« AnteriorContinua »
prehension, in having the interests Buts as the same' motives cannot acand property of my fellow-subjects tuate minds of a different compass, or submitted to my uptried' jadicial fas expansion, it is scarcely justifiable in cultiesží a instant
soch persons to attribute to others In this situation, new to me, and those principles of action, which, in new hp the-judicial jurisprudence of similar circumstances, they would not Scotland, -I derive comfort when I have hesitated to adopt. The selfishi Jook to my learned brethren un each hypocrite is rarely able to compreside of me, who add to learning and bend the grasp of truly generous and * knowledge of mankind, high facul enlightened minds. The man of hoties and practice- sanctioned by the nour should not be reduced to the opinion of un-approving public in the same level with the sycophant. And dispensation of justice.
such as conscientiously resign prefer. When I look before me to the bar, ment's or prospects iv an opulent esI derive comfort from the certainty tablishment, rather than forfeit their that’I am to be enlightened in the seat integrity, cannot be fairly estimated of justice by their learning and their by the aspiring pluralist, who defers eloquence, and that t-am sure to re- implicitly to his superiors, both in .ceive comfort from their urbanity, and Church and State. from the mildness of their judgments . I am led to these reflections, by on my first exertions.“
the virulent and illiberal censures, When I ak to the Jury now as- which have been of late eo often cast senibled, and the succession of such on the judicious and truly scriptural a class of men to discharge this duty, revisions of Watts's Hymns and Mothere again I derive conifort, and feel ral Songs for Children, and Melmoth's convinced that their anxiety to do Great Importance of a Religious Life; justice, and their steady attention to as if such revisions had been actually every case, will secure against any “palmed upon the public," as the bad effects from my want of experi- genuine works of the original writers, ence or incapacity.
without any notice of the alterations If I should prove' at all a service. whatsoever. Yet nothing can be fairable instrumtent in giving success to er than the conduct of the cditors, in this 'important measure of justice, their respective prefaces, by which all while I live I shall enjoy the comfort- idea of deception or concealment is reing reflection that my early education mored. The revision of Dr. Watts's in Scotland, and my habits, have Hymns avowedly proceeded from a preserved unabated through life my lady, who " considering them defecdevoted attachments to its interests tive, or rather erroneous, in some parand its people, and made the high ticular doctrines and phrases, judged station to which I have been gracious- it expedient to make many alterations ly advanced an object of my most arin both respects, in adapting them dent desite. I will conclude, there to the instruction of her own chilfore, with the anxious hope, that it dren ; and afterwards for the better may be inscribed with truth upon my accommodation of others in the same tomb, that the experiment bas proved sentiment, and for the further early successful, and that I have not been advancement of religious truth comuseless in the accomplishment of this mitted her useful labours to the press." mighty benefit to my native land. Nor was the Editor of the Great Im
portance less “ studious to avoid inSIR,
Feb. 21, 1816. volving the original author in any reS a truly honourable mind will 'sponsibility for the omissions of docty of another's motives, more espe- clandestinely ingrafting his own altecially in matters of opinion, I cannot rations on the labours of another'; help suspecting that those strenuous earnestly hoping that no just cause of supporters of the Church of England, offence could be taken, by the most who have recently assailed Unitarians tenacious theologian, for the simple with so many charges of disingenuous- ' omission of occasional language or ness and misiepresentation, are con- sentiments, thought to be derogatory scious' of that very obliquity in their from the genuine sense of the gospel own conduct, which they so earnestly of Christ, and distant from its true labour to affix on their opponents. and even tenor.” lo couformity, there
Outery against the Revision of Popular Works.
