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they have lately buried the most ef
MIDDLESEX COUNTY. ficient member of the Unitarian band. • I have noticed with astonishment and
• As to the intolerance of Orthodoxy, grief indeed, but not with dismay, the I suppose it is now, as it has been sev- confident and exaggerated assertions, eral years past. The leaders of that statements, and insinuations, to which party doubtless wish keep what we you allude. They indicate, I must call truth entirely out of sight and hear- think, in those who make them, a coning, and we have as little reason to sciousness, of the increasing doubt, that, with a considerable part of strength, but of the increasing weakthe community, their wishes have the ness, of their party. But with what authority of law. Still I am inclined expectation are such things said, pubto think that the number of those, who lished, and spread abroad before the are willing to read and hear on both community? Do the authors of these sides of the question, is increasing. things believe, that the people will redenominations. The great mass even divinity,” which is Hopkinsianism, and of the Orthodox in this region, are, I would have quietly continued Arminibelieve, secretly and increasingly hos- ans, believing that Christianity required tile to the Exclusive System. Their nothing but piety and beneficence, had dissatisfaction with it, indeed, is be- not new questions been agitated Since coming more and more manifest, in all the controversies of the day, they have directions. Not unfrequently do their been affecied as was to be expected. sighs for better times, become audible. Those of warm and nervous tempera“Oh, that our ministers would exchangements have selected Methodism, and as heretofore, and let us live in good some few Calvinism, &c. The quesneighbourhood with our fellow Chris- tions in debate, now are, whether tians, as we used to do; we like not Trinitarian or Unitarian sentiments are this unnatural state of things, and we expressed in the bible? The majority will not bear it forever.” I can confi- of this region are decidedly Unitarian; dently appeal to the feelings of multi- and where there was a traditionary tudes of Orthodox Christians in this re- faith, there is now an intelligent examgion, in support of my opinion, that ination and a well assured conviction.' Liberal Christianity is gaining in the respect and favor of the community.
ceive as truth whatever is told them2. FRANKLIN COUNTY. that they can be managed and moulded Last winter quite an effort was made to to any purpose, and that their cause get up revivals in this quarter. A “Cir- will flourish, while the character of the cular Conference” was organized—that means used to promote it, is disreis, every Orthodox parish in the coun- garded? If such be their belief, and it ty was to send its minister and a lay would seem as though it must be, they delegate, or two lay delegates, to a par- will at length find themselves most ticular parish, for the purpose of holding bitterly disappointed. The people will a conference, or of producing an ex- maintain their religious freedom, and citement. Thus all the parishes were their Protestant rights; they will imin turn to be visited. Conferences prove them in searching the Scriptures have been held in a number of par- for themselves, and in living together ishes, but their labors have thus far as neighbours, friends, and christian been wholly without success. No brethren. symptoms of a revival have yet been • The history of this business for
many visible, except a few additional meet- years past, clearly shows, that the spiings at the time of visitation-and these rit of Protestantism, in this Commonhave, in one instance, at least, produced wealth, is too powerful, too enlightened, a reaction.
too much awake, and too jealous of its • Some other gentlemen will be able to rights, to be outwitted, crushed, or magive you a more correct general view of nacled by the wiles, threats, or combithe state of things than I can. I have been nations of its enemies. This spirit was here so little time, that I am not qualified never so active, as at the present moto judge comparatively. I however met ment, in this Commonwealth. Why with the association last Tuesday at have the more intelligent and inD-, and among other things, it fluential of the laity, so very generally was asked, whether the members would aroused themselves to enter the lists as assist those societies which were spring- combattants in this great warfare? ing up, and who wanted to hear the Why are these things seen, and heard, truth-and the answer was, If there and read, and known of all men? The were only one or two of them, it would be answer is obvious. The people have pleasant to give them assistance, but taken their stand and are determined there were so many, it is a thing that taxation and representation shal} impracticable.” There is a new society go together in Church as well as in lately collected in G- The new State, and that they will not submit to societies are of course small, but most wear the yoke of “ Saintly Dominaof them raise some money to pay for tion.” Such is, I am confident, the preaching. I know of no place where spirit of this Commonwealth, and, I am a missionary could be employed to sure, of this section of it. greater advantage than in this region. "Now I view this spirit, as essentially There is a spirit of inquiry among the the spirit of Unitarianism, and as sepeople, and my judgment would be, curing most certainly its progress from what I have seen and heard, that and its ultimate triumph. Another the prospects of Liberal Christianity cheering sign of the times in this rewere never so good in the valley of gion is, the increase of the spirit of the Connecticut ag at the present time.' love and peace among many in all the
MAINE.-CUMBERLAND. And even Unitarian views are • In answer to your inquiry, I am spreading themselves in this region, si. happy to say, that, to the best of my lently and slowly, but steadily and knowledge and belief, the cause of rasurely. Unitarianism, using the word tional Christianity has never been more in an enlarged and proper sense, is, I prosperous in my own immediate ciram satisfied, from inuch'observation and cle, than at the present moment. My inquiry, gaining ground in this quarter.
