Page images

for the support and promotion of what they believe to be the truth as it is in Jesus. The methods adopted by other denominations of Christians, to obtain pecuniary means to carry on their popular plans and support their public institutions, are not unworthy of the consideration, and many of them of the adoption of Unitarian Christians; especially as it is well known that without adopting such methods, neither our brethren the Methodists, nor those of the different Calvinistic parties, could have possessed the means of carrying on their various and, in many instances, expensive exertions. It cannot be doubted that Unitarians, though much inferior in number to the other denominations mentioned, are sufficiently numerous and opulent, taken collectively, to furnish the means necessary for the support of such extended plans and exertions, for the promotion of what they believe to be the cause of genuine Christianity, as cannot be earried forward without more abundant resources than have yet been furnished, and which, if carried forward with prudence and zeal, would be likely to be successful. It is far from my intention to insinuate that there are not a great many liberal individuals in our religious connexions, who have shewn their readiness to ́contribute towards the support of our public institutions, and by whose friendly aid what has been already done has been rendered practicable: what I wish to recommend, and am anxious to see adopted, is some plan which may give opportunity for every individual in our congregations, however poor, to contribute his mite, however small, at least once in a year, towards the carrying on plans for the promotion of Unitarian Christianity. It is by uniting the exertions of the mass of the people, by obtaining contributions from almost every individual in their congregations, that Christians of other denominations find such abundant resources for carrying on their extensive plans. It appears to me extremely easy for Unitarians to do the same; and from what I know of the liberality of a considerable part of our congregations, I am led to think that it is merely for want of proper plans having been proposed to them, and submitted to

their consideration, that they have not been adopted. The establishment of Fellowship Funds is certainly an important measure, and well calculated to unite the exertions and increase the zeal of a number of persous in each congregation where it is adopted: for the suggestion of this plan we have reason to bless the memory of a late excellent friend of the cause, and it is hoped it will continue to extend; it is likely to do good in other respects, as well as furnish resources for Unitarian objects. Still there is another plan which I beg leave to recommend, which would neither clash with the Fellowship Funds, nor any other yet adopted: it is, the preaching of annual sermons in aid of our public institutions. This would give every individual in our congregations an opportunity of contributing his mite in support of the common cause which we espouse, and might furnish more abundant resources than can be procured in any other way.

That the Unitarian Fund has succeeded, under every view, beyond what the most sanguine of its friends expected, in so short a time, at its first establishment, and that it has contributed much to the success of the Unitariau cause, will, I expect, be generally acknowledged. Still, that its plans and operations might be greatly extended, with good prospect of success, speaking from careful observation and all the information I have been able to acquire on the subject, I have no hesitation in asserting. There are parts of the island where circuits might be formed on the Methodist plan, and gradually many small Unitarian Churches formed in them; but in the outset, the Fund would have to defray the greater part, if not the whole, of the expense of supporting the missionaries, and carrying on the cause in such circuits. In other parts of the country, where such circuits couldnot be immediately formed, much might be done if the number of missionaries was increased. But such an extension of the plans of the Fund would unavoidably involve a considerable increase of expenditure. Impressed with these matters, with all due deference to the judgment of others, I take the liberty of submit

ting to the consideration of the Unitarian public, whether it be not both desirable and practicable for an an nual sermon to be preached on behalf of the Unitarian Fund, (and of course a collection made at the close of it,) in every congregation which approves of its plans and objects. I am not aware of any objection which can reasonably be made to this plan, nor of any injury or inconvenience it could involve.

Allow me very briefly to state a few reasons why such a plan should be adopted.

1. Most other denominations of Christians have annual sermons and collections in their various congregations, in support of religious objects, and generally of missionary preaching, &c.; and in this way they obtain no small part of the resources by which they are enabled to carry on their extensive plans and I see no reason why Unitarians should not pursue the same course, nor why it should not be equally beneficial in carrying into effect their plans for enlightening and improving mankind.

