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his course; he had kept the faith.' In our sober imagination, we may now see him associated in glory with that great Apostle, of whom he was an humble follower, even as he was of Christ."
"The children of our honoured friend, will accept our sympathies under the bereavement they now suffer, in the death of one so justly respected and beloved, while they have our congratulations for the rich inheritance they still enjoy, in his immortal example, and in those counsels which are treasured in their memories. Though parated by mountains, or rivers, or a wide-spreading ocean from that tomb, which they would gladly make a frequent and sacred resort, the light of his example will attend them in every place; and, while they follow that example, his God will be their God, and his inheritance their everlasting portion in that better country, to which he has gone."
The Christians. We copy the following account of this rapidly spreading American denomination, with the Editor's remarks, from "The Unitarian," No. 2.
"Another source of encouragement, which is calculated to animate us in the work in which we are engaged, is the success that has attended our past labours. When we first commenced planting churches upon the broad and liberal principles, which characterize the Christian denomination, it was maintained by the sects around us, that our churches would soon fall in pieces; and that the denomination would only exist on the page of ecclesiastical history, a monument of our fanaticism and folly. But twentyfive years have now elapsed since the first churches were planted, and so far from crumbling to pieces, they, by the grace of God, have been gathering strength, and have been enabled successfully to resist the waves of opposition, which have constantly been dashing against them. The success that has attended our humble exertions, to revive and disseminate the faith that was once delivered to the saints, has exceeded our most sanguine expectations. From the most humble beginnings, the denomination has spread through all the states in the union. Not less than a thousand churches have been planted since we commenced our operations, and our periodical works are constantly bringing the cheering intelligence, of new ones being established in all parts of the United States."
We have always looked upon the sudden rise and swift progress of the sect of Christians, as the most remarkable event in the religious history of our own times. We still think it so. It is the most remarkable, and the one most auspicious to the dissemination of just views of religious truth among the great mass of the people. Not less than a THOUSAND CHURCHES have been planted, in the space of TWENTY-FIVE YEARS, of Christians-among that class of people who must have drawn their theology from the Bible alone, who have rejected the doctrine of the Trinity, and proclaimed themselves believers in the undivided unity of God. This is encouraging indeed, and a result hardly to have been ex
pected; for though we have ever been confident of nothing so much as that if men would confine themselves wholly to the Bible itself as their book of theology, and follow the unbiassed deductions of their own minds, they would, as an infallible consequence, reject the doctrine of the Trinity as having no foundation in Scripture; we did not anticipate the surprising fact, that such a multitude, occupying such a place in society, would so soon be found, of courage and independence enough, to brave public opinion and religious power, and think and speak for themselves. That such is the fact, is, we repeat, in our judgment, the most animating circumstance in the religious history of the times.
The doctrine of the Trinity is the strong-hold of religious error. Let this be cast down, and a general ruin of the associated doctrines will surely and soon follow. In itself, this doctrine is comparatively harmless; and if the rejection of it implied nothing more than a disbelief in the metaphysical notion of God's threefold mode of existence, it would be a matter of far less consequence, one way or another. But it means more. It means, that the minds which have come to this result, are open to inquiry and conviction; have thrown off the fear of man; have resolved to form their own judgments in religious matters, and abide by them; have determined to follow wherever truth shall lead; and are ready to cast away other connected dogmas, however venerable and popular, as soon as they shall be seen to want the support of the plain, unambiguous language of Scripture; and in this view, the rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity by the whole Christian denomination, is an event that assumes a most important character, and warrants the most sanguine anticipations of the future rapid spread of Unitarian views among the great body of the people. We rejoice in the prosperity of this sect. We heartily pray for it. Their cause is that of truth, and will prevail.
Test and Corporation Acts.-These remnants of an intolerant age, the House of Commons has resolved to repeal. If any thing had been wanting to excite a deeper detestation against their persecuting and polluting spirit, it would be found in the conduct of those Scottish Members of Parliament, who voted, not only against the rights and liberties of their fellow-countrymen, but even against their own. For although, on this side of the Tweed, an individual has not to play the hypocrite, or prostitute the dying memorial of his Saviour's love, on accepting office, still he cannot cross the Border, and enter on office, without being called on to do both. The conduct of those individuals, therefore, who appear in the list of the minority on that occasion, is a melancholy instance of the deteriorating tendency of political tests, and state religions.
