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THE REVIEWER REVIEWED.

To the Editor of the New Evangelical Magazine.
Audi alteram partem.

SIR,

I certainly should not have requested your insertion of the following strictures, if the pages of the Baptist Magazine were open to discussion, or if there were the least probability that its Editor or Editors would insert an appeal from the ipse dixit of a Reviewer, to the good sense and candour of their readers. Your Magazine has, at least, the merit of admitting the free discussion of a subject, whatever be your own opinion; and it is the best, if not the only medium, through which something may be conveyed in the shape of an antidote to the mischievous effects of a late Review in the Baptist Magazine. A Reviewer, if he performs his office with fidelity and ability, does an important service to the public; but he is also capable of doing much injury, if he possess not the requisites to a proper discharge of his office. By making a wrong impression on the minds of his readers-by misrepresentation through a want either of integrity or of capacity, he may not only injure the property of an author, prevent the accomplishment of the object he has in view, and exceedingly wound his feelings; but it may injure his character, and in a considerable measure destroy the usefulness of his future life.

In the Baptist Magazine for last month, there is a professed Review of " An Address to Deists, on the recent prosecution of persons vending books against Christianity," which for its spirit, its reasoning, and its tendency, is a disgrace to the Magazine; and, as far as this publication is identified with the denomination whose name it bears, a discredit to the whole body. I am anxious on the part of myself and others to disclaim it utterly, to shake off the reproach which it fixes on every one concerned in it; and I would that this disclaimer could be read by all who have seen the pitiful Review. The Reviewer gives the public to understand that he knows the Author, informs them that he is a minister, a young man, of a speculative mind. It is not likely that his name will remain long concealed from others; and if they never read his pamphlet for themselves, what an opinion must they form of him! His congregation may by this time know the Author; and the direct statements and still worse insinuations of this review may inflict a most serious injury on his usefulness.

heavy fines which have been imposed, and the long imprisonment which has followed, are matters of notoriety. These have been applauded by some, and to others they have been a cause of regret. The Author of this pamphlet could not sympathise with those who rejoiced in the application of force, in calling in the aid of chains and dungeons to maintain Christianity. He saw the impression made, and likely to be deeply engraven on the minds of unbelievers by this method of procedure; he perceived the increase of their prejudice against Christianity; he felt for the men as his fellow creatures; he felt for Christianity, which he conceived to be thus abused; and his object in this address is to remove prejudice from the minds of those whom severe measures had irritated, to induce them to consider the Christian religion as it is exhibited in the Sacred Writings, and to show them that the measures which have been adopted to silence their objections are not to be imputed to Christianity itself, but to the mistaken views of those who profess to be its advocates. "The whole of this pamphlet," says a cotemporary and able Review, "does credit to the writer's head and heart. While he labours earnestly and successfully to exculpate Christianity from the charge of countenancing persecution, he is equally solicitous to win the unbeliever to a serious examination of its evidences." A noble lord, who is an honour to his age and country, and to whom the dissenters are much indebted for his able support whenever their rights have been questioned in the senate, wrote to the publisher soon after the appearance of this pamphlet in terms of high approbation, an extract from which appeared on the cover of the Baptist Magazine; and yet this redoubtable Reviewer can see nothing in such an attempt but " awful impiety," "futile reasoning," and "inconclusive arguments."

The prosecutions which have recently taken place for Deistical publications, the

If it were possible that a ray of reason could penetrate the mist of dulness and prejudice which appears to surround the Reviewer, I would venture to ask him, where in the Scripture he finds his warrant for the employment of prisons and fines to punish those who reason and rail against Christianity? Is it in the precepts of the meek and lowly Jesus? or is it in his practice, who heard blasphemy the most awful against himself, and received treatment the most horrible; who, though he might have sent them, immediately, to the prison of eternal woe, expires on the cross exclaiming, "Father, forgive them,

dubious hint, that the Author will, "at some future period of his life," repent what he has now done? Perhaps this advocate for the salutary discipline of a legal prosecution might even now try an experiment with him, if he had it in his power-his mode of reasoning would justify it. Certainly to defend publicly the commission of crimes, is an offence scarcely less criminal than the transgression itself; and the Reviewer boldly denounces the Author as "the defender of those, who, like Carlile, have blasphemed God and his Christ," the "apologist for published infidelity and blasphemy!"

