Imatges de pÓgina

tast oppression, and confirmed the equality of rights and liberties, and the free exercise of the four received religions in Transylvania. (See Articles of the Diet, especially Books the 3rd, 5th and 6th, of the year 1791.)

In consequence of these Articles, which conferred immortal honour upon the Prince, with the several estates and orders, equal access is opened to the Unitarians with the citizens of other received religions, to all offices, even to those of the higher order ; 80 that they are enabled faithfully to serve their Prince and their country in the courts of justice, in the districts, the cities and the towns.

It would now be proper to speak of those who have been distinguished among the Unitarians by their writings or by their beneficence; but the brevity of a letter will not permit us to enlarge. We therefore pass over in silence Queen Isabella and her son, King John Sigismund, and also many of the nobles, under whose auspices our affairs once flourished. But it must also be confessed, that in the beginning of the age immediately preceding, it so happened, that, through the injury of the times, we were deprived of the royal funds, of the printing-press belonging to us, of many churches, and of other things. Hence the little that is left us of our temporalities is to be referred to the private contributions of benefactors in recent times. We shall also pass in silence over ancient writers, among whom Christopher Sandius and Frederick Samuel Bock enumerate Francis David and George Blandrata, the first preachers of the Unitarian doctrine; George Enjedinus, who held the office of Superintendent from 1592 to 1597, the celebrated author of an “Explication of Passages in the Sacred Writings of the Old and New Testament which have been generally cited to prove the Dogma of the Trinity," and some others. Let it suffice to mention the “Unitarianism saved from Shipwreck” of Michael Lombard Sz. Abraham, another Reformer and meritorious Superintendent from the year 1737 to 1758, who had the sole direction of the College of Clausenburg from 1720 to 1737, but who in this year held, with the Professorship, the office of Pastor in the Church of Clausenburg, and, uniting with these offices the authority of Superintendent, deserves to live in the remembrance of the latest posterity. This great wan reduced our theology to a system, in a work entitled “A Summary of Chris, tian Theology according to the Unitarians," which being printed in the types of the College of Reformers at Clausenburg, in 1787, is in the present day regarded as the polar-star of theological lectures. The Confession of the Polish Exiles, dedicated to the Elector of Brandenburg, and confirmed by the authority of many princes of Transylvania, contains the doginatic principles of this theology, and may be read verbatim in the History of Socinianist published by Frederic Samuel Bock, at Koningsburg, in Prussia, in 1700, pp. 71, &c.

We should also mention the Rev. Stephen Lazar, a man who, while he lived, was richly endowed both by nature and art, who was Superintendent of the Unitarians in Transylvania from 1786 to 1811; who, supported by his benevolence and by his intimacy with the nobles, contributed greatly to the recovery of the benefits which we now enjoy; and who, by his labours from 1792 to 1797, in building the Church in this city of Clausenburg, and in enlarging and adorning the College, has left a perennial monument of his fame.

The rites of the Unitarians in Transylvania are very few and simple. Infants being washed in pure water in the sacred font, according to the precept of Christ, Matt. xxviii. 19, “In the naine of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” are initiated into the Christian religion.--The faithful assemble twice a day in the churches, and there, after having sung hymns and psalms, pour out their prayers, the pastor leading their devotions. On the Lord's-day, they attend to hear two sermons preached. On the first day of the following feasts—the Nativity of our Lord, Easter and Whitsuntide, and on St. Michael's Day—they make a profession of their faith in the Christian religion, by partaking of the sacred bread and the blessed cup.

The form of church government is the following: The holy Synod governs the churches adhering to the Unitarian faith, 123 in number, divided into eight dioceses, by as many elders or archdeacons, under the presidency of a superintendent, (who is always elected to his office in the Synodal Assembly, and confirmed in it, by the reigning prince,) and of two chief curators, appointed from among the laity by means of a Consistory consisting of the principal members of the Unitarian community, both ecclesiastical and secular. Protocols are drawn up of the subjects to be discussed by the Consistory, and these are first submitted to the royal Government of Transylvania, and then to the august Court of the Prince at Vienna, and notices are always to be given of the discussions which are to take place in the Consistory.

