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at which reason does not revolt, in lieu of ancient superstition; and not the exchange of one absurd system for another, which is also unreasonable. On the whole, it must be confessed that the proposal of Mr. A. is of too much importance to share the fate of a thousand others which strike the eye for the moment, but are soon abandoned. It cannot be put in execution without expense; and that in the aggregate a very formidable one; but it appears to me that there can be nothing further necessary than the same portion of zeal as others discover in the furtherance of missionary establishments, which they seem to be labouring for with comparatively little success and little fruit.
I have no data to assist me in an estimate of the Unitarian part of the population in this country, but suppose they cannot be overrated at 20,000. A subscription of one penny per week from each of whom would raise a sum of 43361. 68. 8d. annually. If it be supposed too much to average one penny per week from this number, which, considering the wealth and consequence in society of a large proportion of them, I am sanguine enough to think is not; the subscription of one half or two-thirds would surely be sufficient to effect a vast deal.
I believe there are some who are at this time, from the wish to promote such a cause in any shape, subscribing to the Church and other Missionary Societies, who would gladly pay their money to a more congenial establish ment; and I have no doubt, but that there are others who have withdrawn from the Society, originally founded on the principle of sending forth the Bible to the world without note or comment, but who have found the tone of that institution so altered as to dissatisfy them, would become suscribers to a Unitarian Mission in India. These loose hints it is my object to suggest, in order that they may be improved upon by more competent persons.
Murch 15, 1823. SEE, with great pleasure, that it length to bring forward the great question of the Repeal of the Corpo
ration and Test Acts, and I cannot help thinking that the Dissenters are chargeable with indolence and indifference to the cause of Religious Liberty, in having so long neglected to assert their claim to a participation in the rights and privileges at present monopolized by the sect endowed by law, or only conceded to them as a favour. Many, if not most of those who distinguished themselves as the advocates of our rights, are dead, and a generation has arisen, to many of whom the agitation of this question will, I fear, appear rather like an attempt to revive an obsolete and needless dispute, than an assertion of a just claim. It has been suffered to shall be asked, If any inconvenience sleep too long-much too long. We had been felt from these laws, why have the Dissenters ceased for so long for thirty years have they been silent a period to urge their repeal? Why and acquiescent? And I confess I see not what satisfactory answer can be given to these questions. However, it is useless now to indulge in these regrets. Let us atone for our former indifference and negligence by our fu ture zeal and activity. Above all, let us take the ground we ought to take. Not that of cringing, abject suppliants, negociating with ministers and jacks begging for a boon, intriguing and in office for their permission to smuggle a small quantity of toleration through the Houses of Parliament, or begging the bench of Reverend Fathers in God that they will take compassion on our forlorn state, and for once admit that in some cases, with certain limitations, with a number of provisoes and reservations, and guards and restrictions, such of their fellow-Christians as have the misfortune to dissent from them in matters of faith, may be permitted to feel that they are their fellow-citizens. To this state of degradation I trust the Dissenters will not expose themselves. Let them demand their rights in the language which men ought to use, who know their value, and who feel that the Legisla ture has a long arrear of injustice and oppression to settle with them. Above all, let there be no cant about the
lieve the latter to be an unscriptural institution, and we ought not, for the
whenever the subject comes before the
October 30, 1822.
sake of any advantage, to belie our
article in their number for June,
Apology for the Danger of the Church, ing up an evil report of Unitarianism, they endeavour to deter their disciples
their own particular purposes, to represent to their deluded and unsus→ pecting followers, that whatever obnoxious opinions any solitary individual among Unitarians may think fit to avow, is really the creed of the whole. Returning to the Editors of the soi-disant Evangelical Magazine, I must repeat, that they are bound, in honour and justice, to admit into that work temperate defences of any party on whom they have previously inserted an attack. Their sentiments, if truly evangelical, should lead them either to reject every thing controversial or having a tendency thereto, or else to allow both sides a fair hearing. Since, however, they have not done either the one or the other, and refuse to do it, I must beg of you to insert the following copy of the paper sent to them by me, to the end that the Unitarian Christian public may judge between
from proceeding to investigate it for themselves; knowing that if they were to act impartially, and exhibit to their congregations and readers such fair comparative statements of their and our respective doctrines, as are exhibited to ours, truth would have fair play, and must then certainly prevail. Whensoever they publish to their readers an Unitarian's account of his conversion from Trinitarianism in so fearless a manner as has been done by you in Mr. Harwood's case, (Mon. Repos. XV. 388 and XVII. 327,) then I shall imbibe a better opinion of the firmness of their belief in the truth of their own doctrines than I now entertain. Indeed, I am now more than ever convinced that those Trinitarian rulers not only dare not direct their readers to the perusal of any Unitarian publications, but, on the contrary, must, for the sake of their systems, act by such publications according to the mode in which the Pope and his Church have acted towards the Bible and its distributors. I freely admit that the Cursory Remarks were too hastily written, and expressed in stronger language than I should have deemed proper to use, if at the time I had entertained any idea of their being likely to meet the public eye; but although incautiously drawn up, I do not allow that they are inaccurate on any essential point. I am, indeed, sorry that they have afforded a handle for the very uncandid attack on the Unitarians at large, which I am now exposing. But I have the consolation to believe that Unitarians are not only accustomed to such illiberal and unjust attacks, but that they also do and will consider the Remarks in no other light than as those of an obscure individual, whose zeal is perhaps greater than his learning, and not as in any way binding on any other person; which, also, all well-informed Trinitarians know to be the case with us, how much soever it may suit the views of the bigots among their party, who cannot divest their minds of their preconceived ideas of the necessity of definite creeds, or of ignorant persons who take up their notions of Unitarianism from its enemies at secondhand, or of concealed infidels who strive to misrepresent and calumniate pure Christianity in order to serve
