« AnteriorContinua »
of the miserable project of Mr. a bare possibility.” What is it William Smith. In my letter of the that Mr. Smith means by a bare 8th insiant, I asked him, “ What possibility?" Let me ask him, the future system of laws would Whether it would, or would not, have been, supposing that his in. have been in the power, not only tended Bill bad actually passed?" of every clerical justice, but also And, in his letter of confession, of every bigoted, priest-ridden, or (for I must so consider it) to the malignant common informer, so 10 Editor of the Morning Chronicle, have enforced the statute law? dated July 11th, he does not ven. And let me then ask him, Whether ture to deny the perfect accuracy that abject state were such a situa. of my poin:ed questions respecting tion as the Methodists, the Dis. the state in which his abominable senters, and the non-conformists project would have left the laws ought, by law, to be left in, by about religion. For he does not Mr. William Smith, who obscurely eien asseri, that“nor.conformists, tells us of the magnificent feats either men or women, could, not. which he has been endeavouring withstanding the passing of his bill, to do for the Dissenters? If such go10 any meeting house legally, were the wretched result of all his and without fear of punishment, doings; then my sayings(as he terms till after such men or such wo. them) were surely a great deal bet. men respi ctively shall have trav. ter; for I have proclaimed it to elled to the general sessions of the the world, in the preamble to my peace, in order, in open courl, to Bill, these two grand principles ; quality themselves.”
Nor does namely, Ist, that “ liberty of he attempt to deny the enormous conscience is an unalienable right expences that this would wantonly of all mankind, and which ought have occasioned to them, indepene ever to be held most sacred ?" and dently of the loss of their valuable 2dly, that“ a man can only enjoy time.
a thing lawfully, when no man My fourth question was as fol- lawfully can hinder his enjoying lows: “ Dues Mr. William Smith, it." who affects in his letter such I have just been reading, in the mighty respect for decorum, deem 121h chapter of St. Luke, that it either decent or decorous, that “there is nothing covered, that the female part of the community, shall not be revealed; neither hid, of all ages, should be stuck up in that shail not be known. Thereopen court, in presence of a grave - fore, whatever ye have spoken in bench ot laical and clerical justices, darkness shall be heard in the and a gazing public, to take oaths, light; and that which ye have and to make declarations before spoken in the ear in closets shall those females are, by law, to be be proclaimed on the house-tops." permitted to attend a place of – I will now ask Mr. William worsbip, and to offer up to the Smith, (however unwilling he may Duity viiher their thanksgivings be to continue with me this discus. or their prayers?” And he does sion,) Whether he does, or does not deny that that would be the not, know that it is a common re. fact as to the law; but he observes, port, long since current, that he that my“ sih interrogatory states encouraged Lord Sidmouth to bring in his bill of the last session? to the House of Lords, from a If ibat be not the case, might it great number of the “ Protestant not be expedient (as Mr. William Dissenting ministers of the three Smith is such a famous advocate denominations, residing in and for expediency) for him to call about the cities of London and upon Lord Sidmouth publicly, Westminster," lies now before me. just to state to the country what That petition shews, “ That your the exact fact was upon that sub- petitioners, conceiving the right of ject?
worshipping God according to the I will also ask him, When Lord dictates of their own consciences Liverpool sent to the Dissenters, to be derived from the Author of and also to the Methodists, to call their Being, and confirmed by upon his lordship, and to meet the Founder of the Christian faith, Mr. William Smith, whether they and therefore not to be subject to did not respectively accept of his the controul of human authority, lordship’s invitation, and whether cannot but regard with deep conthey did not also decline positively cern those statutes wbich restrain to meet Mr. William Smith ? And and limit the exercise of this right, I must now ask him, Wherher and impose conditions and penal. such refusal, even to meet him at ties that seem to them as unjust in the Earl of Liverpool's, did pro- their principle, as they are inju. ceed, or could proceed, from any rious to the vital interests of true very marked approbation which religion.” And that petition prays, they respectively bestowed on the “ That every remaining penal miserable measure of this present statute, which extends its opera. Member for Norwich, whose senti. tions to the prorince of religion ments upon this topic may, pero may be repealed."— Will it be now adventure, not exactly agree with pretended that Mr. Smith bas those of his truly respectable con- been acting in unison with those stituents?
worthy ministers of religion? Or Since I am now about asking will it be contended that the Dis. questions, I may as well perhaps senters in that district, who are ask a few more. Pray what body luymen, have less correct opinions of Dissenters have delegated to upon this subject than their clergy, Mr. Smith the power of negociat, and more conformable to the con. ing away, with the late Mr. Per. ceptions of Mr. William Smith? ceval, with the present Lord Liver. Are the tories, or the bishops, pool, or with any other minister of Mr. Smith's new allies? He, as the crown, their natural and un- yet, disclaims their alliance and alienable rights to perfect religi. support ; and they disclaim him ous liberty? Have the Dissenters also.- Are the whigs those per. in the country chosen him as their sons who agree with him? The negociator? If he sball answer in sublime protest written by Lord the negative; does he then speak Holland, in consequence of the the particular sentiments of the rejection of my Bill, whieb proDissenters in and about the me. test is signed by the Duke of Nortropolis ?
folk and by the Marquis of Lans. The copy of the admirable pe- downe, as well as by Lord Hol. tition presented by Lord Holland land and myself; the direct votes
given likewise for my Bill by the perfect liberty in matters of reli.