they know not what they do?" Or, is it | founded on the conduct of the apostles, the spirit of their writings, or in the example of those early Christians who meekly endured every torment, and died, like their Master, praying for persecutors and blasphemers? Or has this mode of proceeding been justified on the ground of expediency? has it convinced a single Deist of the truth of Christianity? has it lessened the prejudices of objectors? has it diminished the number of those who read deistical publications? On the contrary, has it not given publicity to such works, most enormously increased their sale, deepened prejudices already existing, and in many instances won over the feelings of sympathy in favour of those who have suffered so severely? How often has it been repeated with triumph, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church?" Papists have had their martyrs, Protestants of almost every sect have had their martyrs; a reference to such witnesses has confirmed the faith of others, and strengthened their attachment to their religious peculiarities. And now even Deists are glorying in their martyrs, or at least, in the sufferings and constancy of those who have been ruined in their temporal circumstances, by opposing what they consider as a popular superstition.

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In endeavouring to prove to men of deistical principles, that the religion of Christ is not chargeable with any of the coercive measures which its professed advocates may employ, the Author adduces arguments which are unanswered, and unanswerable, while the New Testament remains the standard of Christian faith, and the rule of Christian practice; but the sagacious Reviewer pronounces, sans ceremonie, "his reasoning futile, and his arguments inconclusive." Now these are words very easily written, but this literary censor, at least, has not the brains to prove them. Ye powers of logic, of what terrible delinquency must this son of reason have been guilty heretofore, that in this moment of need, you should thus have forsaken him? To determine what the Gospel sanctions or prohibits, the Author appeals to the New Testament; to overthrow his arguments, the Reviewer appeals to the " common law" of England. The Author quotes Christ, and Paul and Peter, and the Reviewer quotes Judge Black-vestigation of its claims? And is this stone and Robert Hall! And as the hypocrisy, this determined carelessness, writer of the pamphlet adheres so per- to give them any comparative advantage tinaciously to the letter and spirit of in the awful day of retribution? If the Scripture, it is inferred by a rare deduc- Reviewer is "a Christian minister," and tion, that he is certainly on the high road such are his statements in the pulpit, to some dangerous error through a specu- surely it is himself more than the Author, lative mind. What does the mysterious who may be accused of laying "the flatPythian mean, as he sings the fates from tering unction to the soul." his reviewing tripod, by the dark and

The following extract is made with a shudder of horror at its contents-"He (the Author of the pamphlet) does not wish to deny, that many, who have rejected Christianity as decidedly as he has embraced it, have exhibited a strength of intellect, and splendour of talent, which have seldom been exceeded, and which would have enabled them to advocate, with effect, any cause in which their hearts were warm. Nor does it appear to him, that every man who denies the Divine Mission of Jesus, must, necessarily, be more depraved than his neighbour, who merely professes to believe it: or that at the final judgment, an uninfluential assent to the truths of revealed religion will give, to the vicious, man who has yielded it, any pre-eminence over another, who has rejected the name of Christianity, as well as its substance." Now, what is there so impious or false in this extract? Does a zeal for religion require the sacrifice of truth? Is this the way to serve the interests of piety, or to subdue the prejudice of its opposers? Were the splendid talents of many of the abettors of scepticism ever questioned before? Would the Reviewer have us affirm that Voltaire and Rosseau were idiots? that Hume and Gibbon were mere drivellers? But perhaps it is the latter part of the quotation which is considered so profane. Now what is there which prevents the extreme degeneracy, the abominable depravity of some, who have the name of Christians, from expressing their disbelief of Christianity and their hatred to it, but a want of honesty to speak out the feelings of their hearts, or a profound indifference to the subject of religion, which prevents any personal in

If I understand the Reviewer, for it is

325 should he jumble together the Author's words, his own, and those of some other person, under the appearance of a quotation from the work reviewed? It is impossible to acquit the Reviewer of carelessness and incapacity.