J. C. ROSS.
"To the Editors of the Evangelical Magazine.
"I find in your Number for June a communication headed, 'On Unitarian Views of Christian Missions,' signed Humanus, and containing observations and strictures on a paper written by me, and inserted in the Monthly Repository, under the title of Cursory Remarks on Borneo.' Believing that Humanus has misunderstood and mistaken the meaning of some of my statements, and, perhaps, in consequence of such misunderstanding been, in my humble opinion, rather illiberal in his observations and strictures thereon, I now appeal to your candour and justice in requesting your insertion of the following explanations in my own and my fellow-Christians' defence and vindication. 1. When I used the expression, to follow the example of St. Paul,' I had in my mind the ninth and tenth chapters of his first Epistle to the Corinthians, and, in particular, the 21st and 22d verses of the ninth chapter, and the 29th verse of the tenth chapter; and I must confess myself unable to comprehend the scope and design of the apostle's argument therein, if it be not that of maintaining the sinless nature of compliance with the
harmless customs of men among whom
Constantine's sword of steel.' It is
cally inculcating those doctrines on the attention of their hearers, as forming the essentials of Christianity. I cannot help thinking, that missionaries can hardly do better even in the present age than to imitate the apostles in that respect as well as in others. If indeed the assertions of some distinguished Trinitarians be correct, that the unscriptural terms now used by them have become necessary for selfdefence against philosophy and meta physics, it would appear at first sight quite unnecessary to use those terms when preaching the Gospel to unlearned and isolated nations. I do not think that any thing I have stated myself to have taught the Borneots, ean be justly characterized as an attempt to impose on the well-disposed natives in what concerns their everlast ing salvation; and if I were to admit that Unitarians do not, generally speaking, exhibit so much zeal in the propagation of their sentiments of Christianity, as certain descriptions of Trinitarians display; yet I cannot help regarding that anism is the only form of Christianity ever likely to be introduced into Borneo,' as being of a very temerarious complexion. I became an Unitarian in consequence of my own unassisted scrutiny into the truth of Christianity and of Trinitarianism. It cannot, therefore, be confidently affirmed, that no other person of greater talents and more ample information than I possess, may not do so likewise; nor how far it may please Divine Providence to afford them opportunities for spreading their sentiments is beyond our ken at this moment. 5. Humanus would seem to imply, from the mode of expression employed by him, that I voluntarily quitted Borneo, without waiting for the return of the native chief and his sons. But if he will reperuse the Remarks, he will find it mentioned therein that I was compelled to quit the coast by the change of the monsoon occurring in their absence. However, I did bring one of the chiefs of the Aborigines to England, and have conveyed him back again to his own country, in possession of (at all events) better impressions of Christendom than he would have received from his Maho metan neighbours.
"In conclusion, I have to assure Humanus, that I do most cordially join
in the evangelical hope expressed by him that the Borneots may soon have the advantage of being instructed by
persons better qualified' than I am to demonstrate that God is Love and a loving Father over all his works;' and differing from him in believing, as I do most decidedly, that any form of Protestant Christianity at all events is immensely better than Heathenism, I will always gladly ren der every assistance in my power, either by information or otherwise, to facilitate the sending missionaries of any Christian denomination to Borneo, Nor ought such a measure to be long delayed, because Mahometanism is by means of force or fraud rapidly extending itself in that country, and it is always found extremely difficult to convert persons from that religion. "J. C. R.
"London, Aug. 1822.”
SEND you a short account of the
at Alcester, Warwickshire, and a list of ministers, as far as I could make it
Mr. Samuel Tickner, after being ejected by the Act of Uniformity from the parish church, "continued with his people, who were some of the most wealthy in the parish, preaching constantly to them, but rarely in time of public service."+ By his ministry, the congregation of Presbyterian Disdoubtless, the foundation was laid of senters established in the place. The Rev. Joseph Porter is the next minister whose name I meet with. How long he was at Alcester, where he brought up young men to the ministry, as well as officiated as pastor to the congregation, does not appear. He died in the year 1721, aged 62. The present meeting-house was built in that year, and Mr. Porter was expected to preach upon the opening of their new place of worship, but alas! death disappointed their hopes, and removed the venerable man from the scene of
This communication was sent to us in May 1820; but was mislaid at the time. Our correspondent will, we trust, accept this apology for its late appearance, Ep.
+ See Noncon. Mem.