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and confident boasting of certain writers, tend to mislead the public very widely as to the relative number and prominence ot this ' thriving* sect. Our business however is with Mr, Wors-. ley's statements, not with his opinions, which he is quite as much at liberty to maintain and to promulgate, as the * Calvin nists' are.
In the first place, we strongly object to Mr. Worsley's attempt to connect any religious doctrines whatever with the principles on which Dissent is founded, as if the beneficial influence of dissenting industry was in any degree attributable to the reTir gious tenets of Dissenters. Such representations are altogether unwarranted and erroneous. The religious tenets of by far the larger class of Protestant Dissenters, differ in no mate-* rial point from those imbodied in the Articles of the Church of England. 'The inconsistencies, the absurdities, the perplexi4 ties, and the cruelties of Calvinism, as strongly marked in the 'the English Church,' to quote Mr. Worsley's invective phrases, were held also by the Calvinist refugees of France, by the Presbyterians of Flanders, and by the Nonconformists of England. On the other hand, in Holland, the Roman Catholic Dis? scnters are decidedly the most active and enterprising part of the population; and in Ireland, Roman Catholic industry is exerted in our manufactures. The truth is, that although the Roman Catholic religion has, in itself considered, been found unfavourable to the promotion of habits of industry, its pernicious influence is principally derived from its union with ecclesiastical power; and where its' existence is identified with religious liberty, the difference of political circumstances materially modifies its character. To the question, therefore, which Mr. W. represents as having been put to him: 'Can you suppose that Uni'tarianism has any thing to do with manufacturing?' the only proper answer is, Nothing whatever. It is the freedom of mind involved and exercised in Dissent, not the system of belief the individual may have adopted,.that has the beneficial effect which we attribute to the principles of Dissenters. Socinianism is the very last system from which we should expect that any beneficial influence whatever could emanate, that might lead to habits of patient and contented industry: a system of moral demolition, to which the grounds of religious certainty, the sources of devotional feeling, motives the most powerful that can be brought to act upon our nature, principles of tried efficacy, which have sustained the faith and hope of martyrs, and been the triumph and consolation of the Church in every age,— all must give way: a system, which, were we to judge of its, moral efficiency by its visible effects, seems productive of nothing so much as an unsocial scorn of all true believers in Christ, a Pharisaic self-complacency disturbed by no weak
emotions of contrition, no intermittings of the full confidence of conscious merit,' and in the best specimens of its converts, the virtues of the stoic and the devotion of the infidel.
'The Unitarians, as a body of worshippers.' remarks Mr. W. 'are charged with a want of devotional feeling, and are thought to entertain . a dull and inanimate system of religious truth ; and how true is the charge if we consider that what is usually and properly called devotion, is with many of them an object of the least importance. There may be rectitude and righteousness, but 1 scarcely know how there can be religion and devotion, without those external marks of them, . by which alone they can be seen to exist; the slightest and most,; ■ general of which is, a steady attendance upon divine worship on the day ^that is devoted to rest and to religion.' 'Would to God that,.. Unitarian Christians were, in this point, altogether such as our other.",, dissenting sects, even as those, who, while they believe that Faith alone gan save them, yet are devoted to the external services of religion, because they regard and value them as the means of a good life.? . ?, J..,..,..
The exemplary candour displayed in these remarks, reflects great credit on the Author. We only wonder that he can indulge any expectation that Socinianism should produce devotion or seriousness in the minds of its votaries; especially when he confesses his own inability to conduct extemporary prayer ' with understanding1 and animation.' It is remarkable how amicably, on this last point, the Episcopalian Conformist and the Socinian Minister harmonize; both avowing their dislike to free prayer, and their inability to conduct the devotions of a congregation, except by the aid of preconceived forms; and both reviling and misrepresenting those who are sensible of no similar impediment.
