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Memoir of M. Werner.
WERNER was succesively a famous Protestant poet and a famous Catholic preacher. He was one of those men who pass from one extreme to another almost without the appearance of inconsistency, because the motive which impels them is always of the same nature. He was born Nov. 18, 1768, at Koenigsberg in Prussia; his father was professor of history and eloquence in that place, and licencer of the drama, which at an early age made the son acquainted with dramatic poetry. His mother, the niece of a poet, had so large a share of the family ardour of imagination, that at the end of her life she became insane and believed that she was the Virgin Mary and had given birth to the Saviour. Zechariah Werner appears to have inherited some portion of his mother's mental alienation.
His studies were regularly conducted he pursued philosophy under Kant, and he attended lectures on jurisprudence. He commenced poet in 1789, and his verses contained very liberal sentiments. In 1793, he obtained an office under the Prussian administration, and was sent to various capitals, especially to Warsaw, where he resided till 1805. There M. Hitzig, his biographer, had frequent intercourse and cultivated an intimate acquaintance with him. He witnessed the progress of his best poem-The Sons of the Valley. At some distance from Warsaw, in a thick wood, watered by the Vistula, is an abbey of Camaldolites; in summer the two friends used to quit the capital on a Saturday evening, as soon as the offices were shut up, and repair to the forest, near that romantic monastery; they took up their abode in an inn or under the forest trees; the Sunday was employed in viewing the beautiful landscapes of the neighbourhood, and in those lonely walks Werner read to his friend the verses he had composed during the week. At this time the young Protestant poet had already conceived a fantastical idea: be considered that in order to restore a poetic spirit to religion, Protestantism, which was too prosaic, should be exchanged for Catholicism, but Catholicism refined by the aid of free-masonry. He had a singular way of expressing his sublime ideas: "The Devil will take the genius of the arts in Europe," said he,
"if we return not to the refined Catho licism which was formerly professed." We perceive that Werner was, at this period, half a Catholic. It will, perhaps, occasion surprise to hear that this man, professing so much regard to religion, had repudiated two wires, and just mar ried a third, who had no better fate. Domestic contests could not, however, be the cause of their disunion; for Werner could speak only German, and his wife knew no language but the Polish. When he had been separated from his third wife, he wrote with great naïveté, "I could not, in conscience, exact of my wife that she should live happily with me; I am not wicked, it is true, but I am trifling, capricions, economical to excess, destitute of order, absent, heedless, fond of being always in society or in places of public amusement: is it my fault if I am such a man?" After having divorced three lawful wives, Werner devoted his attention more than ever to religion and poetry. His famous drama, Du Weihe der Kraft, (recently translated into French by M. Michael Berr, under the title of Luther,) at first appeared a monument raised to the most celebrated of the reformers; nevertheless, the clear sighted Protestants perceived in it a marked predilection for the illusions, the pomp and the creed of the Catholic religion; the Protestant poet appeared to them to have more imagination than sound judgment. Werner wrote in one of his letters, "I feel infinite regret at seeing such men as Schlegel, Tieck and Schleiermacher wasting their energies: one writes a comedy, another publishes a journal, a third, sentimental poetry, sonnets and heaven knows what; it gives me pain to hear them boast of their great undertakings, as the French are always talking of a descent on England, whilst at the same time they have no grand object, and never conceive the divine idea of an union of friends for the most noble enterprise. . . . . We want apostles who devote themselves to one object, as well as proselytes, &c." These ideas from the pen of a worldly minded man, who had been three times divorced, were singular enough; nor did they lead to any result, unless it were that Werner composed the Cross of the Baltic Sea, and received a pension from the Prince Primate. Having lost his office on the invasion of Prussia by the French, he went to Paris where he was of no use;
he afterwards went to Rome, and secretly embraced the Catholic religion. Having returned to Germany, he became a priest at Aschaffenbourg, and in 1814, the Congress had the satisfaction of hearing him preach at Vienna; he received from Austria a canonry, in reward of his good sentiments. Still full of zeal, he entered the order of the Redemptionists, but quitted it soon after and contented himself with being a preacher. There were flashes of genuius in his sermons, passages which bespoke the poet, but they were frequently common-place and trifling. He died on the 17th of January, 1823. Before his death he made a long will, in which, amongst other things, he bequeathed his silver pen to an image of the Virgin, highly revered in Austria; and he composed an epitaph for himself, concluding with a verse from the Gospel of St. Luke, followed by a note of interrogation and a note of admiration, which each reader might interpret as he thought proper. The biographer has inserted in his memoir a sort of confessions committed to writing by Werner; but they are less sincere and less attractive than the confessions of another celebrated convert, who, unlike Werner, was restored to the bosom of his paternal religiou.
