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faith and practice, the right of private spoke, with power and efficiency, the judgment, and the rejection of all hu- truths of the gospel ; and, along with man creeds and articles. When we your high-minded brethren in the peruse the valued writings of these ministry, were ready to peril, and, if gifted men, when we dwell on the need were, to lose all earthly possesrecords of their piety, philanthropy, sions, rather than keep back what you and benevolence, or reflect on their believed to be the counsel of God. singular self-sacrifice, and their devo- And, with pride and pleasure, we action to the cause of true and uncor- knowledge that we are attached to rupted Christianity, we acknowledge you, because you have, by precept and our gratitude to those who employed example, inculcated a charity as exthe art of the painter to continue, as tensive as humanity, a love as boundit were, their presence among us; and, less as creation, a piety characterized persuaded that our successors and pos- by wisdom no less than by warmth, terity will regard you with similar and have ever been the true helper of feelings and emotions, we are desirous our joys, by unceasing endeavours to to preserve your likeness for their gra- bind us to God, and to strengthen the tification.
ties that unite us to our families and “ In doing this, we testify our re- to mankind.” spect for one who has obtained his To which Dr. DRUMMOND made the influence by no subjugation of our following understandings through the agency of terror, that overwhelming weapon of "My esteemed and beloved Friends, coarse intellects and unfeeling hearts; -I accept, with pride and gratitude, who, in seeking to break the chains these expressive testimonials of your that have been fastened on men's kindness. To be united, as a minister minds, has been careful to avoid the of the gospel, with a society holding imposition of others in their stead; such principles as those to which your who has been solicitous to enlighten address gives utterance, and to which our understandings and warm our you are well known to be devotedly hearts by gospel views of all the sub; attached, I deem one of the greatest jects
which inost deeply concern and blessings to be participated in this interest mankind; and, whilst strug- state of trial. With you I enjoy, and gling for the diffusion of momentous have for many years enjoyed, that pertruths, and naturally anxious that his fect freedom of mind which is the own views should be fairly weighed birthright of Christians, and which and considered, has ever impressed on delights to expatiate in the wide field us and advocated the duty and neces- of religious inquiry, untrammelled by sity of free investigation, and the un- creeds
and articles of human device, qualified rights of conscience. Cold, which, to the freeborn' in spirit, are indeed, would be the heart, and dull more galling than shackles of brass or the understanding, that could fail to fetters of iron. be warmed and enlightened by your "To myself,considered individually, admirable discourses on the Attributes this picture, as you remark, can be of of God,--the Might, the Majesty, and little value ; but, as a testimonial of the Infinite Benignity of the Universal your approbation of the religious tenets Father, -on the true Dignity, and of which I am the humble advocate, Glory of his Son, our Lord and Sa- and in connection with those who are viour Jesus Christ,
,-on the Operation endeared to me by the most tender and Agency of the Holy Spirit, the and endearing relations, it is of the Spirit of God, -on our Duty to our highest. My children, whose excelFellow-men and to ourselves,- our lent mother is leading them in a Duties, Responsibilities, Immortal path in which I hope they will contiDestiny, and Hopes.
nue to progress as long as they live, “ We, in like manner, testify our will learn to prize it as a memorial of admiration of your sincerity and de- your kindness, when he whom it revotion in the cause of man's mental, presents shall be seen no more. It moral, and spiritual advancement, and may serve them as a memento to of your supreme and invincible love of keep the instruction of their father, truth, under the influence of which you and 'forsake not the law of their frankly, directly, and fearlessly, and mother.' with simplicity and godly sincerity, " In speaking of the pastors of
Strand-street and Eustace-street congregations in bygone times, you only do justice to their memory. Few denominations, as you truly observe, can refer to a succession of pastors more highly gifted, or more richly endowed with the Christian virtues; and assuredly, in the opinion of every wise and good man, virtue is, in every society, a more honourable distinction than number.
