Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

of all ages, necessarily produced antagonist prejudices, and delusions, and errors. Discrepancies in statement were looked on as fatal to authenticity; history was condemned as false because of its very truthfulness; and the alphabet of Religion was scouted inasmuch as it was not also its perfected syntax. The

weapons of Infidelity were forged from the very armoury of the temple, and this mingling of things which differ induced superficial minds to sing the song of triumph on the downfal of Revelation.

In vain did intelligent and thinking individuals carefully discriminate between the outward shell and the inward substance; between the record and the facts recorded; between the history of Revelation and Revelation itself; between the inspiration of Jesus and individual narration of his teachings; between the faithfulness needful to reliance on honest narrative and the supernatural and infallible dictation of each sentence, word, and letter employed in that narrative. Outcry wild attempted to stifle all such discrimination, and the discriminating, rational, painstaking upholders and defenders of divine Revelation were denounced as black heretics, disguised or open Infidels

Gradually, however, has the truth in relation to this subject been making way, and we welcome Mr. Wright's "Popular Introduction to the Bible" as well calculated to do good service in this direction. It is plain, simple, clear, easy to be understood, comprehensive in information, and dictated manifestly in an earnest, truthloving, Christian spirit. Its purpose is well stated by the Author in his very interesting preface:

“To give just ideas concerning the nature of the Bible, and the history of its several parts, has been my object in this work. I have been frequently pained to find intelligent men, often those who have thought more than they have read, distrusting or abandoning the Bible, because of some mistakes they have found in the Old Testament, or because they cannot reconcile the system of Moses with that of Christ. I have been sometimes embarrassed in conversation on religious topics, by indiscriminate quotation; passages of Scripture, from the laws of Moses, the psalms of David, the proverbs of Solomon, the prophecies of Isaiah, the parables of Christ, the letters of Paul, or the mysterious predictions of Revelation, are brought forward as of equal weight; if they come out of the Bible, that is enough. Now it seems that these errors would be rectified, the Christian religion would be received by many who now are without it, and much confusion and difference of opinion on theological questions would be put an end to, if only we could come to a right understanding about the Bible, what it is, and how it is to be used. In aiming at giving this right understanding, I have dwelt first on the nature and history of the sacred volume; secondly, I have given short accounts of Jewish history, Scripture Geography, and Biblical Antiquities; and, thirdly, I have considered the history, purposes, contents and character of each of the books of Scripture.”

Hartwell Horne's “Compendious Introduction to the study of the Bible,” an abridgement though it be of his larger work, the "Introduction to the Actual Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures,” in many respects very valuable, is nevertheless not sufficiently plain and simple and brief for general readers, and is moreover clogged by the theory of verbal inspiration and Orthodox peculiarities of thought and doctrine.

The "Popular Introduction to the Bible" by Mr. Wright is the first attempt to set forth in plain, homely phrase the rational and Scriptural view of the nature, contents, character, and spirit of the Bible, and it deserves and will receive, we hope, the approval which it merits from all who value the Scriptures as the history of the interpositions of God for human instruction, and who desire to see them applied worthily and truly and practically for “ doctrine, for reproof, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

REGISTER,
RELIGIOUS AND PHILANTHROPIC.

NOVEMBER 1, 1849.

OPENING OF THE NEW UNITARIAN CHAPEL AT CARMARTHEN, WALES.—The friends and promoters of pure and Scriptural Christianity, although not numerous, had long felt the want of a commodious place to conduct their religious services, and dedicated to the worship of " One God the Father" in this Town. A few of them met in a friend's house in last March, when it was resolved to select a proper and eligible site for a Chapel, Schoolrooms, &c., and the foundation stone was laid early in April, the Minister engaging to secure the funds necessary to complete the undertaking.

By the assistance of Unitarians in Carmarthen and the neighbourhood, and the liberality of Orthodox friends of all denominations in the town, sufficient aid was soon contributed to enable the contractor to proceed with the erection. During the midsummer vacation, the Minister visited London and other places, where he met with much kindness and liberality; and had not ill-health interfered with his mission, a sufficient sum would have been raised to defray the expenses, and the chapel would have been opened free from debt. As it is, some additional assistance from friends in England will be requisite, and at his next vacation Mr. Lloyd intends to appeal personally for their sympathy and aid in the good cause. For nearly twenty years he has given his services gratui. tously, and whatever funds may be raised from pew-rents, subscriptions,

&c., will be devoted exclusively to the objects contemplated by the erection of the Chapel, the moral and religious improvement of all classes connected with it.

