Imágenes de página

was considered as only preparatory to the abolition of slavery itself. Who, that sincerely concurred in that measure, could reconcile himself to the idea of suffering so great a portion of human beings to remain with their posterity in a degrading and hopeless bondage? The period is now arrived when this great effort must be made. The difficu ties which oppose it, are not so formidable as those which at first presented themselves to the abolition of the slavetrade. Much has been expected, both in the colonies and at home, towards its accomplishment. Since the prohibition of the importation of slaves into the British plantations, a period of time has elapsed, during which many thousands of those who are now employed in active labour, have risen to maturity. The spirit of the British people is now awakened. The enormity of the evil, both morally and politically, is deeply felt. His Majesty's government is favourable to our views; and although we cannot contend for the immediate abolition of slavery, we must contend for the immediate and effectual adoption of such measures as may, within a reasonable and not distant period, lead to that happy result.

That the meeting of this day may tend to accelerate it, is the most sincere wish of yours, most truly,


The Messenger Bird.


[From "Forest Sanctuary and other Poems." 8vo. Murray. 1825. Pp. 131-133.]

"Some of the native Brazilians pay great veneration to a certain bird that sings mournfully in the night-time. They say it is the messenger which their deceased friends and relations have sent, and that it brings them news from the other world."-See Picart's Ceremonies and Religious Customs.

THOU art come from the spirits' land, thou bird!
Thou art come from the spirits' land!

Through the dark pine grove let thy voice be heard,
And tell of the shadowy band.

We know that the bowers are green and fair

In the light of that summer shore,

And we know that the friends we have lost are there, They are there and they weep no more!

And we know they have quenched their fever's thirst
From the fountain of Youth ere now,*

For there must the stream in its freshness burst,
Which none may find below.

And we know that they will not be lured to earth,
From the land of deathless flowers,

By the feast or the dance or the song of mirth,
Though their hearts were once with ours.
Though they sat with us by the night fire's blaze,
And bent with us the bow,

And heard the tales of our fathers' days,
Which are told to others now.

But tell us, thou bird of the solemn strain,
Can those who have loved forget?
We call and they answer not again—
Do they love-do they love us yet?

Doth the warrior think of his brother there,
And the father of his child?

And the chief of those that were wont to share
His wanderings through the wild?

We call them far through the silent night,
And they speak not from cave or hill;
We know, thou bird! that their land is bright,
But say, do they love there still?

Refutation of American Wesleyan Attacks upon Uni


We rejoice to see the Unitarian controversy alive in America and in all parts of the United States. The controversy in any place is we think to be desired; but there are peculiar reasons for hailing it in the United States of America. One is, that there the state holds out no bribe to induce men to believe or profess a particular creed, and consequently there truth has fair play and another is, that our American Unitarian brethren seem admirably fitted for the defence of Unitarianism, by their talents, their acquire


An expedition was actually undertaken by Juan Ponce de Leon, in the 16th century, with the view of discovering a wonderful fountain, believed by the natives of Puerto Rico to spring in one of the Lucayo Isles, and to possess the virtue of restoring youth to all who bathed in its waters.-See Robertson's History of America,

ments, and above all their temper. Such is the impression made upon our minds by reading their tracts and sermons, and we are delighted to contemplate the influence which so many men (yearly increasing) of strong intellect, of sound learning and of enlightened Christian zeal, must in the nature of things have upon a free and of course a thinking people. The controversy that we have now in view is one carrying on at Charleston, South Carolina. An account of it is given in the current number of Monthly Repository, where also will be found some excellent passages from an Unitarian advocate. We introduce the notice of it here merely to explain a few interesting remarks that we are about to quote from a pamphlet entitled, “Answer to a New Attack on Unitarians, in the Wesleyan Journal of January 14, 1826." They are, as the reader will perceive, replies to statements and explanations of texts inserted in the " Wesleyan Journal.” Those texts and statements will be put in italics, at the beginning of the several paragraphs.


We fear that the reader will conclude from this paper that Wesleyanism (like Popery, according to the charge of the No-Popery men, whether Wesleyan or Calvinistic or Yorkist), is always the same.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The Editor stigmatizes the doctrines and arguments of Unitarians, as profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science, falsely so called, which some professing, have erred concerning the faith. But he forgets that this very language can be retorted upon himself, with infinitely more propriety. In the chapter, 1 Tim. vi., from which this quotation is rashly taken, the apostle urges his disciple to adhere to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ,' verse 3. Now this is what Unitarians are so earnestly contending ought to be always done. Whereas their opponents, in adopting Athanasian creeds, and the Platonic mysteries which were foisted into the church, by means of the old Alexandrian philosophers, who were half Heathen, and half Christian, have been the real encouragers of profane and vain babblings and oppositions of science, and have erred from the simplicity of the gospel faith. Besides, it is incorrect to say, that Unitarians use oppositions of science. The principal oppositions" they make to Trinitarian views are plain texts of Scripture."

