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other striking illustration of the same thing appears. The first pledge embraced only distilled liquors. Wine and other fermented liquors were still suffered to be used. In a few years this was seen to be inconsistent in principle, and bad in policy, and soon wine and all alcoholic drinks were proscribed. But this important victory was not gained without great wisdom in management, and a hard struggle besides. If the anti-wine men had formed immediately into a party on the principles of come-outism, the movement must have been a miserable failure. It would have been unwise and fatal to have begun by denouncing the old temperance societies as a mass of corruption, as the greatest foes to temperance, as embodying the very worst class of intemperates and inebriates in the land; it would not only have been unwise and fatal, but it would have been untrue and wicked.
The principle assumed here is that at the moment any new application of truth is discovered, and by its light a class of persons are seen to be in a wrong practice whom nobody supposed to be so before--that at that moment they are to be pronounced wicked and corrupt, with no less severity than if they had persisted in the practice after years of light. But can this be in accordance with either light or love? If they are wicked and corrupt at the instant the discovery is made, they were so before it was made and if they were,pray what was he who discovered the corruptness of the practice, just before he made the discovery? Wicked and corrupt of course for not having made it sooner, to say nothing of his practicing in all probability the self-same wickedness himself prior to the discovery:
Upon this principle of guaging guilt by light not yet obtained, who will stand acquitted? Where is the man, the minister, the lecturer, the reformer, the community, the society, or the Church that must not be found wanting if their principles or practices are to be weighed in the balances of the millenium? See the operation too of progress. Every new accession of light is only a new revelation of unsuspected depravity. We thought we were doing as well as we knew how, and verily we were, but we did'nt know how enough! At every development of duty, we stand convicted of guilty remissness. Every new relation perceived, with one hand points out the new obligation, and with the other smites us for a criminal disregard of the obligation before it was perceived. . What is exalted virtue to day must amid to-morrow's in
creased light be written grovelling vice. The saint of this
“ Great and high
Knock out a star in heaven.”
The vista of future life is nought but a gloomy prospect of increasing light revealing increasing depravity. The destiny of progress is the death-warrant of present purity. The millenium of the Church will be the consummation of her corruption. Then every body must be a Come-outer! Every man a come-outer from every other man, and
every come-outer from himself! Yes, every man must come out from his former self, for that is sin.
Let it be remembered then that truth is progressive; that it is the rich inheritance of the human race to be continually discovering new applications of principles, applications which may show that even the pioneers in present reforms are themselves in some particular violating the principles, to the promulgation of which they are devoting their lives. Let
every such discovery be hailed by all with joy and gratitude to the Author of light. Let those who are honored with making these discoveries feel themselves commissioned to diffuse the light as fast and as far as possible; but let them communicate in a spirit of love, and be heaven-far from denouncing those who have not yet obtained their light, or who may he slow to receive it from them. What! we ask, shall every discovery in morals or in duty be a fresh occasion of censure and rebuke? Shall the light that has fallen gently ray by ray upon the vision of the reformer be gathered by him into a bolt of proscription and hurled in wrath at those who wait upon him for knowledge? If our neighbors have less light than we, love requires us to give them of our lights to do good and to communicate forget not.” If they have not light, those who denounce them have not love. And which is the worse? May not those who are denounced for a lack of light,
turn upon their denouncers and anathematize them for not having love? Love be it remembered always demands that light should be enjoyed before sin can be alleged--and moreover love requires that those who have light should give to those who lack it liberally, and UPBRAID THEM NOT."
Let it further be considered that all reforms are in their nature progressive, and that each great reform has numerous branch reforms, which diverge as the main movement advances. The light in such cases will generally be brighter upon the central question than upon the radiating questions which lie around the circle. For example, there is now light enough upon the main question of slavery to warrant us in withholding Christian fellowship from the slave-holder, but there is not light enough upon the remote ecclesiastical connections to bring us under obligation to abjure all fellowship with those who are dimly related by some latent link ecclesiastic with the system of slavery. This point lies upon the obscure boundary of antislavery truth, if indeed it be not, as we think we have shown, quite over the line. Be patient and wait for the twilight to pass, and good day-light to come. Be patient, friends. You may have climbed to some favored eminence whence you see clearly, but remember that the rest of us are down in the vale, and your very elevation only serves to retard the coming of light to us, and especially will it, if you roll down clouds and storms upon us. Be patient then and kind. Have some love along with your light. Feel that we are brethren. Come down and teach us. Your thunders of excommunication muttering away up there will never do us any good. Come down and teach us.
