Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση


do this requires 'special grace ;' [chap. THE CHRISTIAN BRETHREN AT MOTTRAN 8, $ 4, and 9, § 2, 3.] Christ, it is said, died for only a part of mankind, or for It will interest many of our readers to the elect: Legitimately flowing from learn that the Christian Brethren at such views of original sin, is the state- Mottram are going on very satisfactorily. ment that elect infants dying young are The course of lectures, the subjects of saved; while others taken from the world which have been announced in our adin infancy go to hell : [chap. 10, S3, vertising sheet, was brought to a close 4.] Consistentlywith all this is the by the Rev. John Wright on the first doctrine of Reprobation ;-which taken Sunday in June. To the last, the audi. in its connexion, stands thus : the whole ences continued very large, and were human race are depraved and disabled, composed of Churchmen, Methodists, so that they cannot render spiritual obedi" and Calvinists, beside Unitarians and the ence or choose what is good, without members of the congregation. The lecspecial grace ; but this grace God with- tures have given great satisfaction to not holds from the non-elect : and then fore- a few inquirers after scripture truth. ordains them to eternal wrath for their Many of the ministers who preached the sins; which sins, in the first instance lectures expressed the greatest interest they did not commit, but it was imputed in what they saw of the congregation and to them from Adam; and their sins after- of the prospects of liberal theology at wards, according to the book, they could Mottram.-On the Sunday following the not help: And this is the decree of announced course, a lecture was preachReprobation, which according to the ed by Mr. James Robinson, of Mossley, Presbyterian standard, dooms unknown a very zealous lay-preacher amongst the multitudes to hell for ever, that they may Christian Brethren. His simple but earbe to the praise of the glory of God's jus- nest and powerful elucidation and appli. tice: {Chap: 3, § 6, and Catechism, cation of scripture was listened to with Quest. 13.)

deep attention by a very large congregaIn exposing these dreadful dogmas, tion. On Sunday June 20, the cause of (and there are others inseparably connect- the schools of the society was pleaded ed with them, upon which we have not by Rev. J. G. Robberds, of Manchester, time to dwell,) it is not forgotten that and notwithstanding the wetness of the some of our own fathers and mothers of day there was a collection of nearly £20. blessed memory lived and died more or A deep feeling of gratitude pervades the less imbued with such faith. But we minds of the Mottram people for the lisuppose this came to pass through the beral aid afforded them by the Unitariinfluence of time-hallowed tradition, and ans of England. The persecution a sensuous philosophy, which had be which recently assailed them is now at come interwoven with the pure word, an end-a happy result which may in a and seemed to leave no alternative, but great degree be attributed to the marked to embrace these opinions, or reject the sympathy of the Unitarians, both lay Bible. Now that clearer views of Scrip- and clerical, of Cheshire and Lancature truth prevail throughout the Church, shire. and since a large proportion of the Pres- From Stoke, in the Potteries, we have byterian Ministry themselves, utterly re- received an interesting statement of the pudiate those doginas, it seems wrong progress of free inquiry in that important that such a book should remain the ac- district, through the agency of the Chrisknowledged standard of the deaomina- tian Brethren who have there no less tion; or that the mass of disciples, (who than twelve congregations. We regret but very imperfectly understand its teach that we must defer using it till next month. ings,) should in any sort have their con- But we would at once inform our readsciences bound by it. Sure we are, ers that there is in this district, a very that if pains had been taken to spread urgent demand for Unitarian Books and among their congregations the Presby- Tracts

, both for Vestry Libraries and terian Confession, and make them un- for gratuitous distribution.

A plan bas derstand it, not one quarter of those been formed for circulating amongst the who have done so, would have joined members of the twelve congregations the that communion.--Montreal Bible Chris. books which belong to the Vestry Libvan.


In how many houses are there unused and unvalued Unitarian books, which in this promising field might be

turned to good account! Persons will. Trent.-- Mr. Travers Madge, we are ing to assist the Brethren in the Potteries pleased to hear, is about to pay these by the gift, or even the loan, of books churches a visit. May we request from and tracts, are requested to put them- him, for our next publication, a report selves into communication with Mr. John of the state and prospects of these so

Honey-Wall, Stoke-upon- cieties?



