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denborgians, comprising together about 600,000, for these are about equally divided.

“We have then in this country of bold and unrestrained freedom of thought, ten agreeing as to the essential doctrines of the bible, where we find one who differs. Is not this wonderful uniformity? Particularly when the doctrines of the bible are such, that the gospel says, the natural heart is opposed to them.-Religious Magaz."

1. “ There is a vague impression in most minds, that the christian world has always been in a state of confusion and dispute, respecting the doctrines of the gospel.”

A vague impression! We wish it were so. Unfortunately it is too distinct and clear a conviction to be so called. What are the ecclesiastical histories filled with but accounts of disputes and confusion in regard to doctrines? Was it a “vague impression" which led Paul to say, even in Apostolic days, when writing to the Corinthians, that they were carnal, having among them envying, strife, and division; one saying he was of Paul, and one of Apollos? Or was it a “vague impression" which led him to write the Epistle to the Galatians ? Is it a "vague impression” which we have of the disputes about Gnosticism, and Manicheism, and Arianism, and Pelagianism? Is the whole controversy between Catholics and Protestants, but a "vague impression”? And is it but a “vague impression" which we now have of present disputes-for example, of what took place in the last General Assembly between the Old and New School Presbyterians ?

2. But the fact is exactly the reverse." So far from there being even a "vague impression" of dispute, there is no dispute at all among christians about doctrines. If so, the Millenial age has arrived within a few months, and no one has found it out, but this writer in the Religious Magazine. “The unanimity which ever has, and does now pervade the christian church is truly astonishing." About what then, may we respectfully ask, have christians been disputing? What means the rackings, and burnings, and dungeons, of which history speaks, inflicted by all parties on each other for errors of faith? Why were four Synods excommunicated by the last General Assembly? What is to be understood by the disputes between Dr. Beecher and Dr. Wilson, and Mr. Barnes and Mr. Breckenridge? If they are disputing about nothing at all, verily they dispute with too great earnestness.

3. “That the doctrines now distinctively called Evangelical, have been the prevalent doctrines with the overwhelming majority of christians, from the earliest ages, is as susceptible of proof as any historical fact whatever.”

We could not have supposed that a writer, feeling any responsibility for his own character or the influence of what he publishes to the world as truth, could have deliberately written, and sent to the printer, a sentence like the above. It is only necessary to turn over half a dozen pages of any Ecclesiastical history to see its absolute incorrectness. So far from there being evidence of the majority of christians in the early times being believers in the modern doctrines called Evangelical, there is hardly any evidence on the subject as to the first three centuries. And yet this writer asserts that it can be proved as easily as the existence of Napoleon or the battle of Pharsalia! 'We know that Tertullian in the second century plainly declares that “the ignorant and unlearned, who are always the greatest part of the body of believers," did not recieve the 'Trinity. We know that in the third century Origen complains that "the multitude of those called christians did not recieve the Deity of Christ.” We know that in the middle of the fourth century, the Arians had the authority in the church throughout the greatest part of the Eastern and Western Empire. In the fifth century, Dr. Mosheim assures us that the doctrines of the Semi-Pelagians (which are not the Evangelical ones) “coincided with the modes of thinking of the majority of the people, and no efforts could prevent them from spreading far and wide." And would this writer have us believe that his peculiar doctrines “were recieved by ninety-nine hundredths of the christian community” in those succeeding centuries when the power of Rome was at its height? If so, where was the necessity of the reformation, and what do we mean by the doctrines of the reformation ?

These differences are with this writer, only about "forms" and points of intellectual philosophy.” Was then the Arian, and Sabellian, and Pelagian controversies merely about points of intellectual philosophy? Did the Reformation of Luther hinge only upon forms? We pause for a reply.

5. But he comes to America and produces a table of the statistics of religious sects in the United States. We have often wondered at these tables, when we have noticed that by simply adding together the alledged numbers in the different sects, we sometimes get a greater amount than is given in the census of the United States—although professed Infidels, Jews, Slaves, and the “Big Church" of worldlings, is not included. Thus by adding together the numbers here given, we have about 14,000,000. But where are the Catholics? where are the Infidels? where are the millions of slaves on plantations, who never hear the word of God preached? where are

the millions of those who do not maintain the slightest connection with any religious body? What is the number of these, may be judged from the fact, that in the city of Boston, by a fair calculation, it is supposed that there are 25,000 out of 68,000 Protestants, not connected with any religious society. (Third Semi-annual Report of the Ministry at large, 1835.) Ìf in the city of Boston there are 7-17ths of the inhabitants not connected with any religious society, it might safely be computed, that taking the country at large, including slaves and all other persons, at least one half are in the same predicament. This would leave out of the 16,000,000 of the United States, only 8,000,000 to be divided among the different sects. And yet the above calculation gives us 14,000,000. This shows how prone all sects are, in adding up their numbers, to exaggerate very much the amount.

