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in the course of his work, he strongly expresses his regard, and, with the emphasis of Italics, closes his volume by "joy"fully erasing from the tablet of his memory every feeling of hostility, and wishing to behave henceforth toward his oppo"nent, his friend, as his moral and intellectual excellences 66 prompt his esteem." (Page 273.) When Mr. Yates thus expresses his wishes respecting his behaviour to his friend "henceforth," his reader may naturally be disposed to inquire, in what manner he has behaved towards him in this controversy. And in seeking, in Mr. Yates's book, an answer to this inquiry, he will find some things, I fear, hardly quite consistent with that cordial union of spirit, which is generally and justly understood to belong to the essence of true friendship. He will occasionally feel cause for considerable surprise; and may begin, perhaps, to suspect that surely Mr. Yates uses this term, as Unitarians do so many others, in a sense of his own. What sort of esteem and friendship must these be? he will say to himself. This author certainly does not treat his esteemed friend very graciously. He compliments him, it is true, and compliments him strongly and generously. But his eulogies seem to be more than neutralized, when he charges this friend of his with management, and generalship, and manoeuvring, of various unworthy kinds;-with the artful expedients, and low tricks, of a nibbling adversary-with contumely, and petulance, and positiveness, and dogmatism; as well as with ignorance, and carelessness, and bitter misrepresentation, and overheated zeal ;—when he honours him with a place amongst "crows and chattering "jays," in their impertinent pursuit of the bird of Jove;-and speaks of the " feeble diminutive accents of our worthy Author”. in terms which could hardly be used without a certain scornful elevation of the upper lip, not extremely desirable in the countenance of a friend.—I am quite aware, however, of the diffe
rent lights in which the same expressions will appear to a friend of the cause that is defended, and to an enemy. Where the former finds no ground of complaint in an author's general manner, but rather, perhaps, an excess of forbearance and gentleness, the latter will quickly discover the clearest symptoms of virulent animosity and insolent self-sufficiency. Certain words and phrases will be severely censured by the latter, as incontestable evidences of such tempers of mind; while by the former they will be justified and commended, as indicating no more than that the writer is not indifferent to the cause he has espoused, but, as he ought to be," zealously "affected in a good thing." It was certainly my wish to avoid the evils of which my adversary has so heavily accused me. In this wish it is possible I may have failed; yet I honestly declare I am not sensible of the failure, at least to any thing like the extent of the indictment; nor, so far as I have had access to know the public voice, have my readers in general concurred in the accusations.
It may appear to some, perhaps, hardly generous, to bring these harshnesses forward into such prominent notice, after Mr. Yates has declared, towards the conclusion of his reply, the "special gratification it will afford him to expunge any 66 expressions which appear disrespectful to Mr. Wardlaw." (P. 273.) But the truth is, I cannot persuade myself that Mr. Yates was not sensible of something disrespectful in such expressions as those which have just been quoted. And surely, if he was, the spirit which would have been gratified by expunging them from the printed volume, should have previously gratified itself, by expunging them from the manuscript. This procedure is certainly much liker sincerity, than first to show the public, by offensive personalities, what smart things we can say, and then to bow at the close, and protest our readiness
to cancel them.-I have a similar observation to make respecting the severe accusations in Mr. Yates's letter to me, published at the end of his book. He says himself respecting that letter, "Some of the expressions in it are certainly harsh. "I used them, that he might see the full extent of my accusa❝tions against him, and because I always think it proper to "speak of another in severer language to himself than to any "one else." (P. 273.) Mr. Yates, then, intended this letter for myself, and for no one else? So, upon the principle which he states (an exceedingly good one) it ought to have been. But so it was not. Mr. Yates, while using these confessedly harsh expressions, "because he thought it proper to speak of another ❝in severer terms to himself than to any one else," was, at the very moment, writing for the public, and avows his intention of saying to the world all that he was saying to myself:"P. S. I shall probably prefix this letter to my Reply, that, "if any disagreeable consequences do ensue from this contro66 versy, the public may see that I am not chargeable with
