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their offspring from endless bondage, Thus will the rising generation of a distant clime have reason gratefully to bless your memory.
I have the honour to be, Your Royal Highness' most humble, And most devoted Servant, LEICESTER STANHOPE.
London, SIR, December 10, 1822. SINCE INCE I sent you a copy of the Letter, inserted in your Journal, [XVII. 465,] an authenticated copy of the reply to it has been put into my hands, which I also send you. The parties are strangers to me personally, but are, I have reason to believe, persons of estimable character, and alike, though it seems implicitly, attached to the principles of their education. An increasing spirit of inquiry, arising, perhaps, in some measure, from the intolerant proceedings of the Society of Friends some years ago, has already produced, in these times, its natural fruits, in some of the most active and zealous disciplinarians of that Society, viz. a greater degree of toleration to wards such of its members, in various parts of the kingdom, as are known by them to hold as highly important truths, such religious sentiments as were not long since visited by them with ecclesiastical censure and excommunication.
guage of Jesus Christ and his Apos tles, is, in my apprehension, unquestionable. BEREUS.
Yarmouth, April 24, 1822.
Whether this obvious improvement in the conduct of the Society, is to be imputed to a more general conviction of the inexpediency of persisting farther in such intolerant measures, or to any variation in the views of the present rulers of the Society, concerning the doctrines in question, com, pared with those which actuated the rulers of the former period, who are gone off the stage of this life, or to any alteration in the sentiments of those who are still amongst its rulers, is not for me to determine. Perhaps it may in part be justly attributed to each of these causes. However that may be, I am well assured that such a difference of conduct as I have stated, towards conscientious believers in the doctrine of the simple Unity of God, as is directly opposed to the doctrine of the Trinity, and is plainly expressed in the language of Scripture, especially in the most definite lan
I duly received thy Letter of the 14th instant, and have no wish to disguise the pleasure I felt in reading it. Where is the mind that would not be gratified by the approbation, sympathy and zeal of others, in what it deems matters of high importance? To me it appears to be of the highest importance to impress on the minds of young persons the duty of free and serious inquiry in whatever concerns their well-being. Happy, indeed, should I be, to see the number of the friends of free inquiry increasing, especially in our own Society, for the principles of which
entertain far more respect than I do for those of any other sect. Those prin ciples must not, however, escape exami nation, or be taken upon trust.
It is worthy of remark, that the advocates of all new opinions have asserted the right of inquiry, while most of them have shewn themselves really enemies to it in their conduct. Dr. Franklin somewhere says, that we shall find few of the ancient Christians who were not in their turn persecutors and complainers of per
Our own Society was thought by many to be remarkably free from a disposition to intolerance, until some occurrences of late years called forth the latent spirit of persecution and dread of inquiry. Let this teach all who are zealous for the promulgation of their religious opinions, to examine well whether they be really free from this almost universal feeling. It certainly requires much less labour, skill and judgment, to discover error than to discover truth, and it is common for persons who see that they have avoided popular errors, to suppose that they have none.
The Christianity of the apostles was certainly something very different from that which passes for Christianity in the present day, and presumptuous, indeed, must he be, who imagines that out of the mass of falsehood and rubbish with which it is mixed up and obscured, he has extracted the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. How absurd, then,
to restrain the exercise of that under
standing given us of God for the discovery of truth from error!
