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RATIONAL FAITH

COMPETENT

TO THE WANTS OF MAN.

PRINTED FOR THE

American Unitarian Association.

BOSTON:

JAMES MUNROE & Co. 134 WASHINGTON STREET.

MAY, 1838.

Price 4 Cents.

This Tract is taken from the second number of the "Christian Teacher," an English periodical. 35, 1.63

I. R. BUTTS........ PRINTER........2 SCHOOL STREET.

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RATIONAL FAITH

COMPETENT

TO THE WANTS OF MAN.

JESUS of Nazareth knew what was in man. Unlike the enthusiast or the misanthropist, he treats him neither as an angel nor as an animal. Himself created the model of human nature, he had but to look within to learn its capabilities, and to feel its wants; and, planted amid human beings, he had but to look around him to discover where its condition fell below its destiny. To him it appears, as it really is, a nature noble, but weak; never so low as to be past hope, nor so high as to be above progress; often afflicted, yet able to rise above sorrow; tempted, yet capable of victory. His own soul was his interpreter of humanity; his own life a compendium of human experience; and when he spake to the tried or mourning spirit, he seemed to be uttering the reasonings which had been effectual with his own mind. Listen to him conversing with the afflicted, and can you fail to recognise the man of sorrows? See him melting himself before the melted penitent, and gazing on guilt

with serene and pure compassion, and can you fail to remember the struggles of the desert, to trace a soul in which the causes of sin had once risen to the surface, and which knew the effort needed to sink them again in the depths of holy resolve? Or, watch him when in contact with death, and who does not discern the spirit that had mused solemnly on mortality, and prayed near many a familiar grave, and imbibed the true peace of the immortal hope? Where, indeed, was the woe too wayward for him to understand? Where the want too refined for him to reach? All the trains of human emotions-all the group of circumstances which make up human vicissitudes, appeared to be pictured upon his imagination: he seemed like the searcher of all hearts, because he had deeply read his own.

And if Christ manifested this sympathy with every thing human, this penetration into the experience, and adaptation to the wants of man, so does his gospel. For, indeed, he is himself his gospel-he is his own truth. A sinless and immortal being is our revelation; teaching all duty by his life, and all faith by his destiny. Whatever is asserted of him, is asserted of the gospel. The written record of his history is but like his perpetuated presence upon earth; going about doing good; claiming affinities with all that belongs to human kind; insinuating itself into the heart of the repentant, and receiving on its open page his most sacred tears; bracing the feeble energies of conscience, and warming into existence new moral perceptions; lighting up visions of peace before the eye of bereavement; and saying to the troubled waters of passion," Peace! be still." Christianity has a voice for every department of our nature-an entrance at every ave

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