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his strength, exhausts his originality and his eloquence, gives the best of his services for sixty pounds a-year, and then what are the dregs of his mind worth?—Pp. 132, 133.
Every nerve is, however, strained, and a chapel is built for the author, who sets out on a journey, outside the stage-coach, and on foot, to collect subscriptions for it; and after six weeks' apostolic wandering, he returns home with 741. 6s., from which he has to deduct 61. 6s. for travelling expenses !
He removes to L- , where his salary was 1301. per annum; but troubles beset him here also. A quarrel ensues between two of his flock.
The parties concerned were two of the fair sex; they were sisters; the one was the wife of my opulent and corpulent friend, the corn-factor, and the other was the widow of a very respectable grocer and tea-dealer. They were both members of my chapel, and both used to attend very regularly; but they were both of them so highly conscientious, that they would never both at the same time partake of the Lord's Supper. I had a great deal of trouble with them; indeed more than any one would readily believe, or could easily imagine. In the first instance, as soon as I was so far in their confidence as to know of the very existence of their disagreement, from that very hour I could never enter the house of either party without having the subject, not merely alluded to, but made the whole topic of conversation all the time that I staid. The first salutation was scarcely over before I was asked, “ Did you see Mrs. at chapel on Sunday?” “Did you observe what a look she gave me as we were going out ?" “ Did you see what a frightful bonnet she had on ?” “ Did you notice how unbecoming her new silk gown looked ?" To, a thousand such questions from both parties I had to listen with exemplary patience, and to make to them something of a reply, trembling all the while lest my reply should be misinterpreted and misrepresented to the other. It was in vain for me to protest that I was not much in the habit of looking about me from the pulpit; it was in vain for me to declare that I was no judge of the pattern of bonnets, or the cut of silk gowns, for it was insisted on without mercy, that it was absolutely impossible that a gentleman of my superior understanding and classical attaininents should not be able to discriminate between a well-made and an illmade bonnet. Another great difficulty I had, which indeed amounted to an impossibility, and that was to ascertain what was the cause of the disagreement; but the very attempt to find it out was as hopeless and laborious a task as attempting to discover the source of the Niger. Indeed, my real opinion is, that they had been so long at enmity, that they themselves had actually forgotten the cause of the alienation. As a good physician, before he attempts to cure a complaint, endeavours to assure himself what the complaint really is, so did I endeavour to ascertain what the disagreement was, in order to set it to rights. My endeavours were fruitless., But if I had difficulty to discover wbich of the two was in the right, it was easy enough to see that both were in the wrong; for when I suggested the probability, and offered my mediation for the purpose of effecting a reconciliation, they did both severally, but with equal violence, exclaim against the possibility of such a thing, throwing of course all the blame the one upon the other, and vice versa.- Pp. 170—172.
We take a description he gives of Unitarians, as too good to be passed over unnoticed.
And now that I am on the subject, I know not why I may not, by way of instructive digression, say a few more words, which may give to the public a knowledge of what is more talked about than understood. In London there are many Unitarians, but they are scarcely seen, for they are not sufficiently numerous to make much of an impression, or to fill up any great space in the religious world, and their peculiar features are not very distinguishable. Amongst Unitarians, as well as amongst all other sects, there must be of course a great moral variety, therefore the remarks which I am about to make must not be taken as applicable to every individual in the sect, but merely as generally descriptive. The most obvious feature in Unitarianism is, that its faith is rather negative than positive; and if any one ask what are the opinions of the Unitarians on religious topics, the truest and most compendious answer is, that they reject almost all the doctrines which the rest of the Christian world receive. They do indeed profess to acknowledge the divine authority of the New Testament, but as they do not admit the doctrine of the inspiration of the writers of the several books, they go very near to reduce the divine to a mere human authority. They talk of the evangelists and apostles writing as mere honest men and credible witnesses, according to the best of their judgment and ability; so that, after all, the Unitarian's divine authority of the New Testament does not amount to much more than the divine authority of Hume's History of England. They speak of Jesus Christ as an inspired teacher, but as for any idea of the blood of Christ cleansing from all sin, their explanation of it is such as to represent the blood of the apostles and martyrs equally efficacious for that purpose. Their first process in order to get rid of the texts obnoxious to their theory, is to call them interpolations, but where that cannot be very decently done, then they are called strong oriental figures; but if all that will not do, then, as the apostles were fallible men, it is possible that they might have been in error sometimes; and of course, they must have been wrong when they contradict the modern Unitarian theory. I have been frequently led by curiosity to hear their preachers, and I think I have not unfairly stated their peculiar theology and criticism. Their congregations are not very numerous, and their chapels are but thinly attended, except now and then in the case of some peculiarly eloquent preacher, and then the audience is got together rather to hear man's eloquence, than to attend upon the worship of God. Those of their sermons which I have heard, are either meagre talkings upon some common-places of morals or sophistical underminings of some doctrine of the gospel. They seem, generally speaking, to have but light ideas of sin, regarding rather its physical and temporal inconvenience, than its moral enormity or future consequences. The general effect of their preaching seems to be to produce a habit of scoffing at things sacred, and they frequently make a joke of those matters which, being above their comprehension, they think to be contrary to reason, though I question whether many of them know what reason is. The difference between Unitarianism and infidelity is so slight, that men pass from one to the other, without their neighbours being sensible of it. Considering how lightly, for the most part, they regard religion, I almost wonder that they take so much pains to make proselytes; but they are always boasting of the increase of their numbers; their proselytes, however, are not made by converting the irreligious to religion, but by bringing men over from one opinion to another. They boast of opening new chapels, but they say not a word of those that they shut up for want of hearers.—Pp. 187—190.
