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appear in the Gospels, being irrelevant in point of time? Paul çertainly makes repeated allusions to them. But, if he really thought repentance alone would procure us acceptance with God, why speak of the courage he shewed in preaching, Rom. i. 15, 16; and that he could even glory in the cross of Christ, Gal. vi. 4? If his sentiments shocked the Jews and learned Greeks, we must suppose there was something new and strange in them, and much in opposition to their own opinions : this would hardly have been the case had he chiefly admonished them to repent ; there was nothing new in that ; it was but a repetition of the former dispensation. Surely, then, something further was to be understood. Supposing our expressions to be regulated by our feelings, these again will bear a proportion to the excitement which has produced them, and thus will our gratitude and reverence to our Saviour be more or less, according to our ideas of the nature of his mission and office. It is on this ground that I think doctrines of importance for our ideas of him will be elevated or lowered, suitable to the object we think he came to fulfil. If, therefore, we have only to follow him as our Leader and Teacher, and to hope that our imperfect obedience will be accepted by a merciful God, it appears to me that the language of scripture is much too strong when it describes what he has done for us. But if we consider bim as our High Priest, through whom we have access to the Father, this will surely exalt the agent employed, and thus necessarily shew the importance of the service rendered.
Whilst, however, I am earnest in recommending that honour to be paid which I think the Scriptures teach us is due to him, I would ever bear in mind the injunction which he left us, “ that he who does the will of his fathery will be accepted."
1828. Marchi 13th, at Cawwood, near York, JOHN Mason, a powerful advocate and preacher of genuine Christianity. No dig. nified ecclesiastic consecrated him to the sacred employment, nor was he ordained thereto by an assembly of fellow-ministers of the gospel. He merely followed the dictates of Christian benevolence, which told him that it was a duty to make known the truth as it is in Jesus amongst those who were sitting in darkness. Neither was he specially set apart for the holy office which he
in effect filled, and that with credit and success. He was early confined to the constant occupations of trade; and as he resembled the apostle in going about doing good, he might also have said with him, "These hands have ministered to my necessities.” Little is known of his early life. It is probable that he was not at first remarkable for excellence of character, and it is certain that his education was neglected. By some means, which are not now known, he became changed, he quitted improper pursuits, and turned his attention to religion. For a long time he was connected with the “ orthodox” Dis. senters; but, along with many others, after a long course of dili. gent inquiry, became an Unitarian Baptist, which he professed himself till his death. The prominent circumstances of his life are few and unimportant; but the leading features of his character cannot be contemplated without admiration. The saga. city generally attributed to the inhabitants of this part of the country he possessed in an eminent degree-an ability for tracing out an error or a mistake which would have done credit to an acute disciple of Aristotle, and at the same time a gentleness of disposition which, without partiality, might be called heavenly-mindedness. These qualities must be attributed to the source whence he derived all his learning and his power-the Scriptures. The word of truth was his constant delight; thence he formed his creed and guided his actions, and thence he was in a manner compelled to draw the substance of his extemporaneous addresses, for he was unable to write. By this test he examined in turn nearly all the parties who lay claim to Christian truth, and one after another rejected them, and, as he thought, formed a creed for himself froin the words of the great Apostle, “ There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” He also considered the rite of baptism necessary on an introduction to the true Chris. tian faith, and at one time went so far as to deem it indispensable to salvation. Having passed through the influence of other opinions, it was not surprising that some of their leaven attached to him after he had professedly renounced them. This untenable position he subsequently relinquished. His most res markable characteristic was his zeal in propagating the gospel in its genuine purity. He went to numerous villages and ham, lets in the neighbourhood of York, exhorting the people to read their Bibles and thence to regulate their belief. Nor have his endeavours been unrepaid with success. At Welburn, as is generally known, a chapel has been erected, bearing on its front, “The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth;" in which 150 ordinarily assemble on the Sunday evening. It should also be known, that Jolin Nason was the original founder of this Christian church. He first came amongst the ignorant inhabitants, preaching the gospel. A few years since he addressed them in a private room, capable of containing but a sınall number, but he lived to see a convenient chapel raised and well attended. He
also preached in various other villages with less or greater success. He was everywhere the ineans of spreading purer morality, and often of extending right views of Christianity. He is an impressive example of what a complete knowledge of the Scriptures may effect, even without the benefits of superior knowledge. By his particular request, he was interred in the chapel at Welburn. An impressive and affecting service was performed on the occasion, by Thomas Hasselgrave, an American, who had been long on terms of intimacy with the deceased, and who, like his departed friend, devotes inuch of his time to the dissemination of Christian truth. His memory is chérished in the hearts of all who knew him, even of those who were of different religious opinions, so universal was his benevolence and so amiable his temper. He sunk ander the weight of age and its infirmities, and expired in the humble hope of a happy resurrection.
CORPORATION AND TEST ACTS.
