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"Irishmen! I understand the politics of our common land, and would correct them; I appreciate the evils of which you complain, and sympa thise in your murmurs; I can perceive the ungenerous arts, too often the exasperating spirit, mixed up with the controversies which assail you, and lament their too certain effect in exciting your alienation and disgust; but, my countrymen, in the midst of all these sources of uneasiness, amidst all these interruptions to unprejudiced habits of thought, I will still regard you as capable of reflection; I will still believe it not impossible to speak to YOUR UNDERSTANDINGS with effect. I ask you, then, in all solemnity and soberness, may 1, by the unaided application of that reason and conscience with which God has endowed me, be impressed with a conviction, that I must live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world,' if I would hope to be favourably judged at the tribunal of Christ in the next; and must I THEN have recourse to an INFALLIBLE GUIDE, demanding my implicit obedience, in ORDER to protect me from error in the MERELY ACCESSORY parts of religion!! Would God have made all things NECESSARY plain, as one of the Fathers, St. Chrysostom, expressly and justly asserted them to be, and then have vouchsafed so extraordinary an attribute as INFALLIBILITY to man, in order to direct me in things NOT necessary? Would the essential interests of my immortal soul, be left to the light and guidance of my own understanding, and a PERFETUAL MIRACLE be placed in the keeping of a privileged body of men, in order to conduct the mere forms, or prescribe the less necessary doctrines, of religion? May I learn by my own faculties, guided and expanded by the blessed intelligence which He has conveyed to us by His Son, that to love God with all my heart, and soul, and strength, and my neighbour as myself to cherish, as I would eternal life, a conscience void of offence towards God and towards menthat in these consist the spirit of all acceptable religion, and the very essence of heaven itself; and must I have a SUPERNATURAL AID at my hand, to regulate the application of a certain quantum of oil to my several senses at my dying hour; or to inform me, that matrimony is a sacrament; or that bishops are divinely ordained; or that meats must be discarded on a Friday?-Nay, can we readily believe it to have been a special concern of Heaven, to inform us whether homoousia, or homoiousia, be the term more descriptive of the Trinity; whether the perichoresis, or, to use an easier word, the circumincession of the persons, be a doctrine of the Gospel or not; or whether Filioque, added by one general council to the list of articles to be believed, render our creed more orthodox than it had been left by another general council, which decided that there should be no addition at all made to that creed?-all of which may be very interesting and elevating topics of inquiry; but we may assuredly be permitted to doubt, without ceasing thereby to be Christians, whether, to protect us from the danger of error in making up our minds upon any of these points, it has been actually provided by God, that the reverend and right reverend the Clergy, whether separately or congregated in council, should be invested with an attribute, which, if it be not omniscience itself, places them rather in the rank of celestial than of earthly natures!"

"And, my rational countrymen!-if, instead of busying themselves from age to age, in heaping article after article upon the consciences of

* C Speaking of the procession or emanation of the two other Persons of the Trinity from the Father, we have the following quotation from St. Ambrose, by Bishop Bull, which, as a specimen of exquisite verbiage, is not perhaps to be equalled:- Ex ipso sunt, quia non a se; et in ipso, quia non separata; et ipsum ipsa quod ipse, et ipsum ipse quod ipsa: et non ipsum ipsa qui ipse; et non ipsa ipse quæ ipsa'!!! The wonder is, that after so clear an exposition, any thing more should ever have been said, sung, or written upon the subject."

Christians-if, instead of making a merit of swelling the number of things to be believed, and inventing pretences for denouncing and damning each other, men had been all that time equally zealous in provoking to the love of God, and of their fellow-creatures, what a comparatively happy world had it been; how instructive and animating, instead of disgraceful and revolting, had been the religious annals of mankind!

Then, indeed, would a genuine unity have been transmitted to us, not depending upon the compulsory, or capricious, or impossible, adherence of men to a complicated system of belief-but flowing from a conviction, that holiness was the one thing needful, and charity the one thing lovely, in the religion of the Redeemer:-Varieties there would have been, but they would have been harmless; different ages and nations adopting different forms, but the bond of peace still sacred and unbroken; men of various capacities and temperaments indulging in opposite views of the less important intimations of Scripture, but forbearing to infringe the prerogative of a dissenting, or a weaker brother, knowing that every one must give an account OF HIMSELF before God-that to his own Master he standeth or falleth-and that, with whatever subordinate differences of opinion, all were entitled to the appellation of CHRISTIAN, and the privileges of religious communion, who, under God, took Christ for their MESSIAH, their guide, and THEIR JUDGE!"




