Imatges de pÓgina

ART. I.-Sermons, selected from the Papers of the late Rev. Henry Turner: and published at the request of the younger Members of the Church of Unitarian Christians, in the High Pavement, Nottingham. To which are added, a few occasional Addresses. Newcastle : Printed by T. and J. Hodgson. Sold in London by Hunter. 1822. 8vo. pp. 368.


"Still pleased to praise, yet not afraid to blame."-POFE.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ERMONS are often estimated, and, Sin some degree, not improperly, as theological or as literary compositions. The contents of the present volume, while they possess, in both these views, no ordinary merit, claim additional and far higher praise. They illustrate, without doubt, the knowledge and the taste, the judgment and the talents, of the lamented author: but they are, at the same time, transcripts of his heart, of the devotion, the purity, the benevolence, the affectionate and holy zeal, which inhabited it; nor will it be easy or desirable to read them, without a frequent reference to the circumstances in which they were written, and to those under which they are given to the world. Who can glance at the titlepage without deep sympathy and interest? The name there presenting itself to us, is associated with recollections, with attachments, and with anticipations, which numerous friends of scriptural piety and learning, of religious truth and knowledge, of Christian liberty and virtue, of sound education, of public spirit, of literature and science, in a word, of all the best interests of man, have been eager to express. Our eyes open, too, on a volume of discourses of a deceased pastor, which are published at the request of the younger members of the bereaved church. This fact, of rare occurrence, is, surely, not a little honourable to the character of their departed instructor, and to their own! Other and still tenderer emotions, are awakened by the motto, which so impressively yet

delicately informs us, that this selection from the papers of a much-loved son is printed under the care of a father; in whose consolations and supports may they share, whose bosoms are, at any time, pierced with equal or the like sorrow!

We have not room to copy the preface, which consists principally of a biographical memoir, and which would be injured by abridgment. It is worthy of being repeatedly perused young by You Mimistry: nor do we think it less entitled to the serious regard of the religious societies, with which they are or may hereafter be connected. The testimonies of grateful recollection and profound sorrow, which appear in the introductory pages, lead us to believe, that this excellent pastor was placed among men of temper, views and pursuits congenial with his own; among those who were capable of estimating his solid and modest worth, and who were solicitous to aid his schemes of usefulness: and such records give much encouragement to persons who fill the same or a similar situation.

Quo nemo vir melior natus est ; nemo pietate præstantior; cujus a me


Mr. Henry Turner thought it natural, that "they who fear the Lord, should speak often one to another” of the subjects included in their noblest

ab illo meum.

Animus vero non me

corpus humatum est, quod contra decuit deserens, sed respectans, in ea profecto loca discessit, quo mihi ipsi spero esse veniendum." Many of our readers will instantly perceive, that these words, with two slight, but essential, alterations, are Cicero's, who puts them into the mouth of the elder Cato, at the end of the Treatise on Old Age. A translation of the former sentence, is supplied by the language of Mr. Burke (Letter on the Duke of Bedford, &c., p. 22): "I live in an inverted order; they who ought to have succeeded me, are gone before me: they who should have been to me as posterity, are in the place of ancestors, &c." Of the remainder of the quotation from Cicero the import is the same with the following assurance, when employed by the Christian believer, "I shall go unto him; but he shall not return to



fectly secured. It is not the splendour of cathedral pomp-it is the Bible in the cottage of the labourer, it is the prayer that ascends from the bosom of a Christian family-that proves the pre

valence of religion. In the beautiful scheme of the gospel, Christians universally are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.' Thus every believer in Christ is virtually in holier orders than any that can be given by the power of earthly authorities.'



knowledge, and connected with their most valuable hopes."* With signal propriety therefore, the first of the discourses in this volume, is Religious Conversation" (Mal. iii. 16). The preacher investigates "the causes which may be supposed to occasion"t an extraordinary reserve, and apparent want of interest, with respect to topics of religion. These causes he discovers in a false delicacy, in too great an appetite for the good opinion of the world, and in " a certain fastidiousness, which persons of taste and cultivation indulge, to a degree which indisposes them for bearing a part in any but the most studied and learned arguments" on such themes. In mentioning the chief motives which ought to induce those that fear the Lord, to speak often one to another," he observes, that to step out of the line of common custom, in this instance, would at once save us from the temptation of conforming to other customs, of which conscience still more decidedly disapproves; that by communicating our sentiments to those around us, we should gain additional strength of principle; and that it is our high duty to promote the interest of religion in the mind of others :

"Every one has a sphere, within which he is as much bound to be a preacher of righteousness and a minister of the word of God, as the highest prelate in the land. Friends should cement their friendship by mutually imparting their hopes and fears, their admonitions and encouragements, respecting these their most momentous concerns. Masters should reward and secure the fidelity of their servants, by setting before them the service which they themselves owe to their Master who is in heaven.' Above all, parents should spread before their children the treasures of divine truth; and, whilst they are at pains to adorn their minds with the useful branches of human learning, should not forget the superior value of religious wisdom.

