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that the occasion was one of unusual I doubt not both
and you are interest. We reached the house a in trouble, because
- has changed few minutes after two o'clock, and his religion.' Nay, he has changed found it rapidly filling; and before his opinions and mode of worship, three o'clock it was literally over- but that is not religion. Religion is flowing, as we are informed by one quite another thing. It is faith who was among the number, that a working by love, producing rightedense crowd filled the space between ousness, peace and joy. It is hapthe inner and outer doors, and occu- piness in God, in the knowedge pied the steps and yard.
and love of God. It is a heart and The services were adapted to pro. life devoted to God. It is commuduce this intensity of interest. Anion with God the Father, and (with] number of German Roman Catholics, the Son. It is the mind that was in about two hundred, we understand, Christ Jesus, enabling us to walk as assembled there for the purpose of he walked. Now either he has this making a public recantation of the religion, or he has it not. If he has, Romish faith, and of most, if not all, he will not finally perish, notwithof the rites and ceremonies of the standing the absurd, unscriptural Romish worship; and as publicly to opinions he has embraced, and the adopt, in lieu thereof, a faith and idolatrous modes of worship.”_Vol. worship essentially Protestant in char- 10, p. 312. acter. Though they take the name Of Pelagius he says, “By all I can of “German Catholic Church,” their pick up from ancient authors, I guess doctrinal creed and Church constitu- he was both a wise and a holy man; tion approach, in all important points, that we know nothing but his name, the doctrines and organization of what for his writings are all destroyed.” are known as “Congregational”Chur- So of the heretics of an earlier ageches."
“By reflecting on an odd book which This reformation has been effected I read, I was fully convinced of what by the instrumentality of Rev. Mr. I had long suspected—that the MonGiustiniani, who conducted the ser- tanists in the second and third cenvices. An overture was performed turies were realscriptural Christians." on the organ and a chant by the Journal, Aug. 1750. choir, and a hymn in German was He prefaces the life of Thomas sung by the members of the Church, Firmin in his magazine with these after which two young men of intel- words—“I was exceedingly struck ligent appearance came from the pews at reading the following life, having and presented a Bible to their pastor, long settled it in my mind, that the Mr. Giustiniani, who on receiving it entertaining wrong notions concernaddressed them in German and the ing the Trinity, was inconsistent audience in English, with much feel- with real piety. But I cannot argue ing, solemnly promising before high against matter of fact. I dare not Heaven and the hundreds before deny that Mr. Firmin was a pious whom he stood,” to teach his people man.”-Southey's Wesley, vol. 2, the truths therein contained, and p. 89. to preach with all fidelity “Christ Of a heathen philosopher he thus and him crucified.” This brief cere- speaks—“I read to-day part of the mony wrought a powerful excitement Meditations of Marcus Antoninus. throughout the house. - Christian What a strange emperor! and what Register.
a strange heathen! giving thanks to God for all the good things he enjoyed; in particular for his good in
spirations, and for twice revealing to In a letter on occasion of the con- him in dreams things whereby be version of a friend from the Protes- was cured of otherwise incurable distant faith to the Catholic, he says, tempers. I make no doubt but this
LIBERAL SENTIMENTS OF WESLEY.
is one of those many who shall come represents the Most High God (he from the east and the west, and sit that hath ears to hear let him hear), down with Abraham, Isaac, and Ja- as more cruel, false, and unjust than cob, in the kingdom of heaven.”- the devil! This is the blasphemy Journal, Oct. 1745.
clearly contained in the horrible deThe following, in regard to Cal- cree of Predestination. Here I fix vinism, may possibly be regarded by my foot. On this I join issue with Calvinists as not quite so Catholic. every asserter of it. But you say Concerning the Calvinistic doctrine you will prove it by Scripture. of God's passing by, in his sove- Ilold! Prove what? That God is reignty, all save the elect, he
worse than the devil? It cannot be. I could sooner be a Turk, a Deist, Whatever the Scripture proves, it yea, an Atheist, than I could believe never proves this. Whatever it this. It is less absurd to deny the mean beside, it cannot mean that the very being of God, than to make him God of truth is a liar, that the judge an 'almighty tyrant." _Vol. 10, p. of the world is unjust. No Scrip
ture can mean that God is not loveAgain. It “destroys all the di- that is, whatever it prove beside, it vine attributes at once. It overturns cannot prove Predestination."-Vol. his justice, mercy, and truth. It 6, p. 122.
