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or three other men equally fertile in
I wish to conclude this paper, by calling on your readers to give to God the glory of all that was great and excellent in this singular individual. It would be, sir, a most unsuitable act for a Christian Observer, to admit into his pages a piece of mere unprofitable homage to extraordinary talent and excellence. It is the creature of God receiving, illustrating, communicating the blessings of Redemption, and trained under the guidance of Divine providence, that we are chiefly bound as Christians to contemplate. In creation there is nothing so noble as mind, the powers of reason, the comprehensive grasp of intellectual subjects, the rapid, and to appearance almost intuitive, arrival at deductions arising from a combination of delicate and nicely adjusted proofs. The greater part of mankind are kept down, by necessity of condition, in a dwarfish, stunted growth of the mental powers; and it is but here and there that an individual rises up from the class in which opportunities favour the development of original superiority, if it exist, to exhibit something like the limit to which the mind can in the present life be advanced; the manhood of the soul in the world that now is-its infancy as compared with that to come. is indeed to another faculty that we are indebted for the discovery of intellect-namely, the power of the individual to convey to others, and to adorn in its passage, what passes within him. Here we are called to
* We would trust that our correspondent is somewhat mistaken in the above paragraph; as the habit which he attri butes to Mr. Hall would not, in our idea, be consistent with Christian truth or moral honesty. He might indeed playfully, and with evident irony, defend a wrong position; but to do so gravely, either from intellectual vanity, or recklessness of truth, would be a serious blemish in his character. We should rather attri- this glorious bill?" might have led him bute the phenomenon to the circumstance, to urge such possible evils as would perthat soundness of statement usually lies haps induce the hearer to suppose that far distant from extremes; so that what he disapproved of it; while an opposite our correspondent calls "a very decided question would have elicited a precisely opinion" in politics, philosophy, or other opposite line of remark; and in both subjects, is likely enough to be a very in- cases with a real love of truth. correct opinion, and to require much mo- warmly opposing Mr. Bulteel, he might dification to bring it to the standard of be hastily conjectured to attach himself truth. On such a question of politics, to Dr. Burton; and in zealously animadfor instance, as that which at this moment verting on Dr. Burton, to espouse the nooccupies the public attention, Mr. Hall tions of Mr. Bulteel; while, in fact, he was might have seemed to maintain two oppo- only advocating the scriptural medium site sentiments, according as the "decisive between both. We are willing, at least, opinions" of vehement partizans drew to think that something of this kind was him out to state his views. Such a the real foundation of the alleged habit on question as, "Are you not enraptured with which our correspondent remarks.
adore Him who has constructed this the life and character of Mr. Hall. frame, so fearfully and wonderfully He had a mind of the class most apt made, and anointed mortal lips to wander into daring speculation. with sacred eloquence, as well as He possessed an unabating flow of awakened the soaring powers of thought and spirit, and he was the thought, and braced the vigorous admiration of the most intellectual pinion on which it stretches through part of his religious countrymen. the intellectual world. If, when we His popularity was that which is most give glory to God in the natural flattering to human corruption. To world, we rise to its noblest features, meet temptations so powerfully comthe sun, moon, and stars, the seas, bining to exalt him above measure, "With all their roaring multitude of waves," the most humbling and painful-dishe was placed under dispensations it is not unnatural or improper, in pensations calculated to abase those our view of the Divine power in the who dwell in pride, and strongly world of reason, to fix our view on adapted to curb the eruptions of an the highest standard, and to consider independent spirit. Under these sathe individual as only the highest lutary visitations his character was link in a chain where it escapes our formed, the unsanctified speculations sight, but lengthening far, and far of a venturous mind were tamed, beyond where it is lost to the eye. and an Exẞars to his temptations was found. We discern the mercy and the wisdom of God in thus disarming such powerful temptations of their force. We receive the comfort which arises from such an example, in believing that the dispensations appointed to ourselves, if sincere Christians, will be wisely and graciously and appropriately arranged. We learn contentment with humble gifts, with less splendid and less dangerous talents, while we perceive that they come attended with the necessary alternative of great counterbalancing trials, or of fearful spiritual jeopardy.
2. If intellectual man ought to be contemplated with a devotional acknowledgment that he is the creature of Divine Power; to view his endow ments when under the influence of the Holy Spirit, and conversant with the stupendous mysteries of redemption, should no less lead us to glorify the eternal Creator and Redeemer. Under this influence even a mind of most limited range presents a multitude of instructive points of observation but in such a man as Mr. Hall, the high effect of extraordinary powers, habitually directed to the highest ends, and sanctified by God to the most holy purposes, deserves particular notice. Such an individual, under a dispensation which chiefly blesses an humble order of minds the mercies of which are revealed to babes, while the wise, the scribe, the disputer of this world, too often live and die without the light of life-is a practical exhibition that religion, if it stoops to the lowest intellect, ennobles the highest; that it becomes well such a spirit, gives it its most honourable exercises, its truest uses, its richest ornaments, and still transcends its noblest powers and exertions.
