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was accomplished; we must not hail those who buckle on their armour, as those who put it off. They have nobly freed themselves from hindrances hard to be shaken from them; they have placed tbemselves unencumbered at the starting-post, from whence I trust they will press onward toward the mark; but we should not lead them to suppose that the goal has yet been reached. In no part of Ireland have Unitarians done their duty to the cause. Many reasons might be assigned for the prevailing apathy, but I shall confine myself to one which strikes me as very influential. Exertions are not made to disseminate Unitarianism in Ireland, because it is considered that all exertions of the kind are hopeless. Difficulties do, no doubt, beset the path." [After sketching these difficulties in vivid colours, arising from the anomalous state of Ireland as to its religious parties, Mr. Porter proceeded), “ But what reformation ever took place, which did not triumph over obstacles far greater than these? A thousand avenues are open, through which we might throw both Unitarian publications and Unitarian preaching into the public mind. We profess to hold the powers of human nature in respect; we protest against Calvinism, because, in our opinion, it calumniates them; and yet we practically avow our conviction, that plain, rational, scriptural demonstrations, submitted with kindness to the consideration of the public, will produce no good effect whatever. I ask, in the name of common consistency, should these things be? Sir, the course is open before us; and it is only timidity that sees a lion in the path. But if we are content to be Unitarians of a certain class, that is to say, persons who go to meeting once a-week, because it is seemly to go somewhere-who have a few favourite phrases constantly in their mouths, about allowing every man to go his own way to heaven-who delight to dwell upon the evils of controversy, when prevailing error is about to be assailedwho are ready to make the most charitable allowances for a popular system of divinity, but are signally severe in their judgments upon any which appears to be at all more unpopular than their own—who coldly sanction a form of worship, for the dissemination of which, they scruple to afford one penny of their money, or one hour of their time,-if we are content to be Unitarians of this description, I have no great expectation of success. To what purpose should you urge such an individual, to promote the objects which we have in view? Gallio careth for none of these things. But if the Unitarians of Ireland could be roused from their indifference; if a miracle could be wrought, and the dry bones live, much honest prejudice might be overcome, and much dishonest clamour effectually put down, by a firm, unflinching avowal of our opinions.
“ In considering the course which we ought to pursue in the advocacy of our sentiments, I have often thought that the respective conduct of two celebrated men in the sister island, both of whom embraced Unitarianism, and desired to propagate what they had embraced, might furnish an instructive lesson. In one of the most enlightened periods of English history, when opinions upon many important subjects had been weighed in the balance, and
many of them found wanting-when in politics, the glorious Revolution had preserved a nation's liberties—when Newton and Locke, those Unitarian worthies on whom Mr. Harris passed such a splendid panegyric, had brought under subjection the worlds of nature and of mind-it was to be expected that theology, though always hanging back, should nevertheless participate in the general advance. Accordingly, a man of the most profound and varied talents-a most accomplished scholar-in metaphysics, the worthy antagonist of Leibnitz-a distinguished favourite with royaltyand the most popular preacher of his day, became a believer in the simple unity of the great First Cause, whose being and attributes he had previously demonstrated, in a noble work which still maintains its pristine reputation. I allude to Dr. Samuel Clarke. Now, with respect to religious institutions, the Doctor was a bitby-bit reformer. The Scripture doctrine of the Trinity' is written with an evident disposition to excite as few prejudices as possible.
