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there might be a saving effected, of keeping up 11,000 places of worship, and of the industry of 17,000 clergymen now improperly withdrawn from the industrious classes, and greatly exposed, from their superfluous numbers, to the corruptions of idleness.
Lord Mount-Cashel affirmed, “it had been said, the Church property of these kingdoms was swollen to too great an amount for the support of the Establishment. He denied the position, and maintained that when a suitable number of churches were built, and a suitable number of clergy provided for those churches, an equitable division of the property of the Church made in the mean time, there was not an excess of means for the wants that would arise.” This statement is well and trebly guarded, for we know not how many churches his Lordship would have built, or how many ministers he would have appointed, or how large a sum the Establishment may require to support it. But we would ask any rational man, if not his Lordship, whether the property of a Church which takes more for its support than all the churches of France, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Prussia, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Turkey, America, be not "swollen to too great an amount?” We ask, if the religious welfare of 198,728,000 people cost but £8,852,000, whether it be not manifestly wrong, and demanding reform, that the clergy of 6,400,000 hearers should receive £8,896,000? Is it not most preposterous that the clergy of 192,328,000 fewer souls, should yet receive forty thousand pounds more than those of all the Christian world besides? It has been proved, that at fourteen, twenty-five, and thirty years' purchase of the lands and revenues of the Church of England
and Ireland, every Minister of every denomination in England and Ireland, might receive an adequate salary, and yet upwards of One hundred and seventy millions of money be applied to the liquidation of the national debt of these kingdoms. Seeing these things, it is vain to suppose that any plan short of substantial justice, will satisfy that cry for reformation in the Church of England and Ireland, which is now beginning to be raised, and which will go on swelling in its sound, till the demands of equity and righteousness be completely fulfilled.
A UNITARIAN PROTESTANT.
THE CHRISTIAN PIONEER.
GLASGOW, October 31, 1829.
The deputations from the Synod of Ulster, and the Remonstrants against its proceedings, met according to appointment, in Belfast, when the terms of separation as to the various Funds in which both parties have an interest, were amicably arranged. Since that meeting, the Presbytery of Armagh, with the dissentient voices of one minister and one elder, have retired from the Synod, Presbytery,” retaining their records and title. The resolution of the congregation at Dunmurry, of which the Rev. H. Montgomery is the minister, embodies the grounds and reasons for the conduct of those societies which have withdrawn:—" That the Synod of Ulster, having in their proceedings, during the last three years, violated the right of private judgment, which is the fundamental principle of Protestantism_having trampled upon their own code of discipline, adopted unanimously in 1825_having broken the solemn compact, under which ministers entered that body-and having enacted overtures tending to produce most shocking hypocrisy amongst ministers, and denying to the people
the free choice of their teachers, we can no longer, as Presbyterians valuing our own Christian privileges, and desiring to transmit them unimpaired to our posterity, continue in communion with the Synod of Ulster.
Mr. Ferrie's Gown, and Mr. Ferrie's Subscription.
We learn from the newspapers, that some of the Glasgow friends of the Rev. John Ferrie, have lately presented him with a Gown. There are gifts which confer honour on a man, and there are others which will bear a far dif. ferent interpretation. Whether all would have contributed to its purchase, who have done so, had they been aware of his offer of subscription, or known of the following letter, it is not for us to say; but we do know, that all who were applied to, did not sanction what they deemed to be inconsistency at least, if not a more flagrant violation of principle. In consequence of the following letter to the Rev. Robert Park, Moderator of the Synod of Ulster, the majority of the Synod's Committee, have, we understand, pledged themselves to place their Students under Mr. Ferrie's tuition, during the ensuing Session. “ Rev. and Dear Sir,
“ To your question, ' Are we to understand you, when you promise to renew your act of Subscription to the Westminster Confession of Faith, as solemnly professing that you believe ALL and EVERY the doctrines of that Confession, to be founded upon and agreeable to the Word of God?' I answer, most certainly you are so to understand me. Earnestly hoping, then, that what I have now written may prove satisfactory to the Committees and Synods, I subscribe myself, Rev. Dear Sir,
Your very obedient Servant,