We must in the second place express our dissatisfaction with the representation the Author gives of the present state of the orthodox Dissenters. With regard to the Presbyterians, his statements are undoubtedly correct. 'The old Presbyterian 'societies, which on their first formation were Calvinistic, and 'gradually moved on from moderate orthodoxy through the 'different shades which Arianism exhibited, are now almost 'without an exception Unitarians; by which,'Mr. W remarks, with great propriety, ' if it be necessary to designate them more 'clearly, is meant Humanitarians' 'These societies,' he adds, 'lost during the Arian period many of their old and valuable 'families, but their numbers have been recruited from the 'Established Church.'. But in the immediate neighbourhood of London, the meeting-houses of the Presbyterians have fallen into the hands of the Calvinists. In fact, after the withdrawment of the Presbyterian Dissenters from the government of the Presbyteries, nothing was left to distinguish them from the Independents, but their want of all discipline whatsoever, and the
VouVII. N.S. R
absolute and jealous authority which devolved upon the pastor. In a greater number of cases, therefore, than our Author admits, v the extinction of the Presbyterian congregation was only nominal: it became, probably on the death of the pastor, Independent. In oilier cases, the process has been different; a laxity of discipline has thrown the society open to the admission of irreligious and worldly persons. As the congregation rose in opulence, the pride of politeness led them to regard as the prime requisites in their minister, other qualifications than those of Christian piety. The minister, in all ' the vanity of half
* learning and the pride of half-reasoning,' ventured to strike out a new road to popularity, by exhibiting himself as an Arian: the people followed the blind leader of the blind, and both moved onwards to the gulf of Socinian infidelity, and into that gulf they havefalleu.—Mr. Worsley may triumph in these facts: we cannot. It is not the fate of the societies, however, but the delusion of the individuals, that we deplore.
Whatever losses were sustained by the ' cause of Dissent,' as it is termed, from the defection of these old Presbyterian churches, they were more than supplied by the increasing numbers and rising respectability of the Baptist Independents. Vast accessions of the best description, congregations gathered from the world by the active labours of Dissenting teachers, and animated with a living spirit of piety, have been gradually made to the Calvinistic Nonconformists; so that at no previous period have this portion of Dissenters formed a more considerable and efficient division of society. Mr. Worsley, with singular inaccuracy, affirms, that 'the old Independents, after having for 'a long time, under the teaching of Baxter, Doddridge, &c.
* professed moderate Calvinism, are very generally gone back 'into high Calvinism, bordering upon Antinomianism: the 'preachers of George Whitefield's party, and of Lady Hun'tingdon's, having completely wormed themselves in among
* them.' Richard Baxter, the veneration of all parties, died in 1691; Philip Doddridge in 1751, One would imagine that the names of these two eminent men were not the only names that were deserving of being specified, as having given the tone to religious sentiment; and certainly their influence, as teachers, has not been greater than that of many less moderate Calvinists. Mr. Worsley's assertion can receive no support, therefore, from their names, nor from the unmeaning et csetera subjoined. That Dissenters have gone buck into high Calvinism, cannoj. be true, having never as a body undergone any change of sentiment in this respect: their standard authors being, we apprehend, pretty nearly of the same cast as they were in the days of Doddridge. The insinuation with respect to Wwtefield, is discreditable to the author. Neither he, nor his preachers, %vere Antinotniaiis. The quarter in which Antinomianism lias mostly prevailed, has been very different; it is chiefly among the Baptists; but it thrives among Dissenters in much the same degree as Socinianism. ''
Socinianism, according to our Author, although he employs a different mode of designating it, ' is the only thriving sect.' It has,' within the last twenty years, obtained a more extensive * spread than any other profession of faith.' 'There is scarcely 'a small district in our island Where societies of professed Uni'tarians have not sprung up; and within the pale of the Esta'blished Church, there are thousands.' We are accustomed to the exaggerations of Socinian proselytes: we hope this last statement, therefore, is hypothetical. The profession of Socinianisra has doubtless increased; not perhaps m consequence of the spread of disbelief, but from the proselyting spirit which has sprung from the ashes of Arianism, and which is so busily employed in building up its churches of snow and ' palaces 'of ice,' as the trophies of conquest. Mr. W. seems to admit that the Methodists have increased in a much greater proportion; but he deems it a sufficient answer to this remark, that 'the Calvinist Methodists have not altered a single principle 'which their fathers professed to hold;' and that the same, with little qualification, may be said of the Wesleyan Methodists: therefore, in his view, they are not thriving; they have not entered on that course of progression towards the intellectual perfectibility of Socinianism, which would give importance to their moral conquests, and afford hope of their eventually coming over to 'Rational Christianity.' We must pity the infatuation of this apparently honest-minded and amiable man, thus 'kicking against the pricks,' and in his zeal against idolatry ignorantly waging war agaiust his Saviour. We pity the man who looks around upon the Christian world with the cold, eye of a Socinian, and can discern no cause for satisfaction, but in here and there the symptoms of apostacy,—who imagines that darkness overspreads the camp of the Israel of God, because he stands on the dark side of that cloudy pillar which is their light and their guidance. It is lamentable to see such a man, at the very time that he is exulting in his intellectual freedom, the slave of sectarian bigotry; to hear him declaiming against priests and bishops, yet i\ti zealous disciple of an heresiarch; to find him passing over the names of men, tlie pillars of' the Christian Church, and the glory of the country which gave them birth,—passing by the rival exertions of other faithful servarits of God, of every party, to dwell exclusively, in strains of eulogy, on those of Priestley, and Belsham, and Toulmin. We leave Socinianism'' to enjoy, unenvied, its triumphs—and its prospects.
