Unity Amid Diversities Of Belief, Even On Imputed And Involuntary Sin; -- By: Edwards A. Park

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 008:31 (Jul 1851)
Article: Unity Amid Diversities Of Belief, Even On Imputed And Involuntary Sin;
Author: Edwards A. Park

Unity Amid Diversities Of Belief, Even On Imputed And
Involuntary Sin;

Edwards A. Park

It is a grateful anticipation of all believers, that the leopard will one day lie down with the kid. It is also a consoling idea, that even now many wranglers in the church are disputing less on theology than on lexicography. The inward union of good men will soon be, and indeed already is more extensive than we imagine. In our bellicose propensities, we magnify the rumors of war. “Among those who admit the atoning death of Christ as the organific principle of their faith, there are differences, some of them more important, but many far less important, than they seem to be.”1 There are differences. It were idle to attempt an entire fusion of our evangelical creeds into one. These differences are important. All truth is important. The more exact our ideas of the Gospel, so much the more worthy will be our imaginative illustrations of it. Just in proportion as the theology of the head is the more complete, may the theology of the heart be the more copious and impressive, and the whole religious life may be the more in unison with heaves. Every new truth may call out some new grace, and if we have no idea of law, we can have no motive of obedience.2 But let us not plunge into extremes. Let us not infer that pious men, believing “the doctrines which concentre in and around a vicarious atonement,”3 must either become latitudinarian and care nothing for their differences, or else denounce each other as Pelagian, and magnify their minor disagree-

ments. At the present day, when Christians long for a more obvious unity in the faith, it is cheering to reflect on the particulars and on the methods in which they do harmonize, notwithstanding their frequent discords.

And, first, it is a delightful idea that the great majority of good Christians have received their faith immediately from the Bible, and have therefore agreed in adopting its essential truths. The men who trouble Israel are not the fair-minded theologians, but the polemic divines. It is these who go around beating the drum, brandishing the sword, crying “To arms,” and already have their quarrels filled the world with spiritual orphans; but the women and children who pray in the vales and in the mountain fastnesses, have not understood the meaning of the war-cry; they have been called Lutherans, or Calvinists, or Zuinglians, or Baptists, or Methodists, or Presbyterians, and have scarcely known wherefore, but one thing they have known, and this has been their chief joy—that “Blessed is ...

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