Imatges de pÓgina
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at which reason does not revolt, in lieu of ancient superstition; and not the exchange of one absurd system for another, which is also unreasonable. On the whole, it must be confessed that the proposal of Mr. A. is of too much importance to share the fate of a thousand others which strike the eye for the moment, but are soon abandoned. It cannot be put in execution without expense; and that in the aggregate a very formidable one; but it appears to me that there can be nothing further necessary than the same portion of zeal as others discover in the furtherance of missionary establishments, which they seem to be labouring for with comparatively little success and little fruit.

I have no data to assist me in an estimate of the Unitarian part of the population in this country, but suppose they cannot be overrated at 20,000. A subscription of one penny per week from each of whom would raise a sum of 43361. 68. 8d. annually. If it be supposed too much to average one penny per week from this number, which, considering the wealth and consequence in society of a large proportion of them, I am sanguine enough to think is not; the subscription of one half or two-thirds would surely be sufficient to effect a vast deal.

I believe there are some who are at this time, from the wish to promote such a cause in any shape, subscribing to the Church and other Missionary Societies, who would gladly pay their money to a more congenial establish ment; and I have no doubt, but that there are others who have withdrawn from the Society, originally founded on the principle of sending forth the Bible to the world without note or comment, but who have found the tone of that institution so altered as to dissatisfy them, would become suscribers to a Unitarian Mission in India. These loose hints it is my object to suggest, in order that they may be improved upon by more competent persons.

D. H.

SIR,

I

Murch 15, 1823. SEE, with great pleasure, that it length to bring forward the great question of the Repeal of the Corpo

ration and Test Acts, and I cannot help thinking that the Dissenters are chargeable with indolence and indifference to the cause of Religious Liberty, in having so long neglected to assert their claim to a participation in the rights and privileges at present monopolized by the sect endowed by law, or only conceded to them as a favour. Many, if not most of those who distinguished themselves as the advocates of our rights, are dead, and a generation has arisen, to many of whom the agitation of this question will, I fear, appear rather like an attempt to revive an obsolete and needless dispute, than an assertion of a just claim. It has been suffered to shall be asked, If any inconvenience sleep too long-much too long. We had been felt from these laws, why have the Dissenters ceased for so long for thirty years have they been silent a period to urge their repeal? Why and acquiescent? And I confess I see not what satisfactory answer can be given to these questions. However, it is useless now to indulge in these regrets. Let us atone for our former indifference and negligence by our fu ture zeal and activity. Above all, let us take the ground we ought to take. Not that of cringing, abject suppliants, negociating with ministers and jacks begging for a boon, intriguing and in office for their permission to smuggle a small quantity of toleration through the Houses of Parliament, or begging the bench of Reverend Fathers in God that they will take compassion on our forlorn state, and for once admit that in some cases, with certain limitations, with a number of provisoes and reservations, and guards and restrictions, such of their fellow-Christians as have the misfortune to dissent from them in matters of faith, may be permitted to feel that they are their fellow-citizens. To this state of degradation I trust the Dissenters will not expose themselves. Let them demand their rights in the language which men ought to use, who know their value, and who feel that the Legisla ture has a long arrear of injustice and oppression to settle with them. Above all, let there be no cant about the

Establishment.

lieve the latter to be an unscriptural institution, and we ought not, for the

whenever the subject comes before the
Legislature and the public, must be
productive of good, and the final suc-
cess of the cause of religious liberty
will be certain.
A NONCONFORMIST.

October 30, 1822.

