« AnteriorContinuar »
reign,". " And for the indignity offered to 'the clerical order you crave my protection from their wrath ?"
“ Most humbly, please your Majesty." "I grant it freely,” said the King ;
and my friend Drumlanrig will see that the pardon is drawn out in proper form ; as your opponents are both wily and powerful.”. So far all was well, and Drumlanrig and his friend took their leave of his Majesty, and proceeded to the office of the Secretary of State, where they found the minister at his desk. Drumlanrig, after having communicated to the Secretary the purport of his visit, and the King's commands thereon, retired. Langlands and the minister being left alone, the latter commenced writing out the pardon ;, and as he approached that clause in the document where the priest's bonnet had to be introduced, the Baron slipped a purse of gold upon the table. The pen of the functionary halted for a few seconds, his eyes being drawn as by a magnet to the shining tempters that peeped through the meshes of the netted silk, and good-humouredly asked the meaning of appearances. “You will oblige me much," said Langlands, "and probably save an ancient family from ruin, if you will put the monk's head into the bonnet.' The silent eloquence of the douceur ons the table could not be resisted, and the happy chief returned to his friend with the pardon in his pocket.
The Baron having procured the sign-manual of his Majesty to the instrument, in. due form, now inquired at Langlands why be evinced so much anxiety on a subject apparently deserving of so little. “In gude sooth, Drumlaurig, I must now tell ye, that in striking off the priest's bonnet his head went with it." Drumlanrig was astonished, yet felt gratified in having relieved his companion from such a scrape ; and Langlands returned home rejoicing in his success.
The King had a party in the evening at Holyrood, and Langlands errand at court was whispered round the table
i but his Majesty had not yet been informed of the real state of the case. On his deinanding a toast from Drumlanrig, however, the denouement followed. "May your Majesty's enemies," said the Baron, “all lose their bonnets like the priest of Melrose.”
And what great harm.would that do to them?" asked the King. “ Please your Majesty, when Langlands struck off the bonnet of the priest, the poor man's head was in it.”
The pardon wbich the offender had obtained on this oca
casion was eqnally calculated to alarm and irritate the priesthood, and although the Monarch enjoyed the joke along with his courtiers, and felt no '
way disposed to resent the trick that had been played upon him, yet he soon abegan to discover that by pardoning an act of such hostility to a powerful body, he had placed himself rather in awka ward circumstances; but, fortunately for the credit of the Government, an incident came to the recollection of the King that seemed well suited for laying the ground-work of a propitiatory offering to the dangerous grumbling of the clergy. The Archbishop of St. Andrew's had for some time past pressed his Majesty repeatedly for an additional grant to the Church, though without effect; it now occurred to the King that the request of his Grace might be acceded to, on condition that the ecclesiastical murmuring raised throughout the kingdom on account of the Abbot's death should be silenced. The terms of reconciliation being propounded to the Archbishop by royal authority, through the medium of Drumlanrig, an agreement was immediately made ; and a national thanksgiving to God for a mypificent Sovereign, took place of seditious wailing for the murdered monk.
Congregational Collections among Unitarians.
Chatham, March 25, 1826. Í AUGUR no small success to the Unitarian cause from the recently-formed British and Foreign Association instituted expressly for this purpose. The Committee will, no doubt, adopt every means that may be effective for augó menting its funds, which it must be obvious will require to be ample in proportion to the extent of objects to be einbraced. There is, however, one procedure which I beg leave (if not considered stepping out of my province) through the medium of your Miscellany to recommend, the more especially as I believe it has never been attended to except at our Metropolitan Meeting. What I allude to is, that in addition to individual donations and subscriptions, there be congregational collections *
# Since writing the above, I have seen the British and Foreign Unitarian Association Address, where such an adoption is advised, not annually but triennially. With all deference to those to whom the business of management is confided, I ask why the latter should be considered a more eligible mode, and for what reasons it can be so ascertained?
throughout our connexion, a custom among us in other respects by no means novel or nugatory. I would therefore advise that a few weeks prior to the General Assembly in each
year, there be circolars sent to the different churches, urging the propriety, and it may be necessity, of the mea
Circunstances must dictate and decide as to the season most convenient for the purpose, but if one specific Lord's-day could be appointed alike in every place, it would be seen in what degree a simultaneous effort of common feeling would facilitate the desirable pecuniary supplies. These might further derive strength if the officiating minister would at the same time more particularly deliver a discourse on our distinguishing doctrines, which, if previously known, would, in all probability, lead to an increased attendance, and be followed by equal advantage. Its utility would at least appear, in this instance, were it only to evince that we are as zealously concerned for the spread of what we deem Christian truth as our brethren of other denominations, and so remove the stigma of ours being an inert, by shewing it to be an influential, faith,
T. C. A
On the Epistle to the Romans.
