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themselves carried back to the age of the Puritans. In America there are no drones in religion : those who work, and those only, are paid. And in no country are the working clergy paid so well. There are no rich livings, like those of Durham ; there is none of the poverty of the Dissenting ministers, nor of the penury of the Welsh clergy. 'In those denominations, where previous acquirements are deemed necessary, the salaries equal the ordinary income of members of the professions of law and medicine. And so would it be, as it ought to be, in ihis country, were the remuneration of ministers on the same footing as in America; with no church eating up the fat of the land by compulsory exactions, and indirectly grinding down the industrious and honest Nonconformist. The most numerous sects, particularly in the Eastern states, are the Congregationalists or Independents, who, in Massachusetis, are supposed to be equally divided between Unitarians and Calvinists; while in the other New-England states, the latter creed predominates. The Episcopalians have ten bishops and three hundred and ninety-four clergymen. Their duiy is very different from the idle and fastening office of an English spiritual overseer.' They have, of course, no jurisdiction, except in maters of religion, and this is confined to persons of their own religion, who voluntarily subject themselves to it. Catholics are found in many parts, but have ceased to be regarded with dread. In Michigan, a Catholic priest was a short time since elected a delegate, though nine-tenths of his constituents were Protestants, and the office in question was contended for by some of the most important individuals in the territory. A high degree of intelligence exists in the mass of the people, and the most liberal provision is publicly made for education. In New York, there were in the year 1825, without including 656 schools from which no returns were made, 7773 common schools, which were supported wholly or in part by the public, and attended by 42,500 scholars. Besides the means afforded for the lowest elements of education, the state of New York bas a fund which has contributed largely to classical schools, and endowments to no inconsiderable extent have been made to colleges. Other provinces have been equally munificent; and Congress in authorizing the admission of new states into the Union, has made to them distinct appropriations of public lands for common schools, and for the establishment of colleges. From a list which now lies besore us, we learn that there are no less than thirty-six distinct universities and colleges in the United States, of which twenty-six have been established since the declaration of Independence in 1782, educating nearly four thousand students, under more than two hundred instructors. Of these, Harvard University, at Cambridge, Massachucets, three miles from Boston, is the most ancient and best endowed classical estabiishment in the United States. Its list of benefactors is long and respectable, containing the names of some of the most distinguished characters in Great Britain and America. Its academical course is completed in four years, and the expense of board and education amounts to one hundred guineas per annum. Its library is larger than that connected with any other academical institution in the Union, comprising 34,600 books, besides a library of the students' including 6400. The whole number of alumni since its foundation is 4941, of which 1271 have been ministers. So rapid, however, has been the progress of Unitarianism in America, and so great has for some time been the demand for ministers, that the provision ohitherto made for the education of ministers has been found greatly inadequate, and exertions are now making to educate a greater number, so as to meet the pressing and increasing demands of the present moment. Though we have intimated, yet it may be desirable for
some readers to distinctly remark, that this University is in the interest of the Unitarians.
Turning from America to our own country, we hail with inexpressible joy the measure of justice which will shortly, we trust, be effectually completed; a measure which rests on the broad and immutatie principle that no one should be injured in his civil rights on account of any religious opinions he may entertain. In the recent agitation of this measure, the Methodists have taken that part which, from their principles, we were prepared to expect. Not content to remain at rest like the Quakers, they have sided with the favourers of exclusion. Methodist chapels have been made ready means of obtaining signatures to Anti-catholic petitions. Methodist minisa ters have volunteered their services to retain on the neck of their brethren the galling yoke of civil disqualification. There is no sect whose principles are, in our opinion, more hostile to the great cause of religious liberty, and there is none that requires a more vigilant watching. With the exception of this aspiring and domineering sect, the Dissenters, as a body, have done themselves great credit in the struggle. Some things, indeed, have occurred which call for animadversion; and they shall have it in due season. But the fitting time is not yet come.
