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Art. I.--The Bampton Lecturer Re- most reverend assailant upon the occasion proved; being a Reply to the calum- to which I allude, if the rumour is cornious Charges of the Rev. C. A. rect, to say the least, it was not very inadly
Moysey, D. D. etc., in his late Bamp. to attack where a defence was impossible.' 1
ton Lectures against the Unitarians, -Pp. 118, 119. and especially the Editors of the These incessant attacks upon the Improved Version ; in Letters to a Unitarians may be owing, in many Friend. To which is annexed, A cases, to the sincere horror u bich the Letter, in Reply to the Charges of reputed orthodox feel in contemplathe Very Reverend Dean Magee, in ting a system of faith which they apVolume II. Part II. of his Disserta- prebend endangers men's salvation, tions_on Atonement and Sacrifice. and in some instances they may have By Thomas Belsham, Minister of been provoked by the supposed ag. Essex Street Chapel. 8vo. pp. gression of Unitarian sermons or pub198. Huuter and Eaton. 1819. lications; but they cannot be wholly
CONTROVERSIAL work accounted for, except on the admisrepresented by party zeal as unan
the Trinitarians are conscious in their swerable; we are pleased, therefore,
own arguments, and of a consequent that Mr. Belsham has condescended growing defection from their own to take up his pen against the present communion. The danger from Uniassailant of the Unilarians, who is no tarianism is not at any rate magnified otherwise considerable than as he in the eye of the thorough believer, has connected himself, in the quality by any affectatiou of mystery in the of Bampton Lecturer, with the great proceedings of the Unitariaus themtheological question of our times.
selves. Mr. Belsham says, with as Trinitarian writers are fond of de. much truth as good-humour, preciating both the numbers and the 66 All that Unitarians do to promote talents of the Unitarians; but their their cause is done openly, without any own practice shews that they do not
or affectation of concealment. consider these opponents as few of
Their books are published, their lectures weak. Not a sermon is preached are advertised; the proceedings of ibeir upon any public occasion, not a charge dozen cau meet togeiber for friendly conis delivered, as Mr. Belsham says, p. 118, but a thrust is made at the Universation, but the secretary sends up the tarians. From the highest dignitary
accouui, signed with his initials, for the to the lowest aspirant, all are loud in and charitable female is gathered to her
next Repository; and hardly any pious their invectives against the Unitarians. fatbers, but her works and virties are inaMr. Belsham adds,
mediately chronicled for the benefit of pos“It has even been said that attempts have terity. Our adversaries may smile at the been made to poison the ear, and to excite consequence we assume; but, at any rate, the prejudices of the august representative
a community, which affects so much pub of royalty, who cannot indeed be expected licity, can never be suspected of treasonato enter deeply into theological specula. ble designs; and whatever passes among tion, and who will probably he content to ourselves, nothing hostile or unfriendly believe as the church believes; but who,
to our fellow.christians, however different I trust, will never depart from those prin in opinion, ever escapes upon such occaciples of toleration which have hitherto sions.”—Pp. 119, 120. distinguished bis illustrious House, which
Far be it from us, however, to reso fondly endeared the Hanover Family pine at the frequency or vehemence and the Hanover Succession to the op. of the contests to which Unitarians pressed nonconformišts of a former age; and the reverse of which first devoted to are challenged. Experience has public execration, and afterwards banished proved that controversy, even when from the throne, the detested family of carried on most unpleasantly by their Stuart. As to the reported conduct of the opponents, is favourable to their cause.
They have never wanted, and, under Improved Version,--all these machines Providence, will never want writers were in motion long before the Trinity to maintain their principles and vin. Doctrine Bill was thought of, and their dicate their characters. May their success would have beeu the same if that advocates always obtain as honourable hill had never existed. And if the success a triumph as must be decreed to Mr. has been great, -and it has indeed es. Belsham for his victory over the
ceeded all expectation,- it has been owing
no other advantage than that which Bampton Lecturer!
truth, familiarly explained, and calmly, Dr. Mosey displays so much petty fearlessly and judicicusly defended, aut intolerance, and falls into such gross always possess over error rashly persisted blunders, ihat his auswerer could not in and intemperately maintained, eres possibly have preserved an uniform though power and interest, and fashiaa tone of gravity. -Mr. Belsham's motto and popularity, are ranged under its bas. is, that " it is better to laugh than ners. The repeal of the last odious relies to be angry."
