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Father in the heavens, who makes the sun to rise upon the good and the evil, and the rain to fall upon the just and the unjust.'
“ Listen! there is the great law of Nature : The sun rises upon the good and evil : and the morality of Christ is but an expression of this law. You should imitate God, you should lay hold of his purpose, in his eternal blessings, and manifest its divine influence around you.
" Everywhere the same gentleness and morality ; everywhere the disciples of Christ are called not to fight but to teach. Their arms are persuasion, their conquest, the heart. In his last interviews with his apostles, when unbosoming his soul, Jesus un. folds the means of diffusing the truth ; he exhorts them to devote themselves as so many sacrifices for the salvation of men ; for they are sent as lambs in the midst of wolves. They should pardon, they should bless, they should instruct; the master has come not to condemn the world, but to save it.” Book IV. chap. 5.
The following remarks on the priesthood are, we trust, becoming every day less applicable to the clergy of our land :
“It is an established fact, that light has come to us by the Gospel in spite of the priesthood, which has built in darkness. Not because the Christian community has lacked teachers, schools, or libraries. Their writings were many, but barren ; the human mind worked over incessantly the same old notions. When we plunge into this study, we are struck with its inanity. No broad and generous ideas, not one of those evangelical sentiments, which embrace the whole race, no knowledge of the love of God and our neighbor. From Saint Jerome to Bourdaloue, from Saint Augustine to Bossuet, always the same terrible Deity, the God of vengeance, excommunication, damnation, hell. The saints read the Gospel without getting much good from it; either for themselves or for others. They alone had possession of the book, which was to civilize the people, and they made use of it to establish and regulate monasteries. We had the austerities of India, instead of the morality of Christ. The invention of printing was needed, a second revelation, to wrest from them this book, and give it to the universe. We make bold to say, that without the genius of Faust and Gutenberg, the doctrine of Jesus Christ had been lost to humanity. The Gospel did not truly exist till this epoch, and the knowledge of its morality dates only from the age of Fenelon.” – Book IV. chap. 11.
We are tempted to quote the two short chapters on Faith and Hope, and Dogmas and Morals ; but enough has been
said to indicate their spirit. We should like the whole treatise on religion better, if more account were made of the doctrines of the Gospel, and such exclusive stress were not laid upon its morality. These doctrines never appear in their full beauty and power, except in connexion with the morality of the Gospel. We cannot but seel, that the author has not gone quite deeply enough into the science of religion, although his heart is right. We should like to have him add a chap er on the cardinal doctrines of Atonement and Justification by Faith. Viewed according to his principles, these doctrines would have a charm and freshness, quite strange to our many formal systems of dogmatics.
Aimé Martin closes his work by a recapitulation of its principles, and an appeal to the sex to whom it is addressed. He eloquently enjoins it upon women to watch over the moral and religious sensibilities of the young, as their peculiar care; and to impress upon them from the cradle the central truth of the unity and parental character of God, and the great sentiment of the love of God and man. We can pardon and even admire a little Gallic enthusiasm in the close of so eloquent a treatise :
6. The book of Nature and the Gospel unite in this truth, so simple and yet so vast :
“ Unity of God.” “ And in this sentiment so sublime, and so natural :
“ Love of God and men.”
“ Unity of God," “ That is to say an only God, Father of all men ; consequently, all are brothers upon the globe.
“Equality of rights, liberty of all, abolition of exclusive privileges, of castes, of slavery, of war, of capital punishment, result from the brotherhood of mankind.”
“Love of God and men.” “ Here religion takes a moral character, in uniting God and man, as father to child; and morality takes a religious character, in uniting man to God, as child to Father.
“ Accordingly as the soul is penetrated by these divine sentiments, national animosities are extinguished, prejudices vanish, the great people is formed, and the reign of God on earth ad. vances from west to east.
“The reign of God is the happiness of man by virtue.
“ The world will arrive at this by the study of the laws of nature, and by their comparison with human laws. Pious studies, which will ensure to our children the constant presence of God; sublime guidance, which will conduct them to the discovery of all moral and physical truths, since truth is only the testimony, which nature renders of its author !
"And to accomplish this prodigious revolution, to change the destinies of the world, to reunite families, to reconcile nations, what is wanting? A whole generation must come to us acquainted with these truths; a great people must receive them from the cradle.