2. The having an annual sermon for such an object, would afford a favourable opportunity for explaining our views and sentiments, plans and objects; and as the attention of strangers and persons not well-acquainted with our sentiments, might be excited, it is likely it would be the means of leading them to more correct views of the doctrines we maintain, and of promoting the Unitarian cause in the places where such preached.

sermous were

3. It would be a testimony of the union of our congregations in the common cause, and of their zeal for the promotion of what they believe to be the truth of God; and with the

want of such union and zeal their enemies have reproached them.

4. It would afford an opportunity for those who could give but very little, and for those who would not like their names should appear to any subscription of the kind, to contribute something; and it is likely many would subscribe at such a time who would otherwise never give any thing: consequently, in this way, much might, from the congregations at large, be brought into the Fund, which would otherwise never have

[blocks in formation]

been contributed to any Unitarian, nor to any other benevolent object.

5. In particular it would give the poor in our congregations, who feel a deep interest in the cause, an opportunity of contributing a few pence towards its promotion, which would be gratifying to their feelings, and tend to increase their interest in it; for men always feel the more interested in a thing when it costs them something.

6. It is pretty evident, if an annual sermon were preached in the Unitarian congregations generally in aid of the Unitarian Fund, it would greatly increase its resources, and furnish the managers of it with the means of doing much more to promote the cause.

7. Hitherto the Unitarian Fund has been supported chiefly by the subscriptions of individuals; the plan now recommended would bring whole congregations to its aid, and might gradually call out the strength of the Unitarian body at large in support of its plans and objects.

Feeling deeply interested in the success and permanence of the Unitarian Fund, and anxious to see its plans and operations extended in every direction, and in every proper way, before I go to the silent mansion of the tomb, I have thought much on the mode of increasing its resources here stated; and I hope our brethren every where will forgive the liberty I take of recommending it to their notice and attention, and that you, Sir, will be so kind as to give this paper a place in the Repository, which will much oblige


Mr. Evelyn a Reformer. F our preceding extracts [pp. 22 and 156] from Mr. Evelyn's Diary, &c., have represented him in a light at all unfavourable to his character, which, however, was not designed, we shall end our quotations with a few passages which will set him right in the reader's opinion. He was an accomplished gentleman, a liberal scholar, a fine writer, a zealous promoter of learning, science and the arts, a generous friend, a pattern of every domestic virtue, and only inconsistent when he was actuated by his family attachment to the Stuarts,

and his exclusive love of the English hierarchy.

The Revolution of 1688, which Mr. Evelyn lived to witness, but which he evidently knew not how to approve entirely, freed his mind (himself, perhaps, unconscious of it) from the restrictions which the old system of government had laid upon it; and in a letter "To my Lord Godolphin, one of the Lords Justices, and first Commissioner of the Treasury," dated June 6, 1696, he appears in the character of a Reformer, in which character he anticipates some of the great public questions which, after the lapse of a century and a quarter, still agitate the public mind. He first touches upon the circulating medium of the country, and complains of the wicked practices of those that have ruined the public credit by debasing, in various unrighteous ways, the current coiu of the realm. He next proposes, for preserving the flourishing state of this mercantile nation, a Council of Trade: to this Council he advises that the care of the manufactures of the kingdom should be committed, "with stock for employment of y poore; by which might be moderated that unreasonable statute for their relief, (as now in force,) occasioning more idle persons, who charge the publiq without all remedy, than otherwise there would be, insufferably burdening the parishes, by being made to earne their bread honestly, who now eate it in idleness, and take it out of the mouthes of the truely indigent, much inferior in number, and worthy objects of charity." He adds, that to this assembly should be referred all proposals of new inventions, which should be encouraged, and not reproached "as projectures, or turning y unsuccessful proposer to ridicule, by a barbarity without example, no where countenanc'd but in this nation." He points out further as an "exhauster and waster of ye publiq treasure, the progresse and increase of buildings about this already monstrous city," and recommends that the Norway trade, supported by building, should be discouraged in favour of the trade with our own plantations. He then proceeds in the following passages to suggest reforms in the Commons' House of Parliament, in courts of law and in the criminal code.

