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ANTITRINITARIANS require that the terms of the proposition, "There are three Persons in the Godhead," be accurately defined; contending, that if they cannot be thus defined, the proposition either means nothing, or is false. They require their opponents to shew what the words Person and Godhead mean, in order to judge whether three such persons may be one God; which amounts to nothing less than a demand to have the nature of the Eternal, Self-existent Jehovah ascertained and made clear to their ap prehension. As it is manifestly impossible to do this, so it is manifestly unreasonable to require it. It does not follow, as they contend, that the proposition conveys no meaning, because all the terms of it cannot be perfectly explained to the comprehension of man.
disparage religion, and plunge THE TERMS OF A CERTAIN PROPhim deeper and deeper into shame and contempt. His religious character gone, his influence is at an end. The bad opinion formed of the preacher, will be to his hearers like a coat of mail to ward off the arrous of conviction, so that his most labored and eloquent discourses, will produce no effect. Be ye clean, that carry the vessels of the Lord, is a precept addressed with the strongest emphasis to the ministers of the sacred altar. He, who with impure hands and an unsanctified heart, approach es the portals of the consecrated temple, to deliver the messages of the Most High, would do well to hearken to the divine voice from within, What hast thou to do to declare my satutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? He, who ascends the pulpit, should be filled with the profoundesi awe, while veneration for his character should inspire the assembled audience with the like solemnity. When he arises to address candidates for eternity, to him should be applicable the description of the poet;
It is necessary we should conceive of a Divine Person, or Persons, and of angels; yet every student in logic knows, that these conceptions must be inaccurate. In conceiving of a Di
vine Person, or an angel, a human person must be made the basis of the conception. Indeed, the impossibility of conceiving. accurately of a Divine Person, is evident, on contemplating the Omnipresence of God, The idea of a single intelligence all around us, or even in any two places at the same instant, cannot be conceived by the human mind: as must be obvious to eyery one, who makes the trial.
Yet, who hesitates to conceive of God as a person, or to represent Him as a person? The Scripture does not; nor can any man but an Atheist. We must of necessity become practical Atheists, if we may not conceive of God as a Person.
But if we are under the necessity of admitting inaccurate conceptions of God, and dwelling on them as true, while we, at the same time, believe with certain evidence what is utterly inconsistent with these conceptions, let none complain of the doctrine of the Trinity, on the allegation that it cannot be consistently defined. If we are required to state distinctly what we intend by the proposition, what doctrines we would teach by the use of it, the answer is, that it is proper to conceive of three distinct Divine Persons, believing that the distinction is founded in the Divine Nature. While we express ourselves thus, we likewise insist, that it is also proper to conceive and speak of God as one Being. The apparent inconsistency of these doctrines arises from the imperfection of our faculties, which renders it impossible to have accurate conceptions of the Divine Being, whether we
conceive of Him as one Person, or as three Persons.
We believe the doctrine of the Trinity because the Scripture represents the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each as a Divine Person, and each as so distinct from the other, that the distinction must be founded in the Divine Nature. We do not hence believe, that there are three distinct Divine Beings. The Scripture teaches us not only that there is but One; but, also, that there is such a relation between God the Father, the Son of God, and the Spirit of God, that these three must be one Divine Existence. The same train of reasoning, which induced us to receive this doctrine, must have induced our fathers, and all Trinitarians before them, to receive it. Hence it will follow, that the views, which Trinitarians have had of the doctrine, must have substantially agreed, however some may have wandered from the rest, by attempting to explain the subject. The very argu ments, by which Trinitarians have ever defended the doctrine of the Trinity, compelled them to maintain, that the Scripture teaches us to conceive of three distinct Persons in the Godhead, whose distinction must be founded in the Nature of God. Every one would endeavor to prov., that the Father is represented as one Person, the Son as another, and the Spirit as another; and that the distinction of each from the other is such, as that it must be a distinction in the Divine Nature.
The great uniformity with which this doctrine has bet is held, by those who appear to
have been pious and enlightened Christions, is justly considered an important mark of its truth. To deny the doctrine is to charge the grea body of the pious and learned in the Christian Church, with teaching a gross error concerning the nature of Jehovah himself for a fundamental truth; it is to charge them with con
tinual idolatry; and consequent«. ly it is to consign them to perdi. tion. It also implies, that God has left the great body of Christ's followers, from age to age, not only to err, on an important point, but also to exclude from their communion all who ad hered to the truth respecting it. H. S.
LI. The Art of Writing, reduced to a plain and easy system, on a plan entirely new; in seven books. By JOHN JENKINS, Writing Master. Revised, enlarged, and improved Book I. Containing a plain, easy, and familiar Introduction, which may be considered as a Gram mar to the Art. Cambridge, printed for the Author. 1813.
