Imatges de pÓgina

education and fierce political rivalry to abhor Jefferson, who no doubt returned it by perhaps a more guarded but a deeper animosity-He writes to the man who seemed almost his natural enemy, in a style truly gen tlemanly and truly Christian, to in quire into his sentiments respecting the Christian revelation. He states that many persons believe Mr. J. to be a sceptic or a disbeliever, hoping it is not so, but that his rejection is only that of the irrational, unscriptural, and absurd doctrines which have too often passed for Christianity; hoping too, that Mr. J. will not permit his celebrated name to descend to posterity, as that of a man who disbelieved the doctrines of the Christian revelation, and to be used as an argument against its credibility. Jeffer son replies with great good sense and good feeling, and as it appeared to me (scanning his words, you may as sure yourself, with suspicious keenness) in a manner open and explicit. He professes his belief in the divine mission of Christ, his regret that the corruptions of Christianity have so long obscured its glories and prevented its reception and his joy, that these corruptions are now passing away, and that the doctrine of the Divine Unity and just views of the divine character are making a progress so rapid and extensive. When speak of Mr. Pickering, I speak of a man of great intelligence and of a character which more resembles that of Cato than of any other man. His opinions were changed many years ago, by the reading of Dr. Price's Sermons, and he has since been a zealous Unitarian.

"These also are the opinions of General Brooks, Dr. Osgood's parishioner, whose steady liberality of sentiment had an effect the most be neficial upon the good Doctor's cha racter and ministrations. He also has had a distinguished military ca reer, and commanded a regiment at the capture of Burgoyne with great éclat. At the peace, he resumed the medical profession, and continued it with great reputation for thirty years, and indeed to the present time to his immediate friends and neighbours. He has been for seven or eight years governor of this state with great esteem, and with so much moderation,

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that even the democrats had almost given up their opposition to his annual re-election. This office he resigned two months ago, to the regret of all. We have just lost an admira. ble man, Mr. George Cabot, of this town, a direct descendant I believe of Sebastian Cabot. He told me that more than forty years ago, he met with one or two merchants in a little compting-room, which he pointed out, to devise the means of publish. ing some liberal tracts, especially Dr. Priestley's little Appeal' and His tory of Corruptions. When the Doc tor was at Philadelphia, Mr. C. was a senator in Congress, and his con stant hearer and great admirer. Dr. Kirkland preached his funeral sermon last Sunday, and I hope to bring you acquainted with the character of this pure, able, judicious, and most amiable man. He was a Unitarian, who laid great stress upon the value of these principles; and at one of the last conversations I had with him, he expressed, in terms similar to those in which you are wont to clothe the strength of your belief, that those principles of which we were speak. ing, would in no long time become those of the intelligent and virtuous throughout the United States.

"I mention these men, my dear Sir, not because they are governors and senators, &c. These are names, and emphatically in this country, vox et præterea nihil, conferred upon the ignorant, the worthless and the vulgar. But I mention them as men of sense and reflection, raised, all of them, by these qualities, united with an excellent moral character, from an humble station, to much distine tion among their fellow-citizens. They were all educated in the times and principles of Orthodoxy; all emi nent during their whole lives in active life and the business of the world. That such men should become the supporters and advocates of liberal sentiments, in opposition to early prejudices, and moreover at a period of life when zeal is apt to cool, should take a warm interest in the propa gation of Unitarian sentiments, I must think affords no mean presump tion, that these opinions approve themselves, when examined, to the grave and intelligent inquirer."

From Washington, another corre

spondent writes, of the date of March 20, 1823:

"I wrote you in November last from Philadelphia, acknowledging the receipt of your most valuable present of your excellent work on the Epistles, which the more I consult, the more highly I esteem, and think it beyond question the greatest of those great services you have rendered to the cause of Christian truth. Its effects will be widely and perma nently felt in a future generation of men. I hope it will soon be reprinted in this country, and read not only on the shores of the Atlantic, but beyond the Alleghany chain on the banks of the Mississipi and Missouri. I have introduced it to the knowledge of severall members of Congress, who appear to feel much interested in it. The suggestion in your esteemed favour of October 1st, respecting public provision for the support of religion in every parish,' &c., is a thing concerning which I have no religious scruple. In the Eastern States it is adopted and maintained by some of the governments. But in middle, southern and


