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tihtaxy of t^he t:heolo5ical ^tminavy 


Samuel Agnew, Esq. 

BX 9831 .B43 1846 
Beard, J. R. 1800-1876, 
Unitarianism exhibited in 
its actual condition 











Rev. J. R. BEARD, D.D. 

'This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, 
whom thou hast sent.' John xvii, 3. 

' To us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus 
Christ, by vrhom are all things.' 1 Cor. viii, 6. 





The security of tenure guaranteed to the property of tl\e non-subscrib- 
ing congregations of Great Britain and Ireland, by the passing of that 
liberal and enlightened measure, commonly known by the name of the 
Dissenters' Chapels Bill, appeared to the Editor a suitable occasion for 
collecting evidences of one of the consequences of free enquiry, and the 
prevalence of scriptural knowledge, in the renunciation of the pagan and 
metaphysical notion of the Trinity. These evidences are here presented to 
the public. They show an amount of Anti-trinitarian Christianity which 
few, perhaps, will have expected ; and are thus fitted to afford encourage- 
ment to those who, in this country especially, are exposed to no small 
obloquy, in consequence of their maintenance of the simple teachings of the 
Bible ; namely, that God is one, and that the God and Father of our Lord 
Jesus Christ is the only true God. Nor is it, as the writer hopes, impos- 
sible that the volume may do something to extend the conviction that 
definite doctrines, though few in nvimber, and simple in character, lie at 
the basis of the religion of Jesus Christ. It is, at the same time, highly 
pleasing to find many proofs, in the ensuing Essays, that these few and 
simple truths may enter into very diverse states of mind, appear under 
many modifications, and put forth dissimilar effects. What is not less 
important is, that the consequences of the spread of Unitarianism, here 
recorded, appear, without any attempt at display, to be of the most benign 
description. We wish to suggest no comparison disadvantageous to other 
denominations, but we may say, that here are genuine Christian fruits, 
here are tokens of the operation of the spirit of Christ — a spirit not of fear 
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 

Even yet the question is sometimes heard — 'What is Unitarianism ?' 


This book gives a full as well as practical answer. Unitnrianism is here 
expounded in its diversities as well as its unity ; in its practical bearings 
and effects, no less than its doctrines. And though we claim for the 
volume no more authority than belongs to the individuals who have 
contributed to its pages, and utterly disown and repudiate anything like an 
attempt to set forth a formal declaration of the Unitarian faith, whose very 
life consists in liberty, yet we may affirm, that the writers whose 
productions are here published, will generally be acknowledged competent 
to give an accurate and trustworthy account of the views and condition of 
the several sections of the common Anti-trinitarian church to which they 
belong. By these expositions of Unitarianism let Unitarians in future be 
judged, and not by representations which emanate from opponents, and 
which, in too many instances, they have good reason to both disown and 

To a very common mistake the following pages afford a decisive answer ; 
•^' Unitarianism is a series of negations.' The denial of the Trinity, is to 
a well-instructed Unitarian, of importance, chiejfiy because it leaves room 
for the recognition, in its scriptural simplicity and comprehensive import, 
of the grand central doctrine that God is one, and that the one God is in 
Jesus Christ, the Father of human kind. We make the remark, mainly, 
because we are desirous that the term Anti-trinitarian, which is frequently 
employed, should not mislead the reader. That term we have used in 
order not to identify other Anti-trinitarian communities with the Unita- 
rians (so specifically termed) of Transylvania or of England ; and so seem 
to assert a greater degree of unity than actually exists. The term, how- 
ever, is negative. It sets forth the one point in which all Unitarian 
churches agree, differ as they may in other particulars. But distinctive 
titles, if they succeed in assigning specific differences, are generally of a 
negative kind. But while such a title states what a particular class is not. 


it leaves to other means of inibimation tlie olficc oi' describing what that 
class is. That office we have attempted to discharge in the Essays which 
form the present volume. On this point we add only, that the Anti-trini- 
tarianism here spoken of is exclusively Christian, We have no fellowship 
or sympathy with any opinions which deny that Jesus received a superhuman 
commission, and was endowed with superhuman qualities and powers. 

The actual decline of Trinitarianism would have been less imperfectly 
exhibited in these pages, had they contained an Essay exhibiting general 
evidences bearing on that fact. The writer has, however, spoken on the 
subject, in a treatise which may be considered as forming a prelude to the 
present volume ;* and must now content himself with a few additional 
remarks. If we were to take at their full value the words of Mr. Ward, in 
his ' Ideal of a Christian Church,' we should have reason to rejoice in a 
greater degree of progress than we have ventured to claim. These words 
we give as they are found in the Quarterly Review (Jan. 1845, p. 178), 
which states it as Mr. Ward's opinion, that 'care for dogma is gone, 
and that indifference to the central verity of the Gospel, the divinity of our 
Lord, is prevalent among us to a fearful extent,' 

A recently published discourse, (' Sermons on the Interpretation of 
Scripture') by Dr. Arnold, formerly Head Master of the Rugby Grammar 
School, affords a striking proof of the extent to which the old ecclesiastical 
doctrine of the Trinity has gone to decay. The omissions in this sermon 
are full of meaning. Though receiving from its author's hand the title, 
' The Holy Trinity,' the discourse itself never mentions the word. Nor 
does it present any definition of the doctrine. All that theologians have 
laid down and tried to prove on the point ; all their diverse views ; all their 

* Historical and Artistic Illustrations of the Tiiiiity, shewing the Rise, Progress, and 
Decline of the Doctrine, with Ehicidatory Engiavings ; by the Rev. J. R. Beanl, D.D^ 
— London i Sinipkin, Marshall, & Co. Price 8s, 

vi rREFACE. 

bitter disputes ; all the statements of the Niccne and the Athanasian creeds, 
and all the propositions of the thirty-nine Articles, might have had no 
existence in the writer's mind. Nor from his positive teachings can any 
one learn what he meant by the Trinity, what views he either held or 
intended to set forth. His positions are simply these ; — ' There is only one 
Lord and Master of all, whom all may and must worship,' (p. 433). * Yet 
Revelation tells us, that in our religious feelings and relations we have to 
do with Jesus Christ, (134), who was * in truth the maker of all things' 
(436). ' Furthermore, Revelation teaches us, that in our religious feelings 
we have to do with Him whom it calls the Holy Spirit' (436). ' The Holy 
Spirit is no other than He who is alone, in the highest sense, holy' (437). 
And so the reader is left to his own resources in the midst of these difficul- 
ties, without a word of explanation. Did not the title declare that the 
sermon was, in some way, intended to expound the Trinity, few Unitarians 
would find in its substance much to which they would take exception. 

Dr. Arnold sometimes pursues modes of scriptural interpretation which 
must end in Unitarianism, if they do not give reason to doubt his own 
orthodoxy. We subjoin an example. The terms ' Son,' ' only begotten Son,' 
' to beget,' are generally accounted to contain proofs of the supreme deity 
of Jesus Christ. Effectually have such proofs been invalidated by Dr. 
Arnold, in his expositions of the second Psalm : — ' The second Psalm, in 
its first meaning, is an expression of confidence and triumph on the part of 
a king of Israel, that he, as reigning in God's name, and enforcing God's 
law, would be upheld by God's power; and that the neighbouring heathen 
princes, who were impatient of his supremacy, should yet be forced to 
acknowledge it. So fully does the Psalmist feel that he belonged to God, 
that he says, ' Jehovah said unto me, thou art my Son, this day have I 
begotten thee ;' and again, at the end of the Psalm, he addresses his enemies 
with this warning, ' Kiss, lluit is, do homage to the Son, that is the King 
whom Jehovah regarded as his Son, lest he be angry and yc should perish 


tioni tlic right way.' The Psalmist tlien, a king of Israel, and one faithful 
to the law of God, says, that God called him his Son, and had as it were 
begotten him as such, in the day that he raised him up to be King over his 
people. So we read in Psalm Ixxxix, 27, that God declares that he will 
make David * His first born, higher than the kings of the earth ; ' and 
again. He promises of Solomon, that He will be to him his Father, and 
Solomon shall be to him a son' (2 Sam. vii, 14). A king over God's people, 
ruling in righteousness, is so much in the place of God, that God vouchsafes 
to call him His son' (Sermons on the Interpretat. of Script, p. 444). It is 
true the learned author holds that, in a secondary sense, these things apply 
to ' one who was in truth the Son of God.' That they apply to Jesus is not, 
however, the question at issue ; which is, does the terms * beget' and ' first- 
born,' prove the deity of him of whom they are used. To which 
question Dr. Arnold's remarks supply a decided negative. 

In addition to the names of authors given in the Table of Contents, 
the EJditor must make the following statements in regard to sources of 
information. For the greater part of the articles on the Christian, the 
Hicksite Quakers, and the Universalists of the United States, he is indebted 
to Rupp's ' History of the Christian Denominations in the United States.' 

For the laudatory expressions found in the article on Anti-trinitarianism 
in the North of Ireland, the Editor is responsible. 

The Editor regrets that he is not at liberty to mention the name of the 
learned writer of the Essay entitled 'Anti-trinitarianism in Transylvania.' 
It is, however, written by a distinguished member of the Unitarian Church 
in that country, and translated by John Paget, Esq., to whom is to be 
ascribed the authorship of the appended notes. 

The subject of the statistics of the Christian Church at large, may be 
found treated in Kirchliche Statistik von Dr. Julius Wiggers, Hamburg, 
1842, a work in the use of which the orthodox prejudices of the author 
render caution indispensible. 


Congregational Unitarianism in the United States of America ; by the Rev. F. A. 

Farley, of Brooklyn, near New York 1 

The Christian Connexion in the United States 54 

Quaker Anti-trinitarians in tlie United States 59 

Universalist Anti-trinitarians in the United States ...... 69 

Unitarianism in Canada ; by the Rev. J. Cordner, of Montreal .... 83 

Unitarianism in England ; by the Rev. William Turner, M.A. .... 88 

Unitarian General Baptists, by the Rev. William Turner, M.A. . . . 157 

Anti-trinitarianism in England. ......... 159 

Anti-trinitarian Churches in connexion with Joseph Barker ; by the Rev. F. 

Howorth . . ■ 165 

Anti-trinitarianism in the North of Ireland ; by the Rev. J. Blakeley, A.M. . 172 

Anti-trinitarianism in the South of Ireland; by the Rev. J. C. Ledlie, D.D. . 180 

Carmarthen College, Wales; by the Rev. Thomas Rees, LL.D. . . . 193 

Anti-trinitarianism in South Wales ; by the Rev. David Lloyd .... 207 

Mission to the Poor; by the Rev. J. Johns 210 

Anti-trinitarianism in Germany ; by the Editor . . . . . . . 226 

The French Protestant Church ; by the Editor 283 

Anti-trinitarianism in Transylvania ......... 296 

Anti-trinitarianism in Geneva ; by the Editor 3l6 

English Unitarian Writers ; by the Rev. W. Turner, M.A. .... 322 

List of Unitarian Congregations and Ministers in England and Scotland ; by the Editor 330 

Officers and Regulations of Manchester New College 340 

Report of the British and Foreign Unitarian Association, 1845 — 6. 


The history of Unitarianism, or Anti-trinitarianism in America, so far as 
it appears as a marked and distinctive form of christian belief, begins within 
the first half of the eighteenth century. There can be little doubt, that 
previous to the great revival under Whitefield, vs^ho began his labors in New- 
England, in the latter part of the year 1740, the doctrine of the Trinity had 
remained undisputed : and as little, that among the results of that revival, 
was the firm establishment of Arian in opposition to Trinitarian views of 
the person of Christ, and of Arminian in opposition to Calvinistic views 
upon the subjects of freewill, predestination and grace, in the minds of a 
large number of the New England clergy. In the year 1815, some 
leading men in ,New England, of the orthodox school, republished a portion 
of the memoirs of Lindsey by Mr. Belsham,with a very remarkable preface, 
and entitled the pamphlet " American Unitarianism." The object of the 
entire pamphlet, but especially of the preface, was to throw reproach upon 
the Unitarian body in this country. One of the gentlemen, well-known to 
have been at least active in circulating the pamphlet, sent a copy to the 
venerable Ex-President Adams, This elicited from him a note which 
bears date at Quinsey, Mass. May, 15, 1845, addressed to the Eev. Dr. 
Morse, then anorthodox congregational minister in Charlestown, Mass. After 
thanking him for the pamphlet, Mr. Adams says, " In the preface, Uni- 
tarianism is represented as only thirty years old in New England. I can 
testify as a witness to its old age. Sixty-five years ago, my own minister, 
the Rev. Samuel Bryant ; Dr. Jonathan Mayhew, of the West Church in 
Boston ; the Rev. Mr. Shute, of Hingham ; the Rev. John Brown, of 
Cohasset ; and perhaps, equal to all, if not above all, the Rev. Mr. Gay, 
of Hingham, were Unitarians. Among the laity how many could I name, 
lawyers, physicians, tradesmen, farmers ! But at present I will name only one, 
Richard Cranch,* a man who had studied divinity, and Jewish and Chris- 
tian Antiquities, more than any clergyman now existing in New England." 

« He was the father of the Hon, William Cranch, the present Chief Justice of tlie 
United States Circuit Court for the district of Columbia, himself a distinguished Unita- 


It is not, however, to be understood, that Unitarianism was openly avowed 
or preached to any great extent before the American Revolution. The 
^Rev. Dr. IMayhew, named in Pres. Adam's letter to Dr. Morse, is justly 
regarded as the first preacher of Unitarianism in Boston, and his society is 
virtually the first Unitarian Church in America. His daughter, Mrs. 
Wainwright, in a letter to the late Rev. Dr. Freeman, says, '* Respecting 
my father, there is no doubt that the clearest evidence may be given of his 
having asserted the. unity of God in the most unequivocal and plain manner, 
as early as the year 1753. I have many sermons, from which it appears to 
me, no one could for a moment question his belief." The re-publication 
of Emlyn's Inquiry into the Scripture account of Jesus Christ, so early as 
1756, and which is known to have excited unsual interest at its appearance, 
is mainly attributable to him. 

After the Revolution, the avowal of Unitarian sentiments becomes moic 
distinct. King's Chapel in Boston, the first Episcopal Church in New 
England, had been deserted by its Rector, who left with the British Troops 
when they evacuated the town in March, 1770. His assistant continued 
to conduct its services vmtil the following November ; when the congre- 
gation, which was chiefly composed of adherents to the royal government, 
was dispersed, the services suspended, and the Chapel closed. In the 
summer of 17S2, the proprietors of the chapel took measures for re-oc- 
cupying it for their own worship, and on the 21st of April, 1783, at the 
Easter meeting, Mr. James Freeman was chosen rector, he having ofllciated 
as reader during the preceding six months. Public worship was thence- 
forward observed in the chapel, according to the book of Common Prayer, 
altered in such particulars only as the change in the political state of the 
country required. This continued until the year 1785; when the pro- 
prietors appointed a committee to report, after consultation with Mr. Free- 
man, such further alterations as together they might deem necessary in the 
liturgy of the church. The opinions of Mr. Freeman had undergone such 
changes, that he had resolved not to read any longer, certain portions of the 
liturgy, which he now believed unscriptural in their meaning and character. 

lian. Richard Crancli was boiji at Kingsbvidge, luiglaiid, Oct. 172(i, and died at Quin- 
sey, Mass., Oct, 16, 18 11, at 85 years. He frequently represented the United parishes of 
Rraintrce iu the provincial assembly ; after the Revolution, he was repeatedly elected a 
Senator of tlic State of Massachussetts ; and was appointed a Judge of tlic Court of 
Common Picas for the Counly of Suffolk. 


lie preached a course of doctrinal sermons, setting forth his views upon 
this great subject in full, and so well directed were his efforts, that on the 
19th of June of that year, after several adjourned meetings, at which the 
report of the committee, and the W'hole matter had been amply considered, 
the proprietors voted, " that the Common Prayer, as it now stands amended, 
be adopted by this church, as the form of prayer to be used in future by 
this church and congregation." The alterations corresponded with those 
made by Dr. Samuel Clarke in his Revision of the Liturgy of the church of 
England; consisting chiefly in the exclusion of all passages or expressions, 
which implied a belief in the doctrines of the trinity and Deity of Christ.* 
Til us this church became the first avowed Unitarian Church in America ; 
the first on this Continent which openly proclaimed to the world, its express 
denial and rejection of the dogmas just named, as being contrary to the 
revealed word of God. 

Notwithstanding all this, the congregation seem to have desired, and 
to have thought it possible, to remain within the pale of the Episcopal 
Church. Accordingly they applied by letter to Bishop Provost of New 
York, enquiring " whether ordination for the Rev. Mr. Freeman, can be 
obtained on terms agreeable to him and to the proprietors of this church." 
The bishop replied, declining to decide so important a question ; but said 
that it should be referred to the next general Convention. Few things are 
more striking, than the promptness and independence with which the 
cliurch and their minister acted on this occasion. The Bishop's reply 
bears date 13th August, 1787; and upon its receipt, the congregation 
decided at once to ordain Mr. Freeman themselves, without asking the 
countenance or aid of any other church. The plan of ordination previously 
agreed on, was carried out on Sunday, the 18th of November, in the same 
year, when he was in accordance therewith, publicly ordained. After the 
usual evening service had been read, the wardens took their places with 
the candidate in the reading desk, and the senior warden made a short 
address to the congregation, assigning the reasons for the present proce- 
dure. The candidate then read the first ordaining prayer. The senior 

* This Liturgy is used to this day at that church, having passed through five editions. 
Some further though not very important alterations have been made ; with the addition of 
occasional and family services and prayers, and hymns for private and domestic use. 
The fifth and most complete edition, is that of 1841 ; and bears on its title page as editor, 
the name of the last minister of the church, the late lamented F. "W. P. Greenwood, D.D. 


warden next read tlie ordaining Vote ; and having called for the assent of 
the proprietors of the chapel, they signified it by holding up their right 
hands. Mr. Freeman being then called upon by the senior warden, to 
declare his acceptance of the office, read aloud as follows : "To the War- 
dens, Vestry, Proprietors, and Congregation of the Chapel or First 
Episcopal Church in Boston. Brethren, with cheerfulness and gratitude I 
accept your election and ordination, which I believe to be valid and 
apostolick. And I pray God to enable me to preach the word, and to 
administer the ordinances of religion in such a manner, as that I may 
promote his glory, the honor of the Redeemer, and your spiritual edification." 
This declaration signed by himself, was then exchanged with the wardens 
for the ordaining vote signed by them ; when the senior warden laying his 
hand on Mr. Freeman, said, " I do then, as senior warden of this church, 
by virtue of the authority delegated to me, in the presence of Almighty 
God, and before these witnesses, declare you, the Rev. James Freeman, to 
be the Rector, Minister, Priest, Pastor, Public Teacher, and Teaching 
Elder of this Episcopal Church ; in testimony whereof I deliver you this 
book, (delivering him a Bible) containing the holy oracles of Almighty God, 
enjoining a due observance of all the precepts contained therein, particularly 
those which respect the duty and office of a minister of Jesus Christ. — And 
the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord lift up the light of his coun- 
tenance upon you, and give you peace now and for evermore ! " The 
whole Assembly, says the Record, as one man, spontaneously and em- 
phatically pronounced Amen. Mr. Freeman then read the second ordain- 
ing prayer ; the choir sung an anthem ; he preached on the office and 
duties of the Christian Ministry ; and another anthem closed the simple, 
but solemn and affecting service. 

Here was consummated the first practical triumph of liberal views of 
Christianity in America, by this " public exercise of a long dormant night, 
which every Society, civil and religious, has, to elect and ordain their own 
officers." Thus it was described by the Rev. Dr. Belknap, then the min- 
ister of Federal Street Church, in Boston ; who replied with admirable 
pleasantry and power, to the abuse which was heaped upon Mr. Free- 
man and his congregrtion for their proceedings, by the newspaper press. 
The wardens of the church triumphantly refuted the protest which was put 
in by some of the former proprietors of the church ; and when four Epis- 
copal clergymen circulated a bull of excommunication against Mr. Freeman 


and his church, all the notice which, with characteristic good sense, he 
took of it, well aware that the intended blow would only recoil upon them- 
selves, was to request the editor of the Columbian Centinel, then published 
in Boston, to give a copy of the paper a place in his columns. 

It is very certain, that up to this time, the great body of the New 
England Churches, having been from the first settlement of the country 
remarkably unfettered by creeds, forms, or ecclesiastical tribunals, had 
been gradually preparing for the advent of a liberal theology. Almost 
imperceptibly therefore by themselves, many were becoming or had become 
Unitarians in fact, without thinking of or adopting the name. The uni- 
versal reverence for and reading of the scriptures, the prevalent disposition 
to abide by their teachings as the ultimate authority, the numerous instances 
in which intelligent laymen devoted themselves to theological stvidy and 
inquiry, at once liberalizing and commending it, helped forward this good 
result. The great questions which have since been in controversy, were 
then chiefly matters of discussion in private circles. With no " observable 
show," with no eftbrts at proselytism, with no engines of secret cabal or 
conspiracy at work, the cause of truth advanced silently to its issues. Be- 
fore the close of the century, some open demonstrations were made at two 
points at least in Maine, which though early checked, were doubtless the 
form of what has since proved a vigorous growth. Dr. Belknap in Boston, 
had published a collection of Hymns for public worship, from which all 
Trinitarian and Calvinistic expressions were rigidly excluded, and which 
rapidly supplanted in many churches in Massachusetts, and elsewhere in 
New England, thatj of Watts, which had been so universal. Dr. Bentley 
had distinctly preached Unitarian views in Salem. Boston and its im- 
mediate vicinity, and the Southern counties of the State, had become most 
famiHar with them. Beyond Worcester in the west, in R,hode Island, 
Connecticut, and New Hampshire, they were little known. And leaving 
New England, the only spots perhaps in which «^^hey had lodgments, were 
in Pennsylvania ; and this through the influence and zeal of Dr. Priestley, 
who having arrived in this country in 1794, soon established himself at 
Northumberland, about 1 30 miles north-west of Philadelphia. He preached 
regularly for some years, to a small assembly at Northumberland, and in 
the years 1796 and 1797, returned and preached in Philadelphia. 

Until the year 1815, things continued much as before. It has been 
stated, indeed, that at the opening of the century, all the ten Congregational 


ministers of Boston were Unitarians, in the sense at least in wliich the term 
is commonly used in America, that is, as denoting a denial both of the 
trinity and the supreme deity of Christ, without regard to the question of his 
pre-existence. While liberal views were thus silently but surely gaining 
ground, their opponents started in the year 1805 a periodical publication in 
Boston, called " the Panoplist," with the evident purpose of checking their 
advance ; nothing, however, occurred to produce a direct onset upon the 
o-rowin" heresy, until. 1808, when the publication of a collection of hymns, 
by the Rev. Mr. Buckminster, of Brattle Street Church, for the use of his 
own flock, drew forth from that journal a review full of unfairness and as- 
perity. The main ground of attack was a false charge of mutilating the 
hymns of Watts and others, for the set purpose of concealing the great 
doctrines of the gospel, under the authority of their names. The truth 
was, that the collection was made on the avowed principle of introducing 
no expressions or sentiments into hymns for public worship, which should 
prevent any conscientious believer from uniting in their use, and the 
special hymns complained of were taken, without alteration, from the col- 
lection of Dr. Kippis, and without any reference to the originals. 

Public attention had also been engaged by the difficulties which occurred 
in the efibrts to elect a successor to the Hollis Professorship of Divinity in 
Harvard University, Cambridge. The Professorship had remained vacant 
nearly two years. On the 5th of February, 1805, after strenuous oppo- 
sition, the corporation elected the Rev. Henry Ware, then pastor of a church 
at Ilingham, Mass., and a known Unitarian. The election came before 
the Board of Overseers during the same month for concurrence, when the 
same oppositionjnanifested itself. It was insisted on in both Boards, that the 
founder of the Professorship in requiring " soundness and orthodoxy" in 
the incumbent, intended and made it necessary that he should be a Cal- 
vinist ; and that inquiry into the religious faith of the candidate, became 
the imperative duty of those on whom the choice devolved. To this it was 
replied, that Hollis, though in some things agreeing with Calvinists, was 
not himself a alvinist ; and that in his statutes, drawn up with the nicest 
care, he had prescribed only the Holy Scriptures, and not the Assembly's 
Catechism and confession, as the rule of his professor's faith. Other col- 
lateral grounds were urged, but after long and patient discussion, the 
Overseers concurred in the election; and on the 14th of May following, 
Mr. Ware was inducted into the Prolessorship. 


About this time, Dr. Kendall of Plymouth, published a sermon delivered 
at the ordination of Mr. Williams at Lexington, Mass., in which he protested 
against creeds as conditions of communion,which provoked another article of 
like spirit from the Panoplist. While it is very remarkable, that *' Bible 
News," then just pubhshed, and which has been well described as " the 
first American book in which the doctrine of the trinity was ' looked in the 
face ' and protested against," was unnoticed. It would seem that the 
champions of orthodoxy at that time felt, that the first part of this work, in 
which the trinityspecially v/as impugned,was unanswerable, for not even the 
Panoplist stirred. And to make this the more striking, the second part, con- 
taining the author's theory concerning the Son of God, which of course, 
whether vulnerable or not, could not affect the previous part, was attacked 
by a neighbour of the author. The author of " Bible News" was the 
Rev. Noah Worcester, then Pastor of a church at Thornton, New Hamp- 
shire, and of whom we shall have occasion again to speak. 

In 1815, the pamphlet to which allusion has already been made, * en- 
titled " American Unitarianism," made its appearance, and was immedi- 
ately followed by a review of it in the Panoplist by the editor. In this 
review the writer appealed to the most violent and bigoted sentiments of 
the community. He charged the clergy of Boston and the vicinity, and 
the great body of liberal christians, with holding the lowest possible views 
of Jesus Christ, and of his mission, which could venture to take the name 
of christian ; with a hypocritical concealment of their real sentiments, and 
with base, cowardly, and deceptive behaviour, in respect to the whole 
subject. And he finished by conjuring all that were sound in the faith, to 
come out and separate themselves from them, and to refuse them all chris- 
tian communion. This was the signal for the beginning of the great con- 
troversy, which immediately began, and continued at short intervals to 
agitate the religious community for several successive years ; until at last 
those lines of separation between persons who claimed to be orthodox and 
the Unitarians, were drawn, which remain to this day. 

Dr. Channing, in a pamphlet of more than thirty pages, in the form of a 
letter to the Rev. S. C. Thacher, bearing date June 20, 1815, warmly and 
well repelled the charges put forth by the Panoplist against himself and his 
brethren. He takes up each of the charges in succession. The first, 
which attempts to make the Unitarians of Boston and the vicinity, respon- 

* Page 1. 



sible for all the peculiarities of Mr. Belsham's views, as being their own 
also, he unequivocally denies ; and shows conclusively, that what united 
them was Unitarianism as opposed to Trinitarianism ; the belief that God is 
one person, and not three persons. " The word Unitarianism" he says, 
*' as denoting this opposition to Trinitarianism, undoubtedly expresses the 
character of a considerable part of the ministers of this town and its vicinity, 
and the commonwealth:' The second charge, of operating in secret, hypo- 
critical concealment of their sentiments, and base and hypocritical conduct, 
he also denied ; and showed in detail how utterly unfounded it was, and by 
what unfair use of the materials furnished by the pamphlet reviewed, it 
had been attempted to sustain them. The charge in large part was thus 
made to recoil on the reviewer. — To the third charge of heresy, and the 
accompanying demand that the orthodox " come out and be separate," he 
replies in a tone of just indignation as to the charge, and of earnest and 
affecting protest as to the demand. The first was most unjust, and the last 
most unchristian. That strong love of liberty, which so eminently cha- 
racterised Dr. Channing through life, never found more fitting or eloquent 
expression than in some passages of this letter. And there is visible 
throughout, the same beautiful spirit of charity for the errors and the 
wrong-doings of others, which is every where conspicuous in his writings. 
To this letter, Dr. S. Worcester, of Salem, replied, and the controversy 
comprised three pamphlets from each party, the friends and adherents of 
each claiming the victory. 

The point mainly involved in the controversy so far, and which Dr. 
Channing had obviously opened as the chief subject for consideration, 
was religious liberty ; the freedom of every Christian and every denomi- 
nation to judge for itself upon all matters of failh. And althouo-h his 
opponent was thought not to have met him fairly and fully there, this 
really was the chief thing at issue between the great parties whom they 
respectively represented. The first result was to break up, in great mea- 
sure, the custom of exchanging pulpits between the liberal and the orthodox 
clergy. The next wag, to agitate the question of ' the right to change 
the constitution of the Congregational Churches.' This was the subject 
of an elaborate and very able pamphlet, written by the Hon, John Lowell, 
called forth by the renewal of an effort which had more than once before 
been made by the exclusive portions of the congregational body, but which 
derived a fresh impulse now from the progress of Unitarianism. The 


object was so to unite the churches into some great ecclesiastical organi- 
zation, that there should be tribunals of easy resort, with full ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction in all cases of heresy and apostacy. The effort had always 
failed, and it again failed more signally than ever. 

In the midst of the excitement which these things had created, unita- 
rianism had lifted its head in Baltimore. On the 5th of May, 1819, the 
Rev. Jared Sparks, since so well and honourably known in the literary 
world as one of the best writers of our country, was ordained to the 
pastoral care of the first independent church of that city ; and on this 
occasion Dr. Channing preached upon the distinguishing doctrines of 
unitarians. This, which was one of his most elaborate and able discourses, 
embraced a statement and discussion of the principles of interpreting the 
Scriptures, and of the views of God, of Christ, of Christ's mediation, and 
the purposes of his mission, and of the nature of Christian virtue or true 
holiness, adopted by them. Thus the whole field of controversy was laid 
open again. The orthodox views were assailed at every point ; and they 
who held them felt that the duty of defending them could not be put 
aside. Professor Stuart of Andover, addressed letters to the author of 
the sermon, in defence of the doctrine of the trinity, and the proper deity 
of Christ; and these were reviewed and replied to by Professor Norton, 
of Cambridge, in the Christian Examiner. This article of Professor 
Norton is the basis of his invaluable volume since published, entitled 'A 
Statement of Reasons for not believing the doctrines of Trinitarians, con- 
cerning the nature of God, and the person of Christ.' Dr. Woods, of 
Andover, took up the defence of Calvinism, in his Letters to Unitarians ; 
which were answered by Dr. Ware, of Harward University, Cambridge, 
in his Letters to Trinitarians. Rejoinders and replies followed. Both 
branches of the controversy were conducted with distinguished ability. 

From this time the controversy seems in great measure to have sub- 
sided. Mr. Sparks engaged Dr. Miller, of Princeton, N. J., in a discus- 
sion upon the ' Comparative moral tendency of Trinitarian and Unitarian 
Doctrines,' on account of ' unjust and severe remarks on Unitarians,' made 
by the latter in a sermon preached by him in Baltimore, at the ordination 
of Rev. Mr. Nevins. This was in 1821. The Congregational Body was 
now effectually severed in two. In Massachusetts there is an annual 
congregational Convention, in which both parties meet. The chief object 
of this is to nrovide for the pecuniarv relief of the widows and children 


of deceased congregational ministers of tliat State, wlio are left indigent. 
On the second day of its session the Convention attends divine service, and 
makes a collection after service in aid of its charity. The Massachusetts 
Congregational Charitable Society, which is an institution incorporated 
for promoting the same charity, and to a certain extent co-operates there- 
fore with the Convention, holds large funds, and annually appropriates 
about two thousand dollars to its objects. The officers of the Convention 
are chosen from the two parties of which it is composed. At one time 
the sermon was preached by a preacher chosen alternately from each of 
those parties ; but latterly it is more rare that a sufficient number of 
votes is cast for any Unitarian minister to elect him. As the majority of 
the orthodox members increased, and party lines became more and more 
sharply defined, the prerogative of power has been the more constantly 

We proceed now to give an exposition of Unitarianism, as held by those 
who avow it as a distinctive faith in the United States ; and who are there 
known by the name of Unitarian Congregationalists, inasmuch as the 
form of church government and order which they usually adopt, is that 
of strict Cbngregationalism. And here we cannot do better than adopt 
a portion of a recent tract of the American. Unitarian Association, written 
for the express purpose, by the Rev. Alvan Lamson, D.D., of Dedham, 

" Unitarianism takes its name from its distinguishing tenet, the strict 
personal unity of God, which Unitarians hold in opposition to the doctrine 
which teaches that God exists in three persons. Unitarians maintain that 
God is one mind, one person, one individual being ; that the Father alone 
is entitled to be called God in the highest sense ; that lie alone possesses 
the attribute of Infinite, underived Divinity, and is the only proper object 
of supreme worship and love. They believe that Jesus Christ is a distinct 
being from Him, and possesses only derived attributes ; that he is not 
the supreme God himself, but his Son, and the medium through which 
he has chosen to impart the richest blessings of his love to a .sinning 

" This may be called the great leading doctrine, the distinguishing, 
and, properly speaking, the only distinguishing feature of Unitarianism. 

• Tracts of tlic A. U. A.. 1st scries, No. 202. May, 18li, p. 5 et seq. 


Unitarians hold the supremacy of tlie Father, and the inferior and 
derived nature of the Son. This is their sole discriminating article of 

" On several other points they differ more or less among themselves. 
Professing little reverence for human creeds, having no common standard 
but the Bible, and allowing in the fullest extent freedom of thought and 
the liberty of every Christian to interpret the records of divine Revelation 
for himself, they look for diversity of opinion as the necessary result. 
They see not how this is to be avoided without a violation of the grand 
Protestant principle of individual faith and liberty. They claim to be 
thorough and consistent Protestants. 

" There are certain general views, however, in which they are mostly 
agreed, which they regard as flowing from the great discriminating article 
of faith above-named, or intimately connected with it, or which they feel 
compelled to adopt on a diligent examination of the sacred volume. Of 
the more important of these views, as they are commonly received by 
Unitarian Congregationalists of the United States, I may be expected to 
give some account, though I feel that it will be impossible, without 
exceeding due limits, to do any thing like justice to the subject. 

" I begin with the character of God. Unitarians, as I said, hold His 
strict personal unity. They are accustomed, too, to dwell with peculiar 
emphasis on his moral perfections, his equity, his holiness, and especially 
his paternal love and mercy. They regard it as one of the chief glories 
of Christianity that it contains a clear assertion and full illustration of the 
doctrine that God is our Father, They give to this doctrine a promi- 
nence in their teachings, as one peculiarly dear to their hearts, one inti- 
mately interwoven with their conceptions of a true, cheerful, and elevating 
piety, and the obligations and encouragements to repentance, prayer, and 
an obedient life. It is the office of religion, as they view it, to purify 
the soul .of man, to enkindle in it holy desires and affections, and become 
to it a source of light, strength, comfort, peace ; and the paternal charac- 
ter of God, his infinite love, tenderness, pity, united with the holiness of 
his nature, is the great idea which must lie at the foundation of all such 
religion in the soul. 

"They believe that the mercy of God is not confined to a few arbitra- 
rily chosen out of the great mass of beings equally sinful in his sight ; but 
that he yearns with a father's tenderness and pity towards the whole 


offspring of Adam. They believe that he earnestly desires their repent- 
ance and holiness ; that his infinite overflowing love led him miraculously 
to raise up and send Jesus to be their spiritual deliverer, to purify their 
souls from sin, to restore them to communion with himself, and fit them 
for pardon and everlasting life in his presence ; in a word, to reconcile 
man to God and earth to heaven. 

" They believe that the Gospel of Jesus thus originated in the exhaust- 
less and unbought love of the Father ; that it is intended to operate on 
man, and not on God ; that the only obstacle which exists, or which ever 
has existed on the part of God, to the forgiveness of the sinner, is found 
in the heart of the sinner himself; that the life, teachings, sufferings, and 
resurrection of Jesvis become an instrument of pardon, as they are the 
appointed means of turning man from sin to holiness, of breathing into 
his soul new moral and spiritual life, and elevating it to a union with the 
Father. They believe that the cross of Christ was not needed to render 
God merciful ; that Jesus suffered, not as a victim of God's wrath, or to 
satisfy his justice. They think that this view obscures the glory of the 
divine character, is repugnant to God's equity, veils his loveliest attributes, 
and is injurious to a spirit of filial, trusting piety. Thus all, in their view, 
is to be referred primarily to the boundless and unpurchased love of the 
Father, whose wisdom chose this method of bringing man within reach of 
his pardoning mercy, by redeeming him from the power of sin, and 
establishing in his heart his kingdom of righteousness and peace. 

" I now proceed to speak of Jesus Christ. As before said. Unitarians 
believe him to be a distinct being from God and subordinate to him. The 
following may serve as a specimen of the processes of thought, views, and 
impressions through which they arrive at this conclusion. I state them, 
it will be observed, not by way of argument. I shall use no more of 
argument, I repeat, than is necessary to explain fully what Unitarianism 
is, and how it sustains itself, — in other words, on what foundation it 
professes to rest. 

" Unitarians do not rely exclusively, or chiefly, on what they conceive 
to be the intrinsic incredibility of the doctrine to which they stand 
opposed. They take the Bible in their hands, as they say, and sitting 
down to read it, as plain, unlettered Christians, and with prayer for divine 
illumination, they find that the general tenor of its language either dis- 
tinctly asserts, or necessarily implies, the supremacy of the Father, and 


teaches tlie inferior and derived nature of the Son. In proof of this they 
appeal to such passages as the following : ' This is life eternal, that they 
might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast 
sent;' John xvii. 3. 'For there is one God, and one mediator between 
God and men, the man Christ Jesus :' 1 Tim. ii. 5. ' My Father is 
greater than I :' John xiv. 28. ' My doctrine is not mine, but his that 
sent me :' John vii. 16. 'I speak not of myself:' John xiv. 10. 'I can 
of mine own self do nothing :' John v. 30. * The Father that dwelleth 
in me, he doth the works:' John xiv. 10- 'God hath made that same 
Jesus, whom ye crucified, both Lord and Christ :' Acts ii. 36. ' Him 
hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour :' 
Acts V. 31. 

" They appeal to such passages, and generally to all those in which 
Jesus Christ is called, not God himself, but the Son of God ; in which 
he is spoken of as sent, and the Father as sending, appointing him a 
kingdom, ' giving' him authority, giving him to be head over all things 
to the church. Such passages, they contend, show derived power and 

" Again, when the Son is represented as praying to the Father, and 
the Father as hearing and granting his prayer, how, ask they, can the 
plciin, serious reader resist the conviction that he who prays is a different 
being from Him to whom he prays ? Does a being pray to himself? 

" Unitarians urge that passages like those above referred to, occurring 
promiscuously, are fair specimens of the language in which Jesus is spoken 
of in the New Testament ; that such is the common language of the 
Bible, and that it is wholly irreconcileable with the idea that Jesus was 
regarded by those with whom he lived and conversed, as the Infinite and 
Supreme God, or that the Bible was meant to teach any such doctrine. 
They do not find, they say, that the deportment of the disciples and of 
the multitude towards Jesus, the questions they asked him, and the cha- 
racter of their intercourse with him, indicated any such belief on their 
part, or any suspicion that he was the Infinite Jehovah. We meet, say 
they, with no marks of the surprise and astonishment which they must 
have expressed, on being first made acquainted with the doctrine, — on 
being first told that he who stood before them, who ate and drank with 
them, who slept and waked, who was capable of fatigue and sensible to 
pain, was, in truth, the Infinite and Immutable One, the Preserver and 
Governor of nature. 


" They conteiul that the passages generally adduced to prove the 
Supreme Deity of Jesus Christ, fail of their object ; that without violence 
they will receive a different construction ; that such construction is often 
absolutely required by the language itself, or the connection in which it 
stands ; that most of those passages, carefully examined, far from dis- 
proving, clearly show the distinct nature and inferiority of the Son. They 
notice the fact as a remarkable one, that of all the proof texts of the 
Trinity, as they are called, there is not one on which eminent Trinitarian 
critics have not put a Unitarian construction, and thus they say that 
Unitarianism may be proved from the concessions of Trinitarians them- 
selves. It is certainly a very extraordinary fact, that there is not a single 
text of Scripture commonly adduced as proving the Trinity, which dis- 
tinguished Trinitarian critics have not abandoned to the Unitarians. 

" Unitarians find difficulties of another sort in the way of believing in 
a tri-personal Deity. They object, the inherent incredibility of the doc- 
trine in itself considered. They say, that they cannot receive the doctrine, 
because in asserting that there are three persons in the Deity, it teaches, 
according to any conception they can form of the subject, that there are 
three beings, three minds, three conscious agents, and thus it makes three 
Gods, and to assert that these three are one, is a manifest contradiction. 

" So too with regard to the Saviour, — to affirm that the same being is 
both finite and infinite, man and God, they say, appears to them to be a 
contradiction and an absurdity. If Jesus Christ possessed two natures, 
two wills, two minds, a finite and an infinite, they maintain that he must 
be two persons, two beings. 

" Unitarian Christians of the present day, so far as I know, do not 
think it lawful directly to address Christ in prayer. They think that his 
own example, the direction he gave to his disciples, — ' when ye pray, say, 
Our Father,' — and such expressions as the following : ' In that day,' that 
is, when I am withdrawn from you into heaven, ' ye shall ask me nothing ; 
verily, verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my 
name, he will give it you,' not only authorize, but absolutely require 
prayer to be addressed directly to the Father. To prove that the ancient 
Christians were accustomed thus to address their prayers, they allege the 
authority of Origen, who lived in the former part of the third century, 
was eminent tor piety and talents, and in learning surpassed all the Chris- 
tians of his day. * If we understand what prayer is,' says Origen, ' it will 


appear that it is never to be offered to any originated being, not to Christ 
himself, but only to the God and Father of all ; to whom our Saviour 
iiimself prayed and taught us to pray.' 

" In regard to his metaphysical nature and rank, and the time at which 
his existence commenced, Unitarians undoubtedly differ in opinion. Some 
hold his pre-existence, and others suppose that his existence commenced 
at the time of his entrance into the world. The question of his nature 
they do not consider as important. Some take this view. They think 
that the testimony of the apostles, the original witnesses, to whom we are 
indebted for our knowledge of him, bears only on his birth, miracles, teach- 
ings, life, death, resurrection and ascension, that is, on his character and 
offices, and that beyond these we need not go ; that these are all which 
it is important that we should know or believe, that the rest is speculation, 
hypothesis, with which, as practical Christians, we have no concern ; that 
neither our comfort, our hope, nor our security of pardon and eternal life 
depend upon our knowledge or belief of it. 

" At the same time, all entertain exalted views of his character and 
offices. In a reverence for these, they profess to yield to no class of 
Christians. The divinity which others ascribe to his person they think 
may with more propriety be referred to these. ' We believe firmly,' says 
one of the most eminent writers of the sect, ' in the divinity of Christ's 
mission and office, that he spoke with divine authority, and was a bright 
image of the divine perfections. We believe that God dwelt in him, 
manifested himself through him, taught men by him, and communicated 
to him his spirit without measure. We believe that Jesus Christ was the 
most glorious display, expression, and representative of God to mankind, 
so that in seeing and knowing him, we see and know the invisible Father 
so that when Christ came, God visited the world and dwelt with men 
more conspicuously than at any former period. In Christ's words we 
hear God speaking ; in his miracles, we behold God acting ; in his 
character and life, we see an unsullied image of God's purity and love. 
We believe, then, in the divinity of Christ, as this term is often and 
properly used.' 

" Unitarians do not think that they thus detract from the true glory of 
the Son. They regard him as one with God in affection, will, and purpose. 
This union, they think, is explained by the words of the Saviour himself. 
' Be ye also one,' says he to his disciples, ' even as I and my Father are 


one ;' one not in nature, but in purpose, affection, and act. Through him 
Christians are brought near to the Father, and their hearts are penetrated 
with divine love. By union with him as the true vine, they are nurtured 
in the spiritual life. In his teachings they find revelations of holy 
truth. They ascribe peculiar power and significance to his cross. To 
that emblem of self-sacrificing love, they turn with emotions which lan- 
guage is too poor to express. 

" The cross is connected in the minds of Christians with the Atonement. 
On this subject Unitarians feel constrained to differ from some of their 
fellow Christians. They do not reject the Atonement in what they con- 
ceive to be the scriptural meaning of the term. While, however, they 
gratefully acknowledge the mediation of Christ, and believe that through 
the channel of his gospel are conveyed to them the most precious blessings 
of a Father's mercy, they object strongly to the views frequently expressed, 
of the connection of the death of Christ with the forgiveness of sin. 
They do not believe that the sufferings of Christ were penal — designed 
to satisfy a principle of stern justice, for justice, say they, does not inflict 
suffering on the innocent that the guilty may go free. And besides, they 
believe that God's justice is in perfect harmony with his mercy, that to 
separate them, even in thought, is greatly to dishonour him. They 
believe that however the cross stands connected with the forgiveness of 
sin, that connection, as before said, is to be explained by the effects 
wrought on man, and not on God. 

" They believe that in thus teaching they do not rob the cross of its 
power, nor take away from the sinner ground of hope. To the objection, 
that sin requires an infinite atonement, and that none but an infinite being 
can make that atonement, they reply by saying, that they find in their 
Bibles not one word of this infinite atonement, and besides, that no act of 
a finite being, a frail, sinning child of dust, can possess a character of 
infinity, or merit an infinite punishment, that it is an abuse of language 
so to speak ; and further, that if an infinite sufferer were necessary to 
make due atonement for sin, no such atonement could ever be made, for 
infinite cannot suffer ; that God is unchangeable, and it is both absurd 
and impious to impute suffering to him ; God cannot die ; and admitting 
Jesus to have been God as well as man, only his human nature suffered ; 
that there was no infinite sufferer in the case; that thus the theory of the 
infinite atonement proves a fallacy, and the whole fabric falls to the groimd. 


Still is not the sinner left without hope, because he leans on the original 
and unchanging love and compassion of the Father, to whom as the primary 
fountain we trace back all gospel means and influences, and who is ever 
ready to pardon those who, through Christ and his cross, are brought to 
repentance for sin and holiness of heart and life. 

" Further, the Unitarian replies, that whatever mysterious efficacy the 
cross of Christ may be supposed to possess, beyond its natural power to 
affect the heart, it must owe that eflicacy wholly to the divine appointment, 
and thus the nature and rank of the instrument become of no importance, 
since the omnipotence of God can endow the weakest instrument with power 
to produce any effect he designs to accomphsh by it. They quote Bishop 
Watson, a Trinitarian writer, as saying that ' all depends on the appoint- 
ment of God' ; that it will not do for us to question the propriety of any 
' means his goodness has appointed, merely because we cannot see how it is 
fitted to attain the end ;' that neither the Arian nor the Humanitarian 
hypothesis necessarily preclude ' atonement by the death of Jesus.' — 
(Charge delivered in 1795.^ 

" By the Holy Spirit, Unitarians suppose is meant not a person, but an 
influence, and hence it is spoken of as ' poured out,' 'given,' and we hear 
of the ' anointing' with the holy spirit, phrases which, they contend, preclude 
the idea of a person. It v/as given miraculously to the first disciples, and 
gently as the gathering dews of evening, distils upon the hearts of the 
followers of Jesus in all ages, helping their infirmity, ministering to their 
renewal, and ever strengthening and comforting them. It is given in 
answer to prayer. As Christ said, ' If ye being evil,' imperfect beings, 
' know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall 
your Father who is in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him :' 
Luke xi. 13." 

" Unitarians believe that salvation thro^gh the gospel is offered to all, 
on such terms as all, by God's help, which he will never withhold from any 
who earnestly strive to know and do his will, and lead a pure, humble, and 
benevolent life, have power to accept. They reject the doctrine of native 
total depravity, but they assert that man is born weak and in possession of 
appetites and propensities, by the abuse of which all become actual sinners, 
and they believe in the necessity of what is figuratively expressed by the 
new birth,' that is, the becoming spiritual and holy, being led by that 
spirit of truth and love which Jesus came to introduce into the souls of his 


followers. This change is significantly called the coming of the kingdom 
of heaven in the heart, without which, as they teach, the pardon of sin, were 
it possible, would confer no happiness, and the songs of paradise would fall 
with harsh dissonance on the year. 

" While they earnestly inculcate the necessity of a holy heart and a pure 
and benevolent life, they deny that man is to be saved by his own merit, or 
works, except as a condition to w^hich the mercy of God has been pleased 
to annex the gift of everlasting life and felicity. 

" Unitarian Congregationalists believe firmly in a future retribution for 
sin and holiness. They think the language of the scriptures on this subject 
too plain to be misunderstood. This language, they believe, teaches as 
explicitly as language can, that suffering for sin does not cease with the 
present life, — that the sinner who leaves the world impenitent is subjected 
to the fearful judgments of conscience and of God in a future, unexplored 
state of being. They think that the teachings of the Bible on this subject, 
are in harmony with all that is at present known of the capacities and affec- 
tions of the soul, and the laws of its spiritual nature. However impossible 
they may find it to reconcile the doctrine of endless torment, inflicted for 
the sins of this frail and finite life, with their conceptions of God's infinite 
paternal compassion and love, — compelled, as they are, to reject this doc- 
trine, as unworthy of God, and unauthorised by scripture representations 
and metaphors, they believe that right views of the declarations of the 
Saviour, and of the nature of sin and holiness as habits of the soul, afford 
no hope of future impunity to the impure and sinful spirit. They believe 
that the language of the Bible relating to the future condition of the 
wicked, of those who go out of life with souls stained by the pollution of 
sin and burdened with depraved affections, have a meaning, a significance, 
aye, a terrible significance. They believe that the consequences of present 
sharacter and conduct will be felt through every stage of an endless exist- 
ence. But on a subject necessarily so obscure, involving the meaning of 
the highly figurative expressions and bold oriental imagery found in the 
records of Divine Revelation, they are unwilling to dogmatize, or attempt 
to be more precise than the Scriptures. While, therefore, they hold tena- 
ciously the doctrine of a future momentous retribution for sin, they would 
leave each one to adopt those views of the circumstances and manners of 
this retribution which appear to him most accordant with truth or probability. 
"There is nothing peculiar in the sentiments which TJnitarians, as a 
body, entertain of the Bible, which distinguishes them from other sects. 


They go to it as the fountain of inspired truth. They regard the several 
books which compose the volume, as the records of a Divine Revelation. 
They make it their standard, their rule of faith and life, interpreting it as 
they think consistency and the principles of a sound and approved criticism 
require. In proof of their veneration for the scriptures they appeal to the 
fact, that several of the best defences of Christianity against the attacks of 
infidels, have come from the hands of Unitarians, — a fact which no one 
acquainted with the theological literature of modern times, from the Refor- 
mation down to the present day, will call in question. 

" They make use of the common, or King James's version, as it is called, 
but like all well informed Christians, they think that a reverence for truth, 
and a desire to ascertain the will of God, justify and require them, when- 
ever there is any doubt about the meaning, to appeal to the original, or to 
compare other versions. In doing this, they say, they do not fear that they 
shall be condemned by any intelligent Christian. There is no greater 
slander than that which is frequently propagated from pulpits, in the streets, 
and from house to house, that they have ' another Bible,' as it is expressed. 
This slander often originates in ignorance, but is sometimes countenanced, 
if not uttered, by those who know, or should know better. May God 
forgive them this wrong. 

" Unitarians have been accused of unduly exalting human reason. To 
this they reply, that the Bible is addressed to us as reasonable beings ; that 
reverence for its records, and respect for the natures which God has be- 
stowed on us, make it our duty to use our understandings, and the best 
lights which are afforded us, for ascertaining its meaning ; that God cannot 
contradict in one way what he reveals in another : that his word and works 
must utter a consistent language ; that if the Bible be his gift, it cannot be 
at war with nature and human reason; that if we discard reason in its in- 
terpretation there is no absurdity we may not deduce from it ; that we 
cannot do it greater dishonor than to admit that it will not stand the scrutiny 
of reason; that if our faculties are not worthy of trust, if they are so dis- 
tempered by the fall, that we can no longer repose any confidence in their 
veracity, then revelation itself cannot benefit us, for we liave no means left 
of judging of its evidences or import, and are reduced at once to a state of 
utter scepticism. 

" Unitarians sometimes speak of reverence for human nature, — of 
reverence for the soul. They reverence it as God's work, formed for un- 
dj-ing growth and improvement. They believe that it possesses powers 


capable of receiving the higliest truths. They believe that God, in various 
ways, makes revelations of truth and duty to the human soul ; that in 
various ways he quickens it ; kindles it in holy thoughts and aspirations, 
and inspires it by his hfe-giving presence. They believe that however 
darkened and degraded, it is capable of being regenerated, renewed, by the 
means and influences which he provides. They believe that it is not so 
darkened by the Aill but that some good, some power, some capacity of 
spiritual life, is left in it. But they acknowledge that it has need of help ; 
that it has need to be breathed upon by the divine spirit. They believe 
that there is nothing in their peculiar mode of viewing Christianity, which 
encourages presumption, encourages pride and self-exaltation. They be- 
lieve that the heart which knows itself will be ever humble. They feel 
that they must perpetually look to God for aid. They teach the necessity 
of prayer, and a diligent use of the means of devout culture. They do not 
then teach reverence for human nature in any such sense, they urge, as 
would countenance the idea that man is sufficient to save himself without 
God. They pray to Him for illumination ; pray that he will more and 
more communicate of himself to theii souls. — Ihey teach the blighting 
consequences of sin. They believe that in the universe which God has 
formed, this is the only essential and lasting evil, and that to rescue the 
human soul from its power, to win it back to the love of God, of truth and 
right, and to obedience to a principle of enlarged benevolence, which em- 
braces every fellow being as a brother, is the noblest work which religion 
can achieve, and worth all the blood and tears which were poured out 
by Jesus in the days of his humiliation. 

" Such, omitting minor differences, are the leading views of the Uni- 
tarian Congregationalists of the United States. They do not claim to hold 
all these views as peculiar to themselves. Several of them they share in 
common with other classes of Christians, or with individuals of other 

On the 25ih of IMay, 1825, the American Unitarian Association was 
formed at Boston. It is worth remarking, that on the same day, without 
any concert, and with the same general object in view, the British and 
Foreign Unitarian Association was formed at London. It was at the 
season when the Anniversaries of a large number of Religious and Philan- 
thropic Societies, belonging to various denominations of christians, are 
usually held in the metropolis of New England. The meeting was called 
at a very short notice, and was therefore a small one, but it included gen- 


tlemen from various sections of the country ; and it was fully agreed, that 
the time had arriyed for more efficient connexion and co-operation of Uni- 
tarian christians throughout the United States. In a circular which was 
immediately sent forth by the Executive Committee first chosen, the im- 
mediate purposes of the Association were thus enumerated : 

"1. To collect and diffuse information respecting the state of Unitarian 
Christianity in our country. 

"2. To produce union, sympathy, and co-operation among liberal 

"3. To pubhsh and distribute books and tracts inculcating correct 
views of religion, in such form and at such price as shall afford all an op- 
portunity of being acquainted with christian truth. 

" 4 To supply missionaries, especially in such parts of our country as 
are destitute of a stated ministry. 

" 5. To adopt whatever other measures may hereafter seem expedient, 
such as contributions in behalf of clergymen with insufficient salaries, or in 
aid of building churches, &c., &c." 

The formation of the Association readily commended itself to the great 
majority of our churches, notwithstanding the general reluctance amongst 
us to assume a sectarian attitude. It was thought, with very few 
exceptions, that the times and the cause of pure and simple Christianity 
imperiously demanded it. Accordingly the circular of the Executive 
Committee was promptly responded to. Annual and life-subscriptions were 
obtained to a considerable amount ; congregations made their pastors 
members for life ; donations were made to the funds ; tracts were forthwith 
published and circulated ; and auxiliary Associations formed in parishes, 
towns, or neighbourhoods. 

The chief management of the concerns of the Association, is in the hands 
of the Executive Committee, consisting of six directors, two of whom must 
be laymen ; the treasurer, the general and assistant secretaries, all chosen 
at the annual meeting in May. The general secretary has " the care of all 
the business and interests of the Association under the care of the Executive 
Committee ;" keeps the records of the Association and of the Executive 
Committee ; conducts the correspondence both foreign and domestic ; makes 
arrangement for all the meetings of the Association ; superintends the 
publication of tracts ; interests himself in the formation and strengthening 
of auxiliary Associations; and in general, devotes himself by correspon- 
dence, occasionally preaching, and travelling, to the promotion of the 


knowledge and diffusion ofchristian truth throughout the land. He is there- 
fore the chief centre of communication for the Unitarian body in all parts of 
the union. He is supported in part by annual subscriptions, and in part by 
the income of a fund. The office was created in the year 1832. The 
first incumbent, the Rev. Jason Whitman, entered on his duties in April, 
1833, but resigned at the annual meeting in May, 1834; when the Rev. 
Charles Briggs was elected, alid has held the office to this day. At the 
last annual meeting in May, the Executive Committee were authorised and 
directed to appoint a missionary agent . This step will probably in a great 
measure have the effect to bring the missionary funds and operations here- 
after spoken of, more directly within the control of the Association, and 
thus secure greater efficiency and permanency to this department of christian 
effort in the Unitarian body. 

The tracts of the Association are issued monthly, and already comprise 
fighteen volumes 12mo., of very valuable controversial expository, devo- 
tional, and practical treatises. The annual publication has reached seventy 
thousand copies ; and the receipts of the Association are constantly increas- 
ing. The whole number of members is about 6000, of whom more than 
400 are' members for life. One dollar paid annually constitutes member- 
ship, and entitles the payer to a copy of each tract published during the 
year ; members for life pay thirty dollars. The annual Meeting is held in 
Boston, on the evening of the Tuesday preceding the last Wednesday in 
May, at which, after the choice of officers, the annual report is presented 
and addresses made. The occasion is usually one of great interest. At 
the late annual meeting, the Rev. Orville Dewey, D. D., of New York, was 
elected president. 

An important aid to one part of the operations of the Unitarian Asso- 
ciation, is found in the Rook and Pamphlet Society, which has for its object 
the gratuitous distribution of books and tracts. It keeps an open depo- 
sitory in Boston, which is largely supplied from the tracts of the Association, 
20,000 of which, besides a large number of books, it has circulated in a 
single year. 

The Unitarians of the United States have in general confined their at- 
^ tention in this regard, to the destitute portions of their own country. On 
the 4th of November, 1807, the Evangelical Missionary Society of Massa- 
chusetts was formed. This was of course before sectarian lines were so 
nicely drawn, as in a short time afterwards. The Society, however, was 


established by, and derived its patronage IVom the liberal portion of the 
community ; and had for its object, to send, as far as the means would 
allow, preachers of the gospel into remote places which had not the stated 
ministrations of religion ; ' to reside there, with the aid, if possible, of 
some of the inhabitants; in the hope that their labours might be so 
blessed, and so acceptable, that at length they should have around them 
regular societies, which should support them without assistance. When 
this should take place, the same means might be used in accomplishing a 
similar work elsewhere, and thus church after church be gatherered.' A 
part of the plan was, " to obtain for those preachers the office of instruc- 
tors of youth, and thus to extend, as far as possible, the improvement of 
education, together with the lessons of religion."* 

This society, though operating with comparatively small means, has been 
of great utility in the sphere of duty it has taken to itself. This was at 
first limited to certain portions of the state of Massachusetts ; but in 1823, 
it extended its care into places beyond the state, and now renders aid, 
wherever needed, as far as its ability allows, in various parts of the vuiion. 
Its funds amount to about SOOdls ; and in the year ending with May, 1843, 
it had appropriated about 1,400 dls. per annum to its objects, it having 
besides the income of its funds some annual receipts. 

In 1841, the attention of the Unitarian body was awakened afresh, and 
directed with new zeal to the subject of domestic missions. Meetings 
were held in the spring of that year in Boston, to consider the best mode 
of procedure, and the result was a determination to raise ten thousand 
dollars per annum, for five consecutive years, to be appropriated according 
to the direction of the donors, to the relief of needy churches in New 
England, the support of missionaries at the west, or the aid of theological 
students. At a meeting held in April, 1842, an organisation took place, 
by which a committee of fifty, now enlarged to eighty, was appointed from 
various places, to present the subject to the public, and collect subscrip- 
tions. At the same time an Executive Missionary Board, consisting of 
nine members, was elected, composed as follows, viz. : — two members of 
the Executive Committee of the Evangelical Missionary Society, two of 
the Executive Committee of the Society for promoting Theological Edu- 
cation, two of the Executive Committee of the American Unitarian 

♦Address of the Trustees in 1823. 


Association, and three chosen at large. This missionary Board distribute 
or expend annually the funds collected by the large committee ; dividing 
between the three Societies just named, in certain proportions, those sums 
subscribed which are not by the subscribers appropriated to any special 
object ; paying to either of said Societies whatever is subscribed expressly 
for it ; applying the sums specifically directed to any other objects, 
accordingly ; and at their discretion, sums expressly placed by the donors 
at the disposal of the Board, to be by them expended. The first financial 
year ended with May, 1844. The amount collected a little exceeded 
10,000 dls., and was distributed in conformity to the above plan ; 
5,817 dls. 22 c. having been appropriated specifically by the donors, 
and the balance, after deducting expenses, being divided by the Board 
between the three before-named Associations. The collections towards 
the fund for the second year amount to more than 12,000 dls.; and 
there is no reason to doubt that at least the entire sum contemplated will 
be realised each year of the term. Meanwhile the Board has appointed 
Mr. George G. Channing, brother of the late Dr. Channing, missionary agent 
for the current year 1845, that by correspondence with ministers and churches 
on the subject of holding meetings by appointment, wherever it may 
seem advisable to present the subject distinctly to the people, and in 
general devoting himself to the work of increasing the interest felt in the 
cause, the cause itself may be helped forward. Thus far his efforts have 
been eminently successful, and the best results are confidently anticipated 
for the future. 

The chief periodicals which have been the organs of the Unitarian body 
for communicating with the public in the United States, are the follow- 
ing : — " The General Repository and Review," quarterly, was commenced 
in 1812, at Cambridge, under the editorial charge of Mr., since Professor, 
Norton, and extended to four volumes, 8vo. It was a work of distin- 
guished ability and learning. In 1821, Mr. Sparks began at Baltimore 
" The Unitarian Miscellany," a monthly in 12mo., which was continued by 
the late Dr. Greenwood, and extended to six volumes, ending with Dec. 
1824. " The Unitarian Advocate," also a monthly in 12mo., was started 
at Boston in 1828, with Rev. E. Q. Sewall as editor, and continued till 
Dec. 1832, embracing ten volumes. At present the leading journal of 
the denomination, is " The Christian Examiner and Religious Miscellany," 
which was originally commenced at Boston, as a monthly publication in 


8vo., with the late Dr. N. Worcester as editor. In its original form, with 
the name of " The Christian Disciple," and as an instrument, not so much of 
defending any particular theological views, as of ' spreading the candid, 
tolerant, and philanthropic spirit of the gospel,' it continued till the close 
of the year 1818, when Dr. Worcester relinquished its charge. Thence- 
forward, with the same name, it continued under the care of an associ- 
ation of gentlemen, who announced, at the outset of their labours, their 
purpose of making it a vehicle for the * defence of controverted religious 
truth.' This series ended with the year 1823. The title was then 
changed to the " Christian Examiner and Theological Review," and so con- 
tinued to the close of the year 1828, when a new series was begun, each 
number being issued once in two months, forming two vols, annually, 
under the title of the " Christian Examiner and General Review." This 
continued to the year 1835, when in September of that year, a third 
series commenced under the same title, and so continued to the close of 
the year 1843. From that time it has taken the title of " The Christian Ex- 
aminer and Religious Miscellany," having united with itself the " Monthly 
Miscellany of Religion and Letters." In this form it is a journal of great 
interest and value, and indeed it ever has been. It is edited by the 
Rev. Dr. Lamson of Dedham, Mass., and the Rev. Dr. Gannett, of 
Boston. It is now in the 38th vol. of the entire work. The " Monthly 
Miscellany" just named, was commenced at Boston in April, 1839, and 
extended through Dec. 1843, forming nine vols. 8vo., under the editorial 
charge of Dr. Gannet. It has been succeeded, since its union with the 
" Examiner," by the " Monthly Rehgious Magazine," in 12mo., which is 
now in its second year of publication, edited by the Rev. F. D. Huntington. 
Two weekly newspapers are also published at Boston, devoted to the cause 
of Unitarianism. The first was commenced in 1822, and is entitled the 
" Christian Register ;" the second in 1843, called the " Christian World :" 
Rev. C. W. Upham, of Salem, edits the former, and Mr. George G. 
Channing, of Boston, the latter. It is in contemplation by the churches 
in New York and Brooklyn, to establish a third paper, to be published 
in the former city. 

There are few Unitarian congregations in the United States which are 
without a Sunday-school ; and as a general fact it may be stated, that 
they are composed of children connected with the several congregations. 
They are usually organised with a superintendent, and sometimes an 


assistant superintendent, treasurer, librarian and secretary, male and 
female teachers. The teachers volunteer their services, and elect the 
other officers. In some instances, pupils are introduced from the poorer 
classes, who have no regular place of worship, and would be to a much 
greater extent, were it not for the sectarian prejudices which extend even 
among them, and for the efforts of the Church of Rome, which every- 
where, as far as possible, interposes to keep the children of its devotees 
from all Protestant influences. The Hancock, Franklin, and Howard 
Sunday schools, in Boston, the latter connected now, as w^e have seen, 
with the Pitts-street chapel of the ministry at large, were all originally 
desip-ned for the reception of children whose parents do not attend any 
particular church. 

As far back as April, 1818, we find a Sunday-school estabhshed in 
the church at Portsmouth, N. H., under the pastoral care of the late 
Dr. Parker. It was a parish school,* and began with about 50 children. 
In 1822, it numbered 102 girls, and 83 boys, with three associate super- 
intendents, seventeen female, and twelve male teachers. 

The first Sunday-school in Boston, probably in New England, was 
estabhshed in October, 1812, by a lady,t who was a member of the west 
church, under the pastoral care of the Rev. Dr. Lowell. It was a charity 
school, and the teachers were ladies of that church. This was the germ 
of the Sunday-school now belonging to that church, which was formed in 
1822, by the transfer of the above-mentioned school, and enlarging it 
with children of the parish. After this latter date, they began to be 
established in various places. In April, 1827, the superintendent and 
teachers of the several schools in the city of Boston, with other persons 
friendly to the institution, associated together under the name of " The 
Sunday School Society," with the view of mutual encouragement and aid, 
and to five greater efficiency and wiser direction to the work. Within 

» The word ' Parish' is not restricted here as in England. It is often used as 
synonymous with ' Religious Society.' 

t Miss Lydia K. Adams. — Dr. Lowell, in a note to Dr. Gannett, dated Sept. 28, 1831, 
says that Miss Adams was prompted to the work, by learning that some ladies in 
Beverley, Mass., had been engaged for some time 'in giving religious instruction to 
poor children on the Sabbath.' In a P.S. he adds : ' I do not know that any Sunday 
school was taught in New England before the year 1812, unless it were the one in 
Revorlev, whicli was the occasion of that in the west Tarish.' 


the first year of its operations, it had established correspondence with 30 
schools beyond the city; and within the third, 1829, with 58; 24 of 
which were commenced in the spring of that year, and 28 of which had 
not before been heard from. Forty of the whole number had been insti- 
tuted since the Society was formed. These 58 schools reported an aggre- 
gate of 5,585 children, and 890 teachers ; while the schools in Boston 
reported an aggregate of 1,224 children, and 232 teachers ; making a 
total, in Dec. 1829, of 6,809 pupils, and 1,122 teachers. Only five of 
all these schools were without libraries ; in the rest, their libraries ranged 
from 100 to 800 volumes, giving a total amount of about 11,000 

The Society has published no ' tabular view' of our Sunday schools 
since 1835. There were then 135 schools in correspondence with the 
Society, containing 2,338 teachers, and 13,795 pupils. But as the num- 
ber of our churches in the United States is now known to approach 300, 
the items above put down must only be taken as furnishing the means for 
a proportional estimate of the schools not heard from. These 105 schools 
were furnished with libraries, containing an aggregate of 31,661 volumes. 

In the winter of 1834-5, the Society requested the Rev. Mr. Gannett, 
of Boston, to deliver a course of public lectures on Christian morals, for 
the benefit especially of Sunday School Teachers. He readily complied. 
The course consisted of six lectures, delivered in the large lecture room 
of the Masonic Temple to crowded assemblies ; and were heard with the 
closest attention. 

In the month of February, 1839, a course of four lectures on the sub- 
ject of Sunday school instruction, was delivered in Dr. Channing's church 
in Boston, at the request of the Directors of the Svmday School Society, 
by the Rev. Messrs, Walker, Thompson, Gannett, and Upham. These 
lectures attracted large and attentive audiences, and increased the general 
interest felt in the subject. 

In the year 1842, the Directors appointed eight associate agents, three 
of whom were clergymen, who immediately proceeded to give public 
notice of their readiness to visit and address any school which might 
desire it. They go free of all compensation, without regard to distance 
or expense ; and have proved thus far both useful and acceptable to the 
schools. In the year ending May, 1844, they had visited 48 towns in 
five of the six New England States. They reported the number of visits 


tvliich they had made, to be 81 ; number of teachers in the schools visited, 
1,392 ; number of pupils, 8,094 ; pupils, teachers, and parents addressed, 
22,879 ; miles travelled, 3,488 ; addresses delivered, 100 ; whole expense 
of travelling, 105 dls. 72 c. ; whole expense of the agency, 181 dls. 
47 c. In their visits they distributed during the year, 8,700 tracts, 
comprising 115,200 pages; exceeding the distribution of the previous 
year by 1,1 G2 tracts. An edition of a new tract of 4,000 copies was 
also published. 

The course of instruction in the Sunday schools varies ; and much is 
left to the discretion of each teacher. For some time, the teaching was 
confined very much to an illustration of the history, geography, and pre- 
cepts of the New Testament, and occasionally of the Old. A wider range 
is now taken, and there i& a growing impression that the children should 
be taught the leading doctrines of the Christian religion. Various 
catechisms have at different times been prepared for the use of the pupils, 
an excellent one by the late Dr. Channing, for young children ; another 
by a Committee of the Worcester Co. Ministerial Association for those 
more advanced. Rev. Mr. Allen of Northborough, ^lass., has arranged 
three series of Questions on the Gospels and Acts, severally adapted to 
as many different ages. The third part of the Geneva Catechism has 
been a good deal used. Several service books, with addresses to the 
school, comprising a liturgy and hymns, have been prepared, the most 
complete of which, and one rapidly getting into general use, was published 
about a year ago, by the Hon. S. C. Phillips, of Salem, Mass., for many 
years and still the superintendent of the Sunday school in the church in 
Burton square, in that city. Instruction in a few schools is given to infant 
classes, children under five years of age ; this, of course, of a very simple 
kind. In many schools, the more advanced classes are taught in Natural 
Theology, the Evidences of Christianity, Christian Ethics, and ihe 
formation of the Christian character. Mr. Gallaudet's Book of the Soul 
has been found a good manual for children from seven to ten years of age ; 
and teachers value very highly the Commentary of the Rev. Mr. Liver- 
more, of Keene, N. H., three volumes of which, covering the Gospels 
and Acts, are already published, and the rest in progress. 

The number of known Unitarian congregational churches in the United 
States is about 300. At the time the American Unitarian Association 
was established, in 1825, the whole number in Massachusetts was about 


100; it is now 165. Boston alone has 22 Unitarian churches. There 
were, in 1825, six in Maine; there are now 21. There were then six 
in New Hampshire ; there are now 25. There was then one in Rhode 
Island ; there are now three. Out of New England there were then 
eight; there are now 44. West of the Alleghany Mountains there was 
then but one ; there are now 23. In the American Almanac for 1845, 
the number of members of our communion is put down at 30,000, which 
is much below the actual number. 

By the aid of the Rev. G. G. Channing, the proprietor of the Christian 
World and Domestic Missionary of the American Unitarian Association, 
the following facts have been ascertained : — 

Number of churches regularly organized _ - _ - 240 

,, ,, in an incipient or feeble state - - 60 

The average attendance on Sunday at church - _ _ 75,000 

Whole number of persons, adults and children, is not less than 300,000 

Whole number of communicants - - _ _ _ 18,000 

Whole number of Sunday school scholars - - _ _ 27,000 

Whole number of Sunday school teachers - ' - - 4,800 

But very few of our churches have permanent funds. The general 
expenses of maintaining public worship are defrayed either by voluntary 
contribution, or by taxes voted by the members, and assessed pro rata 
upon the appraised value of the pews. 

Many of our churches have libraries attached to them, but it is not 
considered as a necessary appurtenance to the church. Some of them, 
though not large, are valuable ; among the most so are those belonging 
to the First Church in Salem, Mass. ; the church at Philadelphia ; the 
Church of the Messiah, New York, and the Federal-street church in 

Properly speaking, there is no Unitarian college in the United States, 
and the only literary institution in which Unitarians can be said to possess 
any weight or influence, is that of Harvard University, at Cambridge, 

This institution, the oldest and best endowed of its kind in the country, 
was founded so early as 1636, sixteen years only after the landing of the 
pilgrims at Plymouth rock, and ten years only after the settlement of 


Salem, the second town planted in what is now the state of Massachusetts. 
The first general Court of Massachusetts Bay, established by its vote the 
College, with a grant of four hundred pounds, on the 8th of September of 
that year. The name of Harvard was given to it in grateful remembrance 
of the Rev. John Harvard, ' a dissenting clergyman of England, resident at 
Charlestown,' who died in 1638, and by will gave one half of his property, 
and his entire library, to the Institution. His bequest ' was equal to, if not 
double, that which the colony had ventured even to promise ; and besides, 
was capable of being applied at once to the object." It led to the immedi- 
ate commencement of the seminary, and the acknowledgment of Harvard 
as its founder.* 

From the earliest period, this Institution has been distinguished by its 
liberal character and tendencies. Its first " constitution," framed in 1642, 
detailing the objects of its foundation, says, ' for the instituting, guiding, 
and furthering of the said College, and the several members thereof, from 
time to time, in piety, morality, and learning.' The ' Charter of 1650' 
declares its objects to be, among other things, ' the education of the 
English and Indian youth of this country in knowledge and godliness.^ 
' The only terms,' says President Q.uincy, ' used in either of these char- 
ters connecting this Institution with the religious principle, are ^ piety' 
and 'godliness,' terms of all others the least susceptible of being wrested 
to projects merely sectarian.' The sectarian controversies which agitated 
the Province in the times of the Mathers, during the latter part of the 
seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth centuries, and which 
reached the Corporation and the College, left the latter on the liberal side, 
notwithstanding every effort to the contrary. The provincial charter of 
William and Mary of 1692, making property, instead of church-member- 
ship, the qualification for the enjoyment of civil rights, opened the way for 
the introduction of influences upon the government and instruction of the 
College, entirely adverse to the views of the exclusive and high-toned 
Calvinistic party among the Congregationalists. These, finding it impos- 
sible to secure the Institution from the growing changes in religious 
opinions, styled by them 'apostasy, and 'heresies,' readily united with their 
brethren of 'the stricter sect' in Connecticut, to found a new 'school of the 
prophets' there; and, accordingly, while Harvard held on its way 

President Quincy's History of Harvard University, vol. 1, pj), (», 10. 


unshackled by creeds and confessions, either as conditions of liolding office, 
or of enjoying its privileges, the College at New Haven was designed and 
regarded as the ' stronghold' of those opinions, which it was hoped would be 
imbibed and confirmed by requiring that ' the students should be established 
in the principles of religion, according to the Assem.bly's Catechism, Dr. 
Ames's ' Medulla' and ' Cases of Conscience,' and should not be suffered to 
be instructed in any different principles or doctrines.'* The statutes of 
Hollis for the Professorship of Divinity, which he founded at Cambridge, in 
1721, simply required that the Professor be * in communion with some 
Christian Church, of one of the three denominations, Congregatioiial, 
Presbyterian, or Baptist ;' and that at his inauguration ' he declare it as his 
belief, that the Bible is the only and most perfect rule of faith and practice ; 
and that he promise to explain and open the Scriptures to his pupils with 
integrity and faithfulness, according to the best light that God shall give 
him.' While at New Haven, in 1753, the President and Fellows of Yale 
College, besides declaring, that ' all exposition of Scripture pretending to 
deduce any doctrines or positions contrary to' the Assembly's Catechism 
and Confession, ' are wrong and erroneous,' proceeded to require ' that 
every President, Fellow, Professor of Divinity, or Tutor in said College, 
shall, before he enter upon the execution of his office, publicly consent to 
the said Catechism and Confession of Faith, as containing a just summary 
of the Christian religion, and renoiuTce all doctrines and principles contrary 
thereto ; and shall pass through such examination as the Corporation shall 
think proper, in order to their being fully satisfied that he should do it 
truly, and without any evasion or equivocation. -j- 

The liberal spirit which seems thus identical with the formation and 
history of Harvard University, has always made it an object of jealousy 
with the 'orthodox;' and especially since division-lines between the two 
parties in the Congregational Church have been so sharply drawn. Men of 
liberal sentiments have been as naturally attracted towards it. Accordingly, 
though it is not, and never can be, a professedly Unitarian institution, it has 
been within the last fifty years almost exclusively indebted to the munifi- 
cence of Unitarians, for large accessions to its funds, and the establishment 
of its various literary and scientific foundations. Its entire theological 

* Quincy's History of Harvard University, vol. i. 198, vol. ii. 70. 
f President Clay's History of Yale College, p. 75, as cited by President Quincy, ii. 71. 


Faculty, and the great majority of the members of its other learned Facul- 
ties, and of its officers of government and [instruction, have been and are 
Unitarians. Its Theological Schools have sent forth, with few exceptions, 
Unitarian preachers. Its Corporation, consisting of the President, Trea- 
surer, and five Fellows, in perpetual succession, with power to fill the 
vacancies which from time to time occur at the Board, is wholly composed 
of Unitarians. The Board of Overseers, which consists of the Governor, 
Lieutenant, Council, Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives of 
the State, and the President of the University, ex-officio, with fifteen 
ministers of Congregational churches, and fifteen laymen, all inhabitants of 
the State, elected by the Board, has a current vote with the -Corporation. 
The Board of Overseers at this time contains a majority of Unitarians, or 
at least of men of liberal views in Theology, but recent events appear to 
show a determination on the part of the orthodox to change this state of 
things. At the last meeting of the Board a proposition was introduced, to 
the effect of providing, that in filling all vacancies in the clerical portion of 
the Board, care shall hereafter be taken to prevent a majority being given 
to any one religious denomination. The proposition was, however, nega- 
tived by a vote of 33 to 19.* 

In 1840, the amount of funds belonging to the University, for its 
unreserved use, was 156,126 dls. 26 c.; while there were held by it, 
including a fund in reversion for 20,000 dls., funds in trust for various pur- 
poses, pledged to the Law and Theological Departments, to the support of 
special professorships, salaries, &c., according to the directions of donors, 
amounting to 490,108 dls. 91 c, making a total of 446,235 dls. 17 c. 
The portion of the above, pledged to the Theological Department, was 
47,842 dls. 79 c. 

The Theological, as a distinct department of Harvard University, dates 
its origin at a comparatively recent period, and since the University has 
come so much within the patronage. of the Unitarian body. 

* When we say that Harvard is not professedly a Unitarian University, we only 
mean to be understood as saying, that it is not such in the sense of requiring a declara- 
tion either of belief in, or of a purpose to uphold and propagate Unitarian views of the 
Gospel. No sectarian test is demanded either of officer, instructor, or pupil, in any 
faculty or department. It is, as the facts of the case show, in Unitarian hands, and for 
the sake of that freedom both in science and religion, which seems to us so precious, 
God grant it long may be so! 


Previous to 1811, students in Theology had resided at the University 
pursuing their studies much in their own way, with occasional aid from the 
Hollis Professor of Divinity. In the autumn of 1811, the Hollis Professor 
commenced a systematic course of exercises, with sixteen resident Divinity 

In 1810, the College had received a bequest of 5,000dls. by the will of tjie 
Hon. Samuel Dexter, of Mendon, Massachusetts, for the promotion of " a 
critical knowledge of the Holy Scriptures." No addition to the Theological 
funds was made after this until 1814, when Samuel Parkman, Esq., of 
Boston, conveyed to the College a township of land in Maine, " for the 
support of a Professor of Theology." In 1815, active measures, set on foot 
by the Corporation, resulted in raising by subscription 27,300dls. ; and the 
subscribers formed themselves into a " Society for promoting Theological 
education in Harvard University," which for some years limited its efforts 
to the pecuniary aid of theological students. In 1819, the Hollis Profes- 
sor of Divinity, the Hancock Professor of Hebrew, and the Alford Pro- 
fessor of Natural Religion and Moral Philosophy, were allowed to assist in 
tlie special instruction of the divinity students ; and Mr. Norton, who had 
already given lectures on the Dexter foundation, was appointed Dexter 
I'rofessor of Sacred Literature. This arrangemant was a step in advance ; 
l)ut in 1824 a new organization took place, by which, with the concurrence 
of the Corporation and the "Society" above named, a Board of Directors 
was constituted under the name of " the Society for the promotion of Theo- 
logical education in Harvard University." This Board at once undertook 
the chief management of the affairs of the Divinity School, subject to the 
control of the Corporation and Overseers of the University. The Society 
was incorporated in 1826 ; and under its care a new edifice expressly for the 
accommodation of students in theology was erected, and publicly dedicated 
to its uses in August of that year, by the name of Divinity Hall, a discourse 
being delivered by Dr. Channing. The cost of the building, with furniture 
and appurtenances, was about 37, OOOdls. ; the amount raised by subscription 
towards the object exceeding 19,000dls. ; and the balance being paid from 
the Theological Trust Fund in charge of the College. 

The organization of the School and the constitution of a proper Theolo- 
logical Faculty, was perfected in 1830. The late Rev. Henry Ware, Jun., 
had been appointed to the Professorship of Pulpit Eloquence and the Pastoral 
Care, and in that year entered on its duties. In September of that year, 


Mr. Norton having resigned the Dexter Professorship, the President of the 
University, the Professors of Divinity, of Biblical Literature, and of Pul- 
pit Eloquence and the Pastoral Care, -were constituted the Faculty of The- 
ology. They were empowei-ed to make and enforce all proper laws for 
their own department ; and one of the Professors was to be appointed by 
the Corporation, Dean of the Faculty. Thus the duties, till then performed 
by the Directors of the ' Society for the promotion of Theological educa- 
tion in Harvard University,' were devolved on the Faculty of Theology ; 
the connexion between the Society and the University by mutual consent 
dissolved ; and the funds of the former transferred to the corporation of 
the latter, subject to the uses for which they had always been held. This 
is the present organization of the Faculty of the Theological School at 

The Rev. Convers Francis, D.D., Parkman* Professor of Pulpit Elo- 
quence and the Pastoral Care, and the Rev. George R. Noyes, D.D., 
Hancock Professor of Hebi-ew and Oriental Languages, and Dexter Lec- 
turer on Biblical Literature, are at present its only Professors ; the Hollis 
Professorship of Divinity being vacant. 

There is a Theological Library in Divinity Hall, for the use of the 
Divinity School ; consisting of about 3,000 volumes, principally of modern 
theology, with some of the early Fathers in the original : means are pro- 
vided for adding valuable modern theological and ethical works, as pub- 
lished. The Divinity Students have free access to and use of the Univer- 
sity Library, comprising about 4G,000 volumes, and embracing a large and 
valuable collection in Theology. 

No theological tests are required of any Student entering this school. 
The funds for the aid of those who seek its advantages, and are in need, 
are fully appropriated to all, without the slightest reference to their theolo- 
gical preferences. These funds have been found adequate to defray all 
expenses hitherto incurred by such students as have resorted there with 
insufficient means of their own. Since 1818, two hundred and thirteen 
clergymen have been educated at the Listitution, of whom one hundred and 
ninety are living, and of whom all but four are Unitarians. The School now 
contains in its three classes, the course of study occupying three years, an 

•In IHIO, Rev Francis Parkman, D.D. of Boston, added 5,000dls., to the bequest of 
his fatlier, to complete the foundation of this Professorship. 


ao-crregate of thirty eight studeiiLs. The instruction comprises Lectures, 
Recitations, and other exercises, on all the subjects usually included in a 
system of Theological Education ; — Hebrew, the Criticism and Interpre- 
tation of the Scriptvires, Natural Religion, Evidences of Revealed Religion, 
Systematic Theology, Christian Ethics, Church History, Church PoUty, 
the Composition and Delivery of Sermons, and the Duties of the Pastoral 
Office. The members of the two upper classes have a weekly exercise in 
the practice of extemporaneous speaking, and the members of the senior 
class preach in the village church during the summer term. 

Students are entitled to receive instruction from the Instructor in the 
German Language, and to be present at all public lectures of the University. 

In the middle of the month of July of each year, are held the anniver- 
saries of the Institution. On the Sunday evening previous to the Annual 
Visitation of the School, a sermon is preached to the Graduating Class, by 
some Clergymen appointed by themselves. On the following Friday, the 
Visitation of the School takes place, when the Graduating Class read disser- 
tations upon subjects assigned by the Faculty. In the afternoon of that 
day, having dined together in the College Halls, the Association of the 
Alumni of the School hold a meeting in the Chapel of the University, and 
choose Officers, and a First, or Second Speaker, or both, as the case may 
require, for the next anniversary. They then proceed to the Village 
Church, to hear the annual address by the speaker appointed the previous 
year. All persons educated at the Divinity School are members, and other 
clergymen may be elected. 

T" The Meadville Theological School is a new institution, which has origi- 
nated in the special demand of the Western portion of the Union for an 
educated liberal clergy ; and in the fact that the Divinity School at Cam- 
bridge had been unable to furnish a sufficient supply of ministers for the 
Churches which were springing up in remoter sections of the country. It 
was found also that throughout the West there were many "zealous, and 
in the main effective preachers," who, freed from the trammels of human 
creeds, craved a better and more ample theological knowledge, and would 
be glad to profit by the advantages which such an institution offered. These 
are mostly of the " Christian" denomination ; and a number of these at 
once proposed to reside at Meadville for this purpose. 

In the year 1844, H. J. Huidekoper, Esq. purchased and presented to 
the proposed Institution a substantial brick built building 60 by 40 feet, 


which liad been ;i Church. It has been so altered, as to furnish a chapel 
capable of seating about 200 persons, and two large rooms for recitations 
and class exercises. A Library of 500 volumes has been provided, and the 
students will have access to private theological libraries containing 2000 
volumes. Text books are furnished gratuitously for the use of the students 
while at the School ; and a full course of theological study, covering three 
years, for the three classes is arranged. The tuition is gratuitous. The Insti- 
tution was opened on the 1st of October, 1844, under the care of Rev. R. 
P. Stebbins, last Pastor of the Church, at Leominster, Massachusetts, Princi- 
pal and Professor of Hebrew Literature, Systematic Theology, and Sacred 
Rhetoric ; Rev. G. W. Hosmer of Buffalo, New York, Professor of Pasto- 
ral Care, who will visit the school and give Lectures ; and Rev. F. Huide- 
koper. Professor of Hermeneutics, New Testament Interpretation and 
Literature, and Ecclesiastical History. Professor Stebbins also becomes 
the Pastor of the Unitarian Church at Meadville. The expenses of attend- 
ing this School will be much less than those at Cambridge. Five students 
entered with the opening of the School, and were in less than a month 
joined by four more. The number is still on the increase, and reasonably 
expected to be doubled at least at the beginning of the second year. 

Though the course of study embraces three full years, students are ad- 
mitted for a shorter term. In the prospectus of the School, it is said, 
' Persons wishing to know the religious sentiments of the School, are in- 
formed that it has been established by the united efforts of the Christian 
and Unitarian denominations. To such as are ignorant how far these 
denominations acknowledge the right of private judgment, we would farther 
say, that students of all persuasions are entitled to equal privileges, and 
will receive like attention." 

For the general supervision of the affairs of the Institution, there is a 
Visiting Committee of twelve members, six Christians and six Unitarians. 

There are no special funds for the support of the Professors ; but liberal 
contributions towards the establishment and maintenance of the School 
have been made by Unitarians in New England and New York. 
The annual commencement is on the 2nd Monday of September. 
The establishment of the Ministry at Large, in Boston, dates back to the 
year 1826 : on the 5th of November of which year, the Rev. Dr. Tucker- 
roan having recently dissolved his connexion with the church at Chelsea, of 
which he had been for 25 v^Jirs the Pastor, entered on the duties of what 


he called 'the mission to the poor' in Boston. He fbund that the moral 
claims of the poor had not been entirely neglected in that city, but had 
already engaged the attention of the ' Society for the Moral and Religious 
Instruction of the Poor,' which had employed missionaries in the work, one 
of whom, a young man, was then in the field, though soon after removed to 
the charge of a congregation in the country. With the aid of two friends,* 
one of whom afterwards became his co-adjutor in the ministry, Dr. P. 
connected himself with fifty families as their minister, within the first 
quarter of the year ; with more than 90 families within the second quarter ; 
and at the end of the year with 170 families; having made during that time 
1,900 visits. In six months more, he had 250 families in his pastoral 
charge. He had, though in feeble health, once a week, besides, visited the 
House of Correction belonging to the city, and occasionally preached there. 
When he had been engaged about five weeks in the service, an association 
of young men belonging to our churches in the city, engaged an upper 
chamber of a building in Portland Street, for Sunday evening religious 
services, which were regularly thereafter held, and where he preached 
to large assemblies, being aided occasionally in other parts of the exercises ; 
and for a time lectured on Thursday afternoons to about 100 children^ 
mostly boys from ten to fourteen years of age, on natural history. The 
families which were thus brought under his influence, were, to use his own 
words, 'as far from being poor, as from being rich,' at least in many 
instances. Many of course were very poor ; but there were embraced in his 
ministrations, operatives in every branch of art and industry, men 'to 
whom, in any exigency of danger, we should all look for the bone and sinew 
of our strength.' This class were not connected with any of the organized 
congregations of the city ; they thought themselves unable to purchase or 
hire seats in any church, and were unwilling to occupy the free seats as they 
are called, that being to them no 'less revolting' than poverty itself. Besides 
the aid rendered to Dr. P. by the Association alluded to, benevolent indivi- 
duals, and ' sewing circles' of ladies in our churches, supplied his ' Poor's 
Purse' for the relief of pressing want at his discretion. 

A more commodious place for worship had been erected by subscription^ 
called the ' Friend Street Chapel,' the charge of the ministry having been 
assumed at Dr. Tuckerman's desire by the American Unitarian Association; 

* Moses Grant, Esq. and Rev. T. Gray. 


but his health had so declined by devotion to his labours, that in his seventh 
semi-annual report in 1831, to the Executive Committee, he was compelled 
to declare his inability to preach. In his Report in May, 1832, after he 
had during the year before been twice ' admonished by sudden and severe 
illness of the feeble tenure by which he held life,' he urges the appointment 
of an assistant. This was furnished him by the appointment in August of 
that year, of Rev. Charles T. Barnard, who had previously for some months 
officiated at the Chapel. In October following, Mr. F. T. Gray offered to 
share their labors, and his offer was accepted. During a large part of the 
following summer, the active duties of the ministry devolved on IMr. Bar- 
nard, Dr. Tuckcrman having accepted the 'kindly and providential' offer 
of a friend to accompany him to Europe for his health, and Mr. Gray 
having retired to pursue his theological studies. 

In the month of October, 1833, Mr. Gray returned to labour with 
Mr. Barnard ; and they divided the city between them, the latter taking 
especial charge of the ' south end.' The chapel had been thoroughly 
repaired, and was re-opened with a crowded audience. A morning service 
was arranged specially for the children, which, however, the parents were 
also invited to attend ; and afternoon and evening services for all, on each 
Sunday. The Howard Sunday school, which was established in 182G, by 
a few ladies and gentlemen, for the same class of children as frequented 
the chapel, was removed there, and united with the Sunday school of the 
chapel. In October, 1833, Mr. Barnard reported the school to be flourish- 
ing, and its numbers quite full. During his labours at the ' south end,' 
he found many children belonging to no Sunday school, and at once formed 
one for them ; while a second chapel in that part of the city was con- 

Dr. Tuckcrman returned from Europe in 1834, with his health some- 
what improved, but not sufficiently to enable him to resume his full share 
of the duties of the ministry. In the autumn of that year, and a little 
while before he reached home, the American Unitarian Association, being 
convinced that the interests of the Ministry at Large demanded some more 
reliable support, resigned its charge to the ' Benevolent Fraternity of 
Churches,' which had been formed for the purpose, and with whom it 
remains to this day. The Fraternity consists of subscribers in most of 
the Unitarian congregations of lioston ; those of each congregation being 
a branch of the Fraternity, and represented at a central board ; which 


board manages the financial concerns and general interests of the whole 
by an Executive Committee. The Fraternity soon became an incorporated 
institution. New life and efficiency were at once given by its formation 
to the Ministry at Large. 

In 1836, through the liberality of friends of the ministry, a spacious 
building of brick, comprising a chapel, lecture and school-rooms, and 
private apartments for the residence of Mr. Barnard, was erected in 
Warren street. This was under the auspices of the Fraternity. Until 
within a short time after the dedication of the building, Mr. Barnard 
having become specially engaged in improving the character and condition 
of the young, and declaring his purpose of devoting himself chiefly to 
this object, the connection of himself and his chapel with the Fraternity 
was dissolved. An 'Association' was formed 'for the support of the 
Warren street chapel.' Mr. Barnard has been most faithful to his work, 
and the institution is among the most interesting and valuable in the city. 
He has stated Sunday services, with a hturgy prepared for the chapel by 
the late Dr. Greenwood, and chanting by the children. The Sunday school 
contains about 500 pupils. There is an evening school for boys twice a 
week, and a sewing school for girls once a week. The congregation on 
Sundays is chiefly composed of about 600 children, accompanied, in many 
cases, by their parents or other friends. There is a cabinet of Natural 
History, and a valuable library, which is much used. Courses of lectures, 
one a week, during the winter, at a low price of admission ; a series of 
tracts for the particular benefit of the frequenters of the chapel ; and ex- 
cursions into the country with their teachers, increase the value and 
attractiveness of the institution. Mr. Barnard adds to all, great fidelity 
in visiting the families to which the children belong, and performing to 
them all the duties of a minister at Large. 

During the same year, a spacious brick chapel was erected by the 
Fraternity in Pitts-street ; the old chapel in Friend-street was vacated, 
and the congregation removed to the new house, under the special pastoral 
charge of Mr. Gray. In 1837, Rev. J. T. Sargent, and Rev. R. C. 
Waterston, were appointed Ministers at Large, and the latter succeeded 
Mr. Gray in the care of Pitts-street chapel, when he became pastor of 
the Bulfinch-street church. Mr. Sargent found his field of labour at the 
southern section of the city. On the 23rd of May, 1838, the corner stone 
of the Suffolk-street chapel, in his district, a plain and commodious struc- 


ture of grawile, was laid ; and llic building, when completed, placed in 
his charge. Libraries and sewing schools are attached to these chapels ; 
meetings, besides the Sunday services, and the Sunday schools, for religious 
improvement and social culture, are held ; the families are visited, and 
physical suffering alleviated, while wholesome counsel and the consolations 
of the gospel are applied. In 1843, the library of Pitts-street chapel con- 
tained more than 500 volumes, and 1,325 applications for books were 
answered. The Sunday school had 3G8 pupils; with 24 male and 23 
female teachers. In fourteen years, 2,541 pupils had received its instruc- 
tions. There were 50 pupils in the school, advanced in age, who, divided 
into Bible classes, ibrmed ' one of the most interesting features of the 
school.' More than 200 families were connected with this chapel, and 
about half that number with that in Suffolk street. The latter is in a 
more remote and thinly peopled part of the city, although in these respects 
rapidly changing. 

The Rev. Dr. Tuckerman lived to see the ministry to which he had so 
largely contributed to give form and character, placed on a firm, and, we 
may trust, permanent footing, with young, active, devoted labourers 
engaged in the work. He passed the winter of 1836-7 in the island of 
St. Croix for his health, but obtained, as the event proved, only a brief 
respite of the life which had been long held by a very feeble tenure. In 
the autumn of 1839, he was advised to try the climate of Cuba ; he 
arrived at Havana, accompanied by a most devoted daughter, and repaired 
to the interior of the island. The frame so repeatedly attacked soon 
proved to be exhausted ; having lingered through the winter, he returned 
to Havana, and after a few days of intense suffering, died in that city, on 
the 20th of April, 1840, in his G3rd year. His remains were brought to 
the United States, and buried at the Mount Auburn cemetery, near Boston, 
where, though too long delayed, a monument is about to be erected to 
his memory. 

A prouder and a more blessed monument than one of granite or marble, 
is found in tliis ministry to which he devoted all his energies for so many 
years. He was not, in the strictest sense, though often called so, the 
founder of that ministry : for we have already seen, that he met on enter- 
ing upon the work in 1 826, at least one labourer in the field.* The Asso- 

• Pa}fc ;57. 


ciation in whose employ that young missionary then was, had so early as 
1822, provided religious services on Sunday evenings for those who were 
connected with no religious society ; and still another Association had 
employed a minister to visit and preach to the poor.* But Dr. Tucker- 
man's merit consists in giving a new and distinct form to this ministry ; 
in infusing into it a new and more comprehensive spirit ; in calling out 
and directing other energies than his own merely to the work ; in elevating- 
it to a high rank among the philanthropic institutions of the age, and 
enlisting for it the warm interest and affections of the religious commu- 
nity. The ready co-operation of the Executive Committee of the Unitarian 
Association, and the existence, heartiness, and liberality of the Fraternity 
of Churches are justly traceable, in a great degree, to the perseverance, 
discretion, foresight, and thorough faithfulness of this excellent man. 

Within a few months, Rev. Warren Burton, and Rev. A. Bigelow, 
D.D., have been appointed to the Ministry at I^arge, and have entered on 
its duties. Rev. Mr. Sargent has recently resigned his ministry ; Rev. 
Mr. Waterston has accepted a call to become the pastor of a newly-organised 
Unitarian society in Boston, which has taken the name of the ' Church of 
the Saviour :' and Rev. T. B. Fox has engaged in the work of gathering an 
adult congregation in the Warren-street chapel, and relieving Mr, Barnard 
of a part of his labours. 

The whole expense of the Ministry at Large between its first establish- 
ment in 1826 and 1843, had amounted to 60,000 dls. This included, of 
course, the erection of the chapels. A debt had also been created. At 
the tenth annual meeting of the 'Fraternity of Churches' on the 4th April, 
1844, the Report stated that the permanent debt of more than 7,000 dls., 
incurred mainly in the erection of the Pitts-street chapel, and a floating 
debt of 1,100 dls., arising from excess of annual expenditures over the 
receipts, had, by the sale of the Old Friend street chapel, by the proceeds 
of a Fair conducted by ladies of the church under the care of Rev. Mr. 
Young, in Boston, amounting to 2,250 dls., and by a subscription in sums 
chiefly of 100 dls., amounting to 2,570 dls., for this particular purpose, 
been discharged. The Fraternity therefore began the year now nearly 
ended free from debt. The two chapel estates are valued at about 30,000 dls. 
The annual expense of the ministry is now between 4,000 and 5,000 dls. 

*Ilev. Dr. Jenks, afterwards Pastor of the Green Street Congregational church, Boston. 


The example of Unitarians in Boston has been followed elsewhere. In 
New York, a ministry at Large was established by the two Unitarian 
churches of that city in 1833, and maintained for a few years under the 
charge of Rev. Mr. Arnold. The two churches in Providence, R. I., 
support a ministry at Large, established in 1842; Rev. Mr. Harrington, 
now of Albany, was the first minister, and his successor is Mr. W. G. Bab- 
cock, a recent graduate of the Divinity School at Cambridge, Massachu- 
setts. The Rev. C. H. A. Dall, after successfully opening the ministry at 
St. Louis, Missouri, has been engaged with great zeal and disinterestedness 
in the work for the past two years, in the city of Baltimore, his native 
place, sustained by ' the liberality of a few of its merchants,' and other 
friends of the cause. That which he began at St. Louis, continues to be 
conducted by Mr. M. De Lange, under the patronage of Rev. Mr. Eliot's 
church. The church at Lowell, Massachusetts, have employed within a 
few months the Rev. H. Wood, in the same work. And Mr. W. H. Far- 
mer completed the first year of this ministry, in May last, in the city of 
Louisville, Kentucky, supported by Rev. Mr. Heywood's church. The 
want of public day schools in our western cities, has burdened the Ministry 
at Large established there with the additional labour and expense of day 
schools for the children of the poor. 

New England,* and particularly Massachusetts, being the part of the 
country in which Unitarians are found in the greatest numbers, we are 
naturally to look there for the names of those of their faith who have 
been distinguished in the various walks of life. Taking Massachusetts 
for example, in which, especially, they are numerous, it is no exaggeration 
to say, that in early days the liberal party in theology, and in later times 
since the lines were more distinctly drawn, and the Unitarian body has 
formed a well-known and distinct portion of the religious conmiunity, they 
have furnished a remarkably large part of our distinguished statesmen, 
magistrates, and public men ; of those who have adorned and dignified 
the senate, the bench, and the bar ; of those who have elevated the medical 
profession : of devoted and learned pastors of churches ; of historians, 
poets, and chief writers of the day ; of eminent public benefactors and 
philanthropists. And going thence, wherever Unitarians are found in any 

• New England includes the States of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, 
New MaiTipshire, Vermont, and Maine. 


considerable numbers collected together, the like statement will hold com- 
paratively true. Probably no single denomination, in proportion to its 
numbers, can boast a more brilliant constellation of great and good names, 
than has adorned, and continues to adorn, the American Unitarian church. 

It is impossible, in the compass of an essay like this, to mention, much 
less to commemorate all. But a few may be taken in part proof at least of 
the assertion above made. Among the divines of the older time, was the 
Rev. Jonathan Mayhew, D.D., of Boston, who died on the 8th of July, 
1766.* Of him it has been said, that ' no American author ever obtained 
a higher reputation. He would have done honour to any country by his 
character and writings.' The author of Hollis' Memoirs, says of Dr. 
Mayhew's work on Episcopacy, which was republished in England, that 
' it is, perhaps, the most masterly performance that a subject of that kind 
would admit of.' The late President Adams remarked, that ' to draw 
the character of Dr. Mayhew would be to transcribe a dozen volumes. 
This transcendent genius threw all the weight of his great fame into the 
scale of his country in 1761, and ' maintained it there with zeal and ardour 
till his death.' His hostility to Episcopacy was most decided. He 
engaged in controversy respecting the doings of the British Society for 
Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and managed his share of it 
so powerfully that he drew out Archbishop Seeker in defence of the 
Society. Dr. Mayhew's rejoinder to the Archbishop was deemed a very 
remarkable production for its inherent power, its acute argumentation, and 
its ready wit. He received his doctorate from the University of Aberdeen. 

The Rev. Charles Chauncy, D.D., of Boston, who died 10th February, 
1787, was also very famous for his learning, and his strong attachment to 
civil and religious liberty. He was one of the most formidable opponents 
of the excesses under Whitefield ; and ably combated the renowned 
Edwards upon the subject of the final damnation of the wicked. His 
' Seasonable Thoughts,' published in Boston in 1743, in the midst of 
the Great Revival, was read with the greatest avidity and satisfaction at 
the time, and had a remarkable influence in dissipating the delusions to 
which that had given rise. 

The names of John Clarke, Jeremy Belknap, John Eliot, Simeon Howard, 

* Page 2, wlierc Dr. Mayliew is called ' the fust preaciier of Unitarianism in 


all doctors of divinity, and pastors of churches in Boston, and contempo- 
raries of Chauncy, though living heyond him into the present century, are 
names of high honour and sainted memory amongst us, with a host of 
others of their day. When we come to a more modern period, the cata- 
logue is still bright. 

