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proper, and I am sure no one can hold them and defend them without annihilating the plain testimony of scripture. We are then inevitably brought into this dilemma, either to suppose that God is unchangeably attached to the cause of righteousness, that he loves righteousness, and, consequently, those who act righteously, and that he opposes the cause of iniquity, and therefore his face is against all that do iniquity; or to believe him indifferent to principles, or opposed to good ones, but unchangeably attached to some particular individuals. The former of these suppositions establishes the rectitude, benevolence and unvariableness of God, illustrates the sense of the word of God, and establishes the fairest hopes of piety; while the latter frowns righteousness out of countenance, and causes piety to blush for its best affections and hope to tremble upon the firm foundation of the word of God.

Should the love of the ever-blessed God be imagined. greater towards man than towards principles of conduct, because these are the means of completing man's happiness, (and the means cannot be of more importance than the end, nor of so much,) yet it will follow, that the opposition of God to iniquity must be greater than his dislike to man, or any part of mankind, because iniquity alone renders man an object of disapprobation to the Divine Mind.

But I must conclude my present letter, proposing to extend my reflections and lay them before the readers of the Reformer in another, should they meet your approbation. J. C.

Commencement of Unitarian Christianity in Calcutta. [From "The Unitarian Repository and Christian Miscellany" for Nov. 1823, No. 2, printed at Calcutta.]

IN our last Number we gave an extract from a letter containing an account of the spontaneous growth of Unitarian Christianity among the natives at Madras, and of its gradual progress from the year 1795 to the present period, through the persevering exertions of a single individual, comparatively illiterate and almost entirely unaided. The following letter, which we received some time ago, furnishes an account of a similar attempt, made so early as the year 1803, to form a Unitarian Society amongst Europeans and their descendants in Calcutta. The endeavours of Mr. Walter were unsuccessful.

But no

effort in the cause of truth and virtue is entirely lost. The seeds which were then sown are now found springing up on every side, and the fruit thus produced will, we doubt not, when it arrives at maturity, prove both abundant in quantity and excellent in kind. The causes of Mr. Walter's immediate failure, however, deserve to be fully weighed by Unitarian Christians of the present day, and by all who are friendly to the principles of Unitarian Christianity. We have only further to add, that we lately had an opportunity of conversing with Mr. Walter's widow, who was then about to proceed to Bombay; that the Calcutta Unitarian Committee purchased from her all the books remaining in her possession that had belonged to her late husband; and that from the information which she communicated it appeared that Mr. Walter had carried on a correspondence with some one of the principal English Unitarians, Dr. Priestley, Mr. Lindsey, or Mr. Belsham, but that none of the letters which had been received were to be found among his papers.

"I have been favoured with your note dated the 7th instant, and have much pleasure in communicating to you, in compliance with your request, such information on the subject of your inquiry as memory enables me to supply, regretting that my absence from Calcutta at the period when the late Mr. W. Greene Walter was first led to a serious consideration of the popular doctrine of the Trinity, necessarily obliges me to pass over an interesting passage in his life, and to confine myself to a brief notice of the unsuccessful attempt made by him to form a society of Christians on the Unitarian system, and to such particulars connected with that event as fell under my personal observation.

"On my return to this Presidency from Prince of Wales' Island in 1803, I was invited by Mr. Walter, with whom I had been previously acquainted, to a weekly meeting held at his house for the purpose of reading the Holy Scriptures, the object of which was to discover how far the doctrine maintained by the Established Church of England respecting the person of Christ was borne out by the general tenor and evidence of the gospel history, particularly with reference to the declarations of Christ himself, and the general scope of the precepts taught by him, as well as to the conduct of his disciples after his ascension. On a subject of such importance to mankind, and on which such a diversity

