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istence?' I do. Read the following official declaration. · Universalists now know of no condition for man beyond the grave but that in which he is as the angels of God in heaven. Let the opponents then refute, if they can, the views of universulists of the present day. Trumpet, vol. xii. p. 158.
"Do you assert that universalists believe there will be no distinctions among men in a future life?' I do. Read the following explicit declaration. The bible does not support the doctrine of distinctions among mankind, either in the grave or beyond it.' Trumpet, vol xiii. p. 38.
«« Will universalists be satisfied with having your attack con-fined to these opinions?' Certainly. Read the following official direction. 'When you attack the doctrine of universalists, we beseech you to take hold of the real doctrine as it is believed now and defended now. Refute Origen, if you can; and Relly and Winchester if you can; but do not suppose you? have refuted us, because you have discovered discrepancies in the systems of early universalists. Neither content yourselves with combating what a private individual, here and there, of the present day believes; but take the sentiment of the order, read the books of its principal authors, and seize the principal arguments, and overturn them if you can. Trumpet, vol. xi. 66. Who are considered the principal authors among
the universalists ?' This question was once asked of an official organ by an Orthodox clergyman, so that he might become acquainted with the 'present prevailing system of universalism *; and what answer was returned ? Read the following statement. “I took a pen and ink and wrote, Ballou on Atonement, Ballou's. Notes on the Parables, Ballou's Lectures, Kneeland's Lectures, Balfour's Enquiries, and all the volumes of the Universalist Magazine or Trumpet.' Trumpet, vol. xi. p. 166.” — pp. vi, vii, viii, ix.
The first, second, and fourth Letters may be regarded as preliminary, being intended to explain the nature of divine rewards and punishments, to prove that nothing like a perfect retribution is carried into effect in this world, and to define and illustrate at much length the means and true character of Christian salvation. Some will complain of prolixity here, but all must admit that the distinctions are clearly and ingeniously drawn, and that the examples are not only pertinent and striking as illustrations of the general subject, but valuable also for the practical suggestions they contain in regard to the tendencies of human conduct. Let
ter third presents the argument from coinmon sense and the light of nature, and Letters fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth present the direct and incidental argument from Scripture, for a future and righteous retribution. One Letter, the sixth, is exclusively occupied with an inquiry into the true import of the word gehenna, (translated hell in the Common Version) as used in the New Testament, and is by far the best popular disquisition on this subject that has come under our notice. The objections to a future retribution, and the arguments for no future retribution, are fairly stated, and amply and most satisfactorily answered and refuted in the ninth and tenth Letters. 'l'he two following Letters, with which the work concludes, give a summary of the objections to modern Universalism, and close with a few appropriate and seasonable remarks on the present state of the controversy, and on the manner and spirit with which it should be conducted.
In the fifty or sixty Universalist societies in Maine, Mr. Whitman informs us, that scarcely half a dozen churches have been gathered. He afterwards estimates the whole number of communicants in the connexion throughout the United States, three quarters of whom are still, probably, believers in restoration, at short of two thousand. It is less than we supposed, though we never participated in the apprehensions of the alarmists on this subject. We hold it to be impossible that the distinguishing doctrine of modern Universalism, defined and explained above, should prevail as a matter of positive and serious belief among Christians. If alarmists and others will take some pains to enlighten themselves, and their neighbours, respecting the laws and conditions of their moral being, and the Christian salvation, and to this end, read, and help to circulate able and approved works on the subject, like that here recommended, we make no doubt, we entertain no fears of the issue.
Art. I. — Essais Théologiques. - De l'Usage de la Rai
son, en matière de Foi. Troisième Essai, 8vo. pp. 124.
De l'Autorité dans l'Eglise Réformée ; ou, des Confessions de Foi.
Quatrième Essai. 8vo. pp. 128. Par M. CHENEVIÈRE, Pasteur et Professeur à Genève. Ge
nève et Paris. 1831, 1832. Essays on the Use of Reason in matters of Faith, and on
Authority in the Protestant Church. Being the Third and Fourth of the Theological Essays of Professor CHENEVIÈRE of Geneva.
