Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

*

Halifur, September 17, 1816. per week (not in arrears) be entitled SIR,

to vote on any case brought before the IN N the “ Account of the opening members of the fund.

of the New Unitarian Chapel, at 5. That a president, secretary, Oldham, in Lancashire,” in your treasurer, two auditors, and one colNuniber for February, (XI. p. 121,) lector for every ten donors or subthe reporter has taken notice of a few scribers, be appointed; the election observations which I took that oppor.

to these offices to be annual, with the tunity of making on the propriety of exception of that of president, which establishing a Fellowship Fund in con- shall be offered permanently to the nexion with Unitarian congregations. minister for the time being. As several friends have approved of

6. That when a case is to be offered the idea, and have applied to me to for consideration and assistance, the detail my proposal, 1 have done so, secretary, on receiving a requisition and offer the following plan for inser- signed by five members, shall call a tion in the Monthly Repository or nieeting of the fund to be held inmeChristian Reformer.

diately after the afternoon's service in PROPOSED REGULATIONS. the vestry (school-room or chapel as 1. That there be established in the may be), to take the case into consociety of Unitarian Christians assem- sideration and the sum proposed to bling at a fellowship fund.

be voted. 2. That its objects are: (1.) to assist 7. That no case shall be finally the members of the society with oc. decided till a second meeting has been casional relief under the pressure of held on the Lord's day afternoon sickness, infirmity or want; (2.) to (after service) next following the first defray the expenses (such as fire, can- ineeting, except in cases of infirmity, dles, &c.) incidental to the meetings sickness, or want requiring immediate for religious edification and prayer* in relief. the society; (3.) to present such

8. That in all cases a majority of occasional contributions as the fund the members entitled to vote (Rule 4.) may allow to Unitariau chapels about shall decide, the president, and in his 10 be crected or enlarged; to the absence the chairman, having a castarademies in our persuasion establish- ing vote. ed at York and Hackney; to the

9. That the subscriptions and donaUnitarian Fund, and to any other tions as received by the treasurer, shall institution now existing, or which be put into the tank for savings, [or may hereafter be formed, which may into the hands of such person as a seein calculated to promote the diffu- majority shall deem trust-worthy] in sion of Christian truth, and to incul- the joint names of the president, secre. cate holiness of heart and life.

tary and treasurer; and that all orders 3. That the fund be supplied by for payment shall be signed by not voluntary donations and subscriptions. less than two of these officers.

4. That every donor of five shillings 10. That the secretary keep a book annually, or subscriber of one penny for minutes of the meetings, and the

treasurer an account book : That these • The second object is specified in this be open at every meeting for the sule from such a fund having been needed inspection of donors and subscribers (and supported by a small weekly contribu- (not in arrears). That a statement of tion of the members) in the religious society the accounts examined and attested to which the proposer belongs. This ob- by the auditors be submitted to the ject may be omitted and others specified general annual meeting, and if apaccording to the local circumstances of

proved be hung up in a conspicuous particular societies : such as, to assist infant societies in obtaining regular public part of the vestry (or other place of worship and in defraying the expenses of

meeting) for not less than one rent and of fitting up a place for that pur

month.

u. That an annual meeting be pose; to form or assist in defraying the expenses of plans for establishing plain held after afternoon service on the and Scriptural preaching in districts, or

first Lori's day in January, of each circuits; the support of a vestry library, year, and that notice shall be given tract society, Sunday school, &c. the of the same on the preceding Lord's purchase of Bibles and hymn books for the day, as well as on the day of meetpoor in tbe society, duc. &c.

ing: that at this meeting the officers

Dr. Thomson's Plan of a Charitable Fund in Unitarian Congregations. 579 be elected, the accounts passed, and deserves particular notice, viz: that other business be transacted.

these plans for raising additional suins FORMS OF NOTICE.

of money in any congregation, do in We, the undersigned, request you to fact detract from the stipend of the calla meeting of the members of the fel- stated minister; or where that stipend lowship fund to be held the next Lord's is low and insufficient, tend to keep day (the instant) immediately it so. I allow this objection in all its after afternoon's service, to take into force as applied to many of the topics consideration the propriety of votinga of sermons on particular occasions and sum of money to assist our Unitarian to subseqnent congregational collecbrethren at 'shorne in Building their tions; but I deny the assumption upon Chapel] (sigued) AB. CD. EF. GH. which this objection proceeds, as IJ. dated To Mr. Secretary applied to the project detailed above. to the Fellowship Fund.

