« PredošláPokračovať »
'maintenance of these powers in their proper state of strength and activity.
It is, however, greatly to be lamented, that their present funds will scarcely enable the Trustees to pay the stipulated (I do not say adequate) salaries, to the two gentlemen who are already so busily employed; and that there is no present hope of their being able to add a third tutor. This can only arise from the want of proper information being more extensively dispersed among the friends of religion, liberty, and science.
Two methods have been proposed for raising an adequate annual income; personal subscription, and congregational collections. Both have their advantages. The former is more likely to be preferred by the more opulent members of our societics, who are not unwilling to give the institution the sanction of their names, and to take an active part in the promotion of its interests: the latter might perhaps have more lasting and beneficial effects. They would also afford to ministers an opportunity of directing the attention particularly of their younger hearers, to the great principles of christian liberty; and would afford the less opulent a means of contributing such sınaller sums as are suited to their respective circumstances.
Neither of these methods, however, has been generally adopted. In surveying the list of annual subscribers annexed to the last year's report, I find that Manchester and its neighbourbood furnishes 92 guineas, Liverpool 21, Yorkshire 36, London only 6, Miscellaneous Subscriptions 15, (in all amounting to 1871.) but that the opulent towns of Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham, Norwich, &c, and the wbole of the South of England, furnish not a single guinea in this way. Congregational collections have been made at Liverpool, Leeds, (Mill Hill and Call Lane,) Newcastle, Norwich, Palgrave, York, Wakefield, Eland, Chesterfield, Stockport, Dean Row, Monton, and Lewes; but they have in no year exceeded 1301.
If the opulent Dissenters in the West of England are continuing their subscriptions, or exerting themselves in any way, with a view to the re-establishment of an institution among theinselves at Exeter or elsewhere, such exertions have the best wishes of the present writer, who would be the last person to suggest any thing which might tend to interfere with so laudable a purpose. But if they have no such intention, it is submitted to them how much their own interest is concerned in co-operating with their northern brethren, in maintaining the only institution where youth can be educated with the probability of their being fitted to supply, with reputation, those places which the excellent persons who now fill them, must in no long time leave vacant.
A due consideration of these circumstances, it is hoped, is all that is necessary to induce many opulent individuals in every part of the kingdom, to make a voluntary offer of their assistance by personal subscriptions; and also to excite the ministers in general of the congregations interested in keeping up a succession of young men educated as above, to lay the case before their hearers, and propose at least occasional collections. The Trustees might thus be easily enabled, not only to add a third tutor, but also to provide accommodation and assistance to a greater number of candidates for the ministry.
As your valuable Miscellany, Mr. Editor, either is or ought to be in the hands of every liberal Dissenter, I flatter myself that your insertion of this imperfect statement of facts will be productive of some good effect; and am, with the best wishes for the success of the Monthly Repository,
Your very obedient servant,
Neocomensis. . N. B. The treasurer of this institution is Ottiwell Wood, Esq. of Manchester, by whom, or by Messrs. Jones, Lloyd, Hulme, and Co. Bankers, in London, subscriptions are received. It is hardly necessary to say, that this letter is written without the knowledge of Mr. Wellbeloved, or any of the above gentlemen.
MR. TOWLE'S ORTHODOXY. To the Editor of the Monthly Repository. SIR, The writer of the article in your Obituary, for December, (Vol, 1.p.665.) seems to be surprised that the late Mr. Towle, maintained “ the eternal generation of the Son of God." Herein he was far from being singular, as many learned Trinitarians still hold that Christ was begotten from eternity. But there is one part of the system which Mr. T. (whom I well knew) had too much sense to defend, viz. “ that the act of the Father in begetting the Son, is perpetuated from eternity to eternity. I thought the idea had been exploded, till I saw it maintained by Dr. Jamieson, in his elaborate answer to Dr. Priestley's Hist. of Early Op. And something like this I have more lately seen in a piece by Dr. Williams, who is the tutor of an academy. His words are these, speaking of Jehovah : “ The self-exa istent, independent, all-sufficient Being, from eternity to eternity generating his own light and joy, called his only begotten Son, not from mere will, but of the same necessity." Sermon on Predestination, p. 47. Now, Sir, as I am willing to embrace whatever is truly orthodox (in order to which however,
I must know what it is) I should be glad if Dr. Williams, or any other equally learned divine, would explain the meaning of the above expressions, to which I confess, I at present can affix no idea.
I am, Sir,
MR. WRIGHT'S REASONS FOR NOT REPLYING TO MR. PROUD.
To the Editor of the Monthly Repository. Sir, Through the medium of your valuable Repository, I beg leave to communicate to the public, my reasons for not replying to Mr. J. Proud's book entitled - The Unitarian Doctrine completely Refuted,” in which Mr. P. has animadverted, with some degree of severity, on one of my Essays.
1. Mr. Belsham's remarks in a former number of your Miscellany, (Vol. I. p. 585.) I regard as a sufficient answer to every thing Mr. P. has advanced against the Unitarian Doctrine. Mr. B. has very properly confined his observations to the grounds of reasoning, (if any thing can be called reasoning which is built on an avowed departure from the natural sense of the words of Scripture,) assumed by Mr. P.: to attempt to follow him through all his strange assertions and obscure and confused remarks, would be equally tiresome and un profitable. It would be like following an ignis fatuus through pathless bogs.
