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721 former accounts. The most melan- gross ones which lead the followers choly part of the history is that the of the beast to delight in war and its war has occasioned the embodying of horrors. the savages against the United States, The petition implores the house to and thus many grievous wounds will be reflect is on the miserics which this inflicted on suffering humanity. This continued and wide spread war has inwill increase the irritation and inculcate flicted on mankind, a consideration the necessity of destroying the influence which cannot but afflict every heart not of Great Britain on the American dead to humanity and Christian cha. continent. We dread, therefore, a conti. rity.” The petitioners “ deplore the niyance of the pernicious war, into which, dreadful tendency of war to blunt the from the passions of foolish men, the feelings of humanity, and to deprave the two nations have been plunged. The habits and institutions of social life. capture of one American army seems They regard it as a subject of deep to have stopped the prog, ess of the concern, that our youth at an age and other, which stilt threatens Upper in proportions unknown to former Canada : but the Canadians, invigorated times, are ballotted for military serby the late success, and prepared in vices; that our youth of both sexes, every quarter, are likely to make not in numbers which humanity mourns to only a vigorous resistance, but repri- behold, are caposed to the pernicious sals by entering the country of their influence of that dissipation and deenemies.
bauchery, which large military estaSpanish America affords no prospect blishments never fail to produce. They of union with the mother country, feel the indelible reproach which a sys* Mexico, that is the city, continues to be tem of perperual warfa. e casts on na. what is called loyal, but the province is tions, professing our pure and holy of a different opinion, aud looks to that faith, and its utter inconsistency with independenre which will be speedily the whole spirit of the gospel : that as obtained. The war continues between to those to whom life and immortality Monte Video and Buenos Ayres; and are revealed, they are taught to connect the goverment of the Brasils is quiet. this world with that which is to come,
In perpetually recurring to this beast- and hence are filled with serious apprely state of warfare, now ravaging so hepsions, that while the licentious ingreat a portion of the world, we have fluence of war on publick and on prisome satisfaction în observing a rising vate morals has rendered multitudes spirit, which has too long lost its in- less ft to meet their eternal judge, the Hyence among those who bear the sword has hurried them to his awful Christian name, and this is the spirit of tribunal." peace, the great characteristic of our We rejoice to hear that these sentiholy religion. That nations of Chris- ments are to be conveyed to the bar of tians should be in a state of war for the House of Commons; and we intwenty years, is a proof that some, if treat every reader to retire within himnot all, of them have eithet never im. self, and to meditate deeply upon them. bibed or have totally lost the spirit of The state of the world must humiliate Christianity. A petition is to be pre- every man who has a regard for his sented to parliament, which indicates Christian profession, and it requires that there are persons in this country the utmost guard upon himself that he with proper feelings on this subject. may not be led away by the present geIt was agreed on at Leicester on the neral distraction of mind to imbibe 18th of November, after several resolu. those sentiments, which are approtions, which commence with the opi- priate to the worshippers of the beast. pions of the meeting, that peace is a İt surely is high time for the real blessing earnestly to be desired for our Christians to come forward; but where native country and for the world at shall we find those who in the last large: and the petition contains besides twenty years have not bowed their knee these arguments which relate to the to the Baal of the times ! Repent, o political state of the country, others ye nations, again we say unto you becoming those who know the value of repent. Shcache your murderous Christ and him crucified, through whom swords, and learn to be at peace with we are saved from the delusions of cach other : for God will assuredly de. the world, and particularly from those stroy the nations that delight in war.
( 722 ) INTELLIGENCE.
Extracts from the Report of the çerest thanks and praying that the
Lord (who attributes what is done to
his children as done to himself,) will
with your Society; because I have patience of the conductors and members of this and similar institutions than mind respecting the person of Christ,
lately undergone a serious change of on that of strangers.
and my views now on that head are the The society are acquainted with the
reverse of those which you so earnestly name of MR. SAMUEL WEBLEY, to contend for ;-and you would not, I am whom they afforded, some years ago, persuaded, wish me to preach what I the means of education under the Rev; think to be wrong; and, on the other Daniel Jones, (of 'Trowbridge,) and hand, you would not, of course, be wilwhom they have assisted by a yearly ling to support me, while I preach docexhibition in his present situation, as trines opposite to those which you bepastor of the General Baptist Church, lieve to be right. My change of seatie at Wedmore, Somersetshire.
