Page images
PDF
EPUB

generates magnitude just as additional THE peculiarities of Scottish elo

of these things ? Not that boasting may Art. III.-An Introductory Address, be indulged. Let that for ever be ex- delivered on Sunday, Feb. 2, 1823, cluded : Deep humility we should always in the Unitarian Chapel of Dundee ; cultivate ; and to God let our praise uu- to which is added, a Summary reservedly be rendered. In glancing at

Statement of the Principles anil such facts, I am desirous of suggesting

Defence of the Dissent of the Uniencouragement to your exertious. Where so much has been done, beyond our es

tarians in that Town. By David pectatious, though certainly not beyond

Logan. 8vo. pp. 32. Dundee, our wishes, unrelased and augmented

printed by James Chalmers. zeal will naturally produce effects of far THE

quence are felt by all readers, impulses given to a budy already in mo, though they cannot be easily described. tion cause it to advance with accelerated

This Address" abounds in them, rapidity and a surer aim.

“ Christiau zeal is the spirit of love and we wholly mistake it, if it does and of a sound mind, as well as of not inark out its author as destined energy: let henerolence and kuowledge to great usefulness in the Christian therefore, not less than perseverance, be church. He speaks“ to the Reader” eminently the property of ours.

Let us

of himself in the following truly intewatchfully guard against the temptations resting manner : arising from our situation in the religious

“ The author of the following Disworld, from the controversies of which, course, and defence of Unitarianism, is at present, we unavoidably are the ob.

not a hereditary Unitarian.

He is a jects, and in which some of us may be consert. The renouncement of the doc. parties. Nothing like railing must be trine of the Trinity cost him many returned for railing : we must reply in panys. It was the faith of his fathersmeekuess to those who oppose them- the faith which he cherished-the faith selves; we must inform them, plaiuly which men hoped he would defend-anil and mildly, that what they object to us, glad would he' have been, when he behas been objected, and with the same

gan to suspect its erroneousness, if he injustice, to Christians of the earliast could have excused himself from an images—aud in the temper of those Chrixo partial inquiry into the evidences of the tians our viudication must be made. If opposite doctrine. But this he could not some individuals, who follow not with do. A strong suspiciou that all was not us, shew a disposition to employ un- right in his creed having been excited in hallowed weapons, of attack, or of de- his mind, by a cause from which one fence, let us, with united fortitude and would not have anticipated such an gentleness, protest against the principle effect-excited by an orthodos sermonaud condemn the act. Let every mea- he could not stille it as some can do, by sure to which we have recourse, be wor- calling it a temptation of Satan, or by thy of our high and sacred cause, be the

some other courenient expedient. Ne effect of a happy conjunction of wisdom, felt himself bound to inquire. He did zeal and kinduess. With that cause let inquire, and the result was, what some us not intermix any foreign topics : let call heresy, and what I call truth. us not attempt to support it by any other “ But, besides the duty of inquiry, he means than those which accord with its felt that he had another duty to perform spiritual and heavenly origin. Let us

that 'of avowing his beliet. This duty refuse to make our individnal efforts, our

also he performed; and though poverty favourite plans of usefulness, the test of was before him—though obloquy was the benevolence and judgment and piety before him--though it grieved him to of our brethren. In one word, let us thwart a' father's wishes, who, haring adorn our doctrine by the cultivation of conducted him through eight sessions of knowledge, but especially of religious education in the University of Glasgow, virtue ; cementing our union by social

was now so near the close of the long acts of worship, and exercising that de- preparation, to be so painfully disapvout and moral vigilance, which our pointed, he nevertheless became an Unicircumstances particularly demand. For tarian preacher; and now, as a defender solid worth of character recommends of Unitarianism, he calls upon his Tritruth more powerfully, and subdues pre- nitarian countrymen, as Christians, to judice and opposition more completely, search the Scriptures ;' as Protestants, than even the strougest reasoning.”—Pp. to scoru subjection to human authority, 55-58.

to be manly in the exercise of their own understandings-to be unprejudiced, that if his be the truth they may embrace it, and that if theirs be the truth, they may from them, 1. Independency both in with some reason reject his error."- thinking and acting for themselves ; P. 5.

2. the defence of their principles ; 3.

the assembling of themselves togeThe “ Address” appears to have been delivered by Mr. Logan, though ther; 4. the adorning of their docthe occasion is not explained in the trine by their conduct; 5. brotherly

; . title-page or preface, on bis taking indulgence to their ininister's labours. the pastoral charge of the Unitarian He then addresses the fathers, the Church at Dundee, which has been brothers, the sisters, and the children kept together, and we believe partly of his people, and implores for them raised, by the unostentatious but use all the Divine benediction. ful ministry of Mr. Robert Miller.

