Imatges de pÓgina

I am,


Letter of Mr. Foster's to Ratcliff Monthly Meeting.

153 Whatever the ulterior object of this ciled with the Epistle of the last Convention may be, certain it is, that Yearly Meeting. it is intended as a strong league, made

Very respectfully, in the name of God, against liberal

Your sincere friend, opinions. How truly does this remind

THOMAS FOSTER. us of the Sovereigns of the thirteenth century !!!—M. Chron., Feb. 19. To Ratcliff Monthly Meeting, to be held

10th Mo. 19th, 1815.
Bromley, Jan. 2, 1816,


Having incurred your censure for “call. ERHAPS few of your readers are ing in question certain doctrines “

pro. aware that under the sanction of fessed by the Yearly Meeting, in its Epis. the Yearly Meeting of Friends, Com- tle for 1810,” and being now able with mittees are from time to time ap- bation of those which its Epistle for the

much sincerity to avow iny cordial appropointed, to inspect periodical works as they come out, that any remarks jects, I hope expressing the same to you

present year contains upon the same subconcerning their principles or prac- will not be deemed an improper exercise tices which require it, may be prompt- of my Christian liberty, or give you just ly noticed, and their testimonies be cause for dissatisfaction. How this Epis.' supported. The late Joseph Gurney tle can be reconciled to the former, I know Bevan, of Newington, was one of not, but this I beg leave to refer to you, those appointed to have the theologi. as being well worthy your consideration. cal superintendance of your Journal,

On hearing the latter epistle read in the so far as it might relate to the concerns Quarterly Meeting, I was forcibly struck of Friends. In the latter part of his with the soundness, clearness, and scrip, life he was much disabled from wri. with that of the former, upon every point

tural simplicity of its language, compared ting or reading by a complaint in his of doctrine on which erroneous opinions eyes. I believe the last article from

are imputed to me by your records, and his pen, sent to your Work, was that without feeling conscious of any signed Breviloquus: it is inserted change in my sentiments. Vol. V. p. 647. I do not know who My attention was again drawn to this has been nominated in his room, but Epistle, as the latest and most authentic suppose such Committees of the exposition of the doctrines of the Society, Meeting for Sufferings are still ap- by the delivery of a copy to me, by one of pointed, although several articles your members appointed to distribute those which seemed loudly to call for re- Epistles. Since this time I have carefully

examined its contents, and in the respecplies, not being noticed, I have thought tive situation in which we stand to eacb whether the members of these Com other, as fellow-christians, and children mittees are not become more fastidious of the same benevolent Parent of the Unithan their predecessors, and wave

verse, even

The God and FATHER of giving any replies to anonymous wrie our Lord Jesus Christ,I feel that I owe ters.

it to you, before I close this letter, briefly Should Ibis have been the reason to call your serious attention to those parts why a paper signed An Inquirer," of the last Yearly Meeting Epistle to which in your last Vol. p. 546, has been

I have alluded. In doing this I shall an

nex a few words to mark more plainly how passed over in silence, I would ob.

I understand the Epistle, always distinviate that objection by the inclosed guishing them from the text. It begins letter, which was sent to the Meeting, thus : by wbich I was excommunicated. If “ In offering you this salutation of our you think fit to insert it, some mem- love, we believe it right to acknowledge ber of the Society, if not of that Meet- our thankfulness to THE AUTHOR OF ALL ing, may feel the propriety, when thus Good, that we have been permitted to publicly called upon, to attempt an

meet together. We have bad again to reexplanation of the “ apparent incon- joice in a sense of the goodness of Him sistencies and contradictions," which [“ the Author of all good”) who, by his your correspondent has pointed out. presence, owned us in times past—we As to my letter, it was not even al: have felt the consoling assurance that the

Divine Power (of Him who is omnipresent, lowed to be read in the Meeting, and and whose mercies are over all his works) has not procured me any information is both ancient and new.” That is, I prehow it is thought the Epistle for 1810, sume more properly, is unchangeable. and the ostensible grounds on which “ It is from this holy source (" of all good”] I was excommunicated, can be recon. that every enjoyment,” says this Epistle,


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« both spiritual and temporal, flows ; it Lord Jesus'] who died for all, that they is to the LORD ALMIGHTY that we are in that live should not henceforth live unto debted for the blessing of existence, for themselves, but unto him who died for the means of redemption, and for that them, and rose again.'” 2 Cor. v. 15. lively hope of immortality which comes by From this passage I understand, that Jesus Christ.

in the judgment of the compilers of this This is much more than merely “calling Epistle, we cannot become « true discia in question the omnipotence of Jesus ples" of " the Lord Jesus," whom God Christ." It is expressly to attribute om- raised from the dead, without being “alnipotent power and boundless goodness to ways" ready to “ acknowledge," that we another being, even to “ THE LORD AL- owe " the unspeakable privilegetu “THE MIGHTY," the ever-living and unchange- MERCY of God,” the Original Source and able God; and to describe Jesus Christ as

proper Author of all the blessings confer. the medium by whom the “ lively hope" red on mankind by Jesus Christ, and by of the greatest of these blessings, was the gospel which he preached. I conmade knowu to mankind through the gos- gratulate you and the Society on so speedy pel.