Abstract of the Bill to Repeal certain
Acts and Amend other Acts relating contradistinguished from religious
to Religious Worship and Assemliberty.
blies, and Persons teaching or preache The first Act of Toleration, that ing therein. is to say, the first instance of the The preamble sets forth, that haughly condescension of intoler. it is expedient that certain Acts of ance, is the noted act of the 29th Parliament made in the reign of of Charles the Second, chapter his late Majesty King Charles the the gth, for abolishing the writ Second, relating to non-confor to burn heretis. But, by the 2d mists and conventicles, should section of that Act, the ecclesiasti. be repealed, and that the laws re. cal jurisdiction is expressly re- lating to certain.congregations and served in all cases not extending to assemblies for religious worship, death." --- The next Act of Tolers and persons teaching, preaching or ation, which is that of the 1st officiating therein, and resorting William and Mary, chapter 18, thereto, should be amended. merely professes, in its preamble, Clause 1.-17 Car. II. c. 2. to give some ease to scrupulous 22 Car. II. c. 1. to be repealed. consciences ;" and as it thus pro- 2. All places of religious wor. mises but very little, no more than ship to be certified and registered. little was of course to be expected, 3. Preachers in, and persons reAnd, although the degree of for. sorting to religious assemblies, rebearance was greater, the prioci. gistered under this act, exempt ple of it (founded on. mere expedi. froin sume penalties as persons eney) was the same.
taking oaths under the statute of It Mr. William Smith thinks William. proper to stoop, in order to pick 4. Oath and declarations to be up from the kennel the rotting taken by all preachers, &c. when carcase of Toleration; I tell him thereto required by a magistrate. openly and distinctly that I will not condescend to follow his ex.
* The envire Bill, as it shall be finak ample. The unalienable right to ly passed, in our next.
5. No person to be compelled baths, &c. exempt from offices, to go more than
miles. and from the milina. 6. Any person may require a 10. Penally on talsely pretend. justice of peace to administer the ing to be a preacher, and producoaths, &c. under this Act. ing false certificate.
7. Justice shall give the par. 11. Doors of religious assemblies ties a certificate of having made not to be bolted or barred. such oath.
12. Enacts a penally on disturb. 8. Certain fee to be paid, and ing religious assemblies. certificate conclusive evidence. 13. Saving the ecclesiastical
9. Teachers having taken the jurisdiction of the church,
Annual Meeting of the Warwick- of the apostle, took occasion to shew at shire Unitarian Tract Suciety.
large, that the per on sent must be dis
tinct from, and inferior to hm that sent The Annual Meeting of the UNITA- him That we ove all the liessings de. RIAN 'TRACT SOCIETY for WAR- lived from Christ's la ours and ministry, WICKSHIRE and the NEIGHBOURING to the free and unpurchased love of his COUNTIES, was holden at Eves ham on Father and our Fati er, of his God and our Wednesday the 17th of June, according God, who sent and commissi ned his to notice There was service on the Son to reveal his will, and execute the preceding evening, the devotional part counsels of his wisdom and grace to of which was conducied by Dr. Toulmin, mankind. He explained, upon Unitarian and the Rev John Kentish delivered, principles, the various scriptural expreswith great animation, a very able dis- sions respecting the sufferings, death course, to a full and attentive congrega. and blood of Christ, and how, by these tion, from Colossians i. 15. Who is the means, as well as by his instructions image of the invisible God. Mr. Kentish, and example, he was entitled to the gloobserving that the character, the image rious character of the Saviour of the of the invisible God, was a decisive world. At the conclusion the most proof that the person to whom it was proper means of spreading the cause of applied, could not be the very Being of pure Christianity, were mentioned, and whom he was the image, shewed the the dury of all Unilarians to exert their various instances in which this was truly abilities and influence to promote their descriptive of Jesus Christ : viz. on ac- views of gospel truth, was enforced with count of his great power, by which he earnestness. The sermon, at the request manifested the power of God ;-on ac- of those members of the Society who count of the virtues of his character, es. heard it, will be published, and will add pecially in the benevolence of it, as he to the number of useful sermons on the was the revealer of the will of God, the subject of Unitarianism. It was heard medium of his grace to men, his repre. with attention, and will be read with sentative on earth, and the Judge of the profit. world.
