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in any country in Europe without convulsion, and unsettling the minds of the great bulk of the people, because they have been accustomed and taught to look on them as no less sacred than the bible. The safest way then certainly is, that now adopted by necessity. It is safest to introduce, as is now attempted to be done, not by authority of the synod or the churches, but by other means, different catechisms to take insensibly the place of the present one.
What the former orthodox party consider now as positive doctrines of christianity, appear to me to be few In the great number of sermons published the last three years and mentioned in the reviews, there seems not even to have been an allusion to the doctrine of the Trinity, but in one instance, and the reviewers observe on it: "that many will be surprised, that the author has made use of the word Trinity." Professor Van der Palm, the celebrated Dutch biblical critic, and a most eloquent preacher, has published six volumes of sermons, which I have received. On the subject of the atonement he is positive; he does not however explain it as an infinite satisfaction to enable the Deity to be merciful towards his creatures, but for some reasons inexplicable to us, as a means by God ordained, and necessary to our salvation. He appears to me to have adopted, what Dr. Price calls the middle-scheme, and which the latter thinks the nearest the truth in the Gospel account. Professor Van der Palm speaks of Christ always in the language of the bible, and as the image of God's glory revealed on earth. That in him we see the Father; that his wisdom, power and love, are those of the Father, and that thus exalted, perfected and glorified by the Father, we must love and obey Christ as we do the Father. He represents Christ's present exaltation, "not because he was from eternity with the Father, but because he has been made perfect by obedience and suffering, and has obtained the delivery of men by his blood." Of the Holy Spirit he always speaks as of the power of God.
All the reviewers speak of these sermons, with unqualified praise, and recommend them as models. It seems to me obvious, therefore, that the doctrine of the Trinity is abandoned by the greater part and the most learned of the Dutch clergy, not less than the doctrine of Predestination. It is not long ago, however, that the slightest departure from the Creed established in 1618, was followed a formal dismissal of a minister from any of the established churches. The Synods and classes were particularly watchful for the preservation of the only true doctrines and the purity of the faith, as settled and declared by the Fathers of the Council of Dort.
New Series-vol. III.
One of the reviews, which has always, but with great caution, recommended a system of liberal christianity, comes now boldly forward and defends the perfect unity of God, on the ground of the plain and obvious declarations of the bible. It rejects and reprobates the imposition of human Creeds and systems of divinity. No professed Unitarians are more explicit on this point, than the writers in this review.
All this proves to me an amazing change in the religious opinions of my native country, which not many years ago was considered as the great bulwark of the orthodox and calvinistic system on the continent of Europe, and where that system has formerly found its most able and learned defenders. That this great change should be general, cannot be expected. But we may suppose the national general Synod of 1817, to have represented the opinions of the great majority of the Dutch Theo logians, at least of the most learned and esteemed among them, and of the heads of the Universities. The perfect freedom allowed by this Synod to the ministers of religion, to take the bible as their standard of faith and doctrine, amounts to a virtual abandonment of any system of Orthodoxy. This, with the now open avowal and defence of the perfect unity of the Godhead, formerly branded and abhorred under the frightful name of Socinianism, must in time bring christianity back to its first purity and simplicity.
I see also in a work on theological subjects, that, in an introductory discourse, lately published by Professor Schulz of Breslau, the doubts about the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews are considered as finally settled, by what proofs or arguments is not mentioned, against the opinion that the Apostle Paul was the author of it. This was also the decision of the great Professor Valckenaer of Leyden, as appears by a recent posthumous publication from his writings, Selecta e Scholis.