Died, in Dublin, on the 25th of May, 1847, JOSEPA Nelson, Esq. Q.C., third son of the late James Nelson, D. D. of Downpatrick. Mr. Nelson was in the 40th year of his age, having been born on the 23d of October, 1807. He received his school education entirely under the instruction of his learned and excellent father : and at a very early period, displayed talents and application, which gave ample augury of future eminence. At the age of fifteen he entered Trinity College, Dublin; and, throughout the whole of his undergraduate course, was most honourably distinguished by diligence and success in his studies. In that seminary, the course of instruction for Pensioners, comprehends four years, each of which is divided into three terms: at the commencement of each term the student is required to pass a public examination on a prescribed series of subjects, in literature, science and philosophy. During his whole career, Mr. Nelson never was absent from an exainination : and never failed to obtain either the Premium as best an. swerer in his division-or the Certificate, which is given in lieu of a premium to the student who has answered best at two consecutive examinations : a success which was the more remarkable, as, not being resident in college, he was deprived of the benefit of his official tutor's instructions; and he never had the assistance of a private teacher : nor any other help than that which his own reading and retlection afforded. His career in Dublin college was marked by an event which signalized the strength of his principles, no less than the extent of bis acquirements. In that establishment, the Scholarships, when they become vacant, are awarded to the successful candidates at a public examination upon an extensive course of classical learning. Hence they are not only valuable from the emoluments and privileges which they confer, but are likewise honourable as the reward of merit; they are sought for with corresponding earnestness, and every vacancy becomes an object of anxious competition to the most promising among the youth of the whole University. One of these highly prized offices having become vacant, Mr. Nelson entered himself as a candidate : and, after an arduous examination, was unanimously elected. He had thus within his grasp, an honourable object of youthful ambition; conferring literary distinction, academic rank,—desirable privileges,mand for the remainder of his college life, an income fully competent to all his wants; a competence, the more pleasing, because the reward of his own exertions; and to him especially desirable, because, as may well be supposed, his circumstances were far from being affluent. And, in prospect, he might see Professorships, Fellowships, Provost-ships, and preferments of various kinds, inviting him to advance and claim them for his own. Nor can there be a doubt that the very highest honours and emoluments of the University would in time have become his, had he chosen to embrace them, by complying with the necessary conditions. But these conditions involved the sacrifice of conscience and duty: and while no man ever was farther removed from the cant of piety,mindeed the parade of religious professions he hated and shunned throughout life,ếhe was too deeply and sincerely religious to accept of any preferment, however earnestly sought and highly prized, which involved compliances, against which his conscience rebelled. The Board of Trinity College having seen fit to revive the application of the Sacramental Test to Scholarships, as well as Fellowships,—a practice which, though prescribed by statute, was for many years obsolete,- Mr. Nelson was called upon to qualify himself for office by taking the Communion according to the rites and usages of the Church of England :--and feeling that he could not do this conscienciously, he declined the honour already won. He was urged with every argument by bis Tutor, and his fellow-students; for no man ever knew him without feeling an interest in his success : and according to prevailing maxims, many must have deemed that, in thus advising, they were recommending the course most conducive to his bappiness and to his advantage. But he was immovable: and while yet in years a mere boy,--he was, we believe, under seventeen at the time,ếhe had the manly courage to prefer laborious and obscure, but honourable poverty, to every outward advantage, incompatible with a conscience void of offence.

He chose for his profession, the bar ; and accordingly entered himself as a member of the Honourable Societies of King's Inns in Ireland, and of Lincoln's Inn in London. During his probation as a law student he was unremitting in his application to the science of his profession :-yet he found time to engage in literary pursuits of a very discursive kind. He supported himself by writing for the periodicals in London and elsewhere. Owing to the death, or absence of fellowlabourers in the conduct of a very popular weekly Review with which he was connected, the entire management was for a considerable period thrown upon himself and another gentleman of distinguished ability: and at times, he was called upon to perform the whole duty. On one occasion the writer of this notice remembers having learned from an authentic source, that the journal in question appeared in due time and in full measure,—every line which it contained from beginning to end-except the advertisements,-having proceeded from Mr. Nelson's pen : yet such was the versatility of his mind, that no person, unacquainted with the fact, could have supposed that one writer bad produced the whole. Notwithstanding all this industry, Mr. Nelson, by the judicious arrangement of his pursuits, never seemed hurried; he enjoyed the society of his friends ; and his time was always at their disposal, whether for public objects or for the purposes of friendly relaxation; to which his social powers and dispositions, enabled him to contribute in a most delightful manner.

