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versy thereby elicited. To the study of prophecy, we are thus indirectly indebted for the re-examination of many important doctrines, which had been allowed to fall into comparative neglect. And whatever may be said, (and too truly said,) about the acrimonious spirit in which religious controversy is usually conducted; still it is a recognized fact that the most prosperous times of the church have been times of controversy. In this deadening world, we have much more to fear, as Christians, from stagnation, than from storms. Indifference at heart to the distinguishing peculiarities of vital truth, concealed beneath a superficial bustle about outwardly useful things, is far from a prosperous state. The ease, and harmony, and seeming unanimity engendered by it, are fatal symptoms of a growing, though disclaimed latitudinarianism. An intruder upon the fascinating spell is condemned as an enemy to peace. And since the bond of its union is not the depth of truth, the man who presses forward any deep truth, whatever his par
not in reference to what he says, for that is not carefully examined; but in reference to his saying
any thing, which every body does not say. It would not, indeed, sound well to bring the real accusation against him--to wit, that he is a searcher into more of the truth of God than is 'usually brought forward ; and that he proclaims what he knows with the boldness of honest enthusiasm, “uncaring consequences ;"—this were an honourable charge : it suits better with the temper of the times to charge him with a breach of love, a want of brotherly kindness, a harsh, Ishmaelitish spirit.
But what shall a Christian man say of that love which extends its wide, indiscriminating embrace, not only to Christians of various denominations, but also to antichristians : to men who deny the Godhead, and reject the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ, and deride as fanaticism the inspiration of the Holy Ghost? When attempts are made to limit the operation of Christian love within the narrow circle of any one favourite class, it becomes a Christian man to protest against the bigotry of such a limitation : but when, on the other side, this boasted love enlarges itself beyond all Christian classes, and calling itself universal charity or reli
gious liberty, gives the right hand of fellowship to the enemies of the cross of Christ, it equally becomes a Christian man to protest against the foul abuse : yea, to lift up his voice like a trumpet, and bear witness against the infidel amalgamation.
Ye who profess submission to the Bible, do ye not hear the Bible ? Ye who combine for the distribution of the Bible, do ye not read the Bible? For it is written, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and THE WORD was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father. Whosoever abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed : for he that biddeth him God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds. A professedly religious union between members of the church of Christ and avowed Socinians, (such as we see formed and boasted of as a signal triumph of this enlightened age,) is a virtual denial of the gospel of our salvation, and a high offence against God. I repeat, a professedly religious union ; because every man is at full liberty to join his fellows in the furtherance of secular objects, without any reference to their religious opinions. Whatsoever, saith the apostle, is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake. The seller might be a heathen, a sacrificer to idols. The Christian purchaser need not inquire : religion was in no way involved. But when the ostensible object of a combination among men is declared to be religious, and when the leading theme of proud congratulation is the liberality on every side, which thus delightfully combines ; the state of the case is wholly altered. If any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, EAT NOT. How can conscientious Socinians, combine in any thing connected with religion, with us, whom they must abhor as abominable idolaters ? That is, if they have zeal and faith sufficient to rise into the dignity of abhorrence : for, it should bé remembered, that indifference and indecision are frequently the real roots of apparent meekness. I deny not, that the defenders of Christian truth are often betrayed into unchristian tempers; that the sons of Zebedee, in their indignation at the ill treatment received by their Master, forget what manner of spirit they are of, themselves. Meanwhile, however, they are his instruments for keeping prominent and pure, those fountains of living water, at which their brethren drink and are satisfied. Athanasius is raised up in defence of the doctrine of the Trinity. In the performance of his work, he loses the serenity and self-possession of Christian meekness, and writes with unchristian acrimony against Arius. Meanwhile, he guards from insidious adulteration, that bread from heaven, upon which thousands of Christians have fed daily for centuries : he vindicates the glorious truth that in one God, essentially and immutably One, there are three coequal and coeternal Persons ; that cardinal truth of the Catholic faith,“ which faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly."