Imatges de pÓgina
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reprinting of scarce and valuable tracts by former writers, and to the publication of original works by living authors. The Country Societies, having smaller funds and more limited means of distribution, purchased their books of the Parent Society; and though some change has taken place by the Country Societies printing some works for themselves, yet the former practice has to a great extent continued to the present time.

The multiplication of books on the Unitarian doctrines by writers of ability and reputation, has tempted the managers of the London Society to give novelty and variety to their Catalogue by the occasional insertion of some of these. The same plan was adopted by the Provincial Societies; and the London Society had in consequence to supply the latter not only with its own books, but also with such copies of the other publications as they required for their subscribers. The consequence has been, that its funds have been in a very great measure diverted from their original purpose of printing, to that of buying the books of others for the accommodation of the Country Institutions, which could not otherwise so readily obtain them. The Committee has, on this account, been able for some years to print but few new works, and has been obliged to suffer some valuable tracts which were once in their Catalogue to remain out of print.

The London Society, when first established, being the only association of the kind then in existence, derived support from subscribers from every part of the kingdom. It possesses still a considerable proportion of country members: but the rise of the Provincial Societies has prevented its acquiring a progressive increase to its funds from contributors of this class, and they have operated in many instances to lessen them by withdrawing some to whom it was more convenient to pay their money to, and receive their books from, the local associations.

It is also to be remarked, and the fact may be received as some impeachment of the zeal of Unitarians, that the efficient support the Society has derived from the metropolis, considering the great number of Unitarians which it contains, has been very

inconsiderable, and that of late years, instead of extending, it has been gradually on the decrease.

The Society, taking these circumstances into consideration, has, at its late Quarterly Meetings for business, been deliberating upon the necessity of taking some steps to give, if possible, new life and vigour and efficacy to its proceedings, and to endeavour to interest the Unitarian public, espe cially in London, on its behalf. At a meeting held on the 11th of November, a Special Committee was appointed to inquire into the present state of the Society, and consider the best means of promoting its renova tion and more extensive usefulness. The Committee made its Report to a Special Quarterly Meeting held on the 9th of December, which was then unanimously adopted; and it was again resumed and confirmed at a regular Quarterly Meeting held on the 13th of January instant.

In conformity with the suggestions and recommendations of the Committee in this Report, the Society has resolved, that in its future circulation of books, particular regard shall be paid to the distribution of its own works. With a view to the disposal of the present stock, and the wider dissemination of its publications, it has been determined to form two sets of Unitarian tracts from the books which are its own property-the one in octavo, which will extend to about ten volumes, and the other in duodecimo, which will comprise about thirteen volumes, and these are to be extensively advertised. It has also been resolved, that in future the capital of the Society shall be applied to the reprinting of scarce and valuable Unitarian books and tracts, and especially of such as may be approved of those which have already been admitted into the Society's Catalogue, and to the publication and the purchase of such useful and approved books and tracts as could not otherwise be printed, or so extensively circulated.

As an increased capital will, in the first instance, be necessary, in consequence of the exhausted state of its funds, for carrying this plan into execution, the Society has determined to make an appeal to the Unitarian public, to solicit that pecuniary as

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sistance which is requisite, if not for the continuance of its existence, certainly for rendering its utility commensurate with the importance of its objects, and the extent of the field which is now open for its labours. The gentlemen by whom the preceding resolutions were unanimously passed confidently trust, that to those who set a due value upon their principles, and are properly alive to the importance of their universal dissemination, this appeal will not be made in vain, and that it will have the desired effect of augmenting the Society's available funds, both by donations and by an addition of life and of annual subscribers. The Society fixes no sum as the maximum of its wants, because it has opportunities of usefulness fully equal to any amount that may be placed at its disposal.

By the present rule of the Society, the Committee is composed of such Subscribers as intimate to the Secretary their wish to be summoned to its Meetings. It has been thought that this rule might now be advantageously changed, by deputing the management of its affairs to a committee of twelve gentlemen, chosen annually at the Meeting in March. A resolution to this effect has been passed, and the Secretary has been directed to summon a Meeting to be held on Thursday, the 10th of March next, of all the Subscribers resident within the delivery of the threepenny post, to approve or rescind this resolution, and to transact other business.

