Imágenes de páginas

regret if I have thrown any obstruc- bow implicitly to its dictates. I will reject tion in the way of inquirers after truth, no doctrine on any other ground than and feel from thence an increased that it is not to be found in the Holy obligation to declare unreservedly my

Scriptures, and earnestly desire that every renewed devotion to Unitarian princi.

? thought may be brought into captivity to ples.

finci- the obedience of Christ. Amidst the errors, misconcep- The doctrine of the Trinity, as it is tions and frailties of our present state, not expressly taught in any part of the it is consolatory to reflect that an infi. sacred volume, so also, it appears to me, nitely wise and benevolent Being pre- is not a necessary inference from any sides over all, who will produce good thing that is clearly asserted; and that from evil, and that, however irrational, which is neither an explicit statement contradictory and weak our conduct nor an unavoidable deduction of Revelamay be, “ we can.” eventually, “ do tion, cannot be obligatory on our faith. nothing against the truth, but for the U pon reviewing what I before wrote, truth."

I do not find that I have much to retract Conceiving it to be due to the inte.

except on this point. I was chiefly in

fuenced to assent to the doctrine of a rests of religious truth, as well as to

distinction of persons in the Godhead, by the vindication of my own character,

applying the term “ Word" in the introif my former letter was made public duction of John's Gospel, immediately to that it should be counteracted through the person of Jesus Christ; whereas I the same medium, I transmit you am convinced now it is a personification herewith an extract from a letter ad- of the wisdom and power of God, by dressed by me to a Baptist Missionary which he created all things, imparted stationed in this island.

existence and intelligence to man, comDANIEL HARWOOD. municated his will at sundry times and

in dirers manners, and dwelt with all bis Kandi, May 23, 1821. fuluess bodily in Jesus. All the expresI .... wish that I had possessed a .. sions which are considered as teaching or degree of prudence .... which might implying the deity of Christ, may, I think, have preserved me from forming such a be referred to this indwelling Word, precipitate judgment, and prevented the without violating the uni-personality of necessity which I have long considered the One God. The title “Son of God" inevitable, of retracing my steps, and is not equivalent to God, but is synonyagain claiming the name of Antitrinita-mous to Messiah ; as is that of Holy rian.

Ghost to Divine Spirit, which seems, If I have deceived you, it was not until therefore, to be only an appellation disI had first deceived myself. I have never tinctive of the exertion of supernatural attempted to couceal my doubts, and I influence. wish not for a moment to retain the The Trinitarian doctrine does not even character of orthodox after I cease in seem to be essential to the Calvinistic popular estimation to be entitled to it. scheme. I do not see wherein the hypoI have always felt it my duty boldly to thesis I have just stated derogates from avow what appeared to me to be truth. the dignity of the Mediator ; or why the From the same motive I have at different indwelling of the Deity, equally with the tiines professed myself an Unitarian and union of one person of the Trinity, should a Calvinist, and from a regard to truth, not capacitate him for offering an efficaand a conviction of duty, I now again cious atonement for sin. I can still, disclaim being considered as a Trinita- therefore, maintain the same great and rian. I trust that I am, as you say, “not glorious ends to be answered by the only a sincere but a humble inquirer after death of Christ as I did before. But I truth.” By a humble inquirer after truth, perceive a fallacy in the argument on I conclude you intend one disposed to which I founded the necessity of an submit to the authority of revelation. atonement, and of its being offered by a Unitarians are frequently charged with Mediator of infinite dignity. God is infi. setting Reason in opposition to Revela. nitely worthy of our love, and if we were tion, and with rejecting every thing which capable of giving him all that he is worthy does not harmonize with their own pre. to receire, it would be an infinite fault to conceptions. With the truth or false fail in that love; but being finite creahood of this imputation I have nothing tures, he does not claim to be loved by to do at present, farther than to disavow us infinitely but supremely, and our fault any such intention myself. I will rest in withholding from him that love which only upon universally-admitted principles, is his due, though of supreme magnitude confine Reason to the province of ascer- or the highest that our natures are capataining what Revelation teaches, and ble of, still falls short of infinitude. Au


the deductions, therefore, which I made. Brief Notes on the Bible. before from this point may be reversed.

