« AnteriorContinuar »
who frequently accepts invitations to dinner parties, soon becomes an object of contempt. Our practice is, never to put ourselves in the way of an invitation, and rarely, when invited, to accept one."
The distraction of mind, which ensues from being much in general society, is highly injurious to the proper discharge of a minister's duty, to say nothing of the loss of time which must ensue. For ourselves, we can hardly conceive of a more entire waste of time (and time is the stuff of which life is made), than frequently takes place in paying formal visits. A minister, to feel the spirit of his office, and the claims of his duty to feel a pleasure in its discharge, and a sympathy with the objects of the New Testament, must be a person given to retirement, as well as living in the world--often on his knees to God, as well as carrying aid to man--a student of the Bible--and of the character of Christ. This is the only way in which his work can be magnified. Would to heaven, that our Church abounded in such men of God!
G. C. S.
THE CHRISTIAN PIONEER.
GLASGOW, January 1, 1830.
We know not what truth there may be in the announce, ment made in the following paragraph, but we are sure our readers will be much gratified by the testimony thus borne to the character of an individual, not more remarkable for bis talents, learning, and integrity, than for the zeal and ability and fearlessness with which he has advo. cated the principles of Christian Unitarianism. The testimony is the more valuable, as it is given in a publication which cannot be suspected of any predilection in favour of the Indian Reformer, from similarity of religious faith. The extract is taken from “ The Courier" Newspaper.
“RAMMOHUN Roy. We are happy in being able to announce, from private letters, that this celebrated and accomplished Indian scholar is likely to visit our country ere long, in the capacity of Ambassador, it is said, to this Court, from one of the Princes of Hindoostan. Most of our readers, conversant in the current events of India, will be familar with the name, if not with the writings and merits of this extraordinary personage. Like his countrymen, excluded from all participation in the more lucrative, high, and honourable situations in the State, and dependent on the accumulation of wealth solely for their rise and consequence in society, we cannot be surprised to find, that the early education of the Hindoos should be confined to what may be considered sufficient for obtaining that object in the subordinate situations of office. Under these disadvantages, however, the drudgery and subserviency of a Babooh's career, were but little stimulant to the mind and talents of such a man;" he retired into private life many years ago, and has since devotedly indulged in his favourite literary pursuits. In theological discussions he particularly delights, having made our Sacred Writings bis principal study: to effect which, he has acquired a perfect knowledge of Hebrew, Greek, Arabic, and Latin. He writes English grammatically and eloquently, as his publications attest, and is conversant and intelligent on most subjects. He is a remarkably fine-looking man, about 50 years of age, above the middle size, stout, with open, pleasing countenance, fair complexion, like most Hindoos of caste; mild, gentlemanly, and unassuming in his manners; slow in delivery, but persuasive, forcible, and pointed in argument. Such is an outline of the distinguished native of Bengal, who has been called from his far distant retirement, to represent, we are told, the illustrious house of Timor at St. James's. Without power, wealth, or connexions in the imperial city of Delhi, the character, talents, and learning of Rammohun Roy, have pointed him out as the fittest object for the head of an important mission. Whatever
be its object, the nomination does great credit to the discernment and liberality of the Shah and his advisers. There is no one of the present day from whom we have a right to expect so just and extensive information respecting the internal state of British India; and we doubt not, that advantage will be taken of this enlightened patriot's residence amongst us, to obtain as much useful and general knowledge of the people and country in that quarter of the globe, as may facilitate the discussions that are likely to take place during the ensuing Session of Parliament.”.
In addition to the brief notice in our last Number, of the death of the Rev. Thomas Belsbam, we have to record, that the funeral took place on Friday the 20th November. Mr. Belsham was buried in Bunhill Fields, a burial-place belonging chiefly to the Dissenters, and where lie deposited the remains of many illustrious con fessors, advocates and ornaments of Christian truth and righteousness. To the same grave which contained the ashes of the venerable Theophilus Lindsey, was his friend, associate, and successor, consigned. The Rev. R. Aspland of Hackney conducted the service at the grave; the funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. Thomas Madge at Essex-Street on the following Sunday morning; and the pall at the funeral was held by the Revds. Coates of Walthamstow, W. J. Fox of Finsbury, Davison of Jewin, Street, Tagart of York-Street, Porter of Carter Lane, and Mardon of Worship-Street. Funeral sermons, were preached at most, if not all of the Unitarian Chapels in London, and no doubt at many in various parts of Great Britain. To a large and deeply attentive audience at Glasgow, in the afternoon of Sunday, 220 November, Mr. Harris preached a discourse on the occasion, from 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8.
