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He manifested no exclusive spirit of selfrighteousness himself, and took every possible opportunity of condemning it in his disciples. Even when he instituted the simple and affecting ordinance of the supper, he partook of the consecrated elements with those who, though sincere, he knew were still involved in many errors; thus leaving for the everlasting benefit of the church an example of the most unbounded charity.
If then we disregard these instructions and examples, our conduct will be at variance with our profession. If we neglect the particular duties of piety, the worship and love of God, the study of the scriptures, the observance of the sabbath, and the religious improvement of ourselves and families, do we not disobey his injunctions? Or if we neglect the peculiar duties of benevolence, condemn our fellow Christians for the lawful exercise of their rights, refuse communion with them merely on account of their opinions, and deliberately deny then the christian name, because they will not assent to our interpretations of scripture, do we not violate the law of love? Must we not regard those as inconsistent professors, who do not make religion a serious and constant concern, and endeavor to learn its requisitions from the volume of inspiration; who do not receive Jesus as their Saviour, and make his gospel the standard of their faith and practice; who do not exercise towards the Messiah that living faith, which works by love, purifies the heart, and overcomes the world; who do not feel for their sins that godly sorrow which produces thorough reformation of heart
and life; who do not possess for God that holy love which influences to a devotedness to his service, a resignation to his will, and a worship of his name; who do not entertain for their fellow-men that christian charity which manifests itself in amiable dispositions, benevolent wishes, kind offices, and forgiving tempers; in short, all who do not habitually endeavor to obey the command, imbibe the spirit, and imitate the example of Christ Jesus? B. W.
LIBERALITY AND BIGOTRY.
MESSRS EDITORS, I think that if we look over the catalogue of great minds, really great I mean, we shall find that such minds have usually been distinguished for candor and charity. I was forcibly impressed with this thought on recently meeting with a remark of Dr Jortin, relating to Bishop Taylor, Chillingworth, Locke, and others. The remark is introduced by the following quotation. 'And now, if men will say I persuade to indifferency, I must bear it as well as I can. I am not yet without remedy, as they are; for patience will help me, and reason cannot cure them.' 'The words,' says Jortin,*are borrowed from a pious, ingenious, learned, charitable, and sweet tempered Bishop, [Jer
*Preface to Remarks on Ecclesiastical History.
emy Taylor] who, with a noble candor and generous openness, pleads the cause of Liberty of Prophesying,' and who never was censured for it by any man worth the mentioning, though probably he was reviled by those who called Tillotson an Atheist.' If these two excellent prelates,' he continues, 'and Erasmus, and Chillingworth, and John Hales, and Locke, and Episcopius, and Grotius, and many who shall not be named, had been contemporaries, and had met together freely to determine the important question, What makes a man a Christian, and what profession of faith should be deemed sufficient,' they would probably have agreed, notwithstanding the diversity of opinions which they might all have had on some theological points. There have been others indeed, who on such an occasion would have given us an ample catalogue of 'Necessaries,' the inference from which would have been, that it must needs be a very learned, and a very subtle, and a very ingenious thing to be a good Christian; for some of these 'Necessaries' are of so refined a nature, that the understanding can hardly lay hold of them, or the memory retain them.'
Such is the language of Dr Jortin, who, as it is well known, was a Trinitarian. It is worthy of notice that of the eight individuals he mentions in such marked terms of respect, two, Chillingworth and Locke, and I believe I may add Episcopius, were Unitarians. All three, together with John Hales, were denounced as Socinians by the bigots of their time, and one of them, Chillingworth, it seems, has been recently brand
VOL. I.-NO. IV.
ed by a writer in the 'Spirit of the Pilgrims,' as an infidel. But Jortin was more liberal. Though a believer in the trinity, he did not withhold the christian name, nor withdraw his esteem, from those who rejected it. He was no exclusionist, nor was Bishop Watson, nor Dr Parr. These men, and we might name many more from the ranks of Trinitarians, knew nothing of the arbitrary test which the conductors of the above mentioned work have seen fit to set up, and according to which, half at least of the ablest defenders of the truth of Christianity must be adjudged infidels. I fear that Professor Stuart himself would not stand this test, for if I understand his views of inspiration, they would not satisfy the writer of one or more recent articles in that work.
That the result of a conference between the above named individuals, partly Unitarian, and partly Trinitarian, would have been such as Dr Jortin supposes, I think there can be no doubt. Such men can never be bigots, narrow and exclusive. Several of them were in advance of their age, were the champions of civil and religious liberty, and afforded evidence of their sincerity by suffering in its cause. Locke was compelled to fly from his country, and for years lived a wanderer and an exile, sometimes in concealment, it being unsafe even in Holland for him to appear abroad, the king, (Charles II,) having discovered his retreat and demanded through his embassador that he should be arrested and sent back.*
*Some account of this disgraceful business, and of the share which Bishop Fell, the base priest who then filled the see of Oxford, and
Episcopius, another of the eight, a celebrated Arminian of Holland, was on account of his opinions, and his efforts in favor of religious toleration, expelled the Synod of Dort, deposed from the ministry, and banished from the territories of the Republic; and Grotius, for a similar cause, was condemned to perpetual imprisonment.
Of such men it may truly be said, the world was not worthy.' But bigots of all ages are the same. They measure all by their own diminutive standard. They cannot bear that others should see further, or more clearly than themselves.
The spirit of bigotry, certainly, is not extinct at the present day. It is matter of deep regret that so large a portion of it still exists in the christian world. All good men must lament that any, professing to be followers of the meek and merciful Jesus, should so far forget their fallibility and weakness, as to venture to dogmatise on subjects which lie beyond the reach of the senses;-that they should so far forget charity, as to permit themselves to denounce as blind and infidel, destitute of all piety and virtue, those whose views do not in all respects coincide, or whose fervors do not rise to the same pitch, with their own. What claim, I ask, has a person to set himself up as a judge of the faith and character of his fellow Christians?
He undertakes, it may be, to sum up the amount
deanery of Christ Church,' had in it, may be found in the Edinburgh Review No. 99. The materials are taken from Lord King's Life of John Locke, recently published in England.