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aware, that the work which we suggest is one of great labor, and scarcely to be accomplished, except by one who has been long resident in the Southern section. Perhaps the whole of it can scarcely be expected from a single hand. But there are men in the country who are able to contribute largely towards it. A person who will give a detailed account of slavery in any one State, cannot fail to produce a work of novelty and interest, and, at the same time, of great utility. The accounts of the institution in the books of travels which we have seen, are most meagre and unsatisfactory. The general remarks, which we often meet with from the apologists of slavery, upon the health, good spirits, and comfort of the slaves, and the lightness of their labors, in all which particulars they are sometimes said to be far better situated than the peasantry of New England, even if they do not excite a smile or a sigh of incredulity, give no definite information concerning the Arcadian felicity which they attest. On the other hand, the instances of oppression and cruelty, which are stated by writers opposed to slavery, though, no doubt, affording a strong argument against a system which necessarily leads to frequent and atrocious abuses, give us no means of judging of the usual situation of the negroes, under masters who are not distinguished for severity.
Many of our readers are probably not aware, that a volume, giving an account of the law of slavery in the Southern States, by Mr. George M. Strond, was published in 1826. The information given in this work, we think, will be found highly interesting and instructive, by all who wish to make themselves acquainted with the actual situation of the negro population at the South. A thorough account of the practice of slavery would make the subject complete. We conclude, by repeating our wish, that a work of this kind may be soon given to the public.
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38, 39, for generation, read regeneration
Art I. — 1. A View of the general Tenor of the New
Testament regarding the Nature and Dignity of Jesus Christ; including a Collection of the various Passages in the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles, which relate to that Subject. By JOANNA BAILLIE.
London, 1831. 8vo. pp. 146. 2. Religious Prejudice overcome, by a careful Examination
of the Old and New Testament; a serious Address to Christian Professors. By Mrs. CHARLES Toogood.
Dorchester and London. 8vo. pp. 59. 3. The Essential Faith of the Universal Church ; deduced
from the Sacred Records. By HARRIET MARTINEAU. London. 1831. 8vo.
1831. 8vo. pp. 88.
We regard with much interest the simultaneous appearance of these three books. They are small in size, but they lead the mind to important conclusions.
Two of these works, one of which is by a lady of high rank in the literary world, are examinations of Scripture testimony on the nature and dignity of Christ. Both result in Unitarianism ; in a conviction that the long revered doctrine of the Trinity in Unity is not to be found in the Sacred Writings. They are not indeed the only instances of such an investigation terminating in the same result; but they are new and valuable testimonials to the truth of the assertion invariably made by Unitarians, that their faith is not only the most rational but the most scriptural too. They are in
N. S. VOL. VI. NO. II.
stances of the examination of Scripture evidence, conducted not by Unitarians, nor by persons inclined to be Unitarians, but by those whose prepossessions were in favor of the orthodox doctrines, so called, in which they had been brought up, which they had been accustomed to hear from the pulpit, and which were generally entertained by society about them; but who were nevertheless compelled, by the silence of the Bible on the subject of a Trinity, to renounce it altogether, and to rest in the belief that there is but one Supreme Being in one Person. No worldly motive could probably have exercised an influence over their inquiries. Neither fame nor emolument is any where attached to the profession of Unitarianism; and in Edinburgh and Dorchester, as well as most other places in the world, it is far from being a popular or fashionable form of religion. With exceedingly few exceptions, it is, on the contrary, every where spoken against, and looked down
upon. Now we say, that if in the instances before us, as in others, a close and candid investigation of the language of Scripture has led to the belief of a doctrine which is unpatronized and vilified, and to the consequent rejection of a doctrine which is established and in repute, then we, who hold the former of these doctrines, the unpatronized and vilified one, have a right to complain of those who charge us with disrespect and disregard of Scripture, and to claim from them more courtesy and more charity. We have a right, moreover, to speak with some confidence when we appeal to Scripture ourselves, and when we request others to search the Scripture.
