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that intellectual ray which may have ita originia the source of all intelligence , even * the all-pervading spirit ofc the Eternal Mind . This mysterious nature of a never-dying soul ^ while it makes us tremble at . the possible consequences of moral contamination , by no nieans countenances the fearful doctrine of the infinite evil of sin ; nor should it undermine our faith in that glorious issue of events , when ail evil , both moral and physical , shall
cea 3 e , " And oue unbounded spring encircle all . " On what foundation ( it may be asked ) does this faith rest ? On no other than the revealed attributes of God ; a foundation firm as adamant , and satisfying as though an archangel proclaimed through the vault of heaven the glorious truth . God is love ! man therefdre need not fear the final result of his paternal providence ; for the time must come , when the clouds
and darkness that now hang upon the chequered scenes of life , will , be dispersed by the eternal sunshine of the Creator ' s love j when even the trials , the afflictions , and the chastisements , both present and to come , as . well as the more immediate mercies of our GoiJ , . will call up a universal song of gratitude and praise . On this iinmoveable basis rests the invaluable triith , ( while it sets every difficulty at defiance , ) that evil in his hand is only the instrument of good ; that its introduction on the whole ,: was the
best possible means of furthering his benevolent designs ; in short , that it was . ordained because more good will be effected by its aid , than could pofesibly have "been produced without it . Th £ nature of the existence of aa omnipresent God we caimot comprehend , b \ x % the nature of , his attributes is
open to > our finite minds , for in ; his image are we made . Benevolence in man is . only different in degree ; but infinite felicity ^ and love , directing by consummate wis ^ pm an arm -
ail-nower | ul to effect ,, must necessarily secure withput a possibility pf failure , the designed and gracious end in . view , the ultimate felicity of the whole ii » telr ligent ^ sp ^ g of God . Relinquish this faith , and , we have , pa refuge bat in & gi ^ omyy ^ d sickening specula-
tions of the Atheist ; Christianity b ^ comes a mere fable , loses all its iu ^ tre , and m ^ n is vanity indeed . Cherish it , and how does it expand and cheer the heart ! Yes I as well may sweet and bitter water issue from the unpolluted spring , as evil ( viz . really and eventually such ) be mingled with that unceasing flow of good , whose fountain is the bosom of infinitude and love 1 The heart rejoices in the exulting thought , and nature consecrates it with a lovelier smile , " That every bound at length shall disappear , And inihiite perfection close the scene . " JOHN JOHNSTON .
Sir , YOU R correspondent G . S . ( page 338 , ) is perfectly correct in supposing that his information respectingthe grant of the Bristol Fellowship Fund to the Christian Tract Society ,
would afford the sincerest pleasure , not only to your correspondents who have lately advocated the cause of this Society , but to every one who has the interests of true religion at heart . Our Bristol friends deserve the
warmest thanks . of the Unitarian body , for having so nobly set the example in this great and good work . I most sincerely hope that they will be followed hv numerous others ; and that it will soon appear that your correspondent , " No Eutopian , " ( p . 293 , ) has been a little too severe upon us , in supposing that we were unwilling to give up a few of the most useless of our luxuries , for the sake of ' advancing the everlasting interests of our fellow-creatures .
Still , our Bristol friends will I hope excuse me , if I cannot , help strongly thinking that a public congregational collection 13 far preferable to a grant from the Fellowship Fund . I know it to be a fact , that there are many persons in Unitarian societies , to whom these tracts would be an
inva-1 viable treasure , avho have at present no means of coming at them ; I mean those who can scarcely afford a sufficient sum to send to the p arent society- Such persons would rejoice to have an opportunity of contributing a few shillings towaiifa a public eal *
53 $ Congregational Subscriptions to Christian Tract Society .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Oct. 2, 1823, page 588, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1789/page/28/