« ForrigeFortsett »
of India, you would then have kept “ The institutions that exist among to your avowed authority. And us for the promotion of the great what makes your error in this case purposes of religion are few in num. the more inexcusable is, that direct ber, and languishing, for the inost mention is made of a Unitarian part, in operation."
We are not preacher in India ; namely, William sorry to hear it; but have we then Roberts. It is somewhat strange, misrepresented the fact ? sir, that you should have fallen into II. The second charge is, that the errors which have now been cor- we said that the spirit of Unitarected.
rianism is not a missionary spirit, A LOVER OF TRUTH AND instead of the spirit of British Uni.
tarians. We spoke of that spirit,
not abstractedly, but as exhibited Here are six grievous charges in operation, and embodied in the urged against us; and we will take actions of its converts. We conthem in the order in which they are stantly speak of the spirit of Jacoblabelled,-only requesting our read- inism, or Radicalism, or Popery, or ers first to refer to the paragraph Whiggism, or Toryism, from its maanimadverted upon, and to decide nifestations, without any misreprefor themselves whether it was drawn sentation being dreamt of. But it up in an unkind or uncandid spirit. so happens, that we did make the We can only say, that upon re- very distinction which our rebuker perusing both our own statement charges us with corruptly confoundand the paper in the Unitarian ing; for we added, what he has Repository, the general complexion forgotten to quote, that the writers of the facts is even stronger than in the Repository urge that the appears from our epitome.
doctrines of Unitarianism 1. First, we said that the Unita. for missionary purposes," but that rian Missionary Association, during Unitarians "are not diligent stewthe last year, was an almost entire ards in dispensing them ;" and after failure, instead of the missionary specifying the distinction, we added, labours of that association. We what we still think, that it avails see no misrepresentation in this. little, since it admits “the spiritual The missionary institution is allowed inefficiency of the system, even as to have failed in its missionary la- regards its converts." We however bours, which was the very idea we maintain, that not only are Unitameani, in few words, to convey. rians, as the Repository itself adBut we might go further, and jus- mits, "rich, yet inefficient," but tify the words literally as they stand; that the spirit of Unitarianism itself, for the paper in the Repository ex- is “not a missionary spirit.” We pressly states, in contrasting this forbear dwelling upon this point at institution with a flourishing one in present, and will only requote more America, that “ When we turn from in full what we are charged with this gratifying picture to the report misquoting in abridgment. “The of our own institution, and the state spirit of Unitarianism in this kingof primitive Christianity (Unitari- dom," says the Repository, “ is not anism!] in England, we feel pain- the missionary spirit. Very many fully the contrast that presents itself are hostile to missionary exertions,
...The missionary labours of the and especially the more rich and Unitarian Association, during the influential. The societies that have last year, must be pronounced an been and are have struggled into almost entire failure." -- Again : being, and struggle to exist. They “ The societies that have been, and have in some cases been formed by are, [including, of course, this asso- a few, in opposition to the will of ciation, ] have struggled into being, the many; they have been supported and struggle to exist." — Again : by a few, while the many looked on, either in apathy or
cannot falsify. If ninety-eight Much more occurs to the same country gentlemen out of a hun. purpose ; and it is added, that this dred could not get their rents, would
anti-missionary spirit" (it is so not this be universality sufficient called in the running-title), “de
“ de- to allow “a lover of truth and fair scends even to the poor of the com- play” to say, that the landed inmunity." Have we, then, misre- terest was distressed ? If nearly presented either Unitarians or Uni- nine hundred and ninety parishes tarianism?
out of a thousand had neither III. We stated, that of their cha- church nor clergyman, would it not pels the tale is brief and mourn- be a sufficient proportion to cause ful; whereas it appears that there us to say, without falsehood, that the may be here and there one of which state of our churches was mournthe tale is otherwise. Our expres- ful? Now what is the Reposision conveys no misrepresentation. tory's own statement respecting When we say, that the country the Unitarian chapels ? How many gentlemen give us a mournful ac- are there of those above described, count of their rents, and the clergy which, being situated in large towns, of their tithes; do we mean that no are respectable, both as to numbers gentleman has received his rents, or and character ? Only six out of clergyman his tythes? We mean three hundred; just two per cent. on only that, taken in the aggregate, the total of the old Unitarian chathe fact is as is asserted. But let pels, endowed with orthodox money, the Repository tell this “brief and and kept up, in numerous instances, mournful tale," in its own words. by that and that alone. The UniIt states, that the Unitarian chapels tarians, it is expressly stated by the in England are of two classes ; the Repository," though for their numold chapels and the new. The old bers the richest body of religionists are those which were founded and in England, contribute least to reliendowed by pious and orthodox be- gious objects.” “One half of the nefactors; but the funds of which insignificant stipends paid to their have been most dishonourably ministers proceeds from the charity usurped to maintain preachers of preceding ages, and, in many inwho teach doctrines the very reverse stances, the whole salary proceeds of those which those holy men che. from endowment."
