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eminent a station in the German Evangelical Church, we cannot detect a word which implies the consciousness of any power or authority arising out of his official station, or any right to pronounce judgment beyond that which every laborious scholar and conscientious student and searcher after truth possesses. Though the author throughout mani. fests a firm conviction of those truths which Blanco White had not the happiness of sharing with him, yet there is not a word to be found which betrays the absence of the kindest feeling or the sincerest respect for him. There is no Pharisaic self-laudation or self-gratulation, nor any ostentatious pity towards the unbeliever. He thus calmly concludes: “Such is the life of the man who appears to us to deserve our notice as an image of the religious development of our age, in whom we find all its manifold directions all combined. Though we have been forced to omit much, yet from what we have imparted the historical and psychological importance of these Memoirs is manifest."
H. C. R.
FADED is the summer's bloom
One by one the flow'rets die-
Where the forest treasures lie;
All the restless sons of men;
Ne'er to know their place again.
Look the hills and valleys round-
Ruins of thy race abound;
Ashes of our fathers bear,
In the sea-the land—the air.
With the elements below;
Where decay it cannot know;
There it lives serene and bright,
Clad in Heaven's eternal light.
Unitarianism exhibited in its Actual Condition; consisting of Essays by
several Unitarian Ministers and others, illustrative of the Rise, Progress and Principles of Christian Anti-trinitarianism in different Parts of the World. Edited by the Rev. J. R. Beard, D.D. Pp. 346. London, Simpkin, Marshall and Co.
The Christian world at large, and especially that section of it with which he is more particularly connected, is under great obligations to Dr. Beard for the unwearied industry and eminent ability with which he has devoted himself to the defence and illustration of the doctrines, principles and sentiments of evangelical truth. Not only by original works of high merit, but by obtaining the co-operation of able writers for the elucidation of some common topic, he has in various ways contributed largely to enrich our theological literature. The volume before us is an important one; it professes to exhibit the state of Anti-trinitarianism throughout the Christian world, and we receive the work with thankfulness and confidence, as an authentic record of facts and opinions respecting a subject of the highest moment. Dr. Beard, so far from overestimating the strength and importance of the religious body to which he belongs, has, we think, in some instances, refrained from saying much that he might, with perfect truth and with great advantage, have said in support of his arguments and in confirmation of his statements. There is no attempt at exaggeration or embellishment or parade. It is a calm, dispassionate survey that he takes of the Christian world, and the information which he gives us as the result of his inquiries is in a high degree encouraging and gratifying. Accustomed as men are to regard our religious denomination in this country as an insignificant sect, and, partly in ignorance and partly in scorn, to ask, “ Who and what are the Unitarians ?”—they will be surprised, we think, to find to what an extent the great doctrines of Unitarian Christianity prevail, and by what a weight of talent, learning and moral worth its advocates are distinguished. Nor will the result of Dr. Beard's investigation be other than surprising as well as cheering to the Unitarians themselves. Indeed, however men may attempt to persuade themselves into a belief of the Trinity, our own conviction is, that an enlightened inquirer who rids himself of prejudice and party bias, who reads and thinks for himself, and who studies the Scriptures without the aid of interpretations which human creeds and articles have prescribed, very seldom indeed arrives at any other conclusions than those which are in unison with the great leading doctrines of Unitarian Christianity. Disguise or modify it as they may, to this conclusion do they all come at last; and by few, except the ignorant or unthinking, is the doctrine of the Trinity in its grosser form and features embraced. But the book before us deals with open and avowed Unitarianism, and enough is stated to encourage the hopes and invigorate the zeal of all those who are labouring for the diffusion of purer, more rational and more scriptural views of religious truth. It consists of essays and statements, partly original and partly contributed by enlightened and judicious writers, who, animated by a kindred spirit with the Editor, have indulged in no extravagant or delusive representations, but have performed their task with a calmness and sobriety of thought and feeling becoming the great subject upon which they were invited to treat. The spirit of the volume is a sound and healthy spirit, and we are thankful that we have among us men like Dr. Beard, who, led astray by no mystical or metaphysical delusions, plant themselves on that rock of historical testimony which they know so well how to defend, and against which no assaults, however ingenious or insidious, will ever prevail.
The Editor, after the passing of the “ Dissenters' Chapels Bill," thought it a seasonable time for reviewing the condition of the religious body who had
occupied so great a share of the attention of the legislature and of the public at large during the memorable session of 1844. But here Dr. Beard shall speak for himself.
