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where it was not applicable, was “ packed," private property; dissent was not allowed and that no dissent was permitted. “Those to be expressed; and even if it had been, who might dissent,” said the twice-read re- it was then too late to discuss the details solution of the Committee, “had no right except by adjournment; and under these to address the meeting ; they were there circumstances were issued those resoluonly by sufferance." Had it been a meet- tions for which the Record claims that they ing open to brotherly discussion (though were passed “ with but one dissenting we should think little of the wisdom of voice, and almost by acclamation." We are those who should have embarked on the driven to this strain of remark, which we argument, in the haste and bustle of a should not have adopted had it been merely crowded assembly), the result would have said that the friends of the measure met been any thing but unanimous. But the and formed a new Society, as they had a Committee took the utmost care to keep right to do if they saw tit. But to talk its intended rules and regulations secret of unanimity because opposers were forto the very last : persons who went to bearing, and the persons who hired the the meeting had no distinct understanding room forbad discussion, is not a very fair as to what they were to vote for; the in- or Christian way of representing the tended resolutions, instead of being made matter. Where were the bishops and known through the medium of the press, the pious noblemen who are most friendor in any other way, for weeks or months ly to the circulation of the Scriptures before, as was desirable if calm and candid by means of Bible Societies? Where investigation of the plan was wished for, were the great body of what are called were kept as secret as the Reform Bill; the Evangelical clergy? Where were the but with this difference, that the Reform Dissenting ministers almost to a man? Bill was not expected to be proposed, read, Where the Methodists and the Quakers ? and carried, at one hasty sitting, the mo- Where the great mass of religious persons ment it was announced, and without of all denominations? Let the reader allowing a single dissenting voice. Many look at the list of speakers and decide the persons who were present at the meeting, point for himself. So much for acclaand who were disposed for some change mation and unanimity. in the principle of the Bible Society, We have said that the friends of the new were by no means prepared to adopt institution had a right to form it, if they every letter of the scheme of the new saw tit; we mean, that they had a right, as committee, and even the conductors of Englishmen, to act as they pleased; but as the Record themselves disapprove of the Christians, that right was to be exercised title “ Trinitarian ;” but they could not under a deep sense of their responsibility to have been permitted to express their dis- God, and with an earnestdesire not to cause sent at that meeting. The assembly were a schism or scandal if it could be consciensummoned to pass the measure, not to tiously avoided. That they acted honestly discuss it or to modify it. What the it is our comfort not only to presume but measure was to be, no persons but those to believe: but we are not persuaded that in the Committee's private confidence they acted wisely, and the more we look knew. The original proposition was to at the whole proceeding, the more we apply a Trinitarian test. The Edinburgh feel assured that the separation was unSociety had gone further, by expelling necessary; and the more we discern of Roman Catholics. The Westminster model the evil effects which have resulted and Society, alluded to in our last Number, will yet result from it, at least till the professed to adopt “Scriptural principles," real nature of the question is every but agreed to take the Socinian's money, where understood, and matters return to though this had been before so earnestly their former channel. We will not rereprobated; and then, finally, came an capitulate what has been so frequently advertisement stating that the Sackville- stated of the character, the simplicity, street Committee « felt themselves at and the lawfulness of the Bible Society's liberty to propose any such regulations as truly scriptural principle, or of the diffimight appear to them necessary to secure culties and errors which necessarily arise the scriptural character of the proposed the moment we lose sight of it. Already Society, without binding themselves to have its opposers gone from one change the resolutions adopted by them while to another; and while we are writing, the making an effort to induce an existing Westminster Bible Society, formed only society to correct and revise its present last month, is already advertising a meetconstitution.” All was thus afloat ; no ing to re-model its new constitution. opportunity was allowed, whether to the One of the rectifications, we presume, friends or the opposers of the measure, will be to expunge the regulation about for prayer or amicable discussion before taking the Socinian's money, and allowing hand : the meeting was summoned, the him no voice in the management: for resolutions were read; some persons were Captain Gordon, in attempting to shew pleased, some doubted, many strongly that the old society was in a dilemma disapproved, and all were astonished: by taking the Socinian's guinea, says but the bire of the room was stated to be they could not “accept the Socinian's
