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but too truly penetrated to the soul, there are still nature and reason there, which wage continual battle with it; and though they may not achieve its defeat, they are sure to cramp its malignant energies. All the charities of nature are for us. All the instinctive affections of the heart, all the unbiased judgements of natural reason are unweariedly fighting for us. All these things are on our side, I repeat, because they are not against us. Their natural operations, when left to themselves, favor us. The things which are against us, are only those which are artificially built up, as special bulwarks, for the defence of the Orthodox system. Such are exclusiveness, encouraged prejudice, wilful ignorance;
npatience of inquiry, represented as strength of faith; caution in adopting opinions, stigmatised as unbelief; unnatural excitement; morbid fears; and those most artificial of all the inventions men ever have sought out for themselves, the complex, metaphysical doctrines which defy common sense, and astound simple nature, and turn away the charity of man from his brother
Now let us pause on this simple statement, and ask which of the two systems of religion derives from it the strongest appearance of truth; that which possesses so much native probability, so much innate strength and vitality, that it gathers sustenance from all things except what are directly and laboriously contrived to oppose it; refusing to die; incapable of famishing; striving and thriving on, in the midst of the most deadly weapons that skill could forge on purpose to destroy it;
thus evincing all the hardihood of truth: Or that system, which must be bolstered up all round with factitious elaborate aids, or it falls and perishes of its own feebleness; which finds no aliment in the healthy simplicity of nature, but must receive it from the stimulating compounds of art; which has all things against it, but what are made by its adherents to be for it?
That the defences of orthodoxy are artificial, and that its leaders are afraid to trust it for a moment out of these defences, I need not refer for proof to the nonintercourse measures which they have adopted as their only safe policy. They keep their Orthodoxy shut up, vigilantly guarded, within the high castles of their exclusiveness; and think they cannot be too diligent in multiplying the walls of separation around them. They will not let it come out to breathe the free air of heaven; there is danger in it. There is danger. Experience has made them wise. Wherever there is a free and equal ecclesiastical communion between different sects, they know the tendency is to liberal sentiments. The generous principles of our nature no sooner feel the check, which intolerance has fastened on them, taken off, than they show that whatever is not factitiously against us, is naturally for us.
I may point, for a striking illustration of this, to both the English and American Episcopal Churches. In these, it is true, there are palpable standing fixtures for the maintenance of the popular faith, which are not found in other churches; but this makes the argu
ment stronger. For notwithstanding all these; in despite of canons of discipline, articles of faith, and a highly concentrated sectarian liturgy, all formed with express and most ingenious reference to the support of the opinions of the formers, it is a fact, that in these very churches, where the simple accidental worshipper cannot drop in at any time, to say his prayers, without being made to acknowledge, in form, the doctrine of the Trinity with all its appendages, and perhaps half a dozen times over before he goes out; and, to pray, withal, much of the time, not to his "Father in heaven," but to this strange, unconceived, unaffecting, repulsive idea of a "Trinity;" where, too, the sternest Calvinist attends, with delighted approbation of all he reads in more than "Thirty Nine" formularies of belief, or hears repeated in every mode of worship from the reading-desk; even there, because for many years the pulpit did not agree with the reading-desk, but the clergy, preferring practical to doctrinal preaching, did not forever press upon their hearers the disputed points that run so counter to the grain of natural conscience, these points fell naturally out of belief, almost out of remembrance; church-members did not know of them; they received them as "strange things brought to their ears;" and were as much shocked as any at "such barefaced wrongs against their Maker's character; such injurious impeachments of his clemency; nay, such atrocious charges against his justice." This was their own indignant style of reprobation. And even at this day, as is well known I presume, it is not very easy to
find in that highly estimable denomination, a clergyman who is a Calvinist, or learned layman who is a decided Trinitarian. Thus, unlikely as we should have thought it, has that church been for us, what Judaism was for Christianity, the efficient though unwilling preserver of divine truth, in the midst of error and hostility pressing it very close on every hand.
I have compared the particulars that are for us among Orthodox bodies with those that are against us, as to their number and origin. We have seen that they which are for us are more in number than they that are against us. We have seen too that they have the advantage in origin likewise. They are founded in nature; their author is God. The others are founded in art; their author is man. Let us now regard the comparison they bear to one another in point of moral nature.
It is evident, at the first glance, that the qualities in our pious opposers, which I have enumerated as tending to favor our sentiments, are decidedly good in their social influences; good for fostering virtue and happiness both within and around the mind which is blessed with them. But the circumstances which seem to be against us, what is obviously their nature? Would not impartial judges say, that at best they were indifferent in their moral character, and uncertain in their influence on human happiness? Review them closely again, and they will be thought to deserve a harsher judgement. They are, I conceive, only "the system of exclusiveness;" the discouragement of fearless free
inquiry; prejudice wilfully hardening itself down into inherited opinions, as the first of duties; forced nervous excitement; morbid terror, engendered by superstition; and the continual, unvaried, pertinacious preaching of "the Five points" of Calvinism, as "the sweetness, essence and marrow of THE Gospel." These are all the antagonist powers we fear. Without these, all their other characteristics are innocuous, or desirable. Without these, that merest abstraction, the doctrine of a Trinity, could not stand a day as to any practical influence. It would be paralyzed, as facts show. It would sink away out of sight, and die a natural death.
We have now the question; for which of the two religious systems does this last comparison give testimony? Which appears from it most likely to be from God? That which comprehends many excellences, doubtless, but receives support from nothing peculiar to itself but what an indifferent third party would pronounce useless or bad; or that which embraces all the other's excellences, and is characterized and supported only by what an indifferent third party would pronounce not bad, though useless perhaps, and probably useful and good; promoted by all things useful and good, when they are allowed to operate unshackled? We claim all these as our own by nature. We think the finger of God has marked our name upon them. We claim all qualities, all sentiments, all principles practically, confessedly good and useful, for the support of liberality, though they be found, as they abundantly