It will be found (except in cases of Notice from the secretary, to be read endowment) that a small salary bears by the minister or clerk.

a direct proportion to the smallness of The meinbers of the Fellowship a congregation. If this be so, all plans Fund are requested to meet in the that tend to increase the numbers of a vestry this afternoon immediately after religious society, tend to the increase service.

of the minister's salary; and this tenBy a plan of this kind, Mr. Editor, dency must be granted to all means union and co-operation in individual likely to convey information, excite societies would be promoted ; a state additional interest, and promote perof things in every point of view desira- sonal attachment and intercourse and ble, and preliminary to any good to be congregational union and co-operaexpected from a general association tion. of ihe Unitarian body. The progress By some an objection may be felt

. of Unitarianism, and the efforts made to the term fellowship fund. I care for its advancement, would be detailed little about the naine, and have not in these societies, and carried home to any objection to its being termed an and again discussed at the firesides of auxiliary fund, a coinınon fund, or the members. Thus accurate informa- any other name, provided the end be tion would be circulated, and an in- kept in view. It certainly is always creased interest in and attachinent to desirable to call things by their right the cause excited, not only amongst the names, and I do not propose the promembers of the same congregation, ject or the designation as at all correbut between the scattered societies of sponding with the xonywria, the felthe Unitarian body. The calls upon lowship" of the primitive Christian Unitarian liberality, for the erection of church, nor as at all wishing to internew chapels and other important ob- fere with that apostolical institution jects, have of late happily been fre- wherein it is observed. Such a quent. But if continued, which I Christian contribution, were it uniirust will be the case, they cannot be versal, would be more efficient; and so promptly met, and só cffectually most earnestly would I wish io see answered as they ought to be. The it supersede the proposal before you, willing giver will from prudential which is simply a project to organize motives be obliged however reluctantly a new and permanent set of contributo withhold his aid. We must therc- tors, and which must stand or fall on fore look out for other and multiplied the ground of expediency alone. One sources of supply, and call in the word as to the productiveness of such a many in aid of the few. Before you plan, and I have done. So far as I is a plan for that purpose, which know, we have not any data to form whilst it organizes a fresh set of contri- any tolerably correct estimate of the butors, and falls so easily upon all as Unitarian population of the United not to be felt by any, does not inter- Kingdom ; but if for the sake of ilfere with nor supersede the exercise of lustration, we suppose a plan to liberality on the part of the affluent be adopted which would associate members of the Unitarian body. I one hundred thousand contributors will only add of this project, that I throughout the empire, at one penny a shall be truly glad to see it superseded week cach, it woull produce nearly by a better.

twenty-tuco thousand pounds per aunum, There is indeed ane objection which (21,6001. 134. 4d.); when probably ac

present not so many hundreds are

THAT human life is a chequered raised from the same sources for the scene of good and evil, of pleasure and same purposes.

pain, of the exhilarations of hope and JOHN THOMSON. the mortification of disappointment, P. S. A friend, whose name is well is a point of no doubtful disputation. known to your readers, and which, The most unfortunate of our fellow did I feel at liberty without his per- creatures have some comforts or other mission to mention, would insure remaining, to sweeten the bitter cup attention to the subject, favoured me which is given them to drink, whilst with the following remarks in reply to imperfection and uncertainty characa rough sketch of the project detailed terize the enjoyments of the most above. “ The increase of calls on Uni- prosperous. The estimate of the haptarian benevolence is a pleasing sign of piness or infelicity of the present the advancement of truth, but I agree condition of men, is much influenced, with you that as at present carried on I think, by the peculiar constitution they must exhaust and weary. To all and state of mind of the person who religious societies, indeed, the ad- makes it, and the views he entertains vice is applicable; but to small asso- of the divine government. If he be ciations of detached converts who are subject to depression of the animal at too great a distance to join an spirits, and also has embraced a rigid established congregation, and not yet system of religion, looking on the Deity sufficiently numerous or opulent to as an object rather of dread than of build a place and maintain a minister, love, dooming the greatest part of I would particularly recommend St. mankind, by an eternal and irreverPaul's advice to the Corinthians about sible decree, for the offence of their

collecting for the saints,' (1 Cor. first progenitor, to unavoidable and xvi. 2.) On every first day of the endless misery; the estimate of human week let every one lay by' as God life formed by such a one will probahath prospered him." Let them bly partake of the gloom of his disponever fail to meet regularly for public sition and the rigour of his creed. worship every Lord's day, &c. Let Good Dr. Watts was in one of his there be a box with a slit in the lid melancholy moods, and had not the into which every one, may put in most cheerful views of religion, when according to individual discretion and he composed the hymn containing the convenience, from a halfpenny up- following lines. · wards, and without any one knowing “ Lord, what a wretched land is this, its amount but himself. Let it be That yields us no supply, periodically opened by appointed No cheering fruits, no wholesome trees, officers, and a regular account kept Nor streams of living joy! of its produce. What is more than