51, SIR,


OBSERVE that a

States of this Union, nothing of the I crept into the newspapers relating

kind has been admitted. In this matter Congress have no power; the constitution prohibits them making any law respecting religion. In England the Imperiuin in Imperio which is peculiar to this country is little understood. Each of the twenty-four States is a perfect, absolute and independent sovereignty, in all things pertaining to its own territory and inhabitants. And the general government is a government of specific and limited powers, sovereign and supreme, with regard to the united force and independence of the whole, and also in all the external relations of the country with other powers, and in the collection and use of revenue for the Union; but entirely incapable of interfering with the internal legislation of each particular State. Owing to their not understanding this complicated system, we often smile to see in the English papers things said of the transactions of the American government, which are completely at variance with facts, and with its constitutional principles. I have visited New England, and am still disposed to think that their plan

to an attempt at the late Conference of the Wesleian ministers to impose the Liturgy of the Church of England upon the societies in that connexion, has been contradicted. Perhaps some of your readers can inform the public to what this contradiction amounts; whether it applies to the fact in toto, or merely to the wording of the resolution proposed. I am informed that the question of a Liturgy was actually moved and supported by the leading ministers in the connexion, and nega tived by a majority of seventy and upwards; and also that the movers intended that the Liturgy should bring in with it, according to John Wesley's original plan, episcopal ordination, the readers being designed to be taken from amongst persons in holy orders. My information leads me to conclude that this attempt to approach towards the Church of England, though defeated, will be renewed. Should this conclusion be correct, it is easy to foresee that the Wesleians will divide into the two branches of Churchmen and Dissenters.


of securing emoluments to the clergy, rather tends to retard the progress of truth than otherwise; it also occasions sometimes disagreeable feuds in parishes when a new sect arises. But I am not very confident in my opinion. As for the camp meetings I believe they are declining every where, and chiefly_prevail in the western country. Fanaticism, however, in various shapes, is a very prevailing evil. Unitarianism will cure. it, and I believe a large number of people, chiefly among the Baptists in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia, have cast off their belief in the Trinity. They have still much to learn. One of their preachers, a plain man without education, but good plain sense and a strong understanding, was lately on a visit among us and our Baltimore friends, to get information on some points. This man had travelled above, 600 miles on horseback, and perhaps may return with some new ideas.'

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London, ".

September 2, 1823.


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

ART. I.-Sermons, selected from the
Papers of the late Rev. Henry
Turner, &c. 1 3000
-14(Concluded from p. 473.)-


700 bi

tenth sermon in this volume, "on True and False Shame, and the Necessity of Universal Obedience." [Psalm exix. 6.] Mr. H. T. correctly remarks, that, in the judgment of the author of the text, the most probable method of repressing the predominance of shame, is faithfully to observe all the Divine commands." (140.) Agreeably to the judicious arrangement made by the editor, a discourse succeeds, XI., from Rom. i. 16,) which is entitled, "Reasons for not being ashamed of the Gospel." We had the happiness of knowing, that this was, at least, one of the earliest of the sermons composed by the de parted preacher and it reflects great credit, in every view, upon his memory. He points out various ways in which a 66 most unworthy shame" respecting Christianity finds a place. among us, and then takes into consideration the motives assigned by Paul, for his open and courageous profes-, sion of the doctrine of a crucified Saviour. We transcribe a few sentencesconi as I b202014


"How many men have there been, possessed of so little fortitude, that, when exposed to the taunt of the unbe liever, they have been eager to make their timely escape, by a quick adoption of the opinions of him, whom they so unworthily dread! Or, if not moved to this act of desperation, how anxiously do they decline the contest, as one in which they have no concern; and refer it to professional men, whose business. it is to defend their religion! Professional men! What, do we live in a Protestant country, and have we yet to learn, that Christianity is every one's profession; that no man can be a Chris tian by proxy; and that none will be asked, in the great day of account, what his priest, or his minister, believed, but what he himself believed! and still more, how his behaviour corresponded with his belief?"--P. 162.