"It has often been a subject of reproach to our religious society, that our numbers are so few when compared with those of other religious societies. Such reproach comes with a bad grace from those who are themselves but a very little flock, when compared with the multitudes who are still unconverted, with Jews, Mahomedans, Heathens, and the thousands and tens of thousands in Christendom whom they brand as the non-elect, and whom they exclude from what they term the Covenanted mercies of God.' We have never understood that Truth despises the few, and courts alliance only with the many. We learn, from the highest authority, that strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it;' and that wide is the gate and broad the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat.' We, therefore, prefer the narrow way, which we believe to be the way of righteousness and peace, though frequented by only a few, to the broad highway leading to the crowded halls, where declamation roars and bigotry sits enthroned, muttering her spells and issuing her denunciations. If we cannot boast of our numbers, we can, at least, congratulate ourselves on having had among us such men as are ornaments to the Christian name, men of high intellectual powers, profound erudition, literary taste, critical judgment, above all, men of unimpeached and unimpeachable honesty, candour, integrity, men mighty in the Scriptures, and marked by the seal of heaven, as worthy to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation. Comparisons are said to be odious; but when we are taunted with the paucity of our number, we may boldly affirm that we know of no society that can refer to a succession of pastors more highly gifted than those to whom your address calls our attention. Nay, we
have yet to be informed, what names of the various religious societies in this island, whose bond of union is the Westminster Confession, can be produced from their presbyteries, synods, and general assemblies united, worthy of being compared with those which you have enumerated. They form a glorious constellation in our firmament of Christian theology; and, beside them, the host of those who dare us to the comparison may hide their diminished heads.' And whence is the difference? Do we affirm that the pastors of our congregations were, by the original constitution of their minds, more richly gifted than others, more industrious students, more diligent in the discharge of their ministerial duties? Far from it: we make no such assertions. We freely admit, that, in the synods and assemblies, to which allusion has been made, there must have been many men of great attainments and respectable scholarship, but they were slaves-slaves to their confession of faith-slaves to the unhallowed dogmas of Calvin; the brand of Calvin was on their souls, it had seared their conscience as with a red-hot iron. The faculties of their minds were crippled and distorted by their creeds, and by the very frame of their religious institution they were precluded from the free exercise of thought. They dared not expatiate beyond a prescribed limit. A sorcerer's circle was drawn around them, and over it they were forbidden to plant a foot, lest they should be ignominiously driven back as heretics and unbelievers. They were ordered to vilify the nature which it should be our endeavour to honour and exalt. They could not, or dared not, carry out any great principle of Evangelical truth, tending to the melioration of society or the happiness of man. Happiness! No; the religion of Calvin is a religion of terror and hard-heartedness, a gloomy and barbarous superstition, blasphemous concerning the great Author of Good, libellous concerning the nature and the brotherhood of men.
"Differing as we must in religious opinion from several of our predecessors, who gave up their livings rather than remain in a church which fettered the conscience, we revere the principle on which they acted; their names deserve to be held in honoured
remembrance for their assertion of forward as a laggard from the rear, Christian freedom--the all-sufficiency he should be seen voluntarily leading of scripture as the rule of faith and in the van. But no slave can be a practice-the right of private judg- proper leader of free men. • If the ment in the interpretation of the Di. blind lead the blind, both must fall vine articles. These are the principles into the ditch. He that would inwhich will regenerate the world ; but struct others should have been well while the Gospel is contemplated instructed himself; and I impute it through the compositions of fallible to the want of proper instruction, to men, as the sun through noxious fogs sheer ignorance, and to the vain preand exhalations, its light is obscured, sumption that the utmost limit, the its energies enfeebled, its beauty and ne plus ultra of religious knowledge, simplicity deformed and lost. has been already reached, that so
