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we on that account prepared to re- signing as his reason, that the book nounce and abandon them? With- "contained views very much at vari. out controversy, where would have ance with those which he wished to been the Retormation ? Without put forward.” Thus, by this onecontroversy, where would have been sided course, prejudices are created, Christianity itself? To controversy and cherished, and perpetuated. To we are indebted for progress in all counteract this evil, this Society sends kinds of knowledge—for, by the col- forth into the world books and tracts, lision of opposing sentiments, truth is those noiseless missionaries which elicited. As in the natural world, so gain access where we would not be is it in the intellectual and moral : received; and, without exciting much the moving of the waters evolves a antagonistic feeling, silently, but spirit of life, but, when they stagnate, effectually, make their way to the they send forth pestilence and death. understanding and the heart. The The silent system, as I may call it, religious world is at present in a state has long been unsuccessfully followed. of wonderful excitement. The moveMy experience enables me to say, that ment in Germany leads us to indulge in the North of Ireland, wherever the hope of a new and a glorious refor doctrinal subjects had been studiously mation. The Church of Rome is avoided by the Presbyterian ministers, making every exertion to regain its when the demon of intolerance awoke ascendancy over the minds of men. from its long slumber, the congre- The Church of England, with its gations were rent in pieces. One of creeds and articles and canons, to entwo effects usually followed the want force uniformity in doctrine, and worof proper religious enlightenment ;- ship and discipline, is torn into various the people sunk into a state of indif- parties some approximating very ference, and the religious affections closely, if not altogether identifying became chilled and dead; or the mind themselves with the Roman Catholic and heart being left unoccupied, Church, and others diverging into the "empty, swept, and garnished,” were wildest fanaticism. The Church of taken possession of by, bigotry and Scotland, too, has suffered a violent fanaticism, and “the last state be- disruption; and we have a numerous came worse than the first.” I can body there assuming the imposing see no evil, but much good, as likely name of the Free Church. I am no to arise from a calm, temperate, and advocate of ecclesiastical establishcharitable discussion. It is a duty ments, and repudiate all interference we owe to the public, a duty we owe of the civil power with the exercise of to ourselves--s our friend Mr. James religious opinions; but I have no symso happily enforced in his discourse pathy with those who write themyesterday evening—to state our opi- selves slaves—who wear the livery of nions plainly and unreservedly, inas- bondage--and then assume the front, much as they have been so often and use the language of free and inmisunderstood and misrepresented. dependent-minded men. I judge of We should be "ready to give an the tree by its fruits. This so-called answer to every one that asketh us Free Church most strenuously opposa reason of the hope that is in us, ed that measure of wisdom, and with meekness and fear.” This So- justice, and mercy, “ The Dissenters' ciety also endeavours to enlighten the Chapels Bill,” and has been invaripublic mind by the circulation of ably the supporter of every kind of books and tracts. The necessity of religious intolerance. With respect this measure will appear from the to the ostensible grounds of their sepafollowing statement. There is not in ration, I am fully convinced that the this wide city bookseller who will object of the leaders in that movement hazard his own interest by the sale of was to promote the power of the Unitarian works. I lately called upon clergy, not of the laity; and, that as a most respectable and enterprising to any extension of the rights and publisher, to inquire if he would privileges of the people being deundertake the agency of Dr. Beard's signed, it was nothing but" a mockery, "People's Dictionary of the Bible," a delusion, and a snare." This “ Free which is not a controversial work. Church" has been lately employed in He asked for a little time to consider rivetting the fetters of the poor Ameriof it, and in the course of a few days can slave. One of its deputation, "who respectfully declined the proposal, as. had the bag, and bare what was put therein,” has not long returned from committee be directed to take such that land of freedom, where human steps as they may deem most exbeings are bought and sold like beasts pedient, to bring about a more inof burthen, enriched with the spoils timate union with the British and wrung from the sweat, and the tears, Foreign Unitarian Association, and and the stripes, and the blood of the the Unitarian Society of Belfast. poor, down-trodden, tortured, miser- After a few preliminary observations able slaves! I was told, indeed, lately, he read the resolution relative to the that this money would be sent back. Evangelical Alliance, and proceeded Upon my expressing doubts as to the to observe, that the principles adopted restoration of the plunder, my infor. by that body indicate some favourable mant, himself a member of the Free symptoms of the state of feeling in the Church, assured me, that so strong present day, in the religious world. 1st, was the public feeling in Scotland on of a prevalent impression that some the subject, that he had no doubt decided effort should be made to heal more than double the amount would the divisions unhappily existing and be immediately subscribed if the increasing amongst Christians; 2nd, a money were returned. “Oh! then,” persuasion that the conditions of union I said to myself, “it will probably be amongst Christians should comprise sent back, 'in the hope of gain, but fewer principles than those hitherto not at the call of insulted humanity!” required by the creeds imposed by ecThe Jewish priesthood would not clesiastical bodies upon their members. pollute their treasury with the "thirty These are two important admissions pieces of silver,” because it was the implied in the movement now being price of blood ; but the Scottish priest- made by an influential portion of the hood, less scrupulous, have greedily Orthodox communions. On the other clutched in their grasp that offering hand, the code of doctrine framed by with which the modern Moloch pre- the Evangelical Alliance comprises, in sumed to desecrate the sanctuary of the its selection, those tenets of the preChristian’s God! Unitarianismn stands vailing theology which are most repug. opposed to all such proceedings; free- nant to common sense and the benigdom, both of body and of mind; free- nant spirit of the Gospel, and further, dom, perfect freedom, civil and reli- are inconsistent with themselves. Here gious, to all mankind, in its glorious thespeaker referred, from recollection, charter. We may, under our dis- to a few of the articles propounded by couragements, be inclined sometimes the association in question, as indisto take up the desponding words of pensible to Christian fellowship, and the prophet
