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angry spirit which would willingly call down the destroying fire from heaven, should be in active existence, and manifest itself in an unholy strife, respecting speculative doctrines, during which, the essentials of Christianitythe good works, the actions, the fruits, the beautiful morality which our Saviour constantly inculcated—are neglected and forgotten.
But, if by using those faculties which his Creator has bestowed upon him, some luckless inquirer is led to embrace opinions, the bare mention of which sets on end the "sanctimonious bristles" of self-styled orthodoxy, he is, in the overflowing plenitude of spiritual pride, denounced as a heretic-if, by diligent, impartial, and, it may be, painful examination, a result is obtained, not altogether in unison with certain fallible but popular monuments of ancestral wisdom; not perfectly agreeing with the dogmas of one John Calvin, though he, heaven knows, no divinely inspired teacher; nor, with a certain Westminster Confession, worthy of equal deference-then, the Synod of Ulster also liable to err, denounces the individual as an apostate, and passes sentence of excommunication in due form! How different this from the noble boast and triumphant eulogium, delivered only twelve months preceding, by the then Moderator.
"It appears to me," says the Rev. Mr. Carlile, "to be one of the peculiar beauties of our modification of Presbyterianism, that men may hold and may express different opinions amongst us, without exposing themselves to any attempts being made to injure them in their pecuniary interests. I shall probably carry along with me but a small proportion of the Christian public, when I exult in the liberty that we enjoy, of declaring our sentiments unreservedly on all subjects, without any other apprehension than that of being convinced of error." But this is no longer true of the Presbyterians of the north of Ireland. Such liberality can no longer be tolerated by the Synod of Ulster. Alas! that the exhortations of the preceding Moderator, should be so soon forgotten; that so little apparent effect should be produced by his powerful and uncompromising advocacy of religious liberty. He affirms it to be "an untried, but a noble, and he conceives, a most scriptural experiment, to set opinion free as the wind, and to combat error, with no weapon but the word of God and prayer;" but such an experiment is too worth
less and insignificant, to occupy the attention of the Synod. The appeal which he makes to the Assembly, in the true spirit of a freeman of Christ, on behalf of exercising moderation on points of difference, has passed away unheeded like the morning vapour. "Let us, therefore,' says he, "undaunted by the censures and outcries of the many, whose reverence for use and wont sometimes overpowers their reverence for the Word of God, and who frequently mistake the errors for the wisdom of our ancestors, rather court the free expression of sentiment, than seek to suppress it. Let us, without compromising any principle, without permitting any fellow-creature to sit down unwarned of his errors, encourage every man to bring to the light what is within him." To this the Synod peremptorily answers in the negative. We will not "appeal to the contents of Scripture," but to the Westminster Confession, for a test by which to judge of sound orthodoxy! Having, therefore, a standard of faith, of greater authority than the Scriptures-receiving the doctrines of the Assembly of Divines, as superior to those of the Apostles; the former, consequently, being more efficient and better qualified teachers than the latter-the Synod and the Bible Christian cannot avoid points of difference. It has even been said, they do not worship the same God! They certainly do not both receive instruction from the same source; one, flying to Calvin and the Westminster Confession; the other, not aspiring to become wise above what is written, being content with Paul and Jesus.
Although the maledictions of the Synodical Inquisitors were directed against the Arians, the Unitarians, also, holding as a fundamental tenet, the strict supremacy and indivisibility of the Deity, are equally exposed to their thunderbolts of wrath, on account of heresy. All believers. in the divine unity, are, in the opinion of thorough-paced orthodoxy, guilty of a wish to "rob the son of the eternal God, of his crown of glory"-(Magill)!—they are characterised as 66 men who join in a league to rob our Lord and Master of his crown of eternal glory; as having some sinister design to strip their Lord and Master of his eternal godship, and rob him of his everlasting crown of glory"— (Cooke)!
The Unitarian denies absolutely, that he degrades Jesus Christ; but he dare not acknowledge him as God the Son, because Jesus never taught his followers that he was God,
and the Apostles taught that he was a man. Although Doctors, and Fathers, and Councils, have asserted and decreed, that Jesus Christ is God, we prefer to them the superior authority of our Saviour and his Apostles. We believe in Christ as a teacher of the truth, and we are content to sit at his feet, and learn from him. He never assumed "Eternal Godship;" he never taught that he was an incarnate God; he never required the worship of his disciples as a present Deity; and we are surely justifiable, in believing him to be what he himself asserted that he was. He taught his true disciples to worship God even the Father; he taught them to ask of the Father in his name; and he taught, that that great Being was to himself, equally with his disciples, "my Father and your Father, my God and your God." That which he did not claim, but on the contrary disavowed, we do not attribute to him; but this is very far from degrading him. It is simply by comparing the Unitarian tenet with the scholastic subtleties, which clothed the man Christ Jesus with the attributes of Deity, to escape the fancied disgrace attendant on a crucified Messiah, which produced the cry of degradation; but compare it with the teachings of Jesus and his Apostles, and with the Gospel records, and its truth will be abundantly demonstrated.