It sought to win the Church to Unitarianism, by affecting to find Unitarianism in the standards of the Church. And this course seemed for a time to prosper. If the Convocation murmured, Clarke strove to soothe the Convocation; and he gathered so many personal influences about himself and his opinions, that the latter were thought to have spread far and wide. But what finally became of this attempt to smuggle truth unawares into the Establishment-this attempt to put the new wine into the old bottles, the new doctrine in the old creeds? - What became of the Thatched House Petition, and the two hundred and fifty ministers that signed it-the pamphlets of Archdeacon Blackburne-and the speeches of Sir George Saville? With the exception of Lindsey, Jebb, and Wakefield, who manfully seceded, what became of all the rest? Of the many who were healed, how was it that these alone appeared to give thanks? Unitarianism, Sir, at that period, sprung up quickly; but because it had no root, in fearless consistent profession, it withered. In an after day, another champion, less cautious in his tactics, issued from the ranks of the orthodox Dissenters, and as long as the highest moral worth united to an ardent longing after truth, shall command respect, the name of Priestley must be held in reverence. This great man adopted a course of proceeding, the reverse of that pursued by Dr. Clarke. He cried aloud and spared not. With him there was no attempt to conciliate persons or principles which he felt it his duty to de. nounce; and at first the results appeared to be disastrous. He was blamed by timid friends for his imprudence he was assailed by open enemies for his presumption-he was exposed to the attacks of adverse parties, to the high church intolerance of Horsely, and the sceptic sneer of Gibbon; a half religious, half political mob, destroyed at Birmingham his literary and scientific property; a social persecution followed him to London, with unremitted virulence, and he was at length driven from a country of which he was an ornament, to seek shelter in a foreign land. But what was the ultimate effect of all this? We may read it in the flourishing state of Unitarianism in England, and in the cheering progress which it has made in America, to which the storms of persecution carried the seeds of truth. Channing has done much, but he entered in some degree into the labours of Priestley in the New World, where Unitarian principles promise to be as permanent as the phenomena of her external nature, and those who seek to overthrow them, might as well attempt to shoulder the Andes from their base, or turn again the Mississippi to its source. I trust that the friends of truth in this country, will be animated by the same decided spirit. Depend upon it, temporising will serve us nothing. Instead of conciliating opposition, it invariably increases dogmatism. If, whilst our opponents are bold, confident, and sweeping in their statements, we begin to doubt, and hesitate, and draw distinctions, and advocate the truth as if we were apologising for error, the truth will win no conquests. Are your opinions false? Speak out, they will be the more speedily refuted. Are your opinions true? Speak out, they will be the sooner recognised. May our ministers universally be convinced, that it is their duty to attach their flocks by the enduring bond of principle; and that all ties of a nature merely personal, are at best but flaxen cords. May they universally perceive that a community of feeling, and on some important points, a community of faith, are the only cement which can bind a church permanently together; and that when we endeavour to substitute any other preparation, we do but daub the wall with untempered mortar. In my opinion, we should canvass the errors which surround us with spirit and freedom. We cannot do justice to our own views, without contrasting them with those of others. The part of Moses naturally precedes the part of Joshua. You must first lead out the people from the house of bondage, and then introduce them to the promised land.”
In proposing the next Resolution, “ That the Unitarian faith is embodied in the Bible and the whole Bible;' that consequently it intimately connects itself with the great principle of the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures; that in the dissemination of the Sacred Writings, its professors have rejoiced to find an object of religious benevolence, in which they could cordially unite with all other denominations of the Protestant world; and that, while we regret the recent attempt to exclude them by a doctrinal test, from the continuance of this union, we observe with satisfaction the spirit in which it has been rejected by the Committee of the Hiberpian Bible Society;"—the Rev. Dr. Drummond, after depicting in glowing terms the beneficial effects which had resulted from the establishment of the Bible Society, proceeded as follows: “ Protestants of all denominations were invited to unite their efforts in the holy cause, and numbers of them all, or almost all, were admitted to take a part in the proceedings of the Society. For a time the distinctions of what are called orthodoxy and heterodoxy were laid aside, and all seemed willing to be actuated only by principles of Christian philanthropy. The dark clouds of sectarianism and bigotry began to be dispelled from the religious atmosphere, and the genius of Christianity came forth beautiful and brilliant as a star in the firmament, that has bathed its glittering forehead in the ocean and new tricked its beams,' and was seen for a time, by the rapt eye of faith and hope, radiating a cheering light and shedding a benignant influence on the heads and the hearts of men.
“ But this bappy state was not ordained to last. The glorious vision passed away; it melted into thin air. The spirit of ANTICHRIST was disturbed. And as he is said to have insinuated him. self into the garden of Eden, to blight that felicity which he could not participate; so he determined to creep into the Bible Society, to create confusion, and to scatter among the sons of peace, the fiery seeds of discord and rebellion against the Most High. Under the mask of superior sanctity, and in the guise of one who pretended that he had eaten of the tree of knowledge, and had his eyes opened to distinguish between good and evil, he entered their councils, and began to whisper that their sanctified body was tainted with the poison of heresy—the leprous and soul-destroying heresy; that they ought to undergo a purgation; that the heretics should be expelled; and, to guard against their re-admission, a test of orthodoxy should be administered to every member of the holy conclave. The Evil ONE having thus infused the venom of his serpent tongue into the bosom of his elect, left it to work and ferment; and it wrought and fermented according to his wishes. At last, some whom he had made his confidants and the organs of his counsels, had the assurance, in defiance of all shame, to give utterance to bis wicked suggestions, and propose that a belief in the Trinity should be adopted as the test of membership by the Bible Society!