The Rev. and Illustrious John Körmötzi has filled the office of Superintendent since the year 1811. The pastors of the churches and the preachers are ordained from among the young men who are finishing their studies in philosophy and theology in our college at Clausenburg, some of whom, after having passed through their studies in the College in this country, repair also to the Academy at Vienna. The chief Pastor of our Church at Claugenburg is the Rev. Moses Szasz.

As to the state of literature in the confusion of affairs above-mentioned despoiled as we were of the funds which our ancestors possessed, of the schools which they had founded at their own expense, and of other literary resources, when destruction almost impended over our muses ;~during the great revolution of affairs which took place under the Emperor Joseph the Second and his august successors, lived a nobleman whose name was Ladislaus Suki, the only hope of his family, and the greatest benefactor of the Unitarians in modern times, who, devolving the care of our schools upon the heir of all his wealth, relieved to the utmost of his power our muses sighing in penury. By his munificence, great assistance has been given to our College at Clausenburg, in which youth are very advantageously instructed. The province of Theology in this College, the elements of the Hebrew and Greek Languages, with the office of Second Pastor in the Church of Clausenburg, are committed to my care. The Rev. and Illus. John Jüzi teaches Philosophy and gives Lectures on the History of Literature. The Rev. and Illus. John Molnos, Lecturer on the German Language, and Rector of the College, expounds History, after the previous studies of Geography and Chronology. The Rev. and Illus. Nicholas Szekely investigates the principles of Mathematics and Natural History. Six schoolmasters, selected from the youths trained in our schools, and appointed over the inferior classes, teach the boys the elements of learning, and whatever belongs to the trivial

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schools. The Royal Lyceum of Clausenburg, supported by the funds of the Roman Catholics, is open to the Unitarians who enter upon the study of the laws after they have fiuished their philosophical course. The Unitarians have also two Academies in the principality of Transylvania-one in the town of Sz. Keresztur, another in the town of Thorenburg~in both of which the liberal arts only are taught. But the inspection of all our schools is incumbent on the Superintendent.

The manner of appointing professors in former times was this that the most promising youth, after having finished their course in the College, and having been recommended by the professors on whom they attended, to the Supreme Consistory, were sent to foreign Universities to cultivate erudition. Holland was the first instructress of the teachers who preceded us; at length Germany succeeded, especially in the Universities of Jena and Gottingen. But, not long since, it seemed good to our most august Emperor, of glorious reign, and our most gracious Prince, to interdict the liberty of frequenting Universities instituted without the limits of Austria, and to erect a distinct University, upon the principles of the Protestants, at Vienna, in Austria. Our countrymen also, in defect of any public funds, being maintained at their own expense, and by the private assistance of their benefactors, are here educated.

Printed by G. SMALLFIELD, Hackney,



MEETING OF THE UNITARIAN FUND,“ That the Unitarian Society, the Unitarian Association, and the Christian Tract Society, be respectfully invited to unite with the Unitarian Fund in the appointment of a Committee for the purpose of ascertaining the expediency and practicability of forming a General Unitarian Association, which shall embrace all or many of the objects contemplated by those Institutions, together with any other objects the promotion of which may be deemed needful for the prosperity of the common Cause : And, That a special Committee be now appointed on the part of this Society for the above object, with power to proceed and report thereon to a General Meeting, with deputations of such of the above Societies as are disposed to accede ihereto,”

The following Proposal, with the Preliminary Observations, ivas submitted by one of its Members; and it was thereupon resolved, that without giving any opinion on the question in either of its views, but for the purpose of giving publicity to the proposition and of inviting attention thereto and communications on the subject, it be published, annexed to the Monthly Repository; and that this Meeting do adjourn the further consideration of the matter till some day in March, to be hereafter named.

Communications, either public, through the Monthly Repository, or private, addressed to the Rev. W. J. Fox, Dalston, or Mr. E. Taylor, King's Bench Walk, Temple, will be thankfully received in the mean time, and considered at the next Meeting.

PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS. The Proposers of the following Plan of a “General Unitarian Association” wish to premise, that it is to be regarded in two distinct views.