“The security of tenure guaranteed to the property of the non-subscribing congregations of Great Britain and Ireland, by the passing of that liberal and enlightened measure, commonly known by the name of the Dissenters' Chapels Bill, appeared to the Editor a suitable occasion for collecting evidences of one of the consequences of free inquiry, and the prevalence of scriptural knowledge, in the renunciation of the Pagan and metaphysical notion of the Trinity. These evidences are here presented to the public. They show an amount of Anti-trinitarian Christianity which few, perhaps, will have expected ; and are thus fitted to afford encouragement to those who, in this country especially, are exposed to no small obloquy, in consequence of their maintenance of the simple teachings of the Bible; namely, that God is one, and that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the only true God. Nor is it, as the writer hopes, impossible that the volume may do something to extend the conviction that definite doctrines, though few in number and simple in character, lie at the basis of the religion of Jesus Christ. It is, at the same time, highly pleasing to find many proofs, in the ensuing Essays, that these few and simple truths may enter into very diverse states of mind, appear under many modifications and put forth dissimilar effects. What is not less important is, that the consequences of the spread of Unitarianism here recorded appear, without any attempt at display, to be of the most benign description. We wish to suggest no comparison disadvantageous to other denominations; but we may say, that here are genuine Christian fruits-here are tokens of the operation of the spirit of Christ, a spirit not of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
It will be impossible very fully to analyze the various essays contained in this useful and interesting book. We should be led beyond our limits were we to dwell at any length upon the variety of topics which the subject of each article suggests to our attention, and we feel ourselves constrained to resist the temptation which is presented, to write an article equal in extent to each of those we are now to notice. We shall, therefore, only glance sersatim at the contents of the volume, recommending the whole to our readers as a work full of curious matter, and urging them to possess themselves of a book without which the library of a Unitarian Christian will be incomplete.
1. The first essay is Congregational Unitarianism in the United States of America, and is written by the Rev. F. A. Farley. Dr. Beard assigns the first place in his work to America, doubtless as being the land in which Unitarianism flourishes in greatest vigour, and where it promises earliest to produce abundantly the richest fruits. There is much in the social institutions of America with which we have no sympathy, much that we cannot but severely condemn; and we confess it is to the prospects which pure religion presents in that country, that we turn with the greatest interest and satisfaction. Mr. Farley has given us an extremely interesting narrative of the early rise of Unitarianism in the United States. Its history, “ as a marked and distinctive form of Christian belief, begins within the first half of the 18th century;" but it was not till about thirty years since that any great demonstration was made in its favour. At that time arose CHANNING, “ that bright, occidental star,” and ever since it has advanced with accelerated progress.
“New England, and particularly Massachusetts, being the part of the country in which Unitarians are found in the greatest numbers, we are naturally to look there for the names of those of their faith who have been distinguished in the various walks of life. Taking Massachusetts, for example, in which especially they are numerous, it is no exaggeration to say, that in early days the liberal party in theology, and in later times since the lines were more distinctly drawn, and the Unitarian body has formed a well-known and distinct portion of the religious community, they have furnished a remarkably large part of our distinguished statesmen, magistrates and public men; of those who have adorned and dignified the senate, the bench and the bar ; of those who have elevated the medical profession; of devoted and learned pastors of churches; of historians, poets and chief writers of the day; of eminent public benefactors and philanthropists. And going thence, wherever Unitarians are found in any considerable numbers collected together, the like statement will hold comparatively true. Probably no single denomination, in proportion to its numbers, can boast a more brilliant constellation of great and good names than has adorned, and continues to adorn, the American Unitarian church."
2. Christians or Christian Connexion in the United States. Besides the Congregational Unitarians, “a very considerable body of religionists have arisen in the United States, who, rejecting all names, appellations and badges of distinctive party among the followers of Christ, simply call themselves Christians." About half a century ago this people originated in districts remote from and unknown to each other, one branch in the South springing from the Methodists, one in the North from the Baptists, and a third in the West from the Presbyterians. They make the Bible their only system of faith, and they reject every doctrine which cannot be expressed in the words of Scripture; they do not aim at uniformity of faith, but are, generally speaking, and with very few exceptions, Unitarians.
“Although several of their preachers are defective in education, yet there are among them some good scholars and eloquent speakers, several of whom have distinguished themselves as writers. Education is fast rising in their body. While their motto has ever been, 'Let him that understands the Gospel teach it,' they are also convinced that Christianity never has been, and never will be, indebted to palpable ignorance. Their sermons are most generally delivered extempore; and energy and zeal are considered important traits in a minister for usefulness. The statistics of the connexion, though imperfect, may probably be computed at the present time (1844) as follows: number of preachers about 1500 and 500 licentiates ; communicants about 325,000; churches, 1500. There are probably not less than 500,000 persons in this country who have adopted their general views and attend upon their ministry.”
3. Friends or Hicksite Quakers in the United States. A large portion of the Friends bear, for the sake of distinction, the name of Elias Hicks—a venerable man who a few years since resisted an attempt to bring the Quakers under the bondage of what is termed “Evangelical religion.” They contend for true Gospel liberty, and claim to be the ancient, recognized and legal body of Friends." They reject the doctrines of the Trinity and Satisfaction, and differ in nothing materially from the doctrines of Unitarian Christianity."
