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science, which, far from being the enemy of faith, makes the wisest men the most religious. If the topics of our preaching are moral, yet we insist equally on points of doctrine; they are urged from our pulpits in every public service, and we have even two exercises every week, exclusively appropriated to the explanation of the catechism. Besides, our morality is the morality of the gospel,, always connected with its doctrines, and deriving thence its strongest sanctions, especially from the promises of eternal life and felicity which it makes to those who reform their conduct, and the threat of eternal condemnation which it denounces against the impious and impenitent. In this respect, as in every other, we think it our duty to keep close to the language of Scripture, which speaks not of purgatory, but of heaven and hell, where every one shall receive according to the deeds done in this life. It is by preaching energetically these great truths, that we endeavour to bring men to holiness. When we are praised for a spirit of tolerance and moderation, let not this be confounded with laxity and indifference. We are thankful that it arises from a very different source; it is an evangelical tolerance which harmonizes perfectly with zeal. On the one hand Christian charity keeps us at the widest possible distance from persecution, and enables us to bear without uneasiness some diversity of opinion on points which are not essential, such as has always existed even in the purest churches; on the other, we neglect no care, no method of persuasion, in order to establish, to inculcate and to defend the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.

"When we have occasion to recur to the principles of natural religion, we do it as it is done by the sacred authors themselves, and without any approximation to Deism. While we give to natural theology a more solid basis and greater extent than is usual with them, we always connect revelation with it, as a gift of heaven very necessary for our aid, and without which mankind could never have emerged from the state of blindness and corruption into which they had sunk.

"If it be one of our principles to

propose nothing for belief which is contradictory to reason, this is not as the author supposes, one of the characteristics of Socinianism. The principle is common to all Protestants, and they employ it to reject absurd doctrines, such, indeed, as are not to be found in the Holy Scriptures when rightly understood. But we do not carry this principle so far as to reject every thing which is called a mystery; since we give this name to truths of a supernatural kind, which human reason is incapable of discovering, or which it cannot perfectly comprehend, but which have nothing in them impossible, and which God has revealed to us. Nothing more is necessary to engage us to receive these doctrines, than they be clearly taught in revelation, and that the authority of revelation itself be indisputable, and we adopt them the more readily, because they harmonize so well with natural religion, and form with it that admirable and perfect system which the gospel exhibits.

66

Though the worship of one God is the main doctrine of our religion, this does not justify the assertion that it is reduced to this single point, among all but the vulgar. The best informed persons are those also who are most strongly convinced of the value of the covenant of grace, and that eternal life consists in knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, his Son in whom all the fulness of the Godhead bodily dwelt, and whom he has given to us as a Saviour, a Mediator and a Judge, that all men may honour the Son even as they honour the Father. The term of respect for Jesus Christ, therefore, appears to us by far too feeble or too equivocal to express the nature and the extent of our sentiments towards him, and we say that we are bound to listen to this Divine Teacher and to the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scriptures, with faith, with profound veneration and a complete submission of mind and heart. Instead, therefore, of resting upon human reason, so limited and weak, we build upon the word of God, which is alone able to make us wise unto salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ. This gives to our religion a purer and nobler principle, a wider compass and more effectual power, and invests it with

quite a different character from that which the author has been pleased to attribute to it.

"Such are the sentiments of the company, which, on all occasions, its members will avow and defend, as becomes the faithful servants of Jesus Christ. They are also the sentiments of the ministers of the church, who have not yet entered on the cure of souls, who, on being informed of the contents of the present declaration, have requested to be comprehended in it. We have no hesitation also in declaring that these are the general sentiments of our church, as is proved by the feeling excited among all ranks, by the appearance of the article of which we have complained. After these explanations and assurances, we think ourselves excused from entering into a fuller detail respecting the imputations made against us, and from answering any future publication of the same tendency. Such a contest, besides its inutility, is wholly unsuitable to our character. We are satisfied to have shielded the honour of the church and its ministers, by shewing that the picture which has been drawn of us is unfaithful, and that our attachment to the holy doctrine of the gospel is neither less sincere than that of our fathers, nor different from that of other reformed churches, with whom we consider it as our glory to be united in the profession of a common faith, and between whom and ourselves we have seen, with pain,

