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their purposes. They write no labored treatises; they send forth no Missionaries. It is sufficient for their object to circulate a song, or an anecdote, or to exhibit a caricature. What were the licentious tales of Voltaire, which, month after month, and year after year, spread impurity and corruption, and doubt and discontent, through so much of the civilized world ;-what were these but Tracts? What was the “ Age of Reason," but a Tract? Think you, that Paine understood and felt the difficulties of revelation, and the plausible objections to Christianity, better than Toland or Tindal or Hobbes? Yet his work is read and circulated, and is even now producing its sad effects upon the weak and the ignorant, while theirs have long since ceased to be found, except in public libraries, and upon the shelves of collectors. And whence this difference? Simply from the fact, that their works were too bulky to be read, except by the studious and the learned, while his was a Tract that could be mastered in half an hour. Their works were like the vegetable poisons, baneful enough in their nature, but offering some security from the very quantity necessary to produce a fatal effect; while his, was the concentrated mineral poison, causing death by a single drop.
'Surely, if ever it be lawful to learn policy from an enemy, it is so here. We have felt the force of these weapons. Our ranks have been thinned by these light arrows, falling silently among us.
What remains then for us, but to employ similar weapons? Let us even darken the air with them, that at whatever point the enemy appears, he may be overwhelmed with the arrowy shower.' pp. 53, 54.
But we prefer making our next extracts from his remarks on a subject, in which, as we have seen, he took a deep interest, and on which he wrote with great intelligence and good sense. His Address to Sunday School Teachers is one of the most valuable manuals on religious education that we have seen. It has been already widely known, and therefore we do not quote from it. As the subject, however, is one of increasing interest, we would suggest the expediency of its being printed again in a cheap and accessible form. It would do great good. The passages which we give below, are from a Letter on Sunday Schools, designed to give some account of that in which the writer was engaged; and to point out some of the principles most necessary to be kept in view, in order to render religious instruction efficacious. The whole Letter is deserving the study of those engaged in this good work. •With regard to our mode
of instruction, the grand principle is, that religious instruction, to be effectual, must be adapted to the actual state of the child's mind-it must, therefore, necessarily be by familiar conversation. The getting of lessons is of very little consequence, except as it affords an opportunity for asking and answering familiar questions. The course of instruction, therefore, and the books used, are very different in different classes, and are constantly varying in the same class. This whole business is left to the teachers, who best know the wants and ca-. pacities of those under their care, with this only restriction, that no new book shall be introduced without the knowledge and approbation of the superintendents. ***
We discourage lessons memoriter, except among the smaller classes. • The class which I have at present, I took somewhat more than a year VOL. V.NO. 1.
ago. It consists of boys from eleven to thirteen years old, and is one of the oldest and most advanced in school. They had learned about half of Cummings's “Questions,” when they passed under my care. I carried them through that book twice; then through Porteus's “Evidences;” then Paley's “ Natural Theology;” and they are now beginning Watts's “ Improvement of the Mind." They have, at the same time, passed through “The Acts” in course, in the following manner;-I gave every Sunday a lesson of about twenty verses ; from these they were required to frame as many questions, as they could imagine, and bring them to me, in writing, on the next Sunday. We then compared their several questions together, and talked about them, and answered them. This has brought into use all the knowledge I possess, and required a great deal more. One of my boys brought to me one hundred and fifty questions, and another ninetysix from the first chapter of “The Acts." Read it, and you may judge of their industry, as well as their ingenuity. I am now, at their repeated request, to begin an examination of the doctrines of Christianity. I have not yet settled my plan; but I foresee it will cause me some labor. Porteus's “Evidences” I found was not an interesting book to them. It became necessary to prepare a sort of commentary of historical facts, to fix their attention upon it, and on the whole it did not succeed well. But Paley's “ Theology” was a delightful book-it arrested and fixed their attention beyond hope.
“You will perceive from this account, that almost every thing depends upon the teachers; and I take pleasure in telling you, that from our experience the teachers can be depended upon, for almost every thing. Some of those connected with our school have the children at their houses to explain and illustrate more at large than they can do at school. And the children are not only willing to attend at such times, but are pleased with it. Instruction has been made interesting, and they are willing to go out of the way to get it. ***
“The children should not be collected by the clergymen; they will not have half the success of laymen. It is their profession to talk of the importance of religious instruction, and in their visits to irreligious families, such conversation passes as words of course. But send a lawyer or a merchant, and the very novelty of the thing excites attention. Besides, the intluence of the minister should be reserved for greater occasions.