First we mention Buckminster, ' that youthful marvel, the hope of the 

Church, the oracle of divinity, full of all faculties, of all studies, of all 

learning.'* The Rev. Joseph S. Buckminster, was born May 26, 1784, 

at Portsmouth, New Hampshire ; graduated at Harvard University in 

1800 ; was ordained to the ministry of Brattle St. Church, Boston, on the 

20th January, 1805 ; and died on the 9th June, 1812, at the early age of 

twenty eight years. In him was the rarest union of personal, intellectual, 

moral and professional attractions. ' His limbs were well-proportioned 

and regular. His head resembled the finest models of the antique ; and 

his features presented an almost faultless combination of dignity, sweetness, 

and intelligence. '-j- He had a mind of the highest order, and perfectly 

balanced. To the richest gifts of fancy, he united all the more sober antl 

practical faculties, and above all, in a most remarkable degree, judgment. 

He was a diligent and most successful student, and, says his biographer, 

his acquisitions were, for his years, pre-eminently great. Besides the 

studies peculiar to theology, his reading was very extensive in metaphysics, 

morals, biography, and particularly literary history ; and whatever he had 

once read, his memory made for ever his own.' In Biblical criticism, his 

attainments were very rich ; and to his ardent desire to promote Biblical 

studies, and his personal effort and example, is attributable, in a great 

degree, the impulse given to them among our theologians. His eloquence 

was, by general report, of the most splendid and fascinating kind ; his 

look, his voice, his gesture, his entire manner, all wondrously combining 

to give effect to sermons in which was the rarest union of seriousness and 

earnestness, of rationality and warmest devotion, of gentle rebuke and the 

boldest and freest expostulation. Two printed volumes of these sermons 

have been given to the world ; and from all that his contemporaries tell of 

him, and from this rich legacy of his too brief labours in the cause of 

spiritual freedom, truth, and piety, we can easily believe, as has been said, 

* Rev. A. Young's Disc, on Presiik'iit Kirkknd, p. OS). 
\ Kirklaml's Munioir of ]5iickmuister, p. 28. 


' that he introduced a new era in preaching.' llis entire life seems to 
have been ' baptized into a holy spirit.' The old, as well as the young, 
while attracted to him with the truest affection, felt towards him an 
unwonted reverence. And ' the magic influence ' which kept around him 
while alive a circle of devoted friends, many of them of the highest order 
of minds, after his death, and even to this day, has clustered about his 
memory 'the fondest recollections and regrets.' 

To go into any full and detailed account of the distinguished divines who 
have done honour to the Unitarian faith in the United States, would extend 
this essay too far. The names of Eliot, and Belknap, and Howard ; of 
Freeman, the distinguished instrument for revolutionising the First Episcopal 
Church in new England*; of Ilolley, far-famed for his splendid eloquence, 
once pastor of Mollis St. Church, Boston, and afterwards President of Tran- 
sylvania University, Kentucky ; of Kirkland, who left the ministry at 
Church Green, Boston, for the Presidency of Harvard University, of whose 
preaching one of the acutest and profoundest minds declared, that ' he put 
more thought into one sermon than other ministers did into five;'-}- and 
speaking of whose presidency his biographer says, ' no man ever did so 
much for Harvard University ;' of Thacher and Greenwood J, his successors 
in the ministry ; and to mention no others in Boston, of Channing, 
' nomen prasclarum,' whose fame is too wide-spread to need further notice 
here ; these are all names cherished with reverence and delight to this day, 
in the city where they ministered, andin the churches which they served. 
Out of that city, the venerable Barnard, and Prince, of Salem, Abbott of 
Beverly, Porter of Roxbury, Ripley of Concord, Thayer of Lancaster, and 
Bancroft of Worcester, with Parker of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a 
model man and minister, these have left behind them most precious 

To the bench and the Bar, our faith has given some of the profoundest 
and most accomplished judges and lawyers, and the most eloquent advo- 
cates ; the late Chief Justices Parsons and Parker, of Massachusetts, and 
Eddy of Rhodes Island — all remarkably learned and profound ; Dane, of 
Salem, author of the Digest of American Law, in nine vols, large 8vo., and 

* Page 2-1.. 

f Chief Justice Parsons, cited by Rev A. Young ; Discourse on President Kirkland, 
page 22. 

X Dr. Greenwood died Minister of King's Chapel. 


of a celebrated ordinance for the government of the territory of the United 
States, nortli west of the Ohio river, so ably dravrn, that it wras adopted by 
Congress unaltered in the slightest particular, and of which Mr. Webster 
said that it ' laid an interdict against personal servitude, in original compact, 
not only deeper than all local law, but deeper, also, than all local constitu- 
tions*:' — Samuel Dexter, of Boston, whose fame at the bar was unrivalled; 
and William Prescott whose fame was scarcely less, and whose long life, 
extended to eighty-two years, was one of remarkable purity and active 
usefulness : these are specimens of noble men who adorned our religious 
communion. At this very moment, the legal profession has its full pro- 
portion of able men from our denomination : — Mr. Chief Justice Shaw, of 
the Supreme Bench of Massachusetts ; ^Mr. Justice Story, and Mr. Justice 
Wayne, two of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Bench of the United 
States ; and Mr. Chief Justice Cranch, of the United States Circuit Court 
for the district of Columbia, all are Unitarians. Mr. Webster, second to 
no man either at the bar or in the senate, and who has shown himself 
equal to the profoundest questions in diplomacy, and the highest duties in 
the national cabinet, is a communicant at Brattle Square Church, in 
Boston. Other names have been as well known in public life as politicians 
and statesmen. ' The elder Adams,' who was the immediate successor of 
Washington in the Presidency of this Union ; Christopher Gore, who, 
under Washington's administration, was appointed, in 1796, one of the 
Commissioners under Jay's treaty to settle the claims of the United States 
upon the British Government ; and at a later period was Governor of 
Massachusetts ; and the Hon. Richard Cranch, of whom some notice was 
taken on a previous page-j-, belong to this list ; while the venerable Ex- 
President, John Quincy Adams, of Quincy, Massachusetts, and two Ameri- 
can ministers plenipotentiary at this moment, Edward Everett;];, at the 
Court of Great Britain, and Henry Wheaton, at that of Prussia, are of the 
same faith. 

• Mr. Dane founded a Professorship of Law at Harvard University, which is now 
filled by Judge Story. 

t Page 1, and note. 

X The lapse of a few months since this Essay was written, has removed Mr. Everett 
from his office of Ambassador at the Court of Great Britain, as well as produced some 
other changes. It was, however, judged desirable to leave the Essay in the exact condi- 
tion in which it proceeded from the hands of the author. — Note by the Editor. 


Of men of science, of literary men, scholars, authors, who have done 
honor to the country, the Unitarian body has furnished its full share. The 
name of Bowditch, the translator of La Place, a work of itself enough to 
make his fame immortal, and the author of the Practical Navigation ; to 
whom the distinguished French astronomer, Lacroix, acknowledged him- 
self indebted, ' for communicating many errors in his works*,' is as well 
known abroad as at home. In the department of History and Biography, 
Belknap, Thacher, Bradford, President Q,uincy, Tudor, Sparks, Prescott, 
and Bancroft ; of Poetry, Bryant, Longfellow, Pierpont, Sprague, Tucker- 
man, Lowell, and Mrs. Seba Smith ; of Mechanical Philosophy, the late Dr. 
Prince, of Salem, Massachusetts ; of polite learning and criticism, the 
editors and chief writers of the North American Review, and of the 
Christian Examiner, from the beginning ; such as, E. Everett, A. H. 
Everett, Sparks, Channing, J. Gr. Palfrey, O. Dewey, Walker, Greenwood, 
Lamson, H. Ware Junr., Sabin, Hillard, Bowen, W. B. O. Peabody ; 
Hedge ; in Jurisprudence and Politics, Fisher Ames, Nathan Dane, Judge 
Story, W. Phillips. A large list of female writers might be added, pre- 
faced by the names of Miss Sedgwick, Mrs. Follen, Mrs. Lee, and Miss 

The contributions of American Unitarians to Theology, aside of the 
sermons of Buckminster, Thacher, Freeman, Colman, N. Parker, Chan- 
ning, Dewey, J. E. Abbot, Palfrey, and others, are among the most valu- 
able which the country has seen : in controversial divinity, Dr. N. Wor- 
cester's Bible News ; Dr. Ware's (sen.), Letters to Trinitarians ; Professor 
Norton's Statement of Reasons ; Mr. Sparks' Letters to Dr. Miller, on the 
Comparative Tendency of Unitarian and Calvinistic Views, and his Letters 
to Dr. Wyatt on the Episcopal Church ; Upham's Letters on the Logos ; 
B.Whitman's Letters to a Universalist ; Mr. Burnap's Lectures on Unita- 
rianism, and his Expository Lectures ; Mr. A. P. Peabody's Lectures on 
Unitarianism : in Biblical criticism and literature. Professor Norton's 
great work on the Genuineness of the Gospels ; Professor Noyes' transla- 
tions of the Hebrew prophets, the Psalms, and Job, with introductions and 
notes ; Mr. Livermore's commentary on the Gospels and Acts ; Professor 
Palfrey's Lectures on the Jewish Scripture and Antiquties ; Mr. Furness's 
Jesus and his biographers. The entire series of the Christian Ex- 

* The Rev. A. Young's Disc, on Dr. Bowditch, p. 41. 


aminer is a standing monument, to say nothing of the subordinate reh'gious 
journals of the denomination, of the abiHty, learning, and piety, of the 
Unitarian clergy of the United States 

In all works and plans of philanthropy, American Unitarians have been 
active and conspicuous. Dr. Noah Worcester obtained the name of the 
Apostle of Peace, by his early, indefatigable, long continued labours in 
behalf of that great cause. *He gave birth to Peace Societies,' says Dr. 
Channing ; and he adds, ' it may well he doubted, whether any man who 
ever lived, contributed more than he to spread just sentiments on the sub- 
ject of war, and to hasten the era of universal peace.' His ' Solemn 
Review of the Custom of War' was republished in England, and trans- 
lated into many foreign languages on the continent of Europe. The first 
public organized effort in behalf of the temperance reformation, was made 
by an association in Boston, the head quarters of Unitarianism ; and a 
majority of those who started it were Unitarians. We have seen already 
that the ministry at Large for the poor in cities, took its first distinct and 
effective form with the labours of Dr. Tuckerman*, and the aid of the 
American Unitarian Association. And among the most zealous, faith- 
ful, and able friends of the slave, and oppugners of the institution of domes- 
tic slavery, and labourers for its extinction in the country. Unitarians have 
been from the first. As a true philanthropist, in the broadest sense, the 
late John Vaughan, of Philadelphia, one of the originators of the Church of 
our faith in that city, deserves most honorable notice. Every leading 
benevolent institution in that city he helped to establish or sustain, and 
' of the institution for the instruction of the blind,' says Mr. Furness, his 
friend and pastor, ' he was emphatically the founder.' The spirit of 
Howard seems revived in the person of Miss Dix, who is devoting all 
the energies of a rare and accomplished mind, and a warm and noble heart, 
to the amelioration of the condition of the prisoner, and the reform and 
improvement of our prisons. She is engaged in a personal inspection 
of the various prisons of the country ; and by her elaborate reports, and 
eloquent appeals to the comnumity and to the legislature, has already 
opened the way for great and most beneficent results. She has given 
special regard to the case of tlie insane ; and has awakened in various 

* Page 37. 


places a public feeling upon the care and treatment of this most unfortu- 
nate class of human beings, which will be satisfied with nothing but the 
amplest and wisest provision for their relief. 

Boston is full of benevolent institutions, many of which have always 
owed, and to this day owe, a large part of their success and usefulness to 
the bounty and care of Unitarians ; while their munificence there and 
elsewhere in the cause of popular education, and everything connected 
with the arts and sciences, is proverbial in the land. During the single 
presidency of Dr. Kirkland, a period of eighteen years only, Harvard 
University was the object of Unitarian liberality to the amount of more 
than 300,000 dls. ; and since that time has continued to receive noble 
benefactions from the same source. The Boston Athenaeum has been 
largely indebted, from its origin, which was with Unitarians, for its bril- 
liant success and its rich endowments to its ' merchant princes,' a very 
large proportion of whom are of this faith. The names of Eliot, and 
Gore, and Smith, and Thorndike, and Lyman, of the Perkinses and the 
Parkmans, of Mvmson, and Parker, of the Lawrences, and of Lowell, will 
go down to posterity among those of the truest and most generous friends 
and patrons of education and learning. The last, John Lowell, jun., of 
Boston, who died at Bombay, at the early age of 37, bequeathed by his 
will property to the amount of 250,000 dls., the income to be appro- 
priated to the expense of public free courses of lectures in his native 
city ; the lectures to be of the highest grade, and upon every branch of 
science, philosophy, ethics, and the evidences of natural and revealed 
religion. These lectures were commenced in the winter of 1839-40, and 
are regularly continued with the recurrence of the cold season. 

The condition and prospects of Unitarianism in the United States were 
never more encouraging. Our oldest churches have gained strength, not 
only in the increased numbers of their members, but in their character and 
efficiency, and new churches are constantly springing up in various and 
remote parts of the country. With all this it must be allowed, that the 
relative increase of the denomination, compared with that of the great 
orthodox body, has not been all we could wish. Still it may have, as we 
believe it has, realised a large positive increase of strength ; not only by 
the additions to old congregations, and the starting up of new ones, but 
in the revival of a more earnest and energetic spirit. There have been 


some elements of disunion stirred up among us witliin the last two or three 
years, by what has been called the transcendental movement, and by the 
utterance of views upon the foundations of Christian faith which go 
directly to depreciate Christianity as a divine revelation. But on the 
other hand, there has been a spiritual movement among us of great and 
blessed promise. A deeper religious feeling, a warmer religious sympathy, 
more engagedness in the subject of personal religion, a higher devotional 
tone, greater interest- in missions, and a more earnest and active purpose 
to extend what we believe the truth of the Gospel, have been realised. 
And all the while, the unity of the denomination has been remarkably pre- 
served, not by prescription or priestly craft, but by a consistent recognition 
of the right of private judgment, and of the feet, that avowed differences 
upon some points, while always to be expected, are by no means incom- 
patible with substantial agreement. With no creeds, with no nicely- 
adjusted church polity, with no tendency or desire to dogmatise, we have 
found union and strength, where others have found discord and weakness. 
Every day, and every thing around us, satisfies us more and more, that 
wherever Unitarian principles are faithfully applied and carried out, 
identical as we believe them to be with primitive Christianity, they are 
mighty to the pulling down of the strong-holds of infidelity and sin, and 
to the great preparation of the soul for ' the world to come.' Never more 
than now, were devotedness and fidelity to the cause of truth and holiness 
among us needed. But never also were there more numerous signs of 
encouragement to be devoted and faithful. The late religious anniver- 
saries of our denomination brought together an unusual number of the 
clergy and laity. "Within the city of Boston* alone, ' the city of our solem- 
nities,' four new congregations have been very recently organised ; and in 
several of the neighbouring towns, additions are making to the number of 
those already in existence. Enquiry is everywhere more earnest in regard 

* From the Unitarian Annual Register' (184'6), we leani tliat in Boston there are 28 
Anti-Trinitarian Societies ; namely, 21 Unitarian, 6 Univcrsalist, 1 Christian ; foiTning 
more than one third of the entire number (81) of Christian congregations in the city. — AW. 

In New York a place of worship ('The Church of the Divine Unity,') has recently 
been opened, the cost of which is 85,000 dls. On this occasion no fewer than twenty 
Unitarian ministers were present. 

The progress of tvents among our Unitarian l.retliren of the United States is rapid. 


to our views of the gospel, and orthodoxy itself is becoming essentially 
modified to the loss of some of its harsher features of intolerance and 
exclusiveness, by the increasing strength and prevalence of a more liberal 

Whilst this volume is passing through the press, we have received intelligence of an im- 
portant step taken in New York for the advancement of a pure Christianity. This intel- 
ligence is contained in an 'Address to Unitarians hy the Unitarian Association in the 
city of New York, Jan. 1st, 1846, together with the Constitution of the Association. Tlie 
ensuing is taken from the Boston Christian Register for Jan. 24th, 1846. 

'The cause of Liberal Christianity has reached an important crisis in this commxmity. 
After a struggle of more than twenty years, Unitarianism has effected a perinauent 
lodgment in this region, and now takes its place among the acknowledged and prominent 
Cliristian denominations of this metropolis. Until tliis time, contending with prejudice 
and overwhehning numbers on a ground pre-occupied by other, and widely contrasted 
sects, it has been busy in securing its uncertain position, and in laying deep its foundations. 
It now first finds itself in a situation to look about it, and survey the field of labor. 

' It is believed that the influence of our opinions in this vicinity has been immensely 
disproportioned to our numbers and apparent sphere, and that the invisible and indirect 
consequences of our labors have been of more importance than the palpable or designed 
results. We cannot agree with those who think that the societies established here are the 
proper measure of our growth, or that any merely statistical account of our numbers and 
of our temples of worship, is a full account of Unitarian progress. Yet, that in this 
thoroughfare of our whole country, and upon ground so strongly pre-occupied, we have 
been able to build, in its most central and public places, three beautiful and conspicuous 
churches of our faith, known and read of all men, as the signs of our prosperous and per- 
manent existence here, giving respectability, interest, importance, and dissemination to 
our opinions, is a triumph which, under the circumstances of the case, calls for our most 
grateful and devout acknowledgments, and will be depreciated only by those who despise 
all outward evidences of success and means of influence. 

' Nor has liberal Christianity been so completely occupied with its denominational in- 
terests, as wholly to forget its duties as a Christian body to the community in which it 
has found a residence. Notwithstanding the very great difficulties already hinted at, 
which hindered any strong associate action or concerted efforts, aside from those which 
concerned its own planting and support, yet such efforts have been made, and with great 
zeal and great sacrifices. Liberal Christianity, wherever it exists, manifests a peculiar 
watchfulness over the great interests of man, and especially the condition and claims of 
the poor. Wherever its numbers have any considerable proportion of the community 
at large, there institutions of learning, of mercy, of moral reform, of charity, are sure to 
abound. The religion which makes practical goodness its only end and its only test of 
tlie Christian character, ought to bear such fruits ; and it does so. Having no waste for 
its zeal in foreign missionary enterprise, in sectarian chivalry, or in endeavours to relieve 
an anxiety artificially created by luiscriptural opinions, which pronounce the whole human 


and rational faith. It has even been supposed tliat one of tlie chief things 
to be apprehended in our efforts to spread wider the knowledge of that 
faith, and establish new churches, is to be found in many places in this 
very fact. If it prove so, the greater will be the stimulus to sacrifice and 
labour in behalf of that faith, until it shall resume its true place in the 

family under sentence of everlasting death, it finds a channel for its Christian earnestness, 
in the more benignant and practical labors of philanthropy. "Without undervaluing the 
benevolence of other Christian bodies, it is believed that the Unitarians as a denomination, 
have, in proportion to their numbers, done more than any other sect for the general insti- 
tutions of learning, of charity ; in ministries to the poor, in establishments having the 
good of universal man for their object,' 

We are pleased to find that the plan of a Unitarian Association for the State of New 
York is proposed. The formation of such local organizations, in the several districts of 
the country, will draw out the latent strength of liberal principles, and secure a more 
efficient action of the American Unitarian Association enfolding, them all in its bosom, 
and deriving warmth and sustenance from them all. They propose also a daily publica- 
tion, combining the features of a religious and secular newspaper, neutral in politics, and 
devoted to the interests of Unitarian Christianity. It is further in contemplation 

' That an Association be formed among individuals in the Societies in New York and 
Brooklyn, to hire the Hall over the entrance to the Chui ch of the Divine Unity, for the 
jrtirposes of a Reading Room and Exchange, the head quarters of our cause in this city 
and state. That the newspapers, secular and religious, and reviews of (he day, a theolo- 
gical library (of which the foundation is already broadly laid) and religious tracts for dis- 
tribution should be collected there, the use of uhich should be enjoyed by all those paying 
a small annual subscription toward the support of the room. That this should be opened 
to all strangers of our faith, or to those seeking information in regard to Liberal Chris- 
tianity, and especially to all yoimg men coming to the city from Unitarian parishes^ 
and desirous to unite themselves with our body here. That a central spot, where the 
Pastors of our Societies might meet at a certain hour of the day all persons having busi- 
ness with them appertaining to their office, would be thus had. That the social and reli- 
gious interests of young men resorting here in the evening would thus be subserved, and 
the great interests of our cause and of Christianity, of religion and morality, all be ma- 
terially advanced.' 

The Address gives the following information. 

' It may be interesting information to many, that at least eleven congregations of our 
aith exist in the state of New York at this moment; two in New York, one in Brooklyn, 
Fishkill, Albany, Troy, Trenton, Syracuse, Vernon, Rochester, Buffalo. It is hoped thaj^ 
the Societies out of this city (of which we deem Brooklyn a part,) will immediately co- 
operate with us, and that as soon as may be, 'The Unitarian Association of the State of 
New York' will have a meeting in which every Society shall be fully represented.' — Ed. 


estimation of the Christian world, as the simple, primitive, apostolic, 

* One of the most encouraging signs for the furtherance of a pure Gospel in North 
America, is the disposition which is growingly manifest on the part of the diiferent bodies 
of Anti-Trinitarians, to act in concert on behalf of great common objects. It would he 
easy to give many pleasing instances of this tendency to brotherly co-operation — we 
limit ourselves to one. We refer to the Protest against American slavery, which was 
put forth in the autumn of 1845, signed by 170 Unitarian Ministers of the United States 
— a plain, earnest, argumentative, Christian document, which excited considerable 
attention throughout the American Union. This most laudable proceeding called forth 
expressions of opinion to the same effect from the Unirersalist and Christian Anti- 
Trinitariaus of the United States. 

The entire movement which exhibits ' the liberal Christians' of the Union in a light 
so satisfactory to the philanthropic mind, may be at least, in part, traced to an Address, 
signed by 195 Unitarian Ministers of Great Britain, designed to urge on their 
American brethren the injustice and iniquity of slavery, and calling on them to take 
that position which so many of them have now happily taken— a position of active 
hostility to a great national sin. May the co-operation which these facts imply become 
more frequent, and equally useful for the service of man and the honour of Christ. — 



Within about about one half century, a very considerable body of reli- 
gionists have arisen in the United States, who, rejecting all names, appel- 
lations, and badges of distinctive party among the followers of Christ, 
simply call themselves Christians. Sometimes, in speaking of themselves 
as a body, they use the term Christian Connexion. In many parts of the 
United States this people have become numerous ; and as their origin and 
progress have been marked with some rather singular coincidents, this 
article will present a few of them in brief detail. 

Most of the Protestant sects owe their origin to some individual re- 
former, such as a Luther, a Calvin, a Fox, or a Wesley. The Christians 
never had any such leader, nor do they owe their origin to the labours of 
any one man. They rose nearly simultaneously in different sections of our 
country, remote from each other, without any preconcerted plan, or even 
knowledge of each other's movements. After the lapse of several years, 
the three branches obtained some information of each other, and upon 
opening a correspondence, were surprised to find that all had embraced 
nearly the same principles, and were engaged in carrying forward the same 
system of reform. This singular coincidence is regarded by them as 
evidence that they are a people raised up by the immediate direction and 
overruling providence of God ; and that the ground they have assumed is 
the one which will finally swallow up all party distinctions in the gospel 

While the American Revolution hurled a deathblow at political domi- 
nation, it also diffused a spirit of liberty into the church. The Methodists 
had spread to some considerable extent in the United States, especially 
south of the Potomac. Previous to this time they had been considered a 
branch of the Church of England, and were dependent on English Epis- 
copacy for the regular administration of the ordinances. But as the revo- 
lution had wrested the States from British control, it also left the American 
Methodists free to transact their own aftairs. Thomas Coke, Francis 



Asbury, and others, set about establishing an Episcopal form of church 
government for the Methodists in America. Some of the preachers, how- 
ever, had drank too deeply of the spirit of the times to tamely submit to 
lordly power, whether in judicial vestments, or clad in the gown of a pre- 
late. Their form of church government became a subject of spirited dis- 
cussion in several successive conferences. James O'Kelly, of North 
Carolina, and several other preachers of that state and of Virginia, pleaded 
for a congretjational system, and that the New Testament should be their 
only creed and discipline. The weight of influence, however, turned on 
the side of Episcopacy and a human creed. Francis Asbury was elected and 
ordained bishop ; Mr. O'Kelly, several other preachers, and a large num- 
ber of brethren, seceding from the dominant party. This final separation 
from the Episcopal Methodists took place, voluntarily, at Manakin Town, 
North Carolina, December 25th, 1793. At first they took the name of 
' Republican Methodists,' but at a subsequent conference resolved to be 
known as Christians only, to acknowledge no head over the church but 
Christ, and no creed or disciphne but the Bible. 

Near the close of the eighteenth century. Dr. Abner Jones, of Hartland, 
Vermont, then a member of a regular Baptist Church, had a peculiar 
difficulty of mind in relation to sectarian names and human creeds. The 
first, he regarded as an evil, because they were so many badges of distinct 
separation among the followers of Christ. The second, served as so many 
lines or walls of separation to keep the disciples of Christ apart ; he thought 
that sectarian names and human creeds should be abandoned, and that 
true piety alone, and not the externals of it, should be the test of Christian 
fellowship and communion. Making the Bible the only source from 
whence he drew the doctrine he taught. Dr. Jones commenced propagating 
his sentiments with zeal, though at that time he did not know of another 
individual who thought like himself. In September, 1800, he had the 
pleasure of seeing a church of about 25 members gathered in Lyndon, 
Vermont, embracing these principles. In 1802 he gathered another 
church in Bradford, Vermont, and in March, 1803, another in Piermonf, 
New Hampshire, About this time, Elias Smith, then a Baptist minister, 
was preaching with great success in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. FaUing 
in with Dr. Jones's views, the church under his care was led into the same 
principles. Up to this time Dr. Jones had laboured as a preacher nearly, 
if not quite, single-handed ; but several preachers from the regular Bap- 


tists and Freewill Baptists, now rallied to the standard he had unfurled. 
Preachers were also raised up in the different churches now organised, 
several of whom travelled extensively, preaching with great zeal and suc- 
cess. Churches of the order were soon planted in all the New England 
states, the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and more recently in 
New Jersey and Michigan. A large number of churches have also been 
planted in the Canadas, and the province of New Brunswick. 

A very extraordinary revival of religion was experienced among the 
Presbyterians inKentucky and Tennessee, during the years 1800 and 1801. 
Several Presbyterian ministers heartily entered into the work, and laboured 
with a fervour and zeal which they had never before manifested. Others 
cither stood aloof from it, or opposed its progress. The preachers who 
entered the work, broke loose from the shackles of a Calvinistic creed, and 
preached the gospel of free salvation. The creed of the church now 
appeared in jeopardy. Presbyteries, and finally the Synod of Kentucky, 
interposed their authority to stop what they were pleased to call a torrent 
of Arminianism. Barton W. Stone, of Kentucky, a learned and eloquent 
minister, with four other ministers, withdrew from the Synod of Kentucky. 
As well might be expected, a large number of Presbyterian members, 
with most of the converts in this great revival, rallied round these men 
who had laboured so faithfully, and had been so signally blessed in their 
labours. As they had already felt the scourge of a human creed, the 
churches then under their control, with such others as they organised, 
agreed to take the Holy Scriptures as their only written rule of faith and 
practice. At first they organised themselves into what was called the 
' Springfield Presbytery ;' but in 1803, they abandoned that name, and 
agreed to be known as Christians only. Preachers were now added to 
their numbers and raised up in their ranks. As they had taken the scrip- 
tures for their guide, pedobaptism was renounced, and believers' baptism 
by immersion substituted in its room. On a certain occasion one minister 
baptized another minister, and then he who had been baptized immersed 
the others. From the very beginning, this branch spread with surprising 
rapidity, and now extends through all the western states. 

From this brief sketch it will be perceived that this people originated 
from the three principal Protestant sects in America. The branch at the 
south, from the Methodists ; the one at the north, from the Baptists, and 
the one at the west, from the Presbyterians. The three branches rose 


within the space of eight years, in sections remote and unknown to each 
other, until some years afterwards. Probably no other religious body ever 
had a similar origin. 

The adopting of the Holy Scriptures as their only system of faith, has 
led them to the study of shaping their belief by the language of the sacred 
oracles. A doctrine, which cannot be expressed in the language of inspi- 
ration, they do not hold themselves obligated to believe. Hence, with 
very few exceptions, they are not Trinitarians, averring that they can 
neither find the word nor the doctrine in the Bible. They believe ' the 
Lord our Jehovah is one Lord,' and purely one. That ' Jesus Christ is 
the only begotten Son of God ;' that the Holy Ghost is that divine 
unction with which our Saviour was anointed, (Acts x. 38,) the effusion 
that was poured out on the day of Pentecost ; and that it is a divine 
emanation of God, by which he exerts an energy or influence on rational 
minds. While they believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, they are 
not Socinians or Humanitarians. Their prevailing belief is that Jesus 
Christ existed with the Father before all worlds. (See Millard's ' True 
Messiah,' Morgridge's ' True Believer's Defence,' and Kinkade's ' Bible 

Although the Christians do not contend for entire uniformity in belief, 
yet in addition to the foregoing, nearly, if not quite all of them, would agree 
in the following sentiments : 1 . That God is the rightful arbiter of the 
universe ; the source and foundation of all good. 2. That all men have 
sinned and come short of the glory of God. 3. That with God there is 
forgiveness ; but that sincere repentance and reformation are indispensable 
to the forgiveness of sins. 4. That man is constituted a free moral agent, 
and made capable of obeying the gospel. 5. That through the agency of 
the Holy Spirit, souls, in the use of means, are converted, regenerated, and 
made new creatures. 6. That Christ was delivered for our offences, and 
raised again for our justification; that through his example, doctrine, death, 
resurrection and intercession, he has made salvation possible to every one, 
and is the only Saviour of lost sinners. 7. That baptism and the Lord's 
supper are ordinances to be observed by all true believers ; and that bap- 
tism is the immersing of the candidate in water, in the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 8. That a life of watchfulness 
and prayer only will keep Christians from falling, enable them to live in a 
justified state, and ultimately secure to them the crown of eternal life. 


9. That there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. 

10. That God has ordained Jesus Christ judge of the quick and dead at 
the last day ; and at the judgment, the wicked will go away into everlast- 
ing punishment, and the righteous into life eternal. 

In the Christian Connexion, churches are independent bodies, authorised 
to govern themselves and transact their own affairs. They have a large 
number of associations called Conferences. Each conference meets anmi- 
ally, sometimes oftener, and is composed of ministers and messengers from 
churches within its bounds. At such conferences candidates for the ministry 
are examined, received and commended. Once a year, in conference, the 
character and standing of each minister is examined, that purity in the 
ministry may be carefully maintained. Such other objects are discussed 
and measures adopted, as have a direct bearing on the welfare of the body 
at large. 

They have a book concern located at Union Mills, New York, called 
' The Christian General Book Association.' At the same place they issue 
a semi-monthly periodical called the ' Christian Palladium.' They also 
publish a weekly paper at Exeter, New Hampshire, called the ' Christian 
Herald ;' and another semi-monthly periodical is about to bo issued in the 
state of Ohio, to be called the ' Gospel Herald.' They have also three 
institutions of learning ; one located at Durham, New Hampshire, one 
in North Carolina, and the other at Starkey, Yates county, New York. 

Although several of their preachers are defective in education, yet there 
are among them some good scholars and eloquent speakers ; several of 
whom have distinguished themselves as writers. Education is fast rising 
in their body. While their motto has ever been, * Let him that under- 
stands the gospel, teach it,' they are also convinced that Christianity never 
has been, and never will be, indebted to palpable ignorance. Their ser- 
mons are most generally delivered extempore, and energy and zeal are 
considered important traits in a minister for usefulness. 

The statistics of the connexion, though imperfect, may probably be 
computed, at the present time, (1844,) as follows : the number of preachers 
about 1 500, and 500 licentiates ; communicants about 325,000 ; number 
of churches about 1,500. There are probably not less than 500,000 per- 
sons in this country who have adopted their general views, and attend 
upon their ministry. 




The Society of Friends originated in England about the middle of the 
17th century. The chief instrument in the divine hand for the gathering 
and establishment of this religious body was George Fox. He was born in 
the year 1624. He was carefully educated according to the received views 
of religion, and in conformity with the established mode of worship. His 
natural endowments of mind, although they derived but little advantage 
from the aid of art, were evidently of a very superior order. The character of 
this extraordinray man it will not, however, be necessary here to describe 
with critical minuteness. The reader, who may be desirous of acquiring 
more exact information on this head, is referred to the journal of his life, 
an interesting piece of autobiography, written in a simple und unembel- 
lished style, and containing a plain and unstudied narration of facts. By 
this it appears, that in very early life he indulged a vein of though tfulness 
and a deep tone of religious feeling, which, increasing with his years, were 
the means of preserving him, in a remarkable degree, free from the con- 
tamination of evil example by which he was surrounded. The period in 
which he lived was distinguised by a spirit of anxious inquiry, and a great 
appearance of zeal, on the subject of religion. The manners of the age 
were nevertheless deeply tinctured with licentiousness, which pervaded all 
classes of society, not excepting professors of religion. Under these cir- 
cumstances, George Fox soon became dissatisfied with the mode of worship 
in which he had been educated. Withdrawing, therefore, from the public 
communion, he devoted himself to retirement, to inward meditation, and 
the study of the scriptures. While thus engaged in an earnest pursuit of 
divine knowledge, his mind became gradually enlightened to discover the 
nature of true religion ; that it consisted not in outward profession, nor in 
external forms and ceremonies, but in purity of heart, and an upright walk- 
ing before God. He was instructed to comprehend, that the means by which 
those necessary characteristics of true devotion were to be acquired were 
not of a secondary or remote nature ; that the Supreme Being still tonde- 


scended, as in former days, to coninuinicate his will immediately to the soul 
of man, through the medium of his own Holy Spirit ;, and that obedience 
to the dictates of this inward and heavenly monitor constiuited the basis of 
true piety, and the only certain ground of divine favour and acceptance. 
The convictions, thus produced in his own mind, he did not hesitate openly 
to avow. In defiance of clerical weight and influence, he denounced all 
human usurpation and interference in matters of religion, and boldly pro- 
claimed that ' God was come to teach the people himself.' The novelty 
of his views attracted general attention, and exposed him to much obloquy; 
but his honesty and uprightness won him the esteem and approbation of the 
more candid and discerning. Persevering, through every obstacle, in a 
faithful testimony to the simplicity of the truth, he found many persons who, 
entertaining kindred impresssions with himself, were fully prepared not 
only to adopt his views, but publicly to advocate them. The violent pei-se- 
cution which they encountered, served only to invigorate their zeal and 
multiply the number of their converts. United on a common ground of 
inward conviction, endeared still more to each other by a participation of 
suffering, and aware of the benefits to be derived from systematic co-opera- 
tion, George Fox and liis friends soon became embodied in independent 
religious communion. 

Such is a brief history of the rise of the people called Quakers ; to which 
1 will only add, that the society continued to increase rapidly till near the 
end of the seventeenth century, through a most cruel and widely-extended 
persecution. Between the years 1G50 and 1689, about /o«r/eeM thousand 
of this people suffered by fine and imprisonment, of which number more 
than three hundred died in jail ; not to mention cruel mockings, buffetings, 
scourgings, and afflictions innumerable. All these things they bore with 
exemplary patience and fortitude, not returning evil for evil, but breathing 
the prayer, in the expressive language of conduct, ' Father, forgive them, 
lor they know not what they do !' The testimonies for which they princi- 
pally suft'ered, were those against a hireling priesthood, tithes and oaths ; 
against doing homage to man with ' cap and knee ;' and using flattering 
titles and compliments, and the plural number to a single person. 

I am next to speak of their religious principles, which are found embo- 
died in their testimonies. 

The Society of Friends has never formed a creed alter the manner of other 
religious denominations. We view Christianity essentially as a practical and 


not a theoretical system ; and hence to be exemplified and recognised in the 
lives and conduct of its professors. We also hold that belief, in this con- 
nexion, does not consist in a mere assent of the natural understanding, but 
in a clear conviction wrought by the Divine Spirit in the soul. (1 John v. 
10.) For that w^hich here challenges our belief involves a knowledge God ; 
and no man knoweih the things of God but by the Spirit of God. (1 Cor. 
ii. 11.) Again, religion is a progressive work : 'There is first the blade, 
then the ear, and after that the full corn in the ear.' (Mark iv. 21.) 
' And some there are who have need of milk, and not of strong meat ; 
and every one that useth milk is unskilful in the work of righteousness : 
for he is a babe.' (Heb. v. 12, 13.) 

Seeing, therefore, that there are different growths and degress of know- 
ledge in the members of the body, we cannot but view the practice of 
requiring them to subscribe to the same creed, or articles of faith, as a per- 
nicious excrescence on the Christian system. And hence we prefer judging 
of our members by their fruits, and leaving them to be taught in the school 
of Christ, under the tuition of an infallible teacher, free from the shackles 
imposed by the wisdom or contrivance of man. 

Otir testimonij to the light of Christ luithin. — We believe a knowledge of 
the gospel to be founded on immediate revelation. (Matt. xvi. 18 ; 1 Cor. 
ii. 10, 11, 12 ; John xiv. 26.) Being the antitype of the legal dispensa- 
tion, it is spiritual as its author, and as the soul which it purifies and 
redeems. (Rom. i. 16.) Under the gospel dispensation, the temple, (1 
Cor. V. VJ ; Acts vii, 48,) altar, (Heb. xiii. 10,) sacrifices, (1 Pet. ii. 5.) 
the flesh and blood, (John vi. 53 — 63,) water and fire, (John vii. 37, 38 ; 
iv. 14; Matt. iii. 11,) cleansing and worship, (John iv. 23, 24,) are all 
spiritual.* Instituted by the second Adam, the gospel restores to us the 
privileges and blessings enjoyed by the first ; the same pure, spiritual wor- 
ship, the same union and communion with our Maker. (John xvii. 21.) 
Such are our views of the Christian religion ; a religion freely offered to 
the whole human race, (Heb. viii. 10, 11,) requiring neither priest nor 
Dook to administer or to illustrate it, (1 John ii. 27 ; Rom. x. 6, 7, 8) ; for 
all outward rites and ceremonials are, to this religion, but clogs or cumbrous 
appendages, God himself being its author, its voucher, and its teacher. 

* Vid. Christian Quaker, Phila. edition, 1824, p. 52. I. Pennington, vol. i. p. 3()0 ; 
vol. ii. pp. \\'>, IK). 28 I, 282. Whitelioad's Light ;iiid Life of Christ, pp. 48,49. 


(John xiv. 26 ; 1 Cor. ii. 9 — 12.) These are not speculations or notions, 
for we speak of what we do know, ' and our hands Iiave handled of the word 
of life.' (1 John i. 1.) 

Such is a summary of the religion held and taught by the primitive 
' Quakers ;' from which I descend to a few particulars, as a further expo- 
sition of their and our principles. 

The message which they received is the same given to the apostles, that 
* God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.' (1 John i. 6, 7) ; 
and their great fundamental principle to which they bear testimony is, that 
God hath given to every man coming into the world, and placed within 
him, a measure or manifestation of this divine light, grace, or spirit, which, 
if obeyed, is all-sufficient to redeem or save him. (John iii. 19, 20 ; i. 9 ; 
Tit. ii. 11 ; 1 Cor. xii. 7.) It is referred to and illustrated in the scriptures, 
by the prophets, and by Jesus Christ and his disciples and apostles, under 
various names and similitudes. But the thing we believe to be one, even 
as God is one and his purpose one and the same in all, viz. repentance, 
regeneration, and final redemption. It is called light — of which the light 
of the natural sun is a beautiful and instructive emblem ; for this divine 
light, like the natural, enables us to distinguish with indubitable clear- 
ness all that concerns us in the works of salvation, and its blessings are as 
impartially, freely and universally dispensed to the spiritual, as the other is 
to the outward creation. It is called grace, and grace of God, because 
freely bestowed on us by his bounty and enduring love. (John xiv. 16, 26.) 

It is called truth, as being the substance of all types and shadows, and 
imparting to man a true sense and view of his condition, as it is in the 
divine sight. It is called Christ (Rom. viii. 10 ; x. 6, 7, 8) ; Christ within, 
the hope of glory (Col. i. 27) ; the kingdom of God within (Luke xvii. 21) ; 
the word of God (Heb. iv. 12, 13); a manifestation of the Spirit, given 
to every man to profit withal (1 Cor. xii. 7) ; the seed (Luke viii. 11) ; a 
still small voice (l Kings xix. 12); because most certainly heard in a 
state of retirement, but drowned by the excitement of the passions, the 
rovings of the imagination, and the eager pursuits of worldly objects. 
' And thine ear shall hear a word behind thee saying, This is the way, walk 
ye in it — when ye turn to the right, and when ye turn to the left.' 

It is compared to a ' grain of mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds,' 
being at first little in appearance ; but, as it is obeyed, growing and extend- 
ing like that plant, until it occupies the whole ground of the heart, and thus 


expands into and sets up the kingdom of God in the soul. (Luke xiii. 19.) 
For the like reason it is compared to ' a little leaven, which a woman took 
and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened,' or brought 
into its own nature. (Luke xiii. 21.) 

This unspeakable gift, through the infinite wisdom and goodness of the 
divine economy, speaks to every man's condition, supplies all his spiritual 
need, and is a present and all-sufRcient help in every emergency and trial. 
To the obedient it proves a 'comforter,' under temptation a 'monitor,' 
and a ' swift witness' against the transgressor. It is a ' quickening spirit' 
to rouse the indifferent ; ' like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap, puri- 
fying the unclean ;' and as a ' hammer' to the heart of the obdurate 
sinner ; and in all, an infallible teacher, and guide to virtue and holiness.* 

And as there are diversities of operations and administrations, so also 
there are diversities of gifts bestowed on the members of the body (1 Cor. 
xii. 3 — 12) : ' The Spirit dividing to every man severally as he will,' in 
order that every office and service in the church militant may be performed, 
to preserve its health, strength, and purity. And thus by one and the 
' self same spirit,' ' we are all baptized into one body, whether Jews or 
Gentiles, whether bond or free ; and all are made to drink into one spirit.' 
(1 Cor. xii. 13.) 

Divine internal light is often confounded with conscience, and thus 
inferences are drawn against the truth of the doctrine. But this principle 
is as distinct from that natural faculty as the light of the sun is distinct from 
the eye on which it operates. From a wrong education, and from habitual 
transgression, the judgment becomes perverted or darkened, and often 
' calls evil good and good evil ;' and conscience being swayed by the judg- 
ment responds to its decisions, and accuses or excuses accordingly. In 
this manner conscience becomes corrupted and defiled. Now it is our belief 
that, if the discoveries made and monitions given by divine light to the 
mind, were strictly attended to, it would correct and reform the erring 
conscience and judgment, and dissipate the darkness in which the mind 
becomes involved. 

* For a further exposition of this fundamental principle of the Society of Friends, the 
reader is referred to the following works ; Barclay, pp. 78, 81, 82 ; George Fox, " Great 
Mystery," pp. HO, 142,. 188, 217, 245; Christian Quaker, Phila. edition, 1824, pp. 198, 
200 ; lb. pp. 5 to 55 ; George Fox's .Journal, passim ; Stephen Crisp's Sermon at Grace 
Church Street, May 24, 1688. 


Such is our testimony to tlie great fundamental principle in religion, as 
we believe and understand it. We exclude speculative opinions. If the 
reader be dissatisfied with our impersonal form of expression, let him 
change it, and it will be a change of name only. We dispute not about 

We believe in the divinity of Christ — not of the outward body, but of 
the spirit which dwelt within it — a divinity not self-existing and independ- 
ent, but derived from the Father, being the Holy Spirit, or God in Christ. 
' The Son can do nothing of himself,' said Christ ; and again, * I can of 
mine own self do nothing' (John v. 19, 30); and in another place, 'The 
Father that dwelleth in me he doeth the work' (John xiv. 10) ; 'As my 
Father hath taught me, I speak these things' (John viii. 28) ; ' Even as 
the Father said unto me, so I speak' (John xii. 50).* 

We reject the common doctrines of the Trinity and Satisfaction, as con- 
trary to reason and revelation, and for a more full expression of our views 
on these subjects, we refer the inquiring reader to the works below cited. -j^ 
We are equally far from owning the doctrine of ' imputed righteousness,' 
in the manner and form in which it is held. We believe there must be a 
true righteousness of heart and life, wrought in us by the Holy Spirit, or 
Christ within ; in which work we impoite all to him, for of ourselves we 
can do nothing. Neither do we admit that the sins of Adam are, in any 
sense, imputed to his posterity ; but we believe that no one incurs the 
guilt of sin, until he transgresses the law of God in his own person. 
(Deut. i. 39; Ezek. xvii. 10—24; Matt. xxi. 16; Mark x. 14, 15, IG; 
Rom. ix. 11). In that fallen state, the love and mercy of God are ever 
extended for his regeneration and redemption. God so loved the world, 
that he sent his only begotten Son into the world, in that prepared body, 
under the former dispensation, for the salvation of men. And it is through 

* See also .lolin iii. :34 ; v. 26, ;36 ; vi. 38, 57 ; vii. 1() ; viii. 28, 42 ; xii. 49 ; I. Pen- 
nington, vol. iii. pp. 61, 62, 236 ; Whitehead's Light and Life of Christ, p. 35 ; Thomas 
Zachary, p. 6 ; Wm. Penn, vol. ii. pp. 65, 66 ; Edward Borough, p. 637 ; Wm. Baily, 
pp. 158 ; Stephen Crisp, pp. 75, 76. 

f Wm. Penn's ' Sandy Foundation Shaken,' passim ; I. Pennington, vol. ii. pp. 115, 
116,427; vol. iii. pp. 32,34,54,61,62,135,226,236: Job Scott's 'Salvation by Christ,' 
pp. 16, 22, 24,25, 29, 30, 35 ; Christian Quaker, pp. 34, 135, 199, 262, 276, 350, 354, 369, 
405 ; Wm. Penn's Works, fol. ed. vol. ii. pp. 65, &(i, 420, 421 ; vol. v. p. 385 ; Wm. Baily, 
pp. 157, 158 ; T. Story's .Tonrnal, p. 385 : Fox's Doctrinals, pp. 644, 646, 664, 1035. 


the same redeeming love, and for the same purpose that, under the ' new 
covenant,' he now sends the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, a mediator 
and intercessor, to reconcile us, and render us obedient to the holy will and 
righteous law of God. We believe that all that is to be savingly known of 
God, is made manifest or revealed in man by his Spirit (Rom, i. 19) ; and 
if mankind had been satisfied to rest here, and had practised en the know- 
ledge thus communicated, there would never have existed a controversy 
about religion, and no materials could now have been found for the work, 
of which this essay forms a part. (Deut. xxviii. 15, 29.) 

Our testimony concerning the Scriptures. — We believe that the scriptures 
have proceeded from the revelations of the Spirit of God to the saints ; 
and this belief is founded on evidence furnished by the same Spirit to our 
minds. We experience them to be profitable for doctrine, for reproof, 
for correction, for instruction in righteousness. But as they are a declara- 
tion from the fountain only, and not the fountain itself, they bear the 
same inscription as the sun-dial : ' Non sine lumine'— useless, or a dead 
letter, without light;* because the right interpretation, authority and 
certainty of them, and, consequently, their usefulness, depend on the assur- 
ance and evidence of the same Spirit by which they are dictated, given to 
the mind of the reader. (2 Cor. iii. G.) For, although we believe that 
we may be helped and strengthened by outward means, such as the scrip- 
tures, and an authorised gospel ministry; yet it is only by the Spirit that 
we can come to the true knowledge of God, and be led ' into all truth.' 
Under these several considerations, we cannot accept these writings as the 
foundation and ground of all religious knowledge, nor as the primary rule 
of faith and practice ; since these high attributes belong to the divine 
Spirit alone, by which the scriptures themselves are tested. Neither do 
we confound cause and effect by styling them the ' Word of God,' which 
title belongs to Christ alone, the fountain from which they proceeded. 
(Eph. vi. 17; Heb. iv. 12; Rev. xix. 13.) 

Our testimony on Divine TForsliip, the Ministry, c^-c— We believe that 
they that worship the Father aright, must worship him in spirit and in 
truth, and not in a formal manner. (John iv. 24.) Hence, when we 
meet together for public worship, we do not hasten into outward perform- 
ances. (1 Pet. iv. 11.) For, as we believe that of ourselves, and by our 

« Phipp's 'Original and Present State of Man.' 


own natural reason, wc can peilbrm no act that will be acceptable to God, 
or available to our own advancement in righteousness, without the sensible 
influence of his good Spirit (1 Cor. xii. 3): much less can we, without 
this divine aid, be useful to others, or minister at set times, seeing that 
this essential requisite is not at our command. Therefore it is our prac- 
tice, when thus met together, to sit in silence, and withdraw our minds 
from outward things, to wait upon God, and ' feel after him, if haply we 
may find him.' (Psaim xlvi. 10.) And in these silent opportunities we 
are often strengthened and refreshed together by his heavenly presence. 
(Matt, xviii. 20.) This manner of worship we believe to be more accept- 
able to our great Head, 'who seeth in secret,' than set forms of prayer or 
praise, however specious, performed in the will of man. (I Cor. ii. 13 ; 
Luke xii. 12.) Yet we do not exclude the use of a rightly qualified 
ministry, but believe it to be a great blessing to the church. Nor do we 
exclude vocal prayer, when properly authorized ; though we bear testi- 
mony against the custom of appointing times and persons for this solemn 
service by human authority ; believing that without the immediate opera- 
tion of the divine power, ' we know not what we should pray for as we 
ought.' (Rom. viii. 26.) 

I have before stated it as our belief, that outward rites and ceremonies 
have no place under the Christian dispensation, which we regard as a 
purely spiritual administration. Hence we hold that the means of initiation 
into the church of Christ does not consist in the water-baptism of John, 
which decreasing rite has vanished (John iii. 30) ; but in Christ's baptism, 
(Matt. iii. 11,) or that of the Holy Spirit ; the fruits of which are repent- 
ance and the new birth. Neither do we believe that spiritual communion 
can be maintained between Christ and his church, by the use of the out- 
ward * elements' of bread and wine, called the * supper,' which is the type 
or shadow only ; but that the true communion is that alluded to in the 
Revelations : ' Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my 
voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, 
and he with me.' 

A hireling ministry, or the practice of taking money for preaching, we 
testify against, as contrary to the plain precept and command of Christ, 
" Freely ye have received, feecly give." Further, we hold that to consti- 
tute a minister of Christ requires a special gift, call, and qualification from 
the blessed Master, and that neither scholastic divinity, philosophy, nor the 


forms of ordination, confer in any degree either ability or authority to en- 
gage iu this service of Christ, (1 Cor. ii. 4, 5, 13.) who has forewarned us 
that without him we can do nothing for ourselves. (John xv. 5.) As we 
believe that gifts iu the ministry are bestowed by the Head ot the Church, 
so we presume not to limit him in the dispensation of them, to any condi- 
tion of life, or to one sex alone ; seeing that male and female are all one in 
Christ. And this liberty we look upon as a fulfilment of prophecy, having 
received abundant evidence of its salutary influence in the chnrch. (Acts ii. 
16, 17; xxi. 9.) 

Our testimonies against war, slavery, and oaths are generally well known, 
and have their rise in the convictions of the Spirit of truth in our minds, 
amply confirmed by the precepts and commands of Christ and his Apostles, 
to which we refer the reader. 

We condemn frivolous and vain amusements, and changeable fashions 
and superfluities in dress and furniture, shows of rejoicing and mourning, 
and public diversions. They are a waste of that time given us for nobler 
purposes, and are incompatible with the simplicity, gravity, and dignity 
that should adorn the Christian character. 

We refrain from the use of the plural number to a single person, and of 
compliments in our intercourse with men, as having their origin in flattery, 
and tending to nourish a principle, the antagonist of that humility and meek- 
ness, which, after the example of Christ, ought to attach to his disciples. 
We also decline giving the common names to the months and days, which 
have been bestowed on them in honour ofthe heroes and false gods of anti- 
quity, thus originating from superstition and idolatry. 

We incidcate submission to the laws in all cases where the ' rights of 
conscience' are not thereby violated. But as Christ's kingdom is not of this 
world, we hold that the civil power is limited to the maintenance of external 
peace and good order, and therefore has no right whatever to interfere in 
religious matters. 

The Yearly Meetings of New York, Genessee, Baltimore, Ohio, and In- 
diana, hold an epistolary correspondence with Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 
according to ancient practice. But the Yearly Meeting of London has de- 
clined this intercourse since the separation in 1827. 

The writer here alludes to a controversy which arose in the body of 
Friends, from an attempt made by a party in it, who had become imbued 
with the prevalent love of a dogmatical religion, to bring the members under 


the yoke of what is termed ' Evangelical Religion.' This attempt which was 
entered on simultaneously in Europe, and in America, was strenuously re- 
sisted in many quarters, and met in the United States with so much dislike 
and opposition, as to lead to a schism, in which each of the two separating 
parties contended for the honour and advantages of being the ancient, recog- 
lized, and legal body of Friends. To one of these two, the title of Hicksite 
Quakers was given ; from the name of a venerable man, Elias Hicks, who 
stood prominently forward to assert the true doctrine) of Gospel liberty, and 
what he considered the essential principles of the primitive Friends. But 
these principles and that doctrine led to, if they did not rather involve, the 
denial of the humanly- devised creeds of semi-barbarous ages, and, inconse- 
quence, the great tenet of Athanasian Christianity. For this use of the 
liberty wherewith Christ hath made them free, they were disowned, and 
even persecuted, by those of their brethren who thought that salvation by 
faith meant salvation by holding their exact opinions. The account now 
given is to be understood as emanating from those who claim to represent 
the old established principles and laws of the body. 



Universaltsts is the general and approved name of that denomination of 
Christians, which is distinguished for believing that God will finally save all 
mankind from sin and death, and make all intelligences holy and happy by 
and through the mediation of Jesus^Christ, the Saviour of the world. The 
great general sentiment of the final, universal salvation of all moral beings 
from sin and death, in which this denomination is united, and by which it 
is distinguished, is termed Universalism ; or, sometimes, by way of varying 
the phraseology, ' the Abrahamic faith,' because it is the gospel that was 
declared to Abraham — or, sometimes, 'the Restitution,' or, 'the Restitu- 
tion of all things," &c. 

The first intimation of God's purpose to destroy the cause of moral evil, 
and restore man to purity and happiness, is contained in the promise, that 
the serpent, (which represents the origin and cause of sin,) after bruising 
man's heel, (a curable injury of the most inferior portion of humanity,) 
should have its head bruised by the woman's seed. (Genesis iii. 15.) A 
bruise of the head is death to the serpent, (and to what that reptile repre- 
sents;) and the destruction being effected by the Seed of the woman, shows 
man's final and complete deliverance from, and triumph over, all evil. In 
acordance with the idea conveyed by representing man's heel only as being 
brviised, is the limitation of the punishment divinely pronounced on the first 
pair of transgressors, to the duration of their earthly lives — (Gen. iii. 17, 19) 
— and the total absence of everything like even a hint, that God would punish 
Cain, or Lamech, or the antediluvians, with an infinite or endless penalty 
— and the institution of temporal punishment only, in the law given by 
Moses. And the intimation of the final, total destruction of the very cause 
of moral evil, and of all its works or effects, (or of sin,) is further explained 
and confirmed by later and more conclusive testimony, in which it is stated 
that Jesus would destroy death and the devil, the devil and all his works ; 
and that the grave {Hades, or Hell) and its victory, and death and its sting, 
(which is sin) would exist no more after the resurrection of the dead, (See 
Heb, ii. 14; 1 John iii. 8 ; and 1 Cor. xv. 54-57.) 

This brief intimation of the ultimate destruction of evil, and man's salvation 


tlic'rolrom, gvnw into that divine promise to Abraliam and his descendants, 
which the apostle Paul expressly calls 'the Gospel,' viz., that in Abraham 
and his seed, (which seed is Jesus Christ,) 'shall all the families,' 'all the 
nations,' and 'all kindreds of the earth be blessed' — by being 'turned 
away every one from iniquity,' and by being 'justified (i. e. made just) by 
taith.' (Compare Genesis xii. 3, xviii. 18, xxii. 18, and xxvi. 4, with 
Acts iii. 25, 26, and Galatians iii. 8.) Christ being a spiritual Prince, and 
a spiritual Saviour only, and this Gospel being a spiritual promise ; of 
course the blessings promised to all, in Christ, will be spiritual also, and not 
merely temporal. For all that are blessed in Christ, are to be new creatures. 
(2 Cor. V. 17.) Accordingly we find this solemn, oath-confirmed promise 
of God — this 'gospel preached before due time to Abraham' — made the 
basis and subject of almost every prophecy relating to the ultimate preva- 
lence, and universal, endless triumph of God's moral dominion under the 
mediatorial reign of Jesus Christ. 

But if we v/ould obtain a more perfect understanding of those prophetic 
promises, we must examine them in connexion with the expositions given 
of their meaning, by the Saviour and his apostles, in the New Testament. 
One or two examples are all that can be given here. The subjugation of 
all things to the dominion of man, (Ps. viii. 5, G,) is expressly apj^lied to the 
spiritual subjugation of all souls to Jesus, by the writer of the Epistle to the 
Hebrews, who declares it a universal subjection; ('for in that he put all in 
subjection under liim, he left nothing that is 7wi put under him;') and that 
it is not the present physical or external subjection, but the prospectively 
final, spiritual and internal subjection that is meant — ' for we see 7iot yet 
all things put under him,' &c. (Heb. ii. 8, 9.) And in 1 Cor. xv. 24-'28, 
this subjection is repi-esented as taking place after all opposing powers are 
put down, and the last enemy is destroyed — and it is connected with the 
subjection oi! all alike unto Jesus, and of Jesus unto God, and is declared 
f o be, that God may be all that is in all : — thus most emphatically and con- 
clusively showing that nothing but a thorough, spiritual subjection of the 
whole soul to God can be intended. And that it is to be strictly universal, is 
evident, also, from the 27th verse, where God is expressly named as the only 
being in the universe who will not be subjected to the moral dominion of 
Jesus — thus agreeing with the testimony of Flebrews ii. 8, before quoted. 
Again: the promise of universal blessedness in the gospel, under the figure 
(tf a feast for all people, made on Mount Zion, and the swallowing up of 

IN Tin; UNITED STAl'i. . 7 J 

death in victory, recorded in Isaiah xxv. (j-8, is very positively applied by 
the Apostle Paul to the resurrection of all men to immortality — thus showing 
its universality, its spirituality, and its endlessness. (See 1 Cor. xv. 54.) 
And again: in Isaiah Iv. 10, 11, God gives a pledge that his word will more 
certainly accomplish all it is sent to perform, than will his natural agents per- 
form their mission. In Isa. xlv. 22-24, he informs us that the mission of 
his word is, to make every knee bow, and every tongue swear allegiance, 
and surely say that in the Lord each one has righteousness and strength. 
The Apostle to the Gentiles, in speaking of the flesh-embodied Word of God, 
Jesus of Nazareth, in a very emphatic manner confirmed the absolute uni- 
versality of this promise, by declaring that it included all in heaven, and in 
earth, and under the earth, in its promise of final salvation, by gatherin<>- 
them into Christ. (See Phil. ii. 9-11.) This acknowledgment of Jesus, 
as universal Lord or owner, is to be made by the influence of the Holy 
Spirit— (1 Cor. xli. 3; and Rom. xiv. 8, 9, compared with John vi. 37-39, 
and Phil, iii. 21) — and is called reconciliation, without which, indeed, it 
could not be a true spiritual subjection and allegiance. (Col. i. 19, 20 ; and 
Eph. i. 8-10.) 

We have very briefly traced the rise and gradual development of the 
doctrine of universal salvation, from its first intimation down to its full and 
clear exposition ; — thus proving that it is, indeed, ' the restitution of all 
things, which God hath spoken by the mouths of all his holy prophets, since 
the world began' — (Acts iii. 21) — and the gospel which God ' hath in these 
last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all 
things.' This gospel of the great salvation, so abundantly testified to by 
the apostles of the Saviour, was undoubtedly the faith of the primitive 
churches. True, other matters more directly engaged the preaching and 
controversies of the early teachers ; for both Jews and Gentiles denied that 
Jesus was a divinely commisioned teacher, and that he rose from the dead 
after his crucifixion and burial — and many also denied the resurrection of 
the dead in general. But it is a fact clearly stated on the page of ecclesiast- 
ical history, and proved by the writings of the early Fathers themselves, 
that the doctrine of universal salvation was held, without any directly counter 
sentiment being taught, until the days of Tertullian, in A. D. 204 ; and 
that Tertullian himself was the first Christian writer ever known, who 
asserted the doctrine of the absolute eternity of hell-torments, or, that the 
punishment of the wicked and the happiness of the saints were equal in dura- 


tion. Nor was there any opposition to the doctrine ot" universal salvation, 
until long after the days of Origen, (about A. D. 394,) — nor was it ever 
declared a heresy by the Church in general, until as late as the year 553, 
when the fifth General Council thus declared it false. But that the reader 
may have names and dates, we will here name a few of the most eminent 
Fathers, with the date of their greatest fame, who openly avowed and pub- 
licly taught the doctrine of Universalism. 

A. D. 1^0, the authors of the Sibylline Oracles ; 190, Clement, President 
of the Catechetical School at Alexandra!, the most learned and illustrious 
man before Origen; 185, Origen, the light of the Church in his day, whose 
reputation for learning and sanctity gave rise to many followers, and finally a 
great party, in the Christian Church, the most of whom (if notall) were decided 
believers andadvocaes of Universalism. Among these w^e will merely name, 
(for we have no room for remarks,) Marcellus, Bishop of Ancyra, and Titus, 
Bishop of Bostra; A. D. 360, Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa.. and Gregory Na- 
zianzen. Archbishop of Constantinople ; 380, Theodore, Bishop of Mop- 
suestia, and Fabius Manus Victorinus ; A. D. 390, the Origenists, the Gnos- 
tics, and the Manicheans generally held it about this time, and many emi- 
nent fathers whom we have not room to particularize. Those we have named 
quoted the same texts, and used many of the arguments in proof of the doc- 
trine that are now urged Ijy Universalists. And it is a remark-worthy fact, 
that the Greek Fathers who wrote against endless misery, and in favour of 
Universalism, nevertheless used the Greek word aion and its derivatives, 
(rendered ever, for ever, everlasting, and eternal, in our common English 
version of the Bible,) to express the duration of punishment, which they 
staled to be limited — thus provingthat theaMcientmeaning of these words was 
not endless duration when applied to sin and suflfering. For instances with 
reference to author and page, see the ' Ancient History of Universalism, by 
the Rev. H. Ballon, 2d,' from which the following very condensed statement 
is extracted. 

After existing unmolested, in fact, after being the prevaiUny sentiment of 
the Christian Church, for nearly 500 years — especially of that portion of 
the Clmrch nearest Judea, and therefore most under the influence imparted 
by the personal disciples of the Lord Jesus, — Universalism was at last put 
down, as its Great Teacher had been before it, by human force and au- 
thority. From the fifth General Council, in A. D. 553, we may trace the 
rapid decline of pure Christianity. During all the dark ages of rapine, 


blood and cruelty, Universalism was unlciiown in theory as it was in prac- 
tice ; and the doctrine of ceaseless sin and suffering prevailed without a rival. 
But no sooner was the Reformation commenced, and arts and learning- 
began to revive, and the scriptures to be read and obeyed, than Univer- 
salism again found advocates, and began to spread in Christendom. The 
Anabaptists of Germany and of England openly embraced it—many 
eminent men of worth, talents and learning, embraced and defended it — 
and it formed the hope and solace of hujidreds of pious men and women of 
various denominations. Among many others who embraced and taught 
Universalism, we have room only to name Winstanley, Earbury, Coppin ; 
Samuel Richardson, author of 'Eternal Hell Torments Overthrown;' 
Jeremy White, Chaplain to Cromwell, and author of ' The Restoration of 
all Things ;' Dr. Henry More, Archbishop Tillotson, Dr. Thomas Burnet, 
Wm. Whiston, Sir Isaac Newton, Dr. George Cheyne, Chevalier Ramsay, 
John Wm. Peterson, Neil Douglas, James Purves, Dr. Hartley, author of 
'Observations on man;' Bishop Newton, Sir George Stonehouse, Rev. R. 
Barbauld, and his wife, Anna Letitia Barbauld, the Authoress ; many of 
the General Baptists, in England ; the English Unitarians, almost univer- 
sally — especially Drs. Priestley, Lindsey, Belsham, and others — and many 
eminent men in Holland, F'rance, and Germany. In the latter named 
country, the sentiment has spread most generally, and is now held by a vast 
majority of both the evangelical and the rationalist Christians : so much so, 
that Professor Sears has styled it ' the orthodoxy of Germany ;' and Mr. 
Dwight declares that there are few eminent theologians in that country but 
what believe it. In the United States the sentiment is held, with more or 
less publicity, among sects whose public profession of faith is at least not 
favourable to it : as among the Moravians, the German Baptists of several 
kinds, a portion of the Unitarians, a few Protestant Methodists, and even 
among the Congregationalists and Presbyterians, according to Professor 
Stuart's statement. And it will undoubtedly continue to spread silently 
and unseen, among the more benevolent and affectionate portions of all 
sects, as rapidly as true scriptural knowledge enlightens their minds ; until 
their prayers for the salvation of the lost shall find au answering support in 
their hopes and their faith, and the modern, like the primitive Church, 
shall hold in its purity the doctrine of universal salvation from sin and 

As a denomination, Univcrsalists began their organization in England, 

74 i:nivlrsat.ists 

about 1 750, under the preaching of the Rev. John Relly, who gathered the 
first church of believers in that sentiment, in the city of London. Mr. 
Relly, and his congregations generally, held to a modified form of the 
doctrine of the Trinity ; this has given a character accordingly to Univer- 
salism in Great Britain, Vi'hich it does not possess in the United States. 
The Unitarians of Great Britain being very generally Universalists, also in 
sentiment and preaching, all who embrace Universalism in connection with 
the doctrine of the divine unity, join the Unitarians; and hence it is, that 
the denomination does not increase as rapidly in Great Britain as it does in 
this country, though the doctrine is spreading there extensively, and 
also on the continent. Universalism was introduced into the United 
States, as a distinctive doctrine, by John Murray. Mr. Murray had been 
converted from Methodism by the preaching of Mr. Relly, and emigrated to 
this country in 1 770, and soon after commenced preaching his peculiar views 
in various places in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, 
and Massachusetts, and thus became the principal founder of the denomi- 
nation. For a very interesting biography of Mr. Murray, we refer the 
reader to his Life ; and for a fuller history of the sentiment and denomina- 
tion generally, and especially of Universalism in America, than my limits 
will allow me to furnish, I refer the reader to the ' Modern History of 
Universalism, by Rev. Thomas Whitmore.' This, with the * Ancient History 
of Universalism," before referred to, will give a continuous history of the 
doctrine, from the day of the apostles down to A. D. 1830. 

In the United States, to which we now confine our very brief sketch, 
Universalism had been occasionally advocated, from pulpit and press, before 
the arrival of Murray. Dr. George De Benneville, of Germantown, Pa., 
a learned and pious man, was a believer, and probably published the edition 
of Siegvolk's ' Everlasting Gospel,' a Universalist work which appeared 
there in 1753. The Rev. Richard Clarke, an lOpiscopalian, openly pro- 
claimed it while Rector of St. Philip's Church, in Charleston, S. C, from 
1754 to 1759. Dr. Jonathan Mayhew, Congregationalist, of Boston, 
preached and published a sermon in its favour in 1762. Besides, the 
Tunkers (or German Baptists), and Mennonists generally, and some among 
the Moravians, (including Coiuit Zinzendorf, who visited this country), 
held it, though it is believed they did not often publicly preach it- 
But Mr. Murray was the first to whose preaching the formation of the 
denomination can be traced. After itinerating several years, he located in 


Gloucester, Massachusetts, where the first Universalist society in this 
country was organized in 1770; and the first meeting-house, excepting 
Potter's, in New Jersey, was erected there by the same, in 1780. Shortly 
previous to this, other preachers of the doctrine arose in various parts of 
New England, among \vhom were Adam Sti'eeter, Caleb Rich, and Thomas 
Barnes — and organized a few societies as early as 1780. Elhanan Win- 
chester, celebrated as a preacher among the Calvinistic Baptists, and, next to 
Murray, the most efficient early preacher of Uuiversalism, was converted at 
Philadelphia, in 1781. The most of these early preachers, thus almost 
simultaneously raised up of God, probably differed considerably from Mr. 
Murray, and from each other, on various doctrinal points, while they held 
fellowship with each other as believers in the common salvation ; and thus 
was probably laid the foundation of that heavenly liberality of feeling among 
Universalists in this country, which led them to tolerate a diversity of 
religious opinions in their denomination, almost as great as can be found in 
all the opposing sects united ; and causes them to hold fellowship as Christians, 
with all who bear that name and sustain that character ; and as Universalists, 
with all Christians who believe in universal salvation from sin and death. 

From this feeble commencement we date the rise of the Universalist 
denomination on this continent. Simultaneous with it, persecutions dark 
and fierce were waged against it by the religious world. Legal prosecu- 
tions were commenced against our members in Massachusetts and New 
Hampshire, to compel them to support the established sects, and to render 
illegal the ministerial acts of our preachers, as marriage, &c. For several 
years they were thus persecuted, insulted, and subjected to vexatious and 
expensive lawsuits, and denied the Christian name and sympathies, until 
they were compelled, in self-defence, to assume a denominational name and 
form, and at last even to publish to the world a written Profession of Faith : 
not to trammel the minds or bind the consciences of their members, but to 
comply with a legal requisition, and inform the world what they did believe 
and practise as a Christian people. The first meeting of delegates (from 
probably less than ten societies) for this purpose, was held in Oxford, Massa- 
chusetts, September 14th, 1785. They took the name of 'The Indepen- 
dent Christian Universalists.' Their societies were to be styled, ' The 

Independent Christian Society in , commonly called Universalists.' 

They united in a ' Charter of Compact,' from which we make the follow- 
ing brief extract, as expressing the views and feelings of the denomination 
to this day. 


'As Christians, we acknowledge no master but Christ Jesus ; and as dis- 
ciples, we profess to follow no guide in spiritual matters, but his word and 
spirit; as dwellers in this world, we hold ourselves bound to yield obedience 
to every ordinance of man for God's sake, and we will be obedient subjects 
to the powers that are ordained of God in all civil cases: but as subjects of 
that King whose kingdom is not of this world, w^e cannot acknowledge the 
right of any authority to make laws for the regulation of our consciences in 
spiritual matters. Thus, as a true independent Church of Christ, looking 
unto Jesus, the author and of our faith, we mutually agree to walk 
together in Christian fellowship, building up each other in our most holy 
faith, rejoicing in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and 
determining by his grace no more to be entangled by any yoke of 

On this broad foundation (Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone) of 
freedom of opinion and conscience — this liberality and toleration of widely 
differin"- views and practices in non-essentials — and this world-wide, 
heavenly charity to the brotherhood, and to all mankind — the denomination 
was then based; on that foundation it has thus far been builded up a holy 
temple to the Lord ; and on that foundation of Christian liberty, love, and 
truth, may it ever continue, until every soul God has created is brought into 
it as a lively spiritual stone of the universal building. 

'The General Convention of the New England States and others,' which 
was recommended by the meeting of delegates above noticed, held its first 
session in Boston, in 1780, and met annually thereafter. In 1833 it was 
changed into the present 'United States' Convention,' with advisory powers 
only, and constituted by a delegation of four ministers and six laymen, from 
each state convention in its fellowship. Rev. Hosea Ballou (yet living in a 
green old age, and actively engaged in preaching and writing in del'ence of 
the Restitution) was converted from the Baptists in 1791. His 'treatise 
on the atonement,' published in 1805, was probably the first book ever pub- 
lished in this country tiuit advocated the strict unity of God, and other 
views accordant tlierewith. That and his other writings, and his constant 
pulpit labours, probably have changed the theological views of the public, 
and moulded those of his own denomination into a consistent system to a 
greater extent than those of any other man of his age, and in this country. 
In 1803, as before stated, the General Convention, during its session in 
"Winchester, N. H., was compelled to frame and publish the following Pro- 


fession of Faith. It is the only one that has ever been adopted and published 
by that body. 

'I. We believe that the Holy Sciipturesof the Old and New Testaments 
contain a revelation of the character and will of God, and of the duty, in- 
terest, and final destination of mankind. 

^»' II. We believe there is one God, whose nature is love ; revealed in one 
Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of Grace, who will finally restore the 
whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness. 

'III. We believe that holiness and true happiness are inseparably con- 
nected ; and that believers ought to maintain order, and practise good 
works, for these things are good and profitable unto men.' 

In the vinity of this General Profession of Faith, the entire denomination 
remained without any disturbance, until in 1827 ; when an effort com- 
menced to create a division on the grounds of limited punishment after death, 
and no punishment after death. It finally resulted in a partial division of 
a few brethren in Massachusetts, who held to punishment after death, from 
the main body, and the formation by them of ' the Massachusetts Association 
of Restorationists.' But the great body of brethren agreeing with these 
few in sentiment, refusing to separate from the denomination, and the few 
who did secede being nearly all gradually absorbed into the Christian ( or 
Freewill Baptist) and Unitarian denominations, or coming back to the main 
body, the Restorationist Association became extinct, and the division has 
ceased, except in the case of two or three preachers, and probably as many 
societies, which yet retain their distinctive existence in Massachusetts alone. 
Besides these, there are one or two societies in the United States, and 
peahaps as many preachers, who refused to place themselves under the juris- 
diction of the ecclesiastical bodies of the denomination, yet profess a full 
and hearty fellowship for our faith and general principles. 

The principles of Christian freedom of opinion and of conscience, and 
liberal toleration in all non-essentials, adopted by the founders of the denomi- 
nation, are practised by Universalists at the present day. In religious 
faith they have but one Father and one Master, and the Bible, the Bible, is 
their only acknowledged creed-book. But to satisfy inquirers who are not 
accustomed to the liberal toleration induced by a free exercise of the right 
of private judgment, it becomes necessary to state in other than scripture 
language, our peculiar views on theological subjects. The General Profes- 
sion of Faith adopted in 1803, and given above, truly expresses the faith of 
all Universalists. In that, the denomination is united. 


The first preachers of their doctrine in the United States were converts 
from various denominations, and brought with them, to the belief of Uni- 
versalism, many of their previous opinions, besides some which they picked 
up by tlie way. Murray held to the Sabellian view of the divine existence, 
and that man, being wholly punished in the person of the Saviour, by union 
with him, suffered no other punishment than what is the mere consequence 
of unbelief. Winchester was a Trinitarian of the ' orthodox' stamp, and held 
to penal sufferings. Both were Calvinistic in their views of human agency 
and both believed in suffering after death. Mr. Ballou was Arian, in his 
views of God's mode of subsistence; but gradually abandoned the doctrine of 
the pre-existence of Christ, and became convinced that sin and suffering begin 
and end their existence in the flesh. Others, probably, differed somewhat 
in these and other particulars from these three brethren. But, very gene- 
rally, Universalists have come to entertain, what are commonly called. Uni- 
tarian views of God, of Christ, of the Holy Spirit, and of Atonement, at 
least there appears to be a very general similarity between us and the Eng- 
lish Unitarians, not only on those subjects, but also on the nature and du- 
ration of punishment, on the svibject of the devil, and demoniacal agency, 
and on the final salvation of all moral beings. The Rev. Walter Balfour, a 
convert from the Congregationalist ministry, in Massachusetts, by his ' En- 
quiries into the meaning of the original words rendered hell, devil, Satan, 
for ever, everlasting, damnation, &c., &c..' and more especially by his 'Let- 
ters on the Immortality of the Soul,' led some to adopt the opinion that the 
soul fell asleep at death, and remained dormant until the resurrection, when 
it was awakened, and raised in the immortal, glorious and heavenly image. 
But all, or very nearly all Universalists agree in the opinion, that all sin 
and suffering terminate at the resurrection of the dead to immortality, when 
Death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed; and sin, the sting of death, be 
no more ; and Hades (hell or the grave) will give up its victory to the Re- 
conciler of all things in heaven, earth, and under the earth, unto God ; and 
God be all that is in all. (See 1 Cor. xv.) 

But, as before stated, they keep fellowship as Universalists with all Chris- 
tians who believe in the final salvation of all intelligences from sin and death, 
whether, in other respects, they are Trinitarian or Unitarian ; Calvinistic 
or Arminian ; whether they hold to baptism by immersion, sprinkling or 
pouring of water, or to the baptism of the Spirit only ; whether they use or 
reject forms ; and whether they believe in punishment after death or not. 


In short, nearly all the difTcrences of opinion which have rent the rest of 
Christendom into hundreds of opposing sects, exist in the Universalist de- 
nomination, without exciting any division or even strife ; yea, they seldom 
cause even any controversy. Such is the harmonizing influence of the doc- 
trine of one Father, one Saviour, one interest, and one final destiny for the 
whole human family ! Universalists require, as the great evidence and only 
test that a professing Christian is what he pretends to be, the manifestation 
of the spirit of Jesus in his daily walk and conversation — practical proofs 
that he loves God and man — that he has the spirit of Christ dwelling in his 
soixl, as well as the light of truth in his understanding. 'By this shall all 
men know that ye are my disciples, that ye have love one to another,' said 
Jesus ; and the only certain way to know that a man has such love, is to see 
it in his life and actions. No professions, no forms, or ceremonies, can ever 
so well evince this love, as living it. 

With differences in minor points which must exist among persons, who 
are faithful to the true Protestant principle of the indubitable right of pri- 
vate judgment, all ministers are said, every where and always, to proclaim 
the following doctrines. 

I. God is one and indivisable, without a rival or an equal, and is alone 
to be worshipped with supreme adoration, 

II. Jesus Christ is a created and dependent being, deriving his existence 
and all his power from God, who is his Father, and the Father of all. 

III. The object of Christ's mission and death was not to placate the 
the wrath or satisfy the justice of God, but to commend God's love to the 
world, to give a perfect example for man to follow, to reveal the true charac- 
ter of the Eternal Father, and bring life and immortality to light. 

IV. God has so established the principles of his government, and the 
order of his providence, that punishment follows guilt by a natural and 
inevitable law, so that all sin must receive an adequate punishment, 

V. All punishment is disciplinary and remedial, and will end in the good 
of those on whom it is inflicted. 

VI. All created Intelligencies shall ultimately be made holy, and conse- 
quently happy in the knowledge and service of God. 

During the month of September, 1845, a General Convention of the 
Universalists of the United States met in Boston. It was the largest 
meeting of the kind ever held before. There were more than two hundred 
clergymen, besides the lay delegates, present on the occasion. The number 


of Universalists in Boston, during the two days of the Convention proper, 
is said to have exceeded (en thousand. The nature of the topics discussed 
was highly interesting and important — calculated to elevate the character 
and augment the usefulness of the denomination generally. The proceed- 
ings of the Convention were marked with earnestness, harmony and charity. 
A very eloquent discourse was delivered in the School Street Room, by the 
Rev. E. H. Chapin, and repeated by request in the Warren Street Church. 
In this discourse the preacher urged the necessity of an educated ministry. 
A considerable share of the discussions of the body was connected with 
education ; and there was also an acknowledged necessity for a more perfect 
organization of churches and societies, which received a good deal of atten- 
tion. So great were the numbers in attendance that meetings were held in 
three or four churches at the same time. The occasion was one of great 
congratulation among the members of the denomination, not only because 
of the numerous attendance, but also on account of the business transacted 
and the spirit which prevailed. The official document states ' it was the 
largest and happiest meeting of their General Convention.' 

The Universalist body in the United States are not only increasing in 
numbers but likewise elevating the standard of their aims ; the former is 
well — the latter is better. — The following are the statistics of the denomi- 
nation : — 






Meet's. House 


New Hampshire, 








Rhode Island, 








Total in New England 




New York, 




New Jersey, 





















All other States, 





liritish America, 




Total in N. America 



Gain in ten years 



■ 389 


Among- the Meeting-Houses are several built in union with and partly 
owned by other denominations. The other institutions of this body are — 1 
General Convention. I. U. S. Historical Society, 18 State Conventions, 
79 Associations, (beside 4 Sunday School Associations), 1 State Missionary 
Society, 2 Sectional do., 1 State Tract Society, and one or two less Associa- 
tions for similar purposes, 22 Periodicals, most of them issued weekly, and 6 
or 8 High Schools. The net gain of the last year is 4 Conventions, 9 
Associations, 44 Societies, and 22 Meeting-Houses. 

Of the number of persons composing the Societies here mentioned, there 
is no accurate knowledge. A well informed minister of the Denomination 
states that 300 persons entertaining the views of the Universalists, and 
directly or indirectly connected with each Society, would be a low estimate. 
One of their periodicals has a circulation of 5000. Their books and papers 
are widely circulated and eagerly read, and all over the widely extended 
territory of the United States are persons who hold their sentiment, but 
are not organized in Societies. These are thought to equal in number, if 
they do not exceed, those who form Churches and Societies. 

Three appellations, 'Societies,' 'Churches,' ' Meeting-Houses,' are em- 
ployed by Universalists in speaking of their separate Communities. The 
exact import of these terms may be thus explained. In several of the 
United States there is a general act of incorporation, prescribing the man- 
ner in which a religious body shall be organized, in order to have a legal 
existence, and be capable of holding property. In many places Universalists 
are organised merely according to law, and then are called Societies. In 
others, there is besides the legal, a further organization, with a confession of 
faith, church covenant, &c. These are called Churches in distinction from 
Societies. It oftens happens, indeed it is generally the case, that a Church 
and a Society exist in the same congregation, some being legal members of 
the Society, contributors to its funds, and voting in all its affairs, who are 
not members of the organization called the Church. Meeting-House is 
synonymous with 'Chapel' among the Dissenters of England. The legal 
title of the Meeting-House, lands, and other property, is vested in the 
Society not in the Church. 

The Ecclesiastical organisation partakes of the nature of the civil govern- 
ment. The Societies are strictly independent. Those which are found in 
a single town, or in several towns or counties, form an Association, and elect 
their representatives to its annual Sessions. The Associations are repre- 



sented in a State Convention, and then again in the General Convention of 
the United States. 

Those who wish to obtain more full and definite information respecting 
this body, are referred to the following works, viz. : Ballou on Atonement ; 
Ballou on the Parables ; Whittemore on the Parables ; Whittemore's Guide to 
Universalism : O. A. Skinner's Univer.salism Illustrated and defended ; Pro 
and Con of UniversaUsm ; Williamson's Argument for Christianity ; Wil- 
liamson's Exposition and Defence of Universalism ; Ely and Thomas's Dis- 
cussion; D. Skinner's Letters to Aikin and Lansing; Smith's Divine 
Government ; Winchester's Dialogues ; Siegvolk's Everlasting Gospel ; 
Petitpierre on Divine Goodness ; (these four, and several other good works, 
are published in the first ten numbers of the ' Select Theological Library,' 
by Gihon, Fairchild, & Co., Philadelphia); Streeter's Familiar Conversa- 
tions ; Balfour's Enquiry ; Balfour's Second Enquiry ; Balfour's Letters to 
Professor Stuart ; Paige's Selections from Eminent Commentators ; Paige's 
Commentary on the New Testament : Sawyer's Review of Hatfield's 
'Universalism as It Is;' Asher Moore's Universalist Belief; or any of 
our numerous periodicals, pamphlets, &c. 



The first attempt, as far as we can discover, to establish Unitarian 
worship in Canada, was made in the City of Montreal, toward the close 
of the year 1832. On the last Sunday in July and first Sunday in August in 
that year, religious services were conducted, and sermons preached by the 
Rev. D. Hughes, formerly Unitarian Minister of Yeovil, England. These, 
it is believed, were the first Sermons ever preached in Canada, by an avowed 
Unitarian Minister. Mr. Hughes fell a victim to the Cholera, on the 9th 
of August, while at Coteau du Lac, on his way to settle in the upper or 
western province. In the November following, the Unitarians of Montreal 
succeeded in securing the services of a settled Pastor from the United 
States. Under his ministry, a congregation was collected, and a sub- 
scription was commenced, towards the building of a churcli. The cholera, 
however, reappeared in 1 834, and this, with some other untoward circum- 
stances, led to the weakening of the Society, and the removal of the 
Minister. Services continued for some time to be read by the members ; 
but the Society, cut off' as it was from all sympathy, gradually declined 
until it ceased to exist. 

But though this effort failed tlirough a combination of causes, the ravages 
of the Cholera, commercial disasters, and the political troubles which dis- 
tracted the country, yet the spirit which originally prompted it, was not 
extinct. In the summer of 1841, the effort was renewed to establish 
Unitarian worship. Six individuals constituted themselves into a com- 
mittee, 'to take the necessary measures to obtain a continuance of Uni- 
tarian Services.' Of these six persons — one came from England, one 
from Ireland, and three from the United States: — five were thus emi- 
grants to Canada, while one only was a native of this country. They 
rented a room, fitted it up with a desk, benches, &c., for the purposes of 
religious worship. They opened a correspondence with various persons, 
with the view of obtaining supplies for their ministerial desk, until they 
should be able to organise more permanently, and secure the services of a 
stated minister. 

In 1842, the ' Christian Unitarian Society' of Montreal was organized. 


Communications were sent to England, Ireland, Scotland, and the United 
States of America, with the view of obtaining a suitable minister, but with- 
out success. On a second application being made to Ireland, I consented 
to go. A regular call was consequently forwarded to me from Montreal, in 
the summer of 1843, signed by nineteen persons. I was then licensed by 
the Presbytery of Bangor, of the Remonstrant Synod of Ulster, and ordained 
by them in Belfast, Ireland, to the pastoral charge of the Montreal Unitarian 
congregation. I arrived in Montreal, and entered on my duties in the first 
week of November, 1843. 

In the month of January, 1844, the committee of the Montreal Unitarian 
Society, issued the first number of a small monthly sheet, called the 
' Bible Christian.' The design of this sheet was to illustrate and explain 
Unitarian Christianity, and to collect and concentrate as far as possible the 
Unitarian opinion of Canada. It has been found extremely useful, and is 
still continued. 

A suitable lot of ground having been procured, the erection of a new 
church edifice for the use of the congregation was commenced in the spring 
of 1 844. The building was so far advanced in December, that during that 
month, the meetings for religious services were discontinued in the tempo- 
rary chapel, and removed to the school-room in the basement story of the 
new church. Here, for the first time in Canada, the ordinance of the 
Lord's Supper was administered to a congregation of Unitarians. The 
number of communicants on the occasion was fifty-six. In this place 
they continued to meet for worship, until the completion of their Church, 
which was opened and dedicated on Sunday, May 11th, 1845. 

During the last twenty months, the congregation has been making steady 
increase. It has now about sixty families connected with it. There are 
two services held in the church every Sunday. During the winter half- 
year, there is also a meeting held on some other night in the week, for 
religious exercises and exposition of Scripture. But in summer, those 
meetings are confined to the first Wednesday evening in every month. 
There is a Sunday School in connection with the Society, and a congrega- 
tional library. 

Early in the present year (1845), an Act was passed by the Canadian 
legislature, to incorporate the Montreal congregation of Christian Unitarians, 
and to authorise their minister to keep registers for births, baptisms, mar- 
riages and deaths, thus placing him in regard to these rights and privileges, 
on a level with all clergymen in the province. 


The Unitarian Worshipping Society in the capital of Canada may now, 
therefore, be considered as permanently established, although much still 
remains to be done to bring it to lull maturity. Their Church is a tasteful 
Grecian building, capable of accommodating about Fivji hundred persons. 
The cost of its erection, including building lot, furnishing, &c. was about 
£12400. Towards defraying this expense, they were very liberally assisted 
by their brethren of the United States. 

Another Worshippiijg Society of Unitarians has lately been commenced at 
Toronto, the principal city of Upper or Western Canada. Toronto is about 
four hundred miles from Montreal, situated on the northern shore of 
Lake Ontario. This society was first brought together by my going 
there and preaching, on the first and second Sundays of July last. It con- 
tains some earnest, prudent men, who I doubt not will do all in their power 
to have a congregation permanently established. They have rented a church 
for tlie present, which they hope shortly to purchase. They have also 
secured the services of the Rev. W. Adam, formerly of Calcutta, as their 
stated Pastor. Under the ministry of a man of his character and experi- 
ence, we may resonably hope that a successful stand will be made in favour 
of an uncorrupted Gospel. The effort is so very recent that it cannot be 
expected to have yet fully collected or called together all the Unitarian 
opinion of the place. At the first meeting to establish a society, fifteen 
persons enrolled their names, which was more than double the number that 
presented themselves at the commencement of the effort in Montreal. 
Those connected with the Toronto Society, are persons of considerable 
intellectual activity, good moral characters, and unostentatious piety. 

Besides those in Montreal and Toronto, there are other persons professing 
Unitarian principles, scattered abroad throughout the province. This is 
what might naturally be expected, seeing that there is an annual immigra- 
tion of nearly thirty thousand persons into Canada, from Great Britain and 
Ireland — countries where Unitarianism is known to exist to a considerable 
* extent. By the statistical returns of the Upper or Western province, made 
by order of the legislature, it appears there are several places where 
Unitarians are to be found, though certainly in very small numbers. It is 
quite probable, however, that there are many more than the returns indi- 
cate. In the township of Westmeath, (Bathurst district,) the entire 
population of which was in 1841 less than five hundred, the number of 
Unitarians returned in that year, was thirty five. And this is one of the 
largest returns to be found. 


There are many religious societies in Upper Canada, connected with the 
'Christian' denomination. This body of people, it is well known, is 
Antitrinitarian in sentiment. They have an organization called the 
' Canada Christian Conference.' In connection with this Conference there 
are ttventy six churches, eight hundred communicants, twenty five elders or 
ministers, and seven licentiates. They take the same ground in religion 
as their brethren of the same name in the United States. They will have 
no creed but the Bible. They will call no one master but Christ, from whom 
they take their name. To all who acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of 
God, and in their walk and conversation manifest the Christian spirit, they 
give the hand of fellowship. 

At the last meeting of Conference, the Elders were severally requested 
to collect all the information within their reach, concerning their respective 
churches, with the view of compiling a general history of the rise and pro- 
gress of the denomination in Canada. Until this be done we can have no 
precise account, on which reliance can be placed. I have learned, however, 
from one of their oldest and most experienced elders, that it was about twenty 
years ago, that the ' Christians' first appeared in Canada. At that time, 
a small school house would have contained all the people in the country 
taking that name. One of their earliest preachers was seized by a rural 
magistrate, who had more zeal than knowledge, and put into prison for 
publicly calling in question the dogma of the Trinity. But he was 
soon liberated. Since their original appearance, they have made consider- 
able progress. Besides those connected with the Canada Christian Con- 
ference, there are some others to be found in the more remote districts of 
Canada west, and in the eastern townships of the lower province. A small 
religious paper, called the 'Christian Luminary,' is published every fort- 
night by a committee of the Conference, at the village of Oshawa, C. W. 

The 'Christians' make no pretensions to an educated ministry. Their 
elders come from the workshop and the plough to preach the Gospel, and 
seem earnest and self denying men in the Gospel cause. Some of them * 
have stated salaries from the people to whom they minister, and others have 
not. In their religious exercises, they in some measure resemble the 
Methodists. Revivals are not uncommon among them. 

There are in Canada besides those called Unitarians, and those connected 
with the ' Christian' denomination, some other religionists, who reject 
the dogma of the tri-personality of God. There are Universalists, and 


some Quakers of the Hicksite class. Of the former there are a few regularly 
organized Societies, probably six or eight in number, in the eastern town- 
ships of Lower Canada, and certain parts of the Upper Province. By the 
statistical returns, it appears, likewise, that many of the Universalist denom- 
ination are scattered throughout Canada West, at considerable distances 
apart, and in small numbers. The Hicksite Quakers, though not very 
numerous, are found dispersed in various parts of the Upper Province. 
There are a good number in the township of Norwich, Brock District. 



The history of Unitarianism in England, considered as the characteristic 
mark of" a distinct sect or denomination, cannot be traced higher than the 
gradual spread of such views among the Presbyterian division of Protestant 
dissenters, in the former half of the last century. It is true indeed, that a 
small society of worshippers was collected by John Biddle, in the time of 
the Commonwealth ; but after his death in prison in 1662, they made no 
attempt to continue their meetings ; and though the seed which he had 
sown did not perish, it was long before its fruit was developed in any marked 
or permanent form. 

Nevertheless, there can be no doubt, that at every period from the Re- 
formation (so called) downwards, there were individuals who had embraced 
in secret some form of Anti-trinitarianism ; and a few who did not hesitate 
to brave the last horrors of persecution in the public avowal of it. In the 
reign of Edward VI. it seems to have prevailed so far as to excite the alarm 
of the ecclesiastical authorities ; who shewed at all times the utmost jealousy 
of any disposition to carry the principles on which alone they could 
justify their own separation from Rome to any conclusions beyond those 
which they had themselves adopted. Such is the inconsistency of the 
human mind, that when, in the succeeding reign, they were in their turn 
exposed to the fury of Popish persecution, they were not less intolerant to- 
wards their Unitarian brethren ; and when both were alike awaiting the 
same frightful doom, could occupy their time in nothing better than reviling 
and anathematizing those who were brought into the same danger by the 
free exercise of their own judgment in ascertaining the true sense of the 
Divine word. The flames of Smithfield, and those which consumed the 
unfortunate Servetus, were blazing at the same time. In fact, few if any of 
the parties into which the Christian world was then divided, were altogether 
free from the influence of a spirit so remote from the true character of a 
Gospel of charity and peace. If the Unitarians were more nearly so than 
any others, it may have been owing partly, we may hope, to the greater 
inherent liberality of their professed principles, and partly to the peculiarity 
of their condition ; in this respect a fortunate one, which afforded them very 


few opportunities of calling the secular power into action against their 
Christian brethren. 

In our own country, the history of Unitarianism during the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries, consists of little else than a detail of barbarous out- 
rages, alike on the natural rights of man, and on that liberty in which 
Christ hath made him free. It is a fact which deserves to be borne in mind, 
that in the reign of Elizabeth and James, the latest Christian martyrs who 
were called upon in England to expiate the crime of thinking for themselves 
in the mode then appropriated to ' heretics,' were Unitarians. In the 
former reign, two at least, Hammont and Lewis, were burnt at Norwich for 
denying the deity of Christ. In the latter, in the year 1614, Bartholomew 
Legatt was burnt at Smithfield, on a similar charge ; and in less than a 
month afterwards, Edward Wightman, convicted of being an Arian and an 
Anabaptist, suffered in a similar manner at Lichfield : on this occasion the 
iniquitous writ ' de haeretico comburendo' was for the last time carried into 
execution in England, though it was not finally abolished till 1676. Of 
these persons, so deserving of all honour for their undaunted firmness in 
testifying to their convictions, and, as we think, to the truth, all that Ave 
learn is derived from unfriendly sources.* The two Norwich martyrs ap- 
pear to have been persons in humble life ; the others were probably men of 
competent education and learning. One of them, Legatt, by the testimony 
of his adversaries, we find to have been of unblemished character ; and as 
nothing is laid to his charge in this respect, it is but fair to infer as much of 
the other. It would have been satisfactory to have had a record of men like 
these, from the pen of at least an impartial historian, if not of a friend ; but 
when such was the state of our law, and the spirit of those who had the 
administration of it, we cannot wonder that the avowals of Unitarianism at 
this period were but few, and that those who in later times would give 
due honour to a Legatt or a Wightman, must be content to sift out the 
truth as well as they can from the partial and perverted statements of hostile 
writers ; one of whom, Fuller, prefaces his account as follows ; * Before we 
set down his pestilent opinions, may writer and reader fence themselves 

* The most authentic, and probably the most complete account of them which is now 
to be obtained, was collected by Mr. Locke, for the information of his friend and corres- 
pondent Limborcli. See the correspondence betw.en these two eminent men, at the dates, 
October 2, and October 7, 169f). 


with prayer to God, against the infection thereof; lest, otherwise, touchinjT 
such pitch, (though but with the bare mention,) casually tempting a tempt- 
tation in us, and awaking some corruption which otherwise would sleep 
silently in our souls.' A man who could write thus, with all his affected 
horror at these ' pestilent heresies,' must have had a sort of inward misgiving, 
that more was to be said for them than he was ready to acknowledge, when 
even the bare mention of them is supposed to create a certain indescribable 
inclination towards them. We are apt to think, that not the bare enumera- 
tion of these tenets, but the barbarous usage of their professors, might often 
produce an efi'ecl the reverse of what was intended. Whatever may be 
the impression on the unthinking multitude, there can scarcely fail to be 
some who will be hard to persuade that there is any moral offence in searching 
out religious truth for themselves ; and with whom compassion for unmerited 
sufferings, admiration at heroic, undaunted fortitude in their endurance, and 
indignation against the perpetrators of these horrible outrages, abhorrent alike 
to humanity and the Gospel, will almost inevitably lead to secret suspicion, that 
the truth as well as the spirit of the Gospel is more likely to be found with the 
martyr than the persecutor. That such individuals did exist here and there, 
is beyond a doubt ; and that the influence penetrated into high quarters, 
among the noble and the learned, is believed on apparently sufl[icient evi- 
dence. Independently of Biddle, a man worthy to adorn, competent to 
defend, and prepared to die for his faith, the taint or the credit, which ever 
we please to call it, of Socinianism attached to several of the most distin- 
guished of his contemporaries ; and an apprehension of its spread induced 
the Parliament in 1G47 to pass the famous ordmance concerning heresy aiul 
blasphemy, by which the abettors of a numerous catalogue of opinions, 
including the denial of the Trinity, and the equality of the Son with the 
Father, are declared felons, and adjudged to suffer death accordingly.* 

But our limits will not permit us to dwell at more length on these indica- 
tions of the early progress of opinion; we now proceed to consider the steps 
which afterwards led to the gradual diffusion and more public avowal of 
Unitarianism among a considerable class of Protestant Dissenters. 

* Happily for the Unitarians, other parties more numerous and powerful were equally 
exposed to the operation of this persecuting statute ; and as it was not expedient for the 
government to meddle with the latter, the ordinance itself was perhaps never put in 
force, — certainly nut in all its extent, against the former. 


In reviewing the history and progress of religious opinions in modern times, 
there are few points more remarkable and striking than the almost inva- 
riable connexion of a spirit of free enquiry, and of an opening allowed for its 
exercise and the public expression of its results, with the avowal and increas- 
ing prevalence of some form of anti-trinitarianism. This is observable in 
tracing the history both of churches and of theological schools. Thus in 
Geneva, the original seat of Calvinism, no sooner had a declaration of adhe- 
rence to human creeds been changed for an acknowledgment of the scrip- 
tures, than the stern features of the orthodox faith were gradually softened 
down ; a milder, and, as its votaries thought, a more liberal and rational sys- 
tem began to take its place, and at length those who were permitted to 
pursue their inquiries after theological truth in the same free and unbiassed 
spirit, as in matters of philosophy or science, abandoned openly the dogmas 
of their fathers. — In the same manner, in the north of Ireland, the first 
struggle was not for any specific doctrine, but for the removal of arbitrary 
shackles, and the liberty of following the light of reason and of Scripture, 
into whatever path it might appear to indicate. But the churches, and the 
ministers, who had thrown off this bondage, and exercised without restraint 
the right they had asserted for themselves, of acknowledging Christ, and him 
alone, for their master, speedily laid aside, one after another, the harsh anc 
unintelligible dogmas of the creeds in which tliey had been brought up. 

The same was the gradual progress of the so-called Presbyterian churchei 
of England. The system of Church government to which that name pro- 
perly belongs, was never thoroughly established among them ; and after the 
stormy times of the last two Stuarts, all traces of it were swept away, except 
a few external forms, and a provincial meeting here and there, without even 
the shadow of power or controul over separate churches ; so that these be- 
came, in the strict and proper sense of the word, independent ; and with 
their ministers, asserted and exercised the right of pursuing their inquiries into 
revealed truth, to whatever consequences they appeared to them to involve. 
Similar results soon began to display themselves. A change went on, in 
some cases marked and rapid, in others by slower and less preceptible gra- 
dations, from Calvinism to Arminianism, from Arminianism to Arianism, 
or beyond it. A progress of the same kind was evinced in their places of 
Theological education. Even where the patrons and conductors of these 
institutions were orthodox, wherever they left their pupils to think and 
judge for themselves, and afforded them the opportunity of examining the 


evidence freely and impartially, a considerable portion of them strayed from 
the narrow path prescribed in various directions over the wide and diver- 
sified fields of theological speculation. 

On the other hand, those institutions and communities which have pre- 
served their original profession unchanged, have, with scarcely an exception, 
been such as were careful to fence it round with articles, and formal decla- 
rations, and subscriptions. This jealousy, often exceeding in the strict- 
ness of its provisions the practice of the established Churches and Universi- 
ties, surely betrays a singular distrust of their own principles, and a sort of 
apprehension that they would not stand the test of that full and searching 
enquiry to which they ought to have been subjected, before they were assumed 
as the standards of a sect, professing to be guided by the light of revealed 

For our parts, even when we have tried our doctrines by this test of rea- 
son and scripture, and found them to stand the trial, we shoidd account it 
unwarrantable presumption to seek to impose them upon others, if we had the 
power to do so, and would not choose even to pledge ourselves to a continued 
profession of them without modification or change. We not only claim on 
our own part, but are even more solicitous to procure for those who are to 
come after us, the undoubted right to make them the subject of renewed in- 
quiry and discussion, according to those clearer views, and that brighter light 
which, for any thing we can tell, may hereafter be accessible both to them 
and to ourselves. At all events, we are not desirous to pay so ill a compli- 
ment to the principles we think we have derived from the word of God, as 
to question their stability, unless shored up by external and artificial pro- 
tection. We have faith in truth, wherever it may be ultimately found, that 
by virtue of its own intrinsic excellence, relying on its own apjjropriate evi- 
dence, on its adaptation to the reasoning faculties of a rational and intelli- 
gent creature, on its assured dependence on the God of truth — it must of 
necessity prevail ; and if the result of a renewed comparison with these texts 
should be to shew that the opinions we had embraced and maintained were 
found wanting, we are not so wedded to them, as not rather to rejoice that 
error should be exposed, and just views ;ind sentiments established in its 

It was upon such principles as these, that the Presbyterian denomination 
of Protestant Dissenters in England proceeded, from the commencement of 
their legal existence at the passing of the Act of Toleration ; and these prin- 


ciples they have ever since uniformly asserted ;intl maintained. In this, 
more than in any peculiar doctrinal tenets, has ever consisted the most marked 
and characteristic distinction between them and the Independents. The 
latter professed, indeed, a more strict and rigid form of Calvinism, approach- 
ing in many instances to the extreme of Antinomianism ; — while the former 
had very generally adopted the modified system which takes its name from 
their most distinguished leader at that period, Richard Baxter; but a more 
important and radical distinction consisted in this, that while the one party 
repudiated all pretension to bind the consciences of their brethren or suc- 
cessors, the others, from the very first, both in the constitution of their 
churches, and in the trust deeds of their chapels and endowments, established 
an express provision, as strict and imperative as legal forms enabled them 
to make it, confining the use and benefit of them in all future time to 
those who should continue to profess the opinions and maintain the ecclesi- 
astical institutions of the original founders. The consequence has been, 
that to a considerable extent these churches have been stationary in the terms 
at least of their creeds, though it is believed that a deviation from the rigid 
orthodoxy of the early Independents has insinuated itself in many places. 
The Presbyterian endowments, on the contrary, were, almost without an ex- 
ception, unfettered by any restriction ; and contain no clause of limitation 
tending to check the course of opinion in the congregation for whose use 
they were founded. Neither the minister nor the people were bound to 
profess any particular tenets, or discouraged from pursuing their enquiries 
after religious truth in any direction in which it appeared to tliem likely to 
be found. And the liberty thus afforded was acted upon in many instances 
from the first, producing, as was to be expected, very various results. For 
such is the variety, perhaps, in the original disposition and character of dif- 
ferent minds, and still more in their education, acquired habits and modes 
of thought, that when many individuals are led to pursue their inquiries in 
the same direction, unfettered by any external restraint, it is scarcely pos- 
sible that they should all agree in their conclusions. Much would depend 
on the diversity of outward circumstances, and of individual character, 
particularly in the ministers of different congregations. Where a minister 
was settled with a society disposed to encourage and accompany him in 
free and unbiassed researches into the meaning of scripture, or when he was 
himself endowed with a more than ordinary zeal, activity, and energy, the 
progress would be peculiarly rapid, and many instances may accordingly 


be pointed out, in which the influence of their free constitution, assisted by 
incidental circumstances favourable to its operation, brought the early Pres- 
byterians to the open profession of some form of Anti-trinitarianism, long 
before the first generation and the original founders of the society were 
gathered to their fathers. 

