Imatges de pÓgina

successful. But with regard to the atonement, he had it not in his power to do that; he could adroitly appeal to occasional exceptions in the course of nature, which, in truth, when properly considered, instead of confirming, only overthrow the doctrine they are advanced to establish. An opponent always has it in his power to say, and to say fairly, If you can prove your opinion, by referring to what the Deity sometimes, or "in many cases" performs in the course of nature, my opinion, even on your own principle, is so much the dearer and stronger to me; because it is analogous to what the Deity almost always, and in a great majority of cases is constantly producing.

"permitting" a voluntary sacrifice for the benefit of others, and "requiring" an innocent person to suffer be fore the guilty can be pardoned? To me it appears that these two propositions cannot be compared together; they are not homogeneous. I find not a single point which they have in common. I am more puzzled to feel the force of the writer's statement than to answer it. When I contemplate the first proposition, I feel a moral generous glow of sympathy, both with the Deity and with the sufferer. In looking at the latter proposition, I feel only a sensation of shuddering abhorrence. And that is all the account I can give of the matter.

2. In the supposed vicarious sufferings which this writer and Dr. Butler see in the moral government of the world, they have, unfortunately for their argument, seized upon an exception, instead of a general rule. In arguing from the analogy of nature, as to the proper character of Christ's death, we must ask, not what happens "in many cases," or merely in" a variety of ways"-but what is the general principle on which the Deity seems to conduct his moral government. And, surely, no one can say that he generally punishes vice in this world by inflicting pain on the innocent. See, then, the advantage which the Unitarian has in appealing to the analogy of nature. His first glance at it sweeps away the orthodox doctrine of atonement. And as he looks a little farther, he finds his own view of it confirmed. Because, GENERALLY, whenever he sees pain and suffering in this world, he sees a long train of good effects to be more or less connected with it, precisely in the way in which he himself connects the benefits of Christ's death with that painful event. It is not till he looks much farther, and finds, by the exercise of his ingenuity, a few anomalous cases of vicarious suffering, that he perceives any thing which can even remotely excuse the violent and unnatural doc trine of a literal sacrifice in lieu of the guilty human race. I trust I have here pointed out a fallacy, or at least a frailty in one part of Dr. Butler's excellent work. Whenever he fortifies religious truths by an appeal to the general analogy of nature, I think the argument is unexceptionable and

3. The subjection to pain and death of the whole animal creation, is not, I think, a "similar anomaly" to the orthodox doctrine of the atonement. It might be easily shewn that the former law of Providence, produces, on the whole, the greatest quantity of happiness throughout the sensitive creation, while, at the same time, it certainly violates no moral propriety. Whereas, Unitarians profess to see in the orthodox opinion of the atonement, not merely the suffering and death of an innocent person, but such an application of it, as, when fairly reduced to its legitimate consequences, confounds all moral notions whatever. No one can say, that the sufferings of the animal creation take away the guilt incurred by some order of responsible beings in another quarter of the universe. But it could evidently be only such an analogy, that would give strength to the inquirer's third objection. We are too apt, in drawing analogies, to confine our attention to some single common circumstance between the objects of comparison, when, on a little nicer examination, other circumstances may be discovered, which utterly destroy the supposed relation.

Apology for joining in the Church Service. Very well-very well indeed. It is a pity that so much can be also said on the other side.

Extracts from Ancient Presbyterian Registers. There seem to be many marks here of the word Ichabod having been written on the Presbyterian Church of England at the time to which the extracts refer.

Mr. Haldane's Letter to Dr. Smith. It is unfortunate for the general credibility of Mr. Smith's paintings, lately communicated to the Repository, that his friend Mr. Haldane has detected so glaring a mistake; and remarkable, that he found nothing particularly to confirm, except the denial of M. Chenevière's surmise regarding a concerted plan to revolutionize the Genevan Church. Even on this point, all that Mr. Haldane declares is, that there was no previously concerted plan before he went abroad. The Professor's charge might fairly be interpreted as only a general one, but fully borne out by all the facts and circumstances. I presume he did not intend to convey the idea that there was an organized and specific conspiracy among the orthodox of different countries to effect the purpose in question, but only such a general sympathy and implicit understanding among persons of great zeal, as would induce them to co-operate whenever opportunity and prospects of success presented themselves. His expression was rather pointed, it is true; but the expressions of an earnest, irritated man, though descrip. tive of the truth, frequently vibrate somewhat from the line of logical precision. Do, Mr. Smith, let us forgive M. Chenevière a little hyberbole. Persecution of Elias Hickes. It is a singular instance of the advantages attendant on the active diffusion of literature and commerce, that the first information which I received respecting this outrageous business arrived through the medium of the Monthly Repository, printed in London.

