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most important of all Christian truths. While to humble us, we are taught the great extent of our sin and peril, and that without Divine help we cannot extricate ourselves from our evil condition-we are also, to encourage us, taught to be. lieve that in every man there is a struggling principle of truth and goodness. There is a “spirit willing," while the flesh is weak." There is a " law of the mind " battling against "the law of the members.” The faith that in the worst of men lay hidden and buried a divine spark, to be kindled by love and truth; this faith, under one or another name, has been the strength of every Christian Philanthropist. Sometimes, as with the Quaker, it is the inward light of God's spirit " which lightens every man who cometh into this world.” Sometimes, as with the Wesleys, it is a special influence which attends the word, and softens and breaks down the rebellious heart. But in some shape or other, this faith is essential to all hearty efforts for the conversion of man. How can we love sinners, except we believe that there is, asleep, under their sin, a spirit of goodness which may be roused at last by our appeals and overcome by our love ? This faith is opposed wholly to the doctrine of the total de pravity of men, and therefore the Unitarians reject this latter doctrine.
They reject also those popular views of religion which make it consist either in a cold and barren belief, or a series of vague religious emotions. The great scriptural doctrine of justification by faith has been perverted to mean that a man's salvation is gained by a blind assent to, and a loud profession of orthodox opinions. On the other hand many place their confidence in having experienced certain religious emotions, or in being zealous in the merely religious duties. With Unitarians, on the contrary, religion is taught to be a life, the only sure evidence of which is a daily obedience to God's whole law, a bringing forth the fruits of the spirit, which are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. For this, they have often been accused of teach ing mere morality, and seeking salvation by their works. But none of their writers can be accused of recommending a merely worldly morality, or any works of which faith is not the basis. But while it is their firm conviction that all true goodness must flow from inward piety, they are equally clear that much of hypocrisy, worldliness and consequent infidelity has sprung from separating religion from morality-they see clearly that so did not Christ or his Apostles, that the most daily and homely duties were the object of their constant care-that many of their discourses would be called “inere morality" by
the Pharisees of the present day--and seeing all this, they find it a light thing to be judged by man's judgment.
We will not deny, for our object is not to make a one-sided statement, that many Unitarians
have fallen into the extreme of dwelling too exclusively on our duties to man and to ourselves, without sufficiently basing them on the deep foundation of religious faith. So one extreme produces another. But there is nothing in Unitarianism to countenance or perpetuate this error. No creeds bind her to it. Accordingly it has already been generally seen; and the Unitarians of the present day, we think, preach more to the deep religious principles in the conscience and heart than those of a former age.
This is the nature, these the objects of the Unitarian Reform. They are so extensive and vast, that the opposition to them is very great, and their advocates find themselves everywhere misrepresented and denounced. But we look upon them as objects for which we count it well to bear reproach. Ought there not to be one party in the church to contend for these great principles ? By our position we are forced to be the champions of Christian Liberty, by our interests we are driven to demand Christian Union upon its only rightful ground, and by our convictions we are led to oppose representations of God, man, and religion, which are corroding the heart of Christianity. Though few, let us not shrink or tremble, for it is the Father's good pleasure to give us the kingdom. Ours is the religion of the future, the religion of progress, the religion for the people. We must increase, they decrease. For truth is mighty, and before its invisible but all-pervading force the power of Popes and Princes, of Synods and Assemblies, of ancient creeds and long revered dogmas, of prejudices, bigotry and superstition, must go down. With firm faith in the future triumph of our principles, in deep dependence on the mighty arm of Heaven, and in a strenuous endeavor to live as we profess, we can wait the hour when the truth of our principles will be understood and acknowledged.
HYMN TO THE FLOWERS.
BY HORACE SMITH.
Day stars ! that ope your eyes with man, to twinkle
From rainbow galaxies of earth's creation, And dew-drops on her lonely altars sprinkle
As a libation.
