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h « , plainly , had neither time nor relish for those of sacred literature . His studies took a different , and even opposite , direction . Perhaps they were of a gainful nature ( 19 ) - The neighbourhood of the metropolis , presents
well-known temptations to such employments : and we have heard of D issenting ministers , some of them orthodox , some of them heretical , who have been assiduous , and not unsuccessful , votaries at the shrine of
Mammon . So far as his own care and exertions are concerned , the respectability and usefulness of the Christian minister will much depend on the object and the regularity of his studies , after he has quitted the college or the academy .
On the foundation which he there laid he ought constantly to build . His education is only begun : he must every day carry it forward to maturity . In the excellent charge which Mr . GL received * at his ordination ( 8 ) , this advice was enforced with the affection
and earnestness due to its importance . By many divines , of every communion , Scriptural learning is neglected . Some of them , it is true , possess not the means of access to books which they
are desirous of consulting : and more , we humbly think , should be done , by the enlightened , opulent and generous friends of religion and literature , to prevent or remedy this evil . If clergymen and ministers do not feel , or
cannot fulfil , their obligation to make themselves acquainted with the volume of Revelation , in a critical no less than in a devotional and practical view , it is little wonderful if , like Mr . G . they are unfurnished with any consistent and stable knowledge of ti& doctrines .
HI . This * Arian minister" confesses , further , that his change of sentiment has been produced , in part , by the force of certain social attachments . To his son he says ( 11 ) ,
Since I married your most excellent mother-in- ] aw , whom I must ever regard * s being- , in the hands of Providence , a princi pal means of my recovery to a just *^ nse of the obligations of religion and T » rtue , I have constantly attended , " &c .
Now we cannot doubt that this ^ nsideration has exercised a much "longer influence on the mind of ? From J > r . Kippifi .
Mr . G . than he seems to be aware . But is not such an influence , however natural , and , to a particular extent , honourable and salutary , perfectly distinct from any thing like evidence , whether presumptive or direct ?
Speaking with reference to his conversion , he alleges ( 17 ) , that " the plain and unlearned interpretations of the Scriptures seemed to his mind more consistent with the design and end for which they were written than those subtle and scholastic views
he had been accustomed to regard . ' * An unequivocal proof of his not being in the habit of studying the Scripture * as they ought to be studied , of his not making them , as Locke made them , their own interpreter 1 The true meaning of the sacred volume , is not necessarily , or even probably , that which those men affix to it whose
explanations are dictated by the creed of their infancy or by the articles of their church ; although , under the bias of self-love and self-deception , we confound vulgar prejudices with natural and unforced comments .
Nothing can be more incongruous than to explain the language of ancient and of foreign writers in uniform agreement with the conceptions of a modern age . Plain interpretations are not those which appear such to uninformed and unreflecting readers , but
those , on the contrary , which are suggested by a correct acquaintance with the phraseology of the Scriptures . What Mr . G . intends by " subtle and scholastic views of Christianity , " he
has left us to conjecture . The propriety of his applying such epithets to the " Arian * and Trinitarian hypotheses we fully admit : to the views of the persons who unequivocally believe in one God , the Father , and in one
Mediator , the man Christ Jesus , they are not in the slightest degree applicable . From scholastic ideas and scholastic terms the creed of the Unitarian is altogether free : and to its
friends its simplicity is truly attractive , hut to the lovers of mysticism , unspeakably revolting . Not a single passage of Scripture expresses literally and unreservedly the doctrine of the Trinitarian and of the Arian : while
that of the Unitarian is represented in numerous texts , which are understood by us without any mental gloss . I » this subtle ? Is this scholastic £
Review * ' — -The Confessions of an Arian Minister . 62 j
^ U in , 4 1 .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Oct. 2, 1817, page 621, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2469/page/49/