Verus on Sunday Schools. I am happy to find that Verus is acquainted with so many facts that tend to rebut the discouraging statements of his opponent. But he is better in marshalling facts, than in pursuing nice verbal reasonings. A Friend to Sunday-Schools did not mean that the very identical persons who neglect the education of the youthful poor, take positive pains at the same time, to give them an improper education. He could only mean to instance two separate faults, one of which could be charged to some Unitarians, and the other to others. So that there is no "inconsistency on the face of his charge." Again. Verus snatches at the word purity, and pretends to give for its exact correlative

the word impure. But the very mention of this last epithet implies an im moral and disgusting quality, far disproportioned to what the Friend of Sunday Schools could mean by asserting that Unitarians neglected the purity of education.

Critical Synopsis of the Monthly Repository. The Editor was fearful, it seems, of being suspected of a "stratagem" in my communications. Whereby, I presume, he has whispered to the public some of the secrets of his laboratory.

I have no particular criticism to make on this paper, except that the sentence," Mr. Rutt's Remarks on Anonymous Signatures is very sensible and well-timed," seems somewhat objectionable in point of grammar.

Mr. Worsley in Reply to Corrector. I remember, that on reading the remarks of Mr. Worsley's censor, I thought he must have used an inconsiderate latitude, in charging him with being "erroneous in every particular."

REVIEW.-1. Ben David. To say the least, these arguments of Dr. Jones's in favour of the Christianity of Philo and Josephus, are very imposing, and set one into a train of wistful meditation. Among many Christians in this country, in part, too, of a class below the middling, Josephus is a great favourite. They read him_next to their Bibles. Why does Dr. Jones depart from the conclusions of Sir Isaac Newton and Griesbach, with respect to the authenticity of ɛ05, in 1 Tim. iii. 16?

2. On the recent Prosecutions, &c. The second paragraph of this article is a happy specimen of what I wish to see in such a Catalogue Raisonée of new books, as I intimated in a former synopsis. The extract is noble-has a tinge of sublimity in consequence of conforming to, and relying on, the grand simplicity of truth.

3. A Funeral Discourse, by J. Johns. There are indeed some sweet notes in the epicedium, from which the Reviewer here exhibits specimens. They are beautiful and affecting :but have not quite, as I apprehend, that majestic and energetic movement, that stamen of argument, that directness of attainable object, which would entitle them very decisively to the praise of "eloquence." But it is

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no easy thing to define poetry and elo-
quence respectively.

I could have wished some apostrophe
substituted in the place of the initial
clause. Other critical reasons occur
to me for the alteration, but there are
probably still stronger reasons why I
should distrust them.

4. Dr. Evans's Richmond.
anecdote here told of the clergyman
who declined the parish of Richmond,
may be an evidence of his "content-
ment," but whether his humility is so
apparent from his complacent cer-
tainty of at last arriving at Lambeth,
is more questionable.

Perhaps we ought not to scrutinize too closely the metaphysics of a poetess; but some expressions in Miss Aikin's lines on Wakefield, night be interpreted as indicative of Materialism. She speaks of a mind, and a high undaunted soul, mouldering in earth. Wakefield himself might have been pleased with such a doctrine, in connexion with his belief in the resurrection. Probably, however, his fair eulogist intended nothing more than a poetical licence-a kind of inverted prosopopeia.-What can be more exquisite than the closing couplet ? There is a misprint, in one of the preceding lines, of tears for eyes.

I was lately very much astonished at learning from a gross and ill-natured communication in Blackwood's Magazine, that Wakefield seriously undertook to comment upon Pope's Verses by a Person of Quality. Were it not for the habitual gravity of the deceased critic's character, I should almost regard his attempt only as a jeu d'esprit, whimsically adapted to the nature of the verses.