But pricking thorns through all the is wanted for the relief of occasional

ground, distress, or for benevolence to other And mortal poisons grow, charities, should be carefully put out And all the rivers that are found, w interest and managed to the best With dang 'rous waters flow. advantage: and thus without any

Yet the dear path to thine abode, burden upon them, a fund would in

Lies through this horrid land. tiine be raised equal to all their wants. In already established larger congre.

Long nights and darkness dwell below,

With scarce a twinkling ray." gations, I greatly approve your regula

Watts, H. 53.-B. 2. tions for the fellowship fund."

Your Correspondent, Y. N. in the Sir, Bridport, Sept. 26, 1816. Monthly Repository for May lasi,

F you think the following observa- p. 277, seems to me to have thoroughjections to the divine government, of quoled. He looks at human life one of your Correspondents, whose through a gloomy medium, and sees signature is Y. N. [p. 277,) and “to nothing in it bút evil. As 'to the vindicate the ways of God to man," inquiry he proposes for discussion, by inserting them in your truly liberal whether happiness or misery prevails Repository, you will'oblige,

in the present state (but which he Your’s respectfully, does not hesitate to decide himself in

THOMAS HOWE. a manner most unfavourable for

Mr. Howe in Answer to Y. N.'s Objection to the Divine Government. 581 mankind) it must be determined by multiply much faster, than their the knowledge of the actual feelings means of subsistence.” He is however of men in general, during the whole mistaken in supposing that no writers of their mortal existence, as far as on this subject have attempted to these can by any means be ascer- answer this argument. The fact is tained. Should it appear that good admitted by Dr. Paley, in his “ Napreponderates over evil, and happiness lural Theology," and ihe observations outweighs the miseries of life, a strong which he makes on this part of the presumptive argument is hereby fur- constitution of things I shall trannished for perfect ultimate félicity, scribe, as tending at least to abate the when the scheme of the divine force of the objection. « The order government respecting man is com- of generation proceeds by something pleted. Should the reverse however like a geometrical progression. The be established, and it be clearly shewn increase of provision under circumthat evil prevails more than good, stances even the most advantageous, pain and distress more than ease and can only assume the form of an arithcomfort; even in this case so many

metic series. Whence it follows that proofs present themselves of the bene- the population will always overtake volence of God in the constitution of na- the provision, will pass beyond the ture, and the salutary tendencies of evils line of plenty, and will continue to themselves, that we should be justified increase, till checked by the difficulty in inferring the necessity of thein to such' of procuring subsistence.”—Paley's an extent, in this introductory scene, Nat. Theol. p. 548. but not in concluding that therefore “ In what concerns the human èvil will eventually triumph over good. species, it may be a part of the scheine As to the estimate of which I am of Providence, that the earth should treating, let the comparison be fairly be inhabited by a shifting or perhaps made on an enlarged view of the a circulating population.

In this aggregate of mankind, and the evi- economy, it is possible there may be. dence, I think, appears in favour of the following advantages ; when old the comforts of life exceeding its countries are become exceedingly infelicities. On this extensive scale corrupt, simpler modes of life, purer should the inquiry be conducted, and morals and better institutions may rise not confined to the peculiarly sad up in new ones, whilst fresh soils. condition of certain individual suffer- . reward the cultivator with inore ers, or to such times as the present, plentiful returns. Thus the different when more than usual distress prevails. portions of the globe come into use Neither is it necessary, in order to in succession as the residence of man." vindicate the wisdom and goodness –P. 520. of our heavenly Father, or to prove

When a country possesses a greater the prevalence of happiness over population than the means of affordmisery, to assert that the pleasing ing it provisions, distress must be ihe sensations of wery human being, result to a portion of its inhabitants. whether he remains on the stage of The evils however arising from such a life for a longer or shorter period, state of things will not, generally exceed his painful feelings. That in speaking, rush on them suddenly, but some particular cases the latter should approach by gradual steps. As the excced the former seems unavoidable, difficulties increase of procuring a unless the Deity deviated from those livelihood, many of the lower classes general laws which he has established, of society, especially mechanics and and according to which he sees it best husbandmen, are induced to remove to to act.

