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ground. What an amazing stretch of charity, which conterts itself with humbly doubting if a dissenting brother can have pure intentions! The times indeed are changed. Firmness of principle is lost; laxity pervades all ranks ; even Churchmen are not exempt from its banelul infcence. Why, in the good olden time, Calvin or Athanasius would have damned the author right heartily at once, not only to future but to present burnings! The Reviewer, afraid of incurring the charge of latitudinarianism, proceeds to mend his manners—and with what elegance of diction, what purity and propriety of allusion! Shades of Longinus, Blair, and Campbell, why are ye not at hand to immortalize with merited eulogy the exquisitely chaste and simply beautiful phraseology of our Episcopalian Reviewer! "He bas sadiy soiled his reputation as a biblical critic by slipping into the mud of Socinian absurdity.” Now, my Dissenting brethren, now may you fully learn the extent of your loss in being excluded from our venerable hails of learning. In vain would you try to reach the height of this great excellence. but a son of Isis or of Cam is capable of such beauties; none can so admirably realize the simplex munditiis.
Most of our readers are probably aware that a separation has taken place, in America, between a very considerable body of Quakers attached to the teachings of the venerable Elias Hicks, and those who term themselves Orthodor. An attempt has been made in this country to create the belief that Elias Hicks and his followers are unbelievers. To this disgraceful object the Congregational Magazine has more than once lent itself. In the number for November last there are these words : “ Not one Friend has been found in this country to avow his agreement in the sentiments, the infidel sentiments, as I need not hesitate to term them, of Elias Hicks." Yet the writer convicts himself of falsehood in the very next sentence. “ Your correspondent, a seeming exception, is, I suspect, no member of our society.”. And why? Because be has been “ disowned for the profession of Socinian principles.” On the writer's own shewing, then, supposing his suspicion well founded that the correspondent and the “ disowned” are the same, (which is supposing in a rough and random manner,) there is found one Friend to avow his agreement in the sentiments of Elias Hicks, and who for that avowal has been, we are told, “ disowned.” Gentle reader, we reckon ourselves to be possessed of a most excellent temper. Scarcely any thing can discompose us; and on this ground, with all due humility, we commend ourselves to thee as good Watchmen. We carry a cudgel, it is true; but the brawl has not yet happened in which we have been provoked to use it, and now that we are engaged in thy service, we find our meekness doubly strong. And, in sooth, we have manifold need of all the meekness we possess; for at every corner of the street we are dubbed “ Infidel.” On all sides our ears are saluted with these insulting sounds. From the mitred dignitary down to the starving curate the watch-word passes, and each, as he meets with an Unitarian, looks and wonders, and raises his eyes to heaven, and cries out, “ Infidel." And now, here is this grey-bearded and grey-coated, and verily, we doubt not, sleek and well-fed Quaker,—one who bears in his very name proofs of men's injustice, and admonitions to deal fairly by his fellows,—this Quaker echoes, and echoes without hesitation, the hue and cry which bigotry has raised, and wbich ignorance and bigotry support. Protestations we know it boots little to make, and we reserve them for more worthy occasions. Nor shall this man of starch and parchment and oily visage excite our ire. He may have done it in ignorance, and those merit our indignation who, know
ing better, cry out “ Infidel,” and give the cue to the ignorant or the bigoted. That his knowledge is not overburdensome we infer from another
passage of his letter to the Editor of the Congregational Magazine. Society of Friends has invariably believed in the divinity of Christ, redemption through his blood, and the divine authority of the Holy Scriptures." The man who could make such an assertion (the italics in which invariably is written are bis own) can know next to nothing of history, or must otherwise be actuated by a wicked mind. Before we go on to the proofs of his assertion, we beg our readers to notice the insinuation contained in the above citation, that Unitarians do not believe in the divine authority of the Scriptures. To this we might add, taking the words in their literal meaning, “ redemption through the blood of Christ.” Unitarians, whatever the Quaker may insinuate, believe both these points, and are not, as the Quaker intimates, contradistinguished by these particulars either from the society of Friends, or any other society of Christians. We are, we confess, in spite of all the exhibitions of a bad spirit or of culpable ignorance on the part of the orthodox, no little surprised to find a member of the meek-looking and meekspoken society of Friends thus traducing his neighbours. We would recommend him to put off some of the outward and visible signs, in exchange for more of the inward and heavenly grace. In proof of the invariable orthodoxy of the society of Friends, “ our American brethren,” he says, collected quotations which make up a thick octavo volume.” Out of this he
a makes some extracts. Let our readers judge how far the following proves that the Quakers, or rather that the writer, believed in the deity of Christ : “ Jesus Christ, who is the express image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature, by whom were all things created that are in heaven and in earth.” This quotation is taken from G. Fox, and is, we may suppose, the strongest that could be adduced. It proves, what? That Fox believed in the supreme deity of Christ ?-that he was really and truly God? No; it proves that Fox was an Unitarian. Thus have believed and thus now believe thousands who have been branded with the name of heretic.