I have sent, as thou requested, a few copies of my Letter, to which thou art extremely welcome; charging for them is out of the question, as they are no
thing more than waste paper. I shall at
rians in the Eclectic Review of November last. 'It is there asserted "that the word Trinity is objected to, not only by Quakers, but by many devout persons of other communities, as of human invention. But still between the creed of the Quaker and that of the
pancy is infinite. The distinguishing tenet of the former, namely, the perceptible influences of the Holy Spirit, involves in it a practical belief, as far removed from the No-creed
of the Socinian, as light from darkThe readers of the Eclectic Review are aware of the frequency with which the term Socinian is there introduced. They know it is the nickname for Unitarian; but they may not believe that modern Unitarians are no more chargeable with Socinus's system than modern Baptists with the practices of their German predecessors. It is high time that those who contend for the right of private judgment for themselves, should lay aside all terms of reproach towards others who, in the exercise of their reasoning powers, see cause to differ from their brethren. But though we cannot dwell on the liberality of the Reviewer, we may recollect his love of truth, in stating "that many devout persons belonging to other communities object to the term Trinity, as of
human invention." This concession
is, however, followed by an assertion
which deserves remark. Between
who can believe one to be three and
Dec. 15, 1822. been the Eclectic Review for November, 1822. As that publication is supposed to represent the opinions of the best informed of those who call themselves orthodox Christians, it may not be unpleasant to your readers to see the concessions made by those who differ from us, as well as the terms of abuse they are pleased to heap upon us. One lesson I trust we shall learn, not to return railing for railing, but on the contrary, to give the reason of the hope that is in us without bitterness, though accompanied with a manly defence of what we believe to be truth. The professed object of the Reviewer, in p. 425, is a work of Mr. Barton, the Quaker poet; though the great
aim is to convince his readers that
Quakers are not Unitarians, and that Friends are much nearer the standard of orthodoxy than they are commonly supposed to be. Mr. Barton's publication affords the opportunity of explaining the defects in the Quakers' practice, with which the Reviewer proves himself unacquainted; and shews that he has formed his ideas on past periods and not on modern events. But it is not my design to dwell on this circumstance, or to lessen the praise the Reviewer would bestow on the truly venerable philanthropist Mr. Allen, whose publication he quotes; nor is it my wish to attempt to coax Friends into the adoption of our system by flattery. My object is to state the concession made to Antitrinita
Your readers will see by this candid statement in a letter of friendship not intended for publication, how effectually the Society of Friends had for a time succeeded in this instance, in suppressing a Tract which well deserves the serious attention of its members, though it certainly calls in question the assumed infallibility of its Yearly Meeting, and ventures to bring its counsels to the touchstone of that revelation to the rational offspring of God, which is contained in the New Testament.
portance but what are clearly stated in the word of God. What then does the Reviewer intend? Is he wise beyond what Divine wisdom has disclosed? Or does the phrase, "our language," mean some particular confession of faith, some standard of true orthodoxy? It would have been candid to have given an explanation, espe cially as his design was to induce the Quakers to join the sect that is characterized by its soundness in faith. Perhaps, the writer only meant to furnish a specimen of the language of that sect, in the correctness and diversity of metaphor, and the substitution of sound for sense in the quotation of scripture. If this were his object, he is happy in his elucidation of a person who believes with his heart, holding the head, belonging to the true cir cumcision, worshiping God in spirit, &c. Mr. Editor, I am a plain man, and as the gospel was designed as a peculiar blessing for the poor, I am anxious that both our religious services and our controversial writings should be conducted in a language that may only excite to love and good works. L. E. F.
