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fulness; and amongst them I trust I devoutly worshipeda Being accustomed to reflect upon what I heard, I soon began to doubt respecting various things advanced from the pulpit, as not being consistent with the Scriptures of divine truth. After continuing a member of the Old Connexion for some years, I joined the New, believing it to be more liberal in sentiments, and in the mode of church government. A short time after I became a member in this Connexion, I was appointed to the important office of Local Preacher, upon which high and sacred employinent I entered, I trust, with a due sense of its importance, and of the conscientious manner in which it ought to be performed. Having doubts upon various subjects, especially upon the doctrine of the Trinity, and the divinity of Jesus Christ, I was led to think upon these very important subjects; being very desirous of knowing and teaching the truth as it is in Jesus. I could by no means reconcile some things that I heard upon the subject, with what I read in the Scriptures. I could not understand how Christ could be the servant of God, and yet the God he served; the Son, and yet the Father; the way to the Deity, and yet the Deity: to which he led; the only Mediator between God and man, and yet to be worshiped as God without a Mediator; that he should be the appointed Heir of all things, and yet the Sovereign Proprietor; and the like. Though I saw these things to be plainly contradictory, yet, on the other hand, I found many difficulties both in reading and hearing; and such was the perplexity of my mind, that at times I was quite distressed, and in public, when I became the mouth of the congregation, the Almighty only knows what oftentimes I felt from not knowing certainly whether to address only one, or more than one, Divine Person, as I was desirous to lead the people right. In this doubtful state of mind, what had I left to do but diligently to read the Scriptures, with prayer to the Almighty for instruction ? This I did, and this I wish all would do, and I doubt not but all in the end would attain to that sweet satisfaction of mind that I did. Yes; though it was a work of time, and indeed of a long time, yet the fullest conviction was the final result. Though there were passages of scripture I could not understand, nevertheless I found many more for the doctrine of the Divine Unity than against it; and, being thus far convinced, (reason and scripture uniting,) I, in the end, no longer doubted. But, oh! Sir, in vain should I attempt to describe the satisfaction
that I derived from so full a conviction upon this important subject. All my prejudices were obliged to give way to the force of divine truth. Then it was, indeed, that I worshiped God in spirit and in truth; then I did it with the understanding and the lieart. From this time I became a believer in the Divine Unity, though I retained my belief in the personality of the Spirit, aud the pre-existence of Jesus Christ, holding them both to be inferior to the Father, and dependent upon him. Though thus convinced, I was not inclined to quit my present connexions, being closely attached to my friends, to their mode of worship, of church government, and the like. In process of time, however, a few Unitarian books being put into my hands, I read them with attention. I cannot say that much alteration was produced in my views, but the new sentiments which I had imbibed were more fully impressed upon my mind, so that I could not sit under the preaching of Trinitarian doctrines with the same kind of feeling as I before did. As. to my speaking in public, I proceeded in the same way that I had long done; for I always spoke agreeably to my sentiments, though I suppose that inight not often be perceived. While my mind was in this state, I happened to hear a discourse on the subject of Redemption, in the delivery of which the preacher very emphatically said, “Yes, you are redeemed with the blood of God.” Now, though this language was not entirely new to me, yet it was either uttered in a different manner, or, if not, produced an effect upon any mind different to any I had ever before experienced, so that I felt myself bound to speak to the minister upon the subject. This was a cause of my sentiments being more fully known : for, though I had before sometimes spoken to some of my more particular friends upon these subjects, yet my views were not, generally, even suspected. Now, however, they were no longer concealed; nor did I wish that they should. I then little thought of the misrepresentation to which I exposed myself and iny sentiments. I had now to pass through a most fiery trial, for which I was but ill prepared. Such was the nature of my situation, that many of my dear friends I felt myself compelled to leave. I did it with the utmost deliberation, though with the most painful sensations of mind. God and my own conscience were my support uuder the upcharitable behaviour of those friends. Within the course of twelve months after I left the Methodist cons nexion, a few of my former friends seceded from the very society at New Radford to which I had belonged, though not at all on my account, but owing to soine difference that had arisen anjongst thein and other members of that society. Having so done, they solicited ine to unite with them, and to conduct divine worship among them. With their solicitatiops, on certain conditions, I complied. I advised them to act with deliberation; and added, that if, after mature thought, they should be inclined to return to the friends they had left, they ought by all means so to do; but that, if they should not be so inclined, I would freely explain my sentijnents to them; and, if we could so far agree as to unite in affection, I would assemble with them, and render them all the assistance in my power. Coming to a seeming understanding, we met together in a small dwelling-house on the 21st Sept. 1818, in which house we continued to meet for a length of time, and our meetings were, I believe, both pleasant and profitable. In the course of time we, after some changes, thought it best to adopt the usual mode of worship. We embraced the first opportunity of getting a larger place, and of commencing a Sunday-school, which we did in 1819. We had soon many scholars, and upon the