"Truely, my L., I cannot but wonder, and even stand amaz'd, that Parliaments should have sate, from time to time, so many hundred yeares, and value their constitution to that degree, as the most sovraine remedy for the redresse of publiq grievances; whilst the greatest still remaine unre. form'd and untaken away. Witnesse the confus'd, debauch'd, and riotous manner of electing members qualified to become the representatives of a nation, wth legislative power to dispose of the fate of kingdomes; which should and would be compos'd of worthy persons, of known integritie and ability in their respective countries, and still would serve them generously, and as their ancestors have don, but are not able to fling away a son or daughter's portion to bribe the votes of a drunken multitude, more resembling a Pagan Bacchanalia, than an assembly of Christians and sober men, met upon the most solemn occasion that can concerne a people, and stand in competition with some rich scrivener, brewer, banker, or one in some gainfull office, whose fuce or name, perhaps, they never saw or knew before. How, my Ld. must this sound abroad! With what dishonour and shame at home!

"To this add the disproportion of the buroughs capable of electing members, by which the major part of the whole kingdom are frequently outcoted, be the cause never so unjust, if it concerne a party intrest.

"Will ever those swarmes of locusts, lawyers and attorneys, who fill so many seats, vote for a publiq Register, by which men may be secur'd of their titles and possessions, and an infinity of suits and frauds prevented?

"Im'oderate fees, tedious and ruinous delays, and tossings from court to court before an easy cause, which might be determin'd by honest gentlemen and understanding neighbours, can come to any final issue, may be number'd amongst the most vexatious oppressions that call aloud for redresse.

"The want of bodys (slaves) for publiq and laborious works, to which many sorts of animals might be usefully condemn'd, and some reform`d, instead of sending them to the gallows, deserves to be consider'd.


These, and the like, are the greate desiderata, (as well as the reformation

[ocr errors]

Mr. Howe on the Persecution of the Jews of Lubeck.

of the Coine,) which are plainely wanting to the consu'mate felicity of this nation; and divers of them of absolute necessitie to its recovery from the atrophy and consumption it labours under.

The King himself should (my L) be acquainted with these particulars, aud of the greate importance of them, by such as from their wisedome and integrity, deserve the neerest accesse, and would purchase him the hearts of a free and emancipated people, and a blessing on the government; were he pleased uncessantly to recommend them to those who, from time to time, are call'd together for these ends, and healing of the nation."

This interesting letter concludes with the following beautiful passage: "In such a tempest and overgrown a sea, every body is concern'd, and whose head is not ready to turne? I am sure, I should myself almost despaire of the vessel, if any, save y LP, were at the helme. But, whilst your hand is on the staff, and your eye upon the star, I compose myselfe and rest secure."


Bridport, April 2, 1819.
S every species of religious per-

or individuals on the face of the earth,
affects my mind with tender sym-
pathy towards the sufferers, and with
mixt feelings of pity and censure re-
specting their oppressors, these sen-
sations were powerfully excited by
the perusal of the following letter.
This I have transcribed for insertion,
if you approve, in the Monthly Repo-
sitory. I wish the attention of all
Europe could be called to the late
Decree of the Christian Senate of
Lubeck, affecting the Jews resident
in that imperial city, [see p. 132,]
that if the statement here given be
correct, (and it is confirmed by the
public journals,) such disgraceful
scenes of bigotry, intolerance and
cruelty, may expose their authors to
the general reprobation which they
justly deserve, and be the means of
procuring for the sufferers, from truly
enlightened and liberal professors of
Christianity, a religion of universal
love and benevolence, the seasonable
relief their necessities may require.

THOMAS HOWE. "Jews of Lubeck. "THE following extract of a Letter,

[ocr errors]


by the last Hamburgh mail, will give some idea of the quantum of freedom enjoyed by the Jews, in the Free Town of Lubeck.

"With feelings of horror and indignation I now take up my pen to communicate to you some of the particulars of a transaction, which has taken place in the free city of Lubeck : a transaction more disgraceful or are bitrary, I will venture to say, is not to be met with in the history of any civilized country; and, be it remembered, this city is under the immediate protection of the Emperor of Austria. You will recollect that, during the last war, in every city, town or village where Jews resided, they not only offered their property, but their lives, for the support and protection of their sovereigns. Numerous instances might be mentioned, indeed, of the satisfaction expressed by the crowned heads with their conduct;' for instance, the King of Prussia granted them the privileges of citizens throughout his dominions, with the right of holding any public office whatever.