Our quotations have been so ample, that we ought not to intrude them further on our readers ; but, as perfect in its kind, we must not omit the following sample of the way in which the Voluntaries consider themselves at liberty to interfere with their pastors.
Not long after the subsidence of the discord above-named, and when I was congratulating myself that now all things were proceeding smoothly, I was assailed by the means of anonymous letters, an instrument of annoyance to VOL. XVII. NO, IV,
which dissenting ministers are particularly subject; and perhaps also other persons may be so too, only we are always apt to magnify what concerns ourselves. It is only necessary here to premise, that I had now been married seven years, and that my family consisted of three children; the eldest a girl about six years of age; the second a boy about four, and the youngest not more than twelve months. My wife also was living, and a very excellent wife she was, and I may add, is still. I shall give these anonymous letters at full length, pot altering the spelling, nor correcting the language; for there is a raciness and pungency in the original style which correction would only destroy. The first concerns the management of my family.
“ Reverend Sir:
“It is with che most sincerest pane that I now take up my penn at this Time to address you on a matter of INFINIT momunt. I know sir that your a man of grate learnin and much skollarship, and therfor p'raps my feeble penn ought not to presuem to approche you without the utmoST REFERENCE.' You may believe me when I tell you that there is no man whos preachin givs me more instruction nor yours, nevertheless, most reverend sir, I must tak the LJBBERTY to say with all due diFFERENCE to your superier JUGEMENT to say, I say, that your children is bot mannaged with all that proprietey which ought to be the undoudted distinction of evvery minister wbo profasses to teach his people in the way of truth, has reveiled in the Gosple of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins. Miss Angelina was FARST ASLEPE last Sunday afternoon almost all sermon time, and SNORED so as to be heered all over the meetin, and Master Tommy plays at marvels in the streets. if so be then as how you values the immortle soles of your children why dont you bring them up in the nurtur and ammunition of the Lord. So no more at present from your loving frend who shall be
“ Annonimus." Scarcely had I recovered from the shock which the above letter gave me, when another was put in my hand, coming from nobody knows where, and bringing against me another heavy charge. It was as follows:
“ Reverend Sir:
« I have set under your ministry some yeres listening with greate delite to the tidings of the everlasting gosple, but am sorrey to say that of late I have not profitted as I yoused to do. I have ben a little afrade that the fault might be in myself, but on the closest examination I have come to the conclusion that you do not preach the gosple as you did once when you furst come among us. Our souls are parch up for want of the truth, the due of the word does not dissend upon us to fertilize our harts, and make them fruteful. A report is got abroad from some quarter or other, that you are half a sossinion at bottom, only you don't speak out. Your preaching does not awaken the conscins as it out to do. unles these things is greatly altered you cant expect your people to profet by the word preched
“Your faithA freind-Alliquis.”
It is thus our author concludes his reminiscences of —
I have thought much of this matter, and have observed it long with great patience and a close attention, and I find it to be an evil inseparable from dissent, and the natural consequence of the voluntary system. A minister goes to a congregation as a suppliant; he must make himself agreeable to all, and undergo the criticisms of all; the very outset of his connexion with them places him in a humiliating attitude. When he first enters the pulpit as a candidate, the questiou naturally occurs to him, “Do I seek to please men ?" and the answer as naturally occurs to him in the affirmative; for awhile, perhaps, he
may succeed; may be intensely popular; may be idolized; but it cannot last long, unless he has extraordinary talents or great comparative wealth. Few men of wealth, however, are disposed to take up the work of the ministry among the dissenters; and as for extraordinary talents, it is merely an identical proposition to say that they are not common. But let a man's wealth or talents be what they may, a dissenting congregation can never forget that it has sat in judgment on its minister, and therefore can never look up with complete respect to one on whom it has looked down with the investigation of criticism. It often happens that a minister is engaged for six months, or even more, upon trial, and during the whole of that time he is listened to critically; and he preaches and prays with a view to criticism; and he is compelled to undergo a thousand impertinent hints, animadversions, and suggestions, to make hiinself all things to all men; and at last it depends on the turn of a straw whether he be chosen or rejected. The sanctity and reverence of the ministerial character must greatly suffer by this system; and accordingly we find almost every where that a dissenting minister is but the tool of his flock; they are his instructor, and not be theirs. He must preach and pray in such fashion as may be most pleasing to them; he must be always of their opinion in all matters, religious, political, or otherwise. Pp. 211-213.
