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are united to promulgate, and when they are understood as we understand them, we cannot believe that there will be so much blindness in prejudice or perverseness in bigotry, as to make them the subject of reproachful denunciations. They make for peace, and righteousness, and love, and Christian fellowship.
The means of knowledge which the Managers possess, have made them acquainted with several facts respecting the present state of Unitarianism abroad, and they are happy to say that their information is encouraging. In England, there are nearly 400 regular Unitarian congregations, and numerous societies for publishing and distributing books and tracts. In Scotland several churches have been established, and others are forming; and from Ireland, the missionaries send favourable reports.
A letter written at Clausenburg, Transylvania, in the month of May last, by a member of the Unitarian Consistory in that place, conveys the information, that in Transylvania there are at present 40,000 Unitarians, constituting 120 churches. Unitarianism is one of the four religions, which enjoy equal rights and privileges in that country, the other three being the Roman Catholic, the Calvinistic and the Lutheran.
During the last year, a Unitarian Society has been formed in Calcutta, under the direction of a Baptist Missionary in that place. Hopes are entertained, that much good will result to the cause of Christianity from this Society, and another of the same kind at Madras. It is well known that the natives of that country, among whom are many wise and learned men, have always represented the peculiar doctrines of orthodoxy as an insuperable obstacle to their ever embracing Christianity. It is not unreasonable to, hope, that when they shall be acquainted with this religion in its native simplicity and purity; free from the inventions and additions which now encumber its most popular forms; they will not be slow to receive its doctrines, become the worshipers of the true God, and the humble fol
lowers of his Son.
Such are the reflections and facts which the Managers have thought proper to lay before the Society, as a
testimony that their own labours are not vain, and as motives to future zeal and perseverance. By order of the Managers. HENRY PAYSON, Prest. The officers and managers for the ensuing year are the following:
Henry Payson, President, William G. Appleson, Secretary, Isaac Phillips, Jun., Treasurer, William C. Shaw, Librarian. Hon. Theodorick Bland, Rev. Jared Sparks, Rev. F. W. P. Greenwood, John Hastings, Wm. Pennimen, Dr. E. Perkins, John W. Osgood, and Joseph Parker.
THE first Meeting of the Deputics, elected for this year, was held on the last day of January. This meeting was occupied with discussions no way interesting to the public, and with the choice of officers and a committee. The names of the officers and of the committee we shall subjoin. The 14th of February was appointed for a Special Meeting of the Deputation to take into consideration the for the last month. [Pp. 58, 59.] resolutions we inserted in the Repository
After some observations, which our limits will not allow us to enter upon, the following resolutions were submitted to the assembly:
General Meeting of Deputies, Feb. 14, 1823. Resolved, That the Deputies of the Protestant Dissenters receive with plea
sure the Resolutions which closed the
proceedings of their predecessors, and confidence. Thirty years have passed
enter upon the task assigned them with
since the Dissenters made a combined
appeal to the public and the Legislature for redress of their grievances. Knowledge and just views of civil government
have made a rapid progress through all classes of society during this period. Many indications that the Legislature participates in the increasing liberality of the times are recorded in the Acts and the votes of Parliament; and the Deputies feel that they have good ground to anticipate the candid attention of their countrymen to the well-founded complaints they have to prefer against the Test and Corporation Acts, which continue to affix a stigma upon them, solely for the exercise of their judgments upon the subjects of their religion. That they therefore enjoin upon the Committee to proceed instantly, ardently and prudently to the consideration of those measures recommended in the Resolutions of the 10th of January last, as proper to be adopted for the promotion of the great object for which this Deputation was formed.
throughout the country: that every congregation, and all the friends of religious liberty will prepare themselves to adopt, heartily and steadily, the means that, shall be recommended by the Deputies, as best conducing to effect the repeal of the obnoxious statutes, so justly described as being a disgrace to our country, where the principles of liberty are supposed to be better understood than in any other nation of Europe. We direct the attention of our readers, at least such of them as believe in the progressive improvement of individuals and of society, to the resolutions adopted so unanimously, for we cannot give up the term for one dissentient, by the Deputies. And we earnestly entreat them to use their exertions in the good cause. Our pages shall be, at their service, and we hope in the next Repository to detail the plans which the Committee of the Deputies shall recom. mend for general adoption.
Resolved, That a special General Meeting of the Deputies shall be convened on the second Friday in March, to receive from the Committee their Report, and to co-operate with them if needful, in such measures as may appear desirable in the present circumstances.
An amendment was then proposed, the exact form of which has not reached us; but it purported, that the Deputies having experienced the attention and activity of former Committees in the management of the important concerns committed to their trust, they relied with perfect confidence upon the zeal and activity of the present Committee, and deemed all instruction to them to be unnecessary. This amendment was supported by its Mover, Seconder, and one or two other Deputies. The original Resolutions were then put to the vote of the Meeting, and carried with one dissentient vote, that of the Deputy who proposed the amendment.
