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contradictions, and to thousands of impositions. On the contrary, because we are required to submit to the divine authority, we should be assured, before wereceive any doctrine that it is divine, and this it is evident we can only learn by bringing the doctrine before the high tribunal of reason. Reason is unquestionably a divine law, written with indelible characters upon every human heart ; and as the peerless perfections of the Deity will not admit even the thought that he can contradict himself, or can give contradictory laws ta his creatures, we may therefore conclude, that no laws can be divine which are a contradiction to our reason, or which are plainly repugnant to that sense of right and wrong, which is implanted in the mind. But, if àuy doctrines which are recommended to us as divine, be found to correspond with the congenial sentiments of our minds; with the demonstrable perfections of the Deity in the universe, and are confirmed by incontestible evidences of the divine power, then we may be assured that these doctrines descended from above, that they came down from the Father of lights, and that the teacher of these doctrines is the sent of God.
There is a respectable body of men, who have adopted the Christian religion, from a conviction that its claims as a divine revelation, cannot be resisted by a truly philosophical mind, which studies with seria ousness and candour the evidence upon which it is founded, and that it is in every sense, the best friend of man. It is however their belief that
doctrines which are generally considered as distinguishing and essential parts of it, were never disclosed by its great Founder, nor inculcated by his Apostles; and they think so, because neither the language in which those opinions are expressed, nor the ideas that answer to them, are any where to be found in the scriptures. To these they appeal ; upon these they make their stand; they are willing to believe any thing that can be clearly proved from them; they are determined to admit nothing that cannot.
For this reason they are regarded by many of their fellow Christians with the utmost aversion. Their opinions are misrepresented--their motives are regarded with suspicion--their attachment to Christianity itself is represented as extremely doubtful-and even bigotry ceases to be odious so long as it confines its hostility to them. The more charity a man exercises towards sects the most opposite to his own, the more in general he rises in character, for integrity, for wisdom, and for piety; but the more any person sets himself to abuse this body of men, the more he exalts his reputation-his talents are estimated by the vehe. mence with which he loads them with opprobrious epithets, and his piety by the measure of horror he indicates, whenever he speaks of their tenets.
There must be persons in this country of understanding enough to perceive, and of integrity enough to acknowledge, that such treatment of any denomination of Christians is unjust. Such however is the treatment which Unitarians very generally receive, and it is to shew, that from the principles they profess, they do not deserve it, that the following statenient is presented to the public.
The first and distinguishing principle of Unitarianism is, that there is one God, simply and truly, one spirit, person and essence, and therefore that this one Being cannot be simply and truly three. We believe that by the harmony and unity which prevail in the universe, that the Creation is the work of his hands, that no other person was or is associated with him in his throne; much less that he delegated his authority and power to an inferior being. We believe, that in divers manners and sundry places he has declared himself to his creatures by the Prophets, that when the fulness of time was come, be sent Jesus Christ into the world, to be the way, the truth and the life, and to promulgate what was before unknown, the doctrine of a future state of being, assured that as Christ lives, we shall live also. We believe likewise, and we glory in our belief, that the God whom we worship is a Being of perfect, everlasting, unbounded benevolence; that all the human race are equal in his sight; that his tender mercies are over all his works; that he is mere ciful to the penitent offender, requiring no atonement or sacrifice to appease his offended wrath, but only sincere repentance, not being willing that any should perish. That there is seated at the helm of affairs a Benevolence that cannot fail, a Wisdom that cannot err, a Power that cannot be obstructed ; that this Being desires and will accomplish the final and everlasting happiness of all his creatures ; that the period will certainly arrive, for the mouth of eternal truth hath spoken it, when the human race, having gone through a certain discipline suited to their respective characters, every intelligent being of the vast creation of our God, upon a review of the dispensations of Providence to him, will burst forth in a rapturous shout of praise, saying, Alleluiah ! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
By the foregoing statement, it will be seen that our religious principles, are at once distinguished by their simplicity, and, as we think, by their agreement with the scriptures. Our belief is, with very few exceptions and those comparatively unimportant, expressed in that unquestionably ancient symbol of faith called the Apostles Creed, the simplest and best composition of the kind, next to the Confession of the Messiahship of Jesus in the New Testament, which was ever framed. We hold professedly and as a body no articles of faith which are not and have not been always held by the general body of Christiansthe difference between us and other denominations, being, that, whilst we confine ourselves to the few plain truths which the Gospel makes essential to salvation, they have, under pretence of tradition, or of deduction and explanation, added to them a mass of propositions, historical and metaphysical, at which, to use the language of a celebrated Bishop,
reason stands aghast, and faith itself is half confounded.” In matters of revela. 'tion, we esteem,it a duty to adhere strictly to the law and the testimony; and it is the peculiar privilege
- and distinction of our system of opinions that it may be wholly and fully set forth in the words of sacred writ. Not only is this the case, but we are convinced there are no other words by which we could so well · express the principles of our faith. A circumstance ; which ought, we conceive, to gain us the patience and candour even of those who deem us most errone.
ous and to excite a suspicion, that there must be something human in a Creed which is not expressly and literally derived from the word of God.
Does any one then ask what are our principles ? We reply, without equivocation or restraint, in the language of the New Testament :--There is one God, and one Mediator between God and Men, the Man Christ Jesus.-That is the word of faith which we preach, that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjusi.-We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Then cometh the end, when Christ shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority, and power. For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. Arid when all things shall be subdued unto him, then also shall