Paraphrase of Thomson's Hymn exhibits good powers of versification, and the not small merit of remodelling a composition like Thomson's Hymn without spoiling it. The printer, I suppose, has converted" its resistless" or "a resistless" into "irresistless."

Could a more pleasing and impressive volume be compiled than The Poetry of the Monthly Repository? I think it would be a highly acceptable gift to the literary and religious public. It would certainly be valuable in one point of view, viz. as demonstrating that Unitarianism is neither unfavourable to the head nor the heart,

that it neither repels the illapses of poetical inspiration, nor jeopardises the truth and purity of literary taste, nor represses a high moral enthusiasm, nor checks the growth and outburstings of a fervent piety. The Editor would not, of course, feel constrained to reprint every thing indiscriminately, which he should find in the archives of his poetical department. The approaching close of the twentieth volume seems to present a happy era for the execution of such a project. It may be that there is already poetry enough to fill two portly volumes, and that ten years would in general be a convenient cycle for the revolution and reappearance of the phenomenon proposed. The very influence of such an established, continuous arrangement on the subsequent effusions of contributors to the Repository would be felicitous. Biographical notices might be added of some of the deceased, and perhaps also of some of the living tuneful correspondents.

5. Bourn's Gazetteer. The popu-
lation of Boston has now advanced to
50,000 within the city-bounds. The
small number assigned by Morse, for
I have heard
1792, astonishes me.
President Adams say, that in the time
of the American Revolution, it seemed
to have as many inhabitants as during
the late war. But Morse must un-
doubtedly have used authentic docu-


POETRY. On the Death of Mrs. George Kenrick. If it were not sacrilegious, as well as literary presumption, to meddle with these polished tears, I would recommend a slight modification of the very first line. The repetition of the double iambic, which, in the beginning of some small pieces of Byron, Bowring and others, was so striking a beauty, now rather falls upon my ear with its staleness. For my own private taste, therefore,

Lines written at Sunset. The locality and character of these lines would seem to justify one in ascribing them to the author of the Funeral Discourse, reviewed in the present Besides overflowing with number. poetry, they possess also, I think, that peculiar afflatus which constitutes eloquence, to a greater degree than the discourse.

The selected Ballad is pretty.

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Sept. 7th.


FASHION, Mr. Editor, governs every thing; even religion degree bends to it. Some chapels and some preachers are more fashionable than others. And there now seems to be an inclination with certain Unitarians to make Ordination Services fashionable among them. Not being myself a man of fashion, Sir, I am somewhat eagle-eyed as to its freaks, and I beg a little space in your next number, in which to express my present want of inclination to acquiesce in the fashion of having an Ordination Service introduced into the economy of our chapels.

Some years since, with a view of forming my own religious opinions, I read with no small attention the New Testament; and the result of that study was, that ordination was a service with which we, in these latter days, have no concern. The laying on of the hands, in apostolic times, was clearly for the purpose of conferring some spiritual gift; and the texts, therefore, which Mr. Baker has referred to, in support of the practice, are perfectly beside the question, considered as authority for a modern Ordination.


Your correspondent Spectator (p. 477) says, that Mr. Baker has judiciously placed its defence upon the strong ground of utility, which in itself is sufficient for any observance." Now, Sir, hardy as it may seem, I am inclined to dispute this position. If there be a direction in scripture, whose utility we do not perceive, we may and ought to acquiesce in it; because we may be fully assured, that the Divine Appointer knows, better

than we do, what is right. If such a direction coincide with our ideas of utility, we may have great satisfaction in the observance of it. But utility alone appears to me to be tender ground on which to rest the question. In the estimation of some people, the gown may be introduced into our chapels, on the score of utility, and also many of the imposing ceremonies of the Romish church. Many a devotee has, upon the ground of utility, fasted and flogged himself. Is Mr. Baker thus ready to mortify his body for the sin of his soul?

these Ordination Services?

