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tested, I regard as the steps, the vestibule, and the portal of the Temple. 3. The sense, the inward feeling, in the soul of each Believer of its exceeding desirableness-the experience, that he needs something, joined with the strong Foretokening, that the Redemption and the Graces propounded to us in Christ are what he needs this I hold to be the true FOUNDATION of the spiritual Edifice. With the strong a priori probability that flows in from 1 and 3 on the correspondent historical evidence of 2, no man can refuse or neglect to make the experiment without guilt. But, 4, it is the experience derived from a practical conformity to the conditions of the Gospel-it is the opening Eye; the dawning Light; the terrors and the promises of spiritual Growth; the blessedness of loving God as God, the nascent sense of Sin hated as Sin, and of the incapability of attaining to either without Christ ; it is the sorrow that still rises up from beneath and the consolation that meets it from above; the bosom treacheries of the Principal in the warfare and the exceeding faithfulness and long-suffering of the uninterested Ally ;-in a word, it is the actual Trial of the Faith in Christ, with its accompaniments and results, that must form the arched Roof, and the Faith itself is the completing Key-stone. In order to an efficient belief in Christianity, a man must have been a
my father, and
Christian, and this is the seeming argumentum in circulo, incident to all spiritual Truths, to every subject not presentable under the forms of Time and Space, as long as we attempt to master by the reflex acts of the Understanding what we can only know by the act of becoming. c. Do the will of
shall KNOW whether. I am of God." These four evidences I believe to have been and still to be, for the world, for the whole church, all necessary, all equally necessary; but that at present, and for the majority of Christians born in christian countries, I believe the third and the fourth evidences to be the most operative, not as superseding but as involving a glad undoubting faith in the two former. Credidi, ideóque intellexi, appears. to me the dictate equally of Philosophy and Religion, even as I believe Redemption to be the antecedent of Sanctification, and not its consequent. All spiritual predicates may be construed indifferently as modes of Action or as states of Being. Thus Holiness and Blessedness are the same idea, now seen in relation to act and now to existence. The ready belief which has been yielded to the slander of my“potential infidelity,” I attribute in part to the openness with which I have avowed my doubts, whether the heavy, interdict, under which the name of BENEDICT SANOZA lies, is merited on the whole
or to the whole extent. Be this as it may, I wish, however, that I could find in the books of philosophy, theoretical or moral, which are alone recommended to the present students of Theology in our established schools, a few passages as thoroughly Pauline, as compleatly accordant with the doctrines of the established Church, as the following sentences in the concluding page of Spinoza's Ethics. Deinde quo mens amore divino seu beatitudine magis gaudet, eó plus intelligit, eó majorem in affectus habet potentiam, et eó minus ab affectibus, qui mali sunt, patitur : atque adeò ex eo, quód mens hoc amore divino seu beatitudine gaudet, potestatem habet libidines coercendi, nemo beatitudine gaudet quia affectus coercuit; sed contra potestas libidines coercendi ex ipsâ beatitudine oritur.
With regard to the Unitarians, it has been shamelessly asserted, that I have denied them to be Christians. God forbid! For how should I know, what the piety of the Heart may be, or what Quantum of Error in the Understanding may consist with a saving Faith in the intentions and actual dispositions of the whole moral Being in any one Individual ? Never will God reject a soul that sincerely loves him: be his speculative opinions what they may: and whether in any given instance certain opinions, be they Unbelief, or Misbelief, are compatible with
a sincere Love of God, God only can know. But this I have said, and shall continue to say: that if the Doctrines, the sum of which I believe to constitute the Truth in Christ, be Christianity, then Unitarianism is not, and vice versâ: and that in speaking theologically and impersonally, i.e. of PSILANTHROPISM and THEANTHROPISM as schemes of Belief, without referrence to Individuals who profess either the one or the other, it will be absurd to use a different language as long as it is the dictate of common sense, that two opposites cannot properly be called by the
I should feel no offence if a Uni. tarian applied the same to me, any more than if he were to say, that 2 and 2 being 4, 4 and 4 must be 8.
Εξ αγαθων εβαλον.
PINDAR. Nem. Ode xi.
This has been my Object, and this alone can be my Defence--and O! that with this my personal as well as my LITERARY Life might conclude! the unquenched desire I mean, not without the consciousness of having earnestly endeavoured to kindle young minds, and to guard them against the temptations of Scorners, by showing that the Scheme of Christianity, as taught in the Liturgy and Homilies of our Church, though not discoverable by human Reason, is yet in accordance with it; that link follows link by necessary consequence;
that Religion passes out of the ken of Reason only where the eye of Reason has reached its own Horizon; and that Faith is then but its continuation: even as the Day softens away into the sweet Twilight, and Twilight, hushed and breathless, steals into the Darkness. It is Night, sacred Night! the upraised Eye views only the starry Heaven which manifests itself alone: and the outward Beholding is fixed on the sparks twinkling in the aweful depth, though Suns of other Worlds, only to preserve the Soul steady and collected in its pure Act of inward Adoration to the great I AM, and to the filial WORD that re-affirmeth it from Eternity to Eternity, whose choral Echo is the Universe.
ΘΕΩ ΜΟΝΩ ΔΟΞΑ.
Printed by S. Curtis, Southampton Pluce, Camberwell.