« PreviousContinue »
ing which had been manifested throughout the evening. He trusted the speeches which had been delivered would tend to create a spirit of inquiry amongst those who were not at present enrolled in their society, and that they would ere long see the necessity of joining them for the purpose of eradicating the worst social evil of the day. (Applause.)
[By the kindness of the Authoress, we have been favoured with a copy of the verses referred to, and with much pleasure subjoin them for the gratification of our readers.-ED. UNITARIAN.]
Oh! thou who heard'st thy children's prayer,
They raised the bitter cry
For water in that desert land-
Then forth the glittering torrent rush'd,
And shall we in this happy land,
PRESENTATION TO DR. DRUMMOND OF HIS PORTRAIT. On Friday, January 30th, the subscribers to the portrait assembled in the meeting-house, Great Strand-street, Dublin, at three o'clock. The chair was taken by J. Moody, Esq., barrister-at-law. The address was read by J. C. Ferguson, Esq., M.D., immediately after which Dr. Drummond delivered his reply, thanking his friends for their kind testimonial, which he accepted with pride and gratitude. To himself he considered the portrait of little value; but as a testimonial of their approbation of the religious tenets of which he was the humble advocate, and in connection with those who are endeared to him by the most tender and endearing relations, it is of the highest-his children, whose excellent disposition is leading them in a path in which he hoped they would continue to progress as long as they lived, and will learn to prize it as a memorial of their kindness, when he whom it represents shall be seen no more. It may serve as a memento to "keep the instruction of their father, and forsake not the law of their mother." After Dr. Drummond had delivered his reply, Dr. Antisell, the secretary, said he was requested by the committee to present the Rev. G. Armstrong, as colleague of Dr. D, with a handsomely framed lithograph of the portrait; Mr. Armstrong expressed his thanks to the committee, and spoke in friendly
terms of his colleague Dr. Drummond. In the evening there was a soirée in the Northumberland Buildings; at eight o'clock about eighty persons sat down to tea. Dr. Drummond, his family, and several other ministers attended. After tea the chair was taken by Daniel Hulton, Esq. (President of the Irish Unitarian Society); the meeting was addressed by John Mitchell, Esq., John Armstrong, Esq., and R. Dowden, Esq., (late Mayor of Cork) who spoke to the sentiment of Dr. Drummond their guest. The Doctor replied, and the other sentiments were proposed and spoken to by Mr. James Haughton, Dr. Antisell, and the Rev. Dr. Ledlie, and Mr. Bell. Mr. Hulton having left the chair, on the motion of Dr. Antisell, seconded by Mr. Classon, jun., Mr. Haughton was moved to the chair. A vote of thanks was then given to the former chairman. The meeting separated at eleven o'clock highly gratified with their evening's entertainment. The portrait measured four feet in height and three and a half in breadth, and was painted by Collier, Esq., of the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin.
REMOVALS OF MINISTERS.
The Rev. John Shannon, of Knutsford, having accepted the unanimous invitation of the Unitarian congregation at Hull, to become their minister, commenced his labours on the 8th Feb.
The Rev. L. Lewis, late pastor of the Unitarian chapel, Cheltenham, has accepted an invitation to become the co-pastor with the Rev. Dr. Shepherd, Gallacre, in Liverpool.
The Rev. M. Davidson, of Billinghurst, has accepted the office of pastor to the congregation of Mead-row chapel, Godalming. vacant by the resignation of the Rev. Edwin Chapman. He will commence his duties on the first Sunday in April.
On the 25th ult., at the Unitarian Chapel, Stockton-on-Tees, by the Rev. J. M'Dowell, Mr. William Smith, to Mrs. Imeson, both of Stockton.
Feb. 3, at the Unitarian Chapel, by the Rev. W. James, Dr. William Bulphin, to Rosina, widow of Mr. William Lane, of this city.
3d ult., at Renshaw-street Chapel, Mr. James Hyndford Rawlins, Syddallt Cottage, near Wrexham, to Henrietta Lomax, youngest daughter of G. L. Cox, Esq., Spring-bank, Waltonbreck.
At the Unitarian Chapel, Gee Cross, on the 5th ult., by the Rev. James Brookes, Thomas Bayley Potter, Esq., son of the late Sir Thomas Potter, of Manchester, to Mary, daughter of Samuel Ashton, Esq., Pole-bank, near Hyde.
On the 15th ult, at the Unitarian Church, St. Peter's-square, Stockport, Mr. Joseph Bailey, to Miss Elizabeth Cocker.
A paper relating to Ragged Schools has been prepared, but is unavoidably deferred till our April number for want of space; in the mean time further and Lore interesting particulars will be inserted.
Communications for the Editor to be sent to 7, Farringdon Street, London.
