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and judgment to come . ' In his instructions to Timothy , relative to the duties of the pastoral office , he exhorts him to refuse ' profane and old wives' fables , ' in which may be included all irrational doctrines ; and not to 'neglect the gift that was in him , ' the peculiar illumination of the Hol y Spirit , by which his intellectual perceptions were quickened and bri g htened . * God , ' saith he , * hath not given us the spirit of fear , ' that dastardly spirit which suffers itself to be dragged at the chariot-wheel of priestly authority , or awed by the scowl of superstitious terror ; but the spirit' of power , of love , and of a sound mind —that spirit which dares to assert the right of private judgment ; which , with a true feeling of evangelical charity , allows to all the liberty it claims ; and which prefers the simple dictates of reason , as illumined by the word of God , to all the mysterious jargon of Fathers , Popes , and General Councils . "—Pp . 14—16 .
The innocence of involuntary error in matters of religion is thus forcibly maintained : "I ' cordially concur' with the apostles , my Lord , in believing that the Heathen nations will not be eternally damned , nor even such Christians as fall into unintentional error . They who run the greatest risk may be those who think themselves in least danger ; for it is written , there are first that shall be last , and last that shall be first . ' Were it left to my own choice , I should infinitely prefer to take my lot with ' The poor Indian , whose untutor'd mind
Sees God in clouds , or hears him iu the wind , than with the man who , calling himself a Christian , and holding in his hand that sacred volume which inculcates precepts of universal love , stalks about in Pharisaical pride , judging his neighbours , and dooming them to everlasting woe , because they do not profess belief in opinions which would shock the common sense of a Hottentot .
" I trust , my Lord , that in you the natural sense of right and wrong has not been so obliterated by a heartless , dogmatic theology , as to make way for the adoption of the horrific belief , that error , though invincible , will subject men to the everlasting wrath of Him * who knoweth our frames , and remembereth that we are but dust . ' Surely , you will not , with some of our modern gladiators in the arena of polemics , contradict the great Teacher , who has said that ' that servant who knew not his Lord ' s will , and did commit things worthy of stripes , shall be beaten with few stripes . ' ( Luke xii . 48 . ) Nor will you maintain , that the Apostle Paul was in a fatal error when he said , that he obtained mercy , though he persecuted the church of Christ , because he did it ignorantly through unbelief . ( 1 Tim . i . 13 . ) Nor that the Saviour of the world founded a plea of pardon for his executioners on a principle deserving the infinite wrath of the Creator , when he prayed , ' Father , forgive them , for they know not what they do . ' ( Luke xxiii . 34 . ) Nor that the great Creator himself was unjust or unmerciful , when in the law of Moses he granted special indulgence to the sins of ignorance , as recorded in the J 5 th chapter of Numbers , and declared that ' whosoever killeth his neighbour ignorantly , whom he
hateth not , he is not worthy of death . ' ( Deut . xix . 4—6 . ) Yet with all these passages of scripture gazing in their face , do some of our great preachers unblushingly allege , that all errors of opinion , by which they mean all opinions different from their own , must subject those who hold them to everlasting burnings . "Well did David pray , ' Let us fall now into the hand of the Lord , ( for his mercies are great , ) and let me not fall into the hand of man . ' ( 2 Samuel xxiv . 14 . ) " —Pp . 18 , 19 .
Letter third explains the leading features of Unitarianism . We earnestly recommend a perusal of the following passage to those who , Unitarians in all but the name ( and many such there are ) , feel either ashamed or afraid to avow themselves such : "Some worthy members of Unitarianism object to the-adoption , of . the name Unitarian , from having heard it so frequently coupled with reproach , ;
Dr . Drumtoond ' s Letters to Lord Mountcasheli . 705
VOL . II . 3 D
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Oct. 2, 1828, page 705, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2565/page/49/