In April, 1830, he was called to the Irish bar. At the opening of his career he undoubtedly enjoyed many advantages from the kind interest felt in his success by several gentlemen whose professional opportunities enabled them to bring him forward more speedily than would have been possible without their assistance. But although such friendly aid may enable a young barrister to make his powers and attainments known, it will not and cannot—without personal merit—secure permanent practice, even in the lower departments of professional business ; still less can it lead to eminence in the highest.' Mr. Nelson had laid in such a stock of legal knowledge,-he brought to every question which came before him, the powers of a mind so clear, vigorous, sober and comprehensive,-he exercised such, industry, patience and care, in investigating the facts and the law of every case in which he was engaged, that it was soon perceived by the Bench and the Juries—by the Bar, the Solicitors and the Public--that he was pre-eminently a safe lawyer : one in whose hands, a client's affairs were certain to be diligently attended to and properly conducted. His pleadings were clear and correct : his opinions sound : his advice carefully considered and judicious. As an advocate in the courts, he did not, at first, give promise of brilliancy equal to the depth of his legal knowledge : - he probably undervalued too much, the merely ornamental and pathetical departments of eloquence: but he was always a fluent and agreeable speaker, and in the latter part of his professional life,—though making no pretensions to the character of a finished orator,-he was undoubtedly an eminently useful, impressive and effective advocate. To the prejudices, he never appealed:--and if he was inferior to some of his professional brethren in address to the feelings, or in biting sarcasm, he more than compensated for the absence of these qualities, by a respectful and gentlemanlike consideration for the feelings and characters of his fellow creatures, by a manly candour and evident love of truth and goodness,---which secured the attention of every hearer, and created a deep impression in favour both of the advocate and the client. In lively fancy, in rich and varied humour, and “wit that loved to play not wound," he had few superiors; and these endowments were often most effectively employed in the service of bis clients ; covering their weak points; placing in a strong light those of the opponent:—and enlivening even the dry details of legal discussion, without overloading or encumbering the argument.

Mr. Nelson took a deep interest in his profession : he looked upon its exercise as one of the safeguards provided by the Constitution for the life, liberty, security, rights and properiy of the subject : and he valued it accordingly. He was a zeal


ous friend to the most enlarged principles of Religious freedom : and felt a sincere pleasure in rendering his legal attainments of use in promoting that glorious

He was employed on behalf of the defendants in several, if not all of the suits which were instituted in Ireland, previously to the passing of the Chapels' Act, for the purpose of wresting from the hands of Unitarians, the meeting.houses and congregational property transmitted to them by their ancestors; and throughout the entire proceedings, he gloried in avowing that he was acting for the defence of his own convictions, as well as in support of his clients' rights. It was he who drew up the Answer put in by the Defendants in the Clough Case: one of the ablest arguinents and clearest statements it has ever been our privilege to peruse : -and it may show the respect in which his powers as an advocate were beld, to mention that a few days before the Killiochy case came on for a hearing in the Court of Exchequer,- Mr. Holmes, the veteran father of the Irish bar,—who, in conjunction with the late Serjeant Curry, had so triumphantly pleaded in the same court for the Defendants in the Clough case,--and who could not but be conscious of the powerful impression left on all minds, by his exertions on that as many other trying occasions, -came to Mr. Nelson and peremptorily insisted on his sta. ting the Defendants' case : reserving to himself the highly important but still subordinate duty of the reply.—The cause, however, was adjourned; and never was argued upon its merits, at least on behalf of the defendants.

The success and distinguished merits of Mr. Nelson, marked him out to the members of a liberal government, as a fit and proper person to receive those professional distinctions which are at the disposal of the crown. In the month of January, 1839, Lord Plunkett being then Chancellor, he was offered the situation of Attorney General at the Cape of Good Hope: which he was at first inclined to accept : but ultimately, declined, by the advice of Judge Perrin, Serjeant Curry, and Mr. Holmes. In the beginning of the next year he was made Assistant Barrister of King's County; whence, in August, 1841, he was removed to Longford at his own request, on account of the lighter nature of the Sessions business. About the same time he was appointed to the rank of Queen's Counsel in Ireland : and there cannot be a doubt from the standing he had already achieved, the respect in which his character was held by men of all parties, and the fitness which he displayed for the highest offices in the law, that he was on the road to the most eminent legal preferments

. But it has pleased Divine Providence to frustrate the cherished hopes of his many friends and admirers, and to deprive his country and mankind of his farther services, by calling him hence, in the prime of life, in the full vigour of his powers, and in the midst of active exertion. He had been once or twice attacked by severe illness ; but from the ease with which his health recovered from these assaults, it was hoped that his constitution was not only sound but vigorous,--and that many years of life, and happiness, and honourable activity and public usefulness were before him. But it was otherwise appointed. After an illness, which he soon foresaw would prove fatal,—during which he displayed the same gentleness, patience and tenderness

, which adorned the whole course of his private life, and in which, without the slightest approach to parade or display, he evinced an entire and unfeigned submission of his heart to God, and manifested the cheering and supporting influence of his cherished views of Christian truth, he breathed his last at his residence in Dublin, on the 25th of May, 1847 ; leaving behind him an immortal record of his integrity, benevolence and truth, enshrined in the hearts of all who knew him : and affording to posterity a bright example of those endowments of heart and character which command the respectful love and affection of mankind.