of this church, would make them change from bad to worse, in order to contradict the author's statement; and from what they now are, tolerant Socinians, would change them into fierce and virulent Calvinists, similar, in short, to the founder of their sect. But the fear is groundless and the scruple unnecessary. If the ministers of Geneva have protested against the article in question, it is evident that they have done so as a matter of form, and that they do not wish to make the Confession of Faith pass for any thing else than what it really is. They will continue to speak and think, in public and in private, just as they did before this Confession was made. This is attested by all the well-informed Frenchmen who have been at Geneva since that time. We may farther observe, that if the Church of Geneva has, for the present, some reproaches to fear from the other Protestant churches, they will be only temporary, and that at a period which is probably not very remote, it will have the satisfaction, according to the prediction of Bossuet, to see all these churches united with it in the same belief. Every thing conspires to give probability to this prediction, in the truth of which I so firmly believe, that I am not afraid to assign the date of its accomplishment."

Dr. Carpenter on the Case of the Fal mouth Unitarian Church. Bristol, Dec. 11, 1817. AM solicitous earnestly to recom

SIR,

attempts made to draw a line of sepa-mend the case of the Falmouth

ration.

"J. TREMBLEY, Secretary." In republishing this declaration with his own article from the Encyclopédie, among his Miscellaneous Works, D'Alembert has added some notes which he professes not to be his own, but to proceed from some theologian, the object of which is to shew, that the language in which the Venerable Company speak on some points of doctrine is not sufficient to establish their own orthodoxy. D'Alembert himself has also prefixed a preface which concludes thus:-" A philosopher, who takes an interest in the progress of toleration (probably Voltaire), alleges that the article Geneva, by imprudently and prematurely disclosing the opinions of the ministers

Unitarian Church to the attention of the Fellowship Funds and of liberal individuals, in different parts of the kingdom. The circumstances which led to the establishment of it, cannot be unknown to many of your readers; and it is now sufficient to say, that it is the only congregation in Cornwall, assembling for the sole worship of God, even the Father, that it is an important central station, from which we may hope that pure views of Christian truth will eventually spread through every part of that intelligent district, and that, for several years, (without any assistance from their Unitarian brethren, and through much evil report, as well as worldly loss,) they have steadily maintained an open

profession of their sentiments, and constantly met for worship and religious ordinances. I had once the satisfaction of visiting them, with Mr. Worsley of Plymouth; and we had an opportunity of witnessing that Christian harmony, zeal and piety, which encourages the older professors of Unitarianism, and should stimulate among them the spirit of mutual union and co-operation. To their highly esteemed minister, Mr. Philp, who has, from the first, gratuitously given his exertions for their edification, they and the friends of Unitarian Christianity in general, are under great obligations. If Unitarianism obtain a permanent and extensive establishment in Cornwall, it will be greatly owing to his judicious zeal and perse

verance.

The place in which our Falmouth brethren have hitherto met for worship, (a school-room which they rent for the purpose,) is in so inconvenient a situation, that they have long found it in some measure burdensome to themselves, and still more discouraging as to their future prospects. From this consideration, and in order to obtain a more permanent settlement, they attempted, some time ago, to purchase a spot of ground for building; but that intolerant bigotry, of which, unhappily, so much still remains in the country, rejected their application; and they waited for better times. After some interval, they had expectations of being able to purchase the theatre, in order to convert it into a chapel; but they were again disappointed. Very recently, however, it was unexpectedly offered them, with only a few hours for deliberation; and they resolved, (as I should have advised them if I had been on the spot,) to make the purchase; and they now desire to throw themselves on the Christian liberality of their brethren, in different parts of the kingdom.