He ap: ment has, in some measure, been effectprized the Committee in a letter dated ed through some of the doctrines Nov_15, 1811, that he had relapsed which I found in the books which into Trinitarianism : to this letter, the
you sent me yourselves; viz. those Secretary replied before he had sub- where the authors have taken so much - mitted it to the Committee; they were pains in denying the miraculous conso much satisfied with the reply, that ception of Christ, his pre-existence, and they resolved, with the Secretary's leave, atonement for sin, &c. Finding these that both the letter and the answer points denied and written against by should be inserted into the Report :- some of the friends of your Fund, I there is added Mr. Webley's rejoinder, resolved to examine the scriptures with in justice to that gentleman, who, what- greater attention, than I had before ever may be his opinions, canoot be done. I therefore took the New Tes. too much esteemed for his integrity and tament in hand with the intention to openness and gratitude. (It is at the read it as if I had never seen it before; desire both of the Committee and the earnestly praying to God to guide me General Meeting that the correspon- with his holy spirit, and at the same dence, not intended, on either side, for time solemnly promised him to follow the public eye, is here given to our rea. wherever he and the sacred penmen ders.)
should lead. The result of which is, I LETTER I.
am now firmly persuaded not only of
the above truths, but that Christ, reTo the Committee of the Unitarian Fund. specing his divine nature, is co-equal
Blackford, Nov, 15, 1911. and co-eternal with his Father, and that
his death was designed to be a propátiaThe kind attention and benevolence tory sacrifice for sin. You will not, .? that you have been pleased to manifest trust, my dear Sirs, blame me for this to me and our church at Wedmore, for cha ge of sentiment: it has arisen several years past, ha been such that I solely from a conviction of the truths 1 shall never forget, but always speak of have mentioned, and the operations of with the warmest gratitude: and I very the divine Spirit. I am perfectly sure deeply regret that I cannot make you that I have been actuated by no lucrabetter returns than renewing my sin. tive motive whatever to altes my views,
but, on the other hand, by so doing most glorious, but long lost, truths of shall, for all that I know at present, the gospel, we are not so inconsistent as expose myself and family to poverty to attempt to remove the fetters of reand want, and incur, I expect, the dis, puted orthodoxy from men's minds solely pleasure of my greatest friends. I need to put on our own chains in their stead. not tell you that my income is small Our object is in part accomplished, if already, and, of course, the giving up we set the human mind upon inquiry, your assistance will make it much more whether inquiry lead to us or from us ; 30; and as I have not the least prospect and you, I conceive, will ever thank us, of deriving any help from any other even if you retain your new and, as I source, or any other place to go to, must think, unscriptural and erroneous what I shall do I know not, except it notions, for having incited you to think is this--the relying on the kind provi. for yourself and supplied you with the dence of an all-sufficient God. li is, I means of forming a rational judgment assure you, with much pain of mind upon the gospel. that I break an union which has so We shall regret your departure from affectionately subsisted between us; and us, if indeed your conscience shall ultiwere our views congenial with each mately compel you to depart, because other's, or could I in justice stay in we entirely approve of your character connection with you, it would be my and conduct, and, from your evident and greatest pleasure to do it. You will increasing improvement, entertained not, however, conclude from what I great hopes of your usefulness in the have said, that I have embraced Calvin- cause of pure religion ; but we shall asism. I am still a firm believer in the suredly never disesteem you for using: universality of divine love.
the liberty which we are so forward to I shall be glad to hear from you at claim for ourselves, of free inquiry and any time, especially in answer to the independent judgment, nor regret the present lines. May God of his infinite aid which we may have furnished tomercy grant that we all may mect in wards your acceptableness and respecta., his kingdom above, where we shall all bility as a religious teacher. see as with one eye. Tendering my With regard to ourselves, therefore, best respects and Christian affection to you may set your mind at sest ; but all, particularly to Mr. Aspland, and there are higher obligations which you praying for the best of blessings always are under to Truth, and you are, I am to attend you and your's, I remain, dear persuaded, solicitous that you may not Sirs, your much obliged and humble ser- bc negligent of these. As a Christian vant,
minister, the New Testament is your (SIGNED) SAMUEL WEBLEY. sole authority for your faith ; but how
you reconcile to that sacred volume the LETTER II.
opinions to which you declare your conTo the Ro. S. Webley, Wedmore.
version, I am utterly at a loss to conceive.
