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The whole work is indeed worthy the serious and attentive perusal of every friend of liberty, righteousness, and truth. We fear, however, that the price of the volume will be an obstacle to its circulation among the mass of the people. Is not this an additional call upon the friends of Scriptural Inquiry in Ireland, to unite in forming a fund to aid the progress of knowledge?
The following Note we must extract:
"I have great satisfaction in referring to Mr. Foster's Essay, I believe that, together with an article in the Westminster Review for July 1826, supplying some supplementary and very original matter, it has for ever set at rest the question of the responsibility of error. Subsequently to the appearance of the first edition of the Essay (in 1821), there was indeed an attempt made, by Dr. Wardlaw, of Glasgow, to subvert the conclusions it had established, in a reply (so the Doctor imagined it to be) to the Inaugural Discourse of Mr. Brougham, as Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow. It is remarkable, that this supposed attack was, in fact, a decided confirmation of the views of Mr. Brougham, and the writer of the Essay. In no one leading proposition do they even remotely differ. Dr. Wardlaw, intending to attack Mr. Brougham, falls foul of the very parties whom Mr. Brougham himself would have equally condemned with the Doctor. I say nothing of his applications of Scripture to the argument. They are such as we would expect from Dr. Wardlaw; except, perhaps, that in his enumeration of the credenda of the Gospel, at p. 67, of his tract, he has omitted-will the reader believe it-the doctrine of the Trinity! How is this? Are the anathemas, then, of Mr. Pope, to fall upon the head of that infallible dispenser of judgments, who had himself despatched so many others to 'weeping and gnashing of teeth,' for not coming up to his doxy? Or was it from an impression, that a disbelief in the doctrine of the Trinity was not so very penal as Mr. Pope would have it to be? In either way, another instance, if any were wanting, that infallibility is about as invariable in the Protestant as in the Catholic world!"
There is one circumstance we cannot forbear noticing. Our pleasure in perusing the masterly publication we have been reviewing, has been often marred by the recollection that its author's name was not on the title-page. The title of one of William Penn's works, was, if we mistake not," Innocency with her open face." It was quaint perhaps, but not the less good on that account.
Let it be remembered, too, that the claims of the Church of England and her Clergy, cannot be valid, if those of the Church of Rome are overthrown. The Mass Book and Common Prayer betray a common origin. Athanasius is a saint in both the churches. Transubstantiation and Consubstantiation differ but in a syllable. If,
therefore, a Clergyman of the English Communion be the author of the work before us, we yet hope to see him give a practical exemplification of the power of truth, by imitating Lindsey, and Jebb, and Wakefield. Let him no longer take the emoluments of a Church which his understanding despises and his heart disowns. Let him not turn the edge of his own weapons against the holy cause which he wishes to advocate. Let not a Doyle be able to point to him, as a proof of the inefficacy of Protestant principles; or a Maguire exult over his apostacy from a righteous practice. Let him "walk worthy of his honourable vocation," for "he who walketh uprightly walketh surely."
We have felt it to be our duty to make these remarks. Reverence for truth and righteousness has called them forth. The intellectual endowments of the author excite our admiration. We should grieve if his conduct merited not correspondent eulogy. Conscience and interest may but conscience is to be preferred before all things. We conclude our notice of the work, in the language of its author:
"Nature will not be outraged with impunity; the laws of evidence will not be trifled with, nor the human mind be made the sport of words without meaning, and arguments without sense, with any hope of eventual success in the attempt. Credulity may do something, indolence may do much, and party be more powerful than all, in retaining mankind in the shackles of whatever superstition may have first got possession of the mind; but discussion must invigorate the public intellect; and a sagacious people will not always resign themselves to guides, who, under a pretence conducting them to salvation, would shock the first principles of reason; and raising themselves to the rank of Gods, would render their votaries less than man!-People of Ireland! Parliaments may wrong—and rulers be unkind to you; but happen what may, fail not to reverence yourselves.”
"Observations on the True Canon & Creed of Christianity." Nisbet, London; Robertson, Edinburgh; Collins, Glasgow.
THE object of this well written little work, is to show, that
"1. A belief of the Old Testament was not required of the first" Christians, as a condition of communion. 2. The four Gospels were collected into a volume by themselves, and frequently quoted and referred to, as separate from the Epistles of the Apostles. 3. The contents of the Gospels were known from the beginning, and previous to being committed to writing. 4. The first Christians had a particular veneration for the Gospels. 5. At the same time, doubts were entertained about the authenticity and
authority of several of the Epistles for a long period; and ignorance, in general, prevailed of the whole, for a considerable time. For such reasons, (over and above their internal evidence,) we ought to look for and find all the first principles and peculiar doctrines of Christianity, in the Gospels alone.'
It is conceived by its author, that if these principles could be established, a union of all Christians might be effected. The object is good, but its accomplishment difficult. This, however, should not deter from exertions for its accomplishment. We agree with the author, that the Gospels are the sacred storehouse of Christian truth, and that all doctrines should be tested by their teachings. But we regard the Epistles, Paul's especially, as most powerful testimonies to the divine origin of Christianity.