guinea, and deny him the privilege of of purer zeal and holier effort; and though stating why he subscribed it.” Yet he the great majority of the friends of relihimself is a member of the new West- gion in the place may and will discern the minster Society which perpetrates this real nature of the question, and continue injustice, and which is gravely defended steadfast, unmoveable, and abounding in by friends of the new Bible Society, the work of the Lord; yet here and there especially one writer in the Record, on a well-meaning but weak brother, or a few the ground that the silver and the gold of the younger members of female combeing the Lord's, the saints ought to mittees, will become distressed, and perhave the management of it though the haps turned aside, by plausible but not ungodly contribute it. These and other solid objections, which, according to Mr. difficulties will increase, and not least as Hughes's admirably selected motto of respects the solemnity of prayer. Mr. Specie decipimur recti,” are likely to Armstrong has as much right to be stagger conscientious but not well-inchaplain to the society as Mr. Howells, structed minds. Thus the torch of discord and will, perhaps, be as little restrained will be introduced; party spirit will rage; in the expression of his peculiar notions war will ensue; all the religious instituas he was in the Reformation Society ; tions of the place will be paralysed and from which he has been obliged to be exposed to fearful peril; the righteous will excluded, notwithstanding the advocacy be grieved; the wicked will blaspheme; of Mr. Rhind and Mr. Thelwall. But Satan will triumph; and the Holy Ghost, will Mr. Howells patiently say Amen to whose emblem is the dove, will quit the such a prayer? Mr. Wolff, also, may contentious scene. If it must needs be likely enough be in England at the next that such offences come, let not those who meeting, to denounce his fellow-labourers mourn over them take any part in their in the Lord's vineyard, as he does in the introduction. last Number of the Morning Watch, as We do not feel inclined to analyse the “ speculating, trading, Ephesian-silver- speeches delivered at the formation of this smith-like Protestant missionaries ;” and society, more especially as we have only with them the “evangelical Pharisees” and the report of them in the Record, which, other members of the “evangelical club” though apparently authentic so far as it who direct missionary institutions. In extends, does not comprise the whole the mean time, the whole body of pious matter uttered at a protracted meeting. Dissenters keep aloof; for we do not see One portion of them is very judiciously among the speakers a single name of a abridged ; and we are far from finding London Dissenting minister. The Dis- fault with the omission; we mean the missenters are, in fact, excluded by any test statements and vituperations of some of the or regulation that is not of equal tension speakers respecting the Bible Society; on all parties. Even the truly pious and and also those denouncements on Chrisapostolic Archbishop of Tuam's well- tendom, those fearful foreboding intermeant regulation, that at any Bible so- pretations from unfulfilled prophecy, and ciety which he attends, a clergyman shall those allusions to politics, the house of pray and no other person, and that his commons, the reform bill, and other meaprayer shall be taken from the Liturgy, sures of government, which though they is looked upon by the Dissenters as a abundantly evinced the feelings of the breach of neutrality, and is splitting the founders, certainly were not necessary for 'Irish Bible Societies at a moment when the formation of a Bible Society. Mr. their aid is so greatly needed. Blessed, Melvill's speech would have borne prunthrice blessed, the privilege of prayer! ing in some of these particulars ; as, for far too blessed to be made a bone of instance, where he says that the Bible strife and contention !
Society “has promulgated and supported Our friends, we repeat, have a right to neology on the continent,” and “at home act as they will, and no person would given heresy a dignity, and struck at truth wish to control them, if their own sense with a sledge hammer;" to say nothing of of duty and of love to the peace and good the not seemly jest of “manufacturing a order of the church of Christ do not do Millennium by a certain quantity of paper it. But let them look well as Christian and sheep-skin.” It is well that some ir
to the issue. We have already religious senator or Bible-Society advostated our sad but firm belief that the cate did not thus sport with a Scriptural new measure will neither tend to the allusion, or the conductors of the Record glory of God nor the spiritual welfare of would not have spared him“. the world. In innumerable places where the faithful ministers and servants of * In the report of the speeches in the Christ are living in love and union and Record, it is said that Mr. Melvill, in the joy in the Holy Ghost, and exerting course of his remarks "WAS UNDERSTOOD themselves to the best of the ability to allude to the article in the last Number which God gives them for the furtherance of the Christian Observer, which the Ediof his Gospel, this new institution willcome tor was UNDERSTOOD to have had reprinted forward with its claims, under a shew and circulated at the doors of the meeting."
