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W. Smith, Esq. M. P. Among the Resolutions adopted, was the following:-“ That no difference of religious opinions, however wide, can lessen the sensibility of this meeting to the liberal and generous support which they received, in the late application to Parliament, from the Roman Catholics of the United Kingdom; and that common gratitude would compel them to make in return, a tender of their best wishes on behalf of the claims of the Romani Catholics, for unrestricted and equal religious freedom, if they were not bound to aid, according to their means, the cause of these their fellow-subjects and fellow-Christians, by the still higher obligations of patriotism and religion,-believing as they do, in the sincerity of their minds, that the existing disqualifications, which aggrieve the British and Irish Roman Catholic population, are in open hostility to the peace, union, and prosperity of the kingdom, and are at the same time a sure hindrance to the progress of, and a violation of, and dishonour to, our common Christianity, which establishes no point of morality more plainly, por commands any duty more solemnly, than that one Christian shall not make the condition of another more wretched or less happy on account of his faithful adherence to the dictates of his conscience and the law of his God.”
We select from the Report, the following extract of a Letter from the Rev. W. Adam, the Unitarian Missionary at Calcutta:
“I am succeeding beyond my own most sanguine expectations, in exciting the attention of the European, and, although in a less degree, of the native community also, to the claims of pure Chris. tianity. I have commenced an evening service, wbich has been respectably and numerously attended; I say numerously, with reference to our expectations and to the congregations that usually assemble in Calcutta churches and chapels. The number of hearers or attendants on the Unitarian service, is from 60 to 80; but besides the mere attendance, there is a spirit of inquiry abroad, the effects of which I will not venture to anticipate. Several persons, formerly Trinitarians, have avowed themselves Unitarians; and within a month, our subscription list for general and incidental purposes, has risen from 30 or 40 rupees per month, to upwards of 150 rupees per month. The subject of the lectures is the doctrine of the Divine Unity, in all its aspects and relations, both to Trinitarianism, and to Polytheism and Idolatry; and I am happy to state, that, besides Raimohun Roy, and his son Radhaprusad Roy, there are several other educated and intelligent natives who regularly attend. For the exclusive benefit of the natives, however, I commenced, in October last, in the native part of the city, a course of familiar lectures on the first principles of religion, which has been attended by a congregation varying from 12 to 25. The interest felt by the natives respecting Unitarianism, is, I think, increasing, although only very gradually: last Sunday was the only occasion on which there were so many as 25 hearers; but this native congregation is different from those which are collected by orthodox missionaries, in several important respects. They have to stand at the side of the road, or at the door of their native chapel, and invite the people, who are passing, to stop and hear them: the people who accept the invitation, are almost invariably ignorant and uneducated, and incapable of appreciating the doctrins that may be addressed to them. Thus invited, they seldom remain more than a few minutes, and are succeeded by others of the same character, and whose attendance is equally de sultory and irreverent. Even in this way, the seeds of truth might be sown, if the simple and rational doctrines of the Gospel were taught; but the advantages of communicating religious instruction, are undoubtedly much greater, when I have, as at present, a small but intelligent and respectable congregation of natives, all of whom understand English, and almost all have received an English education, who attend from Sunday to Sunday at a fixed time and place, of their own accord, and who, throughout the service, join with reverence in the prayers addressed to God, and listen with deep attention to the instructions delivered.”
It appears from the Memoir of the Calcutta Unitarian Committee, that “ The place of meeting is one of the apartments in the range of buildings occupied by Rammohun Roy's AngloHindoo School in that quarter of the city called Simlyah. It is very ill adapted to the purposes of public worship and instruction; but the Committee have reason to believe, that the natives who attend the service, contemplate opening a subscription amongst themselves and their friends, for the purchase of ground, and the erection of a native chapel, to be appropriated to the worship of the One Living and True God.”