The pious rished as the essentials of Christi- founders might writhe in their graves anity. In reference to both these to hear this statement. Again, it classes of chapels the 'Repository is added, “ Many of the old chapels tells us, that of “many of them the amongst us are in a pitiable state. tale is mournful;" and this many, Of our own knowledge, we can when it comes to be explained, is speak of some scores that scarcely so large that it amounts almost to shew signs of life. The number of the aggregate collection. The very hearers in them will not average exception proves the rule : for ex- more than thirty." The ministers ample, “ There are a few," says the thus supported only, or chiefly, by Repository, “ of the old chapels abused orthodox endowments, after situated in large and flourishing preaching away the crowded auditowns, in which congregations wor- ences which once assembled in these ship, respectable both as to num- chapels (another proof that the spi. bers and character." The great rit of Unitarianism, any more than mass, therefore, would seem to be, of Unitarians, is not a missionary by inference, respectable in neither. spirit), are deserted and left, it is It is well that the Unitarian Repo. added, only “to conduct a few sitory, and not the Christian Ob- sexagenarians to the grave, and then server, published this statement. to close the doors.” But let us come to figures which These are the old chapels ; now for the new. "Equally grieved Repository's whole statement prove are we," says the Repository, “when this? Could we have said that they we contemplate the condition of are well attended ? And would the congregations which have been it not have been more invidious if raised within the last fifteen years. we had announced the fact less geMany chapels have been built ; nerally, and said that only one in how few are adequately attended! fifty of the old chapels is described Doubtless there are some of our by Unitarians themselves as respecyoung societies that promise to sur- table either for numbers or chavive: a few that flourish; but in racter ; and that they are “equally nearly all of them the minister is in grieved ” in reporting the state of a condition little better than those the new, of which only
some prowho are attached to the former mise to survive, and a few flourish; class." “ From what has been but in nearly all," matters are as said,” continues the Repository, above quoted? Has our rebuker “it is evident that the cause of benefited the cause of Unitarianism, Unitarianism in these kingdoms, as by obliging us to go more at large far as its condition may be estimat- into the subject; and in place of a ed by the numbers who constitute brief general statement, to quote its congregations, is by no means the Repository's own average in a satisfactory state."
thirty,” “few sexagenarians," and Reading, then, all these, and two per cent. of prosperity ? We various similar facts, in the Repo- purposely avoided specifying these sitory; and then sitting down to details, that we might not seem to give the substance of the paper in express with taunt what was meant few words; was there any thing con- to be given only as an impartial trary to " truth and fair play” in our statement, in a Christian spirit, and saying, that of their chapels the for the sake of an important end. tale is (using their own words) "brief V. The next charge against us, and mournful ?" The running though apparently “fair title in the Repository is precisely surface, is, in spirit, the most equivalent to our statement, “Con unfair of all. Our Unitarian cordítion of Unitarian Congregations ;" respondent must know that the there is no reservation about some Monthly Repository is the organ of and many, nor was it very neces- the Unitarian body in England; and sary, as the some and many was only in its appeal for support, and its two per cent. Truly may the writer in lamentations that better support is the Repository say, what our rebuker not afforded, it reproaches the whole seems to have overlooked ; “Let body of Unitarians on this very half a dozen flourishing congrega- ground; it charges them with intions be deemed of as highly as we difference and negligence in the will, still six prosperous societies cause of Unitarianism; all which out of three hundred is a small pro- would be absurd if they could turn portion.” Small indeed! It is truly round and say, “We do not sup“ a mournful tale,” though to us a port the Repository, because we joyful one, believing conscientiously are supporting other Unitarian mathat what is called Unitarianism gazines.” If the friends of the cause (for we do not allow the justice of are as well employed in other this exclusive title,) is not the doc- Unitarian magazines, there is no trine of Scripture, and is neither reason for reproach. But the Reconducive to the glory of God nor pository does not even allude to the benefit of mankind.
any other; our correspondent does IV. The fourth charge is, that we not name any other; and we have have stated that “their assemblies inquired in vain in Paternoster-row, for public worship are ill attended.” the great mart of the literature of And is it not so? Does not the Europe, for any other.