own church has increased more than • True-some ministers are becoming usual within the year. The congrega. more Exclusive-in some towns there tion is full, and the Sunday School inis an increase of the spirit of intolerance, struction is very numerously attended, and a proseiyting, sectarian zeal is and pursued with the best spirit and breaking up, here and there, a religious ardor, by as many as forty or fifty of society. But these facts, when viewed both sexes, from among the most suitin a proper light, are not against, butable and competent persons in the pain favor of the opinion I have ad- rish. An application has lately been vanced above. It is a matter of course, made to me from S- to obtain an that, as the stream increases in its swell, assistant for Mr M- who is settled velocity, and power, its eddies should in the First Congregational Society in become proportionably violent, turbid, that town. I have been able to attend and noisy.
to the request, and Mr W— is now • The new [orthodox] societies in supplying the pulpit. I may labor C-, A-, &c. do not increase upon under an erroneous impression, but I the old, but rather the contrary. At
can entertain no other opinion, from the tempts to render other towns Exclusive, progress of knowledge and the characfail, through the oppugnation of the
ter of the age, than that the cause of people. Look to T- and W- enlightened and liberal religion is desand C- who are endeavouring to
tined to advance, if nothing be wanting settle Anti-Exclusionists. In B- in the prudence, good judgment, and B- W- W-, S. A—, and devotedness of its friends.' T- the Exclusive System has many
YORK COUNTY. invincible and weighty opposers.
I have received your favour, condeed, I doubt not, the prediction of Drtaining some queries relative to UnitaCumings, which he often repeated, will
rian Christianity in this region. be verified, “ This plan of clerical do
• With the increase of religious light, mination said he, “will never suc
in this vicinity, the peculiarities of ceed. The people will set the minis
Calvinism seem to be every year fading ters right at last." My own people from the public creed; and in the saine have been Unitarian for a half century.' proportion, I may add, are the princi
ples of a more rational faith embraced. . In this region Unitarianism had its Orthodoxy, here, hus small reason for origin, and the spirit, rather than the that “ confident and triumphant tone,” letter, has kept the even tenor of its to which you allude. At the same way. They have disliked the “ new time, Unitarians, as a body, have as
little reason to boast of their wisdom or If I understand the object of your strength.
society, it is to disseminate the doctrines “Our fears, in Maine, do not arise of Unitarian Christianity, and I have from the machinations of the Exclusive no hesitation in reconimending this viSystem. They arise from our want of cinity, as beiog a field, in which the that unanimity or cooperation, which is seed might be advantageously scatterso indispensable to success. We have ed. But, Sir, suffer me to intimate, materials here, for example, sufficient that I think a wrong estimate has been to compose three good parishes; a made by many, of the intelligence of Trinitarian, a Unitarian, and a Metho- the inhabitants of new countries. In dist. These three would be numerous, fact, a great part of them are quite an strong, and prosperous; but when three enterprising portion of society, otheror four more, an Episcopal, a Univer. wise they would not have been situsalist, a Baptist, and a Catholic, are add. ated as they are. I therefore would ed to these, our strength becomes weak- recommend that men of talents, men ness, and our wisdom folly and infatua. well acquainted with the nature of tion. Most of these denominations, it man, should be sent-if you send any. not all, have more or less of Liberal I know of no man better qualified than Christians among them.
