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stant tendency of our preaching, if we are faithful, to strengthen this sentiment and feeling, and to exalt the conceptions of those who hear us, of the moral standard by which, as well as others, we are ourselves to be judged ; these are circumstances, that make personal character, at this day, to be of peculiar and vital importance to the objects of our ministry. As it is more extensively understood, and more strongly felt, that our religion is not necessarily dependent on any of the arbitrary forms which men bave instituted; that it is addressed to the reason and conscience of every man, and that it is its great design, to bring every man to the holiness of the christian life; in proportion as it is under. stood and felt, that we are ministers of Christ, not by any extraordinary divine commission, delegating to us the authority of his ambassadors; that all our power is in our capacity of usefulness in the office we sustain, and our disposition to consecrate this capacity to our Master's service, in the business of instructing and of saving mankind; in the same proportion will our usefulness depend on our characters. The difficulties of our ministry in this respect, are the difficulties of the christian life; with this important distinction in regard to ourselves, that every precept we inculcate, and every motive we enjoin, is a principle by which we are ourselves tried at the bar of public opinion ; and by which, if we are found guilty, our ministry to others is worse than vain, and will be for our own condemnation.

We cannot, christian brethren, be too strongly impressed with a sense of the connexion between our own characters, and the interest and power of the views of christianity which we preach to others. It is said of us, that we preach a worldly morality; that we conform even our morality to the taste and prevailing habits of the time. And how can we so effectually refute the charge, as by a temper, conversation and deportment, which, even our enemies being judges, are those of the gospel ? We cannot raise too bighly the standard of christian morality. We cannot too earnestly excite men to good works, on the ground that they are good and profitable unto men. But we shall be believed, and the truth that we teach will be felt, in proportion • as it is a means of our own sanctification. Instruction received through the eye is more slow, than that which is received through the ear. But it is received more distinctly, and more impressively. It is better understood in all its parts, and of sur. er influence in all its bearings. Example, but above all, minis. terial example, is moral analysis, brought home to the comprehension and judgment even of the most ordinary understanding. And far better will it be for us, to give up our moral preaching, than to counteract its design and tendencies, by a practical com. mentary, which every one will understand ; at which those who oppose us will most successfully cavil; and wbich will cover us with confusion at the bar of God.

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It would be very easy to pass from one to another of the circumstances, which each of us might have alleged, as our own peculiar difficulties ; and to fill up the brief time of our meeting with a mere enumeration of individual embarrassments in the discharge of our otficial duties. But these may, or may not, be attributable to the circumstances and character of the time in which we live. They may belong to the ministry itself, and be subjects of general interest and sympathy, or they may have no necessary convexion with our office, nor with any of its legitimate objects. Instead of dwelling on these peculiarities, I have wished to ascend to the principles, from which the present time derives its character; and to refer - you to the circumstances of the time, which demand the most serious regard of christian ministers, in view both of the encouragements, and the difficulties, of our office.

Christian Brethren, by the simplicity and spirituality of our conversation and conduct, by the fidelity and earnestness of our preaching, and by our exclusive devotion to the objects and ends of our office, let men see that our aim is, our own, and the salvation of those to whom we minister. We have difficulties to encounter, in the suspicion with which we are viewed by those who differ from us; and in the high charges brought against us, be. cause we do not preach doctrines, which we do not find in the records of the Evangelists and Apostles. But let our first care be, the attainment and maintenance in ourselves, of a mind and heart, sincerely consecrated to the duties of our office. Let the first difficulties of our ministry, which we endeavour to surmount, be those which arise rather from ourselves, than from circumstances without us. The truth, as it is in Jesus, is great, and it will prevail. It has already done much for the world ; very much, even for those who reject it. It has most essentially changed the sentiments, character and habits of society, where it has prevailed. But it has yet great revolutions to effect, and great and glorious objects to accomplish, even in this world. Let us endeavour to understand these objects, as well as those of the eternal life before us; and give ourselves wholly to them. And where truth and right are, there may God give his blessing !*

After the first sheet of this address was printed, it was suggested to the author by a friend, that there might be thought to be a want of definiteness in the use of the word Seclarism. The Author has only to observe on this subject, that in the use of this word, he intended to consider those only as Sectarians, who separate into distinct fraternities, and refuse communion with other professors of christianity. This, he thinks, is the proper use of the word. In other words, its import is, exclusiveness. In England, the members of the establishment consider all as sectarians, who are dissenters. And the exclusives among ourselves, give the same appellation to all, who depart from what they think to be the failh, once delirered to the saints. If the word is used in this address, in a sense which some may think does not necessarily belong to it, it is hoped, at least, that its use here will be found, in every instance, to be consistent with the definition now given of it.

