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ing the advantage of a Revelation, however its truths are capable of being otherwise ascertained. A great deal of infidel argument thus falls to the ground, and much is brought, like Tindal's "Christianity as old as Creation," to yield an enforced, but important, support to the evidences of that Christian scheme which it so distinctly affirms to be, in all its great principles, identical with the religion of nature.
But our discussion must come to an end. We have written of Dr. Taylor with a partiality which it were vain to deny or to conceal. Years ago, in the full vigor of his manhood, we listened to these discourses as they fell fresh from his lips; listened with conceptions ever expanding, ever rising, of the great glory of that government which he loved to expound and to vindicate-listened with throbbing heart and impulses that can never be either expressed or forgotten. We gathered from his lips convictions which have been a lifelong blessing and joy-that have deepened the sense of responsibility forever, and we offer this tribute of respect and affection to the memory of one who, as a theological teacher, never had his superior. We learned to appreciate the comprehensiveness of his inquiries-the intense earnestness with which he advocated his views, and the freedom with which he invited objection. The public which has known him hitherto only as a controversialist and a preacher, has yet to form its opinion of him as a philosopher and a theologian. As one and another of his efforts comes forth from the press--shaped by other hands than his own for the public eye-his successors will begin to understand the breadth of his researches, and, like other men, he will find the estimation which his labors deserve.
But whatever may be, either now or hereafter, the general judgment of the success of the great discussion which we have described, there can be no doubt that it will make a lasting impression upon the theological reasonings of men, in relation to the government of God. We rejoice to know that with the improving religious sensibility, and the deepening religious conviction of these ages, more and more of the interest of all serious thinkers must center round the great themes here dis
cussed. The mind which, more than any other in all the religious literature of the world, has critically tested the principles and the administration of the divine government under which we live, will ever be an object of philosophic interest. The serious and life-long effort of a most active and able intellect, employed thus definitely in so important a work, can hardly fail to possess a high value. The thorough discussion of objections as old as philosophy itself, and hitherto intractable under any analysis, must long attract inquirers to the study of his works. We need not contend that his writings are exempt from minor inconsistencies and errors, but even if those errors were far greater than they are, these works would be of no small value, for the numerous and ingenious sugges. tions which they afford, and for the vigor with which great principles are carried out to their results. But when such clearness of conception and force of reasoning are devoted to the support of evangelical truth, all the interest of novelty, of variety, or of ingenuity, sinks into insignificance, compared with that which belongs to the questions which he treats. No lover of the word of God can fail to feel an obligation to the mind which consecrated such talents to its defense and elucidation. No thoughtful soul, of sufficient candor to sympathize with the struggles of minds grappling unequally with the errors and difficulties which have obscured theology, can fail to feel an emotion of gratitude to the patient and earnest thinker who has removed so many stumbling blocks from the beaten track of thought. Never before have the ways of God received a vindication so complete and so extended; never before has the system of grace in the gospel been so elucidated, or been so defended from the assaults of skepticism. The distinctions which escaped the acuteness of Leibnitz, and which evaded the grasp of Edwards, have been drawn by his patient thought into clear view, and defended from all serious objection. The theological prejudice to which the old obscurity is still dear, may yet, for a while, reject his views; bigotry may even—it will be safe to do so for some small time yetanathematize the whole scheme of thought as only a heresy, stigmatize its author in the approved theological method by some name of odium, and thus retard the acceptance of views which so exalt the goodness, and prove the sincerity of God. But these lectures on the Moral Government of God will open rich mines of thought which many a useful laborer will work for the instruction of the church and the world-will stimulate the thoughts of other minds to yet wider and completer viewswill live when the theological denunciations of our day are forgotten and dead and will give their author a distinguished name among those who have consecrated the noblest talents to the grandest work, and have, by elucidating the character of God and establishing the claims of the gospel, won a lasting title to the respect and the gratitude of mankind.
ARTICLE V.-DR. BELLOWS ON "THE SUSPENSE OF FAITH."
An Address to the Alumni of the Divinity School of Har.
vard University, Cambridge, Mass., given July 19, 1859. By HENRY W. BELLOWS. New York: C. S. Francis & Co. 8vo. pp. 46.
THERE are many topics brought forward in the notable address of Dr. Bellows, which invite discussion. If we do not totally mistake the drift of the discourse, there runs through it a confession, or avowal we should rather say, that the Unitarian Inovement has operated, and that by a legitimate tendency, in favor of skepticism and irreligion. Dr. Bellows proposes to account for the decline of inward vitality in the Unitarian body, and his explanation is that the mind of the age is so far drawn away from God as to render the exertions of that body well-nigh superfluous! In the common “suspense of faith,” its vocation is gone, and its decadence and decrepitude, at the moment of outward success, is a consequence inevitable and perhaps not to be deplored! We are sincerely desirous to do no injustice to this remarkable Address, which in more than one respect commands our admiration. Dr. Bellows discovers on every page a penetrating discernment of the signs of the times, and a wide observation coupled with a striking felicity of expression. We must regard it as a mark of his frankness and his disposition to deal honestly with every question, that he should so fully sanction the grarest charge that was ever brought, or ever could be brought, against the denomination of which he is a distinguished leader. He explains the “despondency, self-questioning, anxiety," deniable chill in the missionary zeal,” and “undeniable apathy in the denominational life” of the Unitarians, by assigning a particular, then a general, and then a universal,
The particular reason is the activity of other agencics, such as literature, political and democratic life and the news
paper press, in emancipating the public mind from bigotry and superstition,-agencies which, as Dr. Bellows soon hias occasion to say, in doing the work of the Unitarians for them, have made the times unreligious. The general reason for their “pausing posture and self-distrust" is found in the recently discovered fact that the characteristics of the Unitarian body are those of Protestantism itself, the Unitarian movement being only the advanced wave of a movement far more general; and the logical tendencies of Protestantism, according to Dr. Bellows, are towards the abandonment of the church as an independent institution, the denial of Christianity as supernatural revelation, and the abolishment of worship as a separate interest. The universal reason for the languishing life of so prosperous a religious body is asserted to be the unavoidable reaction of human nature from its centrifugal motion with reference to God; a motion which the author of this discourse vindicates as a temporary necessity, though it involves, according to his description of it, the forsaking of God, self-worship, and the reign of self-will. Protestantisın, in his view, is the champion of this centrifugal tendency which moves man to self-assertion, self-direction, and self-culture; which carries him away from God in pursuit of civilization ; and Unitarians, as “ Protestants of the Protestants,” are at the apogee of the orbit. In them, as standing in the van of the epoch, the pendulum has reached its extreme bound, and of course is compelled to stop. Now, we simply call attention to the circumstance that underneath all the ingenuity and eloquence of this Address, and inwrought into its whole structure, is the acknowledgment that the Unitarian denomination has been unconsciously at work in conjunction with the forces that war against revealed religion. Its energies are relaxed for the reason that doubt and unbelief have become general, and men feel it to be high time for them to come back to God, apart from whom they have in vain sought repose.
We shall not be charged with being uncharitable for agreeing with Dr. Bellows. But before we proceed to say how far we agree and how far we differ, in regard to the defects of Uni