On the evening of the same day there The Rev. Richard Fry, of Coseley, was service at 7 o'clock. The Rev. Staffordshire, preached the sermon be- Timothy Davis, of Coventry, read the fore the Society, on Wednesday morn- scriptures, and offered up the prayer be ing, from 1 John, iv. 14. And we have fore sermon, and Dr. Toulmin preached, seen and do testify, that the Father sent from Heb. iii. 1. Wherefore, holy breththe Son to be the Saviour of the world. The ren, partakers of the holy calling, consider Rev. I. H. Bradsby, of Dudley, read the the Apostle and High Priest of our profes. scriptures and took the devotional part sion, Jesus Christ. The Dr. introduced of the service. Mr. Fry, from the words his subject, by alluding to the preceding discourses, and proposed a practical im- lages. Fifteen ministers were present, provement of the whole, by explaining and a most respectable and attentive auand inculcating the religious regards due ditory. The morning service was introto Jesus Christ, on the ground of his cha- duced by the Rev. Joseph Hunter, of racter and offices; previously or serving Bath, who offered up the introductory that they rose from the Divine commis- prayer, and read the 121st Psalm, and sion under which he acted, and term nated the 2nd chapter of the Acts of the Aposin the glory and honour of God the Fa- tles. The general prayer was given by ther, from whom he received all his the Rex. Michael Maurice, of Lowestoffe, powers, and whose counsels of love and in Suffolk, and the Rev. Robert Asp'and, grace he executed. These religious re- of Hackney, delivered a discourse upon gards were stated to consist in obedience that great Protestant principle, the to his precepts, in the imitation of his right of private judgment in religious example, in cherishing sentiments of love inatters ;" clearly shoving, that the fulland gratitude towards him, in an attach- est liberty of thinking, speaking and ment to bis cause and zeal in promoting writing ought to be allowed, not only it, in a prevailing view to him, as the to the various sects of Christians, but minister of the divine mercy, in all the also to sceptics, and even to the opprisers acts of religious worship, and in enter of the Christ an faith : the text was Rotaining the expecta:ion of his second m'ns xiv. 5. “Let every man be fully coming. The venerable Dr’s. attractive persuaded in his own mind." The hymns simplicity, and truly Christian and de. were read by the Rev. 'I homas Madge, votional stains through the whole of of Norwich. After the morning service his discourse, especially towards the the Society met for business. The Rev. close of it, excited great interest in the Edmund Butcher, of Sidmouth, was callaudience, if the wriier may judge from ed to the chair: the minutes of the meethis on feelings, and the fixed atteu. ing held at Exeter, the preceding year, tion of all around him. Thus the con- were read by the Secretary, the Rev. clusion of this Anniversary was highly John Rowe, of Bristol, and confirmad: pleasing, for, as strongly expressed by -other business was then transacted :one of his hearers, the good Dr. “ in the meeting for next year appointed to troduced us to heaven."
be held at Taunton, and the Rev. Joseph After the morning service the business Hunter fixed upon as the preacher : of the Soc.ety was transacied, and there More than twenty new members were was an addition of several new members. admitted, and together with the old The ministers and members dined to. members who were present, and sme gether, and the afternoon was spent in vi iting friends, par ook of an economical agreeable conversation on the general dinner. Fifty-five persons sat down to interests of religion. Dr. Toulmin, noc table, and after the cloth was removed, w hout emotion, gave a short history a great deal of interesting conversation, of the rise and progress of Unitarian relative to the objects and plin of the SoTract Societies, which are now so ex- ciety took place; several useful hints tensively established; and the account were thrown out, and much future good was received with marked attention and may be expected from the exer. ions that pleasure by the company.
will be made, if they, in any tolerable Evesham, June 19th, 1812, degree, correspond with the ardour and
unanimity, with which all present ap
peared to be animated. Annual Meeting of the Western In the evening service the Rev. Robert Unitarian Book Society.
Aspland prayed ; the hymns were given
out by the Rev. Henry Davies, of TaunThe Annual Meeting of the WESTERN con, and the Rev. Thomas Madge deliUNITARIAN SOCIETY “ for the diffu- vered a truly scriptural illustration of sion of Christian Knowledge, by the uis- the words of the Apostle Paul, which tribution of Books," was held on Wedo occur in the Epistle to the Ephesians, si. nesday, June 17th, at Bridport in Dor- 8,9. “ For by grace are ye saved, setshire, in the chapel of he Rev. Tho- through faiih; and that not of yourmas Howe. Notwithstanding the showery selves: it is the gift of God, not of works, state of the weather, many fr ends io lest any man should brast.” The main this important and good cause, assembled object of this discourse was, to show that from the neighbouring towns and vila the human race, though holiness is in