UNITARIANISM versus TRINITARIANISM :SCRIPTURE EVIDENCE.
In our last number we promised to discuss in this, those other passages of Scripture which seemed to imply, if not to state, a Trinity in the Godhead, beside the one we there touched upon, and whose spuriousness has been proved beyond the possibility of further cavil; namely, the text of the three Heavenly Witnesses, (1 John v. 7.) In the endeavour to fulfil our expressed intention, we have found, that in order to do thorough justice to so ample, comprehensive, and multifarious a subject, we must take a much wider circumference of scope than the pages small periodical like this will at all warrant or admit of. We are inevitably compelled, therefore, to confine our views within comparatively narrow limits; and where our observations cannot be fully expository, to make them merely suggestive. But, perhaps, as little is gained to the Unitarian cause by going over ground on which Trinitarians themselves willingly accompany us, it may be as well, in this short essay, to circumscribe our aim for the most part, or as much as may be, to that which more immediately relates to what are, strictly and properly, the peculiarities of Unitarianism, or, in other words, the precise points of difference between it and Trinitarianism. By thus limiting the discussion we may very probably, indeed, be consulting the wishes of our more candid opponents, and may thus attract to our remarks a greater share of their attention than by travelling over less relevant ground.
On this point, and in confirmation of the above, Dr. Wardlaw, in his reply to Mr. Yates's Vindication of
Unitarianism, observes, "that all evidence is irrelevant and inadmissible that does not immediately relate to what are, strictly and properly, the peculiarities of Unitarianism, the precise points of difference. To set about proving the Divine Unity, for example, is to do a service to Trinitarians, as well as to Unitarians. It is an article of faith which is held by both ; and the former will be as highly gratified as the latter, by the excellence and conclusiveness of the reasoning by which it is established. There may be some diversity of opinion respecting the degree of certainty with which the doctrine may be learned by the light of nature: but in the doctrine itself, that GOD IS ONE, as a doctrine fully certified by revelation, and according with every principle of enlightened reason, there is perfect agreement. The harmony on this point between my opponent and myself, will most satisfactorily appear from a comparison of our respective language." The Doctor then quotes in proof of this statement from his own Discourses, and Yates's Vindication, and afterwards proceeds thus: "Whatever difference might arise between us upon an explanation of the terms of the last sentence, it is obvious, that in the sentiment that the unity of God is an important truth, and a leading doctrine of revelation, we are one. What, then, is the precise point at issue? It is simply this-both parties hold the unity of God. But Trinitarians maintain that, according to the Scriptures, this unity is, in a way which is not explained, and which they do not therefore pretend to understand, consistent with personal distinction. Unitarians deny that any such distinction of persons is taught in the Scriptures. The point, therefore, which it behoves them to establish is, not the unity of God, but simply the inconsistency of this unity with the personal distinction for which Trinitarians contend :-or, in other words, that this doctrine of personal distinction has no place in the word of God. All argument and discussion that are not confined to this one point, are entirely irrelevant to the question."
Though we shall endeavour to comply with the suggestions contained in this passage, we have one or two remarks to make in reference to it, before we proceed with our design.
It is then admitted by Trinitarians themselves, accord
ing to the above reverend writer, that God is one; but that in this Unity there is a Trinity of persons, or subsistences, or essences. Now, this latter position Unita rians deny, and maintain that the Unity is taught alone, and stands prominently forth by itself, as a distinguishing doctrine of the Scriptures; nor are the passages adduced in support of it "irrelevant to the question.' But while Trinitarians admit that "there is but one living and true God," do they affirm that the "one God" is the Father, and that the Father alone is the " one God?" No; for, say the Trinitarians (vide the Creed of St. Athanasius), "the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God; and yet there are not three Gods but one God." The conclusion is, that the Father is not the only God. But Unitarians assert that he is. This constitutes the precise ground of difference. Hence the appeal must lie to the testimony of the Scriptures, and to this the Trinitarian cannot object, inasmuch as in the sixth article of the Church of England, we read" Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation."
But first, a few words on the Athanasian Creed. system of belief is supposed by the compilers of the Church of England Liturgy to contain a true explication of the doctrine of the Trinity; and that this doctrine and the way of worship founded upon it, are derived from, and owe all their support to, the sole authority of revelation. But it will be evident to the most superficial observer, that the doctrine of the Trinity, as set forth in this Creed, is not delivered in the words of Scripture: there are no such propositions to be found in the declarations of Christ and his apostles. The language of the Athanasian Creed does not appear in the New Testament. The propositions therein contained must, therefore, undeniably be the work of some other man or men; and all consistent Protestants have a right to demand a good account given of them, before they receive such mysterious propositions as articles of faith, lest they should embrace the inventions of men instead of the mysteries of God. The composition of this belief is, indeed, generally attributed to Athanasius,