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dies of men frequebtly say as well as do things which the game menjas individuals, would be either ashamed or afraid to say and do ; and the opinions whicb persons deliver in a collective capa. city will commonly be found to command greater defeTeuce from the inajority of maukid, thansbould be accorded to their iotrinsic me. rits, or thao would be ac. corded to ibe opinions of the same porsons taken separately and singly. For tbese and similar reasons it is de. Sirable to divest controversy of all socb adventitious -Heights to place truth on ibe basis of its own proper evidenoe-- to make every man responsible only for bis own opinions and reason. ings-and, if his opinions are erroneous or his reasonings fallacious, to prevent bin from. eluding the exposure ibey merit by taking refoge under the name of a religious body,with wbich be happens to stand connected. While, therefore, I could wisb-that the Title-page bad moro fully corresponded witbibe fact of the case, yot I duly appreciate that regard to truth and fairdealing which led to the intimation contained in the Prelace, that the Sovon Essays, although publisbed si de a anited rather than ip an individual capacity,''
were written by one per
son ;” and although your oame is not given, yet it is 80 well known to those who interest themselves in tho subject, that I make no a. pology for the mode of ad. dress which I have adopted, and for framing my lan. guage in the same way as if it had been formally ap. nounced.
It is not solely, nor even chiefly on your own account ibat I take the liberty of thos publicly addressiog you. The doubts respect. ing the Trinity wbicb you and I once eptertained in common, have, it would appear, been dissipated from the minds of botb, and, if I may judge from the zeal wbicb you display in your “ Defeace," have tended to confirm you more than ever in a belief of ibat doctripo which ibey have led me en. tirely to reject. I cannot be expected to applaud, and it does not belong to me to condemo-you, for the conclusion
to wbich you bave come. But, there claimed doobter is common: ly found to be a very deter. mined believer, and I sbould therefore betray great ignorance of human patore if I were to hope to make mache impression on you by cxhibiting the evidence of moro scriptural views and a more ratiopal faith than those which you at present main, taip and defend. Nor is it
the love of controversy wbicb induces me to meet you in the field of argument which you have chosen. have no ambition to distioguisb myself as an expert disputant, and if I bad, the consciousness, of my own ipferiority in the qualifications necessary to ensure success and the recollection of our former
ibtimacy would be sofficicnt motives either to retire from the struggle of opinions altogetber or, at least, to seek for another opponent. Besides, wbile I am fully coovipoed of the great advantages resulting to the pablic at largo from the free investigation of popular opinions, I am not unconscious of the danger to wbich those inmediately engaged in the investigation are exposed, of losing the true spirit of Christianity in tbeir search after its genuine doctrinesa loss which the certain dis. covery of them will not compensate. It is, there. fore, peither the hope of your individual conviction, por the love of controversy wbicb forms my principal motive io addressiog you. That motive, I bope, is the love of truth, the value #bicb I place upon religion, the desire whicb I feel to see Christianity triumpb
In yoor Essays I discover uoquestionable proofs of ibat learning, acumen, and piety employed against Unitarianism, for which I had previously knowo you to be distinguished, but I also discover equally voquestionable proofs of great and obaccountable ignorance of some of the sobjects wbicla you treat, strong and unde. served prejudice against your opponents, and tho most injurious misrepreseptations both of their principles and characters. I migbt console myself with tbe reflection cbarges and mis-statements bave not received a wider circulation than the book in wbich they are coptaioed ; but the fact is that you are not singalar in making them, The same or similar charges and mis-statements found in almost every Tri. oitarian pablication, whetbor occasional or periodical, aro frequently delivered with imposiog solemoity from tho pulpit by the orgaos both of Episcopacy and Dissent, and are generally regarded as true becauso tbey aro pot publicly deoied and selo dom eveo privately contradicted. Regarding, therefore, the cause of Unitarianism as that of puro Christiani. ty-a casse sometimes perhaps not oniojured by the mistakes and imperfections of its friends, but coestitate
the mistakes of its friends not less than the opposition of its enemies.
ing in itself the light of Trinitarian writers; and heaven and the troth of more will appear as I adGod cheerfully engage in vapce io the examination of a renly to your work, chiefly yoor Essays. with a view to explain the The Missionary Controfondamental doctrine of versy with Rammobyn Roy Unitarian Christianity, to bas received less attention remove the prejudices that thap it deserves. The cha. are entertained against its racter of the parties-Cbris. professors, and to
tian Missionaries on the ono tect the misrepresentations side and a Hindoo Brahmun whicb, perhaps, no bad de on the other renders it no. sign,bot in most cases, and vel and extraordinary ; add I am willing to hope in although most people may yours, only want of in- coosider its details uninter. formation may have occa. esting, there are, perhaps, sioned.