2. I do not perceive that my arguments against the divinity of the person of Christ, and in support of his inferiority and subordination to the one God and Father of all, are affected by what Mr. P. has written. If I have advanced any thing like argument, it cannot be weakened by Mr. P.'s exclaiming, as he does, p. 64, “ What sophistry! sophistry, without solid argument, opposed to plain truth, and it must be cut up by the
I execrate sophistry in religious disputation; but of that, together with quirk and quibble, I am sorry to say, Mr. Wright's pamphlet is chiefy composed.” When Mr. P. can find what has at least the appearance of solid argument to offer in refutation of the Unitarian Doctrine, he will lav aside such senseless declaination as the above; and then it will be time enough for me to make a formal reply. He has furnished me with abundant matter for recrimination, and turning upon himself what the above passage charges on my Essay; but it would be useless to avail inyself of it, and I remember the servant of God must not strive.
3. Mr. P. and I have no common ground on which we can meet in theological controversy. His spiritual eyes are opened;
he can soar among the clouds, and penetrate the secrets of a spiritual world; the natural sense of Scripture is too low and meagre for his sublime genius; he is conversant with the internal senses of the word, called the divine spiritual, and the divine celestial; versed in the doctrine of correspondences, he discovers, and asserts with confidence, (see p. 68) that God is å man, yea, that Jehovah God is the ONLY AND ESSENTIAL MAN; though the Scriptures plainly declare that God is not a man! What have I, whose senses can discover nothing but material objects, who have no acquaintance with the spiritual world of the highly illuminated Swedenburg, who have nothing but the plain letter of Scripture and reason to guide me in my inquiries, who do not understand the doctrine of correspondences, by which the profound depths of mysticism are to be explored, I say, what have I to do in controversy with such a singular theologian as Mr. Proud? And how is a man to be reasoned with, who finds a sense in words contrary to what could be collected from the letter?
4. That I am neither reluctant to use my pen, nor afraid of entering the lists of controversy with an abler opponent than Mr. P. will be credited; but I had rather leave such disputants as Mr. P. to write me down, if they think they can do it, than sun the risk of writing myself down by replying to their unintelligible effusions,
5. When Mr. P.'s pamphlet first reached me, I had an Essay ready for the press, which I expect will be published in a few weeks, on the Humanity of Christ, written in a plain and popular style. In this essay, after stating the evidence of the simple humanity of Christ, I have endeavoured to show that the most exalted names, titles, offices, and works, ascribed to him, in the Scriptures, are ascribed to hiin as man, with his simple humanity. I have next attempted to answer the principal objections made to our Lord's simple humanity: and lastly, endeavoured to exhibit the practical utility of the doctrine. Had Mr. P. written much more to the purpose than he has done, I should have thought the above a sufficient refutation of his work; as the matter stands, I request Mr. P.'s readers to do me the justice to examine the said essay when it is published.
Suck are my reasons for not replying to Mr. P.'s Book. I hope they will satisfy my friends and the public; I should not have troubled you with them, had not some of his readers put an unfair construction on my silence; that being the case, I hope you will indulge me so far as to insert them in the Repository.
I remain, Sir, your's, &c, Wisbeach, Jan. 27, 1807.
UNITARIAN BAPTISTS IN YORKSHIRE.
To the Editor of the Monthly Repository. SIR, Your Correspondent who signs herself Sabrina, has in your Repository for September, (Vol. I. p. 461.) given an interesting account of some Unitarian Baptists in Yorkshire, in speaking of whom she says: “ It is to me a singular phenomenon that persons who possess the most liberal notions with regard to the Christian doctrine, should manifest a narrowness relating to Christian intercourse and fellowship, which is not exceeded by the most rigid sects under the profession of the highest Orthodoxy." Being well acquainted with the people in question, and their sentiments, I have waited thus long in expectation that some of your worthy and liberal correspondents would notice Sabrina's paper; but I fear they would almost as soon think of discussing the subject of transubstantiation, as the bigotted notions to which she alludes. Her motives I consider laudable and her statement upon the whole, fair and candid ; the sons who are the objects of her censure may indeed hesitate to admit it, because, as they would state, some difference of opinion has existed amongst them ever since they were formed into a society, without causing any division. This, from personal knowledge, I believe to be true; but if any difference did exist among them, it was on what may be termed mere minor points; they still considered each other as “standing on the foundation” and agreeing in all important matters : perhaps there is no example of even the most rigid Calvinists who perfectly agree in every thing, however they may unite in reprobating those who differ from them. The fact I believe is as Sabrina states, that, though the Yorkshire Baptists have rational and enlightened views of the Christian doctrines, they are so destitute of all liberality of sentiment that they not only refuse to acknowledge those who are termed orthodox professors to be Christians, but even those whose doctrines in general they approve, if they are not Baptists, and have not adopted their peculiar views and church discipline. To many this may appear strange and unaccountable, but the sincerity, zeal and good intentions of this people cannot be doubted; though there is amongst them much to blame, there is also certainly much to praise; their errors arise, I conceive, from too great a degree of confidence in the correctness of their knowledge a confidence unwarranted by their means of information : they seem, whilst rejecting the name to assume the authority of apostles, and forgetting their own fallibility, decide with a