6. It may be said however, that the relative proportions will continue the same, if we reduce the numbers of each denomination, and there still will remain the proportion of 9 to 1 in favor of Evangelical doctrines, so called. But how in favor? Why they are connected with societies whose articles countenance these doctrines. But the writer of this paragraph must be very ignorant if he does not know, that one-half at least, of every Evangelical congregation is wholly ignorant of what their articles are—that there are in every society, those who disagree very essentially in opinion from their teachers, and who retain their connection from habit, sympathy, and a thousand other causes, and not because they hold the opinions there taught. Even the church members in Presbyterian and other orthodox churches, are often found when you examine their opinions to be much nearer Unitarianism than Calvinism, though they would probably be shocked at being told of it. They believe that Christ is divine, but not equal to the Fa. ther; they believe that there are three distinctions of some sort or other in the Deity, and that is their Trinity; they believe that all men are sinners, and that is their Total Depravity; they believe that Christ has saved us by his life and death, and that is their atonement; they believe that a man must begin to lead a religious life, and pray to God for help, and that is their idea of regeneration. These are the real opinions, we have no doubt, of a large proportion of every body of professors of religion. And these are certainly not Calvinistic, but Unitarian.

7. But in these churches, says this writer, "there is no dispute respecting the character of Christ, the nature of atonement, the work of the Holy Spirit, the new birth, and judg

ment to come.No dispute ? This writer may perhaps choose to think that there is no essential difference between those who are disputing, but how can he assert that there is "no dispute"? Can we open a religious newspaper or period ical, and not find a disputatious article with respect to some of these points? Has there been a week during the last eight or ten years, (to go no further back) in which the Old and New School in the Presbyterian church, have not been disputing in their newspapers and elsewhere, about the nature of the atonement, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the new birth? Are not the Baptist's divided against themselves on these subjects, a very large proportion holding with Mr. Campbell, and the others accusing them of denying the work of the Holy Spirit entirely. This writer is so unfortunate as to have selected the very doctrines which have been most disputed, and are now most dis, puted, of which to assert that there is no dispute about them.

8. After having thus arranged his facts to suit himself, he says with admiration-" Is not this wonderful uniformity ? Particularly when the doctrines of the Bible are such, that the Gospel says the natural heart is opposed to them.” Jf the Gospel did say this, and if it was true that nine-tenths of all christians, (nominal, impenitent, and unconverted ones being included) did yet

agree to them, it would be indeed strange--as strange as an effect without a cause. But where does he find this assertion in the Gospel, that the natural heart is opposed to the doctrines of the Bible? The only passage which sounds at all like it, is where Paul says, that the natural man recieve eth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. ii. 14.) But this text will not answer for him, for he has been asserting that there are ten or twelve millions of nominal, impenitent and unconverted christians, natural men all, who both can and do recieve evangelical doctrines. Either these doctrines, therefore, are not “the things of the Spirit of God,” or his whole argument falls to the ground. We leave him to extricate himself from this dilemma.

The writer of the above paragraph probably set himself down to pen it with excellent intentions. He no doubt wished to show those who objected to christianity on account of the disputes among christians, that these disputes were not so great as they are commonly supposed. But this is an entirely mistaken mode of answering such cavils. It is daubing the breach with untempered mortar, and saying Peace when there is no peace.

It confounds unanimity of faith with unanimity of opinion. The latter is neither possible nor desirable, and it

is now.

is no objection to christianity that it does not exist. Where there is freedom of thought, men's speculative opinions will differ. But as to the great facts of christianity, which are the true objects of faith, which were preached by the Apostles in early days, there has always been unanimity, and

of the facts asserted in the Apostle's creed, we may say in truth, there is and has been no dispute. No sect professing christianity would deny one of them. These facts are the true basis of christian faith, or else the Apostle mistook when he said, that “ If thou confess with thy lips the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Neither is there any dispute as to the great practical truths flowing out from this faith. All believe in human sinfulness, and the necessity of a change of heart and life—all believe in the necessity of penitence, humility, love to God, and love to man. It is on speculative points that men differ, on points of theology, not points of religion.

ION-A TRAGEDY.-By Sergeant Talfourd.

BY S. G. BULFINCH.

[ It is rather late to notice Ion, but our readers may lay the blame

to us, and not to Mr. Bulfinch, as his article has been several months in our hands.-Ed.]

In what consists the charm of the true, noble, old Greek fra. gedy? It is encumbered with faults, and those striking enough it would seem, to destroy all interest on the part of the spectator or the reader. Édipus, while the pestilence is raging through the city over which he reigns, comes to the gate of his palace, and with marvellous simplicity, enquires of the priests whom he finds there, what is the matter.

The nurse of Medea comes forth into the public square, and in a long soliloquy with no conceivable object, rehearses for the instruction of the audience, the whole history of her mistresses' family. And the chorus--how inartificial is the arrangement of this. The most important secrets of state are communicated and discussed, in the presence of a circle of priests or women. Jocasta and Polynices meet and mingle the tears of a long separated son and mother, for the edification of a crowd of

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