The Bishop of London has revoked his decree. His Lordship was waited upon. It was told him, that the case of the remonstrants was already drawn up and in the hands of counsel. So soon as the Bishop saw this determined opposition, he also saw reason to change his opinion. His Lordship’s, therefore, must be added 10 the catalogue of famous conversions which the last six weeks have witnessed. We confess we do not think his Lordship has added much to bis respectability by his interference; but in retiring from the contest—a contest in which victory would have been a loss— he has shewn no little of that virtue of discretion which stands with many men in the stead of courage. The Bishop will do well for the future to listen to the old proverb, “ Look before you leap,” and to keep watch over a disposition to meddle, which, we fear, he has in excess. The bierarchy have the greater need of discretion, since, as they tell us, their house is divided against itself. The Bishop of Bath and Wells, in a recent Charge, declares, " The Church, alas ! instead of being at unity within itself, is sadly torn asunder by contentions and schisms. The rent, however, does not reach to the centre. The main difference exists with a class very respectable in number, highly respectable in character and conduct, and who are found in the bosom of our church. These, however, I would remind in the true spirit, I hope, of Christian charity, that it is always dangerous and deiusive to trust to the imagination and feelings, instead of placing our belief and reliance on the sure, unerring word of the gospel. Fain, too, would I impress on their recollection, that an age of enthusiasm has always been succeeded by an age of infidelity. And to both parties I would observe, that a house divided against itself cannot stand.'' These remarks are in themselves very good; but the fact which they set forth overthrows one position which the defenders of the Church are wont to take, viz. that articles and creeds are necessary to keep away schism. We knew well enough before, that they did not, and could not, and ought not, to effect such an object; but we prefer hearing the truth from the mouth of a dignitary of the Church. There is now in agitation another matter in which the authorities of the Church are divided. The incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, is possessed of a considerable number of slaves in the island of Barbadoes, from whose labour it has drawn large sums of mo
ney, but for whose temporal or spiritual interests little, until recently, has been seriously attempted by it. What a monstrous inconsistency, that a society should exact money to spread the gospel from the degradation of human beings! Yet this it has done for one hundred and twenty years. To enlighten one portion of the heathen world, it has enslaved another; to save one portion, it has been the voluntary means of destroying another; for, in the opinion of its members, the slaves not being converted are eternally lost. This iniquity has been honestly exposed in the Anti-Slavery Monthly Reporter. Thereupon the wrath of the ghostly dealers in human flesh and blood was excited. They employed threats, they retained advocates, but all to no purpose. By this the matter was more agitated, and the iniquity more generally known, till at last the organs of the Church themselves thắt have a regard to character and consistency, avow their astonishment at the continuance of such an absurdity, as a Christian society drawing part of its funds from slave labour. “ We have,” says the Christian Observer, “ urged the subject in vain for several years ; it has now received a more full and public discussion, and must command the attention of the Society, of Parliament, and of the country at large.” There are more iniquities in the Church than the people dream of, but the time is arriving to draw aside the veil. The public mind will soon, we trust, be comparatively free to look into abuses innumerable, both small and great, which require the day of reformation. It is no grateful, it is no lucrative, task to expose abuses, but a sense of duty will bear us up above these difficulties, and the readers of the Repository may be assured we will not fail to reveal the hidden things of darkness.
Are the principles of Nonconformity at present so well understood by Dissenters as they ought to be? Are they taught by ministers, to the young of their flock, as extensively as they once were, and as from their importance they deserve to be? Are not many, not to say the majority of Dissenters of the present day, Dissenters from habit rather than principle-rather because their fathers were so before them, than because ihey themselves are convinced of the necessity of Dissent? These questions must, we fear, be answered in the affirmative. We have been led to put them from reading in ihe Leeds Mercury, for Feb. 21, a letter of the Rev. Mr. Hamilton, of Leeds, in which occur the following words :—“When I recollect the learned and pious men who conceive Episcopacy a divine appointment, I would rather my tongue should cleave to the roof of my mouth than utter a word against them; of many such I can never think but I am reproved and shamed by their holy example and faithful ministry. Long nay they adorn their present spheres.” Mr. Hamilton, we believe, belongs to the Independents; and we know, and with pleasure allow, that they have, as a body, done much for the furtherance of religious liberty, which we consider as to no small extent identified with the progress of Dissent. But, however praiseworthy the body to which Mr. Hamilton belongs, that gentleman cannot shelter himself, nor do we believe he would wish to do so, under the cover of their merits. The tenor of the passage, we confess, greatly surprised us, Mr. H. will not speak against Churchmen, because they are good men. Does he not know that every good Christian wars, not with men, but with principles; and are principles to be screened from just and temperate animadversion because those who hold them are good men, or rather, because among those who hold them good men are to be found ? The admission of this would prove the impropriety of all discussion, for scarcely can the religious doctrine be named that has not been held by some professors of
exemplary character. If Mr. H. is awed into silence as to the scriptural claims of Episcopacy, by the learning and piety of those who conceive it a divine appointinent, will he, as he ought in consistency, allow transubstantiation to remain unassailed, or sheathe the sword and bid it permanently rest, heretofore drawn against Unitarianism? But so enraptured is this Nonconformist divine with the vision of piety and learning which has passed before him, that he exclaims, “Long may they adorn their present spheres." Again we affirm, with men we war not, but with systems, and the system of an established church is to us an abomination. Otherwise is it regarded, it should seem, by Mr. H. But what would the Nonconformists of other and better days have said to such a wish? Surely, an “esto perpetua" sounds oddly on the lips of a Dissenter. If dissent be justifiable, it is only on important principles; and if important principles authorize dissent, we cannot, as Nonconformists, wish the perpetuation of the established church. We frankly confess that we see not how Mr. H. can be acquitted of having, in this wish of bis, forfeited his principles. Nor do we believe that such conduct can recommend him to the judicious among Churchmen. Consistency, even in what we deem a wrong course, is sure to secure the respect of opponents; but adulation, or a forfeiture, though it be only by implication, or a relaxation of principle, are discommendations both with those who are on our, and those who are on the opposite, side.