151 fore, to these statements, and in com- wlat moral precept, what truly.scrip. pliance with a more correct interpre. , tural doetrive, has been; 'irt either tation of the Bible, all ascriptions of case, withdrawn? That “they are praise and thanksgiving are confined cleared of all doctrines peculiarly to the one only living and true God; Christian," is an assertion as false as and all expressions omitted which it is foul; unless the Vicariş prepared gave counteyance to the common to shew that Christianity comprises though erroneous notions of the sa- no peculiar doctrines, when the Deity crifice of Christ as a satisfaction to and atonement of its founder the divine jnstice ; " " the eternity of hell. eternity, of hell-torments, and the.defire as a place of future torment," and vil, are withdrawn. In rejecting all « the all-pervading influence of the such anwarranted interpretations of
detached or highly figurative passages, Such, Sir, were the candid and and in recurring to the uniform and honourable proceedings which have consistent testimony of scripture to been so vehemently arraigned. Such the divine wisdom and benevolence, are the alterations which, alarming the editors have essentially contributhe prejudices of a narrow and petu- ted to“ the advancement of religious lant 'high-churchimap, conscious of his truth.". And their little works may own disingenuousness, as accessory be safely put into the hands of chil. to a secret and altogether unwarrant. dren or reflecting persons without ed suppression, in the garb of a Bris the fear of exciting those erroneous tish Critic, or under the disguise of views of the dispensations of provi. a Plain-Dealer, has been so idly and dence, which are calculated only to slanderously assailed, Byt it is in vain terrify or disgust, How can they be that facts have been distorted, and deemed "mutilated and imperfect," conjecture substituted for proof. In where every deficiency is so well supvain has Mr. Nares or Mr. Norris, plied; where the genuine simplicity impeached the integrity of the Rević of the gospel is restored by the resers", motives, where all idea of decep, moval of 'excrescences which tend tion or concealment has been so clear- only, to vitiate and deform? So far ly and unequivocally disavowed. And, from being." marred," they are melioin the face of this undeniable fact, it rated both in sentiment and language; required no common effrontery, in a so far from being despoiled, they are Parochial Yicar, in his “Remarks on adjusted to thelegitimate standard,scripMr. Belsham's Letters to the Bishop ture ; and instead of being "evisceraof London," (pp. 11-13,) resting. on ted;" ‘are-lawfully cleansed from the their authority for his statements, to ganyrene which assails the vitals of renew the slanderous and unfounded the Christian scheme. charge.
When'the real purpose" is so exThe judicious conduct of the Revi, plicitly avowed, and the design so jusers as advocates for the supreme au- diciously executed, where does the thority of the scripturcs, correctly in- Parochial Vicár. find, any traces of terpreted, in all matters of religion, “ thát, ingenious management, or that was not less worthy of their bevevo- imposing artifice,”: which he so untent design, of rendering these de- charitably ventures to impute? How servedly admired works, as unexcep- is this " method of conveying instructionable jr doctrine and language, as tion and persuasion inconsistent with for inculcating noral virtues and what is generally understood by the Christian piety, they have long been terms, fair and honourable. And universally approved. For low, let with what propriety can this common me ask this new assailant, has the. and most useful practice of revising beautiful composition or Christian books of instruction, be so vehement. piety of Dr. Watts's Hymns," evapo ly censured by the clergy of the rated, or 's the utility of Mr. Mel- Church of England, whose boasted moth's Tract, for calling the attention scheme is nothing more than the reof young minds to the observance of ligion of Rome marred, despoiled Christian morals, or to the knowledge and eviscerated;" whose Liturgy is no of doctrines peculiarly Christian," better than a Mass Book altered snd been affected by their revision? Whilst revised? they pretend not " to inculcate all But, Sir, as the whole merit of the principles of the original writers," these improved works is strictly due
to the editors, who alone were con
The Holy Alliance. cerned in the publicatiou ; upon what principle are Unitarians, who, as a
(See pp. 113, 114.) body, were never called upon to sanc. A curious circumstance relating to tion them, involved in the imputed the Holy Alliance lately made be. blame? Would it be right to involve tween the Emperors of Russia and the numerous adherents of the Church Austria, and the King of Prussia, has of England, in the censure which come to our knowledge through so may justly be attached to these un- respectable a channel, that we confounded charges, or to any other in- ceive it deserving of being communistances of misrepresentation or sup- cated to our readers. pression, which individuals have prac- In 1815, a Madame la Gridner was tised in its support ? Indiscriminate at Paris, whither she arrived from censure is at once illiberal and unjust; Riga, her native country, invited it cannot advance the cause of public there, as is generally understood, by reformation, or deter from the most the Emperor Alexander, who had mischievous pursuits. But in the previously known and consulted her. present instance the censure is un- The Prophetess Gridner, who, like founded, and the Revisers entitled to all the inspired persons of this class, unqualified approbation for their tru- is not devoid of talent, and particuly benevolent design. With as little Jarly possessed of the sublime and reason has the Improved Version of obscure jargon of mystical rites, trust. the New Testament been involved in iug to fceble minds, reasons about this unwarranted attack, as it is cer- every thing, discusses facts tolerably tainly founded on the basis of Arch- well, supports her opinions by relibishop Newcome's Translation, with- gion, and frequently interrupting her out involving that prelate in any re- conversation to implore, by a fervent spousibility for the numerous varia- prayer, the rays of a divine Spirit, tions from his text.
