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id confessedly be lost ; that is , ie would be much less real bliss if ^ hkind were uniformly virtuous , than * vill result from the actual prevalence of the worst passions and the most atrocious deeds i The commonly-received maxim , that the world would be a paradise if men were universally
pure and righteous , must , on this supposition , be false , and the following paradoxical conclusion stares us in the face : —that it is in the highest degree expedient that the majority of the human race should trample on the laws of virtue and religion , and egregiously violate the commands of their Maker !
Notwithstanding these appalling difficulties , one or other of the two opinions I have here described we must necessarily embrace , and in either case it is impossible to avoid believing what is transcendently mysterious . The true ground of complaint appears to be , not that men should assent to what the human intellect in
its . highest vigour cannot comprehend , for this , with our present imperfections , is inevitable ; but that they should enforce the belief of palpable contradictions and should prohibit others from calling them in question , under the pretext of their being
sacred mysteries * . AH that I meaa to assert is , that to whatever system of faith we may be attached , mysteriousness , abstractedly considered , does not furnish a
substantial argument against the truth of any doctrine which involves no absolute contradiction , ( similar to Dr . Copies ton ' s example of apparent incongruity , ) and which is sufficiently supported by reason or revelation . Cleiucus Gantabkigjiensis .
P , S . In his extraordinary vindication of the genuineness of the Three Heavenly Witnesses 9 your correspondent Ben David [ XX . 533 ] seems to consider it as self-evident that if the text be once admitted to signify
unity of testimony , it can never be adopted as an argument by the advocates of the Trinity . > But what is the language of one of the greatest champions of orthodoxy in the Anglican Church ? It is clear that Ben David aever met with the following passage in Bi&frop Horsley ' s Sermons : " The
apostle i says , - These three ate tMfe ; one in the unity of a consentient testimony > for that unity is all that is requisite to the purpose of the apostle ' s present argument . It is remarkable , however * that he describes the u * rity
of the testimony of * the three celestial and the three terrestial witnesses , in different terms I > conceive * for this reason : of the latter , more could not be said with truth , than that they agree in one , for they are not one in nature and substance : but the Three
in heaven being in substance and in nature one , he asserts the agreement of their testimony in terms which predicate their substantial unity , in which the consent of testimony is
necessarily included ; lest , if he applied no higher phrase to them than to the terrestrial witnesses , he might seem tacitly to qualify and lower his own doctrine . "
i 0 fitieai Synopsis of the Monthly Mepoiitoty for De ( iemleryW 2 A . 5
Critical Synopsis of the Monthly Repository for December \ 1824 .
HI STORY OF THE IRISH PRESBYTERIANS . Few readers , probably , are aware of the almost complete toleration which has been granted for a century , to the Irish Presbyterians . After perusing
the present account , one cannot but ask the question , where would be the danger of admitting the English Dissenters to at least aa equal footing with that indulged to their Irish brethren ?
There is something quite imposing in the ecclesiastical order and system of Presbyterianism . We Unitarians and Independents talk and feel much about the value of our liberty , and of its being unfettered by the restraints
of discipline and supervision . But after all , such a system is only adapted to a few strong and independent minds . A majority of mankind actually love subjection to some controul . They love to have their path marked out before them . The
conscious weakness of the individual flies for support to some exterior apparatus of combined numbers . One ' s numerical and perhaps personal insignificance borrows a sweet importance from one ' s affiliation with an organized body of reverend men . Such a system will doubtless at times
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1826, page 5, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2544/page/5/