of

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sake of any advantage, to belie our
consciences, but are bound, on the
contrary, to bear our testimony against
it. And we shall very much deceive
ourselves if we think by cringing and
fawning to the clergy to coax them
into an acknowledgement of our
Like the image-makers of
Ephesus, as soon as the dissenting Magazine having published an
teacher Paul began to preach, they
would make our application to Parlia-
ment a signal for setting up a hue and
cry against us. They look upon reli-
gion as a craft-a trade, by "which
they have their wealth," and any thing
which would tend to the advantage of
those who do not belong to their sect,
they will consider as tending to bring
their "craft into danger." They have
been not unaptly described as "a
sable society of gentlemen, wearing
broad hats and deep garments, who
possess great part of the wealth and
power of the world for keeping man-
kind in decent ignorance and bon-
dage." In saying what I have done
of the clergy, I trust I shall not be
thought to have spoken harshly, or to
have used language which is not fairly
authorized by their ablest and most
recent advocates. For upon what
ground did Mr. Plunkett and Mr. Peel
reply to Mr. Hume's statement of the
laziness and inefficiency of the clergy
in Ireland? Not on that of having
earned their wages by their work.
The whole of their arguments were
very properly stated to amount to
this-that church is church, and pro-
perty is property. It was treated en-
tirely as a matter of trade, and when
the clergy are told that they do no-
thing for what they receive, they do not
deny it, but forthwith a clamour is
raised about "vested interests." This
trade, then, it is clear, they will defend
pedibus et unguibus, and it is idle to
expect favour or forbearance from
them. They will use every engine to
defeat our claims. Let them. We
shall, nevertheless, succeed in the end.
True it is that we shall be defeated in
our first endeavour, and most proba-
bly in our second and third. But that
is no reason for inactivity or despair.
The discussion which must arise,

article in their number for June,
under the head of " Unitarian Views
of Christian Missions," containing
what I consider uncandid and unjus-
tifiable Strictures on the Cursory Re-
marks on Borneo, which you honour-
ed me by publishing in the Monthly
Repository, (Vol. XVII. pp. 13 and
98,) I addressed an explanatory com-
munication thereon to the aforesaid
Editors, and requested its insertion
on what I deem a fair claim, viz.
that the defence should be admitted
into the same work which published
the attack: but it seems I gave more
credit for candour in this instance than
could be accepted by the parties, for
the Editors state in their notices to
Correspondents for last month, "Our
sentiments on Christian doctrine differ
so widely from those of J. C. R. that
he must excuse our inserting his re-
marks." Now, I might at this point
leave the Christian candour of such a
mode of procedure to the judgment of
every honest man who dares to think
for himself; but I cannot help ob-
serving, that these Trinitarian leaders
had much better let us alone, than in
this manner shew to their thinking
and inquiring disciples (however small
the numbers of those may be), that
they cannot use the words of our
Lord and his apostles without note or
comment, and so repeat or quote the
following or similar passages: "Search -
the Scriptures ;"
." "Call no man mas-
ter (in spiritual things) on earth, for
one is your Master, even Christ, and
all ye are brethren;" Prove all
things, hold fast that which is good;"
"Be always ready to give a reason for
the hope that is in you;" "And these
were more noble than those in Thes-
salonica, in that they received the
word with all readiness of mind,
searching the Scriptures daily, whe-
ther these things were so." By bring-

1719.

Apology for the Danger of the Church, ing up an evil report of Unitarianism, they endeavour to deter their disciples

SIR,

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their own particular purposes, to represent to their deluded and unsus→ pecting followers, that whatever obnoxious opinions any solitary individual among Unitarians may think fit to avow, is really the creed of the whole. Returning to the Editors of the soi-disant Evangelical Magazine, I must repeat, that they are bound, in honour and justice, to admit into that work temperate defences of any party on whom they have previously inserted an attack. Their sentiments, if truly evangelical, should lead them either to reject every thing controversial or having a tendency thereto, or else to allow both sides a fair hearing. Since, however, they have not done either the one or the other, and refuse to do it, I must beg of you to insert the following copy of the paper sent to them by me, to the end that the Unitarian Christian public may judge between

us.

from proceeding to investigate it for themselves; knowing that if they were to act impartially, and exhibit to their congregations and readers such fair comparative statements of their and our respective doctrines, as are exhibited to ours, truth would have fair play, and must then certainly prevail. Whensoever they publish to their readers an Unitarian's account of his conversion from Trinitarianism in so fearless a manner as has been done by you in Mr. Harwood's case, (Mon. Repos. XV. 388 and XVII. 327,) then I shall imbibe a better opinion of the firmness of their belief in the truth of their own doctrines than I now entertain. Indeed, I am now more than ever convinced that those Trinitarian rulers not only dare not direct their readers to the perusal of any Unitarian publications, but, on the contrary, must, for the sake of their systems, act by such publications according to the mode in which the Pope and his Church have acted towards the Bible and its distributors. I freely admit that the Cursory Remarks were too hastily written, and expressed in stronger language than I should have deemed proper to use, if at the time I had entertained any idea of their being likely to meet the public eye; but although incautiously drawn up, I do not allow that they are inaccurate on any essential point. I am, indeed, sorry that they have afforded a handle for the very uncandid attack on the Unitarians at large, which I am now exposing. But I have the consolation to believe that Unitarians are not only accustomed to such illiberal and unjust attacks, but that they also do and will consider the Remarks in no other light than as those of an obscure individual, whose zeal is perhaps greater than his learning, and not as in any way binding on any other person; which, also, all well-informed Trinitarians know to be the case with us, how much soever it may suit the views of the bigots among their party, who cannot divest their minds of their preconceived ideas of the necessity of definite creeds, or of ignorant persons who take up their notions of Unitarianism from its enemies at secondhand, or of concealed infidels who strive to misrepresent and calumniate pure Christianity in order to serve

