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Scottish Law of Heresy and Blusphemy.

325

of England, which the divines of that 1661, which denounced a capital peChurch very cominonly confute; as nalty first against those guilty of blasarticles to prevent diversity of opi- phemy, and next against those who pion, and which greatly increase di- deny the Trinity. It appears, further, versity of opinion; a3 articles made that the Lord Advocate stated, that in the days of bigotry by men who the law of 1661 was modified by a had no critical skill in the Scriptures, subsequent statute of the Scottish, to fetter the ages of learning and free Parliament in 1695, by which it was inquiry; and yet for £500 per ann., enacted, that for the first denial of the or less money, there are men who will Trinity a man was subject to fine, for subscribe, who will contend for sub- the second to fine and imprisonment, scribing to these same articles, whe-, and for the third to deaih. “ This ther ininisters believe them or not. was the law,” said his Lordship,

"and until it was repealed they were Pudet hæc opprobria,' &c.

bound to respect it.” It is a law “ I am delighted with the prospect' which it would not be very easy to of meeting you in a better state, where respect, even if it were still in full there are no subscriptions to articles force; but thanks to the liberal spirit required, no bigotry, nor any thing of the age, these Acts no longer diselse to grieve or offend any more. grace the Statute-book. On the 21st “ With great esteem I am, &c. of July, 1813, an Act was passed by “ GEORGE BENSON.” which all the old laws in England,

attaching penalties to the denial of When I was in Normandy, four or the Trinity, are repealed, and by five years since, I met with some let- which these two Scotch Acts of 1661 ters of Voltaire, in his own hand, re- and 1695 are both quoted and repeallating to the affairs of Calas, which ed in toto, notwithstanding the respect have never been

published. Should which the Lord Advocate seems to you think your Repository a proper entertain for them. place for their reception, I will trans I think I cannot better testify the late them or send them in French as gratitude I feel to the Legislature for you may judge proper.*

this piece of justice and liberality, JAMES MANNING. than by endeavouring to vindicate it

froin the unjust aspersion, proceeding

from those who ought to know better, Edinburgh, that it is still disposed to prosecute opiMay 9, 1823.

nions which have been held by many N the late discussion in Parliament, of the greatest defenders and greatest

on the presentation of the petition ornaments of Christianity, by such of the Edinburgh Free-Thinkers, the persons as Nathaniel Lardner and Sir existing state of the laws seems to Isaac Newton. have been much misunderstood both I have no doubt that the prosecu. by the petitioners, by Mr. Hume, and tion of Infidels is equally unjust in by the Lord Advocate of Scotland, principle, and equally adverse to the whose professional character ought to spirit of Christianity, which needs no bave insured more correctness, on a such props. I shall be happy to learn subject on which he had given advice that there are no unrepealed Scottish in his official capacity to the Sheriff of Acts which justify interferences with Edinburgh.

persons of this description, and that It appears that Mr. Hume and the in Scotland, Christianity rests exclupetitioners were under the impression, sively on the solid basis of its own that all which was done by the Sheriff external and internal evidences. Upon was completely justified by an Act of what principles of law or justice Deists the Scottish Parliament, passed in can be deprived of books which are

sold in every shop, and found in every

gentleman's library, I cannot at all We shall be glad to receive these imagine. letters, either in the original or in a

ANTITRINITARIUS. translation as may be most convenient. ED.

Sir,

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Clapton,

nation would often luxuriate on the Sir,

June 11, 1823. dreadful possibilities of hell-torments. I

HAVE met, accidentally, with “A Thus in his “Dissertation concerning

Serinon delivered at New Salters' the End for which God created the Hall, on Thursday, December 5, 1822, World,” he represents “ God's judgat a Monthly Meeting of Ministers ments on the wicked in this world, and Churches. By John Boutet In- and also their eternal damnation in nes. Printed at the request of the the world to come," as serving to inMinisters and Congregation.”. This crease in the elect“ a relish of their Serinon, entitled “The Doctrines of own enjoyments :” and in one of his Grace conducive to eminent Holiness,” sermons he says, that “ however the is designed to rescue Calvinism from saints in heaven may have loved the the imputation of an Antinomian ten- damned while here, especially those dency.

of them who were near and dear to In pursuance of his design the them in this world, they will have no preacher professes (p. 26) to describe love to them hereafter," but their suftwo systems. “ One,” he says,

re- ferings “ will be an occasion of their presents sin as a trivial evil, a mere rejoicing, as the glory of God will human frailty," and "represents God appear in it.” (See his works by Dr. as conniving at that frailty,” and Hopkins, (1806,) Mem. p. 29; 1.513, " eternal judgment as a bugbear.” 514; IV. 509.) The other, which is evidently the

