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of India, you would then have kept to your avowed authority. And what makes your error in this case the more inexcusable is, that direct mention is made of a Unitarian preacher in India; namely, William Roberts. It is somewhat strange, sir, that you should have fallen into the errors which have now been corrected.
A LOVER OF TRUTH AND
Here are six grievous charges urged against us; and we will take them in the order in which they are labelled, only requesting our readers first to refer to the paragraph animadverted upon, and to decide for themselves whether it was drawn up in an unkind or uncandid spirit. We can only say, that upon reperusing both our own statement and the paper in the Unitarian Repository, the general complexion of the facts is even stronger than appears from our epitome.
I. First, we said that the Unitarian Missionary Association, during the last year, was an almost entire failure, instead of the missionary labours of that association. We see no misrepresentation in this. The missionary institution is allowed to have failed in its missionary labours, which was the very idea we meant, in few words, to convey. But we might go further, and justify the words literally as they stand; for the paper in the Repository expressly states, in contrasting this institution with a flourishing one in America, that "When we turn from this gratifying picture to the report of our own institution, and the state of primitive Christianity [Unitarianism!] in England, we feel painfully the contrast that presents itself ......The missionary labours of the Unitarian Association, during the last year, must be pronounced an almost entire failure." Again "The societies that have been, and are, [including, of course, this association,] have struggled into being, and struggle to exist." Again:
"The institutions that exist among us for the promotion of the great purposes of religion are few in number, and languishing, for the most part, in operation.' We are not sorry to hear it; but have we then misrepresented the fact?
II. The second charge is, that we said that the spirit of Unitarianism is not a missionary spirit, instead of the spirit of British Unitarians. We spoke of that spirit, not abstractedly, but as exhibited in operation, and embodied in the actions of its converts. We constantly speak of the spirit of Jacobinism, or Radicalism, or Popery, or Whiggism, or Toryism, from its manifestations, without any misrepresentation being dreamt of. But it so happens, that we did make the very distinction which our rebuker charges us with corruptly confounding; for we added, what he has forgotten to quote, that the writers in the Repository urge that the doctrines of Unitarianism are "fit for missionary purposes," but that Unitarians "are not diligent stewards in dispensing them ;" and after specifying the distinction, we added, what we still think, that it avails little, since it admits "the spiritual inefficiency of the system, even as regards its converts." We however maintain, that not only are Unitarians, as the Repository itself admits, "rich, yet inefficient," but that the spirit of Unitarianism itself, is "not a missionary spirit." We forbear dwelling upon this point at present, and will only requote more in full what we are charged with misquoting in abridgment. "The spirit of Unitarianism in this kingdom," says the Repository," is not the missionary spirit. Very many are hostile to missionary exertions, and especially the more rich and influential. The societies that have been and are have struggled into being, and struggle to exist. They have in some cases been formed by a few, in opposition to the will of the many; they have been supported by a few, while the many looked
on, either in apathy or scorn." Much more occurs to the same purpose; and it is added, that this "anti-missionary spirit" (it is so called in the running-title), "descends even to the poor of the community." Have we, then, misrepresented either Unitarians or Unitarianism?
III. We stated, that of their cha pels the tale is brief and mournful; whereas it appears that there may be here and there one of which the tale is otherwise. Our expression conveys no misrepresentation. When we say, that the country gentlemen give us a mournful account of their rents, and the clergy of their tithes; do we mean that no gentleman has received his rents, or clergyman his tythes? We mean only that, taken in the aggregate, the fact is as is asserted. But let the Repository tell this "brief and mournful tale," in its own words. It states, that the Unitarian chapels in England are of two classes; the old chapels and the new. The old are those which were founded and endowed by pious and orthodox benefactors; but the funds of which have been most dishonourably usurped to maintain preachers who teach doctrines the very reverse of those which those holy men cherished as the essentials of Christianity. In reference to both these classes of chapels the Repository tells us, that of "many of them the tale is mournful;" and this many, when it comes to be explained, is so large that it amounts almost to the aggregate collection. The very exception proves the rule: for example, "There are a few," says the Repository," of the old chapels situated in large and flourishing towns, in which congregations worship, respectable both as to numbers and character." The great mass, therefore, would seem to be, by inference, respectable in neither. It is well that the Unitarian Repository, and not the Christian Observer, published this statement. But let us come to figures which
cannot falsify. If ninety-eight country gentlemen out of a hundred could not get their rents, would not this be universality sufficient to allow "a lover of truth and fair play" to say, that the landed interest was distressed? If nearly nine hundred and ninety parishes out of a thousand had neither church nor clergyman, would it not be a sufficient proportion to cause us to say,without falsehood, that the state of our churches was mournful? Now what is the Repository's own statement respecting the Unitarian chapels? How many are there of those above described, which, being situated in large towns, are respectable, both as to numbers and character? Only six out of three hundred; just two per cent. on the total of the old Unitarian chapels, endowed with orthodox money, and kept up, in numerous instances, by that and that alone. The Unitarians, it is expressly stated by the Repository," though for their numbers the richest body of religionists in England, contribute least to religious objects." "One half of the insignificant stipends paid to their ministers proceeds from the charity of preceding ages, and, in many instances, the whole salary proceeds from endowment." The pious founders might writhe in their graves to hear this statement. Again, it is added, "Many of the old chapels amongst us are in a pitiable state. Of our own knowledge, we can speak of some scores that scarcely shew signs of life. The number of hearers in them will not average more than thirty." The ministers thus supported only, or chiefly, by abused orthodox endowments, after preaching away the crowded audiences which once assembled in these chapels (another proof that the spirit of Unitarianism, any more than of Unitarians, is not a missionary spirit), are deserted and left, it is added, only "to conduct a few sexagenarians to the grave, and then to close the doors."