If any of our readers have the happiness to be acquainted with the Rev. J. J. Tayler, of Manchester, they will believe either that the writer of the following sentence has lost his wits, or that Mr. T. has recently undergone a imetamorphose greater in extent and more grotesque in character than any found in Ovid. Thus speaks the Reviewer of Mr. Tayler's Sermon on Communion with Unbelievers, in the Congregational Magazine : “ It is well that the great enemy of God and man” (that is, we suppose, Mr. Tayler, or Unitarianism in him embodied) “ is not always permitted successfully to veil himself in the garb of an angel of light. In his attempt to put on the fleecy cloud which does not belong to him, and to etherealize himself to the view of mortals, the arch-fiend” (alias Mr. Tayler) “ is often found to fail; and we clearly discern through the disguise the hideous and malignant features of the apostate spirit and the father of lies.” (It is not long since we saw Mr. T., and then he looked as mild and as benevolent as ever : the writer must be beside himself.) He goes on, however,
66 We were led to this refection in opening the pamphlet before us”—(what, in the very opening of it! Surely the writer has strange sights. We have just looked into the pamphlet, and we declare that it has a most bland and composed aspect) — .. which we think is charged with the rankest distillation, the very quintessence of infidelity, under the colour of reason and Christian candour, the show of which we have often regarded as an engine of spiritual seduction adopted by the power of darkness of almost equal force with his accomplished invention of Papacy itself, though adapted to a very different class of minds.” Such an outrage on all decency not even those of our readers who know how inveterate is the hatred which the Congregational bears to Unitarianism, were, we are assured, prepared to expect. We have sometimes wondered at the figure these calumniators would bear if they were confronted with the victims of their uncharitableness. How easy the conviction of the falsifier! how overwhelming the confusion of the reviler! Alas! that such as this indecent tirade should be the food with which self-called Evangelicals pander too often to the bad passions of men ! Exposed they shall be ; we wish we could expose them in their own quarters. But to them all access is barred. Could we face the enemy on his own ground, and expose his tricks to the eyes of his deluded followers, one vigorous effort might keep in a load of calumny, and a little perseverance utterly destroy these poisoned arrows of controversy. But excesses of this sort come of the practice of anonymous reviewing. Many a falsehood would never have seen the light, had the name of the author been required to accompany it. The dignified we of Reviewers is often prostituted to most unworthy purposes. Reader, if you are ignorant of the cause of all this unholy zeal in the Congregational, yon may be told that Mr. Tayler was led to preach in the course of his ministry a discourse on Communion (that is, intercourse) with Unbelievers. The following week there appeared in a Manchester paper a garbled account of this discourse, intended to represent Mr. Tayler as the apologist of unbelief, written by a pragmatical lawyer of Manchester, who may perhaps know something of the penning of this truculent article in the Magazine (which is the organ of the sect to which the lawyer belongs). To prevent the misconceptions to which the unfair and mutilated statements of this article miglit give rise, Mr. Tayler thought proper to publish the discourse as it had been delivered. The discourse simply maintains that the only universal criteria of character are sincerity and moral rectitude: that where these are found, we need not trouble ourselves about the speculative tenets of their possessor: if the fruit is good, the tree cannot be corrupt. With virtuous unbelievers, therefore, it is lawful to have intercourse as circumstances may direct and warrant; and certainly, though they ought to take no share in the management of the concerns of a Christian congregation, they are not to be excluded from the services of the house of prayer, because for such conduct there is no warrantia scripture, liberty of conscience declares against it, and no less the moral benefit of unbelievers. Let them come-Christ did not reject the inquirer : let them come we have no authority over the mind of man: let them come -their difficulties may be removed : at all events, it is hardly possible that they should receive no good from the devout services of the house of prayer. These things it is which have concentrated all the puny anger of the Reviewer. A las ! how little do such men know of the real spirit of Christianity! Well would it be for the interests of true religion if these words of the illustrious Bacon were graven on their hearts" Men's minds should move in Charity, rest in Providence, and turn upon the poles of Truth.” The general spirit of the discourse is truly admirable. It is refreshing to turn to the pure atmosphere of minds like those who, with Mr. Tayler, have left the sympathies of the world to imbibe the spirit of the gospel. We are free, however, to confess, that in reading the discourse we sometimes felt the want of that discrimination which separates unbelievers into two classes, the vicious and the good. We do not say that it is entirely absent, but it does not appear to possess a due degree of prominence. Unbelief, we doubt not, often arises from corrupt affections; and unbelief, we know, is
often accompanied by a bad life. In both cases, we know that no one would condemn it more unhesitatingly than Mr. Tayler, and doubtless, if the thought had occurred to him in the composition of his lecture, we should not have been compelled to make the suggestions in which, for the sake of truth, we have now indulged.