The difference in this respect between the Independents and Presbyte- 
rians, was quickly manifested by remarkable results in the earliest period 
of their legalized existence. In 1691, only two years after the passing of 
the Act of Toleration, an attempt was made to combine the two bodies ; and 
an agreement was drawn up to this effect, which received the title of the 
' happy union.' But it soon appeared, that whatever resemblance there might 
still exist in doctrinal tenets, the character and tendencies of the two bodies 
were essentially different ; the one studying conservatism, the other progress. 
Jealousy and strife, accordingly, soon arose ; the Independents accused the 
Presbyterians of favouring Arminian, and even Socinian principles ; while 
these retaliated with the imputation of Antinomianism ; charges which, it 
is believed, were in neither case altogether void of foundation. Hence the 
union was short-lived ; and the two parties have ever since existed as dis- 
tinct and separate communities. 

Notwithstanding the liberality of their principles on the subject of free 
enquiry, many of the early Presbyterians were however by no means hos- 
tile to the notion of a civil establishment of religion as such. They retained, 
in this respect, the feelings of their fathers, who, in the times of the Common- 
wealth, would gladly have seen a Presbyterian form of church-government 
established under the auspices of the State. Moreover, they still included 
in their body, at that period, a considerable number of persons of rank and 
fortune, who had adhered to their cause in its adversity, and had ministered 
of their substance during those troublous times to many of the most emi- 
nent divines and leaders of their party, when ejected from their stations 
in the church by the Act of Uniformity. On the accession of William III. 
to the throne, an event to which they had mainly contributed, many of this 
class were anxious to see a scheme of comprehension adopted by the new 
government, giving up or modifying the most obnoxious points in the exis- 
ting ecclesiastical constitution, so as to enable them consistently to return 
into the bosom of the church. With this view a Commission was issued, to 
consider of a project for revising the Articles and Liturgy, and a plan 
was agreed upon, which, if it had been carried into effect, would probably 


have induced a large portion of tlie Presbyterian body immediately 
to abandon their non-conformity. But it encountered such a vehement 
opposition from the high-church party, that the whole project fell to the 
ground, and has never been resumed from that time to the present. As 
far as it went, it would doubtless have been an improvement, but would not 
even then have been satisfactory, except to those who had not fully reflected 
on the just consequences of their principles. The spirit which they dis- 
played, in refusing to bind either themselves or their successors to the 
profession of any particular creed, might naturally be expected to lead the 
more inquisitive and reflecting among them, to reject or modify the doc- 
trines which they at present held, or to adopt others which they or their 
fathers had hitherto rejected. But for such changes, so likely to arise in 
future, the proposed scheme made no provision. 

That such changes would manifest themselves in no long time, our expe- 
rience of the ordinary influence of motives and circumstances in the human 
mind, would naturally lead us to expect ; but there were besides a number 
of causes in operation at that period, the combined operation of which 
greatly promoted this result. Among these causes must be reckoned the 
existence in the church itself of a numerous and highly influential class of 
divines, who, for talents, learning, and reputation, stood in the first rank 
among their contemporaries, and who from their pleading for a certain lat- 
itude in the interpretation of the Articles, received the name of Latitudina- 
rians. At an earlier period indeed than this, England had not been 
without divines who had not only thrown aside the system of Calvin, but 
exposed themselves to the charge of Socinianism. Of this character were 
Chillingworth, and the 'ever memorable' Hales of Eton. In the next age, 
there were not a few animated by a similar spirit, among whom the most dis- 
tinguished were Cudworth, Whichcote, Williams, Tillotson, and Whitby. 
Of the same class, at a still later period, were Clarke, Hoadly, Hare, 
Sykes, Law, Jortin, and many others. We are far from contending that 
all these were anti-trinitarians ; (though they have generally expressed 
their views on this subject in terms which would admit of a Unitarian inter- 
pretation ;) but several of the most'eminent became so in the exercise of that 
rational and enlightened spirit of enquiry after truth, on the grounds sup- 
plied both by reason and scripture ; which was in fact their distinguishing 
and most honourable characteristic. That they varied in their conclusions, 
is only a proof and consequence of the genuineness of the spirit they all 


professed, and which must ever lead to results more or less diversified, in 
minds variously prepared and qualified in other respects. These men, 
who have numbered in their ranks not a few of the most eminent worthies 
that the English church can boast, undoubtedly exercised from first to last 
a very powerful influence on the progress of thought and opinion in this 
country, both within the establishment itself, and more especially among 
the more learned, inquiring, and liberal of the non-conformists. The only 
circumstance to be regretted, in their history, is the dangerous laxity of the 
principle on which they professed to act in the matter of subscription to 
articles of faith, and by which many of them were not merely retained as 
members and ministers of a church whose doctrines and spirit they disap- 
proved, but were induced to accept further preferments, and even to aspire 
to its highest dignities, long after they had openly espoused opinions at 
variance with its recognized standards. We presume not to sit in judgment 
on such men ; to his own master let every one stand or fall. 

The example and influence of men like these must have promoted the 
wider difl'usion of a disposition to throw off" the shackles of human theolo- 
gical systems ; and the direction in which this spirit was most likely to 
manifest itself, in the first age of legalized Protestant Dissent, was deter- 
mined in some measure by the extent to which the question of the Trinity 
had become almost the leading controversy of the day. It would certainly 
be difiScult to name any period of equal extent, (even during the most 
active part of Dr. Priestley's career) in which a greater number of writers on 
all sides were busily engaged in this controversy, or in which publications 
of every class relating to it abounded more, than in the last ten years of the 
17th century in England. Within the church, there arose two contending 
parties of real and nominal Trinitarians, of whom Sherlock among the former 
was almost a Tritheist (if not absolutely so), while Wallis and South among 
the latter, were little more than Sabellians. With the latter party the 
University of Oxford so far identified itself, as to pronounce a formal sen- 
tence of condemnation against the doctrine of their opponents. The same 
period was marked by the appearance of a series of very able publications, 
commonly known by the name of the old Socinian or Unitarian Tracts. 
These were all anonymous, and the writers of them have never been ascer- 
tained ; a fact somewhat remarkable, when we consider the amount of 
public attention which was then attracted to the Trinitarian controversy, and 
the learning, talents, and skill, as disputants, which they uniformly display. 

IN ENGrANT). 97 

In tliese respects they certainly were no common men; and it mio;ht have 
been expected that such men would not have confined the exercise of their 
talents to one occasion, or to one subject, but would have left some traces of 
their personal career, and other specimens of their literary prowess in a less 
questionable shape, by which they might have been identified.* As we 
know not who they were, we have no means of discovering to what denom- 
ination they belonged, but in some instances internal evidence renders it 
probable, that they were nominally members, and, perhaps, even clergymen 
of the established church. If so, this fact alone would fiu-nish a sufficient 
motive for the strict concealment they successfully maintained. It is true, 
indeed, that in some of these tracts, in which the publications of the con- 
temporary champions of the contending parties who came forward in their 
own proper persons are examined with no small acuteness and ability, the wri- 
ters, after shewing clearly enough, that the nominal Trinity'so much in vogue 
was no better than Unitarianism in disguise, claim for themselves an equal right 
to remain with their avowed heresy, as members of a Trinitarian church, in the 
enjoyment of all its privileges and immunities. Still it cannot be doubted, 
and they themselves must have been well aware, that their coming forward 
in such a character would not have been endured. The pretences on which 
they attempted to vindicate such a proceeding, certainly show much more of 
logical skill and dexterity than of honesty or consistency ; and however we 
may admire in general their controversial acuteness and skill as theological 
disputants, it is impossible not to see that the want of high and honourable 
principle, betrayed in this part of their conduct, greatly impaired the 
influence and effect of their writings, both at the time and afterwards. If 
such men had then come forward in the spirit of a Robertson or a Lindsey, 
to avow and act upon, and, if necessary, to suffer loss for their principles, as 
became sincere lovers of the truth as it is in Jesus, the progress of their 
cause might have been advanced by half a century. 

Though of anonymous authorship, it is well known that many of these 
tracts were prepared under the auspices, and published at the expence of 
Mr. T. Firmin, an eminent London merchant, and a man of high and 

* It has been said that one of these tracts was written by Mr. Locke; but the parti- 
cular piece which proceeded from his pen has never been pointed out, and the assertion 
was probably made without any good foundation. In fact, though this eminent person 
was undoubtedly an Anti-trinitaiian, there is no evidence that he went the length of 


deserved reputation as a genuine Christian Philanthropist ; though he also 
did not scruple to remain to the end of his life an outward conformist, -while 
he made no secret of his adoption of Unitarian sentiments. Notwithstand- 
inf this open avowal, his society was cultivated by several of the. most 
eminent dignitaries of the church, especially of the class to which we have 
already referred.* 

The attentive reader of these publications will be inclined to think, that 
on many of the principal points of the Unitarian controversy, their authors 
have left little of much importance to be added by succeeding writers. 
One thing is evident ; that the production and wide circulation for a 
number of years of an extensive series of such writings as these, sufliciently 
prove not only that there was no lack of zeal as well as ability displayed 
at this period in the cause of Unitarianism, but that there must have been 
not a few readers prepared to receive them gladly; and competent, by their 
own familiarity with subjects and discussions of this nature, to appreciate 
the style of argument for which they are so remarkable. Of these readers, 
many, we may reasonably presume, were found in the Presbyterian body, 
both among ministers and people. That they did excite no ordinary degree 
of attention, and were beginning to make a very perceptible impression on 
the public opinion, may be reasonably inferred from the proceedings of 
those who still imagined that the influence of the press was to be put down 
by the strong arm of power, and who were persuaded that all forms of 
Anti-trinitarianism were to be ranked among the 'pestilent heresies' which 
must be rooted out, if necessary, by this summary process. Men do not, 
in general, enact new and severe laws against evils which they do not at 
least believe to be urgent, and to require a searching and powerful remedy. 
The statute enacted in this period against hlaspliemy, as it was called, 
provided that all persons denying that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost 
were separately and distinctly God, or maintaining that there were more 
Gods than one, should be incapable of holding any office or place of trust, 
and for the second offence, be disabled from bringing any action, or from 
acting as guardian, executor, legatee, or purchaser of lands, and suflfer three 
years' imprisonment without bail. 

There is no reason to think that tliis severe enactment was ever carried 
into full force. We are not aware that any conviction ever took place 

* A judicious analysis of several of the most important of these tracts, and a review 
of the whole controversy of which they form a part, will be found it'i a valuable series 
of papers by Professor Wallace, in the ("liristian llcfoniicr for 181-5. 


under it, notwithstanding that many persons of distingished eminence 
were constantly and notoriously liable to its severe penalties. The only 
instance we have met with of an attempt to put it in force, was in the case of 
Mr, Elwall, at the Stafford Assizes in 1726, when the trial was stopped by 
the Judge, on account of an informality in the proceedings.* From that 
time it seems to have remained a dead letter, till it was repealed in 1813. 
It was not unreasonable to expect that it would thus have been laid at rest 
for ever ; but, unfortunately, it suited the purpose of the claimants of Lady 
Hewley's endowment, to give it a sort of posthumous activity, by founding 
their argument on the principle, if it deserves that name, that the law 
cannot maintain the application of any trust to purposes which would have 
been illegal at the time when the trust was made. The Unitarians were 
expressly excluded from the benefit of the Toleration Act, by the clause 
limiting its operation to those who had signed the doctrinal articles of the 
Church of England. But this obligation was complied with, though 
reluctantly, by many Dissenters who were far from agreeing with the 
articles in their plain and obvious sense, on the same ground of a latitude 
of interpretation, professedly acted on by many of the clergy; while others 
refrained from signing them at all, trusting for their protection to the 
increased and increasing liberality of the times. 

The Unitarianism of several of the most illustrious laymen of that age, 
as Milton, Locke, and Newton, though now a matter of notoriety, was not 
perhaps sufficiently well ascertained during the life-time of these great men, 
to be mentioned among the causes tending to promote the spread of similar 
views. But Mr. Locke's theological writings cannot but have had a con- 
siderable effect, indirectly, by promoting a spirit of free inquiry, and a taste 
for that species of scriptural investigation, which has been very generally 
found to lead to such results. His ' Reasonableness of Christianity' could 
not well have been written by one who laid any stress on the peculiar 
doctrines of orthodoxy ; — and his ' Commentary on St. Paul's Epistles,' is 
not only an admirable specimen of a rational mode of studying and inter- 
preting scripture, but explains upon Unitarian principles, almost all the 
passages that come in his way, which have usually been considered as 
having any reference to the doctrine of the Trinity. It may be proper here 
to remark, that it was in the Academies of the Dissenters, that the study 

* See the interesting account of this affair by the defendant himself, as published by 
Dr. Priestley. Rutt's Priestley, ii. Wl. 


of Locke's philosopby first constituted a part of liberal education, and that 
the Presbyterian theologians of the next age, Peirce, Hallet, and Benson, 
were the first to apply his principles of scripture criticism to the remainder 
of St. Paul's Epistles. 

When so many causes were at work, impelling the progress of opinion in 
the same direction, it cannot be much wondered at, that the Presbyterian 
body at the end of the seventeenth and the early part of the eighteenth 
century, exhibited a rapid falling away from the orthodoxy of their fore- 
fathers. ' No persons,' it has been justly observed, ' could be placed in a 
more favourable situation for a free investigation of religious truth, than 
the English Presbyterian ministers. The Clergy of the Church met with 
obstacles to free inquiry from their connexion with the establishment. 
The Independent minister was tied down by the strict discipline of the 
. religious society with which he was connected, consisting of church mem- 
bers united by a common profession of faith, and who could call him before 
them to answer for every apparent deviation from sacred doctrine. The 
Scotch Presbyterian minister, though independent of his congregation, was 
liable to be summoned for heresy, before the Synod and the General 
Assembly. But the English Presbyterian minister had all the indepen- 
dence in his own congregation with regard to his opinions that the Scotch 
minister had in his, and there was no Synod or Assembly in England be- 
fore which he could be legally cited to appear. When Dr. Calamy, in 
1709, happened to be present in the General Assembly at Edinburgh when 
they were trying a minister for heresy, the Moderator asked him what he 
thought of their proceedings, ' I frankly answered him,' says he, 'that we in 
Eno-land should reckon this way of proceeding the Inquisition revived.' 
Can we wonder then, that many of the Presbyterian ministers, as well as many 
of the more wealthy and intelligent part of their congregations, should 
imbibe what may be called the spirit of the times, and by pursuing their 
researches be led to favour the Arian schemes, which after existing among 
them secretly and partially for a time, at length broke out in a more open 
and avowed profession."* 

The influence of these causes would, doubtless, be more powerful on tiie 
more liberal and enquiring of the ministers, than on the bulk of their con- 
gregations, on account of their greater familiarity with such studies, and 

* Prevalence of Arianism among the Englisli Presbyterians in the early part of the 
last Century. By the Rev. James Krooks, p. 8. 


the means and qualifications they possessed for pursuing their researchei*. 
Such men, when left so much at liberty as tliey were, must of necessity be 
in general in advance of the age in which they live. It is in this manner 
that the early progress of change in the opinions of large bodies always first 
displays itself; long after ' new notions' have made their way and taken 
deep root among the more cultivated and enlightened, the mass of the 
people, including the uneducated, and those who most commonly take their 
opinions upon trust, in reliance on the authority of their elders, adhere 
to the tenets in which they have been brought up. Of these, some would 
follow at a distance, and by slow degrees, in the steps of change ; while 
others would pass off in the course of nature, and give place to a rising 
generation more susceptible of new impressions. Many, no doubt, were 
startled and offended at the vmwonted language and sentiments which began 
to prevail around them ; an outcry would be raised, disputes and contro- 
versies would arise, which terminated in different ways according to the 
varying proportions in which the elements of change had been introduced. 
Where the ' movement party' (to adopt a modern phrase) were the strongest 
in numbers or in influence, the ' conservatives' quietly seceded, and either 
joined other societies, or formed new ones of their own ; — in other cases an 
opposite result took place, as at Exeter, where the anti-trinitarian minority 
retired and maintained a separate existence, until in process of time the 
descendants of the orthodox majority followed a similar course, and the two 
societies were re-united. 

It would be impossible, in our limited space, to enter at length into the 
details of this gradual transition, as it was variously modified by peculiar 
circumstances in every different case ; but it may not be uninteresting to 
trace the steps of the progress in a few of the more remarkable and promi- 
nent instances, which may serve, at the same time, to illustrate the charac- 
ter of some of the eminent individuals who m'arshalled the way in this 
path, whether they followed it to its ultimate results or not. 


The congregation whose representatives now assemble in Hanover Square 
Chapel, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was originally gathered by the Rev. W. 
Durant, ejected from the lectureship of All Saints, in that town, by the Act 
of Uniformity. It was afterwards for many years, both before and after the 
Toleration Act, under the ministry of Dr. Gilpin, ejected from the rectory 
of Grcys(ock,in Cumberland, who had refused the bishopric of Carlisle at 


the Restoration, and was a man of high reputation and distinction in his day. 
He was succeeded early in the ensuing century by Mr. Benjamin Bennet, 
a man well known to the religious world as a learned, judicious, and pious 
writer. Both from his personal character, and his station as minister of 
one of the most considerable dissenting congregations in the north of 
England, Mr. Bennet possessed great weight and influence, and appears, on 
the whole, to have been a favourable specimen of the general character of 
the more liberal Presbyterian ministers of that age. It is doubtful whether 
any evidence can be collected from his writings which would justify us in 
claiming him as an anti-trinitarian of any grade ; but still, whatever exists 
there of a contrary tendency, appears to be almost studiously expressed in 
terms in which many Unitarians might concur, and was consequently far 
from being satisfactory to the more rigid and exclusive party. He was 
however a warm advocate of religious liberty in its largest extent, and at 
the time of the celebrated Salter's Hall controversy, zealously abetted the 
cause of the non-subscribers, with some of whose leaders he was personally 
connected. There is reason to think, that from an early period, the bulk 
of the congregation largely partook in the liberal views of their minister ; 
for in the year 1706, divisions took place, and a minority seceded, appa- 
rently on these grounds, under the auspices of Mr. Thomas Bradbury, 
afterwards well known as one of the most active leaders of the intolerant 
party in London. After Mr. Bennet, who died in 1726, Dr. Laurence, and 
Mr. Richard Rogerson, were successively ministers ; both of these gentle- 
men are believed to have been Arians : the former certainly so ; the latter 
most probably, though no distinct memorial of his opinions, or preaching, 
is preserved ; but his brother, Mr. Josiah Rogerson, of Derby, who was a 
minister of great abihties and influence, particularly distinguished himself 
as a promoter of liberal views among the Presbyterians in that part of 

Mr. Rogerson's assistant and successor was the Rev. Samuel Lowthion, 
a man ^of like opinions, but superior in reputation and abilities. "He was 
educated at the academy of Dr. C. Rotheram, of Kendal, an institution to 
which the dissenters of that age were indebted for some of their most respecta- 
ble and learned ministers. Mr. Lowthion's pulpit talents were very striking ; 
his mode of conducting the public devotions of the congregation was 
uncommonly fervent, serious, and impressive ; his discourses were judicious, 
and highly animated. Superior to the fear of man, he followed truth where- 

IN i.NULAND. 103 

ever she led him, and communicated the result of his inquiries into the 
doctrines, duties and prospects held forth in the scriptures, without con- 
cealment or disguise, to a people who he was happy to know did by no 
means grudge him the liberty he assumed, but freely heard what he freely 
declared, even though they might not always go along with him in the 
deductions to which his researches led him ; allowing to their minister the 
full exercise of that right which they claimed for themselves, of examining 
and judging in matters of religion every one for himself. To this liberal 
conduct on the part of his own congregation, he records his grateful testi- 
mony, in the dedication to a funeral sermon on the death of his colleague, 
Mr. Rogerson, in 1760; and earnestly recJommends it to both ministers 
and people in general, in an admirable sermon, preached at Kendal, at the 
ordination of the Rev. Caleb Rotheram, his tutor's son, and successor in 
that place.'* 

Mr. Lowthion died in 1780. His immediate successor was Dr. Hood, 
of Brampton, who, however, survived his removal to Newcastle only about 
two years. On his decease, the Rev. W. Turner was invited to succeed 
him, and remained minister of the congregation for the long period of fifty 
nine years, resigning his charge on the completion of the eightieth year of 
his age, in Sept. 1841. Under his ministry, the same principles which have 
been already indicated as influencing his predecessors, were uniformly 
adhered to. It is not improbable that the congregation are now more unan- 
imous in their doctrinal views, and are advanced one step further in their 
deviation from trinitarian orthodoxy, than were many of their fathers in 
1782 ; but the leading principle which binds them together as members of 
a religious society remains unchanged ; namely, the right of individual 
judgment in matters of religion. 

* See 'A Short Sketch of the History of Protestant Nonconformity, and of the 
Society assembling in Hanover Square, Newcastle,' 1811. The members of this Society 
as the writer of this sketch justly observes, desire to be considered as a voluntary associ- 
ation, not of Episcopalians, Presbyterians or Independents, with respect to discipline ; 
not of Calvinists or Arminians, Trinitarians or Unitarians, Baptists or Pcedobaptists, witli 
respect to doctrine, but of Individual Christians ; each one professing Christianity for 
himself, according to his own views, formed upon a mature consideration of the Scrip- 
tures, and acknowledging the minister's right to do the same : and necessarily united in 
nothing but a desire to worship the supreme Lord of all as the disciples o;' one common 
Master; and also in a desire to keep 'the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace,' rather 
than the unity of faith in the bond of ignorance. 


Like all other religious societies, it has of course been a fluctuating body » 
many families having quitted it from time to time, whose places have been 
supplied by others ; but it has still maintained, throughout, a continuous 
existence. One change is indeed observable, that the families of consequence 
who once belonged to it, have mostly withdrawn, one after another, to the 
Established Church; while the new accessions, though more numerous, 
have been chiefly of an inferior grade, both in property and station. In 
this respect it would seem to be a type of dissenting, and especially of Uni- 
tarian, congregations in general. The aristocratical element of society has 
been leaving us, and is likely to do so. The change may be regretted, 
when it is considered in connexion with some of the causes which have led 
to it ; but by no means to the same extent, when considered in reference 
to its effects on the prosperity of the denomination, — on the amount of its 
available resources for any valuable object connected with religious or 
social improvement, or on the average moral and intellectual character of 
its members. Time has been, when it was commonly aflBrmed that Unita- 
rianism, however it might suit the higher and more educated classes, was 
not a religion for the poor. But this prejudice is fast wearing away ; it is 
proved to be erroneous, not only by the numerous additions from among 
the poor to our older congregatins, but by the formation of new ones almost 
exclusively composed of the lower and middleclasses. It is satisfactory to 
observe, that the change ha3 been contemporaneous Avith the increasing 
spread of education and intelligence in the lower classes of the community, 
and we entertain a confident persuasion, that as society continues to improve 
in these most important points, an increasing proportion of these classes will 
not only possess the power to inquire, and flunk, and judge for themselves, 
but will be inspired with the disposition to exercise this power, in searching 
out the most important and necessary of all knowledge, and in applying it 
as the most effective instrument of human improvement and happiness. 

Mr. Turner was succeeded by the Rev. Joseph Mac Alister, who had 
been the assistant minister since 1837. On his retirement in 1844, the con- 
gregation invited the Rev. George Harris, whose name for many years 
has been so intimately and honourably connected with the cause of Unita- 
rianims in Scotland. 

IN KNOI.AND. 10.') 


This town seems to have been the place of refuge of many of the ejected 
ministers ; and under the auspices of one of them, the Rev. W. Turton, 
tyected from Rowley Regis, in Staffordshire, the first Presbyterian congre- 
gation was gathered in 1686. Another society was formed in 1692, which 
removed to a larger and more commodious place of worship, in 1730. 
At this time, the two places were called the Old and New Meetings ; which 
names have been retained ever since, though both w^ere destroyed in 1791, 
and subsequently rebuilt. In the early part of the last century, down to 
the year 1 730, nothing seems to be on record as to the particular doctrines 
either professed by the congregations, or inculcated by the ministers ; none 
of whom, as far as the present writer is aware, were much known to the 
pubhc, or have left behind them any authentic statement of their theologi- 
cal views. But in the New Meeting Society, at least, there is little room 
for doubt that a silent and gradual change had been going on for a consider- 
able time previously to the erection of the new chapel. The building, it ap- 
pears, was opened and formally dedicated, by Mr, Samuel Bourn, then of 
Chorley, in Lancashire ; who was immediately afterwards invited to become 
one of the ministers. Now it is well ascertained that Mr. Bourn had adopted 
Arian principles in consequence of the study of Clarke's writings many years 
before this time ; and though he had not yet published any thing which 
enables us at this distance of time to ascertain the fact, what we know of 
his general character renders it almost certain, that a man so remarkable 
for straitforward openness and boldness of expression, would not allow his 
opinions to remain a secret from any timid dread of unpopularity, or cau- 
tious suggestions of expediency. It is reasonable therefore to believe, that 
the congregation gave, and the other minister, Mr. Pickard, concurred in 
the invitation, with a full knowledge that he was a man who would be 
deterred by no such considerations from unfolding to them, without reserve, 
what he believed to be the whole counsel of God. Certainly, he was not 
so deterred when he came to settle among them ; and as he was particularly 
attentive to the religious instruction of the younger members of his flock, 
for whose use he prepared several catechisms, and other useful works of a 
practical and doctrinal tendency, he probably exercised no trifling influence 
in forming the character for which this society was distinguished at a later 
period, according to the testimony of Dr. Priestley, as the most liberal in 


England. Mr. Bourn's influence, not only with his own flock, but in the 
other Presbyterian congregations of the neighbourhood, and particularly 
among his brother ministers, appears to have been very considerable, and 
was well adapted to accelerate their progress in the gradual change which 
most of them w^ere at that time passing through. This arose mainly from 
the activity and energy of his mind, from his downright honesty, going 
straight to his purpose without fearing the face of man, and from his fer- 
vent habitual devotion, which made everything else subservient to the cul- 
tivation and diffusion of practical religion. These qualities of his mind and 
heart, doubtless, greatly aided him in drawing the favourable attention of 
his hearers to those points of doctrine in respect of which he differed from 
the majority of professing christians. 

On the retirement of Mr. Pickard, in 1747, Mr. Bourn received for a 
colleague the Rev. Samuel Blyth, and in 1754 was himself succeeded by 
the Rev. W. Hawkes. These gentlemen did not appear much before the 
public, but are well understood to have been men of superior abilities, 
partaking of the same liberal principles and views, well fitted to follow 
up the impulse which had been given, and to carry forward the next genera- 
tion in the same track with their predecessors. In 1780, Mr. Hawkes 
was succeeded by Dr. Priestley ; of whom it is minecessary to say more 
than that to his other services in the cause of what he deemed Christian 
truth, he added the assiduous earnestness of a diligent minister of the gos- 
pel. In what manner his connexion with Birmingham was terminated, is 
too well known to every one ; it is sufficient to observe here, that the excesses 
of that agitated period produced no permanent ill effect on the prosperity 
or general character of the congregation which had enjoyed the benefit of 
his ministrations. Having continued from that time to the present under 
the charge of a succession of men whose praise is in all the churches, it may 
be presumed that they have gone on with undiminished zeal and success 
in the course which their forefathers had trod before them. 

The Old Meeting has experienced a series of changes not very dissimilar 
to the New, and has arrived, it is believed, at nearly the same results ; 
but the steps of the transition are not so easily traced. The first 
minister of this congregation who can be distinctly ascertained to have 
been an anti-trinitarian, was the Rev. Joseph Wilkinson, who was 
educated under Doddridge, and became minister of this congre- 
gation in 17'3I), in which oflicc he remained till the year I75ti, when he 


retired, from ill health, and engaged in commercial persuits. In both 
capacities he appears to have been very highly and deservedly respected ; 
but he never published anything from which we might now form a judgment 
of his opinions. From a communication, however, with which I have been 
favoured by his descendant, the Rev. R. Astley, of Shrewsbury, I learn that 
lie is believed to have been what is called a low Arian during his ministry, 
and afterwards to have become a strict humanitarian. He retained his con- 
nexion with the place of which he had been the minister, and always main- 
tained an intimate intercourse both with his successors and the ministers 
of the other congregation. He was succeeded by the Rev. Samuel Clark, 
a favourite pupil of Doddridge, and his assistant towards the close of his 
life, both in the academy and the pulpit; and there is reason to believe that 
he would not have objected to him as his successor in both capacities, not- 
withstanding his falling very considerably short, even of his own moderately 
orthodox standard. But his church thought differently ; and fixed upon a 
successor of much more rigid theological views. This led to the removal 
of the academy from Northampton to Daventry, where Mr. Clark continued 
for some years to have a share in its management, till in 1757 he became 
minister of the Old Meeting congregation at Birmingham. Here he re- 
mained for twelve years a highly respectable and useful minister. He was 
succeeded by the Rev. Radcliffe Scholefield, a fellow student of Dr. Priestley, 
and one of those whom he mentions among his most intimate friends and 
associates at that period. When he afterwards came to reside at Birming- 
ham, he attended on Mr. Scholefield's ministry till he was himself inVited 
to succeed Mr. Hawkes at the New Meeting. At the riots in 1791 both 
meeting houses-were destroyed by the mob ; and on the first assembling of 
the two congregations after that lamentable event, Mr. Scholefield preached 
an excellent sermon on the Christian duty of love to enemies, which does 
equal honour to his christian principles and his abilities as a preacher. 
Shortly after Mr. Scholefield's retirement from the ministry, in 1 799, the 
Rev. R. Kell was invited, with whom were associated for short periods, 
from 1817 to 1821, the Rev. John Corrie and the Rev. S. W. Browne. 
In 1822 Mr. Kell was succeeded by the Rev. Hugh Hutton, who remains 
the sole pastor. 

Both these societies have valuable institutions attached to them, ministering 
to their efficiency and usefulness as religious communities ; such as schools, 
libraries, fellowship funds, &c. The Sunday-schools in particular are on a 


very large scale, and well managed. Domestic missions have recently been 
established in connexion with each congregation, of which an account is 
given in another part of this volume.* 


The history of the congregation now assembling in George's Meeting, 
Exeter, is deserving of particular notice, from its connexion with a remark- 
able controversy which agitated the dissenting churches in the early part 
of the last century on the subject of subscription to human creeds. Subse- 
quently to the Toleration Act, the Dissenters of Exeter appear to have been 
numerovis and powerful ; and the Presbyterians alone fovmded three con- 
gregations, which were served in rotation by four ministers. In the year 
1713, the Rev. James Peirce (since well-known for his learned and valu- 
able commentary on some of St. Paul's Epistles) became one of these four 
associated ministers. He, it appears, had already been led to surrender 
much of the oi-thodoxy in which he had been brought up, by studying the 
writings of Clarke and Whiston ; and though it is admitted that this was 
far from being the case with a large majority of the congregation, there 
is good reason to believe that several, and those the most disposed to read 
and speculate on such subjects, had already partaken to a considerable ex- 
tent of a similar change. The same was certainly true of at least one of 
his colleagues, Mr. Hallet, and of a large portion of the students who were 
in training for the ministry at a seminary under his direction, some of whom 
afterwards became conspicuous among the leading liberal divines of the 
next age. These circumstances, doubtless, added not a little to the heat 
and bitterness of the disputes which soon afterwards arose. 

We have not space here to enter into all the particulars of the unpleasant 
disputes and quarrels which ensued ; and which are chiefly deserving of 
notice as having given rise to the celebrated Salter's Hall controversy ; an 
application having been made to the general body of dissenting ministers 
in London, who drew up a series of 'Advices for Peace', in the event of 
differences of opinion arising between minister and people, or between 
different parties of a congregation. In these advices, a powerful party pro- 
posed to include a declaration of adherence to the doctrine of the Trinity, 

* See a sketch of the History of rrotestant Nonconformity in Birmingham, by the 
Rev. John RL'yncU Wreford, F.S.A. 


as expressed in the first article of the Church of England. On this a vehe- 
ment controversy arose not only on the general question of subscription, but 
on this particular doctrine, and a multitude of pamphlets appeared on both 
sides. Ultimately the non-subscribing party carried it by four ; but as the 
Independents voted unanimously for subscription, the majority on the op- 
posite side among the Presbyterians must have been much more consi- 

At Exeter, these divisions led to a final separation of the heterodox 
minority, amounting to about three hundred in number, who founded a 
new church under the ministry of Messrs. Peirce and Hallet, This con- 
gregation maintained a distinct existence down to the year 1810 ; when the 
two societies finding that there was no longer any material difl'erence be- 
tween them on doctrinal points, again united* The orthodox majority, 
many of whom in the course of these disputes had manifested not only hicrh 
Calvinism but a violent and bigoted spirit, retained possession of the ori- 
ginal places of worship. In the lapse of years, however, from the operation 
of various causes, they gradually relaxed from the rigour of their early creed ; 
or rather, perhaps, it may have been, that one generation had passed away, 
and another had succeeded, less under the influence of strong prejudice, 
and more disposed to listen and examine. Hence, in 1749, Mr. Micaiah 
Towgood, the celebrated author of the 'Dissenting Gentleman's Letters,' 
though well known to be an Arian, of probably a lower school than that of 
Mr. Peirce, was invited to be their minister ; in which office he continued 
for more than thirty years, till in 1782, the infirmities of advanced age led 
him to resign it. During this period, the process of change had continued 
in the same direction : till, on Mr. Towgood's retirement, it appears that the 
descendants of the congregation which had ejected the Arian Peirce, would 
gladly have obtained the services of the still more obnoxious Priestley.* 

The Rev. James Manning, who had been for some years Mr. Towgood's 
colleague, was a man of similiar views and spirit ; and with him was 
associated in 1784, the Ptev. Timothy Kenrick. This eminent person was 
educated at Daventry, under Dr. Ashworth and Mr. Robins. His orio-j- 
nal sentiments had been Calvinistic ; and are said to have been accompanied 
with a considerable portion of that gloom which seems to be the natural 

* See a letter from Dr. Priestley to Mr. Bretland, inserted in Rutt's Life of I'rlestlev, 
■ vol. i. page 319. 


effect of such sentiments on a conscientious and deeply reflecting mind. But 
a more careful and repeated study of the scriptures led him by degrees to 
reject the principles from which such consequences were deducible, and at 
the time of his settlement at Exeter, it would appear that his opinions 
nearly coincided with the A rianism of Whiston and Clarke. But he was 
not a man to ' make up his mind' to any conclusions, in such a sense as 
to preclude all further investigation, which he pursued with great diligence 
in concert with his friend Mr, Belsham, at that time Theological Tutor at 
Daventry, and, like him, was led by degrees to the firm conviction that 
Jesus was simply as he is described by St. Peter ' a man approved of God 
by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him.' He also 
embraced very decidedly the philosophical principles, which rendered him 
from this time one of the most zealous members of what has since been 
called by some ' the Priestley and Belsham school' of Unitarian divines. 
The influence of these principles would appear to have strongly character- 
ized his public services, if we may judge from some of the discourses 
included in the posthvimous publication of his Sermons ; particularly those 
on the State of the Dead, on Gospel Motives, and on the Moral Sense. 

In 1791, Mr. Kenrick was mainly instrumental in establishing the 
western Unitarian Society, of which we shall give a more particular account 
elsewhere. It is a somewhat remarkable fact, illustrative of the inconsis- 
tencies of which honest and well-meaning men are sometimes guilty, that 
at the first Anniversary meeting of this Society, which was held at Exeter, 
in 1794, the Trustees of George's Meeting actually refused Mr. Kenrick 
the use of his own chapel for the purpose. They were probably induced 
to this step, rather by a sudden access of timidity occasioned by the 
political agitations of the time, than by any habitual jealousy of Unitari- 
anism ; though it must be remembered, that at that period, and long 
afterwards, the constitution of the Society was so framed as to exclude 
believers in the pre-existence of Christ from being members of it. 

Mr. Kenrick was active and assiduous, not merely as a preacher, but in 
the discharge of all other pastoral duties, and particularly in the religious 
instructions of the young. On this subject he published, in 1788, a 
valuable discourse, entitled ' An inquiry into the best method of communi- 
cating Religious Knowledge to Young Men ;' the suggestions contained 
in which he afterwards carried into effect with great success. 

Mr. Kenrick died in 1804; since which time, under the successive 

IN ENCLAM). 1 1 1 

ministrations of Carpenter, Hincks, a^id Acton, men of whom the least that 
an be said is, that upon them the mantle of their predecessors has 
descended not unworthily, it is no matter of surprise that the Society 
assembling in George's Meeting, Exeter, has continued to prosper, and to 
exhibit a satisfactory example of the practical efficacy of Unitarian 


A congregation was first gathered, and a chapel erected in this locality, in 
1672, under the protection of the temporary indulgence granted by Charles 
II. The building was destroyed by a Jacobite mob in the rebellion of 1715, 
after which a Parliamentary grant was obtained for the erection of the 
present chapel. The first minister was the Rev. H. Newcome, ejected 
from the collegiate church of that town. He was a man of considerable 
eminence in his day, and took part on the orthodox side, in the trinitarian 
controversy so warmly agitated in the last decade of the 1 7th century. He 
died in 1095. He was succeeded by Mr. John Chorlton, to whom Mr. James 
Coningham was associated as assistant and colleague in 1700. These o-en- 
tlemen were also connected in the conduct of an academy, for the education 
of ministers in the Presbyterian denomination. Of their religious opinions 
no record is extant ; but the probability is, that they were moderately 
orthodox. Mr. Coningham removed to London in 1712, in consequence, 
it would appear, of divisions and disorders among his people at JVIanchester. 
Whether these arose from doctrinal differences, I have not been able to 
ascertain, but it is not improbable. 

The first minister of this congregation who is known to have professed 
Arianism, was Mr. Joseph Mottershead, who settled here in 1717, and con- 
tinued till the year 1771, when he died at the advanced age of 88. 
"Whether he had embraced Arianism at the time of his settlement in 
Manchester, cannot be ascertained; but in 1738, we find his name attached 
to a recommendatory preface to Mr. Bourn's Lectures to Children and 
Young People, along with those of Mr. Rogerson, of Derby, Mr. Grove 
and Dr. Amory, of Taunton, and Doctors Chandler and Benson, of London • 
all eminent leaders of the liberal party : a proof at once of his deviation 
from orthodoxy, and of his high reputation among his brethren. About this 
time he received as his colleague Mr. John Seddon, who afterwards became 


his son-in-law.* In 17G1 Mr. Seddon preached a series of discourses 
on the Person of Clirist, in whicli a belief in his strictly human nature was 
openly avowed,'for the first time, perhaps, among the Presbyterians of Lan- 
cashire. He states that he is fully aware that the greater part of his con- 
gregation are of a different opinion ; but he remimds them in his 
introduction of the liberal principles on which their union as a religions 
society was founded. 'It is your glory to be able to hear opinions which 
have long prevailed called in question, and to give up such as, upon exami- 
nation, appear to be groundless and indefensible.' Some members of the 
congregation applied, it is said, to Mr. Mottershead to argue the matter 
with him ; on which Mr. Mottershead did so, and returned with the frank 
acknowledgement that he had not only not succeeded in convincing his son- 
in-law of his error, but had been almost convinced by him that he was right. 
A remarkable instance of candour and liberality at a very advanced age. 

Dr. Priestley, who was at this time one of the tutors at Warrington, 
speaks of Mr. Seddon as being the only ' Socinian' in the neighbourhood, 

* The state of opinions among the Manchester Dissenters about this period may be 
illustrated by the following extract of a letter from Dr. Hibbert Ware, author of a 
History of the Manchester Collegiate Church, to the Rev. W. Gaskell, and by him 
kindly communicated to the present writer. ' During a warm political and religious 
controversy in the year 1748, between Dr. Deacon, a famous Jacobite and Non-juror, 
with the Whig and Presbyterian party of Manchester, the Chester Courant asserted 
that it would be more for the honoiiv of the Manchester Church of England clergy to 
be the friends and familiars of Dr. Deacon, than it would be to converse with Calvinistical 
Dissenters.' In reply to this ohservation, the Rev. Mr. Owen, a Dissenting minister 
at Rochdale, in a pamphlet written by him against Dr. Deacon, remarks, ' As to the 
Calvinistical Dissenters, 'tis presumed there are not many at Manchester, perhaps none, 
that affect to distinguish themselves by that name.' Mr. Owen then proceeds to com- 
pliment the Dissenters of Manchester, by stating that ' he does not know a society in 
any communion that entertains more rational and consistent notions of religion, virtue, 
and government.' See a pamphlet (p. 7) entitled, ' Dr. Deacon try'd before his own 
Tribunal,' by J. Owcu, Manchester, 1748. 

These remarks doubtless apply chiefly, if not exclusively, to the Presbyterian congre- 
gation at that time assembling in Cross-street Chapel. Then there could have been 
few Independents, or perhaps none, in Manchester, or it could not have been said that 
there were no Dissenters there who affected to call themselves Calvinists. As for the 
numerous body of Dissenters in that town now called Independents, they, it is believed, 
are entirely a new sect, having no historical connexion whatsoever with the party so 
denominated in the first age of English Nonconformitv. 


ami adds, ' we all wondered at him,' There is reason to think that all, 
or nearly all, the parties to whom he here refers, saw reason, not long 
afterwards, to change their views on this question. 

Mr. Mottershead contributed to the first volume of the Theological 
Repository an Essay on the Sacrifice of Christ, which, at the same time 
that he uses, in a modified sense, the terms atonement and sacrifice, 
utterly disclaims the prevalent notion of this sacrifice being necessary to 
appease the wrath of God, or reconcile him to his sinful, but penitent, 
children. In short, there is very little difference, except in the use of one 
or two ambiguous expressions, between his doctrine and that most com- 
monly received by Unitarians at present. At the death of Mr. Mottershead, 
Mr. Robert Gore was chosen minister, who was succeeded in 1779 by 
Mr., afterwards Dr. Barnes. Both these gentlemen were highly popular 
preachers, and are understood to have embraced the same Arian doctrine 
and modified notions of the atonement, with their predecessor. Mr. Har- 
rison, the colleague of both, was a humanitarian ; and by this time similar 
views were becoming more and more prevalent in the congregation. 
Under the subsequent ministry of Mr. Grundy, and of Messrs. Robberds 
and Gaskell, the present ministers, these opinions are probably almost 
universal. The average number of stated attendants is about GOO. 

The examples which have now been given of the history of particular 
congregations among the old Presbyterian Dissenters, will, perhaps, be suffi- 
cient to illustrate the mode of operation of the general causes which we have 
endeavoured to trace. Though taken from distant parts of the country, it 
will be seen that, making allowance for peculiar and accidental circum- 
stances, they exhibit a very close analogy ; and the same analogy would be 
observable in almost every other which might have been adduced. It will 
have been perceived, that the early profession of Anti-trinitarianism, was 
materially influenced by the writings and high reputation of Clarke and 
Whiston, to which might be added those of Emlyn and Peirce. To this 
influence it was probably, in a great measure, owing, that most of the liberal 
divines among the Dissenters of that period embraced Arian opinions ; 
which became, in fact, almost universally prevalent among the English 
Presbyterians before the middle of the eighteenth century. Very few 
individuals, and perhaps no congregations at that period, receded further 
than this from the orthodoxy of the day. Dr. Lardner, indeed, so early 



as 1730, wrote his celebrated letter on the Lof^os ; but it was not published 
till nearly thirty years afterwards, and then without his name. He had, 
however, before this time, in 1747, given from the pulpit a statement of 
what he calls the Nazarean doctrine, in four discourses on Philippians ii, 5 — 9, 
where he reviews the various doctrines on the person of Christ, in terms 
which leave no doubt where his own preference lay. About the same 
period, Dr. C. Fleming expressed the same opinions, in a series of Lectures 
on tlie introduction to St. John's Gospel. He expected, he tells us, that 
the avowal would lead to a secession of some members of his congregation, 
which does not, however, seem to have taken place. In 1756, appeared a 
posthumous volume, by the Rev. Moses Lowman, one of the most learned 
divines among the Presbyterian Dissenters of that day, in which he shows 
at large, that the divine appearances under the Old Testament were 
appearances of the true God himself, and not as the Arians supposed, of a 
subordinate being acting in his name. 

It seems to have been the publications of Lardner and of Lowman on the 
Logos, which led Dr. Priestley, and several of his friends about the same 
period (1767), to abandon the Arian opinions they had hitherto professed. 
Hence the Arian controversy largely occupied the attention of Unitarian 
writers at this period. At present, it is believed, that there are very few 
congregations remaining in England which continue to be characterized by 
these opinions. 

This result, among others of great interest and importance, was probably 
accelerated by the introduction of another element of progress into the 'religi- 
ous mind' of the age, in the secession of a small but honourable band of Unita- 
rian confessors from the Established Church. Unlike the Latitudinai-ian 
divines who preceded them, they abandoned their stations of usefulness and 
comfort, and some of them flattering prospects of higher preferment and dis- 
tinction, and threw themselves on the world 'not knowing whither they 
went'. In addition to their high-souled Christian principle and integrity, 
many of them were also men of character and reputation for eminent 
talents, and theological learning, abundantly displayed in many valuable 
writings in vindication of the doctrines for which they had sacrificed so much; 
and to these they were enabled to give the additional weight and influence, 
which a literary work must always possess, when we receive it from the hands 
of a man deservedly esteemed not only for talents but for rare and admirable 
virtues. Need we mention such well-known names as Robertson, Lindsey, 

IN SCOTLAND. 1] .", 

Jebb, Disney, Wakefield, Palmer, and others, who, through evil report 
and good report, witnessed a good confession for the sake of Christian truth ! 
It would be superfluous to enlarge on the merits of such men ; but an 
account, however limited, of the rise and progress of Unitarianism in England, 
would be justly deemed imperfect, if honour due were not given to names 
like these. We introduce them here, more particularly with reference to the 
tendency which they certainly promoted of the Presbyterian Dissenters of 
their day, towards the belief in the simple humanity of Jesus Christ ; a 
doctrine which most of them embraced and zealously maintained. 


The history of Presbyterianism in Scotland has been, in many respects, 
nearly the reverse of that which we have had occasion to trace in England. 
In the time of the Commonwealth, there was a close resemblance, if not 
an entire identity, both in doctrine and in ecclesiastical constitution. The 
Presbyterians in both countries were strict Calvinists, and were disposed 
to exercise church authority with a high hand ; the one possessed what 
the other aimed at, a connexion with, and establishment under, the auspices 
of tlie State. Both were subjected to persecution during the inauspicious 
reigns of Charles II. and James II.; but the result, partly owing to the 
sterner and harsher features o the Scottish national character of that period, 
and partly to the stronger hold which the Presbyterian system of church 
government possessed on the affections of the great mass of the people, was 
materially different. The causes already enumerated, which appear to have 
led to a considerable diffusion of the spirit of inquiry in England, had little 
or no influence in Scotland; so that when the change came in 1688, it 
merely produced a reverse in the position of the contending parties — the 
downfall of the Episcopal, and there-installation of the Presbyterian Church, 
in the full possession of its original ecclesiastical powers as a national estab- 
lishment, and with a disposition little softened by the severe discipline it had 
gone through. None of the repeated schisms, which have since taken place 
in the Scottish Church, down to the present time, have had any reference 
to doctrinal differences, unless it be, that the Calvinism of the separatists 
has generally been of a higher and more rigid form than that of the estab- 
lishment. A small, but highly respectable school of liberal divines, existed 
atone time, of which Simpson, Hutcheson, and Leechman, were jointly foun- 
ders, in the University of Glasgow ; but these produced very little per- 


manent efFect on the religious character of the people, and are now, we 
believe, passed away without leaving any successors. The first public 
avowal of Unitarianism in Scotland, was in the formation of a small society 
at Montrose, by Mr. W. Christie, in 1783, and the impression was followed 
up by the Rev. T. F. Palmer, with great zeal, and for a time, with con- 
siderable apparent success. But when he was unhappily separated from 
his flock, as was generally thought by a vigour beyond the law, and exiled 
to the antipodes, it seemed as if the impression which had been made was 
effaced, and that the work was to be renewed from the beginning. This 
was probably not altogether the case ; though the societies which had been 
formed were almost entirely dispersed, yet many scattered individuals 
remained, who afterwards united themselves to the congregations which have 
since been gathered at Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paisley, and other places. A 
renewed impulse was given in 1808 and 1809, by the m.issionary visits of 
Messrs. Wright, Campbell, end Lyons, and the result was the speedy revival 
of permanent societies in Edinburgh and Glasgow, which after assembling in 
obscure and inconvenient places for some years, were at length enabled to 
erect commodious chapels. To these have ever since resorted congregations, 
for the most part numerous and flourishing, though liable, of course, to the 
fluctuations which a new and rising cause, peculiarly exposed to the preju- 
dices and hostility of surrounding parties, must expect often to experience. 
The Chapel in Union Place, Glasgow, was opened Nov. 15, 1812, by 
Mr. James Yates, who preached on the occasion an excellent sermon on 
the ground of Unitarian dissent. The statements contained in this sermon 
were made the basis of a series of lectures by Dr. Wardlaw, on what he 
calls the ' Socinian controversy;' which form certainly one of the most 
eloquent, and perhaps the most able defences of Trinitarian orthodoxy. To 
this Mr. Yates replied, in a ' Vindication of Unitarianism,' which called 
forth a second volume from Dr. Wardlaw, entitled, ' Unitarianism incapable 
of Vindication.' With Mr. Yates's ' Sequel' to his Vindication, the con- 
troversy terminated. It is not for us to pronoimce on its merits ; but we 
think an impartial reader, whatcvei' judgment he may form in other respects, 
will at least admit that in the latter part of the discussion, the Unitarian 
has the advantage in point of temper. Dr. Wardlaw's lectures having 
been originally addressed to a large and crowded audience, are naturally more 
declamatory, and abound in passages addressed with great skill, not so 
much to tlie understandings, as to the feelings and, perhaps .we might say. 


to the passions of his hearers ; while Mr. Yates's reply was prepared imme- 
diately for the press, and is more exclusively critical and argumentative. 
That each party claimed the victory for its own champion, is only in the 
ordinary course of things on such occasions. Mr. Yates was succeeded 
in 1817, by Mr. Mardon, on whose removal to England his place was 
supplied by Mr. Harris, whose talents and zeal rendered him for nearly 
twenty years, a main stay and promoter of the Unitarian cause in Scotland. 
The present minister is the Rev. John Boucher, from the Royal Institution, 
Belfast. — The establishment of the Unitarian congregation at Edinburgh, 
was nearly contemporaneous with that of Glasgow, under the ministration 
of Dr. Southwood Smith, who here published his most interesting and 
valuable ' Illustrations of the Divine Government.' The pulpit has since 
been occupied by Messrs. Holland, Bakewell, Stannus, Maclellan, and 
Harris, who has been succeeded on his recent removal to Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne, by Mr. Shaen, late of Lancaster. Regular congregations have been 
formed at Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley, and Greenock ; in addition to which, 
smaller societies exist in many places, which though as yet unprovided 
either with a meeting-house, or stated minister, are not unmindful of the 
encouraging assurance, ' Wherever two or three are gathered together in 
my name, there am I present in the midst of them.' 


The ejected ministers, those at least who belonged to the Presbyterian 
party, had most of them received a University education ; and reckoned in 
their number not a few of the most eminent men for talents and learninir, 
whom either the English Church, or the age in which they lived, could boast. 
The powerful influence of such men seems to have impressed on the whole 
body a deep and permanent conviction of the paramovmt importance of a 
highly educated ministry ; and when they found themselves excluded from 
the miscalled national seats of learning, they took measures almost from the 
first, even in the period of adversity and persecution, to supply the demand 
for a ministry of this character, by such means as their own resources and 
exertions enabled them to procure. 

The history of the Dissenting academies, commencing with that of 
Frankland, in 1670, and brought down through successive vicissitudes of 
struggle, prosperity, decline, and subsequent revival to the present day, 
might form one of the most interesting chapters in the history, not only of 


religion, but of mental cultivation in general in this country. It might 
serve to illustrate one important and satisfactory truth ; that the chief pur- 
pose of education, considered as an instrument for leading out the mind, for 
developing its powers, and not only preparing it, but furnishing it with the 
means, for active, efficient, and honourable exertion, is not nearly so de- 
pendent as many seem to suppose, on the abundance of external resources. 
In the business of preparation for the Christian ministry, a determined 
purpose, a serious frame of mind, duly impressed in the outset with a suita- 
ble conviction of the excellence and value of its intended office, and ready to 
consider all the acquisitions within its reach, with a reference to this leading 
object, is more likely to ensure success in the midst of a constant struggle 
v.'ith difficulties and privations, than a worldly or indifferent spirit, though 
surrounded with all the appliances and means which the richest establish- 
ments, and most renowned Universities could bestow. Accordingly, though 
it maybe admitted that our most accomplished classical scholars, and many, 
by no means all, of our most profound mathematicians, and men of science, 
have been trained at Oxford and Cambridge, yet, taken as a body, the 
alumni of the Dissenting, and more especially of the Presbyterian academies, 
have not been greatly behind even in these respects, and in such learning 
as is of a properly theological character, in its adaptation to the successful 
study and knowledge of the Scriptures, they have been superior to the 
clergy of the Establishment. Certainly the express provision for theological 
instruction properly so called, in the universities, has often been complained 
of as very meagre and insufficient. "We do not deny that there have been 
Lovvthsand Kennicotts in the various departments of sacred literature, who 
could not be matched among the Dissenters ; but these, it is believed, are 
exceptions to the general rule. As to the moral endowments for the minis- 
terial oflicc, it would be invidious to make a comparison, except in as 
far as these have been derived from the more liberal constitution of the 
Dissenting places of education, from the spirit of free inquiry professed and 
encouraged there, and from the absence of those shackles which are but 
too likely to restrain the theological student from pursuing his researches 
to any conclusions which might interfere with his success in the world. 

A due regard being had to their more limited numbers, it is conceived 
that the Presbyterians can point to more than their share of names, honour- 
ably distinguished in the literary and intellectual history of their country ; 
of men, who have contributed, cither by their writings, or instructions, or 


personal influence, to promote the progress of mental culture, the cause of 
general education, and the diffusion, not only of theological, but of all kinds 
of useful knowledge. The admirable principles of Scripture criticism and 
interpretation, so well exemplified by Mr. Locke, were first successfully 
carried out by Peirce, Hallet, Benson, and Taylor, in their application to 
the remainder of the epistles. And there is reason to think, that the 
example set by these eminent critics, was one of the stimulating causes 
which led, in the latter part of the century, to the extraordinary develop- 
ment of the German theological school. The indefatigable labours of 
Lardner, in ascertaining and stating, in all the fullness of its details, the 
evidence for the credibility of the Gospel History, have been acknowledged 
by later writers of all sects and parties, even by those who held in abhorrence 
his doctrinal creed ; some of whom have affected to wonder, that one who 
had surrendered, as they thought, the citadel of the Gospel, should be so 
earnest and zealous a defender of its outworks. The deistical controversy, 
which was actually carried on in the early part of the last century, by 
Woolston, Tindal, Morgan, Chubb, and Bolingbroke, was maintained 
on the part of revelation, mainly by champions from the anti-trinita- 
rian ranks ; and the replies of Chandler, Foster, Fleming, Benson, and 
Leland, are elaborate and complete. It may be added, that these soldiers 
of Christ, so skilful in the use of their spiritual weapons, were among the 
first to disclaim the use of any others, and to deprecate and protest against 
the interference of the arm of flesh in this holy warfare. Hallet, Chand- 
ler, Lowman, and Taylor, were among the most eminent men of their day 
in biblical, especially in oriental literature. It may be, that the Church 
can bring forward contemporary names which deserve to rank higher than 
these, but they are not many. 

Let it not be supposed, because the course of our argument has led us to 
dwell chiefly on the Unitarian worthies of the olden time, that these men 
had no successors. Confining ourselves to such as filled a considerable 
space in the public eye, successors, by no means inferior either in merit or 
eminence, may be found in such men as Price, Priestley, Kippis, Rees, 
Cappe, Belsham, Cogan, Simpson, Kenrick, Carpenter, &c. 

But little can now be collected of the mode of instruction pursued in the 
earliest of the non-conformist seminaries ; in those, however, which originated 
not later than the beginning of the eighteenth century, it is well ascertained, 
both that the high intellectual standard of the first race- of Presbyterian 


divines was fully maintained, and that the liberal principles which cliarac- 
terized the whole constitution of their body, were carried into full operation. 
That the academies under the conduct of Jones, Warren, Dixon, and 
Hallet, were thus, as we think, honourably distinguished, there is the most 
abundant testimony ; and the same character belongs, perhaps in a still 
greater extent, to their successors. Grove, Latham, and Rotheram. From 
these institutions issued, among many others of a similar spirit and charac- 
ter, though less known tc fame, the men of whom we have already made 
honourable mention ; who acted consistently through life on the principles 
they had imbibed in the course of their education, and by their learning, 
abilities, valuable writings, and high moral and intellectual eminence, 
doubtless exercised a most powerful influence in diffusing the theological 
opinions they had now fully and openly embraced. The principles on which 
these eminent men proceeded, when they engaged actively in the work of 
academical instruction, are well stated in the following impressive charge to 
his pupils, by one of the most distinguished of them. Dr. John Taylor. 

'1. I solemnly charge you, in the name of the God of Truth, and of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, who is the way, and the truth, and the life, and before 
whose judgment seat you must in no long time appear, that in uU your 
studies and enquiries of a rehgious nature, present or future, you do 
constantly, carefully, impartially, and conscientiously, attend to evidence, as 
it lies in the Holy Scriptures, or in the nature of things, and in the dictates 
of reason ; cautiously guarding against the sallies of imagination, and the 
fallacy of ill-grounded conjecture. 

' IL That you admit, embrace, or assent to no principle, by me taught 
or advanced, but only so far as it shall appear to you to be supported and 
justified by proper evidence from revelation, or the reason of things. 

' IlL That if, at any time hereafter, any principle or sentiment by me 
taught or advanced, or by you admitted and embraced, shall, upon impar- 
tial and faitliful examination, appear to you to be dubious or false, you 
cither suspect, or totally reject, such principle or sentiment. 

' IV. That you keep your minds always open to evidence. That you 
labour to banish from your breasts all prc^judicc, prepossession, and party 
zeal. That you study to live in peace and love, with all your fellow- 
Christians, and that you steadily assert for yourselves, and freely allow lo 
others, the unalienable rights of judgment and conscience.' 


The same liberal and enlightened spirit was also manifested, to a great 
extent, in the academy of the excellent and amiable Doddridge, though an 
Independent in connexion, and notwithstanding the efforts repeatedly 
made to induce him to adopt a more rigid plan ; efforts which he always 
steadily resisted. But as a consequence and result of this liberal system, 
it appeared that even the personal influence and moderate orthodoxy of the 
readier did not prevent a large portion of the pupils from adopting anti- 
trinitarian views, of which some of the most distinguished advocates in the 
succeeding generation were trained in this institution. Of this class were 
Clark, Kippis, Holland, Bolton, Farmer, Cappe, and many others. In this 
respect the character of this institution descended to its successor at Daven- 
try, and a similar consequence ensued, to perhaps a still greater extent. 
On the other hand. Dr. Priestley (who was brought up among the Inde- 
pendents, (hough he afterwards joined the Presbyterians,) tells us, that at 
the academy at Mile-End, to which his friends were at first desirous to 
send him, every student was not only required to subscribe his assent to 
ten articles of the strictest Calvinism, but to repeat his subscription every 
six months. 

We have already spoken of the academy under the management of Mr. 
llallet, of Exeter, in the early part of the last century. A similar institu- 
tion was set on foot in the same city, about the year 1760, and carried on 
for several years, with considerable reputation, by Mr. Towgood and Mr. 
Merivale, the friend and correspondent of Lardner. On the death of Mr. 
M. in 1771, it was discontinued ; but was revived in 1799, by Mr. Kenrick, 
assisted by Mr. Bretland, as mathematical tutor. This was strictly a 
domestic institution, and was chiefly confined to the limited number whom 
Mr. Kenrick could receive into his own house. The lamented and, in our 
view of things, premature decease of its excellent conductor, in 1804, 
brought this undertaking to a close ; but in that short time several were 
wholly or partially prepared for eminent stations, which they have since 
occupied in our churches. The Library belonging to this institution was 
transferred by its trustees to York, and still forms a part of the veiy 
valuable library of the Manchester New College, 

The earlier Dissenting academies were chiefly private establishments, con- 
ducted by a particular individual, and depending on the continuance of his 
life and health. An attempt was made to give a more public character and 
permanent form to the academy established at Warrington, in 1757. This 


institution was supported mainly by the annual subscriptions of the more 
opulent members of Presbyterian congregations, chiefly in the north of 
England, and its management was entrusted to a Committee of the sub- 
scribers. Under their auspices, several of the most eminent men of whom 
the connexion could boast, were successively entrusted with the different 
departments of instruction, and the course was adapted not merely for train- 
ing ministers, but to afford a liberal education to young men destined for 
other professions, and for the various occupations of active life. The names 
of Taylor, Aikin, Priestley, Enfield, Walker, and Wakefield, gave a deserved 
celebrity to this institution, and for the greater part of its brief term of 
twenty-five years it was apparently in a flourishing and prosperous state, 
so that its more sanguine friends might, perhaps, anticipate a lengthened 
period as likely to ensue, in which the lively picture of its distinguished 
poetess would continue to be applicable : 

Mark where its simple front yon mansion rears, 
The nursery of men for future years ; 
Here callow chiefs, and embryo statesmen lie, 
And unfledged poets short excursions try ; 
While Mersey's gentle current, which too long 
By fame neglected, and unknown to song. 
Between his rushy banks, no poet's theme, 
Had crept inglorious, like a vulgar stream. 
Reflects the rising seats with conscious pride, 
And dares to emulate a classic tide. 

Mrs. Barbauld. 

But the inherent and radical defects of its constitution were such as to 
render its decline and fall almost inevitable ; and, in fact, it can rarely be 
expected that any seminary, depending for its reputation mainly on the 
personal character of its principal conductors, and for its pecuniary support 
on the contributions of a scattered and fluctuating body of annual sub- 
scribers, should long maintain its existence, after its original projectors and 
supporters are called away.* In 1783, it was accordingly found necessary 
to discontinue it ; but after a short interval, two other institutions arose 
to supply its place, one at Hackney, the other at Manchester. The former 

♦ For a detailed and very interesting accoimt of this Institution, see a series of papers 
under the signature V. F., in the Monthly Repository, vol. viii. 


of these was set on loot under auspices apparently the most favourable, both 
in respect of pecuniary resources, and the combination of eminence and 
ability which was collected together in its administration. Various causes, 
however, partly growing out of the mismanagement of its financial con- 
cerns, — partly owing to the political excitements and exasperations of the 
day, and partly, as some appear to have thought, to the unsuitableness of 
a locality near the metropolis to the calm retirement of a studious life, 
rendered its prosperity short-lived ; and after a feverish existence of about 
eight years, the institution was dissolved.* 

The College at Manchester was destined to a longer continuance. The 
theological department was placed successively under the direction of 
Dr. Barnes, one of the ministers of Cross Street Chapel, in Manchester, 
and of Mr. G. Walker, who had for a short time occupied the mathematical 
chair at Warrington, and who now removed, at an advanced period of life, 
from Nottingham, where he occupied one of the most eligible stations 
among the Dissenters, to enter on this new and arduous duty.-j- 

Another gentleman, of high distinction in the scientific world, 
Mr., afterwards Dr. Dalton, for some years undertook the compara- 
tively humble duty of mathematical tutor in the Manchester College. 
But on his retirement, owing to a deficiency in the funds of the 

* For some judicious remarks on the causes of the failure of this apparently promising 
scheme, see Belsham's Memoirs of Lindsey, p. 281 — -i. 

f Of this eminent person, we cannot resist the temptation to insert the following 
eloquent, hut just portraiture, from the pen of Mr. Gilbert Wakefield. Memoirs, p. 227. 

' This Gentleman, take him for all in all, possesses the greatest variety of know- 
ledge with the most masculine imderstanding of any man I ever knew. He is, in parti- 
cular, a mathematician of singular accomplishment. His " Treatise on the Spheres" long 
since published, and one upon the Conic Sections, are the vouchers of my assertion. 
His two volumes of Sermons are pregnant with the celestial fire of genius, and the vigour 
of noble sentiments. * * * But these qualifications, great and estimable as they are, 
constitute but a mean portion of his praise. Art thou looking, reader, like iEsop in the 
fable, for a Man ? Dost thou want an intrepid spirit in the cause of truth, liberty, and 
virtue, — an undeviating rectitude of action — a boundless hospitality — a mind superior to 
every sensation of malice and resentment — a breast susceptible of the truest friendship 
and overflowing with the milk of human kindness — an ardour, an enthusiasm in lauda- 
ble pursuits, characteristic of magnanimity — an unwearied assiduity, even to his own 
hindrance in public services ? My experience can assure thee, that thy pursuit may 
cease, thy doubts be banished, and thy hope realized ; for this is the man.' 


institution, the whole charge of every department was for a time most 
unreasonably thrown on the shoulders of Mr. Walker. What man could 
do, he did ; but it was a burden beyond human strength, and he was soon 
compelled to withdraw from it. 

On the resignation of INIr. Walker, in 1803, it was found no longer 
possible to oflfer an inducement sufficient to tempt any person of competent 
character and attainmqnts to remove to Manchester as his successor ; and 
the institution itself was consequently removed to York, to be there placed 
in the charge of the Rev. Charles Wellbeloved. Under his direction, 
assisted in the classical department by the Rev. John Kenrick, and in the 
mathematical by the Rev. W. Turner, Jun., and the Rev. W. Hincks, it 
remained for the long period of thirty-seven years. Of this excellent 
person it would be difficult for the present writer to speak in terms adequate 
to the sense he entertains of his merits, and services to the cause of religi- 
ous knowledge and trvxth, or to the high station he so deservedly holds in 
the estimation of those who have the same cause equally at heart. Suffice 
it to say, that under his auspices, a large portion of those who now occujiy 
the most distinguished and important stations in the Unitarian church, 
received their theological education at York. It is scarcely necessary to 
add, that the same hberal and tolerant principle which has been already 
pointed out as the peculiar character of the Presbyterian institutions, at 
every period since the Act of Toleration, was equally manifested in this 
institution, while under Mr. Wellbeloved's charge. Its conductors, and 
nearly the whole of its supporters have always been professors of one form 
or other of anti-Trinitarianism, and, therefore, it was not unnatural for the 
public to give it the name of a Unitarian academy. But this is not the 
name which they have themselves chosen to adopt, and they have rather sought 
to decline it, lest it should seem to imply a disposition to prefer the interests 
of Unitarianism to those of truth. Of course, they believe the former to be 
an important part of the latter; for that reason and for that reason only, 
they value and profess it; and for that reason, also, they are persuaded that 
tlie most free and impartial inquiry can only display in a clearer light its 
claims to be received and honoured as such. 

That in the York Institution a large majority of the theological students 
became Unitarians, ought to excite little surprise, and no suspicion of undue 
influence having been used to render them so. When we consider how 
impossible it is lor a youth to enter upon such a course of study, with his 

IN r.NOI.AND. 12r) 

mind altogether free from any previous bias or prejudice of education or 
connexion, or regard to the authority of those with whom his early years 
have been spent, and to whom he has hitherto looked up with almost 
implicit deference, it will be perceived, that the prevailing character of his 
theological education is only one out of many influences on which his future 
course of thought and of opinion are dependent. But some have occasion- 
ally been led to conclusions different from those of their tutors ; and when 
this has been the case, we can venture to affirm, that no disposition has 
been betrayed to regard them with displeasure or suspicion on that account, 
but, on the contrary, an undiminished earnestness has been evinced, to 
assist the researches of those who shewed, in this instance only the more 
imequivocally, their disinterested love of what they believed to be the 
truth. In this institution systems of theology have been abandoned, and 
the course has been strictly of a biblical character ; the object being to assist 
the student in making the most extensive acquisition of that knowledge 
which may facilitate his own enquiries into the true meaning of Scripture, 
and thus enable him to form his theological system for himself. 

In 1839, the advancing years of Mr. Wellbeloved, and other causes, led 
to a prevailing wish among many friends of the institution to bring it back 
to its original locality at Manchester, from whence, in fact, a large part of 
its pecuniary support had always been derived. The limited scale on which 
it was conducted at York was objected to by some, and its almost exclusive 
character, in practice though not in theory, was thought undesirable by 
many, to whom a place of more general and public education appeared more 
advantageous, by affording a wider field of emulation — by giving the student 
an opportunity of mixing freely with others of various opinions and con- 
nexions, and thus not only promoting a greater enlargement of ideas, and 
counteracting the almost unavoidable tendency in our private academies to 
a one-sided view of things, but preparing them when they come abroad into 
the world, to adapt their ministrations more effectually to the wants and cir- 
cumstances of society as it exists. Some of this latter class were anxious to 
have tranferred the institution to London, to be there converted into a sort 
of theological school attached to University College. After much discus- 
sion, it was, however, preferred to re-establish it at Manchester ; but on a 
plan considerably enlarged and remodelled. The object of its most active 
promoters now was, to divest it as much as possible of its apparently sectarian 
character, and make it the basis of a college intended to afford the means 


of liberal education to tlie youth of Manchester and its neiglibourhood in 
general, without distinction of sect or party. For this purpose the theolo- 
gical course was made a distinct department, and placed under entirely sepa- 
rate management. It was distributed into three professorships : — that of 
Critical and Exegetical Theology by the Rev. R. Wallace* ; that of Oriental 
Languages and the Pastoral Care by the Rev. J. G. Robberds; and that of 
Ecclesiastical History by the Rev. J. J. Tayler. The literary and scien- 
tific departments were considerably extended, and formed into five profes- 
sorships, Mental and Moral Philosophy, Latin and Greek, Mathematics, 
Natural and Experimental Philosophy, and Ancient and Modern History. 
To these was added in one session, by way of experiment, at the charge of 
a zealous friend of the plan, a Professorship of Civil Engineering. These 
offices were respectively intrusted to men of high and well-merited reputa- 
tion. One of them, Mr. Newman, was formerly Fellow of Baliol College, 
Oxford, and is the brother of the (late) celebrated leader of the Tractarian 
party in the Church. In talents they are a par nobile ; but the fact of his 
accepting the chair of Classical Literature in such an institution as the 
Manchester New College, is alone a sufficient proof that the Professor has 
diverged into a widely different track from his brother in every other 
respect. Some of the other Professors, we believe, are not members of the 
Unitarian body, and were even preferred on that account. In fact, in all 
their arrangements, it seem to have been the earnest endeavour of the Com- 
mittee to comprehend in their plan whatever ought to be found in a place of 
liberal education for all classes, especially in an opulent manufacturing and 
commercial district, and at the same time to avoid whatever might preclude 
the members of any party from availing themselves of its advantages. 

The first session commenced in October, 1840 ; and was opened by a 
series of inaugural lectures by the several Professors. These were after- 
wards printed and collected into a volume, which is alone sufficient to give 
the reader a very favourable impression of the amount of ability, learning, 
and high attainments which had been assembled in the conduct of this new 
undertaking. In fact, it is not too much to affirm, that there is not, and 
never has been, an academical institution maintained entirely by the volun- 

• As we write this, we learu with great regret, the intended resignation of this gen- 
tleman at the close of the present session. Tlie Rev. G. V. Smith, of Macclesfield, has 
been fixed upon as his successor. 


tary efforts and public spirit of individual contributors, which could stand a 
comparison with it in these respects. Nevertheless, when the inquiry is 
made as to the result of all this preparation, we fear the only answer that 
can be made is, that it deserved to succeed. The College, itis true, has pro- 
duced specimens of the culture actually afforded within its walls, of as high a 
character as the most sanguine of its projectors could have anticipated. It 
is one of the associated colleges in the London University, and the candi- 
dates for degrees, from Manchester, have, we believe, without an exception, 
been placed in the first class. But the entire number of students has rarely 
exceeded thirty — a number utterly insignificant, when compared either with 
the magnitude of the scheme and the amount of its expenditure, or with the 
encouragement which such an institution might have been expected to receive 
in a place of the population and consequence of Manchester. Sufficient 
allowance, it would seem, had not been made for the intensity of sectarian 
prejudice. It was very true that the plan of the institution was to all ap- 
pearance most liberal and comprehensive, and its actual administration not 
less so : but still it was notorious that the subscribers and committee were 
almost to a man Unitarians ; and under these circumstances, in the estima- 
tion of a large class, the better the instruction given was in itself, the greater 
the peril to the spiritual interests of those who partook of it. But another 
point of still greater importance was, we fear, equally miscalculated — 
namely, the disposition of the Unitarian laity to give their sons the benefit 
of a liberal education. For these, alone, in a place like ?»Ianchester, might 
have been expected to have exceeded the trifiing number abovementioned. 
Many friends of the Institution, at a distance, are moreover very averse 
to the idea of sending their sons, for the purpose of study, to such a place 
as Manchester. This, we believe, to be altogether an unfounded prejudice ; 
but it still exists. And some, we believe, among its active supporters, 
have actually sent their own sons to University College, or even to 
Cambridge ; influenced, in all probability, by the considerations already 
alluded to. 

On the whole, the failure of this apparently promising scheme, is far from 
being one of the encouraging signs of the times, whether we consider it with 
reference to the Unitarians in particular, or to the public at large. We fear 
it tends to countenance the imputation often brought against our national 
character, that we are so absorbed in commercial and other secular pursuits, 
that we have little time or leisure to bestow on anything else, and estimate 
the value of any branch of education or of knowledge, chiefly, if not solely, 


by a reference to this comparatively sordid standard. So completely has the 
Manchester New College failed to attract, we do not say the patronage, but 
the attention of the public, that at a recent anniversary meeting of the 
Manchester Athenaeum, one of the speakers, in urging the importance of a 
system of liberal education adapted to the wants of those destined for the 
various departments of active life in a great commercial city, sketched the 
outline of a plan almost identical with it, apparently without being aware 
that he was describing not that which might be, but that which actually 
exists, and is disregarded. 

This institution, in either of its localities, has been far from adequate to 
the entire supply of the Unitarian churches. The deficiency has l)ecn 
filled up from various quarters. Not a few ministers, now settled with 
con-T-reo-ations in different parts of England, have received either the whole, 
or the greater part, of their education at the academy at Caermarthen, 
established under the auspices of the Presbyterian Board in London, for 
the supply of the Welsh churches. This seminary has been always con- 
ducted on the same liberal principle which has marked all the proceedings 
of the Presbyterian Body ; but it did not in this instance lead to so early or 
so complete a change as in many other cases. It is believed, however, 
that at present a majority both of tutors and students are Unitarians. A 
considerable number of ministers are, also, derived from the Royal Insti- 
tution at Belfast, to which theological schools have been attached, botli 
by the orthodox and remonstrarit Presbyterians of the North of Ireland ; 
and several have passed over into the Unitarian ranks from the Established 
Church, and from diflferent denominations of orthodox Dissenters. Of all 
these classes there are men of high and well-deserved eminence ; but we 
suspect that the Presbyterians of the first race would hardly have been 
contented to look for their supplies to such various sources, more especially 
to places over the government of which they had no controul ; and might, 
perhaps, have been sometimes alarmed at the unrestrained influx of men 
trained in principles, and animated by a spirit, which they would not have 
approved. And some, even of late years, have gone so far as to suggest, 
that in order to secure what they justly consider as the inestimable benefit 
of a regularly educated ministry, it would be no deviation from the spirit of 
our free institutions, if a restriction could be placed on the choice, by our 
congregations, of any but such as have been duly certified to have passed 
through a regular course of theological training. It is evident that, among 


lis, no such restriction could ever be brought into practical or efl'ectivo 
operation, for want of a competent and recognized authority to prescribe 
it; and, in fact, we must be content to take the evil, if it be an evil, which 
occasionally arises from the unlimited exercise of freedom in this respect, 
as much more than counterbalanced by permanent and substantial advan- 
tages. The fact is undeniable, that there have been, and are among us, 
men who, without the advantage of a regular theological education of any 
kind, have taken a high rank among our ablest and most acceptable minis- 
ters. There are, undoubtedly, at all times, occasional exceptions, of 
persons who, by dint of strong natural powers, and an indomitable spirit of 
energy and perseverance, amidst difficulties which would have crushed 
ordinary men, have arrived at eminence, in spite of early disadvantages; 
but it does not follow, on that account, that it is not important, and even 
necessary, to make especial provision for the proper training of that average 
talent from which we must seek for our ordinary and regular supplies. 

We are not aware that Unitarian periodical literature, properly so called? 
can be traced higher than the commencement of the first series of the The- 
ological Repository, in 1768. This very valuable collection of useful con- 
tributions to theological literature took its rise from the accidental production 
of his ' Adversaria Sacra,' by Mr. Turner of Wakefield, in one of his friendly 
conversations with Dr. Priestley. The principal contributors were the 
Editor, Dr. Priestley, under the signatures of Clemens, Liber i us and Paulhms ; 
Mr. Turner under the signatures Vigilius and Eusehius, Mr. Lindsey, Mr. 
G. Walker, Mr. Cardale, Mr. Merivale, and Dr. Toulmin. But the 
universal practice of employing fictitious signatures makes it difficult in 
some cases to identify the contributors, and several valuable papers have 
not been traced to their true authors. The publication continued at intervals 
till the end of 1771, when it was suspended at the completion of the third 
volume for want of sufficient encouragement. The second series commenced 
in 1782, and was kept up till three volumes more had been published, 
when it was again discontinued from the same cause. Dr. Priestley was 
again the most copious contributor, assisted by Mr. John Palmer, under 
the signature of Christophilos, author of a very interesting and original 
series of papers on the mission of John the Baptist; Mr Thomas Fyshe Pal- 
mer, Mr. Wakefield, Mr. Bretland of Exeter, Mr. Evanson, &c. The whole 
collection will retain its value in the estimation of inquisitive liberal minded 



theologians, as a standard work, from the great number and variety of inge- 
nious speculations and original remarks with which it abounds; and it cer- 
tainly places the theological talents and learning of the liberal Dissenters of 
that a"-e in a very favourable point of view. That it did not succeed as a 
periodical is, however, a subject more of regret than of surprise. The 
inquiries to which it was chiefly devoted, however interesting and valuable 
in themselves, were not such as mostly attract the attention of the general 
reader ; and its character, or at least its reputation as a sectarian work, 
of course, confined it to a small portion even of the theological public. 
Hence its circulation was of necessity very limited, and insufficient to 
defray the expenses of publication. 

In 1783, a society was formed 'for promoting the knowledge of the 
Scriptures.' Its object, as stated in the sketch of its plan by Dr. Jebb, 
was to conduct its investigations altogether without regard to theological or 
doctrinal views, on the same principles of criticism and interpretation, as if the 
subject of their study were an ancient classic, or any other human composition. 
The Society consisted chiefly, if not entirely, of Unitarians ; including Bishop 
Law, Mr. Tyrwhitt of Cambridge, Dr. Jebb, Mr. Dodson, and several other 
eminent critics. It is probable that they may have endeavoured to keep 
in view the principle above stated in the conduct of their inquiries; but to 
do it completely is next to impossible, in practice; and accordingly there are 
few, if any, instances in which doubtful passages are interpreted otherwise 
than in conformity with Unitarian opinions. They published, from time to 
time, a series of papers, forming two volumes, under the title of Commen- 
taries and Essays, published by the Society for promoting the knowledge of 
the Scriptures', which, notwithstanding this almost unavoidable deviation 
from their professed principle, are many of them of great interest and value 
to biblical students ; but were of too dry and technical a character, to 
extend beyond a compai-atively narrow circle. Being for the most part 
addressed to scholars, they were considered by the public in general as 
belon<nng to them exclusively. Thus all these publications excited at the time 
but little general attention, and their continuance was of but short duration. 
In fact, the species of periodical literature to which they properly belong, 
had scarcely as yet an existence in this country, and a very important 
channel still remained to be created, through which in our times the press 
exerts a most powerful, and, on the whole, we trust a beneficial influence, on 
the social, the moral, and the religious character of the people. 


About the commencement of the present century, the attempt was made 
to establish a religious periodical upon Unitarian principles, in a more popular 
form, under the title of the Universal Theological Afotjazine, under the i:dito- 
rial care of the Rev, R. Vidler. At the end of 1805, tliis publication was 
discontinvied, and gave way to the Monthly RejpositGry of Tlieology and 
General Literature, under the able management of the Rev. R. Aspland, 
of Hackney, in whose hands the practicabiHty of a permanent periodical, 
expressly devoted to the wants of the general body of Unitarian readers, was 
first demonstrated. Not that even this could ever be said to be, in the 
commercial sense of the word, a profitable concern, as affording a fair pecu- 
niary remuneration for the outlay and the labour expended upon it ; but 
its excellent, — unhappily, we must now say, its lamented conductor, was an- 
imated by higher and better motives, and if protected from positive loss, 
was not unwilling to undergo the labour and incur the responsibility for 
the public good. This publication, though abounding with valuable papers, 
of a critical and properly theological character, was yet in its general tone 
and complexion adapted to the tastes of a more extensive class of readers ; 
whose wants were consulted, in reviews of the most important works of the 
day which came within its department, especially those of Unitarian writers ; 
in biographical notices of eminent persons; in articles of intelligence, both 
political and miscellaneous, particularly in reference to the connexion of the 
events of the day, either with the condition and circumstances of our religious 
body, or with the interests of religion in general ; and in discussions of points 
on which its correspondents were not agreed, not seldom conducted in 
quite as animated a strain as the occasion required. 

As the Monthly Repository was for a series of years the only public me- 
dium of communication on subjects generally interesting to Unitarians, 
its occasional correspondents were, of course, very numerous. Among its 
more stated and frequent contributors we may mention more particularly, 
Mr. Belsham, who came forward on several occasions as the champion of 
Humanitarian doctrine against the Arians ; Mr. Frend, who, in addition to 
a great variety of other communications, contributed for a number of years 
an interesting series ofarticles, entitled 'the Christian's survey of the Political 
World;' Mr. Turner, of Newcastle, under the signature V. F,, (Vigilii 
Filius,) who furnished many contributions to the History of our denomina- 
tion, in a series of historical and biographical notices of our principal 
academies, of the Tutors who presided over, and many of the students who 


were educated in them; and Mr. Kentish of Birmingham, under the signa- 
ture N,, who contributed critical notes on various passages of Scripture, 
many of which he has since collected into a separate volume, so as to render 
them more accessible to the theological student. It may be added, too, as 
an honourable characteristic of this periodical, that its pages were as freely 
opened to opponents as friends and supporters ; in the very ample use of 
which privilege, Dr. Pye Smith, among others, experienced, on more occa- 
sions than one, a degree of liberality which would not have been returned, 
we fear, by the editor of any Trinitarian publication. Whatever in the 
shape of intelligence was more particularly interesting to the class among 
which it found the greater number of its readers, is here recorded and 
preserved; memoirs, more or less complete, of all persons of any note, 
recently deceased, connected with our body, here found a place ; so that, 
on the whole, it is hardly too much to say, that there is little of 
importance bearing on the history of Unitarianism in England, during the 
period of its publication, which is not to be found in the pages of the 
Monthly Repository. 

In 1815, it having been suggested that the Repository, from its size and 
the general character of its contents, was chiefly adapted to a circulation 
among the higher and more educated classes, the indefatigable editor was 
induced to establish a new periodical on a smaller scale, with a view to 
supply this deficiency, entitled the 'Christian Reformer.' This was pro- 
fessedly of a more popular character, intended in the first instance for the 
peculiar use of persons of a lower grade in education and acquired know- 
ledge ; and for some time pains appear to have been taken to keep up this 
distinction. It would seem, however, to have been found by degrees that 
any forced attempt to hrincj doivn the style of the work was neither neces- 
sary nor acceptable ; and in the latter part of their course there was little to 
distinguish the two publications except the difference of size and price. 

At the end of the year 1826, the management of the Repository was 
undertaken by an editorial committee, acting under the auspices, we 
believe, of the Unitarian Association, whose aim it was to give it a higher 
literary character and reputation, and to procure for it a more extended 
circulation among the public at large. For this purpose a considerable 
expenditure was incurred, and the former object was to a certain degree 
accomplished, but the latter not to any considerable extent. Subsequent 
changes had at length the effect of divesting the work, in a great measure, if not 
entirely, of its original and proper character as a religious periodical, the 


acknowledged organ of a particular denomination, and it was devoted almost 
exclusively to light literature, and to the views of a certain political party. 
Under these circumstances, Mr, Aspland was induced to extend the plant 
of the Christian Reformer, which he had all along retained in his own hands, 
so as to occupy the place which the Repository had abandoned. This 
enlarged series of the Reformer commenced in 1834, and remained under the 
conduct of its original editor till the end of 1844, when increasing infirmities 
compelled him to resign it, and a new series was commenced in the present 
year under the editorship of his son, the Rev. R. B. Aspland, of DuMnfield. 

In 1826, the Christian Pioneer was commenced at Glasgow, by the Rev. 
G. Harris, and has since been carried on by him at Glasgow, Edinburgh, 
and Newcastle. The professed object of this periodical, as its name 
implies, was to make its way into unexplored regions, to root up prejudices, 
and clear a path for the access of truth. In such times as these, however, 
all such operations must be very slow and gradual, and the influence of the 
Pioneer has been chiefly seen in diff'using information among those who were 
already disposed to receive it. Its ' Intelligence' department is generally 
extended, particularly with reference to the proc,eedings of the Unitarian 
churches in Scotland and the north of Ireland, where its principal circula- 
tion lies. It often contains a judicious selection from contemporary periodi- 
cals on the other side of the Atlantic, of valuable papers and intelligence 
which would otherwise be inaccessible to the greater part of its readers.* 

The Gospel Advocate, edited at Exeter, by the Rev. Henry Acton, was 
set on foot in 1833, and continued for three years with very remarkable 
talent, but did not meet with the encouragement from the public to which 
the high character of the publication seemed to entitle it. It contains 
many excellent dissertations, which are far from meriting the oblivion to 
which they seem to be destined. 

In 1835, a new monthly periodical was commenced at Manchester, under 
the editorship of the Rev. Dr. Beard, entitled The Christian Teacher. The 
professed object of this publication was to be not so much a controversial 
as a practical work ; a systematic expounder of those great fundamental 
principles which go to form the spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind. 
Its aim was to be not the organ or servant of a party, but the Christian 
family's friend : oflering to all of every denomination, who might be desirous 

* At the end of 1845,— since the above paragraph was written,— the Cliristian Tionecr 
was discontinued. In January, 1846, a new periodical was commenced under the title 
of ' The Unitarian,' which we hope will establish itself in the public estimation. 


of availing themselves of it, the means of exhibiting to the world * all pure 
and healthful influences, a simple, full, energetic exposition of the Gospel ; 
an exposition based on a recognition of man's spirituality, man's sinfulness, 
and the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.' It contained many excellent 
papers drawn vip in conformity with the principles thus expressed ; but was 
by no means exclusively confined to this class of subjects, and in general, may, 
perhaps, be considered to have aimed at a higher literary character than is 
usual with periodicals of this class.* The cjeneral appeal, we fear, was but little 
attended to ; such, indeed, is the prevalence of sectarianism in this country, 
that comparatively few are disposed to ask for instruction or information 
upon such subjects beyond the bounds of their own denomination. If we 
mistake not, both the contents and the circulation of the work depended 
from the first exclusively on the denomination within which it originated. 
In 1838, it was tranferred to the management of the Rev. H. Thom, of 
Liverpool, and has latterly assumed the form of a Quarterly Review, under 
the joint direction of Messrs. Thom and Martineau, of Liverpool, Mr. J. J. 
Tayler, of Manchester, and Mr. Wicksteed, of Leeds. In its new form it 
has received the title of the Prospective Review ; a title which appeared 
to some almost contradictory, but which will not be found so, when it is 
considered that our object in looking hach^ is to derive from experience of 
the past, combined with observation of the present, an estimate of our future 
prospects, and rules for our future conduct. In this point of view, its motto, 
derived from St, Bernard, is singularly appropriate : ' Respice, aspice, 

A more recent addition to the list of Unitarian periodicals, the Inquirer, 
assumes the form of a weekly newspaper, on a plan corresponding, in some 
measure, to those which had previously been established by several other 
religious bodies, both in this country and America. It is the object of this 
publication, like all other newspapers, to announce, record, and review the 
passing events of the times ; to do this, however, in the spirit and temper, 
not of party politicians, but of serious Christians ; to try them by the standard 
furnished in the Gospel, as interpreted by, and applied to, the growing 

* It would be difficult to particularize ; but we may revert to a valuable series of 
papers on female education, under the signatui'e ' S. J. W./ and to another entitled ''A 
Retrospect of a twelvemonth passed in Germany, by the Rev. J. J. Tayler ;' which may 
now be recurred to with additional interest in reference to the very important religious 
muvt ment at present going on in that country. 


intelligence and civilization of the age; to accustom its readers to make 
this application for themselves habitually, and to view all the mutual relations 
and transactions, not only of individuals, but of communities and nations, 
after the manner, not of mere children of this world, but of disciples of 
Christ. When public measures are brought forward, which have a more 
immediate bearing onthe civil rights of Unitarians, or of Dissenters in gene- 
ral, on the great question of universal education, or on any other important 
object, aifecting more peculiarly the moral and religious interests of the 
people at large, the Inquirer finds an important work to do, and, it may be 
hoped, an important station to fill. In the late discussions on the Dis- 
senters' Chapels Bill, this was eminently the case ; and there can be no 
doubt that valuable service was in this manner rendered to the cause. 

One of the most marked peculiarities in the constitution and habits of religi- 
ous communities at the present day, is the number and variety oi Associations, 
mostly of a voluntary character, for the purpose of carrying into effect various 
important objects, in which as a body they feel a common interest. These 
associations are prevalent in our own country among Christians of every 
denomination, both in the Establishment and the different classes ofDissenters; 
and the Unitarians have their full share of them. Perhaps the earhest 
which can with propriety be reckoned as peculiarly belonging to Unitarians, 
was the Society already spoken of, ' for promoting the knowledge of the 
Scriptures.' This we think may not unreasonably be so denominated; be- 
cause, though the principles of criticism and interpretation which they pro- 
posed to apply to the examination of the sacred writings, had no exclusive 
reference to the tenets of any particular sect, and had certainly nothing to 
do with the affairs or interest of any community of Christians, as such, yet 
in point of fact, the whole or nearly the whole of its members, whether in 
the church or out of it, were Unitarians, and the actual tendency of the 
critical inquiries in which the members engaged, and the results of which 
they afterwards communicated to the world in the Society's transactions, 
were, for the most part, to promote the spread of Unitarian opinions. This 
Society led the way, in 1791, to the formation of another, called the 'Uni- 
tarian Book Society,' formed for the purpose of publishing and more widely 
distributing books and tracts in favour of the Unitarian doctrine. The strict- 
ness of the preamble to its rules, limited this new Institution to believers in 
the simple humanity of Christ, in opposition both to the Trinitarian doctrine 
of three persons in the deity, and to the Arian hypothesis of a created 

130 UNlTAlllANlSM 

maker, preserver, and governor of the world. Considerable offence was 
also given to several, whom the mere exchisiveness of its plan would not 
have prevented from joining it, by the introducton of the epithet idolatrous 
in expressing the dissent of its members from the popular modes of faith. 
The expression is certainly a strong and a harsh one ; but if idolatry mean, 
the worship as God of a being who is not God, and more especially of a 
deified man, there is no epithet more suited to convey the opinion which a 
strict Unitarian must form of the practice of offering divine worship to a 
man, however honoured and exalted. Still, as the same sentiment might 
have been conveyed without the use of the obnoxious expression, it is cer- 
tainly to be regretted that its introduction should have created a division in 
a body of necessity very limited in its numbers. The Society was, however, 
afterwards joined by additional members, in various parts of the kingdom, and 
for a long series of years continued to be an effective instrument in spreading 
a knowledge of the truth, by printing and circulating cheap editions both of 
new works, and of other well-known and valuable treatises, whose size and 
price had hitherto confined them to a comparatively small number of readers. 
Among other publications of considerable importance, brought out under the 
auspices of this Society, was the ' Improved Version of the New Testament,' 
a work which has been the subject of much controversy, of severe, often 
uncandid criticism, and gross misrepresentation. Of originaUty, in the text 
at least, it possesses but little ; being chiefly a reprint of the version of 
Archbishop Newcome ; and in following him, it deviates from the authorized 
version in many places where the alteration is no improvement. Many, we 
believe, at the time were of opinion, that the editors (or editor) would have 
done better in adopting the common version as the basis, to be departed 
from only where it appeared to depart from the sense of the original, 
Vv ith all its imperfections, however, it is a work of considerable merit and 
value ; but we apprehend it was never intended, certainly it was never 
received, as a substitute for the common version, either for public or pri- 
vate use among Unitarians. Its employment in this way has been so often 
disavowed and disclaimed, that it might be thought superfluous to say more 
0:1 the subject, were it not for the unfair use that has been, and still is, often 
made of it by uncandid, unscrupulous opponents, by whose misrepresenta- 
tions the ignorant are led to suppose that we have rejected the old Bible, 
and adopted another Bible of our own. They have not hesitated to charge 
tlie whole Unitarian body with the errors, real or alleged, of an individual, 
and have even represented the Unitarian bias, which is certainly visible in 

m ENGLAND. 137 

several passages of this translation, as equivalent to a creed. To judge 
by the outcry which was raised on the occasion, one might have supposed 
it was a thing unprecedented for an individual, or a company of learned 
men, to offer to the public a new translation of any part of the sacred writings. 

The establishment of this Society led, in the course of the following year, 
to the formation, at Exeter, of the 'Western Unitarian Society;' in a great 
measure, as we have already stated, through the zealous exertions of Mr. 
Kenrick, then minister of George's Meeting in that city. This might be 
considered as an affiliated institution, and its original plan was based on 
the same principles. Its fundamental principle is declared to be, ' That 
there is but one God, the creator and governor of the vmiverse, without an 
equal or vicegerent, the only proper object of religious worship ; and that 
Jesus Christ was the most eminent of those messengers, whom he has em- 
ployed to reveal his will to mankind, possessing extraordinary powers 
similar to those received by other prophets, but in a greater degree,' 
These are expressions which do not necessarily imply a belief in the simple 
humanity of Christ ; yet they were generally understood in that light ; 
and in 1831 the constitution of the Society was modified in practice by the 
following resolutions: — ' That it is the opinion of this Meeting, that those 
who, uniting together in Christian worship, on the essential principles of 
Unitarianism, are excluded by them from other religious communions, may 
with propriety unite in associating for the support and promotion of tho^e 
principles. — 2dly. That union with this Society shall henceforth be con- 
sidered as implying no more than the reception of those essential principles ; 
namely, the Personal Unity ; the Sole Deity; the Essential Mercy: and 
the exclusive worship of Jehovah, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus 

The example thus set by the friends in the West was followed, in the 
course of a few years, in all parts of the country ; so that in every district 
where either Unitarian congregations, or individuals embracing Unitarian 
sentiments, exist in sufficient numbers, there is found a provincial associa- 
tion having a similar object. These institutions are highly valuable in 
every point of view, in exciting zeal, in promoting mutual fellowship 
and good will, in strengthening a habit of co-operation for a common 
cause, in establishing centres of union, which may draw together those 
who have one great and valuable object at heart, at sight of whom, such 
as might otherwise be affected by tlie depressing notion that they were in 
a manner alone in the world, may " thank God and take courage." 


In 1806 was established the ' Unitarian Fund Society,' tlie leading object 
of which, at its first formation, was the promotion of missionary preaching 
on Unitarian principles. Under the auspices of this institution, the labours 
of Wright, Vidler, Campbell, Lyons, and several others well qualified for 
this work, were devoted to the diffusion of Unitarian Christianity, in various 
parts of the country where it had previously been little known ; and they 
were doubtless instrumental, indirectly, to a very considerable extent, 
in promoting a knowledge of and disposition to inquire after the truth. 
The direct and immediate impression, however, produced by this mode of 
preaching, was far from being equal to what was at first anticipated by 
its more sanguine advocates; and the resources of the institution were 
gradually diverted to other modes of furthering the same general object, 
by assisting poor congregations, printing and circulating tracts, and cheap 
editions of other useful publications, &c. 

In 1819, an Association was formed for the purpose of protecting the 
civil rights of Unitarians, whenever these were affected, or in danger of being 
so, either in consequence of their peculiar position, in respect of the Act 
of Toleration, or by the encroachments or intolerance of others, or by such 
public measures as might from time to time be prepared, either by the 
government or the legislature. There had long existed a permanent com- 
mittee of deputies from congregations of the three denominations in London, 
Avhose business it was to keep watch over the civil rights of Dissenters ; 
but it had been found in several recent cases, where Unitarians as such were 
aggrieved by the proceedings of courts and magistrates, and more especially 
by the proceedings of other dissenting parties, that this body either could 
not or would not interfere. It became necessary, therefore, for the 
Unitarians to adopt measures for their own security. One of the first objects 
which attracted a large share of the attention of this Society, was the state 
of the marriage law, which not only imposed upon Unitarians, in common 
with all other Dissenters except the Quakers, the necessity of an occasional 
conformity, but that of participating to a certain extent in Trinitarian 
worship. Efforts were made in several sessions of Parliament to procure 
a separate Act for the special relief of Unitarians ; which more than once 
passed the Lower House, but was rejected by the Lords. Though not 
immediately successful, however, there can be no doubt that the impression 
made by their representations on behalf of Unitarians, tended very consider- 
ably to prepare the way for the success of the more general measure 


adopted a few years afterwards. It is scarcely necessary to add, that 
this Society gave its active and zealous assistance to the exertions of the 
general body, which were at length happily successful to procure the repeal 
of the Test and Corporation Acts, 

For obvious reasons, all these Societies had their principal seat of opera- 
tions in London; and hence the establishment of so many distinct Societies 
for different specific' objects on one spot, led to considerable inconveni- 
ence in practice. Though the Societies were different, the individuals 
composing them, especially the leading members of the managing Commit- 
tees, were in a great measure the same ; it appeared, therefore, desirable to 
dispense with this cumbrous machinery, so that affairs, different in form, but 
relating to one common object, might be transacted by the same parties at the 
same time and place. The three Societies Avere consequently amalgamated 
into one, under the title of the 'British and Foreign Unitarian Association.' 
This was established in 1825, and has ever since been better entitled than 
any other institution to be recognised as the central organ, if we may so express 
it, of the Unitarian body in this country ; though, of course, not formally 
constituted, or exercising any authority as such, gtill less claiming any con- 
trol over the proceedings of other societies, or distinct congregations. 
Of such pretensions as these, the results of which they observe in the 
proceedings of Synods and Conferences around them, the Unitarians are 
particularly jealous ; and have shewn no disposition to surrender an atom 
either of congregational or of individual liberty, in order to perfect their 
organization, or increase their efficiency as a sect. Perhaps, they may even 
be thought by some to carry this jealousy to an extreme. If it be so, it is, 
however, unqviestionably the safer extreme of the two. We apprehend 
there is no present danger of the Unitarian Association, or any of its leaders, 
aspiring to such undue influence ; at all events it would seem as if special 
care were taken to prevent them from overflowing with the pecuniary 
means of carrying it into active exercise. 

A considerable proportion of the funds of the Association have been 
devoted to the establishment and maintenance of Unitarian worship, 
either in the formation of new congregations, or in aiding small or poor con- 
gregations, which, from accidental or temporary causes, require external 
assistance. For this purpose, grants have been made from time to time, 
considerable, in proportion to its limited funds, and it ^is satisfactory to 
think that to this timely aid, many churches, now in a thriving state, owe 


their present prosperity, perhaps even their existence. It was through the 
instrumentality of this Association, that a ministry to the poor, on a plan 
similar to that of Dr. Tuckerman, in Boston, U. S., was established in the 
metropolis, modified, of course, to a considerable extent by a reference to the 
very different circumstances of the two cases. Of this meritorious undertak- 
ing, which has been rewarded, perhaps, with more success than could reason- 
ably have been expected, an account will be found in another part of this 
volume. Among other methods of promoting the diffusion of Unitarianism, 
courses of Lectures have been given both in London and various other places. 
But the most important agency for this purpose is certainly the Book and 
Tract department. Small and cheap, but well written tracts, both doctrinal 
and moral, are distributed whenever a fair probability of usefulness presents 
itself. Donations, varying in amount according to the cii'cumstances of the 
case, both of books and tracts, are made to ministers and missionaries, to 
congregational libraries, and to individuals who may have opportunities of 
promoting their circulation, where they may be read with advantage. 
Several large works have been brought out under the direction and at the 
expense of the Association ; the publication of others have been facilitated 
by their assistance, and cheap editions of valuable standard works have 
been prepared and widely circulated. The legal department embraces 
whatever conduces to the security and extension of the civil rights of Uni- 
tarians. Local persecutions have been checked or prevented, and trusts 
and endowments have been preserved. In the promotion of the Dissenters' 
Chapels Act, the exertions of the Association, combined with those of other 
bodies, particularly the Presbyterian Union, were of important service. 
The Association has also been a medium of communication with Unitarians 
in foreign countries, especially in the United States, with whom a very 
interesting and valuable correspondence has been kept up. 

That this institution has rendered valuable services to the cause, all 
must admit ; that these services have not been much more extensive and 
important, is owing, in a great measure, to the comparatively limited and 
partial support which it has hitherto received, especially in the provinces, 
where the greater part of its funds are expended. This arises, perhaps, in 
some degree, from its local position in the metropolis; though this is cer- 
tainly, on the whole, more desirable than any other for an institution 
which is to extend its operations to all parts, not only of the kingdom but of 
tlie empire. An increased and more active support of this central establish- 


ment is by no means inconsistent with an equally effective encouragement 
of the various local and provincial Societies. And it wovdd probably contri- 
bute materially to the utility and efficiency of these latter, if their conduc- 
tors in different parts of the country would place themselves in more 
intimate communication and'correspondence with the Unitarian Association 
in London. Information would then be more rapidly and correctly fur- 
nished in both directions, and a uniformity and system would be given to 
their proceedings, to which the objections so decisively urged against the 
proposal of a congregational union, whenever it has been proposed, would 
by no means apply. But certainly there is a singular contrast between the 
scanty income of the Unitarian Association, and its somewhat magnifi- 
cent title, with the wide field assigned for its diversified operations ; a 
contrast which does not at first sight seem to give a very favourable 
impression of the zeal or liberality of the party which it represents. We 
flatter ourselves that the impression would be not altogether a well-founded 
one, since the fact which excites our surprise may be ascribed, in part, to 
other causes, arising out of that dislike of a centralizing agency, which 
is a very general characteristic of the English mind, and in an unfounded 
but very general persuasion, that all the objects it proposes to accomplish 
are equally well provided for by local institutions, and individual efforts. 