But they do not request the aid of others without making exertions themselves. The purchase-money, (which must be paid immediately,) exclusive of the expenses of conveyance, is £180. They expect to fit up the building (which is 57 feet by 30, within the walls,) in a neat but economical manner, for about £200 more, making the

whole expense within £400. They are comparatively "few in number, and generally poor enough, but are disposed to do their best;" and four of their members have subscribed £20 each. This, I think, is a capital beginning. From what I know of them, I have no doubt that they will all give their personal as well as pecuniary efforts, to accomplish the object, as the friends of Unitarianism would wish, and with as little expense to others as possible; sharing, as they must, in the feelings of my friend, Mr. Philp, who says, "believe me, I shall reckon it one of the highest honours of my life, to be in any way instrumental in dedicating a temple to the exclusive worship of the One God and Father of all."

It is from full confidence, and on grounds which I feel satisfactory, that I make this appeal to the Unitarian public, and I shall be rejoiced if it influence any of my more distant brethren, to take an active interest in their behalf.

I understand that Mr. Aspland has given them reason to expect the assistance of the Unitarian Fund: and our indefatigable and judicious missionary, Mr. Wright, will, I am fully persuaded, concur in all I have said on the importance of the object and the merits of the case.

In this, as in a variety of other instances, I view the Repository, not only as a vehicle of intelligence, but as an important bond of union among Unitarians; and I wish it could be said, that every individual in our body gave it a degree of encouragement proportioned to his ability, and to its value to our common cause. With best wishes for its increasing diffusion and success, I remain,

L. CARPENTER.

P. S. I hope I shall find an hour of leisure, ere long, to reply to the friendly objections of L. J. J., in your last Number [p. 665]. I suspect he does not understand me; and I shall be glad to embody my ideas on this very difficult subject.

Perhaps it may be desirable to state, that I have not given up my intention of replying to Dr. Magee, and I propose, at the same time, to consider somewhat at large the ends of the death of Christ. It has seldom been

long out of my thoughts; but I have not hitherto had the power of executing my purpose. I hope, during the ensuing vacation, to make great progress in preparing for the press.

Will your highly-respected Correspondent V. F. excuse me, (in behalf of the various Unitarian churches forming congregational libraries,) in requesting him to supply them, through the Repository, with a list of suitable books, marking those which it would be best for them to procure first, and bearing in mind, that their finances are very limited. Those who have seen the catalogue of the Newcastle Congregational Library, will not won der at my making this request to one who must have had a great share in the formation of it.

SIR, Crediton, Nov. 30, 1817.
BEG leave to correct the state-

it with great glee to a fox-hunting tune, which, having previously prac tised, was well performed. The pa rishioners again met and informed their pastor of what they called the indecorum [query, informed the bishop of the indecorum of their pastor?]— but the Bishop said that their pastor was right, for it was so ordered: upon which they declared that they would dispense with the creed in future; nor did Mr. Wright ever after either read or sing it.”

This is not a bad story, though it is ill told. I have heard it related, again and again, though never with any name to verify it. Even now, I can scarcely regard it as more than a joke. Who was this Mr. Wright, aud when and where did he live? And who was his diocesan? If these ques tions interrupt a laugh, let it be remembered that merriment is good,

Iment, in your lact Number, all. but truth is better.

636,] of my being "late of the Baptist Academy Bristol," my acquaintance with the conductors of that Institution not having been of such a nature as to warrant this statement; and that acquaintance having terminated upwards of ten years.

SIR,

TH

G. P. HINTON.

Jan. 2, 1818. HE late impotent prosecution of Mr. Hone, for a parody on the Athanasian Creed, has excited great attention to that disgusting and odious formulary, and has brought out many anecdotes which, but for the religious zeal of my Lord Sidmouth, would have slept for ever. Among these is the following, which I extract from The Morning Chronicle of Tuesday, December 30th:

"When the late Rev. Mr. Wright had a small living in the West of England, he refused to read the Athanasian Creed, though repeatedly desired to do so by his parishioners. The parishioners complained to the bishop, who ordered it to be read. Now this very curious Creed is appointed to be said or sung, and Mr. Wright accordingly, on the following Sunday, thus addressed his congregation, Next follows Athanasius's Creed, either to be said or SUNG, and, with heaven's leave, I'll sing it. Now, Clerk! mind what you are about when they both struck up and sung

Q.

Mr. Belsham on the Argument for
Infant Baptism.