countries less thickly inhabited, and I now proceed to the examination which promise to reward their exerof the first and principal of the objec- tions with a more comfortable subtions, (and indeed chiefly the foun. sistence. Hereby, the barren desert dation of the others) which Y. N. becomes a fruitful field, and the wilstates against the divine government, derness, before the haunt of beasts of as it respects the happiness of the pre- prey, in due time is changed into a sent state. “In contemplating human safe and commodious habitation for society," says he, “the first considera- , man; “ joy and gladness," in the tion that offers itself is, that men like all' words of the prophet, “ are found other animals, increase in number or therein, thanksgiving, and the voice

VOL Xh

“ it appears

of melody." Countless millions of Be it known however to my readers, human beings are hereby brought that the present writer is a bachelor on into existence, Y. N. thinks to be the wrong side, as it is usually tarmed, miserable, but more justly. I trust it of fifty yet. (let. every one speak for may be said, to partake of the boun- himself ) he could tell Y. 'N. that ties of Providence here, and to be he has not experienced that overwhelmtrained up, by a course of moral dis- ing misery, which is the unavoidable cipline begun in time and completed in lot it seems, of all those who are eternity, to glorify. God and enjoy doomed to pass singly through life's him for ever." "This law of the divine varied scenes. As to the generality of government, then, by which popula- those who are in the same pitiable tion increases in a greater proportion situation with myself, I do not per. than the means of subsistence, pro- ceive such very glooiny and despond. ducing no doubt many partial evils, ing countenances, as indicate their effects most extensive and general being weary of existence. With good. On a large scale comprehend- respect to married. persons, also, as ing the whole of this habitable globe, far as my observation reaches, their it is a law which evinces both the cup of life has mingled ingredients wisdom and goodness of the common of bitter and sweet, with so great a Parent of mankind, by being favour- proportion of the latter however, as to able to the production of a greater sum inake it upon the whole. tolerably: of human happiness. Yet to Y. N. palatable. Another objection to the

with

so dreadful an - present constitution of things, is the aspect, that he says the statement of it appointment of the separation of the. is horrible."

parties, if happily, coupled, by the Considering the misery which he unsparing hand of death. « Disease supposes to be opr lot after arriving and death come,” says Y. N. “and; at a certain age, he must surely view the survivor is doomed to wear out a the following statement of his, as a wretched life in, aggravated solitude." great blessing to the children who thus Instances of this kind are no doubt to meet with an early grave, however be met with, which cannot but excite. mueh it may be regretted by their the sympathy of every one who has a parents. " It is calculated that not heart to feel. As. Y. N. looks around: less than one fourth part of the human him and draws his inferences from species perish, before they become nioral agents, before four years of The present writer has in the COUESO age." Granting this, there is good of his life, known a considerable number reason to conclude, that their sum of of married persons in different ranks, enjoyment exceeds their painful sen- cbietly in the middle and lower classes of sations, during their short scene of society. The result of his observations is mortal existence; the balance there. this, that in a few instances matrimony. fore in respect of happiness is in their prodaces sonjewhat like a hearen upon, favour.

earth. That some of them (not “ many". comparatively) “. perlsh by “ How blest, the sacred tie that binds, diseases brought on by want,” may be

In union sweet according minds! admitted as a melancholy fact, with- How swift the hearinly course they out its disproving the position just run, stated.

Whose hearts, whose faith, whyse bopes I now proceed with Y. N. to consider the condition of those who

Mrs. Barbauld, arrive at the period of youth and man

This on the other band is balanced by hood. In his view, both the single the union of parties so ill-sorted, that as and the married must necessarily be Dr. Watts says, in his celebrated lines miserable: the former because they are

on ,“Few Happy Matches," "As well single and have no “ help meet for may beav'nly consorts spring, From two them;" the latter, because the parties besides the bass." The great majority of

old lutes with ne'er a string, Or non. are often ill-sorted, or have great marriages are, I believe neither the one anxieties 'respecting their children, or

nor the other; neither cbaracterized by their connexion is embittered by die any great degree of felicity or of misery; sease or dissolved by death. Alas! for but in which, as might be expected from poor mortals, let them do as they will, au institution of the benevolent Parent of iheir condition must be sad indeed, Wankind, happiness preponderates.

are one !"

« AnteriorContinua »