* A division of classes, according to age, is impossible. We have sometimes put together children of five years and of eleven years; and that because they required precisely the same kind and degree of instruction. An intelligent child of a religious family, will know as much of religious truth, and will be as capable of understanding religious truths, at six years old, as the unsettled children about the streets know or can understand at thirteen years. I had a boy at school two years ago—and a very smart boy too—who, at ten years old, was, with difficulty, made to comprehend what was meant by God. You might as well arrange them according to the color of their hair, as according to their ages.
A very inadequate opinion prevails, of the nature of the instruction to be given at Sunday schools. If it be only the asking a certain number of prescribed questions, and receiving a certain number of prescribed answers,--if it be only catechising,-you may spare yourself any further pains. You have only to turn over the whole school to the town crier, and let them be taught to recite by platoons. But if you desire to awaken their faculties, to watch the first glimmerings of piety, to feed the flame without extinguishing it, you must study the character and habits of the child, you must adapt your mind to his, and your language to liis, and by a very constant course of cross-examination, be certain that you are rightly
* * *
ly understood, and that you have made the impression you intended to make. And for all this, what are fiftytwo days in a year? ***
'I think the minister should not attend the school. Religious instruction from him, or in his presence, is too much a thing of course. Besides, if your teachers are to talk with the children (and their instruction is worth nothing, if they do not), many of them will be embarrassed by the presence of their minister. They will be afraid to talk freely, lest he should hear them. Besides, there may be important occasions, when the clergyman may be called in, with powerful effect, and his presence should not be made too common. I say nothing of the great labor which your plan would impose upon the minister on the Sabbath, when he can ill afford the time or strength. ***
"Children do not become pious, by getting lessons of piety. As the teacher can certainly learn as fast as the children, I can see no reason why they should not carry the same class onward to an indefinite progress. It should be impressed upon them, that it is a school for themselves, as well as the children; that “he who watereth shall be watered himself.")
185–192. We shall close our extracts with an account of the author's visit to Mrs Barbauld.
'I left the building wearied and displeased; and gladly threw myself into the carriage, and drove to Stoke Newington to visit Mrs Barbauld. Lfound her an agreeable, sensible woman, with infinite good nature in her countenance and manner; but nothing that denoted a very powerful mind, or even marked the rank which she really holds among literary females. A volume of Mr Buckminster's sermons lay upon the table. She told me that it had been her constant companion ever since she received it; that the sermons were the best in the world, uniting the good sense of the English, with the fervor of the French divines. We talked of the comparative state of learning in England and America ; and she confirmed all the accounts, which I heard before, of the deplorable ignoranca of the lower classes in this country. Numerous as the learned and well informed persons undoubtedly are, seven persons in eight are unable to read and write. She says it will be time enough for America to write books in the next century,--she ought now to be cultivating her soil, and laying in a stock of learning and taste, to be employed, when the glories of England have passed away. She deprecated the introduction of large manufactories among us, and especially the employment of young children in them. An attempt, she added, was making to procure an act of Parliament, prohibiting the employment of children, under ten years of age, for more than ten hours a day. How great must be the evil, when such is the remedy! She did not appear to have a very accurate notion of the geography of America, and I have found no one who had. They seem to think here, that Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, lie close together, like Liverpool, Manchester, and Bristol.' pp. 299, 300.
There are one or two passages of a religious character in the correspondence, which we have a special desire to present to our readers, but feel ourselves forbidden by the personal and private allusions which they contain. We therefore close our extracts from this volume, with a feeling of reverence for the memory of him whose mind and heart are recorded in it, and an earnest prayer that bis example may stimulate others to devote their talents in like manner to the service of religion and the
benefit of man.
NOTICES OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS.
