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Unitarians in that class who believe in a “ future, disciplinary punishment."*
68. “The whole Orthodox party in Germany ..... have embraced the doctrine of universal salvation.” p. 73.—This assertion is not supported even by the authority of Mr. Dwight, whom our author quotes. It is expressly contradicted by the testimony of some of the principal German theologians and commentators.
69. Speaking of the charge against some Unitarians, that they regard " the Bible not as an inspircd book, and that its decisions are not final and authoritative in the Christian church," Mr. W. says, “ A more false and injurious statement was never published.” p. 76.Our readers well know that some Unitarians do regard “the Bible as not an inspired book ;” and how they can receive its decisions as final and authoritative in the Christian churchi," while they charge it with false reasonings, mistakes, errors, and contradictions we are not able to perceive. I
70. He says that Canonicus, in his Letters to Dr. Channing, " first attempts to prove that Unitarians do not believe in the personal existence of an almost omnipotent Devil.” p. 77.—Canonicus attempts to prove no such thing.
71. Our author speaks, p. 79, of “ an extemporaneous discourse" (or sermon) “ delivered by the Rev. Mr. Green of Boston, at an evening lecture in Salem," " to an audience composed principally of females.”—This discourse or sermon was a mere address of a few minutes, and not delivered at a lecture, nor in the evening, nor “ to an audience composed principally of females.”
72. Of the American Education Society Mr. W. says, “ A considerable amount of your funds has been obtained from Unitarians, with the express understanding that indigent students of their own sentiments should be assisted." p. 81.- This false statement has been sufficiently refuted. See p. 148.
73. “ If the beneficiary wishes to receive his collegiate education at Cambridge, every possible exertion is made to FRIGHTEN him from such a proceeding.”—This is not true.
74. “ All those beneficiaries, who reside at the same literary institution, are obliged to assemble together once a month."-Advised, expected—not“ obliged.”
75. “ They must make one of their number the secretary of the body, who is to note all aberrations in thought, word, and deed.”—Entirely without foundation.
76. “One” of the prayers " is to be especially for their secretary, that he may be faithful in recording their errors and failings.” -All false.
* See Spirit of the Pilgrims, Vol. iji. p. 210.
I The reader may learn in what estimation some American Unitarians hold the Bible, by consulting a Tract, entitled “ An Exhibition of Unitarianism." pp. 6-12.
77. Speaking of the doxologies of Watts, our author affirms that he would have expunged them all from his hymn book before he died, had he not disposed of the copy-right of the work.” p. 87. -This is said, not only without evidence, but against evidence.*
Mr. W. tells a story, p. 87, of “ a high-school established in Geneseo, New York."
" Three young men, graduates of Harvard University, entered into written engagements to take charge of the institution. The simple circumstance of their receiving degrees at Cambridge was sufficient to arouse the enmity of Orthodox leaders. Accordingly the minister of the place drew up a circular," referring to all three of the young men (which Mr. W. quotes)“ and endeavored to obtain the names of the influential inhabitants of the county.” “ But it was generally known in that region that one of the three men was Orthodox in his opinions, and but few names could be obtained. A new memorial was there. fore circulated, with the word luo inserted in the place of three; and to this a large number of signatures was attached. But instead of presenting that to the stockholders, they took the names and placed them on the one I have copied. It seems they could not, in consistency with their duty to God, have young men from Cambridge, but they could practise a gross deception in perfect consistency with this duty."
Such is the statement of our author. Its various misrepresentations should be corrected as follows :
78. “The simple circumstance” that these young men received “ their degrees at Cambridge was” not " sufficient to arouse the enmity of Orthodox leaders.” Do the Orthodox oppose all, indiscriminately, who have received their degrees at Cambridge ? It was well understood that two of these young men were Unitarians, and respecting ihe third many were not satisfied.
79. “ The minister of the place" did not draw up “the circular” which our author quotes.
80. It is not true that 6 but few names could be obtained" to this circular. Almost all the names that were obtained, amounting to nearly or quite three hundred, were obtained to it.
81. It is not true that, on the failure of this circular or memorial, a new one was " circulated, with the word two inserted in the place of three, to which a large number of signatures was attached.” A memorial, with the word two inserted, was circulated in the single township of Lima (not because the people resused to subscribe the other, for tbat was not presented to them) and obtained twenty-six signers.