It ought also to be recollected, that it is as easy to exalt unnecessarily, as to degrade unjustifiably. But if a character be estimated far above its proper station, and some one points out the exaggeration, and places it in a just position, will he lie open to the charge of degradation? Suppose a person were to ascribe to the king of England, the title of emperor of China, would another, because he pointed out the absurdity, and refused to acknowledge the assumption, be guilty of degrading our sovereign? We believe, then, that what Jesus has himself taught, we should, as his followers, believe; but as he never inculcated upon his hearers his co-equality with the Deity, so we receive and place unlimited confidence in the truths which he delivered as a teacher sent from God, without believing in, or "stripping him of his eternal Godship," simply because he did not assume, nor teach that he possessed it.
Receiving as a fundamental religious truth, which the Saviour corroborated and confirmed, the strict indivisibility, and perfect unity of the Almighty, we cannot embrace the doctrines of those, who, professing to believe the Divine
unity, in reality advocate a divine union-not one Being, but a triplicity, a whole composed of three parts! And however wishful Trinitarianism may be to claim as its tenet, the axiom that God is one, yet a belief in the existence of one undivided and indivisible Being, and one which admits that three dissimilar and discrepant parts are united to form one Being, can never be reconciled with each other.*
Believing the existence of one God in one person, revealed to him in the blessed Gospel, as the Father, the Unitarian dares not place the Son, who cannot be the Father, who asserts his inferiority, who is distinguished from the Father even by Orthodoxy itself, upon the throne of the Eternal. He dares not endow him with equality, invest him with co-eternity, clothe him with omnipotence, and adore him likewise as God. He dares not to insult. the Ruler of the hosts of heaven, by worshipping him who expired in agony on the cross, as the blessed Spirit who pervades all things, alone possessing underived immortality. He cannot forget the commands delivered in thunder from Mount Sinai, when the Creator of the world revealed his holy will to his creatures, and proclaimed “Thou shalt have no other gods before ME. He cannot evade the revelation vouchsafed by the prophet Isaiah, "I am Jehovah, and there is none else, there is no God besides me." "Is there a God besides me? Yea there is no God, I know not any;" but with Paul he acknowledges, that "to us there is but one God, the Father." With this belief, he cannot adore other co-equal, co-eternal Beings; he shudders at the thought of "stripping" Him whose name is one, of that glory which he will not give to another, or by "robbing" Him of his supremacy, "degrading" the peerless Majesty of heaven into a Deity having equals and fellows. And he therefore bows the knee with the Apostle, to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; he appeals to still higher authority, and offers his undivided worship, adoration, and praise, to that glorious Being, whom the Saviour himself taught that all true worshippers must address, to God, even the Father.
"A plurality means more than one. More than one, in one Godhead, are several persons, who all partake of the same divinity, and are, therefore, several distinct Gods. They are no more one God, because they are combined in one Godhead, than the judges of the Areopagus were one judge, because they formed one tribunal.”—Unitarianism Ünassailable. (To be Continued.)
The History of the Church of Malabar.
THE work of which I propose to give a brief review, was published in the year 1694. It appears, that under the general name of Malabar, several distinct kingdoms or principalities are included. At the period in which our author wrote, the inhabitants were not only heathens, but extremely superstitious in the worship of pagods, "of which," says he, "there are several among them of incredible riches."*"The Serra, or gate, as the natives call it, is a ridge of mountains running two hundred leagues from north to south, the south end whereof, is inhabited by Christians, who call themselves the Christians of St. Thomas, upon the account of their having first been converted to the Christian faith, by the Apostle of that name. For upwards," he continues, "of 1300 years, they have been under the Patriarch of Babylon." The first intelligence of this ancient and remote church, was brought to Europe, about the year 1501. Shortly afterwards, they applied to Don Vasco da Gama, that he might use his influence with the king of Portugal, and induce him to take them under his protection.† Manuel de Favia "after having reckoned up the errors, as he calls them, of the Christians of St. Thomas, makes the following reflection, upon his countryman's having been so long in reducing them to the Roman Church:"It is a shameful thing, that this Church should continue an hundred years in the neighbourhood of the Portuguese, without being reduced to the Roman faith; and which makes it still the worse, under the eye of the Bishops of Goa; but the truth is, those merchants whom Christ whipped out of the temple, were such as these.'
In the year 1645, the Archbishop of Goa, being, as the author of this work informs us, "ashamed of their talking so much in Europe, and doing so little in India, in the matters of religion, sends one Vincent, a Franciscan Friar, of which order the Archbishop himself was, to Cranganor, to try what he could do, towards the reducing of those Christians, to the obedience of the Roman Church." Repeated efforts were subsequently made by the Jesuits, to accomplish the same object, but without success. "The