Notice of M. Moldenhawer.
THE royal library at Copenhagen has lost its principal superintendant. Daniel Gotthilf Moldenhawer was born at Koenigsberg in Prussia, the 11th of December, 1751. After having studied at Got tingen and other German universities, he received an invitation to Kiel in 1777, as Professor extraordinary of Philosophy. In 1779, he was appointed Professor of Theology at the same university, where, in 1782, he had the honour of taking the degree of Doctor of Divinity. After having travelled in Holland, England, Spain and Italy, he was, in 1783, appointed Divinity Professor at the University of Copenhagen. At a subsequent period, he again travelled in Spain, in company with the celebrated orientalist Tychsen, whence he brought into Denmark a great number of scarce works and valuable manuscripts in the Spanish and other languages, which at present constitute part of the riches of the royal library of Copenhagen, of which he was appointed chief librarian in 1788. He was made a Knight of the Order of Dannebrog in 1809. He died Nov. 21, 1823, aged 72 years. The principal works of M. Moldenhawer are a History of the Templars, in German, and an Eulogy on the late Count 4. P. De Bernstorft, written in almost classical Latiu. His other wri
tings are distributed among a great number of periodical works published in Denmark and in Germany.
Notizio del Giorno, publishes a table of Population.-The Journal entitled Le the population of Rome, from which it appears that that capital of the Christian world contained, at Easter in the year contained only 120,505. Since 1817 the 1823, 136,269 inhabitants; in 1814 it number of deaths has continually ex ceeded that of the births; during the last year there were 5,480 deaths, and not more than 4,365 baptisms. The deaths are in proportion to the population as
to 24 4-5ths; the births as 1 to 21 1-5th. At Rome there are 27 bishops, 1,395 priests, 1,565 monks and friars, 1,370 nuns, and upwards of 400 semi
Instruction of the Israelites.-An edict compels all who profess the Israelitish religion to send their children to the public schools. They are at liberty to use those of their own persuasion, or to avail themselves of the instruction given in the Christian schools. At Weimar, likewise, the Jews have been invited to share in the public education. In the schools of their own religion, the instruction is to be given in German, but the decree provides for their admission into a gymnasium or the university, and declares them eligible to places destined by the state for the scholars. Of late, it has even been permitted for Jews to marry Christians, on the condition that their children shall be taught the Christian religion. These measures will be far more efficacious than proscriptions and laws of exclusion in improving the state of this portion of the human race, hitherto separated from the rest of their species only by the distrust with which they have been treated. We have before taken occasion to remark, that those American States which have placed the Jews on the same footing as the rest of the citizens, have never had reason to complain of them.
Opening of the Finsbury Unitarian Chapel, South Place, adjoining the London Institution.
THIS Chapel, erected for the use of the Unitarian congregation previously assembling in Parliament Court, was opened for divine service, and dedicated to the
it seems to be his main object to shew from the character of the audience assembled on Mars Hill, from the opinions which their philosophy and religion taught them to consider sacred, from the doctrines, as recorded by the historian, which Paul actually delivered to this auditory, and from those which he omitted to inculcate or disclose, that his discourse was strictly Unitarian; that is, that it was his special object to lead the Atheniaus to conceive of and to worship the Deity as one God in one person. The chapel, both morning and evening, was crowded to excess, and it has been alike filled every subsequent Sunday.
