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Christian Unitarianism is a more “excellent way” than that pointed by the persecutor and destroyer of the conscientious and virtuous Servetus.
The Moral Class-Book, or the Law of Morals; derived from the Created Universe, and from Revealed Religion. By William Sullivan, Counsellor at Law, Boston. London; Re-printed for Mardon.
Here is an able “ Counsellor's advice" on
scores of questions; each one of which is of infinitely greater importance than any mere question of law can be, offered to any one who will take it, at less than a fiftieth part of the sum charged for a “ Counsellor's opinion” on the meaning of a musty old deed. And what is more, this advice is based on fact, and built with solid reasons, and crowned with benignity. Self-love, self-respect, and self-restraint, are here shown to be ill understood, but to be the necessary principles, or rather principle, by which human beings must regulate and direct their conduct, in order to be in harmony with the physical, organic, and moral laws; and thereby secure the happiness for which they were formed.
On education, fashion, amusements, marriage, religion, and other topics connected with these, the advice proffered to the young is invaluable. Many are the paragraphs which, in reading this excellent little book, we felt a desire to quote into this notice. But we are confident that we best consult our readers' interest, and most faithfully discharge our duty, by strongly recommending them to read carefully the book for themselves. It is plain, it is pleasing, it is concise, it is true. Take the following quotations from this little work as a specimen of what are its general character, spirit, and tendency. On the diffusion of Christianity, the writer justly remarks:
“ It is an unquestionable truth, that the best means of disseminating Christian faith and practice, is to cultivate the human mind, and to impart to it comprehensive and philosophic knowledge. The wisest men have been the truest Christians." p. 112.
On love, he with truth and beauty observes :
“ The propensity to love is one of the best in our nature, but it may run into the worst of afflictions. It seems to be a principle of nature, that the ruin of the highest and best is the deepest and worst of ruins. The human mind in its greatest and natural force, and best and purest cultivation, brings its possessor into an affinity with angels. The same mind gradually depraved and debased, and driven to raving and malicious madness, is a horrible example of what is fancied to be diabolical. So it is with love. In its true use, it is what is thought to be the happiness of heaven; in its perversions, who can find words to tell what it is?”' p. 199.
A few pages of plain, pleasing, and pointed arguments on marriage, its difficulties, duties, and pleasures, bring us to the following fervid passage:
“ There is one in the world who feels for him who is sad-a keener pang than he feels for himself: there is one to whom reAlected joy is better than that which comes direct; there is one who rejoices in another's honour, more than in any which is her own; there is one on whom another's transcendent excellence sheds no beam but that of delight; there is one who bides another's infirmities more faithfully than her own; there is one who loses all sense of self in the sentiment of kindness, tenderness, and devotion to another. That one is HER whom the Christian religion has given to the lord of earth to be his companion."
In the paragraph which closes the volume, are the following excellent sentiments:
“ We hope that we have shown why man should exist, and whence he comes, and whither he goes; and that if he be not a satisfied and grateful being while he is a mortal, he must accuse himself, and not complain that the system of being to which be belongs, is wrong and malevolent. We have attempted to prove that man individually and socially, is capable of improvement; that he has removed himself from his original condition, and has advanced far in disclosing his own powers, and in applying them in the promotion of his own happiness. But the main object which we have had in view, is to show that he has much further
go in the same course; that the way is known to him; that there are no obstacles in it which he may not remove." p. 274.
While we present our warm acknowledgments to the intelligent and benevolent author for his valuable contri. bution to the general public museum, to which all who please have access for instruction, enjoyment and permanent profit; we cannot but tender our hearty thanks to Mr. Mardon, the English publisher, for the promptitude and spirit with which he is constantly placing within our reach valuable productions from transatlantic pens. Eng. lish readers owe him a large debt of gratitude which we ardently hope they will pay him, by possessing themselves of the publications which he has with so much laudable industry reprinted.
THE CHRISTIAN PIONEER.
GLASGOW, OCTOBER 1, 1833.
We have delayed from month to month the insertion of the following letter from the Rev. Archibald Macdonald of Greenock, to the Rev. Mr. Taylor, the Universalist minister, in the hope that Mr. Taylor would appoint a time and place for the discussion of the important topics to which it refers. At least we hoped some reply would have been vouchsafed by this “ accuser of the brethren.” No notice whatever has been taken of Mr. Macdonald's letter. It is only another instance of its being more easy to bring a railing accusation, than to substantiate its truth. Surely such conduct is not in accordance with the spirit of Universalism.
To Mr. Taylor. Rev. Sir, --I last night observed placards, intimating that in the evening of Jan. 20, you would attempt to prove “ Unitarianism a perversion of the Gospel." This is the occasion of my writing you.
I am glad to find that a young man of your education and probable expectations, has had courage and sincerity to avow your renunciation of the heart-withering system of Calvinism, for the more benevolent and more purifying scheme of Universalism.
