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ment of it by affectionate persuasion, shall we bring upon ourselves the deep criminality of rather doing what is in our power to harden them in opposition, by rousing into jealous exercise all the feelings of eager hostility; making them parties with ourselves in a personal quarrel; and encouraging, what of all things we ought to discountenance, a combat for victory instead of a controversy for truth?
It is my earnest prayer that the Holy Spirit may enable me to "keep my heart with all diligence," while engaged in defending the truth of the important doctrines revealed by his inspiration; and preserve me from every expression that would either indicate an improper temper in my own breast, or excite such a temper in the breast of any one of my readers.
I should reckon it a waste of time, to repel, by any lengthened defence, the charges before alluded to, which Mr. Yates has, either directly or indirectly, brought against my manner of conducting the controversy. The light in which these charges will be viewed by the reader will, I am quite aware, correspond with the predisposition of his mind, and the side which he has taken (if he has taken any) on the question un der discussion. I must be allowed, however, a few brief re
In his introduction, Mr. Yates thus expresses himself. (Pages 3, 4.) Mr. Wardlaw affirms solemnly, that his only "object is TRUTH; and doubtless the defence of the Calvinis❝tic doctrines, which he believes to be true, was his only ob
ject. But there is a wide difference between defending a par❝ticular system, previously assumed as true, and pursuing truth ❝ independently of system ;-a difference which will material❝ly affect the manner in which a man states his own argu66 ments, and views the arguments of others. Mr. Wardlaw's
"whole style and language in this controversy show, that "he has never put his mind into that state of calm and im
partial deliberation, which is necessary to collect and ar"range the proofs on either side, and to judge in favour of "which the evidence preponderates."
In this, and some other parts of his Reply, Mr. Yates seems to proceed on the modest supposition, that at the time of preparing my Discourses, the subject was quite new to me ;— that I had only then entered on the investigation of the truth of those doctrines, which, for ten years before, I had been preaching to others as the doctrines of the word of God. If this be disavowed by him ;-if he be ready to admit, that the discourses may be an exhibition, not of the process of investigation by which the writer first arrived at his conviction of the truth which he defends, but of the grounds on which a long established conviction rested;--then is he very inconsistent with himself. For in a subsequent page (37) we find him saying, at the close of a passage similar in its nature to the former,—" But although this kind of indifference is ab❝solutely necessary in the investigation of religious truth, "yet, when the truth is once discovered, when the contro
versy is terminated, then let fervent enthusiasm apply the "theory to practice; then let generous unabated zeal em"ploy the weapons of divine truth to subdue the powers "of sin and darkness; then let the eloquent tongue express all the tender and kind emotions of the bleeding "heart; then adopt the penetrating all-powerful rhetoric of "Paul, I have told you before, and now tell you even weep
When Mr. Yates here speaks of "the controversy being ter"minated," he certainly cannot mean to condemn all preaching of the fervent and animating kind which he so eloquently
describes, till such time as the said controversy shall be finally settled to the satisfaction of all parties,-till either Unitarians on the one hand, or Trinitarians on the other, shall come to be universally convinced of their errors, and shall consequently cease their opposition. If this be his meaning, it is not easy to predict the time at which we shall be justified in proceeding to our practical application. Our zeal, I fear, must be repressed, our eloquence tongue-tacked, and our hearts kept in an ice-house, for an indefinite, and, in all probability, a long period. He must mean," when the truth is "once discovered" to our own personal satisfaction, "when the " controversy is terminated" in our own minds, in consequence of fair and deliberate investigation. And if this be his meaning, I have just endeavoured to do, to the best of my ability, the very thing, to which my adversary, with so much propriety, and emphasis, and eloquence of expression, has given his hearty sanction.-Which of the two convictions, Mr. Yates's or mine, is founded on the most deliberate and impartial investigation, it must be left to the reader, from a comparison of our respective reasonings, to decide.
I could not read without a smile, Mr. Yates's smart remarks on my unfortunate points of admiration. From what he says of my "frequent use" of them, in their " single, double, and "treble form," (! !! !!!) his reader, if he had not previously perused my Volume, would expect, on his looking into it, to find them" bristling" in every page, "like quills upon the "fretful porcupine;"—as numerous, and obtrusively remarkable, as breaks and dashes in the pages of my uncle Toby.-I shall leave it to the reader, if he chuse to be at the trouble, to turn over 440 pages, and ascertain the number of times that the double and treble notes of admiration occur, Possibly he may find half a dozen of the former, and half as many
of the latter. As to single points of admiration, I have always understood them to be intended for use, and the employment of them in writing to be as legitimate, as that of the inflexions and intonations of the voice in speaking. But with these, indeed, Mr. Yates seems as seriously offended as with the other. I can only assure him, that the "tones of astonishment,” of which he complains, were as far as possible from being " affected." The astonishment expressed in them was, bona fide, felt. There may, possibly, be some advantage in that unvarying monotony, which leaves our hearers at full liberty to guess, whether the state of our minds be satisfaction or disgust, indifference or surprise : yet, on the whole, I am disposed to think the ordinary rule preferable, that the looks and tones of the speaker should correspond with his predominant feelings. And I cannot well account for Mr. Yates's having felt so sore under these "tones of astonishment," and prickly "bristles of admira"ration"-(a misnomer indeed on the present occasion, as it was any thing but admiration they were intended to indicate)-on any other supposition, than that of a secret consciousness of there being in truth some little cause for the wonder which they were intended to express.
There are two other species of "management and gene"ralship" and "manoeuvring" such as "a votary of truth "would scorn," which are laid to my charge in Mr. Yates's introduction. The first is my "making the best use" of the
very few proofs" which I had to adduce, "bringing them "forward different times, dwelling upon them at great length, "turning them about, and showing them in the most pleas❝ing variety of lights ;" and my professing to bring forward a specimen, and to proceed on the principle of selection, when I have nearly or entirely exhausted my store.-That I en
deavoured to make the best use of the proofs which I did adduce, I need not surely hesitate to admit. I should have been a recreant to my cause had I failed to do so :-but whether it has been done in the manner described by Mr. Yates, I must leave it to the candid reader of my Discourses to judge. The falsity of the latter part of the above charge is well enough known to every one who knows any thing at all of the subject; and I trust it will be sufficiently apparent to all my readers, before I have done with these remarks, that the stock of proofs is not quite exhausted, and that even Mr. Yates has unwittingly supplied a little to it himself.
The second manoeuvre is thus described. (P. 5.) "Instead "of presenting a fair and full view of the Unitarian system "in its leading principles, and general aspects, he makes "it his object to bring into notice every thing absurd or "dangerous that was ever written by a Unitarian.”—This is a serious charge: and I distinctly deny its truth. We shall afterwards see the extensive sense in which Mr. Yates is pleased to use the appellation Unitarians. I was writing, however, against Socinians. In exposing what I deemed their errors, I took my extracts not from the writings of any contemptible scribblers, but from those of the "chief "men of their synagogue." For where shall those, who are not themselves initiated, discover the distinguishing sentiments of the party, if not by reference to such men as Lardner and Priestley, and Lindsay and Belsham, and the Editors of the Improved Version of the New Testament?— I know not what those "minor topics" may be to which Mr. Yates refers as opposed to the "few great principles" of Unitarianism; or what he means by "sentiments of indivi"dual Authors," to which "the great body would refuse "their sanction."-Particular sentiments of individuals, I