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the spiritual reign of the Messiah. I will only add, that as Daniel, Paul, and John, in passages formerly adduced, conneet the spread of the gospel with the destruction of Antichrist, it is also blended with the conversion of the Jews. “ Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in: and so all Israel shall be saved.” Rom. xi. 25.
Truth must prevail. History records that it has no resistless enemy. It is the heritage of man, and he advances to its possession: its prevalence is the promise of Scripture, and prophecy shall be accomplished: it is the object of Providence, and Providence is universal: it is favoured of God, and God is omnipotent. We rejoice in the prospect, whether the success of truth be that of our opinions, or of others. Perish error, though we may wander in its mazes! If our workmanship be only wood, hay, and stubble, let it be consumed, and ourselves saved as by fire, so that the temple of truth be purified from every incumbrance and pollution. But we believe that Unitarianism is truth, is Christianity. It bears all their sacred characters, and claims their promised universality. Prophecy envelopes them in a common glory, and decrees for them the same splendid destiny. “ The Lord shall be King over all the earth : in that day shall there bę One Lord, and his name One.”
For a time indeed this union was dissolveda
and with it fled the energy of Christianity. Only with its revival can the gospel again go forth, “ conquering and to conquer.” Corruption led to wealth and political authority; but they were ineffectual substitutes for truth. Not only did what was called Christianity cease to spread, but it actually succumbed before imposture; and Mahometanism made more progress in five-andtwenty years, than nominal Christianity in fourteen centuries. The Trinity, and similar and kindred doctrines, are the great obstacles to its diffusion. No extensive accession of enlightened converts can be expected anterior to their removal. That event approaches ; nor does the interval of darkness and corruption affect our hopes, for it was foreseen, and its termination fixed, by the same authority as that which gives them confidence. God has sketched for us a plan of the march of truth. Her path is drawn through dark caverns and gloomy wilds; but ending on the lofty mountain of wide dominion. Into that deep abyss she entered, and through that howling wilderness her steps have passed. Already she emerges, and climbs the promised elevation; nor can we doubt her attainment of its summit, to reign there in permanent and unrivalled majesty. How felicitous then will be the power of pure religion over society; all weakening corruptions removed, the hypocrisy that disgusts, the superstition that degrades, the pride that insults ! No longer polluted by being made subservient to the policy of states, or the arts of priests, how rapid and blissful will be its career, restraining the passions of men, advancing their improvement, and blending nations into brotherhood ! But Reformation must precede diffusion. Unitarianism must herald the universality of Christianity; must go before, like the Baptist, to prepare its way; to level the mountains of prejudice; to make strait the crooked ways of mystery and superstition; to smooth the rough places of bigotry; and then “ shall the glory of the Lord be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”
Isaiah ii. 4:
And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks : nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Our present subject should, according to an arrangement strictly logical, form merely a subdivision of the next, and concluding Lecture, on the Perfectibility of Man. The human race has been, I believe, gradually advancing, notwithstanding many apparent interruptions, and even retrograde movements, and is destined to a still more rapid and brilliant course of improvement, which will chiefly be effected by the agency of Christianity, purified from the corruptions which have palsied its strength, and perverted its influence. In reviewing the obstacles which impede the salutary operations of pure religion on the destiny of mankind, war presents itself, foremost and pre-eminent, as most hideous in
itself, and most formidable in its resistance. I give it a separate discussion to discharge that Lecture of a topic far too momentous to be made only a secondary consideration, and also by shewing what views may be held of its final abolition to prepare the way for unembarrassed attention to the general prospects of the nations of the earth, as involved in the designs of Providence, and the promises of revelation.
The present is a favourable time for this discussion. We are at peace with all the world. Long may we remain so. Were it otherwise, it would be a duty not to shrink from telling the truth of God, though to reluctant ears, and in spite of malicious tongues. That a particular application would be made of general reflections, that a remonstrance against war would be interpreted of any particular contest in which the country might be engaged, and considered a sign of disaffection, as well as of enthusiasm, would not excuse the professor of Christianity from reminding his brethren and countrymen of the violated laws and spirit of the gospel. If a nation be criminal, at the bar of God let that nation be arraigned, by the word of God let that nation be condemned. But at such a time, the clamour of the interested would be raised, the timid, the ignorant, and the unthinking, would be alarmed and imposed on, and the subject would have to struggle with accumulated difficulties. Now it