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sententious , * yet ' eloq ^ oflt , tsoljeotfe- handed down fmui the purest ages , and of the comprehensivenpss and fervour of its general supplications . The superiority , " lie continues , " of the' Bopk of Commoi ^ Ptfjpr ^ of which the ^ Essexstreet compeudium exhibits only a withered , anatomy * h , no wherelinQre strikingly exemplified than La the order for the Lord's Supper . Let this be eomjtf £ e& K mm ? influence on the n ^ ind , with the dry historical lecture on the evidences of the resurreefcida usually substituted in the Unitarian chapels ?' - — Preface , pp . vi . vii . We shall not stop to inquire which creed Mr * Elton * would represent as " obsolete , ' * or with what correctness he can describe either of the creeds by this term , when he must know that there is not one which is not commanded
to be used in the public service of the Church several times in the , course of every year * Neither are we called upon to defend the Essex-street Liturgy , so elegantly designated a " withered anatomy : " nor yet shall we pronounce any opinion on the comparative merits of the service of the' Liturgy at the Lord ' s Supper , and that of Unitarian ministers ; though Mr . Elton must allow us fcp . say that his experience and our own have been very different both as to the subjects and the religious influence of the sacramental services
at Unitarian chapels . We are free to admit that in the Liturgy of the Church of England , in its prayers and collects , there is much that \ s . truly excellent ; and we are as much disposed as Mr . Elton to condemn the vulgar imputation that all who adhere to the Established Church must be swayed by motives of interest , of fashion , or of habit * No evidence beyond what we already possess is necessary to convince us that many , we would say thousands * con- > form to it from the purest motives , and with the most honourable feelings .
Nevertheless , there is enough in its Liturgy , in its dogmas and its ritual , to render it impossible for many to join its communion without a violation of their conscience ; and on this ground they are willing to rest the justification of their dissent To them the worship prescribed by the Liturgy , were they publicly to unite in it , would be gross hypocrisy ; for their outward acts would have no corresponding sentiment in their hearts . ¦ Mr . Elton has himself , in his former publications , so well stated some principal objections to the religious services of the Church of England , that
we shall transcribe them in preference to the insertion of any observations of our own . Speaking of the Creeds he remarks , — " The three creeps are assumed to be infallible * and to have equal authority with Scripture ; and this is Popery ; Yet these infallible creeds are each contradictory to the other . Thejirst and most ancient , which the Spanish Jesuits reprobated as a Unitarian symbol , acknowledges God , the Father Almighty , as the maker of heaven and earth , and Jesus Christ as his only son . The second , makes Jesus Christ God of God , and himself the maker of ajl the worlds .
The iliirdy makes Jesus Christ God ivith God , and equal m power and eternity to his own Father . These three creeds , in fact , mark the progress of Trinity ; but the writer , who congratulates himself on belonging to a church that possesses these three creeds , congratulates himself that he holds three faiths . " It is better that variations of doctrinal belief should arise , and that the
agitation and collision of opinions should keep inquiry alive , than that error , if there be error , should be locked up in antiquated formularies , which usurp the sanction of holy writ , and impose a barbarous , scholastic jargon for the simple and authorized language of the Scriptures . He who finds his religion in systems of theology , examines the Scriptures , fp * the purpose of reconciling their contents with his own pre-established formularies * 'Hesde-
Hemew . ^ Secesm M jfrom ^ UmtarUtYm ) n . 58 7
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Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Aug. 2, 1827, page 587, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1799/page/35/