Art. XV. SELECT LITERARY INFORMATION.
%* Gentlemen and Publishers who have works in the press, will oblige the Conductors of the Eclectic Review, by sending Information (po4 paid) of the sulyect, extent, and probable price of such works; which they may depend upon being communicated to the Public, if consistent with its Plan.
"The Society for the promotion of permanent and universal Peace," have issued a cheap edition of the Tract entitled "A Solemn Review," and are proceeding to publish Tracts Nos. 2 and 3, consisting of Extracts from Erasmus, and Scott's Letters, entitled " War inconsistent with Christianity." The objeet of this Society is to diffuse information, tending to shew the incompatibility of War with the spirit of the Christian religion, and to point out the means best calculated to maintain permanent and universal peace. The Society is designed to embrace the professors of Christianity of every denomination. All subscribers of 10s. 6(1. and upwards annually, are entitled to ■ receive half the 'amount of their subscriptions In tracts. Th'e present Committee includes Thomas Clarkson, William Allen, the Rev. W, Stephenson, (Purfleet,) Charles pudley, Robert Marsden, Esq. the Rev. Thomas Harper, W. Roberts, Esq. Lincolu's-lr.n; R. D. Alexander, Ipswich; and about eight either gentlemen.
There has also bern formed a distinct society, under the designation of " The Society for preventing War and. propagating correct opinions on the morality of nations." Of this society, we understand that Sir Richard Phillips is Chairman.
A New Weekly Paper, upon a plan hitherto unattempted iu this Country, is preparing for publication, devoted solely to literary purposes, Foreign as well as Domestic. It is entitled the Literary Gazette and Journal of the Belles Lettres ; and is expressly designed for the higher classes of society. It will also enjoy the peculiar advantage of being sent free of postage to all parts of the kingdom.
Geo. Price, Esq. Barrister; Is preparing a Treatise on the Law of Extents. The Miscellaneous Works of Charles Butler, Esq. of Lincoln's Inn, are printing in five octavo volumes.
Dr. Burrows, of Gower-street, is preparing for publication, Commentaries oa Mental Derangement. ,
A volume of Sermons, by the late Dr. Vincent, with an account of his life by Archdeacon Nares, will soon appear.
In the press. Sermons on the Offices and Character of Jesus Christ, by the Rev. Thomas Bowdler.
T. Forster, Jun. Esq. will soon publish, Catullus, with English notes, in a duodecimo volume.
The Rev. James Raine, of Durham, has undertaken the History and Antiquities of North Durham, as subdivided into thedistricts of Norhamshire, Islandshire, and Bedlingtonshire; it will be published uniformly with Mr. Surtee's History of the County, of which it may be considered as constituting a portion. Wm. Haslewood, Esq. Barrister, is preparing a Treatise on the Office of Receiver; also a Treatise on Injunctions. H. N. Tomlins, Esq. has in the press, the Practice of the Quarter Sessions,
Mr. Ackermann is printing, in an imperial quarto volume, a Series of Costumes of the Netherlands, with descriptions in French and English.
Mr. Booth, treasurer to the Childwall Provideut Institution, will soon publish a System of Book-keeping, adapted solely for the use of Provident Institutions, or Saving Banks.
An Historical and Descriptive View of the Parishes of Monk Wearmouth and Bishop Wearmouth, and of the Port and Borough of Sunderland, is preparing for publication.
Richard Preston, Esq. has in the press, a Treatise of Estates; also an edition of Sheppard's Precedent of Precedents, and Sheppard's Touchstone of Common Assurances, with notes.
J. J. Park, Esq. is preparing a Treatise on the Law of Dower.
Mr. J. Cherpilloud has in the press, a Book of Versions, intended as a guide, to French translation and construction.