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plicable feeling, which they term faith, and the fervid emotions which are produced by the natural sympathy of the mind, and by excitements which may have a religious character, but which, as far at least as the individual is concerned, have nothing to do with religion.
'Religion,' as is excellently stated by one who knew its real power, but whose strong sensibilities and glowing ardor of expression may sometimes have contributed to propagate the very error of which I am speaking,—' Religion, in its most general view, is such a sense of God upon the soul, and such a conviction of our obligations to him, and of our dependence upon him, as shall engage us to make it our great care to conduct ourselves in a manner, which we have reason to believe will be pleasing to him.'* In such an account of it, I recognise the genuine spirit of the Christian: and to hinder this principle, in Unitarianism there is nothing; to excite it to action and give it influence, there is everything.
Unitarianism leads us to expect nothing from God without ourselves endeavoring to do his will. It places religion in the careful regulation of the heart and life by the spirit and precepts of Christ. It teaches us, most plainly and forcibly, that in the last great day 'every one shall bear his own burden;' that we must be rewarded or punished according as our works have been;' and that our situation in a future state of retribution will be exactly proportioned to the character and conduct of the individual, appreciated with the most unerring precision, by him who will judge the world in righteousness, under the guidance and wisdom of Him
Doddridge's Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul,
who is all-wise. It encourages us to expect all needful aid and direction in the way of duty, in working out our salvation, in attaining the sanctification of the heart; but it presents no encouragement unless we do strive, and watch, and pray. It leads us to attend to the formation of habits, because it encourages no presumptuous hopes of miraculous interference to make the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots. It leads us, too, to begin early; and I cannot doubt, that the infinite importance of early attention to the religious and moral regulation of the character, is among none so strongly urged by their principles, as among the Unitarians.
In fine, the Unitarian views of Christian duty, and the way in which its requirements are to be discharged, and of the terms of salvation,- though not so encouraging to indolence, to spiritual pride, and to sinful presumption, as I believe those presented by popular doctrines are in their natural tendency and frequent effects, are safe and secure: they fully accord with the representations of him who left us an example that we should follow in his steps; and who made it his highest aim, and regarded 'it as his highest honor, to do the will of the Father who sent him, and to finish his work.
IV. UNITARIANISM THROWS NO IMPEDIMENT IN THE WAY OF CHRISTIAN LIBERALITY AND AFFECTION.
I do not see how it is possible to hold the doctrines of Unitarianism, and yet maintain that the favor of God and eternal salvation are confined to the narrow limits of sect and party. True it is, we are taught that there is no other name under heaven given among men, by which we must be saved,' that God has seen fit to
propose no other terms of salvation to mankind, than those of the Gospel, and to appoint no other Mediator to convey the blessings of the New Covenant; and therefore that no one can possess those inestimable blessings on the secure ground of divine promise, but through faith in Christ. But the Unitarian rejoices in the conviction that, in every nation, he that feareth God and worketh righteousness will be accepted by Him;' and that He who hath appointed to men the bounds of their habitation,' and given them their various talents, will accept them according to what they have, and not according to what they have not. If the untaught Heathen, or the deluded Mahommedan, to whom the light of the Gospel has never been offered, do, according to the light they possess, faithfully obey the dictates of conscience, serving and loving the Deity as known to them, I cannot doubt that He who is the common Parent of all, will grant them here increasing light in the way of duty, and some portion of those present rewards which He has graciously connected with welldoing; and that in the future world He will make them partakers of blessings, of which millions of them have never heard, and unite them under him who must reign till all enemies are put under his feet. Too highly prizing the inestimable privileges, the sanctifying principles, the gracious hopes, the strengthening, healing consolations of the Gospel, to feel otherwise than an earnest desire that they may be diffused to all who share the gift of reason,- feeling it his duty, (the debt of gratitude which he owes to the Author of all good, and to the friend and benefactor who shed his blood to communicate, assure, and extend, the blessings which
he himself possesses, and the debt of love which he owes to all his brethren of mankind,) to contribute his efforts to the arrival of that period, when the name of God shall be universally hallowed, and His will done on earth as it is done in heaven, when all shall know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent,and rejoicing in all that is wisely done by others to promote the glory of God,-the Unitarian has more. honorable notions of the God of love, than to imagine that He will make hundreds and thousands of millions miserable forever, solely because they do not receive him as their Saviour, whose name they have never heard.
But the worst influences of this tenet on the christian character, are seen in the more limited relations and connexions of life. It is the parent of uncharitableness, and the foster-mother of persecution. To view ourselves as the exclusive objects of the divine favor, and all who do not entertain our views of christian faith as the objects of God's wrath and indignation, is not only injurious to his character, but has the direct tendency to generate spiritual pride, and to check the best affeotions of the heart toward those who differ from us. Το account those our enemies who are, as we think, the enemies of God, is no part of Christianity; and those doctrines which lead to this estimation, lose the grand characteristic of the Gospel, while they destroy its delightful features as proceeding from the Father and Lord of all.
I rejoice in the belief, that multitudes of those who now, through the influence of human creeds, consign the Unitarian to eternal perdition, will hereafter stretch
to him the right hand of christian friendship, if he have the happiness to join them where, not for their unchristian errors, but for their unchristian obedience, I doubt not they will gain admission. But the unhappy notion, which they have of exclusive salvation, makes them here look upon him with unkind suspicion as to his motives and his conduct, prevents them from listening to his reasons, and induces them to place a barrier (too often insuperable) against the admission of the simple truths of the Gospel by those who are under their influence.
An eminent christian philosopher, lately deceased, (who, in his life and when going down the dark valley of death, showed the genuine influence and value of his Unitarian principles,) informs us, that when a most excellent and dutiful son, from conscientious motives in opposition to his interests, renounced the religious system in which he had been educated, for another which he deemed more consonant to truth, his pious mother told him, that she found it to be her duty, however severe the struggle, to alienate her affections from him, now that he had rendered himself an enemy to God by embracing such erroneous sentiments; and she succeeded in this sacrifice of nature's feelings, and scrupulously performed what she believed her duty, to the end of her days. Would not the heart of this good woman have been almost overwhelmed with delight, if she could have seen that we become enemies to God only by wicked works; and that, at the last great day, the inquiry will not be, What have you believed? but, Have you improved your talents? have you lived a sober, righteous and godly life? have you done justice, loved