Imatges de pÓgina

Repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts.

155 at which reason does not revolt, in rationi and Test Acts, and I cannot lieu of ancient superstition, and not help thinking that the Dissenters are the exchange of one absurd system chargeable with indolence and indiffor another, which is also unreason- ference to the cause of Religious Liable. On the whole, it must be con- berty, in having so long neglected to fessed that the proposal of Mr. A. is assert their claim to a participation of too much importance to share the in the rights and privileges at present fate of a thousand others which strike nonopolized by the sect endowed by the eye for the moment, but are soon law, or only conceded to them as a abandoned. It cannot be put in exe- favour. Many, if not most of those cution without expense; and that in who distinguished themselves as the the aggregate a very fornidable one; advocates of our rights, are dead, and but it appears to me that there can be a generation has arisen, to many of nothing further necessary than the whom the agitation of this question same portion of zeal as others discover will, I fear, appear rather like an atin the furtherance of missionary esta- tempt to revive an obsolete and needblishments, which they seem to be less dispute, than an assertion of a labouring for with comparatively little just claim. It has been suffered to success and little fruit.

sleep too long-much too long. We I have no data to assist me in an shall be asked, If any inconvenience estimate of the Unitarian part of the had been felt from these laws, why population in this country, but sup- have the Dissenters ceased for so long pose they cannot be overrated at a period to urge their repeal? Why 20,000. A subscription of one penny for thirty years have they been silent per week from each of whom would and acquiescent? And I confess I see raise a sum of 4336l. 66. 8d. annually. not what satisfactory answer can be If it be supposed too much to average giren to these questions. However, one penny per week from this number, it is useless now to indulge in these which, considering the wealth and con- regrets. Let us atone for our former sequence in society of a large propor- indifference and negligence by our fution of them, I am sanguine enough ture zeal and activity. Above all, let to think is not; the subscription of us take the ground we ought to take. one half or two-thirds would surely be Not that of cringing, abject suppliants, sufficient to effect a vast deal. begging for a boon, intriguing and

I believe there are some who are at negociating with ministers and jacks this time, from the wish to promote in office for their permission to smugsuch a cause in any shape, subscribing gle a small quantity of toleration to the Church and other Missionary through the Houses of Parliament, or Societies, who would gladly pay their begging the bench of Reverend Fathers money to a more congenial establish in God that they will take compassion ment, and I have no doubt, but that on our forlorn state, and for once adthere are others who have withdrawn mit that in some cases, with certain from the Society, originally founded limitations, with a number of provisoes on the principle of sending forth the and reservations, and guards and reBible to the world without note or strictions, such of their fellow-Chriscomment, but who have found the tians as have the misfortune to dissent tone of that institution so altered as from them in matters of faith, thay to dissatisfy them, would become be permitted to feel that they are their suscribers to a Unitarian Mission in fellow-citizens. To this state of degraIndia. These loose hints it is my dation I trust the Dissenters will not object to suggest, in order that they expose themselves. Let them demand may be improved upon by more com- their rights in the language which petent persons.

men ought to use, who know their D. H. value, and who feel that the Legisla

ture has a long arrear of injustice and SIR,

Murch 15, 1823. oppression to settle with them. Above I let the

is the intention of the Deputies at clergy and the Establishment. We belength to bring forward the great lieve the latter to be an unscriptural question of the Repeal of the Corpo institution, and we ought not, for the

[ocr errors]

"sake of any advantage, to belie our whenever the subject comes before the
consciences, but are bound, on the Legislature and the public, must be
contrary, to bear our testimony against productive of good, and the final suc-
it. And we shall very much deceive cess of the cause of religious liberty
ourselves if we think by cringing and will be certain.
fawning to the clergy to coax them

