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CHARGES

AGAINST

UNITARIANISM.

Ephraim

By E. PEABODY.

PRINTED FOR THE

American Unitarian Association.

BOSTON:

JAMES MUNROE & Co. 134 WASHINGTON STREET.

OCTOBER, 1837.

Price 3 Cents.

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

OBJECTIONS TO UNITARIANISM.

We propose, in this tract, to consider briefly some of the more common objections made to the views of Unitarians. We shall not dwell on them, for we suppose that they are objections which have no intrinsic weight with any thinking man. It would not be worth the while to speak of them at all, were it not that the unthinking attribute 'a force to them proportioned very much to the number of times they hear them repeated. We shall speak of the objections, as they occur, without any particular order. It is said:

1. UNITARIANISM IS GOOD AS FAR AS IT GOES, BUT DOES

NOT GO FAR ENOUGH.

The Orthodox have done in this case what men have often done before; they have brought against others the charge to which they themselves are peculiarly ob

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Had not the phrase been so monopolized by others, that it might, to some, sound paradoxical, we should say what is the strict and literal truth, that the reason why

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Unitarians reject the peculiar doctrines of Calvinism, is that they do not go far enough. We look on those doctrines as an approach to the truth -the dawn that precedes the sunrise- a great advance beyond Jewish, heathen and philosophic errors; but not an advance up to the full measure of christian truth. We think that the Calvinists are on the right road, but they stop at the half-way house to pure christianity-they do not come far enough. The doctrine of the Trinity is an example. The mass of men unenlightened by revelation, have always been polytheists. The christian doctrine that there is but one God, the Maker and Ruler of all things, is so vast and sublime, that it has ever been a most difficult truth for the world to learn. The ignorant heathen knew nothing of it; - the philosophers who received it, were few, if any; and for a long time, it was preserved among the Jews, only by the blazing testimony of miracle. The Trinitarian, although he hesitates at admitting this great truth in its simplicity as taught by Moses and by Christ, is infinitely in advance of the polytheism of the heathen multitude - the scepticism of the philosophers

the faltering faith of the Jews. He does not come far enough, but he is on the right road. He professes to believe, and does almost believe in the strict unity of God. The difference between him and the Unitarian is, that the latter goes a little farther, and believes it entirely, consistently, and without qualification.

So it is with the other doctrines of Calvinism. They are the opinions of men who halt between Judaism and their own speculations in philosophy and christianity. They may travel slowly and with fear, but they are on the right road.

II. UNITARIANS SET UP THE AUTHORITY OF HUMAN REA SON ABOVE THAT OF REVELATION.

It is a calumny. Unitarians do no such thing; and every intelligent man knows that the charge is false. Unitarians receive the Bible as of supreme authority in deciding all matters belonging to religious faith or practice. From its decision there is no appeal. They bow to it as the supreme law. Its commands are the commands of God. Unitarians use their reason their understanding not to pronounce what the Bible shall teach, but to see what it does teach. And is it not every one's duty to do this? Take away reason from a man, or what is the same thing, let him cease to use it, and he is an idiot. Surely no one pretends that a mind reduced to idiocy is in the best state for a profitable reading of the Scriptures. To understand what you read, you must make use of the understanding. Not to do this is to attempt to see without using the eyes. The truth is, that the real difficulty with Unitarians is not, that they use their reason in reading the scriptures, but that, use it never so much, they cannot discover the doctrines of Calvin in the inspired writings. A man may use his understanding as much as he pleases, provided that he find these doctrines between the lids of the Bible. But till Unitariaps find these doctrines, (though until that time they show their reverence for the Bible by rejecting them,) they will be subjected to the same calumnious charge of setting reason above inspiration.

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III. UNITARIANS RELY FOR SALVATION ON THEIR OWN MERITS.

As this objection is so commonly made and believed, and is altogether erroneous, we answer explicitly, and VOL. XI. NO 123.

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