OBITUARY. DIED, 24th January, at her residence, Donnycarney, near Dublin, aged 59 years, Isabella, wife of Mr. Edward Gaskin, of College Green, and daughter of the late Mr. James Hawthorne Grier, wine-merchant, of Moore Street. Her father was a native of Downpatrick, and, at an early age, strongly impressed with the great principles of civil and religious liberty. He was a firm upholder of the rights of conscience, and of the right of private judg. ment in matters of faith. On his settling in Dublin, he became a member of the Nonsubscribing Presbyterian Congregation of Strand Street, then under the pastoral care of the late Rev. Dr. Moody. His daughter inherited all his principles, and educated a numerous family in the same faith, continuing to the last a steady member of the abovenamed congregation.
It is only due to the memory of this excellent lady to state, that she was a tender and affectionate wife and mother, a kind friend, and a benefactor to the poor.
Her loss is deeply felt by her sorrowing family and friends. “ Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.'
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. We have received a communication from “ A Unitarian Layman," requesting to know what reasons the Rev. J. Scott Porter assigns “ for supposing Trinitarians not to be idolaters." The writer states that Mr. Porter's belief on this point had been at one time similar to his own, but that he (Mr. Porter) "changed it without assigning any reason." The “ Layman" is of opinion that the cleric should publish an explanatory paper in the Magazine ; but we beg to say, that we would consider a controversy on this subject very unnecessary and unprofitable. Mr. Porter requests us to state, that if the “ Layman" will address to him a private note through the post-office, and append his name, he will readily enumerate his reasons for the change, not by way of controversy, but simply to satisfy our correspondent's curiosity.
The valuable contributions signed " J. M." have been received. They will be published as soon as possible.
The poetry of “J. A. D." is exceedingly interesting and good. We hope to be able to publish it next month.
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 the Rev. George Hill, Crumlin, County Antrim; and books, &c. for review, to 28, Rosemary Street, Belfast.
THE WANE OF CREED Worship. We are able to direct our readers’ attention to certain gratifying indications, that many who have hitherto submitted to man's authority, in religious matters, are determined to assert that “ liberty wherewith Christ has made them free.” The all-enclosing, sectarian crust has been effectually shattered, and the light of gospel truth is streaming gloriously in, “to cheer the strife for liberty," and to teach men that “unity of the spirit” is infinitely better than uniformity of opinion. The first proof of this delightful truth which we shall mention, is, that among ma
Roman Catholics there exists, already, a considerable degree of sympathy with the movements of the “German Catholic Church.” This sympathy has been very unequivocally expressed in the city of New York, where a congregation has been organized, on the most liberal Christian principles, and consisting of upwards of two hundred members, who have seceded from the Romish communion. This society has been fostered, principally, by the Rev. Mr. Guistiniani, who was formerly a Roman Catholic priest of the order of St. Francis. We may form a pretty accurate idea of the extent to which these people have reformed their religious principles, from the following declaration which they have recently published :
We reject the following:
1. The doctrine, that the Pope is the visible head of the Church, standing in the place of Jesus Christ; and we repel in advance all concessions which may possibly be made by the Hierarchy to subject the Free Church again to her yoke.
2. We reject the doctrine, that by ordination there is conferred upon the priests any special elevated dignity above the laity, and that by virtue of the same, authority is given them over faith and doctrine, over the consciences and opinions of men.
3. We reject the constrained celibacy of the clergy, as an ordinance not founded upon the Holy Scriptures, but rather a contrivance devised by the popes for their domineering purposes.
4. We reject auricular confession. 5. We renounce the invocations of saints, the worship of relics and images. 6. We reject indulgences, fasts, pilgrimages, and all such hitherto appointed church regulations, which can only lead to an empty self-righteousness.
7. We reject the doctrine of purgatory. But we freely profess the following well-established tenets of the Gospel :
1. We believe in God the Father, who through his Almighty Word created the world, and rules it in wisdom, righteousness, and love. We believe in Jesus Christ onr Saviour. We believe in the Holy Spirit;a holy, universal, Christian Church ; the forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting. Amen.
2. We assign to the Church, individually, the duty of bringing the import of our faith to a living Christian development adapted to the times. [There is progress in this. ]
3. We allow entire freedom of conscience, the free investigation and interpreta. tion of the Holy Scriptures, with no recognized external authority; we abominate especially all coercion, all hypocrisy and lying, and therefore find in the diversity of views and readings of our doctrinal basis no ground for division and denunciation. We hold our creed subject to a deeper scrutiny of Holy Scripture, founded on the development and influence of the Holy Spirit.
