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amount? Simply to this. We reject some doctrines which a class of our fellow Christians think matters of revelation, but which the Bible, properly understood, does not, in our view, teach. In other words, we reject certain human expositions of the language of the scriptures. We do not bow our understandings to any human guides. Having discarded the papal claims to infallibility, we do not see fit to take a Protestant Pope. We would as soon surrender our liberty to the church of Rome, as to any modern pretenders to infallibility. We have resolved that in matters of faith we will not be in bondage to any man'. We have the presumption to attempt to read the Bible, and decide upon its import for ourselves. This is our crime, and our only crime. For this we are stigmatized as infidels, and reprobates.
We have more reverence for Jesus, than for human teachers, who partake with us of a frail and fallible nature. We think ourselves bound to search his instructions, bound to seek truth at the fountain head. We cannot, in a matter of such moment, take our opinions on trust; we should feel guilty if we did so. We regard one as our master, even Christ; from him we would derive our faith. We view him as the true light, and we would seek illumination from him, conceiving that his doctrines have the sanction of divinity. This is our impiety, and the whole of it. For this our names are cast out as evil; for this we are told that we deserve, and shall find the hottest place in hell.
Unitarians believe that the Bible contains inspired truth, that it is a faithful record of the revelations which God has been pleased to make to the world, and that too much labor cannot, therefore, be expended in the attempt to understand and explain it. They yield to none in their reverence for the Bible, and as a body, have been inferior to no class of Christians in their exertions to defend and illustrate it. They have written much, and successfully, on the evidences of Christianity. They have stood forth its champions to turn aside the weapons of the unbeliever. Their writings bear abundant testimony to their deligence and zeal in the cause of revelation. The books and treatises they have furnished in support of the claims of the religion of Jesus, are read and appealed to by all classes of Christians. Yet these men are branded as the enemies of Christianity, blasphemers and impious!
But Unitarians, it is alledged, do not believe that every word, syllable, and letter of the Bible is inspired; they believe its doctrines inspired, but not, as it is said, its language; the matter, but not the style; the thought, but not the turn of expression in which it is conveyed; and therefore, it is dogmatically asserted that they are to be classed with infidels. Now we say, be the charge true or false, it does not in the least affect their claim to the name of Christians. The only article of faith necessary to constitute a Christian, as before shown, is a belief that Jesus is the Messiah or Christ, the sent of God. This belief, as we observed,
necessarily implies a belief of the miraculous origin of Christianity, a belief that it originated with God. Now suppose a person convinced of this, convinced that Christianity originated with God, and moreover that the apostles were fully instructed in the nature of its doctrines, either by Jesus himself during his abode on earth, or by miraculous gifts of the spirit after his ascension, he is at perfect liberty, we conceive, to believe that they were left to state the doctrines, of the nature of which they were thus accurately informed, in the language, which appeared to their minds best fitted to convey them, or that the words they employed were suggested by inspiration, which superseded the use of their natural faculties. He is at perfect liberty, we say, to adopt either of these conclusions, and he may be just as good a Christian in the one case as in the other, though we do not say that he will give equal evidence of being a sound theologian and critic.
Why will men persist in blending questions which have no necessary connection with each other? The inquiry relating to the character and origin of the style employed by the sacred writers, is of some importance, but it is one which has obviously nothing to do with at belief or disbelief of the truth and divine authority of the Christian religion. It is one of those questions, which Christians should consent to discuss amicably, as not affecting the fundamental verities' of the Gospel.
THE RELIGION OF THE NATURAL MAN.
How many persons, after they have been converted, as they suppose, from the world to God, and from the flesh to the spirit, still retain a great deal of the natural man,' even in their religion, and in what they con-sider the best part of it, too! The natural man, or animal man, in contradiction to the spiritual man, is one who is ruled by sensual and external impulses rather than by reason and moral sentiments. And yet how often do we see strong animal sensibilities valued, almost boasted of, as the most elevated religious enthusiasm!
I need not say this is more particularly the case among our Orthodox friends, and in the less enlightened parts of the country, to a more lamentable degree than in our debateable land' here, where the light has been so long struggling against darkness. Their zealots pride themselves on a physical inflammability, on a diseased state of the nervous system, as the surest evidence of deep earnestness and zeal in devotion. Nay, they not only take this for the highest attainment in religion; it is the whole of it. They are shy of allowing piety to any one who is not of such an excitable temperament. A man may have the strongest principle; unwavering convictions of religious duty; unexceptionable habits of life, devout as well as moral; he may from strictest regard to christian obligations do just
ly, love mercy, and walk humbly with his God; and yet if he be not constituted with certain natural feelings, which really often seem, in some of their most admired manifestations, to come little short of what, in other cases, would be called simply bad temper, he is by no means a christian of celebrated piety. He wants grace; his religion is low, and worldly, and lukewarm ; all from the head, not the heart. He may be a very moral man, but he has not the one thing needful. He is a legalist, unregenerate, a natural man. This word says all; and its evil potency is such that it can annul all epithets of praise in company with it. The poor Unitarian is of course a natural man;' and so, though he may be acknowledged moral, amiable, benevolent, and devout in his way, all this goes for nothing. Yet lacketh he one thing, and that one thing is all.
Now I take it, the objector to his christianity is more likely to be the true natural or animal man in his views of religion. This graceless, unsanctified moralist, as he is termed in half reproach, under the power of his unyielding principles we suppose free from the dominion of all animal lusts and passions, which war against the soul. His is not the carnal mind which is enmity against God. It is at once and directly his religion, and not merely a dictate of undervalued morality, to curb in the senses. But the other, though he may equally deny the animal propensities in sinful indulgences, yet might be told that he places the very essence of his piety in the stimulating of sensibilities