"If the interests of religion be left to the stated services of the pulpit, and the unseconded labours of the public ministers of religion, they will be very imper


- To be silent on the things that relate to salvation and immortality, when

there are so many ignorant, sinful, de-
spairing, faithless men around you, is,
as if you were in a ship, which had long
sailed in unknown regions of the sea,
and which, after having been tossed
about by storms, driven from its course
by winds, rocked by swelling waves, and
shattered by continued tempests, at
length approached its haven, and you,
being on the mast, saw the fair summits
of a green and fertile land, and forbore
to tell your discovery, to cheer the
feeble heart-sick mariners below."
Pp. 12-14.


The second discourse is, on the Love of God," [love to God,] from Mark xii. 29, 30. We have perused many valuable sermons on this first and great commandment, and listened to not a few of the same character: we have met with none, however, in which the mutual connexion of an enlightened belief in the unity of the Supreme Being, and strength of love to him is so well unfolded, or some of those circumstances which are either favourable, or, on the other hand, adverse, to our attainment of this noble and most excellent disposition, are so perspicuously and concisely stated. In the third sermon the preacher Trust in God," from Psa. treats of " xxxvii. 23-25. His introductory remarks on the spectacle of a cheerful old age, which the text presents, are highly appropriate: and he then describes the basis of pious confidence, and makes a useful application of his subject.

"God" is considered in No. IV. as "the good Man's Support under Afflictions." (2 Tim. i. 12. *) The fol

* Mon. Rep. XVII. 121.

+ Mr. H. T., in pp. 5, 6, states this lowing passage evidently glances at a

part of his design with more accuracy,
when he says,
many causes may con-
tribute to produce" the peculiarity in

* We are of opinion that this passage declares the apostle's enlightened and unwavering faith in Jesus Christ,

noble author, who possesses and abuses commanding talents (59, 60):

"darker scenes are generally exhibited, when selfishness becomes predominant; the passions, that are raised to relieve languor and discontent, regardless of the bounds of reason, soon acquire a frightful ascendancy, and precipitate their victim into excesses, which, to ordinary observers, who have been happily exempt from feelings that lead to them, appear the height of frenzy, and altogether unaccountable on any supposition but that of insanity. And should it so happen, that one of these slaves to ungovernable passions is possessed of genius which enables him to present a faithful picture of such a mind, what an awful scene of mental confusion does it exhibit; what a wild chaos of feeling; how rayless and benighted is the path into which it leads; and what pernicious forms of malignity and despair hover around!"

We find a similar reference in a recently printed, yet unpublished, sermon, from which we are permitted to copy a few sentences:

"To the disgrace of genius it must be confessed, that many a noxious weed

is found amongst the fairest flowers of eloquence and poetry; that a mortal poison is hidden in the fruit, which is most goodly to the eye and sweetest to the taste. The danger to the young mind is the greater, because those who seek to corrupt the heart by means of literature, usually make their appeal to those sensibilities and passions, which are most strong and lively in the youthful bosom; and endeavour to captivate and lead astray the judgment, which is then necessarily most weak and open to delusion."*

Mr. H. Turner's fifth sermon is entitled, "On the Public Worship of God." [Psalm xxvii. 4.] He discusses with ability and zeal a topic which, though extremely familiar, is of vast importance. After setting forth generally the obligations of this practice, he makes a feeling appeal to his hearers as Protestant Dissenters and Unitarian Christians: and, surely, it could not be made in vain!

The complaint is not peculiar to modern times: Mr. Berington (Hist. of Abeillard, &c., 252), says, with reason, of a well-known poem of Pope's, "It presents poison to the hand of inexperienced youth, and the cup which holds it is all of burnished gold."

We extract a passage distinguished by taste and pathos. In reference to David's habits and language, our author observes (67),

"The beauty of Zion is a source of interesting recollection to the hearts of Christians; for out of Zion God hath shined, even unto the ends of the earth; there, the great plan of the world's redemption from its idolatry and sin, was carried forward, and finally accomplished; there, was spent the youth of the church of God: and even at this cold philosophic period, when at any time the Christian traveller describes to us his emotions at the sight of the desolate, yet still magnificent Jerusalem, there is a responsive feeling of tenderness and veneration in the breast of every reader."+


Neglect of public worship," is considered in the sixth discourse (Nehem. xiii. 11), which forins an admirable supplement to the foregoing. In a strain of delicate, yet forcible and dignified, remonstrance, the writer animadverts on certain omissions of duty, which no enlightened, zealous and consistent friend of Christianity will fail to deplore.