82. It is not true, therefore, that, by “a gross deception,” a large number of signatures” was taken from this latter memorial, and appended to the former, which had but " a few names.”+
83. “In 1804,” says our author, “it was proposed to convert the Convention into a General Association, and confer upon it the powers usually assumed and exercised by that body.” p. 89.-No such proposal was ever made in Convention. It was proposed in 1804, that the Convention recommend the adoption of certain measures preparatory to the formation of a General Association ; but not that it convert itself into a General Association ! * See Spirit of the Pilgrims, Vol. č. p. 338.
+ See Note F.
Mr. W. represents it as a “most daring" measure, that, in 1822, the Convention of Congregational ministers in Massachusetts, a body containing the Pastors of several hundred churches, were requested to define a church.
6. The North Worcester Association proposed the following question : "What is a Christian church, with which we ought to hold communion, as such ?" The whole business had been planned and concluded on with intended secrecy in Park Street vestry. The committee which had been previously selected was chosen, consisting of twelve orthodox members and one unitarian, and authorized to report at the next annual meeting. Exertion was made to have the report printed and circulated during the year, but was frustrated. Your friend, Dr. Woods, was chairman of this committee; but he did not find all the other members so tractable as he wished. He wrote a dictatorial letter to the Rev. Mr. Stearns, of Bedford ; and received in answer a few homely but wholesome truths. However, the report was finished, and at the meeting in 1823, was read to the convention. A motion was made by yourself to have it printed. But you mistook your men. No notice was taken of your desire ; but the following vote quickly passed : “ That the convention will take NO FURTHER order on the subject." And what was the substance of this famous report. Simply this. Thal a Christian church, with which we ought to hold communion, must subscribe the orthodox creed."
“Now, Sir, what was the design of your leaders in this most daring attempt? What objects did you expect to accomplish? Five. First, you wished to learn what portion of the Orthodox ministers were prepared to take up arms against the sacred rights of Unitarians ? Secondly, you wished to ascertain what portion were ready to adopt a human creed, instead of the Bible, as their standard of religious truth. Thirdly, you wished to drive the liberal clergy from the convention, either by adopting a doctrinal test, or by a direct vote of exclusion. Fourthly, you wished to know how far public sentiment would support you in withdrawing ministerial intercourse from Unitarians. And Fifthly, and especially, you wished to obtain complete possession of the funds of the convention.
This statement requires the following corrections :
84. “The whole business had” not "been planned and concluded on with intended secrecy in Park Street Vestry." There had been previous consultation on this and other subjects at meetings in the Vestry ; but these were public meetings—publicly notified, and numerously attended.
85. It is manifestly untrue that a “ Committee, previously selected, was chosen ;" since several Unitarian gentlemen, who were chosen on the Committee, declined serving, and others were substituted in their place. Dr. Bancroft, the only Unitarian on the Committee, was absent from the meeting, or it is likely he would have declined also.
86. “ Dr. Woods, Chairman of this Committee," did not write “a dictatorial letter” on the subject to the Rev. Mr. Stearns of Bedford.”
87. “ The substance of the report” was not " that a Christian church, with which we ought to hold communion, must subscribe the Orthodox creed.” Not a word was said in the report about subscribing an Orthod x creed.'
88. Neither of the five objects stated by Mr. W. were expected or desired to be accomplished by this measure, as is evident from the following extract from the report itself :
"As this Convention is not an elected or representative body, it would obviously be inadmissible that they should attempt to exercise ecclesiastical pow. er, either legislative or judicial ; or DO ANY THING which should be intended in THE LEAST DEGREE TO INTERFERE WITH THE RIGHTS OF MINISTERS OR CHURCHES TO JUDGE AND ACT FOR THEMSELVES.” And “ to prevent all possible occasion of misapprehension, as to the views of this Committee, they beg leave to declare it to be the united result of their deliberations, that after the members of the Convention shall have simply expressed their opinion respecting this report, they CANNOT, with propiety, ADOPT ANY FURTHER MEASURES RESPECTING IT, but must leave it to the unbiussed consideration of ministers and churches."