Ir bis antagonist (for of the persecuting code is an honour to the the Bampton Lecturer attacks him age in wbich it was accomplished, to the personally) feel the edge of his irouy, government by which it was countenanced, he must reflect that his own temerity and to the parliament by which it was
to the patriot by whom it was introduced, has given it all its sharpuess.
enacted; it restores to the Unitarians The Oxford divine seems to cast a their natural rights as freeborn subjects look of regret upon the departed sta- of the United Empire, who have done notutes which carried pains and penal. thing to forfeit their birth-rigbı; and it is ties against the Unitarians, and attri. hailed by them with joy and gratitude to butes the present activity of these the goveroment by which these rights misbelievers to “ the impunity which have been acknowledged and restored, the Legislature has formally granted dence for having cast their lot in an ara
and with thankfulness to Divine Provi. to them;" upon which Mr. Belsham
so auspicious : but it has not, to my knowsayo, with becoming spirit,
ledge at least, been the means of inducing “ The Unitarians rejoiced in the success
a single etfort for the promotion and viaof Mr. Smith's Bill, because it placed Unitarians would not have thought it their
dication of Evangelical truth, which ibe them npon a level with their fellow.sub. jects. They now enjoy their religious duty to have exerted, had the persecnting liberty upon the ground of legal right, not
code still continued to disgrace the Statok a a matter of courtesy and" forbearance. Book.”—Pp. 7–9. But in point of security, they feel no dif. Dr. Moysey, following herein the ference between the protection of the spirit usage of soi-disant orthodox doctors, of the times and that of the laws. In this charges Unitarians with rejecting enlightened and tolerant age, what miser- doctrines, bowever clearly revealed, able narrow-minded bigot would have inerely because they cannot compre dared to rouse the spirit of the persecuting hend them; 10 which his Reproper laws against the Unitarians ? Or who can believe, if such a sarage were to be found,
replies, that the mild spirit of the House of Brups- “ A charge so nnjust and illiberal s wick would not immediately have issued this is ouly to be met by a direct negative. out a noli prosequi, as upon all former And I do aver in my own name and ia occasions, to have stopped such infamous that of my Unitarian brethren, that no one proceedings? The Unitarians felt no individual amoug us vejects the doctrine fears. And the learned Lecturer knows of the Trinity, or any other doctrine, solely but little of mankiud, or of the history of because it is incomprehensible: but we religion, if he is not aware that persecu- refuse our assent to the doctrine of the tion has never damped the zeal or stopped Trinity because, according to some expethe progress of a rising and ardent sect. sitions of it, it is a gross and palpable The truth is, that Unitarianism has pre. contradiction; and because in every for served its steady march : it has neither it is unfounded in reason and nnsupported been accelerated or retarded by the repeal by the Scriptures."-Pr. 11, 12. of the peval laws. All its engines were
Mr. Belsham is eminently successat work before. Plain speaking, sound argument, sobercriticism, Scripture proofs,
ful in this, às in all his preceeding theological learning, ecclesiastical history, works, in the statement of the philopublic preaching, fair and learned controsophical argument for the pure Coiversy, Unitarian societies for the distribu. tarian doctrine, and in the exposure tion of books, Unitarian funds, Unitarian of the weakness or inconsistency of missionaries, Unitarian academics, and the all the received explications of the
Review.--Belsham's Reply to Dr. Moysey.
497 Trivity. Dr. Moysey takes up the learning strikes his opponent with as scheme of Bishop Gastrell, which is little awe as his theological metaphyexpounded in the words of the bishop, sits. lo reading the extract which and then animadverted on, in the fol- we are uow about to give, the least lowing passage :
impartial reader will be ready to cry “ «These three names, of God the Fa.
out for mercy on the Bampton di. ther, Son and Holy Ghost, inust denote a
vine: threefold ditierence or distinction belong- • There is, however, one text which ap. ing to God, but such as is consistent with
pears to have fallen under the learned the unity and simplicity of the divine na. Lecturer's higb displeasure, and which he tare; for each of These includes the whole marks repeatedly with tokens of disappro. idea of God and something more. So farbation. Nor, to say the truth, du I greatly as they express the nature of God, they wonder at it, for it is full in the teeth of all adequately and exactly signify the his favourite doctrines. The author of
It is the additional siguification the Letters to the Bishop of London' has which makes all the distinction belween stated, that the l'nitariaiis believe Jesus them,'
Christ to be a proper buman being, in all “Su, then, according to this newly-dis- respects like unto his brethren.' This the covered or inore properly revived bypo- learned Leviurer cives as a very obnoxious thesis of the Trinity, Father includes doctrine, in direct opposition 10 the docthe whole idea of God and sonething trine of the church : and (p. 64) he marks more : the Son includes the whole idea of the words in all respects' by italics, as God and something more: and the Holy being particularly offensive. These words, Ghost includes the whole idea of God and be tells us, (p. 65,) assert that “onr Savisomething more: ūbile altogether, the Fa.' our was a mere human being-and they ther, the Sun and the Huly Ghust make lose none of their impiery by the subsebut one entire God and no more.