I have no expectation that a short letter Hackney, Nov. 20, 1811.
(such only as I have time to write) will DEAR SIR,
produce any great effect upon your Your letter to the Committee of the mind; yet, let me ask of you, where Unitarian Fund, dated the 15th instant, in the Christian scriptures you find the I have read with very mixed emotions of divine nature of Christ, and, above all, mind; though, I assure you, with no his co-equality and co-eterrity with the Faangry or unfriendly sentiments towards ther? You surely know that these terms yourself. Before 1 submit the letter to are not scriptural, that they are merely the Committee, I think it right to ad- of human invention, relics of popery: dress a few thoughts to you on the sub- and not only are they not in scripture, ject of your change of opiuions, which but (which challenges your solemn inI am persuaded you will take in good quiry) no where in scripture can terms part and consider with serious attention. be found which are equivalent to them,
So far, my dear Sir, from blaming or which can signify the ideas which you for your manly avowal of your dis. they convey. Now when language cansent from the principles of the Unitarian not be found in the Bible to express, Fund, I applaud your integrity and cou- opinions, the presumption surely is, rage. While our Society is intended for that the opinions intended by such lanthe promotion of what we consider the guage are human and not divine.
724 Extracts from the Report of the Unitarian Pund, 1819.
Fot my part, I cannot open the scrip. after a careful examination, merely ago tures without perceiving the strongest rative. A vicarious or substitutive sacrifice assertions of the humanity of Christ and the death of Christ could not be without the unity of God; and how these pri- being wholly dissimilar to the sacrifices mary doctrines of revelation can consist of the law, not one of which was of that with those which you have, adopted, it description ; besides that it is in itselt behoves you seriously to consider: the absurd and impossible, as well as repugconsistency between them, I will venture nant to the express declarations of scrip boldly to say, cancrot be made out.but ture, that one beirg should morally rewith the help of idle fictions of men, present another, and that the innocent which will serve the hypoihesis of should be punished for the guilty. Transbstantiation as well as that of You believe, I presume that Christ the Trinity
was God, and that the real Christ died With your new sentiments you have, to satisfy divine justice; but let me I take for granted, adopted new oljects seriously ask, Did God die? If he did, of worship, and can you feel in the welcome Paganism! and let Wedmore, worship of “ Gods many and Lords which is memorable in history as the scene many perfect satisfaction in your own of the baptism under the greai Alfred of an mind that you obey the requirement of army of Danes, be again signalized by a the" man Christ Jesus," which demands return to the heathen mythology. It he the absolute and unequivocal worship of did not, then either Christ did not die the Father, the God and bather of our or Christ who died is not Ged. You may Lord Jesus Christ. The questions of distinguish between the natures of Christ, the miraculous conception and pre-exis- but where do you learn from scripture tence of Christ have, I conjectore, first that he has more natures than one You and principally puzzled you ; but you will probably, agreeably to the fashion ought to know, that however these are of the times, allot him two natures; but answered no way affects the principles you might just as well, as far as scriptura of the Unitarian Fund, which are sim. is concerned, ascribe to him two hundred ply the Unity, sole Worship and unpur or two hundred thousand. This is an chased Love of the Universal Father. awkward device to get rid of the clear,
You say you are still a believer in the decisive testimony of the New Testament universality of divine love, and yet you concerning the Son of Man avow the strange and uascriptural notion Your new theory amounts to nothing of Christ's being literally“ a propitiatory at all, if God did not die ; if it were å sacrifice for sin," by which you mean, mere man that daed, a man is then wholly I conclude, that God would not forgive competent to ihe work of salvation and sins without a satisfaction, (where then the divinity of Christ is useless. is forgiveness ?) and that he would not ihe union of the divine nature with the have been propitious or kiid but for human stamped an infinite value upon Jesus Christ (what then becomes of his Christ's suffering.” There was no Union, eternal love ?). The scheme of the if the divine nature suffered not when the aronement is utterly at war with the human was torn in pieces. gospel declarations of grace being free Ah! my friend, there is surely in this of mercy being a gift, not a debt-the system, which you scem inclined to spontaneous bounty of heaven, not the adopt, a forgetfulness, if not a distrust, result of a contract or bargain. Where, of the Father of all, of Christ as well as my good Sir, does Jesus Christ represent us. Why should not his appointment his death as necessary to enable the Fa. and approbation of Christ be accounted ther to pardon his own children in all-sofhcient both for the honour of Jesus what other light does he ever place it and for the efficacy of his mission ? It than that of a testimony to truth and is not enough, then, according to aposrighteousness, an instance of obedience tolic doctrine, that “God anointed Jesus to the will of God and a preparation for of Nazai eth with the Holy Ghost and a resurrection, the grand example of the with power, and was always with him merciful design of heaven to raise all as he went about doing good!"-You mortal men to a state of life and immor- may not, indeed, go all lengths with the tality?