few in the religious world Before, however,proceed. by whom its objects or its jog directly to a considera. results will be regarded as-tion of the doctrines you obimportant: wbile both in have advanced and the ar. its origio, progress, and ter.. gomeuts by which you en. mination, it suggests somó deavour to sopport, them, weighty reflections and fur. I ibink it desirable to make dishes some valdable lessons some general remarks upon whicb worthy to bo the Missionary Controversy placed opon record. Ia with Rammohun Roy,whose takiog a general view of this Appeals gave oocasion io Controversy, I shall consi. your “ Defence," and opon der, first, the alleged grounds the Rev. T. Scott's Essays on which it was begon ; se. op the Deity of Christ &c. &c. condly, the manner in which which you bave deemed of it bas been coodacted sand, sofficient value to republisb tbirdly, the effects which it aod prefix to your own. has produced. . The first of Both the controversy in these particolars will occa. which you bave thus sought py the remaining part of ibis to take a prominent part, Letter, and in the remarks And the Essays opon which which I sball make opon it, you bave thus stamped your I sball confine my attention unqualified approbation, fur- to the first publication on nish abuodant proofs of the each side of the question. crroncuus views of Unita.' The first in the Series is rianism and the onjost pre- antitled,
“ The Pitcepls of judices against Unitarians Jesus the Guide to Peace and wbich are propagated by Happiness ; catracted from the
books of the New Testament as. scribed to the Four Evangelists. With translations into Sungscrit and Bengalee. Calcutta : printed at the Baptist Mis. sion Press, Circular Road. 1820;" and consists of four pages of an Iatroduction, designed to recommcod the Precepts of Jesus as the Guide to Peace and Happiness, and eighty-two pages of Extracts from the Authorized Version of the Four Gospels. Soon after the publication of this work, an article appeared in the Friend of India for Feb. ruary, 1820, No. XX. p. 23-31, partly by “ A Cbris. cia, Missionary," and partly by the Editor of ibat periodical, preferring several grave charges against the Compiler of the Precepts of Jesus. On the principle al. ready explained, according to which I have prebxed your name to this Letter, it appears proper to state that Rammobun Roy bas since arowed himself to be the Compiler, that the “ Chris. tian Missionary" is com. monly understood to be tho Rev. Deocar Scbmid, of tlie Cburch Missionary Society, and Chaplain to the European Female Orpban Asy. lom, and that the Rev. Dr. Marshmao of Serampore was the Editor of the Month. ly Friend of lodia at the date of these publications. The subsequcat publications
consist only of Replies and Rejoinders, and therefore do not require to be noticed when we are inquiring into the alleged grounds on wbich the controversy was commenced.
1. The first charge which has been brougbt against Rammobun Roy and against wbich be bas deemed it oecessary to appeal, is tbat of
depreciating the value of other parts of the inspired writings, and of "veoturiog to intimate, in the Introduce tion, that the dogmatical and historical matter” of the New Testament so far from beu ing necessary for the instruo. tion, guidance, and confort of mankind is rather calcu. lated to do injury." The following is that part of the Introduction which has beca adduced in support of this charge, and it is particularly deserving of atteniiba, as it seems to be almost the only passago
that has givca ground for the remaining cbarges also.
"I feel persuaded that by separating from the other mais terg contained in the New Testament, the moral precepts found in that book, tbese wilt be more likely to produce the desirable effect of improving the hearts and minds of men of different persuasions and de. grees of understauding. For historical and some other pasa 8ages are liable to the doubts and disputes of free-thinkers and antichristians, especially miraculous relations, which are
mnch less wonderful than the fabricated tales handed down to the natives of Asia*, and conseqnently would be apt ac best to carry little weight with them. On the contrary, mo. ral doctrines tending evidently to the maintenance of the peace and harmony of mankind at Jarge, are beyond the reach of metaphysical perversion, and lotelligible alike to the learned and to the nplearned."
I shall now joqoire into the justice of this charge and the relevancy of the progf that has been brought in its sopport; and in order to show that the chargeisanjust and the proof irrelevant, I ask nothing more than that the one be compared with the other. Where is the attempt to depreciate the value of other parts of the inspired writings? Where is it said that the doginari. cal and historical matter of the New Testament is calcolated to do injury? I can discover no sueb attempt :
trace no soch meaning. To ascribe such a desiga to the Compiler, and soch a tendency to the lan. guage he has employed can be the effect only of a distempered imagination or of
a blind zual-an imagina tion which creates dangers where they aro oot to be foond, or a zeal which seeks for opposition where none is intended.
It may perhaps be said that to represent soine parts of the Scriptores as likely to do good, when de. tached from the remainiog parts than when taken in the connection in which the Sacred Writers have placed them, is, in Mr. Schmid's phraseology, “ the ne plus ultra of arrogance.” Boris it not a fact that the Scrip. tures, ifread at all, must be read in separate portions? Is it not a fact that Missi. onaries are in the constant habit of distribating tho New Testament without ihe ibe Old, the Gospels onac. companied by the Epistles, one Gospel or one Epistle detached froin the other Gospels and the other Epis. tles, and even a very small part of one book, sach as the history of Joseph, or the sermon on the mount, dise joined from the other parts of the same book ? Is it not a fact that numerous writers, including Mr. Schmid and yourself, have poblished Systems of Divinity, Summa. ries of the Holy Scriptores, and Harmonies of the Gog. peis in the words of Scrip. ture, but in which almost every passage is separated from the copoection in
“ * Uyusti is famed for hav. ing swallowed the ocean when it had given him off-nce, and having restored it by orinary evacuation : at his command also the Vindhyn range of mountains prostrated itself and no reinaias. (Wilson's Diction, ary:)"