« AnteriorContinuar »
eminence, namely, Joan Boucher, (commonly called Joan of Kent,) and George Van Pare, a Dutchman, were committed to the flames. It is related, that “a person supposed to be Fox (the author of the book of Martyrs) earnestly entreated the famous John Rogers, who was afterwards burnt at Smithfield,) to use his interest with the Archbishop to save the poor woman from the cruel death to which she had been doomed. But Rogers answered, That burning alive was no cruel death, but was easy enough. Fox, astonished at such an answer, replied, “Well, perhaps it may so happen that you yourself shall have your hands full of this mild burning." And so it came to pass ; for Rogers was the first man who was burned in Queen Mary's reign.
'GUNPOWDER AND BRANDY.
(Setected.) An office in the government of Satan Being once upon a time vacant, "the prince of the power of the air" convened a council, when it was proposed, that on the trial of the skill and abilities of the two demons, he who caused the most misery on earth and brought the greatest number of mortals to the regions of despair, should fill the vacant office and be first in authority.
One went in the shape of gunpowder, the other that of brandy, rum, gin, &c. the former was an open enemy and roared with a terrible noise. This made the folks to be afraid, and put them on their guard. But the other passed as a friend and a physician, pretended to make them strong and healthy, was at all their merry makings, frolics, and entertainments. By these means he caused them to be off their guard ; and at length to become his most willing servants, and that too, "for the wages of death.”. Under the notion of helping digestion, comforting the spirits, and sheering the heart, he produced the direct contrary effects. And having insensibly thrown great numbers into decay, he was found to people hell and the grave so fast, as to merit the office in preference to him who went among the people in the shape of gunpowder.
THE LAST STATE WORSE THAN THE FIRST. We are requested to offer something on this subject, and, particularly, with reference to the expression, 'the last state.' It is found in Matt. xii. 43, 44, 45, and in Luke xi. 24-26, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he (the unclean spirit) walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he (the uncloan spirit) saith, I will return into my house (that is, the man) from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it (the man, prefigured by a house) swept and garnished. Then goethhe (the unclean spirit) and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there : and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation."
From this passage an objection is stated, that if the last state is worse than the first, it proves endless misery, as there can be no state after the last. In reply, let it be observed, the words first and last are relative terms. They express time with reference to some period, which the subject is supposed to designate as naturally understood, if not expressed. Hence the same thing may be termed last in reference to one subject, and, afterwards first in reference to another. On this principle may be explained, how the last can be first and the first last.*
The last state of that man" is used to represent the then present generation of the Jews, in their miserable condition, under the impending evils that then hung over them. But we find a promise is left us that “all Israel shall be saved," Rom. xi. 26. This "last state" then, as mentioned above, is not their final state ; for in that we find a promise that God will take away their sins. See Christian Repository, Vol. I, page 124, on this subject.
* St. Paul says, "Last of all,” he was seen of me also as of one born out of due time." Are we to infer from this, that Christ never appeared, nor will appear to any one after he appeared to St. Paul? Undoubtedly not. Then this last of all is to be understood in relation to the circumstances he had before named
FUTURE PUNISHMENT, DISCUSSED BY HYRAM AND THE
EDITOR OF THE (PHILADELPHIA) UNIVERSALIST MAGAZINE.
This discussion has now been extended to some length, having occupied a number of communications from each of the parties. The Editor of this work would beg leave to express a desire, that it might be speedily brought to a close. Altho the subject seems far from being exhausted, it would undoubtedly be more acceptable to many of our readers, by appearing in a new form. Most readers become
of long protracted controversies; and, indeed, it is not un frequently the case, that they so far degenerate, as to abound with many eccentric remarks, which arise from the particular feelings of the disputants, in their mode of treating controversies and each other. When men become firmly established in their own opinions, and when those opinions have attained to some public notoriety, whatever opposes, generally appears to them very ill. On this account we ought to grant to polemic writers some indulgence in our feelings, and they certainly ought to make allowances for each other. Religious controversy temperately and charitably conducted, may undoubtedly be useful in deciding on doubtful points of theology; but when it degenerates to mere strife, or abounds with many personal observations, we have reason to believe much of its professed object is in a great measure lost, and the reader but little benefited.
From the first volume of the Unitarian Miscellany.
THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH OF ENGLAND. It has been a darling object with many persons, both at home and abroad, to extend the blessings of the established church of England to the United States. But, as we covet neither episcopal jurisdiction, hierarchical despotism, unscriptural rites, non-resident clergy, nor formal worship, we have ever declined the proffered kindness, which would establish them in our land. Such refusal has called down reproaches on our heads. Our aversion to an establishment has been mistaken for enmity to religion. It has been branded as a sign of the times, a proof that infidelity is chilling our hearts, desolating our churches, and corrupting society. In the bitter spirit of objurgation, a writer in the London Quarterly Review for October last, attempts to show that religion has few altars and no home in the United States. For this purpose he cites Mr. Bristed, and on his authority the late President Dwight. The former, premising that we have “no system of tythes, no laypatronage, no established national church,” adds, in consequence of this entire indifference on the part of the state governments, full one third of our whole
pop ulation are destitute of all religious ordinances." This is an exaggeration ; yet it is but too true, that very many are destitute of proper religious instruction ; and many others are instructed more carefully in unprofitable doctrines and bewildering mysteries, than in the practical christian duties. We would gladly adopt some means to remedy this evil; to make the religious instruction more edifying; to diffuse correct views of gospel truths ; but we cannot think with Mr. Bristed, that a system of tythes, lay-patronage, and an estabtished national church would abate this evil. For let us ask, if the evil is not as great,-nay, if it is not much greater, within the jurisdiction of the estaba lished national church of England ? This question we sball answer by some statements, taken from the revlery above mentioned, and leave others to draw their conclusion, either for or against a church establishment. *
"In the metropolis (of Great Britain) observes the reviewer, there are seven parishes, each containing from twenty to thirty thousand inhabitants more than their respective places of worship can contain; six in which the excess is from thirty to forty thousand ; tuo in which it is from forty to fifty thousand ; and one parish, that of Mary-le-bone, which, with a population of seventy-five thousand, has room in its church and chapels for only nine thousand. Nor is this deficiency confined to the metropolis. Liverpool having a population of ninety-four thousand, can accommodate in the churches only twenty-one thousand ; Manchester, with seventy-nine thousand inhabitants, has churches only for eleven thousand. In the diocess of Winchestert accommodation is wanting for two hundred and sixty-five thousand persons, more than four fifths of its whole population ; in that of York/ it is wanting for five hundred and eighty thousand; and in that of Chester, for one million and forty thousand. This deficiency is greatest in growing towns and cities, the very places where religious instruction is more peculiarly required.” “It appears from the official documents which he (Mr. Yates) has collected and compared, that within the small circle of TEN MILES around London,Ộ NINE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY; SEVEN THOUSAND souls are shut out from the common pastoral offices of the national religion.”
(To be continued.)
* These statements will be found in the London Quarterly Preview, Vol. XXIII. Art. New Churches.
ť It may surprise some readers to hear, that notwithstanding this dearth of 'churches and religious instruction, the prelates receive incomes sufficient to supply this deficiency, if properly employed. The Bishop of Winchester, Dr. Brownlow North, has from his bishopric eighteen thousand pounds per annum.
# The Archbishop of York, Dr. Edward V. Vernon, has from his see fourteen thousand pounds per annum.
$ The Bishop of London, Dr. William Howley, has nine thousand pounds per annum.