JOHN FERRIE.” We bave heard of instantaneous conversions, and this may be an instance. All and every doctrine contained in the Confession of Faith, Mr. Ferrie affirms that he believes to be agreeable to the Word of God! Great indeed is his faith! We doubt very much, if the Synod to whose intolerant dictation he has bowed, would all say as much. What! plenary inspiration, original sin, the right of the state to persecute error, election, reprobation, eternal torture, infant damnation, the Trinity,—all agreeable to the Word of God! Mr. Ferrie is going to the land of Catholics, and he has perfectly qualified himself for entrance, into their communion. Robert Robinson-soul of Christian integrity, of moral worth, and fearlessness-bas said, “As to personality in God, a trinity of persons, I think it the most absurd of all absurdities; and, in my opinion, a man who hath brought himself to believe the popular doctrine of the Trinity, hath done all his work; for, after that, there can be nothing hard, nothing inevident, the more unintelligible, the more credible; and as this serves the purpose of producing implicit faith in pretended guides, priests will always try to keep it in credit.” In these sentiments we perfectly concur. We think but poorly of any man's qualifications to teach the science of mind, who can set at nought all moral evidence in his professions, and give his unqualified assent to doctrines engendered in the ages of darkness. We revere the man of conscience, be he Trinitarian or Unbeliever; if he honestly and unreservedly profess and advocate his opinions, in the collision of conflicting sentiments, truth will be elicited. But of all unqualified declarations of faith in formularies of man's compiling, we say, in the words uttered by a Prelate of the Church of England, in the House of Lords in 1779, “I am not afraid, my Lords, of men of scrupulous consciences; but I will tell you whom I am afraid of,-and they are the men that believe every thing, that subscribe every thing, and that vote for every thing."
The income of the British and Foreign Unitarian Association during the past year, was £1903, the expenditure about £ 1400. The Association bas printed in the same period, 3553 tracts, and purchased 4394, thus adding to the Book Stock 7947 tracts. They have distributed 7989.
From the Fourth Annual Report, we make the following extract:
One gentleman, a layman, writes to them from a district in Yorkshire, as follows: “ There is a rather curious circumstance which has caused many individuals in this neighbourhood to read Unitarian tracts. The late Dr. Priestley used, when a resident in Leeds, to pay an annual visit to the Craven Dales, to pursue his geological and mineralogical studies; and by the kindness of his disposition and the urbanity of his manners, he gained the esteem of many of the poorer class. There are old men living in this part, who used to accompany the philosopher on his uncertain rambles; one of them keeps an inn at Kilnsay, and the house be inhabits, was erected chiefly at the doctor's
's expense. These old friends of the doctor, are never so much “ at home” as when conversing about him. They almost idolize his memory; and their esteem for his character has extended to their families, and created in them a desire to peruse Priestley's tracts; and from perusing them, they have been induced to read those of other authors.”
The 1st, 2d, and 3d Volumes of the CHRISTIAN PIONEER, and any of the single Numbers to complete sets, may be had on appli. tion to Mr. HUNTER, St. Paul's Church-Yard, London; or the EDITOR, Glasgow. The price of the Volumes, 4s. 6d. each.
“My Religious Experience, at my Native Home."
(Continued from page 97.) I LIVED in the country, where a decease makes a more solemn and lasting impression upon the living. The event is more striking, as being less frequent in a scattered population, and more deeply affecting, as the deceased is generally known throughout the town. His departure excites a prevailing seriousness, and a mournful sympathy with the bereaved relations. There is with many of the people a sort of religious pause in their ordinary pursuits, while they attend the solemnity of interment. At the funeral, death seems to be arrayed and surrounded with the insignia and the pomp of his terrific dominion. Here are the sable, the sighs, and the tears of the mourning. Here the trembling prayer is put up to Him who gave, and who hath taken away; who bath clouds and darkness round about him, and righteousness and judgment for the habitation of his throne. Now, the mourners pass along in procession, to take the last look of the dear remains. And then, the sympathising multitude press around to pay their parting regards. With what shrinking awe did I likewise approach the black enclosure of the dead? The spectacle was fearful. It was the certain evidence that man's body is but dust; and I turned away dismally realizing that I, too, must die. There lay the familiar form of the well-known neighbour. A little while ago, and I saw him living, active, and happy; now what a change! That awful coffin and the ghastly countenance within, used to haunt my remembrance for months, and in some instances, for years. At night, on retiring to rest alone, I used to smother myself in the bed-clothes, to hide my eyes from the funereal visions with which my imagination peopled the darkness. Knowing that I was born to die, I used to suffer under the clinging apprehension that I might be cut down in early life, as one or two young ac