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tery, the greater the truth. This being employed as legitimate data, any syllogism into which a great mystery is introduced, must of course evolve a conclusion by which some great truth is established. Thus, the greater the mystery, the greater the truth. But the Trinity is a great mystery, therefore the Trinity is a great truth. Change the word Trinity for either the word Atonement, or the words, the two natures of Christ, or any other, and the mystery is by this logic proved to be a great truth. But when a general principle is laid down, it is good for everything, viz. that class of facts which pertain to that particular subject, or it is good for nothing. Now, we have very often been told from the pulpit, in all the pathos of pious zeal, and all the pomp of priestly authority, that the greatest of all mysteries will be, if the rejecters of Trinitarianism are saved. According to the theological canon, we obtain this syllogism—the greatest of mysteries is the greatest of truths; but the greatest of all mysteries, is the admission into heaven of a rejecter of Trinitarianism—therefore, the admission into heaven of a rejecter of Trinitarianism, is the greatest of truths.

Again, it is constantly affirmed, that God cannot forgive sins, without an infinite atonement made to his justice. But this is merely saying, in other words, that we cannot understand how he can do it, or, it is a great mystery, and this proves it to be a great truth. So also, of the full work of redemption by the Father alone, through the agency

of a strictly human being. If it be a great mystery that God should, in the man Christ Jesus, reconcile the world unto himself, and not impute sin to the penitent, it must, by the axiom, be a great truth. And if it be maintained that it is profoundly mysterious, that such names, offices, works, and attributes, as the Scriptures apply to Jesus, should be ascribed to one who wore no other nature than human, then it will follow, that it is profoundly true, that such names, offices, works, and attributes, do pertain to Jesus in his human nature, or, in other words, as a human being.

Is it a mystery that a man should be called God, and still be strictly human? then, it must be a truth. Is it a mystery that the man Christ Jesus should, without having two natures, be one with the Father, and think it not robbery to be equal with God? then, that must be a truth. Is it a mystery that a human being should be made Lord and Christ, the Saviour and Judge of men? then, that must be a truth. And the proposition before us, if it be itself true, will extend much farther than all this. Let it be a great mystery, that both the believers and rejecters of the Trinity are right, and that also becomes a great truth. Say that it is a great mystery that all evil can tend to good, and every human being will finally be brought to heaven, and you affirm that these are truths.

Now, if this mode of proving truth, which will just as well serve one party as another, and as clearly demonstrate Anti-trinitarianism as its converse, be repudiated by the Trinitarian, he can no longer take refuge in mystery, and no longer taunt his opponent with rejecting doctrines because they are mysterious. He who affirms that the Trinity is not a doctrine to be reasoned about, but a mystery to be believed as true; and then, in the same breath, reasons that the simple Unity of God, even the Father, is—when taken in connection with much of the language of the Record, and the nature and forgiveness of sin—too mysterious to be true, reasons against himself, and destroys his own doctrine. And the Antitrinitarian who argues against the Trinity, because it is a mystery, takes up a singularly unfortunate position, and deeply damages his own cause. No necessity for reasoning against the Trinity, on the ground of its being a mystery, can exist, till the fact has been established that the Bible declares unequivocally, that in the One God there are three co-equal, co-eternal persons. As rationally might the mystery of three millions of ciphers composing one simple unit, be firmly contested prior to the establishment of the fact, that one unit is compounded of three millions of ciphers.

There has been an infinite waste of words about mysteries. Let the mystery-mongers only be taken on their own premises, and their positions become self-destructive. It matters not though they should espouse some mysteries, and reject others. They must assign reasons for so doing; and those reasons, whatever they are, cannot but be fatal to their argument for the reception of a doctrine, solely because it is a mystery. Strangely frightful would be the rendering of the Apocalypse, “ Mystery, or Truth, Babylon the great." It is gross injustice to Trinitarians, to allow them to remain under the sad delusion, that calling their dogmas Christian mysteries, sanctifies those dogmas, places them out of the pale of reasoning, and demonstrates them to be awful truths. Mystery has, in reality, nothing to do with the matter. Adduce the Trinity, or any other doctrine, in a plainly announced proposition of unperverted Scripture, and no place remains for dispute about mystery.

'c. H. C.

THE ESSENTIALS OF CHRISTIANITY.-No. II. We have endeavoured to answer, with the utmost brevity, the question, What are the Essentials of Christianity? and we have seen, that according to our threefold view, they may be placed in the facts of the life of Christ; or the doctrines, principles, and truths which may be deduced from those facts; or, taking yet higher ground, in the tone of mind, the temper of spirit, the form of character, which those facts and doctrines are adapted to create.