quent admi-sion of Christ's divine mission.' “This is indeed the mystery of myste. To this unfortunate text the learned Lecries : Cedite Romani scriptores, cedite turer recurs again and again, and always Graii. It transcends transubstantiation with sonje nute of disapprobation, particuitself. It is a mystery at which reason Jarly p: 92: “ They seek to degrade our stands aghast ; and faith herself must be Lord tv'a mere man' in all respects like more than • half confounded.' Well unto bis fellows. But the falsebood of might the learued Lecturer su earnestly that blasphemy has been shewn.' This and repeatedly call for and enjoin the is strong language: but to do justice to lowest prostration of the understanding the learned Lecturer, I do not believe that before he divulged so awful a secret. Well he knew that it was a passage of Scripture migbt be cry avaunt! to the busy and against which he was fulminating the meddlesome Unitarians, who are so noto- charges of falsehood, impiety and blas. rious for their profane habit of prying into phemy. But if he will take the trouble to holy mysteries, and their troublesome op- open his New Testament at the second position to implicit faith.
chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, he “ But for my own part, I must profess, will tind, at the i7ih verse, that the writer that however I may be branded by the affirms that ' in all things it behoved bim learned Lecturer as a Deist, an infidel, a he- to be made like unto his brethren.' I quite retic, a blasphemer, or with any other tern agree with the learned Lecturer, that this of reproach which may be drawn from bois doctrine is utterly irreconcileable to that copious vocabulary; if the penal code it. of the Church of England: but for this self were to be restored, so that I might no discrepancy the members of that commulonger speak truth with impunity; nay, pion, and not the Viritarians, are responeven if ihe wbolesnme statute de hæretico sible."-Pp 41, 42. comburendo were again to be called into action, and I were absolutely bound to the In a different style, different bestake; yet with all these powerful aids to cause equally suited to the subject, uplock the understanding and to support Mr. Belsham expresses his thoughts the faith, I could never be brought to be upon the Scripture doctrine of the lieve the doctrine of the learned Bampto- judgment of the world by Jesus nian Lecturer to be true, viz. that the
Christ: Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, each of them include the whole idea of "Upon the whole, it cannot be disputed God and something more,' and yet when that the Scriptures represent our Lord as taken together that they make up one
the man by whom the world is to he judyed entire God and nothing more.”—Pp. 32, -they speak of his proper bumavily, as 33.
that which peculiarly qualities bion for this
high office: God has given him authority The zealous “Lecturer's biblical
to execule judgment because he is the
Son of man.' (John v. 27.) The apostles Jude ;-these insulated and detached books
, mindful of our own important duty, to give following reply to the wauton, virupeace.”-Pp. 54, 55.
preferred against the Editors of ibe Dr. Moysey gives himself up, bound İmproved Version : hand and foot, to his ever-watchful « And what motive can reasonably be opponent, when he asserts (singular assigned to these abused and calumniated assertion!) that the Unitarians "array Editors, which could induce them to act a few selected and mutilated passages
so base and foolish a part? Men do not against the general and harmonious usually act without a sufficient reason; evidence of the whole gospel :"
and where the crime is great the tempta.
tion is proportionable. If indeed mitres “ Yes, Dr. Moysey, they do select, and and erosiers bad danced before the eyes of they do array, the whole Gospel of Mat- these reprobated Editors; if deaneries and thew, and the whole Gospel of Mark, aud bisloprics bad awaited them as the prix the whole Gospel of Luke, and the whole of their laborious and iniquitous exertions history of the Acts, and the whole of the
to support a tottering and unrighteous twa Épistles to the Corinthians, and the cause, frail human nalure migbt possibly whole Epistle to the Galatians, and the have given way. They might have beer whole Epistle to the Ephesians, and the induced to falsify and prevaricate
, and two Epistles to the Thessalonians, and the against their better knowledge they might two Epistles to Timothy, (notwithstanding have been led to pervert and to corrupt the spurious reading of God manifest in the word of God: they might bave been the flesh,') and the whole Epistle to Titus tempted to tamper with the sacred test
; and to Philemon, and the whole Epistle of and, in defiance of all evidence, to retain James, and the two Epistles of Peler, and notorious interpolations as genuine read. the whole of the three Epistles of Jobu, ings, in order to impose upon the ignoradi (notwithstanding the notorious and abomi- and to support popular and established nable interpolation of the beavenly wit- errors :—they might eagerly have.com nesses,) and finally, the whole Epistle of tended for gross mistranslations wbich they
Review.-Belsham's Reply to Dr. Moysey.
