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them ? Is it , that you may keep one side well with the world , with the uninitiated , with mere moralists by
nature , while you shew the other to the lovers of mystery and hugeness ? From Calvin down to Dr . Smith , there has reigned this everlasting shuffle in their school , this vain attempt to reconcile common sense with
contracted and obstinate principles of interpretation . But it cannot be . Our matter-of-fact world will never swallow nor care any thing about the tremendous Calvinistic dogma of Justification by Faith , unless it be frittered down to pure morality , and then they will receive , not the dogma , but
the morality . Dr . Smith may depend upon it that this is all he can get by covering over the subject with a wordy plausibility . Men are not going to have their moral sense violated so easily ; or if they do , they will choose to go the whole length , and rush at once into the mental slavery or mental reservation of the Romish
Church . I should regard the doctrine in question , if it could possibly be believed , as a worse mystery than that of the Trinity , because it is less purely speculative and arithmetical ; it touches upon morals ; it would tend to overthrow the whole system of good practice , and would destroy all confidence between man and man .
IVIany of its supporters pretend to lift their eyes in abhorrence at Antinomians ; but that sect are the only consistent and true believers in the doctrine , and it will sooner or later be acknowledged , that there is no medium , no alternative between
Arminianism and Antinomianism . To these remarks the answer will be , that I do not understand the doctrine of Justification by Faith , and I shall be pointed to the intricate explanations
which make it intelligible and innocent , reducing it , after all , to a sort of Justification by Works . But why adopt and persist in a phraseology , which is liable to be misinterpreted and misunderstood ? The substance
of your religion , I skould hope , will not evaporate with the language which clothes it . What does the long extract from Hooker prove ? If any one can follow the thread of it , and analyse its meaning through a cloud of misty fi gures and vain distinctions , he will
see that there is no explanation at all , but a confused repetition of the very doctrine to be explained , and strangely mingled up at the same time with a
metaphorical resolutioa of it into simple morality . fS Faith is the only hand which putteth oa Christ unto Justification , and Christ the only garment , whichy being so put on , covereth the shame of our defiled
natures , hideth the imperfection of our works , preserveth us blameless in the sight of God , " &c . &c . Now to infuse any meaning into this passage , and not to rest satisfied , dazzled and delighted with its mere mysticainess , how is Christ a garment ? And is
there any other true way of covering our shame , hiding our iinperfection , &c , than the love and practice of that personal holiness and universal virtue which Christ prescribed ? Is it not a dangerous matter to hold out to men ' s imaginations the idea that there is
such a kind of a thing as a garment , somewhere or other , they know not where , but separate from their personal holiness and exertions , which shall huddle up and muffle over their sins ? Surely , it is not for such
writings that Hooker has been immortalized by the epithet judicious * By the way , Mr . Smith can revere and quote the authority of the Anglican Church , when it suits his purpose . I supposed him not to be so flexible a * Dissenter .
Mr . Bakewell ' s concluding' Re * marks . Mr . Bakewell , on several accounts , deserves the fervent gratitude and lasting respect of the Unitariaa public , for conducting , as he has done , the present controversy . Our first matter of gratification is , that we have found so able a defender of so good a cause . Mr . Bakjewell has turned to
admirable account the opportunities which he had enjoyed for information on the topics in dispute . Nor is this all . He has proved himself a match for his opponent , who must be
acknowledged on all hands as a controversialist of no ordinary lubricity . — Even on . theological ground , where we might have had most reason to expect that our hero would be foiled ,
* Was it for his doctrinal , or for his ecclesiastico-political writings , that the Anglican Church have generally crowned him with this laurel ?
Critical Synopsis of the Monthly Repository ' for December , 1824 . 11
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1826, page 11, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2544/page/11/