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speculations on that of politics. In common justice you ought to have added these; for, in that case, the "affirmative articles of our faith" would have formed a much longer catalogue.

man Jesus Christ from the dead." On the subject of inspiration Unitarians differ. They also entertain various opinions respecting the extent of the additions made in the gospels; but that some additions have been made to Scripture you will not venture to deny, until you think fit to take up the defence of the exploded passage respecting the "Three which bear record in heaven."

In the second place, supposing a belief in necessity to be justly imputed to Unitarians as part of their faith, it is utterly false that they draw from it the absurd deductions which yon declare them to affirm. When and where, Sir, did Mr. Belsham or any other Unitarian maintain that "the Christian religion precludes all remorse for our sins?" When indeed was it asserted that necessity was a part of the Christian religion at all, except by the late eloquent Bishop of St. Asaph, who was no intentional supporter of Dr. Priestley's cause? Above all, where is the necessarian, or the writer understanding English, who ever maintained that sins were not guilt? Perhaps he also asserted that guilt was not sin, and that sin was not sinful. But to pass by the absurdity of the expression, it is not true that the advocates of the doctrine of necessity affirm that it destroys all moral distinctions between good and evil. Had you merely asserted that such a deduction would follow from the admission of their premises, it would have been a matter of argument, not of denial. But you have taken a different course you have declared that they maintain the conclusions in their most absurd and obnoxious form; nay, that they derive them, not from the doctrine of necessity, but from their view of the Christian religion. This is a most important charge on a point of fact, and you have not the shadow of evidence to support it. You first unjustly represent necessity as a doctrine of Unitarianism; and then put into the mouth of Unitarians at large, supposed deductions from it that even those of them who received it never made, cloathed in language which no man of common sense could condescend to utter !

The third "article" is thus expressed: "They believe the gospels, though not written by inspiration, to be authentic histories on the whole, though with additions and interpolations. And on the authority of these writings, confirmed by other evidence, they believe in the resurrection of the

The fourth "article" contains as strange a clustre of misrepresentations as was ever found in the same number of lines. It stands as follows: "On the historic credibility of this event (the resurrection of Jesus) they believe the resurrection of the body, which, in their opinion is the whole man, at the last day: and differ from other churches in this only, that while other Christians believe that all men will arise in the body, they hold that all the bodies that had been. men will arise."

Now first it is not on the "historic credibility of Christ's resurrection" only that Unitarians believe in the resurrection of man. It is impossible that the mere fact, though ever so clearly established, could prove even that another individual would be reanimated by a similar miracle. They believe the resurrection of all men because it was taught by Christ and his apostles; and they believe Christ and his apostles, because the fact of his being raised set the seal of divinity upon his mission and proved the veracity of his character. They regard it also as a visible symbol, as a marvellous and a prophetic sign, of the redemption of all from the power of death and the grave. In this sense they agree with St. Paul that all whe have fallen asleep have perished if Christ be not risen; and that faith and hope would in this case be mere delusions. But it has never been asserted that taken alone, the rcsurrection of one demonstrated the reanimation of all. The censure, therefore, implied in this statement is utterly without foundation.

Secondly, It is not true that Unitarians as such believe the body to be "the whole man at the last day." Taking this proposition in its literal sense, it is too absurd to have met with any sensible ádvocate. That these our mortal frames which, in this life," are perpetually changing,

270 On Coleridge's Attack on the Unitarians contained in his Second Lay Sermon.

should be raised from the corruptions of the grave with all their human infirmities about them, is no less contrary to Scripture than to the evidence which our senses afford us. Some, indeed, have supposed that there are certain stamina of the material frame which are preserved amidst the decay of the rest, and form the link which connects the present mortal with the future incorruptible man. But, generally speaking, materialists themselves are contented with believing that we shall hereafter be to all moral purposes the same, by retaining the consciousness of our past in the new attire of our immortal being. They, as well as other Christians, believe we shall rise again to a new and a glorious life, and are willing to trust the Divine goodness and wisdom respecting its mode, of which we can here form no adequate conceptions.