The old, never credible, never proved, of the Turkish Testament, and so forth, and often and abundantly disproved inven- were reported with all the gloss of notions about the Bible Society's abetting the velty upon them, and without even a wbiscirculation of an infidel preface, com- per that they had been oft and oft refuted; mitting dreadful atrocities in the matter and this in the presence of Mr. Platt Had this false and absurd story been its Editor into contempt, might have been merely an assertion of the conductors of safely left to find its level with numerous the Record, it might have been safely left similar inventions, (doubtless innocently to its own confutation, for it would be su- believed by some who read them in a reperfluous to spend our pages in contra- ligious newspaper); but as this particular dicting the many unfounded statements fabrication was interwoven into the procirculated by that paper, and which have ceedings of a Bible Society, we have already gone far towards working their thought it right to contradict it. Here own cure with all lovers of truth and ho- we drop the matter. nest dealing : but as the fabrication is in- But though the Record is welcome to serted in the body of a report of a society, invent as it pleases, with impunity, in fuwhich, from its containing the society's ture, about the Christian Observer or its documents may be supposed to bear a Editor, we must not in justice allow it stamp of authenticity, it may be as well always to do so of other persons, where to state, in passing, that it is purely one of our refutation, even at the risk of some those convenient inventions in which the tediousness or apparent pugnacity, may Record, like the Morning Watch, has of subserve the cause of truth and charity. late abounded towards the Christian Ob- We lament that the case of poor Greenserver, in consequence of our defence of field did not come under our notice long the Bible Society and our refutation of ago; but we are still more pained that the the idle charges of neology which have conductors of the Record, so far from exbeen alleged against so many of the faith. pressing their grief that the heart of this ful servants of Christ. Neither “the Edi- pious and gifted young man was broken tor of the Christian Observer," who is by the absurd charge of neology so perthus unhandsomely singled out, nor any tinaciously reiterated against his work, person whatever connected with that
goes on to repeat it; adding that they work, knows or has ever heard or seen shall pursue their course, " not only were any thing of any such reprint or distribu- it to implicate the Christian knowledge tion; nor has any application been made and discernment of any one Christian in to them, or any one of them, for that pur- the kingdom however respectable,” but pose. Yet thus are unfounded statements “though their work should throw the currently thrown out by certain party-spi- darkest shade of suspicion over the Chris. rited writers, and in that most disinge- tian principles and character of the most nuous of all methods, an “on dit,” “it is respectable men in the kingdom.” And is understood,” in order to cast discredit on it that persons professing to be Christians books or individuals whom it may be con- care not whose character they wound, or venient to represent as over-zealous, or in whose heart they break? Of the oversome way to get rid of their arguments by weening egotism and self-seeking of a false reports respecting their motives or writer who thus takes for granted that he conduct. We have already had occasion is right, and all the great body of pious to advert to the proceedings of the writers and devoted servants of God wrong, we in the Morning Watch in this respect, in say nothing; but of the effects of such a former page of this Number; but having writing on the peace of the church of done so, we shall consider ourselves ex- Christ we might say much, were we not onerated from a similar duty in future. fearful that our own spirit might be chafed The Eclectic Review, the Evangelical by the collision. Nor should we have Magazine, and other religious periodical perhaps alluded to the declaration had it publications, after many explanations and not been that the writer proceeds the very remonstrances, have long ago felt them- next week to exemplify its truth by seselves exempted from this task as regards lecting a new, and as he is himselt ultithe Record, under the idea that it is a mately obliged to confess, an innocent vicpublication so well known to be “unprin- tim, yet not more innocent than poor Greencipled,” (we specially keep the Eclectic field who has gone down to the grave, inverted commas,) that it is not worth or rather has found rest in the bosom of any honest man's reasoning with or con- his God and Saviour, with the stigma of tradicting. We, being more charitable, Neologism labelled on his great work, the have continued occasionally to remon- Comprehensive Bible, which, in consestrate ; hoping, but vainly, that we should quence of the false whisper of the plague induce its conductors, who have it in their being in the cargo, now loads the pubpower to be an instrument of public bene- lisher's warehouse instead of comma
manding fit, to be more careful in future. The that rapid circulation which it was preabove-mentioned “on dit,” so neatly con- viously enjoying. The newly-selected trived to bring the Christian Observer and victim is the publisher of a recent edition