J. C. ROSS.

"To the Editors of the Evangelical Magazine.

"

"I find in your Number for June a communication headed, 'On Unitarian Views of Christian Missions,' signed Humanus, and containing observations and strictures on a paper written by me, and inserted in the Monthly Repository, under the title of Cursory Remarks on Borneo.' Believing that Humanus has misunderstood and mistaken the meaning of some of my statements, and, perhaps, in consequence of such misunderstanding been, in my humble opinion, rather illiberal in his observations and strictures thereon, I now appeal to your candour and justice in requesting your insertion of the following explanations in my own and my fellow-Christians' defence and vindication. 1. When I used the expression, to follow the example of St. Paul,' I had in my mind the ninth and tenth chapters of his first Epistle to the Corinthians, and, in particular, the 21st and 22d verses of the ninth chapter, and the 29th verse of the tenth chapter; and I must confess myself unable to comprehend the scope and design of the apostle's argument therein, if it be not that of maintaining the sinless nature of compliance with the

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harmless customs of men among whom
we may sojourn; and I am confident
that compliance with such customs
will not be construed by the people
alluded to, nor any others, as indicating
an approval of it, or as forming a tacit
guarantee for its continuance among
them in the event of their becoming
Christians. St. Paul says, 'All things
are lawful for me, but all things are
not expedient:' this sentence is the
best explanation I can wish to give of
the principle on which I distinguished
between propriety and expediency;
and I trust Humanus has a more just
conception of the holy religion which
he professes, than to think the em-
ployment of carping verbal criticism
on such subjects can be at all con-
sistent therewith. Moreover, the
phrase, drinking human blood,' ap-
pears much stronger than the cir-
cumstances of the case, as stated by
me, will fairly warrant; a single drop
of blood put into a draught of palm
wine, being in truth nothing more
than a literal or visible sign of their
uniting the stranger to their blood or
race. 2. It rather appears inconsis-
tent with Christian candour to think
so much evil of our neighbour as to
characterize any ceremony of his as
idolatrous, which has no reference to
any idol, and more especially among a
people who do not worship idols, at
least in the common acceptation of
the term; and I do aver, on my own
knowledge, that the invocations used
at the ceremony in question were di-
rected to the Supreme (though by
them unknown) God. I did not ex-
pect to be understood as meaning that
I believed any part of St. Paul's
writings implied the lawfulness of
worshiping idols;' nor do I think that
any expression I used can be brought
forward to make out the relevancy of
the paragraph (from which I have
taken the above-quoted sentence) to
any thing contained in the Remarks.
3. Humanus either grossly mistakes
my meaning, or otherwise confounds
the establishment of Christianity with
the promulgation thereof, two periods
which, in my opinion, were very dis-
similar indeed, and the former is very
justly described in the Evangelical
Magazine, as having been brought
about, Not by the apostolic sword
of the Spirit, but by the Emperor