SIR,

Essex House, January 6, 1818. OUR worthy Correspondent

Y and my good-natured opponent

T. C. H. [XII. 715-717,] shews as much dexterity in puzzling a plain case as any special pleader in Christendom. I should, however, have left his declamation to its fate, had it not afforded me an opportunity of restating, in a somewhat different light, the argument for what I conceive to be an apostolical institution, in the observation of which the whole Christian world is nearly unanimous, but of the grounds of which many intelligent persons, even though they practise it, are lamentably ignorant. I shall begin with briefly remarking a few not very relevant suggestions of your worthy Correspondent.

1. Your Correspondent tells us what he does believe, and what he does not believe concerning baptism.-The true question is, what the apostles taught and what the primitive Christians believed and practised.

2. Your Correspondent kindly refers us to the twelve bulky tomes of Lardner to settle the question, in return for which I beg leave to refer him to the ecclesiastical writers of the three first centuries. And when be

has finished them," he may if he so please," go on to those of the three

next.

3. Your Correspondent greatly prefers immersion or pouring to sprinkling and he has my free consent to use his own discretion. All I plead for is Infant Baptism.

4. Your Correspondent seems to be sadly puzzled with Tertullian's "si non tam necesse est ;" but though the meaning appears sufficiently obvious to those who are acquainted with the controversies of the age, yet I would inform him for his comfort that the words are by many learned men given up as an interpolation.

5. Your Correspondent pleads that upon the same principles upon which I argue the obligation of Infant Baptism, all the early corruptions of Christianity in doctrine and practice might be justified.-My argument is, that Infant Baptism was the institution of the apostles, and the uniform practice of the primitive church. When your Correspondent can with equal justice allege the same argument in favour of any other doctrine or practice, I will readily acknowledge that doctrine or that practice to be a vital part of the Christian religion.

6. But your Correspondent does not seem to be aware that the charge which he urges against my reasoning rebounds with redoubled force upon his own; and that the will-worship which he advocates, but which the Apostle most explicitly discourages, opens the flood-gates to an endless tide of superstition and absurdity. He practises infant baptism because, forsooth, he thinks it "innocent and laudable." Another makes the sign of the cross, because he thinks it “innocent and laudable." Another repeats ten Ave Marias to one Paternoster, because he thinks it "innocent and laudable." Another bows to a crucifix, because he thinks it "innocent and laudable." Another counts beads, because he thinks it "innocent and laudable." Another makes a pilgrimage to Loretto or Jerusalem, because he thinks it "innocent and laudable." Another defends imageworship, because he thinks it "innocent and laudable." And another worships and then devours the consecrated bread, because he thinks it

"innocent and laudable.” In short, there is no end to these "innocent and laudable" appendages to Christianity and the apostate church has introduced and authorized such a countless multitude into its code of discipline and worship, that the simplicity of evangelical doctrine and worship is completely overwhelmed under the enormous mass of these "innocent and laudable" excrescences. -So have not we learned Christ. If Infant Baptism is an apostolical institution, let it be observed as such; if not, let it be abandoned altogether: and let not us set ourselves up as better judges of what is fit and right than Christ and his apostles.

Having thus disposed of your Correspondent's arguments, I will beg leave to re-state my own.

Infant Baptism was the uniform, universal and undisputed practice of the Church from the apostolic age down to the fifth century, and even later.

No reasonable account can be given of this singular uniformity in a rite never before administered to the infant descendents of baptized parents, but that which the primitive Christians uniformly assign, viz. the appointment of the apostles.

Had it been left to discretion, some would have baptized their infants and others not.

Had the apostles instituted adult baptism, and limited the application of baptism to adults only, it is absolutely impossible that a change so universal should have taken place so early without notice and opposition.

They who impugn this conclusion must shew either that the practice of Infant Baptism was not universal: they must produce churches, sects or individuals who practised adult baptism, or writers who asserted its authority and obligation, or they must shew how it might be universal without being of apostolical origin. To object to the evidence as traditional, because it is historical, is puerile and weak. Upon the same principle they might object to the resurrection of Jesus Christ: and in fact with equal reason Tindal does object to Christianity itself as a traditional revelation.

The great objection is, that Infant Baptism is not enjoined in the New Testament. But who told us that

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