Statements respecting Intemperance. We have just seen the fourth annual Report of the Society for prevention of Pauperism in the city of New-York. The labours of this society are valuable, and we doubt not our readers will be interested in some quotations respecting intemperance--an important subject to which we have often called their attention. After stating "the sources of pauperism which attracted notice the last year, to be Intemperance, Ignorance, Criminal Prosecutions, Condition of Prisons. Gambling-Houses, Pardons, Lotteries, Want of Cleanliness, Emigration, Idleness and Want of Employment,” the Managers proceed as follows:
"During the last year, the evils of intemperance have not di
minished. By the most accurate computation, there are 1680 licenses for retailing ardent spirits, in actual force, in the city of New-York; making an average of one tippling house to every fourteen houses in this metropolis. And by adopting the mode of calculation used by the managers for the year 1819, to ascertain the sum annually expended in New-York, in the consumption of spirituous liquors, we arrive at the frightful result; that, in 1820, the sum of $1,893,011 was squandered in the use of this single article! And this, too, principally among that portion of our population, who are destitute of, any permanent means of support, depending upon manual labour for their daily bread."
They add, that it is found that "the connexion between the evil under consideration, and the commission of a great portion of the minor offences which occupy our civil and criminal courts, is so close and intimate, that in proportion as the use of ardent spirits extends, crimes multiply, and vice versa. The records of the Court of Sessions show, that, as the number of licences has been augmented, assaults and batteries have multiplied; and when the former has diminished, the latter have decreased. The whole number of complaints for assaults and batteries, during the last year, was 1061: During the first six months of that year, the number was 409; in the last six months 652. Here it is to be observed, that about 180 new licenses were granted in the early part of those last six months, in the absence of the mayor. They add the following fact to prove that the use of ardent spirits is not essential to the strength of the most laborious.
"Mr. Allaire is the proprietor of a large foundry at Corlaer'sHook. During the last season he employed upwards of sixty workmen, more than thirty of whom were men of families. In the course of the summer, he was informed that many of them were in debt; and on investigating their concerns, with surprise he ascertained the fact, that every one who was in the habit of using ardent spirits, was involved to an extent beyond his ability to pay; and, with a satisfaction equal to his former surprise, he learned the additional fact, that those who made no use of spirits, were in easy circumstances, and their children well provided for at school. Nor did a difference of wages from seventy-five cents to ten shillings per day, make any perceptible change in the situation of the former class of workmen.
With this picture before him, Mr. Allaire was at once induced to prohibit the use of ardent spirits altogether, in his shops, during working hours. But one person left his employ in consequence of this restriction; and this man had borrowed of Mr. Allaire, while in his service, upwards of $300 to pay grocery bills. In conclusion of his letter, Mr. Allaire observes: I have great reason to be pleased with the happy effects of this regulation. I find my interest better served; and that those who, from excessive drinking, had be
come of but little worth to me, and in many instances, of less to their families, have now become able and steady; earn more money; and their families as well as themselves, have expressed, in a language not to be misunderstood, the many comforts and the domestic happiness, which they enjoy in consequence."
Dedication at New-York.-The very neat and beautiful church, which has been during the last year erected in the city of NewYork for the accommodation of a society of Unitarian worshippers, was dedicated to the service of Almighty God, on Saturday, Jan. 20th. The solemnities of the occasion were conducted by the Rev. Professor Everett, and the regular worship of the Lord's day has since been attended by a large and attentive audience. A church was gathered in the society Jan. 30th, and the ordinances have been regularly administered. We cannot but be grateful for that favour of Providence, by which this infant society has been led so pleasantly and prosperously to the accomplishment of this design;-a design, which two years since was unthought of, and would have been deemed impracticable; but now is happily completed, and opens a prospect for the diffusion of christian light and charity, which cannot be contemplated without religious joy.
New-York Collection of Psalms and Hymns.-We regret that circumstances have prevented our taking notice, in our Review, of the collection of Hymns, lately published in New-York by Henry D. Sewall, and used in the worship of the first Congregational Church of that place. We hope to do it in our next number. We must be satisfied with saying now, that we consider it as the best collection, upon the whole, of which we have any knowledge, and think it exceedingly desirable that it should be introduced to the worship of our churches in this town and vicinity. It is quite time that Belknap's Collection, which is in most general use, should give way to a better. It was excellent for its day, but its day is past. We need in the worship of our churches a larger variety of authors and subjects, and a more universal purity both of poetry and doctrine. Half of the psalins and hymns, at least, are such as never are and never can be used for the purposes of public devotion. We hope that those, who feel an interest in this most delightful part of religious service, will be led to think of the expediency of a change; and now that they have access to a book of precisely the character they could desire, will not hesitate to adopt it.