4. Universalists in the United States. This is a widely-extending and active religious body. They have no less than 1194 societies in North America, and they agree in declaring that-1. “God is one and indivisible, without a rival or an equal, and is alone to be worshiped with supreme adoration. 2. Jesus Christ is a created and dependent being, deriving his existence and all his power from God, who is his Father and the Father of all."
5. Unitarianism in Canada.-This is a short but interesting narrative of the progress of the doctrine, by the Rev. J. Cordner, now of Montreal. The first Unitarian congregation was formed in 1832, and in 1845 an Act passed the Canadian legislature “ to incorporate the Montreal congregation of Christian Unitarians, and to authorize their minister to keep registers for births, baptisms, marriages and deaths, thus placing him in regard to these rights and privileges on a level with all clergymen in the province." They have a handsome chapel, erected at a cost of £2400, and the Rev. J. Cordner is the stated minister. At Toronto, also, a society of Unitarian Christians has lately been formed under the ministry of the Rev. W. Adam, formerly of Calcutta. There are also many religious societies in Upper Canada connected with the “ Christian" denomination; they have no less than twenty-six churches, and are all Anti-trinitarian in sentiment. The Universalists and Hicksite Quakers have also several regularly organized societies in Canada.
6. The longest and one of the most interesting essays is that on Unitarianism in England, from the able and judicious pen of the Rev. W. Turner,
M. A., of Halifax. This article also comprises a history of Unitarianism in Scotland and a notice of Dissenting Academies. Of the latter, Mr. Turner says,
"The history of the Dissenting Academies, commencing with that of Frankland, in 1670, and brought down through successive vicissitudes of struggle, prosperity, decline and subsequent revival, to the present day, might form one of the most interesting chapters in the history, not only of religion, but of mental cultivation in general in this country.”
We could have wished that more had been said on this subject, and especially in respect of the Manchester New College. Surely this important institution deserved a separate article as much as the Carmarthen Academy, of which so full and interesting a history is given in a subsequent article. But Mr. Turner has been necessarily restricted by his limits from entering at large upon the many topics comprised in his sketch. Matter, indeed, sufficiently interesting and valuable might be found to fill a volume such as that before us upon this one subject of Unitarianism in England, and another upon Dissenting Academies, and we should rejoice if adequate encouragement were given to treat upon these topics in all their details. Mr. Turner concludes his essay with some admirable remarks on the principles and present position of the Unitarian body, the careful consideration of which we would recommend not only to the Unitarians themselves, but to Christians of every denomination.
7. A short sketch of the history of the Uniturian General Baptists, from the same pen as the preceding essay, is the next article.
8. We scarcely think that Anti-trinitarianism in England demanded a separate chapter. The writer is one of a small, and we trust not increasing, sect among the Unitarians who believe that there is something better and stronger than historical testimony on which to ground their faith in Christianity. We need not remind our readers how ably and successfully the opinions of this sect have been combated by Dr. Beard himself in his valuable work entitled “The Voices of the Church." Since he has deemed it desirable to appropriate a portion of the present volume to the exposition of their views, we cannot but think that he has acted liberally and judiciously in allowing one of their advocates to speak for himself. This, certainly, has been done modestly and succinctly; but against the delusive and dangerous tendency of the opinions of this sect, we think that the voice of warning cannot be too often or too loudly uplifted ; and more especially to the ears of young persons should that friendly voice be made to reach.
5. Of the rise of Anti-trinitarian Churches in connexion with Joseph Barker, a brief narrative-somewhat too brief-is furnished by the Rev. F. Howorth. Mr. Barker, as is well known, was formerly a preacher in the Methodist New Connexion, from which he was expelled for alleged unsoundness of doctrine. His ardour, intelligence and zeal were such as to lead to the secession of considerable numbers in Staffordshire and the North of England, who with their preachers have formed themselves into separate societies.
“There are at present two hundred societies, with an average of about thirty members each. There are varieties of opinion among them; but in general the doctrines of original depravity, satisfaction to Divine justice by a vicarious sacrifice, the Trinity, and justification by faith alone, have been displaced by the doctrine of the Divine Unity, and the free, unpurchased mercy of God, and the other tenets usually styled Unitarian."
10. Anti-trinitarianism in the North of Ireland.-A very satisfactory and encouraging account is here afforded by the Rev. John Blakeley, A. M. But we are disappointed not to find a fuller account of the memorable proceedings which took place in the Irish Presbyterian Church, nearly twenty years since, when the revival of subscription to creeds and articles of faith compelled so many ministers with their congregations to leave the General Synod of Ulster and to form themselves into a Remonstrant Synod. The noble stand then