, and say, "Who has be- observed, these have evidently been lieved our report, and to whom has adopted for their peculiarly orthodox the arm of the Lord been revealed ?” hue, but it is needless in this place to But we should also remember the re- prove how utterly at variance they are ply, “I have yet ten thousand in Is- with the teaching of Jesus and his rael, who have not bowed the knee to apostles. Their inconsistency with Baal, and lips that have not kissed each other is also striking. After thus him." I am fully persuaded that declaring certain dogmas to be indisthere are many, very many, of our pensable to a scriptural faith, they fellow-Christians, who follow not with conclude by affirming the unfettered us, that yet drink out of the same liberty of every person to exercise his fountain of truth and love. Let us judgment in the investigation of relithen be persevering and hopeful, gious truth! Now, pure Christianity, "lifting up the hands that are bowed as taught in the New Testament, down, and strengthening the feeble differs in its spirit from this, and all knees,” faithfully discharging our other self-styled orthodox bodies, most duties, and leaving the issue in the remarkably, in requiring the least poshands of an all-powerful, all-wise, and sible number of conditions of discipleall-gracious Being.
ship, for Jesus and his apostles proThe Rev. EDWARD FITZGERALD posed but one article of communion to Day then submitted a resolution their followers, namely, the recoguition which was seconded by Dr. LEDLIE, of his Messiahship. In proof of this, and unanimously adopted, to the take the following passages of the New effect, that the Evangelical Alliance Testament, - Matt. xvi. 16, 18; Acts was ill calculated to effect the object viii. 36, 37; Acts xvi. 30, 31; Romans it professed to promote, and that the x. 8, 10 ; 1 John v. 1. Such is the simple profession required by the Chris- insist upon a view more honourable to tianity of the new Testament, and by the beneficent Creator, and in accordUnitarianism in accordance therewith, ance with the results of experience, and as the title of admittance to the privi- our sense of responsibility. There is leges of the new dispensation. But one other important question of this though thus simple, ‘it involves the class upon which I will trespass, at recognition of those grand principles this late hour, with a very few obserof all religion, the existence of God and vations, I mean that respecting the of a chain of revelation respecting his grand design of the Gospel. A leading will and plans of mercy. Further, doctrine of Orthodox theology asserts, Unitarianism, following the model of that such is the wrath of the divine apostolic teaching, whilst insisting only justice against the sinful race of man, on the one condition of discipleship just that an infinite sacrifice of an inocent referred to recommends and inculcates victim was requisite to dispose or enmany other most precious principles of able the Sovereign of the Universe to faith and practice upon her followers, extend his love and mercy to his frail concerning which Unitarians will be creatures. Unitarianism discards this, found to be as harmonious amongst as she does every revolting article of themselves, as the members of any human imposition. But not deeming other religious communions. In illus- that sufficient, she recommends in its tration of which fact, I may venture to place another view more consonant to observe, that among the many impor- scripture and common sense, and mantant topics touched upon by our respect- tains that the great object of the mised preacher yesterday evening, in hission of Jesus was not to reconcile God able exposition of Unitarian doctrine, to man, but erring man to his Creator, there was not one position from which by delivering him from ignorance and a single member of this body would sín. She appeals to the New Testafeel disposed to dissent: so far is it ment, to the discourses and parables from being true that Unitarianism is of Jesus, to the clear and reiterated but a rope of sand. Again, it has been statements of John, and Peter, and alleged that our religious system is a Paul—the great expounder of the Gossystem of negations. This is in some pel scheme-and to the epistle to the respects true; Unitarians, by their posi- Hebrews, in support of this represention, are eminently a protesting com- tation, and to shew that Jesus gave munity, bearing testimony against himself to redeem us, by,“ delivering those inventions of men which have us from this evil world,' by "leaving accumulated upon and obscured the an example that we should follow his simple “faith once delivered unto the steps," and "that being dead to sin, saints." But let it be observed, that, we might live unto righteousness;" in in rejecting the peculiar tenets of or- short, that he lived and “suffered, that thodox confessions, they affirm and he might bring us unto God.” establish the fundamental doctrines On the motion of James HOUGHTON, of true religion. Thus, by impugning Esq. an address was then agreed upon the incomprehensible dogma of the to the citizens of the United States Trinity, they assert, in its literal mean- of America, deprecating war between ing, the absolute unity of God the Fa- the two countries. ther, to whom is due undivided love The officers of the Association, for and supreme homage. In repudiating the ensuing year, were appointed, and the unscriptural tenet of the innate and the meeting closed with a benediction utter depravity of human nature, they by Dr. DRUMMOND.