We were among those who rejoiced in the decision on Lord John Russell's motion. But we rejoiced with trembling. We knew that bigotry and fanaticism would not lose their former power without another struggle. Our worst fears have been realized. Instead of meeting the question with manliness, the Church, through its organ, has introduced a clause which seems to us to retain the worst features of the original Acts. It is an alteration in form indeed, but the odious spirit still stalks abroad. The declaration insisted on, is, that the individual on taking office, shall promise he will not use his influence to subvert the established religion, or dispossess it of its rights and immunities. Such a declaration, no conscientious Dissenter can, in our judgment, make. As a Christian, he holds all connection of Christianity with the civil power, to be an abomination. As a Dissenter, he maintains that the Church is rioting in wealth, and that her forms are anti-christian. As a Unitarian, he believes her doctrines to be corruptions. How can this man affirm, he will not use his influence to stay this moral and religious plague? If he attends a dissenting chapel, he uses his influence against the Church, the influence of his example. If he be honest, it is his bounden duty to do all he can to uproot that which is opposed to the Gospel he professes to believe. Rather then, than see such a declaration form part of the Bill; we would that the original statutes remained in force. Let us have an open enemy, rather than a pretended boon. It seems to us, that requiring such a declaration, would be only adding insult to the previous injury.
OUR readers will learn with pleasure, that in addition to "The Unitarian" at New-York, a periodical, entitled "The Unitarian Advocate," is now publishing in Boston, Massachusets, by the Rev. E. Q. Sewall. We observe, that in the First Number of "The Unitarian,” the Editor has done us the favour to notice our Magazine. Our circulation he has, however, greatly over-rated. We know not, indeed, whether it exceed that of the English Unitarian periodicals, but we know, that it has very far exceeded our most sanguine expectations.
THE Unitarian Congregation of Glasgow, gratefully acknowledge Donations from Manchester, Saltcoats, & Bath.
Notes on Passages of Scripture.
"IF God has condescended to employ any human language, in revealing his will to men, he has, by employing such an instrument, given us reason to conclude, that, by the established rules of interpretation in that language, his meaning must be interpreted.”—Principal Campbell.
MAT. viii. 16, 17. "When the evening was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with demons; and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.'
The passage in Isaiah, is as follows: "He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows," liii. 4. Now, the Evangelist, I think, does not accommodate these words of "the Prophet" to his purpose-does not divert them from their proper meaning. He cites them as an express prediction of one among the most memorable of the incidents in the life of Christ; and he is anxious to convince his readers that the prediction was accomplished. Such being his design, he employs one of the strongest of the forms of quotation, which occur in the New Testament, of passages from the Jewish Scriptures. If we suppose him to have drawn up his gospel in Greek, he even himself translates, and this literally and most faithfully, the language of the Prophet from the original: and of what that language was, and what its meaning, and its just application, we must, surely, allow Matthew to have been a far better judge than any the most admired interpreters through later ages.*
On the more probable hypothesis, that this Evangelist wrote his memoir of our Saviour's ministry, in the Hebrew tongue, we are justified in assuming, that he has extracted Isaiah's own words, and that, by himself, or by some other individual, they were afterwards correctly rendered into Greek. Whichsoever of these suppositions we adopt, our conclusion must be the same. In either case, we have the high authority of the Evangelist, for the just reading and application of the text of the Prophet.
In the Public Version, the rendering of the clause, so quoted, should have been, “He himself took away our infirmities, and bare away our sicknesses.* If it be inquired, how Jesus Christ did this, the narrative supplies the answer: "When the evening was come," &c. He took and he bare away the maladies of men, not by transferring any of them to his own person, but by his miraculous and instantaneous cure of all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease, among the people.
Bishop Pearce surmises, that the 17th verse has been "inserted by mistake; having been at first a marginal or interlineal quotation of somebody, who judged it (though ignorantly) to the purpose of what is said in verse 16." Principal Campbell, too, says, "In our sense of the term fulfilling, we should rather call that the fulfilment of this prophecy, which is mentioned 1 Pet. iv. 24;" and it is evidently his opinion, that Matthew does nothing more than accommodate Isaiah's language. I submit, however, that Peter refers not to the 4th verse, but to the 11th and 12th verses of the Prophet's fifty-third chapter. The distinction will at once be evident to any man, who compares together the three verses in the original: neither the subject nor the phraseology is the same.
JOHN iv. 9." The Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
Of the fact thus stated, Luke ix. 53, is a clear illustration. The Jews had no familiar intercourse with the Samaritans; and least of all that social intercourse, which consists in a joint participation of the same meal-in eating and drinking together. Hence the astonishment of the woman of Samaria, at our Lord's saying unto her, "Give me to drink." The people of the East have always laid the greatest stress on such acts, as marks of patronage and friendship: in some cases, however, religious prejudices have placed an insuperable barrier in the way of these signs of hospitable attention being either manifested or accepted. Among the passages of Scripture, which refer to the custom, and are explained by it, I may notice Obad. V. 7. Mark ii. 15, 16. Gal. ii. 12. I, moreover, find Bishop Heber relating of the Hindoos, that "so long as they are not baptized, nor eat nor drink in company with Christians or Pariars, all is well," &c.-Indian Journals, I. 289.
See 1 Sam. xvii. 34. Isaiah xlvi. 4. + That they were connected together in the way of buying and selling, is plain from v. 8 of this chap.