No. XIX. As, from the constitution of our nature, it is impossible we can perform an infinite “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ duty, sin cannot be an infinite evil, de shall all be made alive; but every serve an infinite puuishment, require an man in his own order."-1 Cor. xv. atonement of infinite value, or a Media- 22, 23. tor of infinite dignity. The great point IT is customary with Christian dithat has always been urged in support vines in discoursing upon the sub of the personal deity of Jesus Christ, is the necessity that exists that it should be

ject of a resurrection, to assume that so in order to his making atonement for

the whole human race is to be reanisin; but if there is no such necessity, the mated en masse, but that, however inference is obvious. I admit that his many ages individuals may have slept, death answered all the public ends which they will be unconscious of any interare ascribed to it in the moderate Cal- val between their deaths and their vinistic scheme; that, as the representa- springing at once and together into tive of mankind, he offered a satisfaction renovated life. to public justice ; that it was the same It deserves consideration whether in nature, though superior in degree, to this notion be quite unimpeachable. the sacrificial institutions of the Mosaic

Though the sleep of death be so

Touch the cle dispensation ; being a symbolical and vi

profound, that, on awakening from it, carial representation of the consequences and desert of sin, and calculated to excite

however protracted, it may appear and promote repentance and faith. At Ike in instantaneous transition from the same time, I will not deny, that I one state of existence to another; yet think repentance conveys all the ideas of the idea of remaining torpid, say for a individual atonement which God requires few thousand years, till the day appointof man. It implies an acknowledgmented for a general resurrection, is a very that the divine law is holy, just and cheerless and chilling one to a virtuous good : that our lives are forfeited to mind, consoling as it may be to men Divine justice; that punishment is our of an opposite character. equitable portion ; and that in future we May it not have a twofold tendency, desire to honour the great Lawgiver, by to weaken the stimulus to virtue, and a course of exemplary obedience. As

subdue the fear of retribution in the those only who thus vindicate the law of God and make it honourable, will be par

minds of the vicious ? doned, while the impenitent will be pu

That the final consummation of this nished, the honour of the Lawgiver is world's affairs is awfully distant, may maintained and magnified, and every be rationally inferred from a retro. purpose which the common doctrine of spect of its eventful history, its preAtonement proposes is accomplished. sent state, and the mighty events and

I see sufficient reason for doubting purposes still to be accomplished. * the validity of the principle on which Mr. The world has been nearly 6000 Fuller's View of the Systems is founded; vears in arriving by slow and intor and as all the grounds on which my

rupted pace, at its present imperfect former change of sentiments principally

state of civilization. Christianity has rested, have vanished, it is nothing surprising to find the system built thereon,

effected much good, but how much sink like the baseless fabric of a dream."

of a dream.. remains to be effected ;-it has made I have no expectation of seeing any new considerable progress, but what imarguments in support of Trinitarianism, mense regions it has yet to enlighten, stronger and more irresistible than those; and even to penetrate,-need not be and, though it may cost me your friend- dwelt upon; and we cannot even imaship, I must, therefore, despair of ever gine, reasoning from analogy to the being able to receive it as the doctrine of past, that its destined effects will be revelatiou.

crowded into a very limited period.

Nor, in the contemplation of that highDANIEL HARWOOD,

ly ameliorated condition of the human race which it has an obvious tendency to produce and ultimately establish, can it be reasonably supposed that

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

(the once popular notion of a mille. tion of those patriarchs from their ninm out of the question) God has grates, but sueresaire resurrections of appointed the time when the world departed mortals, in some order for shall have become most worthy to which due provision had been made. exist, as that of its impending disse- Pamiliar as the passages containing lation.

that allusion (in three of the ErangeHence, may we not conclude, or, to lists) are to the generality of Carisspeak more modestly, hare we nottians, any particular stress is seldom premises that seem to bear us out in laid upon them in adverting to the the inference, that, in calculating the doctrine of a resurrection, with regard life of the world, with every allowance to the period of its occurrence; which for the acceleration of its progress by I cannot help considering as a little the march of the human intellect, it singular. should be considered as searcely yet I am aware that Christ is called of age ?

“the first-fruits of them that slept," * We must all appear before the but could Paal mean other than the judgment-seat of Christ;"-of a fellow- first visible fruits? Was it his purcreature upon his throne of exaltation. pose to unfold by retrospection the Glorious privilege! But why all at state of the dead from the demise of once? Space, indeed, is unlimited, Adam to that of our Saviour! Had and ample enongh for such an assem- he-was it requisite—the key to such blage ; but can kuman ingenuity de- a mystery? As in Adam, (I would vise a reason, can any scriptural one paraphrase him,) by his transgression, be aduced for postponing the judge all are subject to death, you must prement upon one generation, till all suc- pare for the common lot of mortality; cessive generations to the end of time but, be comforted, in Christ shall all have been spent ?

