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his statements slanderous and actionable ; but the instrument is considered too contemptible for prosecution. Whose turn will come next, I know not. I hope orthodox Christians who despise the principle, that the end sanctifies the means, will raise their voice upon such subjects. For it becomes them to remember, that the same crusade might be waged against the peace and reputation of their own societies, were the unitarians sufficiently bewildered to engage in such an undertaking. And every man must pronounce these measures unchristian, and inconsistent with free inquiry, and religious liberty.
3. Measures for filling the new Meelinghouse. Look at some of the measures adopted by the orthodox for filling the new house of worship. An appeal is made to some of the lowest principles of human nature. In almost every town, there are more or fewer individuals who are at variance, either with their ininister, or with his warm friends. They are ready to pursue a course which may prove injurious to their supposed enemies. Such persons are visited by the orthodox leaders, and assured that their secession must weaken and help to destroy the old society. Thus an appeal is made to the principle of revenge. - In almost every town, there are more or fewer individuals who love their money beiter than their religion. They are for ever complaining of the burden of their taxes; and are always ready to secede when it can be done without the sacrifice of too much popularity. Such persons are visited by the orthodox leaders, and promised an exeinption from ministerial taxes for a certain period ; and after that time, nothing but their voluntary contributions will be required. Thus an appeal is made to the principle of avarice. — In almost every town, there are inore or fewer individuals who think themselves too much neglected. They complain, either that their nuinister has not paid them sufficient attention, or that their fellow-citizens have not noticed them according to their deserts. Such persons are visited, and treated with a comfortable dose of flattery, and made to believe that they shall be of the first importance in the new society. Thug an appeal is made to the principle of vanity. — In almost every town, there are more or fewer individuals, who have no fixed religious opinions. They wish to be very good, and are afraid of being too liberal in their sentiments. Such persons are visited, being mostly females, and are assured that the orthodox is at least the safest course ; that there can be no danger on their ground; while they are exposed to imminent peril so long as they reinain unitarian. Thus an appeal is made to the principle of fear. - In these several ways, some few are obtained to fill up the new meetinghouse. And this brief statement will also serve to explain the circumstance, that in your new and feeble societies, there are so many varieties of opinion and character. It is a well known fact, that a large majority are females, that some of the males are unitarians, some universalists, some nothingarians, and some unbelievers. Let unitarian
preachers adopt similar measures in orthodox parishes, and would not their success be a hundred-fold ?
4. Measures for supporting the feeble Society. Look at the measures adopted for the support of the feeble society. A system of begging must be practised for the maintenance of the minister. His parishioners are taxed to the full extent of their ability; and then contributions and subscriptions are occasionally solicited to make up some deficiencies. Persons who attend the ordination are attacked, and bind themselves and their societies to contribute so much annually for a few years. An appeal is also made to the Home Missionary Society, which has large funds for this very object. Besides all these means, it is generally understood, that a large fund has been raised for the express purpose of establishing and maintaining orthodox societies within the borders of unitarian parishes. In these several ways, the minister receives a comfortable subsistence.
In order to increase the number of hearers, the minister adopts several singular measures. He calls upon unitarian families, and requests them to come and hear his reasons for being settled over the new society. He visits others, and assures them that their pastor is aot converted, that he does not preach the gospel, that he feels no affection for their souls. He assures them that their pastor does not preach his real sentiments, that he does not believe the sentiments he advances, that he is a universalist or an infidel. He assures them, that their pastor is not a minister of Christ, that his communicants do not constitute a Christian church, and that his ordinances are not Christian institutions. He assures them, that their pastor is a blind guide, has renounced the grand doctrines of the Reformation, and widely departed from the principles of the Pilgrim fathers. He assures them, that he shall regard no parish limits, but endeavour to convert all who are not already orthodox in sentiment. In this way, he disgusts many, and probably frightens a few into his system of operations.
. But the great instrument of increase is a revival; and for the production of one of these religious excitements, the minister and his church labor incessantly. For they are aware that there are some thoughtless persons who may be easily drawn in by such a system of operations. And the character of the minister, as a successful pastor, depends on his success in getting up these excitements. If he should not be able after one or two years to accomplish this object, he is dismissed from his society. And what is the reason assigned ? Simply this: “We do not think you well-adapted to build up a new society." Yes ; let a minister over one of your feeble churches be as eloquent and faithful as Paul, let him be really instrumental in making those who attend his ministry pious Christians; still he will be dismissed, unless he is successful in drawing from the unitarian society. I have been astonished, when I have seen young men of ingenuous feelings,
and good abilities, and respectable acquirements, thus blindly led about by the chiefs of your party, and subjected to such a life of slavery and degradation. I can account for the fact, only on the supposition that the number of orthodox candidates is large, and that they imbibe largely of the party spirit of their instructers. Now just suppose that unitarians should adopt similar measures in orthodox societies. Would you call them the most Christian and the most liberal ?
5. Reasons for establishing new Churches. Look at some of the reasons for establishing new orthodox churches. What can they be? Do you establish these feeble churches for the salvation of souls? No; you will not pretend to give this reason. For in your creed the doctrine of election is fully declared. This teaches that God has chosen a certain, limited number for heaven, and foreordained the remainder to an everlasting hell. It also teaches that the number of the elect is definite, so that neither more nor less can be saved. This doctrine is still retained in its original import. In a tract lately published, said to have been written by Dr. Beecher, the principal agent in this work of disorganization, I find these words : “Some, he, God, saves. There is a part he rescues from themselves and from perdition. THIS NUMBER IS DEFINITE.” Now if you say, the number of the elect is not definite, you give up the Calvinistic doctrine of election. And if you allow that the number is definite, then you must admit, that not one soul inore will be saved, by the establishment of your feeble churches. No; none but the elect can be saved, and they will be received to heaven at any rate; and none but the reprobate can be damned, and they must go to hell in spite of orthodox exertions. So that if you are consistent in your belief of the doctrine of election, you will never pretend that your new churches have been organized for the salvation of souls.
