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transmute or convert a wafer into a man, should presume to gain on the credulity of mankind in this excess of absurdity. I beg leave to conclude with only this his priestly direction; "In order to adduce reception of the consecrated wafer, the person must be fasting at least from midnight, by command of the Church, and by a most ancient and apostolical tradition; for in reverence to so great a sacrament, nothing should enter into the body of a Christian before the body of Christ."
Anniversary of Welburn Sunday-school.
ON Monday, May the 8th, the Second Anniversary of the Welburn Sunday-school was held at the Unitarian Chapel in that place; when a sermon was preached to a very good audience, by one of the students from Manchester College, York. As on the first anniversary, the remaining part of the afternoon was spent in the enjoyment of social pleasures. The children first took tea, and afterwards their teachers, together with the patrons and friends of the institution. Of the former, there were nearly sixty, and of the latter, about seventy, several of whom were from York and Malton. Among our York friends, was one of our highly respected tutors, the Rev. W. Turner, Jun., whose presence was truly gratifying to all assembled, and whose sentiments added considerably to the pleasures of the evening. The leading topics to which the speakers confined their remarks were, the Abolition of Slavery-the Rights of the Catholicsand the Unitarian Marriage Bill. Each of these, it was impres sively stated, rests on the broad basis of the right of private judgment in religious matters, and on that sacred liberty, which is as dear as life itself. The duty of petitioning Parliament on each of these subjects, was also urged. Judging from the fixed attention and deep interest evinced by the villagers of Welburn, these are to them sacred topics, whose value they appreciate, and whose transmission to their latest posterity they wish to secure. Certain, however, am I, that in point of enlightened liberality, they have proceeded far beyond some who pride themselves upon their residence in cities. Be it stated to their everlasting credit, that not one voice was raised in favour of illiberality, nor the whisper of disapprobation heard, though the rights of conscience and humanity were defended on principles to which those never resort who stifle, in the cry of custom, of passion, or of interest, the voice of suffering humanity. I should ill perform the office of reporter, were I to close the
present intelligence, without adverting to the native talent which was displayed during the evening. Two individuals addressed the Meeting, who, notwithstanding daily labour in their regular avocations, have devoted much of their leisure time to the education of the young, and the dissemination of Unitarian views of Christianity. That they have talents and cultivation of mind suited to the discharge of their duties as Sunday-school teachers, was evident from the mental improvement and general habits of the children; and that they are not destitute of the leading qualifications for the other part of their office, was obvious from the good sense, unaffected simplicity, sound judgment, ready utterance and Christian fervour, which characterized their speeches. When I add, that they seemed fully aware of the importance of the acquisition of general knowledge; that they exhibited correct views on scriptural subjects, and clearly stated the importance of their chapel library to themselves as a Christian society, and to their fellow-christians who wish to know the grounds of Unitarianism; and that they disclaimed every hostile feeling to those who differ from them-the readers of the Reformer will still have but a very inadequate idea of the pleasure, and instruction too, which many who have had more liberal educations than they, but will never have a more willing mind to be useful in their day and generation, derived from their speeches.
As many of our friends came from a considerable distance, the Meeting closed at an early hour, when several expressed their intention of being present at the third anniversary, and of inducing others to join in pleasures similar to those which had on that occasion far exceeded their warmest expectations.
Having communicated some pleasing intelligence to your readers, perhaps they will allow me to suggest a few thoughts. There are villages, if not towns, in which similar meetings would be productive of equal pleasure and improvement.
The anniversary of a Tract Society, or a Sunday school, tends, in an especial manner, to cherish that social spirit which distinguished the first Christians, and to which they were in a considerable degree indebted for their own firmness in the hour of persecution, and the ultimate establishment of Christianity. Is it not at such meetings that we feel ourselves allied to each other by a common interest, and are impelled to exertions which but for their existence would never have been made?
There is another result arising from such social intercourse, which those who wish success to our common cause, and are not too fastidious as to the mode by which its interests may be promoted, must hail with pleasure. It is this: as we have in our societies native talent, and minds well cultivated, some, under their happy influence, would be animated to exertion, and lend themselves to the cause of education, and the diffusion of primitive Christianity. The principles of the most popular party
of the present day, unpatronized by the great, and inerely tolerated by law, were once confined to the breasts of a few; nor would the sentiments of the indefatigable Wesley have been now triumphant, had not that wise founder cherished in his followers the social spirit to its greatest extent
Opening of the Unitarian Chapel at Radford, near
On Friday, May 12th, the above place was opened for Divine worship, by a service in the evening, conducted by the Rev. J. G. Robberds, of Manchester. The same gentleman preached in behalf of the same object on the following Lord's-day, at the Chapel on the High Pavement, Nottingham, and again in the evening at Radford; when collections were made after each service towards defraying the expenses of the building. The impression produced on this occasion was most satisfactory and gratifying the highly appropriate character of the different discourses, the serious earnestness wi which they were delivered, and that evangelical spirit of genuine Christianity which pervaded them throughout-which seeks, above all things, the salvation and moral improvement of mankind, and considers a purer form of faith as chiefly valuable as it may be found to promote in a higher and stronger degree that holiness without which, no man can see the Lord-all contributed highly to gratify a very attentive auditory: and while it again stimulated them to renewed and liberal exertions, left impressions of a higher kind on the mind, which we believe and hope will not soon be obliterated.
