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Modern Example of Tritheism . All the unfairness of which Unitarians are generally guilty in controversy , is , to draw legitimate consequences from the principles of their opponents .
Most Trinitarians complain bitterly against this procedure , but I have found a few , like the preacher here mentioned , who glory in adopting , to the greatest latitude , every extravagant deduction that orthodoxy can engender .
Mr . Smith ' s Rejoinder to Mr . BakewelL Ci The philanthropy which feeds and clothes the body , is not a Christian virtue , if it have not unspeakably stronger feelings for the guilt and misery of a sinful state . " But suppose it is exercised in consequence of Chrises command , and in
humble reference to his authority and promises , is it not a Christian virtue then ? I dare not straiten my code of gospel ethic 3 so closely as Dr . Smith ; nor did Jesus himself venture to impose quite such unrelenting conditions , if we may judge from the conclusion of Matt . xxv . In order
to give point to his stern morality , Dr . Smith quotes these interrogatories from Zechariah—• " Did ye it at all unto me , even unto me ? Did ye not it unto yourselves ? " But a milder prophet than Zechariah , a more practical casuist than Dr . Smith ,
has regarded the infirmities and imperfections of human nature , and has pronounced on the doctrine of the Old Testament the following unconditional commentary : " Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren , ye have done it unto me !"
A weaker support could not have been sought by Dr . Smith than the letter which closes his communication . It is full of flippant and contracted prejudices . No sooner has the writer entered Geneva , and found nothing under its clear sky to blame , than he asks * with a childish and
unfair suspicion , But is all right ? Had Geneva corresponded in its ecclesiastical character with that of the London Christian Instructor , doubtless all would have been right , long before the writer had stepped abroad to make a single observation or inquiry . In another part of his letter , there is not only the same want of
candour , but such a ridiculous display of perverted taste , that it will be amusing to hold up the example in ewtensoy as well as useful to shew what wretched shifts are resorted to by those who are determined at all hazards to find fault with Unitarian
preaching . Speaking of a preacher whom he heard at Geneva , the writer first acknowledges that his ' * subject was beneficence , charity and almsgiving . " And what fault can the reader imagine was discovered in this sermon on benevolence ? Why , " there was not a word on the
necessity of repentance , nor a syllable on the subject of faith in the great atonement I" Why not go on to the enumeration of forty more topics which were omitted in the discourse , but were as nearly related to benevolence
as these ? The existence of God , the resurrection of Christ , the creation of the world , &c . &c . &c . &c . I scarcely recollect in the course of my experience a more violent predisposition to censure than this * So much for
the beginning and middle of this epistolary morceau , and now for the end : " The religious services of the city , which began at nine in the morning , were all over by three o ' clock , and at
six the theatre was open , and an actor from Paris was announced , to take his leave in a tragedy by Voltaire ¥ ' But did the same persons generally crowd the theatre who had crowded
and wept at the church in the morning ? And even if they did , is it not an invidious and unfair exaggeration to put the name of Voltaire in capitals , and illustrate it with a note of
admiration , as if it were the man they went to honour , and not one of his most innocent and improving' productions ? Dr . Smith ' s Second Rejoinder , &c . Never can Dr . Smith extricate
himself or his party from the dilemma to which Mr . Bakewell has reduced them , on the subject of Justification . He says , that his statements had no reference to personal holiness , and the unchangeable obligations of universal virtue . But why repel such a charge ? Of what value will holiness and virtue
be to any man , if , after all , a man ' s Justification in the sight of God have no dependence on them ? Why pretend to revere them so profoundly , and to disclaim the idea of impairing
10 Critical Synopsis of the Monthly Repository for December , 1824 ,
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1826, page 10, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2544/page/10/