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Talents not inferior to his own, the love of truth as pure, acquirements as varied, and character as unsullied, are possessed by many whose convictions of the truth of Unitarianism have been strengthen

change was a theme of simple | much raised, should have damped sacred joy and devout thanksgiv- their exultation. It was but one. ing, that one soul had been rescued from sentiments which, through ignorance, they dreaded more than sin itself. And others, who felt a strong confidence in the truth of their orthodoxy, and had witnessed, with deep sorrow, the numbered by the repeated examination of of instances in which the same opposing evidence: and from confidence had fallen before ex- among those respected individuals, amination and evidence, would who, by the study of their English naturally have their feelings cheered Bible alone, and by comparing and their convictions invigorated, Scripture with Scripture, gradually by perceiving the retrograde arrived at the firm belief and course run by a man of undoubted steady avowal of the great princiintegrity and piety, and eminent ples of Unitarianism, (and the for talents and literature. But number of such is considerable, the very circumstance which so increasing and encouraging,) I


"well educated," and of such "respectable talents"-so eminently distinguished for every thing that is refined and delicate-who would be guilty of the excessive absurdity of imputing to them any thing so despicable as vulgar bigotry." Procyl, O, procul, este profani! But whence, did these refined Gentlemen, obtain their Letters-Patent for monopolizing all the learning and talents and virtue that exist in the world? Who gave either Mr. Aspland or his brother Carpenter authority to treat with the contemptuous language which pervades all their pages, the advocates of Trinitarianism? We happen to know a little of both these gentlemen; and without meaning to treat their characters with the supercilious scorn which they bestow upon others, we may be allowed to say that we have never hitherto found in them or in all the Unitarian sect, a man of more than mortal might! Take their word for it, and all the Calvinists and Trinitarians are a company of mean, illiterate, vulgar, despicable beings, with whom Dr. Stock must disgrace himself by associating. But this only shews the overweening conceit of the party, and it excites in our minds no other emotion than that of pity for their childish vanity, On what grounds however do they arrogate to themselves the exclusive appellation of UNITARIANS? We are as firmly persuaded as they can be that there is only one living and true God, Deut. vi. 4. Neh. ix. 6, 7. Is. xliii. 10, 11. ch. xliy. 8. and xlv. 5, 21. We, nevertheless, believe upon the same divine evidence, that there is a plurality in the one Godhead, or deity, and that this is taught in various parts of the Old Testament scriptures, particularly Gen. i. 26. and ch. iii. 22. ch. xi. 6, 7. Besides, in the original, varicus plural names are given to the true God, though our translators have expressed them in the singular form. Thus, for instance, in the Hebrew we have Holy ones, Prov. ix. 10. Creators, Eccles. xii. 1. Makers, Isa. liv. 5. Masters, Mal. i. 6. all which expressions intimate a plurality in the one deity, though it is only in the New Testament that we have a clear revelation of the number in this plurality. There we learn that they are three, and they are distinguished and manifested to us in the economy of redemption under the relative names of FATHER, WORD, (or SON) and HOLY SPIRIT, Matt. xxviii. 19. John i. 1, 14. ch. xiv. 26. Dr. Carpenter may indeed call upon us to explain to him how these THREE can be ONE GOD; but we are not at all ashamed to avow our inability to do that. 'Tis quite sufficient for us that we find this doctrine expressly taught in the oracles of God-that, in fact, it is interwoven with the whole phraseology of the New Testament, and that the whole scheme of human redemption is founded on it. The unity and distinction of the Divine Three is a mystery which infinitely transcends all our limited powers to comprehend; and conscious of our own ignorance, we think it becomes us to contemplate so exalted a theme as the manner of the divine existence, not only with modesty and humility, but with the most profound reverence and godly fear; nor can we well imagine a more daring act of impiety than for a puny worm of the earth to indulge in unhallowed speculations on this sublime subject, and rashly to intrude into those things respecting the Deity which he has not thought proper to reveal, and which it is neither possible nor profitable for us to know in our present imperfect state. But "fools rush in where angels fear to tread !"

know not a single instance of the change which Dr. Stock has made.(c)

When it happens that men who have patiently examined the subject, on both sides, for themselves,

NOTE (c) The change which Dr. Stock has made.] As the importance of the change which has recently taken place in the religious sentiments of Dr. Stock, and indeed, the importance of the whole controversy between Dr. Carpenter's friends and ours, must be measured by the relation which it bears to our eternal concerns, it may be worth while to bestow a page or two in this place on an attempt to examine the subject in this point of view.

