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than to notice in general terms the opinions or arguments opposed to one's own, and without reference to any particular book or author: as by saying, for instance, “Such and such a doctrine has been held ;”—“this or that
may be alleged;"some persons may object so and so," &c. In this way, not only personal controversy may be avoided, without undue neglect of what may be said on the opposite side, but also the advantage is gained (to the cause of truth, I mean) of confining the reader's attention to the real merits of the case, independently of the extraneous circumstances," which ought not to influence the decision.
It is true, no one should be required to notice every minor objection--every difficulty relative to points of detail,—that may be alleged against any principle or system he is contending for; since there may be even valid objections against each of two opposite conclusions." But this does not affect the present case;
• "EEW TOŨ páypatos, Arist. Rhet. " See Logic, B. iii. $ 17.
ments I am alluding to, having relation to fundamental principles. Whatever any one may think of the soundness of those arguments, no one can doubt that, if admitted, they go to prove that the system contended against is (not merely open to objections, but) radically wrong throughout; based on false assumptions, supported by none but utterly fallacious reasoning, and leading to the most pernicious consequences.
And these arguments, though it is not for me to say that they are unanswerable, have certainly been hitherto, as far as I know, wholly unanswered, even by those who continue to advocate opposite conclusions.
Should it be asked why they do not either abandon those conclusions, or else attempt a refutation of the reasons urged against them, that is evidently not a question for me, but for them, to answer. Else, an answer is not unlikely to occur to some minds, in the words of the homely proverb, “ he that's convinced against his will, is of his own opinion still.”
It is only, however, in reference to the subject matter itself of the question under discussion to the intrinsic soundness of the conclusions advocated that the opinions and procedure of individuals can be worth the attention of the general reader. All that I wish to invite notice to, is, the confirmation that is afforded to the conclusiveness of arguments to which no answer is attempted, even by those who continue to maintain doctrines at variance with them.
All that has been said in reference to the positions above alluded to (which are among those maintained in the second of these Essays) will apply equally to some of those maintained in the first Essay : for instance, that to attempt the propagation or support of Gospel-truth by secular force, or by establishing in behalf of Christians, as such, a monopoly of civil rights, is utterly at variance with the true character of Christ's Kingdom, and with the teaching and practice of Himself and his Apostles; and that to attribute to them any such design, is to impugn their character, not merely as inspired Messengers from Heaven, but even as sincere and upright
These conclusions have been maintained by arguments which have been as long before the Public as the others above alluded to, and have remained equally unanswered.
If in these, or in any other points, I am in error, I trust I shall be found open to conviction whenever my errors shall be pointed out. In the meantime, I trust I shall not be thought to have been unprofitably employed, in endeavouring more fully to elucidate, and to confirm by additional arguments, what appear to me to be momentous truths, and in developing some of the most important of the practical conclusions which result from them.
8. His Testimony concerning Himself at his Trial,
must have been true .
9. His Declarations concerning Himself, at his Second
Trial,—that before Pilate
10. Sense in which his Disclaimer of a Kingdom of
this World is to be understood .
11. Impiety of attributing to Him a hidden meaning: 35