à return to the common language of our If we are “indebted to the LORD AL- ancestors, and to that “ form of sonnt MIGHTY"—the giver of every good, and words” which is to be found in the scripof every perfect gift," for the blessing of tures of truth, and remain your sincere existence," as this Epistle asserts, surely well-wishing friend, He“ endowed us by nature,” with those

THOMAS FOSTER. “talents.--however great," by which we are distinguished from every other order

London, Feb. 25, 1816. of beings in this sublunary world.

Sir, bis service, then dear friends,” adds the

OBSERVE that Unitarian places Epistle, “in obedience to the manifestation of his power (which is fresh every morning, for the earth is full of his good- ent parts of the kingdom, and that miess] let us offer our talents; to the appeals are frequently made on behalf glory of his great and excellent name, let of them to the liberality of the public. us devote our strength and the residue of It is difficult however for an indiviour days."

dual like myself to ascertain the meAs to the propriety," and the duty rits of the respective cases, and though of “ secret supplication," and to whom it it would be painful to refuse my should be addressed, this Epistle is equally quota of contribution, it is unpleasant explicit and scriptural. After recom

to subscribe without a full conviction mending the youth “ to allot a portion of of the serviceableness of a subscripeach day to read and meditate upon the tion. I have heard of a recent case sacred volume (the Scriptures] in private, where monies were collected for fitthis exhortation is added : “ In these seasons of retirement, seek for ability to en- ting up an Unitarian Chapel, and a ter into a close examination of your own

considerable sum expended upon a i hearts ; and as you may be enabled, secret. building held on a short lease and

ly pray to the A1 MIGHTY for preservation subject to a charge of ground-rent from the temptations with which you are which no small congregation can long encompassed.” Again. “Let their ex

pay: ample,” that of some friends lately de- Pero

me to suggest then the exceased, encourage you to offer all your pediency of every application of this natural powers, and every intellectual at

kind being first submitted to a body tainment, to the service of the same Lord, and patiently to persevere in a course

of competent judges, say the Comof unremitting obedience to the Divine mittee of the Unitarian Fund, withWill.” If we pray then “ with the spi- out whose sanction any case should rit, and with the understanding also,"

be considered as without recommenwhether openly or in secret, surely it dation. Any permanent body would should be offered only to the same Lord answer the purpsoe, but some such THE ALMIGHTY," as this Epistle enjoins, sanction is necessary to satisfy the and not ever to Jesus “ whom he (God) private individuals to whom applihath madeboth Lord and Christ.” Acts cants appeal. ii. 36. The Epistle concludes thus : “Let us

I perceive with great satisfaction ever remember, that if we obey the Divine vision is made in the Trust Deeds

that in the cases of Neath, &c. procommandments, we shall do all to the glory of God; we shall always acknow that the chapel erected by public ledge, that it is of his mercy, if we ever contribution shall, in the event of the become partakers of the unspeakable pri- discontinuance of public worship on vilege of the true disciples of Him [' the Unitarian principles, come into the

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Mr. Evans on the field of Waterloo.

155 hands and be the property of some Overysche, near the wood of Soignes to permanent Unitarian body. The same Neerysche, with the little river Ysche provision should surely be made in front, so as to cover Brussels and whenever a new place of worship is Louvain! The Duke of Marlborough raised by the help of the Unitarian proposed to attack them immediately, public, for every such building is in and Averquerque approved of the de some sort an experiment. If the ex- sign. But it was opposed by General periment fail, let not individuals or Schlangeuburgh and other Ďutch ofother sects reap an advantage ficers, who represented it in such a

