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Hints concerning Unitarian Subscription Cases. “both spiritual and temporal, flows ; it Lord Jesus') who died for all, that they is to the LORD ALMIGHTY 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. y. 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” to “THE MIGHTY," the ever-living and unchange- MERCY or Gon," the Original Source and able God; and to describe Jesus Christ as
proper Author of all the blessings conferthe 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 conmade knowu to mankind through the gos- gratulate you and the Society on so speedy pel.
a return to the common language of our If we are " indebted to THE LORD AL- ancestors, and to that “ form of sound 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 6 endowed us by nature,” with those
THOMAS FOSTER. “talents--however great,” by which we are distinguished from every other order
London, Feb. 25, 1816. of beings in tbis sublunary world.
SIR, bis service, then dear friends,” adds the
OBSERVE that Unitarian places Epistle, “in obedience to the manifestation of his power (which is fresh every
of worship are rising up in differmorning, for the earth is full of his good ent parts of the kingdom, and that ness] 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.
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 fit. sons 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 hearts ; and as you may be enabled, secrets building held on a short lease and ly pray 10 THE ALMIGHTY 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 ex. ceased, “
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, withWill." 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 ibis Epistle enjoins, sanction is necessary to satisfy the and not ever to Jesus “ whom be (God) private individuals to whom applihath made-both Lord and Christ.” Acts cants appeal. i. 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 pri- discontinuance of public worship on vilege of the true disciples of Him [sthe Unitarian principles, come into the
Mr. Evans on the field of Waterloo.'
155 hands and be the property of some Overysche, near the wood of Soignesto permanent Unitarian body. The same Neerysche, with the little river Ysche provision should surely be made in front, so as to cover Brussels and whenever a new place of worship is Louvain! The Duke of Marlborough raised by the help of the Unitarian proposed to attack them immediately, public, for every such building is in and Averquerque approved of the de. some sort an experiment. If the ex- sign. But it was opposed by General periment fail, let not individuals or Schlangenburgh and other Dutch of other sects reap an advantage. ficers, who represented it in such a
Once more, I recommend most light to the Deputies of the States earnestly that every new chapel should who attended the army that they rebeerected on Freehold Ground, and that fused to concur in the execution. The sufficient ground should be purchased Duke being obliged to relinquish the in the first instance to lay out a bu- scheme wrote an expostulatory letter Tying-place. There is an unseemli- to the States General, complaining of ness in Unitarians being interred with their having withdrawn that confiTrinitarian forms of religion, which dence which they had reposed in him must be the case where they have no while he acted in Germany." church-yard of their own: besides Thus it appears that in the reign of that it is sometimes in the power of Queen Anne the Post of Waterloo clergymen to insult the ashes of sup- was fixed upon by the celebrated posed heretics when death brings Duke of Marlborough, with the view them under their “ little brief autho- of annibilating the power of Louis rity." The tombs of fathers have a the XIV th. at that time (like Bovahold upon the religious profession of parte), the great troubler of Europe ! children when better ties are weak. And as his Grace is said " never to ened; and sepulchres give a solem- have fought a battle which was not nity to Houses of Prayer, and supply wou, nor to have besieged a town that sentiment of reverence which that was not taken,” he seems deeply fails to be excited by the small and to regret that the perverseness of his unimposing temples of Dissenters. For military associates prevented bis reapthese reasons I always inquire of those ing the usual laurels on this occasion.. who solicit my subscription to our It is, however, singular that the Duke new chapels, whether accomodation of Wellington, in conjunction wiih be contemplated for the dead as well similar allies, should a century after, as the living !
