Page images

vals of religion in America, would find here matter for solemn thought. Was it Brainerd, or the Spirit of God attending Brainerd's ministrations, that humbled the haughty savage, and caused the fearless lords of the creation to weep for their sins, and to cry to the Lamb of God to wash away their sins, and save their souls ? Let rational Christianity answer this.

But, perhaps, you will tell me, Unitarians have now their missionary society. True, they have, and their tract society also. And what think you they will accomplish? Is it man or God, that will convert the world ? If God is to do this great work, man is no doubt to be the instrument. How then is man to effect it ? Preaching, the press, education will do much. But is not the secret of missionary effort and success to be found in a spirit of prayer ? Throughout the world, on the first Monday of every month those that worship Christ and sing hymns to him, “Quasi Deo," unite to pray to him, the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth more laborers into his vineyard, and gather in speedily an abundant harvest. Is there any such thing in existence, or was it ever conceived by any of the party, to establish a Unitarian monthly concert of prayer? If God be a hearer of prayer and “will be inquired of” as to the spiritual blessings he bestows, and Unitarianism be of a more elevated, purer and more spiritual nature than the Evangelical faith, is it not strange beyond the bounds of ordinary strangeness, that the one class are thus united, persevering, importunate in prayer, while the other class think or act as though they thought a passing Sabbath day's remembrance quite sufficient?

This ungodly world, my dear sir, is not to be brought back to allegiance to God by smooth periods, nor gentle names, nor soft, endearing epithets, nor by professions of an enlarged (but undiscriminating) charity. The time has come when the Spirit of God is lifting up a standard here,

atter for

of God Jed the

he crez of God


w their

et socis

? Is it

to de -ment." edu nary

on the spot early trod by the Pilgrims, watered by their tears, hallowed by their prayers, and still “sacred to their memory.Abroad, the vials of God's wrath would seem about to be emptied on nominal and anti-christian powers. The false prophet trembles on his throne; Babylon is shaken ; a mighty angel is flying through the heavens, preaching the gospel to all people," the kingdoms of this world are about to become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ." What has Unitarianism to do with these great events? It has had nothing to do with them, it will have nothing to do with them.

It will itself soon pass away, and leave not a ck, not a memento, behind.

The wheel of the divine government is rolling forward the divine purposes. The simple question for each one to consider is, will you lend your feeble aid in impelling it forward, or oppose its progress, and be crushed beneath its weight ? Unitarianism is not the faith once delivered to the saints. Its foundation is rotten. There is a stone, a tried stone, rejected of old by the builders, which will afford a sure foundation. Fly to that before it be too late. Based on the rock of ages, you may resemble Knox, “ who feared not the face of clay;” with Luther you may go forth to any duty, “though the devils be as thick as the tiles upon the houses;" fearing God, you need have no other fear."

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

NOTE A. Page 9. When, or by whom, this scion was inserted into the Jewish stock, the writer does not say. If he can fix the age and the author of the book of Job, and the country he inhabited, he will have taken one and the tirst step, which is always the most difficult, towards the determination. If, with one class of critics, we assign this book to Moses, or with another class, we date it still farther back in the patriarchal age, in either case it is the oldest record of human opinion; and, adopted into the Jewish canon and sanctioned by Christ and his apostles, stands forth as the first revealed expression of divine truth. Its date is thus, from six hundred to a thousand years anterior to the period assigned to Homer by any of the classical critics. But diabolical existence and agency are asserted and reiterated, not in the poetical, but in the historical parts of this book. Was it then “ carelessness or hardihood” that asserted as an undeniable fact, that " this notion was grafted on the purity of the Jewish faith from the fictions of oriental mythology”'? Did not the gentleman know, that theologians, inferior to none in exact learning, deep research, ardent piety, and studious attention to the word of God,” have discovered, in this first remaining production of the human mind, and original revelation of divine truth, a clear and distinct recognition of diabolical agency? Have they not traced this notion up to the very fountain of truth, to the light of heaven, to the inspiration of the Almighty? Did he not know that they have seen this notion, not merely engrafted into the purity of the Jewish, but ingrained and interwoven

ith the whole system of the Christian, faith ? How the could he assume, with such roundness of period, and fearlessness of consequence, (shall I add, disregard of fact ?) that this notion, presented to human contemplation in the first written record extant, and under the authoritative sanction of inspiration, was “a fiction of oriental mythology”? in other words, a dream, a fancy, an untruth? Need we be at a loss to know this gentleman's views of the sacred vol

ume"? All acknowledge the writer of the book of Job to have been a genius of the loftiest order, a sun of surpassing brilliancy, before which the lights, greater and less, of Grecian and Roman glory, fade away into dimness, or totally disappear. Why, then, are we constrained to imagine him, so meagre in imagination, so jejune in invention, so derelict of inspiration, that in order to produce this book, he had recourse to fabulous legends, and unreal phantasies ? Where is the evidence of the existence, and what was the character of these fictions? Is there any Idumaan history, any Assyrian roll, any Arabian chronicle extant, from which to hazard a conjecture on these points ? Neither Egypt nor Babylon affords a hieroglyphick, or character, by which to pierce the darkness that broods over those remote ages. Be it known, that the first period of authentic profane history commences at least seven hundred years subsequent to the latest date assigned, with any considerable degree of probability, to the author of this book. Is Herodotus to give evidence in this case ? What did he know, or could he know, upon the subject? Would you admit Tacitus and Suetonius to be credible historians in regard to the belief and the practices of even contemporary Jews ? What then could a Grecian historian, removed a thousand miles in space, and a thousand years in time, know of that remote age and distant country? Evidently, nothing. Suppose we could summon Sanchoniathon and Manetho, Berosus and Abydenus, the Ossians of history, and put them to the question, what could they testify? Nothing, nothing at all. Are we then to quit “ the sure word of prophecy,” wherein “holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” for the supposititious imaginings of a soi-disant rational Christianity? Is

pure reason,” on a subject wholly and forever beyond its unassisted grasp, of paramount authority to recorded fact and inspired decision ?

Following out the assumptions of the reviewer, we shall soon find ourselves compelled to adopt the rationalism of Röhr, Wegscheider, and their school; and if we pretend to receive the scriptures, it will be as a collection of oriental fictions, an assemblage of traditionary tenets and mythological fancies, by the aid of which, so far as they correspond with enlightened reason, we may elaborate a system of “ divine truth.” 66 Theologians, inferior to none in various and exact learning, deep research, studious attention to the word of God, and” (would it not be uncharitable not to add ?) “ ardent piety," have been unable to discover any thing more than such tenets and such fancies in the volume of inspiration. The sons of the Pilgrims are not yet so bereft of reason as to renounce revelation, and take in its place, they

« PreviousContinue »