worship of the One Only God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, on Sunday, Feb. 1st. The Scriptures were read, and the devotional parts of the service were conducted in a peculiarly solemn and impressive manner, by the Rev. Russell Scott, of Portsmouth. The Sermons, both Morning and Evening, were preached by the Rev. W. J. Fox, the Minister of the Chapel. The text of the morning discourse was Rom. viii. 9: "Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his." In illustrating from this passage what the spirit of the Christian religion really is, what it has done and is doing for man, the preacher endeavoured to shew that the spirit of Unitarianism is the same, and that it is its direct aim and tendency to accomplish, in a higher and more perfect degree, not only than any other religion, but than any other sect of the same religion, precisely those objects which it is the distinctive character of Christianity to have effected for the human race. Be the opinions and the invectives of the adversaries of this system what they may, it is certain that there is nothing so distinctive of Unitarianism as this, and that the more it is studied and understood, and the more it is contrasted with the tendency of other systems, the more evident this truth appears. But if this be a truth, not only does it identify Unitarianism with Christianity, but it identifies it with it in those very points in which Christianity is the glory and the blessing of the world. This, therefore, was a theme truly worthy of the occasion, and it was discussed in an admirable manner. It was an enlightened, comprehensive and eloquent delineation of what Christianity has done, and is intended to accomplish, and of what under its pure and uncorrupted form it must and will effect. On some points, particularly on those relating to the office, the authority and the extent of reason, it contained doctrines at which, no doubt, many persons will be startled: bat we are much mistaken if a calm and unprejudiced consideration of them do not terminate in a conviction not of their truth only, but of their vast importance. This discourse, together with the address delivered on laying the first stone of the building on the 22nd of May, 1823, will be printed. The sermon in the evening was from Acts xvii. 16. It was the commencement of a Course of Lectures to be delivered on the Sunday evenings, on Paul preaching at Athens. This subject is happily adapted both to the occasion and to the genius of the preacher. Having commenced with a brilliant description of what Athens was,
On the following day, many gentlemen of the congregation and their friends dined together at the London Tavern. There were present 185, among whom were many of the most distinguished friends of Unitarian Christianity in London and its vicinity. Mr. Fox was in the chair. It is not possible in this place to give an account of the many excellent speeches that were delivered. In the pleasure afforded by the accomplishment of the object which the company was assembled to commemorate, every individual sympathized, and few are the public meetings in which the satisfaction expressed and felt was at once so sincere and so entire. The stewards had exerted themselves with complete success to secure the comfort of the meeting, and the congregation feel much indebted to the gentlemen, especially to those not members of their society, who obliged them by undertaking that office. On the opening of the chapel there was collected for the liquidation of its debt, 1027. 48.68. and at the dinner, for the same purpose, 2577. 18s.
The erection of a Unitarian Chapel in the city of London, in a public and convenient situation, which no one residing in the metropolis, or visiting it from the country can have any difficulty in finding, is of considerable importance not to this congregation only, but to the Unitarian cause. The want of such a chapel had long been felt and lamented: the members of this congregation, notwithstanding many difficulties and some fears, have had the spirit to supply it. They have contributed liberally themselves; they have been supported liberally by many of their London brethren; and the result is, that they have already ceased to be anxious about the complete success of their undertaking. But they have still a heavy debt to discharge, for the means of liquidating some portion of which they look, and they look with confidence, to their country friends. Whenever similar objects were to be accomplished through
out Britain, those friends have directed their attention to London, nor have they looked in vain. This consideration, however, though without doubt one which their friends will feel ought not to be overlooked, is not that on which the members of the Finsbury Chapel would insist. There is one which they cannot refrain from stating, and they feel assured that the statement of it will be the means of enabling them better to discharge their debt of justice and of gratitude. Their minister is at length restored to them after a long and dangerous illness, during a considerable period of which, the most serious apprehensions prevailed that he would be lost to them for ever. The manner in which he has sustained the late demands on his strength, physical and mental, affords the most encouraging reason to hope that his constitution has not suffered an irreparable shock, and that time and care will restore him to health. It is the earnest and affectionate desire of their hearts, it is their constant prayer to Him who bringeth down to the grave and who raiseth up again, and in whose hand our breath is, that this hope may be realized. Never have they ceased to regret that hitherto it has not been in their power properly to express, as far as the mode to which they allude can express, their estimation of his worth. They now see him, for the first time, placed in a situation suited to his talents. They know that this situation must make fresh encroachments upon his time, and bring fresh demands upon his exertion, but with the effect, they do not doubt, of giving them the means of expressing in a more adequate manner their sense of the value of his services. But to be
obliged to divert those means from the purpose to which, in justice, they ought to be appropriated, to that of liquidating the debt upon the chapel, is an expedient the necessity of which they cannot contemplate without deep regret, and they have that confidence in the proper feeling of their friends to believe that they will afford an additional proof that this, like most of man's fears for the future, exists chiefly, if not wholly, in the imagination. It is because their minister is not merely "the helper of their joy," but eminently the servant of the Unitarian public, that they thus speak to that public, satisfied that in their feeling there will be a general sympathy, and to their appeal a generous
Settlement and Removal of Ministers.
THE REV. JOHN GRUNDY, of Manchester, has been chosen sole Minister of
the Chapel, in Paradise Street, Liverpool, of which the Rev. John Yates, who has resigned, was the pastor upwards of 46 years, assisted for the last ten years by the Rev. Pendlebury Houghton, who resigned at the same time.