GLASGOW, May 1, 1828.

On Friday, April 4, was held the Annual Meeting of the Lancashire and Cheshire Unitarian Missionary Society. The religious services were conducted in the Unitarian Chapel, Cross-Street, Manchester, by the Rev. J. Brettel of Rotherham; after which, a collection in aid of the funds of the Society took place, which amounted to £18. The members and friends of the Association, then assembled in the School-room of the Unitarian MeetingHouse, Green Gate, Salford, to partake of refreshment, and transact the business of the Society. The Rev. J. G. Robberds presided. The report of the Committee, which was read, gave a pleasing account of the success, which, at Astley and Swinton, had attended upon the exertions of the stated missionary of the Association, the Rev. G. Buckland, aided by other ministers and gentlemen. The Society extends its influence to upwards of 400 children, and 200 adults. But its operations are considerably restricted by the deficiency of its resources; and previously to the annual meeting, the Committee had feared that the Association would be obliged to relinquish the highly valuable services of Mr. Buckland. On learning this, however, several individuals, present at the meeting, most generously increased their subscriptions, by which an augmentation of £25 per annum, was procured. Induced by this increase in their resources, the Society immediately appointed Mr. Buckland for another quarter, and earnestly recommended the Committee for the ensuing year, to make every exertion, in order, if possible, to continue Mr. Buckland in the situation which he fills with so much credit to himself, and usefulness to others. We hope that the benevolence of our fellow-Christians, will lead them to meet the earnest wishes of the Association.

THE anniversary of the opening of the Unitarian Meeting-House, Moor-Lane, Bolton, was held on Sunday and Monday, April the 6th and 7th, on which occasion, the Rev. H. H. Piper of Norton, and the Rev. J. R. Beard of Manchester, were the preachers. The collection, which took place for the liquidation of the debt incurred by the erection of school-rooms, amounted to £21. The members and friends, to the number of 110, dined together on the Monday: the Rev. H. H. Piper in the chair. The meeting was addressed by the Revds. H. H. Piper, J. R. Beard, J. Cropper (the minister of the congregation), E. Hawkes, H. Green, A. Bennet, G. Buckland, and by Messrs. T. Duffield, Barrow, F. B. Wright, and Brandreth. The utmost cordiality prevailed; the most liberal sentiments were uttered, and the highest gratification enjoyed. We have never attended a meeting in which the spirit of the Gospel was more prevalent. The congregation at Moor-Lane is of a character to secure the Christian sympathy of every friend to pure and vital religion, and there is every reason to hope, that, under the influences of their excellent pastor, and the spirit by which they are animated, they will succeed in establishing a permanent society, which must prove a blessing to themselves, and the district in which they are called to operate.

DURING the winter, a meeting for the discussion of controverted doctrines has been held in the School-room of the Unitarian Meeting-house, Green Gate, Salford. The subject that has chiefly occupied the attention, has been the Deity of Christ. The number of persons that has attended, amounts, at an average, to about two hundred. Each meeting was commenced with singing and prayer, and concluded with prayer alone. The chief speakers on the side of Unitarianism, were the Rev. J. R. Beard, Rev. G. Buckland, and Rev. A. Bennet. The books of the New Testament were taken consecutively in the order in which they stand, and the evidence which each singly affords, carefully considered. To this, which appears to us the only rational way of pursuing the inquiry, the Trinitarian speakers, though at first they acquiesced, afterwards greatly demurred; finding, we apprehend, that such a mode of investigation, was detrimental to the interests of the cause which they had undertaken to espouse. Upon the whole, the meetings have been conducted with great order, and with no inconsiderable degree of Christian spirit. But some degree of exertion was necessary on the part of the advocates of Unitarianism, in order to repress acrimonious, denunciatory, and pharasaical expressions from their dissentient friends. There is reason to think that much good has been effected by these meetings; and at least our Salford friends have the praise of obeying the injunction, "Cast thy bread upon the waters, and it shall be found after many days,"

WE rejoice in stating, that a Meeting of the Inhabitants of Glasgow, friendly to Universal Religious Freedom, was called by public advertisement, and held in the Unitarian Chapel of this city, on the 28th March. It was both numerous and respectable, consisting of persons of various

denominations. Mr. Harris was the Chairman. The Resolutions were moved by Messrs. Muir and Blyth, and seconded by Mr. Thomson and Dr. Hindley, a Catholic. A Petition, founded on them, was unanimously adopted. Its prayer was for the Unqualified Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, as well as for the abrogation of all laws affecting liberty of thought on matters of religion. It specially objected to the Declaration in the Repeal Bill, as appearing to the Petitioners, "to retain the worst features of the original Statutes, and still to continue a reproach on those who conscientiously dissent from the Established Religion." The Petition received nearly FOUR THOUSAND signatures: several of them Ministers, some Episcopalians, a considerable number Catholics, and generally of the various religious parties of this country. We consider the number of signatures to this Petition, as a convincing proof of the progress of liberality. Numbers, even now, objected to sign it, on account of its having been proposed by the Unitarians; and we are satisfied, that, only a few years since, a very large proportion of the signatures would not have been obtained. The Petition has been presented to the House of Lords, by the Marquis of Lansdowne.

