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doctrine of. the Trinity rests for its belief on Scriptural authorities or On early religious impressions.
The Editor mentions ironically (in Page 3) tha my success in scriptural studies was Buch "as to prove that the most learned and pious in every age of the church have been so completely mistaken as to transform the pure religion of Jes'is into the most horrible idolatry." In answer to thi<, I only beg to ask the llevd. Editor to let me know first what a Protestant in the fifteenth century c >uld have answered, if he had been thus questioned by a Roman Catholic "Is your success in examining the truths of scripture such as to prove that the most learned and pious in every a;e of the church have been so completely mistaken as to transformthe pure religion of Jesus into the most horrible idolatry by introducing the worship of Mary the motherof God, and institutingimiges in churches, as well as by acknowledging the J'ope as the head of thechureh vested with tha power of forgiving sins?" Would not his answer be this " My success is indeed so as to prove these doctrines to be unscriptural. As to your inferencps they are no more divine than mine and though 1 do not doubt, the piety and learning of many Christians of your church in every
age, T am persuaded that many corruptions, in troduced into the Christian religion hy the Homan heathens converted in the fourth ami fifth, centuries, have been handed down through successive generations*hy impressions made in the early part of life, and have tiken such root in the munis of men that piety and learning have fallen short of eradicating prejudices nourished by church and state, as well as by the vulgar superstition and enthusiasm." Were this reply justifiable, I also might be allowed to off^r the following answer: "lfind not the doctrine of the Trinity in the scriptures; I cannot receive any human creed for divine truth ; hut without charging the supporters of this doctrine with impiety or fraud humbly attribute their misinterpretation of the scriptures to " early religious impressions."
The Editor assigns as a reason for his omission of several arguments adduced in the Second Appeal that" we have before us a work of a hundred and seventy-three paiies, to an examination of which we can scarcely devote half that number: and while to leave a single pa<ie unnoticed, might by some be dermed equivalent to leaving it unanswered, the mere transcription of the passages to be answered, were it done inevery instance, would occupy nearly all the room we can give the reply itself. Weshall therefore adduce suchevioence for these doctrines, as if sound, will render every thin? urged against them nugatory though not particularly noticed." To enable the public to compare the extent of the second appeal with J;hat of the review, 1 beg to observe that the former contains 173 widely primed and the latter 128 closely printed pages, and that if any one will take the trouble of comparing the number of words per page in the two Essays he will soon satisfy himself that the one is as long as the other. I will afterwards notice in the course of ihe present reply whether or not " the evidence of these doctrines" adduced by the Editor in the Keview has still le't a great many arguments in the Appeal quite unanswered.
In his attempt to prove the i isiffi-ipncy of the precepts of Jesus to procure men peace and b ipoiness, the Revd. Editor advanced the following position" that the most excellent precepts, the most perfect law can never lead to happiness and peace unless by,causing men to take refuge in the doctrine of the cross' (No. 1 Quarterly Series of the Friend of India page 111), without adducing any arguments having reference to the position. 1 therefore
brought to his recollection (in my First and Second Appeals) such authorities of the gracious author of Christianity as 1 conceived established the sufficient y of tluse precepts for leaomg to comfort, and so<icited the Editor "to point out in order to establish Ids po' sition, even a single passage pronouactd by Jesus, enjoining refuse in the doctrine of the cross as all-suffici^nt or indisi ensable for salvation." (oa»e 9 of the Second Appeal) The Kditor instead of endeavouring to demonstrate the truth of his assertion as to the ii sufficiency of th" precepts to conduct m< n to Imppiinss. or shewioir a sin«ie passage of the nature applied lor, introduces a great number of other pas«a»es of scripture which he thinks well calculated to prove that tha death of Jtsus was an atonement for the sins of mankind. 1 regret that the Editor t-boulu have adopted such an irregular mode of arguing in solemn religions discussion; and 1 still more regret to find that some readers should overlook the want of conr ection between the position advanced and the authorities adduced by the Editor. Were we both to adopt such a mode of controversy as to cite passages apparently favourable to our respective opinions without adhering to the main ground, the number of his Reviews and of my Appeals
would increase at least in proportion to the number of the years of our lives; for verses and quotations of scripture, if unconnected with their context and interpreted without regard to the idiom of the languages in which they were written, mar, as experience has shewn, be adduced to support any doctrine whatever; and the Editor may always find a majority of readers of the same religious sentiments with himself, satisfied with any thing that he may offer either in behalf of the Trinity or in support of the atonement.
Whether Jesus died actually as a sacrifice for the sins of men, or merely in the fulfilment of the duties of his office as the Messiah, as it was predicted, is merely a matier of opinion, the truth of which can only be ascertained from a diligent examination of the terms used and doctrines set forth in the evaneelical writings. This however has no relation to a proof or disproof of the sufficiency of his precepts for salvation. In order to come to a conclusion as to the value of the precepts of Jesus being either really effectual or merely nominal, I deem it necessary to repeat a few passages already quoted in my Appeals, to ask the Editor whether they demand explicit belief or are unworthy of credit, aud in case he