The Rev. WILLIAM Stevens, late of the Isle of Wight, is engaged as preacher to the Great Cross Hall Street congrega. tion, Liverpool, and is delivering a course of Sunday-Evening Lectures, on doctrinal subjects.
The Rev. FRAnklin Baker, who has lately finished his studies in the University of Glasgow, has entered upon the office of Pastor to the old Presbyterian Congregation assembling in Bank Street, BOLTON, Lancashire.
gazine, a sheet, entitled "Missionary Chronicle," which is, in fact, of the nature of a religious newspaper. This publication has been very cautious in announcing the rise and spread of Unitarianism in the East Indies: but the fact cannot be wholly concealed, and the last Namber, for February, contains two passages which reveal unpleasant tidings for those that are trying to propagate Calvinism as the only Christianity. The following is from the Journal of a Missionary at Kidderpore :
"The congregations at Miezapore frequently consist of persons who possess a scanty knowledge of the Bible, and are led away by Socinian principles. We have found more opposition from these persons than even from professed idolaters. For whilst the latter only inquire which of the two systems is correct,' the former declare they have forsaken idolatry, and at the same time despise the religion of Christ."
But the following extract from a letter from Bangalore is still more important, as verifying the reports made by WILLIAM ROBERTS, the Native Unitarian Missionary at Madras:
"There are some tracts written in Malabar, which are distributed among the natives by Socinians (or Unitarians). Two of these are printed and a Prayer Book with supposed arguments against Trinitarians, and directions how God is to be worshiped. I believe their congre. gation at Madras amounts to nearly one hundred natives. They decidedly oppose the fooleries of the Church of Rome, as well as the idolatry of Heathens. Some good may result from this; but we may be sure that when this error has done the work for which it is permitted to obtain a place in Christendom, it will sink never more to rise. There are two native Socinians in Bengalore at present; one of them has excited some attention both among the Catholics and Heathen. Samuel Flavel has had several conversations with him, and he (the Socinian) has written to Madras for further information, and for an answer to some of the passages which Samuel has brought forward in defence of the truth. Who would have expected that disciples of this school should be diligently employed in diffusing their poison in a heathen land? Yet so it is."
Mr. Henderson and the Bible Society.
Mr. HENDERSON, the author of a "Journal of a Residence in Iceland," whose connexion with the Bible Society is well known, has renounced the connexion, as has also Dr. PATERSON, who
was united with him in a mission from the Society to Persia. This step has excited a great sensation, especially as the character and circumstances of these gentlemen are a sufficient warrant for their being under the influence of conscientious motives. The occasion of their secession is the pertinacity of the Bible Society in circulating against their remoustrances a Turkish Version of the Scriptures which they believe to be exceedingly corrupt. This Version was printed at Paris in 1819; the New Testament from a Version of a Renegade, a century and a half ago, a Pole by birth, whose original name was Albertus Bobovius, or Bovovsky, and who, on embracing Islamism, took the name of Ali Bey,-and the Old Testament chiefly from his MSS., deposited in the University of Leyden, and lent by the Curators to the Society. Mr. Henderson points out some of the egregious errors (as he esteems them) of the Version, several of which, he says, must have been designed to favour Mohammedanism, and to oppose the doctrines of the Trinity aud the Deity of Christ. For instance, John i. 38, Lord is interpreted Teacher," an admirable improvement," (says Mr. Henderson, not quite in the spirit which the Bible Society professes to cherish,) “ for a new edition of the Socinian Testament !" Rom. x. 12, "The same Lord of all ap pears" (we are told by Mr. H.) “ completely in a Mohammedan dress the Lord of all is one.' Could this version of the words," (he asks,) "possibly have been made with any other view than that of opposing the doctrine of the Divine Trinity? We have only to add to it,
And Mohammed is his prophet,' to render the confession entire." But the instance on which Mr. Henderson lays most stress, and which will excite most attention amongst the supporters of the Bible Society, must be explained in his own words, with his own italics and capitals. "The passage, however, which seals the death-warrant of this translation is Rev. xxii. 8, 9, where the Lamb of God himself is introduced by Ali Bey, as forbidding his disciples to worship him !!! J fell down to worship at the feet of the LAMB; but he said unto me: Beware thou do it not; for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them that keep the sayings of this book: WORHip the Divine MAJESTY.' When I first read this passage, I conceived have been substituted for Angel by mere it possible that the word Lamb might inadvertence; but after reflecting on the other passages, where there is evidently an effort made to diminish the glory of the Saviour, I feel no hesitation in pronouncing it to be designed."This ex