Nor are these the only charges I have to bring against him. With unblushing effrontery and shameful misrepresentation, he calls the writer" the defender of those, who, like Carlile, have blasphemed God and his Christ:"-the "apologist for published infidelity and blasphemy:"-who "has undertaken to defend" those who are "infidels and blasphemers." This is false and scandalous. Did this Reviewer ever take any pains by his writings to convince these men of the truth of Christianity, to divest them of their prejudices, to inthem to study the Gospel of Christ in the Bible, and not in the lives of the majority of its adherents? Now this is the pious and benevolent object of the writer of the Address, of this" apologist" for "blasphemy!" And all that he has done to provoke the gall which is thus spit on him, is that he has proved, beyond the possibility of contradiction, that neither Christ or his apostles ever encouraged coercion to maintain the interests of Christianity. What can the Reviewer think of himself, in using such epithets, after he had read in the Address to Deists such expressions as these:-"That the tendency of infidelity on society is deleterious, he cannot deny; and were he arguing with the promoters of the measures which he condemns, should feel himself bound to concede, both that Christianity is calculated to improve society, and that In

But it is really no wonder if I should misunderstand him. There is quite a contrast between the style of the Author and that of the Reviewer. The course of thought in the pamphlet flows on like a current, regular and clear; the effusion of the Reviewer is like a gutter stream, turbid and muddy, sputtering among stones and brick bats. Whether the Author is right or wrong you cannot possibly mistake his meaning; his sentences are clear and perspicuous, you can see before you an object distinct and well defined; but the production of the Reviewer is like one

of Ossian's misty ghosts—there is some-fidelity subverts the whole foundation of thing, but you cannot tell what, yet it morals. But he should be disposed to appears wast and seems to frown-it contend, that though the circulation of shrieks on the hollow wind, but its accents books which ridicule all that is holy, and are unintelligible. blaspheme all that is adorable, be in its tendency excessively baneful; yet the evils of punishing the free expression of sentiment on religious subjects, are far greater than the evils arising from the communication of the most objectionable cavils or sneers," p. 26.-" Let the spirit of Christ actuate his ministers; let the regulations of Christ govern his churches; let the doctrine and precepts of Christianity control the hearts and lives of its professors; and Infidelity will soon hide its blank and gloomy countenance, ashamed of the contrast between itself and the genuine uncorrupted religion of the Redeemer," p. 28.-" Recollect, however, how much remains at stake. You may please yourself with the idea that the Bible is not of God; but you feel that there is a possibility that you may be mistaken. And if you should have been disc eived, Oh, what a revelation will burst on your

THE REVIEWER REVIEWED.

not easy always to perceive his meaning,
the principal ground on which he rests his
argument for the employment of these
"carnal weapons" is, that Christianity is
the law of the land, and therefore that
"infidelity and blasphemy" are "crimes"
to be punished by the state. And is the
Editor of the Baptist Magazine, then, an
advocate for a religion established by law?
A dissenter—and above all a Baptist, ad-
vocating the establishment of Christianity
by law! I should very much like to hear
this dim-sighted Reviewer take the intro-
ductory service at one of our ordinations,
and state the reasons of dissent. I should
like to know on what principle he would
justify an attempt to introduce the prin-
ciples of Protestantism where Popery is
established by law, or Christianity into a
Mahometan state, contrary to the injunc-duce
tions of the magistrate. If this is not the
meaning of the Reviewer, to what purpose
has he quoted Blackstone, to what pur-
pose is his defining these crimes against
the state, and referring us to the authority
of the magistrate?

What a precious specimen of compilation is the paragraph beginning thus "The Author of the pamphlet says," &c.The first attempt at quotation is a blundering mistake; the Author, I would venture to say, never wrote such a sentence in his life. The second sentence is marked also as a quotation-from the pamphlet, a reader might suppose-No, not a word. Whence is it?-the most probable guess is, that it consists of scraps from Blackstone, and perhaps also from others, patched up, with some filling up stuff of his own, in a manner so bungling, as to distort even its grammatical construction. Misquotations in a review are shameful; no excuse can be pleaded. Why should the Reviewer place in emphatic italics, words on which the Author laid no particular stress? why should he alter his expressions, and make his language appear contemptible? why