And thus he concludes the work itself:
I now hasten to bring my memoirs to a close, at least for the present ; for I am looking back to the period of which I am now writing through a vista of some years. Should the preceding pages interest the public, I may resume my pen, though I have my doubts; for I am growing old, and writing is a labour to me. Suffice it now to say, that through the means of that same friend by whom I was introduced to the congregation at Z- , I was introduced to another, where I still am; and with which, perhaps, I may close my days. I am now labouring in rather a numble station, --in a small village ; and as the greater part of my small Rock are elderly people, they do not care much about novelty. Whatever farther memorials I might now, in my days of garrulity, set down on paper, would be more of reflection, and of sketches of character, than of personal history. In the above, I can assure the reader, that I have not been prompted by any feeling of resentment, or of irritation; I have merely set forth the evils of a system, and I do not see how it can be mended.
Then why, it may be said, do I send forth these observations to the world? I will tell the reader why :-I send them forth in order that dissenters, seeing the esils which their system induces, may be as much as possible on their guard against them; and that they may not seek to extend, and to make general, a system which never can work well.-Pp. 226, 227.
The above extracts would furnish us with excellent grounds for much instructive reasoning and illustration respecting the evils of the voluntary system. But our purpose has been to say little, and to leave the work to speak for itself and us; and we are assured, that no stronger arguments can be adduced than the graphic sketches of our excellent delineator of Dissent as it is.
19 7 7. in English and Hebrew Lexuon. To which is added, a Selection of Proper Names occurring in Scripture and in the Rabbinical Writings. By MICHAEL Josephs, London: Wertheim; Hatchards ; Richardson. 1834.
Pp. xiv. 371. A work exceedingly well adapted for its object, the facilitation of Hebrew composition This is an art of which the utility is not immediately manifest, but is very capable of demonstration. A thoroughly critical knowledge of any language can only be possessed by one who can compose in it. Hebrew composition is required for scholarships; and the Hebrew student will find his comprehension of the language considerably extended, by simply translating a book of the English Bible into Hebrew. The great difficulty in this case is to procure a vocabulary; and this Mr. Josephs has afforded. We recommend the book to Hebrew students in general as a valuable aid, and wish every success to the philological labours of Mr. Josephs. Helps to Hebrew. In Two Parts. By
A TEACHER. London: Wertheim.
Pp. ii. 33. By the Rev. T. Boys, of Pentonville, and very good. The first part contains all that is necessary for the Ilebrew student to learn by rote, except the verbs. The second consists of some excellent Hebrew exercises. It is a very suitable and valuable companion to the work we have noticed above.
A VERY interesting and useful accompaniment to a very valuable work. It consists of tabular blank columns, to be filled up with the" No.,"“ Event," “ Place,” and “ Evangelist,” according to the arrangement of Mr. Mimpriss's map. Opposite to these is a skeleton map, to which references are to be made. A blank page is left on the back of each table, for a summary of the history detailed in it. Copies are also printed in the colours of the map, for those who wish to comment more at Jength. Nothing can be more complete. Perhaps, the very best way of becoming clearly and methodically acquainted with the chronology and succession of the events of our Lord's life, is by “ working out" the series of charts. The thanks of the Christian, the historian, and the friend of youth, are eminently due to Mr. Mimpriss.
A Vindication of the Right of the
Bishops to Sit and Vote in the House of Peers. By the Rer. Peter HEYLIN, D.D. With Introductory Remarks on the Features of the present Time, us compared with those of the period just preceding the Civil Wurs in England. By the EDITOR. London : Pickering; Whittaker. 1835. 8vo. Pp. xxxi. 28.
A Series of Charts delineating the Rise and Progress of the Evangelical or Christian Dispensation, from the commencement of the Gospel Narratide to the Ascension of our Lord und Suviour Jesus Christ. From Mimpriss's Pictorial Chart. London: Wertheim. 1834.
Whoever the Editor of this work may be, he is both a talented and able champion in the cause of truth and right. His introductory remarks to Heylin's invaluable tract should be universally read by all who love their Church and the good order of society, as demonstrating the sad parallel between present and past times, and as an incentive to us all to stem, as far as in us lieth, the licentious spirit which so pervades our nation. The Editor has our sincere thanks for his labours.