I, too, was and am a Universalist; but I have added to my belief of the Divine Benevolence, that of the Divine Unity. I hope, therefore, you will think me justified in expressing a wish to be acquainted with the evidence which proves Unitarianism a perversion of the Gospel. If you can show me that Unitarianism is a perversion of the Gospel, I will renounce it and believe the Trinity. I write to request that you will publicly, and openly, and not in a corner discuss with me the questionWhether Unitarianism be a perversion of the Gospel? I trust, my
dear Sir, that you will have no objection to a free discussion of this great question. You are a learned man, and I am persuaded you will have no objection to show a reason for jour belief; you are sincere, I have no doubt, and believe you have truth on your side, you will not therefore quail; for truth never shuns inquiry, but courts it, and
“ Thrice is he armed who hath his quarrel just." I have other reasons for inviting you to this discussion. I address 3 or 400 persons every Sunday; according to your view, I address to them “a perversion of the Gospel. Now, Sir, if you will be so obliging as bring forth your strong reasons, you may bring me to see the error of my sentiments, and thus save 3 or 400 human souls from weekly perversion. If you decline this discussion, I must ask, where is your ardour for the salvation of man? where is your zeal for the diffusion of truth?
But, farther, had I announced publicly that I would prove Universalism a perversion of the Gospel, and bad my excellent friend, Mr. Scott,* expressed a desire to be informed of that process of reasoning which was to destroy the dear cherished Uni. versalism of his heart, I do not think that I would be justified in declining Mr. Scott's challenge. I had said that his faith was a perversion of the Gospel, and I was bound to prove it. You have done this in regard to Unitarianism, and you are bound to prove it.
For myself, I am ready to examine the doctrines of the Trinity and the Deity of Jesus Christ with any believer in those doctrines. I have challenged and I do challenge any clergyman or any layman in Greenock, to prove in debate with me the Deity of Jesus Christ; and as the venerable and excellent N. Douglas challenged all the clergy of Greenock to dispute with him on the merits of Universalism, so I wish you Mr. Taylor to understand, that no person will in Greenock placard Unitarianism as a perversion of the Gospel, without a similar invitation from me.
My sole object is to obtain your consent to a free discussion, persuaded as I am, that Unitarianism, of any prevailing system known to me, is the nearest approach to primitive simple Christianity. If you will come and show that Unitarianism is a perversion of the Gospel, my pulpit shall be gladly opened to you. I will do all in my power to circulate the intelligence that you are going to refute Unitarianism. Do, I beseech you, show us the truth, since you are in possession of it.
Or will you grant me the liberty of being present in the Buck's Head Hall, and refuting your refutation of Unitarianism? If neither of these proposals pleases you, say in what place and manner, and at what time you wish the discussion to be carried on.
I will agree to any thing that is public.
You and I, Sir, have pursued a similar course. We have both surrendered good prospects in the Church of Scotland, preferring truth with a good conscience, to what we deemed error with the salary of an Establishment. Candour and free inquiry will conduct you to Unitarianism. Over all the world with a very few exceptions, Universalism is the sister of Unitarianism. This is fact, not assertion. I shall not be surprised if you should come to perceive as I did, that though the Trinity and the Deity of Jesus Christ may appear to have the support of a few passages, yet the general run of Scripture is unequivocally in favour of One Only God the Father, and that Jesus Christ was really and truly one of the human race-a man.
I am, my dear Sir, with good will and wishes for the farther progress of your inquiries.
A. MACDONALD. GREENOCK, Jan. 19, 1833.
P. S. I have obtained the consent of our Committee to offer you the use of the Unitarian Chapel on any Sunday morning which may suit your convenience; my observations on your discourse to follow on the evening of the same day.
* One of the Preachers of Universalism in Greenock.-Edit.
Sunday-School Union. At a meeting of the Teachers of the Sunday-schools attached to the congregations in Worship-Street, Coles-Street, and Spicer-Street, London, held at Coles-Street, August 9th, 1833, the Rev. R. K. Philp in the Chair, the following resolutions were passed :
1. That an Union be formed between the three Schools, the Teachers of which are now present.
II. That this Union be for the purpose of mutual information, encouragement, and assistance.
III. That for these purposes, a quarterly meeting Teachers be held on the first Sundays in January, April, July, and October, at such place and hour as from time to time may be deemed convenient.
IV. That a Fund be formed by Donations and Subscriptions from schools and individuals, for the purpose of publishing any works for use in Sunday-schools, which may seem to be called for; and for carrying into effect, in any way, the purposes of this Union.
V. That a Secretary and Treasurer be appointed to transact the business of the Union, under the direction of the quarterly meeting.
VI. That a special general meeting be called by the Secretary, at the requisition of any two Teachers of the Schools connected with the Union.
VIL. That a general meeting be held on some convenient day in the Summer of each year, when reports shall be read of the progress and prospects of each School connected with the Union, and also a general report of the state of the Union.
VIII. That a Special Committee be appointed by the quarterly or general meeting, to transact any business which may call for greater attention than ordinary.
IX. That, as the extension of this Union is highly desirable, other Schools be invited to join it.
X. That each School connected with the Union, shall contribute annually a sum of not less than Five Shillings.
XL That Mr. William Newton Coupland, of 15, GlobeRoad, Mile-End, be elected Secretary to this Union.
XII. That Mr. Robert Green, of 42, Whitechapel Road, be elected Treasurer to this Union.
XIII. That the Secretary be requested to have copies of the resolutions now entered into, printed, and sent to the Editors of the different Unitarian periodicals.
XIV. That the cordial thanks of this Meeting be given to Mr. Philp for his able and impartial conduct in the Chair this evening, and for his general attention to the interests of Sundayschools. 15, GLOBE ROAD MILE END.
W. N. COUPLAND, SEC.
AUGUST 2, 1833,- Died at Hull, after an illness of a few hours, aged 62 years, Mr. W. Darley, late of Thorne, Yorkshire. The practice which most religious communities have adopted, of recording the decease of their principal members, is both natural