all the Scriptures require him to believe in order to salvation." This must be good news to Unitarians, although the Reviewer may not be acquainted with the fact, for we can not suppose him combating a mere creature of his own imagination. Unitarians do believe in divine influence: see Dr. Carpenter on that subject. Unitarians do believe in the divinity or divine mission of Jesus Christ: see Mr. Belsham, Mr. Aspland, Mr. Yates, Mr. Kenrick and Dr. Thomas Rees. Unitarians do believe in the redemption of the world by Jesus Christ, and the means of recovery from sin and its effects: see Mr. Wright, Mr. Wellbeloved, Mr. Kentish, Mr. Butcher. Unitarians do not only believe that the Scriptures have revealed to us the means of salvation, but that they alone ought to be the rule of our faith and the guide of our conduct. If because we call no man master in matters of religion, we are said to have no creed; if because we deem it better to worship God according to the dictates of our heart, rather than obey the traditions and inventions of men; if for this cause we are lightly esteemed by others, we will bear with patience the sneers of the world, and look to him who will judge righte ously, and prepare to give to him an account of our stewardship. When I first perused the Review I have mentioned, I was rejoiced, and resolved to congratulate my brethren on our being acknowledged to be Christians; for it is not always pleasant to see ourselves classed with Deists, Infidels and Atheists. But my joy was damped when I read, and re-read the following passage: "The man who believes this with his heart, believes all the Scriptures require him to believe in order to salvation. He may not express himself on the subject of the Trinity, the personality of the Spirit and other points of confessed importance in our language; but he holds the head; be belongs to the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." Though of all men Unitarians have the least confidence in the flesh, acknowledging that it is of the mercy of God that they are saved and not of themselves; yet they disclaim any language of their own, and deem no points of confessed im
Bristol, SIR, Feb. 3rd, 1823. ROM the perusal of a highly respectable Quarterly Publication, entitled "The Inquirer," I have with a peculiar degree of satisfaction learned the existence of a Convention of Delegates from New York, Philadelphia and Delaware, whose specific objects are "the abolition of domestic slavery, the protection of free Negroes illegally detained, and generally the improvement of the condition of the African race throughout the United States;" and that this Convention assembled at Philadelphia on the 29th of October, and closed the sittings of its 17th Session on the 29th of November, 1821.
This intelligence being new and in-. teresting to me, I conclude that it will be equally so to many of your readers, and that they will share in the pleasure which I feel in finding that the reports of the Session are said to be for the most part, of a highly encouraging description. "The constituted Societies continue to add to their numbers, the schools for the education of Ne
gro children prosper and increase, and kidnapping though still prevailing to an afflicting degree, is yet practised with less and less audacity." For farther particulars relating to the proceedings of this patriotic and benevolent Society, I must refer to "The Inquirer," No. 2, my present object being to point out a fuct equally unexpected and gratifying to me, which is related in the plan laid down by the Convention, for the "general eman cipation of Slaves." This fact is, that an experiment for very materially im proving the condition of the field Negroes in our West-India Islands, has been tried on a scale of sufficient magnitude, and been found not only to answer, but far to surpass the hopes that had been formed of its success. I give the account verbatim.
"The plan now proposed" (by the American Delegates) "is not new. It is no Utopian visionary theory, un supported by experience. It has been successfully tried in the Island of Bar badoes, by the late Joshua Steel, and the result exceeded his most sanguine expectations. The first principles of his plan,' says Dr. Dickson, are the plain ones of treating the Slaves as human creatures; moving them to action by the hope of reward, as well as the fear of punishment; giving them out of their own labours, wages and land, sufficient to afford them the plainest necessaries; and protecting them against the capricious violence, too often of ignorant, unthinking, or unprincipled, perhaps drunken men and boys, invested with arbitrary powers, as their managers and drivers. His plan is founded in nature, and has nothing in it of rash innova tion. It does not hurry forward a new order of things: it recommends no fine new projects or ticklish experiments; but by a few safe and easy steps, and a few simple applications of English law, opens the way for a gradual introduction of a better sys tem. To advance above 300 debased field Negroes, who had never before moved without the whip, to a state nearly resembling that of contented, honest and industrious servants, and often paying them for their labour; to triple in a few years the annual net income of his estates-these were great achievements for an aged man, in an untried field of improvement,
pre-occupied by inveterate vulgar prejudices. He has indeed accomplished all that was really doubtful or difficult in the undertaking; and perhaps all that is at present desirable, either to owner or Slave; for he has ascertained as a fact-what was before only known to the learned as a theory, and to practical men as a paradox-that the paying of Slaves for their labour, does actually produce a very great profit to their owners."
It must be a matter of rejoicing to every humane heart, to find it proved experimentally, that such a step towards actual emancipation, may at the present time be taken, not only without fear of injury, but with great profit to West-India proprietors. Had our friend Cooper gone out to Christianize a plantation so organized, we cannot doubt respecting the success that would have attended his judicious and persevering efforts; and thus it clearly appears, that this hitherto wretched and degraded race of men, may, even with large pecuniary advantage to their owners, be rendered comfortable, rational and religious.
