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preached to them.' The Evangelist also informs us, that 'the common people heard him gladly. Now if Unitarian Christianity be the genuine faith ; if it be identical with the primitive gospel, it must possess the same characteristics; it will produce the same effects. It will be level to the capacities, and will meet and satisfy the wants of the humble and unlettered. If it be incapable of this; if it be suited only to men of deep thought and cultivated intellect, then, surely, it wants one of the prominent features of the genuine, primitive gospel ; and the presumption is strong that it is not 'the faith once delivered to the saints.'

It will not, then, be deemed surprising, either by the friends or the opponents of Unitarian Christianity, that we are anxious to relieve it from this popular and specious objection. Believing the views that we hold to be the truth of God, and of vital importance to the spiritual wel. fare of mankind, we feel it to be a solemn and imperative duty to prove that they stand on the vantage-ground of scripture. For the same reason, we are solicitous to vindicate them from the vague and unfounded charges that are floating about in the community. These charges are calculated, if they are not designed, to render our principles suspected and odious, to create distrust and alarm in the minds of some who hold them, and to deter the inquisitive from examining them. The objection in question, we are persuaded, is utterly groundless, and as we hope to shew, is very unjustly alleged against our views of christian doctrine. In investigating the subject, I shall first mention two circumstances which may have given rise to this charge, and invested it with some appearance of plausibility. I shall then endeavour to shew that Unis tarian Christianity is, by its very nature, suited to interest, satisfy and bless the common people. And in conclusion, I shall attempt to maintain the position by an appeal to facts and experience.

I. 1. A circumstance, which, perhaps, more than any other, has given rise and currency to this charge, is to be found in the manner in which Unitarian Christianity appeared and gained ground in this part of the country. Here, unquestionably, it was first embraced and maintained by the intelligent, reflecting, educated part of the people. It was natural that they should be the first to recognise and adopt the truth. Reformation in theology, as in everything else, usually originates with the thoughtful and well-informed, and by their influence and example is diffused through the community. Who were the authors and promoters of the Protestant Reformation, that glorious improvement, that important step towards the restoration of pure Christianity ? Certainly not the ignorant and superstitious populace of the sixteenth century, Luther, Zuingle, Melancthon, and their coadjutors, were men of extraordinary talents and profound erudition, thoroughly acquainted with all the subtilties of the scholastic theology. Without such qualifications they would have been incompetent to detect the gross errors that had become incorporated and ingrained into the popular faith, or to defend their positions against the wily disputants of the times.

The same was the case with those excellent men among us in New-England, who carried on the Reformation still farther, and led the way to the religious opinions which we now hold. From the first planting of our land, we

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VOL. III, NO, XXXVI.

were blessed with a race of learned and educated men, both in church and state. Our magistrates and our ministers, from the beginning, were accomplished scholars, and profound thinkers, coming fresh from the schools and universities of the old world, deeply versed in all the learning and theology of the day. Their descendants did not disgrace themselves by degenerating from their sires, but proceeded onwards in the career of inquiry and improvement, till, at the end of little more than a century, the result was, that the most intelligent and sensible men, both among the clergy and laity, in this part of the country, abjured the dogmas of the Genevan Reformer, and embraced the milder and more rational tenets of the Arminian faith. The reformation, so happily begun and forwarded, did not stop till the great doctrine of the undivided, uncompounded unity of God, was discerned and embraced in the metropolis of New-England and its vicinity, by almost all the men of standing and influence, who had sufficient intelligence to discriminate between truth and error, and to disentangle the plain declarations of scripture from the maze of bewildering fictions in which they had so long been involved. This ascendency which Liberal Christianity acquired, at its first development, among persons of judgment and reflection, it has ever since retained, and still possesses.

Wherever, indeed, the light of christian truth has broken in upon the darkness of prevailing error, the intelligent have usually been the first to welcome it. It was perfectly natural, therefore, that Unitarianism should, in the first instance, appear and spread, not among the ignorant and poor, but among the well-informed, occupying important stations in society. This simple circumstance,

I conceive, has given some countenance to the charge now under examination, that Unitarianism is not a religion for common minds. The primitive doctrine was revived and restored by the zealous labors of the enlightened and educated; and from this very natural circumstance a most illogical inference has been drawn, that it is suited only to them. It might just as reasonably be argued that the common implements and machines employed in the various departments of manual and mechanical labor, are suited only to the ingenious and skilful, merely because they were the first to discover and apply them. It might just as well be asserted, for instance, that the safetylamp could not possibly be handled by the ignorant miner, but was adapted solely to the use of experienced chemists, simply because we owe its invention to an individual of that description. I am surprised that any person of tolerable sense is deluded by such sophistry. No one objects to the christian revelation, that it had an all-wise God for its author, and for its promulgator one on whom the spirit of wisdom and understanding was poured without measure. Why then should any one object to Unitarianism that it was here first avowed and is still defended by men of high talents, sound sense and sober judgment? We rejoice that it had such promulgators, and that it now possesses such advocates. We rejoice, too, in the belief that it is now daily extending itself among the less informed, but no less important and worthy classes of the community.

2. There is another circumstance which perhaps has done something to countenance and foster the charge now under consideration ;-I refer to the abstruse and subtile speculations on Materialism, and Philosophical Necessity, which were so zealously maintained by some of the prominent English Unitarians towards the close of the last century. The avowal and defence of these metaphysical heresies not only subjected them to unmerited odium, but likewise brought an additional reproach on the obnoxious religious opinions of which they were at the same time the intrepid heralds and champions. It is not surprising, that the undiscriminating should consider these philosophical notions as naturally and necessarily connected with Unitarian Christianity, particularly as its distinguished advocates seemed disposed to blend them into one system and to link together their fortunes and their fate. It is less surprising that the politic and practised opponents of Unitarianism should avail themselves of such an apparent concession, to strengthen the existing prejudice against that faith. On the ground of this pretended identity they reared the objection we are examining. A system,' said they, so abstruse and metaphysical, dealing in such nice distinctions, and involved in such minute discussions, cannot possibly be level to general comprehension ; it may, perhaps, be a congenial religion for metaphysicians and philosophers, but it never will suit simple and plain men among the common people.'

It was unfortunate for English Unitarianism that it was thus linked by some of its ablest supporters with obnoxious topics totally irrelevant to it; topics which, whether true or false, had nothing to do with its characteristic principles. That they are irrelevant and independent, is proved by the simple fact, that the very points in question have been strenuously maintained by eminent Orthodox divines, and as strenuously impugned by other distinguished Unitarians. They have at different times

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