himself, whose own excellent pamphlet on was so unjustly and cruelly assailed in the misrepresentations about the Turkish Scotland and elsewhere, in consequence and other versions must have been suffi- of his truly honourable and useful conciently fresh in the memory of Mr. Hal- nexion with the Bible Society, that he can, dane and other gentlemen, even if the no doubt, well sympathize with those who author had so far forgotten it as not to be continue to be exposed to similar calumable at the moment to set the meeting nies. His attestation to his fellow-laright on the subject. Mr. Platt himself bourer, Mr. Greenfield's biblical exer
tions, inserted in the Bible-Society reof Brown's Self-interpreting Bible, with solutions in our last Number does him a life of the author, by his grandson the great honour*. Rev. T. Patterson. This work, say the We cannot better conclude these painconductors of the Record,“
ful remarks than by transcribing from been credibly informed ” Lon dits and “it Hayley's life of Cowper, the following is understood ” fix a stigma, but leave a letter from that Christian poet, to his loop-hole for retreat, if necessary,] “ is friend, the Rev. John Newton. At a deeply tainted with the errors of modern time when so much violence of language, Neologism.” “ We can conceive,” they of unbecoming temper, and of unhallowed add, “ few things more revolting or more
fire, falsely called Christian zeal, are em. dangerous than such a corruption of the ployed against the errors of Socinianism work of a holy man of God.”
We and the delusions of Popery, both in and concur in this opinion; for few things out of the pulpit, its perusal may be useare more revolting than such conduct, ful to some of those good, but inexpeexcept it be imputing it without solid rienced and mistaken, ministers and others ground for the charge. And thus, if a who appear not to know what manner of young man unknown like Greenfield had spirit they are of; who have well nigh been the editor, would the work, its abandoned the scriptural method of “ winauthor, and its publishers have been left ming souls” to Christ, and require to be to sink under the slander ; but Mr. Pat- put into a better way of defending and terson and his bookseller promptly sent promoting the cause of Divine truth. to the Record Office such strong attesta
“ June 17, 1783. tions, that the charge was obliged to be My dear friend,- Your letter reached retracted, but still with the singular re- Mr. while Mr. was with him : iteration that “ were credibly in. whether it wrought any change in his formed that it was true. How could opinion of that gentleman as a preacher, they be "credibly” informed of a falsehood, and a falsehood incredible on the very face of it? Perhaps, also, they will
can to aid its circulation and utility. A repeat that they were “credibly informed
celebrated publisher of Paternoster-row that the editor of the Christian Observer said, some years since, that all the religious had done what he never did or heard of; newspapers then projected had fallen, or will they prefer the alternative of the
because “ they had not devilism enough in Morning Watch, that the utmost they can
them to gratify public taste. It is for acknowledge is, that as it was not he, it
Christian readers and writers to prove that must have been one of his friends ? They this taste has mended. could not know what was not true; and if It is stated, that, speaking of the sothey did not know it, they ought not to ciety's versions, Mr. Platt did most canhave published it. But enough and too didly and honourably declare that it was much of this pettyism into which we are but seldom that errors in translation had reluctantly dragged by the correction of occurred, and that these were incident to fabricated statements. The readers of human nature. This admission does not, that publication will do well, whenever however, appear in the printed report of they read in its columns “it is under his speech; and he must lament with us stood," "
are credibly informed," the want of candour of those who supwe have good authority," : it is said,” pressed his important and competent tes&c., to write in the margin“ Never timony, leaving the very contrary to be credit on dits.” It is painful to us to inferred from the random assertions of write thus; for our habit has ever been worse informed or less scrupulous speakto proceed in peace with our fellow-reli- It is astonishing to us that Mr. gious periodicals, several of which we very Platt should have been induced to quit a highly respect and cordially recommend, society which protests against all heas we did the Record till it addicted itself resies, to join another which chooses out to this mournful system of casting abroad one or two heresies to protest against, firebrands, arrows, and death. If the ex- and thus virtually accredits others." posure thus wrung from us should answer Thank God, may many a heretic and wick the desired end, it will rejoice our hearts; ed man say, that I am not a Socinian or Roand, far from carping at mere faults or man Catholic: I at least am not excluded errors to which the best designed works from this new “fellowship on scriptural are liable, we shall be glad to do all we principles.” CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 360,
(DEC. I know not ; but for my own part I give and, if you preached to the Chickesaws full credit for the soundness and rectitude and Chattaws, would be equally beloved of yours. No man was ever scoliled out of by them.