into an acknowledgement of our
claims. Like the image-makers of Sir, October 30, 1822.
Ephesus, as soon as the dissenting. 'THE Editors of the Evangelical
teacher Paul began to preach, they | Magazine having published an
would make our application to Parlia- article in their number for June,
ment a signal for setting up a hue and under the head of “ Unitarian Views
cry against us. They look upon reli- of Christian Missions,” containing
gion as a craft-a trade, by “ which what I consider uncandid and unjus-
they have their wealth,” and any thing tifiable Strictures on the Cursory Re-
- which would tend to the advantage of marks on Borneo, which you honour-
those who do not belong to their sect, ed me by publishing in the Monthly
they will consider as tending to bring Repository, (Vol. XVII. pp. 13 and
their “craft into danger.” They have 98,) I addressed an explanatory com-
been not unaptly described as “a munication thereon to the aforesaid
sable society of gentlemen, wearing Editors, and requested its insertion
broad hats and deep garments, who on what I deem a fair claim, viz.
possess great part of the wealth and that the defence should be admitted
power of the world for keeping man- into the same work which published
kind in decent ignorance and bon- the attack : but it seems I gave more
dage." In saying what I have done credit for candour in this instance than
of the clergy, I trust I shall not be could be accepted by the parties, for
thought to have spoken harshly, or to the Editors state in their notices to
have used language which is not fairly Correspondents for last month, “ Our
-authorized by their ablest and most sentiments on Christian doctrine differ
recent advocates. For upon what 30 widely from those of J. C. R. that
-ground did Mr. Plunkett and Mr. Peel he must excuse our inserting his re-
reply to Mr. Hume's statement of the marks.” Now, I might at this point
laziness and inefficiency of the clergy leave the Christian candour of such a
in Ireland ? Not on that of having mode of procedure to the judgment of
earned their wages by their work. every honest man who dares to think
The whole of their arguments were for himself; but I cannot help ob-
very properly stated to amount to serving, that these Trinitarian leaders
this—that church is church, and pro- had much better let us alone, than in
perty is property. It was treated en- this manner shew to their thinking
tirely as a matter of trade, and when and inquiring disciples (however small
the clergy are told that they do no- the numbers of those may be), that
thing for what they receive, they do not they cannot use the words of our
deny it, but forthwith a clamour is Lord and his apostles without note or
raised about “vested interests,” This comment, and so repeat or quote the
trade, then, it is clear, they will defend following or similar passages : ""Search
pedibus et unguibus, and it is idle to the Scriptures ;"

:" " Call no man masexpect favour or forbearance from ter (in spiritual things) on earth, for them. They will use every engine to one is your Master, even Christ, and defeat our claims. Let them. We all ye are brethren ;" “ Prove all shall, nevertheless, succeed in the end. things, hold fast that which is good ;" True it is that we shall be defeated in “ Be always ready to give a reason for our first endeavour, and most proba- the hope that is in you;” “And these bly in our second and third. But that were more noble than those in Thesis no reason for inactivity or despair. salonica, in that they received the The discussion which must . arise, word with all readiness of mind,

searching the Scriptures daily, whe

ther these things were so." By bring* Apology for the Danger of the Church, ing up an evil report of Unitarianism, 1719.

they endeavour to deter their disciples

> us.

Cápt. Ross's rejected Communication to the Evangelical Magazine. 157 from proceeding to investigate it for their own particular purposes, to rethemselves ; knowing that if they present to their deluded and unsuswere to act impartially, and exhibit pecting followers, that whatever oh. to their congregations and readers noxious opinions any solitary indivisuch fair comparative statements of dual ainong Unitarians may think fit their and our respective doctrines, as to avow, is really the creed of the are exhibited to ours, truth would whole. Returning to the Editors of have fair play, and must then certainly the soi-disant Evangelical Magazine, prevail. Whensoever they publish to I must repeat, that they are bound, in their readers an Unitarian's account of honour and justice, to admit into that bis conversion from Trinitarianism in work temperate defences of any party so fearless a manner as has been done on whom they have previously inserted by you in Mr. Harwood's case, (Mon. an attack. Their sentiments, if truly Repos. XV. 388 and XVII. 327,) then evangelical, should lead them either I shall imbibe a better opinion of the to reject every thing controversial or firmness of their belief in the truth of having a tendency thereto, or else to their own doctrines than I now enter- allow both sides a fair hearing. Since, tain. Indeed, I am now more than however, they have not done either ever convinced that those Trinitarian the one or the other, and refuse to do ‘rulers not only dare not direct their it, I must beg of you to insert the folreaders to the perusal of any Unitarian lowing copy of the paper sent to them publications, but, on the contrary, by me, to the end that the Unitarian 'must, for the sake of their systems, Christian public may judge between act by such publications according to the mode in which the Pope and his

