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is necessary that their use be unconstrained, which constitutes him a free agent, and being, therefore, able either to keep or to break God's command, it results that he was peccable. He fell from a state of innocence; his eyes were then opened to know good and evil; he experienced, and therefore perceived, the difference between vice and virtue; and being capable of making his selection, he was an accountable agent, and amenable to punishment. This appears to have been the original conformation of Adam, as it is that of his descendants. His Creator surely knew what consequences would result from the use of those powers with which he was endowed; and be it remembered, Omnipotence pronounced him good!
Nor is any adventitious cause required, from whence to derive the origin of sin. Adam, surely, as immediately proceeding from the hands of a holy God, had not a nature prone to wickedness-the sole desire of whose heart, was to do evil continually. The era when hereditary depravity was discovered, was long afterwards; he sinned without the agency of this moral taint, and his descendants do so likewise. By him, indeed, sin first entered into the world, and death by sin; had he remained spotless, he might, possibly, have been translated to another state, without tasting death, and so also might his posterity, if they had retained their innocence; but now death has passed upon all men, not because Adam transgressed, but because ALL have sinned.
Generally received as is the doctrine of man's fallen nature, Christianity does not sanction it, nor countenance a system which delights to vilify our species, to heap scorn and contumely upon the noblest work of God, and recklessly to libel that creation which he pronounced good. On the contrary, it recognises mankind as intellectual and competent agents, and is addressed to them as able to comply with its requisitions. Jesus and his apostles constantly taught their hearers to reduce their precepts to practice; they could not, therefore, be incapable of so doing. The prophet of Nazareth and his Evangelists, never allude to what is technically called birth-sinto the tainted nature of the human race; they describe sin as an individual action which might have been avoided, and that man's duty consists in keeping the commandments; but if we suppose performance to be an impossibility, on account of natural incapacity, were they not
guilty of a cruel mockery, on the most solemn and momentous subject which can engage the attention of mankind.
The fact is, the simple but divine truths of Jesus, own no fellowship with those commandments of men, falsely taught as Christian doctrines. They have no connection with those orthodox points now deemed essential to salvation, and which, founded on the monkish dream of man's fallen nature, outrage the dictates of common sense, oppose the doctrines of revelation, are inconsistent with the attributes of God, and form a mass of incoherent absurdity. When the simplicity of the gospel is forsaken for the interminable labyrinths of error, the folly of human presumption is strikingly displayed. Many are the blind leaders of the blind, making the commandments of God of non-effect, through their vain traditions.
To the Editor of the Christian Pioneer.
ALLOW me, through the medium of your useful Periodical, to congratulate the friends of free inquiry, that our Scottish Champion of refined Calvinism, Dr. Wardlaw, has at length, after twelve years "hesitation," ventured to notice Mr. Yates's call upon him, "as a man of honour and integrity, to correct his mis-statements," or, of course, substantiate his allegations. This, however, the Doctor has done, not in an avowed and regular reply to Mr. Yates's "Sequel to his Vindication of Unitarianism," for "the Doctor is sick of debate"-(and no marvel, the windingup "debate" given in the "Sequel," in the very words of the debaters, might have entered the sensorium of any mass-gulping Papist, and made even him "sick" of continuing to worship a Wafer and play the cannibal with his God) but incidentally, as it were, in a new edition of his "Discourses on the Principal Points of the Socinian Controversy:" in the Preface peculiar to which (for the volume has two Prefaces and a Prefatory Advertisement), "the Doctor flatters himself" that he has succeeded in transfusing with advantage into the text and notes of the Discourses, some portions of his Reply to Mr. Yates;" which latter volume, it appears "he has no intention of republishing" under the title of "Unitarianism Incapable of Vindication!"
