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hatred of distinguished men, and to foster illiberal prejudices, without at all adding to the force of the argument; and which, therefore, fair-minded men should be anxious to dispense with.
We do not like to say this; but we should violate a sense of duty if we refrained. The suavity of Christian kindness, and the decorum of gentlemanly manners, must be insisted on as essential to every man who enters the field of religious discussion. Their absence never should be tolerated. “It is required in this warfare that a man contend lawfully.” No man should be honored who fights for The Master in the spirit which the Master forbade, or disregards veracity in contending for the truth. No matter how strongly stated, or how vehemently urged are the arguments; no matter how idle and absurd the opposite reasoning may be made to appear; an opponent in debate is always honored in proportion as he wields the most powerful logic. But the man should be suspected and disgraced, who turns aside from his subject to malign persons, and seeks to gain a victory by loading his antagonist with obloquy. When Magee employs his powers of reasoning, and resources of critical skill, on the questions before him, we read with gratification; we enjoy his forcesul expression and acute remark ;none the less because we often think him in error. If his tone were always manly, his argument fair, his spirit courteous, he would command unqualified respect. Alas, that a man of so much intellectual ability, and in so exalted a station, should have chosen so different a course ; that he should have come down from that calm attitude of unprejudiced discussion, which the theologian should occupy, like the chief justice on the bench of a supreme court, to mix in the petty wrangles of the small attorneys at the bar; to use the dexterous artifices of browbeating this witness, and quibbling with the words of that, and so divert attention from the substantial merits of the great argument to matters of personal attack. Excepting in the case of certain altercations at the bar, or in some of the still coarser brawls on the floor of Congress, we know not where to find a parallel to certain portions of these volumes of Magee.
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mind. But we did not expect to find him a model of imitation with the writers for a work like the New York Review. If warm-headed or vulgar partisans will in their contributions use such language, we think the Editor owes it to his own character, and the reputation of the work he conducts, to purge his pages of it. — ED.
VOL. XXVIII. — 30 s. VOL. X. NO. I.
The demerits of the work in this respect were exposed by Dr. Carpenter, of Bristol, in a volume, entitled, “ An Examination of the Charges made against Unitarians and Unitarianism, &c.” This was published in a large octavo volume, in 1820, and ought to be consulted by every man who would read the pages of Magee so as to appreciate their justice and trust-worthiness. The disclosures, which it makes respecting the principles on which the system of assault against heresy has been conducted by many who called themselves honest men, and were accounted respectable, set before us one of the most melancholy spectacles of human infirmity which the history of letters can furnish.
In the recent controversy in Liverpool, of which our Journal has contained some brief notices, it naturally fell in the way of our brethren, assailed by missiles from this armory of Magee, to pay a passing attention to his claims to confidence. Our readers will be instructed by the following extracts from Mr. Martineau's preface and notes to the sixth lecture, which contain a sufficient corroboration of our remarks.
“A careful study of his Treatise on the Atonement, with the habit of testing his citations, has revealed to me a system of controversy which, before, I should have esteemed incredible ; and which no terms of censure can too severely describe. * * * Not only that the late Archbishop of Dublin dealt in terms of insult, which, if spoken instead of written, no cultivated and Christian society would endure ; but that, with a shocking eagerness to blast the character of his opponents, he corrupted the text of their writings, and drew his arguments from garbled quotations. * * * I entirely acquit our Rev. opponents of any approbation of the controversial arts employed by the Prelate whom they defend. Their admiration of his book arises, I am aware, from ignorance of its real character; to understand which requires a much greater acquaintance with Unitarian literature than they appear, in any instance, to possess.
“ With what levity must a writer sport with moral terms, what indistinct impressions must he have of moral qualities, who having pronounced an opponent (I quote the language of the Archbishop of Mr. Belsham) incapable of duplicity,'ı can yet proceed to charge him with artifice and dishonesty,'2 with hud. dling up a matter,'3 with filching away a portion of evi.
1 Vol. ii. p. 387.
• Vol. iii. p. 248.
dence,'1 with direct violation of known truth,'? and with • bad faith, unchecked by learning and unabashed by shame!'3 I cannot wonder at the spirit pervading Mr. Byrth's letter to my friend and colleague Mr. Thom, when I find that he sees nothing coarse or abusive, but only the expression of departed greatness,' in accusing an opponent of miserable stupidity,' 4.of
downright and irremediable nonsense,'5 of “proposing' a suggestion (as he AVERS) with great diffidence,'6 of furnishing “twenty-eight pages of the most extraordinary quagmire';', in begging him to rest assured, that to know the Greek language it must be learned ;'8 in proclaiming that he stands in a pillory ’9 erected for him by a Bishop ; that he belongs to the family of Botherims in Morals and Metaphysics,' and is connected with that of Malaprops in Mathematics ; '10 in ridiculing the idea of publishing his portrait ; 11 in asking him whether he has lost his senses ;? 12 and hinting that, whereas he knows not how to choose between two bundles' of evidence, he is an Ass. 13 Are we to consider it a condescension in this distinguished Prelate, that he bends from his Episcopal dig. nity to console the Dissenting ministers in their contemplation of the advantages of the national clergy,' and assures them that they have not only more of positive profit,' but, in addition to this,' the indulgence of vanity, and the gratification of spleen, — qualities which, time out of mind, have belonged to the family of Dissent;' nay, further, that in preparation for their ministry, they have a much lighter outfit' 'in point of expenditure, since among Nonconformists, in some cases at least, the individual is his own University ; confers his own de. grees and orders ; and has little more difficulty in the way of his vocation, than to find a new hat, a stout poney, and pair of saddle-bags.' 14. This is very smart, no doubt; but does the Church exclude us from the Universities, that her Bishops may enjoy the entertainment of making us their laughing-stock, and inditing lampoons against us? Does she injure us first, that we may be insulted afterwards ?