But admitting for a moment utility as a ground of argument, what is the utility pointed out as appertaining to "It is one advantage of these services, (says your correspondent who sent you the account of Mr. Tagart's settlement at Norwich, p. 500), that the congregation has an opportunity of hearing from a mutual friend what are their duties to their minister. From a young man especially, just entering upon the ministry, it would seem presumptuous and unbecoming to address his people on these topics." “Mr. Fox's aim," we are further told in his eloquent address, "was to shew in what way the labourer whom the congregation had chosen ought to receive his reward." His design was very good; but before we come to the conclusion, that "it is not too much to expect that great permanent good will result from a discourse so full of excellent advice," we may ask, Did the people of Norwich want such advice? Have they not been in the habit of idolizing their minister? And we may further ask, Are they more disposed to reward Mr. Tagart than they were when they decided on inviting him, and on what salary they should give him for his services? If any one, instead of his ten guineas has subscribed his twenty toward the Octagon, then we should have some tangible proof that in his case Mr. Fox had not poured forth his eloquence in vain. The truth of the matter is, that people go to hear sermons, not to receive " permament good" from them; but, pour passer le tems, they fix in their own minds what they will give to a charity before they have heard the sermon in its behalf, and they have made up their minds how they

will treat their minister, before they have heard the address of the officiating preacher.

Spectator says, that Mr. Turner, in his address to the students at York, expressed his gratification "at learning that it was their general intention to solicit the advice of their Elders respecting their conduct as ministers of the gospel." If Mr. Turner referred here to Ordination Services, I can only say that the time when these take place, does not appear to me to be the proper time for such advice being given. This advice should be given them when they first turn their thoughts to the ministry, before they have determined on being ministers. It is at this time they should have impressed on their minds what they would have to do, and what difficulties they would have to encounter. When Mr. Turner or Mr. Any One in the capacity of tutor of an academy has recommended a young man to a congregation, the recommendation itself is a pledge that he is qualified to undertake the charge from his having had all needful study and advice; and for any one afterward to mount the pulpit, and, as it is said, deliver a charge, seems to me to be a great piece of mummery.

Backed as he is by the direction of Scripture, how can there be any thing in the range of Christian duty that it can be "unbecoming and presumptuous" for a young man to advert to? If there be any thing of this kind, it must be on account of the youth of the young man. But if this juvenility be an evil, the old fathers in the pulpit should go round at stated periods to remedy this evil, and to inform the churches; else, for ten or a dozen years, that is, till a minister gain the weight and experience that thirty or thirty-five years in the world will confer, the assembly would be lacking that advice which it is " presumptuous" for young men to offer. I own, Sir, that I think the circumstance that our congregations are committed to the care of such young men, as have been lately chosen sole pastors, is a very great evil. They may be respectable for their behaviour and talents, but they cannot command that respect which older men can do; they cannot have the same weight. I attribute to this source the defici

ency of devotional spirit, which has been charged, and not altogether without reason, on the Unitarian body. I am not aware that we can remedy this evil; but I am quite clear Ordination Services will not effect it.

It perhaps is maintainable, that this deficiency of devotional spirit may arise from the increase of knowledge. When the apostles lived, they delivered to men a new discovery, that "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself;" a discovery this, which had been in the first instance committed to them only. During successive ages, the clergy were the only persons possessed of learning: the communication of their knowledge was a link of attraction between them and the people; and if they were pious, or enthusiasts, or devotees, as many were, the people insensibly, from endearment, caught their manners and feelings. Now, congregations know as inuch as their ministers: they come to sit in judgment on them, quite as much as to be led by their judgment. This after all may, Sir, in the unscrutable workings of Providence, be preparatory and necessary to the establishment on earth of that general mental illumination and correct feeling, which will render it needless for us to have ministers to say to any, "Know the Lord, but when all shall know him, from the least unto the greatest."

May I, before I conclude, Sir, allude briefly to another subject, which, by adverting to more than one object, may seem like reviewing your miscellany. As, however, you think it right to let an American do this, you will perhaps permit an Englishman to do the same. I agree with your correspondent E., that it is highly desirable to circulate tracts; and the plan proposed by that writer, I should think, is very practicable. But I cannot confine it to American tracts. They are very excellent in their way, I allow; but they are not equal to the sermons of our own ministers, when our wants are considered. They are too much of the old Unitarian, or Arian stamp. Doctrines are too much kept out of sight in them, at least in those which have fallen into my hands. As the union of piety and morality makes the perfect Christian, so I conceive the union of

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