The Christian Tract Society seems to have owed its origin to a suggestion 
in the jMonthly Repository, vol. iii, p. 626. Its professed object is to 
distribute among the poor small cheap tracts, inculcating moral conduct on 
Christian principles, without attending to those minor points of difference 
on matters of opinion which are seen to divide many persons who yet agree 
in the great practical principles of the Gospel. The epithet ' Christian' 
was assumed in its most enlarged and comprehensive acceptation, and the 
tracts had accordingly no peculiar reference to the distinguishing tenets of 
any particular sect ; unless it be deemed such to contend that a successful 
cultivation of the Christian temper and life will secure a man's salvation, 
whatever his creed may be. We fear that this is a principle which prevails 
only within a very narrow circle ; and, accordingly, we are justified in 
claiming a Society founded upon it both in profession and practice, as a 
Unitarian Institution, since few but Unitarians were to be found ready to 
acknowledge and act upon it ; and, in point of fact, all, or nearly all, the 
members of this Society belong to the Unitarian body. Its resources are, 
and have always been, very limited ; and yet it has been the instrument of 


extensively disseminating many excellent tracts, chiefly through the medium 
of our various provincial associations. Some of these are cheap reprints, 
but the greater part are original compositions, most of which are prepared 
expressly for publication by this Society. jMany of them, especially those 
communicated by the late excellent Mrs. Mary Hughes, have been in great 
request ; and we cannot doubt that they have been the means of diffusing 
just views of religion, and of promoting its practical influence over the 
heart and life, on a very extensive scale. But the operations of this Society, 
from its commencement to the present time, have been a striking example 
of the possibility of exercising a very considerable influence, and of doing 
good to a large amount with very confined means, when well and judiciously 

The excellent institution of Sunday Schools, almost immediately on its 
first announcement by Mr. Raikes, of Gloucester, was zealously taken up 
by Unitarian congregations in many parts of the country ; and it is probable 
that there are now very few congregations in our body to which schools of 
this description are not attached. The schools belonging to most of the 
other denominations of Dissenters, have been for many years past, very 
extensively associated together in what is called ' the Sunday School Union ;' 
the professed object of which is to facilitate the circulation of suitable 
books, and to diff"use whatever advice or information might appear useful 
to the conductors of these institutions. For reasons which it is unneces- 
sary to explain, the teachers of Unitarian schools found themselves excluded 
from this Union ; and hence, in order to procure for them advantages of a 
similar kind, a Unitarian Sunday School Association has been formed, 
which has corresponding objects in view, and which has already, we believe, 
been of very important service. 

The Unitai'ians have derived from their English Presbyterian ancestors 
very enlarged notions of the just liberties, not only of distinct congregations, 
but of the individual members of each society. It may even be thought 
by some, that in their earnestness to secure this object, they have sacrificed 
more than could have been wished of the practical advantages which are 
souglit for in the formation of Christian communities. It is diliicult for 
men to associate for any purpose, without some kind of constitution, and 
without surrendering a portion of their individual discretion to the direction 


of others; and the members of a society of Christian disciples seem bound 
to seek not only the things which make for peace, but those by whicli one 
may edify another. But it is feared that this latter object can scarcely be 
accomplished to the desired extent, where there is so little to link and bind 
the several parties together, and lead them to take a more active and habitual 
interest in one another's concerns. Of this opinion was Dr. Priestley, 
who repeatedly endeavoured to urge the congregations with which he was 
connected as a minister, to revive somewhat of that church discipline which 
had been allowed to pass into almost entire desuetude. But his exhorta- 
tions do not seem to have produced any considerable or permanent effect. 
It may be, that in these respects we carry our jealousy of all interference 
with our personal liberty to an extreme ; and certainly, it must be admitted, 
that it becomes all Christians, and especially those who are associated 
together as stated fellow-worshippers, to remember that they are brethren, 
and that Christianity is essentially a social religion, which calls upon us to 
consult not our own merely, but every man another's welfare. 

In some places it may, perhaps, be found that this distinguishing cha- 
racter of our religion has been toonuich overlooked ; but we are apt to think 
that in the greater number of Unitarian congregations a change in these 
respects has been silently going on for the better ; a change evinced, not 
in a disposition to exercise a prying inspection, or to sit in judgment over 
the character, still less over the faith, of others, but in the increasing 
number of Congregational institutions which have for their object to pro- 
mote mutual improvement, and the diffusion of just views both of the 
Christian doctrine and of the Christian life. But there is, for the most 
part, in our societies an entire absence of internal organization, except in so 
far as merely secular interests are concerned. Amidst some advantages 
arising from hence, one evil may result, that individuals are more intimately 
and more habitually brought together in other capacities than that of 
attendants on the same religious services. It may happen that many of the 
members of numerous congregations, especially in large towns, and where 
there is a considerable inequality of rank and station, have not even a per- 
sonal acquaintance ; so that they are sometimes connected together by a 
very slender tie, which is likely to be sundered by trifling considerations of 
convenience or of worldly interest. 

To this, among other causes, may be traced the early decline of many of 
the old Presbyterian places, some of which scarcely survived the generation 


of the original founders, whose successors, inheriting their rank and 
property, but not tlieir zeal, passed over in process of time to the most 
fashionable religion. It must be also remembered, that many of the Pres- 
byterians in the first age of Protestant dissent, especially those of the 
higher class, were by no means unfriendly to the notion of a civil establish- 
ment of religion, as such ; and there is reason to believe, that if even the 
very moderate reforms proposed in 1G89 had been carried into effect, the 
consequences would have been to induce great numbers immediately to 
give up their nonconformity. It is, therefore, the less surprising, that 
many of the succeeding race were induced to prefer the Church to the 
' conventicle.' Their remote descendants learnt by degrees to take a 
different, and, as we think, a more correct view of their own position as 
Nonconformists, and as well as of the abstract question of the proper relation 
between Church and State. Few, we apprehend, if any, of the present race 
of Unitarian Dissenters wovild hesitate to deny the right of the civil magis- 
trate to interfere at all in matters of religion ; or to give their adhesion to 
the general principle, which denounces, not only the exclusive establish- 
ment of any particular church, but the proposal which some have recom- 
mended, to place all churches equally vmder the patronage of the State. 
They are, therefore, decided friends of what has been called the voluntartj 
principle, which they think is proved both by reason and experience, to be 
fully competent to every needful or really valuable object. How far the 
efforts made or proposed for carrying this principle into full operation, in 
the existing circumstances of this country, and with the prevailing state of 
public opinion, are judicious, or likely to lead to any valuable result, is a 
different question, on which Unitarians are far from being agreed. And it 
cannot be denied, thatcauses similar to those already pointed out, continue to 
operate in such dissenting families as associate, or aspire to associate, with 
the more aristocratical classes. Their places are supplied to a certain extent, 
but not entirely, by those who have raised themselves by their own exer- 
tions from inferior stations, and whose successors in due time are in like 
manner absorbed in the Established church. The consequence is, as we 
have already observed, that the members of Unitarian congregations at 
present, taken as a body, are very generally of a lower grade in station 
and other circumstances of worldly condition than their predecessors. 
But it ought to be borne in mind, that this lower average social position 
has not, by any means, been attended ])y a corresponding diminution of 


their resources for denominational purposes, or of their influence in matters 
aflecting the interests of society in general. Experience does not lead us to 
estimate the efficiency of different classes in promoting any public object, 
even where pecuniary support alone is in question, in the direct ratio of 
their wealth. Out of a given revenue in the hands of a dozen families in 
easy circumstances, we may in general expect a much larger amount of 
contributions for purposes of this kind, than when the whole is engrossed 
by a single very rich man. Accordingly, there can be no doubt, that the 
amount of money contributed annually by Unitarians, in their separate 
congregations, to the variety of useful institutions now almost universally 
attached to those congregations, and also to the different societies 
academies, and other objects in which the whole body is interested, inade- 
quate as it may still be in many respects, is very much greater at present 
than it was half a century ago. 

But if this may be said even of the pecuniary support of useful insti- 
tutions, how much more must it be true of the zeal, the intelligence, and 
other personal qualities of numerous individuals, employed in active labours 
for the spread of truth, and in the cause of religion and virtue ! — labours 
often not to be purchased with money, and whose value is not to be esti- 
mated in money. It may have been, that in former times many of the 
older Presbyterian ministers cultivated a style of preaching less adapted 
than could have been wished to the tastes and wants of what are com- 
monly called the lower class of their hearers. Among Dissenters they 
were distinguished for, and, perhaps, prided themselves on, their 
learning ; and they may not have sufficiently considered in what manner the 
fruits of that learning were to be presented in the most profitable and 
acceptable shape, to what ought to be the bulk of almost every Christian 
audience. But we are disposed to flatter ourselves, that in this respect, 
also, a change for the better has been, and is going on, among the rising- 
generation of Unitarian ministers. Taken as a class, there is reason to 
think that they preach not less than formerly to the reason, but more to the 
heart and the affections ; and are accustomed to present the doctrines and 
motives of religion in a more truly evangelical, and, consequently, in a more 
impressive and popular form. Most unquestionably, there is nothing in 
Unitarianism itself to throw any peculiar difficulties in the way of this 
popular adaptation, or to weaken the practical efficacy of the Gospel in 
training its professors to the spirit of holiness and piety. On the contrary, 



we think that it places the grounds both of love to man and love to God in 
a more distinct and intelligible shape than any other doctrine, and that when 
properly understood, it tends not to weaken, but very greatly to confirm the 
motives derived from the threatenings, as well as from the promises of the 
Gospel, to the diligent cultivation of the genuine Christian character. If 
there be any Unitarians in name and profession, upon whom it has not this 
effect, the fault is not in the doctrines or principles, but in themselves — on 
whom alone, therefore, the blame ought to rest. We have, however, 
abundant and satisfactory testimony from those who in affliction, adversity, 
sickness, and the hour of approaching or speedily expected departure, have 
flown to the consolation and support which it could afford, and have found 
them effectual. 

Whatever change may have taken place in the average worldly and social 
position of many of our congregations, we cannot allow, and do not see the 
slightest reason to believe, that there is any corresponding change for the 
worse in the average amount of mental cultivation, in their ability to 
estimate, or in their disposition to receive and vakie, a religion addressed to 
the understandings of its votaries. They still contain as large a proportion 
as ever of that middle class, which always constitutes the true strength of 
every society ; that portion in which we commonly find the highest standard 
of intellectual and moral improvement ; an honourable pre-eminence, which 
it is likely to enjoy to a still greater extent as the facilities for acqviiring 
knowledge of all kinds are increased, and more widely diffused. At one 
period it was not unfrequently objected to Unitarians, that their religion 
was too rational and intellectual in its character to suit the masses ; and 
was fit to be addressed only to men of cultivated minds, accustomed to 
thought and reflection. We certainly cannot consider it as an objection, 
that it is most likely to be duly appreciated by such men ; but neither can 
we admit, that it is for that reason, unsuited to the wants and circumstances 
of inferior minds. Nay, it might seem to be all the better fitted for them, 
inasmuch as it contains nothing but what is distinct and intelligible ; 
nothing but what, though long hidden from the wise and prudent, may yet 
have been revealed unto babes. To the pious and well-disposed Christian, 
albeit untutored in the schools of human philosophy, it is not on that 
account the less fitted to suggest subject of holy thought and lofty meditation, 
leading him to converse with the spiritual and the infinite, training his 
soul to a familiarity with the exalted themes which are destined to occupy 
' the spirits of the just made perfect' in the endless ages of eternity. 


It has been objected by some, that tlie doctrine wliicli encourages 
repentant sinners to rely on the urupurchased mercies of God, does not o-ive 
so striking and impressive a view as could be wished of the evil of sin, and 
its hatefulness in the sight of a just and holy God. Those, however, who 
make this objection, do not sufficiently consider what the terms of this 
covenant of grace really are. We are authorized, through Christ, to expect 
the remission of sins upon repentance, but we are not authorized to expect 
any thing tvitJiout repentance. Now what does a genuine repentance 
imply ? Something more than a mere sorrow for the consequences of past 
transgression. It imphes a deep and humiHating sense of past guilt, 
leading to a change of mind and heart, a rooting out of evil dispositions, 
repeated and impartial self-examination, increased care to guard a"-ainst 
easily besetting sins ; the avoidance of all occasions leadino- to their com- 
mission, a continued and prevailing desire to cultivate devout and holy 
affections, a regard to the divine law, and a careful study of the divine word. 
To all this must be added, when the case admits of it, restitution ; ' Let 
the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the 
statutes of life without committing iniquity,' then He that is all perfect in 
justice and mercy hath declared that ' he shall live, he shall not die.' 
Ezekiel, xxxiii, 15. 

We must say, we are at a loss to understand how any one, who seriously 
considers what all this amounts to, can accuse Unitarians of making light of 
the evil and malignity of sin, or of representing the Almighty as sacrificing 
the purity and holiness of his administration in freely pardoning the peni- 
tent offender. It would have been less surprising to hear it objected that 
this doctrine was too rigid, and drew the terms of the covenant closer than 
is consistent with the wants and imperfections of human nature. And we 
can readily conceive, that some of those who are accustomed to found their 
hopes of salvation, not on their own diligence to make their calling and 
election sure, but on the righteousness and transferred merits of another, 
may think that their doctrine points to a smoother, and easier, and 
pleasanter road. Not that any Unitarian is so absurd and presumptuous as 
to cherish the idea of merit on his own part towards Him, in whom alone 
he has his being, so as to conceive himself entitled to claim the happiness 
of a future state as a reward, or as wages for work done. This notion has 
been imputed to us by some, but without the shadow of a foundation. The 
free grace and mercy of God, as manifested in the glorious Gospel of Jesus 

] 18 


Christ, ami this alone, is the gvound of our hope ; and herein we repose 
with full and assured confidence. Considering these as an adequate and 
rational oround of confidence, the consistent Unitarian Christian cherishes 
his faith as truly precious and worthy of all acceptation, in its efficacy, to 
furnish sufficient motives to the practice of all holiness and virtue, and to 
support him under all trials, with the well grounded hope of better things 
to come. But he does not, therefore, claim this as his exclusive privilege. 
He is ready to give the sincere and conscientious the right hand of fefiowship ; 
and if there be many who refuse to accept, or to offer it in return, he 
regrets it not so much on his own account as on theirs. He regards it as 
their misfortune, and as his own great and unspeakable happiness, that he 
is able to think better of them and their prospects, than their principles will 
permit them in consistency to think of him and his. 

It has been alleged by some of its opponents, that Unitarianism is 
deficient in its practical and devotional tendencies ; and invidious com- 
parisons have sometimes been made of the habits and manners of Unitarians 
with those of other religious bodies, in support of this objection. On such 
a point, if we felt ourselves competent to speak, we should decline entering 
further, than to observe, that any inference of this kind, drawn from a mere 
difference of manners, must always be precarious, because the association 
of such peculiarities with diversities of religious character often depend 
on accidental circumstances, or the prevailing habits of the society or 
the place in which the parties live. Thus a mode of spending a portion 
of the Lord's day, which in Scotland would betray a great want of serious- 
ness, or at least a blameable disregard of the feelings of those around us, 
may be perfectly allowable at Geneva. With respect to outward ordinances, 
or observances of any kind, Unitarians do not believe that these things 
have any efficacy in themselves, or constitute any part of religion, indepen- 
dently of their influence on the heart and life ; but we will not undertake 
to say, that they have never allowed this unquestionably correct principle 
to carry them too far ; and it may be, that individuals have been led in 
consequence to neglect valuable means of religious improvement, to their 
own serious disadvantage. But that any such imputation can be laid to 
the charge of the entire body, we see no reason to believe. Another 
circumstance must be borne in mind, if we allow ourselves to ibrm an 
estimate on such a su])ject. Unitarians in general, have much less scruple 
than other Dissenters in partaking of the ordinary innocent amusements 


and relaxations which are customary in the stations of life to which they 
respectively belong ; and hence, to those who can look only at the outward 
appearance, there may be less to distinguish them from the bulk of the 
society in which they move. But if it cannot be alleged of them that they 
are less careful than others, to keep themselves unspotted from the world, 
we shall not allow that this difference, in any degree, affects their religious 
character. We need hardly add, that we protest in toto, against all such 
pretensions, by whomsoever they may be advanced, in this manner to sit 
in judgment on their brethren : and at all events, whether the imputation 
be well-founded or not, as far as individuals are concerned, we contend 
that if any nominal Unitarians are less careful than they ought to be, to 
cultivate the genuine graces of the Christian character, the fault lies with 
themselves, and not with their professed principles. 

Ever since the Toleration Act, the Presbyterian Dissenters have gene- 
rally taken an active, and often influential part in public affairs. As might 
be expected, their influence has most commonly been thrown into the scale 
of the Whig party, or by whatever name the leading supporters of more liberal 
public measures may have been known. Though happily exempted from 
persecution in its most formidable shape, they have always been subject to 
slights and disabilities which had a natural tendency to cool whatever spirit 
of conservatism they might have within them. To the two great political 
movements which expelled the House of Stuart, and established that of 
Hanover, the Dissenters as a body, and more especially the Presbyterians, 
largely contributed ; and at every subsequent period they have constituted 
an important element (so to speak,) in the political character of the times. 
There have never ceased to be institutions and practices in the State, as 
well as in the Church, which appeared to them to demand reform, and thus 
the habit has been promoted of looking constantly beyond the things that 
arc, to better things in prospect. They have felt themselves aggrieved by 
unnecessary and arbitrary restrictions : and thus has been nurtured the 
spirit of civil as well as of religious liberty, impelling them, as active and 
Christian citizens who remember that no man liveth to himself, to difluse its 
blessings, and strengthen its safeguards, wherever their influence extended. 

We know not exactly to what cause it is to be ascribed, but the fact is 
certain, that the Unitarians have in general exercised an influence, both 
in national and local politics, very considerably beyond what might seem 
to be due cither to their numbers or external resources. Since the passing 


of the Reform Act, the Unitarian members of the House of Commons 
have always outnmiibered those from all other denominations of Pro- 
testant Dissenters pvit together. The same is true in the councils of 
most of our principal corporate towns, since a more popular element was 
infused into them by the Municipal Reform Act. And this, notwith- 
standing the very strong prejudice which almost every where prevails 
against their religious, tenets, which numerous bodies, agreeing in almost 
nothing else, unite in denouncing and even holding up to public odium. 
And, also, notwithstanding the startling fact which had but recently been 
brought to light, that they were still to a certain extent under the ban 
of the law. From these causes it has happened, that many of the most 
remarkable popular movements, — for the abolition of slavery, the removal 
of civil disabilities and useless restrictions, have been very sensibly 
modified by their influence. 

In the first age of Protestant Dissent, the Presbyterians were decidedly 
the leading denomination ; and for more than a century after the Toleration 
Act, though no longer the most numerous party, they appear to have 
been permitted to retain this position on all occasions when the general 
body were called on to act in conjunction. In all joint applications to 
Parliament for the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, and for other 
extensions of religious liberty, their deputies took the most active and 
prominent part. Even down to the final repeal of those obnoxious 
statutes in 1828, this continued to be the case ; though for almost a 
century it had been notorious, that in respect of the Trinity and other 
points of orthodoxy, they had departed widely from the standard of their 
forefixthers. Mr. William Smith, a well-known and zealous Unitarian, 
was for many years the Chairman of the Deputies, to whom the manage- 
ment of affairs affecting the civil rights of Dissenters at large, was chiefly 
entrusted. Yet, at that time, the different members of that body appeared 
to act harmoniously together on matters in which their common interests 
were concerned ; and it v/as not till a comparatively recent period, that 
the leaders of the more numerous section found it ' painful' to associate, 
under any circumstances, with their heretical brethren. Unitarians are 
almost universally favourable in theory to an entire separation between 
Church and State ; and if it were now their lot to found a new political 
community, a civil establishment of religion would, of course, form no 
part of its constitution. But they are aware that in practice the appli- 


cation of general principles must be modified by the circumstances of the 
case ; and that in the present condition of this country, the state of public 
opinion, and powerful existing institutions and interests, would render it 
impossible to carry such principles into full operation. It must be added, 
that the spirit which has been shewn on several recent occasions, has led 
many of them very seriously to question, whether there wovild be any 
prospect of mending themselves by a change ; and they are consequently 
now rather disposed 

' To bear the ills they suffer, 
Than fly to others which they know not of.' 

Hence they have taken little part in the ' Anti-State Church movement' 
lately set on foot, and so actively patronized by the Independents ; though 
they cannot but wish success to all judicious and well-directed endeavours 
to enlighten the public mind on this most important subject, — to diffuse 
on all hands just and more rational principles than have hitherto prevailed, 
and to induce men to act on them calmly and consistently. 

The history of the legal and civil position of Unitarians is a subject of 
considerable interest and importance, especially as connected with certain 
remarkable recent transactions. Their express exclusion from the benefits 
of the Act of Toleration, and the additional heavy penalties denounced 
against them in the ' Statute of Blasphemy,' which was concocted not 
many years after, have already been mentioned. There is reason to think 
that this last persecuting law was a step beyond what the spirit even of 
those times could bear ; for though the press at that period teemed with 
Unitarian publications, (chiefly anonymous, it is true, but which might, 
doubtless, have been traced without difficulty, to their authors or pub- 
lishers,) and though not long afterwards men of no less distinction than 
Clarke and Whiston were clearly v/ithin its range, to say nothing of many 
others of inferior note, there is not, we believe, a single instance upon 
record, of its being put in force against any Unitarian. To all practical 
purposes it seemed so completely dead and buried, that many objected to 
the agitation of the subject, when !Mr. William Smith's bill to repeal it 
was brought forwai-d in 1813, on the plea that it was superfluous and 
unwise to revive the memory of that which had altogether passed into 
oblivion. It might almost seem as if subsequent events had shewn it to 
bo unwise, when the result, instead of immediately placing Unitarians in 


the same legal position as all otlier Dissenters, wliich there cannot be a 
doubt that the Legislature intended to effect, and which the Unitarians 
imagined had been effected, appeared to render them more insecure than 
before. The principle of law in the interpretation of trusts, previously 
unsuspected, but now fully established by the decisions in the Hewley 
and Wolverhampton cases, that no trust can be maintained at the present 
day in its application to any purpose which was illegal at the time when 
the trust was made, and that where no opinions are specified in the 
trust-deeds, they must be presumed, in spite of the most notorious facts 
to the contrary, to have been such as were then legal, evidently renders 
it impossible, by any thing short of an Act of Parliament, to establish 
the title of Unitarians to chapels and other property held in trust, of an 
older date than the year 1813, when they were, for the first time, formally 
admitted to the benefit of the Toleration Act. Not only were they liable 
to be deprived of those older places whose original founders were Trini- 
tarians, or persons with respect to whose opinions on disputed points there 
might be some doubt or uncertainty ; but from those also of later date, 
which were admitted on all hands to have been founded by Unitarians, 
or even by the very parties at present in possession, they w^ere liable to 
be ejected by any persons connected or not connected with the congre- 
gation, or even with the neighbourhood, who chose to file a bill in Chancery 
for that purpose. That such is or was the laiv, we can no longer presume 
to call in question, because it has been so decided by the highest authority; 
that it is a principle founded in justice or reason, is a point on which 
we may still be permitted to form an opinion. One thing at least is 
clear ; that in almost every case in which parties, not previously tolerated, 
are at any time admitted to the possession of legal privileges, they must 
at the period of such admission be already in the occupation of places 
of worship, of schools, of charities and bequests of various kinds. Without 
something of this kind, it is scarcely conceivable that they should exist 
as a party at all. It seems reasonable, therefore, to presume that the 
legislative act which gives them a legal existence, virtually establishes 
tlieir title to property of this description actually in their occupation, since 
it is otherwise liable to be defeated to a very considerable extent in its 
intended purpose. And yet, in so doing, according to this doctrine, it 
commits a flagrant injustice ; because the law says it is impossible to 
suppose that the original founders or testators intended their property 


to be aj^pHed to any illegal use. The Legislature, therefore, in thus 
acting, are guilty of a perversion of the trust from its original intent. 

The whole controversy that has taken place on this subject, is a notable 
example of the ' glorious uncertainty of the law.' It is an undisputed 
historical fact, that a large portion of the early Presbyterian congi*egations, 
believed to have been originally Trinitarian, altered their views on 
doctrinal points within the life-time of the original founders ; or, at least, 
of the first race of trustees, at a period when there could not be the 
slightest difficulty in ascertaining what the intentions of the founders 
were. At that period there were, of course, disputes and schisms, and 
secessions without number ; but we do not hear of a single instance in 
which the seceding minority entertained a thought of invoking the aid 
of the Court of Chancery on their behalf, seeking to expel the present 
occupants on the ground, either that they had diverged from the faith 
professed by their fathers, or that to avow the opinions they had now 
adopted amounted to a crime in the eye of the law. The chapel in 
Essex-street was founded in 1778, expressly for Unitarian worship; 
among the first trustees were Mr. Serjeant Heywood, and Mr. Lee, after- 
wards Attorney-General. Certainly these learned men had no idea tliat 
it might at some future time be 'presumed that the place was intended, 
not for Unitarian, but for Trinitarian worship. Nay, whatever we may 
now think of the principle upon which these cases were finally decided, 
either in a legal point of view, or as estimated by the standard of reason 
and common sense, it is quite evident, that the judicial authorities them- 
selves, before whom these cases were argued, were not, in the first 
instance, prepared to recognize the principle above stated as an acknow- 
ledged and well-established rule. If it had been so, we might have 
expected them to put a stop in limine to the lengthened and tedious 
discussions introduced on both sides, relating to points which it afterwards 
appeared had nothing to do with the question. The whole dispute was 
reducible to a simple argument, one member of which was an established 
rule of legal practice, and the other an historical fact, which no one 
attempted to call in question. The conclusion, therefore, was equally 
undeniable : and instead of being debated over and over again for a series 
of years, might have been settled in two minutes. The whole case would 
have been comprised in this single syllogism : — The law will not sanction 
the application of trust-property to any purpose which was illegal at 


the time when the trust was made ; Unitarian worship was illegal when 
these trusts were made ; therefore, &c. 

This alarming discovery — for, we repeat, it was a discovery to all 
parties— being made, 'it became manifest, that henceforward the chapels, 
burial-grounds, and religious property, of the Anti-trinitarians, derived 
from their forefathers, and upheld and added to by themselves, could be 
retained only on sufferance. Though their possession had for upwards 
of a century been undisturbed and unquestioned, yet, according to these 
decisions, it appeared to be without the sanction of law ; and not only 
were there parties anxious to avail themselves of this new judicial light, 
and to involve in litigation the possessors of numerous chapels, but it 
was fovuid that, whether attacked or not, none of the property affected 
covdd even be repaired for want of a good holding title.'* Nay, so 
anomalous was the state of things produced by the decisions, that the 
parties at present in possession could not even surrender the property except 
through the intervention of a Chancery suit, in order to determine who 
were entitled to receive it, — a question, by the way, much more easily asked 
than answered. Upon the whole, the impartial and candid, even of those 
who had been concerned in forming and pronouncing those decisions, were 
ready to acknowledge that they involved great hardship and practical 
injustice, for which the law, in its present state, or the state into which 
it was now brought, afforded no remedy. On a due representation of the 
case, they, therefore, willingly concurred in applying the only effectual 
remedy which could be suggested, in an express Act of Parliament. A 
bill was accordingly brought in by the Government, and carried through 
both Houses by large majorities, the purport of which was first to place 
all chapels built, and endowments made by Unitarians, prior to the passing 
of the Acts by which they are now formally admitted to a legal toleration, 
on the same footing as they would have been if these Acts had been in 
existence at the time when the said chapels and endowments were created ; 
and secondly, in all other cases in which no peculiar doctrines are specified 
in the trust-deeds, to provide that the usage of the congregation for twenty - 
five years shall be held to be sufficient evidence of the purposes for which 
the chapel, &c., may continue to be held. 

* Debates on the Dissenters' Cliapcls Bill. Introduction. 


This Act furnislies a practical remedy for tlic grievance complained of, 
and is certainly a very important extension of religious toleration ; though 
it mvist be confessed that it still leaves the law on this subject in a some- 
w^hat arbitrary and inconsistent state, which we venture to predict will 
in process of time create no small confusion and difficulty among certain 
large and numerous bodies, whose present members seem to have no 
suspicion of the predicament to which they are rapidly approaching, and 
which, in all probability, will require a fresh interference of the Legislature 
to prevent summum jus from becoming summa injuria. 

On the recent occasion the conduct of the Government was certainly 
deserving of all praise. The aggrieved party was almost to a man opposed 
to them in political opinions, and far from being formidable either in 
numbers or influence ; while on the other hand, the parties who were 
banded together in a vehement opposition to their proposed measure, were 
very numerous, and, to all appearance, much more powerful. They could, 
therefore, be influenced in bringing forward the Dissenters' Chajiels Bill, 
by no other motive than a determination to adopt the course which they 
felt to be just and right. The discussions vvrhich arose on the question 
in both Houses of Parliament were in a high degree interesting ; and 
in some respects, we may almost say, even more satisfactory and encou- 
raging, than the measure itself. The enlightened and liberal sentiments 
expressed by almost all the leading statesmen of all parties, display a 
prevailing spirit which, there is good reason to hope, will continue to 
manifest itself on other occasions, and to animate the proceedings of our 
Legislature when they have to deal with measures aifecting the most 
important interests of other religious communities. They shew not 
only a surprising knowledge of the facts of the case, but a readiness to 
enter into the spirit of our institutions and principles, which it must be 
acknowledged that few of us were prepared to look for ; and as far as 
this measure is concerned, many of them appear to be decidedly in 
advance of the people at large, in a just view of the principles which 
should govern the conduct of public men in reference to such questions. 
U nhappily, they are so hampered by party and class interests, and by a 
multitude of established, not to say antiquated, institutions, that it would 
be impossible for them fully to carry out in practice all the sentiments 
and principles they have professed, even if we could imagine that they 
would be themselves disposed to act upon them consistently, and follow 


them out to their legitimate consequences. But this is not to be supposed. 
It would be inconsistent with the view which all history gives us of the 
gradual march of opinion in its influence upon hvunan afltiirs. General 
principles are often acknowledged in the abstract by one generation, who 
pass away and leave it to their successors to act upon them. And even 
they will seldom be prepared to carry them into vmiform o^^eration ; the 
consequence of which is, that we almost always find, in the institutions of a 
state or the practice of mankind, especially in periods of rapid advancement, 
the strangest mixture of reformation, based on sound and enlightened 
principles, with the remnants still maintaining their ground, of super- 
stitions and prejudices handed down from an age of comparative barbarism. 
What the results may be of the recent change in the legal position of 
Unitarians, as far as their future prosperity as a ' denomination' is con- 
cerned, it would be presumption to anticipate. It depends, of course, 
entirely on their own preparedness to avail themselves of the new and 
imjoroved circumstances, for the wider and more effectual dissemination 
of the truth. We would gladly hope that the result will be beneficial, 
both on those who have received and on those who have conceded the 
boon. We accept it in humble and grateful reliance on a wise Providence, 
under whose direction it will, doubtless, be made to work together with 
other instruments of progress, for the promotion of just principles and 
libeial sentiments, in conformity with the true spirit of the Gospel, and 
the increasing spread of a genuine civilization. 



An account of the rise and progress of Unitarianism among the English 
Nonconformists would be incomplete, without a reference to the history 
and present state of the General Baptist churches. 

There is every reason to believe that the earliest Anti-trinitarians in 
this country, at the very dawn of the Reformation, were Baptists, or 
as they were then called, Anabaptists. INIany to whom this latter name 
was given, came over from Holland and Germany, of whom several suffered 
at the stake as martyrs to their principles. In 1550 the Arian doctrine 
is said to have been spreading with such rapidity as to alarm the ruling 
powers ; and it appears that the greater part of those who endured the 
fiery trial in the reigns of Edward VI., Elizabeth, and James I., were at 
once Unitarians and Baptists. 

At the passing of the Toleration Act, the Baptists formed the third 
of the leading parties, or denominations, of the Dissenters. They were 
divided into two classes, agreeing in their distinctive tenet, or rather 
practice, of adult baptism by immersion, but differing as to the extent in 
which they went along with the prevailing orthodoxy of the times. By 
far the larger class were thorough-going Calvinists ; limiting the redemp- 
tion which is by Christ to the elect only, while the other party maintained 
that it was destined for all mankind. Hence the former were called 
Particular, the latter General, Baptists. This difference, and the discus- 
sions which arose upon it, naturally led this party to the adoption of 
more liberal views on other points of doctrine, corresponding very nearly 
to what is called Arminianism ; and the same influences which have 
already been pointed out as operating on the Presbyterians, were equally 
visible in the subsequent progress of the General Baptists to a much wider 
deviation from the original standards of their party. Indeed, there is 
reason to think, that a considerable portion of this body had adopted Arian 
principles, at a time when such opinions were not openly professed among 
the Presbyterians, by any except the more learned and inquisitive ; who 
commonly take the lead of the main body in all important movements 
of this nature. Certain it is, that the celebrated Emlyn, when he took 
up his residence in London, after the persecution he had experienced in 
Dubhn, found no admittance to any Dissenting pulpit except that of the 
Baptist congregation at Barbican, occupied successively by two of the most 


distino-uished men of whom tlicir denomination can boast, Gale and Foster. 
The former was one of the most learned men among the Dissenters of 
his time, and his Reflections on Wall's History of Baptism is one of the 
works of highest authority in vindication of his leading tenet. Gale was 
intimate with Whiston, Emlyn, Lord Chancellor King, and others, among 
the most eminent men of their time for liberal principles and theological 
learning. He was a .zealous asserter and patron of universal liberty ; a 
warm opposer of all human imposition in matters of religion ; and, as we 
might reasonably expect, his name is found in the list of non-subscribing 
ministers at Salters' Hall.* The character of Foster, as a highly popular 
preacher, and an able and successful champion of revelation, in opposition 
to the Deistical writers of his day, is well known ; and in later times the 
names of Bulkley, Toulmin, Wright, Evans, and others, have served to 
keep up the reputation of the body to which they belonged. 

The numbers of the old General Baptists were never large, and various 
causes have contributed to their decline ; particularly the formation of a 
new and distinct body of General Baptists, maintaining Trinitarian opinions 
in connexion with the Arminian principle, from which the name is derived. 
Occasionally, where congregations of Unitarian Baptists and Presbyterians 
existed in the same neighbourhood, it has been felt in process of time by 
both parties, that the grounds of union and agreement between them were 
more numerous and important than their single point of difference, and 
they have, consequently, united. This has been the case at Taunton, 
INIoreton Hampstead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, York, and several other jjlaces. 

Dr. Foster appears to have separated from the congregation at Barbican 
in consequence of their refusal to admit to the Lord's table persons who 
had not been baptized in their manner. At present, however, it is believed 
that the Unitarian Baptist churches almost universally adopt the practice 
of what is called 'open communion;' rejecting no professing Christian, of 
whatever denomination, who is desirous of joining with them in celebrating 
the death of their common Saviour. An Annual Meeting of delegates 
from the different churches, called the General Assembly, is held every 
Spring in London. 

In 1837 a periodical called the Unitarian Baptist Advocate, was com- 
menced under the editorship of Mr. Marden, the respected minister of the 
chapel in Worship-street, London ; but was only continued for three years. 

* Unitarian Baptist Advocate, vol. i. p. 1 1. 



[The Editor, aware that some diiference of view exists among those who 
are generally known by the name of Unitarians, in England, applied to a 
friend eminently qualified to afford a just statement; and has been 
permitted to make use of the following extract, from a letter written by 
him on another recent occasion.] 

I will endeavour to represent, as fairly as I can, what I consider to be 
the distinctive features and fundamental principle of the faith and worship 
now prevalent amongst English Unitarians. Differences of opinion on 
some not unimportant points, confessedly exist ; and these I shall not omit 
to notice. The great peculiarity in the constitution of our churches, is 
their rejection of human formularies of faith. They recognise the religion 
of Jesus Christ as a divine communication to mankind — an all-sufficient 
rule of belief and practice; but they leave each generation, as it comes, to 
interpret Christianity for itself from the original records of the New Testa- 
ment. Thus the principle of progress and development is the fundamental 
constitution of our Societies. We esteem this a great privilege, and the 
most honourable distinction of our body. How this distinction has become 
hereditary amongst us, will be best explained by a brief reference to our 
early history. Our class of dissenters originated in that section of the 
old Puritan party, which was distinguished by the name of Presbyterian, 
because their forefathers in the time of the civil wars had contended for the 
national establishment of that form of church government in preference to 
the Episcopalian. But before the passing of the Toleration Act in 1689, 
this had ceased to be a point of primary importance among them. Fortu- 
nately, as we think, for their posterity, at the time of the foundation of their 
places of worship, a large proportion of which are now held by Unitarians, 
there was a considerable division of opinion among the Presbyterians, and 
a strong disposition to search freely into the meaning of Scripture, which 
kept them from rigidly defining any form of doctrine in their trust deeds, and 
made them more anxious to secure freedom of worship, and the great Pro- 
testant principle of the right of private judgment. It is probable, that 
many of them did not foresee all the consequences of establishing this 


principle ; l)ut in the consistent application of it, their successors have 
undergone, and have expressed, continual modifications of opinion — at fust 
pretty generally Trinitarian, then Arian, and now, since the days of the 
celebrated Dr. Priestley, almost universally Unitarian. In consequence of 
this change of opinion, our claim to property inherited from the ancient 
Presbyterians, has been challenged by the orthodox parties of the Dissenters ; 
and on this ground, some years ago, while the law was unsettled, a large 
estate left for religious purposes was taken from Unitarian trustees and 
thrown into Chancery, where its appropriation still remains undecided. 
But by an Act of Parliament, which was passed in the year 1844, we 
have been confirmed in the possession of our chapels, school houses, and 
endowments, and the principle of internal development peculiar to our 
religious institutions, has been distinctly recognised by the legislature. 
Y\ ith regard to our actual opinions — as we have no public creed, as we 
lay more stress on broad general principles than on particular doctrines, 
and as different views certainly prevail amongst us, it is, of course, difficult 
to describe them with the precision which would be possible, were there 
any book that could be appealed to, as authoritatively recording them. I 
may, however, affirm, in general, as a correct representation of our present 
behef — that we receive Christianity as a religion of divine origin, and 
regard Jesus Christ as the last and greatest of the prophets, completing and 
terminating the preparatory dispensation of Moses, and establishing in 
place of it, a religion for universal humanity. We further agree in con- 
sidering God, the supreme Father, as the only proper object of religious 
worship, and as a being of essential love and mercy, who requires no other 
propitiation from frail and erring man than a penitent and humble spirit; 
and a will earnestly devoted to his service. In Christ we receive tlie 
highest form of spiritual excellence, in which are at once manifested to us 
the holiness and benignity of the Being, in whose name we believe he spoke, 
and a model of human virtue after which we should constantly aspire. 
Cleaving to his spirit and example, we take to be the sure road to ever- 
lasting Hfe. But, although by the contemplation of Christ, we feel ourselves 
better able to conceive of God in his moral relation to mankind, and con- 
stantly offer up our prayers to God through him — yet we regard it as 
contradictory to the first principles of natural religion and the plainest 
commands of Scripture, to address worship to Christ, who is himself a 
creature, and, as most of us regard him, in nature a man. The doctrinal 


points therefore on which we feel ourselves most at variance with other 
Christians are, first, the doctrine of the Trinity, according to which the Father, 
the Son, and the Holy Spirit are to be worshipped as equal and co-eternal 
God, making up the idea of Deity amongst them; secondly, the worship 
of Christ ; and thirdly, the common doctrine of the Atonement, according 
to which, God is declared unable or unwilling to forgive the truly penitent 
without the satisfaction made by the sufferings of Christ to his offended 
justice. For none of those doctrines, as they are popularly understood, can 
we find any satisfactory warrant in the language of the New Testament; and 
besides this, the first of them seems to us to involve a self-contradiction ; the 
second strikes at what we deem the fundamental doctrine of religion ; and the 
third we cannot reconcile with our notions of the paternal benevolence of God. 
More difference of opinion exists among us, as to the degree of authority 
which is due to the literal meaning of the words of Scripture. Some are 
of opinion, that whatever can be clearly shewn to be taught by Christ and 
his Apostles, must be received with unquestioning deference as a divine 
command ; another, an d I am inclined to believe, an increasing party, 
think, that it is rather the spirit than the letter of Christ's religion — the 
great general principles of faith and conduct embodied in his teachings and 
life, which should be embraced as divine ; that in the application to the 
events and persons of his own time, as described in the New Testament, 
these principles have been largely modified by the popular belief and 
opinions then prevalent among the Jews; and that, therefore, studying the 
Christian Scriptures with the same free and unprejudiced spirit as we 
should any other writing of an equal antiquity, it should be an object to 
separate in them the permanent from the transient ; the eternal truth which 
is designed for all ages and countries, from the fleeting form of opinions 
which has only a relative value for the state of society in which it is sincerely 

With respect to the miraculous, which enters so largely into the narra- 
tives of the New Testament, the great majority of Unitarians in this 
country take it in its literal sense, and regard it as a superhuman con- 
firmation of the truth and divinity of the doctrines therein contained ; 
making it, in fact, the great and only certain distinction of a divine 
revelation from a merely human system. There lue some, however, and I 
must confess myself to be among the number, who cannot go to this extent. 
We believe in direct revelations of spiritual truth from God, and in the 


divine origin of the Gospel. Convinced, from the cahn, deliberate 
testimony of our own hearts and minds, of the intrinsic truth and excel- 
lence of Christianity ; persuaded there must have been a divine power and 
presence in the workings and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, and unable, by 
any process of interpretation or criticism that has yet been suggested, to 
remove the supernatural from the Christian narrations, without destroying 
their very texture, we- take it, unexphiined, for the sake of the precious 
truths and great example which are involved in it ; but it is not to us the 
primary basis of our faith. We dare not make it a sine qua non to the 
acceptance of Christianity as a Divine system ; and feeling, the more we 
comprehend the spirit of the ancient world, how widely different were its 
conceptions of moral and religious truth, and even of the fidelity of historical 
narration, from those which now prevail ; and further observing, how 
obviously some of the miracles recorded in the New Testament possess 
rather a symbolical than an historical character, we judge it the wser 
course, to rest the evidence of Christianity on deeper and firmer grounds, 
to suspend an absolute judgment on this difficidt and mysterious question, 
and without discussing it, in the present state of knowledge, in our public 
assemblies for worship and edification, to leave it open for calm and serious 
investigation among the learned and philosophical. 

I have already mentioned the absence of all ecclesiastical tribunals 
among us. Every separate church manages its own affairs by its own 
freely-elected officers ; raises its own funds ; chooses and pays its own 
ministers. Our form of worship is simple, consisting usually of prayer 
offered up by the minister alone in the name of all the people ; of hymns in 
which all the congregation join, often aided by an organ and a choir ; and 
of a sermon enforcing the duties of life, and the hopes and consolations of 
religion, by the principles of Christianity. In some of our chapels, a 
liturgy, or printed form of prayer, in which both the minister and the 
people take a part, has been adopted in preference to the simpler form of 
devotion just described. Of ceremonies, in the common sense of that 
word, we have very few. It is customary, in most of our families, 
on the birth of an infant, to assemble the friends and the kindred, and 
dedicate the child to God as a future disciple of Jesus Christ, in the rite of 
baptism. We also, periodically, express our love and reverence for Christ, 
as the founder of our faith, and our great spiritual Instructor and guide, in 
the liord's Supper. The churches of neighbouring districts occasionally 



assemble for a joint religious service, to exchange friendly sympathies, and 
to strengthen each other in what is holy and good ; but we all meet on 
perfectly equal terms ; no one exercises any authority over the rest. 

I was deeply interested, sir, and affected by your letter ; nor have I been 

less so, by the different communications I have received from Mr. — , 

I rejoice to see a movement among good and earnest men in any quarter 
towards the recognition of those great and eternal truths which, I trust, 
will bring us all at last, beyond the grave, if not on earth, to the united 
worship of our common God and Father, and to the joint pursuit of the 
high objects of our immortal destiny. It is time that we rendered homage, 
in something more than mere words, to the doctrine of human brotherhood, 
and to the worth of that spiritual nature which we have all, of every creed, 
received from our Creator. We, Christians, whose great Master taught us 
a better lesson, have a long and heavy account against us of insults and 
injuries to our brethren of Israel, which, I conceive, we cannot better 
attempt to wipe off", than by candidly holding out to them a hand of fraternal 
recognition in all their efforts to assert the moral dignity of their nature, 
and to attain, by the guidance of reason and conscience, to truth and 
freedom, and spiritual communion with God. I would have no compromise 
on either side. I am decidedly a Christian ; with growing years, I feel 
increasing reverence for Christ, and increasing comfort in the hopes and 
principles which he has given me ; but I do not, therefore, expect that you 
should all at once come round to my point of view, and see things just as I 
see them. I cannot forget, that the excellent Mendelsohn still clung to his 
Mosaism, after all the earnest reasonings and expostulations of his friend 
Lavater. Let us each stand by our present convictions, and allow them to 
grow up and expand silently within us ; and we shall each be acceptable to 
God, and come to a more entire and permanent union of faith and feeling 
at last. Nevertheless, I delight to trace in the documents that have been 
transmitted to me, some points of obvious affinity between the views of 
your friends and the principles of what I sincerely regard as the purest 
form of Christianity You speak of the elements of eternal truth in the 
words of the ancient prophets, and you cherish these as the germ of true 
religion, in contradistinction to the externality and formalism of the cere- 
monial law. We, Christians, equally discover in these venerable oracles the 
seeds of heavenly truth which sprang up, as we believe, and yielded their 
perfect fruit in the ministry of the prophet of Nazareth. In Tesus Christ, 


we recognise the spiritual link which connected the old world with the 
new — the prophet of humanity — the centre and symbol of human bro- 
therhood. May all find, at last, a point of union and sympathy in him, no 
longer seen through the distorting medium of the creeds of a barbarous age, 
but contemplated with the serene affection and calm devotedness of pure 
and truthful minds. 



It is worthy of remark, that where the Sacred Volume has been allowed 
to be its own interpreter, and the mind to judge for itself, unshackled by 
creeds, the result has been the formation of Anti-trinitarian opinions. 
Most of our readers will have heard of the distinguished Hindoo, the Rajah 
Rammohun Roy. He was educated in the religion of his country and his 
forefathers, a system of pagan idolatry. His powerful mind, however, 
burst through the barriers of prejudice, and he worked his way into the 
regions of light. He carefully studied the Bible, he compared its simple 
and sublime teachings with the doctrines of the Brahmins, and rose from 
the investigation with a lively admiration of the loveliness of Christianity, 
and a decided conviction of its truth. That he might the better under- 
stand the records of divine truth, he read them carefully in the original 
tongues. He published a selection from the books of the New Testament, 
under the title of ' The precepts of Jesus the guide to peace and happiness.' 
As this work contained not a word of what are called the peculiar doctrines 
of the Gospel, it was attacked by a trinitarian missionary in India. Ram- 
mohun Roy wrote in its defence, and expounded his views of Christian 
doctrine formed from the careful study of the Bible alone. These views 
did not include the doctrine of the trinity. The Bible to him had revealed 
no such doctrine. Without a knowledge of the controversies of the 
Christian world, and of the varying and conflicting interpretations of Scrip- 
ture, he sat down to its examination with the simple desire of learning its 
contents, and he rose from that examination a believer in God and in Christ, 
but not a Trinitarian. His defence* of the views thus derived from the 
simple, unaided teachings of Scripture, forms about the best Anti-trinitarian 
work ever published. 

In another part of this volume it is shewn, that a large sect in America, 
who have discarded human creeds, and taken Christ as their only master in 
religious truth, and who on this account refuse any designation but simply 
that of ' Christians,' have also failed to discover the doctrine of the trinity 
in the teachings of him whom they receive as the Way, and the Truth, and 
the Life. 

» See his first, second, and final Appeal to tie Christian public. 


In the early part of the present century, a popvilar and laborious preacher, 
Joseph Cooke, was expelled from the Wesleyan connexion for an alleged 
departure from the faith of the founder of Methodism. He and the friends 
who adhered to him in the hour of persecution, resolved to ' search the 
Scriptures;' and to abide by their instructions, whatever might become of 
the creeds drawn up by fallible men. The doctrines of popular ortho- 
doxy one by one gave way before the test of pure Scripture, and without 
knowing that there were any others in the Christian world of like sentiments, 
they became anti-trinitarian. And several societies in Rochdale, Newchurch, 
Padiham, and Rawtenstall, originating from this simple adherence to 
Scripture at that time, are flourishing at this day.* 

A still more recent and extensive secession from the ranks of orthodoxy, 
arising out of the renunciation of human creeds, and reliance upon Scripture 
alone, is found in the rise of the ' Christians,' in this covintry, with Joseph 
Barker at their head. They have rejected the authority of creeds, and 
have gradually given up their belief in the peculiar doctrines of orthodoxy 
generally, though some retain their early faith. 

Mr. Barker was formerly a preacher in the Methodist New Connexion, 
and he distinguished himself by his unwearied diligence in the discharge of 
his duties, and the loving manner in which they were performed. ' His 
simple, unaffected mode of address' (remarks one who was a fellow-labourer 
with him in the ministry of the New Connexion) ' rendered him popular 
with the multitude. His pointed heart-stirring addresses made sinners 
weep under the word, and many through his instrumentality were added to 
the body with which he was associated. The works which he pubhshed 
were eagerly read, and his writings produced a powerful impression. He 
published a periodical ; wrote every leading article himself ; and wrote or 
transcribed nearly the whole of the smaller articles ; did all the book-keeping 
and packing himself ; lived ten miles from the printers ; wrote and 
published sermons and did the work of his circuit ; lectured about a 
hundred times in a year on Temperance, &c. ; travelled thousands of miles ; 
and little, if any, less than two thousand miles on foot ; held public discus- 
sions ; bought and sold thousands of books ; wrote hundreds or thousands of 
letters ; visited the sick ; conducted classes ; instructed young men, and 
engaged in a variety of labours which cannot be detailed.' 

» See John Ashworth's Account of the Rise and Trogress of the Unitarian Doctrine, &c. 


From the commencement of his career he manitested the character of a 
Reformer. In the ' Christian Advocate,' a Wesleyan newspaper, he wrote 
several letters on the propriety of holding open Conferences. He aro-ued 
that good men have no need to court secrecy in their proceedings. But his 
conduct in this respect was not approved by the leaders of the sect. 

He strenuously advocated the propriety of teaching writing in Sunday 
schools on the Lord's-day, on the ground that to do so was a work of 
mercy, and that works of mercy are a proper employment for the Sabbath - 

He recommended many reforms in the New Connexion, which soon 
brought upon him the hatred and opposition of those who were determined 
to keep things as they were. One of the greatest crimes he committed was 
the recommendation in his periodical, entitled the ' Evangelical Reformer,' 
of Dr. Channing's works, and this would, doubtless, have been sufficient 
for his expulsion, had not the leader of the opposition been aware that his 
influence was such as to endanger the safety of the Connexion. 

Mr. Barker also gave oftence by his determination to express his senti- 
ments without restraint. He said ' Science is infinite. The books which 
have hitherto been written, contain only the seeds and first unfoldino-s of 
knowledge. The truth that has been told hitherto, is but a brief and 
imperfect introduction to truth's whole story. It is but the title page, or a 
few lines of the table of contents, to the infinite and almost unopened 
volume. The universe is still unexplained; the works of God are still 
unread ; the illimitable and boundless stores of knowledge are as yet almost 
untouched. The flood gates of the infinite and eternal ocean have just 
been opened, but the streams are as yet but shght, and partially distributed. 
There remains enough of the water of life to form a thousand streams, and 
a thousand thousand more. If I am not mistaken, there are thousands of 
books to be written yet better than any that have been already written ; 
and thousands of books will be written after them, richer and better still. 
The day will come, as it seems to me, when every man and woman on earth 
will be readers. The struggle between truth and error will extend and 
become universal. Blind faith and human authority will cease, and every 
man will think and judge for himself.' 

• See his interesting tract, ' Teaching the Children of the Poor to write on the 
Sabbath Day, proved to be in perfect agreement with the "Word of God,' &c. By 
.Joseph Barker, Manchester, 18;57. 


It is not to be supposed that a man possessing such an ardent love for 
liberty and knowledge, and for an entire change in the efforts hitherto made 
for their extension, could long remain in peace in a creed-bound sect. 
Charges of unsoundness of doctrine were from time to time brought against 
him, which he met by the use of Scriptural phraseology in the statement of 
his opinions. At length he was formally tried, condemned, and expelled, on 
these charges : 

I. ' For denying tlie Divine appointment of baptism, and for refusing to 
administer the ordinance : 

II. ' For denying the Divine appointment and present obligation of the 
Lord's Supper : 

III. ' For his declared opposition to the Beneficent Fund : 

IV. ' For having announced the formation of a book establishment, 
thereby engaging in worldly business, contrary to rule (Section 10, 4, 
General Rules) and by this means opposing the best interests of our Book 

Being entirely freed from the authority of Conference, and the thraldom 
of creeds and Connexional institutions, Mr. Barker pviblished his views 
with greater freedom than ever. He established a new periodical, called 
the ' Christian Investigator,' in the conducting of which he was aided by 
Mr. William Trotter, who had been expelled for entertaining similar opinions 
with him, and by Mr. Thomas Smith, who sympathised with them prin- 
cipally in their views on the Wealth Question. After a short career this 
periodical was given up, and a new one established, under the name of 
' The Christian,' under the sole management of Mr. Barker, to appear at 
such intervals as suited his convenience. At the same time he issued a 
number of Tracts on the Hired Ministry, on the Atonement, on Original 
Sin, on the Trinity, &c., in which he opposed fearlessly and powerfully the 
doctrines of orthodoxy, and the established usages of the sects. 

Many left the Connexion on his expulsion, particularly in the churches 
at Newcastle-on-Tyne, Gateshead, Bradford, Staley-Bridge, Mottram, 
and Newton. A numerous body, with near thirty preachers, separated 
from Conference in the Stafibrdshire Potteries. Considerable secessions 
took place at Hawarden, Stockport, Dukinfield, Oldham, Leeds, Del})!), 
ISIosslcy, Hirst, Ashton, Manchester, Pendleton, Iiolton, Bramley, II ud- 
dersfield, Berry Brow, Paddock, Lindley, South Shields, and in many other 


There are at present about 200 Societies, with an average of about 30 
members each. There are varieties of opinion among them ; but in general 
the doctrines of original depravity, satisfaction to divine justice by a 
vicarious sacrifice, the trinity, and justification by faith alone, have been 
displaced by the doctrine of the divine unity, and the free unpurchased 
mercy of God, and the other tenets usually styled Unitarian. 

Since Mr. Barker has expressed his heterodox views, Mr. Trotter and 
many others have ceased to labour in connection with him. Many still 
retain orthodox notions, who remain in connection with Mr Barker, the 
basis of union being that of faith in Christ as the teacher and Saviour of 
mankind, and universal toleration in religious opinions. 

Some of the churches are perfectly free from sectarian organization. 

Many of the churches practise church discipline, and have a form of 
receiving and cutting off'members. 

In some places a number of churches furm themselves into districts for 
mutual assistance. 

In some churches they have no settled arrangements respecting preach- 
ing &c., the members of the church regarding it a duty to instruct one 

In some places they have preachers' plans drawn up, which are quarterly, 
or half-yearly ; by this method a number of churches may be supplied with 
teachers, there being generally twenty or thirty preachers on each plan. 

Mr. Barker makes a vigorous use of the press in disseminating what he 
holds as truth, and has been of immense service in bringing down the 
price of valuable publications, and placing them within the reach of the 
poor. This has been a great and successful object in his philanthropic 
labours. His cheap editions of Channing, of Penn, of Todd, of Law, and 
of others, are in the hands of thousands, who would otherwise, in all proba- 
bility, never have obtained the works. His labours in this point are worthy 
of all praise. 

His exertions in travelling and lecturing have also been great and praise- 
worthy ; and many minds both in Ireland and in the middle and South of 
England have been aroused and quickened by his living voice. 

He has excited great attention by his calm, clear, and powerful addresses 
wherever he has gone. The Socialists found him their ablest opponent. 
In many jiublic discussions has he stood up as the champion of our common 
Christianity in opposition to their assaults ; and it may with justice be said. 


that he has always retired from the combat with honour ; and dehghtful 
instances are not wanting of the renunciation of infidelity in consequence of 
its overthrow by his powerful arm. His ' Plain Man's Defence of Christ- 
ianity', (price 3s.) and his ' Christianity Triumphant,' are valuable works 
in answer to the popular objections of the day. 

The labours of this zealous, able, and devoted reformer, are calculated to 
infuse new life and energy into the Unitarians of this country, by whom he 
has generally been received with sincere sympathy and good will. 

It is very evident that the aristocratic formalism of the Presbyterian 
section of this body is not suited to the spirit of the masses of our popula- 
tion. And if the doctrines entertained by the Unitarians are to make any 
considerable impression upon the popular mind, there must be a greater 
conformity to popular feeling and modes of action. This element the spirit 
and labours of Mr. Barker are calculated to introduce and to foster ; and 
thus may he essentially serve the cause of freedom, liberality, and religion. 

Some of Mr. Barker's notions on the other hand appear crude and inju- 
rious. There is in his movements no provision for the regular maintenance 
of public worship ; he himself sets aside the use of public prayer and 
sinking, though many of his friends do not follow him in this ; there is no 
general system of organization, no means of duly drawing out the social 
elements of our nature in connection with religion. True, (to use a remark 
of the Rev. J. J. Tayler, in his interesting and valuable work ' A Retrospect 
of tlie Religious Life of England,') it is the spirit that quickeneth, the spirit, 
that creates the kingdom of God within us ; but the church, united withjts 
risen and glorified head, the church, with its social offices, and its common 
voice of thanksgiving and prayer, cherishes that spirit, and constitutes the 
outward medium of spiritual communion among men.' 

And another writer of kindred spirit. Dr. Henry Ware, (see his life, page 
159) remarks that 'The great principle on which the prosperity and edifi- 
cation of the church must depend, is the principle of association, union, 
sympathy, co-operation. The church is in its very essence an association. 
Its very design and constitution is to effect the purposes of personal improve- 
ment, and to extend the influence of religion by mutual counsel, aid, and 
co-operation ; hence the apostles emphatically call it one body, and its 
members, members one of another.' 

If this be forgotten, and instead of a constant union in worship and 
action. Christians only meet infrequently at the tabic of the Lord, this 


primary purpose is lost sight of, and it cannot, therefore, be expected that 
the greatest religious prosperity should be attained. When Jesus framed 
the model of his church, he in a manner set the example, the first example 
of that union by systematic association, which has since extended so far, and 
has wrought such powerful effects in the world. Is it then consistent that 
the church should be the first to relinquish this principle ? And must it 
not be expected to become weak and inefficient by abandoning it, just in 
proportion as it first became strong by adhering to it ? 

Unless this principle of association is more completely and systematically 
combined with the movement of Mr. Barker and his friends, it is probable 
that many will pass away, as some have already done, to the old system of 
the sects, or, what is worse still, to the worldhness of a state of mere unsettled- 
ness or indifference to all religious institutions and practices. And it is a 
matter of very questionable good, merely to render people dissatisfied with 
their present means of religious improvement if you furnish them with 
nothing better. It was the aim of our great Master not so much to destroy 
as to fulfil. His true followers will never rest satisfied with negation and 
destruction ; but whilst they endeavour to uproot error, will feel most confi- 
dence and happiness in the culture of a spirit of seriousness and devotion, 
of humility and mutual edification. 



Protestant Dissenting Congregations have now existed in the North of 
Ireland, for more than two hundred and thirty years, and very generally in 
connection with that form of church government which is called Presby- 
terian. They were founded at a period when there was no established 
custom among the Presbyterians of the Island, requiring assent to any 
human articles of belief. The country was involved in such ignorance and 
confusion, that the advocates of the Protestant Reformation felt it necessary 
to cultivate a spirit of mutual forbearance, not only amongst themselves, but 
with the members of every communion. That this was not always the case 
is much to be lamented. This forbearance became more needful, as not 
only the ministers, but most of the people who were comprised in these 
Presbyterian Societies, were from various parts of England and Scotland ; 
and, no doubt, brought with them different opinions respecting controverted 
points of doctrine and discipline. 

The introduction of the Westminster Confession of Faith into the General 
Synod of Ulster, in the year 1705, (the Synod having then been formed for 
a considerable time,) excited serious dissatisfaction in several ministers and 
congregations, and, instead of producing uniformity, occasioned heartburn- 
ings and unpleasant debates ; being a restriction upon Christian freedom, 
and bringing reproach upon the word of God, as if it were an imperfect 
rule of faith and duty. This setting up of human authority in Protestant 
Churches, and yet condemning it in the Church of Rome, is shamefully 
inconsistent, and has retarded the progress of the Reformation. 

In consequence of this restriction upon Christian liberty, several ministers 
and congregations separated from the General Synod, in the year 1726, 
and formed themselves into the Presbytery of Antrim. These churches 
have now for more than a century maintained the sufficiency of Scripture 
and the right of private judgment, in the concerns of religion. Nor did 
their separation enal)le the Synod to rivet the chains of human contrivance 
upon all who continued in its connection. In one Presbytery, subscription 
was gradually laid aside, in another it was modified, and in all so explained. 


as made it, for many years, a mere name.* The revival in the General 
Synod, of subscription, constrained the ministers and congregations of the 
Remonstrant Synod to leave that Body in the year 1829, and to stand fast 
in vindication of their religious rights and liberties. Their struggles have 
been crowned with much success, and numbers are, from year to year, 
joining their communion. 

As to the exact time when Anti-trinitarian views began to prevail in the 
North of Ireland, it is now impossible to say. Though all Anti-trinitarians 
derive their religious principles from the Bible, which is a much older book, 
and of much more authority than any human formula, the holders of these 
views were for a long time, in Ulster, distinguished by the name of New- 
lights. The majority of the people, however, who used this phrase, did not 
precisely know what was meant by it ; further than that it was intended to 
convey some share of reproach. 

From the middle till towards the close of the last century, this phrase 
was applied to Drs. Colville, of Dromore, Campbell, of Armagh; Bruce of 
Belfast, and Nelson, of Kilmore ; and also to the Revds. Samuel Barber, of 
Rathfriland ; Thomas Gumming, of Armagh ; Boyle Moody, of Newry ; 
Nathaniel Shaw, of Banbridge ; Andrew Craig, of Lisburn ; John Lindsay, 
of Ballymena; William Montgomery, of Ballyeaston : Samuel M. Stephenson, 
M. D., of Greyabbey, John Bankhead, of Ballycarry ; and Adam Hill, of 
Ballynure, all of whom were able ministers in their day and generation ; 
and men of great moral worth and social influence. 

These ministers, and a number of their contemporaries, were no doubt 
Anti-trinitarians, and inculcated their opinions, as was also the mode for a 
long time in England, rather indirectly than otherwise. To this mode of 
instruction Dr. Bruce, who preferred the direct manner, was in a great 
measure an exception. But those who now maintain that all Anti-trini- 
tarians, especially ministers, should make an open, fearless, and direct 
avowal of their opinions, ought to recollect, that the persecution of the 
pious, learned, and reverend Thomas Emlyn, of Dublin, and the seveie 

* In some instances, to save appearances, the following formula was subscribed : — ' I 
believe the Westminster Confession of Faith contains the essential doctrines of Christi- 
anity, and as such I subscribe it:' — a.b. This formula could be subscribed by every 
Unitarian in Christendom ; but if to it had been added, — ' and several doctrines which 
are opposite to the essential ones,' then the meaning of the fornmla would have been 


pains and penalties to which persons became liable in Ireland, who should 
impugn the doctrine of the Trinity, until the year 1817, were more than 
an apology for the divines who pursued the indirect method of inculcating 
their doctrinal views. 

In later times, and even before the repeal of the cruel and tyrannical 
Act, which made it felony to preach or write against the doctrine of the 
Trinity, as set forth in the Articles of the Church of England, several 
ministers stood forward and assailed this doctrine, both in the pulpit and 
out of it, as contrary to the express and repeated affirmation of the Old and 
New Testament Scriptures. The most fearless in this way were the Rev. 
Dr. Montgomery, of Dunmurry, and the Rev. Fletcher Blakely, of Money- 
rea; who, for thirty six years, have been the uniform advocates of civil and 
religious liberty, and the intrepid opponents of Calvinism and its kindred 
doctrines. It is due to the memory of the late Revds. William Porter, of 
Newtownlimavady ; John Mitchel, of Newry ; and Nathaniel Alexander, 
of Crumlin ; to state, that these upright and worthy men, in common with 
several of the brethren, cordially joined the pastors and people of Dun- 
murry and Moneyrea, in the maintenance of Christian freedom, and the 
avowal of the doctrine, that " there is but one god, the father". 

It is worthy of particular notice, that,in almost all the localities, in Ulster, 
where the first Presbyterian Congregations were erected, in these very 
places many of the descendants of the early advocates of Protestant Dissent 
have become Anti-trinitarian in their opinions. Such is the case at Broad- 
island, now called Ballycarry, at Templepatrick, at Antrim, at Lame, at 
Ilolywood, at Killinchy, and Carrickfergus. 

The number of Anti-trinitariansin the North of Ireland, is now consider- 
ably above thirty thousand ; who, it must be admitted, are among the most 
opulent, peaceable, loyal, and best educated inhabitants of the country. In 
connection with their congregations there are several well enclosed burying 
grounds ; a number of , efficient schools for giving instruction in general 
and classical education ; many well-attended Sunday schools for the accom- 
modation and improvement of the children of the humbler classes, and a 
few libraries. Their Meeting-houses are plain substantial buildings ; and 
are, without exception, iu respectable order. In them the Lord's Supper 
is administered twice every year, at common communion tables placed in 
the aisles ; and the attendance on each occasion is about one fifth or one 
sixth of the number of persons belonging to each congregation. In some 



of the larger congregations, siich as Dromore, Killinchy, Monyrea, Down- 
patrick, and Banbridge, the communicants number from two hundred and 
twenty, to four hundred and forty. Several, however, communicate only 
once in each year, otherwise the attendance at the supper would be 
considerably increased. 

The following tabular return will be found to give a pretty correct list of 
the Anti-trinitarian ministers of the North of Ireland ; the names and 
situations of the several and respective congregations ; and of the number 
of souls in connection with each Society. No attention has been paid to 
the age of any minister, nor to the rank or standing of any congregation, in 
making out the return. 






W. Bruce, . j 
J. Scott Porter, ) 

Belfast, . 

1st Belfast, 


J. Porter . 

Belfast, . 

2nd Belfast, . 


D. Maginnis 

Belfast, . 

York-st., Belfast, 






J. Carley . 

Antrim, . 

Antrim, . 


W. Heron . i 
J. Hall . . \ 




G. Hill, . 

Crumlin, . 

Crumlin, . 


Dr. Montgomery, 

Belfast, . 



R. Campbell, . 




W. Glendy, . 

Carrickfergus, . 



A. Montgomery, > 
T. Smyth, . \ 

Glenarin, . 

Glenarm, . 


T. Alexander, > 
R. Hall, . . S 




.T. N. Porter, . 

Carrickfergus . 

Carrickfergus, . 


F. McCummon 




J. M'Fadden, . 




J. Compton, 






J. Mulligan 




D. Whyte, 

Downpatrick, . 

Bailee, . 







A. Orr . 




W. J. Doherty, 

Comber, . 

Comber, . 


J. McCaw, 


Ravara, . 


S. Watson, 



. 2257 

J. Watson, . > 
W.O. M'GowanS 

Grey abbey. 



S. Moore, 


Narrow-water, . 


F. Blakely, 

Belfast, . 



W. Crozier, 


Kilmore, . 


J. Davis, . 




H. Alexander, . 

Newry, . 



W. B. Minniss, 




S. C. Nelson, . 


Downpatrick, . 


D. Watson, 

Clough, . 

Clough, . 


J. Osborne, . i 
H. Moore, . 3 


Newtownards, . 


C. J. McAlester, 





J, Montgomery, 

Newtownlemavady Newtownlemavady . 


D. Gordon, 


Strabane, . 




J. Lunn, 




In addition to these returns, which have been made out with much care, 
it is well-known, that, besides the number of Anti-trinitarians who reside in 
various parts of the country, and who are precluded by distance from 
joining any particular society, there is a floating population connected with 
a majority of the above congregations, that would, if included in the 
calculation, considerably increase the list of the Anti-trinitarians of Ulster. 

Nine new and thriving congregations have been erected in this Province 
within these fourteen years, and there is little or no doubt but that others 
will soon be formed. 

The following is the course of studies recommended by the Irish Anti- 
trinitarians, and followed by young men preparing for the ministry in their 


churches. The course, as recommended, is carried on, partly before 
entering College, and partly after three sessions, of six months each, spent 
in the study of the usual collegiate undergraduate branches of literature 
and science. 


English Grammar and Composition. 

Geography, Ancient and Modern, and the Elements of Astronomy. 


Ancient History of Greece and Rome — or at least an acquaintance with 
the leading eras and principal transactions. 

Greek and Latin — the same as the Entrance Course in Dublin College, 
viz. : — Homer's Iliad, first eight Books ; the Gospels of Luke and John, 
and Acts of the Apostles, in the New Testament ; Xenophon's Anabasis, 
first three Books ; Virgil's ^neid, first six Books ; Horace ; Juvenal, Sal. 
iii. X. xiii. and xiv. ; Terence, Andria, and Heautontimorumenos ; Sallust ; 
Livy, first three Books. 

If due attention be paid to the state of Education, on entrance, and 
afterwards, on receiving a General Certificate, or Degree in Arts, the 
intermediate time may be occupied with Examinations, Monthly or Quar- 
terly, on the Old Testament History, with Milman's History of the Jews, 
and with reading the Gospels and Acts, in the original ; attending to the 
Structure of the Language, the Course of Events, the Geography and 
Antiquities, &c. : and, during the Summer months, the History of the Jews, 
from the closing of the Scripture Canon, to the Christian era; also, a 
compendious view of the surrounding Monarchies and Empires. 

Theological Course. 

First Half-year, from November to May. 

To attend carefully to the business of the Hebrew Class, and to the 
Divinity Lectures (also, to the Ecclesiastical History Class.) At the 
February meeting of Presbytery, to be examined on one half of Paley's 
Evidences ; at the May meeting, to be examined on the other half; and to 
produce testimonials of attendance on the Lectures prescribed. [Note. — 
That, if the student shall have studied Hebrew, during one Session of his 
undergraduate course, he shall have a portion of the Hebrew Scriptures 
prescribed for examination.] 


Second Half-year, from May to October or November. 
At the August Meeting, to be examined on Lowth's Isaiah (Newton or 
Keith, on the Prophecies), and the Epistle to the Romans, in the original ; 
with the condition of the Roman Empire, at that period. 

At the October or November Meeting, — the History and Geography 
contained in the Acts, with the Supplementary History of the Apostles, to 
their death, from Greenwood or Cave. Paley's Horae Paulinas, and 1st 
Corinthians, in Greek. 

Third Half-year, from November to May. 

Further attendance on Divinity Lectures and Ecclesiastical History. At 
the February Meeting, to be examined on one-half of Home's Abridgment, 
and 2nd Corinthians, in Greek ; and the political condition of Greece, at 
that period. Exercises in Composition, prescribed at October meeting, to 
be produced. 

At the May Meeting, remainder of Home's Abridgment ; Epistles to 
Galatians, Ephesians, and Philippians ; and progressive Exercises in 
Composition, prescribed at the February meeting. 

Fourth Half-year, from May to November. 

At the August Meeting, — Epistles to Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, 
and Titus ; with the History of the first three centuries, from INIosheim or 
Waddington ; Exercises in Composition, prescribed at May meeting. 

At the November Meeting, — Epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude ; 
with the History of the Councils of Nice and Trent ; and of Huss, 
Wickliffe, and the Lollards. Composition as before. 

Fifth Half-year, from November to May. 

At the February Meeting, — Revelation ; with History of the Reformation 
in Germany, Switzerland, and England; Exercises in Composition, viz., — 
Public Discourses on prescribed texts or subjects. 

At the May Meeting, — Works prescribed on the Roman Catholic 
Controversy ; the History of the Puritans ; Evans's Sketch of Different 
Denominations ; Discourses for the Pulpit. 

On presenting themselves for receiving the Certificate of the Presbytery, 
that they are qualified to enter into the Ministry (commonly known by the 
name of license), they are to undergo an examination on the Epistles to the 
Hebrews, in Greek ; on the TjSrd chapter of Isaiah, in Hebrew, and the 


Septuagint ; on the Evidences : on Paley's Sermons, viz., — 2nd and 5th of 
Occasional ; and some work on Pastoral Care. 

Recommended for private reading, and for forming the beginning of a 
Library ; — Paley's Works ; Chalmer's Evidences ; Locke's Reasonableness 
of Christianity ; Leland's Deistical Writers ; Campbell, on the Gospels ; 
Locke, on the Epistles ; Macknight, on ditto ; Waddington's or Mosheim's 
Church History ; Schleusner's Lexicon, or Robinson's ; Butler's Works ; 
Whitby's Five Points; Neal's Puritans, or the Abridgment; Bishop's 
Marsh's Lectures on Theology; Chillingworth : Newton on Prophecy, &c., 
&c. ; Home's Abridgment ; or Alexander, on the Canon of Scripture. 



The Protestant Dissenting Congregations in Dublin, and the South of 
Ireland, avowedly Unitarian, are the following : Strand Street, and Eustace 
Street, Dublin ; first congregation of Clonmel ; first congregation of Ban- 
don ; and first congregation of Cork. 

There was a congregation of Protestant Dissenters founded in Dublin, in 
the reign of Queen Elizabeth, consisting chiefly of families of English Pu- 
ritans, and some Scottish Presbyterians. Of this religious Society there is 
no existing record, and the traditionary account is meagre and unsatisfactory. 
During the civil war that desolated Ireland in the reign of Charles I., its 
members suffered in common with their brethren in all parts of the coun- 
try, and many of them were scattered abroad. When the rebellion was 
subdued by the forces of the Commonwealth, the Presbyterian Congregations 
revived ; and under the Protectorate of Cromwell, though they had been 
steadily opposed to the government, and solemnly protested against the 
trial and execution of the King, they were allowed to live undisturbed, 
and enjoyed the benefits of that religious toleration which he had the 
wisdom and magnanimity to practise. 

The passing of the Act of Uniformity, and the other intolerant proceedings 
consequent upon the accession of Charles II., drove numbers of men, distin- 
guished for their piety, and learning, and moral worth, from the bosom of 
the Established Church, and added to the ranks and the influence of Non- 
conformity in Ireland. Amongst these holy confessors were tlie first ministers 
of the congregations now assembling in Strand Street, and Eustace Street, 


The congregation of Strand Street, formerly assembling in Wood Street, 
is of great antiquity, and can boast of a long succession of eminent Ministers. 
Amongst the earliest of these were the Rev. Stephen Charnock, and the 
Rev. Edward Veal, who had both been fellows of Trinity College, but felt 
themselves constrained, by conscientious motives, to join the persecuted 
Protestant Dissenters. 


They were succeeded by a man of great celebrity, Dr. Daniel Williams, 
who was unanimously chosen minister of the congregation in 1667, and 
discharged its duties with much acceptance for twenty years. During the 
arbitrary reign of James II. he was exposed to great danger from his warm 
attachment to the principles of the Reformation ; and having removed to 
London, in 1687, contributed his besteiforts in promoting the glorious revo- 
lution of 1688. He was chosen Lecturer at Pinner's Hall, as successor to 
his intimate friend, the venerable Richard Baxter ; and died in 1716. He 
founded and endowed the Dissenters' Library in Red Cross Street, London ; 
instituted exhibitions for six students in Glasgow College, from South 
Britain, intending to become Protestant Dissenting Ministers ; allocated 
the interest on one thousand pounds to promote the preaching of Christi- 
anity in the Irish language, and bequeathed a large property for other 
pious and charitable uses. 

The Rev. Joseph Boyse, who had been domestic chaplain to the Countess 
of Donegall, a lady of great piety and a zealous Dissenter, was chosen col- 
league to Dr. Williams, in 1683, and continued minister of Wood Street 
congregation for forty five years. He was a man of learning, and talent, 
and worth, and acquired great celebrity by his writings. He published a 
work ' On the proper office of a Christian Bishop,' which the Episcopal 
Bench, finding it inconvenient otherwise to answer, obtained a vote of the 
Irish Parliament to have publicly burned. This abortive attempt at 
persecution failed in its object, and was followed by the increased respect 
of enlightened men of all religious denominations. 

We have now reached a very important point in the history of this con- 
gregation, viz : the short, but eventful ministry of that venerable confessor, 
the Rev. Thomas Emlyn. He had succeeded Mr. Boyse, as chaplain in the 
family of the Countess of Donegall ; and having been repeatedly and warmly 
invited, accepted the co-pastorship of the congregation of Wood Street 
in 1691. His religious opinions were those commonly called Arian, but in his 
discourses from the pulpit controversial subjects were avoided. His silence 
on the doctrine of the supreme Deity of Christ awakened the suspicion of 
some zealous orthodox members of his congregation, who privately waited 
upon him, and questioned him as to his opinions on that point. Being thus 
interrogated, he felt it his duty explicitly to avow his belief, that the God 
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is alone the Supreme Being, and that 
liis Son derives his excellence and authority from him. In consequence of 


the unpopularity of these opinions, and the unkind interference of his 
brethren in the ministry in DubHn, he was induced to resign his pastoral 
charge, and retire, for a season, to England. It was during this period'that 
he published his celebrated work, ' An Humble inquiry into the Scripture 
account of Jesus Christ,' which was the occasion of his cruel and iniquitous 
persecution. Though his brethren in Dublin had acted very harshly 
toward him, they were not parties to the legal injustice of which he was 
made the victim. The prosecution was instituted by an over zealous lay 
member of another denomination of self-called orthodox Dissenters. 
Mr. Emlyn was indicted for blasphemy, and his trial conducted in a manner 
the most arbitrary and tyrannical. To make the scene more imposing, and 
to overawe the Jury, the two Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin sat upon 
the bench, and the Chief Justice told the Jury, if they acquitted the defen- 
dant, ' My Lords the Bishops were there.' Intimidated and borne down 
by these threats, the Jury reluctantly brought in a verdict of guilty, and 
Emlyn was sentenced to suffer one year's imprisonment, to pay a fine of 
one thousand pounds, and to lie in prison till it was paid. After sentence, 
he was publicly led round the Four Courts with a placard on his breast, 
stating his crime, and exposing him to the scoffs of an ignorant and preju- 
diced people. For more than three months he was kept a close prisoner in 
the house of the under sheriff, and then hurried away to the common goal, 
where he was confined for about five or six weeks in a close room, con- 
taining six beds, where he lay, the companion of the unfortunate and the 
criminal. His health having suffered from this treatment, on his petition 
he was removed to the prison of the Marshalsea, where he remained tiU 
July 1705. His late colleague Mr. Boyse, taking compassion on his mis- 
fortunes, interested himself to procure his liberation ; and the fine being 
reduced to £70, which was actually paid into the Exchequer, this good 
man was restored to freedom. It is worthy of remark here, as indicative 
of the tender mercies of Churchmen, that the Archbishop of Armagh, the 
Queen's Almoner, who was entitled to one shilling in the pound upon the 
whole fine, for some time insisted upon his claim, and afterwards, with diffi- 
culty, was prevailed on to accept a composition of £20 instead of £50. 
Thus, two years confinement in a prison, the payment of a fine very oppres- 
sive to him in his poverty, and his deprivation of office as minister of a 
respectable congregation, were the penalties he suffered for the calm and 
temperate expression of his conscientious opinions. 


The persecution of Emlyn awoke tlie sympathies of his people ; many of 
them visited him within his prison walls ; they heard there the doctrines, for 
the maintenance of which he was made to suffer ; and the seed which he 
had planted in the bitterness of his soul, and watered with his tears, sprung 
up, and yielded good fruit. The congregation of which he had ceased to be 
the minister, on the death of Mr Boyse, some years after, chose as his suc- 
cessor that most distinguished man, the Rev. John Abernethy, " whose name 
gave such eclat to the Arian doctrines in the beginning of the last century ;" 
and the pulpit of Emlyn has since that time been filled by a succession of 
eminent Unitarian ministers. The names of Duchal, Bruce, (father and son) 
Moody, Plunket (father to the celebrated Lord Plunket), and Armstrong, 
are in all our churches ; and their principles are ably sustained by the pre- 
sent ministers, the Rev. W. H. Drummond, D. D., and the Rev. G. A. 

The official return of the members of this congregation is, families 
100, which, at the calculation of five to a house, makes 500 individuals. 
Under the care of the congregation is a school, in which a number of boys, 
varying in amount from thirteen to twenty-eight, are boarded, clothed, 
educated, and, when qualified, apprenticed to useful trades. There is also a 
female daily school, average attendance 70 ; and a Sunday school, attendance 


The first ministers of this congregation, were the Rev. Samuel Winter, 
D.D., Provost, and the Rev. Samuel Mather, senior fellow of Trinity 
College, Dublin. These having withdrawn, with the greater number of 
their flock, from the parish church of St. Nicholas, on the passing of the 
Act of Uniformity, founded the Protestant Dissenting Congregation of 
New Row, which in 1729 removed to their present house of worship. 

The congregation of Eustace Street has had the privilege of a succession 
of worthy and eminent ministers ; amongst whom the Rev. John Leland, 
D.D., was particularly distinguished. His learned works, in support of 
Divine Revelation, are deservedly held in very high esteem. ' He dis- 
charged the duties of his character as a minister of Christ, with great 
diligence and fidelity ; and by an indefatigable application to reading and 
study, and the great improvements he made in all useful knowledge and 


literature, which afterwards appeared in his writings on different subjects, 
he attained to high reputation, not only among his own friends and hearers, 
but in the learned world, among persons of all denominations.' The 
Rev. Philip Taylor, also, grandson of the celebrated Dr. John Taylor, Nor- 
wich, sustained the high character of his family by his acquirements, his 
talents, and his worth. He was a steady and consistent Protestant 
Dissenter, of Unitarian opinions, combining a warm attachment to his own 
principles with perfect liberality towards men of other creeds, and with 
great amenity of manners. On his retirement from the more laborious 
duties of the ministry, in 1828, the congregation presented him with two 
costly pieces of plate, with the following inscription. ' Presented by the 
Members of Eustace Street Congregation of Protestant Dissenters, to their 
beloved Pastor, the Rev. Philip Taylor, on his retirement from the active 
duties of his pastoral office, after the prolonged and faithful ministry of 
fifty-one years; in testimony of their personal affection for him, and in 
gratitude for his ever-anxious, kind, and benevolent solicitude for their 
spiritual welfare and temporal happiness.' He died Sep. 27, 1831. 

The present senior pastor is the truly venerable Joseph Hutton, who now, 
in the 58th year of his ministry, and retired from its more active duties' 
occasionally officiates, and illustrates, and adorns, by precept and example, 
the pure faith of Jesus. The junior pastor is the Rev. J. C. Ledlie, D.D. 

The subscribing members are 45, to which may be added the names of 
60 others enjoying the religious privileges, but not entitled to a voice in the 
management of the affairs of the congregation ; making in all, a list of 105. 

There is a Female School attached to the congregation, and supported 
by its funds, in which there are at present twenty-one girls boarded, clothed, 
and educated, and intended, when they shall have respectively reached the 
age of fifteen, to be apprenticed. Two very respectable female Teachers 
have the charge of this Institution ; and a Committee, including the 
ministers, exercise a constant and careful supervision over every depart- 

In their Alms' House there are twelve poor widows lodged, and principally 
supported, out of the weekly collections, and other charitable funds. 

There was formerly a Male School, in which twenty boys were boarded, 
clothed, and educated, and afterwards apprenticed to useful trades, supported 
partly by funds, and partly by an annual collection. On the passing of the 
Irish Poor Law, this latter support being considerably diminished, the 


Governors of the charity thought it expedient to allow their permanent 
funds to accumulate, and thus, at a future day, to make them independent 
of public contributions. For this purpose the establishment was tempo- 
rarily closed. In the mean time, that vexatious and expensive Chancery 
suit, of which the public has heard so much, by which strangers and aliens, 
under the cloak of religion, attempted to plunder them of their congrega- 
tional properties, involved them in costs amounting to upwards of £2,000 ; 
interfered with their plans, and crippled their resources. This difficulty, 
however, is likely soon to be removed, and the school re-opened, under new 
and more favourable auspices. 

The congregations of Strand Street and Eustace Street, from their 
formation till the present day, adopted as their bond of Christian Union, a 
belief in the Holy Scriptures, as the only rule of faith and practice, and the 
most ample recognition of the right of individual judgment ; and to the 
credit of these efficacious principles, it may be stated, that their history, so 
far back as can be traced, presents one imbroken chain of christian harmony. 
They enjoyed to the utmost extent their religious liberty, and cheerfully 
conceded the same privileges to those who differed from them. They 
humanely, and in the true spirit of the Gospel, applied their charitable 
funds for the improvement and the relief of the necessitous, without 
distinction of sect or of creed ; envying none, condemning none ; but 
meekly and unostentatiously following the path of Christian duty,*as the 
only path to Heaven. This tranquillity, however, was broken in upon by 
the restless spirit of fanaticism, combined with the love of power, and the love 
of money. The existence of Unitarian congregations provoked the bitter 
hostility of the former, and their ample funds awakened the insatiable 
cupidity of the latter. A bold and vigorous attempt was made by unscru- 
pulous men, to get into their hands properties to which they had no just 
claims. In October, 1842, proceedings in Equity were instituted against 
these two congregations, in the name of the Attorney General for Ireland, 
at the relation of strangers, aliens in country and religion, who never had 
the slightest connexion with either of them, for the purpose of depriving 
them of their houses of worship, communion plate, funds and endowments, 
transmitted to them from their forefathers, and carefully preserved and 
augmented by themselves ; upon the alleged ground, that they held 
doctrinal opinions at variance with those which the law might presume to 
have been held by the ministers and people at a very remote period. 


In reply to these allegations, it was clearly shown, that in none of their 
grants, or endowments, from the earliest period, is there contained any clause 
binding these congregations to the profession of any peculiar doctrines, or 
in anywise interfering with the enlarged principles of hberty, and the right 
of private judgment. And that even, could it have been shown that there 
had been a departure from the doctrinal opinions held by the founders of 
these religious societies, such variance was in no way inconsistent with 
the original principles on which they were formed ; which, taking the 
Holy Scriptures as their only rule of christian faith and practice, did not 
require the profession of any other creed, but were wisely adapted to 
worshipping communities, that were for ever to enjoy perfect rehgious 

It was also proved, that many of the endowments were created by 
members of these congregations, some of whom are still living, at a time, 
when these congregations entertained, and were known to entertain, 
Unitarian opinions. Yet in the face of all these admitted facts, the Chan- 
cellor, coerced by the iron grasp of an obsolete statute, or an intolerant 
precedent, intimated his doubts that he should be obliged to pronounce a 
decree to deprive the congregation of the whole of their funds, including 
those contributed hy persons avowedly holding Unitarian opinions. Though 
there had been no departure from the terms of the trust in any one instance 
shown, or any abuse of the charities so much as insinuated, they were on 
the point of being deprived of their houses of prayer, in which they had 
so long worshipped — of the funds for the support of their ministers — for 
the education and maintenance of poor children — and to relieve the aged, 
and " those who had none to help them." Nay, the fund which had been 
created by the congregation, whilst acknowledged as Unilarian, for the 
support of the widows of their ministers, was unblushingly, and rapaciously 
grasped at by the spoliators ; and these men, like the Pharisees of old, 
would * have devoured widows' houses, and for a pretence have made long 

Thus the Court of Chancery was moved, virtually, to cast out four 
ministers, three of whom were far advanced in years, of blameless lives, 
upon the cold charity of the world, and to rob tlieir helpless families of that 
provision which Christian benevolence had raised, when they themselves 
should be sleeping in the dust. 

The cry of such injustice and cruelty spread throughout the land ; a wise 


and paternal Government mercifully interposed to prevent the perpetration 
of so foul a wrong ; and by carrying into law ' the Dissenters' Chapel Bill,' 
snatched the prey out of the jaws of the spoiler, and inflicted a deep and 
incurable wound upon religious intolerance. 


This congregation was founded by Puritans chiefly from Bristol and its 
neighbourhood, and their first minister, of whom any record can be traced, 
was the Rev. Mr. Harding, who was ordained to the pastoral charge in 
1679. The forms of the English Presbyterians are still observed in the 
Chapel at Bandon, and the Hymn Book long in use is that edited by 
Kippis and Rees. At what particular time the congregation became 
avowedly Unitarian, it would be now diflScult to trace ; the change of 
opinion, as in other cases, was no doubt gradual, and the natural result of 
inquiry unfettered by human creeds and confessions of faith. There is 
reason to believe that their third minister, the Rev. Mr. Clugston, who was 
ordained in 1745, was a Unitarian. He was the only son of the venerable 
Josias Clugston, of Larne, in the county of Antrim, one of the founders of the 
Presbytery of Antrim, that little band of excellent and enlightened men, 
who, in 1726, by successfully resisting popular prejudices, and ecclesiastical 
tyranny, laid the foundation of that perfect religious freedom, which, at 
this day, is firmly upheld by the non-subscribing Irish Presbyterian 

Mr. Clugston was succeeded by a very distinguished man, the Rev. Mr. 
Hazlitt, father to the celebrated writer and painter ; who after about two 
years' residence in Bandon, emigrated to the United States, and ultimately 
settled at Wem, in Shropshire. Of his opinions, his talents, and acquire- 
ments, it is unnecessary to write, as his name is well known in the history of 
English Unitarians. He was succeeded at Bandon, by the Rev. Mr. King, 
a Unitarian, who retired from the more active duties of the ministry in 
1823; when the Rev. W. Hunter, a talented and zealous supporter of the 
same opinions, was appointed his assistant, and eventual successor. 

The congregation of Bandon has suffered much, partly by intermarriages 
with members of the Established Church, which generally are unfavourable 
to the cause of Dissent, but chiefly by the local decay of manufactures 
and trade. Want of employment has forced a great many of the Congre- 
gation to emigrate. The numbers at present are about fifty. 



The congregation of Clonmel appears to have been a joint chaplaincy, 
instituted by a few respectable families, the followers of Cromwell, located 
in that neighbourhood ; and was never very numerously attended. Of its 
early ministers nothing is known beyond the names. Its fourth minister 
was the Rev. Mr. Jackson, who in 1726, as Moderator of the Presbytery 
of Munster, signed a resolution approving of the conduct of the Pres- 
bytery of Antrim, when driven out by the intolerance of the General 
Synod of Ulster, because they refused subscription to human creeds and 
articles of faith. 

Mr. Jackson was succeeded by Mr Mears, about 1730, who had been 
Minister of Newlonards, in the county of Down, and was afterwards one of 
the ministers of Strand Street, Dublin. He published an excellent cate- 
chism for children, which has been frequently reprinted, and is still used in 
some Unitarian Congregations. 

In 1789 the Rev. W. Campbell, D.D., Presbyterian minister of Armagh, 
was removed to Clonmel. He was a very learned divine, and distinguished 
controversahst. Dr. Woodward, Bishop of Cloyne, in the year 1786, had 
published a work on the state of the Irish Church, in which were some harsh 
and unwarrantable observations on the principles and conduct of the Pres- 
byterian Body. To these Dr. Campbell replied, with great spirit and ability ; 
vindicating, by an unanswerable appeal to historical facts, the character of 
the Irish Presbyterians from the aspersions cast upon them. 

This controversy excited much public attention at the time; and the Sub- 
Synod of Derry, and the Presbytei-y of Dublin, presented Dr. Campbell 
with suitable addresses expressive of their gratitude for his services in their 

Their present minister, the Rev. James Orr, was ordained in 1833, and 
is an enlightened, steady, and zealous supporter of Unitarian opinions. 

At what particular time Unitarianism became the doctrine of this con- 
gregation, it would be now diflicult to trace. The principles of religious 
freedom by which they were animated, during the ministry of Mr. Jackson, 
must have been very favourable to enquiry ; and the fruits shortly appeared 
in the appointment of Mr. Mears, and subsequently of Dr. Campbell, who 
were both Unitarians. 

The numbers of the congregation at present are fifty five. 



The congregation of Cork is of old standing, reaching back to the date 
of 1 G75. It never was at any period highly Calvinistic, being contented, 
even in its primitive days, with the modified system of Baxterian ortho- 
doxy. Having passed through the usual course of gradual enlightenment, 
it reached the point of its highest attainments and prosperity from the year 
1790 to the year 1815, during the ministry of the Rev. Dr. T. D. Hincks. 

At that time a considerable number of the rich, ' unattached,' attended 
the religious services in Princes Street. The efFeteness of the Established 
Church drove a good many thither, who live by ' respectabilities,' and the 
Church of England had then no character at all ; and they were retained 
by the ministry of Dr. Hincks, who by his strong good sense, unsectarian 
preaching, distinguished literary eminence, and mild and amiable manners, 
gathered around him a numerous and influential congregation. 

During the ministry of Dr. Sloane, after the resignation of Dr. Hincks, 
the congregation ceased to be prosperous. When Dr. Sloane was elected one 
of the pastors of the congregation ; he professed to hold Anti-trinitarian 
opinions, and under that character was recommended to the Unitarians of 
Cork. For many years after his appointment, his public services were in 
accordance with those views, and though never very efficient, had the merit 
of being inoffensive. The milk-and-water system was attended with its 
usual results, and the congregation gradually languished. 

When those iniquitous proceedings were instituted to plunder the Irish 
Unitarians of their chapels and endowments. Dr. Sloane was suddenly 
roused into energy, but his new-born zeal took a quite different course from 
what might have been anticipated. He then, for the first time, professed 
himself to be a Trinitarian, and a believer in the Westminster Confession 
of Faith, whose dogmas he had formerly denounced from the pulpit in Cork, 
as unscriptural ; and he openly leagued himself with the men who were 
most violently opposed to his former associates and friends, and signed a 
petition against the Dissenters' Chapel Bill. In reference to these matters, 
the congregation, at a meeting regularly convened, passed the following 
resolution, — 

" That the members of this Vestry, far from regarding a change of 
belief, if the result of honest conviction, as deserving of censure, maintain, 
on the contrary, the true Protestant principle, that the right of private 


judgment, and of free enquiry, founded on the Holy Scriptures, are the 
inalienable privilege of all. But they must at the same time declare, that 
a minister who came amongst them us a concealed Trinitarian, or, as they 
rather hope and believe, a professing Arian ; — who entered without hesi- 
tation an Arian Synod ; — succeeded one Unitarian minister, and united him- 
self as co-pastor with another; — whose declarations under his own hand, 
years after his settlement, and whose public ministrations were all confir- 
matory of the opinion previously entertained of his religious sentiments ; — 
would have better upheld, to use his own words, ' his character, both as a 
minister and a man,' had he honestly confessed to his congregation his 
change of opinion, whenever it took place, rather than have made choice of 
the highly objectionable mode of publishing his belief to the world, which 
he had adopted." 

The congregation at length agreed to pension off Dr. Sloane, whose ser- 
vices had ceased to be acceptable or useful amongst them ; but the dissen- 
sions consequent on these proceedings have done serious injury ; and the 
retiring salary, which they continue to pay to him, presses heavily upon 
their resources. 

Their present minister is a Mr. Whitelegge, a decided Unitarian : and 
their numbers are about one hundred. 

Dublin, and the South of Ireland, are not favourable to the growth of any 
kind of Protestant Dissent. The great mass of the people is Roman Catholic, 
and strongly wedded to, and securely guarded in their religious opinions : and 
the aristocracy are principally of the Establishment. Between these con- 
flicting parties there is little room or encouragement for minor sects. The 
consequence usually is, that any of the humbler classes who may happen to 
be located amongst them, are gradually absorbed by the numerous and very 
zealous Roman Catholics ; whilst the higher orders naturally fall into the 
ranks of the fashionable Church. 

The little progress, if not positive decline, of Dissenting principles in this 
part of Ireland, has sometimes been laid at the door of Unitarianism. But 
if blame is to be attached, it should be to the absence of all doctrinal 
preaching in former days. The Clergy, in general, held liberal opinions, 
but they kept them to themselves, and were satisfied with that somnolent 
neutrality which creates and fosters religious lukewarmness and indifterence. 
The Laity were taught to look upon the Presbyterian Meeting House as a 
sort of Chapel of Ease to the Established Church ; and hence, when interest. 


fashions, or other inducements tended to lead them away from the altar of 
their fathers, their religious convictions did not throw any impediment in 
their path. 

Some of the most orthodox Congregations in the South of Ireland have 
become extinct ; and the few that still exist show but feeble symptoms of 
vitality. An influx of Scotch settlers has for a time appeared to infuse life 
into some localities ; but the causes already mentioned have ere long pro- 
duced their natural eifects. The seed implanted in their minds in early 
life may have sprung up, and lived for a season, but in an atmosphere so 
uugenial, it soon fades and withers away. The new settlers, according as 
they prosper in life, or decline in their worldly circumstances, ere long be- 
come blended with the different classes of the surrounding population. 

The Irish Unitarian Christian Society was established in Dublin, 
March 17, 1830, and was principally composed of the Ministers, and 
many of the respectable members of the Congregations of Eustace 
Street and Strand Street. Its object was to awaken sympathy and 
co-operation among Unitarians in Ireland ; to distribute publications, both 
doctrinal and practical, inculcating just views of religion ; to extend Unita- 
rian Christian worship ; to maintain the rights of conscience, and to effect 
any other object that might, from time to time, appear conducive to the 
promotion of pure religion. 

This Society was instituted chiefly through the exertions of the Rev. 
James Martineau, then one of the Ministers of the Congregation of Eustace 
Street, in those dark and troublous times when the spirit of intolerance, 
after the slumbers of a century, awoke, like a giant refreshed, and by every 
power it could wield, unscrupulously tried to overwhelm all those who 
asserted and vindicated perfect religious freedom. 

The Unitarian Society is composed of Christians of different shades of 
opinion — some of them believing in the simple humanity of the Holy and 
Blessed Jesus — and others holding that he was a pre-existent Spirit, who 
dwelt with God before this world was, and came from the bosom of the 
Father, to enlighten and to purify, and thus finally to save mankind from 
sin and its attendant miseries. They all agree in rejecting the Athanasian 
Creed, and its kindred and dependent doctrines ; and in offering up religious 
worship to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ alone ; and are 
therefore strictly, and in the true and comprehensive meaning of the word, 
Unitarian Christians. In this spirit, and upon these principles, they have 


continued to act, and after passing through a period of much anxiety and 
trial, during which their enemies hoped, by the revival of obsolete and 
intolerant statutes, to crush them, have lived to witness the utter discomfi- 
ture of all such unholy designs : whilst the annoyances they have been made 
to endure, have, through a kind Providence, eventuated in the full 
recognition and establishment of their Christian rights and privileges. 

The Irish Unitarian Christian Society never was numerous. Many 
good persons holding their opinions, yet averse to controversy, have kept 
themselves aloof: but its members, convinced that the days of neutrality 
were numbered, felt it their duty honestly and fearlessly to avow their 
belief, and ' to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.' 
Besides occasional controversial lectures, delivered by some of the members, 
they have availed themselves of the vast powers of the press, to spread far 
and widely the glorious but neglected truths of the Gospel. With humble 
means, and limited resources, they have been endeavouring to do good ; 
and the sale and distribution of upwards of 30,000 Books and Tracts, 
since the establishment of the Society, induces the belief that those silent, 
but most efficient missionaries, have not been sent forth into the world in 



The Trotestant Dissenting Academy at Carmarthen, was one of the earliest 
of the institutions established, after the passing of the Toleration Act, for the 
education of candidates for the Christian Ministry amongst the Noncon- 

In the year 1680, as soon as they found themselves placed within 
the pale of the law, the United Body of the Presbyterians and Lide- 
pendents in London, resolved to create a joint Fund, to be applied to the 
general support of the Dissenting interest. The specific objects to which 
it was proposed that the money should be appropriated, were— 1. The 
augmentation of the incomes of Dissenting ministers, whose professional 
stipends were insufficient for their support.— 2. The aiding of small and poor 
congregations, by pecuniary grants, to obtain the advantages of public wor- 
ship. 3. The education of promising young men for the ministerial office, 

to fill the vacancies that might occur in the churches. 

This charitable Fund continued to be supported, and to'be administered, 
by a joint Committee of ministers and lay gentlemen of these two religious 
denominations, until the rupture of the ' Union,' about 1093. At this time 
the managers from the Independent Body seceded from the Committee, and 
their congregations discontinued their pecuniary contributions. The whole 
of the money was thenceforth raised and dispensed by the Presbyterian 
Body alone, and the institution received, in consequence, the designation of 
the ' Presbyterian Fund,' which it still retains. The Independents subse- 
quently formed a similar institution for themselves, contemplating the same 
objects, which has also been perpetuated to the present time, imder the 
designation of the 'Congregational Fund.' Notwithstanding the disso- 
lution of the union of the two bodies, and the establishment of their separate 
Funds, they continued for many years to co-operate with great cordiality 
in the promotion of common objects of a religious nature, and contributing, 
in particular instances, their joint support to the same congregations and to 
the same seminaries for the education of Divinity students. The money 
being raised annually by private donations and congregational collections, and 



generally" disbursed within each year, the managers of the Fund did not 
consider themselves in a condition to institute a permanent theological 
school. For some time they contented themselves with occasional grants 
to encoura"-e such ministers as were inclined to form private academies, and 
receive pupils to be educated for the clerical profession, giving also small 
exhibitions to the students in aid of their maintenance during the period of 
their studies. This plan was for many years pursued, both in England 
and Wales, with very beneficial results. 

The education of candidates for the Christian ministry among the 
Protestant Dissenters in Wales, was first undertaken by the Rev. Samuel 
Jones, of Brynllwarch, in the county of Glamorgan. Mr. Jones was a 
native of Denbighshire, educated for the Church at Jesus College, Oxford, 
where he proceeded Master of Arts, and was for some time a Fellow and 
Tutor. He was a man of high character and great learning, honoured wilh 
the personal friendship of Dr. South, and other eminent persons among his 
contemporaries. He had been preferred to the living of Llangynwyd, in 
Glamorganshire, from which he was ejected in 1C62, by the Bartholomew 
Act. After quitting the Church, Mr. Jones devoted himself to education ; 
and being patronised by the liberal and powerful family of the Mansels, 
of Margam and Britton Ferry, in the same county, he obtained for some 
years an asylum in their hospitable mansions in the capacity of tutor. At 
this period he undertook, as his other avocations permitted, the instruction 
of several young men who were candidates for the Christian ministry, and 
in this employment was early encouraged by the London Fund. Exhibitions 
were granted for this purpose by the managers, from 1690 to 1695, for 
three students in each year. Mr. Jones died in 1697, being then about 70 
years of age.* 

Several of Mr. Jones's students attained great respectability in the 
ministerial profession in Wales, and the bordering counties. One of the 
most distinguished of them was Mr. James Owen, who settled first at 
Oswestry, and afterwards at Shrewsbury, and for many years conducted an 
academy for the education of Divinity students, in which he was encouraged 
by tiie Presbyterian Fund. He died in 1710, at the age of 52. After the 
death of Mr. Jones, the education of Welsh students devolved on the Rev. 
Roger Griffiths, who had settled at or near Abergavenny, in Monmouthshire. 

* Calamy's Account, vol. ii. page 721. 

carm/vrtiikn cotleoe, walks. 105 

Mr, GrilTiths had boon educated under Mr. Brand and Dr. Ker, at llielr 
academy, Bishop's Hall, near London, having an exhibition from the Presby- 
terian Fund, and finished his studies at Utrecht. His labours as a Divinity 
Tutor did not, however, continue long. He abandoned his Dissenting charge, 
conformed to the Church, and was rewarded with the living of New Radnor, 
and the archdeanery of Brecon. Calamy speaks of Mr. Griffiths with great 
severity, remarking that he had ' received among the Dissenters more encou- 
ragement than he deserved,' and that shortly after entering on his ecclesiastical 
charges he died miserably and disreputably.* Mr. Griffiths appears to have 
had under his tuition^on]y six divinity students, who received exhibitions from 
the Presbyterian Fund. Some of his pupils finished their studies at Leyden, 
and others under Mr. James Owen, at Oswestry. Amongst the former 
was the most distinguished of his scholars, Mr. Samuel Jones, who 
afterwards conducted with high reputation an academical institution at 
Gloucester and Tewkesbury. It was Mr. Jones's singular fortune to have 
under his instruction at the same time three men who attained great 
eminence, Thomas Seeker, who, quitting the Dissenters, became Archbishop 
of Canterbury, Joseph Butler, whose conformity was rewarded with the 
Bishopric of Durham, and Samuel Chandler, who continued a steady non- 
conformist, and became, by his excellent character, his profound and varied 
learning, and his numerous and valuable writings, an ornanient of his 
profession, and an important supporter of the Dissenting interest. 