The Unitarian Miscellany.-The first numbers of a monthly publication under this title, issuing at Baltimɔre, we have read with great satisfaction, and cordially welcome a work which gives promise of so powerful aid to the cause of religion and truth. We find in it an account of the formation of
The Baltimore Unitarian Society for the Distribution of Books : which we quote in part, that we may, if possible, by extending the knowledge of it, induce others to follow so good an example.
The books distributed by the society shall be the Bible, and such other books as contain rational and consistent views of christian doctrines,
and are calculated to promote a correct faith, sincere piety, and a holy practice.
"Any person, on paying a subscription of one dollar, may become a member of the society, and be entitled to vote for officers. All subscriptions shall become due annually on the first day of January; and every member shall be considered an annual subscriber, until he gives notice to the secretary, that he wishes to withdraw himself from the society.
"The funds of the society shall be disposed of in purchasing or printing such books as the managers shall select or approve. A catalogue of these books shall be annually printed, with their respective prices annexed, and a copy sent to each subscriber, who shall be entitled to re*ceive such books, as he may select out of the catalogue, to the amount of his subscription.
"All applications for books, must be made to the librarian, either in person or by a written order, but without any expense to the society for the postage of letters, or the conveyance of books. No person can receive books until his subscription is paid."
The foundation of a design somewhat similar has been laid in NewYork, by the institution of a Library in the vestry-room of the first Congregational Church.
ORDINATIONS.-At Hingham, Jan. 17th, Mr. Charles Brooks was ordained to the pastoral care of the Third Church and Society. Rev. P. Whitney, of Quincy, offered the Introductory Prayer; Rev. Dr. Ware preached; Text, 2 Chron xviii. 13. And Micaiah said, As the Lord liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak. Rev. Dr. Kirkland made the or daining prayer; Rev. Dr. Harris, of Dorchester, gave the charge; Rev. Mr. Francis, of Watertown, presented the fellowship of the churches; Rev. N. B. Whitney, of Hingham, made the concluding prayer.-It may be worth while to state, that, at the election of the candidate, the Church voted, that in this matter they had no right independent of, or prior to that of the congregation, and therefore acted in union with them, and not separately.
Feb. 21, Mr. Benjamin D. Wisner was ordained to the pastoral care of the Old South Church and Society in Boston. Introductory Prayer, Rev. S. E. Dwight. Sermon, Rev, Prof. Woods, of Andover; text, 1 Corinth: 11. 2. I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. Ordaining prayer, Rev. Dr. Holmes, of Cambridge. Charge, Rev. Dr. Osgood, of Medford. Right hand of fellowship, Rev. Mr. Huns tington, of Bridgewater. Concluding prayer, Rev. J. Codman, of Dorchester.
At Ashby, Jan. 3, Mr. E. L. Bascom. Sermon by Rev. Dr. Foster, of Brighton,
At Waltham, Jan. 17, Mr. Sewall Harding, over the second Congregational Church and Society. Sermon by Rev. Mr. Ide, of Medway. Dedication of the Meeting-House took place on the same day.
Died in West-Springfield, on the last day of the last year, the Rev. JoSEPH LATHROP, D.D. senior Pastor of the First Church in that place, in the 90th year of his age, and the 65th of his ministry.
This great and good man was a descendant in the fourth generation from the Rev. John Lathrop, formerly a minister of Barnstable, in England, who in the year 1634 came over, and settled in the ministry at Barnstable, in this state. The subject of this sketch was born at Norwich, in Connecticut, Oct. 31, 1731. He was an only son, and was deprived of his father at about the age of two years. At the age of eight years he was removed to Bolton, (Con.) where his mother formed a second marriage, and where