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invented solely for the purpose of supporting their peculiar opinion; although, in reality, instead of supporting it, it will be found to be dependent on it." Thus freely he animadverts on “ the first” of “ two gratuitous concessions" demanded by the orthodox.
« The second postulate is, that wherever the Son attributes Deity to the Father alone, and as to one greater than himself, he must be understood to speak in his human character, or as mediator.” Yet, admitting it " wherever the context and the fact itself require this interpretation,". Milton contends that " it can never be inferred from hence. that he is one God with the Father,” and he scruples not " to deny the proposition wherever it is to be conceded, not to the sense of the passage, but merely to serve their own theory." In opposition to this he expects to “ prove that what the Son attributes to the Father, he attributes in his filial, or even in his divine character to the Father as God of God, (Patri tanquam Dei Deo,) and not to himself under any title or pretence whatever."
All that Milton designed by calling our Savioar God, he afterwards fully explains. Thus when “it is strenuously urged that the Son is sometimes called God, and even Jehovah,” he replies, “ that the name of God is not unfrequently ascribed by the will and concession of God the Father, even to angels and men, how much more then to the only-begotten Son, the image of the Father!" He finds “the name of God attributed to angels, because, as heavenly messengers, they bear the appearance of the divine glory and person, and even speak in the very words of the Deity. Hence, even the holiest of men were troubled in mind when they had seen an angel, as if they had seen God himself.” He further remarks, that “the name of God is ascribed to judges, because they occupy the place of God to a certain degree in the administration of judgment;" adding, “that the Son, who was entitled to the name of God both in the capacity of a messenger and of a judge, and indeed in virtue of a much better right, did not think it foreign to his character, when the Jews accused him of blasphemy because he made himself God, to allege in his own defence the very reason which has been advanced, (John X. 34,) especially when God himself had called the judges, Sons of the Most High.” He further sustains bis argument by a reference to Paul's contrast (1 Cor. viii. 4, 5) between the “ one God” and the “one
Lord” of Christians and the “ gods many and lords many" which were “in heaven or in earth.” I propose in the next letter to return to the course of Milton's Treatise, where he proceeds to shew how “the Son teaches that the attributes of divinity belong to the Father alone, to the exclusion even of himself.”
J. T. RUTT.
Abstract of the Second Half-yearly Report of the Somer
set, Gloucester and Wilts Unitarian Missionary Association.
The Committee give the following Report of what they have done since the last half-yearly meeting; and, considering how extremely limited their means are and the many difficulties which still lie in their way, they trust it will be found that they have neither been inactive nor injudicious in the course they have pursued; they also hope that what has been already effected will convince the impartial that an Unitarian Missionary Association was necessary in this district, and is cal culated to be of essential service to the Unitarian cause. Their attention has been particularly directed to those congregations which are in a sinking state; and they have used every endeatour in their power to strengthen those friends who remain, and to promote the revival and success of the Unitarian cause among them : with this view they have adopted the plan of week-evening lectures by ministers connected with the Association, which has been attended with more success than could reasonably be expected in the time. It may be proper to give a more particular account of the places where such lectures have been preached.
Afarshfield. The cause in this town was ready to perish, and it may with truth be said, that had it not been for this Association it must have sunk, and the chapel would probably at this time have been in the hands of another denomination. Feeling the necessity of finding a minister for Marshfield without delay, in order to preserve the place, the Comunittee engaged Mr. Henry Hawkes, a Glasgow student, to supply as a minister during the recess at that University. They are happy to say Mr. Hawkes' labours have been attended with more success at Marshfield than had been anticipated; he has more than doubled the congregation, established a Sunday-school, a Fellowship Fund, and à Congregational Library. As Mr. Hawkes must return to Glasgow, the Committee have felt it absolutely necessary to provide a successor to him, and are happy to say they have succeeded in engaging the Rev. Samuel Martin, now a Missionary in Cornwall, to come to Marshfield at the close of his present engagement in the West; and from Mr. M.'s known character and tried abilities, they anticipate not only further success to the cause in that town, but that it will receive considerable aid from his active labours in several other places.
Calne. At Calne the Unitarian cause has, for a considerable time, been in a low state ; but the few friends who remain there, are very respectable, hospitable and zealous: they began to despair of being able to keep up Unitarian worship publicly, when it shall please God to remove their present worthy minister, who is very far advanced in years; but the establishment and operations of this Association have revived their hopes and enlivened their zeal. The week-evening lectures have been well attended.
Bradford. When Mr. Wright came to reside in Wiltshire, Unitarian worship had been discontinued in this town ten years, and the chapel generally lent to the Calvinists. Mr. Wright was, however, adınitted to the reoccupation of it, preaches there regularly on a Sunday morning, stands as the stated minister of it, and has succeeded in increasing the congregation. The ministers. who delivered lectures at Bradford have, on the following even, ing, preached at
Trowbridge, which is about three miles distant. Considering the difficulty of obtaining any change of ministers at that place, this has been a pleasing circumstance, and favourable to the progress of the cause in that populous town.