3. In a particular manner I think we are also called to adore the wise dispensations of Divine Providence in
In conclusion, of a paper already too extended, I will only express my hope, that of the reminiscences of this great and good man every valuable fragment may be carefully preserved; and especially that every fair outline of any of his sermons which exists may be given to the public.
T. H. K.
MODERN MISSIONARY SOCIETIES
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
regular missionary institution for Pagan lands in communion with the Church of England; the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, however valuable and important its proceedings, being by its charter confined to the British colonies. And what was it doing even there? In India, nothing; nothing any where, but in the dioceses of Quebec and Nova Scotia. Nor is this said in disparagement; for it should be recollected, that if the members of this society during the last century were not fully awake, their neighbours were fast asleep. Theirs, therefore, is the honour, the sole honour, of all that was effected in our Church at that period, if we except the admirable labours of the Christian-Knowledge Society in India, whose missions were pre-eminently crowned with success.
How little the vast necessities of the western world, or even of our own colonies, were at that time considered, appears from a curious letter from Mr. Wesley to Bishop Louth, in 1780, in consequence of the Bishop's refusal to ordain a young man for the American colonies. The piety and competency of the candidate were stated to be unexceptionable, nor does the Bishop disallow them; and an adequate stipend was secured for his support: but, says the Bishop, another missionary is unnecessary, because there are three ministers in that country already!" Three ministers in all America, and therefore no other was necessary! A fourth would have been an infringement upon the corporate rights of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel! Nor was this the worst; for Mr. Wesley adds," Suppose there were three-score of those missionaries in the country, could I in conscience recommend these souls to their care? Do they take any care of their own souls? If they do, (I speak it with concern) I fear they are almost the only missionaries in America that do so. My lord, I do not speak rashly. I have been in America, and so have
several persons with whom I have lately conversed; and both I and they know what manner of men the far greater part of them are. They are men who have neither the power of religion nor the form ; men that lay no claim to piety, nor even to decency."
Let such facts be kept in memory, as a beacon to warn, and an incitement to urge to augmented care and vigilance. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, venerable for years as well as splendid in patronage, is girding herself afresh for youthful conquests; while newer institutions are rising to share her holy labours. They are not rivals; or, if rivals, rivals only in one common warfare, under one common Captain of our salvation, and against one common foe. Let, therefore, their only jealousy be to provoke each other to love and to good works.
A FRIEND OF BOTH SOCIETIES.
DR. CHANNING AND THE SOCINIANS.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. I HAVE just received a pamphlet, with an anonymous note, stating that "the enclosed is one of twenty pamphlets sent me by a friend, who had two hundred of them given him by a street, who was, and perhaps still is, a constant attendant at St.- -'s Church; the officiating minister of which was in the habit of denouncing those who entertain the Unitarian creed, and whose repeated censures induced the gentleman above alluded to to look into the question. The result of his investigation has been his getting a very large impression of the said pamphlet, and distributing one or more to each of his fellow-parishioners, as well as to many ministers of different persuasions.'
The pamphlet is entitled, "Objections to Unitarian Christianity considered: by W. E. Channing, D. D." It is written in that easy and engaging manner, and with that well
managed putting of the matter, for which Dr. Channing is distinguished. To candid and thoughtful persons, who have taken pains to understand the great controversy between those who hold the doctrines of the Reformation and those who reject them, it can present no real difficulty. Such persons will readily perceive that its representations of orthodox doctrines are extremely uncandid and unfair; and that those which are given as the picture of Unitarianism are dextrously modified and varnished. If any impartial and serious person would compare the statements and reasonings in this pamphlet, with the animadversions contained in different works which have been published in reply to the writings of Dr. Channing and the other NewEngland Unitarians, by several divines of their own country-but especially Dr. Leonard Woods, Dr. Beecher, and Mr. Moses Stuart-I conceive it would be morally impossible for him to rise from the examination without being convinced of the multiplied fallaciousness of Dr. Channing's reasonings, and of the radically erroneous and practically dangerous character of the Unitarian system. It is greatly to our detriment that the theological works of our orthodox brethren in the United States are so difficult to be obtained in Great Britain. Those, in particular, which have issued from the Andover school are signalized by soundness in Bible interpretation, extraordinary power of argument, and solemn fidelity in warning and expostulation; while yet, benignity and courtesy are duly maintained. From one of the minor, yet not the least important, of those publications, which happens to be at hand, I beg your indulgence for one citation; though I find difficulty in selecting one, out of so many equally inviting paragraphs.