in the reign of George the Third, ZELOTES. (June 18, 1815) consecrate this same
Post of Waterloo by a signal victory Islington. March 1, 1816. for the restoration of the descendants Sir,
of Louis the XIVth., as the best WE insertion in your valuable means of securing the peace and haprious fact, respecting the field of This is is a curious fact, and the more Waterloo, will be gratifying to the worthy of attention as a parallel bemore intelligent class of your readers. tween these two distinguished British It is taken from the Life of the Duke Generals hath been drawn by writers of Marlborough. in the seventh vo- of the present day. Such is the mulume of the British Biography, a work tation of human affairs—such the chiefly written by the late Dr. Joseph revolution of empires. May the awTowers, and uniformly favourable to ful and decisive battle of Waterloo the interests of Civil and Religious ensure the permanent tranquillity of Liberty.
the civilized world! Torrents of « On the 15th of August, 1705, blood have been poured forth in the the Duke of Marlborough moved unrighteous career of ambition. It from Mildert to Corbais, and next was time, as at the birth of our Sa. day continued his march to Genappe, viour, that the Temple of Janus should from whence he advanced to Fischer- be closed, and that Peace, the legacy mont. On the 17th Geaeral Aver- of the Redeemer to his disciples, querque took the Post of Waterloo, should diffuse her blessings among the and next day the confederate army nations of the earth. I am, Sir, was drawn up in order of battle be
Yours respectfully, fore the enemy, who extended from
Mr. Wright on the Unitarian Society at Thorne. Mr. Wright on the Unitarian Society answered in the negative. I then at Thorne,
gave them some account of his cha. Wisbeach, March 7, 1816. racter, and of the manner in which SIR,
be bore the unjust and cruel treatTHE Unitarians at Thorne, in ment he had received. This led some
Yorkshire, having, through the to think they had received false im. medium ofthe Monthly Repository [xi. pressions respecting him. Having 120.), made known their intention of proceeded as far as seemed prudent at bụilding a meeting-house, and solicit- that time, before I left them I said, ed the aid of the friends of the Unitarian “I have told you as much as I think cause in the undertaking, a short will be useful at present, if I live to account of the origin, progress, pre- see you again I shall have something sent state and prospects of the Uni- further to say to you,” and exhorted tarian Society in that towu and its them to keep their minds open to vicinity, may not be unacceptable to conviction, and not to be afraid of your readers.
examining any subject. In the summer of 1805, I first vi. About six months after I visited sited Thorne ; it was in consequence them again, and found their prejuof a letter received by my worthy dices had been greatly alarmed by the friend, Mr. Vidler, informing him books which had been sent them. that some persous in that town and They had even consulted together neighbourhood, were favourable to whether it would not be best to rethe doctrine of the universal restora- turn the books and desire me to visit tion ; but had never heard any preach- them no more ; but good sense pre. er who taught it, and having heard vailed so far as to lead them to resolve that a preacher of that doctrine some- to read the books first; a first, intimes travelled in Lincolnshire, they clined them to a second, reading; and were anxious he should visit them. On I had now the pleasure to find sevemy arrival I found them all Trinitari- ral of them were become Unitarians. ans, and learned that most of them be. I again preached several discourses longed to the new connexion of Metho- among them, and found, though the dists, and that they differed from their multitude was fled, which was no brethren only on the subject of future more than I expected, the number of punishment, having adopted the sen- converts was sufficient to keep the timents of the late Mr. Winchester. standard erect, and become the foun.
