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filled us with the sublime and comforting hope of a happy immortality, and raised us above the dread of death, -we should be unfeeling and ungrateful if we did not desire to impart the same to others, if we did not long to pour into their wounds the balm which has healed our own hearts, and provide for them a shelter beneath the everlasting rock which is a covert for ourselves.-And if there were any, who could hold this in derision and pour contempt upon it, and defame it in the ears of the world, and drive away those who were coming to it for salvation; we should then be bound-by all our knowledge of its worth, by all our experience of its peace, by all our acquaintance with its sanctifying and consoling influence -we should be bound to stand forth in its defence as if our mother were reviled, and "contend earnestly" for the jewel of our souls.
Of the various modes in which this duty may be performed, it is not our design to speak. He who is rightly interested in his religion will readily discern by what means he may promote it, and will not fail to use his opportunities of so doing. He will count it no hardship, but a pleasure, to aid the cause of religious education, to be a patron of religious publications, and to cast in his mite for the encouragement of benevolent associations; and, above all, to evince his sense of the worth and excellence of his faith, by its influence over his own life and conversation. We cannot too earnestly insist upon this. Men will judge a doctrine by its fruits. If these be good, not all the malice of its enemies will convince men that the tree is bad. If these be evil, not all the eloquence of its friends will persuade them that the tree is good. The first and most desirable of all things is personal religion.
None will believe that we contend for the faith from any good motive, except its light shine in us, and they see our good works. What can it be supposed that we care for the Faith, if we are not ourselves subject to its powWhat is the worth of speculative truth held in unrighteousness? What would the world be the better for a correct system of doctrines, if it were consistent with irreligious and immoral practice?
Remember, then, that the Faith once delivered to the Saints is not a barren catalogue of doctrinal truths-but the CHRISTIAN RELIGION—a religion, in its essence and power embraced, we devoutly trust, by all classes of disciples, and dear to every spirit that cares for immortality -a religion, which cannot be monopolized by any one sect, and a true regard for which is to be shown by diligent study to know what it is, and faithful practice to become what it requires.
It is the truth of God, revealed from heaven; of infi- . nite moment to man, because it points out the way of duty and the method of salvation. It is the message of pardon and reconciliation by Jesus Christ; of infinite value to the soul burdened with sin, because it teaches where there is cleansing and acceptance, and how the penitent may be restored to God. It is the promise of eternal life through the divine mercy; of infinite value to the soul that stands trembling on the verge of life, because it lights up the dying eye with the vision of a future world, and sooths the sinking heart with the prospect of eternal rest.
Who then would be ignorant or unconcerned respecting the faith of Christ! Who would not embrace it heartily, live by it scrupulously, and contend for it earnestly!
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UNITARIAN Christians believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God and the Saviour of men. They believe in the divinity of his mission and in the divinity of his doctrines. They believe that the Gospel, which he proclaimed, came from God; that the knowledge it imparts, the morality it enjoins, the spirit it breathes, the acceptance it provides, the promises it makes, the prospects it exhibits, the rewards it proposes, the punishments it threatens, all proceed from the great Jehovah. But they do not believe, that Jesus Christ is the Supreme God. They believe that, though exalted far above all other created intelligences, he is a being distinct from, inferior to, and dependent upon, the Father Almighty. For this belief they urge, among other reasons, the following arguments from the Scriptures.
I. Because Jesus Christ is represented by the sacred writers to be as distinct a being from God the Father as one man is distinct from another. "It is written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one who bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me," John viii, 17, 18.