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see buried; or to feed a national vanity, of the slain decay, and the warmest reverence at the same time one of the most en
the world can give, lavished on those, who
trample most widely and carelessly on the feebling and one of the most contempt- rights and feelings of men. We may say that ible of passions.
we adınire not the destruction nor the guilt; We are delighted when we meet
not the field shaken with artillery and slippery
with blood, but the great intellectual energy with a striking exception to these re
displayed in guiding the vast masses of human marks, as in this Address of Mr Pea
power; this will not do ; for great energy body, written in the peculiar and should be detested for its alliance with crime, beautiful style for which the author is rather than crime be forgiven because united justly distinguished, and on a subject, be pronounced unsound, so long as men can adand in a spirit, so appropriate to the oc- mire these splendid sins; and it is absolutely casion. His object is to explain the impossible for one who worships these destrosreason of the imperfect influence of ers, to have any real reverence for tho gentle Christianity on the public relations of greatness of the Son of God." men, considered with a particular reference to slavery and war.
'I may as well say in the beginning, that I am 39. Religious Discourses. By a Layman. Philspeaking simply of the relation of slavery and adelphia, Carey, Lea & Carey. 1828. 12no. the practice of war. I am not complainiog of the owners of slaves; they cannot get rid of them; it would be as humane to throw them
It is well known that this Layman' from ihe decks in the middle passage as to set
is Sir Walter Scott. The English pubthem free in our country. Neither do I con- lisher, who is the gentleman for whom demn defensive war; it rests upon the rights of the discourses selfdefence, which individuals possess, and may
written, calls delegate to governments if they will. I have
them ‘remarkable productions of their no taste for sweeping condemnation. I can illustrious author's mind.' Remarkasympathize with the owners of slaves, and ad
ble they certainly are, in several resmire the patriotic defenders of their country, while I detest war and slavery with all my
pects. They are remarkable for their heart.' p. 3-4
singular, and if we have been rightly Five reasons are assigned for the informed, not exceedingly creditable imperfect influence of Christianity in history; and they are remarkable for correcting these evils, on each of which not showing a single spark of their authe writer insists at some length, and thor's extraordinary genius, which often eloquently. i. Men regard the glows and burns so brightly on every letter more than the spirit of religion. page of his other writings, that we 2. It requires great christian principle may well call that work of his remarkto make men abandon vices, though it ble which reflects not a solitary glimrequires very little to make men disap.
There are a hundred better serprove them. 3. We consider the point mons, of a page, two pages, or half a page as gained already. 4. Men have ap. in length, in Sir Walter's glorious novels, compose two sermons, the one doctrin- ing his friend before the examiners with al, the other practical, which might be sermons which he had struck off in so presented by that friend, as his own, short a time, he answered, that he to some body of men before whom he must be a poor stick if he could not was to be examined as a theological satisfy the baillies o'Edinbro !' If candidate. Sir Walter consented, and this story is true, let the discourses pass in one afternoon, or some such period, as remarkable productions of grinding, produced the discourses which are now and so far forth, of their illustrious augiven to the public; thus goodnaturedly thor's mind. We should like to know enough condescending to become grin- moreover, now the discourses are pubder, we believe they call it thus, to lished, how the young friend' gets ahis young friend.' 'It is added, that long with the baillies o’Edinboro'. when some one inquired of the baro. We do not understand these things in net whether he was not afraid of send- the new world.
each of which sermons contains more plied a different morality to public and private affairs. 5. No community, no eloquence and better divinity than the nation can properly be said to be chris- seventynine pages of these discourses tian, in the highest and best sense of put together. that word.
There are two ways in which we This is the outline, and our limits would account for this phenomenon. will permit us to give but a single spec. One is, that the author, as soon as he imen of the manner in which the au
found himself writing a sermon, caught thor fills it up.
