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cited considerable attention in this country, and which is not altogether foreign to my present purpose, regards the right of ultimate control over missionary property. It has been contended on the one hand, that this right resides in the missionaries, being in fact only the natural right which every man has over the product of his own labor; and it has been maintained on the other, that it resides in the public, who have gratuitously supplied those funds, by the aid of which missionary property has been realized. The determination of this question obviously depends upon the terms of the original agreement which may have been made in each particular case, and that principle in the constitution of the committee which I have just explained, shows how it has been determined with reference to any property, which may be realized in connexion with the Unitarian mission in this country, by means of the funds subscribed for the promotion of its objects. The Calcutta Unitarian Committee is a permanent body, and will therefore act as the sole trustees of whatever property may be realised by the funds intrusted to their management, subject only to that public, whose virtual delegates or representatives they are, and to whose voice they will always respectfully listen. Any change which circumstances may suggest in the designation of the Committee, will not affect the control and responsibility of its members; and in order to increase the confidence of the public, and to give them a real as well as nominal influence over their own trustees, the Committee may hereafter be made an elective body, which it has not yet been made, only because it has been found impracticable. It is thus intended to be expressed, that all the funds subscribed, whether in England, America, or India, for the Unitarian mission in this country, and all the real property which it may be necessary to create for the adequate prosecution of its objects, shall be placed under the direct and positive, yet responsible control of the Calcutta Unitarian Committee. This, it is believed, is the only permanent basis on which our mutual relations can be placed, and will tend to prevent disputes, of which there is happily at present no prospect, and which it is hoped will never stain the annals of our mission. The broader and deeper the foundations that are now laid, the more stable and secure will be the superstructure hereafter to be raised.
Such, then, is the Calcutta Unitarian Committee as it exists at the present time; and although the number of its members has always been small, and its proceedings have seldom been brought to the notice of the public, yet it has been useful as a means of giving union and concentration to the limited exertions which have been made to promulgate the principles of Unitarian Christianity in India. These advantages will be derived from it in a still greater degree hereafter, when it is hoped the increased means possessed by the Committee will enable them to extend their labors, and when under such circumstances, a body of gentlemen, possessed of local information and experience, will be peculiarly required to give confidence to the public in ihc faithful appropriation of the funds which may be intrusted to their management, to revise and authenticate the periodical or occasional reports on the state of the mission, to excite or to moderate the zeal of its immediate agents, to prevent all collision between the different departments of missionary labor, as well as all useless or wasteful expenditure of the time and the talents of missionary laborers, and to give full efficiency to each within his proper sphere, by providing him with the necessary means both of subsistence and usefulness. Such are the important services of the Calcutta Unitarian Committee, although to a limited extent, in the present incipient stage of our exertions, and it is hoped that the same duties will continue to be performed with equal zeal and assiduity under a more enlarged scale of operations.
I remain, Dear Sirs,
Yours very faithfully,
W. Adam, Sec. C. U. C.
Calcutta, Feb. 20, 1826.
Unitarianism in Augusta, Georgia. [We have been permitted to copy the following extract from a letter, written by a gentleman travelling in Georgia at the time of its date. Since that period we understand a highly respectable society, for Unitarian worship, has been formed in Augusta, and provision made for regular preaching. The zeal and labors of Mr Gilman, mentioned in this letter and elsewhere, deserve the highest praise.]
Augusta, Geo. April 23d, 1826.
Dear Sir,—I have been so much interested in what I have seen and heard this day, that 1 cannot forbear to send you the particulars, while they are fresh in my mind. On my arrival here yesterday from the south, I found that our highly esteemed friend, Mr Gilman, of Charleston, was in this place, preaching what you and I believe to be the doctrines of the true christian faith. This morning, it being the Sabbath, I attended worship at the spacious Academy, where he preaches, and the same building in which Mr Crawford, the late candidate for the Presidency of the United States, taught a school for several years. The room was entirely filled with a congregation, equally respectable in their appearance, and devoted in their attention. The whole service was solemn and impressive, and the sermon was exceedingly appropriate, calculated to excite inquiry, instruct, and quicken the spirit of devotion.
As Mr Gilman's hour for evening service was not till eight o'clock, I went at three to the Presbyterian meeting, where I heard a discourse from a young man, recently from the eastward, pronounced with a good deal of confidence, and bearing hard upon the Unitarians. It was not in ill temper, however, and as the preacher was evidently honest in his zeal, no one could complain, that he took this opportunity to express his sentiments, and warn the people against what he believed the mischievous heresies that were going abroad among them. Mr Gilman was present, and I presume he would not object to any thing as discourteous in the young man's warmth, whatever he might think of his crude and mistaken notions of theology.