The Chapel was opened on Wednesday, the 29th of August. The Eng. lish services were conducted, both morning and evening, by the Rev. G. B. Brock, of Swansea, and the Welch by the Rev. Owen Evans, Cefa, near Merthyr, and the Rev. John E. Jones, Bridgend. Mr. Brock's text in the morning was Psalm cxxii. 1., from which he made an eloquent and impressive appeal, on the “Duty, Profit, and Pleasure of Social Wor. ship,” especially when offered to “One God, the Father.” Theimportance of Truth in reference to the Object of Worship, was forcibly pointed out, and the necessity of having clear, decided, truthful views of the nature and attributes of the “Everlasting Father" strongly urged. The peculiar reasons of rejoicing on the part of Unitarians, when assembled to worship in accordance with their simple Faith, and in strict conformity with the example of Christ constituted the main topic of the discourse. All seemed powerfully impressed when the Preacher appealed to the uniform practice of the Saviour himself in reference to the great Object of Worship. Christ never prayed but to the Father,and in the beautiful and comprehensive form, according to which he has strictly enjoined his disciples to pray, the Father, and the Father only, is addressed. Not a syllable in the whole records of the life and practice of Christ about “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three persons and one God."

Throughout this beautiful discourse, the moral and spiritualadvantages of Unitarian over Trinitarian views of God, and the nature and purposes of Worship, were explained in a truly Christian spirit, but with that uncompromising tone and and manner which must ever characterize the earnest and faithful disciple of Christ. The grounds upon which Unitarians separated themselves from Orthodox churches, and built places of worship, where they might offer prayer and praise to the Father alone, were fairly and forcibly stated. "No Unitarian could conscientiously and sincerely worship within any other walls."

The evening discourse was a sequel to that of the morning, not only in regard to time, but also subject-matter—"The Ground of Confidence on the part of the Unitarian, in the Nature of his Interpretation of the Divine Word.” He brought his reason, "the light within," to bear upon the words of Christ, and those words bore the test of scrutiny and examination, when properly understood. The Unitarian had nothing to fear, but every thing to hope from inquiry and investigation. In this discourse the leading doctrines of Unitarianism were explained and defended. The preacher appealed principally to the life of the Saviour, as the practical embodiment of his teaching, for proofs of his views. If Christ was practically a Unitarian, if he invariably prayed to the Father only, and taught on all occasions that repentance and reformation were the only terms of acceptance with God, he must have been so theoretic cally; for with him in whose mouth there was no guile, practice and theory must be identical. The discourse throughout evinced the sin. cerity of the preacher, and was eminently calculated to awaken the zeal of Unitarians for the service of “One God, the Father," as well as to

impress all present that it was not a subject of small importance whether worship was paid to the Father only, according to the direction and practice of Christ, or to a “Triune Deity' according to the teaching of human creeds.

The Welsh discourses were also excellent, the one upon the Heavenly and Supernatural Character of the Teachings of the "Man of Nazareth,' showing most clearly that Christianity stands or falls with the historical evidence of its truth; the other, explanatory of the Character of God, of His Dispensations towards all His Moral Creatures, and of the means by which He has destined to prepare them “for honour, glory, and immortality.” The chapel was crowded both morning and evening, and many of the leading members of the different orthodox denominations in the town were present, with their Ministers also.

WESTERN UNITARIAN CHRISTIAN UNION.-September 20, the halfyearly meeting was held at Collumpton, Devonshire, and Ministers and friends were present from Bristol, Taunton, Bridgewater, Exeter, Sidmouth, Honiton, Colyton, Plymouth and Devonport. The Rev. J. C. Woods of Devonport offered prayer, and the Rev. J. H. Thom, of Renshaw Street Chapel, Liverpool, preached. In the evening the friends assembled at tea, the Rev. William James of Bristol, the Secretary of the Union, in the chair. The Report was read, and addresses delivered by the Ministers present from the places named, as well as by other friends.