We observe, too, that the Repeal Bill has passed the Commons, as also the second reading in the Lords. We cannot conscientiously say, that we rejoice at its progress. It removes, indeed, the profanation of a solemn and affecting religious service, and so far we are glad--but it substitutes a trap for conscience, which virtually acknowledges the right of human power to interfere in Religion. In submitting to its introduction, the Dissenters have given up their vantage ground. Lord Russel affirmed, that the majority who voted with him, contemplated only the unconditional repeal. The Committee of the whole House passed a similar vote. And this was effected against the combined and strenuous efforts of Government. Seeing they could not prevent the Repeal, the only thing left was to clog it by restrictions. This, we think, has been effectually done by the Declaration. It is evident, that the Bishops and the Ministers consider it as an efficient security, greater even than that which has been lost. The Westminster Review has truly said, the past "History of the Dissenters is an instructive example of the fragility of any alliance which the oppressed may form with any body of oppressors-of the vanity of the sacrifice made by confiding patience to despotic willand of the faithlessness of hierarchies, and courts, and kings.' When the joy occasioned by the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, has passed away, the Dissenters may, perhaps, acknowledge, that the Declaration in the Repeal Bill forms no exception to the observation.

True, had the just claim of the Dissenters been persisted in-had Lord Russel's original motion been carried forward-had no compromise taken place, these obnoxious statutes might not, this Session, have been swept away. But what then? Mrs. Barbauld said, in 1790, and the language is even more applicable now:-"The only question between us, is, whether you will do it to-day; to-morrow you certainly will. You will even entreat us, if need were, to allow you to remove from your country, the stigma of illiberality. We appeal to the certain, sure operation of increasing light and knowledge, which it is no more in your power to stop, than to repel the tide with your naked hand, or to wither with your breath, the genial influence of vegetation." "The genius of Philosophy [and of pure and undefiled Religion] is walking abroad, and with the touch of Ithuriel's spear, is trying the establishments of the earth. The various forms of Prejudice, Superstition, and Servility, start up in their true shapes, which had long imposed upon the world, under the revered semblances of Honour, Faith, and Loyalty. Whatever is loose, must be shaken; whatever is corrupt, must be lopt away; whatever is not built on the broad basis of public utility, must be thrown to the ground."


No. 22.

JUNE, 1828.

Vol. II.

Matthew the Evangelist, a Unitarian.
(Continued from page 296.)

It was my second object to show, that even the few passages which are thought by Trinitarians to relate to this subject, have, in fact, no relation to it whatever, and are misinterpreted when they are adduced as evidence to the doctrine of the Trinity, or the Deity of Jesus Christ.

The first which occurs, is the text, "And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted, is, God with us."-Matt. i. 23.

On this verse, it may be remarked, that the more intelligent advocates of the Trinity make little or no account of it. In the mouths, however, of most people, it still passes for a most satisfactory proof-text on the doctrine of the Trinity. A few observations will suffice.

It seems to be generally admitted, that the words of Isaiah are not prophetical of Christ and the name and nature he should bear, but are to be confined to the immediate event of which the Prophet was then speaking; and that the Evangelist refers to the event recorded by the Prophet, only as applying remarkably to, and suiting the circumstances of the Saviour's birth and office. Abaz king of Judah, was in fear for his kingdom, the two kings of Syria and Israel having come upon him, and God promised Ahaz that before a child, soon to be born, should be grown up, and whose name, in token of the intended deliverance, should be called Emmanuel, i. e. God with us, the two kingdoms of his enemies should be overthrown. God would be with him, i. e. give him the victory over his enemies. Jesus having come as the messenger of God to save mankind from their greatest enemy, sin, the Evangelist recollecting the incident in the history of Ahaz, introduces it in illustration of his subject. But as God did not come on earth in his own person, to interpose in behalf of Ahaz, so neither does the Evangelist intend to convey the idea that because he applies the name Em

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