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The writer of 'Remarks on a mathematical argument for Trinitarian Doctrines,'* in answer to one in the Christian Ob. server, denies that there is any proper analogy between theological propositions and those of the mathematics. The latter, as is well known, he says, admit of being proved by demonstration; a species of evidence which forces conviction on every mind capable of appreciating it. But the case is widely different with the doctrines of the christian revelation. If however the truths of revelation cannot be proved to demonstration by mathematical argument, some of its supposed doctrines, on the Cavinistic scheme, have been proved to be absurd by this method of reasoning.-- The Reviewers of John Simpson's plain thoughts on the New Testament doctrine of atonement' observe, that, .considering the serious difficulties which oppress the commonly received notion of atonement and satisfaction, we desire, for the sake of truth, to have it submitted to the fullest ex. amination; and perhaps, it, in the discussion of this, and of other tenets attached to religious creeds, the different synonymous terms which contain the essence, or supposed essence, of the subject in debate, were arranged in the form of an algebraical equation, controversies would be shortened, and the cause of truth promoted. Thus, for instance, original sint=the sinfulness of Adam's posterity in Adam's sin, = transgression before existence =guilt attached to non-entity =thinking and acting when thought and action were impossible =a manifest absurdity or contradiction in terms. Again, Atonement, as it is commonly understood, =satisfaction =an equivalent for the debt due = the exoneration or discharge of the original debtor=exemption from farther demand=a complete discharge. If the atonement, or satisfaction, be for the sin of the world, or of the human race, by the suffering of a righteous person, the satisfaction =a transfer of punishment on the one hand; and taking from the person offended all right of punishing on the other, = the abrogation of all claim on the inner for the future, = annihilation of religious duty or obligation. Allowing these to be just equations, have we not reason to suspect the propriety of the first terms?'--See Monthly Review, vol. xl.

1803. By giving this a place in the Christian Disciple you will oblige some of your readers.

PHILOMATH.

* In the Disciple for January and February.

+ The algebraical sign signifies equality, and in the above equation is to be read, is equal to.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN DISCIPLE.

SIR,

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As, in your number for January and February last, you were pleased to honour a late publication upon the Trinity, from my pen, with a review; after duly acknowledging my obligation for the christian freedom and kindness, with which the remarks appear to have been made; I have to request the liberty of suggesting a very few thoughts, that seem to be called for, I will not say in defence, but rather in exposition, of some leading propositions in that 'Attempt. I am not surprized, that after labouring to be definite and explicit in stating propositions, I should not have been fully apprehended by my readers, upon many articles, which belong to a minute discussion of the doctrine of the Trinity. I can conceive of two causes, that may contribute to such an effect.

First. The peculiar state or habit of mind, in which a person writes, may occasion such modes of expression, as are not perfectly intelligible to others however perspicuous they may appear to the writer himself.

Secondly. The ready perception of the reader may be obstructed in the same way; that is, his mind having been preoccupied, or forestalled, as I may say, with a certain kind of concatenation of ideas and impressions, he may miss the object intended to be exbibited to his understanding; as a person, surfeiting op sweets, is rendered incapable of so easily distinguishing other tastes, and must alter the state of bis palate, before this sense will serve him to good effect.

The reviewer thinks I have left myself open and exposed to be galled by the same weapons I have employed against others. of this I should have never needed to be reminded by any person, had my understanding of what constitutes complex personality, (as that is the particular topic to which my attention is now drawn,) been such as he seems to think it must have been. It will occur to his mind, that the recourse I have had to the supposition of a complex personality in the Trinity, is to meet and explain texts, in which attributes, uncreated and created, divine and human, are ascribed to Jesus, the Son of God. The case is solved by alledging, that two persons are united, viz. the uncreated God and a creature. It is not my intention, Sir, to retrace the ground, explored by the publication reviewed. Whether sufficient evidence exists, that God has actually appeared to men and transacted with them, in the person of a man, is not now a point of inquiry. I only wish to have it understood, that,

in my apprehension, bringing the Deity and a human person into such a union, or connection, is not running into the absurdity which the reviewer insers. It is not my idea, that in such an association of distinct persons, forming what I have denominated one complex person, one single consciousness, one agent, one being,' is implied. It will not be denied, that, in what I have offered upon this subject, I have uniformly studied to keep the idea in prominent view, that God and his Christ are two persons as distinct, (though united,) as were Peter and John; and that. their consciousness and agency, of course, are equally distinct. The only question to be answered, that I may be free from the imputation of absurdity, is, whether the true notion of a complex person is, that those united must have lost, by this union, their own distinct, individual, and separate existence. I know that, in all compounds, properly such, simplicity is lost; but I am not aware, that personal complexity may be illustrated by the commixture of simple bodies, which lose their simplicity the moment they enter the common mass. I will not contend, that my un. derstanding is competent to the proper use of the term, complet person ; but what ideas I have, I think may be illustrated without much difficulty. I conceive of the existence of simple, sepa. rate, and individual persons, of what number soever, as I do of the existence and destination of the several parts composing that splendid image, which Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision, as representing the four great monarchies of the world. These were the gold, the silver, the brass, the iron, and miry clay. Each had its own proper place and distinctions, apart from all the rest; yet so connected one with another as to make one image. And if this should be thought not completely to answer the purpose for illustrating the subject, because there was but one perfect image; we may remedy the defect by dreaming a little differently from the old king of Babylon, and suppose as many perfect images, firmly connected and standing upon the shoulders one of another, as there were different substances to represent the successive empires, tbat were to govern the world. These images of gold, silver, &c. thus put together, would make one complex image, and illustrate in what sense two simple persons may unite, and be one complex person.

Apply this to the subject in question by referring to the words of Christ himself, in which he declares the distinction there is between himself and the Father; and also their connexion and co-operation. Their peculiar oneness arises not from their being less of personal distinction between them, than between Godhead and other holy intelligences of a dependent nature ; but from the dignity, conferred on the Son of God, of standing at the head of

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