But, thirdly, supposing there were any class of men who believed in the resurrection of the bodies of all, in a literal sense, it is utterly unjust to confound them with Unitarians. Indeed, the system of materialism, in any form, has no connexion with a single distinguishing doctrine of the Unitarian creed. It does not affect the oneness of God or even the mere humanity of Christ. It may, indeed, be "verified from the writings of Mr. Belsham"-though, even there, you will search in vain for the absurdities you have imputed to us. But, highly as we esteem Mr. B. we do not acknowledge all his sentiments as our own. He is our instructor, but not our oracle. We look higher for our leader than any living writer how ever excellent, or even any dignitary however invested with spiritual powers or adorned with external grandeur. We subscribe to no creed but the Scriptures; we acknowledge no master but Christ.

Fourthly, Supposing that the Unitarians at large held that "all the bodies that had been men will arise," it would be untrue that "in this they differ from other churches." In fact the very reverse of the proposition is true. They do not hold the resurrection of the body as a part of their religious creed but the Church of England thus inculcates it. What, Sir, have you forgotten "THE APOSTLES' CREED? Do you not recol

lect that, in the plainest language, it
asserts the doctrine against which
your indignation is directed? Are
you so little acquainted with the
formularies of the church you revere,
as not to know that all her members,.
on almost every occasion of divine
service, solemnly assert that they be-
lieve in "THE RESURRECTION OF
THE BODY?" And yet it is, in the
supposed belief of this absurdity, that
'you represent us as "differing from.
other churches!"

The fifth "article" of our faith relates to the future condition of man. To the substance of this statement I have no material objection to offer. True it is that some Unitarians believe in the destruction of the wicked, and that others hope for the restoration of all men to the blessings of holiness and peace, while all admit the peculiar rewards of the righteous. If it be a crime to regard the Almighty as a Universal Father, in all times and to all beings, we plead guilty to the charge. We are perfectly willing you should be left to the full exultation. in your own brighter and happier creed which this concession may afford

you.

The sixth "article" is utterly false. It assumes that we "hold only an intellectual and physical, and not a moral difference in the actions of men, they not being free agents, and therefore, they not being more responsible beings than the brute beasts." This is little more than the repetition of a charge I have already refuted. For the benefit, however, of "the unwary," it may be proper to repeat two facts which sufficiently prove it to be a groundless slander. ist, the doctrine of necessity is not an article in the Unitarian creed; 2dly, not only has no Unitarian writer who has incidentally received it denied the moral difference of human actions and the proper responsibility of man, but it has been contended by all Christians who have embraced it, that it is on the supposition of necessity, alone that men become accountable to God, that the distinctions of virtue and vice can be maintained, or that rewards and punishments can be applied to effect any beneficial purposes. This is a matter of fact not of reasoning. Dr. Priestley and those who think with himn may have drawn false conclusions from the premises they

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have maintained; but they have ever asserted the contrary to those which you impute to them. Of course, the long chain of consequences you have built on these false assertions cannot now demand our scrutiny. Here you close your catalogue," but not your censures. You attack the Unitarian scheme, still confounding it with those of materialism and necessity, on the ground that it degrades the nature of man. You assert that "if man be no nobler creature.essentially than he is represented in their system, the meanest reptile that maps out its path on the earth by lines of slime, must be of equal worth and respectability, not only in the sight of the Holy One, but by a strange contradiction even before man's own reason." In order to support this astonishing proposition, you first take for granted that without free-will, in a sense opposed to necessity, there is no ground for love and esteem; next you assume that man's intellect independently of the will is more than counterbalanced by his vices; next speak of intellect as a more shewy instinct; and then conclude that "compared with the wiles and factories of the spider, or with the cunning of the fox, it would be but a inere efflorescent, and, for that very cause, a less efficient salt to preserve the hog from putrifying before its destined hour." Now, Sir, supposing this lamentable conclusion true; admitting your picture of man as faithful; taking him to be less distinguished from the beasts by intellect than by vice; does allowing him freewill, or a two-fold nature, turn the balance in his favour? On your own principles, it only renders him more @riminal, without making him more exalted. You assume, as a point of fact, that man, in action, is lower than the beasts that perish; and then you ask, unless he is distinguished by will, how is he above them? What, Sir! is it then an alleviation of his wretchedness that it is all of his own voluntary choice? Is he less degraded because he has been his own degrader? And what consolation do you offer him by asserting that he is essentially" above the brutes, if you, at the same time, argue that he is practically below them?