Ye matin worshippers! who bending lowly
Before the uprisen sun, God's lidless eye, Throw from your chalices a sweet and holy
Incense on high.
Ye bright mosaics ! that with storied beauty
The floor of nature's temple tesselate, What numerous emblems of instructive duty
Your forms create.
'Neath cloister'd boughs each floral bell that swingeth,
And tolls its perfume on the passing air, Makes Sabbath in the fields, and ever ringeth
A call to prayer.
Not to the domes where crumbling arch and column
Attest the feebleness of mortal hand, But to that fane most Catholic and solemn
Which God hath planned.
To that cathedral, boundless as our wonder,
Whose quenchless lamps the Sun and Moon supply, its choir, the winds and waves- -its organ, thunder
Its dome, the sky !
There, as in solitude and shade, I wander
Through the green aisles, or stretched upon the sod, Awed by the silence, reverently ponder
The ways of God.
Your voiceless lips, O Flowers ! are living preachers,
Each cup a pulpit, every leaf a book, Supplying to my fancy numerous teachers
From loneliest nook.
Floral apostles! that in dewy splendor,
Weep without woe and blush without a crime,” O may I deeply learn and ne'er surrender
Your lore sublime !
“ Thou wert not, Solomon! in all thy glory Arrayed,” the lilies cry,
"in robes like ours ; How vain your grandeur! ah, how transitory
Are human flowers !”
In the sweet-scented pictures, heavenly artist,
With which thou paintest nature's wide-spread hall, What a delightful lesson thou impartest
Of love to all.
Not useless are ye, flowers, though made for pleasure,
Blooming o'er field and wave, by day and night, From every source your sanction bids me treasure
Harmless delight. Ephemeral sages! what instructers hoary,
For such a world of thought could furnish scope, Each fading calyx, a memento mori,
Yet fount of hope. Posthumous glories! angel like collection!
Upraised from seed or bulb interred in earth, Ye are to me a type of resurrection
And second birth.
Were I, O God, in churchless lands remaining,
Far from all voice of teachers and divines, My soul would find in flowers of thy ordaining,
Priests, sermons, shrines.
As we anticipated, a controversy has arisen in the Episcopal church, upon this great subject. The “charge” of Bishop Onderdonk, of Pa. has brought upon him no measured censure. Whole batteries have opened against him in every part of the country. The language used reminds us of that which we ourselves have been compelled to bear, for indeed the Bishop is regarded as but little better than a “Socinian,” the name which our fair-minded, weli informed and generous opponents still
How the dispute will be settled, we do not know. The Bishop has taken a sort of half-way ground, and has of course laid himself open to the charge of inconsistencies and of hair-splitting, but he has, nevertheless, uttered some very stubborn truths, and knows how to appeal to the law and testimony. However it may terminate we can foresee some good results, one of the chief of which already begins to show itself. The heinous character of that theory which “ presumes that a certain amount of debt is due from the sinner and is demanded by the Justice of God, and that when Christ pays that debt, the sinners for whom it is paid are no longer the debtors of Heaven,” will be clearly brought to light and will be denounced by both parties. This will be a great point gained. For we agree with Bishop Onderdonk in thinking, nay, we are confident, that the above “erroneous theory is current,” that is, the one ordinarily received by the Trinitarian community. We do not say by the majority of their ministers, for it is often hard to tell what they do or do not believe, but by the mass of believers, who do not undertake to manufacture unintelligible distinctions, but take words in their ordinary meaning and understand their creeds according to their obvious interpretation. We shall therefore think that an important victory is gained when that theory is on all sides publicly denounced, and are glad to see it rejected with indignation, by the opponents of Bishop Onderdonk. They assert that no one in the church believes it, but that we know to be untrue. However, we are glad that they give it up, although the doctrine which they take in its stead is so mystified that we cannot tell what it is, or rather, we think that we can see the idea which is in their minds and that it is one which some Unitarians entertain, but we cannot comprehend the language in which it is dressed up. For in
give to us.