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threw himself at the stranger's feet, and entreated him to pardon a fault committed in the wantonness of his heart, and whieh he most sincerely regretted. “No," said the stranger, "go first to the Artist that made me, and tell him, Great Artist, O! what an ugly vessel hast thou produced !" Eliezer continued his entreaties : the stranger persisted in his refusal. In the mean time they arrived at the Rabbi's native city. The inhabitants being apprised of his arrival, came in crowds to meet him, exclaiming, " Peace be upon thee, Rabbi! Welcome our Instructor !" “ Whom do ye call Rabbi ?" 'asked the stranger. The people pointed to Eliezer. “And him ye honour with the name of Rabbi !" continued the poor man : "0! inay Israel not produce many like him !" He then related what had happened. “ He has done wrong ; be is aware of it," said the people ; “ do forgive him; for he is a great man, well versed in the law." The stranger then forgave him, and intimated that his long refusal had no other object than that of impressing the impropriety on the Rabbi's mind; The learned Eliezer thanked him ; and whilst he held out his own conduct as a warning to the people, he justified that of the stranger, by saying—that though a person onght ever to be as Hexible as a reed, and not as stubborn às a cedar, yet to insult poverty or natural defect is 'no venial crime, and one that we cannot expect to be readily pardoned.
On the Unchangeable Love of God.
No, I. SIR, I have been frequently led to reflect upon this subject, both by its importance and delightful tendency, and the mistaken notion respecting it, and erroneous and mischievous inferences deduced from it, by a large portion of professing Christians. God is love, and he is unchangeably
God loved the creatures which he formed, and therefore he must always love them. For if he loved them at their formation and should afterwards cease to do so, (his affection being altered by any circumstance,) how can he be unchangeable in his love? Most certainly, upon the principles of the Predestinarians, of every shade, as no unforeseen circumstance could arise to the eye of omniscience, there never could be any reason for any affection, either of love or of dislike, which did not at the first exist in the mind of God. To attempt any proof of this proposition would be a waste of time both to the writer and the reader, to the speaker and the hearer. Our attention is then turned to consequences; and the first deduction of this fact is diametrically opposed to the first principle of Cal. vinism, as much so as Calvinism is opposed to Armiuianism, and for the same reason. For if God loved all his creatures at their creation, and afterwards changed from love to hatred towards the whole, or any part; or did he cease to bear to any part the same affection which he did at the first, then the same consequence would follow which the Calvinist so loudly reprobates as Arminian heresy. Can any thing but, complete partiality in reason lead to any other conclusion, or even any reason be shewn why God should not love the whole of his creatures at the first, with the same intenseness of affection with which he afterwards loved only a part, called by Calvinists the elect? I have no doubt if the Calvinists could accomplish their favourite scheme of annihilating reason, this or any other thing might be said and pass for truth and inspiration, but so long as the mind possesses the faculty, exercises the gift, and vindicates the rights of reason, so long must it infer the same conclusion from the same premises, and similar conclusions from similar premises ; and so long, therefore, as it is unperverted, must it conclude, that if God be una changeable in his love, he must continue to love his creatures with the same affection that he did at the first. And if God loved all at the first, he still loves all ; and if at the first he loved only a part of mankind, and rejected the rest, or decreed them to sin and misery, then he rejected these without
any demerit on their part, as no demerit can attach itself to nonentity. I shall leave it to any unperverted mind to make its consequences from this fact, and pass on to another reflection arising out of this subject, which f deem of no snall importance. According to the Calvinistic idea of the unchangeable love of God, that pure and holy Being is represented as choosing and loving a portion of mankind, not because they are more holy than the rest, (and, surely, not because they are more unholy than the rest, though one would be led to suppose this from the general tone of Calvinists, either preachers or writers,) but certainly because it was his pleasure to do so; and, therefore, it was neither their merit nor demerit, their hap
piness nor their misery, that was either the principal or auxiliary cause of this election. Consequently, no subsequent condition, either moral or natural, accidental or designed, can alter this love, either by making it more intense or more languid. And here, I apprehend, we shall have a cloud of the most pernicious inferences from these premises. We shall see the righteous standing in the back ground, cast down with despair, because God rejects them, and either refuses to espouse the cause of truth, or directly frowns upon it, and bestows his smiles and crowns upon the wicked of every hue; while the wicked stand on an immoveable eminence, and rejoice with furious exultation, because the love of God overlooks the principles of the heart and attaches itself to the mere lump of flesh, or the ethereal spirit that gives it animation. Thus the nerves of virtue are unstrung, while the sinews of vice increase their power with a ten-fold ratio. Can any thing be more appalling than to see vice triumphant and virtue depres, sed? 