Constantine's sword of steel.' It is
also, I presume, well known to all
Protestants that the foundations were
then deeply laid of that horrible struc-
ture of tyrannical superstition and
idolatry, from which, under the title
of Church of Rome, those doctrines
and mandates were issued, which im-
posed on the credulity of mankind,
and kept them fettered in the chains
of ignorance and mental darkness
during so many ages, even until the
good providence of God directed the
invention of printing as the appointed
means for rescuing and relieving them
from spiritual bondage. 4. I am very
reluctantly led to suppose that Hu
manus is not sufficiently well informed
respecting the tenets held by Unitarian
Christians, if he mean to designate
them under the appellation, Mo-
dern Socinians.' The Unitarians dis-
claim persecution under any and every
shape. Socinus persecuted Davides
for refusing to worship Christ, which
fact alone ought in every honest mind
to be admitted as decisive testimony
to the inconvertibility of the terms. It
is neither just nor politic in a Protes-
tant writer to assert that Christians
who acknowledge the truth and divine
authority of the Bible, and particu-
larly the New Testament, allow only
'a minute fragment of Christianity.'
Such statements are evidently prejudi-
cial to Christianity in general, and to
Protestantism in particular; and since
in the way of interpretation, it is, or
at least ought to be, acknowledged
that we all have need to exert our best
abilities when endeavouring to find the
true direction, we ought not to expend
those abilities in mischievous quarrels
with each other by the way. Huma
nus ought not to be ignorant of that
which we all know, or at least those
of us who have had opportunity of
attending to or observing on mission-
ary affairs in Mahommedan countries
particularly, and Heathen countries
generally, viz. that the doctrine of the
Trinity and its concomitants are the
principal impediments to the conver-
sion of the inhabitants, and that put-
ting out of view the question of their
importance, and of their truth or false-
hood, it deserves serious consideration
whether it be not certain that the
apostles did not begin their teaching
or preaching by plainly and unequivo

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cally inculcating those doctrines on the attention of their hearers, as forming the essentials of Christianity. I cannot help thinking, that missionaries can hardly do better even in the present age than to imitate the apostles in that respect as well as in others. If indeed the assertions of some distinguished Trinitarians be correct, that the unscriptural terms now used by them have become necessary for selfdefence against philosophy and meta physics, it would appear at first sight quite unnecessary to use those terms when preaching the Gospel to unlearned and isolated nations. I do not think that any thing I have stated myself to have taught the Borneots, ean be justly characterized as an attempt to impose on the well-disposed natives in what concerns their everlast ing salvation; and if I were to admit that Unitarians do not, generally speaking, exhibit so much zeal in the propagation of their sentiments of Christianity, as certain descriptions of Trinitarians display; yet I cannot help regarding that anism is the only form of Christianity ever likely to be introduced into Borneo,' as being of a very temerarious complexion. I became an Unitarian in consequence of my own unassisted scrutiny into the truth of Christianity and of Trinitarianism. It cannot, therefore, be confidently affirmed, that no other person of greater talents and more ample information than I possess, may not do so likewise; nor how far it may please Divine Providence to afford them opportunities for spreading their sentiments is beyond our ken at this moment. 5. Humanus would seem to imply, from the mode of expression employed by him, that I voluntarily quitted Borneo, without waiting for the return of the native chief and his sons. But if he will reperuse the Remarks, he will find it mentioned therein that I was compelled to quit the coast by the change of the monsoon occurring in their absence. However, I did bring one of the chiefs of the Aborigines to England, and have conveyed him back again to his own country, in possession of (at all events) better impressions of Christendom than he would have received from his Maho metan neighbours.

"In conclusion, I have to assure Humanus, that I do most cordially join

in the evangelical hope expressed by him that the Borneots may soon have the advantage of being instructed by

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persons better qualified' than I am to demonstrate that God is Love and a loving Father over all his works;' and differing from him in believing, as I do most decidedly, that any form of Protestant Christianity at all events is immensely better than Heathenism, I will always gladly ren der every assistance in my power, either by information or otherwise, to facilitate the sending missionaries of any Christian denomination to Borneo, Nor ought such a measure to be long delayed, because Mahometanism is by means of force or fraud rapidly extending itself in that country, and it is always found extremely difficult to convert persons from that religion. "J. C. R.

"London, Aug. 1822.”

SIR,

SEND you a short account of the

at Alcester, Warwickshire, and a list of ministers, as far as I could make it

out.

Mr. Samuel Tickner, after being ejected by the Act of Uniformity from the parish church, "continued with his people, who were some of the most wealthy in the parish, preaching constantly to them, but rarely in time of public service."+ By his ministry, the congregation of Presbyterian Disdoubtless, the foundation was laid of senters established in the place. The Rev. Joseph Porter is the next minister whose name I meet with. How long he was at Alcester, where he brought up young men to the ministry, as well as officiated as pastor to the congregation, does not appear. He died in the year 1721, aged 62. The present meeting-house was built in that year, and Mr. Porter was expected to preach upon the opening of their new place of worship, but alas! death disappointed their hopes, and removed the venerable man from the scene of

This communication was sent to us in May 1820; but was mislaid at the time. Our correspondent will, we trust, accept this apology for its late appearance, Ep.

+ See Noncon. Mem.

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