« The ministers and congregation” preacher's system, comprehends “ the were, however, now left to forget that doctrines of grace,” according to Gal- hapless portion of their race, the vicrin ; how worthy to represent the tims of their Almighty Father's preteriscriptural" grace of God which bring. tion or reprobation, and thus, without eth salvation to all,” I leave to the the consciousness of inhumanity, they decision of your readers.

might indulge some self-gratulation on The preacher appears on this occa- the preference with which they had sion to have practised no uncommon been favoured, for the Calvinists aré, theological policy; for, like the paint- probably, few (and the case of those er, heRo casts discretely into shade" few is most justly pitiable) who scruwhat might have been offensive in his ple to class themselves in the number picture. Thus he is profoundly silent of the elect. There inust, indeed, on that obvious and, indeed, undis. have been some danger that an auditor puted result of his system, the creas of the preacher would have been pretion, by the Almighty Parent of man- pared to say to one who could not kind, of a very large part, if not a receive “the doctrines of grace” aclarge majority of his offspring for no cording to the version of Calvin, purpose, but to advance his glory by " stand by thyself, I am holier than their endless guilt and endless misery; thou.” The following note, at least, or, in the language of President Ed. is too well adapted to the encouragewards, by "leaving them eternally to ment of such an assumption. perish and be everlastingly tormented It may appear to some unaccounin hell ;" which to the gentleness of his table, but it is a fact by no means youth“ used to appear like a horrible unprecedented, that those who have doctrine,” till at length this acute me embraced Antinomianisın, sometimes taphysical Calvinist, his heart proba- adopt, as their ultimatum, à creed bly steeled by his scholastic theology, very similar to that which was taught but to his own apprehension his mind by Socinus. Surprise, however, will enlightened by an “ extraordinary in- cease, when we remember that the fluence of God's spirit,” discovered two systems are built on principles that the once “ horrible doctrine" common to both. Unscriptural and was exceeding pleasant, bright and inadequate views of sin are the founsweet.” This writer, of whose talents dation on which they each rest. Both and character orthodox Nonconfor- destroy the very principles of morality, mists are justly proud, adopted the by their attack on the divine law. The system of Calvin in all its horrible one represents sin as altogether venial, consistency, as I had occasion to ob- the other ás venial in a certain class, serve in another place, and his imagi. The one intimates that God does not

un

censure

on

Mr. Little’s Sermon in Hall of Representatives, Washington. 387 see sin at all, the other that he does cluded that the projector of a note so not see sin in his own people. Those well calculated to excite, or to enwho are at all acquainted with the courage popular prejudice, had forcontroversy between us and those who gotten to reverence the maxim, de style themselves Unitarians, know that mortuis nil nisi verum, or, at least, they found an objection to our scheme that he may be not unfairly classed of Atonement on the very words of among those “ teachers of the law,” Scripture, viz. that God not said to whom Paul denounces to his young be reconciled to 13 by the death of friend Timothy (1 Ep. i. 7,) as his Son, but we are said to be recon- der standing neither what they say, ciled to God.""

por whereof they affirm."! The preacher then refers to “ Drs.

J. T. RUTT. Magee and Wardlaw," as having

most satisfactorily answered the ob- Mr. Little's Sermon in the Hall of jection,” and quotes“ a preacher who

the House of Representatives, styles himself a high Calvinist,” who had preached that “ it was never ne

Washington. cessary to reconcile God to his dear (Extract from a recent letter from elect: he was reconciled to them from

America.) all eternity; all that was wanted, was something to reconcile his dear cele O.15th February last, a notice to him." The note concludes with a ligencer, (Washington city,) stating,

ignorant men” and that next day (Sunday) the Rev. Ro“ their ill-digested schemes.” bert Little was to preach at the Capi

For this Vote, the ministers and tol in the Hall of the House of Recongregation” who requested the pub- presentatives, by permission of the lication of the sermon, are not re- Speaker, at eleven, A.M. Then folsponsible. It serves, however, while lowed a notice by the Chaplain, a bringing those who style themselves young Presbyterian minister of the Unitarians” into strange company, to Princeton school, to this effect: “The shew how a learned orthodox theolo. Rev. Mr. Breckenridge gives notice gian may prove himself (to indulge that Mr. Little is not to preach in the the charity that "hopeth all things”) Hall of the House of Representatives ignorant as the most ignorant men by his re

