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THE importance of the subjects embraced in this

discourse, and the abilities of its author, have given it celebrity. But it is promised, that "when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." How are we to look for the fulfillment of this promise? Clearly by prayer, and faithful exertions in dependence on Divine aid, as workers together with God. Seeing then that a bold and open attack has been made upon those doctrines which have been most dear to the Church in every age, it becomes those who are set for the defence of the gospel, promptly and vigorously to repel it. Whilst the poison of the rankest heresy is diligently circulated through the veins of the community, and threatening to corrupt the vitals of human hope, effectual antidotes. should be everywhere at hand.

The plan adopted in the following remarks is to follow the writer of the discourse through his introduction and argument, noticing in his own language the positions he assumed, and adverting, in the course of the discussion, to the principal reasons by which he endeavors to support them.

He is first met on the ground which he has chosen, that of general reason; and then the doctrines which he contradicts are established by testimonies from Holy Writ, and the opposition of his scheme and his piety to the doctrines and piety of the Bible and of truth, thence briefly inferred.

First. The introduction of Dr. Channing's discourse contains several views, having an important bearing upon the grand question in debate, "Whether Unitarianism or its opposite be the true religion?"

§ 1. The occasion upon which this sermon was delivered, and the services of which it was a part, may serve to throw light upon the character of that system which it advocates.

A house of worship is to be dedicated. According to the uniform usage of Scripture, such dedication is never made to any being but to God. When, therefore, with religious services, Unitarians dedicate their church to Jesus Christ, who according to them is a mere man, at most a creature, they are guilty of idolatry; for by the very act of dedication they give to a creature, equally with the Creator, the honor which is due to God alone, (2 Chron. vii., 5; Ezra vi., 16, 17.) Dr. Channing in the close of his sermon, where he resumes this subject, explains dedication, by "offering up to the only living and true God: we dedicate it to the King and Father Eternal; we dedicate it to Jesus Christ: we dedicate it to the Holy Spirit." How, then, does he dare to "offer up

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the same sacrifice to a man, and to "emanations of light and strength?"

How does this differ from dedicating temples to Jupiter, and to Virtue, or Fear? The only true answer is, the Unitarian God is a different being from the God of the Bible, who will not give his glory to another.

§ 2. In the very first page, Dr. Channing takes leave of his text (Mark xii., 29, 30) and the whole Scripture at once, and never through the whole sermon so much as pretends to establish a single point in debate by the authority of the inspired word. In this he is at least consistent with himself and the other lights of the Unitarian school-for it is their uniform endeavor to make the word of God of none effect. He informs us: "For this religious act we find, indeed, no precept in the New Testament." The old Testament he does not condescend to notice. And so, according to their own showing, Unitarians can perform religious acts without any authority from the Bible at all. To what, then, do the claims. of the Bible as a rule of life amount? Dr. Channing shall tell us.

"We are not among those who consider the written word as a statute book, by the letter of which every step in life must be governed. We believe, on the other hand, that one of the great excellencies of Christianity is, that it does not deal in minute regulation, but that, having given broad views of duty, and enjoined a pure and disinterested spirit,

it leaves us to apply these rules and express this spirit according to the promptings of the divine monitor within us, and according to the claims and exigencies of the ever-varying conditions in which we are placed that revelation is not intended to supersede God's other modes of instruction; not to disown, but to make more audible, the voice of nature." Having denied the binding force of any minute regulations, and admitted nothing but views of duty so broad as to convey (if Unitarian practice is any illustration of their theory) no definite instructions at all, this oracle of Unitarianism betakes himself to the more intelligible dictates of nature.

Not only will their broad views of Scripture permit them to perform religious acts, but to form their religious creed, not only without the slightest intimations from the Divine word, but in direct contradiction to its explicit declarations. Of this, the sermon under consideration is a fine specimen. Dr. Channing, however, is not alone in his views of Scripture. Anti-Trinitarians of every age since the days of Socinus have agreed in refusing to be trammelled or restricted in their views by the decisions of Scripture, however numerous or clear.* Faustus Socinus, after having condemned the received doctrine of atonement, says: "Ego quidam etiamsi non semel sed sæpe id in sacris monimentis scriptum extaret; non id circo tamen ita rem prorsus se habere crederem."

* See Magee on Atonement, vol. i., pp. 132-134, and 157.

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