terminates by an emphatic prophecy On the whole, Sir, these censures developing some confused but brilcould only have proceeded from per- liant idea, together with certain consons determined to find fault; from sequences which she foretells, as an men, resembling a certain high- infallible and almost divine solution church dignitary, who having vented of the conversation that had been agihis wrath against the new edition of tated. the Great Importance, on the mere La Gridoer arrived and established perusal of the preface, arraigned the herself in a large hotel in Paris, preconduct of the editor, as if his purpose pared for her, which was furuished had been studiously concealed. Want after her own fashion ; that is, when of candour and ingenuousness has one had traversed a suit of five or six prevailed through the whole of these apartments, where nothing but the pitiful attacks: unqualified assertions, bare walls were to be seen, and even remote from truth and probability, no lights in the evening, one arrived have supplied the place of evidence, at a large inner room, the whole furwhilst the most pure and disinterest. niture of which consisted of a few ed motives have been “scandalously rush-bottomed chairs and a pallett, and industriously maligned." Can on which she was always reclined. such unwarranted proceedings have It was on this throne or tripod, from emanated from correct and honoura- which she never descended, that she ble minds? Are they calculated to ushered forth her mystical reveries support the credit of the Church of and pronounced her oracles. England, or consistent with the dif. The Emperor Alexander was known fusive benevolence of the gospel, which to go almost every evening to the inculcates charity and good-will to rendezvous of that Sybil, and here it all? Do they not rather savour of was that the three Sovereigns, authose narrow prejudices, which to thors of the Sainte Alliance, discussed the destruction of every liberal prin- their projects, &c. as well as their ciple and feeling, have too often interests and line of political conduct ; marked the conduct of establislied and it is well understood that, under churches, in their hostility to the the dictates of the said Sybil, the claims of private judgment, and the treaty in question was drawn up and free investigation of religious truth? signed, without the intervention of
DETECTOR. - any one of their respective ministers.
Letter of Mr. Foster's to Ratcliff Monthly Meeting.
15$ Whatever the ulterior object of this ciled with the Epistle of the last Convention may be, certain it is, that Yearly Meeting. it is intended as a strong league, made
Very respectfully, in the name of God, against liberal
Your sincere friend, opinions. How truly does this remind
THOMAS FOSTER. us of the Sovereigos of the thirteenth century !!!-M. Chron., Feb. 19. To Ratcliff Monthly Meeting, to be held
10th Mo. 19th, 1815.
Having incurred your censure for call. DERHAPS few of your readers are ing in question" certain doctrines “
pro. aware that under the sanction of fessed by the Yearly Meeting, in its Episthe Yearly Meeting of Friends, Com- tle for 1810,” and being now able with mittees are from time to time ap- bation of those which its Epistle for the
much sincerity to avow my cordial appropointed, to inspect periodical works as they come out, that any remarks Lects, I hope expressing the same to you
present year contains upon the same subconcerning their principles or prac- will not be deemed an improper exercise tices which require it, may be prompt. of my Christian liberty, or give you just ly noticed, and their testimonies be canse for dissatisfaction. 'How this Epis.' supported. The late Joseph Gurney tle can be reconciled to the former, I know Bevan, of Newington, was one of not, but this I beg leave to refer to you, those appointed to have the theologi. as being well worthy your consideration. cal superintendance of your Journal, On hearing the latter epistle read in the so far as it might relate to the concerns Quarterly Meeting, I was forcibly struck of Friends. In the latter part of his with the soundness, clearness, and scriplife he was much disabled from wri- with that of the former, upon every point
tural simplicity of its language, compared ting or reading by a complaint in bis of doctrine on which 'erroneous opinions eyes. I believe the last article from
are imputed to me by your records, and his pen, sent to your Work, was that without feeliny conscious of any signed Breviloquus : it is inserted change in my sentiments. Vol. V. p. 647. I do not know who My attention was again drawn to this has been nominated in his room, but Epistle, as the latest and most authentic suppose such Committees of the exposition of the doctrines of the Society, Meeting for Sufferings are still ap- by the delivery of a copy to me, by one of pointed, although several articles your members appointed to distribute those which seemed loudly to call for re
Epistles. Since this time I have carefully
examined its contents, and in the respecplies, not being noticed, I have thought tive situation in which we stand to each whether the members of these Com- other, as fellow-christians, and children mittees are not become more fastidious of the same benevolent Parent of the Unithan their predecessors, and wave verse,
The God and FATHER of giving any replies to anonymous wri- qur Lord Jesus Christ,” I feel that I owe ters.
it to you, before I close this letter, briefly Should this have been the reason
to call your serious attention to those parts why a paper signed “ An Inquirer,"
of the Jast Yearly Meeting Epistle to which in your last Vol. p. 546, has been I have alluded. In doing this I shall an
pex a few words to mark more plainly how passed over in silence, I would ob.