Mr W- for a mission into this
county. He made a strong impresPENOBSCOT COUNTY, ME. sion. The people were very desi. I reside in one of the frontier towns rous to hear more from him, and I of the State of Maine, where we have think that, could he have remained a very little, if any, of what appears to me few weeks with us, his meetings would to be regular preaching. It is true have been very fully attended, and that we have very many meetings for much prejudice against our belief would religious worship, but our preachers have been done away.' are illiterate, and unqualified to instruct in the momentous concerns of
NEW HAMPSHIRE, religion; and their tenets are anything I can see nothing here to make me rather than rational Christianity. believe that Orthodoxy is gaining any
• There is no union of sentiment with increased ascendency. Our meetings are us upon religious subjects, at present. as fully attended as ever, although at The people are willing to hear any one
least one third of our society, in consewho offers to teach them, and hence, quence of the failure of business here, it is my opinion, that a good field is have left the place, and I know of no here open for sowing the good seed. defection. The progress of truth never But we have not been in the habit of equals the hopes of the sanguine. But paying for preaching, and I apprehend the progress of Liberal Christianity is in that some time must elapse before we my opinion just such as should be exshall generally rid ourselves of our pected, and just such as it ought to be prejudices in that particular-I hope for its own security. I should regret that we may eventually.
to see it spread by a perversion of feel• The object of this communication, is, ing, as Orthodoxy sometimes does; for to inform you that the labors of Uni- I should be sure there would be a retarian preachers of the right descrip- action by which it would lose ground. tion, would be well received in this It is on the calm good sense of the region, and would, I think, do much community, sustained by the observtowards disseminating the true princi- ance of results, that the truths peculiar ples of Christianity. We have had an to Unitarianism must depend for their opportunity to witness, in a small de- support. It may sometimes be stationgree, the effects of such labors. The ary, sometimes even appear to retroRey. Mr W- of W-spent grade, as the traveller finds levels and three days in this vicinity, and preached even vallies in ascending the highest once in this place, once in S, and mountains. But just so sure as the once in F both neighbouring progress of the human mind is now adtowns, and, taking into consideration vanced, is it certain that there is, on the the very busy season of the year, we whole, a continual advance towards the being in the inidst of our haying-and object of our wishes. that he spent no Sabbath with us, I I look upon all the pretended trimay say that the meetings were well umphs of Orthodoxy as hollow. Their attended, and, so far as I am able to pretensions to success, so far as their judge, his preaching very acceptable. peculiar tenets are concerned, are in VOL. V.-NO. V.
the main, false. How very few in firmer than it has ever stood. The their congregations adopt the views Society has always been Liberal, from which constitute Orthodoxy, you can- the very first, more than twenty years not but be sensible, and the increasing ago ; nor has it been without its influlooseness with which their views are ence on this State. From inquiries held and advocated cannot have escap- which I have made the past year, I ed your notice.
ain fully satisfied, that there are many . It is somewhat difficult to decide, Unitarians in the State, and more now when it is proper to separate and form than there were two years since. One a new society; and there are instances gentleman went so far as to say, that where the attempt has been premature. he did not believe there was a town, in A large portion of those who think which some could not be found and with you will be governed by conside- these are (as it always has been) rerations of expediency, and these are spectable and some of the first in their usually on the side of the old so- respective places. The Rev. Mr ciety. Unitarians are not fond of N- -, formerly of W- -, Mass., schism, and reason is always more has resided some years in Vermont, lukewarm than superstition.
and has occasionally preached, and he • When I consider that but a few says, that everywhere, where he has years since Orthodoxy had possession made known his sentiments—which of all the churches, and the control of are decidedly Unitarian—he has found the religious part of the community, those, to whom they were acceptable. and with what strength old religious as- Many who would gladly hear Liberal sociations entwine themselves about preaching, do not know where to get it, the heart, it seeins to me but little short or where to apply for it. Could a misof a miracle, that Unitarianism, open and sionary pass through the State, he bold, has made such progress. As to would find numerous hearers. Many the fear that free inquiry will be sti- tracts have been distributed, and wherfled, nothing can be more groundless. ever they have gone, they have been There may be some successful attempts well received. I have had it said to at it, but it is only closing the shutters me, and there are very many who say, to darken a room instead of extinguish “I do not know what I am—but I do ing the sun.
know that I am not a Calvinist.”Nothing is so fatal to Orthodoxy Why, I have been a Unitarian years as the exhibition of its spirit, and it now ago, but did not know it.” » owes its popularity more to the circumstance of its being kept at bay by the PENNSYLVANIA AND OHIO. Liberal, than to any other cause.