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excepting that which furnishes scholars with tracts for perusal, but which, I conceive, cannot fail to produce beneficial effects.

I have not very sanguine expectations of much good resulting from the common routine of a mere catechetical system of education, which, without bringing the reasoning powers of the pupil into action, simply exercises the memory. Information, learned by rote, and too often considered a task, is generally soon forgotten, or at least does not store the mind with useful knowledge in the degree which might be anticipated.

Convinced of the efficacy of systems which, providing for the examination of scholars, require the expression of their ideas as much as possible in their own language, I feel gratified in being able to inform your readers and M. S. that a well-wisher to the cause of education amongst the poor, and an admirer of Sunday Schools, has been lately engaged in the arrangement of a small work compiled upon this principle, and intended for the use of Sunday Schools, particularly Unitarian ones; and that, provided he was indemnified from the expense of publishing, he would immediately send it to the press. Its plan agrees with the suggestion of your Correspondent, in furnishing a series of "copies containing moral and religious truths." Only the best writers in the school to be allowed to copy these selections: thus, by instituting an honorary privilege, inciting emulation. The work would be divided into two parts; the first, a selection of scriptural passages, forming a regular system of religious truth; the second, a series of moral precepts, calculated to imbue the mind with a fund of useful and practical knowledge. To each copy would be annexed questions, the answer to which must be furnished by the pupil from the copy he has written. These questions, it is hoped, would not only

the

in

of the scholars, but would also be of use, by exercising the abilities of the pupil, from the necessity he would be under of perfectly understanding what he transcribed before he could frame corresponding answers.

Conceiving such a work would be of no little service in the cause of education, and of great use in Sunday Schools, and as it would be likewise

cheap, (not exceeding one shilling in
price,) I consider it deserving of sup-
port by the Unitarian body. S.

than to the brethren, to gain an ac quaintance with the Christian Scriptures in their original tongue. That is a labour they will never repent of: and, moreover, to study that tongue agreeably to the ancient and genuine very little additional trouble, and several important advantages, will give birth to that characteristic feature of Unitarianism which it seems desirable that it should possess. Sincerely hoping that this plan may be adopted by many, I shall proceed to make a few remarks on the mode of pronouncing Greek to which we have alluded.

In various learned works, the true pronunciation of the Greek letters is elaborately detailed and evinced by suitable proofs; and this is a subject which does not present much difference of opinion. I may refer the reader to Matthiæ's Greek Grammar, the Port-Royal Greek Grammar, and a tract appended to Scapula's Lexicon. One mode of pronouncing the vowels has prevailed in almost all languages, ancient and modern, except the English; and the ancient Greek utterance was analogous to this. In a word, the Greek vowels a, 1, 1, are to be sounded like a, e, i, in French or Italian, or as they are in the English words papa, fête, profile. T is to be sounded as the French u, a sound which our language does not present. The dipthongs ou, &, are to be sounded as ou, ei, in our words soup, receive; the dipthong av, as our ou in round.

Among the consonants, we need only remark, that is to be sounded liks ds, and that x, ch, has a peculiar guttural sound, such as is heard in Welsh and German, but not in French or English.

SIR,

HE remarks on the use of the which appeared in the Repository some time ago, under the signature of Hellenistes, (Vol. XVIII. pp. 205207,) may perhaps be remembered by some of your readers, or at any rate appear to me worthy of being so. The idea of cementing our union by using, more or less, among ourselves, a language in some sense our own, has something in it ingenious and pleasing, and, in the scheme proposed by Hellenistes, seems not only free from all objection on the score of ill consequences, but really calculated to yield no inconsiderable benefits to our body. An engaging token of united brotherhood would be provided, while the general scholarship of Unitarians in an important and appropriate branch of learning would be much promoted. But if I judge rightly, the cardinal point of the plan is not the use of Greek in the common way, but the adopting a peculiar, that is, the original, mode of pronunciation in speaking that tongue, so that even a few Greek words spoken or read, ev toïs tɛλɛíos, would afford at once a characteristic pledge of the sentiments of the speak

er.