These are the old chapels; now
for the new. "Equally grieved are we," says the Repository, "when we contemplate the condition of the congregations which have been raised within the last fifteen years. Many chapels have been built; how few are adequately attended! Doubtless there are some of our young societies that promise to survive: a few that flourish; but in nearly all of them the minister is in a condition little better than those who are attached to the former class." "From what has been said," continues the Repository, "it is evident that the cause of Unitarianism in these kingdoms, as far as its condition may be estimated by the numbers who constitute its congregations, is by no means in a satisfactory state."
Reading, then, all these, and various similar facts, in the Repository; and then sitting down to give the substance of the paper in few words; was there any thing contrary to "truth and fair play" in our saying, that of their chapels the tale is (using their own words) "brief and mournful?" The running title in the Repository is precisely equivalent to our statement, "Con dition of Unitarian Congregations;" there is no reservation about some and many, nor was it very necessary, as the some and many was only two per cent. Truly may the writer in the Repository say, what our rebuker seems to have overlooked; Let half a dozen flourishing congregations be deemed of as highly as we will, still six prosperous societies out of three hundred is a small proportion." Small indeed! It is truly "a mournful tale," though to us a joyful one, believing conscientiously that what is called Unitarianism (for we do not allow the justice of this exclusive title,) is not the doctrine of Scripture, and is neither conducive to the glory of God nor the benefit of mankind.
IV. The fourth charge is, that we have stated that "their assemblies for public worship are ill attended." And is it not so? Does not the
Repository's whole statement prove this? Could we have said that they are well attended? And would it not have been more invidious if we had announced the fact less generally, and said that only one in fifty of the old chapels is described by Unitarians themselves as respectable either for numbers or character; and that they are “ equally grieved" in reporting the state of the new, of which only "some promise to survive, and a few flourish; but in nearly all," matters are as above quoted? Has our rebuker benefited the cause of Unitarianism, by obliging us to go more at large into the subject; and in place of a brief general statement, to quote the Repository's own average thirty," "few sexagenarians," and two per cent. of prosperity? We purposely avoided specifying these details, that we might not seem to express with taunt what was meant to be given only as an impartial statement, in a Christian spirit, and for the sake of an important end.
V. The next charge against us, though apparently "fair" surface, is, in spirit, the most unfair of all. Our Unitarian correspondent must know that the Monthly Repository is the organ of the Unitarian body in England; and in its appeal for support, and its lamentations that better support is not afforded, it reproaches the whole body of Unitarians on this very ground; it charges them with indifference and negligence in the cause of Unitarianism; all which would be absurd if they could turn round and say, "We do not support the Repository, because we are supporting other Unitarian magazines." If the friends of the cause are as well employed in other Unitarian magazines, there is no reason for reproach. But the Repository does not even allude to any other; our correspondent does not name any other; and we have inquired in vain in Paternoster-row, the great mart of the literature of Europe, for any other.
We fear, indeed, that Unitari. anism is surreptitiously introduced into publications where it does not avow its name, as into a penny magazine called the Child's Faithful Friend, the unfaithfulness of which we detected in our volume for 1828, p. 579. But this bears not upon the point. If our correspondent thinks the statement about want of support to avowedly Unitarian publications unjust, he should send his animadversions not to us, but to the Repository, whose whole article, though it does not happen to use the word "single," implies throughout what we stated.