J. C. ROSS. Church have acted towards the Bible and its distributors. I freely admit

To the Editors of the Evangelical that the Cursory Remarks were too

Magazine. hastily written, and expressed in stronger language than I should have I find in your Number for June deemed proper to use, if at the time a communication headed, ‘On Un I had entertained any idea of their tarian Views of Christian Missions,' being likely to meet the public eye; signed Humanus, and containing obbut although incautiously drawn up, servations and strictures on a paper I do not allow that they are inaccurate written by me, and inserted in the on any essential point. I am, indeed, Monthly Repository, under the title sorry that they have afforded a handle of Cursory Remarks on Borneo.' for the very uncandid attack on the Believing that Humanus has misunUnitarians at large, which I am now derstood and mistaken the meaning exposing. But I have the consolation of some of my statements, and, perto believe that Unitarians are not only haps, in consequence of such misunaccustomed to such illiberal and unjust derstanding been, in my humble opiattacks, but that they also do and will nion, rather illiberal in his observations consider the Remarks in no other and strictures thereon, I now appeal light than as those of an obscure indi- to your candour and justice in requestvidual, whose zeal is perhaps greater ing your insertion of the following than his learning, and not as in any explanations in my own and my felway binding on any other person; low-Christians' defence and vindicawhich, also, all well-informed Trini- tion. 1. When I used the expression, tarians know to be the case with us, to follow the example of St. Paul,' how much soever it may suit the views I had in my mind the ninth and tenth of the bigots among their party, who chapters of his first Epistle to the cannot divest their minds of their pre- Corinthians, and, in particular, the conceived ideas of the necessity of de- 21st and 22d verses of the ninth chapfinite creeds, or of ignorant persons ter, and the 29th verse of the tenth who take up their notions of Unitari- chapter ; and I must confess ' myself anism from its enemies at second- unable to comprehend the scope and hand, or of concealed infidels who design of the apostle's argument therestrive to misrepresent and calumniate in, if it be not that of maintaining the pure Christianity in order to serve sinless nature of compliance witải the

harmless customs of men among whom Constantine's sword of steel.' It is we may sojourn ; and I am confident also, I presume, well known to all that compliance with such customs Protestants that the foundations were will not be construed by the people then deeply laid of that horrible strucalluded to, nor any others, as indicating ture of tyrannical superstition and an approval of it, or as forming a tacit idolatry, from which, under the title guarantee for its continuance among of Church of Rome, those doctrines them in the event of their becoming and mandates were issued, which imChristians. St. Paul says, ' All things posed on the credulity of mankind, are lawful for me, but all things are and kept them fettered in the chains not expedient :' this sentence is the of ignorance and mental darkness best explanation I can wish to give of during so many ages, even until the the principle on which I distinguished good providence of God directed the between propriety and expediency; invention of printing as the appointed and I trust Humanus has a more just means for rescuing and relieving them conception of the holy religion which from spiritual bondage. 4. I am very he professes, than to think the em reluctantly led to suppose that Huo ployment of carping verbal criticism manus is not sufficiently well informed on such subjects can be at all con- respecting the tenets held by Unitarian sistent therewith. Moreover, the Christians, if he mean to designate phrase, drinking human blood,' ap- them under the appellation, Mopears much stronger than the cir- dern Socinians.' The Unitarians discumstances of the case, as stated by claim persecution under any and every me, will fairly warrant; a single drop shape. Socinus persecuted Davides of blood put into a draugbt of palm for refusing to worship Christ, which wine, being in truth nothing more fact alone ought in every honest mind than a literal or visible sign of their to be admitted as decisive testimony uniting the stranger to their blood or to the inconvertibility of the terms. It race. 2. It rather appears inconsis. is neither just nor politic in a Protestent with Christian candour to think tant writer to assert that Christians so much evil of our neighbour as to who acknowledge the truth and divine characterize any ceremony of his as authority of the Bible, and particuidolatrous, which has no reference to larly the New Testament, allow only any idol, and more especially among a a minute fragment of Christianity? people who do not worship idols, at Such statements are evidently prejudileast in the common acceptation of cial to Christianity in general, and to the term ; and I do aver, on my own Protestantism in particular; and since knowledge, that the invocations used in the way of interpretation, it is, or at the ceremony in question were di at least ought to be, acknowledged rected to the Supreme (though by that we all have need to exert our best them unknown) God. I did not ex- abilities when endeavouring to find the pect to be understood as meaning that true direction, we ought not to expend I believed 'any part of St. Paul's those abilities in mischievous quarrels' writings implied the lawfulness of with each other by the way. Humaworshiping idols ;' nor do I think that rus onght not to be ignorant of that any expression I used can be brought which we all know, or at least those forward to make out the relevancy of of us who have bad opportunity of the paragraph (from which I have attending to or observing on missiontaken the above-quoted sentence) to ary affairs in Mahommedan countries any thing contained in the Reinarks. particularly, and Heathen countries 3. Humanus either grossly mistakes generally, viz. that the doctrine of the my meaning, or otherwise confounds Trinity and its concomitants are the the establishment of Christianity with principal impediments to the converthe promulgation thereof, two periods sion of the inhabitants, and that putwhich, in my opinion, were very dis- ting out of view the question of their similar indeed, and the former is very importance, and of their truth or falsejustly described in the Evangelical hood, it deserves serious consideration Magazine, as having been brought whether it be not certain that the about, “Not by the apostolic sword apostles did not begin their teaching of the Spirit, but by the Emperor or preaching by plainly and unequivo