Mr. M'Neil speaks of the late Archbishop's work as 'a barrier in the way of Unitarianism.' It is so; and if its influence were only that of fair argument, we should wish the bar. rier to stand in all its strength. But the book has become a standard authority for every kind of false and malignant impression respecting Unitarians, and prevents, instead of advancing, the knowledge of what we are. To be held up as entertaining
the cool and deliberate purpose of falsifying the word of God;'ı as guilty of machinations' to 'subvert through fraud what had been found impregnable by force ; ' 2 as staking' our “very salvation on the adoption of a reading which is against evidence; '3 as distinguished for sturdy and immovable effrontery,' 4 and shameful disingenuousness: '5 as discerning in our Lord that one HATED form on which we are terrified to look ; '6 as so determined to resist and subvert one great truth,' that we 'set but little value on every other, and make a prevailing practice' of 'DIRECT AND DELIBERATE FALSEHOOD: 7 to be thus slandered by one, for whom his station and accomplishments have procured, from the party spirit of the age, a credit denied to any possible learning or excellence of ours; this, being a grievous wrong to the character of Christianity as much as to our own, we confess to be a trial hard to bear: and we may well feel like the good man under successful calumny, which wounds himself a little, but truth and virtue more. Meanwhile, injury may have its compensations ; and since, to prove his accusations, even this distinguished Prelate had occasion to tamper with the evidence, we have a fresh presumption that our cause is one, against which learning and acuteness, under the restraints of justice, find themselves of no avail.”
H. w. jr.
ART. V.- DISCOURSE, BY WILLIAM E. CHANNING.
TOn the 13th of January, the steamboat Lexington was burnt on Long Island Sound, about fifty miles from New York. Of the crew and passengers only four escaped. Among the lost was the Rev. Charles Follen, LL. D. These circumstances gave occasion to the following discourse, which was deferred, until all hope of the escape of Dr. Follen was taken away.]
1 PETER, iv. 19. – WHEREFORE, LET THEM THAT SUFFER ACCORDING
TO THE WILL OF GOD COMMIT THE KEEPING OF THEIR SOULS TO HIM IN WELL-DOING, AS UNTO A FAITHFUL CREATOR..
These words suggest a great variety of thoughts, and might furnish topics for many discourses. I ask now your attention to the clause, in which we read of “them that suffer according to the will of God,” or by divine 'ordination. I wish to speak
i Vol. ii. p. 108. sp. 100.
2 Vol. i. xii.
of the sufferings of life in general, of their greatness, of their being ordained or intended by God, and of their consistency with his goodness, and I shall close with reflections suggested by the particular suffering which we have recently been called to deplore.
Suffering fills a large place in the present system. It is not an accident, an exception to the course of nature, a “strange work ” exciting wonder as a prodigy, but it enters into every life, and may I not say enters largely into every life. Youth is slow to see this. Youth, unable to sympathize with and appreciate sorrows which it has not felt, and throwing the light of its own native joyousness over the future, dreams sometimes of a paradise on earth. But how soon does it find that blighting changes, solemn events, break in sternly, irresistibly on its path! And even when the outward life is smooth and prosperous, how soon does it find in its vehement affections, its unrequited friendships, its wounded pride, its unappeased thirst for happiness, fountains of bitterer grief than comes from abroad. Sometimes the religious man, with good intentions, but wanting wisdom and strength, tries to palliate the evils of life, to cover its dark features, to exaggerate its transient pleasures, for the purpose of sheltering God's goodness from reproach. But this will not avail. The truth cannot be hidden. Life is laid open to every eye, as well as known by each man's experience; and we do and must see that suffering, deep suffering is one of the chief elements in our lot. It is not a slender, dark thread, winding now and then through a warp of dazzling brightness ; but is interwoven with the whole texture. Not that suffering exceeds enjoyment; not that life, if viewed simply in reference to pleasure, is not a great good. But to every man it is a struggle. It has heavy burdens, deep wounds for each ; and this, I state, that we may all of us understand, that suffering is not accidental, but designed for us, that it enters into God's purpose, that it has a great work to do, and that we know nothing of life till we comprehend its uses, and have learned how to accomplish them.
God intends that we shall suffer. It is sometimes said that he has created nothing for the purpose of giving pain, but that every contrivance in the animal system has good for its object. The teeth are made to prepare food for digestion, not to ache ; the lungs, to inhale the refreshing air, not to ripen the seeds of consumption. All this is true, and a beautiful illustration of
this, I state. Thas heavy burden od: But to e