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at the same time , of deeply convincing us of the danger and baseness and ingratitude of sin . "—P . 67 . Again , he speaks of the "
self-sacrificing benevolence" of God to men ; and of " self-sacrificing solicitude on the part of God for their welfare . "Pp . 46 , 72 . Again , " The identity of the Judge and the victim dispels the misty ideas of blind vindictiveness with which this scheme
iri'iy sometimes have been perversely enveloped ; and he approaches God with the humble yet confident assurance that lie will favourably receive all who come to him in the name of Christ . "—P . 76 .
But enough ; we had thought the day was gone by when men of sense and learning would roundly assert , that God suffered and died ; but , it seems , we were mistaken ; the present writer appears to be a person both of sense and learning , as well as of piety and no mean talent ; on this account we have taken more notice of his book
than we should otherwise have done ; and we hope he will reconsider the system which he has adopted . We think his leading error has been what he himself avows , p . 60 : " In order to understand the facts of revelation
we must form a system to ourselves , " &c . On the contrary , we think , that in order to discover truth , it is necessary we should divest ourselves as much as possible of all systems of doctrines
and preconceived opinions . If Mr . E . vviJl but compare one part of his book with another , closely scrutinize his own reasoning , and determine to retain no words with which he cannot
connect distinct ideas , we are persuaded he will find that to give up . sonic part of his present views is unavoidable ; he must either become more or leso rational . Can he deliberately think that the doctrine of a dying , * a self-sacrificing God , " is " nothing more than an abstract principle of natural religion , embodied in
persjuciiitv » 11 < I efficiency" ? Do not nature and reason revolt at the idea of ci suffering' and ( l ying " God ? Can the least shadow of ^ uch an absurdity
be found in the Scriptures ? lie is probably a young man ; he has already some good ideas ; he seems incapable of receiving as true what he perceives to be at variance with reason , and with
what the light of nature teaches let him but foliov <* these principles fully out , and he will think no more of a " self-sacrificing" God , nor longer retain many notions which he at present cherishes . R .
362 Review . — Worsteds Enquiry into the Origin of Christmas-day .
Art . III . — An Enquiry into the Origin of Christmas-day : shewing that this and the other Festivals of the Christian Church are Continuatioyis
of the Heathen Feasts of Antiquity Together with Remarks on the celebrated member Three , which has been made Sacred by Pagan Superstition . By Israel Worsley . 12 mo . pp . 66 . Hunter , and Eaton .
FTHHE Christianity of the New Tes-JL . tament consists in spiritual worship and moral excellence ; not in the observance of fasts and festivals , a blind assent to unintelligible dogmas , and a superstitious regard to useless ceremonies . Very different are the systems established by worldly policy and power , which have long usurped the venerable name , and been
substituted in the place of the pure and undefiled religion taught by Jesus and his apostles . The able writer of the pamphlet before us , shews that such systems symbolize much more with the superstitious and idolatrous notions
and practices of the ancient Heathen , than with the rational and heavenly doctrines of the Christ and his divinelycommissioned messengers , or the practice of the primitive Christians ; and that , not only many ceremonies , observed by the Established sect , are of Heathen origin , but also , the Trinity and vicarious punishment , so far from belonging to genuine Christianity , are the proper doctrines of Paganism-We cannot better describe what
occasioned the writing of this sensible and useful tract , than by quoting the notice prefixed to it : " The Author of these pages , a minister to a Dissenting congregation , found some individuals of it partial to the
observance of Christ mas-day ; not from a superstitious regard to the day , but because it is a leisure day , and may be made useful by the services of religion . He felt from conviction a repugnance to giving to I his day a solemnity and an importance which belong exclusively to
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), June 2, 1821, page 362, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2501/page/38/