Once more, I recommend most light to the Deputies of the States earnestly that every new chapel should who attended the army that they rebeerected on Freehold Ground, and that fused to concur in the execution. The sufficient ground should be purchased Duke being obliged to relinquish the in the first instance to lay out a bu- scheme wrote an expostulatory letter rying-place. There is an unseemli- to the States General, complaining of ness in Unitarians being interred with their having withdrawn that conta Trinitarian forms of religion, which dence which they had reposed in him must be the case where they have no while he acted in Germany." church-yard of their owu: besides Thus it appears that in the reign of that it is sometimes in the power of Queen Anne the Post of Waterloo clergymen to insult the ashes of sup- was fixed upon by the celebrated posed heretics when death brings Duke of Marlborough, with the view them under their “ little brief autho- of annihilating the power of Louis rity." The tombs of fathers have a the XIVth. at that time (like Bopahold upon the religious profession of parte), the great troubler of Europe ! children when better ties are weak. And as his Grace is said “ never to ened; and sepulchres give a solem- have fought a battle which was not nity to Houses of Prayer, and supply wou, nor to have besieged a town that sentiment of reverence which that was not taken," he seems deeply fails to be excited by the small and to regret that the perverseness of his unimposing temples of Dissenters. For military associates prevented his reapthese reasons I always inquire of those ing the usual laurels on this occasion. who solicit my subscription to our It is, however, singular that the Duke new chapels, whether accomodation of Wellington, in conjunction with be contemplated for the dead as well similar allies, should a century after, as the living!

in the reign of George. the Third, ZELOTES. (June 18, 1815) consecrate this same

Post of Waterloo by a signal victory Islington, March 1, 1816. for the restoration of the descendants Sir,

of Louis the XIVth., as the best VE insertion in your valuable means of securing the peace and hap

Miscellany of the following cu- piness of the Continental Powers! rious fact, respecting the field of This is is a curious fact, and the more Waterloo, will be gratifying to the worthy of attention as a parallel bemore intelligent class of your readers. tween these two distinguished British It is taken from the Life of the Duke Generals hath been drawn by writers of Marlborough. in the seventh vo- of the present day. Such is the mulume of the British Biography, a work tation of human affairs, such the chiefly written by the late Dr. Joseph revolution of empires. May the aw Towers, and uniformly favourable to ful and decisive battle of Waterloo the interests of Civil and Religious ensure the permanent tranquillity of Liberty.

the civilized world! Torrents of “ On the 15th of August, 1705, blood have been poured forth in the the Duke of Marlborough moved unrighteous career of ambition. It from Mildert to Corbais, and next was time, as at the birth of our Saday continued his march to Genappe, viour, that the Temple of Janus should from whence he advanced to Fischer- be closed, and that Peace, the legacy mont. On the 17th Geoeral Aver- of the Redeemer to his disciples, querque took the Post of Waterloo, should diffuse her blessings among the and next day the confederate army nations of the earth. I am, Sir, - was drawn up in order of battle be

Yours respectfully, fore the enemy, who extended from



Mr. Wright on the Unitarian Society answered in the negative. I then at Thorne.

gave them some account of his cha. Wisbeach, March 7, 1816. racter, and of the manner in which Sir,

he bore the mojust and cruel treatNYE at , in he had . This some T Forkshirezinaing, Through the mouthink they had received false immedium ofthe Monthly Repository (xi. pressions respecting him. Having 120.), made known their intention of proceeded as far as seemed prudent at building a meeting-house, and solicit. that time, before I left them I said, ed the aid of the friends of the Unitarian “I have told you as much as I think cause in the undertaking, a short will be useful at present, if I live to account of the origin, progress, pre- see you again I shall have something sent'state and prospects of the Uni- further to say to you," and exhorted tarian Society in that town and its them to keep their minds open to vicinity, may not be unacceptable to conviction, and not to be afraid of your readers.

examining any subject. In the summer of 1805, I first vi. About six months after I visited sited Thorne ; it was in consequence them again, and found their prejuof a letter received by my worthy dices had been greatly alarmed by the friend, Mr. Vidler, informing him books which had been sent them. that some persons in that town and They had even consulted together neighbourhood, were favourable to whether it would not be best to rethe doctrine of the universal restora- turn the books and desire me to visit tion; but had never heard any preach- them no more; but good sense pre. er who taught it, and having heard vailed so far as to lead them to resolve that a preacher of that doctrine some- to read the books first ; a first, intimes travelled in Lincolnshire, they clined them to a second, reading; and were anxious he should visit them. On I had now the pleasure to fiud sevemy arrival I found thein all Trinitari- ral of them were become Unitarians. ans, and learned that most of them be- 1 ayain preached several discourses longed to the new connexion of Metho- among them, and found, though the dists, and that they differed from their multitude was fed, which was no brethren only on the subject of future more than I expected, the number of punishment, having adopted the sen- converts was sufficient to keep the timents of the late Mr. Winchester. standard erect, and become the foun

