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more properly be called, the moral equipollence of our race, suppose “the principle of evil” intended here? If so, another corner stone of the Unitarian fabric, if not subverted, receives a severe shock. Can those, who suppoşe every child now born into the world, as free from every taint and predisposition to sin as Adam fresh from the hand of his Maker, or as the child Jesus when “the magi fell down and worshipped him," believe that “the evil principle” is “the prince of this world ?”
Has not Dr. Ware proved to the satisfaction of Unitarians that simplicity, innocence, virtue, purity, veracity, honesty, love of kindred, and of country, philanthrophy, &c. are as natural as the opposite qualities, and far more general ? Not only are two truths spoken to one lie, but ten debts are paid to one not paid. Is not man holy and good, or at least as holy and good, as he is unholy and bad ? “Of a mixed character ?" The good preponderant? Why then should " the principle of evil” be exalted to this bad eminence,-have this monopoly assigned to it, while the principle of goodness is forgotten or slighted ? Is there not something rather askew here? The different parts of the Unitarian edifice do not tally, or if they do, they require a joiner of greater skill than has yet appeared to put them together, to suit the tenons to the mortises. Is it not a curious fact that different Unitarian interpretations of the words devil, Satan, &c. interpretations of the first authority and most general prevalence, applied to different passages
tend at one time strongly to one point of “ hateful" Calvinism, irresistible
and at another time, to another equally hated doctrine of the same “ gloomy system,” original entire depravity? Whence is this? Is this tendency of the Unitarian mode of interpretation stated unfairly? Is not the expression strongly,” rather below than above the truth?
But suppose we adopt either of the other liberal expla
nations. Is “ disease" so much more prevalent than health, that it deserves to be called “the prince of this world”? “ Would
you go to a hospital to learn the health of the community ?" Had Christ dealt in Grecian, rather than in Jewish mythology, would not his cheerful and complacent spirit have exalted Hygeia to this eminence ? Instead of this, can the really enlightened Unitarian believe that he would have given the sceptre to Sammæl or Pluto, the grim king of death ? Are such conceptions consistent with his notions of the character of the messenger of glad tidings ? Either of the three hypotheses is hemmed in with insuperable difficulties. The attempt to stand stock still and say nothing, is the only tenable. (because unassailable) position the Unitarian can take. This, however, hardly falls in with the assumed character of those who are leading the age in “the march of mind,” looks bad, and is scarcely compatible with the genius loci of Boston, which has ever been reputed alike inquisitive, intelligent and communicative. These pioneers through the great wilderness of theological science must feel themselves the forlorn hope of human illumination. Is any Unitarian satisfied that in the passages quoted the prince of this world” means “the principle of evil,” or “ disease,” or any merely popular Jewish mythological fancy about the angel of death? It is readily conceded that Sammæl, like Belial or Apollyon, might be another popular name for Satan. But to call this a mere mythus, would be simply an assumption of the whole subject in debate. In what sense was disease “judged” or 'cast out" by the death of Christ ? Was it “the principle of evil” that “came” to Christ, “having nothing in him," and yet so afflicted him as to prevent Christ from “talking much with his disciples"? If this was the season when " the powers of darkness” assailed Christ, as has been already shown, all this is plain and intelligible.
But what can the proof texts quoted under this argument mean, on any Unitarian hypothesis ever yet proposed ?
My seventh argument is, That Christ taught the same doctrine after his ascension to heaven.
Proof. Acts, xxvi. 16—18. “I have appeared unto thee (Paul) for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things, which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee ; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.” This passage, by itself, affords the same evidence of the existence of Satan as a personal agent, that it affords of the existence of God, as a personal agent. Any interpretation that would turn the word “ Satan," into the abstract principle of evil, would turn the word “God,” into the abstract principle of goodness. This would drive us to the incomprehensible pantheism, under the less intelligible name, transcendental idealism, of Fichte. In this passage, darkness and light are abstracts and opposites; Satan and God are concretes and opposites. I ask the writer of the article quoted from the Register, I ask the theological students and professors at Cambridge, I ask you, my dear sir, and the Unitarian clergy of Boston and New England, I ask all Unitarians of this land and of every land, did Christ, in commissioning the great apostle of the gentiles, confirm, from the throne of his glory, an oriental fiction ?
In order to give no offence to the most fastidious critic, the quotations on which the principal reliance has thus far been placed, have been taken, almost exclusively, from the evangelists : still more—from the apostolical gospels of Matthew and John : still more—from those parts of their gospels, which Unitarians allow to have been written by these apostles. There is no dispute as to
the genuineness of the readings. What still adds weight to this selection is, that these quotations are, for the most part, in the very words of Christ himself.
The prejudices of those, whose professed reverence for the instructions and doctrines of Christ himself is so great, that they reject a quotation from Paul or Peter as of quite inferior authority, have thus far been consulted in their fullest extent. After this accommodation of ourselves to the views of Unitarians, it is but fair, in adducing further arguments, to take the liberty which the views of the Orthodox on this subject permit. Believing the epistles to be of equal authority with the gospels, and a more systematical revelation and fuller defence of the Christian system, the Orthodox receive whatever they contain, supplemental or explanatory of this system, as springing from the same authoritative origin, the inspiration of the Spirit of Truth. They believe the apostle Paul to have spoken the truth, when he said to the Galatian churches, “I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me, is not after man; for I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." They believe, that the epistles of Paul contain the instructions and doctrines of Christ as really as though they heard them from his own lips. What the apostles believed and taught, who did not write gospels, but wrote epistles to individuals, to particular churches, or to the church at large, they think deserves the same attentive deference, that is paid to the four evangelists; especially, believing as they do, that it was not the unassisted apostles who spoke and wrote, but the Spirit of their Father, who communicated divine truth through them. If this be a prejudice, yet, having the sanctity of age and the authority of the church universal in all ages, the writer must be excused, if, without further deference to the critical skill of Dr. Priestley, who thinks
the apostles, especially Paul, reasoned inconclusively, or to the conscientious freedom of Mr. Belsham, who does not hold himself bound to believe because they believed, he is unwilling to forego so early, so deep-seated and wide-spread a prejudice, but chooses to summon these witnesses to give their testimony on the subject under consideration. Whether inspired or not, all will allow that the apostles were quite as likely to understand the truths they were to teach, and which they actually did teach through a series of years, as any Socinian writers, from the Fratres Poloni to the Editors of the Improved Version. Whether we can understand what they taught, we shall soon have occasion to decide. If our belief must rest on the dictum of any man, the writer is willing to express the strong prepossession, reasonable or unrcasonable, that one distinct declaration of Paul, would outweigh the most elaborate criticism of Cappe ; and that ten verses from Jude, would overturn ten chapters from Lindsey, or even from the estimable and intelligent Lard
In other words, if I could ascertain the opinion of an apostle, who listened to the instructions, which fell from the lips of Jesus while on earth, or received his instructions from him after his ascension to glory, that opinion in regard to the spiritual, eternal world, I would prefer to all the speculations of all the schools. If in this opinion, all the apostles coincided, I should consider it just as credible and as certain, as though the voice of the Eternal were to proclaim its truth from the whirlwind or the lightning. No black cloud over the face of day, no tempest of fire and smoke, no thundering in the heavens above, nor shaking of the earth beneath, could add to the certainty of the truth, however they might to the vividness of the impression. If individual and, still more, united apostolical opinion, in reference to the spiritual world, is not of unquestionable authority, not only must