“ This proposition was in direct violation of the principle on which the Bible Society was founded. It was annexing to the Bible a note of portentous sound-a comment of most anti-biblical, most anti-christian tendency-an audacious attempt to overthrow a system whose peculiar beauty and utility lay in the broad principle on which it was based. That such a proposition should have been a subject of discussion in the Bible Society, nay, that it was not met at once by a universal burst of indignation and scorn, is a matter of reproach. After a stormy meeting, which a reverend gentleman who was present, compared to a bear-garden, the motion was lost, and the Bible Society rescued from ruin and everlasting opprobrium.
“ Foiled in their endeavours to overthrow, and to pollute with their slime, the beautiful creation of the Foreign & British Bible Society, the adversaries resolved to form a Society of their own, which they baptized with the waters of contention, the bitter waters of Marah and Meribah-The Trinitarian Bible Society. They had now got a bantling of their own to nurse, and might indulge many a glowing anticipation of its future beauty, and its future strength, when it was to come forth like Samson to smite down the Philistines with the jaw-bone of an ass-or rather, like a man of Gath, to defy the armies of the living God. But, lo! while they are yet gazing and gaping with parental delight on their baby giant, they behold with amazement and horror, that it is speckled like a viper-dotted all over, from top to toe, with the plague-spots of the Irving heresy! And to add to their horror and mortification, they heard their first-born denounced, sneered at, and ridiculed, even by some of the sanctified fraternity, as a lusus natura, a monstrous miscreation-the ricketty abortion of bigotry and folly.”
* The same antichristian spirit which wrought in England, extended its baleful influence to our own island; and attempts, though of a less public nature, similar in wickedness and folly to those made in London, were made to subvert the Hibernian Bible Society. The good sense and Christian feeling of this Society, united to a regard for principle and consistency, baffled those attempts, and it is to be hoped, will continue to baffle them, should they ever be repeated. Trinitarians are fond of boasting, to their shame, that no Socinians-meaning Unitarians, for they are fond of nicknames-are ever admitted to their counsels, or to any share in the management of their affairs. This is assuredly not fair. They who are members of the Society--who are acknowledged to be such by the receipt of their subscriptions—who bave always evinced an honest desire to act faithfully to the principles on which the Society was constituted—and who, in the purity of their morals and the rectitude of their conduct, will not shrink from a comparison with the best of the exclusionists, ought to have their representatives in the committee and on the platform.' Whence so much anxiety to exclude them? Have they, in any mode, rendered themselves unworthy of the holy brotherhood? Have they ever betrayed the great principle of the Bible Society, and made use of an influence derived from their connection with that Society, to circulate tracts and comments in support of their peculiar doctrines? Have they distributed the Bible without note or comment with the right hand, while, with the left, they were scattering their creeds, articles, and confessions of faith? Had they one face for the privy council, and another for public exhibition? Have they, at any time, claimed precedence of men their superiors in virtue and learning; or used an undue influence to keep an orthodox brother in the back-ground, and to plunge him in the deepest shade, lest being discovered, he might become an object of that popular regard which the orthodox are so anxious to monopolise? Unitarians know well how they have been treated by Bible Societies; and assuredly they cannot boast that it has been according to the golden rule of Christianity. But they scorned to complain. If good were done, they remained satisfied. They were little ambitious of distinction among the orators of the Rotunda. They rejoiced to know that the Bible was distributed, conscious that the Bible is their most powerful and efficient advocate. The projectors of the Trinitarian Bible Society, have given Unitarians the most decisive triumph. They have virtually sealed their testimony to the truth of Unitarian Christianity. Whence their anxiety to form a Trinitarian Society, and make a profession of belief in the Trinity the condition of membership? Whence, but from a consciousness that the Bible is a Unitarian book? Whence, but from a secret and well-founded conviction, that the Bible, without note or comment, will make all honest and unprejudiced readers Unitarians? They have be