VI. The last charge is, "You asserted that, in India, they are without a missionary, and unable to keep up a chapel. Had you written. Calcutta instead of India, you would have kept to your avowed authority." No, we should not; for that avowed authority speaks as follows: "But the most painful cause of failure yet remains to be noticed. India, the first field of our missionary exertions in foreign lands; India, whose spiritual welfare awakened an interest in the breast of many of the most enlightened and pious men of America, as well as England, an interest which exhibited the Unitarian body in the most pleasing attitude that it ever assumed; India which, with the name of its wise, learned, and benevolent Brahmin (Ram Mohun
Roy), gave the fairest promise of an eventual, though perhaps a tardy, harvest; this country, which had excited our hope more perhaps than any other, America excepted, is now without a Unitarian missionary, and the means of Unitarian worship." Here is not a word about Calcutta ; but India. The writer, indeed, afterwards adds, lamenting the secession of Mr. Adam of Calcutta, that he "overlooked the humble labourer Mr. Roberts." Is it any wonder that we overlooked him too? Who is he? Who sent him out? In what part of India is he stationed? Whoever he is, he was not thought worth naming in the above paragraph which we quoted of the Unitarian destitution of India.
We beg pardon of our readers for wearying them with these explanations; but as the Repository, the organ of the Unitarians of Great Britain, has several times brought against us charges as ill-founded as the above, to none of which we have ever thought it worth while to reply, we considered it might be as well for once, being specially addressed by a correspondent, to break through our general rule, lest our silence should be mistaken for acquiescence in the truth of his or similar allegations, and the mistatement should be copied, unaccompanied by explanation, as a proof that "your orthodox people are not "lovers of truth and fair play."
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
A Treatise on the Doctrine of the Atonement. By the Rev. C. JERRAM, Vicar of Chobham, Surrey. 1 vol. 8vo. 9s. London.
THE doctrine of the atonement is one of those subjects on which we scarcely dare to think, or read, or speak, otherwise than as Scripture clearly takes us by the hand."
When from the simple revealed fact, and the plainly disclosed causes and consequences, we turn to human speculations upon it, we soon become bewildered in a labyrinth of controversial difficulties, from which our only clue of escape is to recur again in its native freshness to the hallowed word. There, like the dove wandering from the ark, amidst the stormy deluge, we
find a resting-place of repose and verdure; we soar above the subtleties of the schools, and feel ourselves contented with the information, and supported by the consolation, contained in one such emphatic disclosure and promise as that "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him shall not perish but have everlasting life."
An unpromising heading, the above, our author may think to a review of his highly valuable and elaborate treatise; a treatise which has evidently cost no little thought and care, for as long ago as the year 1805, we reviewed a former work of the author's on the same subject, the germ of the present, the nucleus, which by the accretions of the writer's reading and reflection during a quarter of a century has chrystalized into the present form and dimensions. But not so unfavourable is our proemium as it may seem; for in truth, it is chiefly to send us back from human systems to the word of God, that Mr. Jerram has composed his treatise. He wishes to exhibit the doctrine in its simplest elements; to set aside refinements and disturbing perplexities; and to shew us what God has revealed, and what he has not, that we may not mix up the comments either of bad men or good men with the doctrine of the sacred
"How shall man be just with God," that is, stand justified before him? Volumes might be written on the replies which have been given to this infinitely important question. All the rites of heathenism, all the superstitions of corrupted religion, all the devices of moral philosophy, all the disclosures of Divine revelation, bear upon this topic. One point seems to be very generally admitted among all nations and at all times, that no man stands justified before his Creator, on the footing of perfect undeviating goodness. Ordinary goodness is supposed to do much, but to need some little
appendix of extraordinary merit; it matters not whether penance or pilgrimage; whether the shrine of Loretto, or the mosque of Mecca, or the temple of Juggernauth; whether standing on a pillar, or whirling on a hook; whether the waters of the Ganges, or extreme unction and absolution; whether the Protestant viaticum (for such it is still popularly accounted) of the Lord's Supper, or the Popish viaticum of the Mass; whether a cock to Esculapius, or a meritorious bank note to an almshouse; whether wiping off the cobwebs from the Bible on Sunday, or allowing them to accumulate on the card-table in Lent; something is plainly felt to be wanting to eke out the requisite quantum of merit, and to atone for past defects. But the great substitute in more enlightened days, and in professedly Christian countries, is the triple amalgam of good deeds, repentance for bad ones, and the merits of Christ to consecrate the whole. We speak not of books and sermons, in which the matter may be better worded; but of the popular every-day belief of the multitude; the faith in which thousands and millions of baptized persons live and die, and meet their Judge. Their idea of atonement is being sorry for the past, promising to do better in future, and trusting to Christ to make up the rest. If any of our readers doubt this, let them visit our cottages or workhouses, not to mention more splendid and intellectual mansions, and we shall be most happy if they do not find our statement fearfully confirmed.
The main object of Mr. Jerram's treatise, of which we purpose to give a brief outline, is to set the doctrine of the atonement in a clear and scriptural light, to divest it of adscititious matters with which it has been often encumbered, to answer the objections brought against it, and to bring such evidence from Scripture and the moral government of God, as may satisfy any