66 Women ! if you could only catch a glimpse of the marvels promised to maternal influence, with what noble pride, you would enter the career, which nature has opened to you for so many ages! What is not in the power of any monarch or any nation, your will can execute. You alone have the disposal of the rising generation, and you alone can unite the scattered members, and impress upon them the same movement. What I can put merely upon cold paper, you can engrave on the heart of a whole people. I present you with a feeble image of the truth, you can give the truth itself to the world. When in our promenades, and in our public gardens, I see that noisy crowd of little children gathering from every side, and aban. doned to the plays of childhood, my heart leaps for joy, that they are still yours. Let each of you strive for the happiness of your child ; in the happiness of the individual God has placed the promise of general happiness. Young girls, young wives, tender mothers, it is in your souls, rather than in the laws of the legislator, that the hopes of Europe and the destinies of mankind repose ! ”
The mothers of America will know how to pardon the enthusiasm of this appeal to the mothers of France.
We close this article, which has already become longer than we intended, with a single remark. We should rejoice, if the French eloquence of this book had been tempered with a little Yankee practical wisdom. Were some dozen chapters omitted in the second and third books, and a like number substituted from that precious and un pretending little volume of Miss Sedgwick’s, Means and Ends, little would be wanting to the perfection of the treatise. The two read together will make a guide to the right system. May we not hope, that the whole truth will be heard, and practised, and a new and generously eclectic
system of female education shall prevail; that our fair rising generation may be so trained, as to be domestic without being drudges, refined and accomplished without being frivolous fashionists, intellectual without being masculine, religious without bigotry or superstition. The signs of the times encourage such a hope.
ART. IV. - Discourses and Dissertations on the Scriptural
Doctrines of Atonement and Sacrifice : and on the Principal Arguments advanced, and the Mode of Reasoning employed, by the opponents of those Doctrines, as held by the Established Church : with an Appendix, containing some Strictures on Mr. Belsham's Account of the Unitarian Scheme, in his Review of Mr. Wilberforce's Trea
tise : together with Remarks on the Version of the New · Testament lately published by the Unitarians. By the late most Rev. William MAGEE, D.D., Archbishop of Dublin. From the Fifth London Edition, with Numerous and Important Corrections. 2 vols. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1839. pp. 479, 472.
This work of Archbishop Magee was first published in 1801, when its author was Dean of Cork. It has passed through several editions, with various enlargements, since that time, and has recently made its appearance for the second or third time from the American press. Its republication may be regarded as not only an evidence of the esteem in which it is held by a considerable portion of the orthodox community, but as equally a proof how far a bold and reckless confidence of manner may contribute to reputation and success. Few works can be named which have more of this characteristic. The archbishop of Dublin wields the infallibility, and launches the thunders of seven bishops of Rome, and the multitude is overawed. There is learning also, and unquestionable talent in the book. But its orthodoxy is hardly such as would satisfy the straiter of the orthodox; for while it purports to set forth the doctrine of the church on the subject of the atonement, it in fact maintains an ex position of that doctrine very far from ortl.odox; an exposition to wbich many Unitarians would readily assent. “It is a remarkable fact,” as Dr. Carpenter has said, " that in Dr. Magee's notions of the atonement, as far as they are intelligible and self-consistent, there is nothing which the Unitarian may not embrace; nothing absolutely inconsistent with the great principle, that all the blessings of the Gospel, and all the means by which they were assured and communicated, originated in the Free, Unpurchased, Essential Mercy of God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Orthodoxy, however, in regard to this doctrine, wears so many shapes, that this is not to be wondered at. A more remarkable and unaccountable fact is, that a learned work on this subject should have been chosen as the vehicle of the most virulent assault of which the odium theologicum has been guilty in modern times. It is matter of surprise, that a work of such a character in this respect should be allowed to hold its place among respectable volumes. We think there is reasonable ground of complaint, that it should be put forth again and again, its bitterness and wrath and evil-speaking unqualified and uncontradicted, to poison the public mind and perpetuate unwarrantable prejudices. We think it discreditable to the great Christian denominations, that their favorite work on so holy and solemn a subject, should be one, which is, above all others in modern theology, marked by arrogance, disingenuousness, and coarse reviling. If they consider the cause of Christian truth demands that the arguments of this writer should be kept before the world, they yet must perceive that it cannot demand the same of its gross personalities and disgraceful misrepresentations,* — which only operate to excite an unchristian
* We confess our surprise that in the New York Review, — the organ of the Episcopal Church in that city, - the writers choose to continue the practice, now elsewhere nearly done away with, of making use of the term Socinian when speaking of Unitarians. We are surprised, because the members of that church, more perhaps than those of any other, pride themselves upon the gentlemanly character. Now it is not the part of gentlemen, - we put Christian obligation out of the case, – to designate either an individual, or a class, by a title which they themselves, for whatever reason, disclaim. Unitarians have often disclaiined the name in question, for reasons satisfactory to themselves, and which are familiar to all who are theologians enough to write such articles as those to which we allude. That Magee should employ it, is not surprising. He was a man of essential vulgarity of