We fear, indeed, that Unitari. Roy), gave the fairest promise of anism is surreptitiously introduced an eventual, though perhaps a tardy, into publications where it does not harvest;this country, which had excitavow its name, as into a penny ma- ed our hope more perhaps than any gazine called the Child's Faithful other, America excepted, is now Friend, the unfaithfulness of which without a Unitarian missionary, and we detected in our volume for 1828, the means of Unitarian worship." p. 579. But this bears not upon Here is not a word about Calcutta ; the point. If our correspondent but India. The writer, indeed, afterthinks the statement about want wards adds, lamenting the secession of support to avowedly Unitarian of Mr. Adam of Calcutta, that he publications unjust, he should send " overlooked the humble labourer his animadversions not to us, but to Mr. Roberts.” Is it any wonder the Repository, whose whole ar. that we overlooked him too? Who ticle, though it does not happen is he? Who sent him out? In to use the word "single,” implies what part of India is be stationed ? throughout what we stated. Whoever he is, he was not thought
VI. The last charge is, “ You worth naming in the above paraasserted that, in India, they are graph which we quoted of the Uniwithout a missionary, and unable to tarian destitution of India. keep up a chapel. Had you written We beg pardon of our readers Calcutta instead of India, you would for wearying them with these exhave kept to your avowed autho- planations ; but as the Repository, rity.” No, we should not ; forihe organ of the Unitarians of Great that avowed authority speaks as Britain, has several times brought follows: “But the most painful against us charges as ill-founded as cause of failure yet remains to be the above, to none of which we have noticed. India, the first field of ever thought it worth while to reply, our missionary exertions in foreign we considered it might be as well lands ; India, whose spiritual wel. for once, being specially addressed fare awakened an interest in the by a correspondent, to break through breast of many of the most enlight- our general rule, lest our silence ened and pious men of America, as should be mistaken for acquiescence well as England, an interest which in the truth of his or similar allegaexhibited the Unitarian body in the tions, and the mistatement should most pleasing attitude that it ever be copied, unaccompanied by exassumed; India which, with the planation, as a proof that “your orname of its wise, learned, and be- thodox people are not “ lovers of nevolent Brahmin (Ram Mohun truth and fair play.”
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
A Treatise on the Doctrine of the When from the simple revealed
Atonement. By the Rev. C. fact, and the plainly disclosed JERRAM, Vicar of Chobham, causes and consequences, we turn Surrey. 1 vol. 8vo. 9s. London. to human speculations upon it, we 1828.
soon become bewildered in a laby
rinth of controversial difficulties, The doctrine of the atonement is from which our only clue of escape one of those subjects on which we is to recur again in its native freshscarcely dare to think, or read, or ness to the hallowed word. There, speak, otherwise than as Scripture like the dove wandering from the clearly “takes us by the hand.” ark, amidst the stormy deluge, we find a resting-place of repose and appendix of extraordinary merit; verdure; we soar above the subtle. it matters not whether penance or ties of the schools, and feel ourselves pilgrimage; whether the shrine of contented with the information, and Loretto, or the mosque of Mecca, supported by the consolation, con- or the temple of Juggernauth; tained in one such emphatic disclo. whether standing on a pillar, or sure and promise as that “ God so whirling on a hook ; whether the loved the world that he gave his waters of the Ganges, or extreme only begotten Son, that whosoever unction and absolution; whether believeth on him shall not perish the Protestant viaticum (for such it but have everlasting life."
is still popularly accounted) of the An unpromising heading, the Lord's Supper, or the Popish viati. above, our author may think to a cum of the Mass; whether a cock review of his highly valuable and to Æsculapius, or a meritorious elaborate treatise; a treatise which bank note to an almshouse; whether has evidently cost no little thought wiping off the cobwebs from the and care, for as long ago as the year Bible on Sunday, or allowing them 1805, we reviewed a former work to accumulate on the card-table in of the author's on the same subject, Lent; something is plainly felt to the germ of the present,—the nu- be wanting to eke out the requisite cleus, which by the accretions of quantum of merit, and to atone for the writer's reading and reflection past defects. Put the great subduring a quarter of a century has stitute in more enlightened days, chrystalized into the present form and in professedly Christian counand dimensions. But not so unfa- tries, is the triple amalgam of good vourable is our proemium as it may deeds, repentance for bad ones, and seem; for in truth, it is chiefly to the merits of Christ to consecrate send us back from human systems the whole. We speak not of books io the word of God, that Mr. Jerram and sermons, in which the matter has composed bis treatise. He may be better worded; but of the wishes to exhibit the doctrine in its popular every day belief of the simplest elements ; to set aside re- multitude; the faith in which thoufinements and disturbing perplex- sands and millions of baptized perities; and to shew us what God sons live and die, and meet their has revealed, and what he has not, Judge. Their idea of atonement that we may not mix up the com- is being sorry for the past, promisments either of bad men or good ing to do better in future, and trustmen with the doctrine of the sacred ing to Christ to make up the rest. text.
any of our readers doubt this, let “ How shall man be just with them visit our cottages or workGod," that is, stand justified before houses, not to mention more splenhim ? Volumes might be written did and intellectual mansions, and on the replies which have been given we shall be most happy if they do to this infinitely important question. not find our statement fearfully All the rites of heathenism, all the confirmed. superstitions of corrupted religion, The main object of Mr. Jerram's all the devices of moral philosophy, treatise, of which we purpose to all the disclosures of Divine reve. give a brief outline, is to set the lation, bear upon this topic. One doctrine of the atonement in a clear point seems to be very generally and scriptural light, to divest it of admitted among all nations and at adscititious matters with which it all times, that no man stands justi- has been often encumbered, to anfied before his Creator, on the foot- swer the objections brought against ing of perfect undeviating goodness. it, and to bring such evidence from Ordinary goodness is supposed to Scripture and the moral governdo much, but to need some little ment of God, as may satisfy any