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and received. We sincerely applaud their zeal, and wish them success.
The society is formed on the same principles with that in Baltimore; and the preamble to their articles of association exhibits the same objects and views. It is called the Eastport Unitarian Society for the Distribution of Books. Its officers for the present year are, Jonathan D. Weston, President; Frederick Hobbs, Secretary and Treasurer; Rev. Charles Robinson, Librarian; J. K. Chadbourne, N. F. Deering, H. T. Emerry, John Woodman, Robert Parker, Managers.
When it is considered what great facilities an association of this kind must possess, in the purchase, the publishing, and the distribution of proper books and pamphlets; when we think how effectual it renders a small pecuniary contribution, and what advantages it enjoys from mutual consultation, and mutual encouragement, we are led to hope that Unitarian Book Societies will become general among us.
New Publications in Calcutta.
Fiom the Christian Register. A Harmony of the Gospels, in Bengalee, has been proposed by Mr. Yates. Five parts out of six had been published, and part of the sixth printed at Calcutta, in October, 1821.
An English translation of a pamphlet of considerable size, against the prevailing system of Hindoo Idolatry, has been printed at the Baptist Mission Press, in Calcutta, at the expense of a Hindoo gentleman. This work was originally written in Bengalee, by a native Hindoo, of considerable talent, who is since dead.
To the Editor. SIR,
In the course of a recent journey, I happened to overhear a conversation which took place on the deck of a steam-boat, respecting the belief of unitarians. Some time afterwards, I committed as much of it as I could remember, to writing; and I now send it to you, with the hope that it may prove of some utility, in the pages of the Miscellany. The speakers on the orthodox side, however, are not to be understood as representing the strength of the orthodox arguments; for a learned trinitarian would have managed the cause in a far abler manner. But it will be immediately perceived that they speak as thousands speak, who, without really knowing any thing of Unitarianism, or even of their own doctrines, are constantly pressing forward into a controversy, which they are not able to maintain, and urging objections, and texts of Scripture, which have been, times without number, answered and explained. They are to be considered as expressing the common prejudices and ignorance of the orthodox, and not their subtlety and learning. But as even the misrepresentations of prejudice and ignorance may appear formidable to some, who are unprepared to detect them, and as it is well to answer repeatedly what is repeatedly brought forward, I think the replies of my friend the unitarian may be of value.
The conversation was commenced by an elderly gentleman, who had been engaged in reading a tract entitled, “What is Religion?” Having finished it, he laid it down, and turning to the person who had handed it to him, addressed him in the following words.
Eld. Gent. I see that this tract was published by a society in New York. I hear there is a socinian church built there lately, but that they are all young men who are connected with it. This Socinianism is quite a new doctrine-some new fancy for young minds.
Unit. The society to which you allude, Sir, disavow the name of Socinians. This is a term which implies, that they believe as Socinus believed; that they take Socinus, a fallible man, as a guide in matters of faith. But, on the contrary, they profess to have no guide or master but Christ, and no creed but the Bible. It is not generous or charitable to fasten on any society a name which they deny.
Eld. Gent. If not Socinian, then, pray what are they?
Unit. They call themselves unitarian Christians, as they believe in one God in one person, and worship one Being, and are thus distinguished from other Christians, who believe in what they themselves denominate a "triune God," or a God in three persons, each of whom, under different names, they worship as
God. As to this society's consisting exclusively of young persons, though frequently said with a view to its discredit, I presume you do not imagine that truth resides only with age. The fact, however, is not so. But whether young or old, it is much more to the purpose,
that you will never hear any one call in question their seriousness, or their Christian deportment, as compared with other societies, who are exhorted by their pastors to have no intercourse with them, and even to shut their doors against them.
Eld. Gent. But you admit that this Unitarianism is a very new doctrine.
Unit. So far from it, they hold its distinguishing tenet to be as old as the first revelation God made of himself to man; that it was taught explicitly by God himself to the people of Israel, when he said, “Hear, O Israel! the Lord your God is one LORD;” or, as the passage is translated by many critics, “the Lord is your God,—the Lord is One.” “See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no God with me.” They hold also, that it was taught by our Saviour, in language which could hardly be misunderstood, when he declares, “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, THE ONLY TRUE God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
Eld. Gent. Well, well, all this may be true, but I am content to be as wise as my fathers were in these matters, and I shall leave these points to be settled by the priests, for it is their study and their concern.
[The unitarian turned away from this disciple of the doctrine of his fathers, with a look, of which the prevailing expression was that of pity. A younger gentleman, with the manners of a man of the world, and the confidence of a practised disputant, now took up the word with a good-humoured, self-complacent air.]
For my part I am a trinitarian, because I am an episcopalian. I feel perfectly safe under the guidance of the church, and shall believe as the church believes, Apropos, I fell the other day into the King's Chapel, as they call it, in Boston, where they have strangely deserted their former belief, though they have preserved some of the church forms. They use a form of prayer, principally taken from our excellent liturgy, but so garbled, that I hardly knew it again. I observed, though, to my surprise, that they address their prayers to the Father, through Jesus Christ. I wonder what they believe Jesus Christ to be?
Unit. I presume they believe him to be what he declared himself to be the Son of God.
Episcopalian. They believe, then, that Jesus is the Son of God. I did not know they believed so much. But what signifies it, if they do not also believe in his divinity.
Unit. They do believe in the divinity of his mission, and of his doctrines. They believe that he was sent from God, divinely instructed for purposes the most important to mankind; that he taught with the authority of God, and spake as he was commanded of God. And unitarians honour him even as they honour the Father; for he was the ambassador of God, the sent of God, commissioned to make known his will. In him dwelt the fulness of the Godhead bodily, for he did vhat no man ould do, unless God were with m; and in him were manifested the power and grace of the be. neficent Father of all.