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syllogistically proved, but actual and bona fide) upholders of slavery, without the controul of any neutral or hostile public opinion without the presence of any one individual who had the good of the slave at heart-without the inspection of a single pair of eyes that did not look upon slavery itself with approbation—that did not regard the atrocities to which it so often gives rise, with indulgence, if not with positive relish--that did not frequently view these atrocities through the medium of sensual passion, or sordid self-interest. This would be the result of Mr. Haughton's policy; and how the cause of the negro—of freedom- of humanity-of purity-would benefit by its adoption, I cannot discern.
It is unnecessary to proceed farther in confutation of a paper which is, from beginning to end, a jumble of absurd reasoning, and confused and conflicting statements ; but I shall just advert to one sentence in which Mr. Haughton expressly admits, that all he has said against Mrs. Dana, may, after all, be unfounded, and untrue. “I have written,” he says, “under the supposition that Mrs. Dana is still living in a slave-state, and necessarily an upholder of slavery, or silent in its iniquities. If I be in error herein (!) and that conscience has enabled her to triumph over physical, as well as mental thraldom, she will rejoice (!!) if this letter ever meets her eye, that I have written with Christian plainness."(!!!) No, Mr. Haughton, this will not do. If you be in error herein, you have done a deep injury to a well-deserving fellow-creature. If you be in error herein, Mrs. Dana will not rejoice to have had her character maligned-her name coupled with abusive epithets, and the usefulness of her great sacrifices impeded, so far as your writing can effect that object, through your wantonness of accusation and rashness of assertion. With Christian plainness! No, sir; but with unchristian bitterness-with utter disregard of the feelings of a refined and tender mind, already deeply wounded ; and with an entire neglect of the rules of that charity which thinketh no evil, and believeth all things good, until the wrong be proved. I do not dispute the integrity of Mr. Haughton's motives; of the general benevolence of his character, no man has a firmer conviction than I have ; but, in this instance, he has shown a lamentable want of judgment to direct his philanthropic impulses, and has permitted them to hurry him into the commission of a grievous wrong.
It is possible that Mr. Haughton may impute my defence of the excellent lady, whose name I had so frequent occasion to mention, to some fondness for that bad institution which he has thought fit to accuse her of upholding. No one who knows me will give a moment's credence to such a supposition ; for the benefit of those who do not know me, I beg to say, that I am as determined a foe to slavery as
he himself, or any man living can be. I view it with detestation and abhorrence; and am prepared to agree to anything, and to do anything, consistent with religious and moral duty, to assist in mitigating its horrors while it endures, and in bringing its existence to a close, at the earliest possible moment. But I cannot go farther. I will not allow my sympathy for the negro to cause me to forget what is due to the character and feelings of the whites. I will not prove my benevolence towards the slaves of South Carolina, by gratuitously and groundlessly attacking the reputation of such a lady as Mrs. Dana. I hate the system too cordially, to be willing, without evidence, and contrary to probability, to take from the ranks of its opponents, and enrol under the banners of its friends, one who has shown herself to be in mind, intellect, and religious character, one of the excellent of the earth. I do not believe that this is the way to advance the anti-slavery cause ; and if it were, my morality does not sanction the doing of evil that good may come.
As I have, on former occasions, expressed my anxious wish, that nothing which even bears the appearance of extenuating the evil of slavery, or which is calculated to lull the national conscience of America into a state of slumber on the vital question, should be wafted across the Atlantic in the pages of our periodical, without an immediate protest against the iniquity, calculated to place the public sentiment of this nation on the subject of slavery in its true light,—so I have felt it my duty to the feelings of Mrs. Dana—deeply wounded as she must have been by the attack made upon her by Mr. Haughton—so similar to the many which she has had to withstand, on account of her noble adherence to conscience and truth, in avowing herself a Christian Unitarian-to raise my voice in reprobation of his reckless accusation. But although he may have caused her to suffer in her feelings, he cannot permanently injure a reputation like hers. It defies his injustice, and stands in no need of any vindication. Yet it seems to me, that although her character stands in need of no formal vindication, that of our own body does ; and, as the Irish Unitarian Magazine has been made the vehicle of the attack, it is due to its readers, and to the respectable society by which it has been established, that its pages should not be closed against a reply.
J. Scott PORTER.
TRINITARIAN DISTRIBUTION OF GOD INTO THREE PERSONS INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE SCRIPTURE
NOTION OF ONE INFINITELY PERFECT GOD.