NEW PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, HOLYWOOD, NEAR BELFAST.This place of worship, erected for the use of the Congregation under the pastoral care of the Rev. C. J. M'Alester, was opened on Sunday, September 23. It owes its commencement to the munificence of the late John Suffern, Esq., and its living members and friends have not been laggards in their efforts for its completion. Every available space was crowded on the day of opening, and numbers unable to get within the building. The religious services were conducted bs the Rev. H. Montgomery, L.L.D., of Dunmurry, who preached from Jude 3. The collection at the close amounted to £220.

WESTERN UNITARIAN SOCIETY.—The annual meeting was held at Frenchay, near Bristol, September 25. The devotional services were conducted and Sermon delivered by the Rev. J. H. Thom. It was a crowded meeting, aisles were occupied, and many listened from without at the windows and doors. Thirty-three new members joined the Society.

SOUTHERN UNITARIAN SOCIETY.—The Annual meeting of the Southern Unitarian Society was held on Tuesday, Sep. 25, at Newport,

Wight. The Rev. I. Fullagar, of Chichester, introduced the service, and the Rev. E. Talbot, of Tenterden, preached a most appropriate discourse from John xv. 20. At the business meeting of the Society, (Thomas Cooke, Esq., in the chair,) the Rev. E. Kell read the Report, containing an account of the transactions of the Society the last year, and various useful resolutions were passed. The next place of meeting was fixed for Wareham. In the evening, about 100 persons met in the Queen's Rooms. After tea, a hymn was sung, and the Rev. E. Talbot was called to the chair, which he filled, in a manner that conduced greatly to the comfort and edification of the evening. The first sentiment was the “Queen," and the following were then responded to by the speakers, whose names are connected with them. “Prosperity to the Southern Unitarian Society, and our best thanks to the Secretary, the Rev. E. Kell." He afterwards proposed: “May Unitarians prove their gratitude for the Religious Truths with which they are blessed, by their earnest efforts to hasten on the day, when the doctrine of Jesus their Lord and Saviour, shall be the only rule of Christians, and when human creeds with all their errors, shall mystify no more.

The Chairman then gave “the Rev. I. Fullagar, the Father of the Southern Unitarian Society."

Mr. Sheppard, and “may the result of the present Continental agitation be the more free and extended establishment of Civil and Religious Liberty.”

Mr. Thomas Cooke and “the venerated memories of our predecessors in the support of the Unitarian Cause.”

Mr. Abraham Clarke and “success to the cause of Sunday Schools and National Education."

Rev. E. Kell proposed “Prosperity to the infant church at Southampton," and the Chairman gave Mr. Pinnock and “the Truth proclaimed by the first great commandment. May it be supported by a zeal in some degree commensurate with its high import." He next proposed “Mr. John Faulkner, and our best wishes to our friends from a distance.” Thanks were then voted to "the Chairman,” “the Stewards,” and the Choir, which had enlivened the meeting by various pieces of vocal and instrumental music, between the delivery of the various addresses. The whole assembly then united in singing another hymn, and departed, much interested by the proceedings of the day.

New MEETING, BIRMINGHAM.—We have great pleasure in recording the following well-deserved tribute of respect and affection to a truly enlightened and faithful Minister of the pure Reiigion of Christ, and of adding our congratulalions that Christian integrity and devotedness have yet warm and earnest friends, notwithstanding fashionable hypocrisy and lukewarmness. September 26, a large gathering of the members of the New Meeting Congregation, Birmingham, was held in that place of worship, James Russell, Esq., in the chair. Prefaced by very interesting remarks, the Chairman presented the following Address to the junior Minister of the Congregation, the Rev. SAMUEL BACHE:

“Reverend and Dear Sir,—It is with no ordinary feelings of affectionate regard that we join to present you with a testimonial of gratitude and attachment. When we review the period of seventeen years, during which you have resided amongst us, whether we consider the discharge of your duties as a Christian Minister, your consistency and kindness as a friend, or the inflexible integrity of your life, we derive the utmost comfort and satisfaction from the review; and we trust that the retrospect will afford you equal cause of pleasure. In that period many of the elders of your Congregation have been gathered to their fathers, who, had they been living, would most cheerfully have joined us in this pleasing undertaking. But their places are not vacant, being filled by those who have been foremost in this work of respect and grati

« AnteriorContinuar »