In No. VII. our author enforces "Firmness of regard to Duty and Faith." [1 Kings xviii. 21.] He well describes the magnificence of the spectacle to which his text refers; and then exposes the folly and the guilt of halting between two opinions, between God and the world, religion and irreligion.

From Jer. viii. 6, the "Necessity of Repentance" is argued in the Mankind are not eighth sermon. naturally incapable of repentance. Yet long-indulged habits have a baneful effect in changing the character and obliterating the natural qualities of the mind. Repentance is more than transient feelings of sorrow: it calls for a considerable sacrifice of present ease and pleasure, and for

once sacred and glorious, elected by God + Sandys calls Jerusalem, "This city for his seat, and seated in the midst of nations; like a diadem crowning the head of the mountains." (Travels, &c. 6th ed. p. 120.) Of such an association the historian and the poet have skilfully availed themselves: so far as scriptural criticism and theology are concerned, it is treated of in Mon. Rep. XV. 216-220.

reparation, wherever reparation is pos



A sermon properly follows, No. IX., on the Value of Repentance" [Luke xv. 10]. This momentous point is extremely well reasoned, and forcibly applied, from scriptural considerations, and especially from our Saviour's parable of the prodigal. [To be concluded in the next Number.]

ART. II.-The Precepts of Jesus the Guide to Peace and Happiness, Extracted from the Books of the New Testament ascribed to the Four Evangelists. To which are added, the First and Second Appeal to the Christian Public in Reply to the Observations of Dr. Marshman, of Serampore. By Rammohun Roy. Calcutta, Printed: London, Reprinted by the Unitarian Society, and sold by R. Hunter, D. Eaton, and C. Fox and Co. 1823. 8vo. pp. 346. ART. III.-Final Appeal to the Christian Public, in Defence of the Precepts of Jesus." By Rammohun Roy. Calcutta: Printed at the Unitarian Press, Dhurmtollah. 1823. 8vo. pp. 400. ART. IV.-The Claims of Jesus: a Sermon preached in Calcutta, on Sunday, Sept. 23, 1821. By William Adam. Calcutta: Printed at the Eurasian Press, Chouringhee. 1821. 12mo. pp. 28.


HE reader will have seen by the

ber with what correctness Mr. Ivimey denominated Rammohun Roy a "Pagan," in one of the public Journals.* The notorious fact is that the Hindoo reformer is not only an avowed Christian, but also as zealous for his views of Christianity, derived from the study of the Scriptures, as the Baptist Missionaries are for theirs. His publications and especially the "Final Appeal," which has been recently received in this country, demonstrate the entire devotion of his heart and soul and mind and strength, and we believe we may add, of his substance,

See the correspondence between Mr. Aspland and this gentleman, reprinted from the Morning Chronicle, in our last volume, XVII. 682-690.

3 P


to the cause of pure Christianity. He has studied most diligently the great question between the Unitarians and Trinitarians, and he defends the general doctrine maintained by the former with a degree of ability rarely exceeded by the most practised polemics of this country. His accuracy and skill in the use of the English language are truly wonderful and must be the result of much study. The reformer has probably, besides genius and industry, a great facility in acquiring languages, for he has made himself master of the Hebrew and Greek, with a view to the controversy before us, and the criticisms which he has given in his " Appeals," are proofs of no mean proficiency in these tongues.

As far as appears from his works, Rammohun Roy has made up his mind upon the Unitarian doctrine from the Scriptures only; and his testimony to this doctrine is of the more weight since he studied the Scriptures without any prejudice of education upon this point, and since as an Oriental he was more likely than an European to understand the meaning of scriptural imagery, and as a Heathen by birth and habit he was in the best condition for learning the import of both the Jewish and Christian sacred books, which bear a constant reference to the state of Heathenism.