whole they were well attended to. Many hearers joined our little society; and this seemed to be the begin. ping of good days. But, alas! these appearances did not last. One and another forsook us. A few friends continued steadfast in the cause; and I endeavoured to perse. vere in the important work, in the best manner I was able, of converting sinners and building op believers in their most holy faith. I led the minds of my little flock to the plain, but all-important, truths of the Gospel : often dwelling with delight on the Unity of the Godhead, and the free, unmerited Grace of God. Yes, Sir, on these delightful subjects I have ever loved to dwell. Are we told that the Unitarian scheme is not calculated to afford satisfaction to the mind? I would ask, what can give equal comfort to the pious soul as a firm belief in one God, the fountain of all goodness, the “Father of lights, with whom is no varia. bleness nor shadow of turning”? Yes, Sir, to dwell upon his rich, bis free, unmerited grace, has ever been my most delightful theme. Believing these things thus fuliy, and discoursing upon them frequently, I did not doubt but that, in course of time, all my friends would embrace the same truths. I found it, bowever, a more difficult task than I had calculated upon, to remove old prejudices. Of my friends who first set out with me, all, excepting one, in course of time left us, and returned to the Methodists. This, though trying, was doubtless for the best, as I believe it excited a spirit of inquiry among my people, and caused those that stood, to stand the faster. We have been gaining and losing as we have proceeded; but, upon the whole, I trust we have been gradually increasing. Some of our earlier converts remain with us to this day, and we have still kept adding one and another : we have lost one, and only one, by death. I was favoured with the acquaintance of the late Rey. H. Turner, whose condescending kindness will ever, I trust, be gratefully remembered by me, and whose memory is exceedingly dear to me. But, though the humble, pious spirit which he manifested, did mach towards removing my prejudices, yet, on various accounts, I was prevented from coltivating an intimate acquaintance with Unitarian friends. In 1823, I found, through a variety of circumstances, my spirits sink, and my health decline; so that I perceived I could not long continue my usual labour, and that I must either obtain some assistance, or the cause must decline. I knew not where to look but to Unitarian friends; and, after consulting my people, (witha out whom I have never done any thing of moment,) I made my situation known, and found the greatest spirit of willingness to assist me was manifested. I would make grateful mention of that truly Christian benevolence displayed in the conduct of the Rer. Mr. Tayler and yourself, and like. wise of some of the members of your congregation, from whom we have received assistance to the present time; moreover, pecuniary aid, unasked, but timely afforded, both for the use of the school and society.-Permit me here to say, that we bave for a long time laboured under great in. convenience, on account of the smallness and uncomfortableness of the room which we occupy, as our school has increased to the number of a hundred scholars. Thoughi our congregation is not large, (I suppose not averaging more than forty persons,) yet, upon the whole, we have long been uncomfortable for want of more room, and are convinced that if we had a larger and more convenient place, the number both of scholars and of the congregation would be much increased. As we cannot be accommodated with a larger room, otherwise than by building one, we turned our attention to that important object. Nevertheless, from the smallness of our numbers and our very limited circumstances, we saw but little prospect of realizing our wishes. From this consideration we should indeed bave set down in despair, had we not remembered that we had friends in Nottingham; to them, therefore, having humbly but confidently looked up, we have received all the encouragement our sanguine hopes had anticipated, as the most willing disposition has been manifested by many kind friends to assist us, not only with money, but in any other possible way. Though this might have made us greatly dependent, yet have you left us perfectly free and independent. I trust, Sir, I shall never forget the truly liberal spirit manifested in this respect in a vestry meeting held at the High-Pavement Chapel. Being thus warmly supported by our kind friends at home, and being encouraged to hope we shall meet with friendly assistance from those at a distance, we are about to commence building. Soon may the Chapel be reared, and long may it stand sacred to the worship of the One living and true God! 1 I remain, Rev. Sir, yours very respectfully, Radford, July 4, 1825.
- On Self-examination. ; " It is remarkable that no persecutors ever expressed any commiseration for the sufferings of those whom they persecuted. Our Saviour apprized his disciples that they who killed them would think they did God service. Paul thought the same; and the bigoted Jews in general persecuted through ignorance. But were they therefore innocent ? There is a kind of ignorance that is highly criminal, arising uot only from neglect of making inquiry, which itself arises from criminal prejudice, but from a secret malignity of temper, which con. ceals itself under the notion of zeal for religion. ..“ That persons frequently mistake the real motives of their own conduct, and thereby form a wrong judgment of their own characters, is notorious. What man ever thought himself to be covetous, though all the world saw him to be so in the extreine? Or what man ever thought himself proud ? And yet pride is certainly not banished from the world. Nay, did ever any man, except in reflecting on his conduct afterwards, think himself a bad husband, a bad father, or a bad master ?” - These are sentiments worthy the pen of him who wrote them, though he was one of the first literary characters in the world. They struck my mind very forcibly, as shewing" the importance of continual self-examination, and, with the hope that they might prove of use to some of your readers, I send them, with a few remarks subjoined, for insertion, if you think proper, in your little work.