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Account of the Presbyterian Congregation, Alcester. 169 cally inculcating those doctrines on the in the evangelical hope expressed by attention of their hearers, as forming him that the Borneots may soon have the essentials of Christianity. I can- the advantage of being instructed by not help thinking, that missionaries persons better qualified' than I am can hardly do better even in the pre- ' to demonstrate that God is Love sent age than to imitate the apostles and a loving Father over all his in that respect as well as in others. works;' and differing from him in If indeed the assertions of some dis- believing, as I do most decidedly, that tinguished Trinitarians be correct, that any form of Protestant Christianity the upseriptural terms now used by at all events is immensely better than them have become necessary for self. Heathenism, I will always gladly ren. defence against philosophy and meta- der every assistance in my power, either physics, it would appear at first sight by information or otherwise, to faciliquite unnecessary to use those terms tate the sending missionaries of any when preaching the Gospel to un

Christian denomination to Borneo. learned and isolated nations. I do Nor ought such a measure to be long not think that any thing I have stated delayed, because Mahometanism is by myself to have taught the Borneots, means of force or fraud rapidly excan be justly characterized as “an tending itself in that country, and it attempt to impose on the well-disposed is always found extremely difficult to natives in what concerns their everlast- convert persons from that religion. ing salvation ;' and if I were to admit

J. C. R. that Unitarians do not, generally speak“ London, Aug. 1822.” ing, exhibit so much zeal in the propagation of their sentiments of Christianity, as certain descriptions of Tri

Sir, nitarians display, yet I cannot help I SEN Prohve short account of the anism is the only form of Christiat Alcester, Warwickshire, and a list anity ever likely to be introduced into of ministers, as far as I could make it Borneo,' as being of a very teme

out. rarious complexion. I became an

Mr. Samuel Tickner, after being Unitarian in consequence of my own

ejected by the Act of Uniformity from unassisted scrutiny into the truth of his people

, who were some of the most


the parish church, continued with cannot, therefore, be confidently af wealthy in the parish, preaching confirmed, that no other person


stantly to them, but rarely in time of talents and more ample information public service.”+ By his ministry, than I possess, may not do so likewise ;

doubtless, the foundation was laid of nor how far it may please Divine Pro- the congregation of Presbyterian Disvidence to afford them opportunities senters established in the place. The for spreading their sentiments is beyond Rev. Joseph Porter is the next minisoar ken at this moment. 5. Humanus ter whose name I meet with. How would seem to imply, from the mode long he was at Alcester, where he of expression employed by him, that brought up young inen to the ministry, I voluntarily quitted 'Borneo, without as well as officiated as pastor to the waiting for the return of the native chief congregation, does not appear. He and his sons. But if he will reperuse

died in the year 1721, aged 62. The the Remarks, he will find it mentioned present meeting-house was built in that therein that I was compelled to quit year, and Mr. Porter was expected to the coast by the change of the monsoon preach upon the opening of their new securring in their absence. However, place of worship, but alas! death disI did bring one of the chiefs of the appointed their hopes, and removed Aborigines to England, and have con

the venerable man from the scene of veyed him back again to his own country, in possession of (at all events)

. This communication was sent to us better impressions of Christendom thart in May 1820 ; but was mislaid at the he would have received from his Maho. time. Our correspondent will, we trust, metan neighbours.

accept this apology for its late appear" In conclusion, I have to assure ance. Ep. Humanus, that I do most cordially join t See Noncon. Mem.

« AnteriorContinua »