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jected it because the chief development of Unitarianism in this country has taken place beneath its wings. They have been ignorant or uncandid enough to deny that in England the saine defection took place in the Presbyterian fold, and that, unlike the conrse of events in New England, the whole body lapsed from the faith, and in place of exile churches rising up beside the defected ones, and gradually supplanting them, the very name itself changed its import, and was as commonly associated with Socinianism in the popular mind, as it had been with Calvinism. The Presbyterianism that once fenced error out, acted as well to fence it in. But with us this is no argiment against the polity, and we cite it only as an offset to the reproach which is sometimes cast upon the way of Congregational churches. The truth is, church polity never was intended, and never can be relied on, to protect the church from false doctrine; we might as well attempt to exclude the pestilence from our houses by bars and bolts. The laws which govern the thoughts and sympathies of men, which determine the course of speculation, and raise successive tides of opinion, act independently of church organization, and must be met in their own sphere by corresponding and appropriate influences, or they cannot be met at all, and all outward hindrances will act rather as helps; the fire will find fuel in such attempts to smother it. We claim, therefore, a priori, from the very nature of the case, that the freedom of our polity, which imposes no restraint upon the life of the spiritual body within, but yields as readily to error, when it has intrenched itself in the conviction of men, is an excellence, for it does not assume to be a conservator of the truth, which it never can be, but warns the ministry and the church alike, that nothing can effectually keep heresy out, but that which keeps the faith in the hearts of the people. The first and most essential thing to be done, in protecting a city from invasion, is to expose the insufficiency of its trusted defenses. If the maintenance of spiritual life be the only safeguard against death, and eternal vigilance the price of security, it is vital that the church should know it; and that polity is best which attracts least confidence to itself, gives freest motion to the life within, and concentrates attention upon the only conserving power. We may add now to these theoretical reasonings the corroborations of facts. The movement of mind which brought in Unitarianism, and introduced it into our churches, because they were free, has been followed by another movement which finds equally free access to restore the faith that was cast out, and which, coming back after such an experience, is entrenched in the pulpit and at the communion table as it never could be by canons and subscriptions. It is now just half a century since Trinitarianism was taught in the pulpit of Harvard College Chapel; and under the free workings of the Congregational polity, it has come back again; not by imposition, which could only dishonor the truth, but by invitation, because, in the state of the college, an evangelical—we do not say Trinitarian-ministry was desired. We are constrained to add, however, that in striking contrast with the freedom of our principles, has been the narrowness of some among us in working them. When it was first announced, several years ago, that some of the prominent ministers of Unitarian churches in the city of Boston were evangelical in their tendencies, and had actually embraced some of the formative elements of Trinitarianism, the announcement, in place of awakening sympathy and aid, aroused an inveterate spirit of suspicion, started investigation as to what they did not believe, rather than what they did, and because thinking and cultured men, coming out of the bosom of Unitarian fellowship, and working their way carefully but manfully through spiritual and intellectual battles, of which the inheritors of a traditional theology have no comprehension, because these men could not at once pronounce all the shibboleths of provincialism, they were denounced, and their good was evil spoken of. When one of their number, Dr. Huntington, was called to Harvard, instead of making it a subject of congratulation, they warned the friends of truth the more against the institution ; and when he published a sermon on the Deity of Christ, in which any sympathetic and candid unind would have discovered the seeds of his later and matured Trinitarianism, these heresy hunters saw, or affected to see, only a treacherous Sabellianism; and when, on the basis of of surpris dignity into the B
this substantial agreement of faith, the pastor of the North Church, New Haven, gave him the right hand of fellowship, and invited him to preach, it was the occasion of a renewed assault alike upon the Harvard professor and the New Haven divines. And when another pastor of a Unitarian Church in Boston, Rev. Mr. Coolidge, had passed through all intermediate phases of belief, had planted himself broadly and unmistakably upon Orthodox Christianity, carrying his congregation with him, at least in personal attachment to himself, and the Unitarian proprietors were willing that the church should fall into line, as an Orthodox Congregational Church, had the Orthodox community accepted and sustained it; through suspi. cion in some, and indifference in more, Mr. Coolidge was permitted to stand alone, his tie to the church to be dissolved, the congregation to disband, the house to be sold, and we are glad to learn, as the last item in this strange history, that it has passed into the bands of a Presbyterian society. Under such an administration of Orthodoxy in the old Puritan metropolis, it is no matter of surprise that the decadence of Unitarianism should not strengthen and dignify our Orthodox Congregationalism. Mr. Coolidge has entered into the Episcopal Church, and shonld Dr. Huntington be led, from any considerations, to resign the ministry in Harvard College, which he exercises so much to his own credit, the good of the institution, and the benefit of Christ's church at large, and should he find himself, by such resignation, a preacher of Trinitarian Christianity, but disconnected by any formal ties with any Trinitarian communion, it is more to be hoped than expected, that he would seek a union with Orthodox Congregationalists. But the facts to which we have alluded, however much they are to be lamented, and all the more so because of the contrast they form to our principles, we need hardly add, do not represent our churches or ministry ; they are to be traced to a small number, and the only thing to be wondered at is, that they should have been suffered to represent and misrepresent a communion which we believe to be the freest of all Protestant denominations from sectarianism, and the most catholic in sympathies and adaptations.
