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“ In all our congregations,” he tell us, "and throughout every part of the country, there is a class of men, who have attached themselves to us simply because we are not Orthodox; men, who dislike Calvinism, but like nothing else ; who think religion a good thing, that ought to be supported, and are glad to find some form which they can support different from that which they have been taught heartily to hate. They are anti calvinists, anti-orthodox, anti-zealots, anti-everything severe and urgent in religion. They will not forsake it, because to do so would put them out of good society; indeed, they are not without a vague traditional respect for it. They maintain a pew in the church, for the same reason that the worldly-minded merchant asks his minister to say grace when he has company to dine. It is decent and is expected of him. Such men are found among the loose hangers-on of every sect. A sect in the church militant is made up like an army going forth to war. There is the select body of the wise and hearty, who enter zealously into the merits of the cause, and give themselves to it soul and body. There is the larger number of considerate and faithful adherents, bound to it unflinchingly, but who are merely followers of the opinions of their betters, and take on themselves none of the responsibility of judging the merits of the case, or deciding on the propriety of the measures. There is still another class, who care little about the matter, who are in this army inerely because it so happened, but are no more interested in its movements or success, than as they increase or diminish their own personal comforts. And lastly, there are the loose retainers of the camp, now here, now there, now nowhere, who like the protection of the flag and swell the numbers of the march, but who own no allegiance, perform no service, and are but a pestilent hindrance to those who are earnest in the cause. Such men, I say, are hanging about the skirts of every sect, — they hang about ours ; would to God we could make good Christians of them! they are far enough from it now.”.

In speaking of another “crying enormity,” he says:

- pp. 13-15.

“ The agitations of society have disturbed the foundations and weakened the strength of the churches in all parts of the land, and threatened some of them even with extinction. "In many humble and impoverished parishes, numbers are few, means are small, and the Gospel is costly. It is an alarming problem yet to be solved, what shall be done to keep alive the fire on those lesser altars ; and now that the law has forsaken the church door in this as well as in the other States, a new era has arrived, when the wise must contrive how the Gospel shall be supported among the thinly scattered and feeble, so that its light shall continue to burn, and our children of the coming generations shall be born to the enjoyment of Christian worship. Let those who are able, devise; let the favored and wealthy be ready to contribute; let all ponder and pray; - and God forbid, that, through our remissness, one cottage shall remain upon our blessed fields, whose inmates are beyond the reach of the Sabbath-bell and the pulpit exhortation. There are some who do not feel this aright; by God with property as well as liberty, who fancy that both are for themselves only, and who meanly withdraw from the support of his

some, blessed

worship. There are congregations made up, in considerable part, of . men who are more willing to live without the preaching of the Word, than to tax themselves so much for the means of salvation as they do for sugar in their tea, or for needless ornaments on the dress of their daughters.” — pp. 35, 36.

The Western Examiner. - Proposals have appeared for publish

ing at Cincinnati, Ohio, a monthly magazine, under this title, to be mainly devoted to the exposition and inculcation of Christianity as understood by Unitarians, with a particular view to the social and religious condition of the West. Ample space will, however, be allowed for general discussions respecting education and the various benevolent enterprises of the day, and for intelligence in regard to all local topics of interest. The work is to be conducted by the association of Unitarian ministers in the West, one of whom resides at Buffalo, New York, another at Louisville, Kentucky, and another at St. Louis, Missouri; the Rev. Mr. Peabody, of Cincinnati, being the responsible editor. Each number will contain seventy-two large medium octavo pages, making, at the end of the year, two volumes of four hundred and thirty-two pages each ; the subscription price of which will be three dollars, payable on the reception of the second number. From our knowledge of the character and abilities of the gentlemen engaged in this undertaking, and of their peculiarly favorable position for understanding and supplying the wants of those for whose benefit the work is especially intended, and of the great need there is of precisely such a work to serve as a point of union and support to the western Unitarians, and a channel of communication and sympathy, between them and their eastern brethren, and also as a check on the efforts made for the spread of error and skepticism, throughout an immense, rapidly extending, and most interesting portion of our country, we cannot doubt that the friends of liberal Christianity, here as well as there, will be willing and eager to give it

very encouragement and aid in their power. James Munroe and Co., 134 Washington Street, Boston, are general agents for receiving subscriptions.