In all our reasonings, it is of great consequence to proceed from acknowledged premises or first principles; and though 'tis no easy matter to fix upon any thing of this kind with those who discard the inspiration of the holy Scriptures,-and who, like the late Dr. Priestley, can hold the apostle Paul as an inconclusive reasoner, and think themselves not at all obliged to admit a sentiment or doctrine because he taught it, yet there are some first principles on which it is to be hoped that Dr. Carpenter and ourselves are agreed. Such for instance are, the existence of a Great first cause, the Creator of the universe-his attributes and perfections in the moral government of the world, his power and wisdom, and goodness; his justice, holiness and truth-our accountableness to him as the subjects of his government-the evil demerit of sin--and the doctrine of a future state of rewards and punishments. We are not aware that any of these principles are denied by Dr. Carpenter-they all stand independent of the Christian revelation, though recognized by it, and more clearly explained, amended and improved in the writings of the prophets and apostles. Now let these first principles be once fairly admitted, and they serve as so many criteria by which to examine the respective systems of Calvinism and Socinianism; or, if Dr. C. like it better, that of the Trinitarians and AntiTrinitarians.

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Dr. Carpenter will no doubt admit that there is such a thing as sin, and that it is a transgression of the divine law, 1 John iii. 4. We do not at present require him to admit all that the scriptures affirm concerning the universal prevalence of it in the world, Rom, iii, 10-19. nor the utter impossibility of any of Adam's posterity obtaining acceptance with God by their own obedience to the divine law, though both these doctrines are taught in the scriptures with such plainness and perspicuity that nothing but wilful blindness can prompt any man to deny them. Gal. ii. 16. and ch. iii. 10, 11. All we ask is to allow the general question, that sin is in the world, and that no man is so entirely exempt from it as not to need forgiveness at the hands of God. Here then comes in the interesting question, which more or less concerns all the human race, How shall I, who am conscious of having incurred the divine displeasure, find acceptance with HIM, who is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on iniquity,' Hab. i. 13. Ps. i. 5. and v. 4, 5. We repeat it, this is the most interesting enquiry that ever engaged the mind of man! It is no doubt very possible to find persons of amiable qualities and of decent character, on either side of almost every theological controversy that has taken place in the world-but the grand enquiry is, where is the system which presents to the view of a guilty mortal a solid ground of hope on which to rest his everlasting concerns in the prospect of appearing before God in judgment? That we must all die is a fact too indisputable to be called in question; and though moralists and philosophers bave prescribed abundance of rules and regulations to teach us how to die decently, yet after all, those who have been much conversant with death-bed scenes, do not need to be told that something more than human wisdom ever yet devised is necessary to support the heart of man when nature itself is falling into dissolution! This then is the point of view in which the respective systems of the Calvinists and Socinians merit examination. Let us try them by this touchstone-their adaptedness for furnishing a suitable ground of hope to guilty mortals, in the view of death and judgment; this is the hinge of the controversy.

1. Calvinists admit, in its fullest extent, all that the scriptures say respecting the fall of man-the corruption of human nature-the prevalence of sin and its moral turpitude men's accountableness to God-and the impossiblity of recommending themselves to his favour by any partial obedience which they can yield to the divine law. But in the clearest view of the divine character,-the most extensive view of the divine law-and the fullest view of their own guilt, they find a solid and allsufficient ground of hope set before them in the death and resurrection of the Son of God," who was delivered for their offences and raised again for their justification." Rom. iv. 25. "Who his own self bare their sins in his own body on the tree -and by whose stripes they are healed," 1 Pet. ii. 24. They know indeed that" it is appointed unto men once to die and after death the judgment"-but they also believe that Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and that to them who

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(employing all the light afforded them by others, but submitting their understanding to the authority of nothing but revealed truth,) and who, after many a painful struggle with early impressions, attachments and interests, have formed a serious conviction that Unitarianism is the doctrine of the gospel,-when it happens that such men again return to their former opinions, then may it stag


ger, or at least perplex, the advocate for Unitarianism, and lead him to pause, and reconsider before he takes another step in the service to which he believed Christian duty had called him.