astonished faculties, when death having done its office, the veil which conceals unseen realities is removed, and you behold the angry God, and the neglected Saviour!" p. 31.-"If the Bible be his word, it will be hereafter an awful subject for investigation, whether we have endeavoured to promote its influence among others, or to excite their antipathies against it; whether by our example and conversation we have endeavoured to lead the youth of our age to treat it with reverence, or to reject it with scorn. If Christianity should after all prove to be true, the consciousness of having slighted its dictates, or refused to investigate with impartiality and earnestness its contents, will add infinite horror to the melancholy sentence which shall for ever separate us from him, to whom we have said by our conduct, *Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.'" p. 33, 34. How was it possible that the Reviewer could employ such infamous language, after reading the whole of the Author's powerful and affectionate appeal to the consciences of Deists, from p. 28 to the end!

sonalities.

future, lest the saying of a wise man be verified in him, "Though thou shouldst bray a fool in a mortar-yet will not his foolishness depart from him.”

66

Your's,

Evidently unable to answer the Author's In taking my leave, however, of the arguments, the Reviewer endeavours to Reviewer, charity shall make a stretch in return for his compliment to the Author, throw discredit on them, by representing to "give him credit" for good intentions the writer as a beardless youth, who is and in imitation of his example, shall close given to wanton speculation, "This juvenile defender," juvenile, and what with expressing a very friendly hope, that then? Is truth the less important though he will leave off reviewing, and turn his it should come from "the mouths of babes attention to what he is more competent; and sucklings?" or if the cacoethes scribendi is incurable, It would be really that this scourge of small cords may teach amusing to see what a figure this bluster-him to be a little more circumspect in ing Goliath would cut, were he to attempt to break a spear with this stripling in the fair field of argument. But invisible, with a Reviewer's coat of darkness, he speaks great swelling words," and lays about him with an apparent design to crush the poor juvenile wight, who has no opportunity of defending himself from his blows, or of returning them. And what is achieved after all this bustle? Parturiunt montes, nascitur ridiculus mus. Now this same youth, to whom the Reviewer seems half inclined to take the birch, has, if report speaks truly, passed about half the portion of years which the Psalmist specifies as the usual boundary of human life. But he possesses "a speculative mind." This is, very often, a charge brought by plodding dulness against those who venture to think for themselves. If a man exercise the faculties which the Creator has given him-if they are employed in the active search after truth-if, like the Bereans of old, he is not content with the opinions of others, but makes truth the object of his personal inquiry, he is stigmatized by those who are too idle or too feeble to think for themselves, as a man of "a speculative mind."

But there appears to be a wicked in

sinuation conveyed in the form of a charit
able "hope;" especially when coupled
with the general tenor of his review.
"Hinc semper Ulysses
"Criminibus terrere novis ; hinc spargere voces
"In vulgum ambiguas."

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Does not the Reviewer more than hint, that from what he knows privately of the habits and character of the Author, he is very likely to embrace some dreadful heresy? "Why the man," said a friend to me, after perusing the review, "the man is well known to the Reviewer, and he is likely to become a Socinian or a Deist himself." Now is it not difficult to give a writer "credit for good intentions, who can use such language, and throw out the Author, be he whoever he may, against such hints? I appeal then on behalf of the unjust sentence of this self-constituted judge, to the good sense, the piety, and the candour of all the readers of the article in question; and before the bar of the public I charge him not only with obscurity misrepresentation, and contemptuous perand clumsy writing, but with unfairness,

JUSTITIA.

QUERIES.

MR. EDITOR,

We want a subject of considerable importance to the Christian world_discussed, and that is the following:-How offences are to be healed or proceeded in, on scriptural authority, between two ministers of the same denomination—be tween two ministers of different sects-between two members of the same denomination, but of different churches-between two members of different persuasionsbetween two Christians, one a member of a Christian church, the other a member of no church, but who is regarded as a sincere Christian-between two Christians who are members of no churches. This is a subject upon which I never remember having read any discussion, and for want of some directions much evil abounds in the professing world. R. C. F.

Religious and Literary Intelligence.

2. WILLIAM HUTCHISON, who resides in the neighbourhood of Kingussie, Badenoch, Inverness-shire, and a preacher in the church there, has accompanied William Tulloch on his principal tours, since the summer of 1819 inclusive. In his stated labours at Kingussie and in the neighbourhood, he is assisted by the church, Leith Walk, Edinburgh. When accompanying William Tulloch on his long tours, their

from his Journals.