WE consider it as a point established beyond all contradiction and all doubt, that the method of teaching the art of writing, invented, and now published, by Mr. Jenkins, is incomparably superior to any other known in this country, and, probably, in any country, and promises to be of incalculable utility to the public. It might be deemed a satisfactory proof of this position, and a sufficient recommendation of this system of penmanship, for us to say,in general, that it is published "under the patronage of the Legislature of Massachusetts, of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of many gentlemen of distinguished literary talents." But on a subject of such deep interest to the literary, mercantile, and religious
community, and to men in all situations, we would not content ourselves with this general observation. In addition to our own examination of the system, which has resulted in the fullest persuasion, that it deserves and will ultimately receive the universai and grateful attention of this nation, we can, with pleasure, adduce the testimony of others; not of men, whose ignorance and weakness would inval. idate their testimony; nor of men, by their learning and sagacity qualified to judge, yet undertaking to judge without inquiry. The testimony we adduce is the testimony of men, whose talents and erudition will not be called in question,-men, who hold the highest offices in Church and State, and who have given the system, here recommended, a serious, long, and careful examination, and have seen it in more or less instances reduced to practice. The testimony in favor of Jenkins's Art of Writing is as completely satisfactory, as it could be, if all the legislators, and magistrates, and clergy in our country, and all the presidents and professors of our colleges, and all the precep
tors of academies and teachers of schools, and all other men of any consideration, should, after faithful examination, unite in declaring, that it is clearly and altogether superior to every other system, and is calculated to be useful, beyond all computation, to the present and succeeding generations.
Our limits will only permit us to exhibit a specimen or two of the testimonies above alluded to. We begin with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, whose Committee report, "that having examined the principles upon which Mr. Jenkins has established his system of writing, and the method he proposes to make use of in teaching this useful art, they find, that he was the first, who, in this country, published a regular and systematic treatise upon it, and that in whatever view they consider the subject, his plan is the most eligible that has yet come within their observation, and that it is important to the interest of school edu-' cation, that Mr. Jenkins's plan should be universally adopted, as the best system extant."
The late Dr. Rush of Philadelphia, Drs. Danforth and Warren of Boston, and other distinguished physicians, recommend Jenkins's Art of Writing as preferable to any other with respect to its influence upon health. It is also recommended, as an improvement in penmanship, preferable to any thing of the kind, and as worthy the attention of heads of families, and all who are concerned in the education of children and the management of schools, by Governor Hancock, President Willard, Drs. Stillman, Morse, Austin, Porter, and
Parish-Drs Stiles and Dwight, Presidents of Yale College-and others, too many to be enumerated, equally deserving of pubiic regard.
The advantage of this work, in point of expense, has not been overlooked. According to a calculation made by the Rev. Bishop Moore, the Hon. William S. Johnson, L. L. D and many other very
respectable gentlemen, there is a saving of expense, to each scholar, in acquiring the art of writing according to Jenkins's system, of at least $100, making probably an aggregate saving to the inhabitants of this Commonwealth, of $4,000,000 in three years. The Rev. Perez Fobes, L. L. D, the Hon. Joseph Moffett, and the Stearns, D. D.
Rev. Charles state, as their opinion, that a complete set of Jenkins's books on penmanship would be of more real use to a family of half a dozen chilaren, than $300 would be, expended on teaching them to write in the usual way.
A large number of literary gentlemen, who deserve high respect, have pointed out the particular advantages which will result to the public from Jenkins's Art of Writing.
"1. It will be a great saving of precious time.
2. It will be a great saving of expense, where the common advantages of learning to write are enjoyed.
3. Many poor people who have not the means of schooling their children, may furnish them with part of their education with only the trifling expense of these books.
4. Thousands in New Settlements, who have not the advan
tages of common schools, may learn to write at home.
5. Our counting houses and other important offices will be more easily and generally filled with elegant writers.
6. School Masters will save a vast portion of the time now needlessly spent in teaching writing in the usual way.
7. It will promote the views of those, who wish to introduce into heathen lands the arts of civilízation and the blessings of the Gospel."
It is now more than twentytwo years since Mr. Jenkins first published his system. While we lament that so long a time has elapsed without any adequate reward to the Author for his ingenious and unwearied labors, or much benefit to the public; we rejoice that a more auspicious time has arrived, and that this system is now brought forward in such a form and under such extensive patronage, as will ensure to the republic of letters and the community at large the inestimable advantages, which the author and his patrons have aimed to promote. May his assiduous exertions be successful; and may the reward, long since due, be at length bestowed by a just and liberal public.
LII. A Discourse delivered June 20, 1813, before the Officers and Students of Bowdoin College, occasioned by the death of Frederic Southgate, A. B. lately a Tutor in said College. By JESSE APPLETON, D. D. Boston; Nathaniel Willis. pp. 24.
SCARCELY a more interesting object, within the whole range
of created intelligences, presents itself to the enlarged and contemplative mind, than a youth supremely devoted to the service of God, and entering upon activé life with all the advantages which a good education and superior talents confer. The thought, that such a youth has been renewed by the Spirit of God, is turned from the wayward road to perdition into the path of life, and is about to commence a series of beneficent which may probably terminate in the salvation of many souls;— that talents which might have been prostituted to the service of Satan have been enlisted in the cause of Christ;-is in a high degree delightful and sublime. But when the cheering prospects of usefulness on earth are clouded in a moment, and the promising subject of so many fond anticipations is hastened prematurely to the grave, resignation to the Divine will, though not less obviously a duty, is more difficult and painful than in most other cases.
Mr. Southgate, on account of whose death this sermon preached, appears to have been an instance of the kind above.described. He was amiable, promising, pious; but we will not ans ticipate the account, which we shall give in the words of the preacher.
The text is Proverbs xiv, 32. The wicked is driven away in his wickedness; but the righteous hath hope in his death.
After a brief introduction, and a statement, that though all men are divided by the Scriptures into two classes, the righteous and the wicked, yet the religious attainments of the good, and the