The Committee state in the Report, that “ Among the objects to which the attention of Mr. Adam has been particularly directed, the Anglo-Hindoo school, founded by Rammohun Roy, is a prominent one. The funds for the support of this important establishment, have been principally furnished by this illustrious Brahmin, who, as your Committee believe, is already receiving in the affections of the Indian and Anglo-Indian community, and in the improvement of the native people, the most appropriate reward for his generous exertions. Mr. Adam states, that as this school has begun to excite much public attention, he expects that its sphere of influence will be considerably enlarged. It is now divided into two gradations, in the first of which the English and Bengalee languages, reading, writing, and arithmetic, are taught; and in the second, the English language is made the instrument for communicating higher branches of knowledge, such as geography, astronomy, mechanics, &c. The education offered by this establishment, is completed in six years. A weekly examination takes place, on Mondays, of the progress made by the scholars; and in the astronomical classes, Mr. Adam informs us, that it has been his custom to introduce such religious reflections as grow abundantly out of that sublime science.” William Roberts, the native Unitarian Missionary at Madras, is also succeeding in his labours.
“ Holland has presented symptoms of religious change; and some publications have appeared, in which Christian Unitarianism is boldly avowed. Your Committee have made a grant of books to the Rev. P. W. Brouwer of Maaslius, whose works on the Doctrine of the Scriptures respecting the person of Jesus Christ," have excited much attention in the Netherlands."
American Unitarian Association.—The Third Anniversary of this Association, was celebrated at the Church in Federal-Street, Boston, on the evening of June 10th. The friends of the cause, in the promotion of which this Society is now engaged, have been greatly cheered and encouraged by the intelligence received from different Sections of the Country, in relation to the progress of liberal principles, and by the zeal and animation with which many of the leading men of our community, have espoused and lent their aid to the support of these principles. The Church where the Association assembled on this occasion, was literally thronged with ladies and gentlemen, many of whom were from distant parts of the Commonwealth. The meeting was opened by prayer offered by Dr. Porter of Roxbury.
After prayer, the Secretary of the Association, the Rev. Ezra S. Gannett, read the Annual Report of the Executive Committee. The purposes for which the Association was formed, are the “diffusion of religious truth, and the increase of true religion.” The Report, on this occasion, noticed briefly those circumstances which are thought to be peculiarly interesting through their connection with these purposes.
These circumstances were, among others, the publication of tracts; the labours of missionaries; the maintaining an extensive correspondence; the formation of auxiliary societies; the formation of a library; the expressions of sympathy by Unitarians of foreign countries; the formation of a society for the gratuitous distribution of books and tracts; and also of a Sunday School Society, and the establishment of new periodical pubJications. The Report concluded with an eloquent and affecting allusion to the dispensations of Providence, in the removal by death, of two able and distinguished supporters of the principles of Unitarian Christianity and Christian liberty, the late Robert Little of Washington, and Judge Howe of Northampton.
The meeting was closed by a hymn, sung by the whole assembly standing. The patient and apparently delighted attention given by the large assembly of ladies and gentlemen convened on the occasion, gives encouraging proof of the sympathy that is felt by an intelligent and religious community, in the success and progress of this important Institution.
Unitarianism in Canada.-We rejoice to have it in our power to corroborate the intelligence contained in a letter to our Paisley friends, from Mr. Lambie, inserted in our last Number. From the “ Gospel Luminary,” of July 10, published at New-York, and conducted by two of the preachers of the denomination called “ The Christians," that denomination, as we have before stated, being strictly Unitarian, we learn, that “the Christian Connexion in the Province, is in a prosperous state.
There are at present, Fifteen churches in Upper Canada, bearing the Christian name exclusively, who acknowledge no master but Christ, and no creed but the Bible.' “ At the Conference, which was held in conjunction with the New-York Western Conference, on the 13th June, a Report was given from each church in Upper Canada, bearing the Christian name exclusively, by the messengers who were sent to represent them. It is gratifying to us to be enabled to state, that the Reports were generally favourable, and in some instances, highly gratifying. In the towns of Saltfeet, Dumfries, and other places, revivals are progressing.' “ Our brethren have erected a convenient meeting-house at New Market, but it was much too small to contain all who attended on the Sabbath,” at the meeting of Conference. It gives us much satisfaction to say, that the accounts of the increase of this denomination in other districts of America, are highly encouraging.
