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time : and it is highly probable that Christianity is now better understood than at any time since this apostolic agre ; but there remains yet much rubbish to be removed , and the corrupt doctrines of the orthodox church expunged , before Christianity can be exhibited in its native purity to the candid and enlightened Theist . [ To be continued . ]
Sir , May \ % y 1820 . ON reading Mr . Harris ' s Discourse entitled ' * Unitarianism the only Religion that can become Universal , " I was particularly struck with a passage in the Appendix , on the difficulty of obtaining a single missionary , or
funds to support one , or even £ b 0 O to defray the expense of printing a prayer-book and some tracts in the Tamui language , except the example set by a single congregation is followed by the majority , which the author does not appear to expect
from what follows . — €€ Till then we must be content to be the laughingstock of every other sect , and reprobated , deserved lv reprobated , for the want of that zeal and that benevolence
without which the purest principles are of little avail , " I profess , Mi % Editor , to be an inquirer after religious truth , and believe the genuine Scriptures are the only depository of Christian principles , and that every sect approach or recede from the truth , as their creeds agree
with , or are contradictory to this sacred authority . And as the first grand fundamental truth there taught appears to me the Unity of the Deity , I have felt extremely anxious to know whether Unitarianism , in the aggregate , was equally consistent with the precepts of Christ , For this purpose , I have frequently attended Unitarian chapels and conversed with professors .
At the former , I have heard eloquent discourses on various points , embellished with beautiful figures and argumentative deductions orajjntost demonstrative force , | and yet Have generally retired sensible of the nrbpnety of a quotation , by ah orthodox friend , on our leaving one of the first preachers in the metropolis , * If love be absent , I am found , Like tinkling brass , an empty sound ;"
while amongst the latter , I have found able disputants on controversial subjects , the Trinity , Atonement , Philosophical Necessity or Free Will , the powers of reason , " &c ., but scarcely one who appeared equally anxious for the cultivation of the
Christian graces of humility and love , or the precepts of Christ a& a superior Teacher or Lord * While one sheltered himself under the idea , that as he believed fewer doctrines than others , he was less liable to the charge of
professing hypocritically ; another , on my asking what Unitarians thought of the offices of Christ , and whether they should not be more regarded , plainly told me such questions proclaimed me an enthusiast .
These observations and Mr . Harris ' s confession , I cannot reconcile with my old-fashioned notions of the plain , serious , unadorned preaching of our Lord , level to the meanest capacity , addressed equally to the understanding and feelings of mankind , or to that self-denial and ardent zeal which
characterized the first Christians , However specious , therefore , however just , indeed , the theory of Unitarians , I am almost led to conclude , if these complaints are general , that theirs cannot be a correct system of theology—the religion of him whose badge is love ,
whose disciples are only to be known by their fruits . What 1 are Unitarians ( rational Christians !) the only professors who expect the Deity to work fresh miracles to propagate their faith , and while hundreds of men are ready to leave their native shores , and tens V *~ r « h ^» swv T * KS VAAVAJL AAMIWAf V ^ P-J »* ^ - ^ * ¦******• mw »» - « - ' m " — -w— — - — -
of thousands of pounds are raised to promote what they esteem gross error , will they make no exertion to disseminate truth where no preconceived prejudice is to be overcome but what all missionaries have equally to encounter ? Is not lukewarmness a fair confession
they esteem it altogether unimportant ? I ani aware that while one sect consider the Deity inexorable , an 4 that all men who know not the 'Swiour will be damned for ev&r , the other believes the Almighty is < a ; being of infinite mercy and benevolence . But is this a reason
for inactivity ? ^ Shali gratitude produce no fruit / while fear produces so much ? Do they believe the ^ Saviour came to teach the most perfect ^ ctfde of morality , ' and are they less anxidus tfcat the
452 Lukewarmness of Unitarians .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Aug. 2, 1820, page 452, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2491/page/8/