Again, it is to be considered that the writers of all three of these works are ladies. We regard this fact as a sufficient refutation of a charge, commonly enough advanced against our opinions, that they are unfriendly in their character to the tenderness, susceptibility, and affectionate gentleness, which are peculiarly the moral beauties of the female sex. We have always denied the truth of this charge. Unitarians have always maintained that their views are as favorable to the exercise of the warmest and best affections, as are any other views of Christianity whatever. Instances in proof of this have never been wanting. We are now able to add three remarkable ones to their number. Miss Baillie's Plays on the Passions' have been long and well known as among the best in the language. No one who reads them can entertain any doubt of the character of the writer's affections. Such works could never have been dictated by a cold heart. Miss Martineau, but lately known to us as a writer, and with a fame much more limited than that of Miss Baillie, has, by her Traditions of Palestine, or Times of the Saviour,' taken a strong hold on the feelings of all who are acquainted with that beautiful volume. She has shown that she is one of those to whom God has confided the golden key which unlocks the fountain of tears. The depth, purity, and holiness of the affections of such a writer cannot be questioned. Of Mrs. Toogood we only know, that at the age of eighty-one, she has published a religious pamphlet, replete with pious sentiments, and the fruits of much biblical reading. This fact is a sufficient indication of affections, which, like those of the late Mrs. Barbauld, age has no power to chill. We cannot acknowledge, therefore, for an instant, that Unitarianism is in itself unfavorable to the warmest and best emotions of the female heart, when we see it received and cherished in hearts like these.
Such were our reflections, when the works which form the subject of this article were placed in our hands. We have stated them briefly and simply; but we think they deserve the serious attention of those who are apt to suspect our faith of a want of Scriptural foundation, or lay to its charge a benumbing influence on the pious and gentle affections of the soul. We will now proceed to give a short notice of each of these works in turn.
Mrs. Baillie's volume consists chiefly of a collection of passages from the New Testament, the book of the Revelation excepted, which bear in any way on the subject of the nature of Christ. Twelve pages are occupied with some preliminary observations; then come the quotations from Scripture, which extend to page 122 ; and twenty-four pages of remarks and notes conclude the book. The quotations are from the common version, without alteration or comment. Every thing relating to the subject is brought forward, as we should think, with entire and undeviating impartiality. No criticism is attempted, or even alluded to. Even the text of the Heavenly Witnesses, 1 John v. 7, is printed in its usurped place, without a single word said of the almost utter want of evidence for its genuineness and authority. Now, we have no idea that any thing like a thorough knowledge of Scripture can be acquired without some knowledge of Scripture criticism ; and yet there are so many who are alarmed, the instant that the words, criticism, manuscript, or original language, are uttered, that Miss Baillie's method is, for common inquirers, undoubtedly the best. It is best calculated to disarm prejudice, to quiet fear, and to produce a candid examination. Either way will satisfy us ; whether it be learned or unlearned, with a critical apparatus or without one. Only let the Scriptures, in any translation, be examined candidly and patiently, while preconceived opinions are for the occasion laid aside, and kept as much as possible out of sight, and we are willing to trust to the issue. We protest, however, against such a book as Scott's Bible, unless some other commentary, supporting opposite views, be studied with it. Prejudice will only be strengthened by the perusal of a work so sectarian in its character, and so dogmatical in its judgments. Let us have fair criticism, a comparison of criticisms, or no criticism at all. Miss Baillie proceeds on the principle, that it is unnecessary to resort to criticism at all, in order to arrive at the general meaning of Scripture concerning the nature of Christ. Be it so. But let not the unlearned inquirer rely altogether even on her collection of testimony, impartial as it is. Let him rather do as she did. Let him read the Scriptures himself, with serious attention; and let him make his own collection, as impartially as she has made hers. He will thus become acquainted, as he goes along, with the connexion of each passage, and obtain a clearer view of the meaning of the whole than if he had contented himself with insulated quotations alone, however fairly brought together. We cannot believe that the scholastic doctrine of the Trinity will stand the test of such a process.
The concluding remarks of Miss Baillie are remarkable for their plain good sense, and for their truly Christian temper. The following apology for her use of the term sects, is just what it ought to be, and shows her superiority to the narrowness of those who are apt to talk of the church to which they belong as the only true church of Christ, and of an established church,' as established by God and not by man.
No offence, I hope, will be taken at the use I here make of the term sects, which is commonly applied to a smaller number of Christians as distinguished from a greater, whose tenets are supported by the law of the land. I use it here in a wider