The history of such ́of Rammohun Roy's Christian works, as are collected in the volume which stands

article, is thus related in the Preface by Dr. Thomas Rees:

"Having now become upon deliberate and rational conviction a Christian, he hastened to communicate to his countrymen such a view of the religion of the New Testament as he thought best adapted to impress them with a feeling of its excellence, and to imbue them with its pure and amiable spirit. For


this purpose he compiled the first pamwhich he intituled, The Precepts of phlet inserted in the present volume, Jesus the Guide to Peace and Happiness,' &c. To this work, which consists entirely of extracts from the moral discourses of our Lord, he prefixed an 'Introduction,' in which he stated his reasons for omitting the doctrines and the historical and miraculous relations which accompany them in the writings of

the Evangelists. Soon after the publication of this tract, there appeared in The Friend of India,' a periodical work under the direction of the Baptist Missionaries, an article animadverting upon it, which was signed A Christian Missionary,' but written by the Rev. Mr. Schmidt. To this paper, Dr. Marshman, the editor of the magazine, appended some • Observatious' of his own, † in which he styled the Compiler of the Precepts, an intelligent HEATHEN, whose mind is as yet completely opposed to the grand design of the Saviour's becoming incarnate.'

"These Observations' produced the second of the following pamphlets, intituled An Appeal to the Christian Public in Defence of the Precepts of Jesus, by a Friend to Truth.' The writer is now known to have been Rammohun Roy himself. He complains in strong terms, of the application to him of the term Heathen, as a violation of truth, charity, and liberality; and also controverts some of Dr. Marshman's objections to the compilation, and to his reasonings in the Introduction. In a subsequent number of the Friend of India, Dr. Marshman inserted a brief reply to this Appeal,' in which he still denied to the author the title of Christian,' because, he writes, "we belong to that class who think that no one can be a real Christian without believing the divinity and the atonement of Jesus Christ, and the divine authority of the whole of the Christian Scriptures,' disclaiming, however, all intentions of using the term Heathen' in an invidious sense.




"Dr. Marshman, in his first Observations,' had promised to take up the subject' of Rammohun Roy's work more fully in the first number of the Quarterly Series' of The Friend of India, then in preparation. Accordingly, there appeared in that publication some • Observations on certain ideas contained in the Introduction to The Precepts of Jesus the Guide to Peace and Happiness.' § In reply to this paper, Rammohun Roy published the last of the following pamphlets, intituled, A Second Appeal to the Christian Public in Defence of the Precepts of Jesus.' To


"No. XX. February 1820." +"London Edition of Dr. Marshman's Papers, p. 1."

"No. XXIII. May 1820. Dr. Marsh man's Papers, London Edition, p. 5." §"Idem. p. 17. Friend of India, September 1820."

this tract Dr. Marshman printed an elaborate answer in the fourth number of the Quarterly Series of The Friend of India." Here the discussion rests, as far as we are at present informed.”†— Pref. pp. xiv-xvii.

The republication of Dr. Marshman's papers in the controversy by some of his Baptist friends in England, induced the Unitarian Society to reprint Rammohun Roy's pam

* "December 1821. Dr. Marshman's Tracts, London Edition, pp. 64, &c."

"The reader may be referred for some further particulars relating to Rammohun Roy, to the Monthly Repository, Vol. XIII. pp. 229, &c.; XIV. pp. 561, &c.; XV. pp. 1, &c.; XVI. pp. 477, &c.; XVII. pp. 682, &c.; and to Mr. Belsham's Introduction to William Roberts's (of Madras) First Letter to the Unitarian Society, 1818."

This republication is entitled " A Defence of the Deity and Atonement of Jesus Christ, in Reply to Rammohun Roy, of Calcutta. By Dr. Marshmau, of Serampore." It is an 8vo. volume and is sold by Kingsbury and Co. We have not put it at the head of our list, though it is lying before us, because we find nothing in it to review, except as it is quoted by Rammohun Roy. It is, in fact, the repetition of the common-place arguments which have been again and again refuted in this country, though Dr. Marshman's reading at Serampore is not very likely to have made him acquainted with the refutation. These exploded arguments are put forth with great solemnity of manner and in the tone of infallibility. Of Dr. Marshman's confined theological information, Dr. T. Rees has exhibited a proof in the Preface above quoted: "It is not intended in this Preface to enter into a review of the controversy. Dr. Marshman has, however, made a remark, which, as it refers to the Unitarian Society, we may be permitted to notice. In raising an argument for the Deity of Christ, upon the supposed application to him of the term fellow' in the English translation of Zechariah xiii. 7, he thus quotes Rammohun Roy's criticism upon that text: Unable to deny this, our author merely hints in a note that 'n'ny Immithi, fellow, signifies one that lives near another; therefore the word, fellow, in the English translation is not altogether correct, as justly observed by Archbishop Newcome in his Improved Version,' lately published," adds Dr. Marshman, "by the SOCINIANS of


« AnteriorContinua »