be made alive. He came with a comPaul himself, whatever interpretation mission to announce in terms the be forced upon his occasional language, doctrine of a resurrection, to be our seems to have had no idea of death first exemplar of it in his person, and proving a state of long insensibility. so decisively, as ought to quiet the * I am in a strait,” he says to the disputations which have agitated Jews Philippians, “betwixt two, having & and Gentiles upon this most important desire to depart and to be with Christ, of all subjects. which is far better : nevertheless, to Our Lord's (and other) splendid anabide in the flesh is more needful for ticipations of the final judgment, wheyon." . This is too plain to be mis- ther literal or figurative, might be understood. Had he supposed that, sufficiently answered by the inultitudes die when he would, he must await the of quick and dead then remaining to be universal summons, so intense was his summoned to their account, although unxiety for the diffusion of the gospel, there should have been in the long inthat such a longing to depart could terval periodical resurrections and denever have mixed itself with his apos. cisions upon human conduct. tolic zeul in the mission he was fulfil. The notion of a long duration of ling

the sleep of death is contradicted by a if there be any passages in Scrip- universal feeling. When a dear and ture relied upon as indicating a si- valued friend. has departed, how curmultaneous resurrection of the whole rent is the language, He is released race of mankind, I would (waving the from a world of trouble, and is Transfiguration) contrast with them happy! Whatever theory of a ge. our Saviour's well-known allusion to neral resurrection may be inculhis Father's being designated the God cated, and coldly assented to, the of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob, heart of man is far from recognizing and his deduction from it, that “God it, and never ceases to contemplate is not the God of the dead, but of the the felicity in possession of deceased living," as intimating pretty siguifi- relatives and friends, whose lives were cantly not only the foregone resurrec- not of a tenor to check such conso

ling inferences. And what are we

to call an universal feeling but the • Philipp. i. 23, 24.

whispered dictate of Nature ; what, but the “still, small voice" of the forbid us to grieve, nay, it allows, but it Deity?

sanctifies and soothes our mourning. It is a subject far too sublime and I can with pleasure address you, my mysterious for any mortal to indulge

friend, as one who, I believe, firinly emin the vanity of penetrating, or in the

braces religions principles, and who will

be disposed to open your heart in the expectation of approaching with a

hour of your lamentation, to their power chance of arriving at any warranted

aud influence. May your consolations, conclusion upon it; but if there be as well as your sorrows, abound. You any one point of view more than ano- sorrow pot' as those who are without ther, which his reasoning faculty, hum- bope and without God in the world, bly and diffidently exercised, contem- No: you look as with adoration, so with plates as harmonizing with the known confidence and resignation, to the Being goodness of the Deity, it is there that who made all things, as your Father in his reflections upon it naturally ter- heaven, and you will see and own a paminate and centre: and sure I am. ternal hand holding out to you the cup, that there can be no presumption in

and mingling, with wisdom and compasthe hope-a confident hope that our

sion, the bitter but salutary potion.

You will recollect your Divine Master, re-union with the friends who have

and say after him, “ The cup which my gone before us, may not be deferred

heavenly Father giveth me, shall I not to any very remote period. It is the drink it ?" hope that I fondly and devoutly che. The conduct of Aaron has, on this me. rish; it is the most cheering that can lancholy occasion, suggested itself to my accompany departing spirits; and great thoughts as an admirable example of reis the consolation I derive from the signation and fortitude under trying cala. persuasion, that it is not negatived mities,-" He held his peace.” (Lcvit. X. either by Christ, or by his less en

1-3.) May you be calm and composed, lightened apostles.

though borne down with sorrow. You BREVIS.

have a hope that will elevate you in the season of dejection. It is hope in a Pro

vidence that adjusts all events, and con· The Uniturian Mourner comforted.

ducts to a happy issue all that appears LETTER V.

to us dark and afflicting and unaccountaClifton,

ble. The ways of Supreme Providence

may be unsearchable, and his judgments March 11, 1822.

past finding out, but mercy and truth are T HERE send you a copy of a letter the foundations of his throne. “ I know," 1 given me by iny esteemed friend, says the Psalmist, “that thy judgments the late Mr. Jaines Lloyd of Gainsbo are righteous, and that in faithfulness rough, which he had himself intended thou hast atlicted me." (Psalm cxix. 75.) to send to you for insertion in your You look forward with hope to a future Repository.

state, where all tears shall be wiped away GEORGE KENRICK. from our eyes, where sorrow and sigbing

shall cease, where the junction of the Copy of a Letter teritten by the late righteous shall be renewed under every

Dr. Toulmin to Mr. Lloyd Cose- advantage, and perpetuated with fulness ly, on occasion of the Death of his of joy ; where fulness of joy, glory and Wife.

