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tion, from Ezra vi. 5, 16. The follow- Teacher, and an important help to ing. is a brief sketch of the sermon, the young student of the Holy Scripwhich appears in the Boston Chris- tures :tian World:

• We, the undersigned Ministers, “ This was one of the most remark- connected with the Society of Uniable controversial sermons ever de- tarian Christians established in the livered, whether by one of our own, or South of England for promoting the of opposite faith. "By remarkable, we Genuine Knowledge of the Scriptures, mean in its clearness of statement of and the Practice of Virtue, by the Unitarian views, and for the manli- Distribution of Books,' — believing ness and Christian deference with that Dr. Beard's ' Dictionary of the which he handled the dogmas of the Bible’ is admirably calculated to proCalvinistic theology. Whilst he mote the cause of biblical learning cleared away the rubbish, which for and rational piety, and to be espeso many years has been overlaying cially adapted to excite an interest in the simple, yet glorious truths of the the perusal of the Scriptures among Christian religion, he did not with- the young, and having now been able hold his reverent and affectionate ac- to form a more accurate opinion of its knowledgments, for all that had merits from the parts already pubbeen done, even by his bitterest theo- lished, -beg leave, earnestly and relogical enemies, for the advancement spectfully, to recommend the work to of pure and undefiled religion in the the attention of those desirous of beworld. He did not stand up in that coming better acquainted with the temple, just dedicated to the worship meaning and contents of the Sacred of the one living and true God, and to Volume. the affectionate remembrance of one Saviour, Jesus Christ. that he might denounce those from whom he dif

JOHN FULLAGAR, Chichester,
HENRY HAWKES, Portsmouth.

WM. HUGHES, Witcombe, Isle of Wight. fered. No, he believed that the most

EDWIN CHAPMAN, Mead Row, Godalming. violent opponents that liberal Chris

MAXWELL DAVIDSON, Billingshurst. tianity had to face, were conscientious

JOHN CROPPER, Wareham, men, who believed they were right. MARK ROWNTREK, Poole. But because he was ready to concede PORTER ORR, Ringwood. so much, nothing would excuse him Thomas FOSTER, Portsmouth. if he were to hold back his honest EDMUND Kell, Newport, Isle of Wight, convictions, in regard to the mischiev- ; Secretary of the Southern Unitarian ous assumptions of the Orthodox

Society." faith. He believed Calvinism to be Names of Subscribers will be rean impertinence, standing in his way, ceived by any of the above Ministers, in his neighbour's way, and in the or the numbers of the work may be way of truth and duty, subversive of obtained through any of the regular God's law, inconsistent with his pa- booksellers. ternity, and dishonourable to his justice; and he felt bound to do all in his power to remove it out of its MR. JOSEPH BARKER IN BIRMINGHAM. place."

Mr. Barker preached two sermons

on Sunday, Dec. 6, in the NewhallDR. BEARD'S DICTIONARY OF THE

Hill Chapel, Birmingham, which was well filled, both in the morning and

afternoon. His text was__“Ye are We have seen several favourable no- the salt of the earth; but if the salt tices of the parts which have already have lost its savour, wherewith shall appeared of this work, and we very it be salted ? it is thenceforth good for cheerfully publish the following re. nothing, but to be cast out, and to be commendatory notice from the South- trodden under foot of men. Ye are ern Unitarian Society. Of the merits the light of the world. A city that is of the work we cannot ourselves set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither speak; but the opinion which has do men light a candle, and put it unbeen expressed by those well qualified der a bushel, but on a candlestick, to judge of it, added to the known and it giveth light to all that are in abilities and diligence of the author, the house.” satisfies us that it is calculated to bé Mr. Barker took occasion, from this a valuable aid to the Sunday school text, to remind his audience that no

BIBLE,

class of men had higher and more ex- do, or have done, something that will alted notions of the destiny of the add to the comfort or convenience of human race, of the dignity of man, of mankind, as well as provide for mythe inappreciable value of the soul, self and family. Man's business is to than Unitarians. He said, that as we serve God and do good to his fellowheld these enlarged and ennobling men; all other work should be made views of human nature, it was incum- subservient to this--his business is to bent on us to spread the light through- perfect his own character, by endeaout the world, that it might dissipate vouring to perfect the character of the clouds of error and superstition by others. We must first endeavour to which the minds of men were enslaved; make men think, by pointing out to that it was the duty of every one to them the plain truths of Christianity, exert the talents which God had given in their most pure, lovely, and lofty him in spreading abroad, as far as he form: they will be eager to hear had opportunity, the blessing of a every word-give them a little knowpurer and more exalted faitb, -the re- ledge, and they will desire more, for ligion, not of popes and councils, but they are anxious to escape from the the truth as it was in Jesus Christ. debasing thraldom of ignorance. I

On the following evening, there was was born among the working classes. a tea-party in the school-room of the I am one of them still, and I know Newhall-Hill Chapel, to give Mr. their thoughts, feelings, and tendenBarker an opportunity of speaking cies—knowledge they will have! One more at large of his views with regard of my fellow-preachers, some time to the present state of religion, and the ago, complained that the people would progress which is being made towards not read. He had printed a book, and a better state of things.