Let me, by the way, in justice to the Doctor, remind his readers, that the said quondam title, was adopted before he became nigh unto literary death "sick of debate." Unitarians especially, as "generous disputants," can have no objections to allow the Doctor to sink the misnomer, and quietly to allow it to become as obsolete as the divinity of "the great goddess Diana and of the Image which fell down from Jupiter:"-which celestial hypostasis (I am not sure of the spelling of this word, as I have not a Confession of Faith at hand), being united in one sentence, might, for aught I know, be orthodoxly quoted to establish "the truth" that the Ephesians were Trinitarians! It is evident, that their Lord Chancellor, the Town-Clerk, held, the legal opinion, that the said compendium of orthodoxy, was "part and parcel of the law of the land," or he would not, in his official capacity, have given the people credit for knowing the fact," that these things are so, and cannot be spoken against!" To which "things" the pious Demetrius also zealously bore his testimony, only (like some of our modern declaimers) using his discretion, he chose to single out and defend the hypostasis" to which he naturally felt most attached and grateful; and being, like the Doctor, "sick of debate," and having no feeling towards the system" advocated by Paul, "but that of serious and settled abhorrence," and having also, like the Doctor, an unconquerable aversion to "empty pews and echoing walls," which could yield but a meagre supply of "the root of all evil"-a root the very "antipodes" of arrow-root, from the baneful effects of a superabundance of which, the Shepherds of old, were, doubtless, like our own soul-saving Shepherds, most anxious to relieve their flocks,-the learned Demetrius, in his generation, did, as the wise in our generation take credit to themselves for doing, he kept dutifully in the stream of theological fashion, and merited the applause of the populace, by defending the "hypostasis" "whom all Asia and the world worshipped," and who, of course, not in "empty pews and echoing walls," re-echoed "the truth"-the profitable truth" saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians! -Great is the goddess Diana!" As a matter of literary curiosity, it is a pity that no historian has informed us, if these two "defenders of the [Ephesian] faith," were the first who were honoured by being allowed to affix the initial of Diana's name "double" to their own!-D.D. with
threefold unity, might have symbolised the fact, that Demetrius and the Town-Clerk, as Disciples of Diana, believed in the Divinity of Diana, and were learned in the mystery of her Double Descent! Indeed, to this day, there remains as distinct testimony to her humanity as to her divinity, and, of necessity, to her "double nature,” for we read that she took an interest in fox-hunting on earth, which she could not have done had she not been a partaker of humanity! But, sic transit gloria mundi, that our modern authorities have given to D. D. quite another rendering, and so metamorphosed the consecrated letters, as to make them mean an ambassador of the dual "distinction," who has qualified himself, by studying the amours, and intrigues, and transformations, and wars, of the Roman and Grecian Divinities, to be a "Doctor of Divinity!"
But to give up this parabolical digression,-which, if persisted in, might prove a stumbling-block of offence, and be construed by persons weak in the faith, into irreverence, although I might adduce the example of an eminent Prophet as exculpatory evidence, that although "double" debating is despicable, yet, that an occasional sprinkling of "double entendre," is sometimes the only species of argument which some logic merits,-I shall conclude my notice, by leaving it to Mr. Yates, to examine and estimate the value of this last and elaborate attempt by Dr. Wardlaw, to get out of a "debate," there is reason to think he has, oftener than once, wished he had never got into. Whether or not Mr. Yates, when he peruses the volume, with its corrections and additions, will be of opinion, that his old "friend" has progressed in "a kind of management and generalship which a votary of truth would scorn," I shall not presume to say; but I have no doubt, that, if it shall be found that the Doctor has really made advances in candour and Christian charity, and succeeded in rendering a better reason for still holding fast his "double" view, and persevering in the use of his unpatent padlock "key," than that assigned by the Poet, to a certain class of doughty disputants,
"A man convinced against his will,
Is of the same opinion still,”
the edifying fact, will be promptly, and without twelve years "hesitation," acknowledged by Mr. Yates, and also perhaps by some of those other living authors, whose names
the Doctor has honoured with a niche in this new volume of "Prefaces, Sermons, Concluding General Reflections, and Notes."
Before concluding, however, I must be permitted briefly to say, that the Doctor's polemical lucubrations, appear to savour so strongly of the Pharisaical leaven, that even his humility seems inflated with that spiritual pride, which condescendingly looks on those who see not with his eyes, and hear not with his ears, only to awe them to a greater distance-his very complacency breathing, "Stand by, for I am holier than thou-I have a diploma certifying the orthodoxy of all my oracular responses-I, indeed, make no Popish pretensions to infallibility, but I have the full assurance of faith that I am divinely illuminated, and cannot be mistaken, yea, the views I entertain, were to me early 'imparted with tender solicitude by an affectionate and pious father!"" All this may be very well with the Doctor, and be conclusive evidence of the moral effects of Trinitarianism, so far as he is personally concerned; but what availeth his bewailing invectives against the moral tendency of Unitarianism, because, forsooth, some pious eavesdropper has been permitted to whisper a "report" in his ear, that he has never heard Unitarians praying aloud in the corners of the streets, to be witnessed by men-that Unitarians are not known to be constantly filled with holy solicitude, lest the Judge of all the earth should forget to do right— —that Unitarians are not sufficiently alive to the necessity of incessantly reminding the Father of all the families that dwell on the face of the earth, that since his justice has been satisfied [satiated or revenged*] by the death of one of his equals, he may honourably take compassion on his own children, created in his own image, to whom he hath given life, and breath, and all things! Really, on reading
*This is the Calvinism of the last century-Dr. Wardlaw, in "his approximation to the Unitarians," has refined upon this "essential," we must not say, for the double purpose of confounding anti-calvinists and concealing from curious gaze the essence of Christianity"—that essence, which a celebrated author in the ranks of orthodoxy, declares, "stands in the Bible" so "plain," that "he never knew any person [he is well acquainted with Dr. Wardlaw] attempt to make it more plain, without throwing a mist and a darkness about it, more calculated to bewilder than to guide the path of a sincere inquirer after truth." for a specimen of the most modern method of discoursing eloquently on the subject, without making "it more plain," we must refer to the volume itself, as any "attempt" of ours to annex " any clear conception" to "the truth," would be ycleped "a hideous caricature.”—Ed. pro tem,