W. C." his sins: the heart, corrupted as it is, and As to the Bible Society, we have no because it is so, grows angry, if it be not fears respecting it. It endeavours to treated with some management and good honour God by the circulation of his manners, and scolds again. A surly holy word ; and them that honour him mastiff will bear perhaps to be stroked, he will honour. It is not a millennarian though he will growl even under that society, or a prophecy-expounding society, operation; but if you touch him roughly, or a miracle society, or an anti-reform-bill he will bite. There is no grace that the society; but a Bible Society. It is not spirit of self can counterfeit with more a partial Bible Society, but a whole Bible success than a religious zeal. A man Society. It is a Trinitarian and an antithinks he is fighting for Christ, and he is Socinian and a Protestant Bible Society, fighting for his own notions. He thinks not by tests of human imposition, but by be is skilfully searching the hearts of presenting to mankind the whole of God's others, when he is only gratifying the revealed truth, as he saw fit to give it. malignity of his own, and charitably sup- It is a society which has conducted its poses his hearers destitute of all grace, proceedings in the spirit of prayer, and that he may shine the more in his own whose operations have done more to proeyes by the comparison. When he has
mote prayer, both public, private, and performed this notable task, he wonders social, in the world, than any society in they are not converted, “ he has given it existence. If it perisbed to-morrow, the them soundly;' and if they do not tremble, good it has done could not be undone ; its and confess that God is in him of a truth, Bibles, and the blessings which have by he gives them up as reprobate, incorri- Divine grace attended them, cannot be regible, and lost for ever. But a man that called; some narrow-minded, though well loves if he sees me in an error, will meaning men would wish to annex to it “a pity me, and endeavour calmly to convince corrective :” one would stitch up a tract me of it, and persuade me to forsake it. with its Bibles; another cannot entrust If he had great and good news to tell me, them without a Prayer-book; and another he will not do it angrily, and in much heat fears contamination from their passing and discomposure of spirit. It is not through heretical bands, or the “
paper therefore, easy to conceive on what ground and sheepskin ” of which they are manua minister can justify a conduct which factured being purchased with beterodox only proves that he does not understand guineas. These fears appear to us wholly his errand. The absurdity of it would visionary ; but where they are conscien. certainly strike him if he were not him. tiously entertained, it is the duty of those self deluded. A people will always love who take larger and more scriptural views a minister, if a minister seem to love his to set the matter in a right light; but as people. The old maxim, . Simile agit in for party-spirit, as the venerable Bishop simile,' is in no case more exactly veri- of Salisbury said on this very matter long fied: therefore you were beloved at Olney, ago, it has neither eyes nor ears.
LIST OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
British Reformers: Fox, Bale, and
The Righteous Man's Habitation in Sermons by the Rev. E. Payson, D.D. Time of Pestilence. By the Rev. W. of the United States. 10s. 6d.
Bridge, 1665, reprinted. Is. Sermon on the Cause and Cure of Na- “ Sermons for Children.” tional Distress. By the Rev. L. Booker, God's Voice in the City, republished. D.D.
Luther's “ Table Talk.” 5s. Sermons by the Rev. J. Campbell, late “Eruvin,” or Miscellaneous Essays. 55. of Row. I vol. 6s.
“ The Reformation in England." By Memoir of the late Rev. R. P. Beach- Rev. I. J. Blunt. croft. By the Rev. T. A. Methuen. 58. Family Library, No. XXVI. 5s.
The Sincere Convert. By the Rev. Visit to the South-Sea Islands in T. Shepherd, reprinted by the Religious 1829, 1830. By the Rev. C. S. Stewart. Tract Society.