Professor Palfrey's Academical Lectures on the Jewish Scriptures and Antiquities. The annunciation of this comprehensive and much needed work has been received with strong expressions of favor and sanguine anticipation. According to the prospectus, it will consist of four volumes, octavo, of between four hundred and fifty and five hundred pages each; and be furnished to subscribers, handsomely printed and bound in cloth, at the price of two dollars and a half a volume, payable on its delivery. The first vol

a

ume will discuss the authenticity of the last four books of the Pentateuch, the evidences of the mission of Moses, and the character and objects of his law. The second will treat of the records of the primitive and patriarchal times given in the book of Genesis, and of the national history of the Hebrews under the Judges and Kings. The third will examine the question of prophetical inspiration in connexion with an account of the literary history and contents of the books of the Prophets, and a detailed exposition of some important passages. The fourth and last will be given to the remainder of the canonical and apocryphal writings, and comprise among other things a particular notice of the Psalms which are quoted in the New Testament, and a continuation of the Jewish history down to the Christian era. Whether regard be had to the bearing of these discussions on a proper understanding of the Old Testainent, or on the evidences of Christianity, or on other curious and perplexing questions, their appearance, coming from a writer so highly and justly esteemed for his judgment and accuracy, will be impatiently waited for by not a few among general as well as professional readers. As no publisher could be expected to undertake so expensive a work without some assurance of patronage, we are given to understand that it will be put to press early in the autumn, if the number of subscribers at that time will warrant the step, but not otherwise. We hardly need add, that if, from failure here, these Lectures should never see the light, it would be, to the Unitarian community especially, matter of lasting regret and mortification.

THE

CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.

No. LXIX.

NEW SERIES - No XXXIX.

JULY, 1835.

[For the Christian Examiner.]

Art. I. - On the Unitarian Belief.

We shall undertake to state in this article what we understand to be the prevailing belief of Unitarian Christians. Our position as a religious body seems still to require statements of this nature. It is a position, that is to say, entirely misunderstood. Misconstructions, once in vogue, seem to have a strange power of perpetuating themselves; or, at any rate, they are helped on by powers that seem to us very strange. In the face of a thousand denials, and in spite of the self-contradicting absurdity of the charge, it is still said, and, by multitudes, seems to be thought, that our creed consists of negations ; that we believe in almost nothing. It seems to be received as if it were a matter of common consent, that we do not hold to the doctrines of the Bible, and that we scarcely pretend to hold to the Bible itself. It is apparently supposed by many, that we stand upon peculiar ground in this respect; that we hold some strange position in the Christian world, different from all other Christian denominations.

We must, therefore, if our patience fail not, explain ourselves again and again. We must, again and again, implore others to make distinctions very obvious indeed, but which they are strangely slow to see, - to distinguish, that is to say, or at least to remember that we distinguish, between the Bible and fallible interpretations, between Scripture doctrines and the explanations of those doctrines, between mysteries and absurdities, between piety and fanaticism. The former we receive; the latter only do we reject.

36

VOL. XVIII.

- N. S. VOL. XIII. NO. III.

our

Our position in the Christian world is not a singular one. We profess to stand upon the same ground as all other Christians, - the Bible. Our position, considered as dissent, position as assailed on all sides, is by no means a novel one. The Protestants were, and are, charged by the Romish Church with rejecting Christianity. Every sect in succession that has broken off from the body of Christians, the Lutherans and English Episcopalians first, then the Scotch Presbyterians, then the Baptists, the Methodists, the Quakers, the Puritans, the Independents of every name, have been obliged to reply to the same charge of holding no valid nor authorized belief. And what has been the answer of them all ? It has been the answer of Paul before Felix, - that they did believe; that they “believed all things that are written ” in the holy volume.

This same defence, namely, Paul's defence to the Jews, Luther's and Wickliffe's to the Romish Church, - the defence of Knox, of Robinson, of Fox, of Wesley, and Whitfield, and of our own Mayhew and Mathers to the English Church,

-this same defence, it has fallen to our lot to plead as Unitarian Christians. We bear a new name ; but we take an old stand, - a stand old as Christianity. We bear a new name, but we make an old defence; we think, as every other class of Christians have thought, that we approach the nearest to the old primitive Christianity. We bear a hard name, the name of heretics ; but it is the very name which Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Arminians, Calvinists, have once borne, which all Protestant Orthodoxy has once borne, which Paul himself bore, when he said, “ After the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers. We bear a new name; and a new name draws suspicion upon it, as every Christian sect has had occasion full well to know; and we think, therefore, that our position and our plea demand some consideration and sympathy from the body of Christians. We think that they ought to listen to us, when we make the plea, once their own, that we believe, according to our honest understanding of their import, all things that are written in the Holy Scriptures.

There is one circumstance which makes the statement of this defence peculiarly pertinent and proper for us. And that is, the delicacy which has been felt by our writers and preachers about the use of terms. When we found, for instance, that

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