WHLE Trinitarians distribute God into three persons, modes, distinctions, or somewhats, the Scriptures uniformly represent him as one
infinitely perfect, indivisible being, as one infinite Father of All, without any application of the number three* to him, in any sense, in any one instance, manner, or mode. The heathens had their “gods many, and lords many;" but, the Apostle declares, that to Christians there is but one of each kind. “ To us there is but one God”—which one God he defines to be “the Father, of whom are all things," in distinction from the “one Lord,” whom he defines to be “ Jesus Christ, by or through whom are all things."-(1 Cor. viii. 6.) This distinction between the one God supreme, and the one Lord Mediator of Christians, is also as clear and conspicuous as noon-day (see Eph. iv. 5, 6; 1 Tim. ii. 5); and the same distinction thus made by the Apostle, is equally made by Jesus himself, who teaches us to pray to God, not as a Trinity, but as our common Father, in the singular number only, saying—“ Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,” &c. (Matt. vi. 9); and who himself also prays to him, using equally the singular number, and styling him both his God and Father, and “the only true God”—not only in opposition to false gods, but also in clear distinction from himself, whom he defines as being a Messenger “sent” by "the only true God.” “ This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”—John xvii. 3 ; compare xxi. 17.) Thus the Father is declared and defined to be “ the only true God,” in express distinction from his Messenger Jesus Christ—in as express distinction from him, as from any other being or person in the universe. It is a distinction as plain and positive as that between a sovereign and his viceroy - the one acting in his own right, the other sent forth to act in the name of his master, and by his commission. There is no evading this plain, palpable fact. No truly honest, unprejudiced mind can fail to be struck with the force of it, when once made fully sensible of it. Those opposed to it, may twist and screw, and strive to overturn it, as they please, but it will stand firm and conspicuous as an immoveable rock, against which the billows of corruption, prejudice, and bigotry, may dash and break themselves in foam, but will dash in vaiu through all time, and
* The text of 1 John v. 7, about “three that bear record in heaven," is spurious, being unanswerably proved to be so by Trinitarians themselves. See “Griesbach's Dissertation,” and “ Horne's Introduction to the Critical Study of the Holy Scriptures,” in loc. Indeed, even if the passage were genuine, the statement concerning the three alleged heavenly witnesses being one, (or sÝ, one thing,) would not prove them to be els Ocòs, one God. It would be no proof or assertion at all of their being one in respect of Godhead, but only of their being one in respect of their testimon freely conceded by the more candidly disposed Trinitarians. But the passage is altogether spurious, and to be rejected as such. There is nothing said in Scripture about God being three, in any sense.
This also has been
through eternity too, if they could last so long ; but tenacious as such creatures are of life, they are not destined to the honour of immortality
Thus, then, while Trinitarians can state their doctrine only in the words of man, the Unitarian can state his in the words of Scripture, in the very words of God, that “there is but one God, who is the Father,” who is “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," whom Jesus calls his God and Father, and “the only true God,"one infinite Father of all, consisting, as we necessarily imagine a father to do, of one indivisible person, who himself always speaks, as any father naturally does, in the singular number 1, and who is always addressed and spoken of by Jesus and his apostles in the singular number, by the singular pronouns, thou and thee, he and him; and reason at once gives her fullest assent to this Scripture statement, proving to demonstration, that if God be what the Scripture represents, one infinitely perfect God and Father of all, then he can be only one person, and no more.
Thus, the one God of Scripture is declared to be infinite in power, wisdom, and all divine attributes ; but if three perfectly equal persons, such as Trinitarians maintain, none of them could be infinite, becauso every one of them would be a bound, measure, or limit to each of the other two; whereas infinite has no bound, measure, or limit whatever. Moreover, it is an axiom or self-evident truth, that of three equals, any two must be greater than the third. But greater than infinite could not be. Again, three persons, in order to be distinguishable from one another, as three persons, must each of them possess some distinguishing property of which the other two are wanting, and, consequently, every one of them must be deficient of some essential or attribute of supreme Deity.
And if every one of them comes short of something essential to supreme Deity, how could the whole come up to, or constitute, a perfect supreme Deity ? This were like the infallible Church of Rome, made up of a number of deficient, fallible individuals. And, indeed, Trinitarians themselves are forced to admit, and unconsciously argue for, some imperfection of this kind, in their notion of the Deity ; for they stoutly deny the Father alone to be perfect God, or to be all that is God, without taking in two other supposed equal persons-neither of whom, taken by himself, comes any nearer to perfect God than the Father ; and thus, according to them, the one only living and true God is made up of three, that are none of them absolutely perfect Gods ; or, if they turn round and say, each of the three is perfect God, then, according to them, three, that are each of them perfect God, are no more than one perfect God. Such is their strange arithmetic. And while they cannot, for obvious reasons, say aught against Scripture, however it may oppose them, when they find poor reason too against them, it is too much to bear, and they lose their patience, and, without scruple, fall out upon it, denouncing it in the keenest stylo of invective that tongue and pen can utter ; and it were truly well if they had never tried it with harder and hotter weapons. We have shown already the futility of their attacks upon reason—that without reason there could be no religion--that without reason they cannot proceed a hair-breadth in attempting to support their system, more than wo ours—and that, when they do attack reason, impugning it as being weak, proud, carnal, &c. it is not their own reason they mean, but the reason only of those that differ from them; and thus they assume the truth to be on their side, and beg the question here as they do at every other step of the argument.
But further, the contradictory nature of their doctrine may still be shown in another light. According to Trinitarians, it is an essential attribute of Deity to subsist in three persons. Now, does the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit, each of them singly considered, possess this essential attribute of Deity, so as to subsist each of them in three persons ? The answer must be no: consequently, the Trinitarian is convicted of denying to each of the persons, singly considered, what he holds to be an essential attribute of Deity. Moreover, he is convicted of using the term God, in reference to the true God, in two different senses: one sense, by which he means God, consisting of three persons — and another senso, by which he means God, in only one person—as God the Father, singly-or the Son, singly-or the Holy Spirit, singly. Now, docs the Scripture give any warrant for taking the name of “the only true God,” “ the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” in this double sense? We have no hesitation in saying, it does not, and that it is impossible for persons holding this double confused notion of God, to reason on the subject justly, or in an honest, straightforward manner. It must lead them to pursue a tortuous course ; whenever pressed by an argument, to be continually shifting their ground, and surreptitiously flying from one sense to another, so as there can be no fair arguing with them—no just or definite conclusion come to. By the same kind of reasoning, by the same double, deceitful manner of employing words, transubstantiation, or any absurdity in the world, may be upheld to the last. Thence, the prejudice, bigotry, and intolerance of Trinitarians-everlastingly at war among themselves, as well as with Unitarians; some sticking fast to the old thread-bare absurdities of priestly imposition, and “science, falsely so-called ;” and others striving to re-model them, and cut off a portion of the grosser and more offensive matter-all of them splitting hairs, and continually dividing and sub-dividing