But Dr. Stock was not one of these. I want no other proof of my assertion than his own letter. I do not refer to its total deficiency in argument; because though its admirers think otherwise, its in

look for him will he appear again without a sin offering to their salvation." Heb. ix. 27, 28. Believing in the divine dignity of his person as "the Word made flesh," John i. 14. "Immanuel-God with us," Matt. 23. "God manifest in flesh," 1 Tim. iii. 16. "God's own, or proper Son, by whom the worlds were made," Heb. i. 2. they are at no loss to understand how the sufferings and death of such an exalted and glorious personage should make expiation for sin-for if, as the scriptures declare, HE gave himself for them, an offering and a sacrifice unto God for a sweet smelling savour," Eph. v. 2. and if God, as the God of peace, brought him again from the dead through the blood of the everlasting covenant," Heb. xiii. 20. then they have the highest possible evidence which the nature of the thing admits of, that God is fully and for ever well pleased in him for his righteousness sake. Thus they find the gospel ground of hope, divinely calculated to relieve their minds from a sense of guilt and support their sinking spirits even in the most deplorable circumstances in which they can be in this world; for they now see how "God is just in justifying them, ungodly as they stand,—or in extending mercy to their unrighteousness and in remembering their sins and iniquities no more.' "Rom. iv. 5. Heb. viii. 12. Nay, believing what the gospel testifies of Christ and his finished redemption they not only have "good hope through grace," but they even "joy in God through the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom they have received the atonement," or reconciliation. Rom. v. 11.

2. Let us now briefly examine Socinianism by this touchstone, and enquire what it sets before its votaries as the ground of hope towards God. Having discarded the doctrine of the proper and essential Deity of the Son of God, that of atonement for sin by his death upon the cross, follows of necessary consequence! And thus are they at once shut up to the vain imaginations of their own dark understandings respecting the way of access to God and of acceptance with him. Dr. Carpenter, indeed, speaks of the "essential unpurchased mercy of God in Christ Jesus;" but what he means by this strange jumble of terms, it is beyond our skill to divine. That there is mercy with God is a delightful truth-but he is as just as he is merciful—and to suppose that his mercy is ever exercised at the expence of his justice is at once grossly to impeach his glorious character and to oppose the whole current of divine revelation, which uniformly represents him as "just in justifying the ungodly." The truth is, that by the obedience unto death of the Son of God, the claims of justice no less than those of mercy are eminently secured; and that attribute which seemed to stand in connection with the law, as an insuperable bar to the salvation of sinners, is more eminently glorified in their forgiveness, which is bestowed upon them for Christ's sake, 1 John ii. 12. than it could possibly have been in their eternal condemnation. And herein is displayed the infinite wisdom of God, in devising a method of freeing the sinner from the obligation to punishment, not by dispensing with it, as the Socinians would teach us, but by transferring it from the person of the sinner to the person of God's own Son, and so punishing HIM for the sins of the guilty. 'Twas thus he made him to be sin for us, 2 Cor. v. 21.-condemned sin in the flesh, Rom. viii. 3.— wounded him for our transgressions and bruised him for our iniquities, &c. Is. liii. 5. Thus Jesus suffered the just for the unjust, to bring us unto God, I Pet. iii. 18.— bearing our sins in his own body on the tree, ch. ii. 24. Hence believers have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of the divine grace, Eph. i. 7.—and are made the righteousness of God in him, 2 Cor. v, 21. and hence, God, in setting forth his beloved Son to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, hath declared, not his mercy only, but also his righteousness in the remission of sins, so that he appears in all the justice of his character, yet at the same time, the justifier of him that is of the faith of Jesus. Rom. iii. 25, 26. This doctrine is written as with a sun-beam in the oracles of God, and is the glory of all the gospel; but it makes no part of the system of modern Unitarianism!