Dr. Montgomery regrets, that his absence in England, for five weeks, has compelled him to make his “ Outlines" so brief, for the present Number.
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.
IRISH UNITARIAN MAGAZINE.
(TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF ATHANASE COQUEREL, ONE OF THE
MINISTERS OF THE REFORMED CHURCH, PARIS.)
SECT. III.-ON PROPHECY.
The prophecies, like the miracles, form an indissoluble part of sacred history, and are received by modern Orthodoxy as the third important point in the statement of its faith. “ We believe in the prophecies -without admitting that the whole of the Old Testament is prophetical, or every event in the Ancient Dispensation a type of an event in the New.”
To deny the possibility of a Divine Oracle is to deny the True God -is to rob him of the title which he has bimself chosen, that of Jehovah or the Eternal—is to strip him of the attribute of Infinity, and reduce him to the level of mortal man-is to confine the illimitable Deity within the narrow prison-house of what we call the past, the present, and the future. God does not foresee—a word which supposes that a being looks from the present which is, to the future which is not.
To deny the Divine Oracles is, therefore, to deny that God can speak of that which he sees present before him.
To deny the reality of the oracles contained in the Scriptures is to deny Revelation itself. Scripture records prophecies, refers its readers to them, comments upon them, and applies them to events as they arise; to deny the prophecies is, therefore, to deny Scripture. We acknowledge that this argument is of no weight with the unbeliever, who denies the truth of the Bible, nor with the Rationalist, who rejects its inspiration. But to us Christians, who receive this book as the word of God, the argument is sufficient, and inspiration once proved, proves the truth of the prophecies. True it is that the several writers sometimes refer to passages which contain mere allusions, or suggest slight resemblances between the events of the Christian church, and circumstances connected with the history of the Jewish nation. When St. Matthew, on there turn of the Holy Family from Egypt, quotes the words “He shall be called a Nazarene” (Matt. xi. 23), and on another occasion applies to a number of cures performed by Jesus the passage of Isaiah, “ Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows"
-it is only the inconsiderate worshipper of the mere letter of the Scriptures, who can attach to such allusions the same authority or importance as to those portions of the Old Testament which speak in clear terms of the birth, the sufferings, the death and resurrection of our Lord. But apart from all forced interpretations and torturing of the language of the evangelists, it is certain that they frequently quote, as distinctly prophetical, portions of the historical and poetical writers in the Old Testament, and refer to ceremonies in the old dispensation as typical of events in the new: we do not exaggerate therefore when we say, that to deny the prophecies is to deny revelation.
Moreover we say, that to deny that there are prophecies which relate to Christ, is to deny Christ himself; not only because Jesus himself rests his divine mission on this proof, and sends the Jews who doubt to Moses and the Prophets (John v. 39), but that to deny these prophecies is to suppose that God would send his Son into the world without notifying his approval, preparing for his coming, or securing his triumph—is to suppose that redemption would take us by surprise -is to interrupt the harmony ever existing between Providence and Grace, both of which unite in conducting man from Adam to Christ, from the evil to the remedy, from the sin to the salvation of his soul. A Saviour coming from Heaven—a Saviour, the Son of God, and sent from God, and yet no intimation of his advent! This is a contradiction, we need hardly stop to denounce as equally opposed to reason and to revelation. We therefore believe in the prophecies.
Does it therefore follow that the Old Testament is nothing but a long series of predictions respecting the Christ? that every word has a double meaning, and every event a double significancy, one referring to the existing time, and another pointing to the future? Does it follow that all the Jewish ceremonies and buildings have a Christian character? Does it follow that every personage mentioned in the Old Testament was a figure or type of Christ? Our belief does not carry us so far, and even Ancient Orthodoxy hesitates to avow so much when it looks fairly at the subject. Between us, on this point, the difference is but one of the degree of our faith, not certainly worth an angry word on either side.
Respecting types, a subject which has tempted many to travesty Holy Scripture on pretence of expounding it, we venture to inquire, whether the New Testament appeals to the Old as entirely figurative and prophetic? We cannot admit this—that passage of Scripture which occurs in 1 Cor. x. 6 may be quoted against us, but the word types here, may be translated "examples," and is so rendered in the English version. In Colossians xi. 16, St. Paul says, “ Let no man judge you in meat or drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbatlı; which are a shadow of things to come;