The Committee having been informed that the Presbyterian chapel at Thornbury was without a minister, that some of the members of the congregation were Unitarians, and the late minister at least favourable to Unitarianism, and quite liberal in his preaching, thought it a duty to make inquiry how far it might be right and practicable to secure the place to the Unitarian part of the congregation : but they were too late, for the Calvinist Methodists possessed themselves of the chapel and brought over the majority of the congregation to be in their favour. The only thing that remained was to advise the Unitarians to meet together in a room to worship the one God, edify one another, and do what might be in their power to enlighten their neighbours. This plan, there is reason to hope, they will adopt, and they were furnished with some books to assist them
The Committee have continued to use all the means in their power to gain further information respecting the state of the cause in different parts of the district, and in particular where congregations once existed which were in whole or in part Uni. tarian, in some of which they hope shortly to open rooms for Unitarian preaching.
Since the last half-yearly meeting, this Association has formed a friendly union with the Somerset and Dorset Unitarian Association, and has also become a branch of the “British and Foreign Unitarian Association.”
Kent and Sussex Unitarian Missionary Association.
The Unitarian Association for Kent and eastern part of Sussex, after the regular employment of Mr. M. Harding, as Missionary, for the last four years, have been compelled by a diminution of their funds to terminate their engagement with this zealous “ Advocate of the faith once delivered to the saints.” The friends of Unitarianism residing within the operation of this Association, deeply regret that Mr. Harding should be thus arrested in his useful career, and that the sacred cause in which they are engaged be, in this part of the kingdom, deprived of his support. They are, however, in some measure consoled by the reflection that considerable, and they hope lasting good, has been effected by the Missionary exertions in which the Association has been employed. The Committee beg to make the following extract from the Missionary's Report, inade at the Annual Meeting of the Association holden at Chatham, the 29th of June last :
" Though the past year fails to furnish us with a record of the brilliant victories of truth over error, it supplies facts and circumstances which cannot fail to be highly gratifying. Preparations have been made for building at least two chapels for the worship of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, where but for the existence and influence of this Association, the attempt would not so much as have been thought of; and last, but by no means the least, this Association has had the honour and happiness of being signally instrumental in saving a handsome chapel (viz, at Cranbrook) from being sold by public auction, and converted to common purposes. The reflection of having secured valuable premises, rendered additionally so from containing the ashes of revered worthy predecessors, and of being the means also, under the Divine blessing, of perpetuating the sacred cause of Truth in a populous town, will, if duly appreciated, never fail to impart a rich anticipation of glorious recompense."
The Committee persuade themselves that the members of the Association, and the friends of pure, undefiled religion generally, will readily lend their aid towards enabling thein to give some regular and effectual assistance to the rising societies at Sheerness, Biddenden, and Benenden, and for keeping up the interests of the Association, which has now been in existence for thirteen years. It will be immediately seen, that though the resources of the society may not allow of the constant employment of a Missionary, yet that a much smaller sum
than would be required for this purpose may be still raised and advantageously employed. The Committee therefore take this opportunity of soliciting the continued contributions of the public, and of impressing on the members of the Association the necessity of renewed and increasing exertions in the work in which they are engaged.—The Committee think it due to the character of their late Missionary to publish the following testimonial with which they furnished him on his quitting the office which he had so usefully and so honourably sustained.:.
“ This is to certify that Mr. M. Harding has for the last four years, under the direction of the Kent and Sussex Unitarian Association, acted in the two counties as Unitarian Missionary. And the Committee lend their willing testimony to the ability and good conduct which he has in that capacity displayed, and to the success which has in several instances attended upon his labours; and they much regret that the limited funds of the institution prevent their continuing him in the office.” On behalf of the Committee,
JOHN GREEN, Secretary.
Clerical Intolerance. [From Besley's Exeter News, Nov. 25, 1825.] It will scarcely be credited that, in this enlightened age, a Clergyman could be found superstitious enough to deny Christian Burial to an infant, because it had not been baptized ! Such superstition, however, does exist. A child of Mr. George Mortimer, of Islington, in this county, aged about twelve months, died last Monday. The time fixed for the funeral was Thursday afternoon. On Wednesday the grandfather of the child, Mr. John Mortimer, called on the Rev. William Woola combe, the Clergyıpan of the parish, and requested him to attend; but was astonished (as every person must be) to find that Mr. Woolcombe refused to bury the child, because it had not been baptized. The parents are Dissenters, but have their family burial-place in the parish churchyard, and there the parents wished their child to be. But who was to perform the *last sad office" over the little corpse? In this moment of difficulty the distressed parents sent to a Dissenting Minister residing at Bovey Tracey, about three miles distant, requesting him to attend, and he did so. A grave was dug, and the little corpse, followed by fourteen persons in decent mourning, and several others, was brought from the house of its parents, about a mile from the churchyard, and taken to the grave, whilst the Minister was obliged to stand on that part of the churchyard fence which was nearest the grave, and from thence the funeral address was made to the mourning attendants : and thus the melancholy ceremony was performed. Alas, for the country! When will such ignorance of real Christianity, such worse than Popish superstition, cease ?