immortality shall richly compensate the

Birmingham, transient afflictions of the present mo. DEAR SIR,

June 10, 1807. ment.
As I passed through Bilston yester-

I shall tire you ;-and, after all the day, Mr. Basford communicated to me

syunpathy which I can express, after all the inourufal intelligence of the heavy

the consolations my pen can suggest, I and unexpected affliction with which you

must still leave you bereaved and mournhad been visited.

ing. I cannot renew the life which was I cannot but feel sensibly for you, and

dear to you ; yet it is (I know it) a con

solation to us to know that others feel affectionately sympathize with you. Your

with us and for us. Assure yourself of heart, I have no doubt, is torn with anguish, and for some time will be op

this comfort. May the God of all consopressed with deep sorrow. Every one at

lation comfort and support you. our Monthly Meeting of Ministers yester

I am, dear Sir, day owned the justness of your grief and

yours, with esteem,

JOSHUA TOULMIN. entered into your sorrows. They must, -they may be great. Rcligion does not



May 29, 1822. 31, at Whitton Park, the seat of Sir THE Gentleman's Magazine for Benjamin Hobhouse, Baronet, where

1 April, 1822, in an interesting he was upon a visit, and expired in a memoir of the late Sir Henry Charles quarter of an hour. Englefield, Bart., F.R.L. and A.S., says, “ He was many years one of

Birmingham, the vice-presidents of the Society of Sir,

June 4, 1822. Antiquaries; and on the death of the A LLOW me to send you some late Marquis Townshend, was elected Al extracts from a sermon I preachpresident, a well-deserved, but short- ed on the 28th April last, on account lived honour, his religious sentiments of the death of my esteemed friend being the alleged barrier to his re- the Rev. Edmund Butcher, from Dan. election, the Earl of Aberdeen being ix. 23: “For thou art greatly bechosen in his room. After this, he loved.”

ROBERT KELL. retired from all active concern in the affairs of the Society."

The recent loss of one of my earliest The fact above-stated naturally ex- and dearest friends will plead my excites curiosity respecting the circum- cuse for the discourse I am about stances of the case. What were the addressing to you, and my loss is not obnoxious sentiments ? Ought any merely personal, it is a general loss; peculiarities of theological opinion to it is a loss especially to the denomi. interfere with the election of a learned, nation of Christians to which we beaccomplished and honourable man to long, and of which he was a distinan office in a Society, whose professed guished ornament and minister. You ohject is the investigation of History have doubtless heard, and those who and Antiquities? And does not such had the pleasure of knowing him have a Society, by refusing to elect a man heard with deep regret, of the death simply on account of his religious opi- of the Rev. Edmund Butcher, late of nions, espouse the cause of opposition Sidmouth, with whom, for nearly 40 to those opinions, and thus pursue an years, I have lived in the most entire aim totally extraneous to the avowed and uninterrupted harmony and affecdesign of its institution?

tion; I therefore feel the separation as An elucidation of this case from of a brother endeared by the recolany of your correspondents will oblige lection of long-known and tried excel

PHILANDER. lencies, of most sincere and faithful

attachment. We both lived in the Daventry Students.

metropolis, and turned our serious M R . BELSHAM requests the fa

thoughts to the ministry about the W vour of the Editor of the Repo

same time, we were associated in the sitory to insert the following correc

most endearing manner all the time tions in the Catalogue of Students

of our preparatory studies, and we educated at Mr. Coward's Institution

entered and left the academical roof at Daventry.

together, and commenced our minisThe letter (d) is incorrectly pre

terial career within a few weeks of fixed to the names of Joseph Shrimp

each other--we have endeavoured to ton, Esq., 1783, and John Yerbury,

support and encourage each other for Esq., 1784, both those gentlemen

nearly thirty-five years in which we being still living.

have been engaged in our Master's Mr B. adds, with much regret, that

vineyard. And that he has not been the same letter may too justly be pre

an idle or unsuccessful labourer, his fixed to the name of Thomas Smith,

various works will bear testimony: his Esq., of Easton Grey, who, to the

exertions in the pulpit, his producinexpressible grief of an extensive cir

tions from the press, all prove that he cle of friends. was attacked with a had the sacred cause in which he emstroke of apoplexy, on Friday, May

liarked with so much ardour, truly at

heart, and to this object all his ample * The same memoir mentions in the powers were devoted. Such characters, list of his publications, “ A Letter to the my friends, if I may so say, are no Author of the Review of the Case of the one's private property; they belong to Protestant Dissenters," gvo., 1790. the public; they have devoted them

« AnteriorContinuar »