Hence it appears that, to give effect to the plan, there is not required any profound or unusual acquaintance with the language, but that a very moderate one would answer the end very fairly. This I say to obviate an apprehension which may be felt, that a laborious course of study is required by the proposal, such as few would be able or willing to bestow. No pains, in my judgment, will be illemployed which are spent in acquiring a deep and critical acquaintance with Hellenic lore; but as far as regards the present purpose, it would be sufficient to become well acquainted with the Greek of the New Testament, an acquirement in itself of so great value, that this or any other plan which shall furnish an additional stimulus to the pursuit of it, might on that ground only be deemed of very laudable tendency. Let us then consider it as recommended to all Unitarians whatever, who have it in their power, nor less to the sisters

These are the principal points to be attended to in the pronunciation of the letters. To the syllables belong time and tone-in other words, quantity and accent; both requiring considerable attention in the ancient languages, but not to be discussed in this place. It is a part, however, of the proposed plan to pronounce the Greek agreeably to the ancient written accent, which we all know has been entirely abandoned in modern schools, and the Latin accent substituted in its place; so that a schoolboy who shall read Greek with the accent which was given it by Demosthenes and Plato, is severely castigated. For EKET, Baσi

λeùs, άwπos, our masters teach us to say, έκει, βασιλευς, ανθρώπος, cum multis aliis. In this attention to the true accent consists one of the principal peculiarities of the proposed method, and one of its essential features. Some difficulty occurs, in certain cases, in maintaining a due observance of the quantity or time of the syllables: for instance, an Englishman laying the accent of the first syllable of avos, is apt to shorten the second, and pronounce the word as if it were written av poros; but this is not necessary, and may be avoided by a little time and pains. The word av poros should be sounded pretty much like the English word schoolmistress. A fuller explanation of this matter has been already given in the Repository for August 1823, pp. 442-450.

The proposal of Hellenistes will, after all, by many of your readers be deemed whimsical and useless. Let them not, however, condemn it without consideration; for perhaps its general adoption among us might impart a new charm and interest to our society, and be the parent of very happy consequences. T. F. B.

Letter from John Adams, Ex-President of the United States, to Dr. Bancroft, of Worcester (Mass.). [The first number of a religious newspaper at New York, entitled "The Christian Inquirer," published so lately as Jan. 1, 1825, has been sent to us by the kindness of a friend. We perceive with pleasure that use is made in it of The Monthly Repository, and in return we take from it the following letter, which is a pleasing example of the way in which the statesmen of America employ their retirement.] Quincy, January 1, 1823. for kind letter of the 30th December, and, above all, for the gift of a precious volume. It is a chain of diamonds set in a link of gold. I have never read or heard a volume of Sermons better calculated or adapted to the age and country in which it was written. How different from the sermons I heard and read in the town of Worcester, from the year 1755 to 1758! As my destiny in life has been somewhat uncommon, I must beg pardon for indulging in a little

Dear Sir,

egotism. I may say I was born and bred in the centre of theological and ecclesiastical controversy. A Sermon of Mr. Bryant, minister of the parish, who lived on the spot now a part of the farm on which I live, occasioned the controversy between him and Mr. Miles, Mr. Porter, Mr. Bass, and many others: it broke out like the eruption of a volcano, and blazed with portentous aspect for many years. The death of Dr. Miller, the Episcopal minister of this town, produced the controversy between Dr. Mayhew and Mr. Apthorp, who were both so connected with the town, that they might almost be considered inhabitants of it. I may say that my eyes opened upon books of controversy between the parties of Mr. Buckminster and Mr. Miller: I became acquainted with Dyer, Doolittle and Baldwin, three notable disputants. Mr. M'Carty, though a Calvinist, was not a bigot; but the town of Worcester was a scene of disputes all the time I was there. When I left, I entered into a scene of other disputations at the bar, and not long afterwards, disputations of another kind, in politics. In later times, I have lived with Atheists, Deists, Sceptics; with cardinals, archbishops, monks, friars of the Roman Catholic persuasion; with archbishops, bishops, deans and priests, of the Church of England; with Farmer, Price, Priestley, Kippis, Rees, Dering (?) and Jebb; with the English and Scottish clergy in Holland, and especially with Dr. Maclean, at the Hague. I have conversed freely with most of the sects in America, and have not been wholly inattentive to the writings and reasonings of all these denominations of Christians and philosophers. You may well suppose, then, that I have had controversy enough: but, after all, I declare to you, that your twenty-nine Sermons have expressed the result of all experience and reflection, in a manner more satisfactory to me than I could have done in the best days of my strength.