only fifty numbers were sold ; but why Mr. G. S. Kenrick was called to the was it? because his book was dull and chair on the occasion, and the follow- uninteresting. I told him I would ing resolution was moved by Mr. John make readers; and the first thing. I Lloyd, and warmly seconded by Mr. published, a thousand copies of it M. Green :-“That the best thanks of were sold. Give them cheap and this society be given to Mr. Joseph good books, and the working classes Barker, for the two excellent dis- will soon become readers: they take courses delivered by him yesterday; the books to the factories, and during and this meeting desires, at the same dinner hour, those who are most edutime, to express their opinion that cated read aloud to the others; and efforts made in the printing of cheap every now and then a discussion arises editions of the works of eminent men, on the subject of the pamphlet. Thus atford one of the best and most laud- factories and workshops become colable means of disseminating know- leges; and before the week is out, ledge and establishing righteousness, perhaps the pamphlet has been read and that such efforts entitle Mr. Bar- to a hundred people. Dr. Channing ker to the encouragement of every I find to be the favourite author. I philanthropist."

published 5,000 copies of his complete Mr. Barker rose to acknowledge the works at 18. a volume-the first vol. is vote of thanks, and said—“I have en- all sold, and 4,000 copies of the second. deavoured to point out that each one The weavers and spinners of the West has a work appointed him to do, each Riding of Yorkshire read Channing has it in his power to do something for with delight, and appreciate the beauty the service of his fellow-creatures, of his writings, and consider them as however confined his sphere of action precious as you do. While I would may be, and I now wish to point out wish every man to have sufficient food a few of the ways in which good may for the body, the nourishment for the be done. First of all, a man should mind should not be overlooked. As I be particularly careful that he does no would have a pantry in every house, harm to his fellow-creatures, he should I would also have a library.' While choose some business that'is at least the body is pampered, why should the innocent, that neither sacrifices their soul be starved ?' I would have a cuphealth nor their morals; and, if pos- board filled with all the best works of sible, one that would enable him, general literature, biography, history, when he entered on his business in travels, poetry, theology, and science. the morning, and rested from his la- I would have all these brought within bours at night, to say, I am going to the means of every man.

There are

few who cannot give 8d. for 300 pages Unitarians, you ought especially to of such a work as Channing's. It is work, because you hold the pure truths only four glasses of ale, given up for that are to regenerate mankind. But one week, for the first volume,-and it seems to me that you have been so three cigars, or twenty pipes of to- persecuted, that you are afraid of bacco, for the second ; and he can go setting forth your principles boldly,without his ale and cigars two weeks that you are content to say to the orlonger, to provide a copy to lend. I thodox, Leave us alone, and we will can assure you the mass of the people leave you alone. But why should are ready for such works; they are error always have the upper hand ?eager, they thirst for them. In New- why not make aggressive warfare on castle-on-Tyne, the heterodox are now error ? Depend upon it, orthodoxy more powerful than any one of the or- will never be tolerant until you force thodox sects; or, taking the reading it to be so, by making it the weaker and thinking men only into account, party; put it in the minority, and it they are more powerful than them all. will become the advocate of freedom of The truth has spread to Gateshead, opinion. You have been

too long saSunderland, North and South Shields, tisfied with your wide Presbyterian Bishops Auckland, Darlington, Stock- pews, your tub-like pulpits ;-walk ton. In Northumberland and Dur- forth, and spread the truth abroad in ham there are 70 to 100 congregations; the world.”—Abridged from the InWest Riding of Yorkshire, 70 to 100; quirer. Staffordshire Potteries and the neighbourhood, about the same. When I was at Burslem, about 9 weeks ago,

THE BARKER STEAM PRESS, I was to lecture in the Temperance- We have received a circular from hall; but a sufficient number of per- the London Committee for raising sons came from one village to fill the funds to purchase a steam press for hall, and we were obliged to adjourn Mr. Barker, stating that as yet a to the open air. In North Lancashire sufficient sum has not been received, we are numerous; we are making and urging the claims of their benevoprogress in North Wales, and they lent project on those who desire to desired me to visit them in South promote the cause of religious freedom Wales. We have, besides, many so- and truth. The Committee very cieties in Westmoreland. But we properly state that “ neither they nor must not be satisfied with enlighten- the subscribers are responsible for Mr. ing those only around us; we must Barker's opinions. They recognise carry our views beyond ourown neigh- his full claim to the rights of private bourhood and country. I would wish to judgment, and see in him a labourer see and talk to every human being, and in the great field of investigation, who visit every spot in the world where has advanced the cause of truth and human beings are to be found. And liberty ; who has given a great imI would wish to give to every one the pulse to the popular mind in the right knowledge I myself possess; for if I direction; and who, having thus renwere the only unenlightened man in dered important services to his fellowthe world, I should think it hard for men, in the most important all every one to pass me by, and leave me inquiries, has established a strong in my ignorance. If we only enlighten demand upon the support of those one spot, the surrounding darkness who watch with interest the efforts will rush in. It is of no use educating made, by zeal and honesty, in favour England, and leaving Ireland in the of pure and practical Christianity,

for Irish ignorance would come, and who desire to co-operate in the like a great extinguisher, to put out overthrow of what is erroneous, and the light we had kindled here. As the diffusion of what is true.”

dark;

TO CORRESPONDENTS.