[The following narrative was writ• You perceive, therefore, that my ten at the request of the Executive views of the subject are such, that if Committee of the American Unitarian the boasted triumphs of the Orthodox Association, and will be read with inwere true, and even much greater than terest.] they are pretended to be, they would I travelled to see the face of the fill me with no alarm. For I hold that country—and to learn the state of som an acquaintance with Orthdoxy, either ciety. Wherever I stopped for a few from experience or observation, is one days or weeks, and became acquainted of the best securities for Liberal Chris- with those of Liberal sentiments, we tianity. You will also perceive, that of course had conversations on their with these views, I may not be quali- prevalence and prospects. But of such fied to give minute details depending on conversations I took no note. I can occurrences that excite in me but little furnish you nothing more, therefore, in interest. Our cause rests on the prin- the way of complying with your reciples of our nature and the general quest, than to name the places where progress of the human mind-and these I preached, and to give you the geneagain are causes not under the control ral impression which I received. of Orthodoxy.'
* April 15th, 1827, Preached at H
Penn. This society is ad
mirably situated for the wide diffusion • With regard to Unitarianism in of Liberal sentiments. As the legislaVermont, I will begin first with my ture has its sessions here, the more inown society.-We were never so firm. telligent from the various parts of the Unitarianism in this place stands State are brought together, and some
; my next
of them were already disposed to at- themselves; and a few, at least, who tend regularly, whenever they had a did so, returned home with somewhat meeting, at the Unitarian church; different views and feelings, from those while many others were willing to go with which they left. and hear occasionally, that they might • The 24th,-rode to B- disbe able to judge for themselves. The tant sixteen miles, where I had presociety numbers among its members viously been requested to preach. several active, intelligent, and zealous And here, as at other places, I had reaindividuals, who give ample assurance, son to believe that the words of truth that no reasonable exertions will be and soberness' fell upon good ground. wanting on their part, either to build • After leaving Mup the society, or to diffuse what they place of preaching was, the 5th of June, believe to be the simple truths of the at L- Kentucky. The services gospel
were in the Methodist church. NotThe evening of the eighteenth, withstanding notice was given out but preached in the courthouse at S- a short time previous, they were well two miles below N - It was term attended. time, and the court room was very
June 6th. Left this beautiful forest well filled. Many, doubtless, came city, (for so numerous are the trees in because they had no other way of pass- and about it, that, as you approach, it ing the evening—but some, as I after- has more the appearance of a forest wards learned, that they might know than of a town,) and arrived by the what this new doctrine' was. After way of L at C
- on the visiting that retired spot on the bank of 9th. As my labors were longer in the Susquehannah, where rest in quiet- this place than any other, I will give ness the remains of the venerated you a more detailed account of them. Priestley, 1 returned to H- and Being Saturday afternoon when I landpreached again, the 22d.
ed, and stormy withal, it was deemed • April 29th. Preached at P
inexpedient to preach the day followPenn. for Mr S
The society, ing. Consequently, I had leisure to though few in numbers, are not with- hear what others had to say ,-and I out a laudable zeal for the sentiments improved it, by hearing Mr Rwhich they hold. And if they could and Mr J- It was Trinity Sunobtain a regular pastor, one who should day. So I had the beginning of Trinidevote himself wholly to the work, I ty in the forenoon and the ending of believe a numerous and intelligent so- Trinity in the afternoon. In the mornciety might soon be collected in this ing, the preacher had so much the aprapidly increasing and beautifully situ- pearance of candor, as to acknowledge ated city.
to his hearers, that the genuineness of • May 4th. Landed at M-, Ohio, the text 1 John, v, 7, was doubted by and left there on the 30th, having some Christians. But he was unpreached four Sabbaths. The services willing to give up, what he was conwere in the courthouse, and the number scious would be a good support to the of hearers from a hundred and fifty to two doctrine of the Trinity, at least to the hundred. So desirous were the people more ignorant portion of the commuin that vicinity to worship God in the nity, so long as it retained its place in way which some call heresy'—to hear the New Testament. He therefore the truth as it is in Jesus, that some told his hearers, that after a careful came twelve and even sixteen miles. examination of the subject, he saw do During my sojourn in that delightful reason to doubt its being genuine, and village, there was a meeting of an as- in accordance with this conclusion, he sociation of the Baptist denomination. urged it as one of the strongest props As several of the preachers and many of his belief. In the afternoon, the of the hearers came a great distance, it preacher, either from ignorance or some was continued from Friday until Mon- other cause, did not even lisp to his day; and some, who believed them- people, that the said text had ever been selves Orthodox, and who had come doubted, but repeated it again and many miles, for the purpose of hearing again in support of the all important Orthodoxy, when they learned that a doctrine. Unitarian was to preach on the Sab. • Mr R- -, formerly a Methodist bath, had the independence and the preacher, but some time since excluded christian candor to go and hear for from their fellowship, in consequence