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therefore, its unsullied orthodoxy. But we know it to be heretical, both by the clearest proofs of Scripture; and by the unanimous testimony of the ancient Church; and especially by its solemn judgment in the Council of Nice. With firmness equally uncompromising does the Reformation refuse all connexion with this perverted system. The whole Reformation received the Athanasian Creed, which declares that the Catholic faith there taught is necessary to salvation; and that unless "every man shall keep it whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly."* Unitarians, in this respect, have borne some such proportion to the Christian Church, as monsters bear to the species of which they are unhappy distortions. Their opposition has mainly served to prove the universality and firmness of the faith which they contradicted, enshrined as that faith remains in the pages of revelation, and attested by the voice of the Christian Church throughout all ages of its existence.
Is it then wonderful, that the Church Catholic should decline to receive them as brethren, and to give them the right hand of fellowship, as *Palmer's Church of Christ, II. 60.
members of the same mystical body? They charge us with polytheism and idolatry. They assert that Christ Jesus whom we worship, as one with the Father, over all, God blessed for evermore, is a mere creature. They reject those solemn verities which we believe essential to salvation. What greater differences, then, can there be in religion, than those which exist between us? As soon may contradictions be reconciled, and God, and no God mean the same thing, as we and they be brethren in Christ Jesus. The Jews confess our Lord to be a man, and a good man. The Turks acknowledge Him as a true prophet, and as one sent from God. These, therefore, must be equally our Christian brethren, upon that account, notwithstanding all the mighty difference that exists between us and them, upon every great peculiarity of the Christian scheme, and the person, office, dignity of its Almighty Author. We cannot be Christian brethren; for we cannot tread the same road, even for an instant.* They use the language of Christianity, without believing its mysteries. How, then, can we bid them God speed, while they are influenced by this spirit of unfairness? "The words of their mouth are
* Leslie's Works, II. 390.
smoother than butter, but war is in their heart: their words are softer than oil, yet are they drawn swords." The Scriptures of Eternal Truth and Love, are the most precious possession of the Christian Church. It is the duty of that Church to guard them, as its Great Head guards his members-like the apple of his eye. On the other hand, it has been, and it is the unceasing endeavour of the Unitarian heresy, to pervert the sense, or undermine the authority, or dilute the power, or destroy the entireness of that only Book, which is able to make men wise unto salvation, through faith that is in Christ Jesus. How, then, can parties, whereof one is pledged to defence, and the other to aggression, by the very nature of their respective positions, lay aside the strife wherein they are engaged, to join in a league of amity, of which the covenant could only be struck by making Holy Scripture the sacrifice to confirm it?
That such unwearied hostility is waged by Unitarians against the mind of God, as expressed in his word, all their publications unequivocally and mournfully attest. On this subject "The Improved Version" of the New Testament, examined and confuted as it has been, will not permit us to doubt. Much labour has, indeed, been bestowed of late to
disavow the authority of that work, as a true and privileged representative of Unitarian opinions. There is no cause for wonder that the disclaimer should be attempted, after the full and searching manner, in which it has been investigated. If, however, this book should still be repudiated, as a depository of the system, and Mr. Belsham's translation of St. Paul's Epistles should be chosen in preference, the same charge of defective scholarship, and dishonest or uncandid criticism, is unhesitatingly pronounced against it; and proofs of that charge have been accumulated, in weight and measure not to be resisted. If, therefore, the Unitarian, hardly pressed by objections to the Improved Version, should say, "I appeal unto Cæsar," and refer his cause, so far as St. Paul's Epistles are concerned, to the judgment of Mr. Belsham's translation, the orthodox impugner may still say of the plea, "Valeat quantum valere potest," and of the defendant, "Thou hast appealed unto Cæsar; unto Cæsar shalt thou go."* Meanwhile the believer turns
*The Rev. Hartwell Horne, in his valuable Introduction to the Critical Study of the Holy Scriptures, has given us (vol. ii, pp. 283, 295,) a list of authors, by whom the errors of both these translations, have been exposed, to which (for the latter) may be added Dr. Burton's Testimonies of the Ante-Nicene Fathers.
with increasing love to the truth as it is in Jesus; and lifts up his heart to the Gracious Author of the Bible in the words of St. Augustine, "Sint castæ deliciæ meæ Scripturæ tuæ ; nec faller in eis, nec fallem ex eis."*
"To vindicate the ways of God to man," as revealed through Jesus Christ, for the salvation of a ruined world, was the purport of their authors in the following series of Discourses. It is for their readers, with the Bible in their hands, to judge how far that object has been attained. They deemed it a solemn duty, wherewith they were charged by their ordination vows, to make the attempt, in dependance upon the Spirit of God. His influence upon their hearts, and his blessing upon their intention, were sought in united and in private prayer. Amidst the many and engrossing labours of their pastoral functions, less time for research and reflection than they could have wished was at their disposal. They cannot look upon their respective portions in this collected effort, nor upon the whole, without a sense of deep humiliation before God, accompanied, as they trust, with some thankfulness of faith to Him who, in the appointments *St. August. Confess. XI. 2.