an infectious dullness from his en.ploy"We think that the public feeling is sufficient- ment, which even his spirit could not ly alive to the criminality of slavery and war, overcome, and a strain of high Orthodoxy, and that no exertions are necessary to add to which had always been associated in his the prevailing conviction of their guilt. I must mind with pulpit performances; and say that we take praise to ourselves too goon. Christianity can do but little to reform the
the other is, that he endeavoured, from world, if men are so easily satisfied with their motives of policy, and a regard for his
I look in vain for the proofs of this young friend, to be as dull as he could, general condemnation of these gigantic sing...! in which attempt he has wonderfully see on the contrary a lofty and enthusiastic interest everywhere excited by deeds of battle
succeeded. Private anecdote informs and blood. I see the guilty paths of great des- us, how truly we know not, though the troyers, traced upon the map with breathless preface remarkably corroborates the inspiration growing out of this corruption, like story, that Sir Walter was, some time wild flowers from the heaps where the bodies ago, applied to by a 'young friend' to
Correspondence of the American would meet with any success. Though Unitarian Association, on the State this society is small, containing probaof Unitarian Christianity.—[In May bly not more than a fifth or sixth of the last the Secretary of the Amer. Unit. inhabitants of the town, yet those who Assoc. addressed a series of questions to are well acquainted with the state of Unitarian clergymen and other gentle- things here, have repeatedly told me, men of high standing in different sections that they believe one half at least of of the country, intended to elicit informa- the people are charitably liberal in their tion on the state and prospects of Unitari- opinions and feelings. Many of this anism. The Orthodox periodicals had class belong to the Episcopal Society, represented the late extraordinary ef- which they had joined before ours was forts to get up Orthodox revival: &c. as formed; and others, from local, or having resulted, or as fast resulting in other prejudices, are induced to remain the extinction of the · Arian and Socini- where they are. The prospects of our an heresies 'so called, especially in Mas- society have never been better, I think, sachusetts where the inost strenuous than at present. In some towns in this exertions have been made to that ef. vicinity, there is little or no advance in fect. From the mass of letters received the truth; the people remain very in reply, all of which are of the most much under the influence of the Calencouraging character, we have been vinistic clergy, and have scarcely any permitteed to publish as many as our opportunity to become enlightened. limits will allow, and we now present But in many other towns the progress our readers with a number from various of Unitarianism is far more rapid, than parts of Massachusetts, which are given could have been expected. Within a without selection, and which may here- few years three Orthodox societies have after be followed by others from this been formed in this county, in towns and other States of the Union.] where there were none before ; viz. in
and BFRANKLIN COUNTY.
ston. They are all feeble; and that in • On the question relating to the pro- the last named tov:n does not contain gress of Unitarian Christianity, I can more than eight or ten families. The hardly hope to be considered an impar- two former have ministers supported in tial judge. I will, however, confine part by the Domestic Missionary Somytelf chiefly to facts, and will en- ciety. So far as I know, this is all that deavour to state them as correctly as I can be said of the progress of Orthocan. My remarks will be confined doxy in this county. On the other mostly to this county. In my own so- hand, in many towns, where it formerly ciety, nothing to my knowledge, has held exclusive sway, Unitarian sociebeen attempted to alienate the mind ties, embracing a respectable portion of from liberal views of the gospel; nor the population, have been formed, withdo I apprehend, that such an attempt in a few years. This is true of M
and on the east side of the answered by adverting, first, to the fact river, and G
G- C-, that, during the ministry of my predeHSand C
cessor, the great subjects of controverthe west. I omit D
because sy, which were much agitated in many the change there is of longer standing; other parts of the country, were not but what took place there twenty years brought distinctly before the minds of ago did not a little toward leading the the people here, and of course did not people in this vicinity to think for them- excite a general interest. It was known selves. I will state a few particulars that Mr P- was not a Calvinist, but respecting some of the towns which I his parishioners generally did not suphave mentioned. In M
two pose that he differed in other respects years ago, the town was chiefly in one from ministers who are now called Orsociety, having an Orthodox minister, thodox. A few years, however, before Mr G He is now dismissed; and his decease, he discontinued the use of at least one half of those, who formerly Watts's doxologies; and his so doing belonged to his society, now constitute occasioned for a time much unchristian Unitarian society. In S
excitement. I commenced preaching within a few weeks, a Unitarian socie- here in April 1821. In the mean time a ty has been formed, containing from hue and cry was raised by the Calvinists thirty to forty voters, and a good por- of this vicinity about the terrible Unitation of the wealth, intelligence, and in- rian heresy, and great efforts were made fluence of the town. The state of to prevent the settlement of a Unitarian things in C- is not less favorable. minister. They succeeded in exciting In — the number of Unitarians is the fears and strengthening the prejuincreasing every year. In each of dices of many who then heard of Unithese places, it is desirable, that a tarianisın for the first time, or who were Unitarian minister should be settled. already deeply imbued with another But such ministers are not to be found doctrine, so that soon after my ordinain sufficient numbers to satisfy these tion, about sixteen seceded froin my sowants. In C -, where till lately, ciety. Such was the origin of the Orthe Orthodox have held undivid- thodox society in this village. From ed possession, a majority of the people that time the Orthodox in this vicinnow belong to the Liberal society. ity have been unwearied in their ef. Were I to go into Hampshire County, forts to stop the progress of Liberal I could give you a favorable account Christianity. Flow far they have sucof P-G
