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gious to torture or destroy the man, who did not or would not believe as those in power believed. But in this instance, there was a thirst of blood manifested in the movements of the Genevan reformer, that compel the belief that he was one who gave a spirit to the age rather than received one from it. How little was Christianity understood at the era of the Reformation! Why are men willing to suppose, that the reformers saw all truth, when they were so ignorant of the spirit of the Gospel?

About the same time, in England, Unitarianism was professed, notwithstanding the almost certain penalties of torture and death which awaited it, by a lady of family and character of the name of Joan Bocher, or as she is sometimes called, Joan of Kent. She too paid for her sincerity and ardor the forfeit of her life. The warrant for her death was signed with tears in his eyes -driven to it by the furious zeal of the bishops - by the young and gentle Edward VI.; and she was delivered over to the flames. At the same time, 1549, a Dutchman of the name of Van Paris, daring to believe his own belief concerning the person of Christ, and avowing his heretical opinion, was also burned alive. In the reign of Elizabeth the same infernal principles held their sway, and she made herself infamous, as for other atrocious acts, so for burning alive several Unitarian Anabaptists, Hollanders, who had taken refuge in England from persecution at honie. — James, also, signalized his reign by deeds alike savage. Two Englishmen, Leggat and Wightman, and a Spaniard were in his reign convicted of the high crime of denying the Trinity and holding Unitarian sentiments, and under a warrant signed by the King's hand, in doing which, it is said, he

manifested great pleasure, they too were burned alive at the stake.

These, it is believed, were the last who have suffered death for their Unitarian opinions. The character of the times softened by degrees, and burning alive for this heresy was no longer tolerated. But the laws still inflicted death. An act passed by the Long Parliament, in 1648, places the denial of the doctrine of the Trinity upon the ground of felony, punishable with death. The courts and juries, however, were content with the lighter punishments of fine, banishment, and imprisonment. These were still the weapons, by which men were intimidated in the work of religious inquiry, and withheld from avowing publicly their belief. Some few, however, still had courage to brave the censures and power of the world. Among these was a Mr Biddle, of London, a man of eminent piety, who casting off all fear, but that of displeasing God by a cowardly suppression of a faith he believed to be the faith of Christ, printed, published and circulated his opinions concerning the person of Christ, and the unity of God, and was for this crime, after long and bitter persecution, thrown into prison, where he languished and died.* About this time flourished Milton and Locke, both of whom are known by their writings to have been Unitarians. To these honorable names may be added, in the succeeding century, those of Nathaniel Lardner, and Sir Isaac Newton. Watts also is now known, by writings which he left, to have died an Antitrinitarian, and to have expressed regret that he had been the means, through his

very popular hymns written in his younger days, of giving so wide a circulation to doctrines, which he was compelled on more mature deliberation and inquiry to reject. Had not the copyright been sold, and become too profitable to be surrendered, he would have recalled and suppressed the book.

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Of the present condition of Unitarianism abroad, it is enough to say in few words, that it exists in every part of the British empire, and boasts a clergy as learned and as pious, as any other denomination. In Transylvania, it still retains its ancient sway. In this country, its success has been great- greater than could have been looked for, when the nature of the opposition it has had to encounter is taken into view. Every passion has been inflamed against it, every prejudice enlisted, every superstitious feeling appealed to; yet it has gone on, and though it has undoubtedly been greatly hindered and oppressed by these measures, it still has gone on and prospered. In almost every state it has its churches in every little community its intelligent advocates and friends.

And now if the question be asked, which will naturally arise, why, if these opinions are true, and have the antiquity which is claimed for them they have not prevailed faster and farther, it may be answered; - that the history now given of them furnishes a satisfactory reply, in that spirit of deadly hate and hostility with which men have waged war against them. Trinitarianism was established, as we have seen, in the fourth century. That barbarous age allowed freely every penalty,

even that of death in its most frightful forms, to be visited upon those who departed from the orthodox faith. The same principles have been acted upon almost ever since. What were the consequences? Those which were unavoidable in the nature of things. Men did not dare, after the faith of Athanasius was thus established and in power, to think for themselves, or if they dared to think, did not dare to speak. And during the dark ages, with here and there a solitary exception, the light of Unitarian Christianity accordingly went out. It was a dead and forgotten thing. But when courage was once more the Christian's birthright, through the noble efforts of Luther and the reformers, immediately there sprung up those, in the general cry of liberty, who spoke in behalf of the truth and beauty of Unitarian Christianity who pleaded for the reformation, that it might not pause at the threshold, but press on and hold its seat in the inner temple and at the very altar of truth. But for this the world was not ready. And even the reformers themselves, some of whom suffered death at the hands of the Roman priesthood, and all of whom knew that if they fell into their power it would also be their certain fate, were weak enough, inconsistent enough, cruel enough, to visit the same punishment upon those, who in their opinion were guilty of the unpardonable sin of rejecting more than they did of rejecting the doctrine. of the Trinity. Yes, it was at the instigation of a Protestant reformer, that Servetus met his fate. And when sectarians of every other name among Protestants were tolerated, yet because the Trinity was denied, the full phial of civil and religious rage was poured out upon the unhappy Unitarians of Poland. Under such treat

VOL. IV. — NO. IX.


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ment, who would dare to declare himself a believer in the divine Unity? Who that knew his estate, his good name, his liberty, or his life must answer for it, would dare to say, though he believed it with his whole heart, that there is but one God, even the Father? Some few indeed did it, and paid for their sincerity and noble courage with their lives. But in the nature of things, many could not be expected to do it.

But it is asked again, why in this age of religious toleration, since Unitarianism has awaked in England, and enjoyed the labor and services of such eminent men as Priestley, Wakefield, Emlyn, Cappe, and a host of others, it has not received a wider growth, and a more popular belief. The answer is the same. The war of religious and civil persecution has been waged against it; the people have been taught by their guides to look upon Unitarians as worse than Deists, the heirs of everlasting perdition, and they have been changed to enemies. They have had no courage, and no desire, to inquire for themselves, nor run any risk of believing truths, the avowal of which would bring upon them so heavy a burden of public odium. Even so late as the latter end of the last century, the rabble of Birmingham, in England, set on by a bigoted priesthood, assaulted the house of Dr Priestley, destroyed his property, burned his papers, and were the means of driving him from his country to seek an asylum here. - It cannot be believed, that this would have happened to him, had he been a good member of the Church of England, let his politics have been what they might.

Is it wonderful that opinions have no chance of success, when in this way they are not permitted to stand on the ground of their own merits and evidence, but

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