Nothing of this kind, however, can justify the abuse and licentiousness of the Reviewer; the gravamen of his charge against us is thus stated in his own words: “ This is in short the nucleus of Unitarianism disburdened of its shell, and it amounts to this, that outward conduct is the only thing of which professed Christians have a right to take cognizance among each other.” We thank the Reviewer for having condescended thus to fairly represent us. So rare an instance of justice merits a special notice. And if this be the nucleus of the matter, pray what must become of the flourish, the parade of figure, of infernal nuachinery, the grotesque assemblages and flimsy nonsense with which he introduces this most wicked of all sentiments ? The premises warranted a more pregnant instance of diabolical turpitude ; and the judicious reader will infer, from the want of correspondence between them, that the writer had more words than ideas, and more wrath than discretion. Sober
argument would, we doubt not, avail little with a man of such a disposition as the Reviewer betrays; we shall therefore reserve reasoning for an occasion when there is some hope of its turning to a profit. But before we leave this calumniator, we would request him carefully to read over, once a week for the next twelvemonth, the 14th chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, and then he may know and feel somewhat more of the genuine spirit of the gospel touching diversities of faith. In the mean time, not all the professions he can make, not all the rhetoric he may command, will exonerate him from the charge of being a persecutor. Men's characters are their dearest possessions, and he who attempts to asperse them as the Reviewer has shamefully done, is actuated by a persecuting spirit, and brings forth the fruits of persecution. Of such characters Burns, in a communion which is a twin-brother to that to which the Reviewer belongs, had ample experience, and has thus borne testimony to their spirit: But gin the Lord's ain focks gat leave,
A toom tar-barrel
An' end the quarrel. In condemnation of all who breathe this spirit we use the words of Jeremy Taylor, in that most admirable work “ The Liberty of Prophesying :" then, if the result be, that men must be permitted in their opinions, and that Christians must not persecute Christians, I have also as much reason to reprove all those oblique arts which are not direct persecutions of men's persons, but they are indirect proceedings, ungentle and unchristian, servants of faction and interest, provocations to zeal and animosities, and destructive of learning and ingenuity."
Loquitur the British Critic: “We have been led to the more particular notice of this valuable recommendation by the recollection of a circumstance which we once heard related, and which powerfully sets forth the usefulness of sitting down to the perusal of Scripture with a view to the elucidation of some one point. A believer in the doctrine of the Trinity happened to be attended in his last illness by a Socinian physician, and frequent discussions arose between them respecting the office and person of the Saviour. As the end of the Christian (notice how being a Christian is identified with believing in the Trinity, and is put in contradistinction to being a Socinian) was ap
proaching, he told his medical friend that he was nɔ longer able to endure the fatigue and exhaustion occasioned by those long arguments, and must, therefore, close their religious conferences with one suggestion, which was to be considered as his last and most solemn counsel. He adjured the inquirer to peruse St. Jobn's Gospel attentively and repeatedly, without note or comment, and to retain closely in his mind throughout this perusal the following sentence, “Jesus Christ is nothing more than the son of Mary, a mere mortal man. By this method, said the dying patient, the Socinian hypothesis would be brought into perpetual collision with the sacred text; and if this incessant conflict does not satisfy you that either Socinus or St. John is in error, I should totally despair of your conversion. What was the result of this advice in this particular case we are not informed, but we are unable to imagine how such a contest could well be carried on beyond the first fourteen verses of the first chapter. For we would ask with the Bishop (Blomfield), • Would an evangelist, holding the Unitarian opinions of the present day,
the gospel as St. John does?' We have bere a question which throws a strong light on the value of the counsel given to the Unitarian physician, and to us it appears that the mind which would escape from this assault must be utterly impassive to every weapon or implement in the magazine of reason ; even though St. John should rise again from the dead and wield the sword of the spirit, such an intellect would remain invulnerable.”—The readers of the Watchman will be at least indebted to us for the perusal of a number of stories derived from the abundant stores of the evangelical warehouse. Therein are tales innumerable, rivalling in number and merit even the treasury of the Minerva press; tales for the old and tales for the young; tales for the wise and tales for the foolish; but above all, a plentiful collection entitled, “ Tales of Horror, or Death-bed Scenes, illustrative of the Effects of Socinianism; humbly dedicared to the old Ladies of the Three United Kingdoms.” In days of yore the story-teller was a vagabond upon the face of the earth, much like his quondam friend and once faithful companion Master Punch; traversing the bigh-ways and by-ways in quest of an andience, and, posting himself “ in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates,” he uttered his voice in the streets. But now he mounts the pulpit, disdaining bis former lowly condition; he takes the chair of grave Reviewers, and associates himself not only with the ranting Methodist, but with the grave and evangelical divine. His condition is changed, his duty not diminished; his talents are in requisition in almost every religious sect, and abundant honours reward bis industry. Thus it is in this world; it is not things, but their aspects, which change; and no one knows how soon Punch himself, though now left by his more fortunate brother to pick up a scanty and precarious subsistence, may receive a call equally dignified with that which the story-teller has heard and answered. But to quit this moralizing mood. The Reviewer furnishes bis readers with an infallible recipe against all the evils of Socinianism. We fear that when investigated it will prove of no more worth than the following for the tooth-ache, given of old by John Heywood, in his “ Four P's, a very merry interlude of a Palmer, a Pardoner, a Potecary, and a Pedlar.”