"Will the world believe any part of the above, when they read the famous Decree of the 2d of December 1818—

statutes of

1768, and the more intolerant one of the 26th of September, 1778, are again to be put in full force? What must have been the feelings of persons who have resided there for many years, following undisturbed their va rious occupations; what must have been the feelings of fathers, sitting with their wives, enjoying the innocent sport of their children; what must have been their feelings, I say, when they read this famous Decree, forbidding their carrying on business in any manner whatever?

"To complete the ruin they had begun, the police officers were ordered to search all Jews openly in the streets, or to burst open their houses, to take possession of their property and seal it up, even the common necessaries of life. To prevent the possibility of any evasive measures, the Senate decree and order, That any person acting for, or in any shape transacting business with a Jew, shall, for the first offence, be fined; for the second, fined and imprisoned, and lose his right of citizenship; and any clerk, porter or menial servant, living

with a Jew, shall be imprisoned and expelled this free town.'

"You may recollect, that before Buonaparte entered Germany, and declared the Jews citizens and members of society, they were treated as common beasts, and on passing through several towns, had to pay the sum per head which was paid for swine.

"The war being ended, the Jews were led to expect, that the meeting of the Sovereigns in Congress would have been the prelude to a redress of their former grievances, and that they would have been allowed to partake of those rights and liberties which are enjoyed by their Christian neighbours. But, alas! the war being ended, the Sovereigns forgot their promises; they forgot that Jews were human, that they are the work of the same Almighty Creator; they forgot their many services during the war, and left them to the mercy of the waves, to the mercy of those merciless beings, the Senate of the town, which is styled the Free Town of Lubeck.

"Will any one believe that such scenes have been witnessed at the close of the year 1818? Are these the good things for which the people of Europe have fought and bled? Is it thus that the promises of an Alexander, a Frederic or a Francis, are to be fulfilled? I hope before this meets your eye, the subject will have reached the ears of the members of the Holy Alliance, and that they will convince the hundreds of thousands who are now looking forward, with dreadful expectation, that those promises so solemnly made, were made in since rity."--The Jewish Expositor for Feb. 1819, p. 72.

off; aiming to shew, not only that he was a competent judge, but to make it appear that, though condemning, he was full of candour, and that, though exasperated, he could be just. For when your Christian Surveyor hinted that Mr. B.'s “babe sprinkling" was not the primitive Christian baptism, it was easy to perceive, that those bees stung him.

For my own part, judging only from Mr. B.'s exhibitions on this subject, in your Magazine, and in his Pamphlet on Infant Baptism, I must be forgiven if I say that I somewhat doubt his competency, it appearing to me that, if Mr. R. in one or two points is not quite right, your Correspondent is on others, as already hinted, far more wrong.

Much respect as I think due to Mr. R.'s talents, I feel more for truth, and prodigiously more than for your Correspondent's pleas and dogmatical decisious. Had this censurer been one properly acquainted with classical authors and ancient lawyers, with old historians, the Latin Fathers, and monkish writers, so as to be qualified to decide on the great differences of their style, he should be entreated to consider those differences, and his capacity and means for information being admitted, his moderation and forbearance should be solicited. He should be reminded that Mr. Robinson, though a man of genius, had thrown himself into the situation of an unfortunate drudge, doomed to wade through oceans of barbarous latinity; and such competent person would admit, that if Mr. R. translated a word wrong in such a writer as Tertullian, he might hope to be forgiven: nay, that he might commit

On Mr. Belsham's "Plea for Infant himself, (in the judgment of a par



(Continued from p. 39.)

[blocks in formation]

ticular class of critics,) without breaking Priscian's head, (according to the use of words in such writers,) or any violent anti-Tertullianism. But mea humilitas can perceive, that these matters do not lie much in your Corre. spondent's way.

As to the present writer, he has hitherto thought it sufficient to shew, that what your Correspondent so anxiously, yet in vain, looked to find in the above History, ought to have been looked for in writers on his side of the question; that much that he looked for was there, and something more, perhaps, than he looked for, or

« PreviousContinue »