3 z

"Attention to our Work in its proper Season," [John ix. 4,] is inculcated in the twelfth discourse. We have been impressed by the following. observation, (177,)


"If our Saviour, with his extraordinary powers and incomparable means of usefulness, considered himself as under obligation to observe the strictest indus try, and the most unwearied diligence, imagine that our duties are not calcuhow little would it become any of us to lated to occupy a constant and habitual attention!"

" 7

The case of the Syrophenician Woman," [Mark vii. 27,1 furnishes the interesting topic of No. XIII. Our Lord's apparent unwillingness to relieve her, is clearly explained, and the virtuous features of her character are with equal distinctness pointed out. In this discourse the author has evidently kept his eye upon one of the late Bishop Horsley's, of which, however, no servile or indiscriminate, but a truly judicious, use is made.

Among the most valuable sermons in the volume, we rank No. XIV., which bears the title of All live unto God." [Luke xx. 38.] It treats, as might be expected, of the Christian doctrine of a resurrection from the grave. The text is correctly paing this vital air, or long since reraphrased: "All, whether now breathturned to that dust, from which they' were taken, live unto him, who has decrced their future resurrection, and regards it as if it were present; who quickeneth the dead and calleth those things which are not, as though they were."" (203.).

We lay before our readers another passage..!

"Do men attempt to intimidate or allure you into disobedience? You have a life hidden with Christ in God,' with which they cannot interfere; a life far more enduring than the fleeting shadows which compose this earthly life. You

Vol. III. Nos. 37 and 38. Mon. Repos. VIII. 334.

'live unto God. What a pleasing, awful prospect is before us! That great end of all things, for which this world of men was constituted, for which they have lived, and in the expectation of which they have died, is still to come. The pious dead still wait for their redemption; they wait because we are not yet prepared for that awful trial which is to ensue, because the long-suffering

of God still allows time for our repentance; and his wise providence is still multiplying and extending the means of grace, in behalf of a sinful and disobedient world. They have not yet received the promise: it is delayed, because the world is not yet ripe for the consummation of all things; they have received it not, that (as the apostle says) they without us should not be made perfect; and I cannot but conceive of our pious fathers as waiting in peaceful and patient expectation, till children, and children's children, be perfected."Pp. 208, 209.

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signing them over to receive the full severity of the divine sentence !”


Of the fifteenth discourse the title is " on Love to Christ" [1 Pet. i. 8]; the nature and foundation of which habit of mind are excellently stated. This sermon was 66 preached before the celebration of the Lord's Supper:" and a powerful admonition to the observance of a rite so interesting and significant forms the conclusion. Ac cording to the preacher, we should love Jesus Christ, because he is the beloved Son of God, and the most perfect example of every human virtue, because the most tender compassion for mankind was a governing motive of his services and self-denial, because of the sufferings which he voluntary underwent for our sakes, because he still lives, and ever intercedes for us, and, lastly, because," though now we see him not, yet, if we are faithful unto the end, we shall see him, and be received into the felicity of an everlasting fellowship with him. The sixteenth discourse, is <d on Uncharitable Judgment of others' Faults." [Jonah iv. 9.] A more pertinent text might, perhaps, have been selected. The sermon, however, consists principally of very good ob servations on Jonah's character, and on part of his history, one of the remarks suggested by which is, (239,)

"How carefully should we guard aginst an unfeeling temper in forming our judgments of mankind, and con

From Matt. xx. 22, Mr. H. T. professes to discourse, in No. XVII.,


on the proper Objects of a Christian's pursuits." Yet a considerable portion of the sermon is occupied in an illustration of that incident in the evangelic narrative, which furnishes the text. The reader will meet here with a clear and faithful illustration of the expression, "worshiping him."

"Means of securing the Love of Christ," [John xv. 9, 10,] are stated in the eighteenth sermon: these are mainly, obedience to his commands and the imitation of his example. This preacher well observes, "that it is the excellent effect of the Christian scheme to make religion familiar to our thoughts, and to bring home to our business and bosoms the justest and sublimest motives of conduct." (267.)