We have formerly directed the attention of our readers to this series of Theological Essays from the pen of the learned professor of Geneva, and given them some account of the first two that were published; — that on the Trinity, and that on Original Sin. We take up the Third and Fourth Essays together, because they are intimately related in their subjects. They comprise a lucid and satisfactory exposition of the great fundamental principles of Protestantism, defending them not only against the adherents of the Pope, but against the inconsistencies of Protestants, and contending with unanswerable power for their universal application and for the duty of following them to their consequences. All this, to most of our readers, will seem the very alphabet of religious and moral philosophy; they will be ready to think the talent wasted, which is expended in arguments to prove what they have long recognised as axioms of theological science. But alas, there is yet a considerable portion of the Christian community, who, when for the time
VOL. XV. -N. S. VOL. X. NO. II.
they ought to be teachers, have need that some one teach them which be the first principles. They have heard the words of freedom which Protestantism has been uttering for three hundred years, but they have caught nothing of its spirit. They are still enslaved to tradition, to authority, to antiquity, to forms and creeds. They dare neither think for themselves, nor count those safe that do so. Misunderstanding the nature and worth of Faith, they give its praise and reward to a blind assent or a fanatical emotion; and dread and denounce the use of the understanding, because it is likely to throw a light on some of the dark places of their traditional doctrine.
Knowing that there are such, and having witnessed in the recent assaults on the Genevan Church, the mischief they are likely to do to the cause of Protestant Reform, M. Chenevière, in his Third Essay, takes up the subject from the beginning, and treats it in its elementary principles. It is sad to reflect, he says, that we are reduced at the present day, in the cradle of the Reformation and in the city of Geneva, to prove that reason is to be heeded in treating of religion and Christianity. In the dark days of the middle ages, when free inquiry was prohibited by law, and authority bore sway, we can conceive that reason should have been condemned and silenced;- but that in 1831 there should be found Protestants, who regard as dangerous and impious persons those who demand an enlightened faith in accordance with the progress of the mind and of knowledge, would be thought impossible, if there were not but too much evidence to prove it real.
He begins his treatise with an inquiry concerning the nature and properties of Faith ; a word used in various senses, and hence much of the mysticism and uncertainty and contradiction which have crept into the discussions concerning it. That proposition which is very true when the term is employed in one of its significations, becomes very false if it be taken in another; and if the unskilful inquirer assume one meaning in his premises and another in his conclusion, he may seem to himself to prove a truth, but it is really a falsehood. Thus, he starts with the proposition, “ Without Faith it is impossible to please God ; '- meaning, that confidence in the Divine character and promises of which the sacred writer is producing examples in the context. (He
brews, XI. 6.) But by and by, treating of belief in certain articles of dogmatic theology, he calls it Faith, and forthwith applies to it the declaration of the Apostle ; “ Without belief in these dogmas it is impossible to please God.” But this faith is a very different thing from the former faith ; and what is predicated of the one may be far from being applicable to the other. That which is true of the moral faith may not be so of the intellectual. To the want of perceiving and acknowledging this obvious distinction has in all ages been owing the greater part of the quarrels and anathemas of bigotry and superstition.
It is necessary therefore, when we are going to discuss the question of the use of reason in matters of faith, to discern clearly what we mean by faith. Our author's remarks are brief on this point, and they result in this; Faith has two parts: it is that conviction of the truth of the Christian religion which results from evidence; and it is that principle of action and life which grows out of that conviction. Where the gospel, he says, speaks of Faith as essential to salvation, it intends not only an assent to its facts and doctrines, but a hearty and feeling disposition to obedience; it implies trust and affection. So important is this, that nowhere do we learn that the admission of such and such dogmas shall save; one may admit them, and yet be without Faith in any right sense of the word. While, on the other hand, the thorough, earnest confidence and acquiescence of the heart, operating to form the character and life to holiness, will be accepted as real Faith, though it may misunderstand, or be ignorant of, many items of revealed truth.
Now this practical operation of a belief in the facts and doctrines of Christianity, which constitutes a saving faith, is the result of that conviction of mind which is the result of Evidence. The question then is, Can Evidence fairly produce its result without the active use of reason? Or, as the question may be more completely stated, Can the decision be fairly made between the truth and falsehood of the claims of the Gospel to a divine origin,-- and between the claims of different contending interpretations of certain portions of its records, --- without the active use of the powers of the understanding?
To state this question, is to answer it. Yet to such an