After the conformity of Mr. Griffiths, the Rev, William Evans, minister 
of a Dissenting congregation at Carmarthen, opened his house for the 
reception of students for the Christian ministry. Mr. Evans has been by 
some regarded as the founder of the Welsh Academy, but all that ought to 
be understood by this is, that the education of divinity students first assumed 
imder him a collegiate form. Mr. Evans was patronised by both the London 
Funds, and by the liberality of wealthy individuals among the Dissenters. 
Dr. Daniel Wilhams bequeathed the sum of Ten Pounds per annum, to be 
paid during his life to Mr. Evans, towards his support as tutor, and to be 
afterwards continue'd annually, in perpetuity, to such ministers as might 
succeed him in the same occupation. This sum has been regularly paid by 
Dr. Williams's trustees, in aid of the salary of the tutor of the W'elsh 
Academy. Mr. Evans is said to have been a man of superior attainments 

* Calaniy's Account, vol. ii. page 734. 


as a scholar and divine, and to have devoted himself with great diligence 
and exemplary fortitude to the discharge of his professional duties, in 
circumstances of considerable difficulty and danger. He died in 1720, but 
had discontinued his labours some time before. 

In 1719, Mr. Evans was succeeded, both as the minister of the congre- 
gation and tutor of the academy, by the Rev. Thomas Perrott, who presided 
over the institution with great reputation till his death, in 1734. Mr, 
Perrott was a native of Carmarthenshire. He had been a student under Mr. 
Griffiths, at Abergavenny, and finished his education under Mr. James Owen, 
at Oswestry. Before his settlement at Carmarthen, he had officiated as a 
minister at Knutsford, Newmarket in Flintshire, and some other places. He 
was reputed a man of extensive learning andexcellenttemper. As a tutor, he 
was eminently useful and popular, having had under his tuition about 150 
students, several of whom were designed for the ministry in the Established 

It has been stated, and the account is highly credible, that on the 
death of JNIr. Samuel Jones at Tewkesbury, in 1719, the academical 
institution at that place was united with that of Carmarthen, under 
Mr. Perrott. There appears, however, no record of the removal of 
any of Mr. Jones's pupils, under such an arrangement, into the Welsh 
Academy. Among the students educated vmder Mr. Perrott, occur the 
names of Mr. Samuel Thomas, who became afterwards tutor of the academy ; 
Mr. Joshua Griffiths, who for some years conducted a large and popular 
grammar school at Frenchay, near Bristol ; iSIr. David Jones, who settled 
at Walsall, and was the grandfather, on the maternal side, of the Rev. Joseph 
Barrett, of London ; jSIr. George Palmer, long the esteemed and popular 
pastor of the Presbyterian congregation at Swansea. After the death of 
j\Ir. Perrott, in 1734, the Presbyterian Board, failing to obtain a tutor at 
Carmarthen, appointed to the vacant office the Rev. Vavassor Griffiths, 
who had been a student under Mr. Jones at Tewkesbury, and was settled 
with a congregation in Radnorshire. He declined to take charge of the 
Academy at Carmarthen, from the apprehension that it would be 
dangerous to the morals of the students to reside in a populous town, and 
be exposed to the sinister influence of so mixed and heterogeneous a society. 
The institution was therefore removed to his residence, at the two localities 
of Llwynllwyd and Maesgwyn, in the adjoining counties of Radnor and 
Brecon. ^Ir. Griffiths was considered an excellent tutor, but too much 
inclined to austerity as a disciplinarian. He died in 1741, at the age of 43, 


In the list of Mr. Gniliths's stiulonts occurs the name of Richard Price 
afterwards Dr. Richard Price, the estimable and distinguished writer on 
Morals and Finance. lie removed from Mr, GrilTiths's Academy to London 
where he finished his education in the Academy then conducted by Mr. John 

Towards the end of 1740, the Presbyterian Board were again under the 
neccessity of changing the locality of the Academy. The choice of tutor 
having fallen on the Rev. Evan Davies, minister of the Independent 
congregation at Havcrford West, in Pembrokeshire, the institution was 
removed to that place. Mr. Davies had been educated at the Iloxton 
Academy, under Dr.Ridgely and Mr. John Eames, and was esteemed a man 
of considerable learning. In 1743 Mr. Davies accepted an invitation to be 
the pastor of the Independent congregation of Llanybri, near Carmarthen, 
and was permitted to transfer the Academy to the latter place, where he 
fixed his residence, and officiated as sole tutor till 1757. In the course of 
this year, Mr. Samuel Thomas, then the minister of the Presbyterian 
congregation of Carmarthen, was appointed to be his colleague. This 
arrangement was, however, far from agreeable to Mr. Davies. Mr, Thomas 
was known to hold anti-Calvinistic opinions, which were very obnoxious to 
his orthodox and zealous associate. The difference of creeds soon 
disturbed the harmony of the tutors in the management of the Academy, 
and in 1759, gave occasion to the resignation of Mr. Davies, who removed 
to Billericay in Essex, where his son was settled as the minister of an 
Independent congregation. Among Mr. Davies's students, were Mr. 
Thomas Morgan, who, after passing a few years with] a congregation in 
Carmarthenshire, removed to Yorkshire. He was the father of the late 
Dr. Thomas Morgan, librarian of Dr. Williams's library in London : — Mr. 
John Howel settled successively at Pool, Enfield, and last at Bridgewater. 
He married Mr. Davies's daughter: — David Jardine, father of the late 
estimable Rev. David Jardine, of Bath, and grandfather of the present 
Recorder of Bath, and Police Magistrate in Bow street : — Josiali Corric, 
afterwards of Kenilworth, who died at an advanced age, aljout ISOO. 
He was tlie father of the late John Corrie, Esq., of Birmingham ; Noali 
Jones, who died about 1785, minister of Walsall; Solomon Harris, whu 
died in 1785, the esteemed minster of the Presbyterian Congregation of 

The Welsh Academy had, from its first establishment, been supported by 


pecuniary grants to the tutors and students from the two London Funds, 
the Presbyterian and Independent. But the cry of heresy having been 
sounded by ^Ir. Davies, and deriving importance from his secession from 
the institution, the managers of the Independent Fund took the alarm, and 
discontinued their contributions, leaving the Academy to the sole and 
exclusive support of the Presbyterian Fund. In order, however, to furnish 
a supply of educated ministers for the Independent congregations in Wales, 
the Independent Board instituted a new Academy, at Abergavenny, in 
Monmouthshire, at the head of which they placed Mr. David Jardine, 
already mentioned, and afterwards Mr., or Dr., Benjamin Davies, another of 
Mr. Davics's pupils, who was for some time the minister of the 
Independent Congregation at Newbury, in Berkshire. This Institution 
after being removed, at different times, to Wrexham, Newtown, and other 
places in North Wales, is now located at Brecon. 

In 1759, after the secession of Mr. Evan Davies, Mr. Samuel Thomas 
was appointed sole tutor. But the Presbyterian Board, thinking that the 
efficiency of the Academy would be best promoted by having two tutors, 
associated in the same year with Mr. Thomas, Mr., afterwards Dr., Jenkin 
Jenkins, then minister of a congregation at Llanfyllin, in NortJi Wales. Mr. 
Thomas was a native of Carmarthenshire, and had been educated under Mr. 
Perrott. He was a man of excellent abilities, a good classical scholar, mathe- 
matician, and natural philosopher. He died in 1766, universally respected. 
After his decease, Dr. Jenkins undertook the whole charge of the Academy, till 
1778. Owing to some differences with the Presbyterian Board, occasioned 
chiefly by his refusal to have an assistant tutor, he then resigned his office, 
and removed to London, where he died shortly afterwards. Dr. Jenkins was 
reputed a good scholar. Before his settlement at Carmarthen, he had been 
a popular teacher of the classical languages in North Wales, and had had 
among his early pupils the late Rev. Dr. Abraham Rees, who passed some 
years under his instruction before his removal to London, to prosecute his 
academical education at Iloxton, under the learned Dr. David Jennings. 
Among the students educated under Mr. Thomas and Dr. Jenkins, occur 
the names of Mr. Samuel Thomas, the successor of Mr. Griffiths at Frenchay, 
and long the esteemed minister of the Pi-esbyterian Congregation at that 
place ; Mr. Roger Howell, the learned minister of Beckington, near Frome, 
in Somersetshire ; Mr. Nathaniel Phillips, settled in Derbyshire, the father 
pf the late Dr. Nathaniel Phillips of Sheffield; Mr. Josiah Recs, of 


Gelligron, in Glamorganshire, the father of Dr. Thomas Rces, of London ; 
the Rev. David Davis, of Castle Howell, Cardiganshire, father of the Ilev. 
David Davis, late of Neath, and the Rev. Timothy Davis of Evesham ; 
Theophilus Edwards, late of Exeter ; William Jervis, for some time settled at 
Ipswich, and father of the late Rev. Thomas Jervis, of London. Hitherto 
the plan pursued in the Welsh Academy was, to grant to the students 
a certain annual allowance, to enable them to provide themselves with board 
and lodgings ; the lectures being delivered at the residence of the tutors or 
at some rooms, in which were deposited the Library and Philosophical 
apparatus. There was properly no College-house. After the resignation 
of Dr. Jenkins, the Presbyterian Board resolved to try the experiment of 
a Collegiate or Boarding establishment, and for this purpose hired a large 
mansion, called Rhyd-y-Gorse house, situated about a mile westward of 
Carmarthen. At the head of this establishment they placed the Rev. 
Robert Gentleman, a native of Shrewsbury, who, in 1765, had settled there 
with that portion of the congregation which had withdrawn on the 
resio-nation of the Rev. Job Orton. Mr. Gentleman was reputed a good 
classical and mathematical scholar. His manners were pleasing and 
conciliatory. But he was deficient in that energy and decision of character, 
so indispensable as a qualification for the maintenance of the discipline 
necessary to the stability and efficiency of a collegiate institution. Associ- 
ated with Mr. Gentleman, as classical tutor, was Mr. Benjamin Davis, 
who had been educated under Mr. Thomas and Dr. Jenkins. The 
experiment at Rhyd-y-Gorse did not realize the hopes of the founders. 
The college passed through a troublous existence, perpetually disturbed by 
contests between the tutors and the students, till 1784, when the Board 
were reluctantly compelled to close the doors. Mr. Gentleman removed 
to Kidderminster, where he officiated as the pastor of the congregation till 
his death in 1795. His respected colleague removed to Evesham, where 
he passed the remainder of his useful life. After the dissolution of the 
College at Rhyd-y-Gorse, the Presbyterian Board determined to revert to 
the old plan of letting the students provide for their own board and 
lodgings. But there being no immediate prospect of obtaining a. suitable 
tutor at Carmarthen, they entered into a negotiation with the Rev. 
Solomon Harris, of Swansea, and ultimately prevailed upon that gentleman 
to undertake the duties of principal tutor, and the Academy was removed to 
Swansea, and placed under his care. Mr. Harris was an excellent classical 
and Hebrew scholar, and universally esteemed for his abilities as a minister, 


and his amiable virtues in private life. The Board appointed as his 
assistant in the classical department, Mr. Thomas Lloyd, an estimable 
man, an accomplished scholar, and a popular and efficient tutor. Among 
the students now received into the institution, were Mr., subsequently Dr., 
CharJes Lloyd, late of Palgrave and London, and Mr. Lewis Loyd, who, 
quitting the ministry, became an eminent banker in London. 

Mr. Harris died in 1785, having presided over the Academy rather less than 
two years. The Board experienced considerable difficulty in supplying the 
vacancy occasioned by Mr. Harris's death. The delicate state of Mr. Lloyd's 
health rendering him unequal to the labours of the entire charge of the insti- 
tution, and no successor to Mr. Harris being appointed in the congregation, 
application was made to the Rev. Josiah Rees of Gelligron, near Swansea, 
to undertake the office of Divinity Tutor. Mr. Rees had received his grammar 
education under Mr. Harris, and afterwards passed through the ordinary 
course of studies at Carmarthen, under Mr. Thomas and Dr. Jenkins. He 
had settled as the minister of a large congregation near his residence, and 
for some time conducted a grammar school, which the delicate state of his 
health had obliged him to give up. The same consideration induced him 
to decline the proposal of the Board. But he was prevailed upon to devote 
to the institution, for one year, a portion of each week, to conduct the Divinity 
lectures, Mr. Lloyd still discharging the duties of classical tutor. This 
arrangement terminated at the close of the sessional year. The Board now, 
1786, appointed the Rev. William Howell, who had been settled at 
Chelwood, in Somersetshire, to the office of Divinity Tutor ; Mr. I'homas 
Lloyd retaining the classical department. Mr. Howell was the son of the 
Rev. William Howell, minister of the Old Presbyterian congregation at 
Birmingham. He had received his grammar education under Dr. Jenkins 
at Llanfyllin, and afterwards studied under him at Carmarthen. 

The Academy was conducted with great harmony by Mr. Howell and 
Mr. Lloyd, till 1789, when the Listitution sustained a great loss by the 
death of Mr. Lloyd, who was deeply lamented by all who had the pleasure 
of his acquaintance. 

On the death of Mr, Lloyd, the Board appointed Mr. David Peter, one 
of the senior students, to be his successor as Classical and Mathematical 
Tutor. In 1 "3 92, Mr. Peter resigned his office, on being chosen the minister 
of the Old Presbyterian congregation at Carmarthen. The Board appointed 
for his successor Mr., afterwards Dr., John Jones, the eminent scholar, and 


author of the Greek and EngHsh Lexicon. Mr. Jones was a native of 
Carmarthenshire ; he had received his grammar education at Brecon, and 
afterwards studied at the New College, Hackney, when Mr. Gilbert Wake- 
field occupied the Classical Chair. 

The joint labours of Mr. Howell and Mr. Jones did not extend beyond 
two years. Some unhappy dissensions having occurred between the tutors, 
in which the students unfortunately became parties, the Board were under 
the painful necessity of closing the doors of the Academy, and breaking up the 
Institution. After an interval of six months, however, they were induced 
to re-establish the Academy at Carmarthen. Mr. Peter, now residing at 
that place, was re-appointed to his former office, whilst the duties of 
Divinity Tutor were committed to the E.ev. David Davies, the minister of 
Llanybri congregation in the neighbourhood. Mr. Davies had been 
educated at Swansea, under Mr. Solomon Harris and Mr. Lloyd. He was 
a good classical and Hebrew scholar, a man of great intellectual vigour, 
and a very popular Welsh preacher. In early life he had been a rigid 
Calvinist, but afterwards adopted high Arian sentiments. 

The Academy was conducted harmoniously by Mr. Peter and Mr. 
Davies, till 1814, when the latter gentleman resigned his appointment. 

On this vacancy the Board appointed for Mr. Peter's colleague, the Rev. 
David Lewis Jones, at that time one of the ministers of the Presbyterian 
congregation of Llwyn-rhyd-owen, in Cardiganshire. He had received 
his grammar education under the Rev. David Davis, of that place, who 
for many years conducted one of the best and most popular grammar 
schools in the principality, and had completed his studies at Carmarthen, 
under Mr. Peter and Mr. Davies. A change was now made in the division 
of the duties of the tutors'; Mr. Peter had assigned to him the Divinity 
department, and Mr. 'Jones 'succeeded him in that of the Classics and 
Mathematics. Mr. Jones died in 18.30. His death occurring in the 
middle of the session, the Rev. John Thomas, minister of a congregation at 
St. Clear's, a few miles from Carmarthen, undertook the charge of his 
classes for the remainder of the year. In the meantime, the Board 
appointed as the successor of Mr. Jones, the Rev. John Palmer, of Trinity 
College, Dublin. He had been educated for the clerical profession in the 
Established Church, but becoming dissatisfied with its doctrines, had 
joined the Dissenters. Mr. Palmer's connection with the Institution was 
not, however, of long duration. He resigned liis office in 1832, on accept- 


ing an invitation to be the minister of the Presbyterian congregation at 
Dudley, in Staffordshire. On his removal Mr. Thomas was again appointed 
to undertake the Classical and Mathematical department till the close of tlie 
sessional year. 

In 1 833, the Board appointed the Rev. David Lloyd to be Mr. Palmer's 
successor in the departments of the Classics and Mathematics. Mr. Lloyd 
was a descendant of the eminent Presbyterian minister of that name in 
Cardiganshire, and the nephew of Dr. Charles Lloyd of London. Having 
passed through the usual academical course at Carmartlien, under Mr. 
Peter and Mr. Jones, he removed to Glasgow, where he went through the 
regular curriculum, and took the degree of M.A., \vith honours. Mr, Lloyd 
continues (1846) to discharge the duties of his office with great ability and 

In 1835 Mr. Peter's health becoming seriously affected, he resigned the 
office of Divinity Tutor, after devoting more than forty years of his life to 
the institution. The Board appointed for his successor in the Divinity 
Chair, the Rev. David Davies, minister of the Independent congregation 
of Panteg, near Carmarthen, who still conducts that department. 

After the dissolution of the collegiate establishment, under Mr. Gentle- 
man, at lihyd-y-Gorse, the lectures were delivered, and the general 
business of the Academy conducted, in a large room, in which were 
deposited the Library and Philosophical Apparatus. The tutors resided in 
separate houses in the town or immediate vicinity, and the students were 
lodged in private families approved by the tutors. This plan being occa- 
sionally found productive of inconvenience, the Board have lately taken a 
commodious house, in an eligible situation in the suburbs of the town, 
which they have fitted up with convenient apartments for the Library and 
and Philosophical Apparatus, and separate lecture rooms for the tutors. A 
part of the College-house is occupied as his residence by Mr. Lloyd. The 
students, however, provide themselves, as before, with private lodgings. 

The Board have of late devoted considerable attention to the general 
improvement of the institution, in order to increase its usefulness and 
efficiency as a Divinity School. In their ellbrts they have been liberally 
aided by Lewis Loyd, Esq., who, in early life, as stated above, passed some 
years at this Academy. He has, for a considerable period, placed amiually 
at their disposal twenty guineas, to be allotted as prizes to the more 
meritorious students at the periodical public examinations. Tlie Board 
iJiave lately appropriated ^a large sum to the augmentation of tlie College 


Library, to which Mr. Loyd has generously added a sum of equal 

In 1842, upon the Petition of the Presbyterian Board, as the trustees and 
managers of the institution, and of the tutors, as its conductors, the 
Carmartlien Academy was connected, in accordance with the provisions of 
the Act of Parliament, with the University of London ; and some of the 
students have subsequently passed with honour the Matriculation Exami- 
nation, with a view to graduation. 

It is the distinguishing characteristic of the Welsh Academy, that, from 
its first institution, it has never restricted its education to students 
of any one denomination, or of any single creed. The Fund out 
of which the earliest exhibitions were granted, was created by the 
joint contributions of the United Bodies of Presbyterians and Indepen- 
dents. After the union was dissolved, though the payments were 
for some time made by the Presbyterian Fund alone, candidates from 
among the Independents were admitted as before, without distinction. 
"When the Independents had formed a separate Fund for their own deno- 
mination, though the government of the Academy and all the appointments 
were now vested in the Presbyterian Board, they were still allowed to 
avail themselves of the benefits of the institution, and contributed occa- 
sional exhibitions to students of their own denomination. 

At first there was probably no material difference in the religious 
sentiments of the two Bodies, and they deemed their denominational dis- 
tinctions of too little importance, to render necessary separate Academical 
estabhshments for Wales. Differences of creed opposed no obstacle to 
this friendly co-operation till the appointment, in 1759, of Mr. Samuel 
Thomas, then a reputed Arminian or Arian, to be the classical tutor, when 
Mr. Evan Davies, the divinity tutor, resigned his office to avoid being 
associated with a colleague tainted by the imputation of heresy. The 
Independent Board discontinued, at the same time, their exhibitions to the 
students, and established their new academy at Abergavenny. The Pres- 
byterian Board, however, unmoved by these manifestations of orthodox 
zeal, made no change in the regulations of the institution, but continued to 
receive and maintain students from both denominations, and the practice 
has prevailed to the present time. In the appointment of tutors, also, the 
Board have acted with the same disregard to denominational and theolo- 
gical distinctions. They have looked chiefly to the Hterary and scientific 


attainments of the candidates, tliougli, when satisfied as to their qualifications, 
they may occasionally have given the preference to those of their own 
denomination. Dr. Jenkins, who was chosen to be Mr. Thomas's colleague, 
had been the minister of an Independent congregation, but had ceased to 
be a Calvinist. Mr. Gentleman was probably a Trinitarian, of the school 
of Baxter, or Doddridge. His classical assistant, Mr. Benjamin Davis, 
was an Arian. The tutors of reputed orthodoxy appointed afterwards, were 
Mr. Peter, who was deemed a Baxteriau, and Mr. Davis, the present Divin- 
ity Tutor, who is also considered a moderate Calvinist. The other tutors 
in succession, Mr. Solomon Harris, Mr. Thomas Lloyd, Mr. Josiah Rees, 
Mr. AVilliam Howell, Mr. (Dr.) John Jones, Mr. David Davies, (Mr. Pe- 
ters's colleague,) Mr. David Jones, Mr.. Palmer, and Mr. David Lloyd, the 
present classical tutor, were of the Presbyterian denomination, and in their 
religious sentiments Anti-trinitarians. 

It may be presumed that an institution conducted en so liberal a prin- 
ciple would send forth a succession of ministers differing widely in their 
theological sentiments. For some years, indeed, after its establishment, 
Calvinism was the principal, if not the only, system professed in the Welsh 
Churches, and taught in the Academy. But there are decided indications 
of the adoption, by individuals, early in the eighteenth century, of more 
liberal opinions. Arminianism is said to have been the first heresy which 
encroached in Wales upon the supremacy of Calvinism. But Arminianism, 
if ever embraced here, was soon superseded by Arianism, which became 
for some time the general faith of the Presbyterian Ministers. 

This theological change originated probably in the Academy, though 
without the concurrence, and against the wishes, of the tvitors. Mr. Thomas 
Perrott, a Calvinist, was appointed tutor in 1719. One of his earliest stu- 
dents was Mr. Samuel Thomas, whose heresy some years afterwards gave 
occasion to the resignation of Mr. Evan Davies. Mr. Joshua Griliiths, 
another of Mr. Perrott's students, became the minister of a Presbyterian 
and Anti-Calvinistic congregation at Frenchay, near Bristol, where he was 
succeeded by another Welsh student of liberal sentiments, the late Mr. 
Samuel Thomas, a nephew and pupil of the tutor of that name. 

Mr. Vavassor Griffiths, also a Calvinist, undertook the charge of the 
Academy in 1735, on the death of Mr. Perrott. Among his pupils was 
Mr. (Dr.) Richard Price, al'terwards the distinguished advocate of modern 
Arianism. Mr. Evan Davies succeeded to the office in 1710. llib zeal for 
Calvinistie orthodoxy is sullicienlly proved by his resignation on the 


appointment of Mr. Thomas. And j'ot among tlic students educated under 
Mr. Davies, from 1740 to 1759, occur the names of at least twelve ministers 
who afterwards appear in the ranks of Arians and Unitarians, and in the 
number is Mr. Davies's son-in-law Mr. John Howel, successively the Unita- 
rian minister of Yeovil and Bridgewater. 

Mr. Thomas and Dr. Jenkins conducted the Academy from 1759 to 
176G, and Dr. Jenkins, after Mr. Thomas's death, presided as sole tutor 
from 1700 to 1778. During this period of about twenty years, there were 
educated here 81 students. Many of them were by family connection 
Independents, and became the ministers of Calvinistic congregations. But 
it was well understood in the institution, that several students had em- 
l)raced Arian sentiments ; and of those, whose future history and settlement 
can be traced, about 25 are ascertained to have been ministers of Presby- 
terian congregations professing these opinions. 

The Academy under Mr. Gentleman and Mr. Benjamin Davis, embraces 
the interval between 1779 and 1783. They had under their charge, in all, 
23 stiidents ; out of this number twelve, at least, were Anti-trinitarians. 

The Academy at Swansea was conducted by Mr. Solomon Harris, Mr. 
Josiah Rees, and Mr. Thomas Lloyd, (all of them Arians) during the years 
1784, 1785, 1780. In addition to a few students removed from Rhyd-}"-- 
Gorse, Carmarthen, there were at that time educated seven students, four of 
whom settled as Arian ministers. Form 1786 to 1794, the institution was 
under the care, successively, of Mr. William Howell, as divinity tutor, Mr. 
Thomas Lloyd, Mr. David Peter, and Mr. (Dr.) Jones, as classical tutors. 
The number of students on the foundation during this period was 24, but 
only six are known to have been Arians or Anti-trinitarians. In 1790 
the Academy was again removed to Carmarthen, where it has been con- 
tinued to the present time. The students during this period have, as before, 
comprised numerous individuals of different sentiments, Calvinistic and 
Anti-trinitarian. The relative proportions have varied from time to time, 
but the general average would probably shew the numbers of each class 
to be nearly equal. Of the Calvinistic students educated during this 
interval, many are now the useful ministers of Independent Congregations, 
in South Wales, a few in North Wales, and several in England. The Pres- 
byterian congregations in South Wales, with two or three exceptions, are 
supplied by Unitarian ministers, educated at this institution ; whilst many 
of the students of the same class are occupying stations of great respectability 
among the Unitarians in England. 


From the facts that have been stated above, it would appear, that in tin- 
earlier part of the eighteenth century, whilst the Academy was under the 
direction of tutors of Calvinistic sentiments, zealously attached to their 
opinions, more liberal and even Anti-trinitarian tenets sprang up among 
the students, many of whom relinquished their orthodox connections, and 
became the ministers of heterodox Presbyterian congregations : — that from 
the middle of the last century, though no change had been made in the 
principles on which the institution was conducted, or in the general course 
of instruction, the number and relative proportion of students of more 
liberal opinions gradually increased, until they equalled, and sometimes 
surpassed, those professing Calvinistic doctrines ; that in consequence of 
the change thus introduced, the Board of Managers in London, in providing 
qualified tutors for the institution, found it necessary to confide the trust, 
on frequent occasions, to persons of Anti-Calvinistic sentiments ; that while 
this change was proceeding in the Academy, a similar change was in pro- 
gress among the Dissenting Congregations in the Principality, nearly all 
the Old Presbyterian congregations giving up their Trinitarian opinions, 
and thus providing openings for the ministerial labours of the Anti-trini- 
tarian students, after the completion of their academical studies, whilst many 
who could not obtain settlements in the Principality, went to England to 
undertake the charge of congregations of the same liberal class. During 
the whole of the interval under review, comprising about a century, although 
perhaps Calvinism cannot be said to have absolutely declined in Wales, 
a more liberal theology has gradually spread, and been firmly established, 
in the southern portion of the Principality. 



The first religious society in South Wales, professing principles at va- 
riance with Calvinistic tenets, was established in the early part of the last 
century, at Llwyn-rhyd-owen, Cardiganshire, by Jenkyn Jones, a man of 
respectable connexions and great moral worth. After the death of Mr. 
Jones, this infant society, ' every where spoken against,' was unable, for 
some time, to find a person whose religious sentiments qualified him to be 
its pastor. A minister could scarcely be found who would even preach, 
occasionally, to this small band of genuine Protestants ; who were resolved 
to examine and judge for themselves in all that concerned their religious 
faith. There were, however, several highly respected ministers in the 
Principality, who, although at this period reputedly orthodox, manifested no 
hostility towards the new faith. The Rev. David Thomas, of Llanedi, the 
Rev. Samuel Thomas, of Carmarthen, and the Rev. Timothy Davis, of 
Caeronnen, with probably one or two more, avowed their sympathy 
with the bereaved flock, and occasionally preached to it. After some 
time the late Rev. David Lloyd, nephew to Mr. Jones, and grand- 
father to the present classical tutor (of the same name) at the Presby- 
terian College, Carmarthen, was prevailed upon to discontinue his 
studies at College, and become its minister. Mr. Lloyd was ordained at 
nineteen, and notwithstanding he had to encounter much hostihty on 
account of his religious sentiments, such was the influence of pure morals 
and fine talents, that in a few years the chapel was considerably enlarged. 
About this period, 174G, few in England had avowed their disbelief in the 
Trinity, so that no aid or encouragement was given to these obscure and 
distant thinkers, who ' searched the Scriptures to see if these things were 
so.' The number of communicants at Llwyn-rhyd-owen, when Mr. Lloyd 
commenced his ministry, was about 80. In that, and the associated con- 
gregations formed by him, there were at his deatli, in 1779, about 800 com- 
municants, and about four tinfes that number of hearers. Often was the 
preacher, in his latter days, obhged to quit the place of worship, and 
address the assembled people in the open air. There are now in this 
locality 12 numerous and flourishing congregations holding Anti-trinitarian 


principles. When it is remembered that the country is but thinly inha- 
bited, the success of the pure and primitive faith of ' one God the Father,' 
in this neighbourhood, must appear very encouraging. The ministerial 
labours of Mr. Lloyd and his successors have, also, contributed largely to 
effect no small dcgrc(^f melioration in the religious sentiments of other 
sects, and to dispel the dark cloud of fanaticism which once overspread the 
country. In no part of the United Kingdom do the self-styled orthodox 
sects display a more tolerant or a more liberal spirit towards those who differ 
most widely from them on points deemed of vital importance. And there 
are instances Avhere Auti-trinitarian ministers 'are invited to occupy, occa- 
sionally, the pulpits of their Trinitarian brethren. 

Cotemporary with ]Mr. Lloyd, during the latter part of his life, was the 
late Rev. Josiah Rees, of Gelly-gron, father of Dr. Thomas Rees, secretary 
to the Presbyterian Board, London. Mr. Rees was a very eminent and 
influential minister ; and his labovirs contributed, in no small degree, to 
pave the way for the introduction of simple Christianity into the county 
of Glamorgan, where there are now many large and interesting 
congregations holding Unitarian sentiments. Mr. Lloyd was succeeded 
by the late Rev. D. Davis, of Llwyn-rhyd-owen, the renowned schoolmaster, 
who educated most of the gentry in the Principality ; and whose pupils 
made no mean figure at the Universities. Mr. Davis was a profound 
scholar, and a poet of no ordinary merit. "Wherever the doctrine of ' one 
God the Father' has been openely avowed, and faithfully and fearlessly 
taught for some time, the congregations are large and numerous, and feel 
deeply the importance of correct sentiments on religious subjects ; and 
regard the great doctrine of the Divine Unit//, as the only bond of perfect 
union, between the children of the same Parent, and candidates for the 
same immortality. They deem the acquisition of sound, clear, consistent, 
and cheerful views of God, and of the great object of divine revelation, 
as essential to all moral progress and religious improvement. They 
believe that the truth, and the truth alone, 'can make all men free;' and 
that a necessary and inseparable connexion exists between thought and 
action, virtue and happiness, ignorance and vice. Hence the highest 
importance is attached to the great christian principle, that man must ' be 
wise unto salvation;' and that knowledge is poiver, is no less the dictate of 
the moral, than it is of the physical creation. A list of Anti-trinitarian 
congregations in South Wales is subjoined, with the names of the present 



WALES. 20 






. Rev. J. Davies 
. Rev. D. Evans 



Rev. John Thomas 

Capel-y-groes Ystrad 

. Rev. Rees Davies 

Cilian . 


; ^. 

. Rev. Thomas Thomas 



. Rev. Evan Lewis 

Gaeronnen . 



. Rev. John Jeremy 


. Revs. J, Davies & D. Evans 

*Pant-teg . 

. Rev. Benjamin Evans 


. Rev. David Beynon 

St. Clears . 


. Rev. David Lloyd 



. Rev. David Griffiths 






. Rev. G. B. Brock 


. Rev. Benjamin Davies 


Rev. John James 




. Rev. D. Jones 

*Newton Nottage 

. Rev. Evan Lloyd 


. Rev. Titus Lloyd 

Bridgend . 

;: • 

. Rev. J. E. Jones 

Aberdare . 

. Rev. John Jones 

Merthyr Tidvil 

. Rev. David John 

Near Merthyr 

• 1- 

. Rev. Owen Evans 

The congregations mar 

ked thus * are General Baptists, but all decided 



The evils of society, in its difterent stages, have always called forth a 
strong principle of resistance. It seems a law of our nature, that the 
disease, soon or late, shall lead to the remedy. In times when men were 
fewer, and wild animals more numerous, when the country was thinly 
inhabited, and property imperfectly secured, we read of the exploits, here 
of a Hercules, and there of a Guy of Warwick, in the destruction of 
dangerous beasts, which had been the terror of whole provinces, and the 
removal of which opened the way to popularity and to fame. In days 
when the weak succumbed to the strong, when might was right, and the 
peopleof Europe were almost beneath the notice or guardianship of the laws, 
the genius of chivalry rose, called her champions into the field, and threw 
over the helpless and oppressed a partial and romantic but not unavailing pro- 
tection. When the evils of a rapacious and flagitious hierarchy pressed, in 
a later age, upon the hearts and homes of the laity, the spirit of reformation 
indignantly woke ; and Luther, with his bold adherents, broke the keys of 
the Papacy, and shook, as with an earthquake, the pseudo-apostolic throne. 
When political rights were invaded, and national wrongs were to be 
redressed, the horn of Tell was heard upon the mountains of Switzerland ; 
the lance of Bruce was couched upon the turf of Bannockburn ; and the 
sword of Hampden was drawn against the royal enemy of freedom. Every 
period has had its peculiar evils ; and in every state of society, those evils 
have called up individuals who could repel the injuries of the present, and 
redress those of the past. 

It is the distinction, the glorious distinction of the passing age, that a 
deep and broad sympathy has been actively manifested for the labouring (we 
do not like to call them the lower) classes. It is not our intention to 
follow this out into detail : we have neither the space nor the materials for 
such an undertaking. We shall restrict ourselves to one particular branch 
of this sympathy. We refer to the generous anxiety which has been 
displayed, of late years, for the religious reformation of the exposed and 
neglected. It is notorious, that civilization has not acted as an unmixed 
blessing. It has occasioned, included, and concealed many fearful evils. 


Drawing an ever-widening partition between the rich and the poor, it had 
rendered that partition, in the course of ages, so broad and strong as to 
appear impassable. In the bosoms of the most splendid and refined com- 
munities, while opulence and elegance had been advancing to their 
maxinuim in one direction, poverty and degradation had been receding to 
an equal distance in the other ; and scenes of vice and wretchedness, 
which should seem to have no affinity either with civilization or with 
Christianity, were existing and propagating themselves, in the heart of 
those superb cities, which wore on the outside all the signs of gaiety and 
prosperity, and in which the advantages of social life might appear to have 
formed so many brilliant focal points, dispersive of all darkness. 

It was not only in the cities of the Old World, that this revolting 
antagonism was found. Recent as was the origin of the chief cities of 
America, it was but too apparent that similar causes were producing similar 
effects within them, and that each of those communities was the lurking- 
place of evils that eat, like loathsome cancers, into its vitals. Republican 
institutions were found incapable of annihilating the fatal pauperism that 
waited upon regal civilization ; and it was obvious to the eye of the philan- 
thropist, that the storm-lights of Eastern society were so faithfully reflected 
in the West, as to bode a repetition of the same calamities, if nothing 
could be done to temper or to neutralize their causes. 

It is observable, that, at all such junctures, some gifted Individual sees 
and feels, thinks and acts, for his Age. Evils deplored by many are 
assailed but by one, who has gathered from stirring sympathy the inspi- 
rations and the consciousness of power. It was so in the case to which we 
are now referring. It was the destiny of an American minister of religion, 
previously unnoticed and unknown, to strike out a fresh hope for his 
country and for his kind. Brooding over the pauperism which everywhere 
waited upon civilization, over the fatal and growing divergency of the two 
extremes of society, a benevolent Unitarian pastor of New England 
conceived the glorious plan of making a new religious experiment for the 
benefit of the forgotten and the forsaken. The plan itself is now known 
as the Ministry at Large, or the Ministry to the Poor; and the name of 
Joseph Tuckerman, as its originator and first experimentalist, will be 
handed down, we trust, to the love and reverence of christian posterity. 

We do not mean to enter upon the biography of this distinguished 
Reformer. A few particulars only belong to our province, and will suffice 


for our purpose. He was originally engaged in the ordinary Ministry in 
New England. But that ministry did not satisfy hhn. His heart was with 
the poor. He longed to give up his time and attention exclusively to them. 
He felt that something more than the usual ministrations of religion 
were necessary to counteract the depressing and demoralizing agents that 
were developing themselves among the shadowed portions of Society. 
Through the motions of those shadows he felt the pulse of civilization, and 
he trembled as he felt it— not with fear only, but with other and nobler 
emotions, with concern and commiseration, with faith and hope, and love. 
He longed to throw these feelings into action. His wish to do so 'grew 
stronger with every year of his life. He hnparted it, earnestly and 
assiduously, to others. His hopefulness was contagious ; his enthusiasm 
was irresistible. He made it felt that the experiment ought at least to be 
tried; that a minister should be sent forth among the erring and the 
suffering, whose sole business it should be to relieve the one and to com- 
fort the other. The Executive Committee of the American Unitarian 
Association engaged him to go forth among the poor of Boston, as the 
experimentalist of his own scheme, at the close of the year 1826. From 
this time to the date of his last sickness, he was engaged in the service 
nearest and dearest to his heart. 

The success of the ministry of Mr Tuckerman in Boston was such, that 
in a few years others entered into his work, and carried it on under his 
eye and in his spirit. It was successively undertaken in Boston, by Mr. Bar- 
nard, Mr. Gray, Mr. Sargent, and Mr. Waterston,all of whom entered upon 
the Ministry at Large, in the same town. Reports of the proceedings of 
these gentlemen were published by the Society which employed them. 
During the service of Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Tuckerman, the Reports which 
he drew up had been printed and circulated at their expense : and these 
papers contain a fund of practical information on the state of the exposed 
classes, and the means of improving it. They have been charged, and not 
unreasonably, with some degree of vagueness ; but this is, perhaps, a fault 
inseparable from the subject. They abound in useful suggestions ; they 
overflow with warm philanthropy and unaffected piety ; they are free 
alike from cant and from intolerance ; they contain some very important 
and interesting details ; and, above all, they breathe a spirit, which, doing 
honour to human nature, marks its affinity with the Divine. 

It may be abkcd, what was the peculiarity of Dr. Tuckerman's scheme. 


It was to seek out the erring and the suffering, in tlieir hiding places, and 
to bring upon them the unsought influences of pure and undefiled 
religion. The ordinary ministry waited, as it were, to he sought. It lifted 
up its ensigns in churches and chapels ; or at the utmost, the pastor went 
to seek the absent members of his flock, when sickness or affliction kept 
them from the place of prayer. The ministry projected and carried out 
by the American philanthropist, went in search of the sick who had none 
to visit them, of the unbelieving who were connected with no system or 
church, of the ignorant who were far from any means of instruction, of the 
suffering good who required assistance and comfort, and the outcast evil- 
doers who had none to warn or to reclaim them. Above all, perhaps, it kept 
in view the great object of preventing the first errors of the unfriended 
young, or, if that wish came too late, yet at least of preventing those errors 
from settling into shameless and confirmed habits of evil. The Church 
appropriated to this Ministry was to be the Abode of Misery, wherever that 
might be ; and its Sabbath services had originally and chiefly in view the 
spiritual wants of the needy and infirm, of the crippled and the blind, of the 
drunkard and the libertine, the lunatic and the prostitute, of the childless, 
the fatherless, and the widow, of the sailor and the beggar, of the wan- 
derer and the mourner. These were the principal objects of the Ministry 
at Large. And in the seeking out of these, consisted its distinctive pecu- 

A moment's consideration will show, in this instance, how peculiarly 
important was the relation of the personal 'character of the Originator to 
the scheme. Well was it for the Ministry to the Poor, that it was conceived 
and carried out by such a character as Joseph Tuckerman. In other hands 
it might have had a very different tendency. The ore, though equally pre- 
cious itself, might have been combined with a large proportion of dross, that 
should have encumbered and obscured it, yet should have been inseparable 
from it. A benevolent bigot might have gone forth among the poor, with a 
view to serve and to save them, by bringing them over to his own peculiar 
system of theology, doing them, at the same time, all the social and personal 
good in his power. The blight of sectarianism might thus have fastened upon 
it from the beginning, and party might have blasted what was meant for man- 
kind. But Dr. Tuckerman's views were not those of a theological partisan. 
He never thought of himself as a Unitarian, but only as a Christian. His 
theology turned upon one principle — the Fatherhood of God; his morality 


upon another — the Brotherhood of Man. His whole system of philan- 
thropy might be resolved into the glorious Parables of the Prodigal Son 
and the Good Samaritan. In these, and in the spirit of the wonderful 
beino- who delivered them, he found all that he looked for — all that could 
reveal God to man, and raise man to God. Equally firm was his belief in 
the o-ood of human nature. He was a thorough believer in the redeemable- 
ness of all, because he believed that none were totaly evil. He hoped foi 
all ; he despaired of none. Pie saw in sin an accident, and not an element, 
of humanity. He beheld and revered in every human soul, a gem that 
was meet for the diadem of its Maker. It might have fallen into the dust; 
but even there he sought and found in it gleams of divine light. Thenceforth 
it became his object to raise it, and to cleanse it, and to fit it, by recovered 
holiness, for its forgotten place in the crown of the King of kings. 

And this, he believed, was largely to be effected by the power of 
truth, speaking in the spirit of sympathy and love. He was no harsh 
reprover of crime ; but he believed in the boundless power of sympathy with 
the criminal. In his ninth semi-annual Report, (p. 32,) he uses the 
following exquisite and affecting image : * I have seen, that even when the 
moral nature seemed to be dead, utterly dead, it is very possible, hy feeling 
long and patiently about the heart, that some pulsation may be found there to 
indicate, or even to prove, that the principle of moral life, and the capacity 
of moral feeling, are not, in truth, wholly extinct.' And in conversation 
he would give utterance to his enthusiasm in such expressions as these, — 
' I almost wish that there was a Devil, that I might wrestle with him in the 
spirit of love, and try what could be done to soften and to save him!' In 
this spirit he could not but be doing good ; whenever he went, where good 
was to be done. He made it his object to discover the virtue which vice 
could not extinguish — the ember, which lingered and lived among the ashes, 
unseen perhaps, and unbelieved in by others, but, to his pure instinct, to his 
loving faith, as vivid a reality as the sun or the star. It then became his 
object to fan the latent spark ; to bend all to this one point ; to watch and 
pray, and labour, for the development of the mysterious power, which, like 
a treasure hid in a ruin, might yet be the means of repairing and renewing 
all. * / must have that mans soul,' was his language respecting an obdurate 
transgressor ; and, full, like the Christ he followed, of all that is generous 
and heroic in human sympathy, it cannot be wondered at, that he should 


have acheivcd great things, both in pleading to the wealthy for the poor, 
and to the poor for themselves. 

We have adverted to the sviccess of his exhortations and example in his 
own city. Their effects, however, were not confined to Boston. We 
believe they were extensively felt in America, but want the documents 
which would enable us to be more specific. We can, however, advert to 
two proofs of this extended influence. A Home Mission was opened at 
Baltimore, in which the Rev. C. H. A. Dall was engaged as the Minister at 
Large, under a society formed for the purpose. His Report is original and 
striking, consisting of a series of questions, supposed to be put by a party 
desirous of obtaining information about the Mission ; to which the Minister 
subjoins his replies. Though faulty in style, this paper shows that the good 
work was prospering in the hands of the writer. Large schools had been 
formed, and many other proofs given, that a new impulse had been given 
to the hearts and minds of the neglected classes. The other proof referred 
to is, we fear, lo be classed with the things that were and are not. It was 
a Ministry to the Poor opened in the city of New York, and continued for 
some years under the care of the Rev. J. Arnold. We have seen a complete 
series of the Reports of this gentleman ; and the ministry has not yet pro- 
duced any documents more instructive or valuable. We give the following 
extract from his last Report : — 

"I know there are many persons who agree with me in the views 
which I have here unfolded ; but who have little faith in direct efforts to 
improve the condition of society. These distrustful philanthropists say, 
' Your assertion is true ; pauperism is a great evil ; it is a palsy upon the 
body politic ; it unnerves the right arm of industry, without which no good 
can be obtained ; — but who can apply a remedy ? It is already upon us, 
heaving and swelling like a restless ocean, and its waves cannot be stayed. 
Men are blind, determined on destruction, and will not be saved. Under 
such circumstances,' say they, 'human efforts avail nothing; they 
are utterly lost ; the progress of demoralization is going on ; pauperism, 
crime, and every evil, are increasing, and nothing but some dreadful con- 
vulsion, some fearful visitation of wrath, some mighty moral thunder storm 
that shall sweep away thousands in an hour, can purify the moral atmosphere 
in which we live, and correct the terrible vices of society.' Now I have 
no sympathy with views like these. I have for several years mixed 
constantly, and in the most familiar manner, with the poorest, and worst, 


and the most hopeless portion of society, for the express purpose of elevating 
them ; and although I have obtained ideas of a depth of human depravity 
and wretchedness, such as I had never before imagined to exist, yet I have 
seen nothing which has for a moment shaken my faith in man, and in the 
progress of society, as a part of the great design of Providence. Efforts 
to enlighten, to reclaim, and to improve individuals, may fail ; and for a 
time portions of mankind may deteriorate ; yet, I believe that no wise and 
virell-directed efforts are ever wholly lost. I beUeve that the germ of pro- 
gress is wrapped up in the very heart of society ; that an irresistible impulse 
is already given to it ; and that, if those who are capable of appreciating 
moral truth, goodness, and beauty, will be faithful to themselves, and the 
stations which they hold ; such advancement in knowledge, freedom, and 
virtue, in all that elevates, ennobles, and refines society, may be witnessed ' 
in the present age as has never before occurred during the same period 
in the history of the world." 

We have before us the 10th Annual Report of the Executive Committee 
of the Benevolent Fraternity of Churches (Boston, U.S.). It embraces the 
Reports of the talented and indefatigable Ministers of the Poor, Messrs. R. C. 
Waterston and J. T. Sargent. Mr. Waterston thus expresses himself: — 

' No one, who goes among the poor, can for a moment doubt the impor- 
tance of constant personal intercourse. Where can the infirm be seen, but 
in their homes ? Where can those who are prostrated by sickness receive 
counsel, but in the chamber of suflfering? Where can the wicked be 
reclaimed, but in the midst of their daily temptations ? It is there that the 
ties of personal sympathy must be strengthened. There will the most 
profitable words be often spoken, and the very services of the sabbath will 
be rendered more sacred by the intercourse of the week. Always have I 
been deeply impressed with the importance of this portion of the minister's 
duties. To aid the poor truly, they must be known, and while we would 
not undervalue the Chapel service, we are confident that even the exceed- 
ing advantages derived from the Chapels are most intimately connected 
with the friendly intercourse which has been enjoyed in private, and the 
communion of mind with mind. With this view, I have sought, as far as 
was possible, to be personally among the poor ; to know them at their homes ; 
to hear from their own lips their tales of sorrow, and to witness with my 
own eyes their temptations and their hardships. I have been welcomed at 
their fire-side as a friend. I have seen instances of brutish degradation, 


and others of saintly virtue. At times my heart has sickened within me as 
I have witnessed human corruption and the madness of human folly; and 
at other times, I have been filled with admiration at the meek resignation, 
and heroic fortitude, and childlike trust in the tender mercies of God. At 
times I have felt that one could hardly pass through such labours without 
being contaminated ; and at other times, I have felt that such scenes might 
kindle the most indifferent to spiritual life, and make the purest Christian 
yet more holy. I trust that, during the past year, I have grown wiser and 
better by what I have witnessed, and I may also hope that I have scattered 
some good seed which may not be wholly lost. 

' I will not pause here to depict individual cases, for if I commenced, I 
should not know where to begin or where to end ; and besides, the homes 
I have visited have been private homes, their sorrows have been private 
sorrows, and if the deep workings of human hearts have been unfolded to 
me, it was not that they should be published to the world. Surely, the 
messenger of the Gospel may be trusted in his ministrations, and it may be 
believed that he knows more than he tells. 

' But if there are wheels revolving in silence, there is also a dial-plate, 
and this must, in some measure at least, be an index by which to know of 
the movements within. One dial-plate of this ministry, is daily life. If you 
could lift the roof from a multitude of homes, if you could gaze in upon a 
hundred work-shops, you would see some proof of what has been done. 
Industry plies the needle and wields the hammer. Sobriety brings happi- 
ness and contentment. Integrity remains steadfast to the law of right. 
Here is the grand index of our labours, and we say truly, when we assert, 
that the hands on that dial-plate have gone forward. 

' The light of God's sun smiles upon more happy homes, and upon more 
honest, industrious, and virtuous men, from the fact that this ministry has 
existed.' — Report, pp. 11 — 13. 

Let us now hear Mr. Sargent : — 

' It is now nearly ten years since the organization of that Fraternity of 
Churches, under whose auspices I became one of the ministers at large, 
nearly seven since I entered on the service, and about four since the dedi- 
cation of Suffolk-street Chapel. Within these periods I have witnessed 
and shared the operations of a ministry whose purposes are founded in the 
strictest wisdom, as they are sustained by the truest Christian philanthropy; 
a ministry whose very cares and axieties are richer than the world's enjoy- 


ments, and whose objects, while they engross all my time, are interwoven 
with all my habits and affections. So completely are its avocations identi- 
fied with my daily life, that I have learned to have no interest or pursuit 
apart from its absorbing calls. Though my connection with this ministry 
began somewhat later than that of others, it has seemed to me as if a 
century of useful experience had been crowded within those few short 
years. Each returning anniversary only finds my faith in this service 
strono-er and stronger, and perhaps on no previous occasion have we had 
more reason for congratulation or encouragement than on the present.' — 
Report, pp. 19, 20. 

We have been more particular in giving these statements respecting the 
Ministry at Large in America, from the plan itself having there had its 
origin ; but of course, while we do so, we cannot but remember, and remind 
our readers, of the important social differences between the labouring 
population of the cis-Atlantic, and that of the trans-Atlantic cities. The 
ministry, however, in its transplantation to Europe, has accommodated itself 
to the soil and climate, without impoverishing its fruits. Eight English 
cities have now their Ministries to the Poor ; and in some of them two 
ministers have been sent forth. In London this is done by one Society; in 
Birmingham by two. In Liverpool, also, the Society, which employs the 
minister, has engaged the services of an assistant. Bristol, Leeds, 
Manchester, Leicester, and Hahfax, are the others. Papers of no mean 
literary power, and of great documentary value, have been put forth by these 
Associations, every year, v/e believe, from their first organization ; and on 
these papers we may found the calm assurance, that, in this new and 
benign crusade, there is nothing less than a fresh and pregnant hope for 

The London Domestic Mission Society thus expresses itself, through its 
Committee, at the opening of the last Report which we have at hand, that 
for 1841 (to which, we know, though the documents are not in our reach, 
that reo-ular annual records of unobtrusive but acknowledged success have 
since been added, and that the good effects of the Mission have been sensi- 
bly felt in the two districts chosen for its metropolitan operations) : — 

' The Missionaries, the Rev. R. K. Philp, and the Rev. W. Vidler, have 
continued their laborious exertions with unabated zeal, and with such 
success as may be confidently looked for under the fostering hand of Divine 
Providence, who ever giveth a return for men's earnest, diligent, and well- 


directed labour. From the manner in which they are counselled to apply 
and do apply themselves, to the hearts and minds of those whom they visit, 
or whom they collect in the house of prayer, sudden, brilliant, and astound- 
ing effects cannot be produced : theirs is the quiet, gentle, and affectionate 
application of the gospel, which is as support to the bruised reed, as the 
gentle fanning of the air to the smoking flax. Their master's bread is 
offered to the hungry, and his cup to the thirsty ; but they have no 
maddening stimulants to apply, no means for plunging into the depths of 
despair, that they may raise the soul again to the third heaven of enthusi- 
astic joy : they have learned that the legacy of Christ is freedom from the 
tumults of the soul; — 'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto 
you.' Yet are the proofs of their success not wanting. They fall from 
time to time upon their hearts like notes of divinest music, and communi- 
cate a lively joy to their bosoms.' In his last Report Mr. Philp says : — 

* " I trust habits of thoughtfulness, and improved moral feelings, are 
being indulged ; and that our own humble efforts, with what we have been 
the means of exciting and stimulating in others, will redound to the glory 
of God, and the good of our fellow-creatures. Tlie occasional testimonials 
of the poor as to their own improved views and feelings, and the satisfaction 
expressed by them on the behalf of their children, are truly gratifying. 
Indeed, but for these, added to the consciousness of having intended well, 
and made sincere efforts to accomplish this object, the state of the Mission- 
ary would not be a very enviable one. As it is, there are reasons for 
gratitude and hope." 

' In his Reports for October and November, also, Mr. Philp speaks of 
moral and religious improvement plainly visible in his district, though he 
does not so distinctly trace it to the operations of the Society. Those who 
know the sentiments, in some instances amounting to a fault, with which 
Mr. Philp shrinks from detailing his own exertions and their consequences, 
will know how to place their due value upon his modest statements, and 
will weigh his words at their real worth. 

* In his Report for December, Mr. Vidler writes: — 

' " It is now six years since I commenced my labours as a Domestic 
Missionary. When I look back on the events of those years, it is with 
mingled feelings of pleasure and pain. Pleasure, that in some instances I 
can trace an improvement of character from the operations of the Society ; 
and pain, from the recollection of many disappointments, and the severe 


and trying scenes to wliich I have been witness. Striking instances of 
moral improvement have occasionally come under my notice, cheering me, 
and enabling me to bear disappointment in other cases. When about to 
leave London last summer for a short time, I said to some of the 
members of our congregation, that I should be happy to hear from them 
if they would take advantage of the cheap postage. I received several 
letters full of affectionate and grateful feelings. One of these letters filled 
me with gratitude to that Being who enables his creatures to be the 
instruments of his mercy. It is with some hesitation that I insert an 
extract from it, nor should I if I did not think it may tend to encourage 
those benevolent persons who have been content to wait for the fruits of the 
Mission. He says: — 'It is now five years since Providence directed your 
steps to my door; and whatever may be my future lot, I have reason and 
am thankful to God for your coming. For from no other man have I 
gained a knowledge of myself, of right and wrong, the means of curbing my 
temper, and many bad passions to which I was prone. Though still weak 
and erring, I have to thank God and you that I am not what I have been. 
My wife and children have cause to bless your coming among us. Until I 
listened to your counsel I knew no love for my home or children, and now 
I am only happy when with them, or providing for them. May you live 
long to benefit and bless others, as you have me and my family.' " 

' In February and April, Mr. V. also speaks in reserved but encouraging 
terms of the result of his labours, and the various instrumentahty of which 
he is the energetic centre. 

* The nature of the Missionary's position, the kind of exertion which he 
is able to make, and the limited extent of his operations, compared with 
the moral necessity by which he is surrounded, are well shown by Mr. 
Vidler in his last Report. 

* " The district is thickly populated, thousands are living' in the neigh- 
bourhood of our station. I visit about two hundred families — more I 
cannot do effectively — nor is even this effective to each. With some it is 
hardly more than leaving a tract : to others, perhaps some forty or fifty 
families, my visits are a blessing. I am consulted in the putting a cliild 
out in the world, sent for to give consolation in sickness, appealed to in 
many domestic arrangements, and I believe regarded as a friend, as well as 
a teacher to them of the holiest and most important tYnt\\s."—Bcport, 
pp. 10—12. 


The London Domestic Mission has since been befriended and distinguished, 
by the personal and published advocacy of the Rev. James Martineau, who, 
in that brilliant and original vpork, the ' Endeavours after the Christian Life,' 
has thus adverted to the Ministry to the Poor, in a passage weighty with 
solemn and condensed truth ; — ' In proportion then, as we think well of our 
natui'e and of our kind ; in proportion as we estimate worthily the task of 
Providence, in ripening a world of souls, shall we be reconciled to the 
tardy and interrupted steps by which the work proceeds. We shall be 
content and trustful, though our personal portion of the work, and even 
the sum of our combined endeavours while we live, should be inconspicu- 
ously small. Have you resolved, as much as in you lies, to lessen the 
number of those, who, in this metropolis of the charities, have none to 
help them, or lift them from the darkness wherein they exist and perish 
unseen ? It is good. Only remember, that if the ministry which thus 
dives into the recesses of human wretchedness, and carries a healing 
pity to the body and the soul, which speaks to tempted, fallen, stricken 
men, from a heart that feels their struggle terrible, yet believes the 
conquest possible, be really right and christian, then its slowness is but the 
attendant symptoms of its worth ; and to despond because a few years' 
labour exhibits no large and deep impression made on the wickedness and 
miseries of this great city, would be to slight the work, and forget its 
dignity. "When London, mother of mighty things, after the travail of 
centuries, brings forth woes, how can they be other than giant woes, which 
no faint hope, no puny courage, but only the enterprise of high faith, can 
manacle and lay low. Surely it is an unworthy proposal which we some- 
times hear, respecting this and other departed ministers of good, ' Well, it 
is a doubtful experiment, but let us try it for a few years.' If, indeed, 
this means that, in too small a measure of success, we are to do something 
more and greater ; that we must be content with no niggardly and unpro- 
ductive operation, but recognize in scanty results a call to stronger efforts ; 
that, failing a delegated ministry, we will go forth ourselves into the places 
of want and sin, and make aggression on them with a mercy that can wait 
no more ; — in tins sense, let the Mission pass for a temporary trial. But if 
it be meant, that, disappointed in our hopes, we are to give it all up and 
do nothing ; that, having once set plainly before our face the beseeching 
looks of wounded and bleeding humanity stretched upon our path, we are 


to ' pass by on the other side, thinking it enough to have come and seen 
where it was,' — then I must say, that any work, undertaken in this spirit, 
has failed already. For my own part, I should say, where we even to make 
no visible progress, were we able to beat back the ills with which we contend 
by not one hair's breadth ; — nay, were they to be actually advancing on us, 
still no retreat, but only the more strenuous aggression would be admissi- 
ble. For what purpose can any christian say, that he is here in life, with 
his divine intimation of what ought to he, and his sorrowing perception of 
what is, if not to put forth a perpetual endeavour against the downward 
gravitation of his own and others' nature ? And if in the conquest of evil, 
God can engage liimself eternally, is it not a small thing for us to yield up 
to the struggle om* three-score years and ten ? Whatever difficulties may 
baffle us, whatever defeat await us, it is our business to live with resistance 
in our will, and die with protest on our lips, and make our whole existence, 
not only in desire and prayer, but in resolve, in speech, in act, a 
remonstrance against whatever hurts and destroys in all the earth.' 
Endeavours, &c. pp. 295 — 7. 

It is not compatible with the objects and limits of this article, to give a 
particular account of the several Institutions of this kind, that have now 
been set on foot, in the great English towns. It may be observed, in a 
general way, that not one of them has failed. Every one of them has given 
such satisfaction to its friends and supporters, as to encourage them to 
proceed with it, and, in many cases, to enlarge its sphere and improve its 
machinery of beneficence. Each of these ministries has collected about it 
such auxiliary plans, as were most called for by the peculiar local circum- 
stances of the people, and most adapted to further the designs, with which 
they are established. In one place the Domestic Mission is most marked 
by tlie prosperity of its schools ; in another, by its connection with the 
Mechanics' Institute ; in a third, by the attendance on the Chapel ; in a 
fourth, by its successful efforts on behalf of the Temperance cause ; in a 
fifth, by the munificence with which its funds of charity have been supplied. 
Each minister has followed the bent of his own character, while observing 
and seizing the most prominent and pressing needs of the population among 
which he laboured ; and the result has been, a mass of diversiform but 
most interesting success, which has cheered the hearts of those who, by 
setting these holy experiments in action, had evinced their faith in the 
power of chuistian effort to form embankments of solid and productive 


good,aniidst tlie imwliolcsonie nitarshes left by the retreating tides of prospe- 
rity, stagnating in the putrescence of neglect, and sighing with the 
murmurs of despair. 

It has been one of the direct results of the Ministry to the Poor, that it 
has made additional and most serviceable revealments of what is taking 
place in the under-strata of society. Though the reports of the 
different agents have been honourably distinguished by the avoidance of 
attempts to strike by the delineation of horrors, they have not abstained 
from occasional touching and temperate statements of cases, which have made 
the nature of the sufferings of the exposed classes at once more extensively 
and more accurately known. And in this way, we doubt not, it will do yet 
more extended service. These documents reach to a circle that is yearly 
expanding ; and the cases which they depict, the statements which they 
convey, will every year break the smooth surface of happy life, with a 
wider ring of sympathy for the children of sin and sorrow. 

It is also an advantage resulting from the multiplication of these minis- 
tries, that they form, wherever established, a nucleus, a common attractive 
centre, for other plans of benevolence, the expediency of which would have 
been less known without them, as the means of setting them on foot would 
have been less obvious and ready. Wherever there is now a JNIinistry to 
the Poor, there is a central point of information, as well as of action, with 
reference to any new experiment that benevolence may wish to try. Few, 
if any, of these ministers work as ministers only ; the Minister to the 
Poor is their General Friend; and, in that character, is ready and 
wiUing to give advice and assistance in any way that his experience may 
enable him to be useful. 

The great evil, which the Ministries to the Poor have to fear, is obviously 
that of their assuming a sectarian character. From the time that the 
attention of the Missionary should be turned from the church of Christ to 
any other church, in which his is only a secondary place and name, he would 
become a defaulter from the original pledge of the institution, and (if 
the contradiction may be forgiven,) his very progress would thenceforth be 
retrogression. We want no more advocacy of particular and exclusive 
churches. We have already enough and to spare. It is not in this, that 
we must look for the balm that will heal the stricken heart, or the light 
that will cheer it. What we war.t is the agency of the spirit of knowledge 
and of love. We want apostolical work to be done by a race of self- 


sacrificing apostles — of apostles, who never forget that they are life-luiig 
disciples. We want the power of light to knock down all partition- walls, 
and not the power of darkness to build up new ones, or to fortify the old. 
We would have the Minister to the Poor, their temporal and spiritual, 
social and domestic friend, ready and anxious to engage in any thing and 
every thing that will befriend them, and no less anxious to keep from him- 
self and from his work, every thing that may tend to breathe the slightest 
dimness over its glory, or make him look or act like the preacher of a faith 
whose ' kingdom is of this world.' A ministry like this in every town and 
city of the empire, would do much, we are convinced, to baffle the spirit 
of Antichrist, to raise at once the standards of morality and happiness, and 
to pave the way for the reception of social and political blessings, which 
would otherwise do much more tardy and imperfect good. 

We hope to see the day, when, in addition to its ordinary ministry, every 
one of our Chapels in every large town or city, will have a Ministry to the 
Poor, as a matter of course and of duty. In country places, and in small 
congregations, this will not be necessary. The Minister, in such cases, 
may unite the pastoral charge of the poor in his flock, and possibly of a 
portion of the neglected poor beyond it, with those preparations for his 
Sunday duties, which it is incumbent on him to render as impressive and 
interesting as he can. But, in the case of a city congregation, scattered 
over a great surface, and distributed among large districts inhabited chiefly 
by the labouring classes, it becomes a very different thing — and is, in truth, 
a very difficult one — to combine the preparation for the Sunday and the 
pastoral visitation of the stated attendants at the Chapel, with the discharge 
of any very extensive or important service, as a daily visitor of the poor 
in their homes. We repeat, therefore, our hope, that every Christian 
society will feel the force of the call upon it, to make use of both these 
truly evangelical agencies, in the full assurance of reaping a rich reward. 

But we cannot help taking a farther look, and dropping a parting word. 
The requisitions of the Ministry to the Poor are such, that an individual 
who engages in it without any training for it, will have much to learn, and 
possibly something to unlearn, which must be considered as so much lost 
time, and consequent lost ground, with reference to his new undertaking. 
If such a Ministry be wanted at all, it strikes us as self-evident, that there 
should be a body of Ministers regxdarhj disciplined and 'prepared for it. 
Why should not a class for such be connected with our other academical 


Institutions ? We have a very strong impression, that some such measure 
is yearly becoming more desireable. The stagnant quiesence of the 
masses, and their blind and fearful stirrings, are equal and unequivocal calls 
for it. Qualifications are requisite for this service, which cannot be expected 
to start up at every demand for them, or to be acquired by educational 
processes which have not had them distinctly or primarily in view. We 
have a Ministry trained for the service of the educated classes ; but we are 
rowing the boat with a single oar, until it is balanced by a trained Ministry 
for the uninstructed and neglected. 



The causes which produced the Reformation, called forth expressions of 
opinion against the doctrine of the Trinity, even before the great events 
took place which marked its character, and determined its career. Socin- 
ians appeared before Socinus,* if not precisely in the notions he entertained 
respecting the person of the Saviour, certainly in the general spirit of his 
system and his hostility to Trinitarianism. The very efforts of the schoolr 
men during the middle ages, to establish the Trinity, with other church 
doctrines, on a basis of absolute proof, had demonstrated the incom- 
patibility of the dogma in almost every possible form, with the simple 
dictates of human intelligence, as well as with the conditions of a 
sound, a subtle, or a refined logic. Human investigation was perilous. 
The insecurity of its basis being ascertained, the doctrine could not 
endure the shocks occasioned by the collisions of thought in the 
convulsive movements of the Reformation. The activity of mind which 
was at once cause and effect of that great and religious change, could not 
fail to issue adversely to a dogma which requires implicit faith, and shuns 
searching investigation. The Reformation had a negative and revolutionary 
element in its character. It, of necessity, destroyed and removed the old, 
in order to make room for the new. Society had outgrown its investments, 
and must throw them off. The frame of the human intellect swelling with 
new life and youthful vigour, rose upwards from the earth, whose iron 
bonds it burst, that so it might grow and expand towards the full stature 
of a perfect man in Christ. The age too was essentially practical. The 
dreams of the schoolmen, with their speculations, fancies, and visions, had 
lost their charm, potency, and prevalence. Old notions had confuted 
themselves ; the existing social system was obviously effete. What was not 
rotten was worn out, what was not worn out was visionary and ascetic. 
The spirit of a new life which was moving and stirring throughout Europe, 
was of necessity prospective in its operation, and as prospective, so prac- 
tical, seeking to adapt its measures to rising wants, in order to do good, 
and in doing good to find the proper modes of beneficent action. In its 
very nature, therefore, was it adverse to the Trinity, which even as a 
speculation, has no solid support ; and which, in relation to the great duties 

• Die Protestantischcn Antitinitarier vor F. Socin von T. Trechsel, 1839. The 
second Part, entitled Lelio Sozzini und die Aitiliiuitarier Seiner Zeit, appeared in 181t. 


of life or hopes of religion, has no other application than such as speculation 
may assign. When men come to turn from dogmas to holy living, from 
creeds to devotion, from theory to practice, they first cease to value such a 
figment of metaphysical adroitness, and then find, to their deep satisfaction, 
that the essence of religion, all that gives light in duty, comfort in sorrow, 
hope in death, is entirely independent of human systems of divinity, and 
human contrivances for expressing the unutterable, and defining the 
infinite. Freedom of mind, activity and vigour of thought, rejoicing in 
newly gained emancipation from the dead bodies of school divinity, and 
resolved to ask a reason ere it admitted a dogma, and to search into the 
grounds of established systems as well as established institutions, could not 
fail to apply itself with deadly effect to such a complex and contradictory 
set of notions, or rather words, as was presented in the creed bearing the 
name of Athanasius. Hence Denk, Hetzer, Joris, Servetus, and others, 
assailed, in various ways, the commonly received opinion, and had not 
the unworthy fears and inconsistent illiberality of nearly all the principal 
Reformers thrown impediments in the way, the Reformation would not 
have had to wait above three centuries for its completion, in the replacing of 
heathen metaphysics by the simplicity of the Gospelof theLord Jesus Christ. 
By no one feature was the period of the Reformation distinguished more 
than by its healthy, vigorous, practical tone of both thought and action. 
This was the spirit in which Luther himself laboured ; and though Luther 
professed a belief in the doctrine of the Trinity, and thought that it was 
essential to the sanctification of soul, which he deemed the great purpos« 
and work of the gospel ; yet, in truth, he held not orthodox views on the 
subject, and is among both the first and the most influential of those who 
prepared the way for its fall. Luther was an eminently practical teacher. 
As such he disowned the theories of the schools, and had no new theory of 
of his own to propound. He therefore maintained that Christians were to 
hold, without attempting to understand, the doctrine. But such a position 
is a virtual renunciation of Trinitarianism, for in its very essence it is a 
definition, and to say that the divine nature is indefinable, is to declare that 
the Trinity is vain and groundless. Yet difficult is it for persons who pro- 
fess the Trinity, to abstain from all definitions in regard to it. " The 
Trinity" are words which, if they have a meanin'g, must represent some 
reality, to speak of which is almost necessarily to give a direct or indirect 
definition of the doctrine. Into such an inconsistency did Luther himself 
fall. At the very time that he held the subject to be too high and dark 


for man to comprehend, he attempted to define, or at least to describe th.c 
true orthodox doctrine. These are his words, — ' One is the person of the 
Father, from whom, as from the fountain and the first person, all powers pro- 
ceed ; another is the person of the Lord, that is Christ, the Son of God, 
from whom, as from the head of the Chlirch, all oflfices come ; another is the 
person of the Holy Ghost, who distributes all gifts in the Church ; and yet 
these are all of one, divine, almighty, eternal essence ; who in relation to 
that essence are all three called, and really are one, since God must be an 
indivisible essence.' This is plainly Tritheism ; three separate individual 
beings united in one essence, and having in that essence their common point 
of agreement. But even this Tritheism has an Unitarian element, for as 
the Father is the original source of the Son and the Spirit, so does he pos- 
sess the essential quality of the divine, namely independent and underived 
existence ; and is therefore, in the full and proper sense, the only God. 

In another passage, Luther speaks in terms that correspond not amiss 
with that Sabellianism which is in itself only a misty and unscriptural form 
of Unitarianism. ' There is one God, one Lord, one Divine Majesty, 
nature, essence, of all three persons ; but sometimes the person of 
the Father revealed itself; sometimes the person of the Son ; some- 
times the person of the Holy Ghost ; whichever revealed itself, there still 
remained one God in three persons.' While, however, Luther believed that 
he held the true doctrine of the Trinity, and taught that the doctrine 
was an essential article of the Christian verity, he did not, with his anti- 
scholastic and practical tendencies, hesitate to declare his dislike of the term 
' Dreifaltigkeit (properly three-foldness) is very bad German, for in the 
Deity is the highest unity. Some call it Dreiheit (threeness, or Trinity), 
but this sounds too mocking. I call it ein Gedrittes (a thirded something) 
for Dreifaltigkeit sounds strange, and I can give it no right name.' 

That he was averse from the scholastic notions is evident from these 
words. ' It is a heavenly thing which the world cannot understand. 
Therefore have I taught, that you ought to ground even doctrine iiot on 
reason or comparison but on the words given in Scripture. The schools 
have devised many distinctions, dreams, and fancies, by which they have 
tried to set forth the Trinity, and have thus become fools!'* 

• These passages are translated literally from 'Geist aus Luther's Schrifteii," voii 
Loniler and others ; vol. i, p. 598. 


In the same spirit did Melancthon write his Loci Communes. Pro- 
ceeding from his prelections or lectures on the Epistle to the Romans, and 
pervaded by the Protestant sentiment which formed itself under the gui- 
dance of Paul's teaching, they were occupied with the correlative topics 
of sin and grace, law and gospel. The doctrines of the Trinity, of God, of 
the Creation, of the incarnation, are excluded. On the first page of his 
work we meet with these words, — * There is no reason why we should 
give much labour in this place to the question respecting the Unity and 
Trinity of God, the mystery of creation, and mode of incarnation. Tell 
me, I pray thee, what scholastic theologians have in so many ages gained 
while they occupied themselves with those points only. To contemplate his 
nature and the manner of his incarnation as they teach, this is not to know 
Christ. This only is true Christian knowledge, to be aware of what the 
law requires, and how you may console an afl^icted conscience.' In the 
later editions of the Loci Communes he introduced the Trinity ; but his 
handling of the subject is peculiar. He does not so much show its con- 
nection with the work of Christ, nor put together its scriptural evidence, 
as seek to find it in the idea or conception of God, for he held that there 
was a permanent trinal distinction in him, while He was not the less one. 
Melancthon borrowed a figure from the human mind, which, if strictly taken 
as the exposition of his views, would rather destroy than establish the 
Ecclesiastical Trinity ; — these are his words : — ' The human mind in think- 
ing, paints an image of the thing thought ; but we do not tranfuse our essence 
into these images, and these thoughts are sudden and evanescent acts ; but 
the Eternal Father in working on himself, begets a thought of himself, 
which is not an evanescent image of himself, but a subsistent essence com- 
municated to it : this thought, the image of himself, is the Logos or word, 
not a mere sound, but a person, the Son of God, who became man. As 
the Son was begotten by the act of thinking, so the Holy Ghost proceeded 
from the will of the Father and the Son.' In this Trinity it is clear that the 
Father only is properly God, since the Father is the sole, independent, and 
self-subsistent fountain of Deity. In general, however, the old Lutheran 
clergy followed the example of the reformer from whom they took their 
name, and set forth the doctrine in its practical relations, and as something 
to be believed rather than defined. 

Dangerous as such a position was, the proceeding of Melancthon in at- 
tempting to learn and establish the doctrine on reasonable grounds, was 

230 AlsTl-TKlMTAKlANlbM 

more dangerous still, I'or .such an attempt was an open challenge to man's 
intelligence, which has in all ages been found unfriendly, if not destructive, 
to the diversified forms of Trinitarianism. This intelligence, however, was 
the great power by which the Lutheran reformation was begun and accom- 
plished. The human mind then assumed a new attitude of vigorous life, 
asserted its rights, and to some extent gained them. Certainly, the asser- 
tion strengthened the principle by which it was made. If the scripture 
was the sword in that holy fight, reason impelled and sustained the hand 
that drew and wielded it ; and that reason then rose into an elevation and 
assumed a power, the more signal results of which society is now only be- 
ginning to display. Among those results was the application of reason, 
first timidly, then with more confidence, and finally in a manly spirit, to the 
great concerns of religious truth and duty. Such an application could not 
fail to be directed to the doctrine of the Trinity ; and as an historical 
fact, wherever the application has for a length of time been made apart 
from the more sinister counteractions of secular infiuence, it has been 
found to decompose old notions and gradually to leave the doctrine of the 
divine unity in its essential and scriptural simplicity. In Germany especi- 
ally, the progress and the triumph of rational views have been the progress 
and tiiumph of Anti-trinitarianism. We of course mean christian Anti- 
trinitarianism ; we contemplate no other. It is true, that German Ration- 
alism has sometimes gone to the length of denying the miraculous in 
Christianity, while to us the miraculous appears an essential and indes- 
tructible element in the religion of Jesus Christ ; but the abuse of a prin- 
ciple does neither confute nor discommend it ; and the extravagancies of 
Rationalism have for some time been rapidly declining. However this may 
be, we mark the decay of Trinitarianism as a natural, if not necessary, 
consequence of that recognition of man's intelligence which Luther and 
his associates made when they appealed from tradition to scripture, from 
the Pope to human nature, and which they consecrated and preserved for all 
future generations, in the great principle of the Reformation, — The Right of 
Private Judgment. In those important words was there enshrined a grand 
truth, a noble principle, a sacred right, and high privilege, which may not 
at the first have even been fully understood, which took effect in actual 
observance only slowly and through much opposition, which even now is 
more talked of than honoured, at least in England ; but which, in its full 
development and final prevalence will go far to restore the harmony that 


at first existed between reason and revelation, man's intelligence and God's 
disclosures, as seen in the moral identity in which the Divine and the 
Human were united and blended in the Lord Jesus Christ. As the right 
of private judgment passes from an abstraction into a reality, so will the 
scriptures resume their proper authority, and all human definitions of the 
nature and essence of God sink into oblivion. Already, especially in Ger- 
many, has the result been realised to a great extent. We have room to 
note only a few of its more marked phases. 

The rationalistic element of the Reformation which expressed itself in 
the philosophical schools, that arose after that event, and received encou- 
ragement from their operation, may be here displayed in a more marked 
degree, in what has been termed the Arminian School of Theology. This 
designation was derived from James Arminius (Hermann), born in 1560, 
at Oudewater in South Holland, and afterwards Professor of Theology 
in the University of Leyden. With the aid of Episcopius, (Bisschop, 
born 1583, at Amsterdam,) and others, Hermann gave rise to a 
theological system which, by a less reserved reference to human intelli- 
gence in matters of religion, originally modified the views held of the 
Trinity, and paved the way for greater changes, affording important aid 
to the more direct influence exerted by the Anti-trinitarian writings 
of the Polish brethren ; while, in regard to the so-termed Five Points of 
Calvinism, it put forth doctrines which partly declared and partl}'^ in- 
volved a totally different view of the questions connected with the redemp- 
tion of the world, and which even now seem almost universally pre- 
valent in the popular churches of our own land, not only those that are 
termed Methodist, but also those' that seem to shun the name, as they 
certainly have repudiated the doctrines, of Calvin. The triumph of reason 
seen in the almost universal prevalence of Arminian views of Christianity, 
is a prelude to a similar triumph in the prevalence of the simple Anti-trini- 
tarianism of the New Testament. The Arminians were indeed opposed to 
the Socinian doctrine which declared Jesus, as to his nature, to be only a 
man. They maintained also, against the Sabellians, that there are three 
persons, or hypostases, revealed in the New Testament as existing in God. 
But they also held that the Father was God in a special sense, and in 
truth he only was ainoOcog self- God, undivided and self-subsistent : that 
the numerical unity of essence did not exclude but implied communication, 
and had, as a consequence, a certain subordination ; by reason of which, the 


communicator was the highest, and as such the Father. This view of the 
Godhead, and the subordination of the persons in virtue of the alleged 
communication, is the peculiarity of the Arminian doctrine of the Trinity. 
The Father, if not in time, yet in order, excellence, and dominion, is the 
highest, inasmuch as he sends the Son and pours forth the Holy Spirit. A 
certain unbelieving hesitation is the necessary result. Attention was re- 
peatedly called to the fact, that the Son is seldom, the Holy Ghost never, 
denominated God. Yet the party adhered to the practice of invoking the 
Son, though not unaware that adoration belongs exclusively to the Being, 
who is the source of all other, even the highest existencies.* 

These views may be found somewhat fully expounded in Limborch's 
well-known treatise, Theologia Christiana, (Amsterdam, 1700, p. 95, seq.) 
Professing to confine himself to the language of scripture, Limborch shuns 
the terms trinity, person, essence, and others, and maintains that each of 
the ordinary explanations not only fails in attempting to explain what is 
inexplicable, but generates some positive error, its natural offspring. ' This 
dogma has in all ages agitated the Christian world, while men, not content 
with the simplicity of sacred scripture, have involved the matter in con- 
tentions and curious questions, which have ministered strife rather than 
edification, have rendered the truth obscure, and pitiably torn the church. 
While Sabellius aimed to preserve the unity, he denied the trinity of 
persons ; others in being defenders of the trinity became tritheists.' After 
having gone somewhat at length into the subject, he says, 'From these things 
we infer, that the divine essence is common to the Son and Holy Spirit. 
But from these things it is not less clear, that there is between these three 
persons a certain subordination ; that the Father, as such, has the divine 
nature from himself, the Son and Holy Spirit from the Father : who accord- 
ingly is the fountain and prime source of the divinity which is in the Son 
and Holy Spirit. But there is also a certain super-eminence of the Father 
in respect of the Son, and of the Father and the Son in respect to the 
Holy Spirit, in dignity and power ; since it is more honourable to beget 
than to be begotten, to inspire than to be inspired. The sender has also 
power over the sent, and not the sent over the sender, but God the Father 
is every where said to have sent the Son, and the Son refers to his Father, 
as to its origin, all that he does.' 

* Meier Die Lehre von der Trinitat. vol. ii, 70 seq. compare Baur die Christ. Lehie 
von der Dreieinigkeit, iii. 184, seq. 

IN GERMANY. 23.'? 

Statements and principles such as these must have exerted a great in- 
fluence in decomposing the strong compact and systematised views left of 
the Trinity by the middle ages. Here it is plainly taught, that reason 
being taken to aid in the interpretation of Scripture, the old forms of lan- 
guage, the established statements of doctrine, are unsatisfactory and un- 
scriptural. This is a virtual renunciation as of the authority so of the 
doctrine of the Church on the point. It is more, it is the assertion of the 
principle, that the Scriptures contain all that is proper to receive, both as 
to the doctrine itself and for the statement of that doctrine. We consider 
these general principles of far more consequence in the history of the 
Trinity, than any particular view which the Arminian theologians may 
have propounded, though the view which they did put forth was, in 
reality, one form of Unitarianism, while it contained germs of a more 
explicit and consistent system of Anti-trinitarian theology. 

The moment that theology began to think it possible for Christianity, 
even in thought, to exist apart from the doctrine of the Trinity, that doctrine 
was put in peril. If insulated from the Christian life, it was jeopardised. But 
it was insulated when men's minds were turned away from the questions 
of the schools — the Trinity among others, and directed to the practical 
duties of piety and holiness. If there was a real contrariety between 
speculation and practise, then the speculative part of religion would soon 
pass into neglect. Yet such was the direction of mind which Luther 
originated, Melancthon confirmed, and the Arminians spread abroad. 

But the neglect of which we have spoken, was a remote and unforeseen 
result. Meanwhile the early Protestants held the doctrine of the Trinity 
in some form. And they held the doctrine because they believed it was 
taught in the Bible, Soon, however, a new phase of things appeared. 
The Bible consisted of the Old Testament and the New. Did the Old 
Testament teach the Trinity as distinctly and forcibly as the New ? Un- 
prejudiced enquiry answered in the negative. Latermann, a disciple of 
Calixt, referred to the fact, in a dissertation on the subject.* This excited 
alarm. Calixt himself came forward to defend his scholar, in two disser- 
tions.f He proved that the doctrine is no where distinctly taught in the 
Old Testament, and that this necessarily followed from the doctrine itself. 

« De Sanciissimo Trinitatis niysterio Contra Socinianos. 

f Nam niysterium Sanct. Trinit. e solius Veteris Testamenti libris possit dcmonstvari. 
llelinst. 1(5.50 ; and in the Appendix llicrcto. 


One proof was thus weakened, so as to lead to its eventual removal. The 
admission that the dogma was not distinctly taught in the Old Testament, 
was the necessary prelude to the denial that it was taught there at all. 
Farther, if one Church could subsist without the Trinity, might not 
another? The absolute necessity of the doctrine was thus clearly contra- 

Thus rendered problematical in relation to the period that preceded the 
birth of Christ, the next step was to throw doubt as to the doctrine in its 
connexion with Christian antiquity. Was the Trinity of the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries identical with the Trinity of the primitive 
times ? The Socinian Church said, ' No.' The Arminian assented to the 
neo-ative. On the same side, a distinguished Catholic took his place. 
Petav admitted that there had been many a deviation from the earliest 
type.* Sandius and Zwicker (Irenicum), directly attacked the Trinity on 
this crround. Bull, an English Bishop, stepped forw^ard to withstand the 
attack, seeing that if the historical support were taken away, the doctrine 
would be put in jeopardy. He endeavoured, therefore, to prove that the 
ante-Nicene Fathers agreed with the Nicene creed,-]- — an attempt which 
must of necessity prove fruitless. And Bull admits that diversities 
existed, though he wishes to persuade himself and his readers that they do 
not regard essential points. 

When once the support of antiquity had been undermined, and that of 
the Old Testament almost removed, there remained no other resource but 
to define and prove the Trinity in its details, from the writings of the New 
Testament. In this attempt, great diversities soon made themselves mani- 
fest. Trinitarians could not agree, in all cases, as to their statements of 
doctrine nor as to their proof-passages. What one advanced, another 
denied. What one proved, another confuted. Paul Maty, dissatisfied 
with received views, came forward with a new theory, J which amounted to 
nothin"- more than a modification of the theory of subordination. Souve- 
rain also lent his aid in undermining the historical ground. § Even 
Leibnitz rather answered objections than put forth, much less established. 

* De Theologicis Dogmatibus. 

I Defensio Fidei Nicsenae. 

X Lettred' un Theologien a uii autre TlicoU)gicn sur le inystere de Ja Triuite, 1721). 

§ Lc Platonism dcvoile, 17(10. 


any positive doctrine of the Trinity ;* for which, what he calls his newly 
discovered logic, was not more efBcacious than the old and long tried 
methods of ratiocination. One after another theorists propounded hypo- 
theses, which seem brought forward only to be confuted. Soon the 
attempt to deduce the Trinity from, or make it accordant with reason, was 
abandoned as hopeless. The doctrine lost all support in the human mind 
and the spirit of the age. Then it only remained for theologians to consign 
its body to the tomb. It was at length seen and acknowledged, that it was 
idle to waste time in disputing about the eternal generation of the Son of 
God, when men knew nothing about human generation. This was the 
opinion of the celebrated J. D. Michaelis. Accordingly, Semler altogether 
threw these scholastic distinctions out of the province of belief; they had, 
he held, no meaning for practical Christianity. The whole had become 
antiquated. Seller and Flatt, however, undertook its defence; but con- 
ducted their arguments in a manner to show that neither reason or Scrip- 
ture afforded to Trinitarianism of any kind, solid support ; other German 
theologians made similar attempts, but they all inclined either to Tritheism 
or Unitarianism, and proved nothing else than the hopelessness of any 
theory, which should bring reason and revelation into agreement on the 
subject. The tendency of the day is to represent Christianity as the 
revelation of the religious ideas, which were native to the human mind, in 
and through Jesus Christ, the divinely commissioned teacher of the world. 
But among these religious ideas the Trinity finds no place. The Trinity, 
therefore, is not a part of the religion of Jesus Christ, through whom God 
revealed himself to man, as a holy Being. This is the Rationalistic view 
of the subject. Supernaturalism wished to continuej in some way, to hold 
what had come down from past ages, but is itself imbued with the spirit of 
the times. Here, however, we think it best to cite the words of a Trini- 
tarian authority. -f- ' Supernaturalism has lost the full certainty of the old 
belief, without being able to find any other safe standing-place. It will 
not give up the religious grounds of the dogma ; the doc-trines of redemp- 
tion and atonement have not lost their importance with it, but they have 
become strange ; it no longer lives in them ; therefore the meaning and 
the understanding of the church-doctrine, in its entire connexion, has been 

* Defensio Triiiitatis per nova reperta Logica. 

f Die Lolire vou dur Trinitat von, G. A. Meier, IStl, ii, 115. 


weakened ; all is broken into separate fragments, which a more or less 
rationalistic criticism gnaws and destroys.' 

The Unitarianism of Poland and Transylvania exerted, if a secret, yet 
a powerful influence, in altering the form of German Trinitarianism. It 
was impossible that the testimony which was borne by the Fratres Poloni, 
should not, with its solid and various learning, its candour, its earnestness, 
and its martyr-spirit, modify the views of theologians, whose position on 
the surface of the globe brought them into proximity with these Unitarian 
confessors ; and whose similarity of spirit, and comparative freedom from 
secular hindrances, would prepare them for perusing with care, and judging 
with impartiality, the able expositions and judicious defences of Unitarian 
Christianity, which the Socinian church published and left as a treasure to 
the world. We have not here the space necessary for displaying, in 
actual examples, the effect of this influence ; and, indeed, we believe that 
its chief effect existed in that encouragement to the free and undaimted 
application of reason, in the investigation of religious truth, to which 
the actual condition of German divinity is in the main to be ascribed. 
Hence, there is no reason to wonder, that the entire modern nation- 
alism in Germany is essentially Anti-trinitarian. That Rationalism, it 
is, we know, customary to represent as unchristian ; and so may it be 
regarded by those who hold the Trinity to be an indispensable element in 
genuine Christianity : but those who have not so learned Christ, and who 
have entered into his large and free spirit, will hesitate before they exclude 
from the pale of his religion, men who, claiming the Christian name, and 
being no strangers to its moral excellence, are distinguished for the most 
profound and varied learning, as well as for the industry with which they 
unceasingly apply themselves to the study of sacred things; merely 
because they have been led to find other evidences more convincing to 
their minds, than that which is presented in the miracles of the New 

But those who recognised the supernatural element of the Bible, and 
professed to hold the doctrine of the Trinity, had their views so altered, 
from the older types, that they can no longer be recognized as a form of 
the Patristic doctrine, while supernaturalists who made no such profession, 
the more they took their stand on the New Testament, departed from the 
rigour and fulness of the church propositions, and assumed more or less of 
a Unitarian complexion. Thus J. J. Wetstein likened the Son to a prime 

IN fiKRMANY. 237 

minister, and his relation to the Father to the rekition which such as an 
officer bears to his sovereign, or to that which a deacon bears to a priest, 
Tollner contested the position that the doctrine of the Trinity is a funda- 
mental article of faith. Urlsperger held that the predicates ' Father,' 'Son, ' 
' Spirit', regarded merely the divine economy, — the Trinity not of essence, 
but of revelation ; not that he denied the Trinity of essence in itself, 
which rather he honoured as a secret ; but he denied that Father, Son, and 
Spirit were its necessary and personal predicates. Swedenborg found the 
entire Trinity in the person of Christ. Even the pietistic school, (Count 
Zinzendorf, &c.,) the forerunners of English Methodism, incurred the 
reproach of destroying the relation of the persons, in the almost exclusive 
honour which they paid to the Son.* This, indeed, is an imputation to 
which many of the most zealous Trinitarians of this country are even now 
liable, who are not content to honour the Son, even as they honour the 
Father, but allow their veneration for him to throw the Father, and still 
more the Spirit, into eclipse. The truth is, that strive as men may, they 
cannot have more than one object of adoration at a time. Reason and 
feeling combine with Revelation to give practically a homage to Unitari- 
anism. If the lips recognise three persons who should be adored with 
equal honour, the heart and the practise will fix themselves on one, to tlie 
(at least, comparative) neglect of the others. In the momentary act of 
devotion, all men are Unitarians. The head may acknowledge several as 
each God, but the soul worships one. 

A philosophical school has made various attempts to express its visionary 
speculations, in the language of the ancient Trinitarian creeds : and in so 
doing, has professed to aim at giving to the Trinity that absolute certainty 
to which it is the purpose and business of philosophy to attain. But the 
aid which comes from such a quarter is suspicious, where it is not weak and 
unstable. Before it can, at least in its actual condition, render service to 
the doctrine of the Trinity, that doctrine must itself be transformed and 
sublimated into the misty clouds of pantheistic speculation. We are by no 
means confident, that we can convey to the English reader even the shadow 
of what these modern philosophers intend in their (^so called) exposition of 
the Trinity, by means of their Thesis, (position,) Antithesis, (opposition,) 

* The proofs of these statements, with the titles of the works on which they are 
founded, may be seen in Hagenbach's Dogmengeschichte iii, 283 seq. 


Synthesis, (composition). According to Schelling, whose philosophy seems 
at present to be gaining ascendancy over the kindred system of Hegel, 
God, as the concealed original of all things, is the Father (Thesis) ; the 
Eternal Son born out of the essence of the Father, or God in his evolution 
by means of the world, is the infinite itself, as it exists in the eternal intuition 
of God, and appears as a suffering God subordinated to the relations of time, 
(Antithesis) ; who, in his highest appearance in Christ, closes the world of 
the finite, and opens the world of the infinite, or the dominion of the Spirit ; 
for God in his continual return out of these states into himself, is the Spirit, 
(Snythesis.) Schleiermacher presents in the most distinguished instance, 
the point in which modern philosophy and ancient theology are found 
united together. And if we formed our judgment by the extent of influ- 
ence which his system has had, we should expect to find in it something 
clear, definite, 'and satisfactory to the understanding, as well as correspondent 
to the scriptures. Such qualities, however, we do not recognise in, at least, 
his views of the Trinity. Properly, indeed, the doctrine, it has been said,* 
could have no place in his system. He states that in the Trinitarian doc- 
trine, the union of the divine essence with human nature, both in the person of 
Christ, and in the common spirit of the church, is all that is essential, and 
gives it as his opinion that the church-system is only a compound proposition 
in order to set forth the doctrine which appears in the Holy Scripture of a 
three-fold existence of God, of his existence in itself (Father), of his 
existence in Christ (the Son,) and of his existence in the Christian church 
(the Spirit.) 

In the numerous philosophical representations of Trinitarianism, there is 
so much that is abitrary as well fanciful, that one knows no reason why 
two or four persons should not have been set forth in the Godhead, 
equally as well as three ; and under these misty forms of scientific words, 
all the real no less than the supposed teachings of the New Testament 
disappear. For it is not easy to see with what right Schelling and Hegel 
assume three points as necessary, why they distinguish their Thesis from- their 
Antithesis, and do not rather set forth both as originally united, since the 
Thesis (Father) is known only in the Antithesis, and by means of it 
becomes Thesis ; or why the condition which follows the Synthesis may not 
be added as a fourth number. Moreover, the Synthesis, or Spirit, is nothing 

*Bretschneider Haiidb. der Dog. 651. 


essential, as are the Father and the Son, but merely the act of removing the 
contrast between the Father and the Son, who therefore remain while it 
passes away. Or if this act, the Spirit, is conceived as remaining, then 
the Father and Son vanish as being merely points of transition to the Spirit. 
Moreover, to represent the spirit of the church as constituting the third 
person, stands in direct opposition with the language of holy writ, which sets 
forth the Spirit as acting in the sanctification of the church. The common 
doctrine of the Trinity, too, sets forth the Son as not produced by the 
creation, but as producing the creation himself. Besides, the Thesis, the 
Antithesis, and the Synthesis, are each different from the other, while the 
Trinity of the Schoolmen and the Fathers sets forth the three persons as in 
essence the same. 

The more modern theologians of Germany have, by a high authority,* 
been divided in regard to their views of the Trinity into three classes ; first, 
' they regard the doctrine of three divine hypostases as a mode of repre- 
sentation which has been accidentally connected with Christianity and 
therefore is to be separated from it as an unessential adjunct ; among whom 
are Souverain, Loffler, Jerusalem, Henke, Eckermann, Cannabich, 
Wegscheider ; or secondly, they abstain altogether from any exact statement 
of the doctrine, and are satisfied with the teachings which they think they 
find in the New Testament ; such as Morus, Doderlien, Storr, Knapp, 
Hahn, Baumgarten-Crusius, Steudel ; or finally, they set forth the church- 
doctrine in such a way, that the essence of it, namely, the Trinity of 
divine persons, is lost, since they distingviish in God three powers, or 
three activities, or three relations, or three revelations of himself.' 

If this classification is exhaustive as well as accurate, the Trinity subsists 
among the learned of Germany only in name; the patristical doctrine 
has been attenuated to a shadow, or reduced to nothing. If regarded 
as an unessential representation, the Trinity must now have lost it dogma- 
tical value ; if brought down into scriptural form, it is abandoned ; if 
converted into ' three somewhats', it is no longer such as the creeds declare, 
or their advocates recognise. Whether in relation to the tenet this age has 
superseded the earlier ages, or Matthew, Paul and John have set aside the 
authority of Athanasius, or new and umneaning terms have supplanted 
the old definitions, it is clear that the doctrine once taught and held for an 
essential article of Christian faith, is virtually repudiated and silently 

* Bretschneider Handbuch Der Dogmatik, 1838, i, 647. 


The only one of these three classes that can be supposed to hold any 
thing like Trinitarianism, is the last; on which account we shall subjoin such 
of the instances given by Bretschneider as are capable of being translated 
into intelligible English. Seller (1 765,) is of opinion that there are in God 
three etei-nal, intelligent, and free powers, existing apart from space and 
time, but interfused so that the one operates through the other, and so that 
they are all powers of one substance and godhead. G. Schlegel, (1791,) 
holds that in God, the original power are three operations, the creative, the 
supporting, and the governing ; first, the Father, the creative ; second, the 
Son, the enlightener of the world ; third, the Holy Ghost, the reformer of 
the world ; which three flow out of God, but differ from each other and act 
separately ; wherefore scripture speaks of them as persons. ' To the same 
effect are the explanations put forth by the theologians of the School of 
Kant. They regard the three persons either as three relations, or three 
operations, so that the predicate ' Father,' betokens the relation of God's 
love to the world ; the predicate ' Son,' the relation of his wisdom ; the 
predicate 'Holy Ghost,' the relation of his holiness: — or, that the omnipo- 
tence of God is to be contemplated with an especial reference to the sensi- 
ble world ; his wisdom, with an especial reference to the intelligent ; and 
his holiness in similar reference to the moral world.' Von Ammon writes, 
(Summa. Theol. Christ. 82,) ' God, inasmuch as from the first days of the 
gospel he manifested himself to men as the Father of Christ, as the Son, 
the Saviour of our race, and as the Holy Spirit, the bestower of filial con- 
sciousness, is the author of a threefold heavenly benefit ; subsisting to us in 
each of which (three relations), and because he is the thrice best and 
greatest benefactor, he must be worshipped and adored in the highest unity 
of essence.' De Wette finds in the church system a three-fold view of God, 
as of the highest essence, (the Father,) as of Him who is revealed in the 
world, (Son,) and as of Him who operates in nature, (the Holy Ghost.) 
Fessler regards the Father as the purest, holiest will ; the Son as the eternal 
law of the spiritual world by which the holiest will utters itself; the Spirit 
as the power which proclaims and fulfils this spoken law. Hase finds in 
tha dogma of the Trinity ' the hieroglyphe ; God a Father over all, with 
whom mankind is united in new love through the Son of Man, who became 
a Son of God, so that all might become sons through the free and holy 
spirit which pervades the church.' Nitzsch recognises one divine essence 
which is love, honouring in the Son the uttered and mediatorial love, in the 


Spirit the communicating and life-giving love, in the Father the primary 
source of love.* These view^s are not easy to be understood, at least by 
those who are not familiar with the systems of opinions of which they form 
a part, and out of which they flow. But it is safe to say of most of them, 
that they amount to a tacit renunciation of the proper doctrine of the 
Trinity, which is to be found only in the acknowledged formularies. Some 
sixteen or seventeen centuries were surely sufficient to define and settle 
any truly Christian doctrine, and we cannot help thinking that those who 
are unable to receive any of the prevalent forms of the Trinity as the 
expression of their views, would act a more candid and manly part to avow 
the fact explicitly, than if they go about to hide their disbelief under words 
which, dark in their abstract import, are as nearly as possible without 
meaning in regard to the point at issue. 

Owing in part to his own profovind attainments and practical ability, and 
in part to the translation by Theodore Parker of his unsatisfactory w^ork, 
Lehrhuch der Einleitung, Erster Thiel,-\ De Wette, whose name we have 
just mentioned, is better known in this country than most of his learned 
brethren, and may therefore claim more than a passing notice as to his 
views on the Trinity. We subjoin a few words, the more readily 
because De Wette ofiers a specimen of a class of philosophical divines, who 
continue to talk of the Trinity, while they have renounced all belief in the 
doctrine. The ensuing extract is taken from his recently published work, 
entitled * Das Wesen des Christichen Glaubens, Basel, 1846,' p. 491-2. 

' There is a diversity in the belief in God the Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Ghost : what diversity ? It is pointedly and surely declared by the 
facts of Christian salvation. Faith in God in Christ lies in our belief in 
him as the Son of God, and so belief in the Holy Ghost lies in our consci- 
ousness of works of regeneration, and the appropriation of the salvation of 
Christ. This faith united with diversity is also firm and sure, as firm and 
sure as our entire Christian belief, and rests not on any human imagination 
and conception, but on what God himself has done, and yet does. To 
employ scholastic expressions, it is not subjective but objective ; though it is 
granted that what God in this respect has done and does, we know only 

• Bretschneider Handb. 648, scq. 

-(■ Called by the translator, who has largely augmented without much improving the 
work, ' A Critical and Historical Introdnction to the Canoncal Scriptures of the 
Old Testament.' Boston, 1843. 



according to the measure of our capacity and our relation to God, not in 
himself, as he his God, so that we should know whether in God himself, so 
far as he reveals himself to us, there exists a diversity and what diversity. 

' The Church-doctrine, relying on the insufficiently safe ground afforded 
hy John i, 1, and under the guidance of the metaphysical impulse of the 
Christian Fathers, which was not free from the impulse of Polytheism, since 
it was customary to conceive of the Divine essence as divided into a 
multitude of personalities, has decided this question by declaring, that in the 
one divine essence there is a difference of three persons ; but in its denials 
respecting the idea of person, namely, that you are not to identify the 
difference of the three persons from the Divine essence, with the difference 
of individuals from their species, it has represented this idea of person as 
one altogether void of analogy. This is called the immanent Trinity, 
or that which is found in the divine essence itself ; and as a consequence of 
the dominion gained in our days of scholasticism, many have urged the 
necessity of such an immanent Trinity. But besides that, the question is, 
whether the human mind has the ability to penetrate into the Divine mind, 
by this idea of an immanent Trinity, the meaning of the Trinity has for 
faith been perplexed and perverted. While the scholastic speculation directs 
us for the Trinity to the Divine essence itself, it leads us away from what 
is of essential importance in this belief, namely, the recognition of God in 
his close, living relation to the world and to ourselves. The only useful 
definition of the Church-doctrine is this, that the second and the third 
persons, the Son and the Spirit, stand in a relation to the first, the Father ; 
which is so to be understood, that the faith in God in Christ and in the 
Holy Ghost, has for its meaning and purpose the conducting us to the 
Father, and that this is the perfect belief in God !' 

There is here no mistake. The old doctrine is renounced to make 
room for a more aerial speculation, the import of which can hardly be 
discerned apart from a previous study of modern German philosophy. 

Meier, who has written an historical work on the Trinity, and who holds 
some kind of trinitarian doctrine, seems to us to surrender the old and 
recognised forms of the Trinity, and so in reality opposes the doctrine 
which is one that past ages have handed down, and which has now to be 
constructed anew, after the lapse of above a thousand years. We refer, 
among others, to these his words : ' It is admitted that the dogma of the 
Trinity is only an attempt to ground in our conception of God, redemption, 


atonement, and sanctification, as ideas peculiarly Christian, as had already 
taken place in Judaism with Creation, Providence, Legislation and Govern- 
ment. The Christian conception of God necessarily involves a trinitarian 
difference ; the contradiction has always sprung from a Jewish or a Heathen 
position.' Preface p. 9. This trinitarian difference, however, which the 
writer allows is not well expressed in the received formularies, may be 
nothing more than mere Modalism. It cannot be Athanasianism. It pro- 
bably is merely the simple doctrines of Scripture, Father, Son, and Holy 
Spirit. Such expositions are in reality assailments of the Trinity. 

In truth, there is only one school of theologians in Germany, that profess 
to remain faithful to Ecclesiastical Trinitarianism. We refer to Hengsten- 
berg, and those who think with him ; — a class, who are by no means uniform 
in their views, and are not held in the highest estimation by the best 
German scholars, either for solid learning or for impartiality and candour. 
Even this school are orthodox scarcely more than in relation to the modes 
of thought and systems of denials, in the midst of which the members live. 
If measured by the Athanasian standard, these members would be found 
wanting, for bold as they are, they are not hardy enough to assert and 
maintain in the midst of hostile facts, the generally repudiated forms of 
scholastic orthodoxy. Though less heretical than their brethren, some 
of them would be suspected, if not convicted of heresy, before the bench of 
English bishops. 