belicvers in the divinity of Christ; but I grant the word sacrifice is used of the you cannot, in my view, consistently stop death of Christ, as it is of the almsgivings short of the horrid nonsense of God At of the churches, but in the one case as mighty dying, in order to make God Alwell as the other is, I am persuaded, mighty good and kind.
Believe, me, good sir, I do not state angrily made or harshly enforced ; you these things thus strongly in order to request to hear from me, and I give harrass your mind, but merely to you, as a christian friend and baother, warn yo
of the tendency and conse- my free thoughts. If they are good, quences of your new faith, of which I treasure them up; if bad, reject them would fain persuade myself you are but at any rate consider them before not fully aware. If, indeed, you see you determine upon their values all these consequences, and can look When you have thought over my at them and the scriptures at the same letter, give me your answer ; in which time, with an nndaunted face, I shall I shall be obliged to you to state wheadmire your courage, whatever I may ther the congregation at Wedmore think of your creed.
have changed with you, or whether You seem to intimate a belief that your new opinions will affect the conyou bave been. led in your inquiries by nexion between you ? If you have dethe Holy Spirit; that you have not clared your Trinitarian principles to been guided by an evil spirit I am fully the church, it would perhaps be canprepared to admit; but I must demur did to let them hear this letter. to your statement of divine influences As to the future, you need not be when I see you adopting sentiments so under anxiety; for, besides the protecoffensive, (as I cannot but deem them) tion of a good Providence, which you to the clearly revealed will of God. have in common with all the children Divine teachings, you know, are claim. of men, your new creed will make you ed by men of almost all sentiments, more popular than you could have and claimed most eagerly by the great. been with your old one, and, if not at est fanatics, by the followers of Joanna Wedmore, yet elsewhere, will procure Southcott more than by Calvinists, you warm friends and zealous patrons. and by them more than by you ;-this My recommendation would scarcely assumption, therefore, goes no way in be of service to you with Trinitarians, a controversy; the only proper question but if in any thing I can serve yon, i is, what is the doctrine of Jesus? His shall be happy to testify that notwithword is spirit ; he teaches me that God is standiug your desertion of the faith One; that he himself is not God but which I glory in, I am your wellman; and that God is a Father, and wisher, and Christian friend and bro: always acts a fatherly part towards all ther, his children: and if an angel from (SIGNED) heaven were, in spite of these divine
ROBERT ASPLAND. teachings, to preach to me the trinity, N. B. I intended to write a short let. the deity of Christ, and the incapacity ter, but have been insensibly drawn or unwillingness of the Almighty to on to this length by the interest which pardon sin without full satisfaction, I I take in your welfare. Perhaps you should, as I valued my soul, hold his will frankly tell me by what steps and doctrine accursed.
with what progress you have arrived That the exercises of your mind at your Trinitarian conclusions. have been very painful I am well persuaded; the operation of putting out
LETTER III. an eye cannot take place without ex To the Rev. R. Aspland, Hackney. treme anguish; and will you pardon
Blackford, Dec. 9, 1811. me for saying that I consider you as Reverend and dear Sir, having heen employed of late in ex Your's, of the 20th of last month, tinguishing the light of your mind. came safe to hand the 27th of the You, no doubt, think you have been same, and has been carefully perused on the contrary brought out of dark- over and over; and I assure you in ness. Be it so :- let the scriptures then truth and sincerity there is not a single determine between us; but as we differ word in it but what I have not only about their judgment on the points in taken in good part, but considered it controversy, let
us refer our cause to the as a further instance of your friendship Judge of all the earth, who will do right to me; and in a letter that I have andmake truth manifest; in the mean since sent to some other minister ! time, not judging one another, nor have mentioned this, “ If I ever find claiming any dominion over faith, but such another friend as you have been helping each other's joy. You will to me it will be more than what I now. Rot, I trust; consider my remarks as expect."