1. The Exclusive System. A Discourse deliver- been found at opposite, offensive, and ered in Groton, Massachusetts, at the Installa- dangerous extremities,' while • Unitarian 1826. By James Walker. Boston, Bowles & Christianity preserves the midway path' Dearborn, 1827. 8vo. pp. 56.
of truth and safety. Unitarianism, sor We believe this Discourse has already Atheism' on the one side, since the very
instance, is infinitely removed from been very extensively circulated; but, as our work may go into the hands of basis of our whole system, and the fact some who may not have seen it, we feel from which it derives its name, is, that it our duty to recommend it to their no
there is ONE Living and True God. It tice. It sets a most interesting and im- is equally removed, on the other side, portant subject in a new and striking forins of belief, which, as far as language
from Polytheism, or from any of those light, and is marked throughout with great distinctness of statement and great has any meaning, imply the existence originality and force both of thought and of two, or three, or more, distinct, and expression. Indeed, we do not know independent Gods.' Another of the exthat the Unitarian controversy has pro
tremes alluded to, 'is Deism, between duced an abler performance, or one that which and Unitarianism there is an imbetter deserves the careful attention of measureable distance. The Deist rethinking men.
jects a revelation, denies the truth of the bible, and considers God as sitting apart from all concern in the moral creatures
whom he has formed. The Unitarian, 2. Unitarian Christianity free from ObjectionaA Sermon, preached at the
on the contrary, embraces a revelation Dedication of the Unitarian Church, in Angus- with his whole heart, believes devoutly ta, Geo. December 27, 18:27. By Samuel in the truth of the bible, adores a superGilman, Pastor of the Second Independent intending Providence, relies on the ofChurch, Charleston, s. C., Charleston, Jumes fering of prayer, acknowledges his imS. Burges, 1828. 8vo. pp. 44.
mediate responsibleness to his Creator, We have often expressed our pleasure and adopts the sanctions of a future state on receiving this writer's productions, of retribution. But he vibrates not and it has become a matter of course
over to what he esteems the opposite with us to expect something ingenious point of the arch, viz. that revelation and and striking in whatever comes from his reason are at variance.' Unitarianism pen.
We have not been disappointed is then considered in relation to Judaism in respect to the sermon before us. and Mahometanism. It is next conThough not perhaps in all points so fin- trasted with Trinitarianism in respect to ished a composition as we have seen the nature and character of Jesus Christ. from the same source, yet it possesses It neither deifies him, nor reduces him the higher excellences of pulpit ad- to the level of a mere man. We candresses in a degree that will add to the not refrain from quoting the following reputation of the preacher. The intro- remarks under this head, as a specimen duction, which is devoted to the task of the author's manner of illustrating obof specially analyzing the causes of mu
scure points of doctrine. tual congratulation' belonging to the oc
' But what is the essential point, the real heart casion of dedicating a new house of wor
of the difference which separates the two par ship, we think rather too long, though it ties? It is this. Unitarians believe that the is remarkably appropriate and eloquent. Father and the Son are intimately CONNECTED.
Trinitarians maintain that the two beings are Mr Gilman's leading design is to show
in some way mysteriously IDENTIFIED. They that Unitarian Christianity, as a system imagine that one person had at the same time a of religion and morals, is perfectly free divine and a human nature. from every doctrinal extravagance, every speakable effluences.
the divine nature filled the human with its un
The doctrine of Trinitapractical excess and every formidable
rians is equivalent to asserting that a single obdifficulty, with which other systems of ject can at the same moment possess the nature opinion are chargeable.'
The doctrine of Unitarians In discussing this subject, he refers
is but analogous to the assertion that the heat
of fire may pervade and become intimately to a great variety of topics, in respect to
Thus we avoid the which religionists of different sects have inadmuissable extremo just mentioned, with which
We believe that
of fire and water.
mingled with the water.
our opponents are chargeable ; and also the op- nearly every week brings tidings of some new posite extreme, which they so mistakenly ascribe church being established on these dear and sato us, of reducing, as it were, the water to a cred principles, in spite of a compacted and permere mass of ICE.
