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unnatural and wrong; they neither know its evil, nor the good of that truth to which it is opposed. He who could truly speak of the evil of Unitarianism, must be one who has made some progress himself in real godliness; who has felt the blessing of some of those helps of which Unitarianism would deprive him. He who condemns Unitarianism for denying Christ's Divinity, does he make Christ's divinity a real support to his own soul ? He who cries out against the impiety of those who would do away with Christ's Atonement, does his own faith in that atonement lead him in true and earnest love to follow that Lord who died for him?
I can well conceive a short season in a young man's life, in which, believing on the authority of others that Unitarianism is the denial of most important truths, and going about humbly and earnestly to derive to himself the benefit of those truths, he may for a while be justified in condemning Unitarianism, even though he may not yet have become able himself to appreciate its evil. But this state of things must in its very nature be short. Either we get beyond it, or we fall back from it ; either we attain to that experience of the virtue of the doctrines of Christ's Divinity and Atonement, which enables us to know how sad it is to want them; or else we relax in our endeavours to obtain it, and then we do but
condemn others for denying in word what we are no less denying ourselves in heart and in life. And few things are more painful than to see the union of theological uncharitableness and religious indifference - to see, as we often do see, men violent in condemnation of others for their denial of certain truths, which truths it is most evident they themselves neglect altogether.
Unhappily, there are few things easier to our nature than to entertain feelings of dislike. We dislike others from a hundred causes, more or less personal; and then are thankful to any one who furnishes us with a pretence for our dislike on some ground of principle, which we neither knew nor cared for. It often happens that we dislike a man or a party who really have something in them which deserves to be disliked; but it is clear that this is not our reason for disliking them, if we are at no pains to gain the good opposed to their evil. We dislike the dishonest not on principle, but merely for our own selfish convenience, if in our practice it is evident that honesty is not our rule. And this is now much to be insisted upon, because religious animosities are violent amongst us beyond all proportion to our love of truth and of Christ; and it is evident therefore that these animosities are no part of Christian zeal, but of lower and worldly feelings, by which we deceive ourselves and others. Sometimes, too, our violence against
an opinion is greatest when we feel ourselves least secure in reason from its influence; we endeavour in a manner by the loudness of our voices to conceal our secret fear. It is no hopeful symptom to see those of any age, least of all the young, particularly forward in religious dislikes : but it is a good symptom in old and young to be eminent for their religious affections ;-not to be loud in denouncing heretics, but to be simple and earnest in loving Christ and their brethren. The love of truth is the only sure way of teaching us to dislike error aright; to dislike it in itself and for itself;
to dislike it reasonably, calmly, charitably ;-to be most secure from being misled by it ourselves, whilst we make the largest and most Christian allowance for the men who hold it.
April 1st, 1838.
CHRIST'S WORDS AND CHRIST'S WORK.
St. John, ix. 4.
I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day : the
night cometh, when no man can work.
In these words of our Lord there is nothing which peculiarly belongs to His divine nature, nothing even which belongs to Him as a prophet; they were spoken as by one who was in all points tempted like as we are, by one who became fully partaker of our flesh and blood. They are His words spoken, as He is our great example. It is no presumption, no claiming to ourselves any portion of His power, either as prophet or as king, if we pray and labour to be able to repeat them ourselves truly. This, indeed, is the great difference, that whereas Christ not only said the words of the text, but did accordingly. So if we repeat them, it is too often like the son in the parable,
whom his father had told to work in his vineyard : bis answer was, “I go, sir,” but he went not. So we may say, that we must work the works of Him that sent us while it is day; but we do not actually work them. We may say that the night cometh when no man can work; but we live as if the day would last for ever.
Many and many are the words of our Lord, the riches of whose wisdom will far outlast the longest life in its attempts to come to the end of them. From the first time when our childish attention was drawn by the mere beauty of the story in His parables, or the solemn and affectionate impressiveness of His promises and commands, down to the latest hour in which our unimpaired faculties can ponder over them, their wisdom and excellence seems continually to be rising upon us, the light which streams from them appears to be growing ever more brilliant, ever more searching, ever more cheering and more delightful. Every year's experience, both of our own hearts and of the lives of others, sets their manifold truth more fully before us. In every fresh combination of thoughts and ideas, in every new view which we acquire of the bearings of the world around us, their universal range has gone before us ;--we find them the light and life of every new country which our minds discover, no less than of that with which we have been long familiar. I speak thus on pur