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TO THE YOUNGER CLERGY.
HE well known adage, “ Nihil dici
potest quod non dictum prius ;" applies perhaps more strictly to the subject of Divinity, than to any other whatever: for on no other subject has the mind of man been so generally exercised. Though the age
therefore in which we live wears much of the Athenian cast about it, being taken
up for the most part “ in telling and hearing some new things,” Acts xvii. 21; yet to attempt at this time to bring forward any thing on Religion, which may have the charm of novelty to recommend it, would be an undertaking not less vain than unprofitable: because on a subject of this important nature, it is not novelty, but
truth alone which ought to challenge attention.
The substance of the Christian faith, must for ever remain what the Scripture has fixed it. And to the doctrine of Atonement the general tenor of Scripture bears testimony.–To reason then with the Apos
66 what if some do not believe; shall their unbelief make the faith of God of none effect?-God forbid.” God must be true, though every man be found a liar.
From whence it follows, that the diversity of opinion which prevails on Religion, proves the imperfection and corruption of the human understanding, not the fallibility of the standard which has been set up for its direction.
The Religion of God, like man when first created, came perfect from his hands. And because it did so, and is calculated to answer the purpose of its divine institution, by furnishing that knowledge which is necessary to man's fallen condition, it has been the continued object of the grand enemy of mankind, to corrupt or pervert it through every stage of its progress. Hence the authority of Divine Revelation