Among the now living divines of Germany, we choose three as being 
very distinguished, and as representing different casts of mind, which nearly 
comprehend the bulk of the reading, thinking, and learned population of 
the Protestant church of that country. These three are Neander, Bretsch- 
neider, and Wegscheider, men now far advanced in life, and whose 
influence has combined with the spirit of the age to bring about one of 
the greatest revolution of opinion that has ever taken place on the earth. 
That Neander is an Anti-trinitarian will appear from the following account 
of him, which we give, rather than any statement of our own, because it 
proceeds from a Trinitarian authority, and one of high repute.* 

' Dr. Neander is regarded, throughout Christendom, as the most eminent 
living church historian. In some respects he is more distinguished than 
Mosheim, Planck, or any of his predecessors. His chief excellencies may 
be stated as follows :— 1st. Profound and varied learning. He seems to 

Bibliotheca Sacra; vol. ii. No. viii, 596. 


be equally at home in every part of the vast field which he cultivates. Ift 
this respect he has no competitors among his many learned countrymen. 
It is now nearly forty years since he turned his attention to Church 
history. 2nd. A clear perception of the spirit and nature of Christianity. 
The position from which he surveys the whole subject of Church history is 
of the most elevated kind. This leads him to exhibit with great promi- 
nence, the vital spirit of Christianity in distinction from all rites and forms, 
to oppose with much decision every attempt to unite the Church and 
State, and to cherish towards real Christians of every name the most fra- 
ternal o-ood-will. 3rd. In general, an admirable method of representation. 
Nothing can be further from his plan than the formal dryness of statistics, 
or the skeleton-like regularity of some ' centuriators.' lie evolves his 
subject rather than counts up his facts ; strives to develope the causes of 
events than to copy them in their outward order. He is occasionally, 
doubtless, too subjective, and runs into something approaching mysticism. 
In this respect Planck is his superior — yet his great familiarity with the 
subject enables him to unite clear and comprehensive views with instructive 
details. In his high estimate of spiritual religion, he does not overlook the 
intellectual and political bearing of different measvu'es and courses of 
policy ; in his delineation of the outward forms of Christianity, and of the 
melancholy defections from its spirit and doctrine, he does not forget that 
our Lord always had a true church, and that the historian must ever trace 
out, with special care, the current of living piety, however small, at various 
times, it may have been. We may add, that the entire history is pervaded 
by a spirit of real candour. It has for us a special value from the many 
interesting notices which it contains of the efforts made in different ages to 
propagate Christianity, and from the light which it casts on various 
important questions now agitating the American Churches. 

' At the same time it should be addedj that Dr. Neander entertains some 
opinions on a number of important points, c. g. inspiration, miracles, the 
Cliristian Sabbath, the Trinity, &c. with whicli evangelical Christians in 
tliis country do not coincide.' 

Neander's views are, in substance, briefly set forth in one of his most 
recent publications.* We shall put down the substance of his statements. 
*,In truth I can nowhere find an absolute form of the church. Every thing 
human partakes of the imperfections which belong to our nature. And 

* Dr. August Neander's Antwortschreiben an dcii Herrn, M. E. H. Dewar; Berlin, 1815 


therefore must we in all forms of Christianity separate the Imuum from the 
divine, which is found in the mind of Jesus Christ. I may distinguish 
three different theological views which move the present time, and which 
may be found in other provinces of knowledge and actual life ; for these 
views arc connected with the peculiar character of the day, as a great 
period of transition that has in tlie decomposition of what is old, to bring 
a new creation. There prevails, in the first place, a negative system under 
several modifications, whose position is, that all the fundamental doctrines 
out of which the church has from the first derived its historical develop- 
ment, must be overturned in order to make roon^ for a new development. 
This system proceeds from the position that Christianity has outlived itself, 
or the position that has hitherto been considered the living principle of 
the Church, namely, the belief in a determinate historical person, Jesus 
Christ of Nazareth, who was crucified, dead, buried, raised, and glorified, 
as the Saviour of sinful men, the fountain of salvation and divine life ; that 
this belief in this distinct form can survive no longer, but must give way to 
a spiritual idealised Christianity, which separates the essential ideas from 
the historical covering in which they have in the lapse of ages appeared. I 
am in conflict with this view, inasmuch as I hold the ground of a positive 
historical belief, by which only Christianity has wrought all that it has 
wrought for the improvement of mankind. There are, however, in this 
conflict two dissimilar systems. One acknowledges a definite form of 
Christianity, transmitted by the Church, which is inseparable from its 
essence, namely, the theological system which formed itself in the sixteenth 
or seventeenth century. This it cleaves to as indispensible for the deve- 
lopment of the future, though in details it admits improvement. In the 
entire system which sets itself in opposition to the old form of theology, and 
which I designate as Rationalism, all this is regarded as error; the thread 
of the historical development is broken at the point where the process 
began, and taken back to the point whence that process proceeded. But 
another view recognises in this revolution an historical necessity in virtue of 
which not the old in the same, though a purified form, but a new creation in 
theology, and the Church must be generated from the same positive ground, 
which contains all that is genuinely Christian. Those who hold this view, 
anticipate a better future, a new, creative Christian epoch, which can be 
sustained neither by an exclusive system of negatives, nor by an arbitrary 
restoration of what is ancient; they greet the dawning light breaking forlK 


in the distance of a new and glorious development of Christianity, and of 
the high results for the world which will hence ensue. It is among those 
who hold this view that I take my stand. 

* Revelation and reason are destined to be in harmony one with another. 
Reason is adapted, and by its natural tone prepared, to liberate what waa 
given by Revelation, by means of which Reason rose to its true dignity, 
from the restraints and distractions which have their origin in sin, in order 
that it may take into its own substance what has been communicated by Reve- 
lation, may of its own accord appropriate it so as to develope its powers, 
and operate in the world under a higher and ennobling principle dwelling 
in itself. This view corresponds with that which our Saviour has said of 
the operation of the divine word proclaimed by him, in the comparison 
of it which he makes to the small portion of leaven, which in virtue 
of its own inherent power, should leaven and change the entire mass. 
This holds good also of the operation by which human nature is entirely 
new-born in all its faculties, an effect which spreads itself from the inmost 
recesses of life over all the powers of the understanding, working to their 
enlightenment and sanctification. Reason will not be made captive but 
truly set free, as in every relation Christianity brings with it true liberty ; 
the activity of reason is not restrained, but will be raised to a more lofty 
condition, only it must yield itself to the divine, which it is fitted to receive 
into its own essence. The divine, however, must develope itself in reason, 
in which only can its living powers be put forth. We can, in consequence, 
make no account of the transmission of a certain number of dogmatical 
notions, ready made for all ages. With these views, so far from being 
hostile to progress, I am led to declare that where there is no development 
there can be nothing but falseness ; for Christianity, before all things, 
supports and gives occasion to a living, continuous, and never-ending deve- 
lopment. Mankind cannot learn to enjoy or apply the interminable fulness 
of the treasures which the Word of Christ bears in itself, without develop- 
ment occasioned by reason kept in constant action. And when no deve- 
lopment of the germs of Christian truth is found, then will men passively 
adopt opinions from traditional error. On this account I said, that in 
Christianity nothing but falseness can exist without development. 

' No period of Christian tradition can be looked to as presenting a per- 
fectly pure form of Christian truth ; for the distortion of which, causes 
existed from the first. You act in opposition to historical fact, if you fix 


oti any one epoch, and say, there is the point where the pure and the 
impure development of Christianity are divided from each other. It is the 
same stream which, always needing a cleansing influence, pours down through 
the centuries of our era, its pure and impure materials. At present we are 
to carry ourselves beyond the troubled current of history, to the pure word 
from which that history proceeded. Luther could understand the Apostle 
Paul better than he had been understood from the time when he first spoke. 
We, on our part, have to learn from the words of Jesus, much both of faith 
and practice that was not known or rightly used before. On which account 
must we recognise in the present revolution of German theology, a divinely 
ordained instrument for the exaltation of Christianity, while, by means of 
the destruction of the old dogmas, and of the theories of Inspiration and 
Gospel-harmonies that are grounded on them, many restrictions by which 
the comprehensive and practical understanding of the divine word, and 
especially of the words of our Lord, was obstructed, being taken away ; 
our view will be set free from many a partition-wall by which a deeper insight 
into the divine word has been greatly hindered. The Lutheran Reform- 
ation, which was the greatest event since the publication of the Gospel, 
prepared the way for our present condition, which is itself only the prelude 
to something still higher and better. I may give utterance to my views in 
the words of WicklifF, ' I look forward to the time when some brethren, 
whom shall God condescend to teach, will be thoroughly converted to the 
primitive religion of Christ, and that such persons, after they have gained 
their liberty from Anti-Christ, will return freely to the original doctrine of 
Jesus; and then they will edify (he Church, as did Paul.' 

Bretschneider's opinions are thus given, as we find them in his valuable 
and elaborate work Handbuch der Dogmatik,{\\ , 552 seq.) ' The doctrine 
of the Trinity was formed gradually in the Christian Church, and did not 
gain, till about the end of the fourth century, its complete form in which 
it is found in all the confessions of Christian Churches, except the Unita- 
rian. It proceeded from the doctrine of the essential Deity of the Son 
and the Holy Ghost, which only by degrees assumed a full and definite 
form, and from the necessity which became inevitable, to bring this doc- 
trine into agreement with the strict conception of the unity of the divine 
substance, so as to avoid falling either into Tritheism, or hold Arian or 
Sabellian opinions respecting the Son. Forms of expression were there- 
fore sought, by which the Unity of God might be declared in conjunction 


with the Godhead of the Son and of the Spirit. These formularies were 
in part devised, partly borrowed from ah-eady existing modes of speech, 
partly taken from the Scripture, where however tliey do not stand in the 
metaphysical sense which they are intended to bear. These forms, or 
the church system, however, did not effect the purpose for which they were 
designed ; since they did not render the thing itself clear, nor prevent the 
declension into either Tritheism or Arianism. This Melancthon felt, and 
therefore in his first edition of his Loci Theol. (1521,) he altogether omitted 
the doctrine of the Trinity, while he remarked on the metaphysical doctrine 
of the Church regarding God ; ' We should do better to adore rather than 
investigate the mysteries of the Divinity. Nay, without great danger, they 
cannot be entered upon, as not rarely holy men have found.' Augustin 
also, and after him Calvin (Syst. iii, 5.), acknowledged that these creeds 
were meant ' not to express that mystery (of the Trinity), but that it 
should not be passed in silence,' wherefore Calvin uses them as only neces- 
sary under certain circumstances. For instance, in order to keep away 
false representations. Yet it is not proper that the ecclesiastical terms, 
person, for example, should be considered as only negative, as merely 
declaring that there is in the Divine essence an internal difference on which 
is grounded the Godhead of the Father, Son, and Spirit, without stating, 
as they really profess to do, what that difference is. The formularies which 
have been sanctioned by theologians have, in truth, a sufficiently positive 
character, and what is wanting in them is only unity, for they are mutually 
inconsistent, and come at last to either Tritheism, or some doctrine of 

The writer having stated several imanswerable questions and several 
irreconcilable contradictions which he finds in the orthodox system, he 
proceeds to show that the doctrine has no ground in, no support from rea- 
son ; and concludes by saying, the position of its opponents that the Trinity 
is an inconceivable mystery, shows it is not a doctrine of Scripture, ' since 
a dogma of which the understanding can form no conception can be an 
object neither of revelation nor instruction. But in this dogma you may 
with the less propriety call religious mystery to your aid, since the Trinity 
is not found in the Holy Scriptures, but was gradually spun out of cer- 
tain individual passages which are misunderstood.' 

We may consider Wegscheider as the representative of a lower class of 
the rational school, (he terms his system * Rational Christianity,') than 


Bretschneider. This class is a very numerous one, embracing a large por- 
tion of the ordinary theologians of Germany, besides some of its more 
distinguished divines, comprehending also a widely spread and influential 
body of cultivated laymen. Wegscheider, who is a professor of philosophy 
and theology in the University of Halle, has a very extensive influence, 
grounded on a well-earned reputation for profound and accurate scholarship. 
One fact will sufFice to attest the extent to which his views are spread, 
namely, that his InsHtutiones Theologicce from which we are about to make 
extracts, showing his opinions on the Trinity, had in 1844 reached the 
eighth edition, having been published for the first time in the year 1815. 
* The ecclesiastical dogma of the Trinity, if judged by the principles of 
sound reason, by which every religious opinion must stand or fall, is found 
repugnant to the laws of thought.' The remark is confirmed by several 
considerations. The writer adds : — ' If we look for the foundation of this 
dogma in sacred scriptures, it will appear that the publicly received form is 
no where expressly stated. In the process of time, in which it is known 
that the Church became prone to adopt the errors of heathenism, the doc- 
trine was formed, and at last, in the fourth century, received public sanction.' 
(p, 348.) The learned author devotes an entire chapter of his work to 
the statement and investigation of the doctrine, and while he does justice 
to the arguments alleged on its behalf, he shows how utterly insufl^cient 
they are for the purpose for which they are adduced. His sketch of the 
rise and progress of the doctrine, is, after his own manner, complete and 
accurate, as well as succint. The termination of it we place here, as it will 
be found to confirm some of our statements. ' The more recent period, 
aided by the light of former days, has successfully given attention to the 
study of language and philosophy, and has, in the same degree, found it 
difficult to hold the doctrine of the Trinity. Hence it has happened, that 
philosophers and theologians themselves have gradually diverged more or 
less from it. And not a few of those who wished to preserve the received 
formulary, have endeavoured in various ways to explain the dogma, so that 
its import and application might more easily be understood. Under the 
influence of this desire, they have very frequently been conducted to 
Modalism and SabeUian opinions, some setting forth three powers or virtues, 
some three essential operations, others three relations in the divine nature. 
The greater part, however, abstaining from all investigation of dogmatic 
subtleties, have thought it their duty to acquiesce in those things which 


seem to be expressly declared in Scripture, respecting the divine benefits 
derivable from this doctrine, and which have, a certain popular application. 
But as on one side others have freely confessed that the doctrine could be 
reconciled, neither vpith the sacred books nor with sound reason, there have, 
on the other hand, not been wanting those who contended with futile 
arguments for the absolute form of the dogma, or endeavoured to recom- 
mend the substance of it to a fresh acceptance, invested in certain new 
philosophical, and therefore obscure, forms of language. Altogether, the 
history of the dogma of the Trinity teaches that the labour of investiga- 
ting it and rightly defining it, has variously exercised the minds of many 
persons, and has promoted and preserved a certain application of philosophy 
in theological pursuits ; but, also, that whatever efforts have been made for 
its more subtle exposition, theologians have very frequently been hence led 
away from the simplicity of the true Christian life to opinions which more 
or less depart from the system received by ecclesiastical authority. Hence 
there have at different times arisen very powerful adversaries of this dogma 
which may be placed in three classes, 1st. the Monarchists, as they are 
properly called, who, in rigidly preserving the Unity of God, reject plural- 
ity of every kind ; to these belong the (1) Ebionites, (2) Socinians, and many- 
Unitarians of recent times, in England and North America, who asserting 
the unity of God, as most Socinians, variously ascribe to Christ, as the 
ambassador of God, virtues superior to what are human : (3) Rationalists, who 
following a purer type of Biblical doctrine, simply teach that God the 
Father manifested himself through Jesus Christ his Son, and through the 
Holy Spirit. 2nd. Tritheists, (holding three Gods,) or Tettratheists (holding 
four Gods), who seem to have persuaded themselves that there are three or 
four subsistencies in God : 3rd. Modahsts (Nominalists), who are considered 
to have determined that Father, Son, and Spirit are different modes in which 
the one God exists or operates. To these are to be referred those who 
by others are numbered among Monarchists, as Praxeas, Noetus, Sabellius, 
Paul of Samosata, Photinus. From the time of the Lutheran Reformation 
a sort of modal Trinity was held by Anabaptists, Quakers, and some 
mystic philosophers — as Campanus, Servetus, Bohme ; also by philosophers 
and theologians of more recent times, given to philosophical speculations. 
4th. Subordinationists, with whom may be ranked most of the Ante-Nicene 
Fathers, Arians of various kinds, Arminians, and not a few theologians of 
the present age, who admit a subordination not of nature, as the Arians, 
but of authority, although they make pretension to orthodoxy.' 


Scill more decided is the opinion which Wegscheider pronounces, when, in 
his ninety-second chapter, he lays before his reader the pure views of the 
New Testament respecting the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in the following 
words : — ' But there is in the New Testament another type of doctrine 
clearly laid down, different from the system of orthodoxy, but entirely 
congruous with sound reason ; by which we are commanded to acknowledge 
one true God of absolute perfection, (Matt, xix, 17 ; compare Mark x, 18, 
and Luke xviii, 19) who only is to be worshipped, (Matt, xxvi, 39, 42; 
Luke xxiii, 46 ; John xvii, 1 seq.) and Jesus Christ, who viewed in his 
earthly origin is simply termed man (Acts ii, 22 ; xvii, 31 ; Rom. v. 15 ; 
1 Tim. ii, 5 ; compare, 1 Cor. xv, 21), as the ambassador of God (Matt. 
X, 40 ; John xvii, 3 ; compare, xi, 42), and as far inferior to God who 
sent him (Matt, xix, 17; xx, 23 ; J^uke xviii, 19; John xiv, 28; x, 29 
seq. ; xvii, 22, 24 ; 1 Cor. iii, 23 ; xi, 3 : xv, 27, 28) ; from which Being 
Jesus expressly describes himself as distinct, (John xvii, 3 ; xx, 17.) Nor 
do these passages refer to Jesus in his state of humiliation, only as may be 
seen by reference to Matt, xx, 23 ; and 1 Cor. xv, 27, 28, in which his 
glorified condition is spoken of. With these facts before us, we do not 
hesitate to class the Trinity among those dogmas which are destitute of 
just authority and a safe foundation, and to follow that purer form of doc- 
trine which Christ himself has so clearly propounded to us. Nay, the more 
numerous and the more baneful the injuries, and shameful deeds are, 
vvhich have been done by an immoderate zeal for preserving this doctrine, 
the less ought that formulary of past ages which has occasioned so much 
opprobium to the Christian Church to be pressed on these our times. Let 
us rather lay aside subtleties, definitions, and intricate questions, which bear 
the impress of an uncultivated age, and let us exert our powers in order 
that this dogma, which has scarcely any foundation in the Bible or in reason, 
may be superseded by that Scriptural doctrine, whose substance is simply 
enunciated in the Baptismal Commission (Matt, xxviii, 29), in which it is 
set forth that we should adore God as the most holy Father of all men, and 
acknowledge Jesus as his son, that is, the Messiah, or divine messcno-er 
(John xvii, 3 ; xviii, 27), most approved of God, and invested of God with 
singular powers and resources, by whom the divine power itself, by which 
He formed the universe (John i, 1 — 18 ; compare Col. ii, 9 seq.), is related 
to have manifested itself in a special manner in restoring the moral world. 
Him let us follow with pious care (1 Peter ii, 21,) and reverence, who 


expressly repudiated the surname of ' good' which he said belonged to 
God only (Luke xviii, 19), but who offered himself as the exemplar of a 
holy life, and as a ray of the divinity (Heb. i, 3). Let us embrace also, 
with pious ardour of mind, the Spirit, or that Divine efficacy by which 
God kindles and sustains every desire for spiritual perfection, wisdom, and 
holy virtue, by means of the Christian dispensation. The dogma of the 
Trinity, then, ought to be reduced to this Baptismal formula, in which the 
sum of the whole religion of Jesus is contained ; — God the Father mani- 
fested himself to men by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, in order that, 
being redeemed from the slavery of sin, they might be rendered both holy 
and happy. At the same time, let us iiold these two positions ; 1st — the 
opinion respecting this dogma mustbe tolerated with the utmost indulgence, 
only let it not impair the strength of virtue ; 2nd — public teachers in 
treating of this doctrine, must be cautious not to burden the conscience of 
Christians of more advanced intelligence, or give pain to the religious feel- 
ings of their weaker brethren.' 

We have been the more desirous to lay this last passage before our 
readers, because it contains the positive views of one who may be accounted 
the representative of a class of German rationalists who have less than others 
of the Supernatural in their system. In these statements we find, however, 
a positive form of Christianity whose origin, sanction, and operations are 
set forth as Divine. We mark this fact with the deeper emphasis, because 
even avowed Unitarians have misunderstood and sometimes misrepresented 
the character and tendencies of German Rationalism. That in the pro- 
gress of its development much has been hazarded and maintained which 
bears an Anti-christian aspect, may be true. What great movement ever 
took place without leading to some excesses ? There are conclusions held 
by the Rationalist divines of Germany, respecting which we have no feel- 
inf but that of regret ; but this hinders not that we should do justice to the 
general tenor of their views, which we hesitate not to declare are in sub- 
stance such as English Unitarians generally hold. The spread of Ration- 
alism in Germany is to a large extent the triumph of Unitarian Christianity. 
The principles which constitute what Unitarians hold to be the essence of 
the gospel of Jesus Christ, have found in that country a very wide accep- 
tance, after a process of enquiry, which, as being free, thorough, and long 
continued, cannot but add a singular sanction to its results. Let Unita- 
rians then abstain from ever lending one voice to the ignorant outcry that 


indiscriminately brands German Rationalists with condemnation, and rather 
seize opportunities for cultivating a friendly spirit with fellow belicA'ers, who 
have so much in common with themselves, and are at the same time re- 
commended by diligence, erudition, simple manners, innocence of life, and 
devotedness to Christian truth ; whose praise is not of man but God. That 
in some respects they differ from the bulk of Unitarians in regard to mira- 
cles, is not denied. But the difference is not so great as has been com- 
monly set forth. The vague notions which prevail in regard to this 
difference can only mislead. He who would form a just opinion, must 
enquire wherein the difference lies, and what is the amount of its impor- 
tance ; in order to do which he must enquire, what are miracles ? Were 
miracles performed by Jesus, as evidence of his divine commission ? Did 
lie himself appeal to the alleged evidence? Was the evidence efficacious 
in primitive times ? What is its precise relation and value to us of these 
latter days ? Now on each of these points two opinions may be held, and 
while we are ready to declare that with our convictions we could not take 
the name of Christian, if we denied the existence of miracles as an element 
in Christianity, we are not yet prepared to judge another, but leave each 
one to his own conscience, and his own master, and can easily understand 
how on some of the points suggested above, very dissimilar views may bo 
held consistently with a belief that Christianity is a divine religion. 
That miracle forms a part of the gospel we have no manner of doubt. 
Nevertheless, we are not hence led to pronounce un- Christian those who 
ascribe less importance to this which is to us one of the Divine elements 
of the Gospel. Indeed, we are of opinion, that we have no right to pro- 
nounce sentence in such an issue ; since Christians are not judges, but 
helpers of each other ; and in relation to their Great Head, not assessors 
but disciples. It belongs to each individual to take or reject the Christian 
name ; and none, save God and Christ, can say whether the assumption or 
the rejection is justifiable. As, however, a doubt in this country may be 
entertained whether the divines having the general name of Rationalists, 
while they have become anti-Trinitarian, have not also renounced all behef 
in the Miracles of the New Testament, and so, in the opinion of some, put 
themselves beyond the Christian pale ; we shall here translate a passage 
from a volume recently published by that very learned divine and accom- 
plished scholar. Dr. Bretschneider ; whose works are earnestly recommended 
to the students of German Theology. In this book, ' Die Religiose Glau- 


hensJehre nach der J'ernunft iind der Offcnharung, Halle, 1844'. p. 229 seq. 
the venerable dignitary remarks, * As to what concerns the miracles wrought 
by Jesus, they for the most part were immediate cures which followed his 
commands or his prayers, and besides the awakening of some persons 
from the sleep of death (Matt, ix, 25 ; Luke vii, 11 ; John xi, ;) consisted 
in the turning of water into wine (John ii), the feeding of a great 
number of persons with a small portion of food (Matt, xiv, 13 seq. ; John 
vi, 1 seq.), and the quelling of a storm on the Sea of Gallilee (i^latt. viii, 
23 seq.) It cannot be maintained that in these events the eye-witnesses 
were deceived, since the apprehension of them required only a sound state 
of mind ; nor that there existed a secret collusion, or artful preparation, 
since these cures, for the most part, took place at many places in open day ; 
and for the benefit of many different persons. Since now Jesus himself 
declared that he performed these miracles in order to convince his contem- 
poraries that he was the Messiah (Matt, xi, 20, seq. ; xii, 28 ; Luke vii, 19 
seq. ;x, 13; John v, 36, seq. ; x, 25, 38 ; xi, 14 seq.; xiv, 11 ; xv, 24); and 
since these deeds surpassed human power, we have here a proof that God 
was with Christ, as, according to John iii. 2 ; vi. 41 ; ix. 10 seq. ; xii. 18 ; 
men of his day acknowledged. It is only since the beginning of the last 
century that appeal has been made to this proof from miracles. But the 
fathers of Lutheran orthodoxy laid no value on miracles, being of opinion 
that they proved nothing in themselves, unless the doctrine for which they 
had taken place had proved itself to be true. Chemnitz says, * ]\Iiracles 
must not be preferred to doctrine, for no miracle can have force against a 
doctrine revealed of God :' Gerhard, ' Miracles are of no value, if they 
have not true doctrine united to them.' Luther's opinion is unprejudiced 
and correct. He lays the chief value on moral miracles which Jesus, with- 
out intermission, performed on the souls of men, while he enlightened, and 
improved, and saved them. Of the bodily miracles of Christ which the 
Evangelists record, he gave it as his opinion that they were merely intended 
to draw attention to the Great Teacher, and aid in the introduction of Christ- 
ianity. This is the right position from which we should contemptate 
miracles. They were the outward attraction by which the contemporaries 
of Jesus were moved to hear him, and to give to his teaching the necessary 
attention. But in order that deeds of wonder may make the requisite 
impression on the mind, men must see and contemplate them, as well as inves- 
tigate, or know and ponder all the connected circumstances. The report 


of miraculous deeds by others, however trustworthy the reporters may be, 
cannot make the same impression. Jesus, indeed, performs miracles, and 
appeals to them as a proof that God had sent him, but he also blames (John 
iv. 48, comp. Matt. xii. 39 seq ; xvi. 1 — 4,) the desire for miracles of his 
contemporaries who had not previously believed, in which Paul agrees 
with him (1 Cor. i. 22). The most important fact, however, is that 
according to the evidence of the New Testament (Matt. xii. 27; Luke xi, 
19), the disciples of the Scribes and Pharisees healed demoniacs, that Jose- 
phus confirms this testimony, and describes the healing of demons by exor- 
cism as something customary (Antiq. viii. 2, 5) ; and lastly, that the New 
Testament itself (Matt. vii. 22; xii. 27; 2 Thess. ii. 9; Gal. i. 8;) 
seems to imply that such miracles happened for the confirmation of what 
was false, and for deception, as in the first and second centvirles enemies of 
Christ, as Appollonius, boasted that they did similar, nay even greater 
miracles than Jesus himself. Luther very rightly remarked, that miracles 
have no power for proof, unless the thing on behalf of which they took 
place, first showed itself to be true ; and that signs did not lead doctrine 
but served and followed the word of the teacher. We add lastly, that the 
idea of the miracles, if it is to give a systematic proof for Revelation, 
must be defined as such an event in the mental world, as cannot be explained 
by the natural connection of acting causes ; whence comes the deduction 
that God's hand has immediately interposed and operated. But in order 
to be certain that an event could not have taken place according to the 
usual order of nature, we ought to be fully acquainted with the entire cre- 
ation, and all its laws. But since no one has or can have such a knowledge, 
so the opinion that a certain fact could not have sprung from existing con- 
nections, but must have taken place by an extraordinary operation of divine 
omnipotence, can never be brought to full evidence. It is well known that 
one age accounts appearances miracles the more, the less its knowledge is, 
since it knows not the natural connections of things ; and that another age 
finds fewer miracles, the more deeply it penetrates into nature. A wise 
system of religious exposition will then ascribe to miracles only a relative 
value, a value that is, which refers to contemporaries with the events- 
We therefore ground our faith in Christ not on his miracles ; but, on the 
contrary, we believe in the narratives of his wondrous deeds, because he 
has in other vv'ays proved himself to us as the perfecter of Revelation.' 
The reader here peruses the opinion of a moderate, as well as very learned 


divine, of what is termed the Rationalist school, and he will already have 
seen, that while Dr. Bretschneider denies that miracles afford an absolute 
proof, they bear important testimony, at least, to those who are eye-witnesses 
of them, and that admitting as facts the miracles ordinarily ascribed to our 
Lord, he thinks their chief purpose and use was to draw and fix attention 
on the Great Teacher. From this view another person may differ, but has 
in no way the right, in consequence of that difference, to impute to our 
divine an Anti-Christian doctrine, still less an Anti-Christian name. 
The difference is one not of miracle or no miracle, not as between an earth- 
born morality and a heaven-descended religion — a difference which would 
be fundamental ; but merely of degree more or less ; a difference as to modes 
of proof, which may exist in minds equally convinced of the Divine mis- 
sion of Jesus Christ, and equally solicitous to make him their Lord, and 
his cause their work as long as life shall last. 

The previous observations were the more necessary because the great 
reformatory efforts originated by Ronge, of which we must now say a few 
words, have by some been misconceived, in fact misrepresented in conse- 
quence of being designated Rationalistic. That this most noble and well 
conducted movement has enlightened reason as its basis, we are ready to 
declare. All reforms originate more or less in the activity of the intel- 
lectual principle. By reason only can the necessity of a reform be learnt, 
and under the guidance of reason must measures be taken for its accom- 
plishment. Reason is the main-spring of the Anti-trinitarian efforts and 
achievements, to a narrative of which these pages are devoted ; and, accord- 
ingly, one among the names borne by Unitarians has been that of Rational 
Religionists. Unitarianism, indeed, is in principle nothing but the assertion 
of the neglected rights of reason, and an attempt to bring them into har- 
mony with the claims of Revelation through the medium of a purified or 
primitive Christianity. At least, the Unitarian, then, cannot look with dis- 
like or distrust on the Rationalism of Germany. Its modes of proceeding 
he may disapprove ; he may shrink from its conclusions, but its funda- 
mental principle is his own. Discrimination therefore is his duty. Ration- 
alism in itself he cannot condemn. With him the name of Rationalist is no 
oftence, for it is only a form of one of his own appellations, and does but 
comprise the principle on which he himself as well as his church stands. In 
that principle Ronge is at one with the Unitarians of England, and other 
parts of the world. In common with them he employed his reason, and 


was led to results which are as little dissimilar to the positive opinions ol' 
Unitarian Christians, as difFerenccs in national and educational peculiarities 
can be supposed to allow. 

The leading details connected with the formation under Ronoe, Czerski 
Theiner, and others, of the New German Catholic Church, are sufficiently 
well known to be passed here with a general allusion. Let one or two 
things be distinctly observed. The movement originated in the Catholic 
Church, and is still, for the most part, confined to such as were formerly 
disciples of Rome. It has spread abroad with amazing rapidity, and has 
now a considerable influence wherever the German language is spoken, 
embracing a very large multitude of persons of all ranks. Its essential 
characteristic is entire religious liberty, and a consequent freedom from the 
servitude of creeds ; yet statements of opinions have been put forth, which, 
containing the leading points embraced in what is termed ' the Apostles' 
Creed,' prove beyond a question that the German Catholic Church holds 
Anti-trinitarian opinions. The essential points comprised in the belief of 
this community are— 1. God, the creator of the universe and the Father 
of mankind; 2. Jesus Christ, our Saviour ; 3. The Holy Ghost; 4. For- 
giveness of sins; 5. Eternal life; 6. Universal Christian Church. Some, 
as Czerski, and M. Miiller, wished that a recognition of the Deity of Christ 
should form part of the creed; but this was successfully opposed by Blumm, 
Wigard, and others, on the ground that as an assertion of the divinity of 
Christ would not satisfy, without its being determined and declared what 
the nature of that divinity was, so the mooting of such a point would 
involve the new community in the old interminable disputes of scholastic 
theology respecting the Trinity. Nor was the determination of the ques- 
tion important. Whether Jesus derived his being immediately from God 
or man, he was still beyond a question a divine man ; and there was not a 
more comprehensive, holy, or noble title for him than ' our Saviour'. 
From this general application the new community would not remove. 
The determination led to the secession of Czerski and his friends, who^ 
urged on by native and English orthodoxy, assailed their former associates,' 
and seemed likely to hinder the progress of the great reform. Lately, how- 
ever, Czerski, admonished by the remonstances and even the desertion of 
friends, has seen and acknowledged his error in insisting on any conception 
regarding the nature of Christ, as a condition of church fellowship. This 
acknowledgment has led to a reconciliation between him and Ronge, which 


will have the best results. Retaining each his own opinions, these two 
reformers have agreed to work in common for the furtherance of a religious 
reformation grounded on the sole recognition of the New Testament as 
the source and test of Christian truth. 

If from the Catholic we pass to the Protestant church of Germany, wc 
find in great jiopular movements similar evidences, that within the pale of 
the Christian Church the old doctrines of the Trinity, and the essential 
godhead of Christ, "ax-e most extensively abandoned. Not least in 
importance among these evidences is, the establishment, on the broad 
ground of a general profession of faith in Christ, of what is termed the 
Gustavus Adolphus Institution. For this truly Catholic Association, 
circumstances had long prej^ared the way. Those of a more general nature 
tended to uproot the old orthodox forms of belief we have already spoken 
of. But in the year 1817, under the influence of Prussia, the two great 
divisions of the Protestant Church of Germany, viz., the Lutheran and the 
Reformed, which had from their origin stood in a more or less hostile 
position to each other, took the first step in a formal union, and within a 
few years became in most of their constituent parts one, under the 
designation of the Evangelical Church. The title was chosen in reference 
to two facts ; first, Evangelical, as denoting that which has the evangelium 
or gospel for its source, was a suitable term whereby to describe a Church 
which was founded on the recognition of the gospel as disclosed in the 
New Testament ; secondly. Evangelical, from the same reason, was a 
suitable term whereby to describe a Church which by the aforesaid 
recognition is distinguished and contrasted from the so-called Catholic 
Church, which rests on the authority of tradition, and appeals to the 
Roman Pontiff" as the trustee and expounder of that tradition. The 
different points in which the Lutherans and the Reformed had for ages 
disagreed, were thus not so much disowned as passed by; no concession 
was made on either side ; only it was acknowledged that the points on 
which they were at one were of more importance than those on which they 
differed, and that to such an extent as to constitute the proper grounds for 
a general union. It is not possible that a union should have been formed 
on such a basis, unless the old doctrines and observances which took their 
rise at the time of the Reformation, had lost much of their vitality and 
acceptance. On the other hand, the recognition of the gospel, as taught 
in the New Testament, shews that the spirit of religion was active in the 


two churches. Tlic points on which the two churches were hefore llieir 
junction generally agreed, were those great historical and spiritual truths 
which lie at the basis of Christianity, and have in all ages constituted its 
essence and been the sources of its power. A practical and benevolent 
personal religion, founded on Christ as its divine author, became the 
distinctive feature of the new Church. 

This pleasing fact led to another, kindred in its nature and more pleasing 
still in its spirit and tendency. In the year 1832, on occasion of the 
festivities designed to celebrate the second centenary of the battle of 
Lutzen, an institution was, at the suggestion of a Leipsic merchant named 
Schild, and under the influence of a clergyman. Dr. Grossmann, founded 
in Leipsic in honour of the Swedish hero, who sacrificed his life in defence 
of religious liberty in the year 1C32. The institution received the name of 
Gustav-Adolf-Verein, in commemoration of Gustavus Adolphus, the hero to 
whom we have just referred. The practical aim of the institution was 
to form a fund by which pecuniary aid might be afforded to persecuted and 
needy Protestant churches, as well as to Protestant schools, whose 
resources were insufficient for their wants. This institution gave place in 
1842 to another, having a similar object as well as name, but a 
prospect of far wider and larger usefulness. In 1841, Dr. Karl Zimmer- 
mann, preacher at the court of Darmstadt, and one of the most distin- 
guished and liberal divines of the day, invited, on occasion of the festival of 
the Reformation, his fellow-believers to form a yet more comprehensive 
society, whose aim should be to render aid to feeble and necessitous 
Protestant churches, both within Germany and beyond its borders. The 
call met with a response. It was felt that the object was worthy of 
support, and that the pursuit of it in the wide spirit of Christian love would 
of itself enlarge and deepen that spirit generally, would develope and 
strengthen the proper bonds of Christian union, and tend to make 
Protestants themselves know more distinctly and feel more vividly wherein 
their true unity is found. Accordingly, on Sept. 22nd, 1843, the new 
institution, named Gustav-Adolf-Stiftung, w^as founded at Frankfort on the 
Maine. The institution has been received with warm approbation, not- 
withstanding certain delays and conditions on the part of Prussia, and tlie 
active opposition of Austria. At present it reckons among its affiliated 
societies nearly every state, large and small, of Germany. The sum-total 
of the inhabitants of the several covmtries found at the meeting, held 


in the autumn of 18<14, at Guttingen, to be thus associated in tlie bonds of 
Christian benevolence, was 18,824,000 souls, comprising tlie whole 
Protestant population of Germany, except 1,200,000 Bavarians. 

This institution is at least as liberal in its constitution as the preceding 
association out of which it sprang, and the Evangelical Church in whose 
bosom it arose. Its nature and object are thus declared in the first article 
of what is termed 'the statutes of the Union :' — ' The Evangelical Union 
of the ' Gustavus-Adolphus Institution' is a combination of those members 
of the Evangelical Protestant Church, who are concerned for the wants of 
their brethren that need the means of spiritual life, and are, in consequence, 
in danger of being lost to the Church. The Union, mindful of the apostolic 
words, ' Let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the 
household of faith' (Gal. vi. 10), has for its object to relieve, according to 
the utmost of its power, the wants of these their brethren in the faith, both 
in and out of Germany, so far as they are unable to obtain sufficient help 
in their own countries.' The second is an important 'statute,' as 
shewing the wide liberality of the Union : — ' The operation of the Union 
embraces Lutheran, Reformed and United Churches, as well as such 
commiuiions as shew their agreement with the Evangelical Church.' This 
Church, as we have seen, is founded on the basis of a practical and 
benevolent Christianity; consequently, the basis the Gustavus A. 
Institution is wide enough to admit all Protestant Christians, whatever 
their dogmatic or ritual peculiarites. Of course the Unitarian Church 
would be included as a member of the general body ; and we have reason, 
on very good authority, to know it is considered in Germany that the basis 
of this general association is such as not only to admit all Protestant 
Christians, but to embrace specifically, under the name Christian, professors 
of Unitarianism. 

The society might justifiably take for its motto, ' The unity of the spirit 
in the bond of peace.' It has been defined in Germany, 'The unity of 
the Protestant Church in the brotherly love of its members.' This truly 
Christian character of the institution has been well illustrated by Dr. 
Zimmermann, deputy of the affiliated society of Darmstadt : ' The 
(Justavus-Adolphus Association has the purest, the noblest, and the most 
Christian object. It aims at uniting all Evangelical,' (the word lias been 
explained,) ' Christians by the bonds of a common labour of love : it 
invites Christians, whether Lutherans, . Reformed or United ; it repels 
none of those who credibly avow their harmony with the Ii^ angelical 


Church. What is its definite object ? To establish peace among all the 
parts of our church. It has for its aim, to cure that deplorable illusion 
which maintains, that persons cannot work together in a labour of love 
unless they hold the same opinions. It is this fraternal sentiment, this 
recognition of a common Christianity, which gives Protestants the 
impression that they are not disciples of a Hessian, a Prussian, or a 
Wiirtemburg Church, but children of one Evangelical Protestant Church, 
We differ on individual points, but we must be one in brotherly love. It 
is time that men should acknowledge it to be a shame for brethren in the 
faith to make an envenomed war on each other and encourage mutual hate. 
To bring about a different state of things this society has been founded. 
It never thinks of destroying the diversities of opinion which prevail, in 
order to substitute a new bond of communion ; but it appeals to all Protes- 
tants, in the hope that they will lend their brotherly co-operation in a 
common labour of Christian benevolence.' 

The existence and prosperity of this institution are to us among the most 
gratifying among the signs of the times. Surely, if any thing can, this 
society will contradict and put an end to the shameful misrepresentation, 
which the self-satisfied orthodoxy of this land has long industriously spread 
abroad, alleging the lamentable condition of the German churches. Would 
that in this particular, at any rate, our English churches were equally near 
to Christ ! And what Englishman, who has raised himself above the petty 
disputes of the several classes of creed-Christians in these kingdoms, does 
not feel half-ashamed and deeply grieved when he contrasts the noble and 
truly Christian spirit of this great Association with the ludicrous littleness 
by signs of which he finds himself surrounded, — each tiny party, nay (for 
in truth it comes to that) each individual, requiring mankind to pronounce 
his shibboleth, or 'without a doubt perish everlastingly!' A string of 
metaphysical propositions in one hand, the other pointing to the ever- 
burning flames of the bottomless pit, with these words — ' This or That' — 
proceeding from his lips, — such is the image of an Evangelical preacher in 
the nineteenth century ! Not without reason, therefore, has the writer 
long since turned his hopes to the land of Luther, the birth-place of the 
Reformation, with the earnest and not altogether unauthorized desire that 
new light and a better spirit may come hence into this bigoted and 
distracted covintry. 

The institution of which we have spoken, is one practical result of the 


great and varied intellectual activity, by which German divines have been 
distinguished during the last hundred years, and a triumph of Christian 
truth and sentiment over the once prevalent system of hard, dry, meta- 
physical dogmas. But the results gained in the world of scientific theology 
could not remain there. In its very nature, truth is pervasive. What is 
first taught from the professor's chair is, within a few years, proclaimed from 
the pulpit ; and the conclusions of the learned few consigned to the custody 
of books, passes quietly but surely into the minds of the thinking pubUc 
at large. The renunciation of the Latin langi^age as the medium of 
communication among the learned, opened the flood-gates of knowledge 
to all. Accordingly, it was not possible that in Germany, where the 
advantages of Education are more widely diffused than in most other 
nations, a popular manifestation of a great doctrinal change should not 
appear in the Protestant Church. Premonitions of this change have for 
years been, from time to time, visible. Nearly a quarter of a century since, 
a society of what were termed Philalethes (Lovers of truth,) was formed at 
Kiel, whose aim was to found a church free from the bondage of the ancient 
creeds, and united simply on the basis of a general agreement in scriptural 
truth. Under the influence of English gold and admonitions, orthodoxy 
entered on zealous exertions, in order to regain its lost ground. These 
efforts, and the partial success which attended them, called forth correspon- 
dent efforts on the part of the friends of progress. The contest 
necessarily involved an appeal to the popular mind, which was thus 
fairly engaged in discussing questions that used to be almost the exclusive 
province of learned divines. Then came the work which its author, D. 
Strauss, termed ' a Life of Jesus,' and which, whatever its demerits, served to 
feed the rising flames, and to show the utter impotency of the old orthodox 
system. Under the impulse thus occasioned, there was formed ' The Union 
of Protestant Friends', sometimes denominated ' Friends of light,' in the 
vicinity of Magdeburg, Saxony, or what in Germany is called ' the middle 
Elbe ;' which consisting of persons of all conditions, proposed as its objects, 
to assert and maintain the rights of free inquiry, against the encroachments 
of Trinitarian zeal, and to develope, establish, and diffuse such a positive 
form of Christianity as might accord at once with the clear teachings of the 
New Testament, and the manifest requirements of Reason. They thus 
themselves explain their name and objects : — 

' We call ourselves ' Protestant Friends/ because we wish for a name as 


unpretending as possible and at the same time descriptive. That of 
' Lichtfremide' (Friends of Light), which has been assigned to us by others, 
we have never laid claim to it, for the very purpose of avoiding even an 
appearance of presumption. A free development of Christianity in its 
doctrine as well as outward fomi, is the task we have proposed to ourselves. 
There are chiefly three means by which men hitherto have set about 
accomplishing this task, namely, the pulpit, the university, and the press. 
We also proceed in those three ways, each of us according as his office or 
inward calling may direct him. But we add a forth plan, that of free 
public and promiscuous meetings for discussing as well as carrying on that 
development. This way appeared necessary to us, since offensive deprava- 
tions of religion in these times have not been prevented by the three former 
means. The right which we claim in adopting it, is founded in human 
nature, implied in the character of Christianity, and given with the history 
both of that religion in general and Protestantism in particular. We are 
people of all classes, held together by no statute, by no engagement, but 
mei-ely by our being concerned in promoting a free development of 
Christianity. At Kothen, a town most conveniently situated in the 
neighbourhood of three railroads, two principal meetings are held every 
year; special meetings by districts take place at Halle, Magdeburgh, Halber- 
stadt, and in many other lesser towns. All these meetings are still 
increasing ; everywhere the halls are not large enough to hold the crowds 
of people resorting to them ; in many places females also have begun to 
attend our assemblies. Every person is admitted, every person has a 
right to pronounce his own opinion ; no controlling power but that of strong 
arguments is acknowledged. We do not wonder if all this should a^^pear 
strange to those who look at it from a distance, and the more so if they 
are accustomed to the privacy of their studies, or to the addresses of the 
pvdpit, or the university ; but three years of experience enable us to assure 
them that qtiiet, propriety of behaviour and dignity, have never been 
wanting in our meetings, and we dare state our belief, that they have 
conveyed such a blessing to us and others as nothing in the world could 
have communicated in a like degree. 

' To promote Christian virtue, and consequently to increase the sum of 
good upon earth, is our highest aim, which at the Whitsuntide meeting at 
Leipsic in 1842, we have expressed thus : ' We aim to accomplish the work 
of Jesus in the direction of the gospel, in the spirit of our Protestant 


Churcli, according to the views of the present generation, by employing all 
the means which the age aftbrds. If in our parts of the country, minds 
have been awakened into vigorous life and exertions not known so late 
as a few years ago ; if every where societies for pi-omoting the physical and 
mental welfare^of mankind have been established ; if the different ranks and 
classes mix now together with less suspicion and mistrust than before ; if 
there are a great many persons who have a fresh faith and more ardent love 
towards Christianity, — we may claim no small share in all this for ourselves. 
It is easily understood that in order to form a correct judgment of this 
matter, you must look into it with your eyes ; our work is a practical one, 
carried on amidst the scenes of actual life. 

' In founding a truly Christian 'Church, then, we find the highest and 
permanent object of our pursuits. But before we can set about accom- 
plishing it, the ground must be freed from many things that are in our 
path ; we are, therefore, obliged to clear away, to oppose, to protest. We 
do then protest against every assumption in respect to Christian belief, 
judging its divine character and the spiritual necessities and mental liberty 
of mankind to be sufficient to extend its range. Accordingly, we protest 
against the presumption of learning, which would claim the exclusive right 
of deciding vipon religious truth and salvation. "VVe protest against that 
kind of theology which would substitute itself in the place of religion. We 
protest against such a divinity as mistakes the Scriptures for the Word of 
God, for the Gospel itself — that is, the vessel for the contents. We protest 
against that kind of historical inquiry which, in pointing out the manner in 
which a former process of development took place, fancies that it has 
prescribed the strict way from which a later development must not swerve. 
We protest against a priesthood who cannot renounce the distinction 
between its members and laymen, and reserve certain prerogatives for 
themselves. We protest against church-systems which would maintain 
the modes and creeds of by-gone times at any cost. We protest against 
any system of blind faith (Pietistical principles) which denies reason its 
rights, and by that means takes away every chance of a sound development 
of Christianity. We protest against Mysticism, which would establish its 
theory regarding the depths of the Divine essence aiul the human mind as 
a characteristic of the Christian religion. We, finally, protest against that 
tendency which would stamp a temporal character upon Christianity, nor 
hesitate to consider it as a politic institution, and its ministers asfunctiona- 


ries of the State. 'What a number of protestations !' you will say ; but 
who can dispense with them in the present age ? 

• We need not add, that for all this we plead nothing but the force of 
sound argument, and disdain, yea declare disgraceful, calling in any other 
power to our aid. From our point of view, also, we think it a matter of 
course not to dispute with any opinion and tendency its right to be 
considered Christian, if it be claimed only upon the ground of strong 
arguments. We can easily understand that the juxta-position of different 
views of Christianity may serve the good of the Church of Christ, though, 
of course, we have a fixed theory of our own ; it is in the main that of 
Rationalism. This implies a task of great and noble import, a work of 
peace. We are making all exertions, and shall continue to do so, in order 
to have it acknowledged by all, that the very essence of Christianity does 
not consist in those things that divide religious parties, but in those in 
which they all agree ; that, therefore, the things in which they differ are of 
no importance, nothing but hviman views of religious doctrines, upon which 
salvation does not depend. 

' Some details may now be given to illustrate the manner in which we 
attempt to accomplish our work. The theories of Original Sin, Vicarious 
Satisfaction, and the Trinity, we have pronounced to be transitory stages in 
the development of a by-gone theology, and can no longer claim the right 
of being al)solutely forced upon us as articles of evangelical faith. The 
doctrine of justification through faith only, as was conceived by Luther, we 
acknowledge to have been the groundwork of the Reformation, but we are 
far from finding any reason in this for accepting it still as the main article 
of our Protestant creed. The peculiar and permanent features of Evangel- 
ical Christianity appear to us to consist rather in those fundamental 
doctrines touching God, virtue, and immortality, which are met with in all 
religions, and to which Jesus gave this particular expression, — that God is 
our Father, that the essential idea of virtue is love, and its object divine 
perfection, that the common end at which mankind is intended to arrive, 
is to become one church of God, comprising all men, directed by the power 
of the Holy Ghost, worshipping the Father in spirit and in truth, 
taking its beginning upon earth and extending into all eternity. Since 
the source of many controversies, and an occasion for still repeated corrup- 
tions of theology, are found in indistinct and incorrect conceptions of the 
Scriptures, we have explained at large what relation this book bears to 


Christianity. It is the vessel in which evangelical truth is presented to us ; 
without its existence no such event as the Reformation could have taken 
place ; but no sufficient reason can be discovered w^hy it should be considered 
as absolutely sacred and exempt from errors. The Old Testament is an 
imperfect preparation for the religion of Christ ; the Epistles of the New 
Testament contain the first attempts to carry out the Gospel into a 
theology, and are therefore subordinate to the Gospel itself. It is true, the 
reports of the New Testament have been laid down by trustworthy men, 
but not even they can be said to present an unexceptionably exact account 
of the doctrine of Christ, nor must, therefore, a single saying from their 
writings be of a decisive authority. For the whole of the Scriptures this 
rule holds good : 'The letter killeth, but the spirit give th life.' Accord- 
ingly, we have also pronounced our opinion of the Apostles' Creed, nor 
have we been able to find any ground upon which it should be retained in 
the church. The Apostles' Creed is no longer an expression of the belief 
of the Christian communion ; hence it is desirable that its use should be 

For the furtherance of these objects, the Union established a periodical, 
designated, 'Blatter fiir Christl. Erbauung' — Magazine of Christian Edifi- 
cation, and put forth what may be considered its manifesto—' Vortrtige der 
Protest. Freunden,' in which, among other things, we find these the most 
important : — The friends of Protestantism espouse that view of Christianity 
which allows the operation of reason in judging the Bible, and the doctrines 
of the Church, in the conviction that man's intelligence is competent for 
the work, and not only authorized but bound to engage in it. They are 
of opinion, that many points which in earlier periods were accounted 
Christian doctrines, are nothing more than traditions of men, which neither 
can endure a thorough examination, nor find any support in the words of 
Jesus ; these traditions they give up, and so obtain a simple Christianity, 
which cannot fail to be recognized as a result of the higliest human intelli- 
gence. These views are widely spread among the cultivated classes of 
Germany ; and since in these days the greatest efforts are made to bring 
them into contempt, to overpower antl suppress them, the Union has been 
formed in order, 1, that its members may strengthen each other in their 
faith, and carry forward their religious improvement ; 2, that they may 
withstand every attempt to force upon them a different view of Christian- 
ity ; 3, that they may afford each other aid in s-curing a reception for what 


tliey consider genuine Christianity, and in unfolding more fully its benign 
influences. In replying to the objection that RationaUsm has been solely 
negative, and polemical, the writers say, 

' The foundations of Christianity are in Christ. But, in process of time, 
these have been altered and displaced by priests. This vv^as known by the 
reformers, who applied themselves to remove what did not properly belong 
to the Church. But they were not in a condition to finish the work, since 
the knowledge necessary for a right understanding of the Bible only began 
in their days to come into existence. The Union proposes to undertake 
this task, and at the same time to present a view of Christianity which is in 
harmony at once with the New Testatnentand the highest human intelligence.' 

In other words, these friends of Protestantism expound their views 
touching the person of Jesus. Our informant says, ' The representation is 
essentially a mean between the old rationalistic and the ecclesiastical view, 
more removed, however, from the latter than from the former. Everything in 
Christ is acknowledged, even his freedom from sin, only his relation to the 
Trinity is denied.' Jesus they regard as 'a man full of lofty wisdom, of 
glowing philanthropy, of an extraordinary self-consciousness, of mighty 
power ; whose fate was remarkable, and whose death was fearful. But 
what, in the course of ages, have his followers made of this exalted man ? 
They have made him God.' A detailed proof of what Jesus was is 
given out of the Scriptures, and an answer is supplied to the question, 
' How did theologians arrive at the doctrine of the deity of Christ?' The 
origin of this doctrine is found partly in the influence of heathenism, 
partly in reasoning of this kind — ' Jesus cannot be a man, nor an angel ; he 
must, therefore, be God.' It is added, that the test of genuine Christianity 
is not to be found in any doctrine respecting the person of our Lord, but in 
the reception of him as the Saviour — a view which gives his religion the 
power to enlighten, direct, edify, and console — a view in which it apjjears 
as really power and life. All men, whether learned or unlearned, feel the 
want of a higher aid than they can find in themselves. That aid is supplied 
in Jesus ; in whom are the words of eternal life, a sure foundation, consum- 
mate excellence, everlasting and unfailing hope. 

At the head of the ' Protestant Friends' stands the Pastor Uhlich, of 
Pommelte, near Schonbeck, in the Grand Duchy of Saxony, who, 
in the Spring of 1841, invited several brethren in the ministry to 
meet with him periodically, in order to take such measures as 


might seem best fitted to counteract the efforts of the partizaiis of religious 
reaction, and secure for a scriptural and rational Christianity the develop- 
ment it needed, and the reception it deserved. The first assembly took 
place at Gnadau, on the 29th June, 1841, vi'hen sixteen clergymen 
assembled. Another meeting was appointed for the ensuing Michaelmas, 
to be held at Halle, when the number present amounted to fifty-six. From 
this time two meetings took place yearly at Kothen, at which the numbers 
rose, by degrees, to above two thousand, composed of laity and ministers of 
religion, who enjoyed equal privileges in originating and supporting 
measures, and putting forth opinions. These periodical meetings, the 
proceedings and speeches at which were speedily disseminated throughout 
Germany, produced a great impression on the public mind, already to a 
great extent prepared to renounce the shadowy forms of a deceased orthodoxy. 
Its friends, however, grew alarmed, and began a very vigorous, unsparing, 
and, in some respects, unscrvipulous attack on the maintainers of this effort 
for a popular religious reform in the Protestant Church, employing hard 
words, anathemas, and deimnciations, as well as arguments. The power 
of the state was invoked against the mis-believers, and even the immediate 
succour of Heaven was implored. In the Evangelischen Kirchenzeitung, 
Guericke declared the ' Protestant Friends' enemies of the Church, and 
demanded against them the intervention of the magistrate. Supported by 
this authority, a clergyman at a Missionary Meeting held in Berlin, June 
Cth, 1844, proposed that, in the name of the ' Triune God,' they should be 
excluded from the Church. The motion was lost. On the next day, after 
a violent speech against them, made by another minister, the whole assem- 
bly threw themselves on their knees, and prayed for the conversion of their 
peccant brethren. This new species of argument found acceptance, and 
was speedily imitated in many places, by small knots of orthodox believers. 
Ten clergymen put forth at Neuhaldenslebcn a species of excommunication. 
The excitement rose to a great height. Yet the majority, both of clergy 
and laity, kept themselves free from Trinitarian contagion. This was 
proved at the Synods of Prussian clergymen, which took place in the year 
1844. At Magdeburg, out of 179 ministers, 150 declared for the New 
School, and only 29 for orthodoxy. The meetings of ' the Friends of 
Light' became more frequented, more animated, and more influential. An 
assembly, held May 15th, 1845, was so numerous (from two to three 
lliousand), that it was adjourned to the open air. Herr Uhlich brought 


forward thirteen proposition which contained the principles of the new 
Reform. The numbers and respectability and social weight of this assembly, 
gave great encouragement and a new impulse to the ' Protestant Friends,' 
who forthwith shewed much activity and untiring zeal in holding district 
meetings. Meanwhile, Government had grown uneasy ; and at length, 
encouraged by their orthodox assailants, issued its prohibition, commanding 
the Reformers to desist from these popular manifestations of their senti- 
ments, power, and determination. The last assembly was held at Asse, a 
hill in the Duchy of Brunswick. This intervention on the part of Prussia 
and Saxony was met by obedience and protests. Uhlich and his associates 
turned all their energy to the Press, which is now their chief arm in the 
warfare against religious corruption. During the controversy, the estab- 
lished Confessions of Faith have been brought forward, on ^one side with 
the intention of enforcing their authority, on the other for the purpose of 
showing their contrariety to Scripture, and, in consequence, their invalidity.* 
The most important position of the Unitarian party is, that in these 
Confessions of Faith the Scripture is set above all human declarations, and 
declared to be the only test of Christian truth. Thus the Smalkald Articles 
(ii, 2, 308), declare 'the Word of God shall determine points of faith, 
apart from which no one, not even an angel, shall have any authority ;' and 
' the Formulary of agreement,' says ' the Holy Scripture remains the only 
judge, rule, and test, according to which, as the sole touchstone, ought and 
must all doctrines be learnt and determined. 'f 

Among the flood of publications which this controversy, as well as that 
of Ronge, has called forth, there is one from which, in consequence of its 
importance, and the light which it throws on the subject, we shall make 
one or two extracts; namely, Bekenntnisse von Uhlich (Leipzig, 1845, 
third edition) ' Confessions hy Uhlich, with reference to the 'Protestant 
Friends,' and the attacks which they have undergone.'' 

' I may now, in a few words, set forth the way in which ' the Protestant 
Friends' have arisen, and how far I have taken part with them. I was 
brought up by simple pious parents, and had my mind very early directed 

* 'Schriftund Syinbolische Biicher im Widerspruche iiber Trinitiit, Erbsiinde and 
Abendmahl.' Leipzig. 1815. Das Urchristenthum von Dr. E. Bauer Dresden, 1845. 

f See the Eighth Section of the work 'Ob Schrift? Ob Geist? von G. A. Wisli- 
cenus,' 4th Edition/Lcipzig, 1845. 


to tliin£Ts concerning religion. The more liberal interpretation of Christian- 
ity, taught at the School and the University, appeared to me to be the 
right one. At a later period I learnt to understand that many things in 
the old opinions were important, and to be esteemed. I searched more 
and more deeply: my judgment respecting what was old became milder, 
and the general direction of my mind was confirmed, that the actual life in 
the old system could not only be united with a rational Christianity, but, in 
truth, stood entirely therein. It was very natviral that in the last century 
a freer exposition should at first be of a negative character, but there is 
nothing to prevent its becoming more warm and genial ; and it appears to 
me to be one duty of our times to unite the so-called Rationalism with 
what is essential in the so-called orthodoxy. Indeed, I myself had for 
many years been accounted orthodox, by many who did not know me 
intimately. When, however, more than three years ago, a clergyman of 
Magdeburg was deprived of his cure, because he had publicly declared 
himself against the adoration of Jesus Christ, I was moved to come 
■forward. ' If things are so,' said I, 'then is it necessary for clergymen of 
liberal thinking to combine, partly that they may not have to make their 
stand alone ; partly, that they may come to an imderstanding respecting 
the further development and interpretation of Christianity. These thoughts 
I communicated to several friends, and, in consequence, sixteen of us 
assembled at Gnadau.' (pp. 10, 11.) 

Uhlicli thus sets forth his leading sentiments : — ' 1 . 1 find myself defective, 
imperfect in every excellence which is offered to me as a man among other 
creatures. Something is wanting, but not a longing for truth, virtue, 
peace. 2. While I seek satisfaction for this longing, I find it nowhere better 
than in Christianity, whose living model stands before me in its founder, 
Jesus Christ. 3. In Him I recognise the most elevated messenger of God 
to man ; man as he ought to be, the Lord and Master to whom my soul 
can give itself with full confidence. 4. His history, in its leading points, I 
believe ; but my belief in Him rests chiefly on the purity of his life, the 
truth of his doctrine, the life-giving power of his kingdom, and, as on the 
last and deepest ground, on the experience that the imitation of him makes 
me happy. 5. By Jesus I learn to know God as my Father, whom I 
strive to honour in spirit and in truth, especially by child-like reliance. 
C. Through Jesus I have received, as the test of all my actions, the princi- 
ple of love. 7. Through him I acknowledge holiness to be the great work 


of my life. 7. If I fail and become downcast in thiswork, Jesus announces 
forgiveness to me, on repentance and newness of life. 9. From him I 
have received the promise of the Holy Spirit, as a divine power which 
operates in all Christendom, which incorporates itself with every true effort, 
and helps me forward to my object. 10. For the completion of all my 
endeavours, Jesus directs me to a higher kingdom of God beyond the tomb, 
and therein to judgment and retribution, which, however, begin in this 
state. All these propositions are formed with a direct reference to Jesus, 
for so they correspond to the faith which fills my soul. In matters of 
doctrine I immediately think of Him who has given the instruction, and 
preceded me in the practical observance of it ; I rejoice that Christianity 
is not mere instruction, but has, also, the personal character of the Saviour, 
and so I preach it to my flock.' (pp. 8, 9.) 

' The reader, perhaps, requires me to say what I hold respecting Jesus. 
I see two sides in him. One is turned to me, which is clear to me — Jesus 
is my Saviour ; in no one do I find so satisfactory an answer to my 
weightiest questions ; for my life so excellent a guidance, both in his teach- 
ings and in his own life ; for my heart so pervasive a satisfaction, and at 
the same time so worthy an object of my inmost honour and love. This is 
one side. The other is turned from me towards God, with whom Jesus 
stands in a more intimate relation than myself and all whom I know. On 
this other side there is much which is to me mysterious ; how Jesus could 
be a man as myself, and yet so pure, so clear-minded, so deeply conscious 
of the union of his soul with the Father, a union such as I do not find in 
me in my best hours, as I cannot hope to reach ; this is a secret to me. 
Therefore it seems to me to be somewhat hard and cold to say, * Jesus was 
a man as we, when in so many important relations he was different to 
what we know men to be. On this account, I have on a previous occasion 
said, ' who Jesus was, I know not, an answer fails me ; only what I 
have in him, that I know and rejoice in the knowledge ; my Saviour.' ' 
(pp. 35, 3G.) 

Uhlich has very recently published his view of the actual condition of 
the Protestant Church, which we give in as brief a form as we can. * What 
do we find in the Protestant Church ? Many milhons of persons, and 
among them great diversities of opinion : diversities in ofl^ce, discipline, 
doctrine. The English Church retains very much of Catholicism, and 
seems inclined to yet more. The doctrine of the Scottish Church is stereo- 


typed. In Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, there is much of wliat is old 
in form ; but in regard to doctrine, the same may be said of it as is said of 
opinion in the German Church : a large portion of the church members, 
whether laymen or divines, maintain the harmony of Christianity with 
reason, and so are attached to Rationalism. The same is true in Holland. 
In the Protestant Church of France, you find a free conception of Chris- 
tianity in the neighbourhood of the old notions. Switzerland presents the 
truest picture of Germany. As for our own land, it is known, that from 
the middle of the last century, the German theologians began to apply the 
results of learned study to the actual condition of the church, to throw 
light on the traditionary, and gradually reject whatever could not be 
harmonized with reason. Thus arose Rationalism, that is, that view of 
Christianity which assumes that the original doctrine of Jesus stood not in 
opposition to reason, but that what is contrary to reason in popular doc- 
trine, is either a misconception of the teaching of Jesus, or an addition to it. 
As such were these notions adjudged and rejected — namely, the doctrine of 
the Trinity, of Satisfaction, of the Plenary Inspiration of the Scriptures. 
The new opinions spread rapidly among theologians, entering even the 
Consistories, and finding a welcome among all classes. They made their 
way into the schools, they became the property of the cultivated ; University 
chairs were occupied by men of this way of thinking. This took place 
specially in Prussia ; that well known attempt at restraint made by the 
Minister Wbllner, passed almost without leaving a trace of its influence. 
In the pulpit teaching was so conducted, that what was in accordance with 
reason found utterance, the reverse was passed in silence ; so that the 
latter gradually fell into oblivion. Catechisms, hymn-books, books of 
christian edification, drawn up in harmony with these views, came into 
general use. 

' Thus was it during the first twenty years of this century. Then began 
the re-action which aimed to carry men's minds back to that which they 
had given up. The Pope came forward with great assumptions; in some 
Protestant states the Government gave a preference to the old doctrines. 
A very decided proof of this may be seen in the new Prussian Liturgy. 
The hi<rher offices in the church, the Professional chairs, were filled with 
men of the ancient faith. Open war was declared against Rationalism. 

' The German Protestant Church, accordingly, contains men of very 
dilferent views. There are two extremes ; those who say that only what 


is rational is Christian ; and those who declare that the essence of Chris- 
tianity consists in its being contrary to reason. Between these two, are 
very dissimilar shades of opinion ; midway stands a large number who see 
in Christianity something supernatural, without again admitting all the 
doctrines of the past. 

' Our duty is to join hands in those points on which we are agreed : all 
believe in God and eternal life, all honour Jesus as the master, the Bible 
as the primary source of Christian truth ; and on all lips is the declaration, 
that love is the fulfilling of the law. The exceptions are so few, that they 
need not be noticed, in a case where millions are concerned. On these 
grounds, then, let us cultivate friendship ; they are truly broad and large 

In order that the reader may have no doubt that ' the Protestant Friends 
hold rank among Anti-trinitarians, we translate the following : — 

' I must here speak of the Trinity. It is self-evident, that if God 
revealsto us something of his nature, which lies beyond the sphere of all 
our ideas, which contradicts all our previous conceptions, we ought never- 
theless to receive it unconditionally, for what is n>an in comparison with 
God ? But it is our duty to enquire whether that which asserts the claim 
has really been revealed of God. What does the Bible say of Jesus ? 
That he is a highly exalted being, very near the Godhead, penetrated with 
divinity, but never that he is the second person in the deity, like unto the 
Father. I can confidently invite any one to read through his Testament. 
If he does not cling to a few particular passages, if he reads continuously, if 
he has not altogether devoted himself to the old doctrines ; he will soon 
become convinced, that Jesus is throughout represented as subordinate to 
the Father, and that not only in his mortal pilgrimage. — 

* * * « * * 

' Does any one expect that I am here about to speak of the Holy Ghost as the 
third person in the Trinity ? It would be possible to say very little, or very 
much on the subject : little, for it would be quite inconceivable how 
theologians have been able to make out that the Holy Ghost is the third 
person in the Trinity, if they had not compelled themselves, v/hen 
they made Christ equal with God, to go this step further. But much would 
have to be said of the Holy Ghost, and will have to be said and revealed 

* MiUheilungeii fiir Protestant Freunde, 1846, Nc. 2 and 3. 



by theology ; for it is precisely in this doctrine, namely, that the same 
spirit, the spirit of truth which was in Jesus, ought to occupy his place in the 
Church of Jesus, and lead them to all truth, that there lies the most power- 
ful protection against all retrogradation, the clearest assurance and best 
pledge for the progression and blessed development of Christianity.' (pp. 
32, 6. Behenntnisse von Uhlich.) 

Were we to exhibit in detail evidence that individual writers are of Anti- 
trinitarian sentiments, we should have to occupy a far larger space than we 
can afford. We will, however, subjoin one or two instances. Dr. Rohr, 
a man of great learning, as well as in high office in the Saxon Church, 
pubhshed, in 1843, the third edition of his work, entitled Grundiind Glau- 
benscitze der Evangelische-Protestantischen Kirche : ' The fundamental 
doctrines of the Evangelical Protestant Church.' In this work he gives a 
summary of these 'fundamental doctrines.' What are they? These are 
his words : — ' We believe in one God, the most exalted and perfect of all 
beings, the Almighty Creator, Supporter and Governor of the world, and 
the loving Father, who educates men to perfection and blessedness. We 
believe in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son our Lord, who, as the highest 
of all divine messengers, by his word and doctrine, his conduct and exam- 
ple, by his sufferings, death, and resurrection, redeemed our race from 
error, sin, and misery, and thereby earned for himself the loftiest dignity, 
and a name which is above all names. We believe in the Holy Spirit, in 
God's eternal power and agency; for the furtherance of his kingdom on 
earth, as whose citizens we are assured of his grace and pity in this life, 
and after death of an everlasting and blissful existence beyond the grave.' 
That this form of opinion is one which is held by a large portion of thinking 
Germans, appears, in addition to what precedes, from the fact that Dr. 
Rohr has just been called on to put forth a popular abstract of the work — 
' Gemeinverstandliche und Schriftgemassige Darstellung,' &c. 

The contrariety of Anti-trinitarianism with the creeds of the German 
church is known, proclaimed, and made an argument for the abrogation of 
these standards of doctrine, or the formation of a new church built on the 
broad ground of Christian liberty and Scriptural truth. The writer of a 
popular piece, entitled, Schrift und Symholische Bilcher in Widerspruche 
nher Trinitdt,Esbsunde und Ahend)iiahl,\%A5, 'Scripture and established 
creeds in contradiction, touching the Trinity, original sin, and the Lord's 
Supper,' thus ends a lengthened proof which he conducts in support of the 


title and aim of his book ; ' By far the greater number of minds are now 
free and open for genuine rational Christian truth. Against those who 
endeavour to bring back the darkness of the sixteenth century, we will 
labour with our might. There prevails a deep and widely-spread interest 
on behalf of religion. Let us not permit this favourable opportunity to 
pass away ; may the growth in Christ manifest its effects by the foundation 
of a universal Christian church, built on the scriptural acknowledgment of 
Jesus as the Christ.' With these words does the essay commence, 'Out of 
the numerous exhilarating proofs that our age is putting forth a great 
living power, and turns with warm interest to the most important of all 
things, a pure and deep Christianity, is the cry which has reached our ears 
from many sides, assailing established creeds, as, to a very great extent, 
contradictory to Scripture and reason ; and offering the hand of brotherly 
love for the formation of a viniversal Christian church on the recognition of 
the Holy Scriptures. Scarcely at any other time have men so often heard 
the words, ' One fold and one Shepherd.' It has been deeply felt and 
openly declared, that a greater union on Scriptural grounds cannot take 
place, until the wall of separation fovuid in established creeds is destroyed, 
which is not only too high and unyielding, but, to a great extent, has been 
built out of the rubbish of narrow minds.' In the words, ' One Fold and 
one Shepherd,' the writer refers to the title of a discourse published in 
Leipsic, during the last year, by Dr. Zedille, evening preacher in the 
University in that city, which putting forth the most liberal doctrines, 
found a welcome to an unexpected degree, and gave occasion to a warm 
and very important discussion. The sermon came, in a few months, to a 
fifth edition. 

Efforts are made for ascertaining and setting forth * Primitive Christi- 
anity,' that is, the doctrine of Jesus Christ as contradistinguished from the 
views formed of that doctrine, and the metaphysical theories advanced 
respecting his position in the universe, by churchmen of later and corrupt 
ages. Such is the avowed aim of Das Urchristenthum, von Dr. Edwin 
Bauer, 1845. Primitive Christianity; that is, the teachings of Christ in 
their original purity, Sfc. It is scarcely necessary to add, that the author 
does not find either the Trinity or the godhead of Jesus in these original 
doctrines. We here set down a few of his thoughts, for which, as well as 
for the general tone of his work, he confesses himself indebted to the 
learned and intelligent cvJirgelical lectures of the justly celebrated Dr. 


Winer; the nature of whose influence gives a decisive evidence that all 
dogmatical reforms must take their origin in, and derive their support from, 
correct and honestly applied principles of interpretation. Dr. Bauer 
opens his book by enumerating an important truth, vphich gives the key to 
the whole volume : ' Jesus Christ appeared in order to reveal God to man, 
and lead man to God ; scarcely, however, had he left the earth, when men 
placed his doctrine and his work in the back-ground, and his person in the 
fore-o-round. Things soon went so far, that even Jesus was forgotten, in 
the honour paid to the ' mother of God,' and the ' Saints,' and at last 
popes and priests, and all kinds of unchristian dogmas and usages, obtained 
prevalence under the name of Christianity.' 'What is the pure doctrine of 
Jesus ? It is contained in his utterances which the four Evangelists have 
preserved to us. To exhibit the doctrine of Jesus, according to the four 
Evangelists, is the aim of this book. The great reform which the Christ- 
ian church needs, is the restoration of that doctrine in his owti words. 
Our age manifests a determination to introduce into ordinary Christian life, 
the results gained by the advanced theology of the times, to remove the 
contradictions which subsist between the dogmas of the creeds and system- 
atic knowledge, as well as general convictions ; and to destroy the forms 
which hinder the free development of religious life. Laymen and Theolo- 
o-ians have extended to each other the hand for this noble undertaking, and 
hope all good from a renovation of the church.' pp. 9, 13. 

* From these passages (Matt. iv. 10 ; xxiii, 9 ; Mark, xii, 29, 30 ; John, 
xvii, 3,) it is manifest, 1st, that Jesus not only taught the unity of God, 
but, 2nd, makes the belief in one only God, the most excellent of alj 
commands; and, 3rd, that to this highest being, who alone is God, the 
greatest love is to be directed ; while, 4th, the acknowledgment and know- 
ledge of this the only true God, brings life eternal. Of a trinity as little is 
said, as of the adoration of another being, besides the only God. He 
who with all his heart, soul, and strength, loves the one God, cannot give 
his love to several divine essences. Jesus says nothing of divine honour 
for a God the Son, or of a third person.' pp. 128, 9. ' Jesus never gave 
utterance to the doctrines of a triune God, in whom three persons were 
united.' p. 2. 'Jesus requires of his followers three things: — the new 
birth ; faith, which comprises the knowledge of God ; and love to God, 
Christ, and the brethren,' p. 208. 'The faith which Jesus requires, is a 
child-like trust in the love of God, which redeems from evil, This love is 


displayed in Christ, and must by us be made manifested in lowly obedience 
towards him. In its commencement, faith consists in going to Christ, but 
in time becomes the constant imitation of him.' p. 211. 'Jesus deduces 
his whole existence, also his deeds and his works, from God. Hence his 
miracles cannot be brought into doubt. Belief in them, however, is in no 
way a preliminary essential to a conviction of the divinity of Christ's 
doctrine, but a necessary consequence of such a conviction.' p. 64. The 
world having departed from God, lay in darkness, when Jesus was sent, 
whose mission and aim was to redeem the world, and in pursuance of the 
commands of his Father, to promise and ensure to believers eternal life.' 
p. 182. We have taken the more pains to put together these statements 
because, in substance, they may be considered as a specimen of the views 
entertained by a large and influential class of moderate theologians, 
who have been led to see how empty, unsatisfactory, and insufficient, was 
the old extreme Rationalism ; which in stripping Christianity of the 
miraculous, robbed it of its divinity, and converted the doctrine of life 
into an ill digested and inconsistent mass of dead morals. The reader who 
is acquainted with the writings and teachings of Unitarian divines, will find 
in these passages, evidence that there is in something more than the denial 
of the trinity, an agreement between the latter and no inconsiderable 
portion of German Theologians ; and this evidence would become more 
full and more convincing, should he be led to peruse the volume whence 
the extracts are taken, especially if from this he pass on to the careful study 
of a theological and religious literature, whose riches are almost boundless, 
whose value is of the highest kind, and whose work is before it, in the 
renovation of the creeds and the re-invigoration of the life of Christendom. 
A testimony to the spread of Anti-trinitarian views, no less decided than 
important, is borne by the fact, that in a national work, (Lexicon der 
Gegenwart, a continuation of the famous Real-Encyklopadie, or Conver- 
sations-Lexikon, eighth edition,) a writer under the head Symholstrcit 
der Gegenioart, (p. 1372, seq,,) after narrating several leading events, 
which show to what an extent the present generation has departed from 
the established creeds, and after speaking in terms of disapprobation of the 
eiforts made ' since the restoration of the Pope and the Jesuits,' and under 
the auspices of Professor Hengstenberg of Berlin, for the curtailment of 
religious liberty, and the revival of the obsolete forms of orthodoxy, under- 
takes to meet the arguments adduced for these purposes ; — and having stated 


that the orthodox allege the necessity there is that the Christian Church, 
as a religious community, should rest on some ground of positive belief, 
proceeds to use these words : — ' This is true, but it does not justify attempts 
to enforce the old forms of confession. For in the first place, that which 
should form the foundation of a religious community, must be something 
simple, not a number of dogmatic propositions, such as the Symbolic Books 
contain ; still less can these propositions form the foundation and unity of 
the Church, which must consist of a single postion. Such a one exists 
in a double relation, in so far as our Church is a Christian, and next to 
this, an evangelical Church. To the Christianity of the Church nothing, 
according to the declaration of Jesus himself (John xvii, 3.) is necessary, 
except the belief in the one only true God, and in Jesus Christ, as sent by 
him to men. If one take also the obligation to form himself into a new 
moral man by the help of God's spirit, then he comprehends all that Jesus 
himself has declared requisite for salvation. This, and no more than this, 
did Jesus express in his command to baptise in the name of the Father, the 
Son, and the Holy Spirit; that is, that the disciple should openly ac- 
knowledge the one true God, Christ as his messenger, and obligation to 
allow himself to be cleansed and ruled by the Spirit of God. Therefore, 
Paul also (Acts xx, 21,) gives as the aim of his ministry to the Jews and 
Gentiles, their conversion to the one trvie God, and to Christ as his 
messenger. Nor did the Apostles demand more than this faith from those 
whom they received into the Christian community. Whosoever holds fast 
these two points of belief, him must we now also acknowledge to be 
Christian, nor must we deny him salvation, according to John xvii, 3, even if 
he cannot believe the tri-pei'sonality of God, the fall of Adam and its conse- 
quences, original sin, and other dogmas. The unity of our Church as a 
Christian Church is, therefore, given through this simple ground of belief. 
But its unity as an evangelical Church, as distinct from the Roman and 
Greek Churches, can also rest only on a simple ground, and this is the 
doctrine expressed in the celebrated Protestation of Speier (1529,) that the 
Holy Scriptures are the only ride of faith and life, and that these are to 
be interpreted not according to tradition, that is, the authority of the earlier 
teachers of the Church, but out of themselves, that is, out of their usages 
of language and logical connections, and, also, according to the science of 
interpretation. The last determination respecting the explanation of the 
Scriptures, separates our Church fundamentally, and for ever, from tlio 


Greek and Roman, while it disavows the use of articles of faith as obliga- 
tory standards of doctrines, through which would be given a permanent 
Jegal sanction to the explanations of the Scriptures made by the Reformers, 
and a Protestant tradition be created. It was certainly very improper, in 
order to obviate a possible difference in the mode of expounding the 
Scriptures, to set up the explanation of them which Luther and Calvin 
avowed, and, through it, to make a religious test into a law for all times, 
and thereby to prevent all further inquiry into the Scriptures, or, at least, 
to make it useless to the church. Who would deny all use of a thing in 
order to prevent its abuse ? Surely they have converted the office of an 
evangelical teacher, from being a service to the word of God, into a service 
to the word of the Confessions of faith. The Protestant principle of the 
authority of the Scriptures is lost and taken away, as soon as any one 
interpretation of Scripture is made into a fixed doctrinal rule. The New 
Testament must remain free from the importation of all pre-formed opinions, 
and be left to the investigation of theological science, that is, a thorough 
inquiry into the meaning of its words and teachings. Hence may arise many 
interpretations ; and this is no misfortvme. This has always been the case ; 
and these, like all scientific differences, disappear of themselves, if time is 
given, and no interference is attempted ; while the experience of four 
centuries attests, that the constraints of creed books have been able to 
prevent neither the origin nor the spread of differing theological views, 
whether in the Romish, or Protestant Church, but that they have only 
proved legal occasions for tyranny over conscience, for persecutions, and 
for divisions in the Church.' 

These are words which have a far higher value than that which we find in the 
record they give of the spread of Anti-trinitarianism. They are able words, 
they express the essence of religious liberty in its fulness. They contain 
the germ of genuine faith ; which must spontaneously arise in each individual 
mind, as the result of free, unbiassed, unshackled, and unbribed enquiry. 

Indeed, scarcely a month passes that does not bring some person of note, 
some marked testimony to the side of simple Biblical and Anti-trinitarian 
Christianity. We have already mentioned Uhlich ; we will now give an 
extract, from a confession by one who maybe termed a convert of Uhlich's, 
just published in the preface to a work, entitled, Behenntnissc eines Freig- 
ewardenes, &c. ' Confessions of one who has become free, by B. M. Giese, 
minister at Arensnesta near Herzberg. The Rev. author, after reporting 


how the effect of his college studies had been to create in his mind doubts 
of the truth of what are called orthodox doctrines, and how, (after the 
manner urged on the late Dr. Arnold,) he had endeavoured to suppress 
these doubts, and struggled to perform his pastoral 'duties with ease of 
mind, makes the following interesting and important statements : — 

* And now let me consider my inmost feelings. How did the consequences 
of these efforts of faith display themselves 'in my religious life ? I will 
confess that those ' vbices of fettered reason', of which Uhlich speaks in his 
Confessions (p. 40. Ed. 2.), followed and troubled me not only in my intel- 
lectual labours, in preaching, catechising, in the reading of the liturgy, in 
baptising, and in administering the Lord's supper ; they penetrated also 
into my prayers, which I often directed with upright heart to the Triune 
God, or specially to the crucified Saviour ; they did not leave me at peace 
even in the inmost emotions of my heart, in my secret intercourse with 
God, and their warnings became, from year to year, from day to day, louder, 
more earnest, more irresistible. God knows how often I have prayed to the 
Saviour with the most fervent energy, and the greatest comprehension of 
my inmost soul ; but ever near and between these loud expressions of feel- 
ing sounded the still small voice ' Thou art a worshipper of idols ; thou 
becomest no better for this prayer ; thou shalt pray to the Lord thy God, 
and him alone shalt thou serve ; as Jesvis himself says, on whom, in erring 
fashion thou callest.' I asked God the Father, that for his Son's sake, 
he would open my understanding as to the relation of the three divine per- 
sons to one another. I asked the Lord Jesus, that he would reveal to me 
the secret of his humanity, and at least afford me some clear perception of 
his being, the power of his bloody sufferings and death ; but it was to such 
as these, I mean theological and dogmatic prayers, that heaven was most 
firmly closed, and I received no answer to my request. It was as if I 
prayed to an idol when 1 prayed to God as one of the persons in the Trinity. 
In the hesitation of my perplexity, I often addressed in one prayer the 
Father, then the Son, and finally the Holy Ghost ; often, in anxiety not to 
forget or offend any of the three persons, I prayed to the Triune God 
all at once ; and it was then that the protest of 'reason made itself most 
painfully and distinctly heard. But I hear my ancient companions in the 
faith say, ' give honour to truth, and tell us, hast thou never traced the 
nearness of God in thy upright and heartfelt prayers ? has he never signified 
the truth of his existence to thee in sweet peace and holy strength V Yes, 


my dear friends, I He not when I say, that in my moral prayers, in my 
prayers for strength in that which is good, for consolation in suffering, for 
confidence in an uncertain future, I have often found, if not continuous 
and complete, yet, at least, partial hearing and satisfaction ; even when I, 
in erring manner, directed my prayer to Jesus alone, or to the Triune God. 
Then the Divine Being, in spite of my error, did approach me, just as the 
Almighty eternal God approached also the noble Greeks, and made him- 
self manifest to their souls, when in the simplicity of their hearts, they called 
upon Zeus, or Apollo, or Pallas ; yea, even as he pities the poor negro, 
who in uprightness of conscience kneels before his Fetish, to complain of 
his sufferings and to state his desires. But, as I have already said, to my 
Theological Prayers, to my prayers for enlightenment and understanding, 
God gave no answer. Especially did this fearful encitement of feeling, 
which in spite of the protestations of reason ever grew stronger, work in 
my prayers and other spiritual offices, and afterwards in my spiritual and 
moral state of mind. In the old system I had speculated, I had fancied, 
and had been zealous, I had preached, I had wept, and had prayed, and 
yet never lived ; I wished to become better by means of the old form of 
faith; I did not become better. An unhappy contest in my inmost consci- 
ousness, a frightful, speculative, active doubleness of feeling, nearly brought 
me to complete spiritual bankruptcy. Now, I know well that the orthodox 
would say, 'Yes, poor, erring brother, the voices of which you speak are 
the assaults of Satan, which you ought to overcome by prayer.' Oh, my 
good friends, in that case I should indeed be utterly ruined. Besides, 
supposing that these voices are the suggestions of Satan, during the whole 
period of nearly ten years he must have busied himself with me alone, and 
spared all the world besides from his torments : for these voices never 
left me, and at last increased hourly and daily, in force and imj^rcssiveness. 
No ! I say to the pious friends who grieve over me, these voices were the 
voices of a good spirit, and of no bad one ; for they it was which led me to 
pray to God in spirit and in truth ; they it was which exhorted me to a 
free and a moral striving for truth and candour ; they it was which placed 
visibly before my sight all my wandering, if I returned not and became a 
free man. 

'When this unhealthy dissension, this sense of wiUingness, and yet weak- 
ness of duty, and want of will, was at its highest, I met with the con- 
fessions of Uhlich, which, in their lovely earnestness and self-denying 


peacefulness, made an indescribably beneficent and pacifying, a softly but 
surely conquering impression on my soul. Wislicenus came* with his 
impressive energy, with his truly German, but also divine, eager, and 
fine truthfulness. Then began light to dawn upon me, and every day it 
became brighter, fresher, and more living within me ; the thorough, and 
self-denying study of the Scriptures followed ; the voice of God at last 
called to me with fearfully thundering power, ' Free thou must be, or else 
thou sinkest,' and behold, as with a death-spring I plunged into orthodoxy, 
so with a spring of life I saved myself in the land of spiritual freedom, in 
the land of Christian Rationalism. Oh, what peace I now have ! What 
a thankful and joyful feeling of true life and of true serenity now fills me ! 
Now shall I become simple, and firm, and good, as God is, and will be ; 
now shall I learn to pray the truth, to live the truth, to work the truth, and 
to suffer the truth. I seem to myself as a child, that after it has been held 
too long in swaddling clothes, now at last learns to go alone, and with 
laughing shyness makes its first step on God's free and beautiful earth ; I 
seem to myself as one just recovered from a grievous sickness, who for 
the first time has been led out by the hand of a friend, into the fresh and 
clear air of heaven, and with weak voice thanks God from his heart for 
restored health ; I seem to myself, finally, like one, who, by a perilous 
opei-ation has been saved from the danger of total blindness, and who with 
joyful timidity has now accustomed himself to look into the fvill sweet sun- 
light, which he has so long desired to behold.' 

In regard to Anti-trinitarianism in HOLLAND, we omit giving a sepa- 
rate essay, because we should, in the main, have to repeat evidences, the 
same in substance with that which has been here set forth ; for wherever the 
influence of German theology has made itself strongly felt, the constant 
and almost immediate effect has been the overthrow of the orthodoxy of the 
sixteenth century ; and no country has shared more largely in the advan- 
tages conferred by the new learning of Germany than its neighbour, Hol- 
land. There indeed every successive phase of that learning has been caught 
and reflected. Accordingly, the decline of extreme negations, and the 
revival, with renewed life and increased ardour, of an attachment to an his- 
torical Christianity, including miracle as an important element, by which 
the German church is now distinguished, has extended its benign effects to 
the sister institution of Holland. 

* Sec his pamphlet, entitled, Ob Schrijt ! Ob Gcisl? which lias made a very great 
impression. — Ours is the fourth edition. 



The French Protestant Church is divided into two great divisions — the 
exclusive ; the Uberal, The first place the essence of religion in conformity 
to a certain form of opinions ; the second find it in the conformity of the 
life to the model given in the Saviour of the world. Hence, the first 
cleave to the old forms of orthodoxy, and strive to reproduce the opinions 
of the sixteenth century ; while the second, holding fast to the historical 
and miraculous elements which appear in the New Testament, take Jesus 
Christ as their only Teacher and Lord, endeavour to learn rather of Him 
than of Augustin or Luther ; and having renounced as unscriptural and 
unsatisfactory, the creeds of former days, seek an expression of Christian 
truth that shall be conformable to the mind of Christ, which they regard 
as a transcript of the divine mind. The first party are denominated 
' exclusive,' because they exclude from the pale of Christianity, and from 
sympathy and co-operation with themselves, all who do not hold their 
theological opinions ; the second party are termed ' liberal,' because, 
maintaining the right of every one to think for himself, and form his own 
creed, and placing the essence of Christianity in faith working by love, 
they acknowledge true disciples of Christ in every consistent professor of 
his name, welcome into union with themselves all who love the Lord Jesus 
Christ, in that large sense in which Paul termed him ' both their Lord and 
ours,' (1 Cor. i, 2,) and hold that the great duty of Christians in the present 
day, is to understand and to promote that love of God, Christ, and man, 
which is the fulfilling of the law, and the aim and tendency of the Gospel. 
The exclusiveness rests on a dogmatical, the liberalism on a spiritual basis. 
The one seeks unity of opinion, the other unity of heart. The one looks 
to the past, and finds a finished system ; the other looks to the future, and 
finds a prospect of perpetual progress. Both, indeed, regard the past, and 
both regard the future ; but the first regards the future as something that is 
to be enslaved to the past ; the second, as something which the past is to 
evolve. The first aims to perpetuate and reproduce the past, as that apart 
from which the present is without good, and the future without promise ; 
the second esteems but does not idolize the past, viewing it as the seed 


which must die in order to give birth to a new plant, and produce fruit a 
hundred fold (John xii, 24). 

These two parties differ in minor circumstances. The liberal is the 
national and the predominant party. The exclusives have derived, to a 
oreat extent, their origin, and, to a yet greater extent, their resources and 
support, from English sympathy, zeal, and gold. Those give countenance 
to none but regularly educated ministers, and are served by a clergy 
consisting of useful,- devoted, and, in many cases, highly eloquent and 
accomplished men. These, while not neglecting the aids which education 
furnishes, are, in their proselyting eagerness, ready to welcome into the 
vineyard every one who is willing to labour, without being scrupulous as to 
his secular qualifications. The former are, and wish to be, a state-endowed 
clergy ; the latter seek to sunder the slender bonds by which the Protestant 
Church is connected with the Catholic state. Equally great is the difier- 
ence between the two in the more important question, who is the Christian's 
God, and whom men ought to worship ? (John iv, 23.) An exckisive spirit 
is the index, as it is the consequence, of an absolute creed ; the exclusives, 
therefore, are trinitarians, while those who are liberal in spirit, though they 
may differ one from another in minor points, and hold dissimilar views 
touchino- the person of Christ, are in the broad sense of the term Unitarians. 
The French Protestant Church, in regard to its outward relations, 
consists of two divisions, the Reformed Church and the Lutheran Church ; 
a distinction that is founded in historical considerations, which have now 
nearly lost their importance. Of these two, comprising about two millions 
of souls, the Reformed is by far the larger, having 485 ministers, while the 
Lutheran division has 244. How many have renounced the Trinity, we 
have not the means to determine with exactness. Facts, however, within 
our knowledge, give us reason to think that not more than two hundred of 
these clergymen still hold the doctrine in any form. 

What views in regard to religion are entertained by the most cultivated 
and liberal, as well as the larger portion of the French Protestants, may be 
learnt from an Essay, ' V orthodoxie Moderne par Atlianase Coquerel, 
un des Pasteurs de V Eglise Reformee de Paris. 1842,' — which may be 
considered as a sort of formal and authentic exposition of faith. Those 
who wish to enter more fully into the subject, may consult ' Sermons' by 
Mons. Coquerel, in three volumes; his admirable Biographie Sacree second 
edition ; licponse au livre dc docltur Strauas, La vie de Jesus ; of the 


greater part of which a translation may be found in ' The Voices of the 
Church, in reply to Strauss,' by the Rev. Dr. Beard and others ; where there 
is also a biographical notice of Mons. Coquerel. See also, Considerations 
sur les Secies Chritiennes, par J. de Gelieu , Nimes, 1844 ; Foi et Tolerance, 
par M. G. de Clausomie ; Deuxieme ediiioti, Nimes, 1844; andDe V Unite 
Religieuse dans VEglise Reformee de France, par T. Fontanes ; Deuxieme 
Edition; Nimes, 1844. 

The views of the Anti-trinitarian majority of the Protestant Church 
in France, will appear sufficiently for our purpose, by the following 
passages translated from Mr. Coquerel's work, just mentioned, which he 
designates Modern Orthodoxy ; the abstract propriety of which title seems 
to us questionable : — 

' The Christian religion, according to the principles of modern orthodoxy, 
may, for its doctrine, be svxmmed up in the following points : 

We believe that the Holy Bible, the only inspired book, contains a direct 
and positive revelation from the Spirit of God, a revelation which is suffici- 
ent for each and for all ; but that this inspiration is not in the words, and, 
consequently, any wholly literal interpretation of the Bible always runs the 
risk of putting it in contradiction with reason, conscience, history, and, 
above all, with itself. 

On this basis rises the edifice of our faith. 

We believe in the miracles of the Old and of the New Testament, after 
having previously examined, according to the rules of sound criticism, if 
such or such a fact should be ranged in this class. 

We believe in the prophecies, without admitting that the Old Testament 
is a long oracle, and a perpetual type of the New. 

We believe that man is incapable of justifying himself before God, and of 
meriting salvation. 

We believe in the insufficiency, the imperfection of his efforts, not in his 
radical and absolute inability for the inquiry after truth, the love of God, 
and the practice of goodness. 

We believe in the necessity of the aid of grace, while repelling every 
doctrine which would directly or indirectly lead to a negation of, or an 
alteration in the moral liberty of man. 

We believe that the salvation of man — that is to say, his conversion and 
sanctification, his reconciliation with God and his eternal happiness — is a 
work in which man must necessarily take his share, appropriating to 
himself, by faith and obedience, the assistance of grace. 


We believe that this work has the mercy of God for its source, and for 
its means the whole of Christ's divine mission — that is to say, his word, his 
life, his sacrifice, his voluntary death, and his glorious resurrection. 

We believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ, as the only Son of God, and 
only mediator between God and men, whilst rejecting the Athanasian 
notion of the Trinity, and admitting on this doctrine, that faith should stop 
at the limit placed by our Lord himself, when he said, * No man knoweth 
the Son but the Father.' (Mat. xi, 27.) 

In short, as far as the Church is concerned, we declare ourselves averse 
to obligatory confessions of faith, being convinced of the impossibility of 
framing any such confession as will not violate some man's conscience, and 
which, consequently, will not lead to divisions ; convinced, also, that all the 
unity necessary to the Church was founded by our Lord in the Gospels ; 
that it does not belong to us to replace that imity by one of a factitious 
nature, made by the hand of man, and that the duty of the true Christian 
is to pray and worship with ' all those who call on the Lord out of a pure 
heart.' (2 Tim. ii, 22.) 

The discussions on the Trinitarian dogma are, perhaps, those which 
have most troubled the Church, and, undoubtedly, they are those which 
have produced the least fruit. Very simple reasons may be given for the 
bitterness and barrenness of these disputes ; the vivacity of theological 
quarrels is always in proportion to the obscurity which surrounds their 
subject, to the vagueness of words, the emptiness of ideas : — and the barren- 
ness of the controversy may generally be measured by the distance which 
separates the contested points from the practical laws and doctrines of 
Christianity. The notion of a Trinity is nothing more than a desperate 
attempt to attain some knowledge of God's nature, to sound his mind, to 
see the Invisible, and to bring down the infinite to the limited comprehension 
of a finite being. The expressions, then, which have resounded through 
the lists of this controversy, could only be hollow, empty, confused in an 
astonishing degree, and the animosity of the discussions increased in the 
same proportion as the difficulty of being understood augmented ; we know 
that battles in the dark are ever the bitterest and bloodiest. Besides, what 
the faith lost in these dim and interminable quarrels, was by no means 
compensated for by fruits of charity and of sanctification. All the questions 
regarding the Trinity, belonging to the speculative portion of religion, to 
mere opinion, the love of God and of our neighbour has nothing to do with 


it ; we are convinced that the Trinitarian symbol of Athanasius has not 
raised in the entire Church one single feeling of repentance, of resignation, 
or of love. 

Accordingly, disputes on this doctrine are hushed; anathemas become 
rarer ; our adversaries do not agree with us, but they are silent ; and this is 
a good way of finishing such dark and barren discussions ; silence resembles 
peace, and at a little distance the one may be taken for the other. Who in 
our days carries this doctrine into the pulpit? How many pastors intro- 
duce it in their religious teachings ? What theologian, with any authority, 
now admits the strength of the old arguments which they formerly delighted 
to produce, and finds this dogma in the plural forms of the verb in Genesis, 
* Let us make man in our imaye' 1 (Gen. i, 23).) The word Trinity not 
existing in the Bible, and being merely a word of human invention, we 
have an excellent reason for ceasing to use it, and, above all, to avoid its 
introduction in our sermons, our popular books, works for elementary 
teaching, and the education of youth ; and, then, the idea will insensibly 
pass away with the word ; the time will come when the Church will be 
profoundly astonished that man ever dared, with such temerity, to lift the 
veil from the Holy of Holies, and to look with so bold an eye into the 
depth of the ark where God conceals his majesty. 

To many faithful souls the idea is already gone, without their being at 
all aware of it ; to many the word only remains ; they think they believe in 
the Trinity, but they do not so believe ; it is the dogma which least of all 
occupies their pious meditations. They have made to tliemselves, slowly 
and by an insensible progress of their faith, by a tacit acquiescence of their 
reason — they have, on the doctrine of the Trinity, made to themselves a 
system wholly different from the old system bearing this name ; different 
from the system admitted by the old orthodoxy. 

On all this we have tried a test, and we recommend our friends to prove 
its strength. Interrogate Trinitarians; ask of them an account of their 
faith, and let them give it you in their own words ; the conference will 
scarcely have begun, when you will find that the Trinitarian is Anti-trini- 
tarian in the development of his thought : at the second, at the third phrase 
he uses, you will see the dawning heresy under this ingenuous faith which 
imagines itself orthodox, and the conversation will soon lead your interlocu- 
tor to tell you, that God manifests himself as the Father in the creation, as 
the Son in the redemption, as the Holy Ghost in the work of our sanctifi- 


cation, and that the Trinity is then but one Gocl, who creates, and saves 
and sanctifies. In this sense we are all Trinitarians. It only remains to 
say, that in the history of the dogma, this is called Sabellianism, and that 
these opinions are manifestly opposed to ancient orthodoxy, to the Confes- 
sion of faith at Rochelle, to the theology of the day succeeding that of the 
Reformation. Formerly, the Sabellians were condemned and executed by 
the Trinitarians ; now, Trinitarians are almost all become Sabellians. 

These secret softenings, these silent attenuations, which the lapse of time, 
and the progress of letters bring to the dogmatism of by-gone ages, extend 
so far, that many have no idea of a Trinity as it was formerly understood, and 
they are astonished when we affirm that this tenet was only a trial of the 
human mind to understand God, to define the Infinite Being, to pierce 
through the mysteries of his nature, and to express in human language 
what he is, and how he acts and manifests himself. Therefore have we 
determined, in the exposition of owv creed, to protest against the symbol 
which bears the name of Athanasius, so different from that which bears 
the name of the Apostles. We never read it without an internal shudder- 
ing ; — it appears to us the most deplorable proof that the human mind has 
given of its pride and temerity. It is true, as a consolation, however, that this 
persuades us yet more strongly of this fundamental truth, that God alone 
understands God. We must remember that this symbol Is the only 
orthodox trinity. Yet on reading these powerless definitions of that which 
cannot be defined, an humble piety is troubled, astonished, and seems to 
hear those far-off rollings of the thunder, which interrupted the conference 
of Job and his friends, and which accompanied the last words of the pre- 
sumptuous Elihu. See you not the clouds hurrying together, the darkness 
increasing ? the voice of the thunder comes to impose silence to the profane 
voices of men, and we may almost hear God himself, saying to Job in 
the midst of the storm : ' JVho is this that darkeneth counsel by words with- 
out knowledge?' (Job xxxviii, 2.) 

These excesses of ancient dogmatism, and the frequently tacit modi- 
fications which time has introduced into it, have led, in the develope- 
ment of the Christian faith, and in the march of religious studies, to 
another remarkable result, which will be denied by none, to what- 
ever sect they belong, whose attention has been carried to the awaken- 
ing of religious enquiry in later times, and to the various shades of faith 
which are professed. This result is, that the discussions of the present 


time, whether held by believers amongst themselves, or by believers when 
opposed to Rationalists, and to Sceptics, bear far less on the Trinity itself 
than on the divinity of the Saviour. . . . One of the proofs that the 
Trinity is little believed is, that it is slightly defended ; the arms which 
were formerly used in its defence, are allowed to become blunt and rusty; 
in return, the proof that the Saviour's divinity is believed is this, that 
modern efforts for the exposition of Christianity bear most strongly on this 
point. We, in our turn, advance to lay our feeble hand to hold up the ark — 
not like Uzzah, under the idea that it will fall ; but our effort shall be 
double, for we desire at the same time to defend this truth of Christianity, 
against the pretended philosophic incredulity which rejects it, and against 
the pretended orthodox mysticism which disfigures it : we wish to bring 
back this sacred doctrine to the transparent simplicity of the Gospel, so 
different from the darkness of the Athanasian creed. It seems to us, though 
the assertion may appear a rash one, that there is yet something new to be 
said against the temerity of incredulity, and against the rashness of theology ; 
and since the remembrance of Uzzah has recurred to our thoughts, we pray 
God to keep us in our efforts throughout this work, from ever forgetting 
that we must contemplate the ark of the Lord from afar, follow it adoringly, 
and never look within it. 

The question of our Saviour's divinity has almost always been badly 
stated. It has been, and it still is, taken from a side where, in our opinion, 
it is rash, and even impossible properly to take it, and thus a double fault 
has been committed, into which the Church in all ages, and sects under 
every form, have fallen. 

Firstly, Endeavours have been made to establish this doctrine by rea- 
soning. Yet it is clearly a question, not of reasoning, but of faith ; in other 
words, it is a truth which cannot be proved by ingenious argumentation, 
because it is without the circle of reason ; it can only repose on the testimony 
of inspiration ; that is to say, on the declaration of the word of God, and 
the only task of reason, as also its only effort, should be to fix the sense of 
those passages which seem to contain these declarations. 

For example, it is said ; an injury done to an infinite being cannot be 
blotted out but by an expiation of infinite worth. It is said, that if Jesus 
Christ be not of one essence with the Father, Mahometanism is better than 
Christianity. It is said, that if Jesus Christ be not the same being as God, 
the Christian religion cannot be distinguished from magic. It is said, that 


if JesHS Christ be not the true God, he cannot be the Judge of the livin" 
and the dead. All these subtleties have no weight ; they turn in vicious 
circles, and take things for granted which are not really so. This is logic, 
and logic reaches not the question ; logic has nothing to do with heaven ; 
logic cannot place itself between God and Christ. There is but one valid 
argument in favour of the Saviour's divinity, it is that which commences 
with, ' It is vyritten,' and which is only employed to recognise the sense of 
the Scriptures. 

Secondly, one is led astray in these discussions, from so often preferring 
the study of Christ's relation to God, to that of Christ's relation to ourselves. 
Yet this last alone concerns us. \Vhat the Saviour is in relation to God 
only regards God and himself; what he is in relation to ourselves, regards 
and interests us in the highest degree ; for our salvation, our pardon, our 
eternity depend upon it. This distinction is, in our eyes, of supreme 
importance, and its justice will become evident, if we seriously weigh the 
following considerations : — 

The titles of ' Son of God,' and' Saviour of the world,' are distinct in Jesus ; 
the one exists without the other ; and without the fall, without sin, without 
death, such as sin caused it to be, Jesus would not have had to take 
upon himself the title of Saviour ; he would never have had occasion to invest 
himself with it ; he would never have accomplished the redemption of man- 
kind. On the contrary, the title of the Son of God belongs to him inde- 
pendently of the Redemption ; only instead of descending on this earth to 
save sinners, he would have continued to enjoy the glory which he had with 
the Father before the world was. (John xvii, 5.) In a word, reduce 
Revelation in idea to these two first lines of St. John, ' In the heyinnivg 
was the Word, and the Word was ivith God, and the Word was God :' this 
disclosure remains, whether it is or is not followed by the gospel, and whe- 
ther the Word ' made fiesh' (John i. 14.), that is to say, become man, has 
or has not consented to descend in order to enlighten, to convert, and 
to save humanity. 

Our relation then with Jesus Christ rests on his redemption, and not on 
his divinity ; it is the Saviour, more than the Son, that we all desire to 
recognize in him. 