Could I plead guilty to all the charges of my opponent, I should pronounce myself unworthy of his esteem, or of the esteem of any one else: and, what is of infinitely greater consequence than the forfeiture of the regard of men, I should feel myself exposed to the frown of an offended Master. I know it is his command, that "the servant of the Lord must "not strive, but be gentle unto all men-patient, in meekness " instructing those that oppose themselves." To this command -(a command to which he who was "meek and lowly in "heart" himself set the example of perfect conformity)—it is my desire, by his grace, to adhere, in inward feeling, and in outward act and expression. If the violation of it be necessary to writing with spirit, let me rank with the dullest of the
dull. I am no advocate for that facile complaisance, and simpering insipidity, which knows not how to be firm; which assumes a style between assent and denial, that can scarcely be known for the one or for the other; which minces truth, reduces and accommodates important differences, smiles when it ought to frown, and makes its courteous obeisance when it should stand erect in all the dignity of unbending decision.— But there is perfect harmony between decision and gentleness. If there were not, it were impossible that both should be commanded. We are in general, I fear, too little sensible of the sin that is committed by speaking or writing, whether against one another, or against the common enemies of our faith, under the influence of such tempers of mind, and in such a style and manner, as are inconsistent with the precepts and example of our "meek and lowly" Master. We are not sufficiently jealous of the deceitfulness of our hearts. We write with passion, and flatter ourselves that we are writing with becoming zeal. We indulge ourselves freely in violent invective, pointed sarcasm, and contemptuous ridicule, and, according to one of the most common modes of self-deception, that of giving gentle names to ungentle things, we call this writing with spirit.-Nay, such is our inconsistency, such our insensibility to our own failings, such our readiness to act the part of extractors of motes from the eyes of others, without being conscious of the beams that are in our own ;—that, in the very act of pronouncing our censure on another's fault, we are sometimes guilty, and that in a more flagrant degree, of the very fault which we are censuring. In reproving bitterness and virulence, we show the gall of our own hearts :—we reprobate self-sufficiency and pride, in the very spirit of proud self-sufficiency:-we are dogmatical in exposing dogmatism: -we laugh to scorn the claims of infallibility, and we ourselves
are never in the wrong:-we swell with secret self-conceit, while we are admonishing others "not to think of themselves more highly than they ought to think :"-we conceive our adversary sets himself too high ;-we bring him down ;-but we are so pleased with ourselves for the feat, that we mount the hrone from which we have dislodged him, and look around— ex cathedra-for admiration and homage.
That ignorance should be exposed, that sophistry should be detected, that artful reasonings should be refuted, malicious misrepresentations placed in their true light, and lofty and imposing pretensions sunk to their proper level,—all this is very right and very necessary. But should not the truth of the gospel be maintained in the spirit of the gospel? Should we not implore the grace of Christ, that we may show less of ourselves, and more of our Master? Shall we willingly incur his frown, to please the corrupt likings of our fellow-creatures? Shall we sacrifice his gracious smile for the laugh of the world; and "court a grin, when we should "woo a soul?" While we establish the truth of his doctrine, shall we give a false and mischievous exhibition of its nature, and of its influence on the heart? Shall we encourage our fellow-Christians in thinking lightly of tempers which they ought to dread and to deprecate,-in considering questions relative to the fundamental articles of divine truth, rather as party-distinctions, than as affecting the glory of Christ and the salvation of sinners?—And, with regard to the adversaries of the truth themselves, shall we allow ourselves to forget that they too have souls, immortal souls at stake,--and, instead of keeping steadily in view, their spiritual and eternal profit, their conviction and conversion to God,-instead of seeking to satisfy their judgments by a clear and argumentative manifestation of the truth, and to win them to the acknowledg