[A branch of this discussion of considerable importance, which we had designed to embrace in the present article, we are compelled by the space already occupied, to omit—we refer to the SPIRIT of come-outism. This it was our intention to examine as we have the principles, testing it by the law of love as we have them by that of light. In this part of the discussion we purposed to show that come-outism violates and tramples down the law of love, as we have seen that it does the law of light, from which it would appear that it has no just claim to be considered a Reform, but that it is, in its distinctive features, purely a fanatical and a disorganizing inovement, impelled by hate and sustained by a Christless zeal. Whether we shall complete this design in a future article will be left for the developments of time to determine.]
TRUTH TRIUMPHANT; OR, A CANDID EXAMINATION OF THE
TRINITARIAN DOCTRINE. BY OLIVER BARR, MINISTER
OF THE GOSPEL AT SINCLAIRSVILLE, N. Y.
By Rev. Wu. L. PARSONS, of Aurora, Illinois.
If an apology is demanded for calling attention to a subject so well settled as that of the Supreme Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, we present the fact that new efforts are being made to spread Unitarianism at the West. Previous discus, sions have not sufficed to put the subject at rest in this part of the great vineyard. Radical investigations are demanded in this latitude of many of the leading and long-established doctrines of the evangelical world. So long as error is taught, and by professedly good people believed, as unquestionable truth, it is our duty to send forth the antidote, even though it may have been done a thousand times before. Peter was not negligent to put the church in remembrance of doctrines which they already understood, and in the present truth of which they were established. If an inspired apostle thought it meet thus to do, in order to “stir up” the minds of believers in that day, we think we do not greatly misjudge, in regarding it as needful to follow his example in this, our day. We believe it is the policy of the great enemy especially to blind true believers to the real nature and dignity of Christ, who is the image of God,” as being the most effectual way to put out the light of the glorious gospel” lest it should shine upon and vivify a lost world. For this reason we deem it-important often to assert the grounds of our faith upon this subject. We are persuaded that there is no truth dearer to the hearts of those who know Christ by the Holy Ghost, than that of his essential Divinity. To such our topic will not be unwelcome. Although we may speak in weakness, yet we feel constrained by the love we bear to our glorious Redeemer, to write in defence of his Supreme Divinity. To us, this is the life-giving doctrine; and there is no branch of the faith for which we could so earnestly contend.
In this vicinity Unitarians and Universalists exchange pulpits, and unite in erecting houses of worship, and in celebrating the supper of the Lord. Both of these denominations agree in boldly denying the Supreme Divinity of Christ. Üni: tarians present themselves as the true expounders of the plan of salvation. They reject the doctrine of vicarious atonement, total depravity, regeneration, and generally of eternal future punishment, as well as the Divinity of Christ, and the personality of the Holy Ghost. We believe their erroneous views on other subjects spring from their misconceptions of the nature of Christ. 6 Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself.” Men in their selfishness judge God by themselves; and, mistaking his character, they mistake their own; and, mistaking both, it is impossible that they should not have an erroneous theology.
In preparing an article on this subject, we have placed before us the above entitled pamphlet, together with notes of several lectures recently delivered in this place by the same author. Elder Barr is a prominent minister in the Christian denomination, and corresponding editor of one of their periodicals. He defends Unitarianism warmly and ably. The doctrines of the Trinity and the Supreme Divinity of Christ are "dark and absurd doctrines” in his mind, having little better origin than the superstitions of the heathen.
In his lectures, our author adopts the plan of first establishing the unity of God. This he does by a course of reasoning and quotations to which Trinitarians, perhans, would take no exceptions. Then comes the “irresistible" inference, “If God is one, he cannot be three;" and the doctrines of the Trinity and the Supreme Divinity of Christ are swept away as with a breath. But it is a novel way of reasoning, to introduce an unsupported definition which really bars all discussion of the opposite side of the question.
Our author insists that “God is one indivisible mind;” and by this he means a something which the doctrine of the Trinity contradicts, and which we say is not true. We admit that God is one indivisible mind as to his essence. All Trinitarian creeds assent to the unity of God; and the question at issue is, whether this one indivisible mind can manifest himself as three moral agents, distinct as to their attributes and relations, and identical as to their substance. Our author assumes that this is impossible, and wholly incompatible with the Divine unity. Elder B., it will be readily seen, makes a false issue in the outset. The point which he really labors is that God cannot be one and three in the same sense. All his argumentation proceeds upon this assumption ;—“ If God is one, he cannot be more.” S. These three are one, is a manifest contradiction.'