his judgment could approve of it, nor his natural honesty conceal his change. As to myself, I have not enjoyed any of the temporal advantages of Orthodoxy; and it is well attested, that, at a tiine when I might conscientiously have taken preferment, I solemnly resolved never to accept it. But, having subscribed to the Articles for the mere purpose of qualifying myself for the occasional performance of clerical duties, I feel bound modestly to recall that subscription before my death, and to declare that I am satisfactorily convinced, not only that the DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY is not scriptural, but also that the whole Palristical Theology, which makes up the greatest part of the Thirty-nine Articles, consists of groundless speculations, which could never have obtained currency among Christians, without the aid of a false philosophy. I profess Christianity as a UNITARIAN; acknowledging one GOD IN ONE PERSON, and Jesus of Nazareth as my guide to his Father and my Father, his God and my God.'--pp. iv. v.

We doubt whether any one who has read the touching preface in which our author sketches the progress of his opinions, and shows by what mental bye-paths most natural to such a traveller, with what tenderness and reluctancy of feeling, the removal was

effected, can regard the weight he now throws into the scale of opinion to be light, on the

ground that his previous changes prove him to be an insecure lodger, one who has no fixed dwelling, where his intellect has taken up its abode, and may always be found at home, but who pitches a moving tent on the rich pasture grounds of truth. If Mr. White had appeared as the partizan of a creed, maintaining the necessity of holding Unitarian dogmas, there might have been some reason for deeming his partizanship insecure, for the man who holds any opinions to be necessary, has his intellect subject to fear and is not free to pursue the truth. But Mr. White appears not to maintain opinions, but to maintain that the individual truth of each man's conscience, if honestly obeyed, is sufficient for his own salvation. Practical Christianity is to him all in all. Dogmatical Christianity he cares nothing about. How can one who thus stands aloof from the biasses of party be deemed insecure? No sectarian influence can move one who uproots the very foundation of sects. If he moves at all, it must therefore be the movement of his own unbiassed truth. If he is insecure, it is the insecurity of progress, the passage of mind from partial to less partial views. Let the sacrifices he has made attest the moral value of his present testimony to the truth. As to its intellectual value, let those who hold it light answer his book. What is required of any witness, but to be honest and to be competent. Suffering borne in consequence of conviction, is more than needful proof of the first. If any doubts the second, again we say, let him answer the book.

The Observations on Heresy and Orthodoxy,' pursued in Five Letters, of which we propose to give an outline, as much as possible taken from the author himself

, are mainly occupied with the fundamental position that there is no possessor of absolute truth but God, each human mind having its own convictions as its existing truth, and with the applications of this principle to the correction of prevailingly erroneous views of the nature of religion, and of the Scriptures. Our object is to present the broad features of the work, so as to induce our readers to study it minutely.

Our author's leading doctrine is, that Orthodoxy—by which he means not the creed conventionally so called, but the truth as it is known to God-is not necessary to saving faith. He arrives at it by a chain of propositions remarkably simple.

The Christian truth which each man holds, is the impression which the words of the Bible produce on his own mind. When he, therefore, expresses his intention to defend Christian truth, he only expresses his intention to defend his own notions. The words of the Bible produce different impressions on different minds, each holding its own impression as truth. Which of these impressions is the truth as God holds it, we have no rule to determine. The absence of such a rule excludes the necessity of a kind of faith which could not exist without such a rule. Therefore orthodoxy, to determine which would require a rule that no where exists, is not necessary to saving faith.

In popular language, the spirit of orthodoxy is shown in the endeavour to impose a rule of faith different from individual conviction as necessary to salvation. Opposition to this rule, with those who hold it, is styled heresy.

• If saving faith and acceptance of one particular side of the questions agitated between the divines of various Christian denominations are identical things, the means of salvation must be as uncertain as the chance of choosing the right side of those questions. What man, therefore, who is thoroughly convinced of the truth of the Gospel, will not instantly see the plain and only way out of this difficulty ; i. e. the rejection of the gratuitous hypothesis of orthodoxy. Here the whole question depends upon the absence of some rule, not exposed to uncertainty, by which the uncertainty in the sense of the Scriptures, experienced by multitudes of Christians, may be entirely removed.' (There is no appointed judge of orthodoxy.). Hence the inevitable conclusion, that to be right upon any of the points so long disputed among Christians, cannot be a necessary condition of saving faith; else God would have demanded from us what He evidently has not given us the means to attain. And let it not be forgotten, that the distinction between ESSENTIALS and NON-ESSENTIALS is perfectly arbitrary, and does not remove the difficulty, for by what certain rule can we divide the disputed doctrines into those two classes ? How could the Father of Mercies have bound up the benefits of Christianity within the complicated folds of orthodoxy, and denied us a clue to solve those riddles.'—pp. 25, 26.