The friends and supporters of the above Chapel must now trust to the liberality of their friends at a distance, to enable them to discharge the debt which yet remains upon it.
Eastern Unitarian Society.
The Yearly Meeting of this Society will be held at Norwich, on Wednesday and Thursday, the 5th and 6th July. The Rev. Dr. Hutton, of Leeds, will preach on Thursday morning; after which, the business of the Society will be transacted. The memhers and friends of the Society will dine together at the Maid'sHead Inn.
WILLIAM NEWSON, Secretary.
The Anniversary of the Kent and Sussex Unitarian Christian Association, will be holden at Maidstone, on Wednesday, the 28th June, when the Rev. J. GILCHRIST is expected to preach. J. G., Secretary.
Mr. Rutt on Milton's Treatise of Christian Doctrine. Clapton, May 24, 1826. WHEN, on the first appearance of Milton's "Treatise of Christian Doctrine," I proposed to offer you some account of a work rendered interesting not only by its subject, but by the character of its author and the circumstances of its long concealment and accidental discovery, I designed especially to gratify those of your readers who would not be likely to have convenient access to that publication. They would, I thought, be peculiarly interested by Milton's scriptural criticisms, some of them now found to have been unconsciously adopted by later scholars, who, like him, were happily prepared to present all their human learning a free-will offering at the sacred shrine of Christian Truth.
I, indeed, little expected, when venturing on an examination of the Treatise, to be now, after so many months, still inviting attention to the 5th chapter. I have, however, felt, and I trust your readers have not generally been unconscious of the feeling, that Milton's contributions to your former pages have not been ill-adapted to the laudable design of the Christian Reformer. Unless I have deceived myself, they are eminently calculated to interest and to edify those who, dissatisfied with the " many inventions" which man has " sought out," would recur, with implicit confidence, to the divine testimony concerning truth, revealed in the Scriptures.
I left Milton (p. 127) examining the various passages in the Epistolary writings of the New Testament, adduced by Trinitarians in support of their theology. He had considered Titus ii. 13, and thence took occasion to describe those explicit declarations which the Scriptures may be expected to contain, rather than forced, and therefore unsatisfactory inferences, when teaching "a primary article of faith." He proceeds to "1 John iii. 16," adopting that Greek text which was used in the Latin Vulgate, and which our Authorized Version correctly renders," Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us."
Yet Milton remarks, that "the Syriac Version reads illius instead of Dei," adding, "it remains to be seen whether other manuscripts do the same." Dr. (now Bishop) Sumner instances "the Ethiopic Version."
Milton does not appear, on this occasion, to have examined the editions of the Greek Testament, extant in his time, so fully as might have been expected. He, however, contends that, supposing the reading adopted in the Authorized Version should be genuine, "the pronoun he seems not to be referred to God, but to the Son of God." This be concludes "from a comparison of the former chapters of this epistle," &c., and " by analogy from many other passages. Nor is it extraordinary," he adds, "that by the phrase, his life, should be understood the life of his beloved Son, since we are ourselves in the habit of calling any much-loved friend by the title of life, or part of our life, as a term of endearment in familiar discourse."
The passage, 1 John iii. 16, appears, in Milton's age, to have been more regarded by Trinitarians than at present. It was, indeed, first brought to their aid in England by King James's translators. The Version of 1591, which I have quoted (pp. 30, &c.), and of 1596, reads, "Hereby have wee perceived love, that he layde down his life for us." This translation, rejected by King James's learned, rather than impartial divines, is sustained by Castalio's Latin Version, and by nearly all editions of the Greek Testament. Dr. Lardner remarks, (Works, V. 215,) that" our English translation of the former part of this verse is unsupported by any good authority." Mr. Belsham (Calm Enquiry, p.231) says, "The word ess, of God, has the authority of one manuscript only, and that of little note, of the Vulgate Version, and of the Complutensian edition. It is unquestionably spurious, and is left out of Griesbach's corrected text, and of Archbishop Newcome's, Mr. Wakefield's, and the Improved Version's."
I have before me a Greek Testament published in 1768, by an Editor who is honoured with a long List of Subscribers, chiefly clergymen, and including nearly all the English prelacy. His preface closes with a declaration, that if any thing appears contrary to the analogy of faith or the doctrine of the Church of England, he is disposed to unsay it. Yet on 1 John iii. 16, supplying the word Christi in a note, he adopts the generally-approved reading which Griesbach has since confirmed; thus virtually