During my first visit I preached on dation of a society. About this time the love of God, on the doctrine of a donation of books was sent them reconciliation, and on future punish- from York, including some of Dr. ment. The place of meeting was a Priestley's works; these were read barn; a crowd of people attended, with much attention, and contributed and a considerable impression seemed to their progress in knowledge and to be made. I spent two evenings in establishment in the Unitariau Chrisconversation with a pretty large party, tian doctrine. and found, though many persons were Till the year 1810 their number full of inquiry, they laboured under increased but little : they, however, strong prejudices; I had occasion to re- persevered in their inquiries after cal to mind a maxim which I have al- truth, openly avowed their religious ways found useful, i. c. to despair of sentiments, held meetings among nothing which it is practicable to at. themselves and did what they could tempt. As a proof of what their to edify one another, and instruct views and feelings then were, I will their neighbours. I usually visited mention two things. The good wo- them twice in a year, preached seveman at the house where I lodgedral times each visit ; sometimes in asked, “ Are you an Arian?" I re- some of the neighbouring villages, and plied, “ No, I never was an Ariau." assisted in settling any differences She then said, “ If you were an which had arisen among them. SeArian I dare not let you sleep in my veral of the first converts were rehouse." Dr. Priestley's name being moved by death; a few new ones mentioned, I perceived it excited were added. They had from the first alarm. This led me to ask if any of many difficulties to encounter. They them had either known the Doctor were poor, unlearned people. Their or read any of his writings? They religious neighbours, who thought the
On Poetical Scepticism.-No. I.
157 doctrines they espoused damnable he- its answering the end designed. Meetresies, attacked them on every side ; ings for the worship of the one God but they soon became equal to the have been held, and well conducted, contest with their opposers, by never for several years, in a private house attempting to dispute about words, nor but many persons who would attend to meddle with criticism, to which they in a chapel will not go regularly to were utterly inadequate ; but always a private house, even if it were large keeping close to the plain facts and enough to contain them. positive declarations of scripture, I trust it will not be thought imwhich all Christians admit, and proper, for one who has happily sucbringing every controverted point to ceeded in forming the above society, the test of those universally admitted and assisting in bringing it to its prefacts and declarations.
sent promising state, to solicit, on In the autumn of 1809, a person of behalf of the brethren at Thorne, the respectable character, an avowed un- pecuniary assistance of the friends of believer, came from a neighbouring Unitarianism iu different parts of the village to hear me preach at Thorne, kingdom, that they may be euabled and was much affected hy what he to complete the building they are heard. This led bim to an examina- about to erect for the exclusive wortion of the true Christian doctrine, ship of the one and only God. Perand issued in his avowing himself an
mit me to do this, with much deferUnitarian Christian. His conversion, ence and respect, through the medium and firm and candid exertions to pro- of your valuable Repository ; which mote what he believes to be divine will much oblige, dear Sir, truth, with the influence of his worth
Yours, &c. of character, brought many other
R. WRIGHT. persons to attend, and produced an important accession to the Unitarians On Poetical Scepticism. at Thorne. During the last two years,
No. I. several respectable persons in that “ Sure he that made us with such largetown have received the Unitarian
discourse, doctrine, and are zealous for its suc- Looking before and after, gave us not cess. Thus after occasional labours This capability and GORLIKE REASON and exertious for more than ten years, To rust in us unus d.” things are come to that promising
SHAKESPEARE. state which renders it not only desi. 66 So charming is divine philosophy, rable, but highly necessary to have Not barsh nor crabbed as dull fools sapan Unitarian chapel at Thorne, and pose, a minister placed there, who might But inusical as is A pollo's lute.” act as a Missionary in the surrounding
Milton, district, where much inquiry is ex SIR, cited, and many openings for public THERE exists, at the present day, preaching are found. The prospect a curious species of infidelity, is highly promising, and the success which, although not ofteu obtruded of the cause in the country between on the public, has recently made conGainsborough, Doncaster and Selby, siderable progress among amiable and will materially depend on what is virtuous minds. It seems, therefore, done at Thorne. I speak from per- to deserve a more regular exposure sonal knowledge, and feel very deep- than it has yet received, since it dely concerned for the success of the prives those of the holiest consolaplan now projected by the frieuds in tions of the gospel who are best able that place.