[ocr errors]

The Editor asks, when and where have Unitarians been acknowledged Christians, and asserts that the whole

Christian Church disclaims them. This is the remark of ignorance. Not to remind the Editor of the fact which he might learn from Ecclesiastical History, that the church was several times almost entirely Arian, and that the decrees of the ancient councils which established Trinitarianism, were produced solely by the influence of Popes and Roman Emperors who were more swayed by a spirit of Heathenism than of pure Christianity-I can assure him that throughout New England, there is much greater sympathy between Unitarianism and Orthodoxy, than between Methodists and other denominations. I can remember the time when Methodists were more obnoxious to regular Christians of all denominations than Unitarians are in this city. Forty years ago, according to Dr. Shecut, they were carried to the pumps here and drenched.* There is many a Trinitarian minister in Massachusetts, who exchanges with Unitarians and invites them into his pulpit, who would upon no account be prevailed on to admit a Methodist. I do not say that this partiality is proper; I only give it as an instance of the extremely limited information of the writer before me, who ought to be careful how he sports with matters of fact. He ought not to take the prejudices which happen to prevail in the region around him as specimens of what exists throughout the whole church. Does he not know that in Transylvania, Unitarianism is the established religion in conjunction with the Lutheran, Calvinist, and Roman communions? Does he not know that there are vast numbers of Unitarian churches and pastors in the Lutheran communion throughout Germany, who are acknowledged as Christians? Does he not know that Bishop Watson, the charming and unanswerable antagonist of Paine, admitted Unitarians to be Christians, and that many other pious and unquestionably sincere dignitaries of the church have accorded them the same charity? It is scarcely two years since Archdeacon Wrangham, himself an able arguer against Unitarians, committed to the press the following truly Christian sentiment. Describing a faithful, anxious, and assiduous shepherd of the English fold, he says, 'he has seen virtuous Unitarians and virtuous Catholics, virtuous Calvinists and virtuous Methodists, and though he neither, with the first, affirms the Father to be exclusively the proper object of worship,

[blocks in formation]

nor, with the second, prostrates himself before a host of created beings; though he presumes not, with one class, to contract the capacity of heaven, nor affects, with another, in simulated or self-deceiving extacies to anticipate its beatitudes, he trusts that he is guilty of no spurious candour in professing his expectation of seeing them again in that kingdom, whither many shall come from the East, and from the West, and from the North, and from the South.'-Sermons, Vol. II. p. 319.

"But further. I cannot admit the justice of the Editor's statement when confined even to his own neighbourhood. Though the recent period at which Unitarian views of the gospel have begun to prevail at the South, and the jealous and unfounded clamour and misrepresentation which have been raised against them, have in many instances prevented Unitarians from the enjoyment of their fair privileges and reputation as Christians, yet I am happy in knowing that this exclusive spirit is by no means universal. I know many instances of pious and serious Trinitarians who cheerfully admit the title of the others as Christians; and it is scarcely a year since two members of the Unitarian church were welcomed to the communion-table of a Presbyterian minister, who smiled at the suggestion that he could be so bigoted as to reject them. I might multiply statements to this effect almost indefinitely. I scarcely recollect a more unguarded sentence than that of the Editor, that the whole Christian church disclaims them.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"The natural man,' says the Editor, receiveth not the things of the spirit of God. But Unitarians contend that Trinitarians are natural men, as well as themselves, and they are justified, I think, in so contending from the article before me. Unitarians come to their conclusions in the cool, calm, deliberative hours of prayer and examination, in the seclusion of their closets, and over the pages of their Bible. Many Trinitarians have begun to adopt their views under the agitations of terror, and amid the confusion and shrieks of multitudes. I leave it to any mau to decide under which circumstances the truth is most likely to be spiritually discerned.'


[ocr errors]

"There is an infinite disparity between human research, and the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.' True. But human research must ascertain what the Scriptures say of the Lord Jesus Christ. To run down human re

« AnteriorContinuar »