“While the pastors of our congre- many errors prevail, and that the pure gations are brought to our grateful and holy light of gospel truth is deremembrance, their lay worthies serted for the dungeon gloom of supershould not be overlooked or forgotten; stitions that long since should have of these we can boast of many who, ceased to exist. to borrow the language of your ad- “ It is melancholy to reflect how dress, were distinguished by the “ aris- little the principles of genuine Protocracy of mind, who adorned the testantism have been understood or liberal professions by their virtues and regarded, and how little progress in talents , who sacrificed place and emo- religious knowledge has been made lument to the dictates of conscience, by the great body of mankind since and achieved the triumph of religious the time of Luther's reformation. The principle over the temptations of the object of most of the new societies into world. Of these, the name of one is which the Christian world was then still fresh and verdant on our minds divided was not to advance but to -that of Dr. Whitley Stokes ; and retard and limit the progress of inwith his will one day be associated quiry. Having burst the chains of the names of some of our contempo- papal tyranny, they were impatient raries, who are ornaments to society, to forge and to rivet other chains, not an honour to their profession, bene- less galling, on the minds of those factors of their species, steady and who were boasting of their emancipaconsistent friends of religious freedom, tion from slavery. Vain boast! The and able advocates of the rights of Pope of Geneva was not less intolerant conscience. It is due to the lay mem- than the Pope of Rome, nor the yoke bers of such Christian societies as ours of Presbyterian Synods and General to state, that from them their pastors Assemblies less oppressive than the are great gainers by the interchange yoke of General Councils ; nor the of thought and the communication of fires which burned Servetus less cruel knowledge. If, in subjects imme- and tormenting than those which diately connected with our profes- consumed Huss and Jerome of Prague. sional studies, we can sometimes What have the General Assembly of impart a ray of light, how amply are Ulster done to promote the cause of we repaid by the knowledge which genuine Christianity? Ask the Court we receive on every subject of science of Chancery; and it will tell us, that and the arts, in which we ask infor- when they failed to dislodge us Unitamation from our lay brethren! And rians from the high and holy position even in religion, and the right inter- which we had assumed as servants of pretation of Scripture, how often might of the One only living and true God, the priesthood be instructed by the by the legitimate weapon of controlaity! Few of the most distinguished versy, they hoped to prevail against divines are worthy of being compared us by the revival of certain intolerant as theologians with Milton, Newton, laws, which, in the lapse of years, and Locke.
their very intolerance had rendered “I hold it to be the duty of a Chris- obsolete ; and, had it not been for the tian minister to keep pace, if he pos- wisdom and justice of the British Lesibly can, with the growing intelligence gislature, in passing the Dissenters' of his age and country. Nay, it Chapels Bill, we should have been should be his ambition to precede, robbed of our houses of worship, of all and, instead of having to be dragged our congregational properties, of the
very funds which our benevolent predecessors had provided, and to which some of our living contemporaries largely contributed, to be a provision for the fatherless children and widows of your pastors. Such are the fruits of their Christianity, such the lessons they inculcate on their priest-ridden, down-trodden, miserably-deluded, and mystified congregations; and so certain were they of the success of their nefarious projects, they had actually begun to quarrel about the division of the pillage. The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my desire shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.' But, thanks to our Almighty Protector! in the hour of their anticipated triumph, they were signally defeated, and we still continue to worship in the houses built by our pious ancestors, and raise the voice of praise and thanksgiving to our great Deliverer, who hath rescued us from the fangs of the destroyer, who brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.' "Attached as I am to the great principles of civil and religious liberty, it has ever been my desire to create and promote the same attachment in my Christian brethren, to the extent of my humble ability, and to me it is highly gratifying to meet a response to my advocacy of those principles in your kind, affectionate, and only too partial address. A minister of the Gospel can receive no higher reward upon earth than the approbation of his religious sentiments by those whom it is his wish and duty to instruct, provided always that such approval is gained by no unworthy act, by no flattery of prejudice, by no fashioning of doctrines to the varying hour, but simply by inculcating, with godly sincerity, what he believes to be the allimportant doctrines of revelation. If there be aught that can or should excite supreme aversion and invincible disgust in the bosom of a Christian, surely it is sycophancy with hypocrisy in the guise of religion.
