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and amiable spirit of the gospel toward those who differ from them, from the belief that genuine piety is not confined to any sect, but ex. ists in a greater or less degree amongst all, and that he is the best Christian, not whose speculations are in nearest accordance with the faith of the majority, but whose life and temper are most perfectly and habitually under the influence of the precepts and spirit of the Gospel.”
This will give our readers a general view of the work, and lead them to discover that its objects are important and interesting. The few numbers, which have already appeared, answer fully the promises of the Editor. The theological departmeut occupies much the largest portion, and is marked as we think with just views of religion, and a spirit of candour and liberal inquiry. There is, besides, a department for articles of intelligence, and other topics of general interest. Whoever would gain religious instruction in a familiar and agreeable way, or wishes to become acquainted with the sentiments of unitarians, and the grounds of their faith, from explanations brief, accurate, and perspicuous, will find this paper well adapted to his purpose.
On Luke i. 16, 17.
of the children of Israel shall he'turn to the Lord their God, and he [John] shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias."
Some have supposed this text to prove the deity of Christ. As it is here said, that John should before God, and as he actually went before Christ, it is inferred that Christ was God. But this is a forced interpretation, by no means required by the context, nor borne out by parallel examples. The mistake arises from giving a wrong sense to the words "go before." The meaning is, that John should go, or proceed, in the
sight of God. As in the sixth verse of the same chape ter, where it is said. “They were both righteous before God,” that is, in the sight of God. And also in Luke xii. 6, “Are not give sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God,” or in the sight of God. In each of these passages the same words are used in the original; as also in Luke i. 15, where they are translated in this sense; “And he shall be great in the sight of the Lord."*
Theological School at Harvard University. The annual visitation and examination of this school, took place July 15th, in the presence of the patrons and friends of the Institution, who were highly gratified by the proofs of diligence and fidelity in the use of their privileges exhibited by the theological students, and the promise of future usefulness in the church. During the past year thirty-five persons, exclusive of permanent officers of the College, have resided at the university as candidates for the ministry, or members of the Theological Seminary
Boston Publishing Fund Society. A society has lately been instituted in Boston for publishing and circulating books and tracts "adapted to improve the public mind in religion and morality.”
* The original-προελεύσεται ενώπιον αυτου-is rendered by Wakefield, “He will lead the way in the sight of God;” and by Archbishop Newcome it is paraphrased as follows, “He shall go before Christ in the sight of the Lord God.” See Nerocome’s New Testament, vol. i. p. 235.
The scheme proposed is on a broad foundation, and promises to be extensively useful. The general concerns of the Society are managed by trustees, who are chosen annually, and the business of selecting and publishing is submitted to a committee appointed for the purpose. The officers for the present year are George Bond, Treasurer; John S. Foster, Secretary; Rev. J. Tuckerman, Rev. J. G. Palfrey, and George Ticknor, Pub. tishing Committee.
Original Hymn from Sewall's Collection.
Trust in the Divine Goodness,
this heart, by sorrow taught,
The Articles of Association of the Charleston Unitarian Society for the Distribution of Books, will appear in the next number.
Supposed Scripture Proofs of the Trinity.
WRITER in a late number of the Presbyterian Magazine, speaking of the doctrine of the Trinity, has thus expressed himself; “It is taught by the Saviour and his apostles in the clearest manner, and in the most express terms, that language can supply.”
If this position can be maintained, it necessarily follows, that to deny the doctrine of the trinity is to reject some of the clearest and most
declarations of our Lord and his apostles, and that it would require a large portion of charity to exculpate antitrinitarians from the suspicion of wilfully rejecting an undoubted doctrine of holy scripture. Perhaps it is not therefore wonderful, if those who "think thus of the trinity” should be reluctant to acknowledge the deniers of it as christian brethren, and if they should regard their situation as extremely dangerous, since it cannot be a light matter to speak and act in opposition to the clearest evidence, and to refuse to embrace the faith taught in the New Testament "in the most express terms, that language can supply."
Such conduct would manisest great perverseness and deep rooted depravity, with which we should expect to meet only among the dregs and refuse of mankind. It
is inconsistent with every great and noble quality; particularly with integrity and the love of truth. Persons, who should evince such a total destitution of all sound and good principles in matters relating to religion, would justly forfeit every claim to confidence and respect in the common concerns of life. The only plea, that could be urged in their favour, would be, that they laboured under an unhappy defect of comprehension; but to render this plea a valid one, the defect must be so great as to incapacitate them for perceiving what was stated in the clearest manner, and in terms the most direct. Now, I ask, would such persons be fit to manage the most ordinary concerns of life, or be able to take any part in a connected and rational conversation? Yet we do not find, that those who disbelieve the trinity, are either abandoned characters, or in a state approaching to idiotism.
Suspicion therefore arises, that the language quoted in reference to the trinity may be too strong, and that it cannot stand the test of an accurate examination. Every serious believer in the christian religion would readily admit the doctrine of the trinity, or any other doctrine, on being satisfied that it was taught by our Lord and his apostles; and if they have taught the doctrine of the trinity, “in the clearest manner, and in the most express terms that language can supply,” nothing can be easier than to produce such passages.
Let them be produced, and conviction must inevitably take place in every ingenuous mind; there can be no room for doubt or hesitation. I therefore call on believers in the trinity, and more especially on such as are willing to hazard assertions like the one above quoted, to favour the public with the texts, which teach that doctrine in the most clear and explicit manner.