Hardly had we left the Presbyterian meetinghouse, when we were summoned at five o'clock to another service in the Baptist church. This is a large edifice, and I was surprised to find it filled to overflowing. I found, however, that we were assembled on an extraordinary occasion. Mr Gilman had occasionally preached on a week day evening, and the Baptist preacher had attended his lectures and taken notes. He had given notice, that he should at this time publicly confute Mr Gilman's arguments, and show the monstrous errors and absurdities of the Unitarian faith. This declaration kindled the curiosity of the town, and surrounded him with a crowd of eager listeners. Here, too, the preacher was a young man, a native of Ireland, and possessing some reputation among the people of the place as an orator. He arose in the pulpit, and exhibited a personal presence, not very imposing for its gravity, nor winning by its air of humility. There was a boisterous forwardness of manner by no means prepossessing, and I anticipated little else than a storm of words and action. As he advanced, however, this impression was partially worn off, and I sat without weariness to the end of his discourse. So strange a medley of ideas as he threw out I cannot attempt to describe. He entered with great heat upon what he called his arguments, and professed to take a view of the whole Unitarian controversy, but nothing was more conspicuous than his total ignorance of the very elements of the subject. His text book was 'The Hundred Arguments,' which he often quoted, and in his own imagination triumphantly confuted. As a whole, his sermon was a dexterous exercise at building up men of straw, and beating them down again. He reiterated some of the commonplaces, and quoted Greek, but without
vol. III.—No. iv. 46
much point or purpose, as his audience did not abound in Grecians. His remarks were violent and sweeping, but not bitter; he denounced Unitarians in good earnest, and consigned them without remedy, to a very bad place, but not with the angry, menacing, self-satisfied tone, which 1 have sometimes witnessed even in pulpits. In short, however furiously the Irish orator of Augusta may declaim against Unitarians, I will still believe, that he has the milk of human kindness in him, and, like a great many others of his stamp, only wants more knowledge to make him more charitable. .
'Eight o'clock soon arrived, and the people gathered again at the Academy. 1 went, as I thought, in good time, but the hall was so thronged, that I experienced great difficulty in forcing my way so far into the crowd, as to catch the sound of the speaker's voice. Many went away without being able to obtain admittance. I had observed Mr Gilman at the Baptist church, and the preacher's observations were often directed exclusively at him. This, of course, was publicly known, and the impression was general, that Mr Gilman would feel himself called upon to reply to some of these attacks. All ears, accordingly, were open to catch his words. After the usual exercises of devotion and singing, he arose and commenced an 'extemporaneous address, alluding expressly to the discourse he had just heard, and bringing forward those topics, which he deemed most worthy of explanation. In a clear, calm, and persuasive manner, he pointed out the misconceptions and erroneous statements of his opponent, interpreted the passages of scripture which had been set in array against Unitarianism, and added several remarks illustrative of what he considered the true views of christian doctrine. He then took a text, and preached an excellent practical sermon in the usual way. I have never witnessed a more serious attention in any congregation, than prevailed throughout the whole of the performances.
In this place are many Unitarians of the first respectability and character. Some of them have told me to day, that they have fair hopes of raising up a society here, and a full conviction that if all are united, they can afford a reasonable support to a minister. They intend to make an effort to organize a society before Mr Gilman returns home. Augusta is a beautiful and populous town, with long and broad streets running parallel with the Savannah river, and others crossing them at right angles. The houses are commonly built separate from each other, having gardens attached to them, which at this season, are charmingly adorned with a variety of shrubs and flowers. The streets, as in all the^outhern cities, are lined with rows of the pride of. India tree, clothed with its soft green foliage, and delicate blossoms.
You have asked me what I think of Unitarianism in the south country. This is a broad question, but I will answer it in few words. I have visited almost all the principal towns in the middle and southern states, and 1 have found Unitarians every where, and in numbers proportioned to the means, which have been enjoyed, of gaining a knowledge of Unitarian views of Christianity. Till recently, no such means have existed. When the church at Baltimore was erected, the name of Unitarian had scarcely been heard south of the Susquehannah. But a new era of inquiry began with that event, and the spirit has neither slept nor slumbered from that day to this. The eloquent sermon preached at the ordination in Baltimore, was an efficient pioneer; and the Unitarian Miscellany, if 1 may judge from the wide extent of its circulation, and the frequency with which I hear it spoken of in the middle and southern states, has been one of the most important instruments in diffusing a knowledge of Unitarianism, which has appeared in this country. At this day, I do not believe there is a village east of the Alleghany mountains, in which there are not individuals more or less acquainted with the "tibject. I have often heard it lamented, that such a work as the Miscellany has not been continued. It was particularly suited to the wants of uninformed, but inquiring people; and it emanated from a quarter in which the spirit and feelings of the south country could be realized. Our eastern journals, powerful as they are in good writing and sound views, are not well suited to the people of the south, from the obvious fact, that the writers cannot be acquainted with their local peculiarities, and immediate wants. A periodical publication inculcating Unitarian sentiments, and ably conducted, at Baltimore, or Washington, would do incalculable service.
But there is nothing so much needed as preaching. With the mass of the people, there is no reluctance to hear, and the efforts of the orthodox to subdue this propensity, so far from attaining the end, commonly result in quickening curiosity. Preachers bring individuals together, who would not otherwise have any opportunity of assembling, or of learning each other's views. They are astonished to find, that they think alike on these subjects, and their next step is to associate, and form themselves into a regular society. Unitarianism will never flourish much, till it is supported by zealous preaching. The fire is kindled; it must be cherished; and alere flamtnam should be the motto of all the friends of the cause.