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ing the Personal existence and renewing operations of the Holy Spirit produces no alarm, either on the mind of the instructors nor the instructed. All are in profound peace. But we need not enlarge; for the force of these remarks must be deeply felt, by this congregation. The appeal is made to your eyes, your ears, and your conscience. The subject is not a matter of mere speculation-it is of the very last importance.
That the Anti-Trinitarians live in the frigid zone of the Christian system, appears very clearly from the following observation, made by Dr. Priestley. He says, "It is not necessary to dwell in our thoughts on death and futurity, lest it should interrupt the business of life, and cause us to live in perpetual bondage." But this forms a grand discord with the following Scriptural admonitions; namely, Prepare to meet thy God." Amos 4. 12. "Boast not
thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest what a day may
bring forth." Prov. 28. 1. "Every one of us shall give account of himself to God." Rom. 14. 12. Thus we may see, that the Anti-Trinitarian writers are at war with the Scriptures, in almost the whole of their communications. We are not, therefore, at liberty to hear them, until they speak more "according to the law and the testimony." Our eternal interest is too precious to be tampered with in such a manner. It is acknowledged by Dr. Priestley, that "a great number of the Unitarians," as he calls them, "of the present day, are only men of good sense, and without much practical religion; and that there is a greater conformity to the world in them, than is observable in others." It must be allowed, that this was a great deal for him to say; but as to the propriety of it, we readily subscribe.
Thus, when we say, that their system leads them to indifference in relation to the concerns of the soul, it is on
their part, in a great degree, admitted. But the necessity of making such concessions, must, I think, have been very mortifying to such an advocate for the Anti-Trinitarian cause, as was Dr. Priestley.
8. A concise view may be taken of the plan, as it relates to the evil of sin. Their thoughts of that, appear to be superficial to a mournful degree. They seem to see no need of any other atonement for it, but repentance and reformation. According to their arguments, eternal punishment is quite disproportioned to the magnitude of that evil. A certain writer in the Monthly Review, says, "We are neither amused nor edified by the corruscations of damnation. Nor can we, by any means, bring ourselves to think, with the late Mr. Edwards, that the vindictive justice of God is a glorious attribute." Mr. Belsham says, "If God is so severe as to mark every instance of iniquity, we must needs consider him as a merciless tyrant, and wish that the government of the universe were in better hands." They contend, that our virtues are a sufficient satisfaction to the justice of God, for all the offences of which we may have been guilty. Dr. Priestley says expressly, that “repentance and a good life, are of themselves sufficient to recommend us to the Divine favor." But Mrs. Barbauld is more bold than Dr. Priestley. She says, "When a man like Dr. Price is about to resign his soul into the hands of his Maker, he ought to do it not only with a reliance on his mercy, but his justice. It does not become him to pay the blasphemous homage of deprecating the wrath of God, when he ought to throw himself into the arms of his love." This is valuing our supposed virtue at a high calculation ; and sinking the evil of sin to a great degree. It is selfrighteousness without any covering. The complete con-trast of this doctrine with the Holy Scriptures, cannot escape the eye of the most superficial observer. Sin is by
no means treated in this extenuating manner in that inspired volume. It informs us, however, that "fools make a mock at sin;" that it is against God; that it is exceedingly sinful; that it is the thing that his soul hateth; and that it is as the poison of a serpent. But the system under consideration leads the mind to reduce the number of sins, as well as to lessen the magnitude of its evil. It leads us to suppose, that the sins of men bear but a small proportion to their virtues. Concerning this case, Dr. Priestley says, "Virtue bears the same proportion to vice, that happiness does to misery, or health to sickness, in the world." Is not this judging in our own favor to a high degree? But, if there were no higher tribunal, all would be well. We may be assured, however, that the Dr.'s opinion will have but little influence on the decisions of the great day; that it will appear as a very incorrect calculation, when the secrets of all hearts are developed. We obtain no such impressions from the Bible, as the AntiTrinitarian writers are endeavoring to make on our minds. But the unrenewed heart is in great danger of falling in with such flesh-pleasing schemes; and on this account, it is highly necessary to administer the most powerful antidotes against the poison. There is no hope of awakening the human mind, while any Anti-Trinitarian impressions remain on it. That doctrine is the most fatal anodyne that can possibly be administered to immortal souls, laboring under the disease of sin. The reasonings of such divines "on righteousness, temperance, and a judgment to come," are by no means such as to make sinners tremble. Your own observations, my hearers, must have convinced you of this, independently of my arguments on the subject. You have nothing to do but to open your eyes, to see the deep moral sleep into which that theory lulls the souls of men. This argument is sufficient to silence all
their specious reasonings against Trinitarian principles. Their fine-spun criticisms on the Sacred Volume, only serve to fold their own hands in the slumbers of death. May the Lord preserve us from the contagious lethargy, and awaken them from their pleasing but fatal delusion. AMEN.
GALATIANS 4. 17.
They zealously affect you, but not well.
The evils into which the Anti-Trinitarian doctrines lead mankind, have been illustrated in eight particulars. It is necessary to recapitulate them, to proceed intelligibly with subsequent observations. It has been shown, that the theory in question leads those who receive it, to treat the Holy Scriptures with an unbecoming freedom; to deny many of their doctrines, and to believe but few; to have wrong conceptions of the Divine character, and the character of men ; to have low conceptions of Christ's character and work; to treat Him with great indifference; to disesteem the Orthodox, and oppose them in all their operations; to overlook the momentous concerns of their own souls; and to consider sin rather a misfortune than a crime. In proceeding with the subject, it may be observed,
9. That the system in question leads those who adopt it, to have little concern about the salvation of others. As to the wicked who are advanced in life, Dr. Priestley views their situation as being entirely hopeless. He says, "All late repentance, and especially after long and confirmed habits of vice, is altogether and necessarily ineffectual; there not being sufficient time left to produce a