During my first visit I preached on dation of a society. About this time the love of God, on the doctrine of a donation of books was sent them reconciliation, and on future punish- from York, including some of Dr. ment. The place of meeting was a Priestley's works; these were read barn; a crowd of people attended, with much attention, and contributed and a considerable impression seemed to their progress in knowledge and to be made. I spent two evenings in establishment in the Unitariau Chrisconversation with a pretty large party, tian doctrine. and found, though many persons were Till the year 1810 their number full of inquiry, they laboured under increased but little : they, however, strong prejudices; I had occasion to re- persevered in their inquiries after cal to mind a maxim which I have al- truth, openly avowed their religious ways found useful, i. c. to despair of sentiments, held meetings among nothing which it is practicable to at- themselves and did what they could tempt. As a proof of what their to edify one another, and instruct views and feelings then were, I will their weighbours. I usually visited mention two things. The good wo- them twice in a year, preached seveman at the house where I lodged ral times each visit ; sometimes in asked, “ Are you an Arian?" I re- some of the neighbouring villages, and plied, “ No, I never was an Ariau.” assisted in settling any differences She then said,

which had arisen among them. SeArian I dare not let you sleep in my veral of the first converts were rehouse." Dr. Priestley's name being moved by death ; a few new ones - mentioned, I perceived it excited were added. They had from the first alarm. This led me to ask if any of many difficulties to encounter. They them had either known the Doctor were poor, unlearned people. Their or read any of his writings? They religious neighbours, who thought the

* If you



On Poetical Scepticism.-No. I.

157 doctrines they espoused damnable he- its answering the end designed. Meetresies, attacked them on every side ; ings for the worship of the one God but they soon became equal to the have been held, and well conducted, contest with their opposers, by never for several years, in a private house; attempting to dispute about words, nor but many persons who would attend to meddle with criticism, to which they in a chapel will not go regularly to were utterly inadequate ; but always a private house, even if it were large keeping close to the plain facts and enough to contain them. positive declarations of scripture, I trust it will not be thought im which all Christians admit, and proper, for one who has happily sucbringing every coutroverted point to ceeded in forming the above society, the test of those vuiversally admitted and assisting in bringing it to its prefacts and declarations.

sent promising state, to solicit, on In the autumn of 1809, a person of behalf of the brethren at Thorne, the respectable character, an avowed un- pecuniary assistance of the friends of believer, came from a neighbouring Unitarianism iu different parts of the village to hear me preach at Thorne, kingdom, that they may be enabled and was much atfected hy what he to complete the building they are heard. This led him to an examina- about to erect for the exclusive wortion of the true Christian doctrine, ship of the one and only God. Perand issued in his avowing himself an mit me to do this, with much deferUnitarian Christian. His conversion, ence and respect, through the medium and firm and candid'exertions to pro- of your valuable Repository; which mote what he believes to be divine will much oblige, dear Sir, truth, with the influence of his worth

Yours, &c. of character, brought many other

R. WRIGHT. persons to attend, and produced an important accession to the Unitarians On Poetical Scepticism. at Thorne. During the last two years,

No. I. several respectable persons in that “ Sure he that made us with such large town have reccived the Unitarian

discourse, doctrine, and are zealous for its suc. Looking before and after, gave us not cess. Thus after occasional labours This capability and Goplike REASON and exertions for more than ten years, To rust in us unus'd.” things are come to that promising

SHAKESPEARE. state which renders it not only desi- “ So charming is divine philosophy, rable, but highly necessary to have Not harsh nor crabbed as dull fools supan Unitarian chapel at Thorne, and pose, a minister placed there, who might But in usical as is A pollo's lute.”

Milton. act as a Missionary in the surrounding district, where much inquiry is ex- SIR, cited, and many openings

for public The Curious species of infidelity

THERE , preaching are found. The prospect is highly promising, and the success which, although not often truded of the cause in the country between on the public, has recently made conGainsborough, Doncaster and Selby, siderable progress among amiable and will materially depend on what is virtuous minds. It seems, therefore, done at Thorne. I speak from per- to deserve a more regular exposure sonal knowledge, and feel very deep- than it has yet received, since it dely concerned for the success of the prives those of the holiest consolaplan now projected by the friends in tions of the gospel who are best able that place.

to feel and most worthy to enjoy The expense of erecting the pro- them. Though somewhat difficult posed chapel, &c. is already before to be defined, it may be described your readers. It must be admitted as a substitution of poetical feeling the plan proposed is economical, and for religious principle—an avowed the sumn raised by the people among dislike of truth-and a contempt for themselves as large as can be expect all belief in which any share is aled, considering they are most of them lowed to the reasoning faculties. The poor. The plan of building has not defenders of these singular paradoxes, been resolved on without much de- which seem to have their origin in liberation, and a rational prospect of Germany, express great veneration

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