telligent author well knows that it neither contains, nor was designed to contain, any. It is the history of a peculiar mental process, which is chiefly extraordinary, because the subject of it is a man of intellectual attainments and culture. And that history clearly developes two facts. The one is, that Dr. Stock had never calmly and fully examined for himself the arguments against Unitarianism, nor fairly appreciated their weight, in opposition to the innumerable passages by which its grand principles are supported. The other is, that when doubts were produced by the affectionate perseverance of Mr. Vernon, he dwelt upon them with restless earnestness; that he pursued the subject with intense eagerness, and under the influence

of strongly excited feeling; and that, in the course of a very few weeks, while in a state of mind utterly unsuited to the calm exercise of the understanding, he came to an unhesitating conviction, that instead of the essential, unpurchased mercy of God in Christ Jesus, he was henceforth to rest his hopes of acceptance on the death of Christ, as the procuring cause of salvation; that instead of regarding the Father as the only true God, he was to consider Jesus Christ, whom he has sent, as himself truly and properly God; that instead of paying religious worship to the Father only, and yielding Him alone the tribute of Supreme love, he was henceforward to have Three Supreme Objects of adoration, thanksgiving and prayer.(d)

NOTE (d) Three supreme objects of adoration, thanksgiving, and prayer.] We have in this paragraph a notable specimen of Unitarian candour and liberality, the virtue of all others on which the sect are habitually pluming themselves. It is a fixed principle with their opponents, as Dr. Carpenter well knows, that there is one only living and true God, Neh. ix. 6. Isa, xliii. 10, 11. consequently only one supreme object of worship." Yet they think it perfectly consistent with this first principle to consider Jesus Christ, whom he has sent, to be truly and properly God," and for the following important reasons.



1. Every divine name is given to him in scripture, except that of the Father and Holy Spirit. He is repeatedly and expressly called GoD. See Isa. xl. 3, 9. compared with Matt. iii. 3. He is termed the mighty God, Is. ix. 6.—the great God, Titus ii. 13.-over all, God blessed for ever, Rom. ix. 5.-the only Lord God, Jude ver. 4. If one of the Evangelists inform us that "in the beginning was the WORD-he immediately adds, "and the Word was God," John i. 1. The apostle Paul corroborates the doctrine when he affirms that "God was manifest in the flesh." 1 Tim. iii. 16. Even the incommunicable name JEHOVAH is applied to Jesus; compare Is. xl. 3. with Luke i. 76. ch. iii. 4, and Is. xlv. 22-25. with 1 Cor. i. 30. Phil. ii. 10. 2. Every divine attribute or perfection essential to the true God is ascribed to Jesus Christ, his Son. For instance, Eternity, Is. xliv. 6. compared with Rev. i. 8, 17. and ch. xxii. 13. Micah v. 2.-Unchangeableness, Heb. i. 12. and ch. xiii. 8.— Omnipotence, Rev. i. 8.---Omniscience, John xvi. 30. ch. xxi. 17. Rev. ii. 23.—Omnipresence, Matt. xviii, 20. John xiv. 21, 23. Matt, xxviii. 20.

Creation is ascribed

3. Every work peculiar to the true God is ascribed to him. to him, John i. 3. Col. i. 16. He is also said to uphold all things, Col. i. 17. Heb. i. 3. Raising the dead is his work, John v. 22. Judging the world is ascribed to him, 2 Tim. iv. 1. Acts x. 42.

4. Divine honour and religious worship, belong to Jesus Christ. John v. 23 . Christians are denominated " them that call upon the name of Jesus Christ," Acts ix. 14, 21. 1 Cor. i. 2. See also 2 Cor. xii. 8, 9. 2 Thess. ii. 16, 17. Luke xxiii. 42. Acts vii. 49. And if modern Unitarians are not among the number of those who ascribe divine honours to our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, it only proves that they are not Christians! All the angels of God are commanded to worship him, Ps. xcvii. 7, Heb. i. 6. Why then should mortals refuse ?