The nineteenth discourse treats of ject, and bears the title, "Religion a very attractive and interesting subsuited to this World, as well as to the next" [John xvii. 15]: it is employed in an illustratration of two is the appointed field for the exercise propositions "first, that the world of Christian duty; secondly, that the Christian ought to unite his earnest endeavours with his prayers to God, that he may so live in the world, as to be kept from the evil of it." Towards the conclusion, Mr. H. T. makes a very appropriate extract from Milton's Areopagitica.

reader is presented with a sermon of In No. XX. [Matt. xxiii. 7] the great value, on "The Woe denounced against Causes of Offence." The fact and its consequences are first represented: then it is viewed as arising out of the established order of Providence; and, finally, the writer shews, that "this must not be used as an argument for any kind of wickedness, best interests of mankind." Another or even of negligence, in regard to the charming passage is introduced from that treatise of our sublime poet, which has just been mentioned: parents and children, governors and subjects, masters and servants, the aged and the young, in short, men of all classes, and those, in particular, who are nearly and mutually related, may

derive instruction from the reasoning and admonitions of the admirable discourse to which it is transferred.

By the next, XXI., we are scarcely less impressed and gratified: it is “on the Duty and Efficacy of Prayer." [Matt. vii. 7.] A most important obligation, an essential as well as a salutary practice, is here urged with great strength of reasoning. To the following observations we cordially subscribe, and are reminded by them of Ogden* and of Price† (310, 311):

"I know it has been said, that the important practical tendency of the exercise of prayer will, of itself, operate as a sufficient motive for engaging in it. Our prayers, it is said, for support ander affliction, or of [for] virtue in temptation, though they do not induce God to bestow more of his supporting grace, than by his inherent goodness he is ever disposed to bestow, have a most beneficial effect upon our own temper, and serve to impress upon us a sense of our constant dependence upon the Almighty, for every thing which makes our lives happy. In like manner, our intercessions in behalf of our fellow-creatures, though they cannot have any direct influence in promoting their welfare, produce, indirectly, the most important results, by engaging us, in a solemn and impressive manner, to the performance

of charitable and benevolent duties. But I think I may safely appeal to the good sense and experience of every religious person, whether these are the reasons which have ever led, or ever would lead, to that spontaneous and sincere devotion, from which alone these good effects would flow? Nay, whether they would even consider it as justifiable to use the forms of devotion, under such impressious? Could the form of petition be used with propriety by those, who do not believe that the Divine Being regards the prayers of men? Might it not appear even impious, to address the Almighty in language which we considered as expressing false and unfounded notions? For surely no apparent advan tages can justify us, in acting upon fictitious principles. And in religion especially, where every thing should breathe simplicity and godly sincerity, it cannot be warrantable to act conformably with ideas which we believe to be erroneous;

to connect the venerable name of God

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with a supposed falsehood, merely because we imagine good effects will be produced on our own minds, by such a practice. But it is altogether a fallacy; no such prayer was ever presented; and

the valuable tendency of the exercise worshiper believes, that nature and must entirely cease, as soon as the religion hold out to him no hope of obtaining a favourable answer to his sincerest prayer, under his greatest afflictions."

The arguments which the Scriptures contain in behalf of prayer, are then excellently set forth.


"A sermon on New Year's Day," (No. XXII.) closes this part of the is, the tenure on which we possess volume: the subject [Eccles. xi. 7] even the innocent and allowable pleasures of life; and the discourse receives a melancholy interest from the circumstance of its being "the last composed by the author." Three Addresses at the celebration of the Lord's Supper, one at a funeral, and an office for public worship, are annexed; with a view to the gratification and benefit of different classes of readers.






The sermons that we have now reviewed are short; without, however, being meagre and superficial. They are, at the same time, inethodical and the method is, for the most part, announced. This we consider as a capital excellence. Hume, whose literary taste and judgment are almost universally admitted, censures modern orators," for their rejection of that order, "which seems so requisite to argument, and without which it is scarcely possible to produce an entire conviction on the mind.” *



Mr. Henry Turner appears to have possessed the qualifications of a sound theologian-industry, candour, a sincere and pious mind, discernment, and a correct acquaintance with scriptural praseology. He was evidently characterized by an enlightened zeal for the tenets which he embraced on inquiry and conviction: hence they are neither unseasonably introduced nor disingenuously kept back or coloured. His style is în general pure, glowing and agreeable; such as marks the scholar and the man of taste. The grand charm of these discourses

* Essays, &c. (1793,) Vol. I. p. 111.

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