This whole “ Address" is singuThe young minister adopts a text, larly different from certain inaugural which as applied to himself is rather

sermons of Protestant Dissenting miquaint,

but perhaps not ill-chosen for nisters on this side of the Tireerd, à Scottish auditory: it is Acts iii

. 6; which betray a hankering after the Then Peter said, silver and gold Established Church. The author is have I none ; but such as I have, give a devoted champion of religious liberI thee. Appropriating these words, ty. He is ardent and courageous iu Mr. Logan tells luis flock that he gives the maintenance of unpopular truth. them 1. his prayers : 2. his diligence; His spirit is moved at the contempla3. an honest independence of senti- tion of that cowardice which would ment; and 4. the cordiality of the betray the best of causes ; and the brother. His language on this last topic is worthy of a disciple of him dress” is that in which he calls upon

most eloquent passage of the “ Adwho “ came not to be ministered his new flock to stand forward in deunto, but to minister :"

fence of their Christian principles, “ Receive from me all the cordiality We cannot forbear quoting it. of the brother. I ain your brother; and “But farther, my friends, there is I trust that you shall (will) never find expected from you likewise a serious atme unworthy' of the name of brother. I tention to the precept, Hold fast that have no desire to play the priest. I hope which is good." I wish you, in underto be at all times amongst you as a standing, to be men. I wish you, in brother amidst his brethren-cordial and zeal, to be the good soldiers of Jesus unaffected. I would (should) wrong you Christ. You are exhorted, not only to did I think that I would (should) expose be inquirers, but also to be defenders, myself to your rudeness, by unbosoming and defenders firm and unwavering. Hoy to you my cordiality. No, surely, while

easy comparatively now your compliance I ensure your respect by diligence, by with the exhortation ! 'If there was a sobriety, by integrity, by decorum, and time, my brethren, when to avow the by piety, I cannot forfeit it by an unas. truth was to incur the spoiling of your suming intercourse with you. Let me, goods, and the loss of life itself; if there then, never keep any rail around me, to

was a time when the struggle was vo debar from friendly converse with me, less a struggle than one between conthe poorest of my hearers. Let my home science and the fear of the dungeon, the be open to all as a brother's house, and gibbet, or the stake, what will those let my heart be open to all, impartially say for themselves, who, ou account of and tenderly. Come, my brethren, to

the comparatively little inconveniences me in your doubts, that I may help you

10 which they might now expose themto solve them ; come to me in your trou- selves in the cause of truth, skulk from bles, that I may be helping to console her standard, and seek a hiding place you ;--come to me in your joy, that I

amongst the crowd? The blood of the may divide it with you. 0 come, and

martyrs cries out against them. Those though silver and gold I may have none

men, who braved all the terrors of santo give you, yet if I increase your faith guinary persecution, who counted vot and your spiritual happiness, it will uever

their very lives dear for the truth-who theless he mine to rejoice iu being a

fought the good fight of faith, in spite of benefactor "-Pll.

sword, of fire, of rack--how must they With equal frankness and true shanie the cowardice of him who, only Christian simplicity, the preacher next

because of the annoyance of a relation, reminds his people that he expects

or the sneer of the bigot, or the fear of

you ?

any earthly inconvenience that may now The “Appendix," containing a accompany the avowal of truth, would statement and vindication of Unitarian make shipwreck of a good conscience, Christian doctrine, is excellent, and and would see the cause of truth injured with a very few and slight alterations by his desertion. If those who have would form a most suitable tract for given their very lives for the truth, could distribution by our Book-Societies. not have excused themselves, had they The following explanation of a little truth, how and where shall those stand, peculiarity of opinion in the Unitarian who, at the expense of truth, have pur- Church at Dundee, will interest the chased hut some paltry convenience, which reader. truth might now require them to forfeit? Auy view of the death of Jesus that You fear the hiss of the serpent, do is consistent with the supremacy of the

What if you had to brave the Father--with the truth, that God the sting of the serpent? What if bigotry Father is the author of our salvation,not only mocked you, but martyred you? that it was his love that sent Jesus to What if the call to come to the standard be the Saviour of men ;-any view of the of truth-what if that call had come to death of our Lord, consistent with this you when the Author and the Finisher of truth, we consider a Unitarian view of your faith arose proclaiming, "He that that great event, whether Christ be retaketh not up his cross to follow me, is garded as the direct, though instrumental not worthy of me'? What if that call procurer of our forgiveness and our im. had come to you when Hamilton and mortality, or the indirect procurer of Wishart gave their bodies to be burned these blessings by means of his doctrine. for truth? Or what if that call had This we say, the more especially for this come to you when your Servetus was reason, that several of the congregation bound to the stake of martyrdon, and to which we belong, maintain a view of endured the fiery furnace? Is it now, the death of Jesus, which, while it avoids when all sit under their fig-tree, none all that would imply that there was any daring to make them afraid ; is it now, change effected upon the Divine mind, when intolerance has lost its sting, and by that event, or that there was any cannot kill ; is it now, when the heretic inconsistency between the Divine perfeccan hold up his head amongst his fellow- tions prior to it, or that God the Father citizens can have his church among his was not strictly and supremely the Aufellow-citizens and can fearlessly lift up thor of our redemption; yet, at the same his testimony amongst his fellow-citizens time, regards Jesus as the direct instru-is it now that there would be a pitiful ment of our forgiveness and our immor. skulking from the standard of truth-a' tality." --Append. p. 21. pitiful mingling with the crowd--a pitiful looking on at the tardy progress of truth, dress” to general perusal. No En