In the course of the debate the Chairman remarked, and his long connexion with the Parliament entitles his remark to attention, that he believed the Parliament went before the country in liberal sentiments on the subject of religious
toleration and freedom. And he instanced some late public occurrences which justified this opinion. He also Doticed some of the difficulties which stood in the way of the Dissenters in their pursuit of the object the Deputation were now attempting to acquire. The apathy and indifference of the Dissenters under their grievances were not among the
least of them.
A List of the Committee of Depu ties, appointed to protect the Civil Rights of the Three Denominations of Protestant Dissenters, for the Year 1823.
WILLIAM SMITH, M. P., Chairman,
As the Deputies have now set themselves in earnest to the work they were appointed to perform, we trust they will be supported by all Dissenting Societies
THE Rev. J. BRIGGS, known by his labours in the Unitarian cause at Selby, Yorkshire, and its neighbourhood, has accepted the pastoral charge of the old Unitarian Baptist Church at Bessels Green, Kent, vacant since Mr. Harding commenced his labours as a Missionary.
THE Anniversary of the opening of the Unitarian Meeting-House, Moor Lane, Bolton, will be held on Easter Sunday and Monday next, March 30th and 31st. The congregation feel happy in announcing to the friends of Christian liberty and equality, that the Rev. Dr. Philipps of Sheffield, and the Rev. Thomas Madge of Norwich, have kindly consented to preach on the occasion.
Unitarianism in Ayrshire.
tended service, between 80 and 100 per-
IT may afford pleasure to the readers of the Repository, to be informed of some circumstances which have lately occurred, which are thought likely to direct the attention of some of our fellow-christians to the simple and intelligible doctrine of Unitarianism. A man of the name of Blair, of unblemished and most respectable character, in the parish of Dalrymple, (about three miles from the house which gave birth to the poet Burns,) applied to the minister of the parish to have his child baptized. Agree ably to the custom with the clergy of the Kirk, it is recommended to the parents to bring up their children according to the principles contained in the Confession of Faith and the Westminster Catechisms, and an audience with the minister (especulated on; but it appears to me that cially before the baptism of the first the soil of Ayrshire is well prepared for child) is obtained, in which the minister the reception of Unitarianism, by many examines the father on subjects of reli- ministers of the last as well as of the gion. In the present instance, it is sup- present century, who, if they did not posed that he had received a hint that directly preach Unitarianism, preached his catechumen was not sound in the nothing against it, or in favour of Calvinfaith, in other words, that he had some ism. The well known prosecution of Dr. leaning to Unitarianism. He accordingly M'Gill, of Ayr, at the close of the 18th examined him strictly, as " he had re- century, produced a discussion, the effects solved to put down those worse than of which are felt at the present day, and Infidel principles of Unitarianism." 1st will continue to be much longer felt. Question. Who instituted baptism? An- His "Practical Essay on the Death of swer, Jesus Christ. 2nd Quest. Christ," which was the chief subject of By what authority? Ans. By the authority that prosecution, a work of singular piety of God, as it was a part of his commis- and elegance, would, if republished, be sion, or special order from the Father. still very useful in the promotion of 3rd Quest. But, John, do you not believe scriptural truth in Scotland. Several of that he was God himself, and instituted my congregation owe their first impresbaptism by his own authority? Ans. sions in favour of Unitarianism to the No, indeed; I do not think that he was perusal of it; and were led to this, by God, and I am informed in Scripture the general outcry which was raised that he did nothing by his own authority. against him. This was the eminent per(John v. 30.) Here closed the examina- son ironically addressed by the Ayrshire tiou: the minister said he was an Unita- poet, in his "Kirk's Alarm:" rian: he, therefore, could not baptize his child, but he would give him a book to convert him. John read the book, but to no purpose, for he had seen abler things before. After an interval of some weeks, the minister, anxiously expecting that John would come round to orthodoxy, wished for a further delay, but the man himself, finding his conviction of the truth of the Unitarian doctrine becoming increasingly stronger, despaired of obtaining this Christian privilege for his child, and determined to apply at once by means of a mutual friend, to the Unitarian Minister of 'Glasgow, who had before visited another part of Ayrshire, on a similar occasion. Accordingly, on the 17th of December, your correspondent travelled to Dalrymple in order to perform the office of Christian dedication, and, contrary to his expectations, for no public notice had been given of the in
"Dr. Mac, Dr. Mac, you should stretch
To strike evil doers wi' terror,
I cannot refrain from adding his beau tiful sketch of the character of Dr. M'Gill's venerable colleague, in the following stanza :
"D'rymple mild, D'rymple mild,
Though your heart's like a child,
For preaching that three's ane and
Court of King's Bench, Feb. 6. TONBRIDGE, convicted at the last Guildhall sittings of a blasphemous libel, (see p. 61,) was brought up for judgment, on the motion of the Solicitor-General. He read a paper to shew why he ought not to be punished, in the course of which he was interrupted by the Chief-Justice, and Mr. Justice Best. Mr. Justice Bayley pronounced the sentence of the Court, which was, that he be imprisoned for two years in Cold Bath Fields' Prison, do pay to the King a fine of 50%., and give security for his good behaviour for five years, himself in 100%. and two sureties in 50%. each. The defendant retired, saying that such a sentence was worthy of a Christian church, of which a certain bishop was so distinguished an ornament.