of opinions has been entertained by men eminent for learning, piety and candour in every age, it would have been deemed the height of presumption in a few obseure and comparatively illiterate individuals, however well disposed and sincere in the object of their research, to have attempted to arrive at any satisfactory or decisive conclusion, without having recourse to such helps as were within reach to assist their judgments. Grotius, Clarke, Watts, Doddridge, Wakefield, Priestley, Lindsey, Enfield, &c. &c., were frequently consulted, with a sincere determination on the part of the inquirers to give way to conviction on which side soever it might declare itself. The result confirmed Mr. Walter and a few others in the belief that the doctrine of the proper divinity of Christ was inconsistent with the accounts of his life and the general tenor of the doctrines taught by him, as recorded in the New Testament that it was not necessary to salvation-that the more the Scriptures were made their own interpreter, the more would the fact of his simple humanity be apparent→→→→ and that he was consequently not the true God, but a being subordinate to God, to whom he himself on various occasions had solemnly and in the most unequivocal man ner acknowledged his inferiority. These positions appearing to be incontrovertible, Mr. Walter felt himself called upon, as a man and a Christian, to abjure the faith in which he had been brought up, and unhesitatingly embraced the creed of the Unitarians, professing their tenets to the latest period of his existence. He endeavoured to establish a Unitarian Society, and succeeded so far as to be joined by a few who had the same object at heart. They repaired on Sundays to a place selected for their meetings, where prayers were read according to the form laid down in the Book of Common Prayer, as revised by the Rev. Mr. Belsham, concluding with a hymn and a sermon. The number of persons who assembled on these occasions never amounted to more than seven or eight. A far greater number, however, among Mr. Walter's friends and acquaintance did not hesitate to avow their conviction of the fallacy of the received doctrine of the Trinity; but, restrained by the fear of being branded with the appellation of Socinians, by which Mr. Walter and the few who attended his meetings had already been designated, or destitute of that firmness which should characterize those who advocate the cause of truth against long

established and deep-rooted prejudices, they forbore taking any active part in the exertions of Mr. Walter. The meetings continued to take place, though not regularly, during the space of nearly a twelvemonth, but declined afterwards; the few that attended dispersing one by one, owing probably to their not having obtained any additional members to their society, till at length Mr. Walter was compelled from the mere want of cordial support, to dissolve the connexion, contenting himself with offering his adorations where only he conceived they were due, according to the best lights which his reason afforded him, and the declaration of Christ immediately before his ascension, I go to your Father and my Father, to your God and my God.'

"The 9th of December, 1822.”

"T. S.

Mr. Belsham's Dissertation on Paul's Epistles.

THE instructive and useful Dissertation prefixed to Mr. Belsham's Translation of the Epistles of Paul, has been just reprinted in a pamphlet, with permission of the author, by the Southern Unitarian Society.* The notes are inserted at the end. Whatever may be thought by any reader of any particular exposition of scripture in Mr. Belsham's Epistles of Paul, afl must acknowledge the value of his general view of them, here republished. We recommend the circulation of the pamphlet, and we venture to suggest that it would be in the highest degree serviceable to the cause of Christian truth and piety to republish in the same manner Mr. Locke's "Essay for the understanding St. Paul's Epistles by consulting St. Paul himself," which stands in the front of his admirable work, which led the way in modern times to a rational exposition of the Apostle. Names influence such as cannot be swayed by argument, and many, both " orthodox" believers and unbeliev ers, who would reject at once simple Christianity for its own sake, may be brought to look at it with respect when it is recommended under the authority of so great a philosopher and patriot as LockE.

* 12mo. Hunter, St. Paul's Churchyard. 6d,



Milton's Treatise of Christian Doctrine. SIR, Clapton, February 22, 1826. I PROPOSED (p. 29) soon to return to the Treatise on Christian Doctrine, and especially to that part of his fifth chapter where Milton proceeds to shew, from the plain testimony of scripture, how "the Son teaches that the attributes of divinity belong to the Father alone, to the exclusion even of himself," Nor could our author fail to remark that eminent instance of this exclusion, "with regard to omniscience, Matt. xxiv. 36, Of that day and hour knoweth no man; no, not the angels of heaven; but my Father only and still more explicitly, Mark xiii. 32, Not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." Here I cannot help recollecting how such a critic and commentator as Doddridge was embarrassed by this solemn declaration of Christ, while he thus attempts to accommodate our Lord's plain language to the mystic creed of an orthodox church: "Nor even the Son of Man himself, with respect to his human nature, or as a part of what he is commissioned to reveal." Thus, as Wakefield (on Matthew, p. 344) justly remarks, "The Trinitarian steps in with his distinctions and reservations, and tells us that, as God, Jesus knew all things, and, as man, was ignorant of some things; that is, was all-wise and ignorant at the same time; God and not man-man and not God, just as the argument requires and difficulties press."

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Milton, as quoted by Dr. Sumner, had in Par. Lost, (x. 68,) ascribed to the Messiah the following devotional expressions on the Almighty's supreme dominion:"

Father Eternal, thine is to decree;

Mine, both in heav'n and earth, to do thy will


In illustration of this subject, and to shew that our Lord excluded himself from this "supreme dominion" not merely, as his language has been "commonly interpreted," in his "mediatorial capacity," Milton thus comments (p. 101) on the interesting story (Matt. xx.) when "the mother of Zebedee's children" presents them, with a hope of favour, to the great prophet of Nazareth:


Questionless, when the ambition of the mother and her two sons incited them to prefer this important petition, they addressed their petition to the entire nature of Christ, how exalted soever it might be, praying him to grant their

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