severing enginery of bitter opposition, which That you may perfectly understand our mutu- would overwhelm any other cause in the world, al opinions on this point, I will further try to but one founded on the first principles of everexplain the matter by a clear and familiar illus- lasting truth. For every single individual who tration. Suppose some rich, powerful, and be- abandons Unitarianism, it is an undeniable fact, nevolent friend should make you a present of a that more than one whole congregation accedes golden cup. If the vessel contained nothing, I to the system. And such, I see and feel, will he allow that it would be a “ mere” golden cup. the proportion of its progress to that of its deBut suppose that your friend had filled that cup cline, for centuries to come. Unnumbered seriwith some infinitely precious cordial, some elixir ous, pious, and conscientious inquirers, when of immortal life, which you could obtain from no shocked by the excesses, and staggered by the other quarter in existence. Would it then be difficulties, in which the present popular systems right to say that he had given you a mere cup ? of Orthodoxy are involved, yet still more shockNow I frankly assure you that Unitarians re- ed and staggered by the opposite excesses and gard the Saviour not as the mere golden cup, not difficulties attending on irreligion and infidelity, as a mere man, but as that cup filled with the must, I devoutly believe, after vibrating from precious elixir of life ; and in this point of view opinion to opinion, and from doubt to doubt, they gratefully receive him from the hand of find no place for their trembling, wearied souls God, invested with divine authority, filled with to rest in, but that blessed poise of Unitarian heavenly wisdom, and laden with eternal bles- Christianity, through which the directest line is sings to mankind. But what do our Trinitarian drawn from earth to heaven. pp. 41-43. brethren insist upon ? They say, your cup is worth nothing, and all that it contains is worth nothing, because it is not equal to the friend who gives it, and because it does not possess his 3. Johnson's English Dictionary, as improved nature! If this be not an unwarrantable extreme by Todd, and abridged by Chalmers; with in doctrine, 'I know not what is ; but it is cer- Walker's Pronouncing Dictionary, combined: tainly an extreme of which Unitarians are not to which is added, Walker's Key to the Clasguilty.' pp. 23-25.
sical Pronunciation of Greek, Latin, and The other topics of the discourse are, di
Scripture Proper Names. Boston, Charles vine influences; atonement; future pun
Ewer and T. Harrington Carter. 1828. ishment; divine decrees, foreknowledge,
This work is the result of indefatigable and predestination ; views and uses of pains, and will deservedly supersede the the bible ; rules and principles of scrip
use of all other manuals yet published in tural interpretation ; points of religious this country. ceremony; matters of church government; and methods of propagating opinions. In respect to all these points, 4. A Discourse, preached at the Dedication of the preacher shows, in a very satisfacto- the Bethlehem Church, in Augusta, Maine, ry manner, that Unitarian Christianity is
October 18, 1827. By Alvan Lamson, Min
ister of the First Church in Dedham, Mass. at equal distances from every kind of
Augusta, Eaton & Severance, 18:27. 12mo speculative and practical extreme, and hence happily discloses a new and strong The object of this Discourse, a comproof in its favor. Having thus accomplished the purpose in our last volume, is, to explain, not the
panion for the one by Mr Lamson noticed which he proposed to himself, he con
basis of our confidence in the Saviour, but cludes with following expression of the manner in which we build on him as confidence in the ultimate prevalence the foundation of our piety, our virtue, our of the religious system of which he has solace and hope; in other words, to show shown himself so able an advocate.
the use we make of his doctrines, exThat such a system will not eventually pre- ample, cross, and resurrection; with a rail, I entertain no fears whatever. Calculating, not as the member of a sect, but as an observer
more particular view to a refutation of of human nature, I am entirely persuaded that
the popular charges brought against us, the present outrageous and disproportioned pre- that we substitute human speculations judice against. Unitarianism, must, from the for the simple teachings of God's Spirit, very nature of things, cre long experience a reaction. The coming generation will wonder,
and that our faith is but one remove from what excesses of immorality, what daring acts infidelity.' In the prosecution of this of impiety, what freaks of folly and absurdity, design, ihe preacher first meets and reexhibited by Unitarianismn, could provoke in their futes the popular charge that Unitarians fathers so much hostility against it.
Even now it finds some professed advocates in almost every
are the worshippers of reason, in opposichurch in Christendom, Even now there are tion to revelation, when in fact their faith innumerable unconscious Unitarians in all is strictly scriptural, and alone of all the churches, who scarcely dare to think that they are so, but who have no other mode of explain be stated in plain scripture language,
creeds of Christendom, can, in all points, ing their meaning, when the touchstone of inquiry is applied to their belief. Even now, also, "built,' in the words of his text,“ upon the