consists not in speculation but in fact. It depends on no metaphysical system. It is proved by his actual and present greatness, by his glorious energies, his never-dying loves, his generous virtues, his universal conscience, his unbounded powers, and his high desires and reachings forth of spirit far beyond the limits of earth or of time. workmanship is constituted, or rather However this grand piece of Divine by whatever names its frame is distinguished, whether it is termed mat ter, or spirit, or a combination of both, its actual and inherent grandeur re mains the same. There is breathed into it the breath of God. of the Divinity is stamped on it. Call The image it by what appellation you please, it is still the most glorious of God's visible works, the fit subject for the admiration of angels. After your deepest researches, you must deduce the superiority of man to the brutes from that which he Is, independently of all systems and theories. Here he is with dominion over earth and affinity with heaven-holding communion with all ages and with all worlds-joyous. in life- splendid in ashes and pompous in the grave." If you do not know and feel this, will, it is we who would elevate and whatever may be your theories of freeyou who would degrade our species.

incoherent declamation against us." I gladly pass over all the rest of your While others accuse us of giving undue honour to the understanding, you You declaim against us as if we appealed speak of us as rendering it too little. not at all to the reason but entirely to the affections. † You accuse us of

66

plucking away live-asunder as it Bible textuary morsels and fragments," were, from the divine organisen of the and yourself actually apply to us some dreadful prophecies in Isaiah! To these charges reply is needless. And as to the accusation of paying Christianity "no other compliment than that of calling by its name the previous dictates and decisions of our own mother wit," we are too accustomed to such unsupported assertions from the lowest order of Calvinistic Lay-preachers, to regard them any

64

No, Sir, the real nobleness of man

Sir Thomas Browne on "I'rne Bur

rial."

+ See pp. 60, 61.

more than the burthen of an old song, or even the damnatory clauses of the Athanasian creed.

There was a time, Sir, when your portrait of Unitarianism would have been very different from that which. you have recently drawn. If we now see you joining with a far inferior race to represent our principles as shocking or absurd, it affords us some consolation to remember that you were once their advocate. You thought and felt with us in the vernal freshness of your genius. Of this remembrance no efforts of your's can deprive us. You too must recollect the "Religious Musings," or you are the only one who could ever forget them. They are a living-may they be an immortal!-proof of what you felt and thought in some of the brightest moments of your earthly being. I allude not to these evidences of your former creed for the purpose of reproaching you with the change. He who upbraids another for an alteration in his sentiments, must suppose that all knowledge is intuitive, and that, in the progress of human life, the same unvarying scenery is perpetually around us. But at the close of these animadversions I would fondly dwell on the memory of what you were, and console nyself for the present animosity you bear to our creed with the thought, that in estimating the whole man, if the Church of England should be found to have numbered you among

* This beautiful poem exhibits the most striking indications of a brilliant though youthful genius. It is full of bright visions, half unveiled-of unbounded and indistinct prospects-of noble aspirations after all kinds of imaginary excellence. As a system of religion or metaphysics, it is neither very intelligible nor very consistent; but it is decidedly opposed to most of those sentiments which the au

thor has since learned to admire. The following is the tribute paid to the great Reviver of Unitarianism in England:

"LO PRIESTLEY there, PATRIOT and

SAINT and SAGE,

Ilim full of years from his lov'd native land
Statesmen blood-stain'd, and priests ido-

latrous

By dark lies madd'ning the blind mul

her sons in the maturity of your istellect and the plenitude of your knowledge, your youngest and brightest hopes, your earliest aspirations, your first religious loves were entirely ours.

But, after all, it is not to us, but to poetry that I should most cordially hail your return. In the lower walks of controversy, political or religious, the light from heaven serves only to lead astray, You are bewildered by the splendours of your own genius. Your mind is like the throne in Milton's heaven, "dark with excessive bright." Why, I ask with fond impatience, is not this light carried into the pure regions of the imagination, where it may shine unveiled for ever? Surely it will not pass away from the earth behind the clouds of mysticism and politicsonly leaving on them its golden tinge. They must fade away, and the temporary lustre lent them will sink when they disappear. But surely this can never be the lot of one "whose fame should share in nature's immortality, a venerable thing"-of one who can be entangled only in the filmy nets which his own fancy spreads-of one whose proper sphere is above this world and not amidst its storms-of one who may live in the hearts and imaginations of brighter ages, when the very names of those whose cause he now condescends to gild over are utterly forgotten. S. N. D.

titude

Drove with vain hate. Calm, pitying, he

retir'd

And mus'd expectant on these promis'd

years."