SOME years ago, the destitute state of several parts of the West Highlands and Islands of Scotland, as to the means of religious instruction, attracted the attention of a few indivíduals in more highly favoured parts of the country; in conse-joint expenses (uncommonly moderate) are quence of which, a Mission, on a small defrayed from the Mission Fund. They scale, was begun in July, 1816, and has are happily attached to each other, and been since maintained, chiefly in the sum- both very acceptable as Missionaries. In mer season, in different parts of Perth- December, 1823, he was very actively emshire, Inverness-shire, Aberdeenshire, Ar- ployed in the neighbourhood of Lochness, gyleshire, and in some parts of the Western Loch-Carron, &c. as appears by extracts Islands of Scotland. Of these itinerant exertions, regular annual journals have been published, which, by the plain unvarnished account of their actual labours, discover, on the part of the Missionaries, a happy combination of zeal and prudenceof great exertion and unobtrusive modesty of lively concern for the souls of men, and the most economical self-denial. By these means the Missionaries have secured the affection of those whom they have visited, and the approbation of those who have contributed to defray the expenses of the Mission. Nor has the testimony of God, in rendering their labours useful, been wanting.

BAPTIST ITINERANT SOCIETY, For Preaching the Gospel in the High

lands and Islands of Scotland.

During the year 1823, there were five persons employed in the Mission; of whom the following particulars may be acceptable:

1. WILLIAM TULLOCH, who was first employed, and who has since been wholly supported from the Mission Fund, is a married man about fifty years of age, a native of the Highlands, and speaks the Gaelic language with accuracy and fluency. He is a man of known piety; of blameless character; and possessed of suitable qualifications for the important work in which he is engaged. When first employed in the Mission, he lived at Aberfeldy, in Perthshire; but removed with his family in April, 1819, to Kilmavionaig, in Athol, Perthshire; which is surrounded by some comparatively populous districts, favoura ble for itinerating labours, and which are in a considerable degree, in this respect, unoccupied. Here W. Tulloch continues to reside, and a meeting-house, capable of containing 200 persons, was erected about three years ago, at the very moderate expense of £34. 16s. 8d. Accommodation has thus been provided for the church in which W. Tulloch is preacher, and for many others, who have now frequent opportunities of hearing the Gospel, for which they seem very grateful. When not employed at a distance from home, he statedly preaches at Kilmavionaig, and in the neighbouring populous glens.

3. PETER FISHER, preacher, residing at Ardionaig, Breadalbane, Perthshire, has also been frequently engaged as a fellowlabourer in this good cause. During last summer he visited Argyleshire, Skye, and some of the other western islands. He was induced to visit Skye, though far distant from Breadalbane, from knowing the destitute state of the inhabitants, as to the means of religious instruction, and the great readiness evinced by them in attending the preaching of the Gospel. Both of these he had an opportunity of witnessing when on a similar visit seven years ago.

4. JOHN ANDERSON. In these labours, the late John Anderson, who was pastor of a church at Tullimet, Athol, Perthshire, was accustomed, for many years, regularly to take a part. On all such occasions he bore his own expenses, and continued to labour in the cause with unabated zeal, till removed from this world by death in 1822. He was succeeded, as a preacher in the church at Tullimet and in his itinerat ing services, by

5. JOHN M'EWEN. His labours in preaching the Gospel in that quarter, have been, and still are, very acceptable. He accompanied William Hutchison in the summer of 1822 to Skye, and was actively employed in preaching the Gospel in that island and otherwise for about two months, as detailed in last Report. From the num ber and circumstances of the church at Tullimet, they can contribute but little for the support of John M'Ewen, while, at the same time, the situation of Tullimet is so favourable as a missionary station, and the labours of J. M'Ewen so acceptable, that, if not otherwise provided for, it will be proper to assist him from the Mission Fund, in order to enable him to remain there.

The Committee for managing the affairs of this small society have lately published No. VIII. of their Annual Accounts, extending from October, 1822, to October, 1823, from which we present our friends with a short extract, and invite their at tention to it, as exhibiting a specimen of

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