Billeder på siden







American Unitarian Association.



Price 5 Cents.

BOSTON, Press of I. R. Butts and Co.


Situated and employed as the writer of the following pages has been for a number of years, it may be thought that he now deviates from the path of prudence, in suffering this Tract to appear with his name. He therefore deems it proper to say, that he has long been grieved to see his fellow christians alienated from each other; that he has believed these alienations to arise in a great degree from contentions about the natural dignity of the Messiah, while far too little respect has been paid to the spirit he displayed in his example, and enjoined by his precepts; that when the argument stated in this Tract occurred to his mind, it impressed him with a belief that it was adapted to command the attention of all serious christians, as they must feel interested to have the moral character of their common Lord stand unimpeached by any hypothesis for explaining his testimony. He has reflected much on the subject since the argument was reduced to writing, and has not been able to discover any rational or scriptural ground on which it is liable to objection. He is, therefore, led to hope that by giving it to the public he may do something which will produce more caution, more candor, more forbearance and brotherly love among brethren of different sects; and that in consequence of this change of feeling, they will be better prepared to unite their exertions to abolish all antichristian customs. That the writer should indulge such a hope may appear to many as the fruit of arrogance or delusion ; yet were it not for this hope, he would sooner commit the manuscript to the flames than send it to the printer. From a review of the history of Christians, from the days of Constantine to this century, it would appear that the greater part of the clergy have thought it a very light thing for men to live in hatred and strife, or even to be employed in shedding each other's blood, compared with being in error respecting the natural dignity of the Son of God. How numerous have been the voluines published on this subject, and how innumerable the sermons which have been delivered, while there has been an almost total si. lence, as to any proper testimony against a custom which involves every species of crime, and has destroyed more than a thousand millions of our race. Justead of bearing proper testimony against this custom, a very great portion of the clergy have, for fourteen centuries, been directly or indirectly promoters of robbery and bloodshed! If the clergy of Christendom would now lay aside their party and sectarian animosities, and unite their exertions to cultivate and diffuse the gospel principles of love, forbearance, and peace, how glorious must be the effects ! Soon the several countries might be filled with the blessed fruits of that wisdom which is from above.

The writer was once himself a Trinitarian, and he has not forgotten that he then conscientiously adopted the very mode of interpreting our Saviour's testimony to which he now objects. He therefore freely acquits others of insincerity or wrong motive, in adopting the principle which he now believes to be incorrect and dangerous. He has ever felt a respect for the denomination of Christians from which he found it his duty to dissent, and he wishes ever to retain towards them the feelings of a brother. If this Tract may be the means of abating the unkind and unconciliatory spirit which has long been too manifest ainong Christians, he will not have labored in vain ; but if it should cause an increase of that spirit, it will be to him an occasion of deep regret.

« ForrigeFortsæt »