SIR,

April 21, 1817. H to point out what I conceive to OMO 152] will me

be an undoubted error in his statement, that Christ and his apostles discouraged marriage, and only sanctioned it as a prevention of immorality. The gospel opinions as to marriage have a particular, not a general reference. They respect the peculiar circumstances of the early Christians, and especially apostles or missionaries, living in a time of persecution and various trial, when marriage would be incxpedient, and when celibacy, from the motive of entire devotion to the gospel interests, would be meritorious. Paul, however, expressly disclaims having any authority for his injunctions on the subject: "Now as to virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord, yet I speak according to my judgment." It is remarkable that the forbidding to marry" is pointed out as the mark of

the great Christian apostacy in the latter times, when " many should depart from the truth?”"Y

L

A discussion of the theory of Mr. Malthus would lead me too far: but I do not see how he can be said to show human life with the most dreadful aspect," because he argues that the instincts which we share in common with the animal species, require the check of rational thought.

E.

Mr. Fox's Rejoinder to R, L. on the Argument from Scripture for Universal Restoration.

I

SIR, April 20, 1817. WILL trouble with you a few brief animadversions on the last communication of my friend R. L. [p. 157, &c.], and then take my leave of a controversy which must, I fear, to most of your readers be very uninte resting.

Whether R. L. or Simpson has given the best account of the word kolasis; whether Christ's universal spiritual authority have any thing to do, or not, with the final purity and happiness of its subjects; whether bowing in the name of Jesus, and confessing that he is Lord to the glory of God the Father, be voluntary or constrained homage; and whether God can command that which he does not desire, or desire that which he will not accomplish, are questions which I shall leave to be solved by what has been said already. If answered as I think they must be, the doctrine of Restoration will remain in quiet possession of several direct predictions.

It is admitted by R. L. [p. 158] that the resurrection of all men is announced as a glorious deliverance, a blessing, and the gift of divine grace. He infers from these expressions that the wicked will be subsequently reformed and finally happy, but does not perceive that it is predicted. I would not quarrel about a word; but if a resurrection be no blessing independently of its results, if there be but one event which can make it a blessing to the wicked, if their resurrection being a gift of grace and a glorious deliverance depend altogether upon their subsequent restoration, then Paul's assertion of the blessedness, &c. of their resurrection is a prediction of their restoration. The expressions are equivalent and may be substituted for each

VOL. XII.

2 N

other. The one is not deduced from the other by a chain of consequences, but is the meaning of the words; 'unless indeed there be theological sense, for certainly there is not common sense, in talking of the free and gracious gift of endless misery.

My friend has abandoned his former restricted interpretation of Rom. viii. 19-23, and now admits its universal reference. But there is still another restriction which I hope he will break through. He is content to believe that the deliverance of the wicked

from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God," means no more than that they shall be raised from the grave to suffer. punishment. Surely this limitation, as well as the other, is in his mind and not in the text. Putting his two interpretations together, we may come to an agreement. By the first, the "liberty of the children of God" is a state of pure enjoyment, and by the second, this liberty is promised to all man

kind.

It is true that "the word afterwards does not necessarily imply a distant period," but it must at any rate indicate a subsequent period. The enemies which R. L. supposes to be meant in 1 Cor. xv. 24, will be put down before, and not after, the day of judgment. Sin and suffering are spiritual enemies of Christ; they will then be the only enemies; and all his enemies shall be put down. This appears to me to be plain fact and not dubious inference.

I shall conclude with a single remark on the mode of interpreting the vision of John, and other passages in which it is allowed that terms implying universality are employed. It seems to be taken for granted by R. L. and others, that because such terms are sometimes used with obvious limitations, they are not to be admitted in evidence on this subject. It is true that words must be interpreted by things, and as Simpson observes, “In all languages there are several words which must be understood in different senses according to the subject to which they are applied." But then, Sir, in the present case it should be shewn that there is in the subject some necessary limitation of the universality of the expressions. Something should be indicated in the declarations of Scripture, in the character of God, or the nature of man, that

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