The most afflictive circumstances that I have witnessed in the lot of humanity, are the narrow views, the unsocial humours, the fastidious scorn and repulsive temper, of all denominations, excepting one.

I cannot conclude this letter without adding an anecdote. One of the zealous mendicants for the contribu

"

tions to the funds of Missionary Soci
eties, called on a gentleman in Haver
hili and requested his charity. The
gentleman declined subscribing, but
added, that "there are in and about
the town of
nine clergymen,
ministers of nine congregations, not
one of whom lives on terms of civility
with any other, will admit none other
into his pulpit, nor be permitted to
go into the pulpit of any other. Now,
if you will raise a fund to convert
these nine clergymen to Christianity,
I will contribute as much as any other

man."

I am, with great esteem, your friend,
JOHN ADAMS.

WE sometimes wonder that all the world does not become Christian, forgetting that Heathen nations see our religion for the first time in connexion with the character of Christians by profession, who exhibit all the vices and crimes incident to human nature. The truth is thus hindered by our unrighteousness, and the name of God is spoken ill of, or at least his revealed will is disparaged, by the Gentiles.

This reflection is forced upon us by a passage in the Quarterly Review, compiled from two works upon the North-American Indians, one by the celebrated Mr. John Hunter, who was

GLEANINGS; OR, SELECTIONS

AND

REFLECTIONS MADE IN A COURSE brought up amongst them, and the

OF GENERAL READING.

other by Mr. Buchanan, a resident in Canada, who in an account of the Indians has inserted a description of their religion from the pen of Mr. Heckewelder, a Moravian missionary, long conversant with this people. The doubts of our "red brethren" are the artless expressions of strong and honest minds, and their want of faith may excite pity, but not resentment or despair of their eternal condition.

No. CCCCXIV.

Conduct of Christians a Stumblingblock to Pagans.

No. CCCCXIII.

The Chinese.

In a sensible" Memoir concerning the Chinese," by John Francis Davis, Esq., F. R.S., M. R. A. S., inserted in the" Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society," Vol. I., the author states it as his opinion, that a careful examination of the authentic annals of China, undertaken with a proper degree of scepticism towards the misrepresentations of national vanity, will establish the following facts: " that the antiquity of China as an Empire, has been greatly exaggerated, and that it cannot be dated earlier than the reign of Chi-hoang-ti, about B. C. 200; that it was then confined almost entirely to that half of modern China, which lies between the great river Keang, and the confines of Tartary; that it was subsequently split into several independent nations, which, after various contests and revolutions, were formed into two Empires, the Northern and Southern, and became finally united under one head, about A. D. 585; that China has been the theatre of as bloody and continued wars, as have ravaged most of the other countries of the globe; that it has twice, and at no very distant periods of time, been completely conquered by foreign barbarians; and that its last conquerors exercise over it, at this day, an imperious, and by no means impartial sway, but one in which the precedence and the trust are, in most cases, conferred on the Tartar."

"The Indians, says Heckewelder, believe that the Great Spirit, knowing the wickedness of the white men, found it necessary to give them a great book, and taught them how to read it, that they might know and observe what he wished them to do and to abstain from. But they, the Indians, have no need of any such book to let them know the will of their Maker; they find it engraved on their own hearts; they have had sufficient discernment given them to distinguish good from evil, and by following that guide they are sure not

to err."- -"The white men told us a great many things which they said were written in the good book, and wanted us to believe it all. We would probably have done so, if we had seen them practise what they pretended to believe, and act according to the good words they told us. But no! while they held their big book in one hand, in the other they had murderous weapons, guns and swords to kill us poor Indians! Ah! and they did so too; they killed those who believed in

their book as well as those who did not. They made no distinction!"-" When the Indians converse on these subjects," observes Hunter," they say, The white men tell Indian be honest: Indian have no pri. son; Indian have no gaol for unfortunate debtors; Indian have no lock on his door."

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