We are sorry that the Author or Editor, for there seems some confusion here, should have encumbered his subject with some useless machinery, as introductory to his remarks. It being an anonymous publication, is also objectionable. And we do greatly marvel, how any individual who has arrived at the views disclosed in these pages, can still hold himself forth as "a member of the National Church, and disposed to remain such, if he is not molested for his opinions." The Gospels, we think, should have taught him a different lesson. We protest, too, against the conclusion, that "the established forms of religion, in Scotland and in England, are, upon the whole, best suited to the habits and to the feelings of the respective countries." Are those habits Christian? Are those feelings correct? These are the questions. We think not: and though we wish well to the practical purpose of the author of the work the formation into one body of all who name the name of Jesus-we are of opinion, that this cannot be effected, till Church Establishments are no more, and all Christians enjoy the liberty, as well as possess the spirit of the Saviour.
"The Country Minister, a Poem, by the Rev. J. Brettell. Second Edition; Whittaker, London."
WE have long intended to notice this interesting publication. We warmly recommend it to our readers. It is evidently the production of an enlightened mind, and feeling heart. There is a sweet and soothing melancholy breathing through many of its lines; others again are ad
mirably descriptive, and several passages, which, if we had space to extract, would evince their author's power to "discourse most eloquent music." We look forward with pleasure, to the "Poetical Sketches from the Historical Books of the Old Testament," which, we hope, the author, from an encouraging list of subscribers, may soon be induced to publish.
GLASGOW, June 2, 1828.
DIED, at Portsmouth, on Thursday, April 24, Sophia, wife of the Rev. Russell Scott, and daughter of the late Dr. Hawes, one of the founders of the Humane Society; after a lingering illness of several months, borne with the equanimity and fortitude which a spirit imbued with the love of God through Christ, can inspire. She was interred in the burial-ground attached to the Unitarian Chapel, High-Street, Portsmouth, of which her venerable husband has been the pastor, during the greater part of his active and useful life. On Sunday, May 4, the Rev. M. Maurice improved this afflictive dispensation in an excellent and appropriate discourse, delivered to an audience unusually large, many of whom had assembled to pay a tribute of respect to the memory of the departed lady, whom they greatly loved and respected. In his sermon, Mr. Maurice did not advert to the character of the deceased, owing to an injunction of silence which had been laid upon him. We highly appreciate the delicacy that dictated this injunction; yet the interests of virtue require us to declare, that we know no family, the members of which are more attached to each other, and in whose hearts, and upon whose lips, the law of kindness more abundantly dwells, than that over which Mrs. Scott had presided, and into which she had infused her own spirit. Her love for those of her own household did not cause her to forget the poor, the humble, and the distressed; on the contrary, loving her own, and loving them to the end, she learned to imbibe the spirit of her Saviour towards others. Ready to communicate of her abundance, and apt to teach the way of kindness and rectitude, with a heart formed for friendship with her equals, and guided in all its impulses by the teachings and hopes which religion suggests, she was endeared to all who knew her, whether poor or rich; and in her society, or her visits of mercy, they found the elements of happiness and comfort. Her bereaved and revered partner will know where, in his affliction, a solace may be found, and be led by the promptings of a heart imbued and habitually guided by the influence of Christianity, to the mercy-seat of that Father who, by his Son, has graciously said, "Ask, and it shall be given."
DIED at Manchester, April 8, in the 34th year of her age, shortly after she had been delivered of twins, one of whom survives her, Mary Ann, wife of Mr. J. Armstrong, late of Taunton.
Mrs. A. was a native of Hinckley, in Leicestershire, and was very early in life deserted by her father, who left his family and settled in America. She was brought up, however, by an Aunt, in a manner the most judicious, as regarded the cultivation of her mind, the government of her temper, and the management of domestic affairs. Above all, care was taken to instil into her youthful mind those principles of rectitude and rational piety which shone conspicuous in after life. Gifted with a superior mind and a discriminating judgment, which were adorned with an amiable temper and agreeable manners, her society was always acceptable to her intimate friends and acquaintance; but she sought not pleasures abroad, she was happy, and succeeded in diffusing happiness at home. In industry, economy, and the management of household affairs, she was an example worthy of imitation. Her ambition, if ambition she had any, was to fulfil to the best of her powers all the duties of conjugal and maternal affection. To the instruction and comfort of her children, she was most particularly devoted; for them "she rose early, late took rest, and ate the bread of carefulness." May they long continue the living monuments of her unwearied care and kindness.
She was interred in the burial-ground attached to the Greengate Chapel, Salford. On the Sunday following, the Rev. J. R. Beard, whose ministerial services and friendship were always a source of great pleasure to her, delivered an appropriate and consoling sermon, from Isaiah xlix. 14, 15.
THE Rev. G. Buckland, who has, for the last fifteen months, acted as stated Missionary to the Lancashire and Cheshire Unitarian Missionary Society, has accepted the unanimous invitation of the congregation at Dob-Lane, near Manchester, to become their Minister. It is his intention, however, to retain both the office and character of a Missionary, and to labour both on the Lord's day and during the week, in connection with the above named Association.
THE REV. W. Gaskell of Manchester College, York, has accepted the invitation to become Co-pastor with the Rev. J. G. Robberds, of the congregation assembling in Cross-Street Chapel, Manchester.
THE North Eastern Association will hold its Anniversary meeting at Lutton, in Lincolnshire, on the 11th and 12th June. The evds. W. Scargill, of Bury, and George Harris, of Glasgow, are expected to preach on the occasion.
THE Annual Meeting of the Kent and Sussex Unitarian Association will be held at Tenterden, on the 25th June. Mr. Harris, of Glasgow, is invited to preach.