How a report, expressing sentiments such as these, was to be made the instrument of " driving the liberal clergy from the convention," obtaining complete possession of the funds,” and accomplishing other nefarious projects specified by Mr. W., it is not easy for common minds to perceive. He informs us that he came to a knowledge of the secrets of the Orthodox clergy in regard to this subject, by conversation with a student in divinity. But, on supposition that the Orthodox at that time had secret designs upon the rights and liberties of Unitarians (which we utterly deny, and which the report of their committee shows to be false) is it certain that this student was correctly apprized of them? Is it certain that what he said was any thing more than surmise and conjecture? And is the declaration of an obscure and unauthorised individual (admitting that Mr. W. has reported it correctly) sufficient ground on which to accuse and calumniate a large and respectable body of clergymen—as our author has since often donein direct contradiction, not only to their individual protestations, but to the language of their report?
Passing over several pages of insinuation and scandal unworthy even to be contradicted, we come to the following declaration respecting the sentiments of President Edwards:
89. “ This divine assures us, that the Being we call Father will be the eternal enemy and tormentor of his own children, without any fault of their own." p. 99.-Will our author, in his next" enlarged edition,” refer us to the page in Edwards where this sentiment is expressed ?
90. The views of Zuingle “were exceedingly liberal, not differing essentially, except in one or two points, from the liberal Christians of the present period." p. 103.-If by “ liberal Christians," our author means American Unitarians, his assertion has already been sufficiently refuted.
91. “ On many other points,” besides those relating to “church government,” and “ the Lord's supper," Calvin “differed, not only from Luther, but most essentially from the other Reformers.” p. 104.
-This statement will be now and strange to those acquainted with the history of the Reformation, and cannot be supported by any respectable authority. .
92. Servetus "was finally condemned to be burnt alive in a slow fire of green wood.” p. 105.—He was not "condemned to be burnt in a slow fire of green wood.”
93. “We are informed that his sufferings ” “ lasted more than two hours."-In Professor Norton's Repository, they are said to have lasted "half an hour.” Vol. iii. p. 72.
94. “Let a minister be Orthodox in sentiment, and adhere to the Scriptures ever so firmly, still you will not welcome him to pulpit exchanges, unless he will subscribe to the articles of a long human creed.” p. 107.-This is false. The writer of this article has been in the constant practice of exchanges with Orthodox ministers for the last fisteen years, and never subscribed a human creed. Very many of his brethren in the ministry can say the same.
95. Mr. W. represents, that when the members of Unitarian churches change their religious opinions,' and wish “a dismission and recommendation to another church," their request is uniformly granted. pp. 103 and 112.-We could mention a variety of instances in which such requests have been refused.
96. “Orthodox ministers formerly lived on terms of ministerial intercourse with their Unitarian brethren.', p. 111.-“ Orthodox ministers,” in general, never “lived on terms of ministerial intercourse" with known Unitarians.
97. “ A combination has latterly been formed by the leaders of the ” Orthodox “party, to prevent the interchange of kind offices and professional labors."—No such combination has been formed or exists. Cannot individuals come to the same conclusion, on a plain question of duty, without formal " combination ?"
98. “On those points in which the Reformers differed from the Catholics, they had very little agreement among themselves.” p. 112. -This assertion has been examined and refuted. See p. 132.
99. “ The doctrines of the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, the atonement, the utter depravity of human nature, unconditional election, endless punishment, and the like," " were not allowed to be examined.” “The Reformers received them without discussion." p. 114.—These doctrines were largely discussed by the Reformers, as their works testify.
100. Mr. W., having quoted the articles of the Synod of Dort, as abridged (caricatured) by Tilenus, adds, “No one acquainied with the writings of Calvin will deny that these are his real sentiments." p. 116.-These are not the real sentiments of Calvin, but a vile and criminal perversion of them. See p. 135.
101. Speaking of discussions held some years ago between Professors Murdock and Stuart, and Dr. Dana, our author says, Dr. Dana " addressed a communication to the directors of the Christian Spectator, and requested its insertion in a forthcoming number. This request being denied, he went on himself, but was unsuccessful in obtaining satisfaction. p. 124.-It happens that Dr. Dana's communication was inserted in the Spectator, and that he made no journey to New Haven on the subject.
102. Mr. W. represents the Orthodox as “ agreeing heartily”