"We have been accused of having too little warmth in our religion, though occasionally some declare we have too much. It may be admitted, however, that if we sometimes exhibited a little more Christian zeal, it would tend to the advancement of our righteous cause. But warmth and
zeal depend very much upon physical constitution, and I am far from supposing that warm and affectionate piety is to be found only with the fire and storm of a heated imagination. Rapturous exclamations, affected grimace, and disgustingly familiar repetitions of sacred names, that should be uttered only with hallowed respect and veneration, are not the proper outward signs of the inward and spiritual grace. Where there is an ostentatious exhibition of piety, there can be but little of the reality. Shallow streams run with the most noisy murmur. Empty bodies yield the greatest sound. And some one has said, 'that the contortions of the Sybil may often be seen without the inspiration.' The service of God is a reasonable service.' It should be-based upon reason and understanding, not on passions and emotions: the affections are a most valuable part of the constitution, and should be cherished; for, without them and their kindly play, life would be insipid; but unless they are under the control and guidance of reason and understanding, they lead to dangerous errors both in doctrine and practice. Devotion may be excited into fanaticism, zeal kindled into persecution. Our great guide and example was no enthusiast, no devotee, no vilifyer of human nature. He reasoned with the intellect, he appealed to man's natural sense of right and wrong, he spake to the feelings and affections, but he did not stir up the passions to anarchy and insurrection, to dethrone that reason which is man's distinguishing attribute. He was fervent in piety, but not fanatical, nor fond of vain repetitions, zealous for the glory of his and our Heavenly Father, but a reprover of the disciples who wished to call down fire from Heaven to consume his enemies.
"Here let me pause, for I seem to have forgotten that I am replying to your address, and not delivering a sermon. In conclusion, then, my esteemed and beloved friends and brethren, permit me again to say that I warmly reciprocate all your expressions of kind and affectionate regard, I prize the picture which you generously bestow as a proof of your friendship to myself, for the gratification it gives to those who are united to me by the most tender ties, and for all the pleasing associations with which it is con
nected: let me add, that my gratitude is enhanced by the consideration that my claims, if any, to such a testimonial of your regard, are so disproportioned to your estimation of my deserts; but, as I have said, you confer this honour upon me as an advocate of those religious principles on which it is our greatest earthly happiness to rest, and in support of which we shall best fulfil the great end and design of our Creation."
After Dr. Drummond had delivered his reply, Surgeon Antisell, the secretary, said he was requested by the committee to present the Rev. G. A. Armstrong, as colleague of Dr. D. with a framed lithograph of the por trait, on receiving which, he remarked, that no portrait was necessary to remind him of Dr. Drummond, as his image was indelibly stamped on his
In the evening there was a Soirée at the Northumberland Buildings, which was very numerously attended; and at which several enlightened and benevolent sentiments were impressively brought forward by-Mitchell, Esq. John Armstrong, Esq. R. Dowden, Esq. Wm. Antisell, Esq. James Haughton, Esq. the chairman D. Hutton, Esq. and other speakers. These were received by the assemblage with marked approbation, and the evening was spent in most delightful harmony.
DR. BEARD'S DICTIONARY OF THE
DIED-On the 8th day of February, 1846, MR. JOHN JOHNSTON, of Thornhill, near Dunmurry, in the 64th year of his age. Through life he was distinguished by benevolence, integrity, and public spirit, as a member of society; and, in his more private relations, he was eminently gentle, amiable, and kind. For more than thirty
It gives us much pleasure to direct the attention of our readers to Dr. Beard's Dictionary of the Bible, which we have no doubt will be truly useful as a book of reference. Dr. Beard has
already distinguished himself as an author and able vindicator of the truths of Christianity, and merits the encouragement of the Christian community. The friends who have, on the cover, recommended his Dictionary to the non-subscribing Presbyterians of Ireland, being personally confidence in his ability to execute the acquainted with him, have, of course, task which he has marked out for
himself. They cannot be accountable for what he may advance on any subbut his past services certainly ject; work to the inquirer after information. warrant them in recommending his
ED. I. U. M.
We understand that the Rev. Robert E. B. Maclellan has signified his intention of resigning the pastoral charge of the Unitarian Congregation at Bridport, on 1st September next.
years, he was a respected Elder of the Presbyterian Congregation of Dunmurry, and in that capacity he attended several meetings of Synod, about the period of the Remonstrant Separation, being one in whom his fellow-worshippers reposed entire confidence, as the uncompromising friend of gospel truth and Christian liberty.
It is requested that all communications intended for insertion in the Irish Unitarian Magazine will be forwarded not later than the 10th of the preceding month (if by post, prepaid), to 28, Rosemary-street, Belfast.