First." It is so drawn up as to meet the views of those who contemplate and wish for the union of all or several of the existing Societies (viz. the Fund, the Book Society, the Tract Society, and the Unitarian Association) into one general Association, for the purpose of diminishing the expenses of so many separate bodies, and rendering them more effective and comprehensive.—In such case it will be seen that an union with any one or more of such Societies could at any time take place by carrying its stock and body of subscriptions to the particular account under which they would rank; but the propriety of such unions must of course rest with the Members of each Society to decide upon.

But, secondly, such a general junction is by no means considered as essential to the projected plan, which may, if thought best, be treated as a mere remodelling and extension of the Unitarian Fund with the addition which will probably take place of the Unitarian Association.

It is conceived that some alteration in the present system is necessary; that a concentration of strength and an organized plan of general co-operation may be easily effected; and it is submitted that a Society formed to stand as the central point of union, would pursue an end greatly disproportioned to the means sought to be enployed, if its constitution did not embrace all the various modes in which the common cause may require assistance. Societies or individuals, whether in town or in the districts, may choose to pursue particular objects which may appear to require their attention. The Book Society, for instance, may determine to pursue by itself the bringing forth of valuable publications, and the Tract Society may choose to continue 10 publish its useful tracts, in the manner thought best by its members, without uniting itself with any other Society.-Both those Societies are indeed understood to be at present indisposed to a junction; but, however this may be, it has appeared to the proposers of the present comprehensive Association,

that a Society seeking to draw into one focus the exertions of the general body—to correspond systematically with district Societies—to embrace all the objects of the Unitarian public and to hold itself forth as a Society to which all who are desirous of giving the cause their general support, may commit their contributions, confiding in their proper application as circumstances may require, should forin itself on a broad basis, -should be competent to avail itself of all the various means for promoting the object in view,and should in fact be able to transact all the business of the body which it is intended to represent.

PROPOSED PLAN. 1. That a general Society be formed—for the promotion of the principles of Unitarian Christianity at home and abroad,—the support of its worship,—the diffusion of biblical, theological, and literary knowledge on topics connected with it,—and the maintenance of the civil rights and interests of its professors.

2. The Society shall be denominated “ The British and Foreign Unitarian Association.”

3. It shall consist-of district Associations communicating with the central body, and sending representatives thereto, -of Congregations or Fellowship Funds communicating in like manner,--of individual Subscribers,—and of Honorary Members.

4. The District Associations will be formed in the country, (and in London, if thought advisable,) comprising more or less extent according to local con. venience. They will have their own funds, and particular class of objects to be determined by themselves; but uniting themselves to the Association to the extent of-appointing Two Deputies, (who will in that character become Members of the Association and of all its Committees,)-contributing not less than [ ) pounds annually to the general Fund-appointing one of their officers the regular official Correspondent with the central Committee -communicating yearly reports to the General Meeting of the state of Unitarianism within their respective limits—and generally, promoting the leading objects of the Association. Such District Associations to be styled according to their respective localities, “ The [ ) District Association."

5. Congregations, Fellowship Funds, or other Congregational Societies, will, on communicating their wish, become Associated Societies, and be entitled to send two representative Members to the General Public Meetings of the Association-such Associated Societies either to make an annual contribution to the general Fund of not less than [ ) pounds, or a collection at least once in (three) years for its benefit. The officiating Ministers of such societies to be considered, during their continuance as such, Honorary Members of the Association.

6. The qualification of individual Members shall be an annual subscription of not less than [ ] to its funds, or a donation of not less than [ ] guineas.

7. The Association shall pursue its general object in such mode and under such divisions as shall from time to time appear most advisable, and shall be directed at its General Meetings.

8. Until otherwise resolved, the following shall be considered as the leading divisions of its objects :

I. The promotion of Unitarian worship in Great Britain, by assisting poor congregations, and sending out or giving assistance to Missionary Preachers.

II. 'l'he publication and distribution of books and tracts, controversial and practical,-principally in a cheap and popular form.

III. The pursuit of the two last-mentioned objects (as opportunity and the means of the Association may afford) in foreign countries, and the maintenance, in the mean time, of correspondence and general co-operation.

IV. The protection and extension of the civil rights of Unitarians. 9. For the purpose of preserving the distinct prosecution of each of the above objects and the maintenance of the funds and property that may be invested or contributed for any of those objects specifically, and for the purpose also of enabling individuals, who are so disposed, to appropriate their subscrip

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