Some would perhaps be disposed to answer differently. If we look at the summaries of Christianity presented to us in the creeds and catechisms of Churches, we shall be led to the conclusion, that the framers of those did not take precisely the same view as that which is here submitted. The Essentials of Christianity bave, by sectarians, been usually placed in the controversial; and to affirm, that the grand essential of Christianity is an honest heart, a loving obedience, and a truthful intellect, is “the way which they call heresy.” To affirm, that good men of all speculations and denominations have in their hearts the essentials of Christianity, is called Latitudinarianism, or indifference to truth. To say that Christ's own character is the one most luminous point of view, sufficient of itself to be our beacon-light to guide us through oceans of doubt and debate and the toils of life, is, in the opinion of some, to reject all the peculiarities of the Gospel. And to object to certain current interpretations of Christianity, as self-inconsistent, irreconcileable to the clear voice and general tenor of Scripture, as well as with the recognised character of a holy and benignant Deity, and the known facts of human nature, is called, reducing Christianity to mere naturalism. We are very far from the presumption of making up a creed according to our own taste and construction, and then thrusting it in the faces of others, with the lofty assurance that we infallibly know these to be Christian essentials, and that others must see with our eyes, and believe with our faith, and worship by our creed. We regard every such proceeding as a priestly assumption of lordship over the conscience, an unholy trampling upon the rights of mind, a violation of that liberty with which Christ has made us free, an arrogant claim to be above human fallibility, and which is emphatically rebuked by the whole tenor and manner of Christ's teaching, who appealed to the intellect of all, saying, “ he that bath ears to hear, let him hear.” We refer every one to Scripture, and to determine for himself; and we call upon his candid judgment to say, whether the principles which we have enumerated do not pervade Christ's recorded teaching? Even if he thinks that more belongs to Christianity, he will not exclude what we have set down as essential. Take away Christ's animating revelations of the fatherly character of God, his beautiful delineations of human duty, his sympathy with all that is pure and lofty and strenuous in human nature, and his constant and sublime reference to the ruling Providence that clothes the lily in its beauty and wings the sparrow for its flight; and to the loftiest theme of human speculation and of hope, the immortality of man, take away these principles, and you have removed the essentials of Christianity. But, take away the principles which sectarians and catechisms enforce, leaving these, and we have all that is needful to buman hope and duty, to the salvation of man from moral evil, to his comfort and

peace

of mind, and to a loving reliance upon God.

We may reach the same conclusion by a different process. It might be regarded as not an easy task, to determine the essentials of Christianity, in the existing divided state of religious opinions and parties. It is certainly not to be done by culling out and presenting us with the peculiarities of sects; but rather, by removing all that is peculiar and local, and observing what is common to all

sects. That which remains after sectional diversities are subtracted, leaves the essential of Christianity. The principles above specified will abide this test. They are admitted by all denominations; they are the substratum of all denominational peculiarities. All build, upon this foundation of gold and silver, their own structures of wood, hay, and stubble. What moral

power

would reside in Christianity, if you deduct Christ's doctrine respecting God-Christ's doctrine respecting man--his doctrine of Duty, and of Immortality? It is a cause of rejoicing, that these great truths pervade all sects; and they neutralise much of the evil of all forms of sectarianism. They are of incalculably greater moment than any matters of doubtful and difficult speculation, for the sake of which Christian societies have been agitated and stimulated into the unholy servours of party zeal.

The question of What are the essentials of Christianity? would be differently answered by different parties. Without staying to examine these answers in detail, we may advert to some general considerations, drawn from Scripture and reason, which still farther confirm the views presented, and help us satisfactorily to determine this question for ourselves.

May we not lay it down as a safe principle, that essentials must be clear; that they cannot be matter of learned research, and difficult debate; they must be plain and prominent, standing out in bigh relief on the face of the record-not requiring the refinements of criticism, or learned authorities for their establishment, but plain to bim that readeth and considereth? This is what we might expect, on principles of natural reason. What is essential

, ought to be plain. The salvation of man cannot depend on obscurities which the well-disposed may miss, and the feeble cannot reach. And Scripture confirms this expectation; it says, that the thing is nigh unto us, so that we need not say, who shall ascend into the height to bring it down, or who sball descend into the depth to fetch it up? It says, “ He hath showed thee, O man, what is good for thee, and what doth the Lord require of thee." Christ connects discipleship to him, with keeping his words, doing his sayings; and unless Christ has spoken obscurely, it would appear that no honest mind can mistake the essentials of his religion.

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