• To wbat then is suvING FAITII reduced if it does not consist in Orthodoxy, or the belief of right doctrines ? • Let such as wish to rise above the clouds of theological prejudice, remember that the whole mystery of godliness is described by the expression “glad tidings."-Sud, not glad tidings, indeed, would have been the apostles' preaching, if they had announced a salvation depending on Orthodoxy, for it would have been a salvation depending on chance. But salvation promised on condition of a change of mind from the love of sin to the love of God, (which is repentance); on a surrender of the individual will to the will of God, according to the view of that divine will which is obtained by trust in Christ's example and teachings, which is faith ; a pardon of sins, independent of harassing religious practices, sacrifices, and ascetic privations—these were glad tidings of great joy indeed, to all who, caring for their souls, felt bewildered between atheism and superstition.' • The only indispensable condition of being in the way of salvation, through the gospel, must be that which remains after the removal of all the doctrines which have been constantly disputed between the Orthodox and the Heterodox. And what can that be? Exactly that which we find proposed by the apostles, repent, and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ: i. e. change the habitual direction of your will from sin to holiness, and trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your guide to spiritual safety; as your surety for the hope of eternal happiness. pp. 11, 15, 27.

Thus clearly is it shown, that under Christianity, spiritual safety depends not on the correct determinations of the intellect, but on the virtuous determinations of the will. Perhaps, however, more definiteness might have been obtained, if the description of pure Christianity, when denuded of contested points, instead of being taken from its effects, had been taken from the instrumentality which produces those effects. Christianity is a moral influence derived from certain facts; and whoever receives the facts, may, if he will, enjoy the influence. We should prefer, therefore, to define Christianity to be the reception of the life and character of Jesus, as moral facts. All Christians agree in this, and it is enough.

From the fact that each mind must take its own impressions for its treasure of truth, Mr. White powerfully enforces the duty of the will in relation to the understanding, to remove every obstacle from its freedom and its competency to determine, and when it has determined, openly to obey its determinations.

Since subjective religious truth, i. e. the impressions which the Scriptures leave on each individual, have not been made by God a matter of OBEDIENCE to any authorized image of truth, it must be supposed that it is the intention of Providence that the Scriptures be studied in common by all those who acknowledge their authority: and if such be the purpose of the Divine Mind, it must be the duty of all Christians not to deceive each other as to the results of their respective perceptions of the sense of the Scriptures. To act otherwise must be a sin of FALSEHOOD ; it must be “ holding the truth in unrighteousness,” or “ in injustice,” for what injustice can exceed that which is done to mankind when any one casts into the common treasury of intellectual experience, as his own Truth, as the real impression on his mind, that which is entirely unlike that impression ? Such a deliberate lie in relation to the Scriptures must be hateful in the eyes of God. He knows our weakness of judgment, and our consequent liability to error; but what can plead our excuse before Him, when we wilfully corrupt and deface the only unquestionable TRUTII we possess, the reality of our consciousness. From faithfulness to the duty of verACITY, the Christian world might finally derive the inestimable advantage of knowing what is the most general, most distinct and most lasting impression of the Scriptures on the collective intellect of those to whom they are collectively addressed. That impression, if gathered from the free and unbiassed examination of the most intelligent portion of the Christian world, might properly be called the natural sense of the Scriptures, the sense which Providence intends to prevail. ' - pp. 33, 34.

The letter, from which the above is extracted closes, with an image of the Church of Christ, as it might have been if thus left free,' grown into the fulness of the body' of its glorious founder. We cannot give the whole, and must not mutilate it. We recommend our readers quietly to dwell on it, especially on the solemn beauty of the closing remarks on spirit and liberty. We felt, when reading, as if the page was Milton's.

Letters Third and fourth carry forward the principles previously established to throw light on the nature and the interpretation of Scripture, and sketch the causes in the Gentile and Jewish mind, which led to the grafting of speculative corruptions on the simple basis of pure Christianity. We had marked several passages for quotation, but we cannot prevail on ourselves to give single links from the chain of reasoning as specimens of the argumentative power, nor single touches of beauty as specimens of the moral harmony. Let the whole be studied.

Mr. White closes these admirable Letters, by anticipating the attack of indolent dogmatism or startled intolerance, by turning aside, or rather by turning on themselves, that ready weapon of all idolizers of their own conclusions, the pride of reason.” Never before was that phrase subjected to such a searching analysis. We presume that all who have gone through it, have struck one from their catalogue of sins.

• Having found that pride of reason is an aggression upon other men's reason, arising from an over estimate of the worth of the aggressor's own, we may now proceed in our inquiry. Who are justly chargeable with pride of reason? Is it those who, having examined the Scriptures, propose their own collective sense of those books to the acceptance of others, but blame them not for rejecting it? or those who positively assert, that their own sense of the Scriptures is the only one which an honest man, not under diabolical delusion, can find there ? • Their own sense of the Scripture (such is the dizzy whirl which their excited feelings produce) must be the word of God, because they cannot find another. My sense of the Scripture, for instance, must, on the contrary, be a damnable error, because it is the work of my reason, which opposes the word of God, that is, their sense of the Scriptures; hence the conclusion that I am guilty of the pride of reason. “Renounce that pride, (they say,) and you will see in the Scriptures what we propose to you,” which is to say, surrender your reason to ours, and you will agree with us." • Whether few or many combine for the purpose of passing the work of their own reason for the only true sense of Scripture, can make no difference, unless that of aggravating their guilt. If many combine to do an unjust act, they are guilty not only of the individual wrong, but of conspiracy. Reason does not derive strength from crowds. The reason of the most obscure individual, be it but true reason, is sufficient to subdue the world, if fairly left to take its course.'—pp. 84, 87.

We have been greatly struck with Mr. White's aptness of illustration, and power, yet delicacy, of expression. A few examples, given without connection, will help our readers to a true estimate of the mind which claims to be heard in that great debate, wherein collective man is discussing the question of religious truth.

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