It is requested that all communications intended for insertion in the Irish Unirersity Magazine will be fowarded not later than the 10th of the preceding month, (if by post, prepaid) to 28, Rosemary-street, Belfast.

Having resigned my connexion with the Irish Unitarian Magazine, I beg to inform correspondents that I will hand over to my successor any articles that remain unpublished.

c. J. M'ALESTER. Holywood, Jan. I, 1845.

THE

IRISH UNITARIAN MAGAZINE.

No. II.

FEBRUARY, 1846.

VOL. I.

THE AUTHORITY OF HUMAN CREEDS IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN IRELAND.

It is too much the custom for the laity to leave all matters of ecclesi. astical regulation chiefly, or altogether, in the hands of their clergy, without taking much trouble to ascertain in what manner the important trust, thus delegated, is executed by their spiritual guides. Hence, even intelligent laymen, of various denominations, are often found to be unacquainted with the rules adopted and enforced by the churches to which they belong, unless some unusual circumstance compels them to pay attention to the subject; and when an occasion of this kind happens, such persons are often surprised and grieved at the enactments which their spiritual advisers have framed, and the restrictions placed upon their own religious liberties. Many of the most respectable and intelligent of the members of churches in communion with the Irish General Assembly, are to this day quite unaware of the dreadful extent to which that reverend body has enslaved the people under its charge, to the authority of human creeds and catechisms. It is no uncommon thing to hear individuals of this description, in the most unhesitating manner-and with perfect sincerity -declare that they enjoy entire liberty of conscience ; that they are free to adopt and free to reject the doctrines of the Westminster divines ; free to believe and free to disbelieve the tenets put forth in the Assembly's Confession and Catechisms, as they may see just grounds in reason and Scripture, without violating an ecclesiastical rule, without forfeiting any Christian privilege, without wounding their own consciences, or degrading their own characters by inconsistency. They are, indeed, generally aware that there are some laws in force in their church, by which ruling elders, candidates for the ministry, and ministers of congregations, are required to make certain declarations as to their religious belief and its accordance with the Confession and Catechisms ; but they do not, in many cases, know the full nature of the declarations and subscriptions thus required from church-officers, and they scarcely suspect that the same yoke of bondage under human authority has been imposed upon their own necks and the necks of their brethren among the laity who belong to the congregations of the General Assembly. For the information of such persons

E

--that they may be fully aware of their real position with reference to this important subject, -and for the consideration of those members of other churches, whether subscribing or non-subscribing, who may take an interest in the matter, it may be useful to extract from the book entitled, The Constitution and Discipline of the Presbyterian Church, with a Directory for the Celebration of Ordinances, and the Performance of Ministerial Duties ; for the Use of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland,” the paragraphs which contain the principal regulations relating to the authority assigned to human standards of faith in that ecclesiastical society. It may be proper to premise, that the book above-named was at a General Assembly held at Belfast in the year 1841 (17th Session, Thursday, July 15th, 1841, 7 o'clock, P.m.)adopted as “the Book of Discipline of their Church," and ordered to be printed and published, &c. (Sce Minutes of the General Assembly for 1841, p. 67.) It is also right to state that the regulations below referred to are not only made binding on congregations as matter of law, but have likewise been ratified as solemn and express stipulation with third parties, who have in consequence connected themselves with the so-called Presbyterian Church; and without whose consent no alteration can now fairly be made. This treaty is set forth in the Minutes of the same year, 4th Session, Wednesday, July 7th, 1841, 3 o'clock, afternoon, (p. 53).

“ The Committee appointed at last Assembly to confer with certain dissentient brethren, reported—That certain brethren, who have hitherto abstained from entering into the United Church, have signified their willingness to become members, on the Assembly now affirming resolutions which the Committee have unanimously agreed to recommend for their adoption.

“ The following resolutions being read and confirmed, were unanimously adopted :

“1. That a profession of belief, conformable to the Westminster Confession of Faith, be required from intrants to communion, and from parents at the baptism of their children.

“ II. That the erroneous and immoral be debarred from sealing ordinances.

“III. That communicants be admitted to the Lord's table by tokens, distributed only by the ministers and elders conjointly." And in the next session, a fourth resolution, forming part of the same series (but not relating to the same subject), having been agreed to, and the whole having been read from the chair, “the following brethren, late members of the Secession Synod, then signified their adherence to the United Church, and their names and those of their congregations were added to the roll of Assembly; viz.- Rev. Samuel Craig,” &c. &c. (p. 53).

It might be convenient here to insert an abstract of the doctrines taught in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, to which reference is made in the following paragraphs; but this would occupy too much room. Let it therefore suffice to say, that they are, in all their parts and articles, imbued with

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