[A Letter to a Young Friend.] You say that you find a great difficulty in understanding the New Testament, and especially the Epistles, and of all the Epistles that to the Romans. You also inform me, that many bave advised you not to concern yourself about these parts of the Scriptures, but confine yourself to those which are more plain ; such as the discourses of our Lord and the Gospels in general, which, together with the Acts of the Apostles, will afford you a sufficient knowledge of Christian doctrine, for all the purposes of life and godliness, without perplexing your mind with abstruse questions, such as the learned bave never been able to decide. You inform me also, that others have advised you differently, and wishing you to gain some knowledge of the epistolary parts of the New Testament, they have put into your hands Mr. Locke's rules for reading the Epistles, and have mentioned some commentaries, which you cannot obtain a sight of. As I feel deeply interested in your success as an inquirer after truth, and in the success of every one circumstanced and disposed as you are, I shall not hesitate to give you my
opinion, beseeching you to make that use of it which you would always make of the assistance of one who wishes you well, desires to be your adviser, but presuines not to be your oracle.
And, first, let me reply to each of your particulars in order; and secondly, I will proceed to present you with a brief analysis of the Epistle to the Romans, proceeding, if it be agreeable, to that of the other Epistles in succession.
That you should be perplexed to find out the meaning of some passages of Scripture, I do not wonder, seeing your case is common with that of all Christians, learned and unlearned, rational and fanatic. But that you should find greater difficulties in the Epistles than in other parts, I am somewhat surprised. It is true, the Apostle Peter observes, that there is sometbing hard to be understood in Paul's Epistles, but in which he does not say, and I appre. hend there are as great difficulties in any of his Epistles as in that to the Romans. Certainly the advocates of absolute and unconditional election pretend to find that doctrine asserted in this Epistle, but they also pretend to find it in other Epistles, as well as in the Old Testament, the Gospels, and all the prophets and apostles. Nor do I recollect that any doctrine whatever is pretended to be taught in this Epistle more or more clearly than in other parts of the Scriptures. Can you understand every expression and allusion in our Lord's discourses ? Are there no hard say, ings that lead you to exclaim with his disciples, Who can hear them ? The advocates for the Trinity, Deity of Christ, vicarious sacrifice, original sin, &c., and I may add, the advocates for transubstantiation, do not pretend to de rive these doctrines from the Epistles chiefly, but rather from the Gospels and the very words of our Lord. So that I see no reason why these Epistles should perplex your mind wore than any other portion of Scripture.
I am aware that many have thought as you do, and of this number are those who have advised you to confine your attention to the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, as containing more comprehensive and useful doctrine, and sufficient for all the purposes of religious instruction. Some have gone so far as to say that it would have been better if the Epistles had never been written, at least, if they had not been preserved, as they only tend to perplex and cause divisions rather than edifying. This sentiment is not a yery devout one, Nor is any other consistent with pure Christianity but that which views these parts of the Scriptures as it views the other parts. The authority of an apostle of Christ rests on the same basis as the authority of Christ himself. He that receiveth you
receiveth me, and he' that despiseth you despiseth me, and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me. He (Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. The mission of Paul was attested by miracles, so that if there be any error in his doctrine, either by discourse or by epistle, that 'error is chargeable to him that sent this Apostle. Nor can better lessons on Christian conduct, or purer principles, or weightier reasons, or safer directions, be found any where than in the Epistles of Paul, and especially in this to the Romans. It has been misunderstood by ignorance, perverted by bigotry, tortured by sectarian bias, sublimated by enthusiasm, precipitated by philosophy, and spurned at by scepticism. The Apostle commences with the depravity of man in the first chapter, reproves spiritual pride in the second, and proves the judgment of God to be according to truth; states the grounds and pature of faith in the next, proceeds to the end of the eleventl, where he brings you by legitimate steps to behold him from whom' and through whom and to whom are all things;
and then exhorts and beseeches you by the mercy of that God to present your body a living sacrifice to God as your reasonable service; and finishes with a succession of the most pure, exalted and amiable principles, that are evidently the fruit of the tree of life. I feel greatly astonished at the objections brought against this Epistle by many Christians, learned and unlearned. Read the twelfth, fourteenth aặd fifteenth chapters; nothing can be more practical and plain.
With respect to Mr. Locke's rules for reading the Epis. tles, much as I admire the man and his works in general, I really have no faith in his method for understanding these Epistles. I cannot see that any general rules can be laid down as forming a key to these or any other epistolary correspondence. Letters are written under such a variety of circumstances and for so many different
purposes, that no common rule can be laid down by which to read them with uniforin advantage. One letter may be written in answer to another, and it may be that a perusal of the original letter
in order to ascertain the allusions of the answer, as well as their meaning. It may be of
inay be necessary