'Tis true we see this to be the case frequently in this world; but every believer in Jesus Christ feels no anxiety on that account, because he looks beyond the pre(sent transitory scene of probation, and expects, with the certainty of faith, to see this picture reversed at the day of judgment. He sees with the eye of faith, guided by the oracles of God, the good oppressed emerging from their dungeons, hiding-places and obscure corners, to be exhibited in the face of day, with the shout of angels, the applause of heaven, and the smiles of their Judge and their God, who will salute them with a Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord! while the wicked shall call upon the rocks and mountains to bide them from the presence of Him that sitteth on the throne, but who will both see them and expose them, and sentence them to woe and misery, tribulation and anguish. But if this radical principle of Calvinism be true, viz. that unchangeable love attaches itself to the mere creature, animal or spiritual, instead of the principles by which that ereature is governed, all the expectations of faith are false, and delusive are the hopes which the word of God inspires, and permanent is the triumph of vice over virtue, and God abandons the cause of righteousness to espouse that of mere selfish feelings, and to gratify tlie unreasonable wishes of vanity and vice. I judge that no one can obviate these conclusions without shaking off Calvinisin
proper, and I am sure no one can hold them and defend them without annihilating the plain testimony of scripture. We are then inevitably brought into this dilemma, either to suppose that God is unchangeably attached to the cause of righteousness, that he loves righteousness, and, consequently, those who act righteously, and that he opposes the cause of iniquity, and therefore his face is against all that do iniquity; or to believe him indifferent to principles, or opposed to good ones, but unchangeably attached to some particular individuals. The former of these suppositions establishes the rectitude, benevolence and unvariableness of God, illustrates the sense of the word of God, and establishes the fairest hopes of piety; while the latter frowns righteousness out of countenance, and causes piety to blush for its best affections and hope to tremble upon the firm foundation of the word of God.
Should the love of the ever-blessed God be imagined greater towards man than towards principles of conduct; because these are the means of completing man's happiness, (and the means cannot be of more importance than the end, nor of so much,) yet it will follow, that the opposition of God to iniquity must be greater than his dislikes to man, or any part of mankind, because iniquity alone renders man an object of disapprobation to the Divine Mind.
But I must conclude my present letter, proposing to extend my reflections and lay them before the readers of the Reformer in another, should they meet your approbation.
Commencement of Unitarian Christianity in Calcutta. [From “ The Unitarian Repository and Christian Miscellany" for
Nov. 1823, No. 2, printed at Calcutta.] In our last Number we gave an extract from a letter containing an account of the spontaneous growth of Unitarian Christianity among the natives at Aadras, and of its gradual progress from the year 1795 to the present period, through the persevering exertions of a single individual, comparatively illiterate and alınost entirely unaided. The following letter, which we received some time ago, furnishes an accouut of a similar attempt, made so early as the year 1803, to form a Unitarian Society amougst Europeans and their descendants in Calcutta. The endeavours of Mr. Walter were unsuccessful.
effort in the cause of truth and virtue is entirely lost. The seeds which were then sown are now found springing up on every side, and the fruit thus produced will, we doabt not, when it arrives at maturity, prove both abundant in quantity and excellent in kind. The causes of Mr. Walter's immediate failure, however, deserve to be fully weighed by Unitarian Christians of the present day, and by all who are friendly to the principles of Unitarian Christianity. We have only further to add, that we lately had an opportunity of conversing with Mr. Walter's widow, who was then about to proceed to Bombay ; that the Calcutta Unitarian Committee purchased from her all the books remaining in her possession that had belonged to her late husband, and that from the information which she communicated it appeared that Mr. Walter had carried on a correspondence with some one of the principal English Unitarians, Dr. Priestley, Mr. Lindsey, or Mr. Belsham, but that none of the letters which had been received were to be found among bis papers.
“I bave been favoured with your note dated the 7th instant, and have much pleasure in communicating to you, in compliance with your request, such information on the subject of your inquiry as memory enables me to supply, regretting that my absence from Calcutta at the period when the late Mr. W. Greene Walter was first led to a serious consideration of the popular doctrine of the Trinity, necessarily obliges me to pass over an interesting passage in his life, and to confine myself to a brief notice of the unsuccessful attempt made by him to form a society of Christians on the Unitarian system, and to such particulars connected with that event as fell under my personal observation. "On
my return to this Presidency from Prince of Wales' Island in 1803, I was invited by Mr. Walter, with whom I had been previously acquainted, to a weekly meeting held at his house for the purpose of reading the Holy Scriptures, the object of which was to discover how far the doctrine maintained by the Established Church of England respecto ing the person of Christ was borne out by the general tenor and evidence of the gospel history, particularly with reference to the declarations of Christ himself, and the general scope of the precepts taught by him, as well as to the condact of his disciples after his ascension. On a subject of such importance to mankind, and on which such a diversity