We would fain hope that the time is not very distant when the principles of Nonconformity will receive again at the hands of Dissenters the attention which they merit. This must be done if we wish to retain the ground we have gained; for the tendency in the mass of the people is not to the meeting-house but to the church; and so it always will be, while honour and emolument and fashion stand at the church doors, and offer their attractions and rewards. Nor should we forget that we have been invaded and weakened in our strong hold ; that the Methodists have taken tho nds from the poorer and middling classes of society, and, to say the very least, neutralized them. Let us then set forth the principles of dissent—a full conviction of their importance alone can effectually counteract the many and powerful interests which oppose us. But for ourselves, we confess, we are not content to rest satisfied with the ground already gained. More remains to be done than has been effected-abuses innumerahle rêyuire exposure, and must be removed. The same neglect of their interests is not manifested by the church. They have thrown down the gauntlet, and, armed at all points, appeared in the arena. Amongst other champions, Bishop Burgess merits especial notice. He has lately published three catechisms, which have already reached the fourth edition, “ on the Principles of our Profession as Christians, as Members of the Church of England, and as Protestants.” Two positions which he maintains are truly amusing; these are, that the British churches were Protestant before they were Catholic.. (A truly fair specimen of the usepov Tepotepov, or in humbler phrase, “ the cart before the horse.”) The other, that " the Reformation (is) not a separation from the Church of Rome.” This last position is in a note thus illustrated, with a gravity truly episcopal :-“A Papist once asked a Protestant, Where was the Church of England before the Reformation ? To which the Protestant replied, “Where yours never was—in the New Testament. Another Protestant being asked the same question, answered it by another question. “Where was your face before it was washed ?” The catechist is thus instructed in this knotty matter :
“Q. If the Church of England did not separate from the Church of Rome, what do you call our national Reformation ?
“ A. An abjuration of Popery, a renunciation of the Pope's jurisdiction, a rejection of the unscriptural doctrines and usages of the Church of Rome, and therefore a reformation of the Church of England, and not a separation from the Church of Rome.”
Well, then, Dissenters are not separatists-what do they more than abjure Episcopacy-renounce the King's jurisdiction-reject the unscriptural usages of the Church of England: But what new light have we here! I may abjure, I may renounce, I may reject, and yet not separate from that which'I abjure, renounce, and reject. No, rather than allow that a separation took place, the good-natured bishop will bring on the Church of England all the charges that have been levelled at Popery. Before this reformation spoken of, this reformation of the Church of England, she, not the Papal church, was all that was bad and shameful; she, the Church of England, was idolatrous, the mystery of iniquity, and a number of other very naughty things, which our modesty forbids us to mention. This is to defend the church with a witness, and reminds us of the old saying, “ Defend me against my friends, and I will defend myself against my enemies.” Well may the church remonstrate with the bishop in the words of Hecuba :
Quæ mens tam dira
Tempus (ecclesia) eget. The Christian Remembrancer, in a review of a work entitled, “ What is the One True Faith?” the author of which has the presumption to doubt if the doctrines of justification by faith, election and reprobation, original sin, and other kindred dogmas, are really and expressly taught in the Scriptures, remarks, “ There are other inconsistencies which we cannot find leisure to enumerate, but they are chiefly to be reconciled with the Book of Common Prayer' according to the plan of the late Dr. Samuel Clarke, and some other Pelagian or Arian publications. The author says he commenced his subject in ignorance on many points, but whether or not his intentions are pure, he has sadly soiled his reputation as a biblical critic by slipping into the mud of Socinian absurdity.” There was little reason to cast a slur on the ignorance with which the inquirer set out. Provided his mind was teachable, ignorance was no impediment to the reception of truth; and that it was teachable, the inquiry on which the author entered proves beyond a question. Ignorance combined with docility is of all states of mind that which the Scriptures can most easily and most assuredly benefit. A tabula rasa is thus presented to the sacred penmen; on it they can inscribe what they will; there are no previous impressions to erase, or in remaining to confuse and confound their teachings. Ignorance! What teacher is there of any science that would not infinitely prefer an ignorant to a prejudiced disciple? The Bereans were ignorant when they searched the Scriptures daily to discover whetber the things which had come to their ears were or were not the revealed will of God. But, perhaps, the Bereans would not be exactly to the taste of the Reviewer; for reachable ignorance is an abomination in his sight. But then there is a question whether or not the author was actuated by pure intentions. Raised by whom? The Reviewer. On what grounds ? Diversity of religious opinion: this, from the language used, is the only supposable