And now, my dear sir, can you believe me when I declare, that in all which I have said above I have no personal aim at you? It is true that I have called on you personally;
for how could I possibly avoid this, when my whole letter is concerned with allegations that you have made ? But as to exciting a spirit of hostility or bitterness against you as a man, I openly disclaim any such intention: it would be unworthy of the cause which I profess to advocate: it would be unbecoming my place, and the character which I would wish to bear. Is there no separation that can be made by our public, between calling in question allegations and charges, and personal malignity towards those who make them? I am not behind some of your more sober and judicious friends in my approbation, and admiration of many things in your writings. I am sure that I bear you no ill will. am certain, too, that I am very far from cherishing disrespect for your talents. My complaint is, of the injury which your charges are adapted to do us."-Prof. Stuart's Letter to Dr. Channing, on Religious Liberty. Boston, 1830, p. 45.
My design in troubling you with this letter is to do something, if possible, towards preventing those deep and almost irreparable injuries to the cause of sacred truth, which are inflicted by ignorant or intemperate defenders. I have had the distress of hearing most glowing vituperations of Socinianism and Socinians, uttered by persons who were at the very moment affording demonstration of infantile unacquaintedness with what Socinianism really is. Such persons little think of the harm which they are doing. Their vague, absurd, and irrelevant declamations have the effect of confirming in awful error those who had before embraced it, and of impelling others, who are exceedingly destitute of the requisites for engaging in theological controversy, into the depths of a system -fair and attractive indeed, but which I am compelled by strong conviction to regard as-fatally deluding and soul-destroying. This class of persons, like the parishioner of St. above alluded to (a po
pulous metropolitan parish), are usually captivated when they read such a production as this of Dr. Channing's; and there are many such: they feel honourably indignant at the violent, undistinguishing, unproved, and often untrue, representations which they have heard, perhaps from the platform of some religious society's annual meeting; and, having in themselves no fund of correct knowledge, and acquaintance with solid evidence, and charmed with the apparently candid and reasonable pleadings of what they naturally consider the injured party, they imagine that no further investigation is necessary, and they become irreclaimable Unitarians. Indeed, it would be quite consistent with the principles of our fallen and perverted human nature, and with not a few observed facts, if some of the most vehement leaders in the unwise and unholy crusade of words against misunderstood Socinianism, or any other heresy, should themselves become examples of the revulsion from the one extreme to the other. The ignorance, the self-confidence, and the destitution of the Spirit of Christ, would in either case be the same.
Permit me to add, that another most dangerous effect of this evil practice is, the countenancing the inward feeling, if not the definitely formed notion, that religion has its seat somewhere else than in the humble, penitent, and believing heart; that the "just, pure, and lovely" (Phil. iv. 8) characters of Evangelical piety, may be dispensed with, if there be only an orthodox creed in the head, or, more correctly speaking, upon the flippant tongue: for how is the heart of the truly Christian looker-on wounded by observing the exaggerations, the disproportions, and the rash dealing with the word of God, which are the usual accompaniments of ignorant zealotry! "The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God;" and the more deeply any person feels the unscriptural character and fatal
consequences of Socinianism, or any other dangerous delusion, the more will he be pained at the exhibition of the spirit which has called forth this sorrowful remonstrance. S.
USE OF THE PLURAL NUMBER IN PULPIT
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. YOUR correspondent RUSTICUS, in your Number for April, objects to what he calls the affectation of speaking in the plural number in pulpit addresses," and seems to suppose that "your younger clerical readers" stand in need of an admonition on the subject. He represents the mode of address which he reprehends as superlatively egotistic, besides being pompous and unnatural;" and after stating a variety of cases, in which it will, I presume, be generally acknowledged that the plural number may properly be used, though an individual is the speaker, he endeavours to shew the impropriety of what he afterwards calls "the pluralism of the pulpit, where the speaker is alluding to what is strictly personal-as, his own discourse, his division of his subject, his plans, his wishes, his intentions," Now this he does by first adverting to the ludicrous effect which would be produced by the address of a cabinet minister, speaking in his private capacity, who should express himself in such words as the following: While on our legs we shall reply to the honourable member who animadverted on our speech;"-by next alleging how " pompous and unmeaning it were for a private correspondent, addressing the conductors of a periodical publication, to assume the chair, and talk of 'we;""