SUSANNAH WRIGHT was also brought up for judgment. She had been convicted at the sittings in London after last Trinity Term of publishing a blasphemous libel. (See XVII. 645-647.) In Michaelmas Term she appeared to move for a new trial, but was then committed for contumacy to Newgate, where she had remained ever since. (XVII. 716.) She was now brought up on the motion of Mr. GURNEY. The Defeudant was genteelly dressed, and was attended by a young woman about 17 years of age. She appeared in infirm health. Being asked by the Court if she had any thing to say in mitigation of punishment, she produced a paper and proceeded to read it, but the matter with which she commenced being deemed by the Court improper to be heard in a Christian court, inasmuch as its tendency was to revile the Christian religion, their Lordships would not suffer her to proceed. She was warned not to persevere, but was told that the Court would most gladly hear any thing which had a tendency to induce a lenient consideration of her case. The Defendant said if the Court was determined to pass sentence upon her, she was determined to proceed; and she accordingly proceeded some way in her address, when Mr. Justice BAYLEY (the Court having considered what ought to be done) immediately pronounced sentence, and ordered the Defendant to be imprisoned for 18 months in Cold Bath Fields' Prison, to pay a fine of 100%,, and to give security for her good behaviour for five years, herself in 1007. and two sureties in 501, each. She left the Court with a laugh of triumph, saying something which was not generally audible.
Mr. Jeffrey's Speech on Sir James
(See pp. 43-47.)
After the election of Sir James Mackintosh to the office of Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow, Mr. Jeffrey, the late Rector, addressed the Students, as follows:
"Though I believe I have no longer any right to address you in an official capacity, yet I cannot take my final farewell of you without once more returning you my thanks for the indulgence I have uniformly met with at your hands, and offering you my congratulations on the choice you have made of a Rector, who is destined, I am firmly persuaded, far and lastingly to eclipse the undeserved popularity of his predecessor. I think it right also to explain, in a few words, the grounds upon which I, along with the great majority of those who now hear me, have given him on this occasion the preference over his illustrious competitor. Between two such candidates it might well have been thought difficult to choose; and if the result of our decisions had been supposed to depend on any comparative estimate of their general merits, I should certainly have felt the task of selection to be one of infinitely greater difficulty and delicacy than that which we have actually had to discharge. Sir Walter Scott, in point of inventive genius, of discrimination of character, of reach of fancy, of mastery over the passions and feelings of his readers, is undoubtedly superior, not only to his distinguished competitor in this day's election, but probably to any other name in the whole range of our recent or ancient literature; and to these great gifts and talents I know that he adds a social and generous disposition, which endears him to all who have access to his person, and has led him to make those splendid qualities subservient to the general diffusion of kind and elevated sentiments. By this happy use of these rare endowments, he has deservedly attained to a height of popularity, and an extent of fame, to which there is no parallel in our remembrance, and to which, as individuals, we must each of us contribute our share of willing and grateful admiration. But what I wish to impress upon you is, that those high qualities are rather titles to general glory than to academic honours ; and being derived far more from the prodigality of nature' than the successful
pursuits of study, have their appropriate
of preventing misconstructions, for which
Mr. Justice BAYLEY has expressed a wish to resign his seat in the King's Bench, for the less laborious functions of a Baron of the Exchequer. The King's Bench Bar have presented an address to his Lordship, expressive of their regret at being likely to lose a Judge, whose profound knowledge, upright character and amiable deportment throw such a lustre on their Court.
Considerable anxiety begins to be felt by the public concerning Capt. PARRY's Expedition to discover a North-West passage. An account has been received from Russia, that some fishing vessels belonging to Kamschatka have seen the adventurous navigators off the Icy Cape. We ardently hope that the intelligence may prove correct, not only as ascertaining the safety of our brave countrymen, but also as shewing that British enterprise has effected the great discovery of a passage to Icy Cape from Behring Straits. These bloodless triumphs over the difficulties of nature are the real greatness and true glory of nations.