ceeded I will give you the best means I W
&c. but for information of have of judging.--As to the course the state of things there I would re- which I have pursued, my people can fer you to Mr H
bear witness that it has been plain and In our region, I think, there is a gene- unequivocal. I have not suffered them ral spirit of inquiry as to religious sub- to be in any doubt as to what I have jects, and a visible improvement of mo- thought of the leading doctrines of Orrals. The tone of feeling is becoming thodoxy. It has been my constant obmore liberal and elevated, and there is ject to establish my people in the belief an increasing disposition to place reli- and practice of pure Unitarian Christiangion in a good life, rather than in par- ity--the “ truth as it is in Jesus.' They ticular creeds, and occasional excite- can now, I thank God, bear the light
There are exceptions to this and do rejoice in it. I can confidenily remark, and the most of them would say that there has been a great improveprobably be found in the most rigid of ment in the moral and religious characthe Orthodox churches, where creeds ter of the people here within the last and experiences are used as tests of seven years. Formerly there was but character. If any 'means could be one house for public worship in the viladopted to send a missionary into this lage-now there are three; one of which county, a young man, who would de- was not long since built by the Baptists vote his whole time to preaching and and the other by Mr M-- -'s society. visiting, in the towns which I have Formerly not more than one half of the mentioned, he would do great service ews in the meetinghouse of the First to the cause of pure Christianity.' Congregational Society were usually
occupied. Now they are commonly
filled with attentive hearers, and for the Your questions may, I think, be best two last years applications have been
frequently made for pews and seats, people of this vicinity are willing “ to which could not be obtained. Former- countenance attempts to restrain free inly the the sabbath was devoted to dis- quiry and undermine religious liberty.” sipation of various kinds, as I am cred. Those who are at all aware that such ibly informed, by at least as large a attempts are making, contemplate them number of people as usually attended with strong feelings of indignation. In public worship. Now the sabbath is no part of the country are the people about as well observed here as in any more attached to religious liberty; and town in the State of as great a popula- though they are generally friendly to tion. The large number of foreigners, free inquiry, yet there is less of its spirit who, in the course of the last three here than in some other parts of the years, have been employed in the man- State ; that is, the people generally ufacturing establishments here, have read less. But in this respect there is not produced so bad an effect upon the an evident improvement taking place. morals of the place as might have been Pains have been taken to circulate Uniand indeed was expected. So much tarian books and tracts, and the effect concerning things in general. Now I has been to excite the spirit of inquiry will say something more about my own and to establish the minds of many in society in particular.
right general notions of the gospel. A “The next fall after my ordination the “ Society for promoting Christian Knowchurch at my request laid aside the old ledge,” embracing many of the most increed and covenant or confession of telligent and active of my parishioners faith, which was used during Mr P- —'s and a few gentlemen of the neighbouring ministry in admitting members to com- town of R-, has been very useful. munion, and adopted one simply re- The books purchased by the funds of quiring the candidate to receive the this society are read by all who are wilscriptures as a sufficient rule of faith ling to read them, and when read are and conduct. In 1824 I persuaded my returned to me as librarian. I endeavour people, who had always used Watts's to keep them in use. The juvenile liPsalms and Hymns, to give them up brary also, which is connected with our for the New York Collection. I was Sunday school, does much good, by givmuch gratified that the change soon be- ing the children a taste for reading, and came universally satisfactory. I have by promoting their orderly behaviour, already said that our ineetinghouse is especially on the sabbath. On the whole commonly filled—the pews and galle- it is evident to my mind that the knowries occupied. My congregation has ledge and virtue of this part of the counincreased in number every year. It try are increasing, and consequently never was at any former period so nu- that the people are becoming more and merous as it has been for the last twelve more unfit to be the abject slaves or the months, and, what is worthy of notice, humble servants of spiritual tyrants. this accession of numbers and strength • I fear I have already trespassed too is of a substantial kind—not made up of far on your patience. But as the Orthe floating population of the village and thodox have boasted much of their sucneighbourhood, but embracing principal. cess in building up the Trinitarian socily men permanently and prosperously ety in this village, I should like to tell settled in business. You will undoubt you how they effected it—how they edly be pleased to learn that my society pulled down Mr C-'s society in dohave lately voted to build, in the course ing it, by drawing away a large part of of the present season, a large and per- his hearers-how those who remained manent meetinghouse of stone or brick, with him, aided by a small fund, removed at the cost of not less than sixteen thou. their meetinghouse about two miles sand dollars. Our present house was from their former place of worship into built only thirtysix years ago, and is the neighbourhood of a cotton factory to about as large as any in this part of the find a congregation, &c. &c.' country, but is not large enough to accommodate all who wish to connect themselves with our society. I am not As to the state of Unitarian Christiansure, however, that such a project would ity in this quarter, it is highly encourhave been started at this time had not aging to its friends. In my own parish Orthodox zeal attempted to revive &c. it has never had more nor warmer ad
You wish to know how far the vocates. It is now more than sevenVOL. V.-NO, IV.
