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CRITICAL NOTICES .
Art . V . —The Prospects of Christianity : a Sermon , delivered at the Ordination of the Rev . Warren Burton . By F . W . P . Greenwood . Boston , U . S . The Exclusive System : a Discourse delivered in Gorton , Massachusetts . By James Walker . Boston , U . S .
We are well aware that the popularity which the discourses of American Ministers have obtained in this country , is regarded , by here and there an individual , with some degree of suspicion , as if it were not the truth , but something new in
the manner of stating it , which had gained upon the affections of the people ; and as it is impossible to penetrate into motives , the attempt to ^ rore that 6 uch a notion is mistaken , may be as idle as the original charge .
The fact is certain , that the sermons of Dr . Channiwg and Dr . Ware , and sereral other American ministers , are ea-,-gerly read and sought after among English Unitarians , and that their popularity is decidedly upon the increase . In looking over a number of discourses and tracts , recently sent hither from Boston , we have been struck by the eminently practical character of the whole , and we cannot entertain a doubt that it is to this
we are to attribute their acceptableness . Of minute biblical criticism we have found very little ; the appeal lies mostly to human feelings and the strength of human reasoning , exercised in comparing the general spirit of the gospel with the spirit of exclusive and narrow systems . The scholar must not think his labours
undervalued , if it should appear that these plain , energetic , forcible appeals are exciting a degree of interest which he may think disproportioned to their intrinsic worth . The different members of the "body of Christ may each perform their several offices , and there need be no division among them . Mr . Walker ' s sermon on the Exclusive
System is altogether one of the closest and strongest pieces of reasoning in favour of entire religious liberty we ever tye t with . —The following remarks have struck us as admirable .-" Much stress is laid on the distinc-
tion , that modern Exclusionists , at least in this country , do not avail themselves of the aid of the civil arm . But it should be considered , that the true question is , not whether they avail themselves of the aid of the civil arm , but whether their measures are not adapted to injure us in our civil relations . The injustice of former Exclusionists , the Spanish Inquisition for example , did not consist simply in employing the civil arm to inflict the penalties they adjudged , but in
adjudging such penalties as affected the supposed misbeliever in his civil relations . What if , instead of intrusting the execution of their sentence to the civil officer , they had chosen to use the influence they possessed over the public mind , to cause their victim to be put under the ban of society ; or had given him up to be torn in pieces on the spot by an incensed populace ? Would this have made the proceeding less cruel , or less unrighteous ?
** Now , will any one pretend , that the Exclusionists of this country do not aim to injure their opponents in their civil relations ? Denounce me as an enemy of the truth , and a hater of God ; call in question my sincerity , and impute my supposed errors to a corrupt heart ; hold me up as a dangerous man in the community , a man with whom it must be
unsafe to associate from the contagion of my bad principles ; make use of my religious opinions to prevent my political elevation , or represent them as a sufficient reason why I should not be entrusted with the education of the young ; thia is the course pursued by most Exclusionists in this country ; and will any one pretend , that this is not to attempt to injure me in my civil relations ? Is it
not to attempt to injure me in my standing and prospects in society ? But my Btanding and prospects in society are as much my property , as a good citizen , as my houses and lands ; and nothing , therefore , will justify an attempt to injure me in one , which would not also justify
an attempt to injure me in the other . Make it to be juat to do what the Exclusionists of this country have often done ; make it to be just to sow dissension in my family , to injure me in the good opinion of my friends and the community , to subject me to any impu-
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Aug. 2, 1828, page 562, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2563/page/50/