Will you say that the seceders from unitarian congregations were ever deprived of a single Christian right? Let us descend to particulars. Were such seceders denied the Christian name? No; so long as they professed their belief in a divine revelation, and exhibited a Christian character, this name was cheerfully granted to them. Were they denied access to the Cbristian ordinances ? No; if they gave Scriptural evidence of being true believers, their children were wil. lingly baptized, and they were cordially welcomed to the Lord's table. Were they denounced week after wcek as infidels, and coolly consigned to endless burnings for their honest opinions ? No; they were never condemned for studying and understanding the Scriptures for themselves. Were they obliged to hear doctrines advocated which shocked their very souls? No; their complaint has usually been, that the unitarian preacher did not go far enough ; that so far as he went, he was very good. And I have no doubt, that if they had judged our Saviour's preaching by the same rule, they would have come to the same conclusion. In short, can you mention a Christian right of which seceders from unitarian churches were ever deprived by their liberal brethren? If not, you will not pretend that your new societies are formed, so that the seceders can enjoy their Christian rights.
Now how very different is the treatment of those unitarians who re-. side in orthodox societies! They are denied the Christian name, and denounced as unbelievers. They are denied access to the Christian ordinances, and condemned for their honest interpretations of Scripture. They are held up in orthodox prayers and sermons, as objects of man's pity and God's displeasure. They are deliberately sentenced to hell for obeying Christ to the best of their understanding. And at this very moment, many orthodox ministers receive more than half their support from unitarian funds; for a majority of their parishes have embraced unitarian sentiments. And were unitarians to imitate the example of the orthodox, in establishing a new church wherever a few individuals could be collected, they might form more than a thousand unitarian societies forthwith. And are not the deprivations and persecutions to which they are subjected by orthodox tyranny sufficient to justify them in such an undertaking ?
Perhaps you will ask, if the orthodox have not a perfect right to adopt measures for the propagation of their peculiar faith. Undoubtedly. You have a right to adopt and pursue any Christian measures. But will you call all the measures which I have mentioned truly Christian? Would you wish me to come into your united and peaceable society, and create divisions in families, neighbourhoods, and churches ? especially, if my creed assured me that not one more soul would be saved by all my exertions. Would you wish me to travel from town to town, slandering your parish, exciting the pity of the community for your heathen condition, in order to obtain funds for the erection of a new house of worship for some thirty or forty seceders? Would this be doing as you would wish me to do unto you? If not, you cannot call such measures Christian. And if they are not Christian, can you expect the blessing of God upon such labors ? Can you believe that a God of truth and righteousness will prosper churches which have been established by intrigue, and denunciation, and misrepresentation, and extortion? I know that the miser is so prospered as to become rich in gold. But he is generally cursed by his very wealth. And I am constrained to believe, that many of your feeble churches will prove a curse to your denomination. At first they may spring up like the seed sown among thorns, and on stony ground, and by the wayside ; but they will wither away and perish before the rising sun of truth and righteousness.
What then must be our conclusion? Do not the facts which I have stated fully prove, that the measures of the orthodox for establishing feeble churches are unchristian? And do they not also fully prove,
that such measures are subversive of free inquiry, religious liberty, and the principles of congregationalism ? I must conclude that both propositions are perfectly demonstrated.
In the fifth place, I invite your attention to some of the orthodox denunciations of unitarians. I think the quotations I shall make from the writings of your authors will prove the two following distinct propositions. First, that the leaders of your party have denied unitarians almost every Christian right, and called them by almost every unchristian name. And, secondly, that all such uncharitable revilings are subversive of free inquiry, religious liberty, and the principles of congregationalism. My limits will permit me to notice but twelve different classes of orthodox denunciations under this general head, though I could easily increase the number to twelve times twelve.
1. The Orthodo.r deny Unitarians the Christian Name. Look at those passages in which orthodox writers have denied unitarians the Christian name. My first extract shall be from “ The Spirit of the Pilgrims.” “I have no hesitation in saying, that were the orthodox, with their creed and views, to treat unitarians as if they believed them to be Christians, and in a safe state, they would indeed be guilty of the most atrocious cruelty that one moral agent could well manifest towards another. There is very little danger, that any of the writers in this periodical journal will ever be punished for the cruelty of treating unitarians as if they believed them to be Christians.
My second quotation shall be from the Letters of Canonicus. “ That those, who, understanding at the time what they say, deny the original and entire corruption of the human heart, the divinity and atonement of Christ, regeneration by the Holy Spirit, gratuitous pardon through the merits of the Redeemer, and the everlasting punishment of the impenitent, are Christians, they (the orthodox) cannot concede, without renouncing all their main principles.”
My last passage shall be from your friend, Dr. Miller. “You are prepared, I hope, to decide promptly, and without wavering, that unitarians are by no means to be considered as Christians, in any Scriptural sense of the word. Rely on it, my friends, unitarians have been too long courteously called Christians, and recognised as such by the orthodox around thein. We have too long suffered the principles of worldly politeness to betray us into unfaithfulness to the cause of our master.” I hope neither you nor your friends will sorrow immoderately, that the principles of worldly politeness have betrayed you into too charitable treatment of your unitarian brethren.
Now argument is useless on this question. When I hear a person declare his firm belief in the divine origin of Christianity, and see him take the Scriptures as his only infallible rule of faith and practice, and search them with honesty and perseverance and devotion, and exhibit a