We cordially recommend this “Adwithout the will to co-operate and to help? Scorn the cowardice. Detest the glish bookseller's name is inserted in iniquity, and stand forth and hold fast the title-page; but we doubt not that undismayed, and let not the blood of it may be procured of any of the those who have been martyred for truth usual venders of Unitarian publicacry out against you."-Pp. 14, 15. tions in London.

POETRY

On reading some late intricate discussions in the Monthly Repository on the

Doctrine of a Particular Providence.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Though the fair tree of knowledge show's
In rich redundance all her store,
And thou hast look'd and look'd again
At all the springs of joy and pain
Not deeming heav'n itself too high,
To pass before thy searching eye ;-
Yet to thyself, to others spare
That simple Faith whose fruit is Prayer !
O pause-If 'mid those darker themes,
Where struggling reason scarcely seems
To hold her empire o’er the breast,
And, weary, longs to be at rest-
If there one spirit mourns her lot,
Her light obscurd, her trust forgot,
O dearly-bought the joy, the pride
Of wisdom, thus to doubt allied :
And better, better far to spare
The simple Faith which causeth Pray'r-

That faith, which, noiseless, meek and mild,
The loftiest minds hath reconcil'd;
That faith which oft in times gone by,
Hath rais'd to hear'n the martyr's eye;
And now, in many an hour, will come,
When the heart mourns its martyrdom,
Feels thy cold hand, suspicion ! rest
On many a kind and faithful breast,
Feels that the power which once allied
Its joys to theirs, must now divide.
Yet gathering sweetness out of pain,
Turns back to heav'n and hope again,
Looks through the passing cloud-—and there
Breathes out the rising sigh in Prayer.
That cheering faith whose glories steal,
O'er all we know, or see, or feel,
The grandeur and the beauty give,
To earth, and make it life to live;
Whose brightest rays are ever shed,
Upon the dying and the dead :
That in the fellowship of love,
Joins saints below and saints above;
That quickens, elevates, makes wise,
Soothes, cheers, supports and sanctifies-
O never, never from thee tear,
This simple Faith, whose fruit is Prayer !

HYMN TO THE STARS.

Aye, there ye shine, and there have shone

In one eternal “ hour of prime,” Each rolling, burningly alone,

Through boundless space and countless time: Aye, there ye shine--the golden dews

That pave the realms by seraphs trod There through yon echoing vault diffuse

The song of choral worlds to God.

Ye visible spirits ! bright as erst

Young Eden's birthnight saw ye shine On all her flowers and fountains first,

Yet sparkling from the hand divine; Yes, bright as then ye smild to catch

The music of a sphere so fair, Ye hold yon high immortal watch

And gird your God's pavilion there. Gold frets to dust-yet there ye are ;

Time rots the diamond-there ye roll, In primal light, as if each star

Enshrin'd an everlasting soul!And do they not--since yon bright throngs

One All-enlightening Spirit own, Prais'd there by pure sidereal tongues,

Eternal, glorious, blest and lone ? Could man but see what ye have seen,

Unfold awhile the shrouded past, From all that is, to what has been,

The glance how rich, the range how vast! The birth of time—the rise, the fall,

Of empires, myriads, ages flown, Thrones, cities, tongues, arts, worships-all

The things whose echoes are not gone. Ye saw rapt Zoroaster send

His soul into your mystic reign : Ye saw the adoring Sabian bend

The living hills his mighty fane ! Beneath his blue and beaming sky

He worship'd at your lofty shrine, And deem'd he saw, with gifted eye,

The Godhead in his works divine.

And there ye shine, as if to mock

The children of a mortal sire : The storm, the bolt, the earthquake's shock,

The red volcano's cataract fire, Drought, famine, plague, and flood and flame,

All Nature's ills, (and Life's worse woes,) Are nought to you-ye smile the same,

And scorn alike their dawn and close.

Aye, there ye roll-emblems sublime

Of Him whose Spirit o'er us moves, Beyond the clouds of grief and crime,

Still shining on the world he loves ;Nor is one scene to mortals given

That more divides the soul and sod, Than yon proud heraldry of heaven

Yon burning blazonry of God!

« PreviousContinue »