4. We acknowledge, on the authority of Scripture, only two sacraments, instituted by Christ, Baptism and the Supper, as Church institutions in the spirit of the gospel ; Confirmation (reception into the congregation by a confes. sion of faith on arriving at years of discretion ; the laying on of hands with prayer) die Busse ; Repentance (prayer for the forgiveness of sins); der Priesterwiche (ordination, laying on of hands with prayer); Marriage and preparation for death (with prayer).
5. Baptism shall be administered to children, with the expectation that it will be followed by a ratification of the confession of faith (confirmation) on their arriving at years of discretion.
6. The Lord's supper shall be partaken of by the congregation as it was instituted by Christ, in both kinds.
7. We recognize marriage as a holy, binding rite, and retain for it the Church's blessing; yet we acknowledge no other conditions and limitations than such as are fixed by the laws of the state.
8. We believe and declare, that it is the first duty of the Christian to manifest his faith by works of Christian love.
We find it is asserted, in some Orthodox quarters, that this movement has been guarded against—what are called the errors of Ronge, and that the German Catholics of New York retain their belief in the Trinity. We have only to say, that if Trinitarians can find the doctrine of the Trinity in the above declaration of faith, they are much more easily satisfied than formerly, and their demands, in this respect, vastly moderated. For our own part, we look upon the declaration put forth by the Reformers of New York, as much more in accordance with the views of Unitarians than Trinitarians. Whatever may be their peculiar opinions, however, on this point, they have taken a decided step in the proper direction: they have disenthralled themselves from the yoke of human authority; they have repudiated priestly domination of every kind; they have declared against creeds and creed-making; and, as Unitarians, we are perfectly satisfied with their progress, for so far.
The next illustration we derive from a different quarter, but it is equally gratifying and important. The Rev. Charles Beecher, an Orthodox Presbyterian clergyman, and son of the well known Dr. Beecher, of America, was appointed to preach at the Dedication of a Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and he embraced that occasion of delivering two excellent discourses on the subject, “ The Bible a sufficient Creed." He conducted the argument exactly as a Unitarian would have done, and just in such a manner as will tell powerfully, among his own people, against the creed-system. A Unitarian newspaper, in Boston, has printed the two sermons entire, and a large impression was struck off at the same office for distribution. Let us hear, then, what this distinguished orthodox minister has got to say on the subject of human creeds and confessions of faith:
“ There is nothing imaginary in the statement that the Creed Power is now beginning to prohibit the Bible, as really as Rome did, though in a subtler way. During the course of seven years' study, the Protestant candidate for the ministry secs before him an unauthorized statement, spiked down and stereotyped, of what he must find in the Bible, or be martyred. And does any one, acquainted with hu. man nature, need be told, that he studies under a tremendous pressure of motive? Is that freedom? “ The liberty wherewith Christ maketh free?" Rome would have given that. Every one of her clergy might have studied the Bible to find there the Pontificial creed on pain of death. Was that liberty ?
“ Hence I say, that the liberty of opinion in our Theological Seminaries, is mere form. To say nothing of the thumb-screw of criticism, by which every original mind is tortured into negative propriety, the whole boasted liberty of: the student consists in a choice of chains--a choice of handcuffs_whether he will wear the Presbyterian handcuff, or the Methodist, Baptist, Episcopal, or other Evangelical handcuff. Hence it has secretly come to pass that the ministry themselves dare not study their Bibles. Large portions thereof are seldom touched. It lies useless luniber; or if they do study and search, they dare not show their people what they find there. There is something criminal in saying anything new. It is shocking to utter words that have not the mould of age upon them.
- Thus are the ministry of the Evangelical Protestant denominations, not only formed all the way up, under a tremendous pressure of merely human fear, but they live, and move, and breathe, in a state of things radically corrupt, and ap. pealing every hour to every baser element of their nature, to shut up the truth, and bow the knee to the power of apostacy."
PROGRESS OF UNITARIANISM.—We always look with interest and pleasure to the arrival of news from our denomination in America. Our brethren, on the other side of the Atlantic, are unwearied in their efforts to make their principles felt and appreciated. The results of their zealous exertions are, in most instances, highly gratifying. The Unitarians are advancing rapidly as a sect; and what is still better, their views and sentiments prevail, to a very great extent, among the members of other denominations. We are pleased to mark the following admissions in reference to this subject, in the columns of the Presbyterian, a leading orthodox journal, in the United States :