I understand the Epistle, always distinviate that objection by the inclosed guishing them from the text. It begins letter, which was sent to the Meeting, thus : by which I was excommunicated. If
“ In offering you this salutation of our you think fit to insert it, some mem- love, we believe it right to acknowledge ber of the Society, if not of that Meet- our thankfulness to the AUTHOR OF ALL ing, may feel the propriety, when thus GOOD, that we have been permitted to publicly called upon, to attempt an meet together. We bave bad again to reexplanation of the “ apparent incon- joice in a sense of the goodness of Him sistencies and contradictions," which [“ the Author of all good”) who, by his
owned us in times past-we your correspondent has pointed out. have felt the consoling assurance that the As to my letter, it was not even al. Divine Power of Him who is omnipresent, lowed to be read in the Meeting, and and whose mercies are over all his works] has not procured me any information is both ancient and new.” That is, I prehow it is thought the Epistle for 1810, sume more properly, is unchangeable, and the ostensible grounds on which “ It is from this holy source [“ of all good”] I was excommunicated, can be recon. that every enjoyment,” says this Epistle,
« both spiritual and temporal, flows; it Lord Jesus'] who died for all, that they is to the LORD ALÄIGUTY that we are in. that live should not henceforth live unto debted for the blessing of existence, for themselves, but unto him who died for the means of redemption, and for that them, and rose again.?” 2 Cor. v. 15. lively hope of immortality which comes by From this passage I understand, that Jesus Christ.
in the judgment of the compilers of this This is much more than merely “calling Epistle, we cannot become « true disciin question the omnipotence of Jesus ples" of " the Lord Jesus," whom God Christ.” It is expressly to attribute om- raised from the dead, without being “al. nipotent power and boundless goodness to ways" ready to “ acknowledge,” that we another being, even to “ THE LORD AL
owe“ the unspeakable privilege” tu "TAR MIGHTY," the ever-living and unchange- MERCY OF God," the Original Source and able God; and to describe Jesus Christ as
proper Author of all the blessings confer. the medium by whom the “ lively hope" red on mankind by Jesus Christ, and by of the greatest of these blessings, was the gospel which he preached. I coninade known to mankind through the gos- gratulate you and the Society on so speedly pel.
a return to the common language of our If we are “ indebted to the LORD Al- ancestors, and to that " form of soundt MIGHTY"—the giver of every good, and words” which is to be found in the scripof every perfect gift, “ for the blessing of tures of truth, and remain your sincere existence," as this Epistle asserts, surely well-wishing friend, He “ endowed us by nature,” with those
THOMAS FOSTER. “talents.--bowever great," by which we are distinguished from every other order
London, Feb. 25, 1816. of beings in this sublunary world. " To
Sir, his service, then dear friends," adds the
OBSERVE that Unitarian places Epistle, “in obedience to the manifestation of his power (which is fresh every ent parts of the kingdom, and that morning, for the earth is full of his goodness] let us offer our talents ; to the appeals are frequently made on behalf glory of his great and excellent name, let of them to the liberality of the public. us devote our strength and the residue of It is difficult however for an indiviour days."
dual like myself to ascertain the meAs to the propriety;" and the duty rits of the respective cases, and though of " secret supplication," and to whom it it would be painful to refuse my should be addressed, this Epistle is equally quota of contribution, it is unpleasant explicit and scriptural. After recom
to subscribe without a full conviction mending the youth “ to allot a portion of of the serviceableness of a subscripeach day to read and meditate upon the tion. I have heard of a recent case sacred volume (the Scriptures) in private,' this exhortation is added : “ In these sea
where monies were collected for fitsons of retirement, seek for ability to en- ting up an Unitarian Chapel, and a
ter into a close examination of your own considerable sum expended upon a i hearts ; and as you may be enabled, secret- building held on a short lease and
ly pray to the AI MIGHTY for preservation subject to a charge of ground-rent from the temptations with which you are which no small congregation can long encompassed." Again." Let their ex
pay: ample,' that of some friends lately de- Permit me to suggest then the exceased, encourage you to offer all your pediency of every application of this natural powers, and every intellectual at
kind being first submitted to a body tainment, to the service of the same Lord, and patiently to persevere in a course
of competent judges, say the Comof unremitting obedience to the Divine mittee of the Unitarian Fund, with, Will.” If we pray then“ with the spi- out whose sanction any case should rit, and with the understanding also,” be considered as without recommenwhether openly or in secret, surely 'it dation. Any permanent body would should be offered only to the same Lord answer the purpsoe, but some such The Almighty," as this Epistle enjoins, sanction is necessary to satisfy the and not ever to Jesus “ whom he (God) private individuals to whom applihath made--both Lord and Christ.” Acts cants appeal. ü. 36. The Epistle concludes thus : “ Let us
I perceive with great satisfaction ever remember, that if we obey the Divine that in the cases of Neath, &c. procommandments, we shall do all to the vision is made in the Trust Deeds glory of God; we shall always acknow that the chapel erected by public ledge, that it is of his mercy, if we ever
contribution shall, in the event of the become partakers of the unspeakable pric discontinuance of public worship on vilege of the true disciples of Him [ the Unitarian principles, come into the