If it be urged, in affirming that he could not become the one without 
being the other, that his redemption was not possible but on condition of 
Ijis divinity ; that to give up his divinity, is to take from him that omnipo- 


tence of mercy whicli is necessary for salvation ; tliis is merely a return to 
logic, endeavouring to prove faith by reasoning. It is taking a place in the 
councils of God ; it is telling Him that there was but one way of salvation 
open, but one Redemption possible. This is judging of that which we 
cannot know ; it is counting one by one, and weighing alternately, the 
secrets of the Infinite. 

Let us, in a word, sum up all which we have said : — We should not 
recognize Jesus Christ as the Son of God, if we did not recognize him as 
our Saviour. 

Attentively meditated, the New Testament, throughout, supports these 
principles, and confirms the distinction of these two orders of ideas. 

All that the New Testament says of Jesus, considered as the Messiah, 
Saviour, Redeemer, Mediator, our Intercessor, our Advocate with the 
Father, the Head of the Church, the Conqueror of death, the Surety of 
immortality, the Judge of men, is simple, clear, easy, abundant ; faith 
cannot deceive itself in this; and why? — because our dearest interests are 
concerned in it ; for it regards the relation of Christ with ourselves. 

All that the New Testament contains regarding Jesus as the Son of God, 
is difficult to be understood ; mysterious, and not to be sounded ; why ? 
because it treats of God's relation to Christ, and on this no more is said than 
is necessary for the comprehension of those relations of charity and love 
into which he enters with men for their salvation. 

Thus, the mysteries concerning the Son, the mysteries which precede the 
promises of his coming into this world, and the accomplishment of this pro- 
mise by the Redemption, are found again quite as profound, when the 
Redemption is completely finished, and the Son has resumed his place in 
the bosom of his father. 

' The Word was in the beginning with God, and the Word was God.' 
This is before the Redemption ; and what believer will pretend to relate, 
and define, the intimate and ineffable union between God and his only Son, 
of which this solemn introduction of St. John gives an obscure idea? 

'When all things,' says St. Paul, ' shall be subdued unto him, then shall 
the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that 
God may be all in all.' (Corinthians xv, 28.) This is after the Redemption, 
in its final consummation, and who shall explain to us the nature of this 
final subjection of the Son to the Father ? 


But, what a briglit revelation lies between these two extreme points ! 
between these dark depths, what light ! Between these mysteries, how 
much instruction ! — the promise and the gospel, the manger, the cross, 
the tomb, the church, the resurrection, and the judgment. 

The question of the Saviour's divinity is easily approached, after these 
precautions have been taken, which are but the precautions of humility. 
As we have said, it is from revelation alone that faith can draw this 
conviction; and further, faith cannot hope to know the Saviour's divinity 
beyond that degree in which this knowledge is necessary to the comprehen- 
sion and the acquisition of his salvation. 

Henceforth, with confidence, we study the gospel, and we remember that 
at the epoch of the redemption, Israel attributed all which seemed divine 
to angels, confided in their prophets, and would place no hope save in a 
Jewish Messiah, a temporal Messiah ; we remember also, that the Gentiles 
confided in their sages and philosophers, and believed in a multitude of 
genii, imaginary beings, whom they represented as superior to the human 
race, more powerful than nature and death. The sacred writers receive the 
inspiration necessary to raise the notion that Christian faith should form of 
the Saviour, far above these reminiscences of Israel, and all the errors of 
the Gentiles. 

The Epistle to the Hebrews is wholly devoted to showing how superior 
Christ is to the Angels and Archangels, to all those divine ambassadors, to 
all those holy personages of the ancient alliance, patriarchs, kings, pontiffs, 
and prophets. 

The Gospel according to St. John, and numerous passages in St. Paul's 
Epistles, above all in that to the Corinthians, the Ephesians, and the Co- 
lossians, will serve clearly to separate the divine glory of the Saviour from 
all the reveries in which Oriental imaginations lose themselves. 

This point of view is so much sheltered from all dispute, that St. John 
and St. Paul borrow the most elevated expressions of the philosophers of 
this epoch, and turn them from their philosophical and pagan sense, to 
apply them in a divine sense to the Saviour. St. John does yet more ; for 
amongst the Evangelists, he is the one who lays down the most positive 
declarations respecting Christ himself, asserting the glory of his divine 

' No man hath ascended up to heaven,' (that is to say, no man knoweth 
heaven) ' but he that came down froni heaven, even the Son of man which 


is in lieaven.' (John iii. 13.) 'What, and if ye sJiall see the Son of man 
ascend up where he was before?' (John vi. 62.) 'I know whence I 
came, and whither I go ; I speak that which I have seen with my Father. 
Before Abraham was I am.' (John viii. 14, 38, 58.) ' I came forth from 
the Father, and am come into the world ; again, I leave the world and go 
to the Father.' (John xvi. 28.) ' Glorify me with the glory which I had 
with thee before the world was ; thou lovedst me before the foundation of 
the world.' (John xvii. 5, 24.) All these declarations of the Saviour have 
been preserved by St. John alone. 

In all these texts, as in all those of the Epistles, we never find the 
Saviour's divinity presented in an abstract, isolated, speculative manner ; 
it is always attached to the idea of the redemption, and it were a thing 
impossible for us to make'these texts accord with the idea that the Saviour 
is no more than man or angel. We believe, then, in his divinity, as St. John 
and St. Paul believed in it ; to our faith he is 'God manifest in the flesh' 
(1 Timothy iii. 16); 'the word made flesh' (Johni. 14) ; 'the only begotten 
of the Father' (John i. 18, 36) ; ' the image of the invisible God,' the represen- 
tative of God with man, as he is the representative of man with God, 
the first-born of all creatures (Colossians i. 15), the instrument and 
intermediary being in the creation (John i. 3; Ephesians iii. 9; Colos- 
sians i. 16). He is God for us, as he was on Mount Tabor before 
his astonished disciples, and in him alone dwells the fulness of the God- 
head (Colossians ii. 9). 

Such is ' modern orthodoxy ; ' it is even ready to say with St. John, 
' The W^ord was God', but it never forgets to add, with the same Evangelist, 
' The word was with God ; ' in other words, it never falls into the error of 
the ancient orthodoxy, which desired to introduce an untenable compli- 
cation of ideas into the simple notion of the supreme and infinite being ; 
which desired incessantly to confound Jehovah and Jesus ; which desired 
at its will to double and redouble the idea of the Divinity. According to 
our faith, there is union and not confusion ; according to our faith, Jehovah 
is ever the only Being, as Jesus Christ is ever the only Son, and leaving 
God in his place and Christ in his, we thus avoid the deplorable error of 
Catholicism, which has decreed to Mary the title of Mother of God, 
as if God could be born ; and which incessantly speaks of God dying for 
us ; as if God could die. This system completely abolishes the distinction 
which the Gospel, throughout, maintains between God and Christ; between 


the Beino- of beings, immutable in the depths of his infinity, and his only 
Son who "-oes forth from the bosom of his Father to be the image of God 
in our world. The texts on this subject are numerous ; two quotations 
suffice ; 'of that day, and that hour,' saith the Saviour, ' knoiveth no man, 
no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.' 
(Mark xiii. 32.) This is the distinct declaration of Jesus himself, as far as 
knowledge is concerned. ' The Son shall be subject to the Father, that God 
may be all in all.'' (1 Corinthians, xv. 28.) If any desire to believe 
more than this, they can hold to the Athanasian creed ; we keep to the 

Eut, it will perhaps be asked us, what do you gain in simplicity and 
clearness by this way of thinking on the Saviour's divinity ; your faith is 
quite as obscure as that of the Trinitarian, reduced by his creed to believe 
that God was crucified for his salvation. It would he easy for us to prove 
that we gain this extremely important point, — that wliile ancient orthodoxy 
has its contradictions, our faith has but its mysteries ; and this is an 
essential diiference. But there is still more to be said : we do not seek to 
gain anything ; we have simply opened the Gospel with respect, read it 
with prayer, meditated on it with attention ; and this is what we have found 
in it. As for diminishing the difficulties of faith, as for filling up the depths 
of Revelation, God forbid that we should think of equivocating in the 
teachings of the Bible, in order to lessen the grandeur of its sacred problems, 
and to bring down Christianity so that it may better please our worldly 
reason ! Far from desiring to facilitate faith, and to enter into a compro- 
mise with it, the beginning and the end of our doctrine on the person of 
the Saviour, is the word of precaution and humiliation which he himself 
uttered : ' No man knoweth the Son, but the Father !' We fully believe 
our divine master ; God alone knows in what manner Christ is God. As a 
Saviour, he is known to every believer ; as the eternal and only Son of the 
Heavenly Father, he is known only to his Father. O, the vanity of human 
nature ; the misery of the human heart ! We have quarrelled and excom- 
municated each other during eighteen centuries, because we could not agree 
in the manner of conceiving a thing which God alone knows ! ' 

The French Protestant Clergy are educated in three difterent Collegiate 
Institutions. Some are educated at Montauban. In this place the dog- 
matical spirit has gained the upper hand. The professors are for the most 
part Trinitarians, and their pupils receiving their views, prove, on entering 


the world, narrow and denunciatory. The liberal portion could not con- 
scientiously send their young men to be trained in modes of thought 
and feeling which are in direct hostility with their own. They there- 
fore turned their attention to Strasburg. This college possesses the 
confidence of the majority of the churches. It is both tolerant and learned. 
But for a long time the lectures were delivered exclusively in the German 
tongue, and though a few years since this language was exchanged for the 
French in the Collegiate duties, yet the town is essentially German, and, as 
such, not the most fitted for being the residence of young men who are to 
exercise their ministry in France. Hence Geneva has come to be the 
chief school for training the greater part of the young Protestant clergy of 
France. This ancient seat of Protestantism has peculiar recommendations. 
The predominent religious views are in agreement with those that pre- 
vail in the French churches. The spirit of Jesus Christ has superseded 
the spirit of Calvin, and a liberality, which recognizes the rights of others 
as equally valid with its own, prevails in the University and in the pulpit. 
That pulpit is also adorned by eloquence, affording desirable models to 
young ministers. And that University, while it is recommended by the 
presticje of antiquity, has opened its doors wide to the new light which the 
modern theology of Germany has poured forth within the last fifty years.. 
In consequence, there prevails in Geneva a spirit of free enquiry, a fresh 
earnest love of truth, a profound regard to the spirit and aims of the gospel, 
as accomplished in the life and death of the Saviour of the world, which arc 
eminently good and truly christian in themselves ; and find in France, both 
a great work to perform, and great encouragements for that work. Geneva 
also has funds, with which she can render aid to students in divinity whose 
private resources are small. To these considerations another may be added. 
Under the Empire, Geneva was a part of France ; and for a short time the 
sole school for the Protestant clergy. During the Restoration, candidates 
for the ministry studied there only, and were there set apart to their sacred 
office. Among the ministers who are now engaged in active duty, at least 
one fifth went through their collegiate coarse at Geneva. Fathers natu- 
rally send their sons to the school to which they are themselves deeply 
indebted and strongly attached. Hence Geneva is the main source whence 
the French Protestant pulpit is supplied : a fact which may suggest some 
reasons why the bulk of its ministers are Aiiti-trinitarians. 



Traiisjlvania is inhabited by several diiferent nations,* varying in their 
origin, language, laws and customs. These are the Szeklers (Siculi), Mag- 
yars, and Saxons ; of whom the Szeklers claim the most ancient origin. 
Tradition, as well as the older historians, proclaim them the descendants of 
the Huns, who overran Europe under Attila, and suppose them to have 
been settled along the Eastern frontier of Transylvania, since the fourth 
century. The Magyars came from Asia towards the close of the ninth 
century, and acquired a home for themselves by their arms. The Saxons 
were introduced into Transylvania from different parts of Germany, as well 
as from Flanders, during the twelfth century, in colonies ; for the sake of 
re-peojjling districts rendered waste by frequent wars. 

The Szeklers and Magyars are evidently related in their origin. They 
speak the same language (the Magyar), which, as far as is yet known, is 
spoken by no other people in the world. The Saxons in conversation 
among themselves, speak a peculiar and very ancient dialect of the German, 
but with strangers, in their literature and official writings, they use the pure 
form of that language. The Szeklers inhabit, with few exceptions, the 
Eastern part of Transylvania ; the Magyars chiefly the North and West ; 
and the Saxons the South. Almost all the Szeklers enjoy the privileges 
of gentility. Among the Magyar, the non-privileged or peasant class 
predominates ; while among the Saxons, with few exceptions, all enjoy the 
same rights. No landed property in the Saxon land, is or can be endowed 
with the priviliges of nobility. 

From the year 1002 till 1520, Transylvania formed a part of the kingdom 
of Hungary. In 1526, in the reign of Lewis II, King of Hungary, Sultan 
Suleyman I. invaded these kingdoms with an army of 200,000 men. 
Lewis had the rashness to meet him with an army of only 25,000. He 
was defeated at Mohacs on the 29th of August, and was himself killed in 

* The word nation is employed here as quite distinct from ' people.' The mass of the 
inhabitants of Transylvania areWallacks, of the Greek and United Greek Cliurch. Though 
the Wallack peasant enjoys equal riglits with any other, the Wallacks do not enjoy rights 
as a nation, nor are the gentry of the Greek Church eligible to offices of Government. 

.f. P. 


tlie engagement. He died without issue. After his death the Hungarians 
became disunited in their choice of a king. One party elected John Zapolya, 
tiie wealthiest noble in the country at that time, and already chief of the 
Szeklers and Magyars. He was the son of a former Palatine of Hungary, 
and brother to Barbara, wife to Sigismund I., King of Poland. The other 
party wished to bestow the croVvn on Ferdinand, a prince of Austria, a 
younger brother of the Emperor Charles V., and brother-in-law of the 
late king, Lewis II. Transylvania, and the adjoining parts of Hungary, 
acknowledged Zapolya for their king, while Ferdinand was proclaimed by 
the greater part of Hungary, Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia. Zapolya, 
too weak to maintain himself against Ferdinand, demanded aid of Suley- 
man, and he thus succeeded in retaining possession of those districts acknow- 
ledging his authority, till his deatli in July 1540. Though his only son, 
John Sigismund, by his young wife Isabella, daughter of Sigismund I., king 
of Poland, was but some days old at the time of his father's death, he was 
proclaimed king, and the Turkish aid again called in to support his feeble 
throne. It was thus Transylvania fell under the Turkish yoke ; for such, in 
fact, was the protection afforded for so many years to Transylvania, and for 
which an annual tribute was paid to the Porte. 

During the minority of John Zapolya II., his mother Isabella held the 
reins of government till her death in 1559. From that time till 1571, her 
son reigned in Transylvania and the adjoining part of Hungary ; and it was 
under his and his father's reign the Reformation was spread and took root 
ill Transylvania. It was among the Saxons the Reformation first began. 
In direct commercial communication with Germany they easily obtained 
the works of Luther, and his doctrines had already made considerable pro- 
gress in the time of Lewis II. Under John Zapolya I. the new doctrines 
made still further advances ; for tiiough neither of these monarchs can be 
said personally to have encouraged the Reformation, policy induced them 
to avoid a persecution, which would have driven their subjects into the 
arms of Austria, always open to receive them. Under these circumstances, 
the Lutheran schism spread with such rapidity through Transylvania, 
beginning with the Saxons and passing on to the Magyars and Szeklers, 
that in 1556 the Protestants so far outimmbered the Roman Catholics that, 
in a Diet held in that year, it was decided that all lands belonging to the 
Catholic Clergy and religious houses should be confiscated and employed 
for the necessities of the State. In another Diet in 1557, it was decreed 

298 liNlTARIANlsM 

that any one might follow the Catholic or Lutheran religion, as seemed to 
him best. These Acts were ratified by Isabella for her son. 

Isabella, whose mother was an Italian, and who was herself acquainted 
with that language, had in her service an Italian physician, George Bland- 
rata*. He arrived at the court of Isabella in 15 14, where he remained 
eight years. He had great influence, both over the queen and many of 
her people ; but, although himself a convert, he does not seem to have taken 
any active and open part in the propagation of the Reformation. This was 
principally effected by the labours of Francis David. 

Of this man, even his enemies allow that he possessed powers of mind 
of the highest order, strengthened by extensive erudition. He is said to 
have had the gift of expressing his opinions with the most captivating elo- 
quence ; and the skill to defend them by arguments innumerable. Such 
was Francis David, one of the first in the ranks of Transylvanian Reformers. 

For some time David was a follower of Luther, and was chosen as Super- 
intendant of the Magyar Lutherans, and minister of their church in Klau- 
senburo-. Here, as well as in Germany, the Lord's supper gave rise to long 
theolo^-ical dispvites. The Saxons adhered to the doctrines of Luther and 
Melancthon, while David and a large party of the Magyars followed those 
of Zwingle and Calvin. Solemn public discussions, in which the whole 
nation was invited to take part, were held on this subject, but the parties 
could never agree. In the midst of these discussions in 1563, Blandrata, 
who had been travelling in Italy, Switzerland and Poland, ever since his 
departure from Transylvania in 1551, now returned to the country as 
physician to the young king.-j- He soon gained his sovereign's esteem and 
confidence to so high a degree, that when a last general Synod was appointed 
to be held at Enyed in 1564, Blandrata was chosen by the king as his own 
representative and president of the Synod. The meeting took place, but, 
as on former occasions, without any nearer approach to uniformity of opinion 
between the disputants ; the government wisely determined to tolerate the 
new opinions; and an edict of 1564 grants permission to the Calvinists 
to worship according to their conscience, and appoints a separate superin- 

* Lelio Sozini und die Antitriiiitarier seiner Zeit. Heidelberg. 1844, p. 53. 

■)■ Disscrtatio historico-critica do duplici ingressu in Transylvaniam Georgii Bland- 
ratsp, 1800. Typis Conventus Csikicnsis. 

Lampe, Historia Ecclesiae Reformata; in Ilungaria ct Transylvania. Trajecti ad 
Rhenum 1728, p. 12;3, 124. 


tendant over them. The Saxon churches remained faithful to the doctrines 
of Luther ; the majority, the Szeklers and Magyars adopted those of Calvin. 
In the course of the following year, 1565, the principal article of Unitarian 
faith — the Unity of God both in essence and person — was openly propa- 
gated in Transylvania. 

Blandrata, who had been obliged to quit Switzerland on account of his 
opinions on that subject, and who saw how precarious was the future for 
Poland, now thought that Unitarianism might be propagated with success 
in Transylvania. The surest way of furthering this object, he thought, 
would be to seek the aid of the learned, much esteemed, and eloquent 
Francis David, and together carry out apian of more extended reformation. 
With this object he endeavoured to cultivate his friendship, and soon 
engaged him to share his undertaking.* Some ten years previous, in 1556, 
the Anti-trinitarian doctrine had gained some followers, particularly in those 
parts of Hungary owing allegiance to Transylvania, who were known under 
the name of Arians. Although each year had added new converts to the 
opinion, they were still few, and scarcely ventured on an open profession-j- 
of their faith. David himself, already convinced of the truth of these tenets, 
was but too glad to join Blandrata in his endeavours, and in the year 1565 
he, and some other clergymen, particularly Stephen Basilius, began to 
preach the great doctrines of Unitarianism from the pulpit of Klausenburg, 
then the second town of Transylvania.;}; At first, the new 02)inions were 
advanced with hesitation and reserve, but as the reformers proceeded they 
became more clear and open. They were immediately attacked by the 
other religions, and particularly by the followers of Calvin. Blandrata and 
David conducted their cause with much policy and prudence. 

Through the influence of Blandrata, David was appointed chaplain to the 
King, who was soon converted to Unitarianism, after having been, like his 
teachers, in turn Catholic, Lutheran, and Calvinist. The sovereign's 
example was followed by the chief men about the court, and in consequence 
of this high protection, every one was allowed to profess the new faith 
without hindrance. 

Tn 1566 a law was made, by which the open preaching of the gospel was 

* Lampe, Lib : p. 685. 

f De honiine Magno illo in rerum natura Miraculo et partibus ejuset sentialibus, Lib 
iii. Authore Petro Mon. Lascovio-Ungaro. Witeberga?, 1585, in Epistola dedicatoria. 

X Egy nehany kcrdesek a kercsztyeni igaz hitrol ^s avval elleiikczo tudomauyrol az 
Istennek egyhazaban. Basilius IstvantOl, Alba Juliac 1568, LSsd nz ajanlo levelet. 


enforced in every parish of the King's reahn. In 1568, this law received 
a most tolerant interpretation — that every preacher should be allowed to 
follow and teach such doctrines as his own convictions taught him to be 
true, without falling under the power of the superintendant, and that every 
parish should have the right of choosing its own ministers, independent of 
the heads of the Church, or the lords of the soil. John Sigismund, far 
from oftering any impediment to this spread of toleration, did all in his 
power to promote it. As a zealous Unitarian, he held several solemn 
meetings, as at Gyula Fejervar, in 15GS, and at Nagybarad (Grossbardein) 
in 15G9, where the doctrines were publicly debated against all opponents. 
lie founded a printing press at Fejervar. So favourable a season was not 
neglected by such indefatigable labourers as Blandrata and David ; and 
thanks chiefly to their industry and talents, aided by the countenance of the 
sovereign, in less than five years a majority of the Szeklers and jNIagyars 
had adopted the Unitarian faith. 

The cause of Unitarianism received a severe blow in the death of John 
Sigismund, which occurred in March 1571, in the 31st year of his life. His 
reign formed the most brilliant period in the history of Unitarianism in 
Transylvania. Fortunately a few months before his death, at the last Diet 
at which he presided, a permanent law was passed granting the fullest 
toleration for religious opinions, and acknowledging Unitarianism as one of 
the privileged religions of Transylvania and the adjoining parts of 
Hungary. "With the death of John Sigismund, the family of Zapolya 
became extinct, and his successor was to be elected by the states. Gas- 
par Bekes, a powerful Unitarian, had the fairest prospect of being chosen, 
but being at that time absent at the court of Maximilian II., as ambas- 
sador of John Sigismund, the vacant throne was already filled, before he 
could return home, by the Catholic Stephen Bathori, under the title of 
Prince of Transylvania. 

Prince Bathori confirmed in 1572 the rights and privileges of the 
Unitarians, but while he assured them in the tranquil exercise of their 
religion, he forbade efforts for its further propagation, and threatened 
with punishment such as should attempt it. Though by law the Unita- 
rians possessed equal rights with the followers of other religions, still they 
were often subjected to annoyance and persecution. The Prince would no 
longer allow them to print their religious books.* The Saxon Lutherans, 

* Index raiiorniii Bibliolhi:c3E Univcisitatis Kc^iac Budcnhis Paib II. Bud.T, p, 210, 


too, used every means within tlieir power to j-ji-event the spread of Unita- 
rianism in their districts, as well as of eradicating it where it had already 
taken root. In this they were aided and encouraged by the Prince.* Their 
task too was much facilitated by the death or expatriation of many of the 
more zealous Unitarians, shortly after the death of John Sigismund himself. 
Gaspar Bekes now became the chief supporter of the Unitarians, but laying- 
claim to the throne occupied by Bathori, he rose in rebellion against him 
in 1573, and so numerous were his followers, that an easy victory seemed 
promised to his arms, had not his fatal procrastinations given time to his 
enemies to collect a large army, by which he was eventually beaten, his 
estates confiscated, and he himself obliged to seek refuge in a foreign land. 
Dissensions, too, now broke out in the Unitarian body itself. After the 
death of John Sigismund, David had left Fejervar, and took up his residence 
at Klausenburg, as superintendant of the Unitarian Church of Transylvania, 
and officiating minister of the congregation of Klausenburg. Although in 
almost every law passed relating to the Unitarians they were bound to abide 
by the Profession of Faith made in the time of the late King, and their teachers 
were forbidden to propagate any novelty in doctrine, yet David was not 
a man to be boimd by such injunctions. Steadily following out his investiga- 
tions of religious truth, he arrived at and published the following conclusions : 
That as God alone is the Creator and preserver of all things, as he alone 
is the giver of all good things, spiritual and corporeal, to him alone can 
prayer be addressed ; for his aid only must we sue, and worship him as the 
one only true God ; and not the man Jesus Christ, nor the Holy Ghost, 
the Saints, nor any one else soever. -j- The maintenance of these opinions 
brought David into open enmity with his most intimate friend and fellow 
labourer, Blandrata, who held, that as Christ was the Son of God, and 
appointed mediator, he ought to be addressed in prayer and his aid 
invoked, though not in the same terms as those addressed to the Father. 
Blandrata had now become as great a favourite of the reigning Prince, 
Bathori, as he had been of his predecessor, Zapolya, and still retained his 
post of court physician. Bathori had bestowed on him whole villages, as 

* Gescluchte des Kronstiidter Gymnasiums ; Kronstadt 1845, p. 48. 50. 

•j- Tractatus Francisi Davidis ; Quod uinis solus Dens Israelis, pater Christi, et nullus 
alius invocandus sit; Defeiisio Francisci Davidis in negotio de noninvocando Jcsu Cluisto 
In precibus. Locus et tempus Editionis non sunt apposita. 


rewards for his services, which were by no means confined to his labours in 
the healing art. He had secured the gratitude of the Bathori family in 
1575, when sent to Poland to form a party in favour of Bathori's election 
to the vacant throne of that country, and it was owing to his physician's 
well-managed intrigues, that Bathori finally succeeded in his wishes. In 
1576 Stephen Bathori ascended the throne of Poland, and his brother, 
Christopher Bathori, was elected Prince of Transylvania in his stead. 
Blandrata remained in Transylvania as physician to the new prince, and it is 
scarcely astonishing that the renowned physician, the successful ambassador, 
the prudent counsellor, and wealthy landowner, should have obtained great 
power and influence as well over the Prince as over the country at large. 

Blandrata now became the open opponent of Francis David. Either 
from a conscious disbelief in the opinions, or from a fear that the spread of 
them might weaken the cause of Unitarianism itself, he left no means 
untried to move David to retrace his steps. In hopes that the arguments 
of a man like Faustus Socinus might have some effect on him, he had him 
brought from Switzerland, at his own expense, to Transylvania, in 1578, 
and lodged him in the same house with Francis David. Here these two 
champions long argued, both by word and writing, the subject matter in 
dispute, but apparently without moving either from their previous belief. 
David not only remained firm, but he never ceased the open declaration of 
his tenets, and the pulpit of Klausenburg thundered with the obnoxious 
doctrine that prayer to Christ was as unscriptural as prayer to the Virgin 
Mary or the Saints.* 

Blandrata despairing of the conversion of the bold Reformer, dcr 
nounced him to the Prince as one deserving of punishment, for his oppo- 
sition to the laws of the country against the propagation of new doctrines 
of religion. Christopher Bathori summoned a Diet to meet on the 1st of 
July, 1579, at Gyula Fejervar, where, in presence of the Prince, nobles, 
and clergy of Transylvania, David and his accusers should be heard, and the 
matter judged. Blandrata and his friends stood forward as the accusers. 
David, broken down in health, suffering under the Aveakness induced by a 
complaint of long standing — a chronic cholic — and now deprived of the 
use of his limbs, and almost of his tongue, by a recent attack of apoplexy, 
was obliged to defend himself by proxy. Allowed a seat in the presence 

* Fausti Socini Senensis operum, Tom II. Ireiiopoli, 1C.5G, p. 709 — 712. 


of his judges, through the pity of the Prince, he called upon his son, the 
notary of Klausenburg, to conduct his defence. Far from denying the 
doctrines he preached, he boldly maintained their scriptural truth, and, 
instead of new innovations, declared them to have been long known to, and 
believed in, by the Unitarians of Transylvania. In spite of the efforts of 
his friends, a majority of the Diet pronounced his proceedings and himself 
deserving of punishment. Francis David was condemned to be imprisoned 
at the Prince's pleasure, as a religious innovator and a blasphemer of God. 
All other Unitarian clergyman who refused to worship Christ, were threat- 
ened with the same punishment. David was taken from Gyula Fejervar, 
and imprisoned in the dungeons of the Castle of Deva, where he shortly 
after ended his eventful life on the 15th November, 1579.* 

Blandrata wished to have a man of his own way of thinking chosen 
as superintendant of the Unitarian Church. Demetrius Hunyadi, who 
had aided him in his machinations against David, was fixed upon for this 
purpose, but the Unitarian clergy firmly refused to elect him ; and it was 
only by persuading the Prince to iTiake a violent and illegal exercise of his 
power, that Hunyadi obtained the post, which, however, he continued to 
fill for the remainder of his life. 

Wliile under the influence of David, the Unitarians had given up the 
baptism of infants as an unscrlptural custom, and the observance of the 
Lord's supper was likewise discontinued. Both of these ceremonies were 
brought back into use by the Superintendant Hunyadi. Blandrata lived 
long enough to see the Unitarian religion firmly established in Transylvania, 
according to his own views and wishes. His death took place in 1588, at 
Gyula Fejervar,-j- not in Poland, as is commonly stated. A contemporary 
writer observes of him, that had he agreed in opinions with David, instead 
of differing from him, not the latter but all those who opposed him would 
have suffered persecution, and been condemned as offenders against the laws, 
so great was his influence, so dangerous to oppose him. 

As the Unitarian religion was first openly preached in Klausenburg, and 
a majority of its inhabitants early adopted its tenets, Klausenburg was soon 
considered the chief seat of the religion ; the college was established there, 
and the Superintendants, or Bishops, as they are commonly called, chose it 

* Defensio Francisci Davidis in negotio de non invocando Jesu Christo in precibus, 
p. 236— 28;3. 

•|- Disevtatio liibtorica de duplici iiigrcssu in Transylvaniam Georgii Blandiatic, 
p. 287, 288. 


for their place of residence. Among the number of these Superintendants, 
two have established for themselves a wide spread and lasting reputation 
by their writings. Among the many works of Francis David, the sermons 
which he preached as chaplain of John Sigismund, deserve notice. He 
printed them at Gyula Fejervar, in the Magyar language, in 1569, with a 
dedication to the late King. 

George Enyedi, who died in the flower of his age in 1597, rendered 
himself immortal by his work, entitled, ' Explicationes locoriim reteris et 
novi Testamenti ex quibus Trinilatis doc/ma stabiliri solet.'' This work was 
published at Klausenburg, only after the author's death, in Latin, as origi- 
nally written, at the expense of the Unitarian Church ; but some years 
later, in 1619, it was translated into Magyar by the Superintendant 
Mathew Toroczkai. 

In the beginning of the seventeenth century, religious dissensions broke 
out among the Unitarians themselves. Daniel Beke, a village clergyman, 
havin"' been chosen Superintendant in 1636, the incumbent of Klausenburg, 
Mathew Szbros, (Rarius,) who had been long ambitious of filling that 
office, refused to acknowledge his authority, under the old and fatal plea of 
the introduction of innovations in doctrine. Having found supporters, he 
boldly denounced the Sviperintendant to the Prince George Rakotzi 1st, 
as having deviated from the Profession of Faith of 1579, particularly in 
those articles concerning the divinity of Christ, and his worship, which 
doctrines he either wished the discussion of to be avoided, or even forbad 
the teaching of them. This dispute having been brought before the Diet, 
in April, 1638, it was decided that the Prince should hold a meeting in 
July at Dezs, where not only Unitarians but members of the other religions 
should be present, and the case considered and decided by them. At the 
appointed time, Mathew Szoros appeared before the assembly at Dezs, and 
stated his accusation against Beke, who attempted to refute it by appealing 
to the Confession of Faith as fixed by law. The accuser, however, endea- 
voured to call in question the sincerity of the adherence to this Confession, 
when the debate was interrupted, and the whole dispute brought to a con- 
clusion by a powerful address from John Toldalagi, an influential nobleman 
in the Unitarian interest, who protested, in the name of the Unitarian 
!)ody, against this affair being considered as affecting the Unitarians at 
large, but as a mere personal quarrel between the Superintendant and the 
Pastor of Klausenburg. In consequence of this speech, both parties. 



convinced probably that such unseemly disputes could only weaken the 
power and influence of the Unitarians, were induced to make peace ; and 
to avoid the recurrence of similar scenes, an agreement (complanatio) was 
entered into for the more clear avowal of certain Articles of Faith. It 
was decided that in all Unitarian Churches, Christ should be worshipped, 
and his name should be invoked in prayer, though not as that of the most 
High God existing from all eternity, but as one receiving his power and 
divinity from the Father. Children were to be christened in the name of 
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. At the Lord's supper the cup was to 
be given into the hands of the persons communing, who should drink from 
it, held by themselves. Any one teaching or writing doctrine contrary to 
these articles, was to be summoned before the Diet, as an innovator and a 
disturber of the peace, who, if found guilty, should be beheaded, and his 
estates confiscated. * 

Such are the chief articles of the famous agreement (complanatio) of 
Dezs. It was signed by the Prince and members of the Assembly, and 
was accepted by the chief men among the Unitarians, who were present 
on behalf of that body, as well as by the Superintendant Beke and Mathew 
Szbrbs. Such as it was then agreed on, it remains without change to the 
present day, the Confession of Faith of the Transylvanian Unitarians.f 

The year 1653 deserves notice in the history of Unitarianism. In that 
year, a compilation of the laws of the country was formed and published 
principally by the labours of Francis Bethlen, a learned Unitarian noble, 
and one of the chief officers of the household of Prince George Rakotzy 
II. This compilation, which, under the title of ' Jpprobatie Constitutiones,' 
is still recognized, with some few alterations, as the text of Transylvanian 
law, contains a distinct recognition of Unitarianism as one of the four 
established religions, the others being the Catholic, Lutheran, and Calvi- 
nist; and the right of each to the free and unrestrained exercise of its 
worship, according to its own forms. Except these four religions, it is 
expressly forbidden to introduce any new sect, or even to make any change in 
the recognized form of faith of these, under pain of death and confiscation. 
The followers of each religion, however, are allowed to make such reforms 

* Bod, Historia Unitarionun in Transylvania, p. 159-182. 

t Dr. Rces has published this confession in his ' Racovian Catechism,' with notes and 
illustrations translated from the Latin. London, 1818, p. Ixvii. 



as they choose in the government of the Church, or in the outward forms 
of worship.* Nor have these laws been since altered. 

It deserves mention, that the Unitarians when driven in a body out of 
Poland, found refuge in Transylvania. Prince Apafi offered them 
shelter and protection, when no other Sovereign in Europe would grant 
permission to these sufferers for conscience sake to settle in their dominions. 
The Transylvanian Unitarians received them with open arms, and offered 
them every assistance in their power. The greater part of them settled in 
Klausenburg, where for many years they had a Polish Unitarian Church, 
in which the service was perfonned in that language. Though now mixed 
with the rest of the population, there are still among the citizens of Klau- 
senburg, many whose names tell of their Polish origin. 

Prince Apafi was the last Magyar Prince of Transylvania. Under the 
rule of its native Princes, Transylvania had always been obliged to accept 
the protection of the Porte, not so much from love to the Sultan as from 
inability to resist his power. Many attempts had been made to substitute 
the protection of the Empire for that of the Porte, but the only result of 
these revolts was the pillage of the country by the Turkish hordes, and a 
heavier tribute to the Sultan. Leopold 1st, King of Hungary, and Empe- 
ror of Germany, at last succeeded in driving the Turks out of Transyl- 
vania, and from that time the country willingly submitted to the power of 
Austria. Prince Apafi died in 1690, and in the following year, Leopold 
having been chosen Prince, gave Transylvania her Magna Charta — the 
Diploma Leopoldinum. All the old laws, rights, and privileges, of the 
country were confirmed, and the following articles were annexed for 
assuring religious rights: — No change shall be made which can be injurious 
to the four established religions, or to the Churches, Colleges, Schools, or 
Parishes, of these religions. All privileges are confirmed. Property of all 
kind, whether bestowed by the Princes or private individuals, on Schools 
and Churches of any of these religions, shall remain for ever as it now is, 
even though it may have have originally belonged to Churches, or religious 
houses of another creed. To all offices of state, the privileged class (the 
gentry,) of these religions are equally eligible, be they Szeklers, Magyars, 
or Saxons. 

* Approbatic Coiistitutioiies Rcgni Transylvanitc ct Partium Iluiigariae cidcm annex- 
arum. Varadini 1653. Parte prima, titulo primo, Artieulo ii. et iii. 


By the Diploma Leopoldinum, the administration of tlie country was con- 
fided to agovernment (Gubernium ; Consilium Status,) of twelve counsellors 
under the prcsidence of a governor, (Supremus Status director,) all chosen 
by the Diet, and confirmed by the Emperor.* In the appointment to 
these offices (and the same holds good for all oflices to that of a 
Secretary of government, and a Magistrate of a county), three individuals 
of each religion are chosen by the Diet — or in the county, by the Quarterly 
County Meeting. Out of these the Emperor confirms one to the vacant 
office, it being understood that a fair proportion of each creed should be 
maintained. According to the letter of the law then the Unitarians wei'e 
confirmed in their property, and entitled to a fair share of the offices of 
state ; offices, which they had filled under the native princes of whatever 
faith. Under the rule, however, of the Catholic sovereigns of Austria, the 
Roman Catholics raised many and unjust pretensions. In the teeth of the 
Diploma of Leopold, they laid claim to the Cathedral Church of Klausenburg, 
and, although the Unitarians stoutly resisted, it was taken from them by 
force in 1716, and given to the Catholics. This was the commencement of 
a general system of spoliation, to which the Unitarians were now subjected. 
Throughout every part of Transylvania, they were forcibly expelled from 
their Churches. The land and houses with which their Schools and 
Churches were endowed, not only such as had been granted by the princes, 
but even those bestowed by charitable Unitarians, or puixhased from 
Unitarian funds, were all taken from them. When deprived of their 
churches they were not allowed to build new ones, without permission from 
the Emperor. Their printing press at Klausenburg was closed, and they 
were no longer allowed to publish Unitarian books. And these grievances 
were rendered still more bitter, by a gradual exclusion of Unitarians from 
all share in government offices, even from those of the humblest grade. 
They continued in this state till the death of Maria Theresa. The acces- 
sion of Joseph II. to the throne (1780), opened a new and better sera in 
the history of the Transylvanian Unitarians. He forbade the seizure of 
their Churches, paid them an indemnity for the loss of the Cathedral Church 
of Klausenburg ; liad them placed in offices of power and trust, and 

* Sylloge tractuum aliorunique actorum publicorum historiam et argumenta beiiigni 
Diplomatis Leopoldini, resolutiones item quae Alvinczianse vocantur, Ulustrautiuni, Clau- 
diopoli. 1833, p. 118, 129. 


allowed them to print their Confession of Faith, and other works. It was 
under his auspices that the work Summa Universae Theologiae Christianae 
Secundum Unitarios, Claudiopoh, 1787, by the Supeiintendant Michael 
Lombard de Szent Abraham, was published ; a work still held in the highest 
esteem amongst the Transylvanians. 

After the death of Joseph, most of his edicts — for in his eagerness to 
reform, he had neglected all constitutional forms as hindrances to the speedy 
execution of his philanthropic plans — were ratified by the Diet called 
together by Francis I., and incorporated with the laws of the country. 
The four established religions were again solemnly placed on a footing of 
equality, and their followers proclaimed free to exercise their worship as their 
conscience might dictate. The seizure of Churches and Church property was 
forbidden for ever. It was free for any one to build Churches and Schools, 
and endow them when and where he might please. All religious books 
were allowed to be printed without being subjected to the common censor 
of the press — but they were to be examined and approved by the respective 
Bishops, Superintendants, or Consistories of the religion to which they 
referred. Matter of an offensive character to the other creeds was for- 

Under the protection of such laws, the Unitarians began to raise them- 
selves towards the end of the eighteenth century, from the miserable position 
into which the persecution of preceding reigns had thrown them. They 
built themselves Churches, as well in the villages as towns, in place of those of 
which they had been deprived. In Klausenburg, where for a long time 
they had been obliged to worship in a common dwelling house, they 
purchased land and a large handsome Church, and near it a College and 
dwellings for the Superintendant, clergymen and professors. The Church 
built in 1796, and the College in 1806, are still two of the handsomest 
buildings in Klausenburg. 

The Unitarians would scarcely have been able to make such rapid progress 
but for the munificent aid of one of their number, Ladislaus Suki. This 
man the last scion of one of the oldest noble families of Transylvania, died 
childless in 1792, and left the whole of his property to the Unitarians. 
Under Francis 1st., too the Unitarians were restored to something like a 
fairer share in the distribution of offices. When unjustly put back, he 

* Articuli diaetales, An. 1791. Claudiopoli 1793, Art. liii., Iv.. Ivi. 


brought them forward, and protected them, and under his rule, several were 
placed in offices of the highest trust, so that he richly deserves the title of 
' Restorer of the rights of Unitarians.'* 

Under the present Emperor, the Unitarians have little to complain of, at 
least in comparison with former times, and every year places them more 
nearly on an equality with other sects. 

Among the Unitarians who enjoyed the marked favour of these two 
sovereigns, was Paul Augustinovics, whose ancestors were banished from 
Poland in the seventeenth century, for their adherence to the Unitarian 
religion. The Emperor Francis named him Counsellor of State in 1832 ; 
and the Emperor Ferdinand in 1837, raised him to the Presidency of one 
of the departments of the regal government. Before his formal installation 
into office he died ; and as, like Suki, he was unmarried, he bequeathed his 
whole fortune, chiefly consisting of landed property, to the Unitarian body ; 
and it is from this source that a large part of their present income is derived. 

It was not till the present century when the tide of better fortune seemed 
to have set in for the Transylvanian Unitarians, that they received the gratify- 
ing intelligence of the existence of their co-religionists in other lands. In 
1822 a work, entitled ' Unitariorum fidei, historias et status prsesentis brevis 
Expostio. Londini 1821,' made them first aware that Uuitarianism had 
followers in England, and it was not till 1834 that they had any accurate 
information concerning their brethren of America, when a Transylvanian 
Unitarian, Alexander Farkas, published his travels in America. 

• It is necessary to add a word or two in explanation of the great importance attached 
to this share in offices. The twelve Councillors composing the government are divided 
into two bodies, one of which is occupied with the political administration of the country, 
while the other forms the highest Court of Appeal, except the throne, in judicial matters. 
Now, a friend at Court is no bad thing anywhere, and here, where Justice isnotalways quite 
so blind as she should be, it is often essential to the maintenance of common rights. It is 
quite certain that had the Unitarians been fairly represented in the government, the grievous 
wrongs under which they so long suffered, could never have been inflicted. It is therefore, 
as a means of sustaining their rights and protecting their interests, that so much stress is 
laid on this matter, though it is possible that a mundane desire to share in the honours 
and dignities, as well as in the profits of place and power, may not be altogether foreign 
to it. As for the merits of Francis I., I am inclined to believe he protected the Unita- 
rians much for the sake of detaching them from the liberal opposition party in the Diet, 
which is chiefly formed of Protestants, and in which he succeeded for a time, though they 
are now again found in their natural position. — J. P. 


The Unitarians in Transylvania are generally reckoned at 50,000, of whom 
the majority are Szeklers, the rest Magyars. Though still in much smaller 
numbers than they were formerly, they seem to be now gradually increasing. 
Many of those professing other religions do not hesitate to say that they 
a"-ree with the Unitarians in their belief. The Unitarians live for the most 
part in villages, thovxgh there are many to be found in the towns of Kere- 
sztur, Thorda, Abrudbanya, Maros Vasarhely and Klausenburg. In the 
villages, to each of their churches a small elementary school is attached, in 
which both boys and girls are taught. Besides these they have two Gym- 
nasiums, one in the village of Keresztur, near the town of the same name, 
founded in 1790 ; and the other at Thorda, which flourishes since the 
sixteenth century. Their chief college is in the capital, Klausenburg, which 
is still also the seat of their Superintendant. These Institutions are entirely 
supported from Unitarian funds, for the body enjoys no support either from 
the country or sovereign. Almost every church maintains its own Church 
and schoolmaster. The gymnasiums of Thorda and Keresztur, the professors 
of the college of Klausenburg, the Superintendant or Bishop, and the trea- 
surer of the community, are paid out of the Common funds. 

The affairs of each Unitarian Church are managed conjointly by the clergy- 
man and elders of the Church. The Churches are united into Deaconries, 
over each of which there is a Deacon, a Notary, and two or more lay- Curators. 
The Clergymen, Schoolmasters, and Curators of the Deaconry, assemble at 
certain fixed times, under the presidence of the Deacon, for the transaction 
of business. The affairs of the Unitarian Community are entrusted to the 
General Consistory (Consistorium Supremum Unitariorium.) The members 
of the General Consistory are, among the clergy, the Superintendant, the 
Deacons, the Notaries of Deaconries, and some clergymen of distinguished 
merit : among the laymen ; the chief Curator of the Unitarian, commu- 
nity, the Curators of deaconries, the Curators of the Colleges and the 
Gymnasium, and certain of the more distinguished among the Unitarian 
gentry, especially such as hold office under government. As the general 
meetings of the Consistory are held only twice a year, smaller meetings are 
held more frequently, generally every Sunday after Church at Klausenburg, 
which are attended by such members of the general Consistory as happen 
to be there, and in such meetings the current business of the Deaconries, 
Churches, and Schools, is transacted. The Superintendant and general 
Curator (both if present, or cither one) are tlie presidents, by right, of the 


Consistory. The general notary, commonly one of the professors of Kiau- 
senburg, acts as Secretary to the Consistory, and though by the fulfilment 
of this office he obtains no right, yet he is generally considered as the 
successor of the Superintendant, and is almost always chosen as such. 
The proceedings of the weekly meetings of the Consistory, are laid before the 
half-yearly meetings, to be approved or disallowed, though the latter rarely 
occurs. Matters of great and general moment are always reserved for the 
general meetings. Of these two meetings one is always held in Klausen- 
burg, the other, distinguished by the name of Synod, is held in each of the 
Deaconries by turn. It is only in the general Synod that the election of 
a Superintendant and chief Curator, or the ordination of clergymen, can 
take place. 

The Superintendant is chosen by the members of the Consistory, and the 
whole body of the clergy, and any clergyman or professor, is eligible — 
though, as already stated, the general notary is commonly chosen. The 
person receiving the majority of votes is then proposed to the Emperor, 
who confiirms the election, when the installation takes place in presence of 
the members of the Government. The present Superintendant of the 
Unitarians, Alexander Szekely, was elected in 1835. The chief Curator 
is also chosen in the Synod, but is not confirmed by the Emperor. The 
present occupant of this office is Elek Daniel, a member of one of the 
oldest and most distinguished Szekler families. 

None are eligible to the office of clergyman, professor, or schoolmaster, 
who has not gone through the whole course of study in the College of 
Klausenburg. The nomination of clergymen to the Churches, and Profes- 
sors to the village school, from the students of the College, as well as the 
transfer of clergymen and professors from one place to another, is the duty 
of the Superintendant, though he is considerably restrained in the exercise 
of this duty by the rights of members of the Church themselves. The 
Professors of the College and the two Gymnasia are chosen by the 
Synod. The mode of election to a Professorship is this. The Professors 
of the College propose to the Synod, those of the students whom they 
consider to have shown such evidence of superior talent as fits them for the 
place, from which the Synod chooses one, who is then provided with funds, 
and sent to complete his studies in some foreign imiversity. One of the 
German Universities is commonly chosen, formerly Gottingen was the 
favourite; but since recent events have deprived it of its fame, Berhn is 


preferred. Those students who have enjoyed the advantages of study in 
foreign Universities, are mostly placed in the College of Klausenburg, where 
they teach the higher branches of science, the lower ones being taught by 
young men who, having finished their studies, are waiting to be appointed 
to some vacant cure, under the superintendence of a Professor, called 
Paedagogarcha. There are four Professors in Klausenburg, of whom one is 
always general notary, another Rector, and a third Paedagogarcha. 

In each of the Gymnasiums of Thorda and Keresztur, there is a Profes- 
sor, who is also director of the School ; but in both, the resident clergymen 
are assistant professors. The lower classes are taught by youths, sent 
from the College of Klausenburg, who teach for two or three years, and 
then become clergymen. 

The Unitarians are very anxious about the welfare of their schools, and 
the instruction of the youths placed in them. Even from the smallest 
village schools annual reports must be sent in to the great Consistory, 
which bestows praise and rewards on such teachers as have distinguished 
themselves by their zeal and capacity, as well as reprimands and punishes 
those who have neglected their duty. The consequence of this is, that 
those professing other religions are obliged to confess, that in proportion to 
their numbers, more intelligent, well-informed yoiing men are sent out of 
the Unitarian schools than from any others, and, consequently, many 
Catholics and Calvinists avail themselves of them for the education of their 
children. Out of the two hundred scholars in the Unitarian Gymnasium 
of Thorda, no less than forty belong to other religions. 

Among the Unitarian Professors, the present director of the College of 
Klausenburg, Professor Brassai, is the most distinguished for his scientific 
and literary acquirements. He has published many works in the Hunga- 
rian language, as well original as translations, and compilations from the 
English, but he is best known as editor of a newspaper for the difiusion 
of useful knowledge, which appears once a week, under the title of the 
Vasarnapi Ujsag (Sunday News), and which enjoys great popularity. 

Among the Unitarian clergymen in Transylvania, who deserve mention 
for their eloquence and learning, stand first — John Kriza and Anthony 
Koronka. Kriza is Pastor of the Church in Klausenburg, and at present 
supplies the vacant place of Professor of Theology in the College. He is 
known both as a poet and theological writer. Having been called upon by 
the Consistory to draw up some class book for the instruction in religion of 


scholars and students, he published last year a work, entitled * A'Keres- 
zteny vallas elemei Kerdesek trs feletekbenaz Unitarinsok c'rtelme szercnt,' 
(The elements of the Christian Religion, in questions and answers, as 
understood by the Unitarians). Koronka, the clergyman of Varfalva, and 
notary of the Deaconry of that name, is chiefly known by his work, published 
in 1844 ; entitled ' Imadsagos Konyvtemplomi sziiksegne' (A Prayer Book for 
public worship). In consequence of the many impediments placed in its 
way, it is only of late — since the censorship has become almost harmless — 
that literature has begun to flourish in Transylvania. The number of writers 
is, therefore, few. Among the Unitarian authors, Stephen Kovacs, a 
gentleman employed in the government, is the most distinguished. He 
has devoted himself to the elucidation of Transylvanian History ; a subject 
which, from long neglect, is surrounded by great difficulties. As the facts 
on which that history must be founded are, for the most part, still locked 
up in MSS., and scattered over the country, he has begun, in conjunction 
with Count Joseph Kesn^ny, by collecting and publishing original' docu- 
ments of great historical importance, in the Magyar language, under the 
title of Erdely orszag tortenetei tara (' Collections for Translvanian 
History'). Two vols, of this work have already appeared, the last in 1845. 
Brassai, Kriza and Kovacs, are all three members of the Hungarian 

The Unitarians are no longer disturbed in those rights and privileores 
which have so often been assured to them by the laws. They enjoy the 
same liberties with the other established religions, and two of the highest 
posts under Government are at present filled by Unitarians — that of 
Counsellor of State, by Michael Sala, and that of President of the Royal 
Table (the Supreme Court of Justice), by Elek Daniel, who is, also, Chief 
Curator of the Unitarian community. 

[The order of church service differs but little from that of England. It 
commences with an introductory hymn, after which is a Canticle, in which 
the whole congregation joins : prayer : Canticle, standing up : sermon, 
followed by benediction : Canticle. The churches are mostly modern 
structures, plain in style, but generally with tower and belfry, and when the 
congregation can afford it, furnished with an organ. The pulpit and 
clerk's desk differ little from" those in England, except in the plainness of 
their materials, being mostly of unpainted deal or oak. There are no pews, 
but open seats, on the one side for the men, and on the other for the 


women. As no church is ever heated, it requires some courage to sit 
during a service in a w^intcr scarcely less cold than that of Moscow ; and 
nothing but furs and sheepskins enable one to hold out. On Sundays 
there is mostly service twice a day, and in some places prayers every 
morning soon after sun-rise. 

When a vacancy occurs in an Unitarian Church, the congregation 
names three eligible persons for the office of pastor, from whom the bishop 
nominates one to the situation. There is no right of patronage (a sort of 
right of presentation) in the lord of the manor, as among the Cah^nists. 
No person is eligible who has not gone through the full course of education 
in the College of Klausenburg, and, except in certain prescribed cases, 
served three years as village schoolmaster. The office of schoolmaster, 
therefore, must be considered as a transition one, and introductory merely 
to the ministry, though there are cases in which, from want of talent or 
knowledge, it becomes permanent. The Unitarian clergy receive no 
payment from the Crown now, except, in a few cases, the legal tithes. 
Their payment, however, is generally in kind. Every head of a family, 
and every householder, gives a certain fixed quantity of corn, commonly in 
the sheaf; in some cases a small sum of money is added from a charitable 
fund, and there is for the most part some glebe land, varying from two or three 
acres to thirty or forty. This the clergyman generally cultivates himself, 
and mostly with his own hands, though he can often reckon on some help 
from his flock during harvest time. Even the richest of the Transylvanian 
clergy are poor, and the poor have barely enough to find their families 
in a sufficiency of the plainest food. The greatest part of their clothing is 
spun and woven at home. The payment of the schoolmaster is commonly 
about half that of tlie clergyman. In parishes which are too poor to 
maintain a clergyman, a layman, under the name of Levite, performs the 
service. The clergyman enjoys the privileges of gentility, although of 
ignoble origin, but this rank does not become hereditary in his family. 
In common with other members of the privileged class, the clergy are free 
from all tolls and taxes. 

The College of Klausenburg may be said to consist of two parts ; the 
Gymnasium, where children who can read and write enter at seven years 
old, and continue till fifteen ; and the College, where laymen continue till 
eighteen, and clergymen till twenty years of age. In the whole College 
there are four professors and eight public teacliers. 


These are the Professors :— John Kriza, Theology ; Moses Szt-kely, 
History and Moral Philosophy ; Berde, Chemistry and Physics ; Samuel 
Brassai, Mathematics and Mechanics. These Professors are paid at the 
rate of about £30 per annum, in addition to which they have lodging free. 
The Gymnasium is under the direction of one of these Professors — the 
Paedagogarcha, aided by eight public teachers, of whom two are for Latin, 
one for Magyar and German, one for Arithmetic and Geometry, one for 
Geography and Hungarian History, one for Drawing, one for Surgery, one 
for Religion. These public teachers are students, who have finished their 
course, and are waiting for appointment to a Church. They receive £2 
per annum, and lodging from the College. In addition to this, they have 
generally one or more private pupils, in whose families they commonly 
receive their board in consideration of their services. In like manner, the 
more poor and meritorious among the higher students have a certain 
number of younger scholars assigned to them, whom it is their duty to 
watch over, and assist in their dessons, and from whom even a slender 
recompense is gladly received, to eke out their poor means. 

In the Gymnasium the education is as follows : — First year : Elements of 
Natural History ; Elements of Arithmetic (Class Book, translated from 
Enghsh, 'Arithmetic for Young Persons'); Writing.— Second Year: 
Ele'ments'of Mineralogy and Botany; Arithmetic; Magyar language; 
Writing and Drawing.— Third : Elements of Zoology; Arithmetic; 
Magyar ; Latin and German phrases ; Writing and Drawing.— Fourth : 
Lathi Grammar and Exercises; German ditto ditto; Geography of 
Transylvania and Hungary ; Elements of Geometry ; Drawing.— Fifth : 
Latin and German; Geography of Austrian Empire; Arithmetic- 
Sixth: Latin and German ; Geography, Arithmetic ; Writing and Drawing. 
—Seventh : Poetry, Latin, and German ; Elements of.Scientific Geometry ; 
History of Hungary; Drawing.— Eighth : Rhetoric; Latin and German ; 
Elements of Mathematical and Physical Geography ; Antiquities ; Draw- 
ing. This is the College Course :— First year : Mathematics, Statistics, 
Chemistry.— Second : Mathematics ; Logic and Metaphysics ; Physics.— 
Third : Physiology ; Ethics ; Natural Law ; History.— For the Students 
of Divinity, two additional years of Theology. Two public examinations 
are held yearly. J. P.] 



The opinions held by the greater number of the Genevese Clergy 
respecting the doctrine of the Trinity, may be learnt from an essay recently 
published by one of their body, namely, Mons. H. Oltramare ; Instruction 
Evangelique sur trois Questions: Qui est Jesus Christ ? Qu' est-il venu 
/aire ? Que faire pour etre sauvi? Paris and Geneva, 1845. After the 
manner in which the opinions of the Anti-trinitarian section of the French 
Protestant Church have been set forth, there is no occasion for entering at 
length into an exposition of those of Geneva, because Geneva may be 
considered as the mother, as well as the representative, of French, no less 
than of Swiss Protestantism. We shall, however, give in substance the 
more relevant parts of our author's answer to the first of his three ques- 
tions. Who is Jesus Christ ? Mons. Oltramare enumerates the names and 
titles given to our Lord in the New Testament, and so frames a scriptural 
answer to the question. Jesus is called, He who is to come ; Son of 
David ; the King of Israel ; the King of the Jews ; or simply, the King, 
Messiah, and Christ ; the Son of Man ; the Son of God, or simply the 
Son. "What he remarks on this last point, the only one which can have a 
direct bearing on our subject, we shall in substance present to the reader. 
The name of Son of God signifies, that there is between God and him to 
whom this name is given, a love, a tenderness, and an intimacy, similar to 
that which unites a father to his son and a son to his father. The physical 
reference of this word is very rare. The name taken in this way was given 
to Adam, (Luke iii, 38,) and once, perhaps, to Jesus Christ, in allusion to 
his miraculous birth. (Luke i. 32.) The name as ordinarily given to Jesus, 
has a very different application to this ; denoting, that a love, a tenderness, 
and an intimate union exist between God and Christ. The scripture 
furnishes proofs of the reality of this pre-eminent union between God and 
his Son, so that it is with full truth that the name Son of God was given 
to him in a more exalted sense than to any other being. These proofs are 
drawn (i.)from the feeling which Jesus himself had of this union and from 
his own declarations; (ii.) from his miraculous power ; (iii.) from his hoh- 
ness ; (iv.) from certain extraordinary facts in his life. 


Jesus himself has not concealed this mystery, he has revealed it to us. 
On many occasions he has borne witness to his union with God, and of a 
union such as made of his Father and of himself, if we may so say, only 
one heart and one soul. ' My Father and I are one.' (John x. 30.) The 
sense of these words is rendered evident by the prayer, * Father, keep 
through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may 
be one as we are.' (John xvii. 11 ; see also 20-23.) The reality and truth 
of this union is manifested by miracles. He himself appealed to his mira- 
cles as proofs of his union with God. (John xiv. 11.) As God is a holy 
being, he could be united to none but a holy being. The measure of the 
union is found in the extent of the holiness. If then Jesus was united 
with God, and united in an intimate and pre-eminent manner, the life of 
Jesus must offer us proofs of the union, in being a holy life and the most 
holy of all lives. This is what we find. The holiness of his life is equal 
to his union with God, that is to say, it is perfect. (Heb. iv. 15 ; 1 John iii, 
5 ; 2 Cor. v. 21 ; 1 Peter ii. 22.) Finally, this union of God and Jesus is 
clear and manifest in several facts in the life of the Saviour, in which God 
directly bore witness to the union. You see it in his miraculous birth, 
(Luke i. 35,) in his Baptism, (Matt. iii. 17,) especially in his resurrection, 
(Rom. i. 4.) 

Is this love, this intimacy, this union which exist between God and 
Christ of such a nature that God and Jesus are one and the same Beino- 
one and the same God ? In other terms, is it unity or identity that we 
must declare the relation to be ? The Scripture decides in favour of the 
former. God and Jesus are united so as to be one. One is the Father 
the other is the Son ; one is the true God, the other his Son, the Son of 
God. The union of two spiritual beings is that state in which, while each 
preserves his own individual personality, the two, blending their sentiments 
their thoughts, and their wills together, intimately penetrate each other. 
This penetration, this union, may be more or less great, more or less inti- 
mate. When it is at its highest degree, at its greatest intensity, we call it 
unity. Unity is the perfection of union, perfect union. This is the con- 
dition in which there is nothing between the two which constrains, which 
trouble or disjoins. The Christian may be united to God in union or 
communion with Him, but the most pious Christian is never one with God 
because there is in him always something that is deficient, some imperfec- 
tion which causes an obstacle, troubles and separates. Christ only has 


realised this unity. This unity in us may be represented as tlie relation in 
which God, not finding in man any obstacle, can communicate himself to 
man in all the plentitude of his spirit, of his love, of his holiness, and in 
which man acts purely and completely by the impulse of the Holy Spirit 
which operates in him, and completely makes God's will his own. There 
is no longer in man any difference between the consciousness he has of his 
own will, and the consciousness he has of the will of God : he has united 
his own will to that of God ; he is penetrated and governed by the latter. 
If now such a being has for his mission to make God known, to reveal him 
in a supernatural manner, you see how this unity, this perfection of unity, 
is the absolutely necessary basis of all faithful and adequate manifestations 
of God ; and when the extraordinary in will, in knowledge, and in power, 
manifests itself in him and by him in a spontaneous and personal manner, 
you behold in this revealer the God whom he reveals. Thus, this being is 
the image of God, the portrait of which God is the original. (John v. 18.) 
The relation then which exists between God and Christ is that of union, 
not identity. Identity supposes the existence of one only being. Iden- 
tity is the negative of both union and unity. To say that God and Christ 
are one and the same, is to say that there is only one being, and to deny the 
existence of either God or his Son. 

The Scripture sets forth the relation of union instead of that of identity, 
not only by designating God and his Son by different names, but also by 
representing Jesus as distinct from and inferior to God at all epochs of his 
existence: before coming into the world ; ' In the beginning was the word, 
and the word was with (or near) God,' (John i. 1); the word then was ano- 
ther, different from God, since it was with or near him : after he dwelt among 
men ; ' Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.' (Luke xxiii. 
34.) ' O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me ; never- 
theless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.' (Matt. xxvi. 39.) God and Christ 
are then two beings ; the one prays, the other is prayed to. They have two 
wills, between which there did not at the moment exist an entire union. 
The worshipper is inferior to the God whom he worships. 

The author follows out this idea into many particxxlars. For instance, 
Jesus himself teaches us, that what he had of extraordinary and super- 
natural, his word, his knowledge, his power, he had received and still held 
them of God. It was God who gave them to him, so that we may say 
here, also, that there arc two beings, the giver and the receiver, of whom 


the former must be greater than the latter. (John v. 19, 20, 30 ; xiv, 31 ; 
1 Cor. XV. 27, 28.) Jesus also declares that God is the only being who 
deserves the name, — ' This is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God.' 
(John xvii, 3 ; 1 John, v, 20 ; 1 Cor. viii, 5, 6 ; 1 Cor. iii. 22 ; 1 Cor. 
xi, 3.) We thus see that God and Christ are two beings, two persons. 
These two are one in heart, in soul, and in will. Their quality is never 
manifested but in unity, that is to say, in the most perfect mutual union, 
based on indissoluble love. From a mistaken wish to raise the Son, some 
persons represent him as equal to God. If he were equal, what then but 
misrepresentation and hypocrisy is his entire conduct, in which both in deed 
and in word, in direct or in indirect instruction, in speaking to men or in 
praying to God, he sets himself forth as subordinate and inferior to his 
Father? Mons. Oltramare then passes in review the chief passages in 
which many Christians think the Scriptures teach that God and Jesus are 
one and the same being ; that the relation between them is identity not 
unity, in order to show that these passages do not prove that for which they 
are alleged, and to indicate their true signification. His conclusion is : 
' It seems to us to come forth clearly from the examination of these different 
passages, that Jesus from one end of Scripture to the other is regarded as 
one, but never as identical, with God, and that all these declarations only 
affirm and confirm all that we have said respecting the unity and non- 
identity of the Father and the Son.' 

Confirmatory of the implication found in this analysis, are the statements 
made in a recent German work*. The Genevan is a national churcli, 
represented by a body designated La Venerable Corapagnie des Pasteurs de 
I'Eglise Genevoise, which consist of thirty clerical members, who govern the 
University as well as the church. This venerable company has no formal 
confession of faith. The greater number of its members, while they hold 
a supernatural form of Christianity, have given up the old ecclesiastical 
doctrines. The ministers assume no other obligation in regard to their 
teachings than is involved in these words — * I swear to preach purely and 
fully the Word of God, as it is contained in the Holy Scriptures.' 

Generally, among Swiss Protestants, the old doctrines of the creeds find 
few adherents among the clergy or the people. Without falling into 
extreme rationalism, the ministers, especially the older ministers, have 

* Kirchliche Statistik von Dr. J. Wiggers ; Hamburg, lSl-2, 2 vols, 8vo. vol. ii. 152, 6, 7. 


quietly abandoned tlie ancient church doctrines, while the younger men 
educated in part at German Universities, particularly Berlin and Bonn, 
have brought home the views of Schleiennacher under several modifica- 
tions. The native Swiss Universities, Zurich, Basle, and Bern, hold a 
moderate Biblical theology remote from extremes in doctrine or in specu- 
lation. The clergy are devoted more to practical than theoretical religion, 
with which their numerous and burdensome duties do not allow them to 
become familiar. 

The Protestant population of Switzerland amounts to 1,292,871. 

Specimens of the preaching of the Genevese estabhshed clergy may be 
found in the sermons of Messrs. M. Cellerier, Jun., Duby ; and M. 
Munier, published in ' Sermons designed to be used in Families. Edited by 
Rev. J. R. Beard;' also in Sermons, Homilies, ^-cpar J. I. S. Cellerier, 
1 vol. 8vo. For further information as to their opinions, see Etude elemen- 
taire du Symbole des Ap6tres par A. L. Montandon ; Conversation sur la 
Religion entre un Catholique et un Protestant ; par M. le pasteur L. F. Nee. 

In a letter recently written to the Rev. G. Armstrong, B. A., of Bristol, 
by Dr. Cheneviere of Geneva, that eminent divine and excellent man 
remarks — ' In our city the Orthodox and the Methodists give themselves 
much trouble in order to make the multitude see as they see ; they hold 
frequent meetings, they bring hither ministers from foreign parts. But 
the mass of the population do not share their principles and their exclu- 
siveness. The public service of the national church is very well attended ; 
the chapels of the dissidents have scarcely more hearers than they had 
two years ago ; though I am disposed to think that the number of those 
who incline to orthodoxy has rather increased, — but it is the result of great 
efforts, of alms given to the poor, and of the bias of some aristocratic 
families. I have no anxiety as to the final issue. The success of our oppo- 
nents is a small affair, when we think of the immense efforts they have 
made in every way. M. Malan enjoys no credit ; his chapel formerly fre- 
quented, is so no longer ; from time to time he reminds us of his existence 
by some aggressive pamphlet, badly written, of which within a fortnight 
no one thinks but himself.' 

The condition of the French Protestant Church, which is little dissimilar 
to the Genevese Church, is thus described by the Rev. N. Poulain, minister 
of the former community in the city of Havre, in a letter, under date May 
27th, 1846, addressed to the Rev. G. Armstrong, of Bristol :— ' 1 belong 


to that class of Christians which they call anti-orthodox (Mr. Coquerel's 
'New orthodoxy') in France; — Unitarianism in England and America. 
On one side I stand aloof from the German Rationalism, because, it despoils 
Christianity of the divine elements which constitute its strength; and on 
the other side, from the doctrines of pretended orthodoxy regarding the 
radical corruption of man, grace, the Trinity, &c. — because, in my mind, 
they are but human traditions, and because they serve only to keep from the 
Gospel many persons who would with love accept it, if they knew it in its 
purity and noble simplicity. 

In France the liberal or tolerant party constitute the majority among 
the ministers, and much more so in the flocks. Our hearers, gene- 
rally, entertain a strong repugnance for the exclusive or orthodox doc- 
trines. Ministers attached to those doctrines are so well aware of this 
fact, that when they present themselves as candidates for a vacant pulpit 
they always take the masque of liberalism. It follows, that there is often 
a want of harmony between orthodox pastors and their congregations. 

The orthodox party is divided into two classes ; the first consists of men 
of an ardent temperament, who will not hear speak of concessions or peace, 
who declare, that apart from their opinions, that is apart from the old 
Calvinism, there is no salvation, and who employ every means for the pro- 
pagation of their views. The journal entitled * Les Archives du Christ- 
ianisme^ is their organ. The second class is composed of more moderate 
men, who are attached to the National church, and who, at this moment, 
show themselves disposed to peace and union. The orthodox have, in 
general, the advantage of being well organized, and to have near tlie 
government certain politicians who give them support. The liberal party 
has the advantage of numbers, but it does not act with the same unity ; 
nevertheless, improvements in this respect have taken place. Our friends 
in the South of France form a numerous and compact mass, wliich with 
much success resists the efforts of exclusiveness.' 



In the following article it is by no means proposed to give any thing 
approaching an exhaustive catalogue, aiming to comprehend all who 
have appeared before the public in the avowed character of Unitarians. 
Such a catalogue would of necessity include many works which are now 
little remembered even by the hmited public to whi^jh they were origi- 
nally addressed, and exercised no perceptible influence which can 
now be traced at the time of their first appearance. We are rather 
desirous to direct attention to those writers who have been at different 
periods in advance of their age, — whose works have survived their con- 
temporaries and still maintain their claim to general notice and respect, 
— or to those who may properly be adduced as fit representatives of the 
state and tendencies of the public mind at their respective periods in the 
body to which they belong. It is highly probable, that in thus attempt- 
ing to apply the principle of selection, we may omit some names which 
others would have wished to see inserted ; but in the diversity of tastes 
and connexions this is unavoidable. We trust it will at least be acknow- 
leged, that no name is admitted which it would have been proper to exclude. 
We may arrange them under the three divisions of Biblical Literature, 
Dogmatic and Controversial Theology, and Practical and Devotional 

I. Under the head of Biblical Criticism, in the more limited sense of 
that term, we have not much to cite that can be called original, though 
the Unitarians have never been slow to avail themselves of the researches 
of others in this department, many of which have been introduced to 
public notice i:i this country through their means. Mr. Emlyn was, 
perhaps, the first writer who gave an accurate and complete view of the 
critical evidence on the celebrated text of the three heavenly witnesses, 
(1 John V. 7.) Mr. Joseph Ilallet, in his ' Notes on Scripture,' devoted 
considerable attention to the text of the old Testament ; and it was 
observed that few of his conjectural emendations failed to receive support 
from the subsequent researches of Kennicott. In the volumes of the 
' Theological Repository,' and the ' Commentaries and Essays ' formerl}- 
mentioned, are many shorter pieces connected with Biblical criticism, which 
it would be tedious to enumerate. 

Mr. Locke is deservedly distinguished as the originator of a rational 


school of Scriptural interpretation, in his 'Paraphrase and Notes on St. Paul's 
Epistles.' In this course he was followed by Peirc, Benson and Taylor; 
and more recently by Mr. Belsham, in his most valuable Exposition of the 
same portions of the New Testament. In this connexion Barrington's ' Mis- 
cellanea Sacra,' and Lardner's ' History of the Apostles and Evangelists,' 
are deserving of honourable mention ; and should not be overlooked even 
by those who may, perhaps, find the greater part of the information they 
afltbrd in later writers.* A work of great merit, of a more popular cast is 
the ' Exposition of the Gospels and Acts,' by the late Rev. T. Kenrick, of 
Exeter. The translation of a considerable portion of the Old, Testament, by 
the Rev. C. Wellbeloved, is a work of the highest value in both points of 
view ; — wanting nothing but its continuation. As Translators of the Scrip- 
tures, many other Unitarians have distinguished themselves : — among whose 
contributions to this department of theological literature may be mentioned, 
Dndson's 'Translation of Isaiah,' Wakefield's * New Testament,' the ' Ira- 
proved Version' of the New Testament, and the more recent translations by 
'a Layman,' (the late excellent and lamented Edgar Taylor,) and Mr. 
Samuel Sliarpe. 

II. In the department of Dogmatic and Controversial Theology, particu- 
larly with reference to their own distinguishing tenets. Unitarian writers, 
as might be expected, are very numerous ; but it would be foreign to our 
purpose, and indeed, impracticable, to mention them all individually. The 
earliest collection of tracts of this description, commonly known by the title of 
the Old Socinian Tracts is one of the most remarkable, and has already been 
mentioned as having, in many respects, left little to be added by later writers. 
The treatises on the Atonement and Original Sin, by Dr. John Taylor of • 
Norwich, may still be considered as standard works, in support of the par- 
ticular views of these subjects maintained by their author. Dr. Priestley's 
contributions to this department were of course very numerous and 
important ; but being in most cases of a controversial character, have in 
some measure lost the kind of interest they possessed at their first appear- 
ance, derived from the nature of the occasion, and the circumstances of his 
antagonists. It would, perhaps, be a service performed to the theological 

* Dr. Piiestley's Notes on all the books of Scripture, which occupy four volumes of 
Mr. Rutt's complete edition of his works, are his latest, and by no means least important 
contribution to the good work of difFu?ing religious knowlrdgc and initniction, based 
upon oouiid and rational principle. 


public, if some one competent to the task would divest the substance of 
these,' and some other performances of a similar kind, of their occasional 
and temporary form, and thus present the argument in a shape which is 
not likely to lose its application or its interest. Some of these pieces, 
indeed, have an interest and a value of their own, as strikingly illustrative 
both of the intellectual and moral character of a distinguished man. 
The same may be said of some of the works of his most valued friend 
and associate, the excellent Theophilus Lindsey ; whose Apology, with 
its Sequel, independently of their merit as theological treatises in their 
connexion with the Unitarian controversy, must ever possess a high value 
derived from the circumstances which gave them birth, in the estimation of 
every lover of Christian truth, simplicity, and godly sincerity. 

Among the contributions to Unitarian theological literature of a more 
recent date, we have several works, the aim of which has been to present a 
more complete and systematic view of the Scriptural arguments upon this 
subject. Of this class we may point to ' Belsham's Calm Inquiry,' Carpen- 
ter's ' Unitarianism the Doctrine of the Gospel,' Yates's ' Vindication of 
Unitarianism,' in answer to Wardlaw, and Wilson's ' Scripture Proofs and 
Illustrations.' From the last writer we have another elaborate and valuable 
work, of a peculiar and somewhat orignial character, entitled ' Concessions of 
Trinitarians,' the object of which is to show that nearly all the Scripture 
passages which have been urged as proofs of the Trinity, have been 
formally given up by one eminent writer or another, on that side of the 
question ; insomuch that a complete series of Unitarian expositions and 
arguments may be culled from the works of their opponents. 

Several of the best and most successful modern defences of Unitarianism 
have been called forth by the incidental demands of local controversy. Of 
these a remarkable example occurred in the letters of Mr. Wellbeloved in 
reply to the visitation charges of Archdeacon Wrangham ; a performance in 
which we will take leave to say that the Unitarian champion excelled his oppo- 
nent in temper no less than in argument. But perhaps the most memorable 
instance of this kind took place at Liverpool in 1839, when thirteen 
clergymen of the established Church announced their intention to deliver 
weekly lectures on the different points of the Unitarian controversy. This 
led, of course, to the delivery of a corresponding series of lectures in reply 
by Messrs. Martineau, Thom and Giles, Unitarian ministers of the neigh- 
bourhood. Both series were published. We shall not enter on a com- 
parison of Iheir respective merits; but venluie lo recommend the latter 


series, notwithstanding the influence of some pecuHar views of the res- 
pected authors in which we do not concur, as an eloquent and satisfactory 
vindication of their leading principles, well adapted to promote its intended 
object both from the pulpit and the press. The late Rev. H. Acton, of 
Exeter, was in a similar manner called forth to reply from the pulpit to 
a series of charges against the Unitarians and their doctrines, by Dr. Bagot. 
The same able writer had previously done good service in the publication 
of ' Lectures on the dignity, office, and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.' 

Nothwithstanding the successful talent displayed on these occasions, it 
may be doubted whether the pulpit is the most suitable place for contro- 
versy, especially when it assumes the form of personal attack and defence, — 
if for no other reason, because custom precludes the opponent from the 
privilege of immediate repl3\ A platform discussion has been sometimes 
resorted to, in which this privilege is accorded to both sides, subject to 
certain regulations agreed on for the preservation of order. Some of these 
discussions have been published ; but here, also, it may be doubted whether 
suth a form of public oral discussion is altogether the best adapted to elicit 
or recommend the truth. Success on such occasions, too commonly depends 
not so much on the possession of the truth, as on that of a peculiar kind of 
talent — the readiness of expression and presence of mind which fits a man 
for addressing a large concourse with effect— enables him to take immediate 
advantage of the mistakes and oversights of his adversary, and to appeal 
to the prejudices or the passions of his audience. Accordingly, few of the 
published reports of such discussions can be cited as affording a fair or 
complete exposition of the argument on either side. 

Besides more full and elaborate treatises in defence of their peculiar 
views, a great variety of smaller tracts have of late years been printed and 
circulated by Unitarians for the same purpose. These, of course, are of 
various merit and value, and are too numerous to bo here particularized ; — 
we may mention, as among the most useful and best adapted to their 
intended object, those of the late Mr. Wright, of Wisbeach, and a series 
published some years since at Exeter. 

We ought not entirely to pass over the labours of Anti-trinitarian 
writers on the Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion. The Deistical 
controversy, in the early part of the last century, fell in a great measure 
into their hands, as the valuable writings of Foster, Chandler, Leland, 
Fleming, and others, will testify. The name of Lardner cannot fail to 
present itself in this connexion as acknowledged on all hands to be worthy 


of a place in tlie lirst rank. Jiut after liim, there are few who have laboured 
more abundantly, or, in our opinion, more ably in this field, than Dr. Priestley. 
The 'Institutes,' the 'Lectures on the Evidences,' the ' Letters to a Philo- 
sophical Unbeliever,' the ' Institutions of Moses and the Hindoos com- 
pared,' and many occasional pieces bearing upon this arp;ument, are the 
vouchers of our assertion. The credibility of miracles has nowhere, per- 
haps, been placed in a juster and more satisfactory point of view, than in 
the Dissertation on that subject by Dr. Price. Wakefield's ' Remarks on the 
Internal Evidences' is one of the best Essays on this part of the subject, and 
contains in a small compass many suggestions which the reflective reader 
may pursue with no small pleasure and advantage. Passing over many 
other works of merit, which it would be tedious to enumerate, we may 
conclude with 'Christianity Triumphant,' by Mr. Joseph Barker; a remark- 
able man, who in this and other useful publications has already rendered 
good service to the cause of rational religion, in which, we trust, he is 
destined long to labour with still increasing benefit and success. 

The third division of practical and devotional writers might be extended 
to a great length, if we were to include all the sermons, or volumes of 
sermons, which have been published by Unitarians, or even if we were to 
limit ourselves to those only which, by the possession of superior merit, or 
by the more than ordinary impression which they produced on the class of 
readers for whom they wei'e chiefly intended, attracted considerable atten- 
tion, and Iiave in some degree maintained their place in the public view. 
But single sermons in general, whatever may be their intrinsic merit, are 
proverbially ephemeral productions ; and even when collected into volumes, 
we commonly find them remembered cliieflyby those who retain a personal 
or hereditary interest in the author. The sermons, however, of such men 
as Foster, Price, James Lindsay, Cappc, Aspland, Carpenter, Belsham, 
and many others, will be found to bear a comparison with those of any 
other religious body, not only as specimens of pulpit eloquence, but as 
breathing the pure spirit of practical Christianity and unaflfected piety. Dr. 
Priestley's admirable sermons on ' Habitual Devotion,' and ' On the duty of 
not living to ourselves,' well deserve to be brought to the recollection of 
those who are somewhat too apt to think of that eminent person in no other 
character than that of a zealous dogmatist and powerful controversial 
writer. In devotional poetry our writers have not been deficient; and in 
this view, the names of Barbaulcl, Sir J. I-. Smith, Taylor, .lohns, Bowring, 
Gaskcll, \\'i<:ford, ^\'allacc^ and llutlon, arc dc:jcrving of honomable 



Acton, Lectures on the Character and Offices of Christ. 

Reply to Bagot. 

~ Exeter Tracts. 

Aspland, Plea for Unitarian Dissenters. 

Sermons on various subjects. 

Beard, Historical and Artistic Illustrations of the Trinity. 

Voices of the Church, in reply to Strauss. 

Unitarianism exhibited in its actual condition. 

■ Lectures on Owenism. 

Collection of Sermons for Families. 

■ Collection of Hymns. 

Bayly's Letters to a Protestant Divine. 
JBelsham, Life of Lindsey. 

■ Calm Inquiry into the Scripture Doctrine on the Person of Christ. 

Review of Wilberforce's Practical View. 

Exposition of St. Paul's Epistles. 

Benson, Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistles to the Thessalonians, 
Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, 

Paraphrase and Notes on the Catholic Epistles. 

Bowrinc), Matins and Vespers. 

Cappe, Critical Remarks and Dissertations. 

(xMrs.), Life of Christ. 

Carpenter, Unitarianism the Doctrine of the Gospel. 

Reply to ]\Iagce. 

• ■ Lectures on the Atonement. 

Sermons on Practical Subjects. 

■ Life of, by R. L. Carpenter. 

Channinys Works, edited by Maclellan and Barker. 

Coyan's Letters to Wilberforce on the Doctrine of Hereditary Depravity. 
Farmer, On Miracles. 

On the Demoniacs. 

On Christ's Temptation. 


Fox, Discourses oi Christ and Christianity. 

Christian Morality. 

Hincks, Review of Dr. J. P. Smith's Scripture Testimony to the Messiah. 

Illustrations of Unitarian Christianity. 

Hunter, Life of Oliver Heywood. 

— ■■' History, Opinions, and Present Legal Position of the Presbyterian 

Dissenters, 1834. 

Hutton (Dr. J.), Omniscience the Attribute of the Father only. 

Kenrich (Rev. T.), Exposition of the Historical Books of the New Testa- 

Kentish (Rev. J.), Notes and Comments on Passages of Scripture. 

Lardner, Letter on the Logos, Kippis's Edition, Vol. XI. 

Lindsey, Apology on resigning the Vicarage of Catterick. 

Sequel to ditto. 

Conversations on Christian Idolatry. 

on the Divine Government. 

Locke, Paraphrase and Notes on St. Paul's Epistles to the Galatians, 
Romans, Corinthians, and Ephesians. 

- Reasonableness of Christianity. 
Martineau, Endeavours after the Christian Life. 

Milton, Last Thoughts on the Trinity ; extracted from his Treatise on 

Christian Doctrine. 
Murch, History of the Presbyterian and General Baptist Churches in the 

West of England. 
Peirce, Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistles to the Colossians, Philippians, 

and Hebrews, after the manner of Mr. Locke. 
Pcnn, Sandy Foundation shaken. 
Price and Priestley, Sermons on Practical Subjects. 

Priestley, Institutes of Natural and Revealed Religion. Rutt's Edition, II. 
Appeal to the Serious and Candid Professors of Religion. R. E. II. 

Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever. R. E. IV. 

History of the Corruptions of Christianity. R. E. V. 

History of the Christian Church. R. E. VII [. IX. X. 

Notes on all the Books of Scripture. R. E. XL— XIV. 

Evidences of Revealed Religion. R. E. XV. XVI. 

Forms of Prayer for Families and Unitarian Societies. R . E. XXI. 

Iii'posilori/, Tlip Thoological, in Six Volumes, edited l)y Dr. Priestley. 


Rntt, Life of Priestley. 

Simpson, Essays on the Language of Scripture. 
Smith (G. v.), Letters to Dr. J. P. Smith on the Atonement. 
Taylor, Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistle to the Romans, with a Key 
to the Apostolic Writings. 

Scripture Doctrine of Original Sin. 

Tayler (J. J. T.), Retrospect of the Religious Life of England. 

Toulmin, History of the Dissenters. 

Tracts, Series of, published by the Christian Tract Society. 

Turner (W. jun.). Lives of Eminent Unitarians. 

Unitarianism Defended : a series of Lectures by three Protestant Dissent- 
ing Ministers of Liverpool, in reply to a Course of Lectures entitled 
" Unitarianism Confuted," by thirteen Clergymen of the Church 
of England. 

Wallace, Plain Statement and Scriptural Defence of Unitarianism. 

Ware (Henry), Life of the Saviour. 

On the Formation of the Christian Character. 

' Life of, by his brother, John Ware, M.D. 

fVellheloved, Translation of the Pentateuch, the Devotional and Didactic 
Parts of the Old Testament, with Notes and Reflections:, 

Devotional Exercises. 

Letters to Archdeacon Wrangham. 

Ifhithy, Last Thoughts. 
TFilliams, Life of Belsham. 
JF^ilson, Concessions of Trinitarians. 

Scriptural Illustrations of Unitarianism. 

Yates, Vindication of Unitarianism, with Sequel, in reply to Wardlaw, 





Name of Town and Count}'. Name by whioh the Chapel 
Ainswortli Cockey Moor, 
near Bolton, Lancashire 
Alcester, Warwickshire 
Allostock, (see Knutsford) 
Alnwick, Northumberland 
Altrincham, Cheshire 
(see Hale) 

Ashford, Derbyshire . . . • 

Ashwick, Somerset (see Shepton Mallet) 

Atherstone, Warwickshire 

Banbury, Oxfordshire . Old Meeting House 

Bath, Somerset . . Trim Street C. . 

Battle, Sussex . • • • 

Belper, Derbyshire . . . • 

Bejsel'sGreen, (Baptist) Kent . 

Bewdley, Worcestershire Presbyterian C. . 

Billingshurst,(Baptist),Sus6ex . 

Birmingham, Warwickshire New Meeting 

„ Domestic Mission . 

„ Old Meeting 

New Hall Hill . 
» " 

., Domestic Mission . • '• 

Is known. 

Name of Minister. 

Jas. Whitehead 
Thos. Warren 
Henry Green, M.A. 
James Stott, lay -preacher 

Charles Wallace, M.A. 

5 Robert Shentou 

I W. Sutherland, Assistant 

Henry Solly 

Henry Hunt Piper 
"Robert Wallace 
George Kenrick 
Rees L. Lloyd 
John Briggs 
Evan Brooks Jones 

S John Kentish 

) Samuel Bache 

John G. Brooks 

Hugh Hutton, M.A. 

M. Green and other lay- 

Thos. Bowring [preachers 

A List for Ireland maybe found at p. 175 ; and one for Wales, at p. 209. 
These lists do not contain tlie Societies in union with Mr. Joseph barker. 



Name of To-vrn and County. Name by which tho Ch 

Blackley, Lancashire 

Bolton, Lancashire . Bank Street C. 

Boston, Lincolnshire . Unitarian C. 

Bradford, Yorkshire . Chapel Lane C. 

Bradford, Wilts, (see Trow- 
bridge) .... 

Bradwell, Derbyshire (see Ashford) 

Bridgewater, Somerset . Christ Church C 

Bridport, Dorset . Unitarian C. 

Brighton, Sussex 

Bristol, Gloucester Lewin's Mead C 

„ Domestic Mission 
Bury, Lancashire 
Bury St. Edmund's, Suffolk 
Buxton, Derbyshire 

Calne, Somerset 

Canterbury, (Baptist) Kent The Blackfriars 

Cawood, (Baptist), Yorkshire . 

Chatham, (Baptist) Kent Hamond Hill C. 

Cheltenham, Gloucester 

Chester, Cheshire 

Chesterfield, Derbyshire 

Chichester, Sussex 

Chorley, Lancashire 

Chowbent, „ 

Cirencester, Gloucester . 

Collumpton, Devon 

Colyton, „ 

Congleton, Cheshire 

Coseley, near Bilston, Stafford . 

Coventry, Warwick . Great Meeting 

Cross Street, Cheshire . 

Cradley, Worcestershire 

Cranbrook, (Baptist) Kent 

Crediton, Devon 

Crewkerne, Somerset 

Croft, near Warrington. 

Dean Row,Cheshire (see Styal) . 

Bayes Hill C. 
Crook Lane C. 
Elder Yard C. 
Baffin's C. 

Unitarian C. 
George's Meeting 

Park Lane C. 

Bowden Hill C. 
Hermitage Street 

\)e\ is known. Name of Minlsti-r. 

. William Harrison 

. Franklin Baker, M. A. 

. James Malcolm 

. John Howard Ryland 

, Robt. Shenton 

. RiiSsell Lant Carpenter, B. A. 

. John P. Malleson, B.A. 

( George Armstrong, B.A. 
( William James 

James Bay ley 

. Franklin Howorth 

. Henry Knott 

. Supplied during the summer 

by various ministers 

. Charles Clarke 

Francis Clayton, lay-preacher 

J. Calrow Means 

Supplied by various ministers 
. Mortimer Maurice 
. Alfred Turner Blythe 
. John Fullagar 
. Henry Clarke 
. John Harrison, Ph.D. 
, Frederick Horsfield 

Matthew Lee Yeates 
H. . James Tapliu 

. William Fillingham 

J. F. Mandersou 
. John Gordon 
. Supplied from Manchester 
. Wm. Bowen, M.A. 
. Edwd. Hall 

, J. G. Teggin [preachers 

. J. Grimshaw, and other lay- 
. John Colston 


Name of Town and Couutj 

Debden, Essex . 
Deptford, (Baptist) Kent 
Derby, Derbyshire 
Devoiiport, Devon 
Diss, Norfolk . 
Ditchliug, (Baptist) Sussex 
Doncaster, Yorkshire 
Dorchester, Dorset 
Dover, (Baptist) Kent 
Dudley, Worcester 
Duffield, Derbyshire 
Dukinfield, Cheshire 
Elland, Yorkshire 
Evesham, Worcestershire 


Name by which the Chapel 

Church Street C. 
Friar Gate C. 

Unitarian C. 

Adrian Street C 
Wolverhampton St 

Old Chapel 

Oat Street C. 
George's Meeting 

Exeter, Devon . 

Failsworth, near Manchester Dob Lane C. 

Falmouth, j Cornwall 

Flushing, y 

Filby, Norfolk, (see Yarmouth) . 

Findern, Derbyshire . 

Flagg, Derbyshire (see Ashford) 

Fleet, (Baptist) Lincolnshire 

(see Lutton) . • • • 

Framlingham, Suffolk . 
Frenchay, Gloucester . 
Gainsborough, Lincolnshire 

Gateacre, near Liverpool, 

Gee Cross, (Hyde) Cheshire 

Gloucester . • Barton Street C. 

Godalmiug, (Baptist) Surrey Mead Row C. 

Gorton, Lancashire . Dissenters' Chupel 

Great Hucklow, Derbyshire (see Ashford) 

Guernsey . . Allez Street 

GuUiford, near Lympstone 

Hale, Cheshire, (see Altrincham . 

Halifax, Yorkshire . North Gate End 

„ Domestic Mission 
llapton, Norfolk 

is known. Name of Minister. 

. Joseph M arten, lay -preacher 

. John Omer Squier 

. Noah Jones [preachers 

. Syl vanus Gibbs, and other lay- 

, Thomas Hunter 

. Thomas Gilbert 

. John Thomas Cooper 

. John Lettis Short 

. John Palmer, B.A. 

. Evan Owen Jones 

. R. B. Aspland, M.A. 

. Thos. Stewart 

. Timothy Davis 

^ Francis Bishop 
' X Thos. Hincks, B.A. 

. James Taylor 

Henry Squire 
M. Whitehouse 
Robert Shenton 

John Cooper 

Charles Case Nutter 

Samuel Walker 

Wm. Worsley, B.A. 
t W. Shepherd, L.L.D., 
( Lewis Lewis, Assistant 

Jas. Brooks 

Henry Davies, L.L.D. 

Maxwell Davidson 

George H. Wells, M.A. 

Robert Shenton 

Wm. Randell, lay-preachor 

Edmund Squire 

C. Wallace, M.A. 

W. Turner, J un. M.A. 

Abel Wadsworth 

Wm. Selby 



Name of Town and County. 
Headcorn, (Baptist) Kent 
Hinckley, Leicestershire Great Meetiiig 
Hindley, Lancashire 

Honiton, Devon . Bridge Meeting 

Horncastle, Lincolnshire 
Horsham, (Baptist) Sussex 
Huddersfield, Yorkshire 
Hull, „ Bowl Alley Lane 

Ilkeston, Notts (see Findern) 
Ilminster, Somerset . Old Meeting 
Ipswich, Suffolk 
Jersey, St. Lauren's Valley 
Kendal, Westmoreland Market Place 

Kenilworth, Warwickshire 
Kidderminster, Worcester New Meeting 
Kingswood, near Birmingham . 
Kirkstead (see Horncastle) 
Knutsford, Cheshire 
Lancaster, Lancashire 

Name by which the Chapel is known. Name of Minister. 

, Christmas Saint 
. James Cooper 

Lea, (see Belper) 
Leeds, Yorkshire 

Leicester, Leicestershire 
Lewes, Sussex - 
Lincoln, Lincolnshire . 
Liverpool, Lancashire . 

» j> 

„ Domestic Mission 

St. Nicholas Street 

Mill Hill C. . 
Call Lane C. 
Domestic Mission , 
Great Meeting 
West Gate C. 

Paradise Street C. 
Renshaw Street C. 

John Ragland 
Daniel Harwood 
Griffith Roberts 
R. Ashdowne 
George Heap 
John Shannon 
M. Whitehouse 
Edward Whitfield 
Thomas Felix Thomas 
Captain Gifford 
Edward Hawkes, M.A. 
William Field 
Matthew Gibson 
Thomas Evans 
Griffith Roberts 
Henry Green, M.A. 

c Evan O. Jones 
I Kees L. Lloyd 

Charles Wicksteed, B.A 

Samuel Crawford 

John Mill 

Charles Berry 

Samuel Wood, B.A. 

Francis Fisher 

Jas. Martineau 

John Hamilton Thorn 

J, Johns 

John Robberds, B.A. 

Joseph Hutton, L.L.D. 

Thomas Madge 

„ „ Toxteth Park C. 
London, Middlesex . Little Carter Lane C- 

■ „ „ Essex Street C. 

„ „ ■ Fiusbury C. 

„ „ Hackney, iV. Gravel Pit 

„ „ HalfMoon Alley, Domestic Miss. William Vidler 

„ „ Hampstead . . Thomas Sadler, Ph. D. 

„ „ Little Portland Street . Edwd.Tagart,F.S.A., F.G.S. 

„ „ (Baptist) Mill Yard, Goodman's Fields William Henry Black 

., „ Newiugton Green . Thomas CronuvoU, Ph. D. 



Name of Town and County. 

London, Middlesex 

Name by which the Chapel Is knowi 

Spicer Street, Spitalfields . 

„ „ (Baptist) Worship Street C. 

„ Surrey Stamford Street (Morning) 

„ „ (Baptist) „ . (Evening) 

„ „ Brixton . 

Loughborough, Leicestershire . 
Lutton, (Baptist) near Long 

Sutton, Lincolnshire 
Lydgate, Yorkshire 

Lye Waste, (see Cradley) Netherend C. 
Lympstone, Devon 

Lynn, Norfolk . . Salem Chapel 

Macclesfield, Cheshire . 
Maidstone, Kent 

Manchester, Lancashire Cross Street C. 

„ „ Upper Brook Street C. 

„ „ Strange ways C. 

„ „ Pendlebury 

„ Domestic Mission Miles-Platting 

Mansfield, Nottingham . Stockwell Gate 

Malton, (8eeWelburn)Yorks. Wheel Gate C. 

Marshfield, Gloucestershire 

Middlesborough, near Stock- 
ton on Tees, Durham 

Monton, Lancashire 

Moreton Hampstead, Devon 

Mouutsorrel (see Loughborough) 

Nantwich, Cheshire 

Nantwich, (Baptist) „ 

Newcastle-uuder- Line, Staff. 

Newcastle-ou-Tyne,Northumb. Hanover Square 

Newchurch, Lancashire 


Newport, Isle of Wight, Hants . 

North Shields, North umbrhid. . 

Northampton . . Unitarian C. 

), Christian Church 

1. Name of Minister. 

R. K. Philp 

A. F. Macdonald, Assistant 

Benjamin Mardon, M.A. 

William Hincks, F.L.S. 

John Omer Squier 

A. M. Walker 

Thomas Crompton Holland 

John Cooper 

John Owen 

Wm. Bowen, B.A. 

Edmund Squire 

William Mouutford, M.A. 

William Stevens 

^ John Gooch Robberds 
i Wm. Gaskell,M.A. 

John James Tayler, B.A. 

John R. Beard, D.D. 

T. Minuiss 

John Layhe 

William Linwood 

Marmaduke C. Frauklaud 

James JefTery, of Bath, lay-p. 

. James M'Dowall 

(Robert Smethurst 

\T. E. Poyntiug, Assistant 

John Smethurst 

T. C. Holland 

Thos. Hammersley 
Mr. Henry Jones 
George Harris 
, John Ashworth 
William Wilson 
Edmund Kell, M.A. 

. William A. Jones, A.M. 
Henry Jersou, M.A. 



Name of Town and County. Namo by wliioli tlip CI 
Northiam, (Baptist) Sussex 
Norwich, Norfolk . The Octagou C. 

Nottingham, Notts. . High Pavement 
Nutfield, (Baptist) Surrey 
Oakhill, (see Shepton Mallet,) . 
Oldbury, Salop .... 

Oldham, Lancashire 
Ormskirk, „ 
Padiham, „ 
Park Lane „ 
Piatt, near Manchester 
Plymouth, Devon 
Poole, Dorset 
Portsmouth, Hants 

„ (Baptist) „ 
Prescott, Lancashire 
Preston, „ 

Rawtenstall, Lancashire 

Ringwood, Hampshire . 

Ripley, Derbyshire 

Rivington, Lancashire 
Rochdale, „ 

Lord Street C. 

Unitarian C. 
Old Meeting 
High Street C. 
St. Thomas Street 

Blackwater C. 
Clover Street C. 

Rolvenden, (Baptist) Kent 

Rotherham, Yorkshire 

Royston, Hertfordshire . Unitarian C. 

Saffron Walden, (Baptist) Essex 

Selby, Yorkshire 

Sheffield, Yorkshire . Upper Chapel 

Shelton, Staffordshire 

Shepton Mallet, Somerset Cowl Street C. 

Shildon, near Darlington 

Shrewsbury, Shropshire 

Sidmouth, Devon 

Soham, Cambridgeshire 

Southampton, Hants 

Old Meeting House 

apol is known. 

Namo of Minister. 

John Edwards, lay-preacher 
Joseph Crompton, M.A. 
Benjamin Carpenter 
W. Beal, lay-preacher 

William Mc. Kean 

W. S. Scholefield 

Henry Fogg 

J. Robinson & J. Pollard 

Francis Knowles 

Wm. Whitelegge 

William J. Odgers 

Mark Rowntree 

Henry Hawkes, B.A. 

Thomas Foster 

G. W. Elliott 

Joseph Ash ton 

Edmund Taylor, and other 


Porter Orr 

cEvan O. Jones 
^Rees L. Lloyd 

C. B. Hubbard 
William Smith 
J. Wilkinson, and other lay- 
E. Hall, of Cranbrook 
Jacob Brettell 

A. Macdonald 
John Marten 
George Hoade 

B. T. Stanuus 
J. B. Davis 

Henry Solly [preachers 

J. Johnson, and other lay- 
Richard Astley 
Charles William Robberds 
William Clack 



Name of Town and County. Namu by which the Chapol is known. 

South Petherton, Somerset . . . 

Stand, Lancashire ..... 

Stanningtou, near Sheffield 

Stainforth, Yorkshire (see Thorue) 

Stockport, Cheshire . Unitarian Church . 

Stockton on Tees, Durham 

Stony-Middleton, Derbyshire . 

(see Ashford) 
Stourbridge, Worcester . High Street, (West side) 
Styal, Cheshire, (see Dean Row). 
St. Albans, Hertfordshire 
Sunderland, Durham 
Sutton-in-Ashfield, near 

Mansfield (see Mansfield) 

Cole Street C. 
Mary Street C. 
Abbey Chapel 

Old Meeting 

Tamworth, Staffordshire 

Taunton, Somerset 

Tavistock, Devon 

Tenterden, Kent 

Thorne, Yorkshire 

Todmorden, Lanccishire 

Topsham, Devon 

Torquay .... 

Trowbridge, (Baptist) Wilts Conigree Chapel 

Wakefield, Yorkshire 

Walmsley, Lancashire . 

Walsall, Staffordshire . 

Warehara, Dorset 

Warminster, Wilts 

Warrington, Lancashire 


Welburn, (see Malton) 

Welton, near Hull 

Whitby, Yorkshire 

Whitchurch, Shropshire 

Wisbeach, Cambridgeshire 

Wolverhampton,Staffordshire. Snowhill C. 

Yarmouth, Norfolk , Presbyterian C. 

Yaxley, near Sttlton 

Yeovil, Som.(see Crewkernc) Vicarage Street C 

York, Yorkshire . St. Saviour-CJate 

Unitarian Chapel 
Old Meeting 
Sankey Street C. 
High Street C. 

Flowergate C. 

Church Street C. 

Name of Minister. 

Peter Wright 

David Davis, B.A. 
James Mc. Dowall 
Robt. Shenton 

Alexander Paterson, M.A. 
John Colston 
P. V. Coleman 
John Wright 

Wm. Linwood 
William Parkinson 
R M. Montgomery 
J. K. Montgomery 
Edward Talbot 
J. Smith 
James Taylor 
J. B. Bristowe 
William Smith 
Samuel Martin 
Edward Higginson 
William Probert 

John Cropper, M.A. 

Philip P. Carpenter, B.A. 
Thomas Marshall 
Marmaduke C. Frankland 
R. Jackson, of Hull, lay-jir. 
Arthur Lupton, B.A. 

W. Cochrane 
Stephenson Hunter 
Henry Squire 
John Chappell 
J. G. Teggiu 
Clias. Wei I beloved 



Name of Place and County. Name of Chapel. Name and Address of Minister. 

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire . . . . W. Cochrane 

Edinburgh, St. Mark's . . Richard Shaen, M.A. 

Glasgow, Lanarkshire .... John Boucher 

Paisley, JRenfrewshire .... 

Port Glasgow, near Greenock, Christopher Dunlop,and other 

Renfrewshire lay-preachers 

Tillicoultry, Clackmanuaushr. .... Archibald Browning 



Name. Address, 

Austen, Benjamin, Smarden Kent 

Bankhead, William. Malvern 

Barrett, Joseph Clapton, near London 

Blundell, Stephen Cranbrook 

Bradshaw, Thomas • • • • -Dollar near Alloa, Clackmannanshire 

Briggs, John A Bessel's Green 

Bristow, Edward Birmingham 

Broadhurst, Thos Bath, Somerset 

Buckland, George Bennenden, Kent 

Calamy, M Exeter 

Cannon, Patrick Isle of Man 

Carr, John R., B. A Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Chapman, Ed%Yin, Guildford 

Cooper, T L^^'^o'^ 

Davison, David, M.A London 

Dean, Arthur Stand, near Manchester 

Evans, William Devonport, Devon 

Forest, James, M.A Greenock, Scotland 

Gascoigne, M. C Topsham 

Gibson, Robert, M.A Bristol. Gloucestershire 

Hardy, Alfred Canterbury 

Heineken, Samuel Nicholas Sidmouth, Devon 

Herford, W. H., B.A 

Hornblower, Frederick Birmingham 

Hughes, William, Widcomb, Isle of Wight 

Hunter, Joseph, F.S. A London 

Hutton, George Belfast, Ireland 

Johnstone, Thomas W^akefield 

Jones, D. H., L.L.D London 

Kenrick, John, M.A '^^ri. 

Kite, William, I^over 

Lamport, William Manchester 

Lampray, John Lincoln 

Le Breton, Philip, M.A • London 


Name. Address. 

Lee, George Kendal 

Maclellan, R. E. B 

Marshall, William, St. John's Wood, London 

Maurice, Michael Nottinghill, near London 

Mc. Kee, James Riddle Tavistock, Devon 

Meeke, J. C Stockton 

Mitchell, Thomas Bristol 

Mitchelson, John 

Morell, John Reynell London 

Murch, Jerom Bath 

Naylor, John Leeds 

Perry, Walter C, Ph. D Bonn 

Pine, Thomas Maidstone 

Pound, G. C Dover 

Rees, Thomas, L.L.D. F.S.A London 

Simpson, Thomas Hull 

Sicith, George Vance, B.A Manchester New College 

Thomas, William, Canterbury 

Tingcombe, John Bristol 

Turner, William, Sen Manchester 

Valentine, C. P Charley, near Lewes 

Woods, J. C Stalybridge, near Dukinfield, Cheshire 

Wreford, Henry W. G Bristol 

Wreford, John Reynell, F.S.A Bristol 

Wright, John, B.A York 





Principal — Rev. John Kenrick, M.A. — History. 