These surely are very sufficient reasons why we should "consider Jesus Christ te be truly and properly God." Dr. Carpenter may demand of us the solution of various difficulties that may be started upon this high subject, but we are not obliged to gratify him in that respect. "Tis quite sufficient for us to know that the scriptures teach these things in the most explicit manner-and we therefore thankfully and submissively receive them on divine testimony, happy to find that our immortal interests are not only deeply involved but effectually secured by the reception of them.

And it is to be observed, that this momentous decision was formed without his once conversing with those with whom he had been accustomed to converse freely, and who, he must know, would use no means but argument to prevent his change: it was formed in circumstances, in which, as a medical man, he would have recommended another, if possible, to suspend his judgment: it was formed with extreme rapidity, and it was communicated to the world with a precipitancy which seemed to say, that the desperate step must be made at once, or he should relapse.

Nor can I forbear to express my surprise, that one who, in the search after Christian truth, perused the imposing assertions and cloquent declamation of Wardlaw, should have neglected the close and solid arguments of Yates in reply. Some of Mr. Wardlaw's friends, I have heard, have advised him to relinquish the contest; and I am of opinion that they are his wisest.

If Dr. Stock's recollection told him that fluctuation marked his religious history, experience and his knowledge of human nature

should have taught him to suspend his decision, till it had stood the test of a calmer and more judicious investigation, after bis feelings had become tranquilized, and his powers of discrimination had acquired their usual vigour.

Should I be asked, if I expect that Dr. Stock will ever return to his former sentiments, I answer, not if he places religion in excitement, rather than in steady affection and principle; not if he makes feeling the test of truth, rather than argument; not, in short, while he believes himself under the special guidance of Divine illumination. If that belief continue, and as long as it continues, he has but one course to pursue; and while so many contribute all they can, to keep him steady to his new doctrines, and to feed the flames of enthusiasm, he will not be likely to follow that resplendent, but less glaring light, by which he would discern, that the spirit of truth cannot contradict itself, and that this has plainly taught, that besides Jehovah there is no God, and that the Father is the only true God.(e)

I do not presume to set bounds

Dr. Carpenter, in the pride of his heart, may reject them-he is certainly at full liberty to do so: but then, we think it behoves him to consider that he thereby excludes himself from every ground of hope towards God, that can avail him in a dying hour. He may amuse himself and his unitarian friends by displaying his ingenuity in setting one part of revealed truth in opposition to another, and in endeavouring to make the distinction in Deity appear absurd; but, for our parts, we cannot conceive a higher pitch of presumption in any worm of the earth. There is a glorious harmony in every part of revelation, and wee be to that man who employs his talents in corrupting or perverting it. We could dress a wise man in a fool's coat, and make him the laughing stock of all the cits of London; but his wisdom would not be at all affected by our making sport of him. Did Dr. Carpenter ever hear or read of men" wresting the scriptures to their own destruction?" 2 Pet. iii. 16. It would appear that the thing is at least possible, and consequently the bint must be always seasonable. It is one feature in the character of a real Christian, that he is of a humble and contrite spirit, and that he trembles at the word of the Lord. Is. lxvi. 2, 5.

NOTE (e) The Spirit of Truth cannot contradict itself, &c.] To this assertion we subscribe in the most unqualified terms (See Note (d) ad finem) and it is upon that very principle we contend for the true and proper Deity of the Son of God. It is the doctrine clearly, expressly and uniformly taught in the holy Scriptures; and if Dr. Carpenter be unable to reconcile it with the unity of the Godhead, it must be owing solely to the darkness of his own mind-arising from ignorance, prejudice and error; and not to any thing in the doctrine itself. "God is light and in him is no darkness at all," I John i. 5. and the Spirit of truth cannot contradict itself. “But then," rejoins Dr. C. “this Spirit of truth has plainly taught, that besides Jehovah there is no God, and that the Father is the only true God." It would have

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