British Society for promoting the Religious Principles of the Reformation. It has for some time been our intention to notice this Society. It is, perhaps, the less necessary now, as we understand the Irish head-quarters of the Institution have been broken up. That a similar fate will attend the naval and military expounders of its intentions and advocates of its schemes on this side of the Channel, we deem more than probable. The first Report of the Society was drawn up more in the form of an indictment against Unitarianism, than explanatory of the objects of the Association, or breathing the spirit of Christian benevolence. We know that that Report opened the eyes of many to its fallacious pretensions to purity and reformation, and that it disgusted intelligent indie viduals of the orthodox persuasion, who would rejoice that the principles of the Reformation were promoted, and would otherwise have gladly joined in furthering the objects it professed to have in view. One of the passages we allude to, is that in which detailing the obstacles with which the Society has had to combat, the Report particularises the Arian, the Socinian, and the Infidel, as all that is infected, diseased, and degraded, in nominal Protestanism; that these have but one mind, and make war upon the Lamb, but that the Lamb shall overcome them. We happen to know, that in Birmingham, this and other sentences were pointed out to the travelling Leader and Seconder of the Society, and reprobated as they merited; that the excellent and zealous individ. ual, respectable by his talents and character, and by his standing in one of the orthodox dissenting chapels in Birmingham, objected to being on the Committee on these accounts; but that, notwithstanding, his name was proposed in a few hours afterwards at the public meeting, and published, though contrary to his expressed wishes, in the Newspapers. This is a circumstance we know, and it may be an illustration, not unlikely, of the way the schemes of these Reformists are brought to bear in other places.
Immediately after this Birmingham affair, the gallant Captain Gordon and his coadjutors are found at Bristol. Untaught by the lesson of Christian charity they had received, their speeches in that city were full of vituperation against the Unitarians. But their spiritual pride was here destined to meet a fall. Two respectable Catholic priests followed them from Birmingham, and battled the matter for two days with much talent and ability. The first Resolution approving the establishment of an Auxiliary Society in Bristol, was carried. But when the Resolution for appointing a Committee, was brought forward, Mr. Wintour Harris, moved as an amendment, “That it be an instruction to the said Commitee, to examine the Liturgy of the Church of England as by law established at the Reformation, and in use at the present day, and to report to the next general meeting of this Society, whether there still remains in such Liturgy any relics of Popery, and whether it would be conducive to the principles established at the Reformation, and to the interests of this Society, that such relics of Popery should be expunged from the Liturgy, and to consider of the best means by which such expulsion may be secured." This gave rise to great commotion. By some, it is contended, the amendment was put and carried; others affirm, that neither the original motion nor the amendment were put to the vote; but all agree, that the chairman dissolved the meeting.
We observe, that since the meeting, an intemperate Letter, bearing the signature of “Knox," has appeared in the Bristol papers, reiterating against Unitarians the calumnies which we have noticed, and that it has been admirably answered by “ A Christian," in a letter which we would gladly have inserted in our pages, had there been space.
Notwithstanding the tumult occasioned by Mr. W. Harris's proposition, we are disposed to think, that it expresses the truth upon the subject. We shall, in a series of papers, endeavour to substantiate it, taking for the motto of our articles, “ As is the Mother, so is her Daughter."
Sermons for Family Use. For a long time there has been felt amongst us the want of a Volume of Sermons, consisting of discourses, exhibiting and enforcing the connection of religion with the duties and intercourses of domestic life; and which, at the same time, should be so moderate in price as to be accessible, not to the rich merely, but to the middling classes, and to the poor also. Such a volume would be of great value, if well executed, as a manual of piety; in the perusal of which for themselves, and the reading of it to their families, the heads of houses would discharge an important duty, and find a great advantage and pleasure. We are, therefore, happy to have to inform our readers, that a Volume of this description is preparing for the press. Nor, in our opinion, will it derive a small recommendation from the fact, that it will consist of unpublished compositions, by living ministers. Among the contributors, we may name, the Rev. Charles Wellbeloved, York-the Rev. W. Turner, Newcastle-the Rev. J. Kentish, Birmingham—the Rev. J. Tayler, Nottingham-the Rev. J. G. Robberds, and the Rev. J. J. Tayler, Manchester. The Volume is to be published by subscription; and those persons who wish to possess it, are requested to forward their names, without delay, to the Rev. G. Harris, Glasgow; the Rev. R. Aspland, London; or the Rev. J. R. Beard, Editor, Manchester.