request.” The Editors of the respecting the ". creed taught by So- paper, both of whom attend on Mr. cinus.” Those who, from their inqui- Little's ministry, added, Mr. Little ries into the subject, have a right to does not preach in the Capitol by his describe the creed of Socinus, are well own request, but in consequence of aware how thaç Christian Confessor, the desire of several highly respecfrom a pious apprehension of encour- table persons communicated to the aging "unscriptural and inadequate Speaker” and on Monday morning views of sin,” ayd of thus represent- an article appeared in the same paper, ing it

as altogether venial,” was written by one of the most distinbetrayed even into an infringement of guished Members of Congress, exthe divine prerogative of prescience, pressing great pleasure in consequence lest he should represent God as the of hearing so able a discourse as that author of sin, or diminish, in any de. which Mr. Little delivered on the pregree, the accountableness of man. ceding day. This was not all. The

Yet if the writer of this note can Chaplain was so unwise as to attempt quote any “creed taught by Soci- to catechise the Speaker for allowing nys,” in which that reformer made an Mr. Little to officiate, but he was in

attack on the divine law,” and thus formed that the disposal of the House attempted to "destroy the very prin- on Sundays belonged not to the Chapciples of morality,” your pages are, I lains, but to the Speaker ; and that know, at his service ; for Tros, Ruty- his interference was considered as imlusve is the maxim of your adminis- pertinent, arrogant and offensive. The tration. . Let him, then, avail himself rule has always been for the Speaker of your impartiality, and produce his to invite ministers of all persuasions authority for such an injurious impu- who are introduced to him, to preach tation on the “ creed tauglit by. So in the Hall

. The Chaplains, as a Socious." It will otherwise be con- matter of course, preach in rotation

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when no such appointment is made, gence, so that he probably was the but they have no right to interfere first who preached as a Dissenter in with what the Speaker does; and it these parts. In these troublesome is notorious that all sects stand pre- times the Dissenters met for social cisely on the same level. Mr. Little's worship at Kingston, and having spies sermon was so much liked, that 200 or at the outer gate, they gave notice to 300 copies were immediately sub- the congregation when they saw inscribed for, chiefly by Members of formers approaching: One time, on Congress. The subject was, Public notice given, the minister disappeared Usefulness : it has been published, by means of a trap door in the pulpit. but I have not yet seen it." Nobody The congregation were singing Psalms thought of asking any of the orthodox when the officers entered. I conjecReverends to publish what they deli- ture this minister might be Mr. Wil•vered in the same place.

lis, or his successor, Mr. John Cor

BETT, ejected from Bramshot. Vide SIR,

Chichester. a very advantageous account of bim in BY the labours of Dr. Priestley, Calamy's Abridgement, Vol. II. p. easy to trace the progress of error in sermon for him. He died Dec. 26, the Christian Church, from the first 1680. alteration which took place in the pre “Mr: John Buck. In 1691, he vailing creed respecting our Lord, till preached and printed a funeral sermon the doctrine of the Trinity assumed for Mr. Thorowgood of Godalming. to itself its greatest power. And to And when Mr. Smith of Binderton those who consider Ünitarianism to died, he was buried in his own chapel, be synonymous with Christianity, we opposite his house. His pall was supmay suppose it would be matter of ported by six clergymen, who dropt interest to have information, how the the pall at the door, and would not plant which appeared buried under enter in, as the chapel had never been the rubbish of the cloister, has been consecrated. Mr. Buck preached in able again to shoot forth successive the chapel his funeral sermon; and leaves, and is in our day so promising, that was the only sernion ever preached as to give us the pleasing hope that in that chapel. He lies buried in the it will become a great tree, bearing Cathedral (or subdeanery) churchyard. leaves for the healing of all the nations. The date upon his tombstone is NoThis object might, I conceive, be easily vember 1700. accomplished, if some one connected “Mr. John Earle was pastor of a with our different places of worship church at Gosport, in Hampshire, would publish, with your permission, from whence he immediately suicthrough the medium of the Reposi- ceeded Mr. Buck at Chichester. He tory, any authentic particulars that was the son of Mr. Earle, ejected from could be obtained relative to the intro East Tarring, and a relation to Dr. duction of the Unitarian Creed into Earle, Bishop of Salisbury. Vide their respective neighbourhoods. Calamy's Account, Vol. II. p. 687.

Under this impression, I have taken He lies buried near Mr. Buck. The the liberty of transmitting a copy of date upon his tombstone is February some brief memorials of the introduc. 3, 1705. The poetry upon it was the tion and state of Nonconformity at composition of Mr. John Bouchier. Chichester, which are preserved in the In his time there was a separation in book of Baptismal Registers belonging his church, with Mrs. Le Gay at their to the Chapel in Baffin': Lune; the head. They chose Mr. John Eaton their record is lieaded with these words, minister; and their meeting-house, “ An Account of the Succession of though much smaller than the present, Dissenting Ministers at Chichester was on a part of the same ground. from the beginning.".