499 knew to be erroneous, but which, in sound purposes, he puts "his hook into their at least, were favourable to the popular nose, and his bridle into their jaws,' and system :-they might have tortured and saith, Hitherto shalt thou go, and no wrested the genuine and figurative lan- further.' To wish that what God has apguage of Scripture to a sense which they pointed were no part of his system, is to well knew to be the reverse of its real set up our wisdom and will in opposition meaning, in order to support a cause which to God's :- it is to wish, like the impious it was their interest to defend ;—and with Alphonso, that God had consulted us in the utmost exertion of ingenuity and in the choice of his plan :-it is to wish that dustry, and the inost pompous display of the system which now, in all its parts and learning, they might have laboured to bearings, is the most perfect which infinite advocate the faulty translation of a faulty wisdoin could devise, which infinite good. text, and to oppose with the utmost vebe
ness could prompt, and wbich infinite mence and bitterness every attempt at im- power could carry into effec, were altered provement; and meanly to depreciate the and deteriorated, to gratify our bumour qualifications, to asperse the motives, and and caprice, or at least to fall within the to calumniate the characters of those who, limits of our finite understanding, our Darwith the best intentious, in the calmest and row views and coinprehension, most inoffensive language and manner, “ Yet the learned Lecturer is right. He and from the best anthorities, endeavoured feels that if human guilt is visited with to correct the text and to improve the ver- eternal misery, God is an alınighty tyrant; sion."-Pp. 70, 71.
be naturally wishes that he and his fellows, This quotation is from Letter VII., beings lived under a more wise, à more which, with Letter VIII., contains a
righteous, and a more merciful governdefence of the Improved Version, character of the Almighty Sovereign with
ment; and that he could contemplate the in answer to numerous objections out dismay.”—Pp. 97–99. brought against that work by the Lecturer, who, it would really appear,
On a text cited by Dr. Moysey to never saw it, but contented himself prove the eternity of punishment, viz. with the account given of it by Dean Rev. xiv. 11, “And the smoke of Magee and other like-minded authors. their torment," i. e. of those who
The Editors have somethi to an- worship the beast and his image, “asswer for, we allow, in that they have cendeth up for ever and ever," Mr. put a stumbling-block or an occasion to Belsham remarks, fall in their brother's way.
“ It may reasonably be doubted who are Mr. Belsham uses very strong lan- intended by this obscure symbolical deguage, naturally prompted however scription, and whether the passage at all by benevolence, on the subject of refers to future sufferings.' But should Eternal Torments, which of course the this be allowed, yet surely the smoke of Oxford theologian believes and de- the torment is very different from the torfends, though he makes a concession ment itself. The smoke may remain long wbich is more creditable to his hu- after the miserable victim is consumed. manity than to his “ orthodoxy :"
And some memorial may possibly be pre
served to perpetuate the remembrance of “ To do him justice, he seems to be a the awful fact, as a solemn warning to reluctant advocate of this heart-withering ages yet to come, that vice once existed, doctrine. "We have all,' he says, (p. in the creation of God, and that it was 212,) too much reason to wish that eter- exterminated by condign punishment."nity of torment for unrepentant sinners P. 104. were not a part of God's system.' This
Mr. Belsham vindicates Unitarians language, surely, is very strange and unbecoming Believing, as I do, in the infi- from the reproach of being peculiarly nite knowledge, power and goodness of hostile to the Established Church, and God, I must and do most joyfully believe says, (pp. 133, 134,) that he knows that every portion of the system which many strict Unitarians who are de. God has formed is the wisest and the best; cided friends to civil establishments that nothing can be added to it, and no- of religion, and who, “ without conthing can be taken from it; that evil as tending for its divine institution, apwell as good is over-ruled for the best purposes; that even wicked agents, with all
prove of diocesan episcopacy and the their malignant purposes, and in all the form of government and discipline as plenitude of their powers, are but fulfilling, established in the Church of England, however nnknowingly and involuntarily, as expedient and wise.” We were his wise and good designs; and that when not aware that any Unitarians carried they have accomplished his benevolent their approbation of the Church so