The Jews.-The Jews who, in France, America, and the Netherlands, are on the same footing with other citizens, will, we hope, receive, in the next Session of Parliament, a complete emancipation from civil disabilities. Peti. tions have already been presented in their favour to the Legislature; and it is the duty, especially of those who have recently been admitted to a fuller share of the rights and privileges of British subjects, to lend every aid to others who are yet suffering from unjust exclusion. Cruel in the extreme, have been the sufferings of the Jews; but the progress of knowledge bas gradually removed or softened down their penalties and privations, till at present they have to endure little, if any thing, more than was suffered by the Dissenters, previously to the repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts. The Jews themselves deny their supposed incapacity to hold land in England; and in point of fact, many professing English Jews have pura chased, and now possess freehold land in their own names, with the intervention of trustees, and others bave sold it without doubt or impeachment of their title. The only disabilities, therefore, of any importance, now attaching to the profession of the Jewish religion in this country, are those which, until lately, were shared by other Dis
senters, and which apply to the qualification for holding certain official and municipal situations. These disabilities were, in the last Session of Parliament, removed, so far as regards Protestant Dissenters, on their making and subscribing a certain declaration, “ upon the true faith of a Christian." These words, therefore, "upon the true faith of a Christian,” constitute the grievance of exclusion and disability under which the English Jews now labour, and the omission of those words, as well in the declaration as in the Oath of Abjuration, would place them in the same situation, as all Protestant Dissenters from the Established religion.
G. C. S.
Died at Port-Glasgow, on the 14th December, Mr. David Hurton, in the 69th year
age. cellent man was well known to many of our readers. There are those, who are now the ministers of various English congregations, who will well remember the kindness with which he always received them, the warm interest which he took in the progress of their studies, and the friendship with which, as a father to a son, he individually entered into their future prospects. Mr. Hutton was a Druggist, and was, therefore, as dependent in his business as any individual could be, on the public for support. But considerations of worldly emolument never for a moment weighed with him, against the decisions of conscience. Nearly thirty years since, he embraced, and to his honour be it recorded, he openly avowed the principles of Christian Unitarianism. For a long period he stood alone, enduring with Christian firmness the scorn and obloquy which assailed him. Gradually, however, the rectitude of his conduct gained a hearing for his faith, and he was happily instrumental in leading several others to join him in the worship of the Father as the only God. All denominations respected Mr. Hutton; another proof, that honesty united with virtue, however obnoxious may be the principles professed, will always secure esteem and confidence. His funeral was attended by a very large company. At the earnest request of the small Unitarian Society of Port-Glasgow, Mr. Harris preached a funeral discourse there on the following Sunday, 20th December. The service was held in the morning of that day, Mr. Harris being obliged to return to Glasgow to preach the lecture in the evening. From the passage, Leviticus xix. 32,
Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God; the preacher, after delineating the comfort, respectability, and happiness of virtuous old age, pointing out the unspeakable value of Christian privileges and hopes, and dwelling on the ima portance and necessity of religious principle, for the perfect developement of virtuous character, and the righteous conduct of life, thus introduced the character of his deceased friend:
« Such do I think to have been the views and feelings which animated our departed friend. It has been my general custom, on occasions like the present, not to mention particularly any traits of the character of those who are gone. There are circumstances and individuals, howa ever, where it is necessary and useful to make special application. It is the death of such an one, on which we are now assembled together to meditate. And it cannot but do us good to reflect on an untiring love of Christian knowledge and of moral excellence, which cast a moral dignity around the scenes of private life—a sterling Christian integrity, which, in opposition to the world's scorn, and the world's indifference, firmly adhered to the path of rectitude—which, whether others would hear or forbear, upheld the standard of Christian righteousnesswhich induced a character naturally retiring, to sacrifice individual feeling for public benefit, and which, amidst the cares and labours of necessary employment, still made it a part of duty to aid the inquiries and build up the virtues of the friends with whom he associated—which, regarding the purity of heaven's truth and God's worship, as more important and more obligatory than the denunciations and death-inflicting statutes of man, openly and fearlessly professed his faith in the proscribed opinions, and after the way which the world called heresy, steadfastly worshipped the God who supported and blessed him; whose private walk was the illustration of his public teachings, both redounding, in their appropriate sphere, to buman improvement, and to God's glory. And standing here, as I do now, to improve the mournful dispensation which has deprived us of our friend, I am forcibly reminded, that the last time I spoke within these walls, was on the dedication of this building to the sacred worship of the One and only God, in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Eight eventful years have