to feel and most worthy to enjoy. The expense of erecting the pro- them. Though somewhat difficult posed chapel, &c. is already before to be defined, it may be described your readers. It must be admitted as a substitution of poetical feeling the plan proposed is economical, and for religious principleman avowed the sum raised by the people among dislike of truth- and a contempt for themselves as large as can be expect all belief in which any share is aled, considering they are most of them lowed to the reasoning faculties. The poor. The plan of building has not defenders of these singular paradoxes, been resolved on without much de- which seem to have their origin in liberation, and a rational prospect of Germany, express great veneration
On Poetical Scepticism.--No. I. for Calvinism, which they esteem as ciple it is founded, it is evidently not a beautiful creation of the fancy, and the joy of believing. Those who feel which they regard with peculiar fa- it do not pretend to regard the objects vour as not built upon any rational of their delight as true. They do not foundation. Of Unitarianism they ex- apply them to their own condition. press the utmost dislike and scorn. They cannot even fancy they regard They deem every interference of rea- them in the same light with those son with system as arrogant and pro- who look on them as inseparable fane. Religion is thrown back by from their existence; who repose on them into the regions of imagination them as their solace under the cares and mystery, as something too sacred of life, and rely on them as the supto be examined or mingled with the port of their dying hours. But the business of life, and too majestic to assertions of orthodoxy must be either be submitted to our choice or appro- true or false ; and if our opponents val. At the same time, their rever- enjoy them not as true they must if ence refines it into a phantom-a they admire them at all, admire them gorgeous dream-which would vanish as a fable. Aud ibis, in plain lanif too nearly inspected. They one guage, is the whole basis of the unmoment declare the opinions they eu defined emotion which constitutes logize as above all scrutiny, and the their religion. They contemplate the next acknowledge they could not en- orthodox system as a prodigious creadure it. It is their principle, there- tion of human genius, and as a vision foré, to oppose all serious inquiry; to in which the terrible and sublime arc inculcate love where there can be no strikingly contrasted. So that their respect; to set up a kind of sentimen- reverence for the objects they desig tal admiration in the place of belief; nate as sacred places them ou a level and to inveigh against all attempts to with the dreams of Mahomet, and the discover theological truth as harden- mythologies of Homer. ing the heart, clouding the fancy, What is it then which is offered and throwing a chillness over all the us in the room of Christian hope ? social affections.
Nothing surely but what we may In exposing the fallacy of this novel possess in full perfection with it. The scepticism, I shall not enter into ma- poetical delight to be received from ny of the important points suggested the contemplation of beautiful fictions by the inquiry. It would lead to a need not be placed in the stead of a discussion too extensive were I to aim conviction of divine realities. To the at shadowing forth the necessary con- enjoyment of fable as such it is absurd nexion between truth and virtue, at to require a belief in its actual exisshewing that imagination has increas- tence. Who ever supposed that to ed in lustre in proportion as know- relish the “ Midsummer's Night's ledge has extended, or at proving Dream," or the “ Tempest,” it was that genius is independent of opinion necessary to believe in the sportive and our feelings distinct from our fairies that “ creep into acorn cups creeds. My object will be first to and hide them there," or in the pure maintain that the Deist has no source and delicate spirits that float in the of enjoyment which rational Chris- air with strange music? And, on the tianity would diminish ; and secondly, same principle, why must we admit to prove that, even as a matter of the devil into our creeds to enjoy the poetical association, the doctrines of sublimities of Paradise Lost, any more Unitarianism are far superior to that than satyrs and witchcraft in order system of popular theology which the to be enchanted with Comus? Though sceptic fancies he admires.
rejected as a religion, all the wonders While the adversaries of rational of Pagan superstitiou have charms investigation deride the scantiness of for us still. In the grandest regions the Unitarian creed, they boast that of imagination, beyond the limits of they feel all the magnificence of Cal- this material world, they stand as vinism, and enjoy what the more cre. fresh and as glorious as ever. Time dulous believe; and this pleasure they has passed over them without witnessassert to be infinitely superior to that ing their decay. There Hercules still which results from a conviction of rests on his club and Apollo tunes his less mysterious doctrines. But in what immortal Tyre. There Proteus rises does it consist? On whatever prin- from the sea ; there old Triton “ blows