AFTER the division in the House of Commons on Feb. 26, when the Dissenters had the glorious majority of_44 in their favour, no further opposition was made to the Repeal Bill. Having passed the Commons, it was carried up to the Lords by Lord John Russell, and there Lord Holland moved the measure. There was no debate till the 2nd reading, April 17. On, this occasion, Lord Holland made an admirable speech; irresistible in argument, ingenious in illustration, and abounding in humorous quotation and anecdote. The Archbishop of York and several Bishops declared their approbation of the measure, subject to revision in the Committee. Lord Eldon opposed it wholly and with great vehemence. Lord Winchelsea was for altering the “ Declaration," so as to shut out the Unitarians, whom he declared to be no Christians. There was no division, however, owing chiefly, no doubt, to the Duke of Wellington's declaring on the part of the Government that the administration acceded to the Bill for the sake of peace. In the Committee, Lord Eldon and a few other peers (amongst whom we are sorry to name Lord Tenterden, the Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench) have endeavoured to alter the Bill so as to change its character by amendments; but we are happy to say the firmness of the ministry and the indefatigableness of Lord Holland, aided in particular by the Marquis of Lansdowne, Lord Grey, and Lord Rosslyn, have secured a triumph on every division. The only considerable alteration in the Declaration is, that it is to be made “s on the true faith of a Christian.” The third reading to take place the day on which we write (April 28), and we have no doubt of a satisfactory result. The
Ultra-Churehmen and Tories manifest-great alarm, both in and out of the House. The Ex-Chancellor has, had inore than one skirmish with the Bisliops. A newspaper in his own likeness attributes to hit the following speech, in reference to the Right Rev. Bench, a report much softened down if we may believe another journal: "The Church, if properly supported within, need fear no danger from without: but if its pilars, instead of keeping it up, proved to be mere weights hanging from the roof, it must follow the fate of the Brunswick Theatre, and in both cases it would be but little consolation, that its contrivers were the first victims. The publie journals have generally shewn a good spirit during the progress of this measure. We must except. The Times, which was silent until the inemorable majority in the House of Commons, and then spoke only in faint praise, now and then insinuating charges against the Dissenters and their Committee, and meanly suggesting that the Bill might be turned into an act of exclusion to Unitarians, The “ Leading Journal of Europe" would consult its reputation, and what is of more consequence to the proprietors, its pecuniary profit, if it were to throw away the maudlin clerical pen that has thus dishonoured its columns. The proper Tory paper to which we have alluded writes in the most mournful strains on this signal victory over bigotry and intolerance. “ We are humbled and mortified,” says this organ of all that is dark, illiberal, and base in politics, “ when we find, instead of defenders of the Establishment, instead of vindicators of the Church, instead of supporters of that vital principle by which the constitution is maintained in its purity and integrity, the Prelates in the House of Peers calling its defences intolerance, its support bigotry, and the wise precautions of our forefathers, so many meannesses and prejudiccs." This weekly journal has the audacity to recommend to the Third Estate of the Realm to put a veto upon the Bill !~The friends of universal religious liberty in the two Houses of Parliament are anxious that the Repeal Bill should be passed into a law, before the decision on the Catholic Question. That great subject is to be brought forward in the House of Coinmons to-morrow (April 29), by Sir Francis Burdett, and we hope, for the sake of the peace of the United Kingdom and for the honour of Protestantism, that the Catholics will obtain an equal triumph with the Dissenters.
CORRESPONDENCE. Communications have been received from Mr. Turner ; J. C.; Guillaume ; R. M.; and the Committee of the Trowbridge Congres gation, in Reply to Mr. Wright..
We have to inform our subscribers that No. III. of the Christian Reformer, which has been long out of print, has been reprinted, and may be now had of the publishers, together with volumes aud numbers from the commencement to tha dresent time.
THE HISTORY AND TENDENCY OF THE DOCTRINES OF
CALVINISM. The Rev. Robert Hawker, R. D., forty-four years Vicar of Charles' parish in Plymouth, died in March of 1827, at the age of seventy-four. Shortly after his death, notice was taken of those views of which he had long been the highly-respected advocate, in the Unitarian church of the same place, in the two following discourses.
SERMON I. 2 Pet. ii. 15: “Even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given unto him, hath written uuto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and uustable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction."
I have begun my present discourse with these words, because it is thought they have a clear reference to those doctrines and views of the Christian church on which it will be my business this day to comment. I shall not undertake to shew how it is that any sincere professor of Christianity, whatever may be his views, can wrest the words of scripture to his own destruction. It does not become creatures so imperfect, so liable to self-deception, to write auy of their fellow-believers condemned. For my own part, I do not believe that any sincere and pious man will be condemned for his opinions, can be condemned for taking a wrong view of words which a man has said to him. I will not even venture to say what Peter meant by the word destruction, which he has bere employed : perhaps something very different from what is attached to it by those bigots who give it as their opinion, that none can be saved in the great day of the Lord bat those of their church and their own speculative belief.
It was, you see, early remarked by a great authority, that the writings of Paul contain many things hard to be understood ; and so greatly and so generally have they been