ARTICLE IX.-NOTICES OF BOOKS.
The Concord of Ages.*—This work is a pendant to the “Conflict of Ages,” and, as such, completes the exposition of the views of the author, which, in that work, were given to the public in part only. In the dedication he gives a brief exposition of the origin and relations of the work thus :
"I have ever felt the assurance that the greatest and most comprehensive principles are always of necessity most simple, intelligible, and sublime. The allpervading law of gravitation, which holds not only our solar system, but also the universe together, is as simple and intelligible as it is sublime. I felt assured that the great organic law of benevolent sympathetic attraction, by which the moral universe is to be organized and held together around God, is equally simple and intelligible, and still more sublime and glorious.
“Yet, when I came to examine the Christian system as now taught, I found that, although such a law was proclaimed in words, it was denied in fact, and a law of repulsion substituted in its place, and that God was virtually represented as holding this universe together by naked power, in opposition to the great law of repulsion, which by false doctrine has been made to pervade all things.
“This repulsion exists in two respects,-between God as represented in his dealings with our race through Adam, and the moral affinities of the mind, as sensitive to honor and right; and no less between God represented as an unsym. pathizing God, and the benevolent sympathies of the mind as sensitive to reciprocal affection.
“ It was my great aim, in the Conflict of Ages, to convince the church of the real existence of the first great cause of repulsion, although I also indicated the second
“ It is my purpose in this work to prove the existence of the second, and in opposition to it to develop and apply the true law of benevolent sympathy between God and his creatures, without which the organization of a vital and concordant universe would be impossible.” pp. iii, iv.
It would seem, from this announcement, that the central theme of this volume was to be "God, a suffering or sympathizing God.” In examining the volume, however, we find that this is by no means the
* The Concord of Ages : or the Individual and Organic Harmony of God and Man. By EDWARD BEECHER, D. D. New York: Derby & Jackson. 186012mo. pp. 581.
central topic that the author discusses and enforces. It is true he resorts to it often, and discusses it in various relations, and applies it to the most important and far-reaching consequences. But there are manifold other truths to which he seems to attach equal importance in bringing to pass the Concord of Ages," and the discussion of which extends over very large portions of the volume. We can find no better statement of these topics in the language of the author than in the following exposition of the system of those revealed truths which in his view are most nearly related to the consummation of the work of redemption.
"In the first place, it is distinctly asserted that by the redemption of the church the universe is to be reorganized, under one head, composed of God and the church,
"In the second place, this reorganization is called the restitution of all things, implying that by it the universe was brought back to its original plan of organization.
"In the third place, it is distinctly declared that this original organization of the universe was broken up by Satan, and the universe thrown into two great contending parties, leaving no neutrals in the great warfare.
“In the fourth place, it teaches that Christ became incarnate to destroy the works of the devil, and that he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
"In the fifth place, it is revealed that the triumph of Christ over these principalities and powers is effected by his cross. Also that it was by his death that he destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.
“ In the sixth place, it is no less clearly revealed that the redemption and sanctification of his church were effected by the same instrumentality.
" In the seventh place, it is revealed that of the increase and of the peace of God's kingdom, thus reorganized, there shall be no end.
“In the eighth place, it is revealed that the church of the redeemed shall be joint heirs with Christ, of God and of his kingdom, in an eminent and peculiar sense, sitting down with him on his throne, as he overcame and is set down with the Father on his throne, and reigning with him as kings and priests forever.
"In the ninth place, the analogy of husband and wife, father and mother, by which the relation of God and the church is designated in eternity as well as in time, carries with it into eternity the same clearly defined sense which it has received in this world, in the word of God. The birth, nurture, education, and government of children, are the primary duties of a wife and a mother, in the family. The duty of the church in this world has been analogous. A similar duty will be therefore assigned to the church in the reorganized family of God; that is, to educate and train the future generations whom God shall create.
"In the tenth place, not only does the restored system reflect back light upon the system that Satan disorganized, but the process of restoration throws back light on the principles of the original disorganization. Christ conquered Satan, and was perfected by suffering, according to the will of God. The main discipline of the church has been in all ages, by suffering, like that of Christ. Thus God VOL. XVIII.