Mr. Nelson was twice married. By his second wife, descended from the anci. ent family of Gillespie,-distinguished of old in the history of Scotland, and more recently in the annals of Londonderry, before, during and since the siege of 1688, -he has left an infant son. May he live to revive the recollection and emulate the worth of his excellent father!

THE LATE Rev. James Davis. - The Rev. James Davis, of Banbridge, on Wednesday, the 21st July, departed this life. The death of such a man is certain to call forth, in various ways, the just expression of our feelings. The following unpresuming memento, written by one who knew him intimately, and who loved him well, may be one means of perpetuating a faint trace of his worth.


It was the high privilege of James Davis to be born of eminently pious and ex. cellent parents, and in the neighbourhood of one of the best Classical Schools of the day. These two circumstances were mainly instrumental in pointing out to him the future fields of his labours --- the work of the ministry. He received the principal part of his early education under the Rev. Moses Nelson, of Kilmore; and he has proved himself one of the many distinguished Scholars and useful men, who felt that they owed a debt of gratitude to the dignified name of Nelson.

On first entering the ancient Presbyterian seat of learning, he easily gained the first place and prize. Whilst science was bis favourite study, in which he took the first Collegiate honours, and in which he chiefly delighted through life, he read as fuently, and understood the classics almost as well as the English language. In these again he carried to Ireland the first public rewards. He was well versed in the Hebrew Scriptures. He could have translated Hebrew with as much readiness, as the generality even of well educated ministers would the Greek Testament. a scholar, only one, perhaps, in every hundred of his own profession, had any pretensions to be his equal ; and that possibly, only in one or two departments of human learning : but very few, if any branches of knowledge were left unmastered by him of whom we speak. The high place which he occupied, when a young man, in sacred rhetoric and morals, was yearly and daily improved upon, and more than fully sustained down to his last pulpit address.

Eminently pious by nature ; not knowing what it was to cherish one irreverent sentiment towards God; holding truth at all times, and under all circumstances, sacred ; his life, his life's labours—his eating, his drinking—the skilful work of his hands, in his garden, or in his fields, was one uninterrupted series of devotion. No wonder that a man of such qualifications of head and heart proved a Christian Minister of unspeakable worth and usefulness.

It is recorded by his own hand, that he was licensed to preach the Gospel on the 4th February, 1812; and that he was ordained to the pastoral charge of the Presbyterian Congregation of Banbridge, on the 23d March, 1814. Before receiving license as a preacher of the Gospel ; and in the intermediate time, from his being licensed by the Dromore Presbytery, till his appointment as a Minister of the Armagh Presbytery, he was diligently engaged in the highly honourable and useful employment of instructing youth. He was one of the few men, who have found it a pleasing duty to impart knowledge as a public Teacher. Some of his scholars are known to the public as professional inen, and men of rank and talents. From 1914, Banbridge formed the sphere of his labours as a Disciple of Jesus Christ, as a messenger of his glad tidings. In this capacity, taken as a whole, he has left few equals behind him. Men there are more eloquent; some with a greater grasp of comprehension ; a few with more popular talents - more general and much more commanding powers ; but in the circle to which Mr. Davis thought himself bound in duty to restrict his labours-with becoming respect for the living and the dead, none surpassed him in earnestness — not one in usefulness. Truly, he was a scribe “well instructed unto the kingdom of heaven, who brought forth out of his treasure things new and old.” Truly, he was a "workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” And yet, he was as bashful, and as timid, and as unconscious of any merit in himself or in his services, as a child. His pulpit ministrations were entirely made up of the leading character. istics of his life -- usefulness, vigour of thought, earnestness. It was no sermon with him, if it were not a useful sermon. If it bore strongly against sin ; if it lacerated the conscience ; if it went directly to undo any of ihe grievous burdens which men place upon themselves, then he was satisfied to overlook many minor faults. He never laboured to recommend his views by declamation, or eloquent words without sound sense ; he seldom entered on the exposition of doctrines and principles alone, although so well qualified in ample stores of knowledge concerning every controversy which has agitated the Christian church : but usefulness was his aim; energy of thought marked all his public services, and a natural unmistakeable earnestness recommended his overflowing speech. His sermons were comprehensive-each a body of divinity complete in itself ; learned, and yet sufficient. ly plain to be easily understood by the humblest individual. The subject was discussed from the beginning to the end ; nothing was taken for granted; and as his own devotional powers, naturally strong, were.cultivated to the highest degree, and

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »