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The two principal and most nume- of the Professors of the Athenæum, rous divisions are, 1. that, which I shall and the seminary of the Remonstrants. designate as rigid, calling themselves They had, in the latter part of the 18th Mennonists. They have numerous century, five ministers at Amsterdam, congregations in the north part of four at Haerlem, two at Leyden, three Holland, Friesland, Groningen, and a at Rotterdam, and one at Dordrecht: seminary of learning at Amsterdam, a correspondence between them, and for the education of students for the many are men of first rate abilities in ministry. Their first Professor was Amsterdam, and some of their UnitaJac. Rysdyck, his successor Petr. rian brethren in London, would be Schmid, as late as 1788. They are mutually beneficial, and by this means generally rigid Calvinists, and in har. a complete history of the state of Unimony with the most zealous Orthodox tarianism in that country might be in the Reformed Churches. The name casily obtainable: would to God, that of their principal meeting-house is de. these few rough and incorrect lineasignated by the name of ihe Sun, bor- ments, might bring about such a derowed probably from a building in the sign. I, in my humble station, should vicinity. 2. The other section, which then deem myself to have, in this reI shall call liberal, in opposition to spect, deserved well of a good cause. them, are known generally as Baptists,
F. A. V. K. approving the tenets, defended generally by the congregations of De Toren, Brief History of the Dissenters from (turris,) an edifice in its neighbour
the Revolution. hood, and het lam (lamb), a name of (Concluded from p. 387.] a brewery next to it. They have no (N 1745, a very formidable rebellion creeds, no formularies whatever, and was raised in favour of the Preare numerous in the principal cities tender, and the Dissenters again distinof Sud-Holland, Friesland, Utrecht. guished themselves by theirexertions in Their members are chiefly Unitarians, aid of the government. On this, as on a as well as their ministers, though many former occasion, an act was passed to have adopted the Arian hypothesis; exempt them from the penalties of the many the system of Dr. S. Clarke; Test Act, which they had incurred by and often in the same congregations assisting the government in suppressopposite tenets are defended, with a ing the rebellion, but their exertions Christian spirit, without a shadow of in suppressing both this and the former
Many eminently learned rebellion, have not had the etfect of men have appeared among them: Jo. inducing the government to repeal Hinstra, Allard Hulshoft, Nic de Vries; that iniquitous law, which still reand before them Galenus Abrahams. mains a disgrace to the statute-book Their seminary at Amsterdam flou. of this country. These were the only rished under the care of Tjerk Nieuwen- public events relating to the Dissenters huys, since 1735, Heere Oosterbaen in the reign of George II. In their and Hesselink, and was endowed with more private history also, there was a splendid apparatus for Experimental little during this reign to excite much Philosophy, in which their Professor attention. The minds of that part every week gave lectures to his stu- who went by the name of Presbytedents, as well as in Theology, who, be- rians, were indeed preparing for the sides this, were benefited by the lectures great changes which have taken place
during the present reign, but it was “ 1677, 8th Month, Amsterdam.--We in a silent and upobserved mapper. had a meeting with Galenus Abrahams, (the Arian opinions spread to a great exgreat father of the Socinian Mennists in teut among them, and some few of these parts,) accompanied with several their ministers began to embrace, what preachers and others of bis congregation : are now generally called Unitarian divers of our friends were also present. sentiments, the belief in the simple It continued about five hours. He affirmed, humanity of Christ, but these as yet in opposition to us, that there was no Christian church, ministry or commission scarcely any where openly avowed apostolical, now in the world.' But the their opinions. Among the Arian Lord assisted us with his wisdom and ministers of this period, Dr. Samuel strength to confound his attempts." Wm. Chandler and Mr. Bourne, of BirPenn's Travails, 12mo. 1694, p. 243. mingham, are particularly deserving
of notice. Two very remarkable at- than a part of the Son only, he cannot tempts were made to restrain the pro- be co-equal with the Father; if there gress of Arian sentiments among the were some things, as Jesus himself Dissenters. One of their ministers at says there were, of which the Son was Nottingham refused to receive one of ignorant, he cannot be God." With the members of his congregation to the result of this attempt to restrain communion, because he would not freedom of opinion among the Disdeclare his belief in the personal deity senters, I am not acquainted. About of Christ. At Kidderminster, a mem- the end of the reign of George II., Mr. ber of the congregation presented to Seddon, of Manchester, led the way, Mr. Statham, who had been invited in avowing the belief in the simple to be their minister, three articles, on humanity of Jesus, from the pulpit. the doctrines of the Trinity, Original This gave great offence to many memSin, and the Atonement, expressed in bers of the congregation, and they dethe strongest terms of Calvinism, and sired Mr. Mottershead, his co-pastor required Mr. Statham to sign them, and father-in-law, to speak to him on as the condition of his being chosen the subject. After a day's private conthe minister of that chapel. Mr. ference, Mr. Mottershead declared, Bourne, the minister at Birmingham, that, so far from having been able to wrote two letters concerning this onvince Mr. Seddon that he was transaction to another member of the wrong, he had himself been very congregation at Kidderminster. In nearly convinced that Mr. Seddon was the first, written before he had seen right. The beginning of the present the articles, he strongly, but very reign was distinguished by very aujustly, reprobates the imposing of any spicious omens of the ground which articles upon ministers of the gospel. the principles of liberality were gain. “ What,” says the indignant writer, ing, and which has gradually pro“must a man be made a slave to arti- duced such great and important exeles and creeds, and perhaps a hypo- tensions of religious liberty. crite, by subscribing to articles, which In the year 1766, an attempt was he does not believe, before he is fit to made by the Corporation of London, preach the gospel? Must one man to increase very much the degree of thus make another his father and persecution which the Dissenters sufmaster in religion in opposition to the fered from the Test and Corporation express command of Jesus? The only Acts. By those acts all conscientious proper sphere for the activity of these Dissenters are excluded from all offices imposers of articles is the spiritual of trust and profit in the country. The courts, especially that of the inquisi- city of London passed a bye-law, that tion, whose conduct can be justified anyperson refusing to accept the office of on any principles, on which these sheriff'in that borough should be fined imposers can justify theirs. The ig- 5001., and they then proceeded to elect norance of the man's conduct vies with various Dissenters and Catholics, who his insolence. By it, be gives up the could not serve in that office without main principle of Dissent, of Protest- incurring the penalties of outlawry by antism and of Christianity, the right the Test Act. Mr. Alleu Evans, a of private judgment and the sufficiency Dissenter, having been appointed sheof the Scriptures in matters of faith." riff, resisted the claim of the city to In the second letter, Mr. Bourne, who the fine of 5001. for his refusing to had then seeu the articles, not only accept the office. The cause was carrepeats his severe rebukes against all ried successively through all the Courts, attempts to impose human, unscrip- all of which, except those immediately tural articles upon the consciences of under the influence of the Corporation men, but brings forward many plain of London, decided in favour of the arguments to shew from the Scriptures Dissenters. The trial was finally terthe falsity of these particular articles, minated in the House of Lords, which and especially of the doctrine of the unanimously confirmed the decision Trinity. “If,” says he, “ Jesus be in of the inferior Courts, that the Disauy intelligible sense, and in his whole senters could not be made liable to any person the Son of God, he cannot be fine or punisiment whatever, for dethe same God with the Father ; if the clining to serve in those offices, from Father be greater than the Son, not which the Test and Corporation Acts
excluded them. The unanimity of this entertained thoughts of quitting the decision was very much owing to the church, but had been persuaded first able speech of the Lord Chief Justice to wait the result of this petition to Mansfield in favour of the Dissenters. Parliament. “But," says be, "I could The following year the Lord Chief not satisfy myself with any softenings Justice had another opportunity of dis- and qualifications of the Trinitarian tinguishing himself in the cause of li forms in the liturgy. I wondered how berality, on occasion of the last pro. I had been able to bring myself to secution, which has been instituted imagine, that I was worshiping the against a Catholic priest, for perform Father in spirit and in truth, while I ing the duties of that office in this was addressing two other persous, God country. The law, on which the in the Sou and God the Holy Ghost, and former grounded his prosecution, en- imploring favours severally of them, acted, that every popish priest, who in terms that implied their personality should celebrate mass in this country and distinct agency and separate deity, should be punished with perpetual as much as that of the l'ather. If inimprisonment. The informer
, though vocations so particular, language so he swore that the inan whom he pro- express and personal, as that used in secuted bad celebrated mass, could the liturgy, might be explained away not himself tell in what mass con- iuto prayer to one God only, I might sisted, and he could give no proof that by the like supposals and interpretathe person whom he prosecuted was tions, bring myself to deify and pray in priests' orders. On these grounds, to the Virgin Mary, and maintain that Lord Mansfield directed the jury 10 I was still only praying to the one God." find a verdict of not guilty.
If Jesus Christ be a creature, to call In the year 1771, au association was him God and to worship him can be formed among many of the clergy of nothing less than idolatry. This Trithe Established Church, to solicit re- nitarians themselves admit. “ If," says lief in the matter of subscription. It Mr. Whitaker, “the doctrine of the was set on foot in consequence of the Trinity be false, then are all who publication of the Confessional, by Dr. worship Christ guilty of idolatry, of Blackburne, Archdeacon of Cleveland, worshiping a creature along with the the object of which book was to shew, Creator, of giving God a partner in that a subscription to the Scriptures his empire and so deposing him from was all that ought to be required of half his sovereignty." These are the any Christian minister. On this ground words of a zealous Trinitarian. Surely a petition was presented to Parliament, then it becomes every one who offers from 250, mostly respectable clergy- divine worship to Jesus, well to conmen, and the rest members of the uni- sider the grounds upon which he versities, desiring, that both at the or- stands. Much more does it become dination of clergymen, and at admis- the decided believer in the proper sion into the universities, a declaration unity of the great object of worship, of belief in the Scriptures might be to flee from that which, in his own substituted for subscription to the arti- estimation, and even in that of those cles and the book of Common Prayer, who are themselves worshipers of and that the Athanasian Creed and Christ, must in him be gross idolatry other objectionable parts of the liturgy, and disobedience to the express com. might be omitted or altered.
mand of God, as given both by Moses In 1772, this petition was presented and by Jesus—“ thou shalt worship to the House of Commons, hut after the Lord thy God, and him only shalt a warm debate it was rejected. Thus thou serve. Upon these considerafailed the last attempt at reforming the tions, which ought to be carefully Church of England.' This event, how. weighed by all who, I fear, form no ever, was productive of very great ad- small number, who continue to con. vantages. The first consequence of form to the Established Church, though it was, the secession of Mr. Lindsey, they believe that the father of Jesus is Vicar of Catterick, from the church. the only true God, Mr. Lindsey reHe had for some time had great scru- signed his living of 4001. a year, not ples about continuing in the church, knowing where he was to live, or how having been gradually forming Unita- he could gain his subsistence, since rian opinions. For some time he had even among the Dissenters at that
time, very few would have received tion, it had been said by those who him. He went, however, to London, opposed it, that, had the Dissenting and after undergoing great difficulties, ministers, who were then required to was at length successful in establishing subscribe thirty-four of the arties of a congregation upon pure Unitarian the church, and who derived no emoprinciples, using the Liturgy with such luments from the church, petitioned alterations as accommodated it to Uni- to be relieved from their subscription, tarian opinions. A few other clergy- no reasonable objection could be made men had the firmness to follow Mr. to granting their petition. Upon this Lindsey's example, and after some hint, a motion to free the Dissenting time to quit the church. The priu- ministers from subscription to the arcipal of these were Dr. Jebb, Dr. ticles, and to substitute for it a decla. Disney, and Mr. Gilbert Wakefield. ration of their belief in Scripture, was But most of the clergy, who had joined made by Sir George Saville, and sein the petition to Parliament, con. conded by Sir Henry Houghton, and tented themselves with refusing to ac- the bill passed the Commons by a vast cept any farther preferment, or to rc- majority; but in the Honse of Peers, peat their subscription to the articles, almost all the bishops voted against it, but did not perceive that consistency and it was rejected. It is remarkable, required them to quit the church. that the Methodists opposed this hill, Upon this conduct Mr. Lindsey re- and actually petitioned Parliament, that marks, in justification of bis leaving subscription to the thirty-four articles the church; “ My great difficulty was might still be required of all Dissenting the point of worship. In comparison ministers. with this, subscription to the articles,
This effort was repeated in 1774, however momentous in itself, gave me and the bill again met the same fate, hút little concern; for, as the devo- though the two greatest ornaments tions of the church are framed in strict of the House of Lords, Lord Chatham agreement to the articles, and corres- and Lord Mansfield, were united in pond with them more especially in its favour. On this occasion Dr.Drumwhat relates to religious worship, I mond, Archbishop of York, having look upon conforming to the church, in a very virulent speech, stigmatized as a constant virtual subscription to the Dissenting ministers as meu of the articles." This consideration de- close ambition; Lord Chatham reserves especial weight with all those plied, “ they are so, my Lords, and their who conform to the church, though ambition is to keep close to the college they do not believe the whole of her of fishermen, not of cardinals, to the Common Prayer Book and Articles; doctrine of inspired apostles, not to for conforming to the church certainly the decrees of interested and aspiring implies a declaration, that all her li- bishops. They contend for a spiritual turgy, creeds and articles are agreeable creed, and scriptural worship. The to Scripture, and it is the duty of church has a Calvinistic creed, a Poevery one, who does not believe this, pish liturgy, and au Arminian clergy. to quit the church. From the time of The Reformation has laid the ScripMr. Lindsey's quitting the church, the tures open to all; let not the bishops open profession of belief in the simple shut them again. It is said, that relihumanity of Christ, and the worship gious se: ts have done great mischief, of the One God the Father only, be when they were not kept under recame much more common, and by de- straint, but history afforis no proof grees most of the congregations, which that sects have ever been mischievous, contique Trinitarians, have joined the except they were oppressed and perIndependents, and most of those who secuted by the ruling church." now go under the name of Presbyte- In the year 1778, most of the perrian iu this country, are Unitarians of secuting laws against the Catholics one class or other, that is either Arians, were repeated, and their toleration was or believers in the simple humanity of rendered legal Till this period, all Christ. But the open deciaration of Catholic priests and schoolmasters had Unitarian opinions was not the only been liable to perpetual imprisonment, good effect, which the petition of the and the third celebration of mass had associated clergy produced.