The Presbyterians in that time met in It then proceeds : Dr. Calamy, Little London. Upon Mrs. Le Gay's in his Account of Ejected Ministers, death, the congregation broke up, and Vol. IV. p. 832, mentions John Wil- joined the Presbyterians, then under LIS (ejected from Wollavington) as the pastoral care of Mr. Robert Bagpreaching very privately at Chichester, ster, and Mr. Eaton was chosen pastor and dying before King Charles' induls of Stoke Newington, where he diedl.

ipon.

Succession of Dissenting Ministers at Chichester.

329 “Mr. Robert Bagster was minis. the Doctor, he became at length enter here about 26 years. He was a tirely free and generous in his sentiworthy man, and quite the gentleinan. ments. The single point he had in Before he came here, he was chaplain view, was to discover the truth, withto Lady Hanhy. He lies buried near out any fear of the consequences ; the north side of St. Andrew's, East which he was fully convinced must Street, Churchyard; but has no stone. always in the end prove right, as he He died about the year 1730. Mr. firmly believed God himself made that Browne of Portsmouth published a the rule of his own actions. That sermon preached at his ordination, freedom of sentiinent which he imJanuary 9, 1706-7; and Mr. Loveder, bibed from his conversation with Dr. of Havant, preached his funeral ser- Avery, he ever after retained through

his whole life, without wavering, for I “ Mr. John Bouchier never was pas- declare I never conversed with any tor of the church at Chichester; but one more candid and generous in his he preached there alternately with Mr. sentiments. Mr. Predden was so scnBagster, some years. At one time sible of his happiness from the Docthey held Arundel, at another 'Mid- tor's acquaintance, that he has often hurst, but the longest time Havant repeated it to me, that to him he was with Chichester; and preached alter- indebted for his right sentiments and nately at these places. "He lies buried freedom from bigotry.' in the aisle of St. Andrew's Church, “N. B. The above account was comEast Street. The date upon his stone municated by Mr. Thomas Baker, suris September 20, 1720.

geon, in King Street, London, an “Mr. John Predden came to Chi- intimate friend of Dr. Avery's and chester Dec. 25, 1730, and continued Mr. Predden's. pastor of this church to the day of his “Mr. Thomas Joel came to Chideath, the 26th January, 1761. He chester Nov. 1760, as an assistant to lies buried in the south west corner of Mr. Predden, in which capacity he St. Martin's Church, in this city. continued till Mr. Predden's death; He was the son of a gunsmith in and in about a fortnight after that the Minories, London, where he was time, he was chosen stated pastor, and born. He received his academical continued to officiate in that relation learning under Dr. Thomas Ridgley, till July 17, 1763. a very rigid Independent. He preach “ John Heap came to Chichester ed first at Andover, a borough town August 6, 1764." in Hampshire; afterwards at Whit Thus far the record in the alreadychurch, another borough town in the mentioned book : by whom it was same county. From whence he re- mnade does not appear. It is all in one moved to Guildford, in Surrey, where hand-writing. And the remarks about he was ordained by Mr. Daniel Mayo, Mr. Predden are given as an extract, of Kingston-upon-Thames, Mr. Daniel as it is afterwards said, from Mr. Neale, (author of the History of the Baker, of London. The family of Puritans,) and others. Mr. Neale, that Mr. Baker originally, I believe, being an Independent, did not join attended the chapel. Some of the in laying his whole hand on his head descendants or relations live now in in the imposition of hands, but his Chichester and its neighbourhood, but little finger only. He remained pastor are members of the establishment. at Guildford twelve years. Dr. Avery Dr. Baker of St. Alban's, who is also retiring to Guildford two or three of this family, supports the Unitarian summers, Mr. Predden fell into an interest in that place, and perhaps he intimate acquaintance with him, which could communicate many more interproved a great happiness to Mr. Pred- esting particulars relative to the early den. For as Dr. Avery told me him- state of Nonconformity in this city. self, he found in Mr. Predden great After the words “ August 6, 1764,” honesty and integrity, and a wind some one else has added respecting strongly disposed to embrace truth; Mr. Heap, " that he preached till but at the saine time as strongly 1788, when becoming infirm, he reshackled and fettered by the preju- signed.”. dices he had imbibed in his education, Mr. Thomas Watson succeeded him, from which, by his acquaintance with and continued pastor till 1803, when

VOL. XVIII.

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