Vice- Principal — Eddowes Bowman, Esq., M.A. — The Greek and Latin Languages, 

and Lectures on the Grammatical Structure of the English Language, with 

Exercises in English Composition. 
Robert Finlay, Esq., B.A., Trinity College, Dublin — Mathematics and Natural 

Rev. James Martineau — Mental and Moral Philosophy, and Political Economy. 

F. E. Vembergue, Esq. — Lecturer on the French Language and Literature. 


Vice-Principal — TheRev.GEORGE Vance Smith, B. A., Critical andExegetical Theology. 
The Rev. John Gooch Robberds, Pastoral Theology, and the Hebrew, Chaldee, and 

Syriac Languages. 
The Rev. John James Tayler, B.A., Ecclesiastical History. 


: \ 

Visitors in the Theological Department. 



THOMAS WILLIAM TOTTIE, Esq., Leeds President. 

Rev. William Turner, Manchester 

Rev. Charles Wellkeloved, York 

William Rayner Wood, Esq., Singleton Lodge, near Manchester . Treasurer. 

Peter Martineau, Esq., Streatham, Surrey . . 

Rev. John Kentish, Park Vale, near Birmingham 

Rev. William Shepherd, LL.D., Gateacre, near Li 

.Tames Heywood, Esq., Acresfield, near Manchester 

Robert Philips, Esq., lleybridge, Staffordshire . 

John Pemberton IIeywood, Esq., Liverpool . . 

Rov. Wir.LiAM Gaskell, M.A., Manchester . . 

S. 1^. Dariiishire, Fsc]., Manchester 

^ Vice-Presidents. 






Rev. Thomas Johnstone, Wakefield 
Rev. John Kentish, Birmingham 
R. Philips, Esq., Heybridge, Staffordshire 
Offley Shore, Esq. 
Thomas Eyre Lee, Esq., Birmingliam 
Rev. Charles Berry, Leicester 
Robert Heywood, Esq., Bolton 
William Enfield, Esq., Nottingham 
Rev. R. B. AsPLAND, M.A., Dukinfiehl 
Geo. Talbot, Jun., Esq., Kidderminster 
John Grundy, Esq., Bury 
Thomas Bolton, Esq., Liverpool 
Thomas Ashton, Esq., Hyde, Cheshire 
T. Thornely, Esq., M.P., Liverpool 
John Alcock, Esq., Stockport 

Joseph Hounsell, Esq., Bridport 
Richard Kershaw Lumb, Esq., Halifax 
Herbert Seaton, Esq., Hull 
Rev. Edward Talbot, Tenterden 
Joseph Henry Gates, Esq., Leeds 
Rev. J. R. Wreford, F.S.A., Bristol 
T. Foster Barham, Esq., M.D., Exeter 
Geo. Burnett, Juii., Esq., Newcastle 
William Fisher, Jun., Esq., Sheffield 
William Hollins, Jun., Esq., Mansfield 
Rev. Edward Tagart, London 
William Blake, Esq., Taunton 
Samuel J. Wright, Esq., Derby 
Rev. Henry Green, Knutsford 

*J. ASPINALL TURNER, Esq., Manchester . 


*S. D. Darbishire, Esq., Manchester 
*Rev. R. Smethurst, Stand, near ditto 
Mark Philips, Esq., M.P., The Park, ditto 
Rev. J. R. Beard, D.D., Manchester 
Robert Heywood, Esq., Bolton 
Rev. J. H. Thom, Liverpool 
*Rev. Wm. Gaskell, M.A., Manchester 
Robert Worthington, Esq., ditto 
R. V. Yates, Esq., Liverpool 
Martin Schunck, Esq., Manchester 

Rev. F. Howorth, Bury 
*Samuel Alcock, Esq., Manchester 
*William Rayner Wood, Esq., ditto 
RoBT. Needham Philips, Esq., ditto 
*Rev. R. B. Aspland, M.A., Dukinfield 
Thos. H. M'Connel, Esq., Manchester 
*Henry Bowman, Esq., ditto 
Rev. J. Whitehead, Ainsworth, nr. Bolton 
Edm. Grundy, Jun.,Esq., Bridge Hall, Bury 
Russell S. Taylor, Esq., Manchester 

The Names marked (*) constitute the Executive Committee, with the addition of 
James Heywood, Esq., F.R.S., one of the Vice-Presidents. 

Samuel Kay, Esq., Manchester | Samuel Alcock, Esq., Manchester 



No Student shall be admitted before the completion of his fifteenth year. 

There shall be an Examination, on the Friday nearest to the first of 

October, of all Students entering with a view to graduation in the Univer- 


sity of London ; on which occasion they shall be required to produce 
Certificates of moral and orderly conduct from their previous Teachers, 
They shall be examined in the following subjects : 
Classics.— Two books of Xenophon ;— Two books of Virgil ;-One book of the Odes 

of Horace;— Cicero's Treatises de Senectute and de Amicitia. 
Outlines of English History and General Geography.-To questions on these subjects, 
the Students shall be required to give written answers, in clear and correct 

Mathematics.— Theovdmary rules of Arithmetic ;— Vulgar and Decimal Fractions ; 
—Extraction of the Square Root ;— Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and 
Division of Algebraical Quantities ;— Arithmetical ^nd Geometrical Progres- 
sion : Simple Equations ;— The First Book of Euclid. 
This Examination shall be conducted by the Professors of Classics and 
Mathematics, in the presence of the other Professors. 

The Classes of the First Year will be occupied in preparing for Mairi- 
cnlation at the University of London ; those of the Second and Third 
Years, in preparing for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts. 


1. Classics.-Thc books read in the whole course are substantially the same as at London 

University College. They differ from the course of Oxford study, in making 
far less of Aristotle, and more of Demosthenes and the Orations of Cicero. It 
is impossible to specify the subjects of the Lectures in each year, as that must 
depend on the previous reading of the pupils. Nevertheless, in the first year, 
the Lectures will include the one Greek and the one Latin book announced 
for the yearly Examination at the University of London. 

2. Mathematics.-V\^ne Geometry, Elementary Algebra, and Trigonometry. 

3. //w^or?/.- Ancient History. 

4.. Menial Philosophy.-Vhenomci^^ of the Senses ; Language as the Instrument of 
Thought; Intellectual Powers, and the Laws of Thought. 

5. Lectnres on the English Language, including its History, Grammatical Structure, 
and relation to other tongues ; with Exercises in English Composition. 

C. Natural Philosophy. -1\xc Elements of Mechanics and Hydrostatics, and of Light 
and Sound. 

7. French Language and Literature. 

8. German Language and Literature. 

1. Classics.-hi determining the Lectures for the second year, some regard will be had 
to the books expected by the London University from Students who are to 
matriculate with Ilommrs, but not so as to allow the general interests of the 
class to be injured. 


2. Mathcmalics. — Analytical Geometry ; DiflTerential Calculus, including the Theory of 

Logarithms ; and application of the Calculus to the Theory of Plane Curves. 

3. History. — Modern History. 

4. Mental Philosophy. — Logic; Principles of Demonstrative and Moral Reasoning — of 

the Inductive Philosophy. Emotional States ; Sensible Pleasures and Pains ; 
Appetites ; Social Affections ; jEsthetic, Moral, Religious Feelings ; Theory 
of the Will. (Butler.) "Written Exercises on the subjects of the Lectures. 

5. Orations in the Common Hall ; examined and corrected by one of the Professors. 

6. Natural Philosophy. — Statics, Dynamics, Optics, Acoustics. 

7. French Language and Literature. 

8. German Language and Literattire. 

L Classics. — As far as possible, the most important of the higher Classics are read in 
the third year, which have not been included in the previous course. Ordinary 
books have hitherto been — parts of Demosthenes, Plato, or Thucydides, 
^schylus or Aristophanes ; sometimes of Herodotus, Sophocles, Aristotle, 
Pindar, or Polybius. In Latin, Tacitus, Cicero's Letters, and select Plays of 
Terence or Plautus, have been read. But every year, besides, those books are 
uniformly lectured on to this class, which the University of London may have 
proposed as the subjects of examination that year for the B.A. degree. 

2. Mathematics. — Theory of Algebraical Equations ; Integral Calculus, with its applica- 

tion to the Rectification of Curves, the Quadrature of Curves and Curved 
Surfaces, and the Cubature of Solids; together with the theoretical part of 

3. History. — The History of Ancient and Modern Literature. 

4. Moral and Political Philosophy. — Inquiry into the Nature, Source, and Application of 

the idea of Moral Obligation ; with a Review of different Ethical Systems. 
Duties of Man, on the subject of Primary Natural Laws ; as the subject of 
Social Relations ; as the subject of Human Laws. (Paley.) 

5. Orations in the Common Hall. 

6. Natural Philosophy. — Mechanics ; Astronomy ; the Steam Engine. 

7. French Language and Literature. 

8. German Lansuage and Literature. 


For the Entire Course (exclusive of French and German) . ^21 per Session. 
For Separate Departments, viz. 
1 . Classics. 

Greek . 5 5 per Session. 

Latin 5 5 „ 

English 2 2 „ 

Or the whole . . . £'10 10 


2. Mathcmatlrs and Natural Philosophy. 

Mathematics £8 8 per Session. 

Natural Philosophy 3 3 „ 

Or the whole . . . £10 10 

3. History. 

Ancient 2 2 „ 

Modern 2 2 „ 

History of Literature 2 2 „ 

Or the whole ... £550 

4. Mental and Moral Philosophy. 

Mental Philosophy 3 3 ,, 

Moral and Political Philosophy . . . .330 „ 

Or the whole ... £550 

French Language and Literature. 

Under- Graduates and Graduates 

Occasional Students 
German Language and Literature. 

Under- Graduates and Graduates 

Occasional Students 










In order to secure, as far as possible, the respectability of the Students for the ministry, 
with regard to character and literary attainments, it is a rule of this Institution, 'That 
no one shall be admitted as a Divinity Student, but on the recommendation of three 
Protestant Dissenting Ministers, residing in the neighbourhood where he lives, who shall 
certify, that at the commencement of his course he will have attained the full age of 
sixteen ; that, on their personal examination, his moral character, natural endowments, 
and classical proficiency, are found to be such as to qualify him for becoming a Student 
for the Ministry ; and that the profession is the object of his own voluntary choice.' It 
is required that he have read, in Greek, four Books of Homer, and three Books of tlie 
Cyropajdia, or the Anabasis of Xenophon ; in Latin, four Books of Virgil, two Books 
of the Odes of Horace, and Sallust's History of the Catilinarian Conspiracy and the 
Jugurthine War. In all these he is to be examined in any part pointed out at the time, 
without previous notice.— It is also required, that, besides bang thoroughly acquainted 
with the practical Rules of Arithmetic, as usually taught in Schools, he have studied 
Algebra, as far as Simple Equations, and read the first two Books of Euclid, or of 
Legcndre's Elements of Geometry. Students admitted from other academical institu- 
tions, in any other year than the first, will be required to have made classical proficiency, 


proportioned to the standing which tliey wish to take. If they enter in the second year, 
their testimonials must also state, that they have heen examined and found competently 
skilled in Hehretc, and have read the Book of Genesis in the original ; if in the third 
year, the Book of Psalms. It is also required that the testimonials be in the handwriting 
of one of the subscribing Ministers. In the case of a Student who has previously 
attended the Classical and Mathematical Classes in the College, testimonials from the 
Classical and Mathematical Professors, to the effect that they consider him competent 
to enter upon the first year's course, shall be sufficient, instead of the usual testimonials 
to his Classical and Mathematical attainments. 

It must be further understood, that, when Candidates are admitted as Divinity Students 
It IS under the implied obligation, on their part, that it is their bona fide intention, and 
that of their friends, that they shall go through the full College course; and that to 
quit the College at an earlier period, for the purpose of undertaking any congregational 
charge, cannot be sanctioned by the Trustees. 
. Applications for the admission of Divinity Students on the foundation, must be addressed 
to one of the Secretaries at Manchester, prior to the Examination in June 

It is requested that all applications, relating to the occasional or permanent supply of 
Congregations by Students, may be addressed to the Theological Professor. 

The entire Course of a Divinity Student will embrace five years- of 
which the first three will be chiefly devoted to the Classes in the Literary 
and Scientific Department, enabling him, at the close of that period of his 
course, to take the Degree of B.A. in the University of London ; and the 
last two will be principally devoted to Theology. 

Hebrew Language; and the Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion. 

1; Hebieiv, Chaldee, and Sijriac Languages. 

2. Critical and E^egetical Tkeology.-l History of the Hebrew Language. Canon of 

the Old Testament. History of the Writings it contains, and of the Text 
Critical aids requisite for the study of the Old Testament, ii. Philology of 
the Old Testament. General and Special Literpretation of it 

3. Ecclesiastical History.-Vrlr.c\i,.\ form, and developments of the religious nrinci pie 

m the Hebrew world. History of Hebrew Monotheism. Period i From the 
origm of Christianity to the age of Co nstantine. Period ii. From the age of 
Constantine to that of Charlemagne. 

4. Pastoral Theology.-J.,cX^res on the objects which the Student for the Christian 

Ministry ought especially to keep in view; on the qualifications and duties of 
the Preacher, and the requisites of the Pastor; with selections from the ser 
mons, and illustrations from the lives of distinguished Christian Ministers ^ 


F I r T H YEAR. 

1. Hebrew and Sijriac Languages. 

2. Crill cal and Exegetical Theology.— i. Language of the New Testament. Canon of it. 

History of the Writings it contains, and of the Text. Critical aids requisite 
for the study of the New Testament, ii. Philology of the New Testament. 
General and Special Interpretation of it. 

3. Ecclesiastical Hi story. --PenoA Hi. From the time of Charlemagne to the Reformation. 

Period iv. From the Reformation to the French Revolution. 

4. Pastoral Theology.— CoiMmm^tion of the Fourth Year's Course, with Exercises in the 

Composition and Delivery of Sermons, and occasional employment in Village 

and other Preaching. 
In superintending the Pulpit Exercises of the Students, the Professor 
of Pastoral Theology is assisted by the other Professors in the Theological 
Department ; and a weekly religious service is conducted by one or more 
of the Senior Students, at which all the Divinity Students are expected 
to attend. 

The Committee offer their services in pointing out suitable places for 
boarding and lodging to Students who may come from a distance; and 
they avail themselves of this opportunity of stating, that, in houses selected 
andapprovedby them, the expenses of residence need not exceed from 
;€35 to £40 per Session. 

Any further particulars may he had on application to either of the 

The Session commences on the last Friday in September, and terminates 
the last Friday in June. 












COMMITTEE, 1846—1847. 

Mr. T. HORNBY, 31, St. SwitWn's Lane, Treasurer. Rev. E. TAGART, Bayswater, Hon, Secretary. 

Mr. EDW. FORD, Jun 
Mr. T. F. GIBSON, 


Rev. Dr. HUTTON, Mr. H. J. PRESTON, 

Rev. T. MADGE, I Rev. Dr. REES. 


Mr. T. R. HORWOOD, Resident Secretary. 

*» * Communications are to be addressed to the Honorarj' Secretary, or to the Resident Secretary, at the 
Association Office, No. 31 , St. Swithin's Lane, London ; where Subscriptions will also be received. Attend- 
ance — Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, from 11 until 4 o'clock. 






1. The Association is formed for the promotion of tlie principles of Unitarian Clnistianity 
at home and abroad — the snpport of its worship — the diffusion of bibhcal, theological and 
literary knowledge on topics connected with it— and the maintenance of the civil rights and 
interests of its professors. 

2. It shall be denominated " The British and Foreign Unitarian Association." 

3. It shall consist of District Associations communicating with the central body and send- 
ing representatives thereto — of Congregations or Auxiliary Funds communicating in like 
manner — of individual Subscribers— and of Honorary Members. 

I. By District Associations are meant any Societies already formed, or hereafter to be 
formed in the country, (or in London, if thought advisable,) whether of Individuals cr 
Cono-regations, for whatever particular Unitarian object, and comprising more or less 
extent according to local convenience. They may have their own funds, and particular 
class of objects to be determined by themselves ; but uniting themselves to the Associa- 
tion to the extent of appointing two Deputies, (who will in that character become Mem- 
bers of the Association and of all its Committees.) — contributing not less than Five 
Pounds annually to the General Fund — appointing one of their officers the regular 
official Correspondent with the General Committee — communicating yearly reports to 
the General Meeting of the state of Unitarianism within their respective limits — and 
generally, promoting the leading objects of the Association. — Such District Associations 
to be styled, according to their respective localities, " The [ ] District Associa- 

II. Congregations or Auxiliary Funds (which may either not form part of any District 
Association, or which may in addition thereto be desirous of being more immediately 
connected with the General Association, and of contributing directly to its funds,) may 
unite with, and send two representative Members to the General Public Meetings of the 
Association; such Congregations e\t'ncr to make an annual contribution to the General 
Fund of not less than Three Pounds, or a collection at least once in three years for its 
benefit. The Officiating Ministers of such Societies to be considered, during their con- 
tinuance as such, Honorary Members of the Association. 

III. The qualification of Individual Members for voting and holding offices shall be 
an annual subscription of not less than one Guinea, or a life donation of not less than 
Ten Guineas. 

4. The Association shall pursue its general objects in such mode and under such divisions, 
as shall from time to time appear most advisable and shall be directed at its General Meetings. 

5. Until otherwise resolved, the following shall be considered as the leading divisions of 
its objects : — 

I. The promotion of Unitarian worship in Great Britain, by assisting poor Congre- 
gations, and sending out or giving assistance to Missionary Preachers, 

II. The publication and distribution of books and tracts, controversial and practical — 
priticipally in a cheap and popular form. 

III. The pursuit of the two last-mentioned objects (as opportunity and the means of 
the Association may aflbrd) in foreign countries, and the maintenance, in the mean time, 
of correspondence and general co-operation. 

IV. Tlie protection and extension of the civil rights of Unitarians. 

G. For the purpose of preserving the distinct prosecution of each of the above objects, and 
for the maintenance of the funds and property that may be, or have been, invested, bequeathed, 
or contributed for any of those objects specifically, or to or for any of the Societies which may 
imite themselves to this Association, and for the purpose also of enabling individuals, who are 
so disposed, to approjjriate their subscri))tions to any one of those objects in preference to 
another, separate fmuls and accounts shall he opened and kept for each, besides the General 
Fund, or Account of the Association ; which separate funds shall be respectively called — 

I. The Congregational and Missionary Fund (representing, uniting, and preserving 
the Society called " The Unitarian Fund," and as such appropriating and giving validity 
to all Donations and Bequests to such Society). 

II. The Book and Tract Fund. 

III. The Foreign Fund. 

IV. The Civil Right Fund. 

7. Each Member of the Association shall be at liberty either to subscribe to the General 
Fund of the Association, or to appropriate his subscription or donation to any one of the 
particular Funds above designated, or to apportion it among them or any of them. 

8. The General Fund of Subscriptions and Donations, not specifically appropriated by the 
Donors tliereof, shall be divisible and applicable among tl>e several objects of the Association, 
under the direction of its Committee. 

9. It sliall be competent to the Association to receive and merge into itself anyone or more 
of the Societies at present established in London, for the promotion of any particnlar branch 
of its objects, together with the existing list of subscribers, stock and property of any such 
Society; and in such event, sucli stock and property may be appropriated to the parliciilar 
fund to which the same shall apply, and be preserved therewith, distinct from the General 
Fund of the Association. 

10. All persons who shall have made Donations to any of the Societies so merged in this 
Association, to the amount altogether of Ten Guineas, or who shall increase their Donations to 
that amount, shall be considered as Life Subscribers of the Association after the union. 

11. All Members of the Association, and all District and Congregational Societies united 
therewitli, shall be entitled to recommend cases to the attention and assistance of the General 

12. A house or other appropriate offices in London shall be taken for the Committee 
Meetings, and for the permanent carrying on of the business of the Association ; at which one 
of its officers may, if thought advisable, constantly reside or attend. 

13. At the General Annual Meeting, to be held as hereafter provided, a General Com- 
mittee, consisting of nine persons. Members of the Association, shall be chosen to transact its 
general business for the ensuing year, four of whom present at any Meeting duly summoned 
shall constitute a quorum. 

14. At such Annual General Meeting a Treasurer of the Funds of the Association shall 
also be chosen. 

15. An Honorary Secretary shall also be chosen at the same meeting for the general busi- 
ness and objects of the Association. 

16. Such Treasurer and Secretary shall form part of the Committee by virtue of their offices, 

17. A Solicitor shall be also chosen to attend to any legal business of the Association. 

18. A Resident Secretary shall be yearly appointed for the management and conduct of tlie 
ordinary business of the Association, under the direction of the Honorary Secretary : — such 
appointment to be made by the Committee, with such salary or other allowance, or remune- 
ration out of the Funds of the Association, as shall from time to time be deemed proper and 
be agreed upon. 

19. The Committee shall appoint such Sub-Coiumittees for the separate conduct of the dif- 
ferent branches of the business of the Association, as may appear to them necessary and proper. 

20. Three Auditors shall be chosen at the Annual General Meeting, for the purpose of 
auditing the Treasurer's accounts, one of whom shall not have been Auditor for three years 

21. An Annual General Meeting of tlie Association shall be held on the Wednesday in 

22. On the Monday in that week a meeting shall be held of the General Committee, 
attended by the Deputies of the District Associations, at which meeting the Reports of such 
District Associations shall be received — the General Committee's Report, and any Sub-Com- 
mittees' Reports chat may be thought expedient, agreed upon — the accounts audited — any 
subjects to be brought before the Public Meeting considered — and all other general prepara- 
tory business transacted. On the Wednesday morning a Sermon shall be preached before the 
Association by a Minister previously appointed by the Committee, and a public collection 
made in aid of the Funds. Afterwards, on the same day, the General Public Meeting of the 
Members of the Association (comprising the Individual Subscribers, Deputies of District As- 
sociations, Representatives oj Congregations, and Honorary Members) shall be held for receiving 
the Report or Reports, electing the officers, and transacting the general business of the Asso- 

23. Ministers preaching the Sermons at the General Meeting shall thenceforth be con- 
sidered Honorary Members of the Association. 

24. No Sermon so preached before the Society shall be printed at the expense of tlie Asso- 
ciation, except upon the application of the Committee to the Preacher, on a vote at a regular 
meeting of the Committee. 

25. The Annual Report or Reports of the Committee shall be printed every year upon or 
immediately after the Annual Meeting, and forwarded to the District ,\ssociations and Con- 
gregations for general circulation. 


26. Every Annual Meeting shall be held in London, but should circumstances at any time 
render it advisable, it shall be in the discretion of a General Meeting or of the Committee, 
to hold any Adjourned or Special Meeting in some other principal city or town of England. 

27. The Committee shall have power at any time to call a General Meeting of the Asso- 
ciation, in their discretion. Any twelve Members shall have the same power, by requisition, 
in writing, to the Secretary. 

28. The Committee shall appoint Local Treasurers and corresponding Agents in such places 
as shall appear expedient, for the promotion and regular transmission of subscriptions and 

29. The business of the Book and Tract department shall be conducted under the follow- 
ing regulations : — 

I. Every Member of the Association, and all Congregations and District Societies, 
shall be entitled, oh application to the Resident Secretary, to purchase the books placed 
upon its Catalogue at prices to be fixed by the Book Sub-Committee. 

IL A priced Catalogue of the Books intended for sale or distribution shall be an- 
nually provided by the Sub-Committee, under the sanction of the General Committee, 
and sent once a year to every member of the Association, and to every Country Society 
and Congregation connected with the Association. 

in. Country Book Societies are invited to send their Catalogues in like manner to the 
Resident Secretary, and to concur in arrangements for facilitating the mutual exchange 
and circulation of the Books published or held by each. 

IV. Any of the Sub-Committees shall have power, in furtherance of their particular 
objects, to make votes of Books, — such votes, if exceeding at any one time five pounds, 
to be sanctioned by the General Committee. 

V. The Life-Subscribers of the late " Unitarian Society for promoting Christian 
Knowledge and the Practice of Virtue by the Distribution of Books," existing at the 
union with this Association, and also such of the Annual Subscribers of that Society as 
shall continue their subscriptions after the union, shall, in consideration of the Stock 
brought by them to this Association, have apportioned to them as heretofore, if claimed, 
an annual allotment of Books proportioned to their subscriptions, to be nominated by 
them from the Catalogue, such apportionment and the amount thereof to be from time 
to time fixed by the Book Sub-Committee. 

VI. The Association shall be at liberty to receive from any persons Annual Sub-' 
scriptions or Donations, in respect of which an annual apportionment of Books shall be 
made by the Sub- Committee, in the same manner as to the former Members of the 
Unitarian Book Society, under the last regulation. A Donation of ten guineas to be con- 
sidered equal to an Annual Subscription of one guinea, and so in proportion. But a 
separate list shall be kept of these Subscribers ; and they are not to be considered as 
Members of this Association in respect of any such Donations and Subscriptions for 
which they shall so take value, unless they are Members by the other qualifications of 
Subscribers, laid down in Rule 3. 

VII. The Association shall adopt and carry into effect the Trust existing as to the 
Improved Version of the New Testament, under the management of the Unitarian Book 
Society at its union, taking on itself the powers lately possessed by the Book Society 
in connexion with the Trustees. 

30. The Committee shall have power to appoint and admit Honorary Memlwrs in their 

31. All Subscriptions shall be paid in advance, arid be considered as falling due on the 
first day of January in every year. 

32. No addition to or alteration in the Rules of the Association shall be made, except at 
a General Meeting, and after notice of the intended motion for addition or alteration, to the 
Committee at one of its meetings preceding. 


Also I A.B. do hereby give and bequeath unto C. D. of and E. F. of the 

sum of to be raised and paid out of my personal estate, upon trust, that they or either 

of them do pay the same to the Treasurer, for the time being, of a voluntary Society, com- 
monly called or known by the name of ' The British and Foreign Unitarian dissociation,' the 
same to be paid within months next after my decease, and to be applied to the uses- 

and purposes of the aforesaid Association or Society. 





Held in the Chapel in Essex Street, Strand, June 3, 1846. 

J. B. ESTLIN, Esq., of Bristol, in the Chair. 

The Treasurer's Accounts and the Report of the Committee having been 
received and approved, 

The following Resolutions were passed : — 

That this Meeting cordially approves the plan of appointing a travelling 
Agent, being an educated and accomplished minister well-acquainted with 
the wants and character of the Unitarian body, to visit various Churches 
and districts in the country, to preach and make extensively known the 
plan and objects of the Association, and would urge it on the Committee 
to take immediate and efficient steps by the offer of adequate remuneration 
to obtain a well-qualified individual for the office. 

That this Meeting highly approves the effort to diffuse a correct knowledge 
of Unitarian principles among the Christian brethren in the Potteries, and 
would encourage further endeavours by Lectures and the diffusion of 
Tracts, to confirm them in their adherence to Scriptural Christianity, and 
in their desire to establish Societies for Christian improvement. 

That it be referred to the Committee of the Association to consider whether 
any and what steps can be taken to secure that the Schools of the 
British and Foreign School Society shall be conducted upon the original 
fundamental and comprehensive principles of the Society without dogmatic 



The attention of your Committee, during the past year, has been assiduously 
devoted to a great variety of important objects coming almost entirely under 
that class which the old and warm friends of the Association have well en- 
titled the " home " objects. But before entering upon the detail of their 
labours, it is their melancholy duty to advert in the first place to the heavy 
loss which they especially have sustained, in common with the Unitarian 
world, by the decease of the Rev. Robert Aspland, who for so many 
years was the able, distinguished and unwearied Secretary of this Insti- 
tution. Declining health obliged him to withdraw, for the last two or three 
years, from our social meetings and from active labours, but he was with us 
in spirit to the last ; and when his mortal existence terminated with the close 
of the last year, your Committee deemed it incumbent upon them, by every 
feeling of respect and grateful recollection, to place on record their deep 
sense of his faithful and invaluable services. The following resolution was 
therefore entered upon their Minutes, and transmitted to the widow and 
eldest son, the Rev. R. B. Aspland of Dukinfield, in testimony of sympathy 
with their domestic bereavement : 

" The Committee of this Association cannot hold their first meeting after the de- 
cease of the Rev. Robert Aspland, without placing on record their high respect for 
his memory, and their deep sense of his long and faithful semces in the cause, for 
the promotion of which they are associated. They remember with peculiar interest 
that he devoted himself, from earliest manhood, to the candid study of rational and 
scriptural religion, and to the advancement of the civil and religious liberties of his 
country. His presence and advice on all occasions of public importance to Protest- 
ant Dissenters, were particular!}' valuable from his sound knowledge of constitutional 
history, the clearness of his judgement, and the aptitude for business, perfected by 
care and experience. In conformity with his convictions of Divine Truth, he was 
from its first establishment a zealous friend of the Unitarian Fund, and when this 
fund was united with two other societies to form the British and Foreign Unitarian 
Association, it was in reliance upon Mr. Aspland's valuable aid as the Honorary 
Secretary, that his excellent friend, Mr. Edgar Taylor, drew up the statement of its 
plans and objects. This office was held by their departed friend, with slight inter- 
missions, till ill-health obliged him to withdraw from the scenes of active labour. 
As the pastor of one of our most important Christian societies, the disinterested editor 
of a truly useful periodical, first the Monthly Repository, and afterwards the Chris- 
tian Reformer, a trustee of our oldest Dissenting Institutions, Mr. Aspland's name 
is indelibly and honourably associated with the history of Presbyterian and Unita- 
rian Dissent. But when the associates of his upright labours wish to revert to the 
brightest period of his public life, they will turn to the memorable repeal of the 
Corporation and Test Acts, as the first in that series of measures for the enlarge- 
ment of religious liberty, followed by the Dissenters' Marriage Act, and the Dis- 
senters' Chapels Act, to whose triumphant completion Mr. Aspland's talents and in- 
fluence so essentially contributed." 

' Turning from this public and private loss to the general affairs of the 
Society, your Committee have the pleasure of recording several satisfactory 
proofs which have been afforded them during the past year of public sym- 
pathy Avith the plans and objects of the Society. Shortly after tlie publica- 
tion of the last Report we received from our excellent friends, the Misses 
Yates of Liverpool, a donation of 201. , accompanied by a letter expressing 

their strong sense of the importance and usefulness of the Association. We 
have been also much gratified by a very interesting communication from 
Dr. Blest of Secunderabad in India, containing a subscription of 5/., and an 
additional 5l. to be laid out in the purchase of books and ti'acts for his use 
and distribution. It was particularly gratifying on account of the favourable 
testimony which it bore to the characters of A. Chiniah and William Ro- 
berts, son of the late William Roberts at Secunderabad ; it supplied a want 
which the Committee had long felt, namely, that of an intelligent English 
gentleman on the spot to give some account from personal knowledge of the 
native establishments in Madras and its neighbourhood, establishments upon 
which, during the life of the late William Roberts, so much money was ex- 
pended. Dr. Blest expresses himself as follows : — 

" Though nursed in the lap of high Calvinism, and nearly forty years in the ranks 
of Trinitarianisra, I have for the last few years of my life been fully persuaded that 
the principles of Unitarian Christianity are identical with the grand truths of reve- 
lation, but though in occasional communication with Dr. Drummond of Dublin, to 
whose able writings and personal attention in sending me books I am under the most 
important obligations, I knew but very little of the British and Foreign Unitarian 
Association till I witnessed its delightful operations in this remote part of the world. 
I am therefore desirous of becoming a member of that noble Institution, and learn- 
ing from Chiniah that you are Secretary to the Society, I have the pleasure to hand 
you the inclosed bill of exchange, bh, which I beg you will kindly receive as my do- 
nation to the Society, and appropriate the balance to the purchase of books." 

Your Committee have the pleasure of announcing the decision of the Vice- 
Chancellor Wigram, in the case of Shrewsbury v, Hornby, in favour of this 
Association, by which an annuity of 300/., expiring in 1850, is given by the 
will of Mr. Cooke, in trust to the Treasurer of this Society, (o pay 100/. per 
annum to the Devonport Congregation, and to divide the remaining 200/. 
per annum among poor Unitarian congregations. The fund has not yet been 
realized, but it is fully expected that it will be in the course of a few weeks, 
as it is understood that all objections to the Decree have been removed. 

We have received a legacy of 19/. from Mrs. Mary Ann Butler; and in 
further evidence of general sympathy with the plan and objects of the So- 
ciety, it may be mentioned that shortly after the last anniversary, applica- 
tions were received from the Sussex Unitarian Christian Association, through 
the Rev. Edward Talbot, and from the Irish Tract Society Meeting at 
Belfast, for deputations to be sent to their anniversary meetings ; but with 
these invitations your Committee were unable to comply, although convinced 
that such personal visits would be most useful in extending the knowledge 
and influence of the Society. Your Honorary Secretary was engaged to 
visit the West of England a second time, an engagement which he fulfilled in 
July last, and he preached and attended a public meeting at Plymouth. A 
resolution was passed by the congregation at Plymouth, under the pastor- 
ship of the Rev. W. Odgers, pledging the congregation to give its best 
support to the Association, and the subscriptions from that Society were in- 
creased to 11/. \Gs. 6d. per annum. At the same time your Secretary had 
much conversation with the respected ministers and influential gentlemen in 
the West with regard to the foundation of a Union of Churches and a plan 
of ministerial circuits; and by assurance of hearty cooperation and pecuniary 
support from this committee, those gentlemen were engaged to form what 
is now the very useful and active Western Union, under whose auspices a 
place of worship has been opened at Torquay in Devonshire, where divine 
service is regularly conducted. The Congregation at Cheltenham has also 

been regularly supplied and materially benefited. The Western Christian 
Union has formally united itself to the British and Foreign Unitarian Asso- 
ciation by the annual subscription of 5^. 

Your Committee deem it right also to mention, that having taken into 
consideration the subject of the debt remaining upon the Chapel in Little 
Portland Street, of which the Rev. Edward Tagart, the respected Secretary 
of this Association, is minister, and the efforts making by the Congregation 
to pay off the debt, it was resolved — "That the sum of 50^. be contributed 
out of the funds of this Association to the above object as an expression of 
sympathy with the congregation, and as a token of respect and esteem for 
their Pastor, whose valuable services as Honorary Secretary of this Asso- 
ciation have for some years been devoted to this Society." This Resolution 
having been communicated to the congregation, the following letter was re- 
ceived from their Treasurer, Mr. Sheppard, in reply : — 

63 Brook Street, Hanover Square, 27 May, 1845. 

Dear Sir, — I am requested by the Congregation of Little Portland Street Chapel 
to transmit to you a copy of the resolution passed at the Meeting on Sunday last, 
which will explain the reasons that have induced it to decline the assistance so kindly 
and so liberally offered. The cheque which you were so good as to send me I now 

Believe me, dear Sir, yours faithfully, 

Thomas Hornhy, Esq. Thomas Sheppard. 

Little Portland Street Chapel. 

" At a General Meeting of the Subscribers of the Chapel held on the 25th May, 
1845, Samuel Ridge, Esq., in the Chair. 

" The resolution passed at the meeting of the General Committee of the British and 
Foreign Unitarian Association, on the igtli May, 1845, and the letter of the Trea- 
surer, Mr. Hornby, to Mr. Sheppard, the Treasurer of the Chapel, inclosing a cheque 
for 50Z., having been read to the meeting, it was resoved — 

"That this Congregation has received with peculiar pleasure the gratifying reso- 
lution of the Committee of the British and Foreign Unitarian Association tendering 
a handsome donation of 50L towards the payment of the debt pressing upon this 
Chapel, and duly appreciates the kind feelings from which the resolution has ema- 
nated ; but considering all the circumstances of their own position, and the nume- 
rous demands upon the funds of the Association in the country at large, this Con- 
gregation would beg most respectfully and gratefully to decline an assistance which 
they feel may be more deeply needed in other quarters. 

(Signed) " Samuel Ridge, Chairman." 

It will be remembered by the readers of our last Report, that the plan of 
deputations to the country, which was attended witli so much success in the 
visits paid by members of your Committee to the West and North of England, 
was to be completed by the visit of the Rev. Thomas Madge and H. J. 
Preston, Esq. to Birmingham and its neighbourhood, the Midland Counties. 
Your Committee have received from time to time many assurances of sup- 
port from that neighbourhood, but there were various circumstances brought 
under their consideration which led them to defer to a future period the ful- 
filment of this part of their plan. The following Resolutions in reference to 
that subject were therefore passed by your Committee in October last : — 
Resolved, — \. That the Committee feel it necessary to postpone the pro- 
posed deputation. 
2. That the cordial thanks of this Committee are due to the Rev. Hugh 
Hutton and Thos. Eyre Lee, Esq., for the readiness which they have at 
all times evinced to co-operate with this Committee, and more especially 
for their willingness to welcome the proposed deputation, and to assist 
in carrying out the object of their visit to the utmost of their power. 


3. That this Committee, having postponed sending the proposed deputa- 
tion in the earnest hope of obtaining on some future and early occasion 
the united support of all the societies at Birmingham, trust that such 
postponement will be considered only as giving them a stronger claim 
to co-operation on the part of the Unitarians generally of that district, 
the want of which has been so long and so deeply felt. 

At the same time, in consequence of the painl\il impressions which had 
been left upon the minds of some of our supporters by the division of opinion 
manifested at the last meeting on the subject of the Maynooth Grant, and 
upon some other public grounds and considerations, your Committee came 
to the following Resolution, which they hope will be approved by this meet- 
ing, and be received as a pledge of future harmony and good understanding : 
" That this Committee deem it desirable to record the conviction forced 
upon them by recent experience, of the inexpediency and danger of enter- 
taining questions not immediately connected with the expressly defined 
ol)jects of the Society." 

Shortly after the last Anniversary, your Committee took into tlieir serious 
consideration some subjects which were suggested to them on several occa- 
sions by various friends, whom the Deputations had the pleasure of meeting 
in their visits to the country ; and the following points particularly engaged 
their attention. 

The employment of a Secretary, being a Minister, to make occasional 
missionary excui'sions, and assist in the establishing of new congregations, or 
reviving those already in existence ; to attend provincial meetings on behalf 
of the Association ; to promote union and co-operation ; and generally to 
make inquiries into the state of the Unitarian cause, and report to the Com- 

The encouragement of Associations of Ministers, or of individual Mini- 
sters, to missionarize in their respective districts, by providing or contribu- 
ting to the expense of such etForts. 

The more extensive printing and circulation of books and tracts, and the 
enlargement of tlie Society's Catalogue. 

The great difficulty in tlie way of accomplishing the first of these objects 
has been to find a gentleman with qualifications fitting him for such an office, 
and at the same time so situated as to be open to such an offer as the Com- 
mittee could make for his remuneration. But they have been in treaty with 
one gentleman, from whose engagement, could he have been induced to 
accept the office, highly useful and satisfactory results might be anticipated. 

In partial pursuance of the plan, they have had much satisfaction in en- 
gaging the Rev. Thomas Cooper, in the first instance for six months, as 
Minister of the Old Unitarian Society at Newcastle, and to act as a missionary 
in the Potteries in Staffordshire among the people formerly connected with 
the Methodists, but now meeting as independent societies, \mder the name of 
" The Christian Brethren," chiefly through tlie influence of Mr. Joseph Bar- 
ker's speaking and writings. The result of the first engagement was such 
as to induce your Committee to renew it for a further term of six months ; and 
through Mr. Cooper's agency a very large number of Unitarian books and 
tracts have been distributed, and by very numerous assemblages of inquiring 
people the truths and evidences of simple Christianity have been heard and 
welcomed. From Mr. Cooper's reports the Committee have pleasure in 
presenting you with the following extracts. 

" But it is to the Potteries that we must look for immediate and extensive use- 
fulness ; and here a most important field presents itself. The only question is, how 


to cultivate it to the best advantage. Ever since I have been in the neighbourhood, 
I have preached every Sunday morning at Newcastle, in the afternoon at Skelton, 
and devoted the evening to lecturing. I have always preached four times in the 
course of the Sundays, and occasionally five times. With a very few exceptions, my 
lectures have been well attended. The last course was delivered at Hanley, and the 
audiences were always large and attentive. It is not for me to speak of the impres- 
sion made ; I leave others to report on such matters. Altogether I have lectured 
forty-two times, and preached regularly on the Sunday morning and afternoon. The 
following are the places at which I have lectured : Newcastle, Etruria, Longton, 
Stoke, Hanley, Tunstall, Washermall. 

" There are several other places at which I might have preached and lectured, 
could I have found strength and time ; but I have done my best, and I hope I have 
not laboured in vain. Besides preaching, I have paid as much attention to visiting 
the people as possible. . On the whole, I have been very fully employed, and I can 
truly say the time has passed away in a most agreeable manner. If things remain 
as they were at Newcastle when I arrived in April last, a considerable impetus has 
been given to our just and righteous cause in the Potteries. The Christian Brethren 
and I now completely understand each other : indeed, from the first we were able 
and willing to co-operate heartily and pleasantly. I preached amongst them the 
first Sunday I arrived, and continued my humble services in their places of worship 
till the last day of my engagement. In principle they are complete Unitarians, and 
they are now not ashamed or afraid of the name, though they prefer the title of 
Christian, or Christian Brethren. Their numbers are very considerable : they are 
scattered through the whole Pottery district, as well as in many of the neighbouring 
villages. They are objects of universal dislike to the orthodox, by whom they are 
everywhere spoken against. Their influence however is feared, and not a few of 
their opponents begin to discover that it is not quite so safe as formerly to deal in 
mere reproach and calumny. 

" An idea prevails that the Christian Brethren are sadly deficient in devotional 
exercises, and even in a devotional spirit ; but this is an entire mistake, at least as 
far as my experience goes. There are, it is true, a few individuals amongst them 
who do not practise public social worship, but they constitute the exception and 
not the rule. The great body are decided advocates of singing and prayer, so that 
I have never yet been in a place where I had the slightest difficulty on this head. 
They also attend to the celebration of the Lord's Supper, and some of them keep up 
their class meetings for the inculcation of practical religion. They are anything but 
a mere debating people, and as their minds are quite made up as to the truth of the 
Unitarian doctrine, nine-tenths of them prefer practical to doctrinal preaching. It 
is with a view to others, rather than themselves, that lectures are delivered. In 
self-defence they are often obliged to take steps which, as a matter of taste and in- 
clination, they would much rather avoid. 

" Mr. Fillingham either has, or will furnish you with a report of the lectures I 
was called upon to deliver at Congleton, so that I need not say another word upon 
this subject. Knowing, as you do, the importance I attach to an extensive circula- 
tion of tracts, you will be prepared to believe that I have not been inattentive to this 
part of my duty. The great thing to be done is to make our views known, and to 
undeceive the millions who for so many ages have been kept in darkness by the mis- 
named orthodox. And I know of no way so obvious, so easy and so effectual as by 
the circulation of tracts. Lectures and sermons are helps, and in common cases 
may be left to produce their own influence ; but to correct the errors of the multi- 
tude, and to call their attention to what we believe to be the truth, we must do 
something more than preach. We want the means of carrying the Unitarian doc- 
trine into the manufactory, into the houses of the rich as well as the poor, and if 
you will give us plenty of tracts we shall have these means. We have a reudiny 
population, and if they are not supplied with our publications, they will be supplied 
with those which are written to warn the masses of the people against us as infidels, 
and enemies of true rehgion. 

" I have also paid attention to the establishment of libraries for the use of the 
Sunday schools in the different places where we have them formed, and I have suc- 
ceeded in four places, viz. Tunstall, Longton, Etruria and Stoke. I began by fur- 



nishing a few books to begin with, the cost of which 1 met out of the money voted 
by your Committee for incidental expenses. In mentioning the Sunday schools, I 
cannot help saying a few words in praise of the one which is established at Stoke. 
The number of scholars amounts to rather above 170, and the library has about 160 
volumes. The school is well looked after, and it does the superintendent infinite 
credit. The other schools are doing well, but they have not the same means as at 

In further reference to the condition of tlie Potteries, your Committee 
have had the pleasure of receiving a communication addressed to the Secre- 
tary from Mr. Henry Jones, of Cobridge in Staffordshire, which they cannot 
do otherwise than lay before their Subscribers in support and corroboration 
of Mr. Cooper's statements, and as a striking evidence of the interesting 
field of observation and attention which is opened to them in that neigh- 
bourhood : — 

Cobridge, Staffordshire Potteries, May 7, 1846. 

Reverend Sir, — I have been deputed to convey to you the accompanying reso- 
lution, passed at a Meeting of the Unitarian Congregation at Newcastle, and in doing 
so, perhaps I may be allowed to state a little more in particular what are the views 
and feelings of the Unitarians in that place in reference to the plan therein proposed. 
From the reports of Mr. Cooper you will have gained full accounts of the " Bar- 
kerite people." His mission amongst them has doubtless been productive of good ; 
there are now in this district numbers whose minds are fully made up that the 
popular are not the scriptural views of religion, and who need only to have the pure 
and simple truths of Christianity presented to them in the right way to ensure their 
reception with admiration and love. I am fully persuaded that there is the material 
for the formation of a numerous and respectable Unitarian Society : the present is 
an important crisis, and I cannot help at the same time feeling that on the friends 
of Unitarian Christianity a degree of responsibility rests to turn it to a right account. 
Everything will now depend upon the judicious employment of right means, for 
there is amongst this people, notwithstanding their fancied freedom and boasted 
liberality, no small degree of pride and prejudice, and they are sadly the slaves of 
party ; their disapproval of public worship, and adoption of the antinomian notion of 
praying only with the elect, has operated much against them ; and their opposition to 
what they term the hired ministry is much to be regretted, though it is not difficult 
to make large allowances for these feelings, when we consider the specimens they 
have had amongst their former connections. 1 am happy to perceive, from the in- 
tercourse I have had with them, that by a quiet and almost imperceptible process 
these prejudices are gradually wearing away, and it has appeared to me that nothing 
would so much tend to remove them, as the introducing into their churches some of 
our neighbouring Unitarian ministers, who would present our views in such a light 
as to engage their affections, and who would at the same time disabuse their minds 
of the horror of being priest-ridden, by exhibiting the true character of the Christian 
preacher and pastor. At the expiration of Mr. Cooper's mission I suggested this 
plan, which met at once with the hearty concurrence of the few friends who form 
the Newcastle Congres;ation, and the resolution was then passed of which I now 
send the copy. Mr. iiutton of Birmingham was the first to visit us the middle of 
last month ; he preached three times amongst the Christian Brethren, and the result 
of his visit was in the highest degree satisfactory. Mr. F. Howorth of Bury has 
engaged to come on the 18th and spend four evenings with us : from his visit we 
are anticipating much good : he is already known in this neighbourhood as a tem- 
perance advocate. We are desirous that these services should be obtained at least 
once a month, but with oui- unassisted resources this cannot be accomplished, as we 
calculate the expenses of each visit to be about 2l. 10s. It may be sometimes ne- 
cessary, in addition to the expenses of travelling, to have bills printed, and in order 
too that the expenses should come within this sum, our range of distance is neces- 
sarily circumscribed, else might we not avail ourselves of your own services ? a visit 
from yourself would afford great pleasure both to the Unitarian friends and "Chris- 
tian Brethren." You would I am sure be much interested in the people and would 
do them good, and you would then be enabled to form your own judgement as to 


afford advice in future arrangements. Mr. Noah Jones of Derby (my brother) will 
visit us in June ; may we hope to see you at any time subsequent to that? I think 
it is still desirable that a supply of tracts should be kept up ; notwithstanding the 
large number already granted, a few good tracts judiciously circulated will be of 
use ; should a grant be made, I should be glad to have an opportunity of suggesting 
the character of the tracts that appear to be most wanted. 

What I have written will, I fear, be considered an incoherent account, but if it is 
wished, I will endeavour to obtain and supply you with more particular statements, 
though I am forgetting that you already have every particular in the reports of Mr. 
Cooper. I shall be happy to receive a reply at your earliest convenience, and beg 
to remain. 

Dear sir, with great respect, very truly yours, 
21ie Rev. E. Tagart, London. Henry Jones. 

At a Meeting of the Congregation assembled in the Unitarian Chapel, Newcastle, 
on Sunday, April 12, 184C, F. Wedgwood, Esq. in the Chair, 
It was Resolved, — That it is the opinion of this Meeting that it is desirable to 
obtain the occasional services of neighbouring Unitarian Ministers to do duty at 
Newcastle on the Sunday morning, and to preach amongst the Christian Brethren 
in the Potteries ; and that a subscription be entered into for the purpose of defraying 
the expenses attendant on this place : and that the British and Foreign Unitarian 
Association be applied to for a grant in aid of this fund. 

That Mr. H. Jones be requested to make such application, and to be the corre- 
spondent in soliciting the services of Ministers. 

Subscriptions for the current year (commencing April 1st) — 

Mrs. Morgan 5 

Mr. F. Wedgwood 6 

Mr. M. Hargreaves 3 

Mr. H. Jones will receive the Ministers. Signed, F. W. 

Your Committee have also consulted the Rev. H. Hutton of Birmingham 
on the same subject, since his visit to the district, who thus expresses him- 

" For a calm and unexaggerated statement of the present state and prospects of 
our cause in the Potteries, and of the sort of men and discourses that are there 
wanted to carry it forward, I can recommend the Committee with confidence to Mr. 
Henry Jones, Cobridge, near Newcastle-under-Lyne, who I doubt not would be 
glad to give them all necessary information. It was on his invitation that I visited 
the Potteries ; I was his guest, and I was guided solely by his statements and ad- 
vice in all that I did, and I have every reason to rejoice that I had so cool and 
judicious an adviser when entering upon a field so entirely new to me." 

Upon the whole it is evident that a wide field of usefulness is opened for 
an intelligent and powerful agent of our cause in the district of the Potteries, 
if one can be found, and at any rate for the employment of sucli instruments 
and such means of exertion as we can command. Your Committee have 
had great pleasure in passing a resolution of thanks to Mr. Cooper for the 
zeal and fidelity with which he fulfilled his engagement, in which their sub- 
scribers they have no doubt will cordially agree. 

Among other interesting movements which liave characterized the past 
year, your Committee refer with unmixed pleasure to the establishment of a 
respectable and influential Society at Huddersfield, now under the ministra- 
tion of the Rev. G. Heap, formerly of Lydgate. To this Society your 
Committee have this year voted a sum of 30/. on account of the first great 
outlay in fitting up a commodious room as a Chapel for divine service, and 
they have also engaged to give 25/. for three years, the Congregation agreeing 
to raise 751. among themselves towards this important object. Through 
Mr. Hornblower, one of the Society, they have received an expression 


of thanks on the part of the Congregation at Huddersfield for the aid vvhicli 
has been afforded them, and they cannot forbear quoting from a private 
letter the interesting account of the first opening of the Chapel. It is ad- 
dressed to the Rev. E. Kell, of Newport, Isle of Wight, to whose stimu- 
lating energies and exertions the establishment of the Society at Huddersfield 
is mainly owing. 

Huddersfield, Monday, 6th April. 

My dear E. — I am sure you will be wishing to hear from some one an account 
of the opening day and the consecration of our little Chapel ; for why should we not 
give it this title, as it is there we meet to praise our great Creator, and from thence 
we hope to return with our minds elevated and purified, more fitted for the daily 
combat of the Christian life? What a blessed consummation of our hopes! my 
heart rises in thankfulness still, as I think that we have at last gained our point. 

Whenever I have seen my own children by the side of dear , and felt that we 

had no prospect of raising a place of worship for them, I have been sick at heart, 
and fits of depression have mingled in my daily cup. It has indeed been a severe 
trial to us all, this want of spiritual food ; now I am determined, as well as the rest 
of the circle who see the importance of this step, to persevere, and in every possible 
way encourage and help our good Minister in the task he has undertaken ; he will 
have at times discouragements, and we will give him our help and advice ; already 
has he felt the bigotry of the place ; perhaps rather prematurely he offered to teach 
or rather offered his services at the mechanics, and the committee met and refused 
him, because they feared it would injure the subscriptions if known there was Uni- 
tarian influence in the Institution : persecution and unkindness will however only 
unite us more closely in a common bond. But now let me begin to say something 
of the day, which, as regarded weather, was most unpropitious, — snow and rain all 
day long ; happily we could have a car, a stand having been lately established : not- 
withstanding the unceasing rain our room was full ; a dozen perhaps of the Christian 
Brethren came, and some others doubtless from curiosity, for it was known every- 
where that we were beginning. Mr. H gave us a very suitable and simple dis- 
course on love to God and man, after a few preliminary remarks as to why we had 
set apart this place to ourselves ; his hymns too were well chosen, and the service was 
altogether most gratifying and touched a chord in many a heart there assembled. I 
had stifled my own emotions at first, but in the second hymn I could no longer 
repress the burning tears, and grasping her hand I heard her voice too falter, and 

knew that she had difficulty to keep her place. Never, dearest E , did I experience 

more heartfelt joy than on this occasion ; and when after service I mingled my 
thanks with hers that he had acceded to our wishes, he said very kindly, I am 
quite repaid, you will now be satisfied for yourselves and 3'our children, and I am 
happier in knowing that your best wishes are gratified. In the evening we had a 
beautiful sermon from Mr. Wicksteed, on the necessity man had always felt for a 
religion, and showed how in all times and amongst all people man's spiritual wants 
were deeply felt; then he gave us a beautiful quotation from Channing, and then, 
without the slightest tone of uncharitableness, he addressed those whom he sup- 
posed came from curiosity to know what this doctrine was, so much spoken against ; 
he told them what Unitarianism was, and how Unitarians regarded the popular 
creeds, winding up beautifully by exhorting us to fight the good fight of faith and to 
persevere in our work, and recommending our pastor to all our sympathy and to do 
all in the spirit of christian love and tolerance. 

A. P . 

Clare Hill, Huddersfield, Monday, April 6th. 

Dearest E. — Knowing how deeply you are interested in our movements here, 
I cannot forbear sending you a few lines of the day that will long be remembered 
writh the deepest interest by all our little band ; it was a day of intense feeling and 
heartfelt gratitude and rejoicing that at length we had a place wherein to assemble 
and unite in public adoration, and I trust drink in living waters from the fountain 
of truth. I felt the only temporal wish I had ungratified was then accomplished; 
and when for the first time I heard our good pastor address us from his pulpit 
and saw all the little arrangements completed, I felt it was no dream but a blessed 


realit}', that now the longed-for object was attained, and a feeling of solemn deter- 
mination and responsibility and intense thankfulness possessed my soul, which I 

pray may not be soon dispelled. Mr. H spoke a few words previous to giving 

out the first hymn, which was "Ye nations round, &c.," which were very appro- 
priate, and indeed the whole service was full of earnestness, feeling and most 
appropriate ; his text was " Hear, O Israel," to the middle of 30th verse ; he spoke 
of our views of God as ennobling and elevating, without contrasting them strongly 
Avith those who differ ; the same of our views of Christ, and v.'ound up with a beau- 
tiful extract from Channing's sermon at the dedication of the second congregational 
church at New York, beginning with " We have erected this church amidst our 
homes as a remembrancer of God," and a beautiful conclusion it formed to his 
earnest, excellent and appropriate discourse. We had the room nearly full, though 
the morning or rather day was about one of the most soaking, both under foot and 
over head, that we have had since Christmas ; the snow that had fallen considerably 
the previous day was melting, while it poured down in torrents without intermission 
all day, and is so at this present moment. We expected many persons from Halifax, 
Leeds, Lydgate, and at each of the three houses provided accordingly, but of course 
only few came to the Chapel, except an omnibus full from Halifax, who all had 
friends in the town. Mr. Wicksteed was to preach for us in the evening, but was 

obliged to supply his own pulpit in the morning, one of the Mr. B -'s drove 

him over in a open gig, and he came in about five o'clock after a terrible drive in 
the rain. Our room, which will hold about 150, was crammed in the evening, we 
had borrowed forms besides our own, but the aisle up the centre of the room also 
contained standers. His text was from Jude, eh. i. ver. 3, on the duty of con- 
tending for the faith. 

Another interesting effort has been made at Southampton, where a small 
but zealous society exists, and a room has recently been opened for Unitarian 
worship, the expense of which, 15/. a year, your Committee has guaranteed. 
The Reverend Edwin Chapman of Guildford commenced tlie services and 
has been engaged in delivering a course of lectures illustrative of Unitarian 
Christianity. He has favoured us with the following observations on the 
condition and prospects of this movement at Soutliampton. 

" I was at Southampton on four Sundays, but was not able to spend the period be- 
tween my two Sundays in that town as I should have liked to do, so that I am the 
less able to form an opinion of the place as a Unitarian station. This I can say, 
that the few Unitarians there appear to me to be zealous, united, persevering and 
devout. They have felt the privation of Avorship in which they can heartily join, 
and therefore prize it the more, now that it is restored to tbem. I believe there is 
the nucleus of a congregation animated by a right spirit. Fiom what I learned in 
conversation, the population of the town affords large opportunities for exertion and 
good prospects of success to a missionary of 'Truth, Freedom, Charity' — to one 
Avho shall preach our faith more in its positive relation to all the best interests of hu- 
manity than in its opposition to popular errors. There are numbers of the more 
respectable mechanics and small tradesmen who want a form of religion on which 
thcv may lay rigorous hold, and satisfy their minds, tired of the hard logical array 
of doctrines called orthodox, but which revolt their deep-seated feelings of piety, 
and their high conceptions of the All-Good. 

" I am repeating what I heard, for I had no opportunities of observation ; but I 
have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the views laid before me. They appear to 
be founded on a large knowledge of Southampton, and to be guided by an eai'nest 
desire to know the truth for the sake of knowing how to be useful. 

" My impression is, that no great sudden advance will be made at Southampton, 
but that a continued, steady and judicious effort should be made there. Again, I 
would remark, as I have done in a former communication, that there is a population 
of between 30,000 and 40,000." 

Your Committee have also been much interested in the noble effort made 
by Captain CJiflbrd and his sister to establish an Unitarian Society at Saint 
Helier in Jersey. They have paid the Reverend Hugh Hutton's and the 


Rev. B. Mardon's travelling expenses to the Channel Islands as Agents 
and Missionaries in your cause. They are happy to announce that Captain 
GifFord, after encountering a host of untoward circumstances and painful 
disappointments on the part of his first coadjutors, lias obtained entire and 
sole possession of the Chapel, which has been opened for divine worship on 
Unitarian principles ; and they beg to take the account of the Rev. 
Tiiomas Cromwell, the last visitor and preacher of our faith at Saint Helier, 
as giving a faithful aud conscientious picture of the state and prospects of 
the infant church. 

14 Albion Terrace, Canonbury, May 15, 1840. 
My dkar Sir, — Though, from circumstances into which I need not enter, my re- 
port of my late visit to the Channel Islands must wear at most a semi-official cha- 
racter, I deem it right that, as the organ of the British and Foreign Unitarian Asso- 
ciation, you should receive some account of proceedings having for their first object 
to promote the Unitarian cause. Arriving in Jersey, I found tlae Chapel closed, the 
lease of which was so lately purchased by the excellent Captain Gifford of the Royal 
Navy, who hoped to establish therein the pure worship of the One God. A series 
of most untoward events — for nothing connected with which the Captain was blame- 
able, unless it were for too readily reposing confidence in the integrity of some parties 
and the discretion of others — has produced this much-to-be-deplored result. The 
legal difficulties arising out of the undertaking at its outset are, however, it is hoped, 
on the point of being surmounted : and as Captain Gifl'ord and his sister. Miss Ju- 
liana Gifl'ord, are willing to contribute between them 801. per annum — 50/. towards 
the salary of a Minister, and 301. for Chapel-rent and expenses attending the celebra- 
tion of divine worship — I do trust that the chief wish of these worthy persons' 
hearts will not be frustrated, but that a minister will be settled in Jersey, the addi- 
tional yearly sum required for whose support will be supplied from some other 
sources. I cannot but think that a resident population of 15,000 British, with the 
temporary influx of Unitarian families throughout the year, would furnish a sufficient 
congregation, if a suitable Minister were located there. The Chapel itself is a neat 
and appropriate building, capable of seating 250 persons, and is by no means ill- 
situated : it has an organ, gas-lights, &c., with ground attached on which a Sunday- 
school might be easily erected. With reference to which last particular, I may notice 
that Captain and Miss Gifford, although no worship is now performed in the build- 
ing, come regularly to town on the Sabbath mornings, from their residence nearly 
three miles distant, in order to instruct a small number of Sunday-scholars, who were 
much more numerous during the time of the services, and would be so again, there 
can be no doubt, if they were resumed. And though the congregation which com- 
menced here is now nearly broken up by the closing of their place of worship— some 
having taken seats elsewhere, and others having left the island — I do not hesitate 
to express my opinion that there is afield for Unitarianism in Jersej', which would 
bear fruit on being prudently cultivated. Although, at the five services for which 
the Chapel, while I was there, was re-opened, I was cautioned not to expect so many 
as a dozen hearers, the actual numbers ranged from about thirty (reckoning adults 
only) on the first" occasion, to exceeding fifty on the last : and I have been informed 
by Captain Giflbrd since my return, that many came on the Sunday after I quitted, 
and expressed much regret at finding the worship once more suspended. I feel bound 
to add, that though, by advice of my esteemed friend and predecessor (as Visiting 
Minister) in the Island, the Rev. B. Mardon, I delivered gratuitously, in a public 
room in the town, on weekday evenings, my three lectures on "British Antiquities," 
which are accompanied by numerous drawings, to audiences increasing from seventy 
or eighty to nearly 200 persons, I have no reason to think that the attendance upon 
those lectures contributed, unless in a very slight degree, to swell that upon the 
Chapel services. 

Tlie position of Unitarianism in Guernsey is different in several respects to that 
just described, yet was not to myself less interesting. There, as you are, I believe, 
aware, a little band of worshipers upon our principles meets on Sundays in a school- 
room in AUez Street, St. Peter's Port, belonging to Mr. W. Randall, who ordinarily 


conducts the services. The whole congregation, I was given to understand, seldom 
doubles the number of the rather large family of this exemplai-y man, who is re- 
spected by all ranks and classes of his fellow-townsmen. The chief reasons for so 
small an attendance appear to be that Mr. Randall, being engaged in trade, cannot 
give the requisite time to his preparations for those sabbath duties he has imposed 
upon himself, and that, on the ground of his being a layman. Unitarian families in 
the neighbourhood absent themselves. The last-mentioned persons, beyond a doubt, 
would attend the services of a regular minister, and more especially if he officiated 
in a chapel. And, unquestionably, it is exceedingly desirable that a minister and 
chapel be provided for this station — hoio, at present, is the point of difficulty. Yet 
many circumstances of encouragement exist here. A heyinniny has been in operation 
for a number of years, through the persevering and most praiseworthy exertions of 
the brethren who meet in AUez Street ; and it is one favourable consequence of their 
exertions, and of the high moral character of those most prominently engaged in 
them, that Unitarianism is better known and appreciated at St. Peter's Port than in 
numerous places very similarly situated in other respects. These facts, perhaps, 
best explain that of the rapidly augmenting number of the hearers of the three dis- 
courses I delivered in the school-room in Allez Street. The first, on a week-day 
evening, was listened to with marked attention by about fifty persons ; the second, 
on the following Sunday morning, by not less than seventy ; the third, on the even- 
ing of the same day,'by at least 100 within the room, besides auditors in the vestibule 
and outside the door. I am led to conclude, therefore, that Unitarianism would 
flourish in Guernsey, if only the ordinary means for its establishment were pro- 
vided ; and I need hardly speak of such a consummation as devoutly to be wished 
by all who desire the spread of pure Christianity. 

I remain, my dear Sir, most sincerely yours. 
Rev. E. Tagart, Thomas Cromwell. 

Secretary to the British and Foreign Unitarian Association, 8fc. 

Besides these grants, your Committee have voted 40/., in addition to 40/. 
given in a previous year, to the Congregatiori at Yarmouth for the completion 
of their Chapel and to free it from debt. They feel that so large a sum for 
one Society is very disproportionate to the entire amount at their disposal, 
but they were particularly anxious to prevent, in this case, those appeals to 
individuals which in the metropolis were becoming far too numerous and in- 
convenient. Your Committee voted 30/., conditionally, in the first instance, 
to the Society at Glasgow, now under the pastoral care of the Rev. W. Bou- 
cher, which they afterwards increased to 50/., with a view to assist efficiently 
in paying off the debt, i hey have also granted 5L, on application of the 
Rev. C. Wicksteed, to assist in the support of the worthy Unitarian teachers 
of Padiham, Messrs. Pollard and Robinson ; 51. towards repair of the 
Chapel at Framlingharri, under the pastoral care of Rev. Mr. Nutter ; 10/. 
towards the support of the Congregation at Billingshurst, on application of 
the Rev. E. Chapman ; 10/. to the Congregation at Chesterfield toward the 
expenses of a new school-room ; 251. towards the rebuilding of the Chapel 
at Swansea, under the care of the Rev. Mr. Brock ; 10/. towards tlie repair 
of Chapel at Trowbridge, under the care of the Rev. Mr. Martin ; 10/. to- 
wards the support of a minister at Poole; 10/. towards the expenses of a 
course of lectures at Yarmouth ; 20/. to Lynn, on condition that the full 
sum for liquidating the debt be raised, a condition since complied vviih ; 
20/. towards the support of an approved minister at Battle; 51. towards the 
expense of a gallery at Nevvington Green Chapel; 51. to Mr. Squire of 
Lympston in Devonshire, for his exertions in that neigiibourhood, as ad- 
vised by Mr. L. Yeates of Collumpton ; 51. to the Rev. Jolm Chappell 
of Yaxley, accompanied with recommendations to him to inquire into the 
state of the Trust connected with his Chapel; 10/. to the care of Mr. Henry 
Jones of Cobridge, Staffordshire, towards the expenses of ministers to lecture 


in the Potteries ; 251. to tlie Congregation at Montreal ; 10/. to the Congre- 
gation at Aberdeen. 

With some extracts from the letters of Mr. Cordner and Mr. Hedge of 
Montreal, and Mr. Patterson of Aberdeen, your Committee would conclude 
this portion of their report. 

Montreal, 26th January, 1846. 

Dear Sir, — At the Annual Meeting of the Christian Unitarian Society of Mon- 
treal, held on the 29th ult., the following resolution Avas passed unanimously : — 

Resolved — " That the thanks of this meeting be given to the British and Foreign 
Unitarian Association for its very liberal contribution to this Society of 501. sterling." 

I take the further hberty of observing, that our Society is steadily on the increase ; 
and could we but obtain a sufficient sura to sweep off the debt that is still hanging 
upon us, our prospects would be most encouraging. We sincerely hope and trust 
that our friends in England will follow the generous example set them by those in 
the United States, and relieve us from this burden. It will aid the cause of liberal 
Christianity in Canada greatly to free this Society from debt, that we may be the 
better enabled to render efficient aid to destitute parts of the country, when we shall 
be called upon, as we doubtless shall be before long, to assist in raising up new so- 
cieties and in building churches, or in supporting missionaries. Indeed, in the case 
of Toronto, had it not been that some members of our Society promised to assist 
them to the extent of 100?., our friends there would hardly have felt warranted to 
have sent their minister to the United States on a collecting tour to raise means to 
purchase the chapel of which they had the offer. It was the promise of assistance 
from us which gave them encouragement to solicit aid from our brethren in the 
neighbouring States. And a fair degree of success attended the efforts of their 
Pastor. He obtained assurances of assistance, and, probabl)-, in the course of this 
year, what with the 100/. from us, the Toronto people will receive a sufficient sum 
to pay for the chapel they now meet in. The prospects of that Society are en- 
couraging. The Rev. Mr. Adam continues to give much satisfaction. The usual 
attendance upon the sabbath is between fifty and seventy. The Rev. Mr. Adam is 
now engaged in delivering a course of doctrinal lectures, and the attendance upon 
these is rather more than double their usual number. We sincerely trust that the 
Toronto Societ}'^ will soon get a firm foothold ; and in a few years they will become 
strong enough to lend a helping hand to originate other societies, and thus the good 
seed will gradually spread throughout the province. Montreal, however, will be 
the centre of operations in Canada ; and you will at once perceive how important it 
is that we should be freed from all encumbrances — that our efforts should not be 
paralysed, as it were, by debt. I think I may with perfect safety add, that every 
shilling contributed to our aid, by our friends in Great Britain and Ireland, will be 
considered in the light of a loan to be returned, or rather to be expended in pro- 
moting the cause of liberal Christianity in this distant appendage of Her Majesty's 
dominions. The fact is, our little church has cost us about 500Z. more than origin- 
ally contemplated. The whole cost of building and land is something less than 3000/. 
It will be but very little less when we get it inclosed, which must be done, but which 
we cannot now do for want of funds. We are happy to have it in our power to say 
that we have now a church respectable in appearance, and comfortable in accommo- 
dation, where we have the means of admitting all to a seat who have a desire to 
hear our views expressed, or a wish to be witness to our simple mode of worship. 
And many there are who come for these purposes, and go away surprised that they 
are not strengthened in their prepossessions against us. They find no harmony be- 
tween what they hear in our church and what they hear out of our church— between 
what our minister says in the church, and what is said of our minister and of our- 
selves out of church'. They find great clashing in the statements made by those 
inimical to our faith, with the facts appertaining to our belief. Thus it ever has 
been, and ever will be, so long as sectarianism is made to hold the place of Christi- 
anity, and the great body of the people are made to see with other eyes than their 
own. We have good reason to believe that there are many Unitarians in Canada 
who have not given expression to their religious views since coming into the country, 
because they find themselves surrounded by those who have no sympathy in their 



belief. Accidental circumstances are bringing such to our knowledge now and then. 
Wherever we can learn of any friendly to our views, we invariably supply them with 
tracts and numbers of our ' Bible Christian,' which little paper, we think, is doing 
much good. We arc sadly in want of tracts, particularly those of a doctrinal nature ; 
and should be exceedingly happy to receive from your Association as many as you 
could send us for circulation. With the warmest thanks for the lively interest your 
Association has continued to manifest towards our little Society from its first forma- 
tion, . 

I remain, yours truly. 

Rev. E. Tayart. William Hedge, 

Secretary to the Christian Unitarian Society of Montreal. 

Montreal, 28th August, 1845. 
I am happy to inform you that a very propitious commencement has been made 
towards the formation of a Unitarian Congregation in Toronto, Upper Canada. 
Early in the last month I went up there (about 400 miles from this city) and 
preached the first discourse to an audience collected by public notice in the news- 
papers : I requested a meeting on the Wednesday evening following of such persons 
as felt interested in the formation of a Unitarian Society, and found that///ee« per- 
sons attended for that purpose, who passed resolutions to form a Society, and opened 
a subscription list to meet current expenses. This I regarded as a very good nucleus 
around which a gathering might be made. I preached a second sabbath also, and 
requested a meeting immediately after the evening service, as I had to leave for Mon- 
treal next morning. At that meeting I urged on them the great importance of acting 
and sustaining the commencement just made. The people, who were gathered from 
all pai-ts, England, Scotland and Ireland, seemed very much in earnest, and the conse- 
quence has been that they have rented a church which they hope to be able to pur- 
chase by the assistance of friends abroad, and have kept up meetings ever since. And 
not only so, but by a great struggle and effort they have secured the services of a man 
of great experience as their pastor, I mean the Rev. Mr. Adam, formerly of Calcutta. 
This is a great step. He suits their circumstances precisely. None of the people are 
wealthy. They are principally mechanics, and not very numerous, as I have already 
intimated ; yet they bind themselves to raise 100/. per year within their own bounds, 
five of them engaging to subscribe lOL each per year for two years. They must of 
course look abroad for some farther assistance for the minister's salary and current 
expenses, and I think their effort should be sustained. Persons residing in the " old 
country" can hardly form a just idea of the endeavours that are made in this country 
by all parties to plant their churches in all places of importance. Toronto is the 
capital city of Upper Canada, and may in a little time influence some other place in 
that region, just as Montreal has had an influence on it, and has been the means of 
callino" the present incipient Society into existence. I must not be considered as 
drawn away by any undue partialities for my present sphere of labour, when I say 
that I grow more and more convinced of the necessity and importance of sustaining 
every effort to plant liberal Christianity in this new and rapidly rising country. 
When I perceive, as I sometimes do, in the correspondence of the ' Inquirer' mostly, 
persons doubting the utility of the Unitarian Association, questioning the propriety 
of aiding this effort or that, giving their opinion very gravely that Montreal and such 
" places abroad" might very well be loft alone, 1 can hardly avoid' a sigh at the 
narrowness of their range of usefulness, and wishing them here beside me in this 
busy capital of Canada for a while. I have yet to learn that physical barriers should 
interfere with Christian sympathy ; most assuredly the Christianity which Christ 
taught looks above and beyond such things altogether. 

We are still progressing a little in this city — the Society is steadily on the in- 
crease. Our little paper, the ' Bible Christian,' is still finding its way to brethren 
in the faith " scattered abroad" throughout Canada, and keeping alive their sym- 
pathies for what we believe the great doctrines of Christianity. Hoping to hear 
from you as soon as convenient concerning the main inquiry stated in this commu- 
nication, believe me, dear sir, very sincerely yours in the bonds of Christian truth 
and love, 

John Cordni;k. 


3 Dinburn Terrace, Ctli May, 1846. 

Reverend Sir,— I take the liberty of enclosing a Memorial from the Christian 
Unitarian Congregation here, addressed to the British and Foreign Unitarian Asso- 
ciation, which I respectfully submit to your consideration ; and earnestly beg that 
you will direct that it may be laid before the approaching Annual Meeting, and that 
it may obtain your advocacy if approved of. 

I have been requested to express the grateful thanks of the congregation for your 
recent kindness in replying so readily to the application made to you through Mr. 
Adam, their secretary, relative to filling up the office of Pastor. The congregation 
sincerely regret that the Rev. J. H. Hope has resolved to leave them. The utmost 
harmony has prevailed during the last five years between people and pastor, and the 
sole cause of separation arises from the poverty of our members generally, not 
enabling the Committee to advance the salary. 

Pardon, Reverend Sir, my entering so largely into this matter. It is deeply in- 
teresting to me as an individual. Under severe family affliction I have experienced 
the consolations of Unitarian Christianity, and I am sure I address one who will 
not be indifferent to the wants of his fellow-believers in this remote quarter of the 

I am, most respectfully. Reverend Sir, your obedient Servant, 
The Rev. E. Tagart, J. A. Paterson, Tanner. 

Hon, Secretary B. and F. Unitarian Association. 

" George Street Chapel, Aberdeen, 3rd May, 1846. 
" Unto the Members of the British and Foreign Unitarian Association in Annual 

Meeting assembled : The Memorial and Petition of the Members of the Aberdeen 

Christian Unitarian Congregation of George Street Chapel, 

" Respectfully shevveth, — That your Memorialists are again constrained by circum- 
stances to present themselves as petitioners for a continuation of the fostering and 
friendly aid of the British and Foreign Unitarian Association, which they have ex- 
perienced so beneficially hitherto, and for which they would express their sincere 

" To remove unfavourable impressions that might arise therefrom, and to justify or 
excuse, in some measure, the recurrence of this application, the Memorialists will, 
as briefly as possible, bring under your notice a few facts in reference to their pre- 
sent position, to which they would earnestly solicit the attention of the British and 
Foreign Unitarian Association. 

" In the present changing scene nothing can be permanent. The Memorialists are 
experiencing this universal truth, by changes occurring within its own body. They 
have lately lost, by emigration to foreign climes, several steady members ; they have 
also the prospect of losing one of their founders and a generous contributor, Mr. 
John Proctor, who is about to leave for Leeds. So that besides the diminution of 
number, there will be a loss of revenue of at least 14/. to 15/. There will only now 
be four members whose means enable them to act liberally, and who will contribute 
32/. ; the remaining members being tradesmen in humble life, most of them mar- 
ried, whose contributions are at an average from 6s. to 7s- 6rf. annually each. 

" Another peculiarly grievous occurrence is about to overtake us, in the retirement 
(from the office of pastor) of our respected minister, the Rev. J. H. Hope, who will 
leave us about the end of this present month, mainly occasioned, we believe, by our 
inability to raise his salary above 70/. per annum, which without incurring debt we 
could not do, and defray the other necessary and unavoidable expenses of feu-duty, 
light, insurance, precentor, beadle, &c., amounting to about 30/. 

" Thus your Memorialists are placed in a trying position. Cast down they may be, 
but are not overcome. They humbly rely on Divine Providence that they shall be 
enabled to keep together as a congregation, to stand up boldly in defence of pure 
Christianity, and to assert the ' truth as it is in Jesus,' as they have struggled for 
fourteen years past to do, successfully, and creditably to themselves, notwithstanding 
many untoward events that have come to pass. 

"At this moment your Memorialists are in correspondence with the Rev. Mr. 
Cochrane, presently at Wisbeach, whom they have invited to become a candidate, 
and whose consent they have obtained. If he should consent to undertake the pas-i 



toral office, your Memorialists earnestly entreat the British and Foreign Unitarian 
Association to view their position with sympathy, and to lend their aid as heretofore, 
which would be most seasonably done at the present time. 

" Your Memorialists observe with great delight the very general efforts making at 
present throughout England to form unions for the purpose of aiding weak congre- 
gations, and calling forth greater energies in promulgating the ' truth as it is in 
Jesus;' also in appointing Missionaries to enter into the recesses of the miserable 
and neglected, and raise their minds from despair to a better hope. 

" Your Memorialists admire and revere those truly good and great-minded men who 
are taking the lead in these works of Christian charity and philanthropy ; and 
■would humbly hope that their exertions may not be confined to the more favoured 
provinces of the south, but that this northern region may obtain their favourable 
regard at a period not remote, where notwithstanding the influence of a rampant 
sickening Calvinism, .there prevails a strong under-current of mind in search of a 
purer Christianity. 

" Signed in name and by appointment of the Aberdeen Christian Unitarian Con- 
gregation, in Annual Meeting assembled, this 3rd day of May, 1S46. 

"J. A. Paterson, Chairman." 

In the midst of these congregational objects the Book and Tract depart- 
ment of the Association has been the subject of much anxious consideration. 
Your Committee have from time to time reviewed the state of the Catalogue, 
with a view to meet the wishes on the one hand of those who desired a larger 
choice of valuable works, such as may be considered to represent more ade- 
quately Unitarian literature, and on the other, of those who desired a larger 
supply of small and cheap tracts for extensive distribution. They regret 
that they cannot enter into the scheme of making their Catalogue professedly 
a medium of communicating to the public the choicest publications of Unita- 
rian theology. They cannot abandon the old and original plan of the Book 
Society, viz. to keep in j)rint such works of approved character as specially 
require their aid, of which the Society has almost exclusive possession, and 
to add to these such other works as suit their purpose and the wants of their 
subscribers, portions of the stock being supplied to them upon terms advan- 
tageous to the authors. The Society should not be looked upon merely as 
an instrument for supplying the shelves of those who have libraries at home 
and who can obtain readily, through the booksellers, works accordant with their 
taste. It is rather a charitable institution for the diffusion of the knowledge 
of Unitarian Christianity by the distribution of works in defence and illustra- 
tion of it. With this view of its character and purposes, your Committee 
fell in with the suggestions of some friends in the North, communicated 
through the Rev. C. Wicksteed of Leeds — viz. to print a series of tracts 
which could be supplied at an exceedingly cheap rate, of which the series 
published by the American Association was held forth as a model. In con- 
formity with this suggestion they have printed at Mr. Barker's press 5000 
of Clarke's Answer to the question. Why are you a Christian ; 2000 of Ac- 
ton's Religious Opinions of Newton, Locke and Milton; 2000 of Carpenter's 
Sermon on the Beneficial Tendency of Unitarianism ; 2000 of Locke's Essay 
on the Understanding of St. Paul's Epistles. By printing large numbers of 
such tracts they hoped to supply district and country societies. A corre- 
spondence with their secretaries has been opened, but with the exception of 
a very trifling order fiom the West of England, your Committee regret to 
say that they have met with no encouragement to proceed with the plan. It 
appears to your Committee comparatively easy to print and render cheap, 
works of a truly instructive and liberal character in religion ; but it does not 
follow that they will be sought for, studied and bought. Your Committee 

can onJy call upon their subscribers and friends to aid them as much as pos- 
sible in encouraging the perusal of them, by all the means in their power, 
placing them according to tlieir opportunities in the hands in which they 
will be useful, and fostering a taste for solid information and inquiry. The 
following are the grants of books and tracts which have been made during 
the past year: — The Rev. T. Cooper, for distribution among the local 
preachers and Christian brethren in the Potteries, during the first six months, 
6/. 6s. To the same gentleman, 1000 smaller tracts, value 51. ; also twelve 
copies of Worcester's Atoning Sacrifice, and a subsequent vote of 11,000 
tracts. To Mr. Glover, of Stoke-upon-Trent, on the recommendation of 
Mr. Cooper, and as known to Mr. G. S. Kenrick, 3l. worth. To the care of 
Mr. Henry Jones, for the use of ministers visiting Newcastle and its neigh- 
bourhood, the Potteries, for the purpose of lecturing, 5l. ; making a total of 
30/. worth for that district. A small grant to Rev. T. Gilbert, of Ditchling, 
on the recommendation of the Rev. S. Wood. To Mr. Kovas, of Transyl- 
vania, the Rev. W. Turner's Lives of Eminent Unitarians ; and a series of 
Association Reports, with other volumes, to the care of John Paget, Esq., 
as advised by the Rev. John Kenrick of York. To the Rev. B. Mardon, for 
distribution at Jersey, 1/. £ s. d. 

Mr. Harwood of Collumpton 3 

Ditto, for Tract Society at Honiton , 3 

Rev. W. J. Odgers, on account of subscription at Plymouth 3 

Ditto, for distribution at Torquay 5 

Rev. R. B. Aspland of Dukinfield 10 

Mr. Cowell of Canterbury, 51. for distribution during the delivery of 
lectures by Mr. Clarke, 

Dr. Bateman, for distribution at the stations of the London Domestic 
Mission Society, and during the delivery of lectures in Milton Street, 41. 3s. 
with an additional grant to Messrs. Philp and Vidler, the missionaries. 

To Rev. Edward Talbot of Tenterden, on the receipt of an order for tracts 
and an application for a grant, 31. 

To Mr. Hedge of Montreal, books and tracts for the formation of an 
Unitarian Congregational Library and distribution in Canada, 201. To Mr. 
Hale of Calne, 31. worth. To Rev. J. Taplin, 200 copies of the Hundred 
Scriptural Arguments for Unitarian Christianity. 

In addition to the smaller tracts printed by Mr. Barker, your Committee 
deemed it advisable to print the last year's Report in a somewhat cheaper 
form, and to circulate it more largely among our body. By the kindness 
of Henry Dowson, Esq. of Geldstone, in Norfolk, they have received a 
present of fifty-eight copies of the sermons of the Rev. P. Houghton, with a 
sketch of his character and life, by the Rev. J. G. Robberds, in two vo- 
lumes 8vo; and 180 copies of a volume of prayers -, these your Committee 
will be happy to distribute among the ministers associated with them in 
various labours whose names appear among the list of subscribers. 

By the Rev. Noah Jones of Derby, they have been presented with 150 
copies of his Sermon on the death of Joseph Strutt, Esq. 

They have exchanged a number of their own books and tracts for an equal 
value of copies of the late Duke of Sussex's correspondence with Dr. Adam 
Clarke, and extracts from his marginal notes on theology, edited by Mr. 
Cogan, agreeably to the proposal of the Rev. R. B. Aspland. 
They have added the following works to the Catalogue : — 
Rev. H. Acton on the Religious Opinions of Milton, Locke and Newton. 
Three Lectures on Apostolical Succession. 


Rev. B. Carpenter's Anniversary Sermon, 1 845. 

Rev. Dr. Carpenter on the Beneficial Tendency of Unitarianism. 

Channing's System of Exclusion. 

Channing on Creeds. 

on Catholicism. 

J. P. Hinton on Church Apostasy. 

Rev. P. Houghton's Prayers for Families. 

Sermons, 2 vols. 8vo. 

Rev. Noah Jones' Funeral Discourse on the Death of Mr. Joseph Strutt. 

Le Page's Scriptural Divinity of Jesus Christ. 

Locke on tlie Cfnderstanding of St. Paul's Epistles. 

Rev. J. S. Porter's Brief Outline of Christian Unitarianism. 

Simpson's Two Essays on Christianity. 

Rev. H. Ware's Education the Business of Life. 

Wilson's Scriptural Illustrations of Unitarianism. 

Various other subjects have been under consideration, sUch as the Chari- 
table Trusts Bill, which was specially brought under our notice, and was re- 
ferred to the Deputies for the protection of the civil rights of Dissenters ; 
the state of chapels, and our cause at Calne and at Whitby. It will be 
seen, by the foregoing Report, that your Committee liave been far from in- 
active during the past year. They are convinced that the more this Society 
is known the more it will be appreciated, and the better it will be supported 
by the Unitarian public. It furnishes encouragement and hope in many 
distant quarters. It is a centre of beneficent action, whose influence radi- 
ates, in various directions, with more or less of light and warmth ; it needs 
only more active cooperation and support to become a far more powerful in- 
strument than it has yet been in the promotion of Christian freedom, truth 
and righteousness. 

The Committee would respectfully enforce upon their Subscribers the 
great assistance which an earlier payment of subscriptions would afford, and 
the great trouble and inconvenience which would be thereby avoided. If 
the subscriptions for the current year were paid before the Annual Meeting 
in that year, instead of being delayed, as now, till very near the meeting of 
the year after, your Committee and Secretary would be able to proceed with 
much more confidence in the right appropriation of their funds, and the busi- 
ness of the Association would be much facilitated. 


Account oftJie Trustees of the Improved Version, of the state of that Fund, on 

29th May, 184.6. 
£ s. d. £ s. d. 

419 14 Three and a quarter pcrCents., as per Account stated in the last Report 409 7 5 
Half a Year's Dividend on £419 14*. 3i per Cents., due 

October 5th, 1845, less Income Tax 6 12 G 

Ditto, ditto, April 5th, 1846, less Income Tax 6 12 6 

Amount due from the Association for 36 copies of the 

work 6 3 

10 8 

Stock in hand, as per last Report 804 copies. 

Less copies purchased by the Association, as 
above 36 

768 at 5*. = 192 

Less 30 per Cent 57 12 

131 8 

£563 3 5 

Examined < 




Jan. 1. To Balance at the Bankers 

Dec. 31. To Donations and Congregational Collections for General Purposes, as per list. £121 17 8 
To Annual Subscriptions as per List, viz. — 

For General Objects ^585 18 6 

Civil Kigbt Fund 2 10 

Book and Tract Fund 41 9 6 

■ 629 9 

19 15 4 

22 15 9 

28 12 4 

£ .5. d. 
118 13 

To Anniversary Collection at Essex Street Chapel 

To Half-year's Dividend on £1564 16*. \d. Consols 

To Half.'vear's Dividend on £1965 3s. 2d. Consols 

To One Year's Dividend on £100 Consols 

To One Year's Dividend on £104 I'i. Od. Reduced 3 per Cents. 

To Amount received from Calcutta for Sale of Land 

To Amount received on account of books sold this year 

To Balance, being Amount overdrawn , 

3 2 10 
400 10 1 

1264 4 5 
26 18 

.#1409 15 6 

Audited and Approved, June 1, 1846. 



1845. £ s. d. 

Dec. 31. By Payments in pursuance of Votes of the Committee in aid of 

Congregations and Ministers, viz. — £ ^_ ,^_ 

Oldham Congregation 10 

Rev. John Chappell 10 

Ditto, further 10 

Oldham Congregation (further) 10 

Raloo ditto 20 

Rev. M. C. Frankland 10 

Aberdeen Congregation 10 

Selby ditto 5 

Pollard and Robinson, Unitarian Teachers, Padiham 5 

Framlingham Congregation 5 

Glasgow ditto 50 

Billinghurst ditto 10 

Canterbury ditto 15 

Chesterfield ditto - 10 

Yarmouth ditto 40 

Trowbridge ditto 10 

Poole ditto 10 

Kendal ditto 50 

Hinckley ditto 10 

Eastern Unitarian Association 10 

Western Unitarian Society 25 

Rev. John Chappell „ 5 

Lympston Congregation 5 

Swansea ditto 25 

Huddersfield ditto 25 

Montreal ditto 50 

Rev. Thomas Cooper, Expenses of his Mission to the Potteries 45 

Expenses of Deputation to the Channel Islands 31 

Expenses of Deputations from the Committee to Yorkshire and the 

West of England 40 8 3 

561 8 3 

By Payments on account of the Book and Tract Depart- 
ment, viz. — 

*Books and Tracts printed, including Carpenter's Anniversary Ser. 

mon, One Hundred Arguments, Life of Elwall, &c 20 17 7 

Books and Tracts purchased, including Works by Rev, H. Hutton, 

Rev. J. Kenrick, Wilson, &c i 152 4 3 

Insurance on Stock 5 

Rent of Warehouse 15 

Printing Catalogue 2 15 6 

By Payments for Printing and Distributing the Annual 
Report, viz. — 

Printer's Bill 20 10 

Stationer's Bill for Paper 7 15 

Carriage and Postage of Reports 8 2 6 

By Payments on Account of the Anniversary Meeting, including Tra- 
velling Expenses of Minister, Advertising, &c. &c 26 11 2 

One Year's Rent of Offices 25 

195 17 4 

36 7 

By Payments to the Resident Secretary, for the services of 
himself and Clerks, viz. — 

One Year's Salary 76 

Commission on .^'828 125. 1 lei 41 8 6 

By Sundry Disbursements, viz. — 

Petty Disbursements as per Petty Cash Book 17 1 5 

Printing, Stationery, Laundress, Coals, Candles, &c 29 4 2 

By Investment paid for the Purchase of £400 7s. Id. 3 per Cent. Con. 
sols, in the names of Messrs. Gibson and Hornby 401 17 1 

116 8 6 

46 5 7 

.5e'l409 15 5 

* Books and Tracts sold, given away, and supplied to Subscribers in the course of the year 1845, number 
10,232, value se2\9 15s. 2d. 


For the Year ending Z\st December, 1845. 

Rules 3 and 10 explain what Subscriptions constitute the Donor a Member. All Annual 
Subscriptions arc due on the 1st January in every year, and are paid in advance ; they arc 
supposed to be continued until notice to the contrary is given in writing to the Treasurer, or 
to one of the Local Treasurers. 

The letters L.M. in the following List denote that those persons against whose names they 
are affixed, are Life IMcmbers of the Association, under Rules 3 and 10. 

The letters H.M. denote Honorary Members of the Association, under Rules 3, 23, and 30. 

The Ministers with an asterisk prefixed to their names have preached Anniversary Sermons 
before the Association. 

All Subscriptions appropriated to specific objects, under Rule 7, are carried to their sepa- 
rate accounts in the Treasurer's Books. 

Subscribers resident in the country are requested to pay their subscriptions to. the Local 
Treasurers, unless it be more convenient to remit them direct to London. 

Annual Sub- 


£, s.d. 

Cheshire Presbyterian Association, 

perRev.R.B.Aspland,i?z«^»)/eW 3 

Eastern Unitarian Society, per Rev. 

i . CTom\)ioxx, Nonvich 5 00 

Southern Unitarian Fund, per Rev. 

li.W&vikes, Portsmouth 5 5 


Banbury. — Cobb, Edward 110 

Piper, Rev. H. H 110 

Bath. — L. T., Rev. Jerom Murch. 
Bath Cong. Rev. J. Murch, H.M. 3 3 

Basnett, William 110 

Davenport, Mrs 2 10 

Drew,— 110 

Green, W 1 1 

Jolly, T 1 1 

Liardet, Mrs 110 

Marsland, Mrs 110 

Murch, Rev. Jerom 2 2 

Ottley.Miss 10 

Prime, Miss L.M. 

Scott, Russell 110 

Solly, Miss L.M. 

Solly, Miss L 1 1 

Solly, Miss S 110 


Bessell's Green. 

Bessell'sGr.Cong. Rev.J.Briggs 110 

Bexley. — Rutt, Mrs 110 

BiLLERicAY. — Mead, Miss 1 10 


*Bache, Rev. Samuel M.M. 

Congregation, Old Meeting. Rev. 

H. Hutton II.M. 3 

•Ilutton, Rev. Hugh L.M. 

Kenrick, G. S L.M. 5 00 

Kcnrick, Samuel 110 

Kentish, Rev. John L.M. 1 10 

Bishop's Stortford. 

Hawkes, W.R 2 20 


Carried forward 18 9 

Annual Sub- 
•£ s. d. 

Brought forward 48 9 

Bolton. — L. T., R. Heytvood, Esq. 

Baker, Rev. Franklm 110 

Darbyshire, C. J 110 

Dean, John 110 

Heytvood, Robert 5 5 

Bridgewater. — L. T., C. Thomp- 
son, Esq. — Bagehot, Edward... 1 10 

Bagehot, Watson 2 20 

BroAvne, Captain George 1 1 

Browne, John 110 

Browne, Samuel W 1 10 

Browne, William 1 10 

Murch, Edward 1 10 

Thompson, Charles 110 

Bridport.— Z,. T., Mr. T. Coif ox. 

Battiscombe, WilUam 1 1 

Bridport Congreg. Rev. R. E. B. 

Maclellan Chapel Fund 2 00 

Fellowship Fund 3 00 

Colfox, William.. 1 1 

Colfox, Miss 1 10 

Friend, A 26 

Galpin, F 50 

Good, J. B 5 

Gundry, Benjamin 110 

Gundry, S 1 1 

Iloare, C 5 

Hounsell, Joseph H.M. 110 

Hounsell, John 110 

Hounsell, Thomas 110 

Jacobs, W 26 

Jerrard 2 6 

Lee, John Channon 110 

Murley, Miss 2 6 

Patten, II 2 6 

Patten, James 2 6 

Rendall, J 5 

Roberts, M 50 

Suttle, — 5 

Swaftield,II 50 

Symes, Daniel 26 

Warr, — 1 1 

Carried forward 84 8 6 

Brought forTvard 84 

Brighton. — Brighton Congreg. 

Rev. J. P. Malleson H.M. 3 

Holden, J. D L.M. 

SpjTing, J. S. S 1 

Bristol. — L. T., H. A. Palmer, Esq. 

*Armstrong, Rev. George ...H.M. 1 

Acland, Mrs 1 

Brovrae, William 1 

Brj'ant, G. S 

Burroughs, G. S 

Carpenter, Mrs 1 

Ann. Subsc. 
£ s. d. 
8 6 






Carpenter, Miss 10 

Champion, W. D. 110 

Coates, Mrs 110 

Coates, Miss 10 6 

Cobb,Miss. 10 

Cong., Lewin's Mead. Revds. G. 

Armstrong and W. James H.M. 3 

Cooper, James 1 

Cooper, E 1 

Da\'idson, G. M L.M, 2 

Dunsford, Miss Ann B 10 

Ely,Miss 5 

Ellis, — 2 

Estlin, J. B 2 2 

Evans, H.C 10 

tolwell, — 10 

Gibson, Rev. R... 1 1 

Hinton, — 10 

Howse, H. E., Frenchay 2 

James, Rev. William H.M. 110 

Kentish, Mrs lO G 

Lang, Robert 110 

Lang, Samuel 110 

Lang, Thomas 110 

Leaves, John 1 10 

Michell, Mrs. G 100 

NichoUs, — 110 

Palmer, Arthur 1 10 

Palmer, H. A 110 

Reynolds, Thomas ; 110 

Rickards, Miss 1 10 

Sheppard, Mrs 10 

Thomas,C.J 10 6 

Thomas, Thomas 100 

Thomas, Thomas, jun 10 6 

Tricks,— 10 

Watkins, S. C 5 

Worslev, Samuel 10 

Wreford, Rev. J. R lO 

Wreford, William , 
Bury (Lancashire). — Local Treas., 

Rev.F.Howorth.-Gimn(}tY,M.\%% 1 

Grundy, Thomas 1 1 

Howarth, Rev. F 110 

Bury St.Edmunds. — llobinson,T. 1 10 

Watson, John 110 

Canterbury. — Brent, John L.M, 
Carmarthen. — Jenkins, John ... 1 10 

Bransby, Rev. J.H L.M. 

Gftrried fbrwahl 136 4 

Ann. Subsc, 
£ s. d. 

Brought forvs'ard 136 4 

Chester. — Kenrick, Misses l 

CocKEY-MooR. — Whitehead,Rev.J. 110 

Colyton. — Batston, — 5 

Norrington, — 30 

Squire, — 100 

Tapliu, Rev. James 5 

Coventry. — Herbert, A L.M. 

Derby. — L. T., Rev. Noah Jones. 

Bennett, Misses 10 

DerbyCong. Rev. N.Jones H.M. 3 00 

Stnitt, John 110 

Wilkins, Thomas L.M. 

DiTCHLiNG. — Wood, John 10 

Doncaster. — Blogden, George . . 2 

Dorking. — Colgate, Charles 1 10 


*Drummond, Rev. Dr H.M. 

Hone, Joseph L.M. 

Hutton, Rev. Joseph L.M. 


*Aspland, Rev. R. B H.M. 

Evesham. — Davis,Rev.Tim. L.M. 110 
Evesham Cong. Rev. T. Davis 

H.M. 3 

New, Caleb L.M. 

New, John L.M. 

Exeter. — L. Treasurers, Rev. F. 
Bishoj} and B. P. Pope, Esq. 

Bayley, Samuel 2 2 

Bowring, Charles 10 6 

Cross, Mrs 110 

Cole, C. H 10 6 

Huxham, Charles 10 

Davey, Charles 10 6 

Davey, William 10 6 

Dingle, D 10 6 

Friend,A 110 

Haniott, G 110 

Hatch, Thomas 10 6 

Hill, Charles 10 6 

Hill, John 10 6 

Huxtable, W 10 6 

Manning, Mrs. and Miss 1 10 

Mmch, James » 10 6 

Orchard 10 6 

Osborn, J. D 10 6 

Rossiter, — 10 6 

Stephens, James 10 6 

Kingdon, Mrs. F 10 6 

Gartin, — 10 6 

Terrell, James 2 20 

Tucker, Walter 10 6 

Welch, James 10 6 

Wyatt, J 50 

Fordham. — Fyson, Robert D. ... 1 10 

Godalming. — Friend, A 10 

Godalming Congregation 2 

Guildford. — Chapman, Rev. E. 2 2 
Halifax. — L.T.,R.K.Lumb,Esq. 

Briggs, R., Jun 1 

Briggs, W 1 

Carried forward 178 8 


Ann. Subsc. 
£ s. d. 

Brought fonvard 178 8 

Halifax {continued). 

Crowther, Jonathan 10 

Dawson, Christopher 110 

Dawson, J 1 10 

Denton, Thomas 10 

E. J. iM 10 6 

Efldlestone, T 10 

Halifax Congregation. Rev. W. 

Turner, Jun 2 2 

Hardcastle, F 10 

Holmes, T 10 

Jardine, E 10 

Jennings, W " 10 

Kershaw, A 10 

Kershaw, George 2 2 

Kershaw, Mrs 100 

Lumb, R. K 2 2 

Ralph, Miss 1 10 

Stansfeld, James 2 2 

Stott, J. S 10 

Turner, Rev. W., Jun 2 20 

HAPTON.—Selby, Rev. William... '10 

Harlow. — Barnard, J L.M. 

Barnard, W L.M. 

Barnard, W., High Laver 1 10 

Honitox. — Local Treasurer, Rev. 
James Taplin, Colyton. 

Rev. D. Harwood H.M, 

Kenward, Mrs. E 1 1 

Murch, William 50 

Horsham. — Local Treasurer, J. 
Agate, Esq. 

Agate, James 2 

Wood, Mrs. Henry 100 


Hardy, Thos., Birksgate... h.M. 
Hull. — Local Treasurer, Mr. W. 

Higginson, Rev. E 10 

Lightfoot, Samuel 2 2 

Stamp, F 50 

Till,R 5 

Turner, Robert 3 


Janson, Mrs. Thomas L.M. 

Janson, T. H L.M. 

Ilminster. — Local Treasurer, 
Rev. E. Whitfield. 

Collins, Mrs 10 

Nicholetts, J 1 10 

Whitfield, Rev. E 10 

Ipswich. — Smyth, J. B. ...L.M. 

Isle of Wight. — Local Treas., 
T. Cooke, Esq., Neivport. 

Clarke, Abraham L.M. 

Cooke, Thomas L.M. 1 1 

Kirkpatrick, R. G 10 

Mortimer, William 10 

Rev. E. Kell .H.M. 

Pi nnock, Robert 1 10 

Wilkins, W 10 

Carried forward 213 16 6 

Ann. Subsc. 

£ «. d. 

Brought forward 213 16 6 

Kendal. — Greenhow, G. R. L.M. 
Hawkes, Rev. Edward ...L.M. 


Talbot, George, Jun 1 1 

Lancaster. — Armstrong, John... 2 

Shaen, Rev. Richard 10 6 

Leamington. — LawTence, Miss 1 10 

Leeds, — L. Tr., Wm. Brown, Esq. 

Brown, William 110 

Buckton, James 10 

Buckton, Joseph, Jun 1 10 

Curbutt, — 10 6 

Da\7, Josiah 10 6 

Grace, Edward 1 

Grace, Miss 100 

Holmes, Mrs 10 

Kennedy, — 1 1 

Leibreich, — 1 10 

Leibreich, Emil 10 6 

Lupton, Arthur 110 

Lupton, D 1 1 

Lupton, Joseph 1 

Lupton, Mrs 110 

Marens, — 110 

Mill Hill Congregation 3 

Gates, Misses 10 

Stansfeld, Hamer 2 2 

Stansfeld, H. H 110 

Stansfeld, Misses 1 10 

Tottie, Thomas W 2 20 

Warburton, William 10 

Wellbeloved, C, Jun 10 6 

*Wicksteed, Rev. Charles... H.M. 1 1 

Wurtyburg, — 110 

Wurtyburg, E. F 10 6 

Leicester. — Leicester Congreg. 

Rev. Charles Berry 2 

Lewes. — L. Tr., Mr. //. Browne. 

Browne, Henry 1 10 

Ridge, Mrs. Mary 110 

Wood, Rev. Samuel L.M. 

Liverpool. — Local Treasurer, 
R. V. Yates, Esq. 

Banks, Mrs 10 6 

Cox, George L 110 

Friend, per R.V.Yates, Esq. L.M. 
*Martineau, Rev. James ...H.M. 

Thom, Rev. J. H 1 10 

Thorneley, Thomas, M.P 1 10 

Wood, Ottiwell 1 10 

Yates, J.B L.M. 

Yates, Miss 110 

Yates, Miss Ellen 1 10 

Yates,R.V L.M. 2 2 

London. — Abraham, Henry R., 
Orme's Green, Harrow-road 
(See p. 33.) 
Amory, Samuel, 25 Throymor- 

ton-street L.M. 

hmo\A,i.,\ZbAldersga.-st. L.M. 

Ashurst, W. H., 137 Cheapside 2 2 

Carried forward 2G1 


Ann. Subsc. 
£ s.d. 

Brought forward 261 

London (continued). 

Aspland, Rev. R 2 20 

Aspland, A. Sydnej', 4 Lamb- 
building, Temple 110 

Aspland, Mrs. A. S L.M. 

Atkinson, John L.M. 

h<ichc,B..C, Lombard-street... 1 10 

Ball, Mrs.J. H 1 1 

Barclay, G. P., 3 New Broad- 
street L.M. 

Bateman, Joseph, LL.D., East- 
India-road 1 1 

Baume, P. H. G 1 1 

Bicknell, E., Heme Hill.. .L.M. 3 3 

Bicknell, Mrs., 2)2^^0 2 20 

Bickne\l,ll.S.,Efra-rd.,Brixton 1 1 
Bowring, Dr., M.P., 1 Queen- 
square, Westminster ...L.M. 

'&Ta.c\\e.r,G., Stamford-hill 1 10 

Bracher, Miss, Ditto 10 

Bracher, Miss E., D?7/o