In another article of the "Inquirer," (Proceedings of School Societies,) we are also informed that " a gentleman of Barbadoes lately made a voyage to England at his own expense, in order fully to understand the Laneasterian system of teaching, and has returned to promote it with his utmost zeal."
The information which I have thus gained, of bright rays, precursors I trust of freedom and intelligence, having penetrated into a morally dark region, I hope you will permit me to spread through the medium of your Repository. It cannot but be acceptable to many; and if any of your readers have connexions in the Island where this interesting experiment has been tried, and these great improvements made, I hope they will be disposed to gladden the hearts of the benevolent, by communicating such farther particulars as are within their present knowledge, or that by inquiry they may be able to procure.
Bloxham, Feb. 12, 1823. I HEARTILY wish every person in free access to a correct copy of the Holy Scriptures. But the capital law of the Bible Society, i. e. "without note or comment," and akove all the very many serious defects that the most learned and pious acknowledge attend our version, and many other very modern translations, have effec tually prevented me from having any thing to do with the Bible Society. I sent a letter about the year 1810 to two monthly publications, in which I exhorted the distributors of Bibles and Testaments seriously to consider whether they ought not to correct our version, before they proceeded to multiply the copies in so great a degree.
When I give away a Bible or Testa ment, I put the following note in one of the blank pages at the end of it:
"1 John v. 7, "There are three that bear record in Heaven, the Fa ther, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.'
"Dr. Doddridge thought this past sage doubtful.
"Archbishop Newcome has left it out of his translation of the New Tes tament: and the present Bishop of Lincoln says it is spurious. See Dr. Prettyman's Works, Vol. II. p. 90." :
And in more instances, probably, than one, I have also pointed out some acknowledged erroneous transla tions.
It appears from a pamphlet by Dr. P. Smith, that he had used to inform his Catechumens that 1 John v. 7 was not genuine; and that this offended some of his brethren. He says in his own defence, "I cannot, as an honest man, permit my Catechumens to repeat the passage as if it were a part of the word of God, and I should dread the effects (and I know a painful instance) of the discovery being made at a less propitious time." Vindicia Academicæ. Part 2nd. By John Pye Smith, D.D.; p. 77.
I also beg leave to say, that it is not acting an open, honest and upright part, nor doing as we would be done by, to give away Bibles or Testaments without taking such notice of it, as is specified above. Truth stands in no need of error to shore it up. Job says, “Will ye speak wickedly for
God and talk deceitfully for him?" Job xiii. 7. It is also deserving of very serious consideration, whether it
command of God, given us in Deut. iv. 2: "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you." And in Rev. xxii. 18: "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book."
Esq., a very zealous and active member of the Bible Society, called on me, many months ago, to procure orders for Bibles and Testaments. I informed him that I had Bibles and Testaments put into my hands to give away, and that I had then some copies by me. He came in, took a seat, and we conversed for a few minutes. When he rose up to go away, a few of my books being at hand, I pointed to them and said, there is Newcome, and there is Griesbach, and there is the Improved Version; and then turning to him, I laid my finger on his arm, and said in a very serious manner, what a pity, Sir, it is that our translation was not improved before the copies were so much multiplied! He, I apprehend, meant to say that it was not expected at first that the copies would have been so numerous→→ that the work would be done. I replied, yes-it will be done, but in the mean time I have suffered a great deal from the defects of our transla tion; and I feel for those that shall come after me; I meant wheresoever these corrupt translations shall be dispersed.
He some time after favoured me with the loan of the second number of Mr. Bellamy's Translation of the Bible: when I returned it, I sent with it a letter that contains the following passage:
"I wish, Sir, you would seriously ask yourself, whether the great works of Kennicott and Griesbach, and the New Translations of part of the Scriptures by Bishop Lowth, Drs. Blayney, Geddes, Doddridge, Archbishop Newcome, and many others, do not call upon you and other persons to use all your influence to excite the British nation to improve our authorized Version of the Holy Scriptures. Depend