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The ancient names are retained—the old phraseology, long ago become merely technical, is still used. But those who look beneath the surface perceive that every thing is rapidly changing, and will not be surprised if they see what is de. nounced as heresy to-day, praised as orthodoxy to-morrow. The change of "the letter” is what attracts.common attention; the real change is of “the spirit.”
Silently, but effectually, the elements of western character are working together with, and modifying religious systems. Its independent and practical tendencies are more and more exhibited. Many persons who continue to condemn the words "Rational” and “Liberal,” as other terms for infidelity, are already acting in the genuine western spirit, according to the very principles which those words imply. They are bringing their religious opinions and feelings to the test of common sense, and modifying them accordingly, and thus are themselves Rational Christians. They acknowledge that all who profess faith in Christ and obey his words, are entitled to the name of Christians, and, through the grace of God, to eternal life in Christ,—and thus they are “Liberal Christians." Let these principles be acted out, and we have no fear in regard to doctrines. They will very soon lose their misty form, and appear in shapes on which the eye can look steadily. Let men read the Bible as “men in understanding," and we have no fear that they will find there an irrational or illiberal creed. That which we fear, is the strange principle often defended in religion, that doctrines, confessedly irrational, may. be true, and must be believed; and this exclusive principle, that he who does not read the Bible so as to agree with the church, is a heretic and no Christian. These principles we fear, because they are the parents of superstition and bigotrythose roots of bitterness in the Christian church—those tares which the enemy hath sown in the night. Such are the prin. ciples by which the present volume has been conducted. Such are the principles to which we devote the second. We ask all who think with us, whether it is not their duty to help us by procuring subscribers, and disseminating the work?
1. Evils of a Want of Faith.-Ed. . . · S05
V. Wisdom of Toleration. -Ed. Review, · · S2
E. Peabody, . . . . . . 527
Mann Butler; - - - - - -
XV. Obituary -S. O.
THE WESTERN MESSENGER
IS PUBLISHED IN LOUISVILLE, KY.
A. C. Patterson, - Buffalo, X. 1.
- Meadville, Pa.
- Pittsburg, Pa.
St. Louis, Mo.