been punishable with death. . These During the debate upon that peti- odious laws were now however wisely VOL. XII.
repealed, aud this repeal of the perse- principal members, and as eyen Mr. cuting laws against the Catholics, ren- Pitt bad answered their application in dering those which were in existence such a manner, as to lead them to beagainst Protestant Dissenters, still more lieve that he would support them, obnoxious to the thinking part of the though he had cautiously avoided using nation, the bill for their relief now any expressions, which could enable passed with very little opposition, and them to fix a direct charge of false, iheir ministers were now allowed, in- hood upon him, if he opposed them, stead of subscribing the hirty-four which he did, and the motion was re. articles, to make a declaration, that jected, though but by a small majothey believed the Scriptures of the rity. Old and New Testaments, commonly În the early part of the year 1789, received in Protestant churches, to the motion was again brought forcontain the revealed will of God. All ward, and again negatived by a very the bishops who bad formerly opposed small majority of only twenty. Just the bill absented themselves from the after this, unfortunately for the claims House, when it was passed, and Dr. of the Dissenters, the Frepch RevoluShipley, Bishop of St. Asaplı's, the tion broke out, and in colisequence a only bishop who was present, spoke great clamour was raised against every very warmly in favour of it.
alteration, however just and pecessary, In the next ycar, 1780, great riots though scarcely any thing can be more were excited among the bigoted part evident, than that to make just and of the nation, in consequence of the proper improvements in time, is the Toleration which had been granted to very way to avoid all danger, of violent the Catholics. In Glasgow and Edin." revolutions, and if the French court burgh the chapels were destroyed, and had followed this maxim, and redressed, the houses of the principal Catholics the principal grievances of the nation, attacked and plundered. Similar dis-, before the passions of the people had graceful scenes were acted in London, been heated by resistance, the worst and some of the rioters being secured parts of that Revolution could never ir Newgate, the rest attacked and have happened. But governments and burnt that prison, and afterwards" establishments have always loen unthey burnt the houses of Sir George willing to learn this lesson), that the Saville and Lord Mansfield, who had best way to prevent danger from per: nobly distinguished themselves by sons suspected of disaffection, is to their speeches in favour of Toleration.' grant them every just claim, and not At length, but not without great dif: to irritate them by oppression. The ficulty, the riots were quelled by the Dissenters, however, in drawing up employment of a large military force. their petitions for the repeal of the Test
Iur the year 1987, a motion was Act, certainly used very imprudent Janmade by Mr. Beaufoy, for the repeal guage, such as could have no other effect of the Test and Corporation Acts, by than to joflame the passions of their which laws Dissenters are excluded opponents ; and this, together with from all offices of trust and profit in the dread of all alterations, occasioned the kingdom. In discussing the po-' by the breaking out of the French licy of this, Mr. Beaufoy very well Revolution, caused their claims to be observed, “ that to the higher trust of negatived by a very large majority on legislative authority, the Dissenters are their third attempt in 1790. Several admitted without reserve; from the passages from the works of Dissenters members of Parliament no such Test relating to establishments were on this is required, and in fact the repeal of occasion quoted in the House, and the Test, so far from being pernicious produced a great effect in rendering the to the Established Church would be" Dissenters obnoxious, particularly one salūtary to it, since the different classes from a sermon of Dr. Priestley's, ex. of Dissenters have no general interest, pressed certainly in strong language, no bond of union, but that reproachful but the meaning of which, when di. exclusion from public employments, vested of its metaphorical expressions, which is common to them all." The evidently was, that, believing his opiDissenters had great hopes from this pions to be true, he thought, as every motion, as they had previously received man does concerning his own opinions, assurance of support from many of the that they would ultimately, triumph