teen years since my connexion with this piring cause. Whenever I hear of an people. During the whole of this peri- extraordinary attempt at one, I conclude od we have known how good a thing it the minister feels
his hold on his parish is for brethren to dwell together in uni- giving way. The children of this ty. Attempts have often been made by world are in their generation wiser than the members of the Theological Semi- the children of light.' Let Unitarians nary in this town, and by the Orthodox make an effort of half the magnitude of clergy of neighbouring parishes, to dis. their opponents, and their cause is safe. turb and scatter this parish ; but thanks God will bless his truth. It must trito the great Head of it, without effect. umph.' Nearly every year of my ministry has given evidence of its salutary influence ESSEX COUNTY, (south eastern part.) in the growing numbers of my church, • Unitarianism, considered as an appeland in the improving character of the lation distinguishing all those Christians people at large. But in no single year who dissent from Trinitarian and Calhas this evidence been so abundant as vinistic views, is spreading gradually in in the last. The better rational views this place. The change which has taof Christianity are understood by my ken place in the religious sentiments of people, the stronger is their hold on many of the inhabitants of this town, their affections and confidence, and the within the last sixteen years, is great. more cheerful they become to make an When I was settled in the ministry, the effort to defend and propagate them. whole of my parish were Trinitarian in Nor is this feeling and disposition con- their views, and a large portion of them fined to my own parish. The Exclusive Calvinistic; and although I explicitly System kept up by the Orthodox clergy declared to them, prior to my settlein this neighbourhood, has roused the ment, my own opinions, still they unanrighteous indignation of their people and imously persisted in inviting me to take made them tremble. Within one year the pastoral care of them. For two or this system has led to the removal of two three years, peculiarities of religious ministers in the town of H- In the opinions attracted but little attention; west parish the society are earnestly but when the public mind became exseeking a Unitarian preacher. And in cited, and directed to these subjects, the village an Orthodox man is settled then my own opinions were vehementwith an understanding that his continu- ly attacked by some of my own parish; ance depends on the liberality of his ex- gross misrepresentations of them were changes. In B-, B-,R—, and made, and the most unfair and unchrisT-, numbers of the most influential tian means were resorted to to render people have withdrawn their support my instructions and myself suspicious. from Orthodoxy and are supporting Uni. This conduct awakened the attention of tarian worship; and in all those places my people to the religious points in disit is believed the Orthodox ministers pute : and the unfair and evidently unstand on slippery ground. At 1- just methods employed by the disaffect. they have exchanged an Exclusive man, ed, led the honest part of the parish, and and the upper parish in B- - are on the the serious of other societies, to examine verge of doing the same. In the south their own opinions, to compare them parish in this town, lately under the with the sacred scriptures, to scrutincare of Dr E-, nine tenths of the in- ize closely those which I entertained, habitants are firm friends of toleration. and the reasons advanced in support of And what is more, a respectable num. them. The result was, that more than ber of them are decided Unitarians. two thirds of my parish at once became These facts speak loud, and whatever rationally and decidedly Unitarian and may be the condition of Unitarian Chris- Anticalvinistic in their opinions. The tianity elsewhere, I am confident it has number of this description has gradually no cause for despondency here, but in increased, so that at present, very few, the imperfections of its professors and if any, are found in my parish, which is friends. It is true the Orthodox are on a very large one, who are in reality the alert, and if confidence and boastin Trinitarian, or Calvinistic. Some few and revival making will give them suc- indeed, aged persons, retain the lancess, they may carry all before them. guage, the phrases &c. of Orthodoxy; The business of getting up revivals' but they in fact have nothing of it in seems to be their last resort in an ex- their opinions, nor in their temper.